JS Group has hired Cisco Systems and Office Depot/CompuCom veteran Michelle Ragusa-McBain as VP of global channel GTM strategy. The move reunites McBain with JS Group CEO Janet Schijns, a well-known channel leader and fellow Office Depot veteran.
JS Group assists technology companies with go-to-market strategies, next-gen channel frameworks, and growth initiatives. The company’s experience spans such technology sectors as cloud, mobility, networking, unified communications, telco, computing, security, Internet of Things, and more. Clientele has spanned vendors, channel partners, distributors, alliance partners, agents, and strategic service providers, the company says.
In an email exchange with ChannelE2E, Schijns described her overall vision for the company. Plus, McBain explained her decision to join the business, and her focus at the firm. Here’s a sampling of the electronic conversation.
Schijns: Our mission is to save the channel and in the process help create unprecedented growth. As digital transformation creates a new normal, the channel is experiencing a time of unprecedented change, risk and opportunity. From developing business models to the advent of “everything as a service” the entire ecosystem of Distributors, Vendors, and Partners are undertaking a shift that will create the next generation of channel growth engines. Too often this past year I heard “not sure the channel can….” Or “the channel can’t…” or “the channel may not…” and I have always believed that the channel is closest to the customer and hence CAN always (fill in the blank) and so we launched JS Group to ensure the transition was a smooth and profitable one for the channel I know and love. In other words this is personal!
ChannelE2E: What have been JS Group’s key priorities for 2019?
Schijns: Engaging with growth oriented vendors and distributors to understand and help them succeed with their transformational plans. Invest our time and energy with the best partners to help them embrace the change in their business model and engage in the right go forward plans. Develop a best in class MAP program (Market Action Planning) that helps our clients take control of their future, alternate their plan and compete to win. Round out our senior leadership team to ensure we can provide the best consulting services in the industry — Michelle is a great example of this talent joining JS Group.
ChannelE2E: How do you see the firm’s business priorities or focus areas evolving for 2020?
Schijns: We’ll continued investment in channel program, channel marketing and sales enablement programs that enable success in the channel. We’ll launch of our social media analytics program designed to create “super connectors” in the channel for business growth. And we’ll have continued talent acquisition to ensure a deep bench of expertise for our clients.
ChannelE2E: Michelle, what inspired you to join JS Group?
McBain: I have been in and around the channel for 14 years, and nothing inspires me more than making an impact and working for the best in the business. For me, that is none other than Channel Influencer of the year, and a personal mentor to myself (and so many women — and men — in the channel), Janet Schijns, as well as the talented team at JS Group. Moving to the world of consulting will allow me the opportunity to leverage my expertise, and passion, to make a greater impact for hundreds of channel programs.
ChannelE2E: Where will you focus your efforts?
McBain: My efforts in the first few months is to hit the ground running working with incredible clients to evolve their go-to-market channel strategies and launch unique and innovative growth tactics for success. The channel landscape is rapidly changing and we are uniquely qualified to help our clients be successful, pivot, grow, and win big! As Janet says, “things are changing fast, and we are here to save the channel”😊
No doubt, JS Group team members have extensive channel experience.
McBain, for instance, recently sat on the Board of CRN Women in the Channel, serves as Chair Emeritus of Advancing Women in Technology for CompTIA, and Co-Founder of Tech Worlds Half non-profit created by Janet Schijns, Rokeya Jones- Microsoft, and Quinnie Wong- Verizon.
Schijns, meanwhile, has extensive experience as both a hands-on channel chief as well as an industry consultant and influencers. In addition to launching JS Group, she previously was EVP at office Depot, and earlier held VP-level positions at Motorola and Verizon Wireless.