In the Cisco ecosystem, many important players on the team ensure that Cisco distributors and partners are set up for success. From understanding the trends in the market, the ins and outs of Cisco solutions, to understanding how partners can build their own Cisco practices, the people behind the scenes are critical to success.
For our latest installment of the Meet the People series, we are featuring the Cisco team of experts in distribution and channel sales. This team understands what resources a partner needs from the manufacturer and works hand-in-hand with the distributor to provide access to education, training, and a new sales approach. They also play a key role in SYNNEX Comstor’s success in achieving recognition as Cisco’s distribution partner of the year.
Pippa Sturkey, Partner Distribution Account Manager, Cisco
Time at Cisco: 12 years
Time Working with SYNNEX Comstor: 2.5 years
Time in this industry: 20 years
Pippa Sturkey learned about the partner community early on in her career when she started as an outside sales representative selling IBM Thinkpads to hospitals and utility companies. “This early experience taught me a lot about the partner community and how much work they do to be successful,” she reflected. She continued her career in the IT Channel and has been with Cisco for 12 years, where she still is excited by “the chance to help partners grow through distribution and seeing sales happen and needs for solutions being solved with Cisco.” For the past two and a half years, Sturkey has worked with SYNNEX Comstor, working to bridge the partner community with the value of distribution and the value of Cisco. She helps partners connect with the right teams and assists in coaching them on how to be successful based on their current practices.
“It’s paramount to me that the partner experience is as full and easy as it can be. Ultimately, it comes down to help in whatever capacity I can and that is what drives me,” Sturkey said. “Of course, executing and growing sales is a byproduct of helping partners be successful. When they win, we all do.”
Matt Shemroske, Channel Account Manager, Cisco
Time at Cisco: 2 years
Time Working with SYNNEX Comstor: 4 years
Time in this industry: 6 years
Matt Shemroske is an experienced Account Manager with a history of working in the manufacturer, reseller, and distribution areas of the IT industry. He explained to us how important it has been, especially during the pandemic, to find fulfillment in his work in delivering the technology that makes an impact.
“In any job, it’s important to know you’re providing worth to the greater good. In our roles, it’s sometimes hard to see the actual impact but the technology we sell is helping organizations achieve greatness,” Shemroske explained. During the pandemic, Shemroske saw first-hand how the technology impacted those close to him including his fiancé, who is a nurse on the front lines. “While my fiancé is out there physically saving lives, we get to provide technology to help her do it. Along with security for her hospital, they use virtual conferencing to connect with doctors and family members.”
“This is only a very tiny example of how we help provide longevity for our partners and customers,” Shemroske noted. “I believe it’s important to help provide access to better technology so we can have a better future.”
Ryan Pollard, Partner Distribution Account Manager, Cisco
Time at Cisco: Under 6 Months
Time Working with SYNNEX Comstor: 15+ Years
Time in this industry: 15+ Years
Ryan Pollard started his career in the IT channel more than 15 years ago at SYNNEX Comstor in distribution, and has since then embraced many opportunities including his latest role on the Cisco team.
In his role he continues to track the trends and technologies that have only been amplified and accelerated since the pandemic. This includes technologies that enable more security and allow for connectivity for hybrid environments for distributed workforces. “The way we work, socialize, and conduct commerce have all changed significantly during this time. And many of those changes will be sticking around for the foreseeable future, if not permanently,” Pollard said. “Cisco, probably more than any manufacturer, is well-positioned to address the challenges these changes will bring about. SYNNEX Comstor and our Cisco team have embraced these changes and responded accordingly.”
Pollard also noted that 2020 and the pandemic not only impacted the trends in the market but also how employers, employees, partners, and customers interact. “We are all experiencing this extortionary event at the same time, and in very similar ways. Rarely in human history does one event affect all of humanity in the way that this pandemic has,” he explained. “Because of that, we all have a little more empathy and understanding for what one another is going through. That empathy does carry over into our work lives, and I believe improves our working relationships. A little more understanding, a little more listening, will go a long way with our coworkers, mutual partners, and customers.”
Dan Scholl, Commercial Sales Associate, Cisco
Time at Cisco: 9 years
Time Working with SYNNEX Comstor: 2 ½ years
Time in this industry: 30+ years
As an industry veteran, Dan Scholl has spent more than 30 years in the technology industry. He was initially introduced into the telecom and networking field through a friend, and Scholl embraced it. During his years in the industry, he has seen how quickly the technology and solutions have adapted and evolved over time. “Over the years, we’ve seen the demand that has required that any application be available from anywhere via any device,” Scholl said. This has never been more apparent than with the most recent impact of the pandemic. “Our team is able to adapt to changes quickly and message changes to the partner community.” Scholl noted that one of the biggest lessons learned during this past year was that, “We all need to be able to adapt. Partners need to rethink their business models, and we are available to help them with the transition.