CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Marcy Blair


Location: Denver, CO


Number of years in current position: 4

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 4

Twitter Handle: @marblair2

Fun Facts:

Can code
Sits on a company board
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has studied abroad
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
As Vice President of Cisco, Marcy Blair leads the Americas Services Partner organization. She is responsible for strategies related to sales, marketing, partner enablement, partner profitability, and promoting services growth for over 12,000 partners. The U.S., Canada and Latin America partners account for over 90 percent of the total services revenue from these countries. Marcy has held key leadership roles throughout her ten years at Cisco, including four years in her current position and the six years prior, leading Americas Enterprise Services Sales, also for Cisco. She is widely recognized for building one of the largest growth segments in the company. Her success is attributed to her highly collaborative style and building trusting relationships with customers, partners and extended teams, all with a focus on mutual success. Marcy has also led several initiatives within Cisco, driving key strategies and providing measured support of global priorities. With 25+ years of IT experience, Marcy's background includes broad experience in executive leadership in other leading IT companies. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and completed the advanced program in Corporate Resource Management from I.M.D. International, Lausanne, Switzerland.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
My advocacy for partners has helped to shape Cisco's services offers, ensuring they are always partner centric with the profitability of the partner top of mind. With more than 90 percent of Cisco's services revenue flowing through partners in the Americas, they are our key strategic asset and our primary route to market. An example is Cisco's recent launch of our High-Value and Business Critical Services. In collaboration with our partners, we are shaping these offers in a way to deliver a partner go-to-market strategy in both our Cisco and Partner Branded Services models. The ability to show a partner examples of how they make money, white papers and/or best practices of how that success has happened and how to replicate it, has allowed us to enjoy the mutual success we have today.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
It's Cisco's goal that 40 percent of our revenue be recurring by 2020. That moves us from what was traditionally a hardware and services environment to a software and subscription environment. My goal is to help guide Cisco's services strategy, creating offers that provide value in the new recurring revenue model while ensuring that our most strategic assets, our partners, are included in the route-to-market for those services. Examples are the adoption services that we are creating that provide high value to our mutual customers as well as a stickiness in the relationship between our partner, the customer and Cisco.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I have been fortunate enough to be recognized several times in my life, in a number of diverse areas. This year I received the honor of being named to the board of directors of the Castle Pines Country Club from its membership. My role as a leader in business and technology, my support of local community entrepreneurship and not for profit organizations keeps me grounded (and busy!)

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire Melinda Gates. The Gates Foundation has done great work in focusing on health issues, ending hunger and poverty around the world. However, it's Mrs. Gates herself and her long standing commitment to using her voice and platform to help empower women that I admire. Mrs. Gates often shares how powerful, women-led movements and organizations are changing the world, and why it's crucial we start investing in them. In 2016, she announced her desire to begin working on another important issue, the lack of women in technology. I have a similar passion here, lending my own voice whenever possible.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
The power of a strong personal and professional network is something I would definitely share with my 16-year-old self. I would engage that network early in problem solving. Too often, particularly at a young age, we think we need to have all the answers. The sooner that one realizes the power of engaging others, the more quickly a problem is solved, and often with an even better solution. The other piece of advice I'd share is to say 'yes'. Say yes to meet someone new, to learning something new. Say yes to new adventures, new experiences.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Luckily, the job I have today affords me the opportunity to help companies see the possibilities for the future. While I'm technical to a degree, I do wish I personally had the technical prowess to more quickly accelerate to defend against cybersecurity threats. It's a constantly changing threat that has brought some businesses to their knees. I wish I had the cybersecurity acumen today - I'm working on it - to help companies defend and protect themselves. I'd enjoy the challenge of securing systems and devices ahead of the imposters who spend their time figuring out how to exploit them.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I just finished reading Joe Wright's Darkest Hour. The book aptly presents Winston Churchill - how he engaged with the British people and how he made his decision to stand up against Hitler. Churchill listened to the people, gained their support and agreement with his famous speech. The choice to stand up to Hitler was just that a choice. Fighting on after the approaching fall of France could have been at the cost of mass civilian lives. The courage it took to make the choice for a better life is remarkable, particularly with the resources available at the time.

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