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December 6, 2023
New 8x8 global VP of channel sales leader Michelle Paitich has nontraditional experience, as both of her previous companies have nontraditional channel programs.
While Paitich gets her bearings leading a more traditional channel program in the unified communications space at 8x8, we wanted to know her plans for leading channel sales at her new employer.
"In the near term, I will focus on meeting everyone and learning everything I can about our existing partner relationships and paths to market," Paitich told Channel Futures.
Paitich said she wants to identify what works well and where she can "evaluate efforts," along with "where we can elevate efforts, and where we have untapped potential and opportunity." Her immediate focus, she shared, is on where the company can have what she calls "quick wins."
"From there, I plan to build a long-term channel strategy that benefits 8x8 and partners for years to come," said Paitich.
Paitich believes her previous experience prepared her to become the new 8x8 channel leader.
"During my time at Salesforce, my focus was on massive growth and scaling a partner program, including advising partners on how to be successful in the Salesforce ecosystem. At Twilio, I had the opportunity to build the team and program from the ground up and understand what makes a channel organization successful," she said.
Paitich plans to leverage that experience to boost 8x8 channel efforts.
"Most importantly, I’ve spent a lot of time with partners, understanding their businesses, what’s important to them, how they want to grow, and I love working with partners to find the path to market that’s perfect for them — having an extensive operations and program management background 'uniquely' helps me think about the best path forward for every partner I work with."
"My message to partners is that there’s a massive opportunity ahead for us as we work together, and our strategy at 8x8 is going to be driven by our channel partners," Paitich told us.
She also told us that she is a "partner person at heart," which is how she says she will lead, inviting partners to reach out and share their thoughts as well as feedback.
"I’m new to 8x8 but not new to the channel, so I’m keen to get up to speed as quickly as possible, and that means listening to my internal colleagues as well as our partners," said Paitich.
She further says she's excited to dive in and align with partners on 8x8's vision for its XCaaS platform and the opportunity it presents for 8x8 channel partners.
With so many changes over the past few months, especially to the 8x8 channel program, it will take some work to show partners that stability is front of mind for the new channel leader. It should not present too much of a challenge, as the company has assured us time and time again that it is a partner-first organization, so getting those individuals on board with a new chief should prove uncomplicated.
It might still shock some that the organization did not hire from within, especially for those who thought the provisional leader, Michael Quince, given his experience, would have been a good fit for the role.
For now, the 8x8 channel is under new leadership, and Paitich has a lot of work to do getting to know members of the channel and understanding the products for which she soon hopes to boost sales.
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.
As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.
Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.
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