Biography and Background:
Diane joined SAP in 2005 just as the company was ramping up their channel operations and focus on the SMB space. Her experience at distributor Tech Data and software company Computer Associates attracted the attention of SAP's channel management team. She was part of the original team that developed SAP's award-winning global partner program, SAP PartnerEdge, and drove communications for the next generation of the program in 2015, its biggest evolution in 10 years. Today she leads a team of communication experts responsible for internal and external communications related to SAP's partner business and marketing operations. She is a key member of the team that develops the branding, marketing, content agenda and social media strategy for SAP Global Partner Summit and the partner area at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, SAP's annual business conference. She was a finalist in the SAP Marketing People's Choice Awards for her leadership and teamwork in 2015. Last year she was selected to participate in a four-week corporate social responsibility initiative in Kigali, Rwanda, focused on furthering Rwanda's IT-driven economic aspirations with a non-profit technology consortium.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Our partners are a key part of our ongoing success at SAP. Their satisfaction is of paramount importance to us because we realize we are not what we are without them. I facilitate communication between our partners and our partner business team members, executing a strategy of thought leadership, educational events, success stories, and networking opportunities.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Cognitive intelligence is everywhere in our personal digital lives these days, and it's crossing over quickly into our lives at work. Machine learning is a great example of this, and it's happening faster than we realized. IoT and Blockchain too. SAP's large SIs, smaller integrators, VARs, development partners - you name it - have an amazing opportunity. We need a solid ecosystem that can embrace this new "intelligence in the enterprise" reality, and I'd like SAP partners to understand how they can evolve to succeed in this new era of the digital enterprise.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
As part of the SAP Social Sabbatical program, I traveled to Rwanda and worked with the Rwanda ICT Chamber - an organization for Rwandan tech companies. Technology is key to Rwanda's economic development as it moves away from its subsistence, agriculture-based economy. Rwanda has a massive skills shortage, in large part because the technology revolution didn't start there after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. I helped create the "LIFT Rwanda," prototype, a digital learning hub to help Rwandan small businesses and entrepreneurs understand IT and how it can help their businesses grow. Eventually this will help create demand and jobs.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Michelle Obama. From the time she was a young girl until now she has been remarkable. Self-made. Purposeful. She is driven, yet she has a heart. She was an amazing first-lady, and no matter how many figurative apples they threw at her, she stayed committed to kids and health. And how classy is she? "When they go low, we go high." Great mantra for us all to live by.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
• Don't just talk the talk. Sure, developing your personal brand relies on growing your circle, and picking great people to support you. But you've got to execute like nobody's business. Then, you'll have the reputation plus the goods to back it up. • Be confident enough in yourself to acknowledge the great work of others. • Remember the people that support you early in your career by giving them a shout out when you reach the top.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Hermione Granger. She's an amazing wizard, for starters, arguably better than Harry Potter. But she doesn't care about fame or power - she loves learning and knowledge. She's witty, mature and effortlessly graceful despite the non-stop nonsense her friends seem to get up to. It would be fun to be a kid again, and especially one as powerful as her!
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Tokyo, Japan. I've always been interested in Japanese history. Modern Tokyo is intriguing to me. I would like to go and find out if my preconceived notions of it are anything close to reality. I am fascinated with the disorientation of being immersed in a totally new culture. It's an amazing experience - it shocks you into seeing and hearing and tasting the world differently. I think Tokyo would be an amazing shock to the senses.
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