Biography and Background:
Donna Sue Lowe is a channel professional at Aruba, who has dedicated her entire sales career to ensuring reseller partners realize their selling and services possibilities with best of breed technology solutions. She has deep strategic relationships with some of the most respected, talented, and trusted names in the VAR community throughout the United States. Previously, Donna worked as a channel manager at SafeNet. She graduated, with honors, from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Leadership and is currently pursuing her Masters in Leadership and Organizational Studies.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
As Networking Channel Director, West, for Aruba, I was focused on ensuring that our legacy partners from the Aruba Partner Edge program and the HPE Networking Partner Ready program in the Western Region would have a smooth transition into our new Partner Ready for Networking program. To accomplish this, I advocated for our Western partners and collaborated with our executive channel team to ensure the new program provides our partners with the benefits they value most, including a comprehensive line of industry-leading mobile first solutions, predictable profitability, and ease of use, and that it enables them to capitalize on the burgeoning mobile and cloud market opportunities. I and my six Western Area Channel Sales Specialists worked closely with our partners to ensure their concerns were heard, their questions were answered, and their transition into the new program was smooth and successful. Throughout the transition, we worked hard to maintain and exhibit the 'customer first-customer last' philosophy for which Aruba is known, and I'm happy to say that the results of the transition have been tremendous. Partners from both legacy programs are enthusiastic about the opportunities the new program offers for expanded market opportunities, increased revenues and enhanced profitability.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
The goal for our channel business over the next year is to ensure our partners take advantage of all the opportunities that our new Partner Ready for Networking program offers and that they become fully compliant with the new requirements that go into effect in November. We will continue to work closely with our partners to educate them on the incredibly exciting aspects of the program such as our specializations and ClearPass and Meridian Core Competencies, which broaden their market opportunities and revenue potential, and the new front-end discounts and back-end rebates that help enhance profitability.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership from Asuza Pacific University. It was a challenging program that allowed me to refine my public speaking skills along with my leadership capabilities. I am currently pursing my Master's degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies. I was named to CRN's 2016 "100 People You Don't Know But Should" list, where I was recognized for playing a key role during the initial period after the HPE acquisition, building marketing programs that helped build bridges between channel partners from both sides, and helping to drive growth for our wireless networking partners.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Queen Elizabeth I -- a fierce specimen of womanhood. In 1588, she delivered a speech that captured the diversity of men's/women's physical natures, while reminding listeners of her profound/honorable dedication, giving credence to how women fought for equal stature in civilizations for centuries: 'I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, ... (should any) prince of Europe dare invade the borders of my realm; I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.'
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I recommend starting in distribution, as it provides tremendous exposure to a wide range of technology types - from servers and storage to security and software. Become an inside sales rep for a distribution partner like ScanScource, Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Avnet, Arrow or SYNNEX and spend several years taking advantage of the excellent hands-on training opportunities they provide. You'll receive a well-rounded look at technology and can learn where your interests truly lie. Taking this route, you can become a subject matter expert and can move forward in a wealth of different directions, from distribution to channel/reseller or vendor/manufacturer.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
John Henry "Doc" Holliday from Tombstone - the 'fastest shooter in the west,' and an icon in his day. He was well-respected, feared, and known by everyone. "Doc" led a wild and exciting life, albeit short-lived. He was a gambler, gunfighter, and dentist. I've always had an affinity toward "Doc" because of his carefree spirit. I've always loved western movies and been fascinated by the "Wild, Wild West". I'm intrigued by both the simple way of life and the excitement of the land grab, where everyone had an opportunity to be a landowner -- if only they had the drive.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Saariselki, Finland -- a village in northern Finland that's home to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, which offers exciting activities like reindeer safaris, and enables guests to stay in glass-roofed igloos that provide incredible views of the Northern Lights. When I was 10 years old, my father asked me to paint the Aurora Borealis. At the time, I didn't know what it was, so I let my imagination guide me. I've been intrigued by the Northern Lights ever since, and it would be amazing to witness them first-hand, and to be able to watch them as I drift off to sleep.
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