Biography and Background:
Laurie Potratz is Vice President, Global Channels and Alliances at LookingGlass Cyber Solutions. She is an experienced sales and marketing leader in cybersecurity, networking, virtualization, and storage. Her field and Channel experience includes partnering with MSSPs, Solution Providers, Systems Integrators, OEMs, Alliances and 2-tier distribution. Potratz has extensive experience working with partners to expand and enhance their global offerings. She has held leadership roles at Symantec, VMware, Brocade Communications, Veritas and BMC Software. She has been named four times to the "Power 100 Women in the Channel" by Computer Reseller News, and one of the industry's "Channel Chiefs." Potratz has over 20 years experience including management roles in direct sales, marketing, and channels; she has expertise in building and launching emerging channels, and in developing international markets in EMEA, APAC and Latin America. Potratz earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Rhode Island, as well as an auxiliary degree from the Institut de Sciences Politiques in Paris, France. She is bilingual (French/ English). She supports Habitat for Humanity, and has served as a mentor through Women in Networking, Dress for Success, and organizations that encourage business skills development for women to realize their full business potential.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
To advance our channel business, we needed one global partner program (we had acquired 3 companies), increased efficiencies that scale for partners, a clear mission statement with Rules of Engagement, and to expand the available portfolio to partners so they could focus on higher margin, more services-intensive solutions. We also created an MSSP vertical for partners that allowed for a "Pay as You Grow" model. It was critical that we establish the LookingGlass Cyber Guardian Network, our unified global partner program. We approached the business from the partner point of view, with partner investment protection, enablement and responsiveness as key elements. For the first time, we launched a state of the art Partner Portal to assure all partners worldwide a 24x7 easy to use self-service system for sales support, technical and sales enablement, joint business planning, and cooperative marketing investment. LookingGlass grew its international partners significantly. Previously, partners focused on reselling Threat Intelligence Services; but in the last 12 months, they have broadened their portfolios to include Threat Intelligence Platform, and Mitigation sales, which can be more lucrative, less competitive, and definitely more service-intensive. Thus, partner margins are increasing due to the solutions sold and our aggressive opportunity registration incentives.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
2017 Channel goals include: • Adding more qualified partners, especially in the U.S. commercial space. • Increasing the number of SLED partners in the U.S. • Increasing overall percentage of company revenue derived from the channel. • Recruiting MSSPs. • Fully populating our new partner portal with partners' business and marketing plans, partner locator information, etc. to derive better channel analytics. • Expanding penetration of targeted international countries. Implementing sales campaigns via the partner portal to drive Channel revenue.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Channel Chief 2017 - CRN/the Channel Company
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood (1830 - 1917). She was actively engaged in the women's voting rights and equal pay. She lobbied to expand women's course curriculum, which limited the classes they could take, thus curtailing their ability to secure certain professions. She was one of the first female attorneys, and successfully petitioned Congress to be the first woman allowed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was the first woman on the ballot for president in 1884. Most women did not have the right to vote. I love her quote: "I cannot vote, but I can be voted for."
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Just five percent of leadership positions in technology are held by women. If you aspire to a leadership role, my advice is to not let that statistic deter you. With clear objectives, determination and focus you can be part of growing number of successful women in technology. Begin with trying different areas of technology to see which ones excite you. Find a mentor who has achieved what you aspire to, and then absorb all the knowledge and experience you can. Build a network and leverage it. It's key to have a support group that can guide you in your journey.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Buttercup, the Princess Bride, and live in a fairytale for a day. One of my family's favorite movies, it is the tale of a young maiden who learns the true meaning of love through various adventures. As promised by the narrator, the grandfather, the story includes "Fencing. Fighting. Torture, Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes." There are multiple themes in the movie that are meaningful, which is as relevant today as it was when my children were small. There are so many quotable lines from the film, especially "as you wish," which was Westley's way of communicating "I love you."
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I've been to most major cities in the world, so I would like to travel to see the Great Migration of Masai lions, African leopards and Tanzanian cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October,. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a large game reserve in Kenya next to the Serengeti National Park. I would then like to continue on to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, located in Tanzania.
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