One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Biography and Background:
Sommer Goodknecht is a channel marketing manager at Eaton Corporation. She is accomplished in facilitating cross-functional team collaboration, achieving team goals in addition to building and maintaining customer and channel partner relationships. Recognized as one of CRN's Women of the Channel in 2014 and 2016, Sommer drives the strategy with Eaton's IT Channel Marketing in the US. Sommer, who joined Eaton in 2008, spent the first eight years of her career in the Raleigh, NC area, holding various roles in customer support and global program management for the supply chain management industry. Before moving into channel marketing, Sommer managed a customer support team at Eaton for four years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and Political Science from Florida State University.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
This year, in looking at our channel strategy, we made a concerted effort to improve our efforts in marketing to and working with small solution providers (SSPs) and we placed more focus on SSPs (small solution providers) and MSPs (manage solution providers). We made smart investments, hiring the necessary people to recruit and nurture these partners. Additionally, we've focused on creating additional revenue streams through a learning management system. In doing so, we've given our partners more education and training opportunities, equipping them with the tools they need to drive recurring revenue strategies with our software and services.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Our biggest goal this year is to move partners up in our partner program so that they're taking full advantage of the different opportunities we have available to drive revenue and increase their margins. By elevating the partner program, users are able to get deal registration discounts and products that provide them with a competitive advantage. We've invested so much in getting our partners certified and trained via our learning management system, now we want to help them generate leads and become top partners. This means giving them opportunities to drive revenue through hardware as well as our software andservices.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Recognized on the CRN Women of the Channel list in both 2014 and 2016.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Michelle Obama. Not only is she a role model for women, but she advocates for women's rights, poverty awareness and general health. In the last year of the Obama administration she solidified her role as one of the most notable First Ladies in history.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Don't be deterred by the ratio of men to women in the technology field. It's important to let your voice be heard. Even if you're not a technical person you can bring elements of your education into the tech industry. There's more to it than just engineers. Be sure to recognize the opportunities to advance in the field and seize them.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Moana, the main character from the Disney movie. She saves her whole island and exemplifies girl power, making her an inspiration to young girls and women all over the world.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Barcelona, Spain for the amazing history, arts, beaches, and great food!
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