Session 602
Demystifying the Ecosystem - An Interactive Conversation

Developing a balanced global ecosystem approach is becoming integral to overall alliance and corporate business strategies. "Partners that adopt an ecosystem business model will grow 50% faster than partners which do not," IDC 2019 IT Channels and Alliances Predictions, 2019. This strategy is becoming more prominent on C-Level agendas to ensure that innovation and growth metrics are achieved in a collaborative fashion.

The ability to harness a wider value chain to solve more complex problems along-side business model transformation, is paramount to competitive advantage and increased growth in a global landscape. Many firms still struggle with the harnessing of collaboration more fully, but agile methodologies have emerged with the 'fail fast' and continuous learning emphasis.

In this interactive session, the focus will be on the demystifying the Ecosystem and 'Art of the Possible' with real world examples. The collaborative dialogue will also put a spotlight on the "The What, Why & How of ecosystem strategy and associated framework." The session will conclude with real world application case studies that correlate to triple bottom line growth and partner to partner collaboration.

Key takeaways from the session will include:


Claudia Kuzma, CA-AM
Managing Director Global Ecosystem Program Leader

Claudia Kuzma recently joined Protiviti as the Global Leader-Ecosystem. Based in Chicago, Claudia is a member of the Global Solutions Leadership team. Her primary role is to design and implement Protiviti's Ecosystem program which is aligned to Protiviti's embed innovation in service delivery strategic driver.

Protiviti's Global Ecosystem Program is focused on being efficient and sustainable while enhancing growth strategies. The program identifies, develops and grows key third-party alliances for Protiviti; while collaborating across Protiviti's leadership team to identify ways to enhance and develop new offerings with ecosystem partners.

Claudia brings over 20 years of experience in corporate alliance management and financial services. She has deep expertise in end-to-end alliance strategy, planning, recruitment, and program management.

Prior to joining Protiviti, Claudia was Director of Alliances in Grant Thornton's financial services advisory practice where she achieved growth by developing its global and national alliance strategy and standardizing its ecosystem framework.Previously, she was Global Alliance Director focused on financial services at Informatica. Earlier in her career, Claudia held progressively senior enterprise strategy and management leadership roles.

Claudia earned a master's degree in liberal studies and a bachelor's degree in organizational communication at North Central College. She also holds certification in Alliance Management from The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals.

Nancy Ridge
Ridge Innovative

Nancy Ridge is founder and president of Ridge Innovative and a committed ecosystem strategist. She brings over 25 years' experience as a trusted advisor to her clients, with a laser focus on enabling business outcomes through technology. In addition, Ridge offers programs for developing channels, leadership, team selling and one on one professional coaching. Previously, Nancy was EVP of a leading national master agency. Over 14 years, she built the company's partner program to offer a personalized approach delivering partner growth. Ridge focused on business plan modeling, breakthrough sales strategies, ongoing training and competitive commissions in a collaborative environment. Previously, Ridge was VP of sales for ATI, where she was responsible for creating and managing the indirect sales channel. Prior to that she was a vice president for a consulting firm that pioneered the telecom expense management and was also a principal in a demand-side energy service company for 10 years. Ridge regularly speaks on panels, acts as a moderator and serves as a keynote on topics ranging from technology to mentoring and gender diversity. She is the co-founder and past president of the Alliance of Channel Women.