One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Biography and Background:
Michelle has a laser focus on helping partners grow their business. She guides partners of all shapes and sizes to evolve marketing into an engine that drives revenue and profitability. As an agent of change, Michelle works closely with partners and her own team to pinpoint areas to invest, or divest, to reach goals. She inspires people to explore new ways to market that delight, excite, and get people to act. Deviating from the norm is her norm. This thoughtful disruption leads partners to use marketing to stand out, reach more customers, and create deeper relationships. In the past 20 years, Michelle has elevated the function of Partner Marketing and is often recognized as an outstanding leader. Michelle also loves an intense yoga class to keep her grounded.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
With the dramatic shifts in how customers buy technology, Digital Marketing has become a must in our partners' businesses. To support our partners in building this muscle, Cisco launched ENGAGE, a suite of offerings designed to enable partners to build a Digital Marketing practice. The offers include education through Marketing Velocity, which is recognized in the industry as a best in class marketing enablement portfolio. It also focuses on activation ranging from how Cisco engages partners digitally through Partner Marketing Central to proven digital marketing services designed to meet our partners were they are on their marketing journey. To date, partners who are immersing themselves in ENGAGE are growing 19% faster than partners who are not.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
1. Help our partners achieve growth and profitability in the ever-changing technology landscape. 2. Develop programs, tools, training and resources that enable our partners to evolve their business so they can capture digital transformation opportunities. Focus areas include Customer-in selling, customer lifecycle/software (recurring revenue) and professional services. 3. Continue to aggressively drive our strategic priorities, including: 1) making it easier for our partners to transact with Cisco; 2) ensuring our collective go-to-market engines are aligned around the same priorities; and 3) sharing an equitable exchange of value that is commensurate with the evolving technology landscape.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Last fall, I was invited to participate in the 30% Mentor Club. The mission of the 30% Club is to develop a diverse talent pool for all businesses and create diversity balance at all levels inside organizations. This complements Cisco's Inclusion and Diversity strategy. Chairman and CEO members, including our Executive Chairman John Chambers, work together on targeted initiatives to broaden the pipeline of diverse talent and bring about transformation. As a mentor, I have the opportunity to impact the careers of rising talent, while representing Cisco on a global scale.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
A few years back, I met one of the Lost Boys of South Sudan. He leads a non-profit called Building Minds in South Sudan, which is focused on bringing western education to girls in rural villages. These girls take major risks to get an education. They walk miles to school and are constantly at risk of being sexually assaulted. They also go against the norm, which is for their fathers to trade them for cows through marriage to sustain the family. I admire each and every one of these girls, as this is the definition of true courage.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Find an advocate. Mentorship, networking and training are all key to your development; however, finding that person who will advocate for you when you are not in the room is a secret weapon.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I love to cook so it would have to be Julia Childs from the move "Julie and Julia". Julia's life story is fascinating to me. She pursued her passion and achieved it by managing through many life obstacles. I am inspired by her story in the kitchen and day-to-day life.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Dubai! I recently hired someone who lived in Dubai for many years. He has shared so much about his experience there and what it has to offer. The draw is a blend of being progressive from an infrastructure and technology perspective, as well as the level of sophistication.
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