Celebrating and recognizing the success of our fellow Puritans comes as naturally as reaching for our orange socks or scarves each morning. It’s a source of tremendous pride to know that such outstanding people have chosen to dedicate their working lives to Pure. CRN recently announced the 2016 Women of the Channel and Power 100 list, which included our very own Aimee Catalano (Cat), VP of Partner and Integrated Marketing.

The Women of the Channel list recognizes influential leaders with extraordinary expertise and vision. CRN’s Power 100 is a subset of the CRN Women of the Channel who have earned a special distinction based on their exemplary record of success and level of influence in the channel.

I sat down with Cat to get her perspective on Pure, channel marketing and women in technology.

Sot: You’ve been working in the tech industry for almost 20 years, what do you think sets Pure apart from other tech companies?

Cat: With a long career focused on partners, I’ve had the pleasure of working for a range of technology companies. Each company has their own brand of ‘value’ for customers and their communities. What sets Pure apart from most of its contemporaries is the speed of innovation, disruption, and as a result, the effect it has on our customers. Pure customers proactively and happily raise their hands to tell their stories. While this may sound subjective, the proof lies in our unprecedented (and Satmetrix certified) 79 net promoter score of customer satisfaction. Our score is reflective of Pure’s customer-first mantra and a pretty special place to be.

Sot: You have led channel marketing at Pure since you joined the company a year ago, why is marketing with the channel important?

Cat: At Pure, we are a 100 percent channel focused company, so it’s natural that the partner community becomes an extension of our own family. Meaning we need to enable, support, incent, recognize and market with them as if they were a part of our own team – and that’s what our channel marketing team is laser-focused on. At the same time we are acutely aware of the choices (alternatives) that are available to partners so we ensure that these elements of our channel program are present and solid, and we work hard to ensure all other functions within Pure think channel-first in their day-to-day actions and decisions.

Sot: The channel marketing team has a lot to be proud of, but which accomplishment are you most proud of since joining the Pure team?

Cat: This is an easy one – the inception of Teddy the LYP (Love Your Partner) bear! While there are many major accomplishments I feel extremely proud of, including our first Global Partner Forum event, establishing a Partner Advisory Council and so many more, the one that best exemplifies the unique spirit behind our channel marketing team is our now infamous teddy bear. At Pure we encourage everyone to think differently and have fun doing it. To meet our channel objectives we need EVERY function within Pure, from finance to product management and inside sales to wake up daily with partners being top of mind. And so to reiterate this while having a little fun, we dressed up a 12-foot teddy bear with an orange LYP t-shirt and it has become our partner mascot of sorts. “Teddy” as we call him, attends our sales kick–offs, spends time in different Pure offices and acts as a constant reminder to everyone at the company about how important our partners are to our business. The number of Pure employees with their “Teddy Selfie” is awesome! How many other companies have a bear like Teddy?

Bear image blog

Sot: Your advocacy for women in technology is well recognized within Pure, how do you stay involved with this initiative and do you have any advice you’d like to share?

Cat: I belong to a few organizations that focus on the promotion of women in technology, and more women in leadership positions. In these forums, I meet other women who share the same passion. At Pure we have a women in technology employee group and each month we offer a program to either our employees, partners, customers, or all three, that supports personal development. It is very fulfilling to see the participation for this program continue to grow each month. As for advice, I always encourage others to be accountable, well prepared, a positive communicator, and most importantly to be themselves! Varying perspectives and work-styles make for more successful teams.

Sot: Appreciate you sitting down with me to discuss your experience so far at Pure, you are modeling behavior and setting a great example for our future leaders. A big congrats to you and your peers for being recognized for your accomplishments and leadership by CRN.