CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Michelle LeVan

Vice President, Global Channel Strategy, Sungard Availability Services

Location: Wayne, PA


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 3

Twitter Handle: @michellelevan

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:
Michelle has more than 17+ years of experience in the Managed IT services/outsourcing industry, working exclusively for Sungard AS during that time. She started her career in front line recovery operations role as a Network Engineer, working with customers on a daily basis to architect, build and turn up network environments. From that foundation, Michelle advanced through Sungard AS, taking on roles in Solution Engineering and Product Management, expanding her technical and strategic expertise into managed recovery, managed production and cloud services solutions. This path ultimately led Michelle to her current position in leading the Global Channel Strategy team. It is Michelle's combined experience across the Operational, Sales, Product and Strategic pillars of the organization, that enables her to bring a unique, holistic business impact view to problem solving and evolving the Channel business for Sungard AS.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I lead a small team of Strategy Directors driving bi-directional alignment of our corporate objectives and product strategy. We work to optimize product capabilities, pricing, and process to minimize obstacles that may inhibit our partner's ability to adopt, integrate and sell our solutions with increasing autonomy. This is a fundamental shift for our company as we start to advocate not only for the "Voice of the Customer", but also the "Voice of the Channel Partner", as these two are not always inherently the same. Over the last year we have programmatically been able initiate a fundamental transformation in how our products are being built at the onset. Rather than considering how our products may be consumed, resold, and integrated with the product portfolio of our partners as an afterthought, we have begun to bring partner integration and consumption to the forefront when considering requirements during the product development process. While this may seem like a moderate achievement, it is absolutely a critical foundation that is needed to take our channel business to the next level of being able to truly accelerate our ability to deliver complex production and recovery services WITH our partners.not just through.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
We need to continue the momentum we have begun with tighter integration of Partner needs and product development, with an expansion into how we can seamlessly present a single pane of glass to the end customer. Work with our partners to embed our services in such a way that we become a natural part of their selling motion and service delivery begins to echo this same model in the way we execute solution management with the end customer on a day to day business.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
One of the first women I can remember admiring as a young girl, was Sally Ride. Seeing and reading the news, it sparked immediate thoughts of "I can do that. I can be like her!". While I did not go on to become an astronaut, that was a pivotal moment in how I thought of my future, and it opened the door wide to the possibilities of what I could do with my life. Today, I admire then many women that continue to do this for other young girls through both the national/global media spotlight, and in their local communities.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Be tenacious, be fearless and focused, believe in the power of your viewpoint and know your worth! There will be challenges and obstacles along the way but tenancity will see you through them. Embrace fearlessness and focus to know where you want to go and charge hard to get there. Speak up often, and believe in the power of your perspective to solve problems and evolve the world around you in a way that is uniquely you. Know your worth and never let anyone convince you that you should be satisfied with less than your male peers.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I would say it is a toss up between Lara Croft and a female version of Indiana Jones. I love the idea trekking across the globe seeking out the answer to an historical mystery and discovering the unexpected along the way. Both of these characters have plenty of adventures, and both use intelligence, ingenuity and skill to meet their objectives and get out of a tight spot.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would go to Beijing, China to see the Forbidden City. I'm fascinated by the cultures of powerful empires throughout history. I love to explore and experience just a taste of what those empires brought to the world, and see how those cultures have impacted our life today. I've been fortunate to see the Roman Colosseum and Pompeii in Italy , the Parthenon and Delphi in Greece, and Mayan ruins in Mexico. Understanding other cultures helps to broaden my perception of the world around me, and I look forward to a time when I can explore the empires of Asia.

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