By Tamara Prazak
Tina Gravel, senior vice president of global channels and strategic alliances, Cryptzone, was recognized by Cloud Girls in collaboration with Women in the Channel (WiC) and Channel Partners, the leading resource for the telecom and IT channel community, as a Trailblazer in the second annual Cloud Girls Rising Awards announced April 12, 2017, at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.
The Cloud Girl Rising award was created to honor women in the telecom and IT channel who have shown leadership and innovation in the emerging cloud space as well as to inspire more women to step forward and follow their example. This year the award was given to two Trailblazers and one Rising Star.
Gravel was honored as a Trailblazer, a female technology industry veteran who is paving the way for Cryptzone, its customers and the cybersecurity industry to advance cloud and next-generation technology solutions. She is recognized as a role model and mentor to colleagues and the partner community.
Since joining Cryptzone, Gravel has been an education agent for positive change in the channel about what it takes to protect and secure the cloud. Gravel leads Cryptzone’s initiatives to create new tools that help cloud sellers understand and guide their clients to secure solutions that protect their clouds. She advises Cryptzone to be a “channel first” organization and provides incentives to the channel for qualification and identification.
“It’s an honor to receive this award, as both the channel and the cloud are two areas I’m incredibly passionate about,” said Gravel. “It’s only through working together in lock-step with sales individuals in Cryptzone’s partner community that they’ll feel confident enough to represent cloud security solutions in the channel. Cryptzone embraces the role as educator to help our global distribution channel in any way that we can.”
Tina has a long history of success in the IT and cloud space. With more than 25 years of IT experience Gravel, has expertise in security, outsourcing and cloud that contribute directly to Cryptzone’s strategic development initiatives.
Prior to Cryptzone, she served as general manager and vice president for Dimension Data’s Cloud Services Business. She also was responsible for the development and execution of cloud strategy in the Americas. Before that, she was vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Nirvanix, leading sales, marketing and indirect channel programs. Previously, Gravel held key roles at Terremark, a Verizon company, including vice president of global channels and alliances, managing partner for it outsourcing and vice president of central region sales. As a member of Terremark’s original management team, she helped guide Terremark from $400,000 in sales (1999) to a premier entity, achieving acquisition by Verizon for $1.4 billion in 2010.
Cloud Girls is pleased to share more about Gravel in this edited excerpt from her award application.
How did you get started in the cloud?
I was an instrumental member at one of the first companies (Terremark) to bring cloud computing to the channel. As vice president of the channel at Terremark, I sold the first commercial sale of cloud computing to Preferred Hotels in partnership with CDW. I created specific cloud tools, such as one for automated qualification, that completely changed the way telecom and value added reseller agencies qualified opportunities for cloud computing, as many of the hardware and network sales representatives in the channel were not trained to sell cloud. My initiatives contributed to Terremark’s growth from, essentially zero revenue in the channel for cloud revenue to over $60M in the channel related to cloud products by the time Verizon acquired the company.
What success have you had implementing or promoting cloud technology, management principles or processes?
I feel like I’ve been a true cloud pioneer. I was an early adopter and proliferator of cloud computing in the channel. In 2007, Il was “in on the ground floor” at Terremark when cloud computing was still on the drawing board. Over the past decade, I’ve continued to lead organizations associated with helping the channel with understanding aspects of the cloud. This is especially true in my work with Nirvanix, as well as consulting services related to cloud migration at Dimension Data. Since joining Cryptzone, I have been an education agent for positive change in the channel about what it takes to protect and secure the cloud.
How have you created a corporate vision for cloud services in your organization?
Over the past decade, it has been my responsibility to create, build and foster the idea of cloud computing throughout several organizations. Today, my job continues by advising Cryptzone to be a “channel first” organization. It is only through working together in lock-step with sales individuals in the partner community that they’ll feel confident enough to represent cloud security solutions in the channel. In order to leverage the channel and provide a force multiplier for our growth, we have to embrace the role as educator and help our distribution channel in any way that we can.”
How have you evangelized cloud learning? How have you mentored other women above, below and at your level?
As a member of Cloud Girls, Women in the Channel and Women in Technology International, I mentor young women interested in STEM jobs. I also serve on the executive board of the Illinois Technology Association and am actively mentoring their president as she begins to prepare for her role of CEO of the organization. I have also actively promoted activities related to fairness in technology corporations.
About the Author
Tamara Prazak is director of channel strategy and marketing for ViaWest and social media co-chair for Cloud Girls Communications Work Group.
About the Editor
Khali Henderson is senior partner at BuzzTheory Strategies and chair of the Cloud Girls Communications Work Group.