CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

One of our "Power 100 Vendors"

Michelle Chiantera

Vice President, Global Partner Marketing, Cisco

Location: Pittsford, NY


Number of years in current position: 2.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 22

Twitter Handle: @michchiantera

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Sits on a company board
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Can ride a horse

Biography and Background:
Cisco's Vice President of Global Partner Marketing, Michelle Chiantera, knows a thing or two about creating a successful partner ecosystem. Responsible for over 62,000 partners worldwide representing up to 85% of Cisco revenues, Michelle's mantra is simple, to inspire partners of the value of digital marketing to stay business relevant within this vastly disruptive climate. In a post-digital world where customer engagement demands personalization, Michelle believes in the importance of shifting marketing mindsets toward digital to realize true customer success.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Over the past year, I have focused intensely on the shifting desires of customer experience. This has led to evolving the way we communicate to our partners by taking an omnichannel / persona based approached. To be able to effectively reach partners in a personalized manner, we have invested in a technology stack to automate and streamline communications. We also saw great results in persona based messaging through our recent Network Intuitive campaign. The persona approach led to engagement scores above benchmark. As a result of these efforts, our communication scores are increasing in our Voice of the Partner survey.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
1. Help partners capitalize on our latest networking innovations and shift to more software-centric IT business models that not only provide recurring revenue, but also provide profitable customer application and services revenue. 2. To unleash the value of software for customers and create additional profit engines, we're helping partners build their own customer success practices. With our assets and tools, partners are discovering how customer success leads to greater customer loyalty and profitability. 3.) We are helping partners sell beyond traditional IT buyers and equipping them to bridge to new buying centers and selling solutions to drive business outcomes.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
• 2017 CRN Power 100: Most Powerful Women of the Channel • 2018 CRN Channel Chief • 2018 YWCA 2018 Tribute to Women Award

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire Achan Guot Jong, a woman who lives in South Sudan and is involved with the non-profit that I support named Building Minds in South Sudan. BMSS is committed to rebuilding hope by building schools and improving educational opportunities. Achan wanted to make a difference in her community and for her 6 children, so she started making and selling tribal beer in her village. With the help of BMSS, she was able to expand her entrepreneurial business. A testimony to her perseverance and commitment is that she has successfully sent one of her sons to university this past year.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell myself to take some time to get to know YOU, not what you think you should be. Once you know who you are and what makes you unique, you will naturally show up as your true self. This means getting to know your strengths and weaknesses, what energizes you and what drains you. When you are your true self, you will make better connections, feel good about your work, and grow professionally as well as personally.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Marketing has never been more reliant on technology to create streamlined customer experiences. Understanding the outcome you want to achieve is the most important step in figuring out what technology will work best. Often times we dive into the tool first, which limits your ability to look at the big picture. The end result will be owning lots of marketing software with no clear vision, and that can get expensive - fast! I would love to be able to master the marketing technology stack - know which tool fits best with which need to better make decisions and drive value.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I recently had David Meade (part of Simon Sinek's group) participate in our Partner Summit Marketing Velocity breakout to share a presentation on Simon's book - Start with Why. I love this book because it brings us back to the basics. Companies who focus on the "why", or reason why they do what they do, tend to have the most successful sales and marketing messages that result in deeper bottom lines. Harnessing how we approach our purpose will help us move with the ever changing digital and customer experience, and allow us to win together with our partners.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants