Biography and Background:
Calista's career started at Tech Data where she spent eight years running the HP Enterprise business, driving strategy through sales, engineering, and product management. After leaving Tech Data, Calista joined Vology, a Solution provider/ MSP in the Tampa area as Director of Vendor Strategy and Marketing. During her four years there she built Vology's vendor management organization to drive partnership and innovation through their offerings, and was also responsible for managing the solution architect team and the Marketing Organization. Calista just joined Microsoft as Partner Executive - US Distribution responsible for the creation and execution of joint sales strategies and plans to drive Microsoft's cloud strategy.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Whether working with or through solution providers and distributors, the channel plays a critical role in the over all company's success. Making sure that the company is aligned with its partners to drive the right solutions to the right clients to solve their business needs is critical. In both roles at Vology and Microsoft Calista is responsible for ensuring that alignment and execution on that strategy is delivered. The team covering distribution, sales, technical and marketing, all have to work together to ensure the right programs and strategies are in place. Calista is helping to advance this forward by leveraging her experience at both distribution and at a MSP to help the Microsoft team be successful in achieve the goals.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Driving Innovation and Strategy through Distribution is critical for Microsoft's cloud strategy as distribution can provide scale and reach into new partners and clients for Microsoft. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more and needs the channel in order to accomplish that.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Honored to write in the Tampa Bay Parenting magazine - bringing technology to families. Helping families understand how technology plays a role at home as well, and not just at work. Joined the Advisory Board for Women of the Channel, and spoke at WOTC event in 2016.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Carla Harris, She's a leader, She's an author, A singer, and most importantly puts her family first. She has inspired so many in her career and her passions, all while putting her family as her priority. She has demonstrated skills and traits that I have adopted into my own career and personal life to help me achieve more, not only as a woman but as mother. I've seen her speak and have read both her books and I can say she is one of the most motivating, honest and humble women I've met.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
When I talk to young adults about a career in technology, I truly try to articulate that there are many different career paths to chose from. Technology today is growing at an astounding rate, and we need creative, innovated and unique thinkers in this industry to continue to thrive at the rate needed. Companies in IT today have many roles for women - marketing, sales, enablement, training, that are available. Biggest advice is " you don't need to be technical to work in IT" if you are GREAT - more women coding = awesome, there's an opportunity for everyone.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I lover super hero movies and comics- so I would have pick iron man, for the fact that I would have the ability to fly around the world and provide help to those who need it, protection to those who don't have it, and food to those who don't have the resources. Since iron man can fly so fast I could visit many places in one day and help a lot of people, and lets me honest who wouldn't want to be a super hero for a day!
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would visit, Anchorage, Alaska. I have always wanted to visit and tour around Alaska in general. I love the outdoors and would love to hike, tour the glaciers, enjoy the wildlife, and truly step out of the day to day and enjoy to the experience.
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