CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Tamara Prazak

Director of Channel Strategy, Flexential (formely Peak 10 + ViaWest)

Location: Denver, CO


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 5

Twitter Handle: @TamPraz

Fun Facts:

Sits on a company board
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has studied abroad

Biography and Background:
I am responsible for developing and implementing strategy for Flexential's strategic partnerships, along with creating marketing and sales enablement content to increase Hybrid IT Solution sales through its channel partner program. I helped to create and build the indirect channel program within ViaWest, which now accounts for a significant portion of Flexential's bookings. I have been with the company for six years, with 20 years of experience in technology and marketing. I hold a business administration degree from University of Illinois and when I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and running.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
The past year has been a monumental year. The first half of the year was spent driving ViaWest's channel strategy and marketing efforts in support of the growth of our channel program. Following the merger of Peak 10 + ViaWest (now Flexential) and resulting announcement in June and deal close in August, the second half of the year was spent on combining our partner programs, consolidating our teams and maintaining partner production throughout the process. Specific initiatives I led include: • Consistent communication to channel partners- Developed and executed messaging explaining the merger and the value it provides, how partners can benefit from a broader set of solutions, expanded footprint and reaffirming our commitment to our partners. • Developing the "Partner Engagement Journey"- similar to the buyer's engagement journey, this version is focused on taking our partners from awareness to evangelism. I worked across the combined company to educate our sales teams to ensure consistent understanding of our strategies and goals to proactively engage and provide value to our partners to move them through this journey to the win/win stage of evangelism. Through these efforts, Flexential's channel program continues to deliver YOY growth and represents over 30% of our bookings.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Flexential continues to focus its primary goal on helping customers achieve business operational success. As such, we are focusing on helping partners assist their end-user clients in implementing high performing, cost effective and highly available architectures that power their businesses for success. In turn, this will help partners build their revenue streams, reinforce their trusted advisor status and create sticky client relationships. We plan to do this through helping our partners assist their clients with transforming their IT infrastructure - whether through data center and colocation solutions, cloud solutions, security, compliance or managed services, or any combination of those things.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
1) Named to Cloud Girls Board of Directors in the role of chair of Community Work Group 2) My article 3 Tips for Moving Partners from Awareness to Evangelism was published in Channel Futures based on my Partner Engagement Journey work: 3) My work leading ViaWest's Culture Team- a grass roots effort focused on maintaining our company's unique and fun culture and aiding in employee retention - was significantly recognized by the ViaWest leadership team.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Flexential's Executive Chair of the Board and ViaWest's CEO and Co-founder, Nancy Phillips, is one of my female role models. Nancy has been a creative entrepreneurial force in the technology space since the age of 25. Her passion, drive, integrity and commitment to customers inspire myself and our company's employees every day. Nancy has been gracious with her time in mentoring women - from students to professionals - and setting an example as a leader, a female in a male dominated industry and as a person. Nancy's passion and enthusiasm is contagious.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Relax, have fun, be yourself and make sure that you're laughing every day. Be confident even when you don't feel confident and never forget that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. I would also share the cherished line my 17 old daughter uses with the girls on her swim team, "You belong and I believe in you."

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would improve my coding skills. I don't have a technical background, so it's a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I think having a good coding acumen would round out my skill set. Plus, women represent such a small minority of the coding field as compared to the over 70 percent of positions held by men.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lyndsey Adario is a fascinating memoir written by a female photo journalist in a male-dominated field. This book recounts Lyndsey's world travels to document the human experience. Lyndsey became the story herself when she was kidnapped during the Libyan civil war. While the book is not about the business or tech world, there are many relatable themes in this amazing story of a brave trailblazing woman following her passion, dealing with her fears and balancing being a wife and mother with her career.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants