CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Annette Cunningham

Regional Vice President, Infor

Location: Farnborough, Hampshire (England)


Number of years in current position: 2.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 30

Twitter Handle: @AnnetteCRM

Fun Facts:

Is fluent in another language
Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Can ride a motorcycle
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
My career in Channel Sales started in 1987, when I worked for a London-based software reseller selling applications such as Lotus 1-2-3 and Wordperfect. In 1991 I joined Contact Software Inc, the vendors of ACT! contact management. Here I established their European presence with a UK office, launched their Business Partner Program, recruited their first 10 partners in the first year and subsequently went on to recruit over 60 partners before we were acquired by Symantec. I worked for a number of vendors over the next few years; Symantec, Macromedia, Dr Solomon's among them, before joining SalesLogix Inc, and building their CRM channel business in the UK and Europe as Head of Sales and then UK General Manager. I have remained with the SalesLogix product through 3 acquisitions, where now we have a final home at Infor, and the product Infor CRM. I was fundamental in the transition of the existing SLX channel partners in EMEA to join the Infor Partner Network, and continue to manage these partners to this day. In 2016 I was appointed Regional Vice President at Infor, responsible now for all channel partners selling multiple different Infor solutions in the UK, Ireland and Benelux.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I have been instrumental in organizing a partner summit for our global CRM channel partners, which was the first time in 2 years that they met together as a channel. The summit addressed a number of their questions whilst also giving them a view into the long term future and plans for the direction of the products in our CX suite. This has given the partners, and therefore their customers, renewed faith in their investment in Infor CRM, as well as looking to further expand their existing implementations with other solutions from our Customer Experience Suite. I have also been working with a number of ERP partners who are now focused and willing to invest and expand their Infor solution offerings with additional, complementary products. In addition, I have also worked with partners of specific Infor products, to build relationships with other partners selling alternate Infor products on a Cross-Sell program into both new and existing customers. This has enabled both partners to receive additional revenues without having to invest in training their own consultants, and the costs associated with that, and enables them to remain focused on their core strengths and business.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Over the next year my goal for the channel partners is to help enable revenue growth for both the partner and Infor. I plan to continue to drive new opportunities for all channel partners in my region, whether this be by expanding their portfolio of Infor products, or creating business partnerships with complementary partners. I also aim to recruit a number of new partners either in geographies that should have better coverage and more choice for customers, or for new solutions we will be launching. This will also entail creating new on-boarding and enablement programs to help new partners.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
I received a commendation from Infor at the end of 2016, for my teams' fantastic performance during our fiscal Q2. The award was given to me on behalf of the Infor Global Channel Leadership Team by Jeff Abbott - SVP and General Manager, Global Channel Business Unit.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Since learning about Helen Keller back in school, I have always admired her, for her ability to remain focused, positive and to achieve things that were never expected of her. She overcame deafness and blindness to go on and graduate from college, inspiring millions and changing people's perception of disabilities. My personal mantra is a quote of hers; "Life is a daring adventure or nothing".

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I would strongly encourage young women to take up careers in technology. The variety of roles within IT is huge, giving women a real choice in the area they could get involved in. I would advise them not to think that IT is about understanding complex technologies or coding, but that there are many different, interesting aspects of technology that don't require a degree in computer science. I would advise them to find a particular area in technology, or solution area, that interests and excites them, because being passionate about what you do is key.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I would chose to be "M" from the James Bond series of films. To be in charge of the Secret Intelligence Service and all of the agents would be amazingly powerful. I would learn all the secrets that the MI6 agents have uncovered, get to try out the many inventive gadgets and latest technologies, drive some amazing cars that I will never be fortunate enough to own and perhaps bag James Bond for myself.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would travel to Singapore. I've never been to this part of the world and understand that Singapore has a very different culture to Europe, but also offers a number of luxuries that we have become used to. I think I would like the hot climate, and would love to see some of the grand buildings and architecture such, as well as more distant countryside. I would also be very interested in seeing the Financial district and comparing that to London or New York. I would love to eat Singaporean food from the street stalls, and go shopping !

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