Biography and Background:
Manon Buettner is an accomplished infrastructure architect, data center and cloud analyst, strategist and speaker with over 18 years of experience designing, selling, and implementing cloud solutions, leading data center selection and migrations, and advising rapid growth through Fortune 500 businesses and service providers. She works closely with dynamic enterprise IT teams to identify business and technical requirements, introduce relevant solutions, and manage complex colocation or managed cloud services searches and deployments. Manon is co-founder and CFO of Cloud Girls, a 501(c)(3) fostering the next wave of women in technology, and launched its Advisory Council. She also shares Cloud Girls' seat on the Channel Partners Advisory Board and is a member of Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), Executive Women in Technology (EWiT), Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Society of Information Management (SIM) and 724 Exchange. Outside of work she enjoys traveling, wine excursions, and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons, and Weimaraner.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Nuvalo's mission is to elevate and empower IT leaders, making them look like heroes and advancing their careers. We are laser-focused on introducing proven individuals and service providers to IT executives tasked with modernizing their talent and supplier ecosystems. My role as CEO is to secure alliances with next-generation partners who not only complement Nuvalo's service portfolio, but who we can confidently recommend to our clients. In 2017 we partnered with AVANT Communications in order to leverage their tools, expertise, relationships. By extension, we are selling services like UCaaS and SD-WAN that previously were outside of our data center and IaaS focus, and ensure we remain the trusted advisor for all IT initiatives. Additionally, we are now working bi-directionally with several hybrid IT providers to enhance our client experiences from discovery and planning through sourcing and delivery (eg. physical/virtual migration). IT organizations benefit from having a single source for strategy through execution, and service providers benefit from accelerated sales and implementation cycles (and mind share!) For AWS and Azure clients, we've teamed with channel partners such as eCloud Managed Solutions, an agnostic hyperscale MSP. Collectively, we assess, advise and deliver cost optimization, right-sizing, and on-going managed services.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
This year Nuvalo is poised for explosive growth, leveraging the relationships, vision and methodology we honed in 2017. Given the shortage of IT talent, Our staffing division will be key in securing new clients and opening doors for consulting and brokerage opportunities, and by extension channel business. We're adding salespeople and training efforts focused on cloud strategy, governance, RFP management and staff augmentation. We have selected a number of strategic channel partners and are investing time and resources to grow those relationships and associated IT transformation engagements which allow for pull-through channel business, especially in service brokerage.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
In 2017, CIO Review named Nuvalo a top 20 Cloud Solution Provider of the year based on our expertise, products, services, and solutions in solving impediments and overcoming market complexities. Our unique blend of business and technical acumen, bundled with our collaborative approach to solving IT business problems differentiates us from traditional firms who offer consulting, brokerage, or staffing in a vacuum.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire my friend and business colleague, Lorraine Bassett. When she's not traveling the world for AWS or being a present and loving wife and mother, she's honing her Taekwondo and meditation skills in airports/airplanes, founding a global non-profit to change the world, and teaching children and teens Taekwondo, building their self confidence and self esteem. She's authored two books offering candid insights into her spiritual exploration, inviting readers to learn and grow. I strive to achieve her level of poise, work-life balance, and passion for empowering women and children. She is truly an inspiration.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I was a much different person at 16, very introverted and conservative about taking risks and pursuing paths where I wasn't assured of success. My advice is simply to 'be fearless.' Personal and professional growth can only come from stretching outside your comfort zone. Most successful entrepreneurs and executives suffer from "imposter's syndrome" and by having the confidence to run towards opportunity, however qualified (or not) you feel, you will be rewarded with respect, admiration, and increased self-worth. Even when you fail, you learn and grow, better positioned for the next challenge.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would love to "master" marketing strategy. This has been my single largest challenge since there are so many aspects and possible directions of implementing successful campaigns. What has worked in years past is no longer the case, and a campaign's success has so much to do with saying the right thing to the right person at the exact right time. The myriad elements and degrees of social media, sponsoring, speaking, networking and branding which need to be combined with trending technologies and IT initiatives make it hard for any firm to ensure success.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The book I've found most relevant to advancing my business is "The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win" by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford. It's a crash course in DevOps and the current state of IT business challenges written as an engaging story, allowing practitioners and providers alike an inside view into the challenges of IT business transformation. As Nuvalo translates and liaises between business and technical leadership, the book's insights have allowed for deeper and more meaningful conversations about the operational and organizational challenges accompanying major change.
Unedited Content Provided By Participants