Biography and Background:
With more than two decades of channel management experience, Siobhan Byron is vice president and general manager of Westcon-Comstor Canada, leading the company's operations in the region. Siobhan has rich experience in the Canadian and North American market, coming to Westcon-Comstor from Forsythe, a top information technology integrator delivering broad-based consulting services, leasing and solutions. As Vice President, Managed Services, she also launched and led a successful Managed Services business serving North American customers with superior customer service ratings. Prior to Forsythe, Siobhan held executive roles at MTS Allstream. She has an MBA from the University of Liverpool, as well as a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Ulster. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I've been fortunate to be part of two significant achievements for Westcon-Comstor over the past year. Most recently, we launched a new partnership with Amazon Web Services in Canada. From a strategic perspective, our customers are looking to enhance their cloud offerings, and AWS - available through our BlueSky cloud and service management platform - is a key relationship for us. Second, we moved into a new facility in Oakville, Ontario, opening a brand office and logistics center, complete with a new staging and integration center there. The new facility allows us to provide local provisioning and staging capabilities and provide better customer service in terms of shipping times. We also added approximately 10 new vendors to our line card across security and UCC, ensuring that we continue to bring the best solutions to our customers.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Our goal is to continue to focus on customer success, solutions and services, execution excellence, digital enablement and our team. We will continue to improve and expand our customer service capabilities and line card with meaningful additions, while also increasing our cloud solutions focus. We will continue to develop and provide unique solutions to our customers, working with our vendor partners to create innovative bundles for solution providers to take to market.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Last year, I completed a second term on the Halton Children's Aid Society board of directors. It's a tremendous organization that helps ensure the safety and well-being of today's youth through a number of community protection and family support programs. Working on behalf of the Government of Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth, this is a governance board in a highly regulated field responsible for overseeing operations and ensuring a balanced annual budget (roughly 100 employees and 20M annual spend).
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Margaret Thatcher. She was one of the most powerful women in the world when I was growing up. She always came across as fearless, strong, and someone who didn't shy away from a challenge. She showed me what was possible. She was an amazing leader.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
My advice to young women is simply to stick with it and examine all the possibilities open to you. There are so many different components of technology and so many opportunities to choose from. It's not just doing programming and analysis. Find the area that interests you and that you enjoy and go down that path. Don't limit yourself to a narrow band of opportunities or think you can only do one thing. Technology has provided me with the opportunity to travel to numerous countries and cities across the world, meeting & learning from many different people and cultures.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Two characters come to mind. First, James Bond, because of the sense of adventure. I've always been adventurous and of course there's a certain glamour to James Bond as well. Second, Meryl Streep's character (Miranda Priestly) in "The Devil Wears Prada." Even though she was tough - maybe too tough at times - she had a strong leadership component and also had a softness at the end. Plus, she got to wear fabulous clothes.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Probably Venice, Italy. Id' like to go to for the food, wine, architecture and the history. I would like to do the city but of course would like to have a gondola ride. From Venice, I'd like to go to the Tuscany region and down to Positano on the coast. I haven't been to Italy yet so that's very high on my list.
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