Insight into the career of Lisa Strydom, Channel Manager Lead for Africa at Veeam
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
I joined Veeam over five years ago and look after a number of distribution channels and partner relationships. I was recently promoted to Manager of Channels for Africa, overseeing the strategy for the Africa channel from on-premises solutions to the cloud offerings in our portfolio.
The Veeam channel team collaborates with our distributors to drive our products and services to new and existing partners and ensure that each is enabled through appropriate training and support. We do this in a number of ways via online training, face-to-face forums, or individual training and support. I prefer to use a white board rather than traditional PowerPoint as this makes the sessions more interactive and allows us to collaborate.
I see daily challenges as opportunities. Working for a global brand while delivering in an underperforming economy (with a challenging exchange rate) can be tough, but I work with a professional team who goes the extra mile to deliver what we promised.
When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?
A real career highlight was when I won the Veeam EMEA Channel Manager Award at the end of 2017. It’s a prestigious annual award and I was up against numerous colleagues from around the world, so this made it even more special that I won.
What made you think of a career in technology?
I enjoy working in IT because it’s exciting and always changing – I never get bored. I started in IT recruitment and was soon offered an IT role at Citrix. Seeing Veeam grow each year makes me very proud.
What style of management philosophy do you employ at your current position?
My management style is to not micromanage people. I have high standards; the team understands my expectations and does what they need to do. Veeam is also an awesome workplace, so this makes a big difference. Our core values such as our speed, our team, our passion and our enthusiasm reflect the personality of Veeam, our business approach and corporate team spirit.
What is your style as a team leader?
I believe that we are all adults, it’s a very mature culture. We work very hard, but also have fun. I also believe that I have the right people in the team, we all enjoy working together and go out of our way to support each other.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2019?
Data breaches, attacks, ransomware incidents, and so on are a daily threat and continue to make headline news. The reality is that these attacks can happen against any business, in any industry, at any geographic location. From small startups all the way through to large multinationals, no company can consider itself safe.
Solid business rules should still apply when it comes to protecting data. In this regard, one of the best strategies is the Veeam 3-2-1 rule. This rule states that organisations must have at least three copies of their data, store the copies on two different types of media, and keep one backup copy offsite. By following this approach, organisations will always have an available and usable backup of their data and systems.
Taking preventative action is always better than being caught on the back foot and scrambling to recover. Offsite and offline backups not only mitigate the effects of ransomware, but when combined with the right security suite and employee awareness training, can help prevent the problem altogether.
Another talking point is 5G. With 5G deployment being predicted for South Africa from this year onwards, it will be interesting to see how this changes our data usage as businesses and consumers.
The more data that is being created and stored represents an opportunity for South African business to understand consumers and business customers. That can only be realised with effective cloud data management, that ensures data remains accessible and secure no matter the device being used to access it.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
Family is very important to me. I am married and have a daughter that is in primary school. We love being at home and really enjoy the outdoors too. I am a keen mountain biker and have competed in many long-distance races – Sani2C being one of them.
How do you cope with stress and demands of your career?
I believe that balance is the only way to cope with stress and that it’s very important to take care of yourself. Exercise is vital for this balance and helps with focus too.
What gives you great job satisfaction?
Achieving the milestones that have been set and demonstrating the results. Seeing the growth in team size and revenue since I joined five years ago has been very motivating, proving that hard work and determination pays off.