When newly named channel chief John Teltsch formally assumes that position at IBM next month, he'll be working alongside Dorothy Copeland, someone with unique experience and skill growing a cloud-native channel.

Copeland, who spearheaded much of the development of Amazon Web Services' global channel program, was recently named IBM's vice president of global business partners for North America.

She'll be responsible for increasing the number of IBM Business Partners across North America while enabling those partners to expand their practices across all IBM solutions.
Copeland will help lead IBM's efforts "to bring simplicity to the channel by helping business partners build skills, drive demand and increase growth," an IBM spokesperson told CRN.

Copeland's "experience in building the Amazon Web Services cloud partner ecosystem from the ground-up will be beneficial to IBM Business Partners, as IBM is building and recruiting a broader partner base and is facilitating partners to develop a deeper services and solutions focus," the spokesperson said.

IBM declined to make Copeland available for an interview until she has settled in more to the new job.

As general manager of global partner channels and alliances, Copeland managed Amazon's channel efforts for seven years. In total, she's spent 16 years of her career working with the channel, including past jobs at Avocent and Cloudmark.

Copeland was a driving force in helping AWS' channel ranks skyrocket to tens of thousands of global consulting partners.

In a submission for CRN's 2017 Women of the Channel guide, Copeland, at the time still at Amazon, said she created and launched the AWS reseller program six years earlier, and was especially proud to see 110 percent growth in revenue and number of partners over the last year.

She encouraged young women to pursue technical education, even if they intended to follow a business path.

"Having a technical background will enable them to have a greater understanding of technology and speak the language of our modern age," Copeland said. "It's never too early for young women and girls to take programming classes. It's also important that women in the early stages of their career have a willingness to take chances, learn as much as they can by trying new things, work hard, and identify and engage with mentors and role models."

Copeland fills a position at IBM vacated by Michele Stern in February. Neal Callahan had been temporarily filling the role.

Copeland is a native of Washington State who earned her BA from Whitman College, followed by an MBA from UC Berkeley with emphasis on Corporate Strategy and Business Development.