Tech Data Authority recently sat down with Cheryl Neal, Vice President of Data and Networking Solutions, to glean her insights on the world of converged infrastructure (CI). Cheryl discussed her career trajectory, the opportunity in CI and the importance of collaborative relationships. Read on for more!
To begin, tell us about your background. What brought you to technology?
Like many of us at Tech Data, technology found me. I started selling fax machines before people knew what they were! What I loved about it was that I could teach people something new that could make their lives easier. It was exciting, it could enhance their business.
After I relocated from Denver to Phoenix, I joined Avnet (now Tech Data) in a business development role. I later moved into product marketing, working directly with vendors. Having both a sales and marketing mix allowed me to understand the strategies of different vendors in multiple technology areas. It also contributed to the foundation for my current role as VP of Data and Networking Solutions.
What are some of the collaborative, multi-technology efforts you drive at Tech Data?
I’m fortunate to work on several rewarding vendor partnerships, all of which are designed to align and deliver successful end-user business outcomes. One such example is our partnership with Hitachi Vantara and Cisco. When we look at that collaboration, it’s a marker for how, together, we can excel in both the data center and converged infrastructure, with Tech Data helping to bring these two channel leaders together.
Tell us more about the partnership between Hitachi Vantara and Cisco.
The partnership centers around a new offering – the Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure. It’s a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) that combines key technologies from both companies, including Hitachi storage and Cisco compute and networking. It’s the expansion of a long-standing, collaborative relationship – one that we’re excited to help maximize in the channel ecosystem.
Tech Data helps to market the solution through our partners and drive demand among their customers. Utilizing our expertise with multi-vendor solutions – and tapping into the wealth of knowledge of Tech Data’s multi-vendor and services team – we’re able to forge a partnership that delivers a higher-level solution: one that arrives on time, is ready for implementation out of the box and is easy to deploy.
What does the new solution deliver that other solutions don’t? What space does it fill in the channel and how will it benefit customers?
Foremost, it was designed to fully utilize the expertise of what each partner brings to the table.
It leverages Hitachi Vantara’s unique vision for data-driven digital transformation and data center modernization with Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure, which leads the industry for innovation, performance and reliability.
By using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to best manage the infrastructure, Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure deliver 100 percent data availability and allow the user to store more data at a higher performance rate.
What should a channel partner who wants to capitalize on the new solution know? How should they get started working with Tech Data?
At Tech Data, we eschew the one-size-fits-all approach and look for unique opportunities to bring our partners’ strengths to bear. We offer dedicated customer service that is designed to reduce working capital. We also provide accelerated time to value through in-house inventory and a single quote, order and invoice structure—allowing you to deploy a complex solution to your end-user faster, resulting in quicker time to revenue for our partners.
Tech Data’s subject matter experts ensure the design fits the needs of the specific environment into which the equipment is going. Our partners can take comfort in knowing that they’ll work with a single point of contact; utilize a streamlined order process; and have access to field technical resources, dedicated solutions architects and integrated certified engineers. We pride ourselves on that level of support—not just with the new solution from Hitachi Vantara and Cisco, but with all solutions that we bring to the channel.
About the Author
Dena Koklanaris joined Tech Data in 2018 and leads the company’s in-house team of copywriters and content strategists. She’s proud to hone her craft for one of Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.” When not writing, you can find her on the beach or riding her bike.