CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Laura Davis

Senior Director, Public Sector Partners, VMware

Location: Reston, VA


Number of years in current position: 3

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 5

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:
Laura Davis is an executive who is highly experienced in organizational design and sales leadership, which has resulted in increased efficiencies and exceptional and sustained growth in both the public and private sectors. Laura's vertical expertise includes federal, state and local, healthcare, financial, education, service providers and system integrators with sales and channel organizations at VMware, Cisco and NetApp. Laura's 30-year career includes leadership roles in consulting, sales, channel, product line marketing, services and managing P&L's. Laura is highly experienced in working with cross functional teams and matrix management across all technology segments and business support teams, including integration of organizations through acquisitions. She also has proven leadership in hiring, mentoring, developing and retaining top talent in sales, engineering and operations with teams in excess of 160 people. Laura's route-to-market experience at both VMware and Cisco includes experience with traditional channels, new consumption business models and extensive cloud business models. Partner organizations have been fully integrated with sales in order to scale by leveraging the Partner sales teams resulting in increased partner profitability and partner developed revenue.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
VMware continues to redefine the data center industry. As the leader of our public sector partner organization, I have developed and executed against a partner strategy specific to our markets and our customers' business issues. I have worked closely with channel leaders to integrate our solutions and services into their businesses to add value to their portfolio and their ability to help their customers achieve business critical objectives.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Over the next year, our objective is to scale VMware's business by leveraging the breadth and expertise of our partner community independently of VMware's sales organization. Our partners bring an abundance of knowledge and relationships of complementary solutions that enable our customers to realize immediate benefits.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was named to CRN's Women of the Channel list in 2016.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Recently, I've come to admire Adele. Not only is she talented, but she's true to her style and has not conformed to traditional expectations of top performers - showmanship. Adele is vocal about not changing to present a "show," but rather uses shows to highlight her vocal skills. This is bold and confident and results in her shows truly focusing on her voice. Additionally, Adele has a wicked sense of humor and is willing to laugh at herself, again reflecting self-confidence. I admire that she has stayed true to her talents, herself and always demonstrates confidence.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Two pieces of advice: don't be afraid to take risks or to fail, and have a voice, always! Technology is an exciting industry with a lot of strong personalities, and as an industry is constantly changing. Embrace the challenges and stretch your capabilities. Women often don't raise their hand until they feel they are 100% capable of delivering on a task, and this limits the diverse thinking in roles, projects and teams. Take on challenges even if you don't feel 100% ready. The tech industry needs strong female thought leadership and opinions to continue to deliver in a diverse world!

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Lara Croft in "Tomb Raider." Lara is a brilliant mind and has an unfaltering determination to win against "the bad guys" as she solves an ancient mystery and reclaims artifacts. The movie takes place in exotic locations and is in constant motion. It's absolutely nothing like my life and I'm fascinated by mysteries, so I would find a day in her life very exciting! But more than a day in Lara Croft's shoes may be more stressful than fun

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Rome. The art, the architecture, the history and the food are all fascinating to me. I have a great appreciation for art and architecture and feel that this would be an educational vacation that would leave me in awe after seeing all of the great works found there!

Unedited Content Provided By Participants