CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Erin Oettle

Program Manager- Channel Sales (AMER), F5 Networks

Location: Seattle, WA


Number of years in current position: 2.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 8

Twitter Handle: @NA

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has a mentor
Is an extrovert
Can ride a horse
Has written a song

Biography and Background:
I manage the F5 Unity Partner Program for the North America, LATAM, and South America. I've been directly focused on managing Channel Programs and Marketing for the past 7 years and indirectly since the start of my career in 1998. I have been with F5 since November 2015 and was recognized as one of CRN's Women of the Channel in 2016 and 2017. During my career, I have managed Distribution Marketing with Intermec Technologies, Global Channel & Alliances Marketing/MDF Programs for OpenText, and now Americas Channel Sales Programs for F5 Networks. I live in Seattle, WA with my husband, and am originally from Portland, OR where my family still resides.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I have had the opportunity this past year to work closely with our Worldwide team to evaluate and evolve our UNITY Partner program. We have seen a major shift in the way customers want to consume products and have been challenged to help our partners make the shift in their businesses to facilitate these new consumption models. Part of this transition emerged in the form of our first North American Partner Leadership Summit in 2017, which I was instrumental in planning and executing. During this event, we were able to bring in our top hundred NAMER Partner Execs to discuss industry trends, share where F5 is going as a company, and discuss how we believe our partners can tie in and add even more value. We received such positive feedback about the program that we are planning it again in North America for 2018 (and likely beyond) and are looking to expand it globally!

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
One of my goals this year is to make the processes that help us administer the program more efficient to execute. Due to the high-touch nature of our processes, some are difficult to scale, so I am actively researching alternative approaches. I am also excited to be tied in with our Worldwide Programs team on our 2018 strategic focus areas; including core ADC business, Security, and Public Cloud. These focus areas are inspiring us in many ways; from creating incentives to drive this business, to how we format our program structure and address the emergence of hybrid partner types.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was honored to take part in the Channel Masters program this year. It was one of the most intense yet rewarding experiences of my career; I am proud to be an alumn! I was recognized as a CRN Women of the Channel for 2016 and 2017. I am proud to receive this designation, particularly because of the timeliness of this award. This year has highlighted issues that women still face, with harassment and pay inequity still rampant in our workplaces, and I am humbled to be in the company of so many talented women who are changing the conversation!

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
This year I'd like to highlight not one woman, but the many women who have come forward to fight for challenges that too many women in contemporary American society still face today. From the past and current members of the US Women's Gymnastics team who bravely confronted and took down a sexual predator and a system that failed to protect them, to the many actresses who have fought against sexual harassment and pay inequities in Hollywood and beyond, these are the women whom I admire and draw inspiration from.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
You are smarter than you think you are. You have many qualities and characteristics that will be as, if not more, important that your GPA. So, stop comparing yourself to other people; they have their gifts and you have yours, and yours will get you where you are supposed to be.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
As it relates to my job, I would love to have a more technical mindset to understand our products from an engineering standpoint. I have always worked in highly technical companies, but on the marketing and programs side of the house. I have often thought that having my current skill set in addition to a deep technical understanding would be a killer combination!

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
My favorite book this year was My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Frederik Backman. It is the story of a little girl named Elsa with an old soul, a vigorous imagination, and a kindred spirit bond with her grandmother. When Granny dies, she leaves Elsa with the clues she needs to learn about her life and all the people who were a part of it. I loved reading this story; it reminded me that even with great loss comes the opportunity for growth, wisdom, and a deeper understanding and appreciation for those who are gone.

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