CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Elizabeth Burton

Director, Global Strategic Partner Marketing, Avaya

Location: Somerset, KY


Number of years in current position: 1

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 10

Twitter Handle: @ebethavaya

Fun Facts:

Has an advanced degree (a degree higher than a bachelor's degree)
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Is a mentor
Loves Instagram
Is an extrovert
Can ride a horse
Has written a song
Has always wanted to be a teacher

Biography and Background:
Elizabeth Burton has been a leader in the tech industry for almost 10 years. Currently, she is Director, Global Strategic Partner Marketing at Avaya where she facilitates go-to-market initiatives and new business opportunities for partners. As Director of Global Sales and Partner Enablement, Elizabeth led the creation and deployment of programs/tools that increased productivity and revenue for Partners. Prior to her work with Avaya, Elizabeth served in executive leadership positions with technology and healthcare companies, where she worked with partners to expand their market reach and improve their profitability. As U.S. Director at a global technology company, Elizabeth and her team secured millions of dollars in external funding for partners and their customers to purchase technology solutions. Elizabeth has presented at numerous technology conferences, including ATA, HIMMS, ISTE, USDLA, UBTech, NRHA, KySTE, TxDLA, NYSCATE, GaETC and ACTEM. She was recognized by NIST for her service as a 3-year Examiner with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the only formal recognition of performance excellence given by the President of the United States. In 2013, Elizabeth was designated as a Woman Worth Watching by the Profiles in Diversity Journal. She has a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
Avaya went through an enormous transformation over the past year, and we needed to equip our partners with the best resources and tools to navigate this transition and maintain the confidence of customers. One way that we were able to do this was through enablement and communications. I created a new partner enablement communications process and overall enablement branding that provided a cohesive platform for product information and transition communications. I also brought to Avaya a new learning platform to transfer knowledge to Partners more rapidly, and in a variety of formats. Finally, I served as part of a tiger team that created a mobile app for Partners that provides information, tools and resources on any mobile device. I was also part of Avaya's core team that planned its transition from a privately-held company to a public one. I helped re-define the messaging for our Partner ecosystem and helped craft ongoing executive messaging to Partners so that they could confidently maintain a partnership with us, and obtain support and resources to retain existing customers. I also incorporated the voice of the Partner into our product / solution development process to ensure market alignment and go-to-market readiness.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
We are acutely aware of how important our partners are to a successful Avaya future. To that end, we have simplified channel operations and aligned our sales and marketing resources so that it is easier for partners to do business with us. We will continue to grow our cloud business, and have made investments in channel programs that will reward partners for selling Avaya strategic technologies. Finally, we are expanding our partner ecosystem to include companies that can innovate with us and capture niche markets using technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain. We are hyper-focused on growth with channel partners.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I have been recognized internally by Gary Levy, VP for Americas Channels, for my contributions to various channel strategic planning processes and for Avaya ENGAGE, Avaya's largest annual event focused on the communications experience.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I very much admire Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook. Sheryl has been a strong advocate in promoting women in the technology industry, and has led, or has been a part of, these conversations for years. Despite research that more diverse organizations perform better, diversity in tech, particularly in leadership positions, is still lacking. Sheryl and has recently started #MentorHer, to encourage men in leadership positions to mentor women so that they get the visibility, networking and actionable feedback to succeed. Sheryl is helping to keep the conversation about gender inequality front and center, so that lasting change occurs.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell my 16-year old self to be confident in your talents and to never lose sight of your goals. Understand that failures do not have to be viewed negatively, but can be turned on their head and used as positive learning experiences to help understand what went wrong, prevent future mistakes, and to advance successfully towards goals. I would also tell myself to shed the "negative" more quickly, whether it's a negative work environment or a negative person. Don't let others steal your joy and fire. Smile when you greet someone, and always pay kindness forward.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
If I could master any new job-related skill, it would be product engineering. I would love to be able to build a brand new technology solution that would help solve a major business problem or address a major need in the world. I've seen first-hand how technology enables patients in rural areas to get access to healthcare through telemedicine, or how students in poor school districts get access to music and foreign language instructors through distance learning. This is life-changing stuff! I think it would be enormously fulfilling to build something that positively impacts a generation of people.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
The best book I read over the past year was Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. It's an interesting read on how we make decisions. We mainly use two systems to judge the world around us: Fast and Slow. The Fast system is unconscious and is based on past experiences and emotions. The Slow system is rational, conscious and slow. These systems work together to provide us a view of the world around us. Either one of these systems can lead to poor decision-making. This is a great book for understanding how to make better decisions.

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