CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Susie Cummings

Sr. VP, SWC Technology Partners

Location: Oak Brook, IL


Number of years in current position: 14

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 26

Twitter Handle: @swctechpartners

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has a personal mantra
Had a lemonade stand

Biography and Background:
I joined SWC in 2003 and currently serve as Senior Vice President. I lead our Managed Services practice from a business development, client engagement and financial performance perspective and serve as client executive for large strategic accounts. I am responsible for evolving our solution portfolio to address the changing needs of our mid-market clients and leveraging the solid foundation that Managed Services has built over the past 11 years. Prior to joining SWC, I spent over 20 years in various business development, account management and operational roles where I was responsible for revenue growth, services development, and client satisfaction. This experience in successfully growing companies and the teams that run them has been instrumental in developing our highly successful Managed Services practice.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
My role is diverse in that I'm actively engaged with clients and our sales team, but I also work very closely with our delivery teams. This unique role has allowed me to anticipate and understand the needs of our mid-market clients and translate them into new offerings that extend our capabilities and add value to our relationships. Bringing together the capabilities and experience of these teams has fueled our growth and allowed our clients to take advantage of new opportunities and address the disruption caused by today's evolving IT landscape. I've developed a client engagement and service delivery framework with our team which has strengthened our client partnerships and ensured delivery of best-in-class service at every level. I've focused on mentoring and promoting leadership advancement to support employee, practice and company growth. It's very rewarding to help create a company culture that embraces change and innovation and values employees at all stages in their careers and helps them grow, and as a result, helps grow the business in return.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
We're continuing our 20% year-over-year growth rate and focusing on growing our customer base, strengthening our relationships with current clients, and extending our solution portfolio in each of our practices. Technology innovation never stops, and we've learned to operate with agility to adapt new offerings that evolve with the ever-changing IT landscape. In this way, we are developing offerings for new clients in new markets as well as continuing to grow within our existing client base via advisory and enhanced managed services. Helping bridge the gap between business and IT sectors has always been SWC's overarching goal.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was personally very proud of the awards we received last year, especially being named the world's 42nd best managed services provider on MSPMentor 501 list. Exactly ten years prior I founded SWC's Managed Services practice, so it was a very rewarding anniversary present! I was also proud to lead a team named to CRN's 2016 Managed Service Provider 500 list in the Elite 150 category recognizing North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Last year I was also honored to have been named of CRN's Women of the Channel. It was a good year!

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Mary Tyler Moore - In her role on the MTM show, she advocated for equal pay for woman, balanced accomplishment with compassion, and set the stage for success as a modern woman. She brought authenticity to her role and it was apparent that she had a strong hand in shaping her character. She founded a successful production company and achieved acting success outside of television by winning a Tony and receiving an Academy Award nomination. She saw great success and overcame many personal and health struggles, never losing her sense of humor all the while. That's something to admire.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Be open-minded to pursuing a business, technical or combined track in your area of interest. The lines between technology and business are blurring. In the past, IT career choices were somewhat limited - You basically could become a software developer or an engineer on the infrastructure side. All functions within today's businesses rely on technology. A good example is marketing - technology is now so pervasive within this business function (CRM, communications, data analytics, etc.) that you can pursue both and find an evolving, valuable niche for yourself.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
If this is purely fantasy and only for one day, I'd choose Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill. She's so awesome! While a bit of a dark tale, she knew what she needed to do and invested heavily in acquiring the skills to reach her goals. Don't we all have fantasies about running around the world as a Kung Fu master? Not sure how I would use it, but having the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique in my back pocket someday may come in handy.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Barcelona is top of my list at the moment. I love the historical architecture, culture and art - like traveling back in time but with the luxury of all the modern conveniences. The food and wine is enough to make me want to go. Sitting on the beach staring out at the Mediterranean Sea sounds pretty good to this Chicagoan right about now.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants