CRN 2017 Women of the Channel Details

Katherine Sobus

Practice Leader, Customer Experience Solutions, Strategic Products & Services

Location: Parsippany, NJ


Number of years in current position: 3

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 3

Twitter Handle: @kathysobus

Fun Facts:

Enjoys public speaking
Has an advanced degree
Has an MBA
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Is a mentor
Loves Spotify
Has a personal mantra
Always wanted to be an Olympian

Biography and Background:
As the Director of Customer Experience Consulting for SPS, Kathy Sobus leads a team with extensive expertise in customer care. Under her leadership, the team consults with clients and identifies areas of growth or cost savings for their businesses. The team provides holistic, relevant solutions and deployment options, including cloud-based, hosted, managed or premises, to meet clients' business needs. Sobus has extensive relationships with vendors and providers to arrange for solutions to be successfully integrated, allowing businesses to choose solutions that best fit their needs. She is an expert in Customer Experience, which enhances the organization's ability to effectively respond to customers' ever changing marketplaces. She has been awarded multiple patents and has published white papers. Prior to joining SPS, Sobus spent more than 16 years at Avaya, holding roles that included Global Contact Center Leader, Contact Center Strategist, and Inventor. Sobus also served as the Vice President of Customer Care for Bostonian and Hanover Shoes and Director of Customer Service for a public utility. With her experience as a customer and a vendor involved in system integration, Sobus establishes a fully informed approach that SPS applies to its contact center practice, which includes consulting, solution advisement, implementation and services.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Customer Experience spans Lines of Businesses from Marketing to Sales, to Customer Care. Coupled with the differences in industries, approach, and digital transformation, it is important that we develop and maintain a strong ecosystem of vendors and partners to fulfill our clients' goals. Spending time analyzing the suppliers and choosing the best ones for our clients is a main part of my position. This year we've developed new relationships with vendors where we had gaps in the portfolio, and expanded our relationship with others to include implementation and maintenance support. The offers we co-created were novel and readily accepted within the Customer Experience departments of SPS' clients. Digital transformation is changing how our clients are doing business. It is important that we continue to evaluate the landscape to help our clients succeed. With our channel partner solutions set we've allowed countless companies offer new ways of engaging with their customers, increasing their profitability, and streamlining their organizations. We've done this successfully by offering services which compliment these solutions. A true partnership with each of our vendors, co-existing within the Customer Experience environment is what allows our clients to excel within their respective industries.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
There is so much happening in the technology field with the advent of digital transformation, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, smart systems, and buildings and the like. We will continue to evaluate our channel strategy with our suppliers. Our goal for this year is to deepen our relationship with those partners. This includes sharing go to market strategies and bringing new solutions to our clients which will enhance the way they transact with their customers. In addition to deepening our existing relationships, we will continue to evaluate the marketplace for other partners that are relevant in adding capabilities for our clients.

What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
Nice Business Partner of the Year for Application Sales. For the last 4 out of 5 years we've won awards for sales of Nice Products. Additionally we are ranked in the top five of the Avaya partners as well.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I choose Amelia Earhart. Not only was she fearless being the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1928, she set many other records. I admire her most because she was a woman who "gave back" through writing books, creating organizations for women, and becoming a career counselor to women students at Purdue.

What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
Technology is a field full of creativity and passion for enhancing communication among people, globally. The world has become more accessible than ever before-and in more ways than ever thought. The infrastructure continues to show improvements that enable technologies and the transport of communication which provides more information to each of the parties; however, it is the richness of the applications that really inspires me. I would hope that our young women would explore this space as a possibility for their future, and for the future of all communication.

If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
My pick is Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. Katniss is not defined by anyone other than herself and her experiences. She was not placed into a leadership role, by an elected body, but rather assumed it due to circumstances and "owned it". She brilliantly survived whatever was presented to her and did so by using her own intelligence and teaming. Throughout the series, she never forgot the important things. I admire her because she always remembered where she came from, her family & friends, and the people she loved which enabled her to do the extraordinary.

If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Having traveled extensively, this question is a tough one. I would choose a city that was forward thinking to learn what and how they are going to accomplish goals they've set forth. For this reason, I'm choosing Stockholm as they are transforming their lifestyle to become both cash free and oil free in the next few years. As a result, they are become a startup capital in Europe. My belief is that we will see many new cottage industries sprout up as Stockholm transforms their digital and environmental ways of living.

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