THE TRAILBLAZER:

Women Leaders

2021

Denise Sangster

An expert, someone with a unique skillset gathered over 25 years of experience, Denise Sangster, the President and CEO of Global Touch Inc., knows exactly how to "unleash" the power of partner ecosystems, accelerating IT company-partner success, and establishing predictability of growth, revenue, profitability and value between IT companies, customers, and partners through 360° of alignment. Beyond her professional journey, her spirit as a leader and a game-changer stems from her early childhood. Coming from an athletic background, she thrives in a competitive setup and has always possessed the discipline one must have to achieve their goals. As a child, Denise idolized her swimming coach who had won 3 Olympic medals and was invited by King George to have tea with him and his two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at Buckingham Palace. One of the most precious lessons the coach gave her was that competing is not about ‘winning or losing’, but instead ‘winning or learning’ which later turned out to be a critical business philosophy followed by several global leaders Denise came across.

During college, when she had adopted a new sport ‘rowing’, Denise realized it might be the hardest thing she has ever done, but this experience instilled her with all the necessary traits of a leader, including commitment, humility, perseverance, and to respect competitors and thrive in chaotic situations. Another important lesson was teamwork, which includes working well with her peers, developing the right training program, and finding the right coach to help her succeed and champion her success. These are the same lessons that Denise continues to draw from her life as an entrepreneur.

Catalyzing growth
Denise founded Global Touch in 1990. Before that, she worked as the Head of International Partners for a database software company in Silicon Valley, which was later acquired by Microsoft. Although she had the opportunity to switch to a new role at Microsoft or Apple, she took a leap of faith and decided to begin her own venture. Given the high percentage (70%+) of business-to-business revenue generated by partners (for IT companies), this is the area where Denise placed her focus on and never looked back. She shares, “The journey has been filled with many surprises, twists and turns along the way. The most important thing I have learned is that change will happen every day, henceforth, everyone should keep looking over the horizon and be prepared for what is coming next.”

Global Touch is a management consulting group and expert in data storytelling, partner and customer listening activities, and partner profitability. They do this by helping technology companies do five things:

• Invest to leverage the future,
• Create partner success through partner-focused strategy and go-to-market transformation services,
• Unleashing the power of partners,
• Establish predictable revenue and growth through partners,
• Look over the horizon to build conventional and creative partnerships, while navigating unparalleled market dynamics and changes in a hybrid and cloud digital economy.

Led by Denise, Global Touch’s primary focus is to provide 360-degree synchronization between IT companies, customers, and partners by looking at three main processes- alignment, acceleration, and predictability in revenue growth profit, and value which means their clients need to stay ahead of the market trends. This can only be facilitated by discharging the power of partners as Denise emphasizes. No doubt, it's Global Touch’s sweet spot. Denise exclaims, “We know partners & How to Turn Partner Ecosystems into our client’s X-Factor!”

According to Denise, her secret to success is being able to tell her clients what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear based on extensive research and input from partners and customers.

Rethinking possibilities for sustainable growth
One of the most defining moments in Denise’s career was when the largest global IT distributors approached her to develop the first pan-European IT conference in the EMEA region. She shares, “I was young and knew nothing about how to run a conference, but this was the moment in my career that literally put me on the map!” Moving forward, Global Touch has a new area of focus which is the ‘New Partner Profit Journey’ which will help energize the customer lifecycle journey allowing the partners to monetize and create new revenue streams post the ‘land’ phase of the customer lifecycle routine.

As for their mission, Denise asserts, “Whether working on behalf of established companies with successful track records or pioneering newcomers with raw or out-of-the-box ideas, Global Touch's mission is to help its clients rethink what’s possible, build next-generation capabilities and innovation, and transform small ideas into big market opportunities for and through partners. From vendor ecosystem matchmaking to partner profitability, Global Touch has built a world-class reputation in delivering actionable insights that help shape the future direction for sustainable revenue growth through partners.”

Denise

To the next generation of Leaders .
Amidst the pandemic and the chaos, Denise felt the need to send out something positive in the world, and hence, Global Touch started publishing a special blog series called “IT Wondrous Women” in late October 2020. Describing what it's about, Denise shares, “Our blog spotlights top technology talent, who happen to be women. In the Fall of 2020, we profiled 30 game changers working directly in the technology industry or with roots in technology in eight countries! They all share three qualities: They are moving the needle; they are deserving of recognition and they are inspiring those who will stand on their shoulders in the future. Some of these thirty women are well known in the IT industry, while others are quietly driving success or have moved to a corporate customer or non-profit roles. The bottom line is these women are resetting the future of the IT industry through their prowess, intelligence, and impact.”

According to Denise, her secret to success is being able to tell her clients what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear based on extensive research and input from partners and customers. Every challenging situation that has come across her, she has approached it as a learning opportunity. While chasing her goal to help their clients navigate the challenges of thriving in a world during and after the end of the pandemic, she always treats her clients and their teams as clients for life even though understanding how to serve them is an ongoing challenge. These are the same traits she has grown up to believe every aspiring leader should possess to do good and be good. As for her legacy, she says, “I would like my legacy to be focused on helping prepare the next generation of leaders to stand on my shoulders so that their opportunities are even broader than ours!”

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