CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Barbara Abboud

SR Manager Channel Sales, f5 Networks

Location: Farmingdale, NY


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 15

Twitter Handle: @channel_barb

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Had a lemonade stand

Biography and Background:
After Graduating from SUNY Stony Brook, I accepted a position working "little" Long Island Company called Computer Associates. That decision launched my IT career and most importantly my Channel Career. When I moved on, I had the opportunity to be the first US Channel Manager for AppSense. At the time AppSense was just establishing themselves in the US. I was responsible for building the program and recruiting top partners to grow our US Footprint. Four years later I had the opportunity to join Wyse Technologies. At Wyse I took on a leadership role and was managing the NA Channel Team. My next career move was to Varonis, as Director of NA Channels. This was an incredible experience for me in many ways. I built a team of talented CAM's across NA; and had the opportunity to increase my Security Sales knowledge. That leads me to f5 where I am today. It is an exciting time to be at f5, and I am looking forward to a long tenure here. On a personal note, I am a wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls (7yo/4yo). My weekends are filled with Soccer, gymnastics and Swim meets. I love every minute!

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
This past year has been one of transition for the East and Canada Channel Team. As I joined F-5, some team members were moving on to other opportunities. Over the past six months I have brought on three new Channel Sales Managers for the East. Each of them brings a wealth of channel, industry and territory knowledge. F5 is in the process of redefining ourselves as a leading security vendor, in addition to our flagship ADC expertise. The newest members of the East team, along with me, all have extensive security backgrounds, which is driving new dynamics into partner discussions. With the help of the f5 Security experts the East team has led in launching security programs with our strategic partners.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
There are three key areas that are top priority for our Channel organization. 1) Security Everywhere - helping our partners lead with f5 in security conversation and opportunities; 2) Expanding our cloud partners and strategy; and 3) Ensuring that our core customers are on our latest and greatest platform offerings.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
2016 CRN Women of the Channel Recognition. This was while I was the North American Leader of Channels at Varonis. The recognition was based on my contribution at Varonis in building their Channel Program and a National Channel organization.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
J.K. Rowling, Author of The Harry Potter Series. Rowling was inspired to write Harry Potter on a train from Manchester to London. It took her seven years to bring her vision to light. Those seven years were marked by personal trials, including the death of her mother, divorce and poverty. She had a story to tell and a vision for Harry Potter, she was determined to see this through. Her perseverance has inspired millions of children the love of reading and the understanding that there are no limits with your imaginations.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Build your business contacts, network and personal brand. The network you build at the start of your career will be colleagues, mentors and business contacts that you will engage and leverage throughout your career. As for your personal brand, once people know who you are and begin to identify you with expertise in IT, you will become a go-to person and thought of when opportunities arise.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
My husband's favorite movie of all time is Aliens. Over the past decade I have seen this movie too many times to count. In the beginning it was a gory "Boy" movie to me. But the more I watched, the more badass I realized Ripley was in this movie. She is fiercely protective of her children and overcomes incredible obstacles. When necessary, she takes over a leadership role that she wasn't trained for but excels at because of her personal character and ingenuity. She displayed the true strength of a woman, she is a perfect movie heroine.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would love one day to go to Iceland to see the Northern Lights. I lost my Dad to cancer this past year, and the Northern Lights are what I imagine Heaven to be like. I believe it would be an incredibly spiritual experience.

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