Colleen McMillan: Woman of the Day

Meet the Woman of the Day for August 9, 2017 - Colleen McMillan, VP of global channel sales strategy and programs at Gemalto.

Colleen McMillan
VP, Global Channel Sales Strategy and Programs, Gemalto Enterprise & Cybersecurity
Location: Austin, TX
Number of years in current position: 1
Number of years involved with indirect sales: 16
Twitter Handle: @McMillanColleen
Fun Facts:
Enjoys public speaking
Has an advanced degree
Has an MBA
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has a personal mantra
Has completed a marathon
Biography and Background:
I have spent my entire career in the technology industry as I started in hardware and software sales straight from college. I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career, but I really enjoyed the sales process and working closely with my customers to solve their business problems through the use of technology. Through my career I was fortunate to work in progressively challenging roles at companies such as Dell, VMware, Citrix, and Gemalto and eventually took on leadership roles at the global level. My strong sales background has provided me solid experience and firsthand knowledge to develop impactful sales strategies and partner programs. It has been particularly helpful in that I have selling experience both as a vendor and as a partner; this brings a unique empathy to the selling process, both in terms of understanding the customer, and the vendor / partner relationship. My greatest success has come from fostering strong relationships and working closely with partners and customers to solve challenging problems. The technology industry is constantly changing and it is incredibly fascinating to me in terms of the speed of change and the increasing role technology is playing in our lives.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Gemalto is 100% committed to developing a successful channel model and I was specifically hired to develop, build and implement a stronger partner ecosystem for Gemalto. I have been focused on improving the end-to-end partner experience from initial on-boarding to increasing productivity by shortening the time to value by developing and providing enhanced enablement tools and learning paths for sales and technical pre-sales roles. I started at Gemalto in Q3 of 2106 and being new has been great, as I was able to bring an open mind and fresh perspective. During my first 2 quarters on the job, I spent time in the field, listened to partners, and solicited feedback by implementing the first ever Voice of the Partner survey. Our partners are our biggest fans, but they are also not shy about letting us know where we can do better. Based on the feedback, we launched a complete revamp of our partner portal - improving not only the content and tools that are available, but also focused on improving the layout for easier navigation. We made additional investments in role-based channel enablement and recently rolled out the on-demand learning paths for the sales teams and pre-sales technical teams.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
For us, our partners' success = our success. Our focus is on building a stronger Gemalto Cipher Partner ecosystem with specific routes aligned to customer needs. We are focused on developing an enhanced Gemalto Cipher Partner Program for a mid-2017 launch. The new program will still provide partners access to best of breed technology and margin rich incentives, but it will also focus on; Improving Partner Experience, Empowering Profitability, and Rewarding Success. If our partners are successful, then we are successful and it is our job to fully equip our partners with the tools and support necessary.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I have always admired Melinda Gates as she sets an incredibly high bar. Not only is she incredibly smart and accomplished having balanced both a career at Microsoft and a family, she has taken altruism and global philanthropy to a new level. She truly embodies the definition of making a difference in a person's life through her work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is a tireless champion of those less fortunate and works to promote women around the world to realize their full potential. She clearly demonstrates a life of success and significance while remaining humble.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Go for it! I personally love having a career in technology as it is always changing and I am never bored. My advice is take ownership of your career, constantly be learning / developing yourself, embrace change and look for growth opportunities. A good attitude and hard work goes a long way and never goes out of style. Build strong relationships along the way and work collaboratively to accomplish greater things together than individually. Lastly, enjoy your work! We spend the majority of our lives working so its definitely a lot more fun if you are excited about your career.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
"I don't want you on my side, I want us on the same side" This demonstrates how character Jessica Pearson from the legal drama Suits leads her law partnership by through mutual respect and loyalty. She is a strong woman who has the brains and experience to hold her own, and sets a high bar for herself and those on her team. She expects as much from herself as she does her team. Jessica empowers her team while also providing them strong leadership and valuable guidance when needed. And it doesn't hurt that she has an incredible wardrobe!
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
This would be New Zealand - the south island, Fiordland National Park. It has been a dream to hike the Milford Track 4 day, 33 mile trail. Completely un-connect from everything and go explore as it offers everything from adventure, beautiful scenery, camaraderie with other hikers and stunning vista views. All of this would be capped off with a visit to Christchurch before returning back to reality!
Previous WotC Woman of the Day: Shannon Sbar

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