CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Sara Foley

Sr. Director, Product Management, SolarWinds MSP

Location: Boulder, CO


Number of years in current position: 4

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 10

Fun Facts:

Has worked for a solution provider organization
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert

Biography and Background:
Sara Foley is Sr. Director of Product Management at SolarWinds MSP. She has worked in the software industry for over 15 years and is currently responsible for managing the MSP Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platforms and services. With a background in support and escalation management, she brings a unique combination of technical knowledge and business insight to her role at SolarWinds MSP. Sara's passion is to deliver quality products that empower her customers to fuel their business and be successful. She is a firm believer in transparency through all levels of the product lifecycle and enjoys building strong relationships with SolarWinds MSP partners and customers to ensure their needs are being addressed and supported with the solutions she oversees.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
In Product Management, it's our purpose to listen to the customer and deliver the types of solutions that allow our MSPs to grow their business and customer base. Throughout this past year, I have had the opportunity to lead focus groups designed to gain greater insight into our partners' and customers' specific needs and product interests. We continue to see the number of Mac devices in the workplace grow and the need for them to be managed similar to Windows systems. We are significantly growing our Mac solution and will continue to add multiple service offerings in 2018. The team and I have also focused on bringing technology from SolarWinds core products into the MSP platform. We recently launched NetPath, a feature available in SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM). NetPath monitors connectivity from your users to the services they care about. It determines what infrastructure is in the path and where traffic slowdowns are occurring. The MSP market has shown a high adoption of cloud/SaaS applications in the small-to medium-sized business sector, making this a perfect fit. By having continuous conversations with partners, I am able to better deliver solutions that solve their challenges, while also fueling their business growth.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Over the next year, my goals for my company's channel business are not just around growing the business and revenue, but to enable our partners to be as successful as possible. One of my top goals is to continue to increase our focus group interaction and our engagement with partners. I will continue to bridge the strategic vision of SolarWinds MSP with the needs of our customers and partners. This will ensure that we bring in new service offerings that not only strengthen our core platform, but also strengthen the success of our MSPs in the market.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
2017 Women of the Channel award

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Oprah Winfrey - because she gives away cars. Kiddingin all seriousness, I found her recent speech at the Golden Globe awards to be simply amazing. Her message to women and young girls was inspiring, to say the least. I also admire the work that she does to bring education to girls in Africa. I have personally had the opportunity to install solar electricity for schools in Tanzania and the simple experience of seeing the students able to read at night is like no other. I will never forget the students asking if they can use the lights during the rain.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would advise my 16-year-old self to be a little less serious and to not put so much pressure on myself. I would also remind myself of a few core concepts - Be Yourself. Be Transparent. Work Hard. Follow your instincts. I feel like I have continued to follow these simple guidelines throughout my career and they have helped me to be successful in every position that I have held - from being on the front lines in Customer Support to leading Product Management.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
If I could master one job-related skill, it would be coding. Although I did take a bit of coding in college, by no means am I a developer! I would love to master writing code so that I would be able to help our development teams to meet their deadlines when unexpected items arise. I would also love to be able to review code requests so that I could help ensure the project is technically going in the right direction. Thankfully, I have great developers who I can count on today.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The best book that I read this past year was "Wonder", by Raquel Jaramillo. I coincidentally started to read this with my son while he was reading it for a school assignment. While the book focused on the acceptance of people with differences, I also enjoyed the story around perseverance, second chances. and true friendship. We later shared the book with Grandma when she came to visit last Christmas.

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