CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Amy Simpson

President, MicroAge Peterborough

Location: Peterborough, ON


Number of years in current position: 15

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 30

Twitter Handle: @Microageptbo

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Sits on a company board
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Likes playing video games
Has written a song
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Amy Simpson, is the Owner MicroAge Peterborough and a shareholder in MicroAge Canada, who provide IT support solutions from their 30 locations across Canada to the SMB Business Marketplace. After running a Household Cleaning Business during University , Amy began her IT career in 1989 @ ComputerLand in Toronto, fresh out of University with BA in Geography with no work, her friend got her a temp assignment there shredding paper. That began a 15 year career starting in accounts receivable and concluding with a sales position of Account Executive at EDS. On the temp assignment an executive came by and asked what Amy was doing " I guess you have not heard I am the best paper shredder this company has ever had " she had a full time job the next day . Amy is an active member with the Rotary club, as well as The Women's Business Network , a Board Member of The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of StartUp Peterborough, acting as a mentor to start up businesses. Amy has 29 years' experience in technology and is passionate about working with businesses to assist them in having secure productive and stable work environments.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Amy has made it her mission to educate her customers and business owners on Cyber Security Resilience. She has been point on developing content for a webinar series on the subject on a national basis and there has been record attendance. This has resulted not only in increased awareness and education, but as well an increase in customers purchasing the correct security solutions and devices via the channel and including MicroAges' managed services to ensure these purchases work to their maximum efficiency and are updated consistently. Recently she worked with her local Chamber office to create a resolution to allow small business to write off Cyber Security acquisitions in the year they are purchased. This was endorsed by five other chambers across Canada and proposed to the Federal Government. Amy attended the first CyberSecurity Summit in February 2018, she engaged with the RCMP, National Defense and other government parties to represent Canada's SMB market place (her clients) and the challenges they face due to the cost of protection and recovery.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Goals over the next 12 months, include introducing a vehicle to make it easier for Micro -Business Customers to adopt office productivity and security. Goal is striving to take the mystery out of IT for the typical business owner so they have clarity and comfort with the options they have chosen. "There is so much we can do for businesses so they can focus on their own objectives and goals". Managed Services, related to security will be more widely adopted as we use AI and more sophisticated predictive tools and applications to protect our clients and offer Cyber Resilience.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Amy received the Business Women of the Year Award in 2015 and event hosted by the local newspaper. Amy's MicroAge location was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Customer First award in 2016 and as well internally from MicroAge Canada a Community Spirit award in 2016. Over the last year she has done multiple webinars on Cyber Security to hundreds of customers across Canada with the goal of educating them on what they need to do minimize the risk.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
This changes from time to time but right now I would have to say Sheryl Sandberg CEO of Facebook. She wrote a book called Option B, after losing her husband, and I found it inspiring and of great assistance after losing my husband to cancer last July. She had so much courage to share an event that was so personal with others, I understand why, to make her husband death help others.. in some small way, pretty special.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
My advice would be don't keep telling yourself you are not smart..being too humble can slow down the process of growth! No one will necessarily come to you and say " hey you are doing a great job would a like a promotion" . You need to ask for it ! In some cases you will need to just move forward and deal with the fine print after .. if you are very scared this will prove you are out of your comfort zone ! Do it ! !!!!!!Regardless !

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would like to master a new certification somewhere within the Security Area. Most likely in the consultative arena. I have not been in formal education for some time , other than ongoing industry training, and I think it would be good for me personally and professionally. As we continue to imbed technology in all we do, with Machine Learning and AI, Security will become one of the most in demand areas of expertise and I would like to bring value to this area for my customers.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The "Book of Joy", this book was wonderful and was a conversation between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. People are seeking happiness in so many ways, they discuss and explain where true happiness lies. Also Sheryl Sandberg CEO of Facebook. She wrote a book called Option B, where she explains there is always another option when facing adversity of any kind.

Unedited Content Provided By Participants