CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Susie Cummings

Sr. VP of Managed Services, SWC Technology Partners

Location: Oak Brook, IL


Number of years in current position: 15

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 30

Twitter Handle: @SWCTechPartners

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
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Can ride a horse

Biography and Background:
I currently serve as Senior Vice President of Managed Services at SWC Technology Partners. I lead our practice from a business development, client engagement and financial performance perspective and serve as client executive for large strategic accounts. I am responsible for evolving our solution portfolio to address the changing needs of our mid-market clients and leveraging the solid foundation that Managed Services has built over the past 12 years. Prior to joining SWC, I spent over 20 years in various business development, account management and operational roles. I'm committed to educating, inspiring, and enriching our clients' outsourced IT experience and believe we've got the best hands-on team in the business. This year, I helped start the SWC Women in Technology (WIT) Group, which currently has 45 members (as women now make up more than 25% of SWC employees). The mission of our WIT group is to support women at SWC by offering individual mentorship, career advocacy, access to resources and promoting female role models in an IT workplace.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I'm fortunate to have a unique perspective in that I work closely with both our delivery and sales teams while still actively engaged with our clients. This has helped me understand market trends and lead the strategies to support them. One thing I've recognized is that while technology is advancing so quickly, people are not as quick to adopt it. And what good are tools if no one is using them correctly, or at all? I've focused heavily on aligning our end-user support and enablement services to make sure our clients are receiving the value from their technology investments. Collaboration with our client partners to design holistic technology solutions is important, but understanding that everything starts and ends with people is what has differentiated us and helped us grow.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
We've been focusing on evolving our services alongside technology, which never stays still for very long. Our high-touch end user support, hybrid cloud management, strategic planning and full-service, comprehensive IT outsourcing are designed to address the changing needs of our mid-market clients. Demand for IT outsourcing is an area of tremendous growth for our team. It's personally important to me that we maintain our culture of superior customer service and focus on career development for our team members. I always say that happy employees make for happy customers, so we can't lose sight of the value of our people.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I'm honored to have been named to the CRN Women of the Channel list for the third consecutive year. I'm also very proud to be part of a team that was named to CRN's 2017 Managed Service Provider 500 list in the Elite 150 category, which recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I've been a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker for years. She seems to operate with a high level of integrity and is a notoriously hard worker, having come from humble beginnings. She's developed a multi-million dollar brand and is active in its ongoing development and management. SJP has used her fame as a platform for good, serving as a UNICEF Ambassador and working to fight hunger, AIDS and improve education. I met her in-person once in NYC and she was very down to earth and funny. I admire how she's navigated fame, business and family - not an easy feat!

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell myself that success is a combination of hard work and luck - but the more people you have in your corner, the better your chances of reaching your goals. No one can do this alone - you need to advocate for yourself and be deliberate about finding mentors. Having mentors to give you guidance and support as early on as possible will help you immensely both personally and professionally. Learn from the successes and failures of others and then share it widely as a mentor to the next generation of future leaders!

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I'm intrigued with Data Analytics. So much of my role is tied to developing business strategy and measuring impact, and advancements in data science tools have really changed the game over the past few years. Managed Services and performance management is very data-driven, so to be able to easily transform hard data into business insights really improves decision-making. Having data on my side helps drive improvement and maximizes the value we provide our clients. The better insights I have into our service delivery, the better decisions I can make for our business and client partners.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Dan Harris's 10% Happier. He was a workaholic reporter and news anchor that was pushing himself so hard that it caught up with him in the form of an live on-air panic attack. He was basically a danger junkie always searching for the next challenge and upward mobility. He realized he needed to change his lifestyle, and it's a real lesson in the importance of finding a healthy work-life balance. Work hard, rest harder!

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