CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Kristin Escobar

Director, Americas Channels, Iron Mountain

Location: Collegeville, PA


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 22

Fun Facts:

Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has an MBA
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Is a mentor
Is an extrovert
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
I began my career working for a hardware company that sold through the channel and began training distributors. From there my career took me to Microsoft in a marketing role for the OEM division. I did dedicated marketing with mid-size OEM partners. In 2007 I started building and managing the channel for Neoware. When Neoware was acquired by HP, I continued to run the channel business for thin clients at HP. This was a new product line for HP so we built a program targeting VARs, DMRs and distributors to grow their Virtualization business with HP. We grew the business to over $200M. I then moved to a software startup to build their channel. We built the program, the marketing and successfully grew the business via the channel from $4M to over $15M in 18mths. We took a focused approach by region and had about 40 signed partners with 24 transacting deals. I am now with Iron Mountain building a channel business for their Iron Cloud solutions. This is a complete from the ground up channel build within a company that has been direct for 60+ years.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
This year we have grown a brand new business - Iron Cloud - from $500k to about $3M with 50% of the business coming from the channel. I am leading the charge on all operational, marketing, and sales aspects of the business. The ground work I have put in place and the growth we have seen has led to significant investments in the channel. My team has grown from 4 to 15, we received an investment to build a partner portal to support the business, and we are driving changes in the way our sales people work today in an effort to scale the business. In addition to the traditional channel side, I also lead our technology alliances which continue to grow. Our main alliance today is with Dell EMC and they view Iron Mountain as the premier CSP based on our engagement and commitment.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goal is to see 70+ % of our Iron Cloud business coming from our channel relationships and for us to reach a $25M target. I want my team to deepen their relationships with their partners and ensure that we provide the best channel experience to them. I believe that open dialog with our partner community is the only way to be successful and channel feedback as we grow is key. I want our partners to be confident that we are dedicated to the channel.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I haven't won any awards - I don't actually put my name in the hat for anything. I am a runner - and I took 2nd in my age group in a recent 1/2 marathon (there weren't that many runners). Training for runs is empowering for me. I like to set a goal and achieve it. At this stage - my goal is to finish in the top 25% of my age group and/or of the entire field.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I have 2 women I admire - both peers. Sheri Hedlund is one. She has been a channel leader for sometime and she is well respected. She is very open, very smart and approachable. The other is a friend - Nicole Moshang who is an attorney. Both lead very successful careers and balance their family commitments and responsibilities. I strive to do the same - be a strong leader, a solid team member...and a good mom. They have the respect of their peers and team. For me - my team works with me not for me.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would say be patient and listen more. I would also remind myself that challenges become experiences - and those experiences add up to perspective. This perspective allows me to take every situation in stride and manage it effectively.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Systems master - I am capable of using SFDC, but I would like to be a master at building my own reports, dashboards, etc. I know given the time I could train and do this. While I have some data available, it takes time to get the SFDC team to build what is needed. I want to be able to better track our KPIs - and if was a master I could build what I need quickly.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I just finished the Invisible Bridge. I like to read a lot of historical fiction and admire the authors for the depth of research they do when writing a novel like this. I liked it because it was a story of perseverance and struggle. It is a reminder that life can change at any given moment and when it does - what do you do and how do you survive. It's a reminder of the tragedies that have occurred in our history and to be thankful for where we are today.

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