CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Susan Reynolds

Vice President, Partner Ecosystem, Watson Customer Engagement, IBM

Location: Boulder, CO


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 18

Twitter Handle: @susanbreynolds

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has an MBA
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Has climbed a mountain
Has studied abroad
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Susan Reynolds is the Global Vice President, Partner Ecosystem, IBM Watson Customer Engagement. Her responsibilities include partner strategies and programs to architect a growing partner ecosystem for the IBM Watson portfolio of commerce, marketing, and supply chain software solutions. Prior to joining IBM, Susan held a number of sales and partner management positions at SAP, including Vice President of the Global Cloud Channel organization. In that role, her team focused on motivating partners through the transition from on premise to SaaS sales and delivery models. Susan was also a member of Hewlett Packard's executive team, holding both marketing and channel roles. As the Vice President of HP's Solution Partner Organization, she led partner programs across all commercial software, systems, printers, storage and services business units. Her background also includes leadership in the local non-profit sector, including two terms as Board President for Turning Point Center for Youth and Family Development. Susan holds a Master's of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She resides in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two children.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I joined IBM last year with the charter to extend the resell channel in Watson Customer Engagement to an ecosystem that supports and drives SaaS recurring revenue. The transformation began by bringing together alliances, technology partners, integrators, VARs and agencies into one team and under one strategy. Within that umbrella, I introduced new non-resell metrics such as influence selling, churn, API adoption and Net Promoter Score. In addition, we began recruitment of new partner types including marketing agencies and IT/agency hybrids. We also added new AI and cognitive content to the incentives, programs and partner awards. To create a stronger Business Partner team, I championed a new curriculum with a custom partner assessment model to build skills in identifying partners with the performance, intent and investment profile take the business forward into 2020. The team now develops their partners with a portfolio approach, looking for a mix of IT and non-IT partnerships and a mix of market makers and nurturers. Lastly, I worked to bring more informal communication to cross the oceans with video all hands calls, celebrations and skip level calls with reps around the globe.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
The WCE market is growing double digits and revenue goals are aggressive. Our foundational imperative is to drive adoption of new AI / cognitive capabilities with partners. AI is still more buzz word than practical solution for most customers, but our partners will change that this year, creating revenue streams that are a differentiator for the WCE practices within their businesses. Our second goal this year is consistent revenue execution. We want to align our partner marketing and sales to more even monthly and quarterly execution, building a better revenue position for partners in a recurring revenue model.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I'm motivated by Ester Ledecka, who won Olympic gold in the SuperG on skis and snowboard. I admire that made she made her own rules. In a world where specialization is deemed the only way to excel, she loved both sports and followed both passions. She was fearless; using a borrowed pair of skis and starting in in the back of the pack didn't dim her potential. I respect that being fearless didn't make her arrogant. Even while being celebrated for having done the impossible, she was grateful, "I was just trying to do my best run."

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
That could be a very long list, but my top 5 would be: - Go. Wander. Travel places where you feel you don't fit in. You will get perspective that makes most of your daily problems seem small. - Show up and try hard. It may not be cool, but sheer willingness to get-it-done can make you successful in any activity. - Practice listening. It is a learned skill, keep working at it. - Be kind. - Drive the speed limit. Driver's Ed is not kidding about those speeding tickets.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
If I could master any skill, it would be flawless prioritization. Prioritization doesn't sound like a "new" skill, but the ability to stack rank opportunities effectively has to be reinvented as the nature of our work changes. Today, every waking moment requires a decision whether to answer an incoming slack, text, tweet or email. Instead of being responsive to everything, keeping a top priority "on top" means knowing how to let go of literally hundreds of daily distractions. Mastering this deluge of data would allow me to coach the team to higher project success as well as more job satisfaction.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Harry Potter was the winner in 2017. I read one chapter, together with my son, every night for the entire year. Even though we had already devoured the series when he was younger, tackling only one chapter and talking about it together made reading an interactive sport. We'd look for the elements of foreshadowing, see who could do a better Hagrid voice and bet on how many Snape insults would occur in the next chapter. It turned what is typically a solitary activity - reading a book - - into a shared ritual.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants