Biography and Background:
Lori K. Berry is the Director of Strategic Technology for the Communications and Data Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services. Lori began her career in the IT channel in 2003 as an account manager for an MSP in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Lori joined GreatAmerica with the goal of simplifying financing for GreatAmerica customers using technology. Since 2009, Lori has successfully brought six financing integrations into the Unified Communications and MSP markets and today continues enhancing those integrations. Along with innovating with technology, Lori is also responsible for managing industry relationships with organizations such as ConnectWise, Heartland Technology Groups and CompTIA.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
In the past year Lori spearheaded a partnership with Heartland Technology Groups (HTG) to create new peer groups powered by GreatAmerica. These peer groups will help Unified Communications companies network with each other, and learn from MSPs in the HTG community. Lori also spent the year working with more than 100 channel partners to enhance their quotes & proposals with the ability to provide a monthly payment to their customers through our integrations. Enhancements and innovations to the integrations she works with include adding the ability for partners to bundle their monthly recurring charges with the monthly equipment lease payment for an As-A-Service feel to clients. She also improved the quoting process for Quosal users by introducing defaults that take the quoting process from as many as 13 clicks, down to as few as two to get a completed monthly payment quote. Lori is also active in CompTIA and is on the Executive Council for the MSP Community.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Lori is the owner of a large initiative to make GreatAmerica easy to use by implementing multiple projects that will improve the many ways our partners interface with GreatAmerica. Also new this year, Lori will oversee all improvements to technologies - both internal and external - that the UC & IT businesses use. Lori will also be GreatAmerica's champion within HTG. Lori will continue educating the channel through the integrations with quoting tools, PSAs and CRMs. As a part of CompTIA, she will also be working towards industry standards and enhancing the role of the MSP in the channel.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Lori has been recognized in the past year by her GreatAmerica peers by receiving three "WOW!" awards. Those are nominated by peers for providing the "GreatAmerica Experience" to customers. HTG awarded Lori the MVP Planning award for being the Vendor who adopted the new strategic planning process with the HTG Members and performed the most plans.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I truly admire my third grade teacher Marcie Frevert, who also served as our Iowa House Representative from 1997 to 2010. Mrs. Frevert encouraged me to get outside of my comfort zone both in 3rd grade when she urged me to run for the president of our May Basket Factory and my Junior year of high school when she pushed me to apply to be a page in the Iowa House of Representatives. Both were very successful endeavors and pivotal moments in my life.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
I would say congratulations on choosing an exciting career path with endless opportunities! Then I would tell them to be forever curious. Learn the art of asking good questions and sitting back and listening. Network at all times and try not to burn bridges.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
Mary Poppins because she is always in control, makes friends wherever she goes, wears great clothes and it is not weird when she breaks into song and dance whenever she wants. Oh, and can fly.
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Kathmandu, Nepal because it is the closest major city to Mr. Everest and I would put together a team to climb it.
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