This post was authored by Lauren McEwen, Channel Sales and Claudia Lee Senior Director, Partner Marketing Nutanix
At Nutanix we already know that we have the best Channel team in the industry. But when key channel professionals in our company are recognized by our strategic partners - that adds even more evidence to this fact. We recently sat down with Lauren McEwen, winner of the CDW Partner Rep of the Year 2018 Award, to learn about her approach to partnering, priorities, and people.
Q: Why do you think you have stood out amongst your colleagues in the industry?
First, let me say I’m surrounded by some of the best channel managers in the industry here at Nutanix, not to mention an incredible extended team including marketing, sales, product, and sales operations. Being surrounded by so many talented people has challenged me and helped me grow since joining the Nutanix team. Our collective efforts help differentiate the Nutanix brand from all others. In addition to representing an incredible brand, I strive to keep the mutual goals of both my partner and my own company at the center of everything we do.
Q: What’s special about the partnership between CDW and Nutanix?
CDW was an early supporter of Nutanix and has been integral to our success. As Dheeraj says, “we stand on the shoulders of the channel to outdo the big guns.” CDW was one of the first to hoist us onto their shoulders. As our largest global partner, CDW has made a huge impact on who Nutanix has become as a company.
Q: How would you describe your partnering “philosophy”?
My first job out of college was with CDW. Since then I have either worked for or with them in some capacity. Although I have represented multiple brands across a variety of positions - CDW has always been the constant. I feel a responsibility to advocate for CDW just as I do for Nutanix. That sense of responsibility includes the success of the individual sellers I support. If they are achieving their goals, then I am achieving mine. Because ultimately we win or fail as a team.
Q: Looking back on this year with CDW, what are you most proud of?
I focus on the West Coast business. We have made a tremendous amount of progress in our alignment and adoption over the last year. CDW is not only a relevant partner but a crucial part of each sub-regions’ business. In fact, CDW is a top partner in every west coast sub-region in either revenue, number of net new customers, or both! That’s an incredible accomplishment.
Q: What advice would you have for folks just starting out in the channel?
Be present (literally and figuratively).
Technology gives us the ability to work from anywhere. We can maintain connection via our phones, email, and social media -- but nothing beats the personal connection. It’s essential to building trust, loyalty and a strong partnership. Consistently being present in your partner office gives you the opportunity to connect.
In addition we feel the need to be masters of multi-tasking. However, there are some things that deserve your undivided attention. Sometimes we need to close the laptop, put down the phone and listen to the person in front of us.
Q: What’s your greatest source of learning.. a book.. a colleague.. a mentor.. ?
Hands down, my greatest source of learning is people. Sometimes it’s the usual suspects - teammates, my partner, my family, industry experts. Sometimes it’s the chatty Uber driver interrupting my laptop time and surprising me with a valuable lesson. The connections I make with others are a constant source of influence, inspiration and motivation.