CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Laurie Clough

Senior Director, Cloud Provider Channel, Strategic Partnerships & Technical Services, VMware

Location: Atlanta, GA


Number of years in current position: 3

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 13

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Had a lemonade stand

Biography and Background:
Laurie is a 10+ year VMware veteran with a successful 20-year career enabling VMware and HP to achieve continued growth across highly competitive markets. Laurie's strength is in building high-performance teams, and she has been recognized for identifying and closing opportunities, capturing strategic agreements, working closely with global partners and delivering strong revenues. Laurie is also recognized for her ability to build, elevate and position practices to rapidly exceed established goals across evolving channel and business environments. Laurie is an expert at creating strategies, business models, portfolios of services and solutions with strong and rapid business and market results. Laurie is also very skilled in establishing and maximizing relationships with global partners to drive revenue growth, portfolio and practice expansion, and continued market penetration across software, hardware and cloud landscapes globally. Laurie leads a deeply technical team at VMware, enabling greater alignment and collaboration with the VMware service provider channel. On her team, she is proud to have two field principal architects, several double VCDX (VCDX is the highest level of certification offered by VMware), a triple VCDX and four vExperts.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I have established programs and built an organization which has driven deep cloud provider partnership relationships across the globe including IBM, Rackspace and Fujitsu. These partnerships have led to accelerated double-digit growth in revenue. One of my key contributions is the creation of a Global Cloud practice. This practice is responsible for architecting technology solutions with our partners, leading to topline revenue and cost optimization. We have become a secret weapon within our partner community.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
VMware's service provider channel is quickly becoming one of the largest businesses within the company. We look to continue to accelerate the phenomenal growth of this business through the addition of new product and managed service provider services such as vCloud Availability, Horizon Cloud, AirWatch and VMware Cloud on AWS. We will expand my team's technical coverage helping more service providers with VMware architectures, reducing their costs and helping them monetize more services revenue.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Although this isn't a physical trophy, I had the honor this past year to be a primary caregiver to my father as he valiantly battled terminal liver cancer. Although he lost his battle in October, the experience of walking side by side with him through his last month, days and hours will always be etched in my mind and heart as one of my biggest honors. As his oldest child, I had the privilege to be shaped by his passion for hard work and the pursuit of excellence and I will carry that with me forever.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Yanbing Li, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's Storage & Availability Business Unit. Yanbing is an amazing woman who has "made it" in high tech without sacrificing who she is as a woman. Yanbing is brilliant, and she certainly does not look like a "computer nerd." She knows technology and quickly builds credibility when presenting to audiences, from front-line technologists to business leaders and CIOs. She is just truly impressive.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I mentor young women in STEM, and one thing I discuss with them is making sure to not lose sight of who they are. Technology is still perceived as "a man's world," which can put pressure on women (both young and old!) to try to look and act like men. Women in technology succeed based on their technological skills, but also based on the value that diversity brings to business. Women bring great value to the technology workplace - not by being fake, but by being who they truly are or, in other words, being comfortable in their own skin!

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
My answer is rather strange because it is not the most appealing character. I would be Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep, in "The Devil Wears Prada." Although she is very successful, she is just not nice! I cannot imagine treating employees and peers the way Miranda does. I wonder what that cold, insensitive persona feels like. Would the end justify the means? Would I feel good about myself because I appear successful? If I could have that experience for a day, perhaps I would understand difficult leaders and address them differently and look for ways to affect their effectiveness.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Since I frequently travel as part of my global role and have had the opportunity to go to so many wonderful cities, I would choose to travel to a luxurious, exotic island. I would love to go somewhere sunny and warm with my husband where we can be totally pampered, eat great food and drink wonderful wine! The island would have to be tropical with beautiful flora and wonderful people. "Cities" in Bali, Fiji and Hawaii seem to fit the bill, so I'd better start planning!

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