It can be argued that Shannon O’Connor, director, IBM Canada (NYSE: IBM) Business Partners, has the most important job in the IT channel in Canada. Consider this: besides large enterprises such as banks and government, every other piece of business in Canada falls into IBM’s SMB organization, which is serviced through solution providers. This is a large, multi-billion dollar area that O’Connor is responsible for.
Her mandate since taking over from long time channel chief Gary Isaacs in 2007 has been the growth of IBM products and services sold through the business partners network. In her 25-plus year career at Big Blue, O’Connor has also made it a priority to act as an advocate for solution providers within IBM Canada, as well as driving sustainable growth for the channel, she said in a previous interview with CDN.
O’Connor has held several positions at IBM Canada and in IBM North America. Most recently she was director of IBM global services channels. O’Connor is also a member of IBM Canada’s senior leadership team for sales and distribution.
The University of Waterloo graduate in Applied Science and System Design Engineering continues to be a member of Women in Technology, a CATA Alliance umbrella organization, which aims to advance women in the technology field along with encouraging young women to enter the IT industry.
Her focus there is to encourage future leaders to pursue technology-based careers.
On a recent panel discussion put on by the IEEE Toronto Women in Engineering, O’Connor said people need to be responsible for their own skill development. At IBM, for example, the company looks for individuals with technical and broad business skills such as communications and negotiation skills.
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