Building Skill to Make Go-to-Market Partnerships Work

Many companies use partnerships to drive sales, either selling to partners or using partners as a route to market. Teams responsible for these partnerships need the same strong collaboration skills as those who manage pharmaceutical alliances, but they need to be able to apply them in some very different ways. During this lively panel discussion industry executives will discuss:

Moderator:

Jessica Wadd
Partner
Vantage Partners

Jessica Wadd is a Partner at Vantage Partners, where her practice focuses on helping companies maximize the value of collaboration–with customers, suppliers, and partners. She frequently leverages ideas from the fields of behavioral economics and game theory to help clients develop practical approaches to improve their businesses. Jessica has worked with clients across a broad range of industries, including high-tech, manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, healthcare, and professional services.

Prior to joining Vantage, she was a strategic relationship manager at Lincoln Financial Group where her responsibilities included negotiating and managing several of the company's most critical alliances. Jessica holds an MSc in Behavioral Economics from the University of Nottingham as well as BAs in both English and Economics from Bryn Mawr College.

Outside the corporate arena, Jessica co-led an initiative with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) at the United Nations, to develop and implement a strategy for partnerships with private sector companies.

Panelists:

Neil Blecherman, CA-AM
Director, Technology Alliances Ecosystem & Partner Program
Nutanix

Neil Blecherman is Director of the Technology Alliances ecosystem and the Technology Partner Program at Nutanix, a leading Cloud Management Platform provider. He is responsible for the Elevate Technology Partner Program, over 400 technology partners, and the technical validation program between Nutanix and its technology partners, providing assurances to ISVs, channel partners, and customers that validated solution stacks can be sold and supported with confidence.

Prior to Nutanix, Neil managed the largest tech partnership and the multi-million-dollar co-op marketing program for hardware server manufacturer, Supermicro, and was an independent IOT and digital transformation consultant helping clients with partnerships, product and marketing.

Earlier in his career, Neil was a Global Director of Technology Partnerships and Platform Partnerships in various positions for Intel, including building out the IOT partner ecosystem, and developing new technology and business models with some of the company's largest global ISV Partners in the areas of cloud, security, media, data center, AI and client. Neil also directed Intel's mobile microprocessor product line and managed the company's corporate branding and naming strategy.

Neil holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's in Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business, He lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and sons, and welcomes making new business connections on LinkedIn.

Jenifer Fleury, CA-AM
Alliance & Channels, Global Partner Ecosystem Development
SAS

Jenifer is a results-driven leader with a passion for setting strategy and operationalizing business plans that drive revenue and top line growth. She is recognized for her ability to identify and prioritize critical transformational needs with maximum impact. At SAS, the global leader in advanced analytics, Jenifer led entrepreneurial business development efforts for the U.S. Service Provider program and is currently framing the XaaS Partnering Strategy for SAS's Global Partner Ecosystem. In 2021 she launched a Lifelong Learning Initiative to further develop Partner Success Manager leadership skills as the company transitions from traditional direct sales motions to subscription engagement models.

Before coming to SAS, she worked in marketing services, consumer goods, and at a technology-based logistics software company, where she helped establish a strategic product development program, and led the creation of a technology alliance program, increasing net annual revenue contribution by 3x.

Jenifer holds an MBA from Michigan State University where she was awarded a Scholar role in the Committee of 200, the preeminent global, by-invitation only, organization for women business leaders. She holds the Certificate of Achievement – Alliance Management (CA-AM) through the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) and serves as an ASAP advisory board member designee.

Melinda McBride
Senior Vice President, Global Alliances & Channel Partners
Equifax

As the leader of the Enterprise Alliances group at Equifax Melinda collaborates with partners both domestically and globally to drive inorganic growth and create profitable innovation for both Equifax and our partners.

Melinda has over 25 years of experience in the Technology and Data & Analytics industry and has held various operational, product, strategy, and business development roles at Accenture, LHS Communications, TransUnion, Verisk Financial, and Equifax over the years.

For the last 10 years of her career has been solely focused on alliances, alliance management, and partner innovation. Melinda is an avid believer in the power of partnerships and partnering to help organizations drive innovation, growth and distribution within their respective ecosystems. Melinda is a graduate of Emory University and she and her family reside in Brookhaven, GA.