Biography and Background:
Walaa has worked in the channel industry for more than 12 years. She joined Symantec in 2012 as a Commercial Partner Account Manager and continued to advance her career within the company, over the next few years. When Veritas and Symantec split, she was asked to take on a Channel Director role to drive alignment and execution of joint strategies with some of Veritas' top channel partners. In her current role, Walaa works with strategic Veritas'partners to align the company's business objectives, create joint business strategies and drive execution to increase business growth. Prior to the IT industry, she studied to become a genetic counselor. Her educational background earned her a college degree in Cell Biology and Genetics.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I am a strong believer in being able to focus on the critical issues, be prepared, plan, execute, have regular check-ins and course corrections, and that will lead to success. With that in mind, planning last year began by understanding my partner's go-to-market (GTM) strategies, sharing our business strategy, and creating joint business priorities. I worked with my team and my technical and marketing colleagues to comprise a plan to achieve revenue growth to achieve those business priorities, as well as identify leading and lagging measures of success. Communication and regular cadence allowed the team to assess progress, share and discuss the innovative solutions with our partners, and course-correct throughout the year. This is especially important in our dynamic and ever-changing channel industry. It has been a personal goal of mine to continue to develop and grow my team. Having a happy and motivated team is the secret sauce to success and year-over-year growth.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Veritas continues to build innovative solutions to help customers gain visibility into their data and be able to use it to make business decisions to ensure business continuity. My goal is to enable our partners and provide them with all the tools to help our joint customers with their journeys to multi-cloud, data privacy, security, regulation compliance, optimization of app performance, and improved resiliency capabilities. Our joint success and growth will help to achieve this goal.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I am honored to mentor three women, two of them who work at Veritas, and a 27-year old woman who finished medical school, this past year. Mentoring all three women and helping them navigate their lives and careers has been one of my most rewarding experiences.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
One of the women who helped to shaped my life is Gertrud Pillay, who was a vice president when I first started my career in the channel. She taught me to be strong, to look at the big picture, to focus on what's important and what I can control, and to always care for the people I work with, and my employees. While she has since retired, she continues to be a very important person and role-model in my life.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Always follow your dreams and be true to yourself. Work hard and fight for what you want and what you believe in. While life can be challenging, it's up to you to enjoy it, learn from it, and use the difficult times to become the best person you can be. Also, make certain that as you become successful and rise in your career and personal life, you lift the people around you.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I'd want to have deeper marketing skills, especially in social media. Customers are changing and interacting with us differently today than yesterday. It's important for sales people to sharpen their social media and online marketing skills to stay connected to our customers.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes, by Margaret Heffernan We often forget that effective teams are made of well-connected individuals that share ideas and engage on a regular basis. Creating a workplace culture that embraces individualism and encourages new perspectives is impactful to a team's morale and increases productiveness. Every manager can create a better environment by making small changes. This book reminds us of the importance of work culture, and how we can make such changes as leaders.
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