CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Margaret-Ann Bolton

Senior Director, Global Partner Marketing, Red Hat Inc

Location: Boston, MA


Number of years in current position: 7

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 18

Twitter Handle: @ma_bolton

Fun Facts:

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

Biography and Background:
Margaret-Ann Bolton serves as senior director, Global Partner Marketing at Red Hat and is responsible for marketing programs to grow Red Hat's open source business through an ecosystem of partners. She has over 25 years experience in the IT industry encompassing strategic planning, direct and indirect sales, alliance development, worldwide partner and channel marketing and go-to-market execution. Ms. Bolton joined Red Hat in 2011 and during her time at Red Hat, she has unified global partner marketing into a high-performing organization delivering marketing and sales programs for Red Hat's expanding partner ecosystem. Her areas of expertise are open source business models, solutions design and marketing, co-branded demand generation programs and delivering scalable partner programs and tools. Prior to Red Hat Ms. Bolton held executive positions across multiple disciplines including direct and indirect sales, engineering, services, product management, and product marketing with global technology companies including EMC, HP, and Sun Microsystems. Ms. Bolton earned her undergraduate degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York and her masters degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire. She is married with two children and an avid runner and outsdoorsman.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Over the past year I've helped spearhead a number of initiatives that have advanced our channel business. We increased awareness of the programs that we have that benefit partners. This has lead to better field alignment from an end-to-end marketing perspective. We have made our marketing, across the board, more available to our partners, which includes things like demand gen programs and sales enablement. We treat our channel partners as an extension of our direct sales team and give them all the tools they need to be successful.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
We're expanding our reach to the mid-market to bring open source technologies to a broader set of customers via our channel partners. We're doing more with our ecosystem partners in solution building and go-to-market for emerging technologies. We're developing new partnerships to expand in verticals and attract new partners to bring our emerging technologies to enterprise and mid-market customers. We're increasing investment in enablement for our partners with training on co-marketing and co-selling and giving our partners responsive tools so they can be more productive. We're also focusing market development funds on strategic go-to-market initiatives to drive incremental partner business.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I've been honored by CRN twice in the past year - both as a Woman of the Channel and a Channel Chief. I believe those honors were based on the contributions I have made to Red Hat's channel program and the role I have played in ensuring its continued growth and success.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
JK Rowling. She changed the way kids look at literature and got kids reading again during a massive wave of screen time and video games. She instilled a love of reading in a generation. To have gone from living in poverty and writing in coffee shops and her car to creating a major cultural touchstone is so incredible. I truly admire her tremendously.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Take more math and science classes. As many as possible. Don't let anybody tell you you're not good at it. I majored in a science discipline, and I still think I would've benefitted from taking even more math and data analytics classes.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would learn a programming language. I think being able to write software that actually solves a business problem or helps to automate tasks we complete on an everyday basis is an efficiency gain and we should all know how to do it.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The Seventh Sense by Joshua Cooper Ramo. It's about how technology is changing the way we live, think, and build communities. It discusses how tech is pushing us to use our intelligence in different ways, and examines our hyper-networked world that's full of new opportunities and new perils.

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