Biography and Background:
Shannon is currently the VP of Channel Development for The ASCII Group, tasked with identifying and integrating trusted channel vendors into the largest business community of independent managed service providers in the world. Prior to ASCII, Shannon was a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Continuum Managed Services, the Channel Engagement Manager for LogMeIn and the Director of Marketing & Channel Relations for Datto, Inc. Shannon serves on the Executive Council for the CompTIA Managed Service Community and was named a 2016 Channel Chief by CRN. She has also been named to the MSPmentor 250, CRN's 'Top 100 People You Don't Know, But Should', and CRN's 'Women of the Channel Power 100' lists.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
ASCII membership depends on our organization to act as a "trusted advisor" when it comes to the channel vendor community. There are vast amounts of companies to partner with and products to choose from. We have found that our members do not have time to research and investigate every vendor that comes there way. To make sure that ASCII is partnering with a diverse set of high-quality vendors, I created the first "Vendor Advisory Committee", made up of about 20 ASCII member volunteers. This group helps vet vendors who are interested in working closely with our membership, advises vendors on pricing and their partner programs, and asks the tough questions that determine whether or not a vendor is a good fit for the community. The creation of this group has helped ensure that ASCII is putting the right vendor partnerships in place for the larger membership. Partnerships that are going to help our MSPs gain new revenue streams, improve their overall managed service offerings and better serve their customers.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
The core of ASCII's mission revolves around helping IT service providers, MSPs and VARs grow their businesses and be more successful. We currently have over 70 different business programs that our members can take advantage of, but we will continually have a goal of continuing to expand and improve offerings for the group. Specifically, I'd like to recruit and implement at least 10 new vendor partner discounts for the membership in the next year. Additionally, security is a big focus for the community right now and developing educational content and resources to assist the membership is a high priority.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was recently elected to the 2018 Executive Council for the CompTIA Managed Services Community by other members of that community. The purpose of the community is to support the managed IT services industry through the promotion of best practices, the development of tools and templates and the refining of educational tracks for managed services providers.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I recently listened to a really interesting Freakonomics podcast titled "After the Glass Ceiling, a Glass Cliff". The episode featured an interview with where Carol Bartz, who is a former CEO of Autodesk and Yahoo. I unfortunately was not familiar with Carol prior to this podcast, was truly inspired by her story and experiences. I won't re-tell her experience here in this blurb - but her words were insightful, thoughtful, unapologetic and full of great nuggets of knowledge to think about in the days to come. Absolutely someone that I admire and was interested in learning more about.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
There are so many things I would tell my younger self, but here are the Top 5: 1. Don't worry so much about what people think of you. 2. Don't be afraid to stand-up for yourself and ask questions. 3. Be confident in your abilities. You're capable of more than you think. 4. Keep being curious and adventurous. 5. Be a little nicer to your parents, they are going to end up being your best friends.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I know my way around excelbut admittedly, it's the long way. I know basic formulas and can use the tool at an intermediate level (if I'm being generous), but it would really help if I was nimbler with the program. When it comes to analyzing data, and looking for trends, excel can be a huge time saver. I know this is something I need to invest more time in and hope to put that in my goals for this year.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I think the best book that I read this past year was "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)", which is a non-fiction book by social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. This book was super interesting and incredibly eye-opening. It goes into the mechanisms in our brain, which prevent us from admitting our mistakes, shows how this causes damages in all areas of life, and provides valuable starting points to finally start owning up and admitting them. I think twice now when I find myself making up self- justifications to deal with the cognitive dissonance my mistakes create!
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