CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Joanna Raitano

IBM Client Director, North America, Arrow, IBM

Location: Research Triangle Park, NC


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 20

Twitter Handle: @joaraitano

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain

Biography and Background:
Joanna is a subject matter expert in many areas of the channel. She has held roles in both sales and marketing across North America and has a passion for the clients she serves. She has spent her 21 years working with channel partners in a variety of ways. Her strengths are helping channel partners grow their business with IBM and developing programs to attract and maintain IBMs robust partner base. She has led many successful channel sales engagements and teams in a client role, storage brand role and industry leader capacity. Her consistent track record of success and results has led her to her current opportunity leading the Arrow/IBM business in North America.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
In July 2017, I took the role to lead the IBM North America business with Arrow. In the past 8 months I have worked with the team to return the business to growth and take steps to redefine the role of the distributor. Through my leadership, our team has launched a 3rd party Cloud Marketplace with Arrow, simplified our ability to deliver embedded software solutions downstream to partners and realized triple digit SaaS growth. These are all critical elements to drive the next generation ecosystem and bring value to our client base. As we evolve, the focus is continue to protect and grow our core business with happy and profitable business partners through Arrow.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goal for 2018 is to drive growth through sales engagement between our partners, distributors and the IBM team. Leveraging the breadth of our mutual resources will result in delivering client value. Through improved engagement strategies including 3 way account planning, joint enablement opportunities on new areas (i.e. IoT, AI) and Net Promoter Score rollout we will achieve success. Another critical element of growth is attracting new partners and the focus on modernizing our core partner set. Growth is the goal but getting it in the right places is even more critical.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Best Mom Ever! At least that is what I like to tell myself! I am not sure I have won an official award this past year, outside of being promoted in my new role. My view is if I can help my client and IBM grow our mutual business AND my husband and I can raise happy, positive contributors to society I think I am doing it right!

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Jodi Whitman, one of my best friends. Jodi gives with her whole heart.. always! She works a (more than) full time job blazing the path for young children and families in need. She is an amazing mother, wife and daughter. She is a friend to anyone she meets and is a gift to anyone who crosses her path. She makes it all look easy and finds the balance with grace. The time I spend with her is a reminder that mom's can have it all ... and make a difference at home and at work.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
HOLD ON... you are in for a ride. What you thought you planned is not always the way it works out but the way it works out is what you could never have planned in your wildest dreams! Trust your gut, enjoy the journey and know that in the end it all works out for the best. Also, that you may want to start saving for your kids college now.. at 16!

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
To work without dependence on email. Over the years, email has become the vehicle for communication and a filing system for information. The amount of email continues to increase and finding ways to work without it would be a skill I would love to master!

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo. I love children's books and being married to teacher and having 3 school aged children, I have my pick! I have actually read this book many times and I love it every time. It reinforces my belief that the best adventures happen on the journey to the destination - not necessarily at the destination. It is not always what you planned but in the end you end up exactly where you are supposed to be. I am all about the journey!

Unedited Content Provided By Participants