CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Emily Nelson

Partner Programs Manager, Fortinet

Location: Baltimore, MD


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 2

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Had a lemonade stand
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
Emily has over five years of experience in the IT industry. Emily joined Fortinet in 2015 and manages all of the "to-partner" North America programs including events, trainings and marketing offers. Prior to Fortinet, Emily worked at Citrix Systems where she managed the field events for the US Public Sector market. Emily lives in Baltimore, MD and has her BA in marketing and supply chain management from the University of Maryland, College Park.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Fortinet is continuing to make large investments in our partner programs in order to accelerate opportunities and profitability for our partners. Over the past year, we have rolled out many new programs such as co-marketing campaigns and offers, events and trainings to allow partners to easily sell to their customers and grow their business with Fortinet. Much of my focus in 2016 was around the "to-partner" events and trainings. One of our most successful programs was the Partner Acceleration Update Roadshow. There were over 75 events in the US and Canada last year. This program provided the opportunity for partners to get updates on Fortinet solutions, marketing campaigns and partner programs while also having the chance to build relationships with the local Fortinet team and industry colleagues. Another large program which accelerated our channel business was the NSE Xpert Academy (formally known as Xtreme). This five-day exclusive hands-on training provided the opportunity for our top partner sales engineers to get one-on-one time with Fortinet's SME's and enabled them to become experts with the latest Fortinet technology. We have seen substantial growth in business from the participating 50+ partner companies.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Our focus will remain on the Fortinet Security Fabric, which allows partners to offer a complete end-to-end security solution to their customers. We will continue to roll out new tools and programs to educate partners on the latest updates and provide easier ways to grow their business using the Fabric solution. We will also continue to investment in partner education like the recently launched NSE Institute. The Network Security Expert (NSE) program is designed for partners to validate their network security skills and experience, leverage Fortinet's full range of network security products, help accelerate sales and offer new services.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I am lucky to have an incredible mentor, Krissy Kelley. Krissy is a Senior Director of Marketing at Fortinet. I met her early in my career and she has helped me create a path where I am achieving my professional goals. She is a great leader and always makes time for her team members, challenges them to think outside of the box and her laugh is contagious which makes working with her even more fun. Outside of the office, she is an amazing mother and has mastered the work-life balance.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Dream big and go after your goals. There is so much opportunity in the technology industry and it's important to continue to set goals and create a path for yourself that sets you up for success. You should also be comfortable with stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking on new projects and tasks that are challenging. Create relationships with colleagues outside of your direct team and it will make your job very rewarding.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
If I wasn't in the IT industry, I'd probably be in fashion marketing. I love the fast-paced environment and the art of high-end fashion. With that said, I would probably pick Andy from the Devil Wears Prada. Sign me up for designer clothes, shoes and passes to Paris Fashion Week!

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
My grandmother is 78 and still travels to a new city/country once a year. A few years ago, she took me to Paris for my first time and that trip is one of my favorite memories I have with her. One of the places on her list to travel to in the next few years is Iceland. I'd love to be able to treat her to a trip there and experience the Northern Lights, Blue Lagoon and all of the other beautiful sights with her.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants