Welcome to our new series of ‘A Face In The Clouds’ where this week we meet with Latifah Khan, from our London/Northern Europe Hub, who shares her experience working as a Senior Partner Development Manager and gives us some pretty cool insights into what it’s like being a Cloudreacher!
Tell us a bit about your background – why did you join Cloudreach?
Latifah: I was approached by the amazing talent team at CR to join a different part of the business, however I really wanted to keep to my Google experience and stay on the Google path. They then opened up a role within the Google partner world and luckily I was able to make a stance there.
I have worked in the cloud for the last 7 years in various different roles. From Field Service to Backup. Previously I have worked for startups and large organizations. My preference has always been something in between as a sweet spot.
Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Latifah: I am based in London, the Northern Europe Hub. When I started CR, I started as a Senior Partner Manager, since then I have taken on the role of a Hub Lead. A Hub lead is a person who keeps the hub together by entertaining everyone through fun initiatives and monthly lunches / dinners to get to know each other outside of work. I also have a group of people that help me with this role as it is important to have a good team to build a great culture around you. We have recently started a Book Club which is fantastic!
How would you describe Senior Partner Development Manager to someone unfamiliar?
Latifah: A PDM, Partner Development Manager is ultimately a middle person that looks after the end client and the current organisation. So in my instance, my client is Google Northern EU. I ensure the strategy, sales plays and go to market strategy for CR Northern EU is aligned and we have a suitable proposition to go to market with to build the pipeline.
We host fun events, host networking events and also make sure we have fun whilst working hard. A balance is important to maintain company culture.
How has your role evolved over the years?
Latifah: No day looks the same, but in simple terms, I ensure that the CR sellers and Google sellers are aligned on opportunities. I work with my PDM on the Google side to plan our events, strategies and any other pipeline opportunistic festivities we can think of. I work closely with the Technical team to ensure they understand / have everything they need to be successful with projects we bring in. Working with the delivery team is also vital for feedback for the client and also to constantly be improving the practice.
My role has most certainly changed over the year and a half almost since I have been here since we have been brought by a large GSI, Atos. Since then I have taken on more of a building exercise to build a new region from scratch and build a new strategy for a larger organisation. Understanding GSI’ technical capabilities and how we would go to market is like starting a new role within itself. Therefore it has been a challenge but I love a great challenge!
What is a challenge you recently had to overcome in your role?
Latifah: Being part of a company transition where there is a lot of uncertainty and yet you are supposed to keep your client feeling comfortable and at ease is not an easy place to sit. However with the support of a great team anything is possible. Customer escalations are also not the easiest to deal with, however as long as you play a solid supporting role and ensure your customer is happy with the outcome and the end client then you have done something right.
What part about your role do you find most exciting?
Latifah: Organising fun events with the Google business, if I can be cheeky.. I would like to say the unlimited food at the Google offices. I love working with my client and they make every day a pleasurable place to work. You truly have to enjoy where you work, especially if you wake up everyday. I don’t think I have ever had the Sunday/Monday blues since I have started and it has been over a year. Which is a first for me!
We also have a Wonder Womens group at CR and I am one of the core members. Hosting events, sharing content around enabling women into tech is something I am personally passionate about so being part of something bigger makes me happy. Seeing and making a difference is a fun part of my job and I am lucky to have this opportunity.
What’s your favourite tech tool / software?
Latifah: I would say slack, collaboration is key, the fun element of GIFs also makes work a little less serious and a tiny bit more fun. The Google Workspace environment is also a fun place to collaborate too (and I am not just saying that because I sell their services) but because it makes life so easy to navigate and organise.
How would you describe Cloudreach in 3 words?
Empathetic, cultured and collaborative
Why would you recommend Cloudreach as a future employer?
Latifah: I have actually recommended so many friends since I have been here. I don’t even need to sell the company to them, they can see my positive outlook on the company and also on life since I started here. When you are treated with respect and feel valued you naturally do better at work and put more effort in. Psychological research also shows this 🙂 Unlimited holidays obviously help and the opportunity to grow, take on more responsibility is definitely something you can create. Everyone here is here to help and enable you to be the better version of yourself everyday!
If you could be stuck in an elevator with one person, who would it be and why?
Latifah: I would love to be stuck in an elevator with Jacinda Ardern, the PM of New Zealand. She shows so much courage, values and empathy especially through some turbulent times in this world. I would be honoured to hear what advice she would give, especially as a female leader.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Latifah: I host a podcast called FemTechLeader which I started simply to enable young women to enter the world of tech, or just the world of work to be honest. If I can help just one person be better through their personal development then I feel like I have given back to the community.
Perfume making is also something I have a great passion for. My second bedroom has become quite the potion making room – we all like to smell great from time to time.
What industry trends are you most excited about?
Latifah: Chat GPT and automating a lot of laborious manual tasks we do in our day to day. Looking forward to seeing how this changes the way we live and work currently.
What advice do you have for people hoping to pursue a career in Cloud Delivery ?
Latifah: Speak to like minded people in the field. Even if it means ensuring your LinkedIn is well organised and network, network, network!! Taking on additional certifications / learning paths obviously helps.
What’s your TSR (ten-second-recommendation)?
Latifah: Be yourself, be open minded and never stop learning nor asking questions. Authenticity shines through and always remember people buy from people.