Lynn Sauder, vice president of Infor Global Alliances, and Leigh Lebow, Infor Partner Network director, have been named 2015 CRN® Women of the Channel.
The Channel Company's annual list honors outstanding female executives across vendor channel organizations, distributors, solution providers, and other women prominently involved in the IT channel ecosystem for their successes and the far-reaching impact they are having on the technology industry. This year's Women of the Channel were reviewed and selected by the editors of CRN (Computer Reseller News) based on their accomplishments and the influence they wield over the technology channel.
"The momentum we continue to experience in the Infor Partner Network can be attributed to Infor's commitment to innovation and investment in partner-specific initiatives, as well as the work of instrumental team members like Lynn Sauder and Leigh Lebow," said Jeff Abbott, Infor senior vice president of Global Alliance and Channels. "They are both invaluable to our organization, contributing directly to our ability to deliver a world-class partner program that attracts leading organizations from around the world with in-depth industry expertise and the ability to help our customers maximize the value of their Infor investment."
"In the past year, I have restructured a global team to align our partnerships by solution, geography and industry to optimize our coverage model and be in a better position to scale," Sauder (pictured at right above) told CRN. "I have implemented a model that focuses on building a strong pipeline with industry and management consulting firms, who have brought more than 100 leads to Infor in the past year. We work strategically with ten global SI firms in targeted industries and solution areas to scale our ability to work with larger, multi-national customers and leverage our strong regional SI partnerships to build our Infor CloudSuite™ business."
Sauder was asked what initiatives Infor offers to support women in the workplace. "In 2014, Infor's COO, Pam Murphy, launched a program called the Women's Infor Network (WIN), a career development initiative with strategic emphasis on growing female talent," she said. "Throughout Infor, we have established local groups, each led by a WIN facilitator. The groups meet on a regular basis to discuss various topics and share insights. Topics follow a company-wide, virtual training series for professional development and include subjects such as: managing your brand, dynamics of power and influence, and developing high performance teams. I have been a facilitator for a group of about 15 women since the program began."
CRN asked what advice Sauder would give to young career women. "Recognize that you are a work in progress. Look for opportunities to learn more, gain experience and broaden your view of the world. Don't let failure stop you, but look at any failure as an opportunity to learn and improve. Realize that you always have choices and that your questions and your perspective have as much value as anyone else's. Force yourself to take on new challenges."
"Our focus is to deliver key sales and marketing enablement to our Infor partners. Together, with internal teams, we were able to provide content syndication, campaign tool kits, an asset co-brand campaign center and additional tools to allow partners to truly become an extension of Infor's sales organization," Lebow said. "With my team, we recently improved the partner page on infor.com, enhancing the finder and database tools. We also supported the development of global and regional partner advisory committees."
Lebow said Infor's goals for its channel business over the next year include "allowing partners to enhance cloud practices, migrate customers to the cloud and double-down on engagement in the micro-vertical. We will also continue to create ease in how our partners do business with Infor. We are dedicated to providing partner exposure to Infor's executive management and industry and solution experts through our partner advisory committees."
Lebow told CRN her female role model is Pam Murphy, Infor's chief operating officer, "because Pam's approach to business and finding a work-life balance seems effortless. She shows me that in order to be successful, women don't have to choose; work hard and we can be fulfilled in both our careers and as mothers."
Her advice to young career women: "Be a great listener. Respect yourself, own what you know and what you don't. Know that it's okay that you make mistakes, but take responsibility for them and move on. Be collaborative, have fun and don't take yourself too seriously. Don't be afraid to say that you don't understand something, this will earn you respect and allow you to learn faster."
The Women of the Channel will be featured in the June issue of CRN, and online at www.CRN.com.