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IBM Channel Chief Kate Woolley On Growing The Partner Ecosystem

Wade Tyler Millward

‘And as I listen to them, I need to be focused on – how do we build on what we’ve got but create this ecosystem of partners that love working with IBM?’ Kate Woolley says in an interview with CRN. ‘They’ve got to love working with us. That’s how we’re going to get to our aspiration.’

Kate Woolley, the newest person to take the role of IBM channel chief, told CRN in an interview that her goal is to speak with 100 partners in 100 days. So far, that goal has taken her across the globe, including Germany and the U.K.

“I spent the last – coming up on three months – a lot of time with our partners,” said Woolley, who quietly started her new role in January. “And as I listen to them, I need to be focused on – how do we build on what we’ve got but create this ecosystem of partners that love working with IBM? They’ve got to love working with us. That’s how we’re going to get to our aspiration.”

Woolley takes on the channel chief role – her formal title is general manager of ecosystem – after more than a year as IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s chief of staff.

Her previous role gave her a holistic view of the Armonk, N.Y.-based tech giant and direct perspectives” on what Krishna envisions for IBM’s channel ecosystem.

During her time as chief of staff, she worked with Krishna to define his priorities, drove IBM initiatives across the business and was part of the team leading the separation of IBM’s managed infrastructure services business and other major projects.

The former Bain & Co. partner spoke with CRN about her goals as channel chief, recent changes to IBM’s partner portal and what partners can look forward to as IBM continues to invest in growing its partner ecosystem. Here’s what you need to know.

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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