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Hello Claudia, tell us what you do for a living.
I’m the director of Northern European alliances at CrowdStrike, a global cyber security leader with an advanced cloud-native platform for protecting endpoints, cloud workloads, identities and data.
I’m keen to understand both the customer and partners’ perspectives on a daily basis and value learning from them to improve myself as well as the CrowdStrike business. In the past year, I’ve refreshed my team’s strategy to double down and prioritise partners, a key aspect of which is listening to them more closely and making changes based on their feedback.
Why are you the right person for this job?
I have more than 15 years of IT channel experience and believe the channel is at the heart of every deal.
I’m a channel-first person through and through, it’s all I’ve ever done and it’s all I want to do. I started off in distribution and later moved into vendors where I have advocated a channel first mindset and fully support how it can be used to accelerate sales in organisations.
What gets you up in the morning?
A strong cup of tea.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
All of my managers thus far. Every manager I have worked with coached me and gave me opportunities to get outside of my comfort zone and learn.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
Early in my IT career, some poor advice I was given was: “Just keep the partner happy.” Although I always want to make my partners happy, you first need to understand what it is that’s important to them and to their business. Only through understanding this can we build a long-lasting, trusted relationship.
What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
Become the trusted adviser – for your partners, but also for your sales teams internally.
Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’?
What do the next five years hold for the channel?
We’ll see a shift where partners will offer more services to their customers, especially during the current climate where some customers may be experiencing a lack of internal resources. This is where the channel comes in, to support and nurture growth despite these challenges.
“You first need to understand what’s important to [partners] and to their business. Only through understanding this can we build a long-lasting, trusted relationship”
Claudia Hebden, Crowdstike
Tell us something most people do not know about you
X-rays of my teeth are used to teach dental students about root canals – they are that perfect!
Did you learn anything new – guitar, painting etc – during the pandemic?
I wouldn’t say new, but I did get in touch with a lot of old friends from my clubbing days following a few virtual DJ events. It was great to see their faces again and we met up after the pandemic too, to reconnect.
What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
It’s got to be seeing England win the Rugby World Cup in person.
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
My Life and Rugby by Eddie Jones.
And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
Troy. It was a slow burn and let’s just say Brad Pitt’s hair was not at its best.
What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
- Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams.
- The Killers Mr. Brightside.
- Faithless, Insomnia.
What temptation can you not resist?
Italian lager – although I also wouldn’t say no to an Asahi from Japan.
What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
They were both black. My first car was a Peugeot 206 and now I own a BMW One Series Sport.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?
A person who’s claustrophobic. It would be very difficult to keep them calm.
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
A bird in the sky because it would give you a completely different perspective on life, as well as beautiful views.
If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
Bond. More specifically Roger Moore. He was incredibly funny and got stuff done.
And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?
Hands down, it would be the bear.
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