Woman of the Day - June 21, 2017

Gavriella Schuster

Corporate Vice President, WW Channels & Programs, Microsoft

Location: Redmond, WA

URL: http://www.microsoft.com

Number of years in current position: 3

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 11

Twitter Handle: @gavriels1

Fun Facts:

Is fluent in another language
Enjoys public speaking
Has an advanced degree
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has a personal mantra
Had a lemonade stand
Has a blog

Biography and Background:
As a Corporate Vice President in the One Commercial Partner team, Gavriella Schuster is responsible for global partner channels and programs, with a focus on driving digital transformation for partners and customers. Gavriella's team is responsible for the high-touch experiences of Managed Service Providers, Hosters, Resellers, Distributors and National/Local SIs. She is also responsible for reaching, connecting, enabling, investing in, and rewarding partners through high-touch and low-touch experiences. She has extensive experience in sales, marketing, product management, and partner development with a strong track record of managing customers, partners, and teams. Over the last 20 years at Microsoft she has managed sales and marketing teams across the Server and Cloud business, the Windows Client Commercial business, Enterprise Services, licensing sales and marketing, field business development, training initiative development, segment marketing, worldwide partner marketing and training strategies and worldwide operations.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
In the past year, my team and I have been working hard to help many of our partners move beyond cloud basics. We've developed a comprehensive set of four Cloud Practice Development Playbooks that lay out concrete roadmaps and things to consider as partners build or expand customer-centric cloud practices. We've also launched Practice Development Units around the world, with dedicated teams deeply focused on identifying and enabling new cloud practices for our partners leveraging advanced Azure and Office 365 workloads. We're continuing to enhance our partner portal to make it easier for partners to find relevant content and do business with us, with advancements to our referral engine and our Cloud Solution Provider program capabilities.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
One of our primary goal is to help partners and customers capitalize on the digital transformation opportunity. The new digital economy is changing the face of business, and our partners have an amazing opportunity to capitalize on this change with value-added services, IP-based offerings, or managed services. I'm excited about the new resources we've made available to help partners grow and develop their skills to take advantage of this opportunity. For example, in addition to the Cloud Practice Development Playbooks, we've released hundreds of hours of free Azure training on Open edX, with more courses added all the time.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Named one of CRN's 2017 Most Influential Channel Chiefs, which honors the leaders who build, support and deliver superior partner programs and strategy. Selected as one of Vis Talks' TOP 55 CLOUD CHANNEL VISIONARIES - 2017

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
There are many women like Brene Brown, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer that I admire today for their courage, conviction, and passion. My personal role model growing up though was Margaret Thatcher. She was able to lead a country and raise her children during a very turbulent time in Great Britain. I admired her conviction and passion to push the conservatives in her country and to rally the world.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
A career in technology, more than any other field, requires a deep thirst for learning and an ability to adapt to customer needs. This industry changes so fast - you have to be a constant student to keep up with technological advances. Because things change so quickly, you have to have a deep knowledge of yourself and your preferences to assess opportunities and when it's time for a change. Investing time in thinking about this and creating a plan is the difference between a job and a career. Jobs happen, but careers are built.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I would be Helen Parr, Elastigirl, from the Incredibles. It would be amazing to have the super powers to be able to multi-task the way that she did.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I am very lucky that with my job, I have the opportunity to travel to many of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world. Unfortunately, I don't get an opportunity to truly soak in the culture and spend the kind of time that I would like. I would go to Majorca, Spain and spend a month if I could. It is a beautiful island with a very rich history and people.

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