Biography and Background:
Katie Nielsen joined STORServer in 2002 with a focus on sales and renewals for the company's software products developed for IBM™ Spectrum Protect™, formerly Tivoli™ Storage Manager (TSM), including Archive Backup Client (ABC), OpenVMS TSM Client and STORServer Console (SSC), a daily administrative tool for Spectrum Protect. After years of working closely with STORServer's business partners and finding success in her position, Katie took on an additional role as channel manager, focusing primarily on customers in Canada and broadening STORServer's partner base to resell its flagship Spectrum Protect Backup Appliance solution. Katie's role and responsibilities have grown over the past 17 years and she is now the primary senior channel manager, working closely with business partners across the U.S. to expand their backup, archive and disaster recovery product lines and help customers with their data protection needs. Katie also serves as account manager to end-user appliance customers and coordinates communication and product fulfillment requests between customers and business partners. Prior to entering the IT industry, Katie was with a leading financial services company for over 12 years. She has a bachelor's degree from California Lutheran University.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
This past year, I became the senior channel manager for our partner program that spans the United States. With this expanded responsibility, I've focused on growing our channel and supporting our existing partners so they can sell more STORServer solutions. My efforts have resulted in a 45 percent increase in appliance sales over the previous year. By offering our award-winning backup appliances, built on IBM Spectrum Protect software, STORServer provides our channel partners with fully integrated enterprise backup appliances that can protect both physical and virtual environments. Leveraging IBM Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environments with STORServer's own Virtual Machine Backup (VMB) product enables robust data protection for virtual environments. Consolidating physical and virtual environment backups into a single offering affords our channels partners an excellent total cost of ownership solution for their customers. Companies achieve significant cost savings by moving into a consolidated backup solution, reducing administrative time over multiple point solutions and infrastructures, and enabling administrators to focus on revenue generating projects for their department. STORServer has been involved with cloud offerings for many years and provides both public and private cloud options, including IBM cloud offerings, to best meet our customers' needs.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
One of my main goals for STORServer's channel business over the next year is to arm our elite resellers with the knowledge and qualified sales leads they need to better position and sell our products. After several in-depth conversations with these top resellers to understand what information best resonates with their customers and sales prospects, I'll be providing individualized sales tools and customized sales collateral to help them grow STORServer sales this year. By focusing on growth amongst these top resellers, it will increase our company's channel business and help their companies grow as well.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was fortunate to be named one of CRN's Women of the Channel in 2016 for my leadership, vision and unique role in driving channel growth and innovation. STORServer has also recognized me for my contributions to the 45% growth in appliance sales achieved over the previous year.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I have always greatly admired Sandra Day O'Conner. As the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, she broke a glass ceiling for all women. Even after graduating from a leading law university, it took perseverance to get her first law position and her determination is an inspiration. It took another 12 years before another woman was elected to the Supreme Court, but that initial election opened the door for all women. Her achievement resonated with me during my college years and she is an inspiration to all.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
A solid educational foundation provides an excellent pathway to building a career. College is a great place to make connections with people who share your interests and network with peers whom you may meet again in a business setting down the road. Using social media, joining technology groups, and subscribing to newsletters can provide opportunities to learn what is currently happening in your industry and will broaden your knowledge of the wide array of careers that are available. Be open and flexible to new ideas as this will lead to new opportunities.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Watching old black and white movies are a fun pastime of my mine and I especially enjoy the "Thin Man" series from the 1930s. Nora Charles, played by Myrna Loy, is the female lead in this series and lends a hand to her master private eye husband Nick Charles. The pair are involved in many different capers. While these are old-fashioned mysteries, they have a comedic undertone throughout. Nora is always a part of the action and right in the middle of solving these crimes. These characters have a fun, caring relationship which is enhanced with clever and witty dialogue.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Paris, the city of lights. Paris in springtime is on my travel bucket list and I'm ready to pack my bags. The history of the city, architecture and numerous museums are calling me to visit. Visions of sitting in outdoor cafes, visiting the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and strolling the Champs-Elysees to see the Arc de Triomphe are just a few sites that call to me. French impressionist painting is one of my favorite art movements, and visiting Musee d'Orsay to see these works, along with touring Giverny, where Claude Monet was inspired and painted, would be awe inspiring.
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