Biography and Background:
Sonia Vasudeva is a seasoned marketing professional with over 15 years of experience spanning channel, field, and corporate communications disciplines. She has marketed both IT software and hardware technologies including PCs, storage, networking, security, and medical devices. Her pulse on the channel began as far back as a college intern for a VAR Business 500 reseller. Vasudeva joined Acer in 2009, managing incentive programs and promotions for Acer's distribution, DMR and reseller channel partners. In 2013, she became responsible for both creating new and strengthening existing Acer reseller programs along with managing Acer's network of distribution partners. Vasudeva previously managed distribution and reseller partner programs at Oracle (Pillar Data). She was also responsible for creating and driving demand gen programs at NetApp. In response to her channel efforts, Vasudeva was named to CRN's Women of the Channel list in 2015 and 2016. Vasudeva holds a B.A. from the University of California, Davis. With the belief that marketing is a perfect blend of both science and art, she naturally expresses her artistic abilities off the field as a mixed media artist actively involved in her local maker community.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
My responsibilities include the development, management and execution of marketing programs and promotions for Acer's distribution and reseller channel partners. This past year's focus has been to continue to drive brand awareness of Acer's portfolio of high-performance commercial grade systems through our Genius Buys Program as well as grow our reseller programs including Acer Channel Excellence (ACE), which offers a comprehensive incentive program based on the sales of professional OS products. In further efforts to expand our VAR program offerings, we focused on an identified group of resellers called Acer Elite VARs. We have a series of programs to help these partners with pricing and incentives, which help facilitate profitable sales of this growing category of products. Amongst the programs offered is Acer Rewards, a customer loyalty program offering incentives via reloadable prepaid debit cards based upon the sales of selected Acer products. In 2016, we saw significant YoY revenue growth within Acer Elite reseller partners. Acer led the worldwide Chromebook market share in 2016 for the third consecutive year, according to market research firm Gartner. Additionally in 2016, Acer Chromebook revenue grew 17% YoY in the U.S. by partnering with resellers selling into the K-12 education market.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Over the next year, I will continue to focus on the growth of our VAR community by positioning Acer as the commercial IT solution. This includes ongoing initiatives to increase VAR engagement and target VAR recruitment. Our goal is to strengthen and build upon our reseller programs including ACE and Acer Rewards. In addition, there will be continued efforts to increase the amount of net new accounts coming through partners as well as expand the Acer product portfolio of our transacting customers.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
This past year, I was named to the 2016 CRN Women of the Channel list. The women recognized by CRN on this list are comprised of the entire IT channel sector and selected based on achievements, impact and commitment to the industry.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
We all know Ellen DeGeneres as the hilarious and fun-loving actor, author, comedian and host who entertains us daily. Although I appreciate her as an entertainer, I admire her for the philanthropic work she is involved with ranging from anti-bullying to breast cancer awareness to helping animals, just to name a few. She is involved with numerous organizations but also helps to recognize and reward those in local communities making positive change. Ellen was recently awarded for her humanitarian efforts with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, by former President Barack Obama.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Don't be intimidated by the actual technology of the technology industry. The key is to use your resources and learn about different tech industries and companies. If you are just getting started, seek out mentors, do informational interviews and join groups for women in technology. The good news is that nowadays there is bound to be a tech company out there suited for everyone and their unique interests, you may just need to dig a little to find that fit. The happier you are in your work environment, the more you will flourish and grow in your career.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I think it would be fantastic to be Han Solo for a day! Han starts out as a smuggler and a loner but deep down has good intentions. When it comes down to it, he proves to be loyal in risking his life to help his friends defeat the Empire. Of course, he does all of this while delivering the best one-liners ever. Besides, who wouldn't want to pilot the Millennium Falcon and travel via hyperspace with your best friend Chewbacca by your side?
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
In college, I took a course on great cities in their prime. One of the cities highlighted that I have always wanted to visit was Vienna. We studied the Viennese coffee house culture transitioning from its beginnings in the 1600s, to the development of cafe restaurants, dance cafes, and then trading places for goods during the Great Depression. During their peak, some of these coffee houses even became the meeting spot for many young writers ultimately leading to the birth of coffee house literature. There is just such wonderful history in this city to learn about and explore.
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