CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Renee Sanderson

Director - Acquisitions, Divestitures, Joint Ventures, and Strategic Partnerships Start-Up, Cisco Systems, Cisco

Location: San Jose, CA


Number of years in current position: 6

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 22

Twitter Handle: @1reneesanderson

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
Renee Sanderson is a go-to-market strategy executive with 25 years' experience accelerating time-to-market, revenue capture, and corporate growth through markets served by partners. Renee leads the team that drives acquisition integration strategy for Cisco's Global Partner Organization. She and her team spearhead the end-to-end integration of indirect sales, as well as the transition of the acquired companies' channel presence and indirect sales engagement. Renee and her team similarly lead indirect sales strategy planning for Cisco strategic partnerships and divestitures. Renee is a leader within Cisco Connected Women and was a multi-year co-chair of the group's Professional Development pillar. She is a recognized leader in the channel at large and is a two-time CRN Women of the Channel honoree. Renee joined Cisco in 2011 to scale Cisco's indirect sales acquisition integration practice, a role she had created at Hewlett-Packard. In her 16-year career at HP, in addition to M&A work, Renee held leadership roles in the networking and storage business units, always focused on building and growing HP's channel. Renee holds BS from Northwestern University. She and her husband and their Labrador retriever live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the whole family enjoys chasing tennis balls for sport.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I lead the team that drives the global integration of Cisco's acquired channel business. My team and I spearhead the end-to-end integration of indirect sales, as well as the transition of the acquired companies' channel presence and indirect sales engagement. This partner advocate approach speeds Cisco's ramp to revenue as we accelerate out of each integration. Last year, I added a new service for our partners which is based on our own acquisition practice, which benefits partners when they merge or make an acquisition. This year, I focused on Customer Success - land, adopt, expand, renew. Together, Cisco and our partners are growing our shared ability to not only land business but also master the newly-important adopt and expand roles critical to enabling our customers to experience the full value of their technology investment. This is important during an acquisition - we need to effectively enable the acquired Customer Success team at Cisco, and, efficiently roll that out to our partners ahead of the customers' renewal cycle. My and team and I developed the acquisition integration methodology for Customer Success and we're in pilot on our first deal. Accelerating the enablement of adopt-expand-renew at acquisition accelerates profits for our partners.

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?
I was honored to be asked to speak as an industry expert at two merger integration conferences: - "Commercial Excellence in Integrations: Honing in on Sales and Marketing," The Conference Board Merger Integration Conference June 2016 - "Accelerate Revenue Capture by Improving the Commercial Transition," Marcus Evans Post-Merger & Acquisition Integration Conference - Sep 2016

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Carla Harris - Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She is truly a self-made woman, who knew you didn't get to the top by yourself - a very important point. Her two books share her "Pearls of Wisdom" which are points of very honest, very clear experience and advice on what it takes to rise and advance in your career. Many can inspire you with "you can do it" rhetoric; Carla gives you the specific steps of "how to do it" - how to rise the top.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Pick a technology you have a passion for. Immerse yourself immediately so you can learn key facets of the business, and fast. Seek to be a maker of (engineering/product development) or seller of (sales) your technology as this will keep you in front of the customer and quickly grow your understanding of their evolving needs. Don't be afraid to fail - fail fast, fail forward.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Young Ellie from "Up." She's my hero - adventuresome, fearless, determined, collaborative, and loving. One day as Ellie would be exhausting and satisfying - she's everything I admire and strive to be, and she's mastered those characteristics by age eight. My husband would definitely agree with my pick here - my favorite rallying cry for our family is Ellie's, "Adventure is out there!"

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Hong Kong. I love to drop myself into lands that are truly foreign to me - the language, the culture, history, food, and more. Hong Kong would be the perfect city in which to explore the contrast of the vibrant city and spectacular surrounding geography, as well as the contrast of how British and Chinese history have shaped the people and the economy.

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