CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Barbara Abboud

Director, Channels, F5 Networks

Location: Farmingdale, NY


Number of years in current position: 1.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 17

Twitter Handle: @channel_barb

Fun Facts:

Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Can ride a horse
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Barbara Abboud serves as the Director of Channels (East & Canada) at f5 Networks. Barbara is a recognized leader in Channel Sales. With recognitions including Channel Chief 2015 and Women of the Channel 2015, 16', 17'. Barbara has been passionate about Channel enablement since her first IT role working "little" Long Island Company called Computer Associates. That decision launched her IT career and most importantly her Channel Career. After four years learning the ropes at CA, Barbara had the opportunity to be the first US Channel Manager for AppSense and years later at Wyse. These responsibilities were many, including building the program and recruiting top partners to grow US Footprint. Building out Channel programs and teams has been a passion. Helping the sales organizations realize the comprehensive value partners bring to the sales motion. The past 2 Years at f5 have been exicting. F5 has always been a leader in the ADC space, and now more broadly recognized as a leader in Cybersecurity and cloud enablement. On a personal note, Barbara is a wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls (8yo/5yo). With weekends filled with Soccer, gymnastics and Swim meets. Loving every moment!

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
A key priority has been to around localized empowerment. Empowerment with the local Channel team, sales teams and partners. We are laser focused on enhancing the communication of our sales teams with our partners. Our priorities included more partner-focused/partner led customer engagements. F5 is driving towards more solution led engagements. Leveraging the partners expertise and customer relationships is critical to our success. Along with this we are maximizing resources to increase overall support of the East/Canada partners. One key addition to the team this year was a dedicated Cloud CAM. This role has been instrumental in building out partner awareness of "why f5 in the Cloud".

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Partners are pivotal to f5's success as we grow our Security and Cloud business. Driving the conversations with our partners on how they are positioning f5 and taking us to market is a key goal. This will be done by further nurturing our established partners as well identifying additional partners to drive more qualified opportunities. Several key areas that are top priority for our Channel organization includes Security Everywhere, expanding our cloud partners and strategy; and ensuring that our core customers are on our latest and greatest platform offerings.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I have been fortunate to be recognized by CRN over the years. These recognitions include: CRN Channel Chief 2015 Women of the Channel 2015 Women of the Channel 2016 Women of the Channel 2017 On a personal note, I am the "Cookie mom" for my daughters girl scout troop. We were awarded "Top Seller" for our district last year. I am particularly proud of that recognition and of those girls. The sales skills they develop through this process is something they will take with them in life.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
J.K. Rowling, Author of The Harry Potter Series. Rowling was inspired to write Harry Potter on a train from Manchester to London. It took her seven years to bring her vision to light. Those seven years were marked by personal trials, including the death of her mother, divorce and poverty. She had a story to tell and a vision for Harry Potter, she was determined to see this through. Her perseverance has inspired millions of children the love of reading and the understanding that there are no limits with your imaginations.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
For the most part I have little regrets reflecting on my 16 year old self, looking back I can see that many "missteps" we make as teenagers are how we grow to the adults we are today. I will say: • Embrace the phase of your life you are in, you only get to this point in time once. • Be Kinder to your mom, she's amazing and when you are 40 she will be your best friend (I promise). • Buying shoes too small with the hope that they will stretch out is a bad idea.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Improving my presentation skills would be at the top of the list. Specifically having the confidence to break free of powerpoints and present in a more impactful manner. Improving my ability to white board a discussion is of particular interest. This allows the presenter to tell a story, while allowing the conversation to be interactive.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I love to read psychological Thrillers, particularly ones by female authors (Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Paul Hawkins, etc). I recently finished Paula Hawkins-Into the Water. Her writing draws you in from the first page, and keeps the suspense going with plot twists throughout the book. I couldn't put it down.

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