One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Biography and Background:
Michele Stern is an IBM Sales Leader with more than 20 years of experience in a variety of channel sales, channel strategy, and channel management positions. In her current role, Michele is the Managing Director for Arrow Electronics, where she is responsible for all aspects of the IBM and Arrow relationship, with a focus on Value Add Distribution of IBM Cloud, Storage, Servers, Software, and Services. She works with Arrow and their ecosystem of Business Partners to sell and deliver $2B in IBM technology to clients in North America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Prior to her role as Managing Director for Arrow, Michele was Vice President of Business Partners in North America. She led the North America One Channel Team, working with Business Partners of all types to deliver high value technology solutions to clients in all industries. Under her leadership, sales teams in the United States and Canada engaged channel partners to capture growth in the strategic areas of Cloud, Big Data, and Cognitive Solutions. Michele and her husband live in the Philadelphia area and enjoy spending time at the beach with their family.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I have recently assumed responsibility for IBM's total business with one of our Global Distributors, Arrow Electronics. In addition to our distribution business together, Arrow and IBM have embarked on a strategic IoT partnership, leveraging the strength of Arrow's components business and the reach of Arrow's enterprise computing ecosystem to deliver value to clients from sensors to data to business insights. In 2016, I led the One Channel Team for IBM in North America, covering Business Partners of all types to deliver profitable growth in the strategic initiatives aligned to IBM's Cognitive Agenda - Cloud, Watson, Analytics, and Security. The Channel embraced our transformation strategy with hundreds of Business Partners participating in IBM and Distributor sponsored workshops, developing plans to adapt business models to offer clients cloud based solutions and technology as a service. The IBM Channel Team worked with our Business Partners to adopt IBM's Blue Mix Infrastructure and Platform to leverage Watson APIs and to make cognitive solutions a reality for clients across many industries. We made remarkable progress with CSPs and ISVs, driving growth by embedding IBM Cloud, SaaS, software offerings and services in the solutions that Cloud and Managed Service Provider partners offer to their clients.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
At IBM, our goals for 2017 are very simple. It's all about winning. This means winning market share, winning the architecture, and winning client advocacy. IBM aligns our channel partners to these goals by providing truly differentiated offerings, with a cloud that is optimized for data and industry centric cognitive solutions, and by embracing the channel ecosystem to reach clients in IT and in the lines of business. IBM's new PartnerWorld program rewards our channel partners for investing in our strategic competencies. Enabling Business Partners to achieve the highest levels of skills is a key objective for our team.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
CRN: Channel Chief 2016 CRN: Power 100 Women of the Channel 2016 IBM: Named as IBM's Executive Campus Engagement Leader for University of Pennsylvania
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I am a big fan of Betty White. I admire her wit, her grace, and of course her longevity. She has demonstrated her ability to stay current and relevant throughout an amazing career that has spanned 75 years.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
If you have a passion for technology, GO FOR IT! Do your research, talk to mentors, and learn about the many and varied technology related career options that are available for you to pursue. The application of technology is rapidly changing our world and I think you will find that whatever your interests may be - sports, healthcare, fashion, finance, gaming, and the list goes on and on - women who are skilled in technology and understand how to use it to improve the way we work and live will have endless career opportunities.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I loved the movie "Hidden Figures" and it would be amazing to be Katherine Johnson for one day. Her brilliance, courage, and tenacity combined with her passion for success despite abject discrimination is inspiring for women and men.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Havana. Why? Because I am intrigued with the opportunity to experience the Cuban culture while seemingly going back in time.
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