CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Jennifer Sipala

VP, Marketing, Unitrends

Location: Burlington, MA


Number of years in current position: 2

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 10

Twitter Handle: @BackupGal

Fun Facts:

Can code
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Can ride a horse

Biography and Background:
A native of Nutley, New Jersey, I proudly received my BS in Marketing from The College of New Jersey. An early career in venture capital research sparked my interest in joining a fast-growing startup, and in a twist of fate, moved a few miles from Unitrends Headquarters a few years later. Since then, I have spent 10 years with Unitrends, experiencing the excitement of explosive year-over-year growth, and most recently was named VP of Marketing which includes both our Global Partner Program and Digital Demand Generation.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Over the past year, we have focused on the monumental task of designing, developing and launching a completely new Unitrends Partner Program and a best-in-class Partner Portal. This included countless hours of partner and analyst interviews, multiple rounds of feedback, and an internal and external beta program. My team did an unbelievable job, and earned a CRN 5 Star Program award in recognition. Additionally, we've worked on developing a truly global program to support our partners around the globe, many which have unique requirements from their North American counterparts. A third key initiative was the launch of our Partner Satisfaction Program. Taking a page from our customer support team (which boasts a 98% customer satisfaction rating), this year we launched an automated survey process for partners to rate their satisfaction after each Unitrends interaction. This gives a daily pulse of our partner ecosystem, allows us to react in real-time to any perceived points of friction, and quantifiable results with PSAT (partner satisfaction) goals to keep our feet to the fire.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
World domination! Kidding aside, Unitrends is poised to have a monumental 2018 with the launch of our new partner program, industry-leading margins, a cutting edge new online portal, and a laser focus on partner satisfaction. We know our partners are a strategic extension of our company, and our goals will be focused on educating, energizing, and rewarding not only channel sales reps, but also the technical and marketing resources at the companies who are the linchpin of our success.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was humbled to be awarded as an honorary member of the Unitrends President's Club - established to reward our top channel and sales people of the year. While the trip itself was amazing, being recognized in that way for my contributions to the team was absolutely awesome.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Maria Pressley, former Chief Evangelist at Unitrends. We worked together for seven years and though she has now taken on the new adventure of opening a restaurant, she continues to be my mentor and friend. Not only did she excel in a male-dominated field, she was also able to strike a balance between being passionate about work, her beautiful family, and of course her beloved Clemson Tigers.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Don't be afraid to make mistakes - they will be one of your greatest sources of learning. Read lots of books, and then read some more. Be a leader, but know when to follow. Remember that everyone faces unique challenges and struggles while building their career so don't ever (ever!) give up.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I say with all seriousness, the art of golf is one job-related skill I would like to master. Attending channel events around the globe, there is a universal appreciation for this game. It brings people together, allows for healthy competition and good conversation. While I am a pro at driving the cart, being able to drive down the fairway would bring much greater satisfaction.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Re-reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It reinforces that it is up to me and me alone to make a success out of my life. Intelligent, hard-working people move the world forward, and these people deserve the rewards of their effort.

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