Biography and Background:
Katie Nielsen joined STORServer in 2002 with a focus on sales and renewals for the company's software products developed for IBM Spectrum Protect™, including Archive Backup Client (ABC), OpenVMS Spectrum Protect Client and STORServer Console (SSC), a daily administrative tool for Spectrum Protect. After years of working closely with STORServer's business partners and finding success in her position, Katie took on an additional role as channel manager, focusing primarily on customers in Canada and broadening STORServer's partner base to resell its flagship Spectrum Protect Backup Appliance solution. Katie's role and responsibilities have grown over the past 17 years and she is now the primary senior channel manager, working closely with business partners across the U.S. to expand their backup, archive and disaster recovery product lines and help customers with their data protection needs. Katie also serves as account manager to end-user appliance customers and coordinates communication and product fulfillment requests between customers and business partners. Prior to entering the IT industry, Katie was with a leading financial services company for over 12 years. She has a bachelor's degree from California Lutheran University.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Katie is the senior channel manager for STORServer's partner program that spans the entire United States and she is focused on growing the company's channel partners and supporting its existing partners, so they can sell more STORServer solutions. By offering award-winning backup appliances built on IBM Spectrum Protect software, STORServer provides its channel partners with fully integrated enterprise backup appliances that can protect both physical and virtual environments. Katie has successfully positioned STORServer's new cloud offerings to provide customers with multiple architectural options around cloud offerings for disaster recovery, as well as direct to cloud services for automated backup, archive and disaster recovery. This past year Katie has helped several customers implement multi-appliance solutions, leveraging new Spectrum Protect features and resulting in higher deduplication savings, greater storage usage and better replication time. She has helped customers implement their own internal cloud with multiple appliances, providing them with complete control of their backup data. In fact, Katie helped one of the nation's largest transit agencies streamline its data backup environment, resulting in a 60% reduction in data backup and recovery times and a smaller datacenter footprint that lead to significant cost savings.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Over the next year, Katie will focus on achieving growth among elite partners and top resellers to increase both STORServer's and her client's business. Katie plans to arm top resellers with the knowledge they need to strategically position and sell STORServer products. In light of STORServer's new ground-breaking products, Katie will continue to increase channel partner's awareness of the offerings, providing needed knowledge on Spectrum Protect Plus, new backup appliances and expanded cloud options. Overall her goals are to increase channel partner revenue with a focus on elite partners while also expanding her current channel partner base.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Katie was fortunate to be named one of CRN's Women of the Channel in 2017 for her leadership, vision and unique role in driving channel growth and innovation.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Katie admires Sandra Day O'Conner for her achievement as the first woman to be elected to the United States Supreme Court. Katie is inspired by Sandra's determination and perseverance and appreciates the work Sandra did to break a glass ceiling and open the door for all women, though it took an additional 12 years before another woman was elected to the Supreme Court. Sandra's triumph encouraged Katie throughout her college years and she continues to be motivated by her success today. Sandra proved to women that no position is too high to pursue and that all career paths are attainable.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Katie would tell her younger self to say "yes" more often. While this phrase might be simple and straightforward, Katie believes the new beginnings and experiences available after saying yes can be life changing. Once a person says yes to activities like trying a sport or joining a school club, it opens doors to many exciting opportunities. Though the act of saying yes can be scary and will most likely take a person out of their comfort zone, the breadth and depth of opportunities that open up after a person says "yes" make it all worth it.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Katie has always been interested in learning how to code software and believes in today's tech-driven world that it would be an incredibly useful skill. She enjoys the idea that crafting a string of commands can lead to creating anything from a video game to various types of software programs. There are many applications consumers use in everyday life, such as checking the weather, counting daily steps and making dinner reservations, that are all made possible because someone wrote code. Overall, Katie would love to explore creating code to keep up with today's technological demands.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Reading has always been a favorite pastime of Katie and she typically chooses books that allow her to relax and unwind. This year, she especially enjoyed Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham as a fun book about the escapades of an aspiring actress. She found it entertaining to immerse herself into the main character Franny's trials and tribulations and appreciated her growth and change as the character learned what matters to her most. The book is written in a funny, witty dialogue that resonated with Katie and showed how the character was able to achieve success by believing in herself.
Unedited Content Provided By Participants