Biography and Background:
Helene Ervin has made a career out of learning and refining new skills. She started her career in financial services while attending UC Berkeley, and, after a few years in banking, switched industries to work in marketing operations with a small start-up. She remained in marketing for six years at Cisco and Taleo, before transitioning to sales operations at Oracle, where she spent two years running forecasting and analytics for the Oracle SaaS team. Helene was given the opportunity to join the Alliances Program Management team at FireEye, where she has learned both about channel programs and cyber security. During the four years she's worked at FireEye, she has learned channel strategy, working alongside amazing veteran channel leaders, and also has immersed herself within the company's channel program and its global partner ecosystem. She currently leads the Global Partner Operations team, supporting all our partners (Resellers, Distributors, Solution Providers, Strategic Partners, Alliance Partners) and the entire internal partner organization. Helene and her team are responsible for daily operational support, system/tool enhancements, financial reporting/analysis, and ensuring that FireEye remains aligned with its corporate channel strategy. She strives every day to continue learning about the channel and sharing her knowledge.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
As manager of the Global Partner Operations team, I support our entire partner ecosystem, internally and externally. The company needed to streamline its platform and its partner content strategy. Our deal registration system, enablement portal, certification platform, and content repository were all disparate tools, which caused confusion amongst our partners, who were uncertain about how to accomplish what they needed to do. This past year, armed with feedback from our partners and our channel leadership, we overhauled our entire infrastructure, created a new automated Eval licensing process, and launched a consolidated partner portal called the New Fuel Station. Today, our partners have one main portal to access all the functionalities they need: deal registration, enablement, content/resource library, opportunity management, and license management. In addition, FireEye is adding much-requested functionalities including a partner locater, lead distribution module, MDF, business planning, co-branded collateral, and especially a CPQ tool for our distributors - all within the next couple of quarters. Having all this functionality in one place makes it much easier for our partners to do business with us, increasing their engagement with FireEye.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goal for this coming year, and frankly every year, is to make it easier for our partners to do business with FireEye. It's a simple goal, but I truly think it is a very important one. As our company continues to innovate with new products, processes, and platforms, we need to keep our partners engaged. If we can make it easy for our partners to build their business, we will have accomplished our mission and will continue to grow and succeed.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I'm a working mother that takes both roles very seriously, so it is an honor to be recognized on both fronts. Personally, I was elected to my daughter's school's Learning Fund board, where I led two of the school's most profitable fundraisers. Professionally, I was honored twice last year. First, our global sales leadership team selected me as operations employee of the year and presented me with the "Unsung Hero" award. Second, Impartner, our PRM vendor, gave my team the "Transformer" award. We launched our Fuel Station platform in a record five months, and transformed our partner portal strategy.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Throughout my life and career, I've been lucky to have known many talented women. With respect to them all, the one person that stands out is Tiffany Jones. Tiffany was the VP of our Global Solutions Provider team and one of my key stakeholders. I admire her ability to maneuver the political aspects of her role and still "get things done." She is an unfailingly fair-minded person who staunchly supports her team while balancing what is right for the company. In addition, she is an amazing mother of two, proving that women can do it all.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Aside from dissuading my 16-year old self from the questionable fashion choices of the early 90s, I would offer the following: 1) Be curious - Understand the "why" behind everything you do and learn something new every day. 2) Believe in yourself - Fight for what you believe. Even if it's not always the most popular decision, trust your gut. 3) Build strong relationships - surround yourself with like-minded, loyal people, personally and professionally. 4) Laugh every day. Life is stressful and hard only if we let it be. Find the fun moments, and remember that laughter is contagious!
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would love to master the art of public speaking. For me, the thought of standing up in a room full of people is terrifying. In my role, I am presented with many opportunities to talk about our partner programs and operations to a large audience. If I could only learn how to do this without my knees knocking, I feel my message would be much more effective.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Just a few months ago, I read "The House by the River" by Lena Manta. This book was so well written and the way the author described each character, it emotionally captivated me and I finished the book within days. "The House by the River" details the lives of a mother in rural Greece, and her five daughters who left home and ventured out to start their own lives. Taking place through many years and much hardship, it reminded me that no matter what happens, my mom and my home will always be a place of comfort.
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