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Next Step invites you to follow along with our expert consultants as they discuss the ongoing market challenges that face us today.

Hill by Next Step |   posted: 09/21/2016

Sandra Hill has a passion for working with technology companies and channel partners to insure their businesses are positioned to meet market challenges while building and implementing strategies for growth. A 30 year veteran of the IT and telecommunications industries, she specializes in marketing and sales strategy at both the channel and manufacturer level. Ms. Hill brings a unique perspective, having worked in the reseller channel as well as for manufacturers in the Unified Communications and IT fields. She has proven abilities to create and implement successful reseller recruitment and enablement strategies as well as partner marketing programs and installed base growth programs.

Some of Sandra’s successes have included:

  • Founder and owner of highly successful regional technology VAR with experience in all areas of VAR strategy, growth and development including sales, marketing and operations. This provides a high level of hands-on experience for clients seeking knowlegable recommendation on VAR growth and development.
  • Developed and implemented dozens of authorized dealer, VAR and other channel programs that featured competitive offerings, benefits and terms including most successful installed base programs for Mitel, SRX and Toshiba.
  • Defined and created sales tools for use by company’s salespeople and by channel salespeople and SEs.
  • Participated in several teams taking business to a public offering or resulting in signigicant M and A activity.
  • Executed reseller and distributor contracts with major channel players, including national distributors and corporate resellers. Designed and directed successful programs to recruit and enable VARs, and national resellers
  • Designed and directed sales, education and incentive programs for manufacturers, VARs, distributors, direct resellers, dealer salespeople and dealer/owner/managers. Improved efficiency and effectiveness of sales communications for multiple companies and clients, resulting in increased awareness, sell-in and sell-through.

Her alliances and partnerships led to awards such as CRN’s 5-Star Partner Program, Channel Chief Award, Women of the Channel and Women in the IT Channel Ecosystem.

Before joining the world of consulting, , Sandra served as the vice president of Distribution and Sales Strategy for Mitel Networks, Sr. Director of Channel and Distribution for LifeSize (division of Logitech), Vice President Global Channels for Fonality, Director Channel Development for ShoreTel and COO for VOICEPRO. She also held various positions in sales management, product marketing and sales in the telecommunications field.

Ms. Hill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from California Polytechnic State University. She also has an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing from California State University, East Bay.

McEntee by Next Step |   posted: 05/24/2016

Dan McEntee specializes in business plan development, financial modeling, business acquisitions, turnarounds, reorganizations and business valuation. A long term Silicon Valley financial professional, Dan has over 30 years of financial management and business development experience, including CFO roles. He has consulted since 2009.

Some of Dan’s successes have included:

  • As the CFO of Globalstar from 2000 to 2005, Dan led the financial restructuring of the company through a chapter 11 process, resulting in the settlement of $3.3 billion of liabilities due to a variety of financial and industry creditors. The restructuring was accomplished through the implementation of a rollup strategy, under which Globalstar acquired several it its international distributors and transitioned from a wholesale provider of satellite services to a vertically integrated international satellite telecommunications operator.
  • Shortly after the formation of Globalstar in 1991, Dan was instrumental in the company’s first major financing which raised $275 million of equity capital from the Vodafone Group, France Telecom, Alcatel, QUALCOMM, Hyundai, and other telecommunications service providers and suppliers.
  • As the CFO of InnoPath Software, Dan managed the completion of InnoPath’s Series D financing which raised $20 million of venture capital investment.
  • Dan also raised venture financing as the CFO at Narus. While at Narus, he built the company’s financial team, restructured Narus’ credit agreements, implemented software revenue recognition practices in accordance with US GAAP, and positioned Narus for its ultimate acquisition by Boeing Corporation.
  • In 2009, Dan became accredited as a valuation analyst by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA). He has since implemented a successful valuation practice focused on the valuation of venture backed companies and derivative liabilities.
  • Dan has supported a wide variety to technology clients as a part time or interim CFO, helping them scale their operations from startup to profitability, restructure troubled banking relationships, and build long term financial teams to ensure GAAP compliance and forward thinking planning processes as they scale their businesses.

Since 2009, Dan has supported clients across several industries, including telecommunications, software, education technology, environmental monitoring, payment processing, death care, SaaS, and data storage.

Mr. McEntee earned his MBA from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1990 and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Pettersen by Next Step |   posted: 05/24/2016

Hanne E. Pettersen bidrar til økt lønnsomhet hos kunder gjennom effektivisering avmarkedsføringsstrategier og utnyttelse og utvikling av humankapital. Hun har over 30 års erfaring fra å optimalisere samarbeidet mellom leverandører og kjeder/bedrifter i varehandelen. Hanne har utviklet metoder innen salg, key account management og kundeservice og har jobbet med kunder både i Norge og internasjonalt.

Hanne har sammen med 2 andre utviklet og gjennomført undersøkelsen Handelsbarometeret som kartla suksessfaktorene for samarbeid mellom kjeder og leverandører på tvers av 6 bransjer(dagligvare, byggevare, apotek, sport, møbler og elektro). Undersøkelsen besto av dybdeintervju med 29 innkjøpere / kjedeledere og 63 av deres største leverandører. Dette har gitt henne en unik innsikt i hvordan norsk varehandel funger.

Noen av Hanne tidligere vellykkede oppdrag for kunder er:

  • Økt lønnsomhet gjennom større fokus nøkkelkunder for kunder både i og utenfor Norge.
  • Dette innebærer gjennomføring av workshop for nøkkelpersoner i hele bedriften – inkludert landssjefer, key account managers , selgere, kundeservice og produksjonsledd.
  • Bidratt til økt lønnsomhet for mange kunder gjennom hjelp til å bygge sterke merker, vellykkede produktlanseringer og gjennomføring av profesjonelle årsforhandlinger med kjeder.
  • Gjennomført undersøkelser for mange kunder som en del av en risikovurdering ifm strategiendringer, etablering på det norske markedet, kartlegging av kundebehov, kundetilfredshet o.l.
  • Gjennom management for hire oppdrag som key account manager bidratt til å øke. omsetningen hos kundens viktigste kunde fra 5 millioner til 90 millioner over 8 år.
  • Gjennomført vellykkede distributørsøk i Norge for internasjonale selskaper.
  • Bidratt til vellykket introduksjon av legemidler i dagligvarehandelen
  • Gjennomført målstyrt coaching for ledere og selgere for å sikre at disse når sine mål.

Før hun startet opp konsulentselskapet TradeMark AS sammen med en partner i 1996, jobbet hun som skandinavisk markedssjef hos SC Johnson, og produktgruppeansvarlig i L’Oreal Norge. TradeMark sine fornøyde kunder inkluderer Telenor, SSP Norway, NorgesGruppen, SCA, Nespresso, Sødra Wood, Apotek 1, Weifa, Novartis, Actavis, Innovasjon Norge, Rockwool, Arvid Nordquist, Nordsjø, Dovre, Profdoc/CompuGroup, Rett Hjem, Vianor ,Felleskjøpet og BI.

Hanne har en bachelor fra BI og en Master in Business Administration (MBA) fra Arizona State University i USA. Hanne er utdannet Professional Coach Canada. Hun underviser i markedsføringsfag på høyskolenivå.

Hagen by Next Step |   posted: 12/02/2015

Michelle Hagen brings a strong background in research, international relations, marketing operations and Data Protection & Privacy to the Next Step team. Her experience has included market and awareness building for emerging Norwegian companies, corporate development for various Nordic enterprises and government departments and bi-lingual training programs.

Some of Michelle’s successes have included:

  • Developed business plan and implemented market outreach for B2B and B2C Norwegian startups leveraging social media, kickstarter campaign and other outreach media.
  • Translated complex texts from and to Norwegian and English.
  • Researched various information, business and marketing topics.
  • Documented JavaScript programming code and created a user guide for the user interface of a Start-up company in Norway.

Michelle has worked as an English teacher for both the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several International schools in Norway. She brings a passion for excellence across multiple areas to Next Step along with dedication to clients’ company development and success.

Michelle holds a Masters of Management Science with emphasis on Information, Communication and Technology Law. The degree was obtained from the University of Oslo at the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law. She also has taken a series of extra courses at the University of Oslo in French grammar, literature and language along with contract law & system development.

Eriksen-Deinoff by Next Step |   posted: 11/04/2015

Tina Eriksen-Deinoff specializes in driving organizational and individual behavior change leading to increased revenue, market share, and team effectiveness. She has played a critical role in implementing rapid change strategies, and improving organizations’ results in sales, partnerships negotiations and decision-making through adeptness in navigating and eliciting complex human interactions.

Some of Tina’s successes have included:

  • Expansion of organizations Go to Market from a single product focus to complex solutions in businesses such as travel, transport, banking, telecom, engineering, finance and consulting services, etc.
  • Led entrepreneurial organizations’ growth through leadership, teamwork, sales, negotiations, customer service and risk mitigation programs and skill development.
  • Developed and implemented learning and behavior change programs to enhance management and transformative leadership.
  • Led sales for joint venture between World Federation of United Nations Associations and Global Diversity Certification Foundation in the global initiatives to deliver end-to-end certification of non-financial criteria, from concept idea to production. Collaboration in a complex multi-company environment and multiple program boundaries. Played a pivotal role in building a domestic sales and delivery practice and developed alliances for global certification of diversity.
  • Implemented holistic behavior change processes with measurable improved effects, turning inbound sales to complex solution selling, increasing market shares by proactive behavior in customer service, reducing transition time of strategy implementation and incremental innovation in explorative problem solving as teamwork.

Tina has worked with international businesses across Scandinavia and in the US. Before re-joining the world of consulting in 2000, Tina served as Service Manager and Marketing Manager of Europay, Rikstoto and Oslo Taxi in turn-around processes from transaction and governmental regulation to a free market of competition. Prior to this, she worked as a consultant in Mercuri International, Huthwaite, Humanic and Interaction Development.

Tina holds a Masters of Adult Learning from Norwegian University of Science and Technology and a Masters of Learning in Complex Systems from Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

Askew by Next Step |   posted: 10/29/2015

Marcelle brings with her more than 20 years of experience and expertise in marketing strategy, brand building, content marketing and digital strategy/ social media.

Her consulting career began with Yankelovich where she managed Nordic branding projects for high profile international brands (such as CocaCola, Radisson SAS, Egmont). Since 1999, she has focused her consulting on Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). Her clients have included: Wild Oats, Celestial Seasonings, Seeds of Change, and in Norway where she resides: Tine, Nortura, Godt Brød, RørosMeieri, Coop and NorgesGruppen.

Most recently, Marcelle has served as Chief Brand Officer for SprinJene, a New Jersey based start-up oral care company. Marcelle was responsible for identifying B2C target markets, crafting a brand, brand message, and brand story, creating content for B2C and B2B communications, developing the website and marketing materials, developing and implementing a social media and PR strategy. This led to early intro into beachhead retail distribution at company launch.

Prior to this, Marcelle partnered with Berit Nordstrand to build the food and health enterprise which is widely considered the industry leader in Norway. Marcelle led the branding, product and go-to-market strategy for Berit Nordstrand. This included definition, production and publication of five books, each of which frequented the national best seller list and sold 10,000 – 40,000 copies within one year of publication.

Marcelle also built Berit Nordstrand’s digital marketing reach from first website to 80 000 individual users /mo on website in a country of 5 million people, successfully leveraging content marketing both on corporate site, SoMe channels and newsletter to bring potential customers into sales funnel.

Through her work with Berit Norstrand, Marcelle perfected content marketing via digital and social media as well as PR to B2B and B2C audiences.

In addition, Marcelle identified and negotiated relationships with long-term strategic partners for Berit Nordstrand. These included management agency, media, school programs, course development and FMCG product development partnerships.

Marcelle has been engaged in and led numerous consulting projects related to sustainability and social responsibility, especially within FMCG/ organic food and beverages.

Marcelle holds a Masters of Business Administration with a focus in strategy and marketing (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, 1995). She is fluent in English and Norwegian and has a solid command of Spanish.

Løvenskiold by Next Step |   posted: 10/06/2015

Thomas Løvenskiold has 25 years experience; 10 years managing international projects for medical diagnostics and expert systems. 15 years as entrepreneur developing innovation based companies. He specializes in developing innovative solutions that dramatically increase value added through the use of innovation. His main priority is consulting and facilitating workshops in leadership and team development, as well as other aspects of occupational psychology.

Some of Thomas’ successes include:

  • 1980’s: Key contributor to develop and deliver reserach station for cardiac imaging analysis. Supported some of the most highly respected cardiology research centers in the world to develop key algorithms for heart analysis that are still in use.
  • 1990’s: Turned “plan-B project” into the flagship diagnostic instrument for high volume blood analysis for Instrumentation Laboratories, division of CH Werfen group.
  • 2000’s: Co-founded and developed Human Content – a world class provider of evidence based psychometric tools and methods of occupational psychology. Some example of project sucesses include:
  • In one year, increased customer satsifaction from 53% to 82 % for a Shared Financial Services division with 400 employees in an FMCG corporation with 24.000 employees. Combined programs to develop leadership and communication skills.
  • Increased valuation of division of an international offshore corporation by USD130M Trained the leaders to manage core competences to maximize productivity and performance.

Thomas holds a Master of Business Administration degree from I.E.S.E. in Barcelona, and an extended Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the California State University of Long Beach.


Reed by Next Step |   posted: 09/09/2015

William Craig Reed has over twenty-five years of experience as a marketing, business development, and sales executive with successful technology firms. Bill was co-founder and managing director of Aventi Group, a marketing consulting firm for technology clients such as Adobe, Avnet, Cisco, HP, Intermedia, Logicalis, SAP, Symantec, Veritas, VMware and others. Prior to Aventi Group, Bill was a VP of Marketing and Business Development for Abrevity, an enterprise data management software company and a former Board Director for the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association.

Bill also served as VP Sales and Marketing for Acirro, a global distributed file system company acquired by Intel; co-founder of 2netFX, acquired by Helius Corporation; and as channel manager for Micropolis, a leading storage technology firm. Bill’s proven expertise in channel sales and marketing led to the development of a cutting-edge Dynamic Sales Playbook that leverages modern neuroscience, as well as the highly-successful HP Genius program utilized by HP’s leading channel partners. Bill is a New York Times bestselling author, a dynamic presenter, and holds an MBA from CCU. Bill is a former U.S. Navy Diver and a Board Director for the Us4Warriors Veterans Support Foundation.

Cottingham by Next Step |   posted: 09/09/2015

Steve Cottingham has 25 years international experience in senior roles in channel development and management, sales and sales management in Asia, North America, Russia, Europe and the Middle East with such firms as Apple Computer, Autodesk and Graphisoft. He specializes in developing or reorganizing distribution channels to consistently meet or exceed sales and growth goals and has proven success in introducing products or services to new markets.

Some of Steve’s prior successes include:

  • Successfully launched Apple Computer products in the Czech and Slovak Republics and Russia and increased sales revenues from USD 780.000 to USD 9.8 million in less than two years.
  • Successfully launched Graphisoft’s 2D/3D architect design software in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines and with over 100% sales growth each year.
  • Reorganized Graphisoft ´s U.S. reseller channel and increased sales and profitability by 30% to 40% year and opened regional sales offices in Houston, Miami, Boston and Chicago.
  • Reorganized Graphisoft’s global distribution channel and increased sales 30% to 40% per year with distributor sales increasing from 25% to 50% of total sales revenue.
  • Established senior-level strategic relationships with 40 of the top Universities in Russia, Europe and the Middle East and successfully introduced Autodesk software into their curricula.

In addition to his experience with hardware and software sales, Steve also has 10 years experience as a hospital director in the San Francisco bay area where he successfully merged two community hospitals and improved healthcare services while significantly reducing annual costs.

Steve holds a Master of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

Abramovitz by Next Step |   posted: 09/04/2015

Sophia Abramovitz has led global strategic teams and operational organizations in the revolutionary and highly competitive high tech world for over 30 years. Working with wellknown Fortune 500 companies providing hardware and software products and services, Sophia and her teams have a successful record of assimilating and applying emerging technology to deliver innovation, business transformation, revenue optimization and competitive advantage.

Some of Sophia’s prior successes have included:

  • Problem Resolution and Organizational Transformation
  • Managed new product introductions of award-winning products and services at Symantec, Adobe and Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Reduced costs and increased productivity globally for a $40M education services revenue stream
  • Directed PMO and standardized project life cycle methodology and governance for a $3M software organization
  • Business Processes and Change Management
  • Shortened sales cycle by up to 40%
  • Reduced time to market by 25%
  • Converted physical labs and classrooms to virtual and online environments increasing productivity and lowering costs by up to 30%
  • Operational Leadership
  • Led a global team of 70 providing infrastructure and services for technical training, field and partner sales enablement and engineering collaboration to win awards for customer satisfaction
  • Transformed product release cycle from 144 discrete product launches to integrated quarterly releases
  • Managed off-shoring project to reduce costs by 30%

Following her passion for combining talent and technology to provide innovative business solutions, Sophia is leveraging her experience in leadership positions at Symantec, VERITAS Software, Adobe and Digital Equipment Corporation, to work with organizations addressing opportunities presented by disruptive technologies and rapidly evolving customer expectations.

Ms. Abramovitz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland and Business Management Certification from the University of New Mexico.

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