Biography and Background:
Lisa grew up in a small town in Central Pennsylvania with a population of 500 people, corn fields, cow pastures, and not a red light in the entire county. After college, she moved to Philadelphia and took on her first sales role, selling phone systems. Five years later, she accepted a position with Inter-Tel as a Channel Account Manager helping build the company's channel program from the ground up. Those efforts earned her a promotion to Director of Sales overseeing a team of channel account managers. Following Mitel's acquisition of Inter-Tel in 2008, Lisa held a variety of roles within Mitel including Western Region VP for direct and indirect sales, and Director of Channel Development. She is currently US/CALA Director of Inside Channel Account Managers.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Developments in communications technology are accelerating at a faster pace than any other time in history. Solutions have transitioned to software and cloud from what was previously only available on premises hardware. As such, one of my primary focuses has been on nurturing partner adoption of new solutions. Our customers support requests are also evolving. Advanced communications and collaboration tools allow my team to better respond with virtual presence in multiple cities every day supporting our partners' engagements with end users, conducting training and consulting on business objectives. Gone are the times of waiting days or weeks for in-person presentations. Greater velocity of engagement in meeting partner and end user requests is critical. Further, our team recognizes the only constant is change, so we embrace it and model our business to support the channel and equip it for meeting evolving marketplace requirements. For example, we initially assumed our small and medium partners would be the best candidates for virtual support. What we learned by listening to our large partners was that many of them valued the same approach, as it enables us to support them more quickly.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My key goal is to make our partners proficient in the full range of Mitel solutions - premises, cloud and applications. This will empower and position them for greater success in meeting customer demands and drive their profitability. Leading partners through digital transformation and the UCC evolution is also essential to their future growth. I'll additionally work to embrace new partners, expanding opportunities for others to gain access to Mitel's portfolio. As part of both efforts, my aim will be to take a collaborative approach with partners to better understand and address their support requirements.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Joan of Arc. While some people view her legacy as legend, I prefer to believe the historical documentation. She adopted a persona at a young age that empowered her to lead armies of men for a cause she was committed to, overcoming extreme adversity and beating countless odds to succeed. Her beliefs motivated her and inspired others. Through sheer strength of character, determination and keen strategic insight, she led her troops to a sudden victory and restored her nation's hope.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Believe in yourself, first and foremost. Second, identify someone who is very talented (man or woman) and learn from them. Ask them to mentor you. Ask a lot of questions. Educate yourself because the more you understand the technology, the easier it will be for you to present it. Understand your customer, their needs, challenges and how your solutions solve their issues. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. The best life lessons often come from experiences you don't want to repeat. Acknowledge the misstep, don't do it again and move on to the next great experience.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I would choose Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. While she and Toto traveled the Yellow Brick Road, she helped others learn to believe in themselves. Together, they worked as a team on their obstacle-filled journey and, ultimately, realized they each possessed the very thing they thought was missing.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Machu Picchu in Cuzco, Peru is one location at the top of my list to visit. It's a mysterious place without a clear history. Believed to be built at the height of the Incan Empire, we still don't know whether it was an estate for Incan emperors, a religious site or used for something else. It would be amazing to view a sunset overlooking this site in the middle of a tropical forest and imagine the possibilities of what once existed.
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