CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Tamara Prazak

Director of Channel Strategy & Marketing, ViaWest

Location: Greenwood Village, CO


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 4

Twitter Handle: @TamPraz

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss
Is fluent in another language
Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Has completed a marathon
Had a lemonade stand
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
Tamara is responsible for developing and implementing strategy for ViaWest's strategic partnerships, along with creating and delivering marketing and sales enablement content to increase Hybrid IT Solution sales through its channel partner program. During her tenure at ViaWest, Tamara helped to create and build the indirect channel program within the company, which now accounts for a significant portion of the enterprise's bookings. She has been with ViaWest for five years, and has over 15 years of experience in technology and marketing. Tamara has a business administration degree from the University of Illinois, is a proud member of Cloud Girls and when she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and running.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
ViaWest has a lean channel group, so I wear several hats to support the growth of our channel program and support for solution providers. I direct marketing strategy and execution, provide sales enablement to both our dedicated channel sales team as well as our entire sales organization to assist them with building and maintaining relationships with solution providers and I work closely with our channel partners to assist them with maximizing ViaWest's programs and offerings to enable them to capture more share of wallet and strengthen their position as a trusted advisor. Specific initiatives I have led to advance our channel program include: • Launching campaign-in-a-box programs to assist solution providers with easily executing campaigns around various solution areas. • Sales enablement efforts to help channel partners diversify their offerings- we successfully diversified the solution set that we are selling through our partners - moving beyond colocation to a broader set of Hybrid IT Solutions encompassing cloud, DRaaS, security solutions, compliance, professional services and more. • Executing numerous marketing events, programs and campaigns ranging from data center tours to webinars. Through these efforts, ViaWest's channel program continues to deliver YOY double-digit growth and represents over 30% of the company's bookings.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
I am focusing on helping partners assist their end users in implementing high performing, cost effective, secure and highly available architectures that power their businesses for success. In helping partners build their revenue streams, we are enhancing our solutions and partner services. We will help partners assist their clients with transforming their IT infrastructure - whether through data center and colocation solutions, cloud solutions, security, compliance, DevOps or managed services, or any combination of those things. We are enabling client success through virtualization, integration and automation solutions.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
ViaWest recognition for my work in leading ViaWest's Culture Team- a grass roots effort focused on maintaining our company's unique and fun culture and aiding in employee retention.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
ViaWest's CEO and co-founder, Nancy Phillips, is one of my female role models. Nancy has been a creative entrepreneurial force in the technology field since she was 25. Her passion, drive, integrity and commitment to customers inspire our company's employees every day. Nancy has been gracious with her time in mentoring women - from students to professionals - and setting an example as a leader, a female in a male dominated industry and as a person. Nancy's passion and enthusiasm are contagious!

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
My advice would be to be yourself, work hard and have fun. Be confident even when you don't feel confident. Remember - you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Don't forget that growth begins at the end of your comfort zone - as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." Lastly, if you're not having fun and laughing every day, then you haven't found a job that incites your passion.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I would be Ferris Bueller, because it's important every now and then to just let everything go and live in the moment. Plus, who doesn't want to have an epic day with your friends and sing "Twist and Shout" on a float in a parade downtown Chicago? "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would go to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands in Spain because they are beautiful and who doesn't love a beach vacation? Plus, since they are located off the coast of Spain, I would combine the trip with a stop off in Seville, my favorite city in the entire world. Seville has the charm and beauty of old Spain with a warm open culture and great food. I studied there in college and have been back several times to visit. I'd go there every week if money was no object!

Unedited Content Provided By Participants