Session 504
The Strategic Partner Executive of the Future and the Skills Needed for Success

The role of a partner manager is to enable innovation, growth, and competitive advantage through partnerships. That's a tall order and requires quite the skill set to deliver. As companies transform to digital business models and embrace disruption as the new normal, they also assemble partner ecosystems to create resiliency, adaptability, and stickiness in their businesses. What does that imply about the skills required to continually respond to an ever-changing environment and operating in a world beyond traditional organizational boundaries? What are the skills of an ecosystem manager? How are they different from alliance management and what stays the same?

Learn from these accomplished partner executives on preparing for the future of partnering in a digitally transformed business ecosystem.


Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP
Founding Principal
Phoenix Consulting Group

Norma Watenpaugh is the founding principal and CEO of Phoenix Consulting Group ( which provides education and consulting services with expertise in go-to-market strategy, multi-channel and alliance management, and ecosystem development. Prominent clients include Amazon, Adobe, Cisco, Dupont, Dell, Google, PayPal, Plantronics, and SAP. She was named a Woman of Influence in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for her work in advancing best practices in Collaborative Business Relationships. She was recently inducted into the Forbes Business Council, an invitation only community of successful business leaders.

Norma has delivered seminars for Duke Corporate Education, the Reuters Foundation, Digital Vision Fellowship Program at Stanford University, San Jose State University Professional Development, and the American Management Association. She is a frequently requested guest lecturer and speaker at industry events speaking on partnering trends in Digital Transformation and Internet of Things initiatives.

Norma is a Board member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals and former Best Practices Committee Chair. She has led the organization in developing professional certifications and in revitalizing The ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management. She currently leads the US delegation to the ISO standards committee for Collaborative Business Relationship Management and is the liaison to the Innovation Management Technical Committee.


Rafael Contreras
Area Vice President - Alliances and Channel Ecosystem Strategic Programs and Operations and Chief of Staff

Rafael is responsible for and manages ServiceNow’s Global Partner Programs and Partner Operations strategy. He has been delivering innovative strategies and programs for top enterprise businesses for over 20+ years for companies like Vantive, Kana, PeopleSoft and Salesforce. Throughout his career, his solutions have won many industry awards, and in 2019 was recognized as a "Top Gun 51" channel executive for his commitment to innovating in the channel, streamlining legacy strategies, and dedication to customer and partner success. Most recently, he helped build and launch global customer success programs for commercial and enterprise sales teams, company-wide escalation management strategies, and new programs and operations models for partners that recognized them for their capabilities at both Salesforce and ServiceNow. He also previously served in the United States Marine Corps and is a Persian Gulf Veteran.


Jim Chow
Enterprise Cloud Solution Evangelist and Strategic Partnerships/Channels Executive

Jim is responsible for developing go-to-market strategic partnerships with large global system integrators for Google Cloud. Jim brings 25+ years in enterprise software experience across large companies and startups. For the past 15 years he has focused on his passion: teaming with strategic partners and building global channels to help enterprises achieve new levels of growth, agility, and competitive differentiation through the adoption of cloud technologies. He has been driving partner strategy, key global partnerships, and channel and GSI programs for the Google Cloud organization and previously held leadership roles across companies such as Accenture, Siebel, Hyperion, Oracle, and LiveOps. Jim is also a former President and Board Member of the Northern California chapter of ASAP.


Greg Fox, CSAP
GM of Networking & Communications | Vice President of Alliances