25 Innovative Partner Ecosystem Leaders

Having a partner ecosystem strategy is no longer a “nice to have”.  Partner ecosystems is a topic that is at the top of mind for CEOs and Boards as they drive to have their companies innovate and compete in today’s fast-moving market.  The current issue of Harvard Business Review asks the pointed question “In the Ecosystem Economy, What’s Your Strategy?”.  

A recent Accenture survey showed that, while most executives have plans to or are already building an ecosystem to respond to threats of disruption, many partner ecosystem leaders are discovering how challenging it can be to drive results, discover best practices, and navigate the changing ecosystem landscape.  The topic has exploded, so we’ve collected a page of top research on the Ecosystem Economy and Ecosystem Cloud.

At WorkSpan, the category leader in Ecosystem Cloud, we celebrate leaders and innovators in ecosystem strategy that are laying the groundwork for success and tapping into the enormous ecosystem market. 

We’re interacting regularly with some of the top innovators in the Partner Ecosystem space.  So we wanted to share our list of top 25 professionals we think you should follow and why we love what they’re doing to advance the art and science of managing business ecosystems.  

If ecosystems has become a strategic topic for your company, keep an eye on this group of innovators to make sure you’re at the top of your game as well!

Our List (in no specific order):

Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President One Commercial Partner Channel Chief | Microsoft

Gavriella_Schuster

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About Gavriella:

Gavriella has provided over 20 years of leadership in digital and cloud transformation roles, driving strategy and execution spanning from business model and product development to launch, marketing, sales, and partner development. She has led global recruitment, enablement, and engagement in Microsoft’s fast-growing partner ecosystem.

Content We Love:

A leader in promoting diversity in tech, Gavriella continues to drive the industry forward and open up paths to inclusion. At Microsoft, she is an avid supporter and promoter of the program to accelerate growth for #WomenInTech.

Gavriella_Schuster

 

Accolades and Expertise:

Gavriella has been recognized by her colleagues for her skills in cloud computing, go to market strategy, enterprise software, product management and many more. She leads by example and hence, is viewed as an industry leader. Her championing of diversity and inclusion sets her apart as an industry leader.

Tom Stuermer, Global Managing Director, Ecosystem | Accenture

Tom_Stuermer

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About Tom:

Tom is leading Accenture’s global ecosystem organization, including partnership development, resale, channel activation, and ecosystem support services. Accenture has been at the forefront of all the latest research around ecosystems —- and they are making good on that research by building a world-class ecosystem organization under Tom’s leadership. In building Accenture’s ecosystem organization, Tom has enabled a dramatic transformation for their clients through joint innovation and market development.

Accolades and Expertise:

Throughout his career, Tom has been involved in partnerships in a variety of industries, from aerospace to medical equipment and consumer electronics, to high tech and communications. His diverse experience has built his reputation and recognition of his  IT strategy, business process improvement, business intelligence, and strategic planning skills.

Karl Fahrbach, Chief Partner Officer | SAP

Karl_Fahrbach

 

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About Karl:

Karl leads SAP’s world-class channel organization, supporting partners through digital transformation and transition to the cloud. His philosophy establishes a transparent, consistent, and mutually beneficial relationship with partners. He has helped launch programs that increase partner profits, such as the SAP PartnerEdge Cloud Choice and the SAP Anywhere Referral Program.

Content We Love:

Karl believes that the customer experience and the partner experience are tied together, and a good partner experience is key to delighting customers. He talks about this next generation of partnering in this blog post, and we found his insight to be spot on. He writes that a next-generation partnership should match industry trends and free partners from strict channel segmentation by developing and innovating their IP and creating better offerings for their customers.

karl farhbach: A Great Customer Experience Starts With a Great Partner Experience

Accolades and Expertise:

Karl leads a global team at SAP and focuses on growth for his team members. One of the hallmarks of a good leader is how they empower their organizations to take on and own a strong vision and execute it well. Karl’s interpersonal skills have stood out to his associates. 

“I had the opportunity to work with Karl on a strategic project in SAP which is now deployed globally. Karl has excellent thinking and interpersonal skills. He thinks strategically, understands the business very well, and can turn this into operational assets and processes that support the business. He relates to people in an open, friendly and very professional manner.” — Frederic Hebert-Le-Bronec, Vice President Sales University, SAP

Kevin Ichhpurani, Corporate Vice President, Head of Global Ecosystem and Business Development | Google

Kevin Ichhpurani

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About Kevin:

Kevin expertly builds world-class teams and incubates new businesses. He is a leader in strategic planning and business development, ecosystem development, M&A, complex OEM sales, and developing new monetization models and routes to market. Kevin truly understands how to create a cooperative environment, even in a competitive market.

Accolades and Expertise:

Kevin is not only an innovator, but he’s also a collaborator. His ideas offer a fresh take on a solution, but he’s not just a visionary, he’s also committed to the follow-through. Here’s just one of the accolades he’s received — this one from SAP CEO Bill McDermott, a tremendous innovator in his own right:

“Few know the innovation-to-execution process better than Kevin. A strong leader and trusted colleague, he has my full confidence to help shape a new IT industry. I’ll always be in his corner!”

Gretchen O’Hara, Vice President, Go-To-Market Strategy, One Commercial Partner | Microsoft

 

Gretchen O'Hara

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About Gretchen:

Gretchen is a powerhouse at Microsoft and drives the partner ecosystem strategy and cloud revenue across all customer segments within the U.S. Her decades of experience make Gretchen a sought-after speaker and mentor. She has held numerous positions within small and large technology companies.

Content We Love:

In a blog post for Microsoft from this year’s International Women’s Day, Gretchen advocates for women in marginalized industries like tech with the hashtag #BalanceforBetter, “with the goal of creating a more gender-balanced world.” As a thought leader, she also offers suggestions for how to get more women to follow an educational and career path in STEM.

 

Gretchen O'Hara: Closing the Gender Gap with Women-in-Cloud

 

Accolades and Expertise:

Gretchen has been endorsed repeatedly by colleagues for her cloud computing, business development, product management, and product marketing skills. She was recognized by Ernst & Young on their list of 40 under 40 Top Executives.

Gretchen takes on diversity, equality and is passionate about closing the gender gap as a founding member of Women in Cloud, an organization which “bring[s] together the voices and insights of a diverse range of female luminaries from the worlds of business, technology, and politics for the betterment of women who are carving their path in technology and the cloud.

Jenni Flinders, VP, and Global Channel Chief | VMware

Jenni_Flinders

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About Jenni:

As VMware’s vice president and global channel chief, Jenni Flinders is responsible for the strategy behind VMware’s global ecosystem of solution providers, distributors, OEMs, and telecommunications partners.

Content We Love:

When looking at other industry leader’s careers, it can be tempting to try to map out and imitate their career moves to try to achieve the same success. However, as Jenni writes in her LinkedIn post – every person and career path is different, and by following a few simple principles, one can find career success.

Jenni Flinders: one goes alone

 

In 2017 she gave a TEDx talk about the DNA of an image: “A picture is worth one thousand words. Just as DNA provides the unique coding of our genetic makeup, technology is enabling the analysis of the unique coding of an image.” The IT channel could use more unique thinkers and powerful communicators like Jenni.

Accolades and Expertise:

A true leader, Jenni, is known for her skills in strategic partnerships, enterprise software, leadership, and strategy. She’s also received the National Diversity & Inclusion focus award and has been listed in CRN Channel Chiefs.

Tom Roberts, Global Vice President, Software Solutions Program | SAP

Tom Roberts

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About Tom:

Tom has 20 years of experience in both strategy and execution. He envisioned and built the SAP Solution Extensions (“SolEx”) business at SAP. Throughout his career, he’s created long-term relationships with major ISV software brands both on-premise and in the cloud. These solutions help to complete SAP’s own solution offerings and are integral to SAP’s intelligent enterprise strategy.

Content We Love:

Tom and his team recently launched a #LinkedInLive series of live video interviews that brings top partners together to offer knowledge leadership for followers focusing on topics such as digital transformation and best business practices. 

Tom roberts: Linkedin Live session

SAP has been a leader in the execution of cloud software delivery. Here’s what Tom wrote about how businesses are capitalizing on the speed and agility cloud solutions have to offer for business leaders to innovate intelligently.

tom roberts

Accolades and Expertise:

As a senior executive at SAP, Tom has grown not only SAP’s business, but also the careers and skills of those on his team. Many of his associates praise his thoughtful leadership, willingness to listen, and the ability to provide win-win solutions in many different scenarios. 

Tom has done an amazing job of developing and rapidly expanding SAP’s software solution reseller program. It’s truly one of a kind in the industry growing from nothing into a several hundred-million-Euro business in three years under Tom’s leadership.” — Dan Maloney, CEO at ZEPL.

Kevin O’Brien, SVP, Alliances, OEM & Analytics Sales | PTC

Kevin O'Brien

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About Kevin:

Kevin is a worldwide leader of sales and strategic alliances for PTC. He’s led a strategic alliances team covering PTC’s relationships with leading technology vendors in the fast-growing and ecosystem-heavy IoT industry. 

During his time at Oracle, Kevin developed a business plan for Oracle’s first SaaS partner strategy. He led business development to a sell-to model which helped elevate Oracle to power 19 of the 20 top SaaS companies while he was senior director there.

Accolades and Expertise:

Kevin clearly understands the shift from a reseller to an ecosystem model that organizations have had to adopt in recent years. As an early adopter, he led the way in go-to-market strategy, solution selling, and business development, and continues to push for innovation in his field. His colleagues have noted his experience in strategy, product management, strategic partnerships, and business alliances.

Colleen Kapase, VP WW Partner & Alliances | Snowflake

Colleen_Kapase

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About Colleen:

Colleen has built a career in partner sales strategy that spans over 20 years. She has developed a deep understanding and focus on the strategic importance of partners to a technology vendor’s sales success.

She’s known for architecting economics-driven strategies, working with sales execs to evolve programs and incentives to meet changing company needs, and driving ROI reporting.

Content We Love:

Colleen was featured in CRN’s Women of the Channel blog. In her profile, she discusses how she had advanced VMWare’s channel business over the previous year, her goals for the business in the upcoming year, and some of her professional achievements.

Colleen Kapase: Woman of the Day

We particularly liked her advice on why more women should be involved in the channel. In her words, “I believe the channel is a great opportunity for women; it leverages some of our core capabilities as females, such as communication and networking, while still having a technical background. I think there are just not enough female channel chiefs.”

What Colleagues Say About Colleen:

Colleen is a team builder, which makes her stellar in a channel role. Her expertise in managing people and understanding of professional relationships has led to glowing recommendations from her colleagues, such as this one:

“To say Colleen understands the channel is a gross understatement. Colleen knows the ins and outs of channel better than anyone I’ve worked with. She’s driven teams and initiatives to success again and again. I worked for Colleen in several roles for 5+ years. As one of her team members, she helped me understand channel economics and the importance of having data and solid business cases to drive channel strategy.” — Cynthia (Cindi) Johnson, Partner Programs Director at Tanium.

Chris Morgan, Global Vice President, Partners, and Alliances | UIPath

Chris_Morgan

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Watch an Alliance Aces video podcast interview with Chris.

About Chris:

Chris currently leads a global partner sales organization developing an ecosystem of partners who add value to UIPath’s solutions and technology. UIPath is one of the hottest and fastest-growing companies in the already hot RPA (Robotic Process Automation) business.

During his career, Chris has led service provider strategy and go-to-market programs. Among his achievements are building the industry’s first go-to-market program where the service provider is considered a go-to-market partner rather than the end customer. He has been instrumental in building a working relationship with channel partners and ensuring their channel strategies align.

Accolades and Expertise:

Chris was named on CRN’s prestigious list of 2019 Channel Chiefs. CRN’s annual Channel Chiefs list includes IT leaders who continually drive growth and revenue in their organization through their channel partners, and who demonstrate exceptional leadership, vision and commitment to their channel programs.

chris morgan

Steve Blacklock, VP Global Strategic Alliances | Citrix

Steve_Blacklock

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Watch an Alliance Aces video podcast interview with Steve.

About Steve:

Steve is a successful executive leader of global alliance relationships with global high tech industry leaders with a proven track record of building and overseeing business relationships, leading to more than $1.25B in generated annual revenue and bookings. He has broad business development and alliances skills related to services, hardware and software companies. 

Content We Love:

Steve seeks to elevate women in tech and particularly those finding success at Citrix. He’s highlighted young professionals before, like this tweet about one of the youngest ever Citrix Certified Associates.

steve blacklock

Accolades and Expertise:

Steve is known for his skills in cloud computing, strategy, SaaS, and go-to-market strategy. He recently spearheaded the Alliance Aces Meetup on – key success principles for digital transformation. In this interview at the Alliance Aces Community, he talked about how alliances have changed the game for Citrix.

In his interview, Steve says that the fundamentals don’t change in strategic alliances — you should manage your business, understand sales, strategy, product roadmap, and marketing strategy in addition to your channel strategy. Further, he teaches the importance of understanding your partners’ resources and capabilities to execute your plans successfully.

Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development | Microsoft

Peggy_Johnson

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About Peggy:

Peggy leads the team responsible for driving strategic partnerships and transactions to accelerate growth for Microsoft and its customers. She also oversees strategic investments through corporate venture fund, M12.

Content We Love:

Peggy is passionate about women in STEM and regularly talks about ways in which the tech world can encourage more women to have successful engineering careers. Here’s an example of her advocacy.

peggy johnson

Peggy has also written about how to change the perception and trajectory of women in tech. She tells the story about how she entered tech and why the specific mentoring she’d received led to a life-long career in the industry. In the end, she offers solutions for how technology leaders can hire and nurture diverse talent.

Accolades and Expertise:

In addition to her remarkable advocacy work, Peggy is known for her leadership skills in strategic partnerships, business development, strategy, and product management.

Steve Steinhilber, Global Vice President Ecosystem Development | Equinix

Steve_Steinhilber

 

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About Steve:

Steve is a 15-year veteran in strategic alliances and ecosystems, as well as a published author. He’s driven over $5B in annual business with his alliance partner contributions.

He’s received numerous industry awards from Forbes, ASAP, Conference Board, IDC, AMA, and other key organizations for alliance leadership and excellence, including corporate social responsibility.

Steve’s career in global business development and go-to-market enablement has led to partnerships in emerging markets, dozens of critical business alliances, and ultimately billions in partner-led revenue. He was also instrumental in the creation of an industry certification program.

Accolades and Expertise:

Steve’s book, About Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work, contains a wealth of knowledge for alliance professionals who want to learn more about how to harness the competitive and strategic advantages that alliance partnerships have to offer. In the words of one of his colleagues:

“Steve and I worked together for more than three years incubating and scaling IoT solutions and services portfolio. Steve’s depth and breadth of knowledge of the IoT market, relationships with all major IoT players and leadership and cross-functional skills were key to us having a successful GTM strategy and execution success. For any IoT business, Steve will be my go-to partner for advice.” — Ratan Agarwal, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at CARBON Group Global

Tony Beller, VP of WW Global Strategic & Technology Alliances | Anaplan

Tony_Beller

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Watch an Alliance Aces video podcast interview with Tony.

About Tony:

Tony manages a diverse and vibrant partner ecosystem by driving revenue through reseller, MSP, outsourcer, ISV and OEM channels. He has accelerated growth with global strategic partners and ensured customer success with a partner ecosystem.

During his career, Tony has led sales teams with the mindset of creating enablement content and programs that produce delighted customers and build an ecosystem of partners that are genuinely brand evangelists.

Accolades and Expertise:

Tony’s experience has taught him to be a superstar leader. He understands how to motivate teams and build meaningful partnerships and get work done. Here’s what one of his colleagues said about their time working together:

“Tony is a cutting-edge consulting services leader with acute knowledge of consulting selling and delivery in a software company” — Jacques Dumais, VP of Product Delivery at IVADO Labs

Brandon Sweeney, Senior Vice President, WW Commercial, Dell and Partner Sales | VMware

Brandon_Sweeney

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About Brandon:

Brandon has more than 20 years of experience building and leading global field and partner sales operations. At VMWare and elsewhere, he has championed hiring and retaining diverse team members to better connect with customers. Brandon was instrumental in driving VMWare’s focus on cloud orchestration and other emerging technologies. He has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of channel strategy and is known for transforming the Cloud Provider Program.

Accolades and Expertise:

Brandon’s experience as a channel expert, particularly at VMWare, is recognized among customers and colleagues. According to Mark McKeever, principal at MicroAge:

“[Brandon] Sweeney has a solid vision about where to take [the channel business] with partners.”

Hannibal Scipio, Global Partner-to-Partner (P2P) Lead, GTM and Programs, One Commercial Partner | Microsoft

Hannibal_Scipio

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About Hannibal:

Hannibal has 15 years of technology and leadership experience across the technology industry and the public sector. He is the lead for the partner-to-partner motion in the GTM and Program team at Microsoft, where 95% of revenue comes from partners. His work on the partner-to-partner programs is enabling partners to collaborate, driving digital transformation for themselves and their customers.

Accolades and Expertise:

Colleagues say Hannibal is known for his skills in software development, strategic planning, market analysis, and data analysis. He’s also involved with his alumni association and served as vice president for the Greater Boston Morehouse College Alumni Association.

Attis Bouillon, Director of Global Software Partner Sales | Intel

Attis_Bouillon

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About Attis:

Attis works with partners in the space where hardware and software meet. He engineered a joint go-to-market strategy consisting of a unique value proposition where software partners utilize Intel products and technologies to deliver a new and promising solution to a targeted customer base. He has decades of experience working within complex environments in the U.S. and Asia.

Accolades and Expertise:

Attis’s skills include insight and analysis, stakeholder management, business development, supply, and operations planning, problem-solving leadership, change management, leadership, and team building. He’s also received the Global Microprocessor Demand Forecast Award from Intel for enabling Intel to meet demand with excellent profit margins.

Jennifer Kerr, VP, Customer Programs | OpenText

Jennifer_Kerr

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Watch an Alliance Aces video podcast interview with Jennifer.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer leads the Global Channels and Alliances organization at OpenText. Her team executes on the Global Partner Program strategy and direction, driving partner-sourced demand, and customer success through the channel.

Content We Love:

WorkSpan interviewed Jennifer in an Alliance Aces podcast about her secrets and tips for building a quality network that drives win-win results for the whole ecosystem. At OpenText, she breaks down her programs into three categories: revenue, training and certification, and loyalty points. This way, even partnerships that may not be immediately valuable or might be a little slower on the learning curve can still be considered relevant, and businesses can focus on the quality and not the quantity of partners. 

Jennifer Kerr: 3 Secrets to Building a Global Alliance Program

Accolades and Expertise:

Jennifer is known for her skills in SaaS, account management, and building world-class global partner programs.

Helen Morin, Vice President, Global Alliances & Channels | SAS

Helen_Morin

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Watch an Alliance Aces video podcast interview with Helen.

About Helen:

Helen leads the Global Alliance and Channel organization to bring maximum value to our partners and customers. She believes partnering is an intentional decision to work more closely with another organization for mutual gain. She’s passionate about leading a collaborative organization.

In her interview on Alliance Aces, she talks about how four tactics on managing a global alliance network. 

  1. Continually grow your network
  2. Find the customer pain
  3. Analytics
  4. Sharing stories.

Helen Morin: 4 Tactics on Managing a Global Alliance Network

Accolades and Expertise:

Her colleagues endorse her business intelligence, development, solution selling, and data warehousing skills.

Sanjay Jindal, Head of WW Partner Investments and Incentives Sales | VMware

Sanjay_Jindal

 

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About Sanjay:

Sanjay is a sales and channel executive skilled in building high performance, end-to-end integrated sales teams. He has deep sales experience in managing customers, channels, and building the required infrastructure to support them. He has more than 15 years of extensive experience in the Americas and international markets.

What Colleagues Say About Sanjay:

Sanjay is an expert in using data and a statistical approach to managing and developing partner sales. Moreover, he’s also known for being an avid & focused mentor who is invested in his team’s success on an individual and collective level. In the words of one of his associates:

“I worked with Sanjay for more than 5 years at VMware. Sanjay held a number of roles across commercial sales, and partner sales across the Americas. He is a strong driver for change and advocate for any group he sees delivering high-quality impactful work. I collaborated with Sanjay on multiple aspects of our partner programs related to his routes-to-market and segments and found him to be a wonderful partner who was always setting a high bar for his team and for VMware.” — Philip Larson, Head of Global Partner Enablement, Google Cloud

David A. Wilson, Senior VP, Head – Infosys Partner Ecosystem | Infosys

David A Wilson

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About Dave:

At Infosys, Dave is responsible for extending current alliances, designing new partnership models, partnering relationships, developing new channel business lines, and an overarching global business partner management system. 

Accolades and Expertise:

As the ecosystem marketplace continues to evolve and rapidly change, successful alliance and partner managers should be able to drive their business forward quickly and efficiently. In addition to his ability to develop an agile, digital strategy, colleagues say Dave’s skills include cloud computing, sales, and security.

David Stone, Vice President, and GM, Worldwide Ecosystem Sales Leader | HPE

David_Stone

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About David:

David’s career includes a diverse set of experiences ranging from global P&L managing, McKinsey consulting, driving operational excellence, developing growth strategies, and executing complex partnerships. He has a passion for driving impact caused by digital disruption. His industry experience ranges from technology companies, services-oriented companies, public sector, and electric utilities. 

Accolades and Expertise:

David is responsible for worldwide partner strategy and execution, and as such, he’s tasked with building a world-class team that can deliver on these partnerships and provide guidance and oversight to keep the programs on track. His colleagues have noted his extraordinary skills in bringing those expectations to fruition.

Cecilia Flombaum, Worldwide Lead — Business Applications Partners | Microsoft

Cecilia_Flombaum

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About Cecilia:

Cecilia is an advocate and a believer in ecosystems as a way to help people and companies achieve more. Her team plans Microsoft’s partner ecosystem needs for business applications around the world, accelerates their ecosystem, and executes plans through their global partnerships.

At Microsoft, she is responsible for developing, inserting, and communicating Microsoft’s cloud business strategy within the enterprise customer segment. It entails developing sales business models, synergizing with other technologies and roles, and building how they measure success.

Accolades and Expertise:

Cecilia has led strategy and management for more than 400 people in over 50 countries while developing and managing a channel partner ecosystem. A crucial part of her job is providing her partners and team members with the tools they need to do their jobs. In addition to this, Cecilia is skilled in cloud computing, business intelligence, and solution selling.

Krishna Gopal, Global Head — Enterprise Business Solutions  | Tech Mahindra

Krishna_Gopal

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About Krishna:

Krishna combines his passion for technology with business understanding to achieve business outcomes. He has incubated new businesses in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa, and India.

Content We Love:

Krishna writes about the digital shift and digital disruption and how to keep pace with ecosystem partners. He explains why it’s crucial to build a reputation for your business as a digital front-runner. Adopting a “Digital-Inside” approach means that you should adopt the technologies that are quickly becoming mainstream at the same time as or before your partners to keep pace. Innovations such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and automation are critical for businesses to adopt and utilize. He also writes about these topics on his blog.

Krishna Gopal: The Digital Shift by adopting Digital Inside

Accolades and Expertise:

Krishna has built a wealth of knowledge and insight throughout his career, which he shares with his colleagues in blog posts and through personal interactions. He’s known for being a creative thinker and approachable about a variety of business topics. Here’s how one of his associates has described him:

KG is one of the best persons and professionals I have connected with. A brilliant leader, tirelessly working for the growth, improvement, and success of all folks around him. A true gentleman.” — Ricardo Bendoraitis, Senior Executive

Emmanuelle Morice, SVP Eco-System, Global Partners, Strategic Alliances | Atos

Emmanuelle_Morice

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About Emmanuelle:

Emmanuelle is a senior executive, specializing in go-to-market & business model innovations. She builds digital businesses and designs transformation for growth strategies for large and mid-size enterprises.

Accolades and Expertise:

Emmanuelle specializes in new technologies, enterprise applications and platforms, business transformation, global competitiveness, and digital innovation. She also serves on the EY Global Women in Business Advisory Council.

Moving Forward

In the world of business ecosystems, finding professionals who are skilled and willing to offer their knowledge and experience can help boost your efforts and provide you with innovative solutions to your toughest challenges on the job. We recommend that you follow, engage, and join these leaders in the conversations around business ecosystems.

References:

  1. In the Ecosystem Economy, What’s Your Strategy? by Michael G. Jacobides | Harvard Business Review 
  2. Cornerstone of future growth: Ecosystems | Accenture

About the author

Vishal Kalia

Vishal is the Director of Content Marketing & Social Media and leads our Alliance Aces Community. He has been in marketing for 14+ years and writes about ecosystem cloud, alliance strategies, and digital transformation.