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Natural born leaders: RingCentral’s Women of the Channel winners

Ring Central Blog

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Of all the lessons to emerge from the past year, one is the value of strong, measured leadership. 

While the pandemic has affected us all in both personal and societal ways, organizations with adept and compassionate leaders have lessened the blow, and in some cases, thrived.

Here at RingCentral, we’re beyond thankful to say we’re among that group, thanks in no small part to leaders across the company. On the Partner Team, however, two individuals deserve special recognition.

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That’s why I’m honored to break the news that both Lisa Del Real and Wendy Harmon were recently named 2021 Women of the Channel winners by CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company!

Many of you know Lisa: she helped establish our Partner Program and has now been awarded this prestigious honor eight years in a row. What’s more, Lisa was named to the exclusive Power 100 list for the fourth consecutive year… incredible!

As for Wendy, she joined us last year and made an immediate impact in leading our Partner Programs, as evidenced by her winning this award after her first year in the channel—a tremendous feat on its own.

In their respective roles, both Lisa and Wendy demonstrate three key qualities that define great leadership.

Tackling change head-on

First, strong leaders adapt—no matter how historic or disruptive the circumstances may be. 

In the midst of global changes to how we work and live, the RingCentral Partner Program went through an evolution of its own. After serving as the cornerstone of the Partner Team for nearly a decade, late last year Lisa took on her next challenge, assuming the role of RingCentral’s VP of Strategic Partnerships for Avaya Cloud Office.

In doing so, she handed over Partner Programs to Wendy, and the two worked together to ensure a smooth transition for our increasingly global organization. Given that this was all done remotely, with the entire company working from home for the first time, that was no small task.

Where Lisa helped create the culture the Partner Team was founded on, Wendy adapted it for an all-digital working environment, stepping in and building the remote rapport necessary to continue that successful tradition.

Finding new solutions

Second, leaders innovate, finding new ways to enable and succeed in a dynamic world. 

Prior to her new role, Lisa was instrumental in introducing a new way for partners to win with RingCentral, through the IGNITE! Partner Program. An optional complement to Channel Harmony, IGNITE! empowers partners to fully own the sales process for all SMB and Mid-Market deals. 

While plans for IGNITE! were in place long before the pandemic began, it allowed partners to more swiftly deploy our unified communications products to businesses faced with transitioning to remote work overnight. Going forward, under Wendy’s development, the IGNITE! Program will continue to drive partner independence in building a work-from-anywhere world.

Wendy has also brought a fresh perspective on the customer journey to the Partner Team. For partners, that means a renewed focus on post-sales support, ensuring end-users realize the full benefits of moving to the cloud. With initiatives focused on promoting usage and adoption, this can help partners reduce churn and increase customer return on investment.

Building new relationships

Finally, at their core, leaders connect—across organizations and the globe.

For Lisa, that means building an entirely new support network for our unique strategic partnership with Avaya and our joint product, Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral. We are always looking for ways to help customers make the transition to the cloud. This relationship represents a potential powerhouse for years to come, and I am excited to see Lisa lead the charge in building it.

With Wendy, that means growing our support network for international partners, as we continue to see strong inroads throughout Europe, Australia, and beyond. To truly connect, you have to approach people on their terms, with an immersive, regionalized experience for each new market. Think local on-the-ground support, a translated Partner Portal, plus in-language events and marketing assets—all of which we’re ramping up this year. 

For these reasons and more, Lisa and Wendy are natural-born leaders—something we’ve all come to appreciate recently. 

So please join me in congratulating both Lisa Del Real and Wendy Harmon. Thank you both for your passion and drive, and well done!

See the full list of 2021 Women of the Channel winners at www.CRN.com/WOTC.

Originally published May 10, 2021, updated May 06, 2021

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