SkyKick is 100% partner focused, which means it never sells directly to end customers. Kathryn Saducas, VP of Global Breadth Sales, SkyKick, explains the benefits of being partner-only focused and how the company ensures that partners flourish.
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
I am VP of Global Breadth Sales for a cloud management company called SkyKick. SkyKick is a global provider of cloud automation and management software for IT solution partners. We build SaaS software that helps IT providers to migrate, backup and manage their customers in the cloud.
In this role, I manage a global team of sellers across the US, Australia and the Netherlands. Before moving into this role, I was brought on to build our EMEA business – ultimately scaling from four employees to 50, in SkyKick’s Amsterdam office, during a short period of high growth.
When you are a small global company, it can be challenging to attract great talent in a competitive market. Managing a global team across three timezones can be somewhat challenging at times, as well.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
SkyKick is 100% partner-focused, which means we never sell directly to end customers. This is quite a unique selling proposition as many software companies operate with a customer and through partner sales model. The benefit of being partner-only focused is our ability to build strong relationships with SkyKick’s community of partners and be their trusted and preferred vendor. We have over 10,000 partners across EMEA and engage with them in various ways; through online platforms, our distributor network and sales engagement. Our partner success team is critical to ensuring partners have free support when they need it – and in their own language.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
Our partners often tell us they appreciate how we engage with them and assist them every step of the way. We focus on having a consultative approach to selling and look for ways to help our partners deliver more value to their customers in the cloud. Our products are developed to automate regular tasks and help MSPs, in particular, become more efficient and profitable when using our products. Our support team helps partners with pre-sales onboarding, configuration, enablement, training, planning and scoping projects. As such, we become an extension of their teams. This partnership and collaboration set us apart from other vendors and allow our partners to flourish.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
The world has shifted in recent months, and as such, partners’ and customers’ needs have shifted in response to this new environment. Partners are looking for value, consolidating vendors and asking how they can simplify their offerings to minimise costs and pass these savings onto their customers. Channel partners want, and need, a vendor who provides a holistic platform of services and can add value and solve for immediate challenges.
What is your management philosophy?
Fostering an open and fun work environment where people are encouraged to collaborate and work together as a team. I believe the sum of the parts is better than each individual. Being flexible and open-minded is essential and having the confidence to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I was wrong’ is key to being humble and willing to change. I strive to foster an environment where people enjoy coming to work (which is even more paramount in our new remote work environment) and are respectful of their teammates and our partners – and ultimately want to deliver a quality experience every day.
When you look back at your career, what has been the most memorable achievement?
I have been fortunate to have worked through several disruptive periods – during the dot.com boom, I worked in the gaming industry when console games outsold cinema blockbusters. Then during the cloud transformation era (which continues), helping partners adapt from an on-prem world to a cloud-first world. These defining events set the stage for my career and helped me adapt to working in ambiguous environments and embracing change.
What made you think of a career in technology?
In all truth, I fell into the IT industry when a friend of mine encouraged me to apply for a role at their company. It was a lucky event, as I have been fortunate to have had amazing experiences working across four continents – Australia, Latin America, Asia and now Europe. The IT industry is a global and progressive landscape that has taken me outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to learn and work with channel partners all over the globe.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2020?
How COVID-19 has affected the world we work in and how MSPs and IT companies adapted to an immediate and changing environment. The cloud-enabled customers to be productive overnight and reminded us all about the importance of being connected, while teaching us new and improved ways to collaborate and communicate through these challenging times.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
In a pre-COVID world, I liked to spend time traveling, exploring the world and the cities around me, as well as swimming and spending time with friends and family. Right now, reading and jigsaw puzzles have been thrown into the mix.