2019 CDN Women in the IT Channel Hall of Fame inductee: Cheryl McGrath

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Customers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the thousands of security solutions available on the market today. But not only has Cheryl McGrath and her team at Optiv Security helped thousands of Canadian customers make sense of their cybersecurity requirements, they’ve become the company’s shining example of growth in recent years.

Underperforming sales numbers in the U.S. two years ago didn’t stop Optiv Security’s Canadian business from experiencing an 85 per cent year-over-year services revenue growth, leading the security company to add three new executives to the team.

That positive growth continues today, according to McGrath, Optiv’s area vice-president and country general manager for Canada.

“We remain the part of Optiv that’s growing fastest,” she told CDN. “The number of new logos that we’ve got has seen a triple digit increase from the year prior.”

McGrath’s team was small enough to fit in an elevator in 2016 – there were only five of them at the time. Today, the headcount is 60. McGrath attributes much of the Optiv’s success in Canada to the way they approach the market.

“We lead with services as opposed to product,” she said, while praising the sales and delivery teams.

This approach isn’t new for McGrath, who has more than 20 years of experience in the tech industry.

Prior to joining Optiv, McGrath managed a global technology team at EMC/RSA where she led the enterprise division in Canada. She was previously a senior vice-president at Canada Post where she led and developed all e-business initiatives for the post office. Prior to that, McGrath was responsible for a $2 billion revenue line of business as the vice-president of sales and client operations with Xerox Global Services in Canada. There she managed a 1,200-person delivery arm of the company’s outsourcing division for IT, HR and finance.

During those two decades, the only consistency McGrath can recall is change.

“If someone was looking to enter the channel today, I would suggest that they have a love change,” she said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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