CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

One of our "Power 100 Vendors"

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Vice President, Global Partner Programs, Brocade

Location: San Jose, CA


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 20

Twitter Handle: @sgcheek

Fun Facts:

Is fluent in another language
Enjoys public speaking
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Had a lemonade stand
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
Sandra is known for staying ahead of emerging trends and keeping her finger on the pulse of channel sales, enablement and marketing strategies. She knows how to marry traditional channel approaches with innovative strategies to help channel partners differentiate, drive demand and fuel sales growth. Sandra joined Ruckus as Vice President, Worldwide Partner Sales and Marketing in 2015, and in 2016, with the Brocade acquisition of Ruckus, she led the channel integration of the two companies, taking on the VP of Global Channels role. She is responsible for ensuring a consistent and coordinated partner go-to-market strategy which includes sales and marketing programs, partner enablement, partner profitability and channel operations. She is a seasoned, global business leader and has previously held channel sales and marketing leadership roles at Adobe and VMware during high growth. Most recently. Sandra has received numerous industry accolades recognizing her channel expertise, including CRN's Top 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs, Overall Channel Madness winner, Top Woman in the Channel, Rising Star Executive, and multiple 5-star Partner Program Ratings.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Since Brocade acquired Ruckus in May 2016, we have moved aggressively to integrate the two companies' channel programs, which was a significant undertaking as each company has a sizeable global channel ecosystem with little overlap. We immediately orchestrated a worldwide series of Brocade-Ruckus partner roadshows to communicate the joint business value proposition and motivate partners to adopt the combined portfolio. Within six months post-close, we offered partners combined deal registration, training and enablement tools across the combined portfolio within a single portal. Additionally, we launched an aggressive partner sales acceleration and retention initiative with significantly stepped up rewards, rebates and MDF and funded headcount to ensure we retained our top-performing partners and motivated our partners to achieve channel sales targets throughout the acquisition transition. We recently announced the acquisition of the Brocade Data Center offerings by Extreme Networks, and the Campus Switching/Ruckus Wi-Fi offerings by ARRIS. We will ensure that both our Brocade Campus/Ruckus Wi-Fi partners and our Brocade Data Center partners have as smooth a transition as possible as these business units move to new corporate ownership.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
As a Global Channels team, we are focused on helping ensure a smooth transition for Brocade and Ruckus partners in light of the planned divestiture of the IP networking business as a result of Brocade's acquisition by Broadcom. This includes helping partners across the current Brocade portfolio capture net-new sales opportunities and channel program benefits that support their longer-term profitability. We are also continuing with the integration of Brocade and Ruckus channel programs, infrastructure and tools, to help our Ruckus Wi-Fi and ICX wired switching partners quickly ramp sales as Ruckus is intended to become part of the ARRIS portfolio.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Sandra has received numerous industry accolades recognizing her channel expertise, including CRN's Top 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs, Overall Channel Madness winner, Top 50 Woman in the Channel, Rising Star Executive, and multiple 5-star Partner Program Ratings. Additionally, Sandra serves on Penton's Channel Executive Think Tank, and is a Baptie Channel Focus and Women in the Channel Advisory Board Member.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire Michelle Obama as a role model for modern-day womanhood. I attribute her broad appeal and influence in part to a firm sense of who she is and an unwillingness to compromise her core beliefs and values. She is authentic and honest. She speaks from her heart, and doesn't say something unless she truly believes it. I especially admire her ongoing commitment to girls' education with a strong message that all girls should grow up believing they can do anything. As a side note, she has great fashion style, can really dance and pulls off an entertaining Carpool Karaoke.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
The great thing about working in tech is it's easy to mix in other interests. If you're passionate about education, design, music, science, social responsibility, etc., you're likely to find a tech company in that space. Choose your environment well; company culture and how the business is run can vary. Most importantly, work on something that you're interested in and passionate about. If you love what you do, you'll remain curious, and your passion will be contagious. You will also remain close to your values. An authentic person who loves what she does can be an incredible source of inspiration.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Harry Potter. First and foremost because I'd be the coolest mom ever My kids have read and re-read Harry Potter so many times and each time I believe his character reinforces many positive messages: good over evil, to be brave in the boldest ways possible. He is strongly guided by his own conscience, and has a keen feeling of what is right and wrong. If my kids won't listen to mom, I'm certain they will listen to Harry!

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Istanbul, Turkey. From its history as Constantinople and Byzantium, Istanbul is historically significant. I would love to experience Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, museums, the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, and the food, of course.

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