Last week, Barracuda announced several new strategic investments to invigorate the partner experience and increase success within the channel ecosystem. These investments are explained in detail in the latest press release. Included among these investments is the promotion of Karen Ward, VP, MSP Sales, Americas.
Karen has been with Barracuda’s MSP business unit for more than six years, focusing her and the team’s efforts on partner success and development. We recently sat down with her to learn more about her experience working in the channel and what she’s looking forward to most in the year ahead.
Q&A with Karen Ward, VP, MSP Sales, Americas
When did you first join Barracuda?
I joined Barracuda in 2017 when they acquired Sonian, a provider of public cloud archiving.
What drew you to work with the channel?
I accidentally started working with the channel when I was doing direct sales for a software company and identified an OEM partner opportunity with a prospect. I realized if I closed them, I could grow the relationship as they sold our software to their customers. I brought the opportunity to the CEO, and he not only let me close the deal but promoted me to their OEM partner manager. The one-to-many model just made more sense to me.
What do you hope to accomplish in the coming year?
I hope to build a strong culture of Succeed Together within our sales organization. It’s one of Barracuda’s core values that I believe is most important. We have a strong portfolio of solutions and a lot of talented sales reps so if we can work together as a team both internally and with our partners, we will achieve our goals this year.
What do you enjoy most about working with the channel?
The collaboration. We are experts within our field and our partners are experts within theirs. Together we can deliver exceptional service to customers.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have two young boys; I have no spare time!
Is there anything about you that might come as a surprise to your colleagues and partners?
I was a journalism major in college and started my career working in marketing at a publishing company. I still think back to the day when I walked into the VP of Sales’ office and asked if I could join his team as their sales coordinator. When I’m hiring young reps today, I make a point to focus on their drive and ambition, not on their experience. I want to give them a shot like he gave me.
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