CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

One of our "Power 100 Vendors"

Colleen Kapase

Vice President of Partner Go-to-Market, Incentives and Programs, VMware

Location: Palo Alto, CA


Number of years in current position: 4

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 20

Fun Facts:

Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has climbed a mountain
Can ride a horse

Biography and Background:
Colleen Kapase graduated from University of Washington, Foster School of Business Administration going into her first role as an analyst at a boutique channel consulting organization, MSI Consulting, based in Seattle. After working on channel strategy for clients including Compaq, HP, Inktomi and Citrix she joined the Citrix channel headquarters team in Florida. Concluding five years and working her way to Director of Channel Programs at Citrix, including an EMEA and Asia Pacific headquarters assignment for a year each respectively, she then chose to join VMware and never looked back. Completing 10 years at VMware, Mrs. Kapase has launched deal registration at VMware, transforming the formerly VIP partner program to the improved VMware Partner Network (VPN), launched partner solution competencies to enable partners to build practices around all of VMware's solution areas.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
With global responsibility for Partner Go-to-Market and Programs at VMware, l led my team in the last fiscal year to streamline programs, optimize our incentive portfolio, and enhance our channel tools to accelerate growth. VMware's terrific fiscal year 2018 results demonstrate the power of our team in enabling our channel ecosystem to embrace and leverage those programs and tools as a vehicle to solve customers' business problems with VMware technology. I am thrilled to be part of this team and with our combined accomplishments and the resulting strong customer momentum we see entering 2018.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My VMware channel goals in 2018 are to: 1) grow partner-led bookings via aligned investments and integrated demand generation, 2) drive and support new customer acquisition targets in our high-growth product lines, 3) accelerate partner activation to drive adoption of our cross-cloud architecture through program and incentive alignment, and 4) scale partner-led services engagements by investing in channel capacity and deployment capability.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was named to CRN's Channel Chief list for the 3rd consecutive year, again being honored as VMware's first female Channel Chief. I also have the privilege of serving on VMInclusion, a council led by our CEO Pat Gelsinger and Corporate SVP and Chief People Officer Betsy Sutter. Made up of VMware global business leaders, the council works to drive a business-led cultural transformation by setting the Diversity & Inclusion strategy for the company.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Betsy Sutter, VMware's chief people officer. I think she is doing a great job identifying ways in which we can improve how women and minorities are represented within VMware, and even in the industry, by doing things such as hosting the event, Women Transforming Technology, at VMware. Betsy is also driving other VMware initiatives, including Women Who Code. I am incredibly awed by her ability to just tackle the issue of diversity in the technology industry.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would say not to compromise to be or do what others might expect of her, and to not be quick to judge or dismiss future opportunities because of that. When I first started in the channel, most faces I saw and worked with were very different from mine. However, I felt great satisfaction and still do today. The channel is a great opportunity for women; it leverages core female capabilities like communication and networking while still allowing us to have a technical background. There are just not enough female channel leaders.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I've never 'carried a bag' as a partner salesperson. My job is to help the field hit its objective, and know how to motivate the channel to move deals through the pipeline. While we all have some level of instinct as well as a strong team to guide us, having that feet-on-the-street experience is priceless. If I could go back and take on a sales role for a year or so, I have no doubt it would enhance my experience and add to the success I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy as a channel leader.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
"Consumption Economics - The New Rules of Tech" by by J. B. Wood, Thomas Lah, and Todd Hewlin. Cloud computing is fundamentally changing how our end customers are purchasing and deriving value from technology. Consumption Economics was a good read for helping technology executives and practitioners understand the impact of these changes on vendors, IT departments, and for businesses of all sizes.

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