CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Tara Fine

Sr. Director - Channels, Canada, VMware

Location: Toronto, ON


Number of years in current position: 1.5

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 8

Twitter Handle: @TFineChannel

Fun Facts:

Sits on a company board
Has a mentor
Is a mentor

Biography and Background:
Tara's career spans 20+ years of progressively senior roles, providing service and partnership to an array of customer segments, with the past 8+ years focused in the Channel. Tara joined VMware in 2016 as a key member of the Executive Leadership team, where she has been tasked with driving the revenue growth of VMware Canada's businesses through its full partner ecosystem and community. Prior to joining VMware, Tara was the first Canadian Channel Chief for Dell Canada, responsible for developing and executing the go-to-market strategy for commercial channels. Prior to this, Tara served as the Director of Sales for the North American Mid-Market Commercial Channels at Dell. She also held sales leadership roles within the Consumer, SMB, Online and Operations divisions at Dell, including in project management, as she relocated and took on the launch and sales leadership of Dell Canada Sales based in India in 2003. Tara was appointed a founding member of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council of Canada in 2013 and continues to serve on the board in addition to leading efforts with building the Channel accreditation program. In 2016, she earned her Certified Canadian Channel Chief accreditation and Trust Mark by the C4 council of Canada

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
When I joined VMware and started speaking with our partner community about their relationship with us, there were two areas of feedback that stood out. First, it was clear that our partners loved our technology and believed VMware continues to be an integral component of their strategy when working with their customers to solving business problems and innovate. Second, some were eager to figure out ways to improve our relationship. With that in mind, over this past year I have spent time understanding our biggest challenges preventing us from growing the business with our partners and how to get to a place where we are perceived as one of the best partners. In collaboration with the senior leadership team, I've been working to create programs and engagement models that will make us more predictable to our partners and continue to work on the creating engagement models that will define how to drive exceptional quality partner engagements with our field teams (when, how, etc.) vs. quantity. Furthermore, by demonstrating the results we can drive and what the opportunity is in Canada, have been able to invest resources in many partnerships and "big bet" initiatives.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Building a partner-centric culture and driving awareness of who VMware is today with our partner community is paramount. I'm working to create a culture internally that understands the value of partners and components of a "great" partnership and proving if we get it right, it will be a differentiator for our company, partners and customers. For our partner community, my goal is to drive awareness around our solutions, aligning their goals with our solutions that are key market differentiators, helping them drive incremental impact to their business and differentiate them, and add the most value possible to their customers.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was honored as a recipient of the CRN 2017 Women of the Channel awards.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Given the platform that the #metoo movement has created over this past year, I must say that I admire every woman who has had the courage speak their truth. 2017 brought to light prevalent issues impacting women in all industries and every walk of life. I am inspired by every woman who has used their voice to share their stories in hopes of helping and protecting others.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
"Everything you want is on the other side of fear"

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
As the industry continues to evolve and the world changes rapidly, there is such an immense opportunity to develop new skills to stay relevant and be able to help customers and partners in accomplishing their vision. And while there are multiple areas I would like to develop, I am fascinated by AI and mastering everything about it I possibly could would have to be No. 1.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Last summer I participated in an IT channel luncheon that celebrated women making an impact in the Canadian Channel industry, and heard Barbara Stegemann share her story as the keynote speaker. Barbara's story is remarkable one though what struck me the most was her authenticity and how she turned such a difficult personal experience into building and using business for good and affecting change. I was so moved and inspired, I bought her book that same day. Philosophical yet practical, with wisdom to pull from across all aspects of life, this book has become one of my all-time favorites.

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