CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Sara Foley

Product Management Director, R&D, SolarWinds MSP

Location: Boulder, CO


Number of years in current position: 4

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 8

Twitter Handle: @SolarWindsMSP

Fun Facts:

Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has a personal mantra

Biography and Background:
Sara Foley is Product Management Director, R&D for SolarWinds MSP. She is responsible for creating security-focused services that plug into the SolarWinds MSP platform, and has worked in the software and security industry for over 15 years. With a background in support and escalation management, she brings a unique combination of technical knowledge and business acumen to her role at SolarWinds MSP. Sara's passion for delivering quality products that champion the partner and the customer - and their vision of success -- shines through in all she does. She is a firm believer in transparency through all levels of the product lifecycle and enjoys building strong relationships with SolarWinds MSP partners and customers to ensure their needs are being addressed and supported with the solutions she oversees.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
In Product Management, it's our goal to listen to the customer and deliver the types of services and solutions that our MSPs can successfully offer their customer base. This past year I've had the privilege of leading a number of focus groups designed to gain greater insight into our partners' and customers' specific needs and product interests. Using that insight, last year we introduced new security options to the platform. We also enhanced our mobile apps and introduced a new Remote Control offering for our Mac platform, which allows the MSP to optimize the way they do their job, regardless of their location or the device they are using. When not in the office, I'm a big believer in attending customer and partner events and training. This gives me direct insight into how our products are used as well as other tools that might bring added value to our partner community. Through ongoing conversations with our customers and partners, we're better able to deliver solutions that solve their challenges, while also fueling their business growth. For me, advancing our channel business all comes down to advancing our partners' success.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Over the next year, I will continue to bridge the strategic vision of SolarWinds MSP with the needs of our customers and partners. One of my top goals is to increase our focus group interaction and our engagement with partners across the board. This will help us ensure that we bring in new service offerings that not only strengthen our core platform, but also strengthen the success of our MSPs in the market. By driving their strategic vision into our offerings, we'll be better able to take our partners and their customers where they want to go.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
A woman I admire, besides my mother of course, is Michelle Obama. Regardless of your political beliefs, you simply can't deny her strong leadership skills and the infectious passion that shines through in everything she does. Her devotion to children across the world, let alone her own family, is extremely inspiring. I really respected her "Let's Move!" initiative, which brought more awareness around the health and activity of our youth. Her general respect for others, as well as her own self-respect, also makes her a strong force and admirable leader.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
My advice is simple. Approach a career in technology just as you would approach any other task - work hard, be yourself, but most importantly, believe in yourself. Don't hold yourself back. I have often found myself to be my own worst enemy. Never look at any opportunity as gender specific - pursue things based on interests and you will be naturally passionate in your career. Similarly, don't be afraid to try new things or different paths within technology. When beginning my career in technology, I didn't know I would be in Product Management today.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Princess Leia - 'nuff said.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Antarctica. Penguins, of coursebut also for the sheer remoteness and pristine beauty.

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