One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Biography and Background:
Irina Shamkova is responsible for designing and driving Intermedia's product strategy. Over Shamkova's 16+ year tenure at Intermedia, she has built and led high-performance Product Management, Project Management, UI/UX, and Customer Experience teams and processes. Under Shamkova's leadership, Intermedia's proprietary product portfolio has expanded to cover a broad suite of communication, collaboration and email security needs, including Cloud Voice, SecuriSync backup and file sharing and Advanced Email Security. Shamkova was integral in enriching Intermedia's business email product portfolio with the addition of Office 365, Email Archiving, Encryption, and more. Shamkova was also instrumental in Intermedia becoming the world's largest independent provider of business-grade Exchange email. Shamkova has helped establish Intermedia as a leading channel provider of cloud IT applications by overseeing the development of programs that allow partners to sell services under their own brand and own their customer relationships. This includes pioneering the first brandable web-based control panel to centralize and automate account management and service provisioning. Via integrated portals, partners can educate themselves, generate leads, drive sales, and support their customers throughout the customer lifecycle - all from a single source. These efforts have resulted in Shamkova being named as a CRN Women of the Channel several years running.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Irina leads a dedicated product team committed to delivering highly customized products ready-made for the channel. This means keeping a constant pulse on what partners need to drive profitability and differentiate their businesses. A large focus area for Irina and her team is Microsoft™ Office 365. While most partners sell Office 365, the margins are not very lucrative. To help resolve this issue, Irina's product team worked closely with the partner marketing team to launch several integrated solution offerings designed to enhance the Office 365 user experience. Office 365 complementary categories include backup, email continuity, cloud voice, compliance and security services. The result is greater value to customers and increased partner profitability. Integrated Office 365 services can be sold under the partner's brand, letting them differentiate their offer in the market and maintain ownership over the customer. Further, partners benefit from Intermedia's marketing resources and platforms, migration assistance, and J.D. Power certified 24/7 support across the entire customer lifecycle. Additionally, as an influencer and decision maker within the company, Irina has played a key role in determining Intermedia's events strategy. In attending these events, Irina will gather partner feedback that will directly impact future product features and company strategy.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
To go deeper with partners. Partners are looking for opportunities to drive profitability, differentiate, and add customer value. In line with Intermedia's channel-first strategy we're investing millions of dollars into sales, marketing, support, and headcount this year so we can better co-sell and co-market with our partner base. Our intention is to build up, engage with, and invest in our partners to help guide their success. We're attending about 40 events this year, when last year we were at about 4. We're listening to the needs of the channel first-hand to keep learning and growing as a channel-first company.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Intermedia won an Xcellence Award at XChange Solution Provider 2017 for Best Vendor Presentation, as voted on by attending partners. Irina co-keynoted with Eric Martorano, Intermedia's SVP of WW Sales, sharing how Intermedia empowers partner success through increased profitability, unparalleled opportunities to expand their portfolio under their own brand, all while driving greater customer value. Irina captured the attention of the entire room with a single question: "Show of hands. Who is reselling Office 365?" The Channel Company's Robert DeMarzo even tweeted following the keynote: "Intermedia's Irina Shamkova energizes XChange." Irina also received a 2016 Women of the Channel Award.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Any woman that's created, expressed, achieved and delivered something meaningful and helpful to society is a source of inspiration. Jane Goodall is a fantastic example of this. Jane knew early on what she wanted to achieve, and she struck out on her own to become an influential world leader and a new voice in redefining the relationship between humans and animals. Her drive and passion for her work has been a source of inspiration for me and many other women that have followed in her footsteps.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Be authentic. We're at our best when we're doing what we love and are true to ourselves. When you are your true self, your work is genuine and has a larger impact on the customers, partners and colleagues you support. Never stop learning. Change happens quickly. To succeed, you need to stay informed of the latest methods, techniques and developments that impact your industry and role. Volunteer and take initiative. Successfully accomplishing a goal that you set out to achieve not only increases your confidence and self-worth, but it establishes you as a person who can get things done.
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
It is fascinating to think about being one of the friendly sea creatures in the "Finding Nemo" animated movie. I'd like to be a part of the under-the-sea world and explore the Great Barrier Reef as an insider. To not limited by oxygen tanks with the opportunity to be accompanied by diverse and colorful "locals" sounds wonderful, if only 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?
Living in the center of New York, one of the largest cities in the world, my preferred travel destinations include rural, nature-dominant, remote places. Biking across Argentina, exploring the villages of India and hiking in the mountains around the globe bring meaning and connectedness. I would love to travel to Antarctica, Galapagos islands, Australia's Cape York Peninsula. If it has to be a city, however, it might be Curitiba in Brazil, where significant progress is made to implement core Eco-city principals for sustainable city development along the Richard Register's philosophy and it would be interesting to learn & explore.
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