Look at the Time

A reflection on my first 12 months at Aryaka

I was heading home recently from an amazing Drive Xperience 🏎 event with some of Aryaka’s incredible partners. The ride home in my Bronco SUV was a little less exciting (by the way, the Bronco story is an interesting one – check out this recent Aryaka Dreamers & Doers podcast where Jay McBain and I talk about the 28 moments it took to get my dream car finally!), but gave me time to reflect on the day, the fantastic relationships created with Aryaka partners, and of course working with the most awesome team in the business. It occurred to me that in a few short weeks my 1-year tenure at Aryaka would roll around.

It still seems like I just started last week, and as I thought back on the amount of change and growth I have witnessed and been a part of, so much has happened! It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, a lot of curve balls, and a lot of passion! And speaking of passion…

The Channel, Hockey, and People

Those who know me know that two of my three passions are the Colorado Avalanche and the Channel. Now you may think, “what has hockey got to do with leading a channel sales organization at Aryaka?” Well, more than you might expect! You see, what it takes to win the Stanley Cup 🏆 (and the Avs are the 2022 Stanley Cup winners 🙌 by the way) is also what it takes to build a world-class global Channel team focused on delivering the best partner experience in the industry!

Look at the Time

People (my biggest passion)

  • Team – you’ve got to have the best, the most committed, the most dedicated, and the ones you know will step up every day in every game or situation. Without them, all you have is an empty ice rink!
  • Coaching – you invest your time in your team – you identify your key players, your coaches, and your mentors, and you have a goal for every single member of the team to be successful, grow, learn, and develop professionally. You celebrate every success, every time.
  • Strategy – how do you get to win the Stanley Cup in the selling game? You make the Channel the center of the universe, and you go above and beyond every day to meet the needs of your partners and customers.
  • Vision – you focus everything and everyone on realizing a transformation that has catapulted Aryaka into the partner-led organization it is today. You start, and you stay obsessed with delivering a fantastic experience for the partner community and your most important asset – your people, your team; forwards, defense, goalies, coaches, managers…
  • Resources – you bring every Aryakan into the mix and work as one connected, global team to think differently, build better, and learn together.
  • Culture – culture is truly everything. Build it, and they will come and produce amazing results.

So, what have I personally learned over the past 12 months? I’ve learned that moving to Aryaka was a great decision 💪 – being a part of such a visionary company with a fantastic team and culture is not easy to find. I have also learned that there are some things that even the best technologies cannot replace – empathy, creativity, trust, and resilience, lots of resilience.

I am so very proud that I have played a part in developing a culture that promotes teaming, winning, and career and professional development. I am beyond grateful for every one of my team turning up and stepping up each and every day to influence and drive the partner experience of my dreams, working to create the Aryaka Accelerate Partner program from scratch that is now a reality and growing. I am proud of the business growth and results we have achieved and am excited about the future.

So What’s Next?

Market growth and scale are next. With a strong focus on our top partners (and thank you to all of you), Aryaka will be the number one provider in the partner portfolio for SD-WAN and SASE. Now that we have built such a strong foundation 🏠, we will continue to kick a$$ for all our global partners. And 2023 will be Aryaka’s best year, realizing growth, sales, and retention rates exceeding expectations. This journey is really just beginning, and if I can leave you with some principles and philosophies that I hold dear and that have stayed with me throughout my life, it’s these:

  1. Surround yourself with great people: your team, employees, channel partners, analysts, vendors, and more – you will laugh a lot, and you’ll learn a heck of a lot more.
  2. Get out and talk to people. Get to know what is happening in someone’s world, listen to understand your partners and customers, not form a response. Learn what drives the personal and professional goals of others and what their aspirations are. Build relationships that transcend ordinary business engagements because authentic and candid communication is everything.
  3. Have fun. 😁 The pandemic taught us a lot, people and relationships matter. They are the constant to personal and professional development. Whether you’re careering around a racetrack, sitting on a Teams call, or sitting in a meeting room with a customer or partner, everyone likes to laugh and enjoy the moment.
  4. Care for your team. Many people talk about having a passion for their people, but I LIVE it.  Every minute of every day I am relentlessly focused around caring for my team. I TRULY care about their well-being and want to help them become better. I look for ways to give them more exposure, opportunities, and development. In my world, NO ONE IS EVER left behind.

As I am writing this blog, Motley Crue in the background on Spotify singing “I’m on my way, home sweet home…”, I have to agree. I have found my home sweet home here at Aryaka. A year into this gig, I know this is where I am supposed to be. I made a leap of faith 12 months ago to change everything up… it was time. LETS GOOOOO! 👊

About the author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson is an award-winning, results-driven, and motivational sales leader, currently serving as Aryaka’s Global Channel Chief. In this role, Patterson is responsible for Aryaka’s global Channel Strategy, market growth, and mobilization of channel sales and marketing teams across North America, EMEA and APAC. He is credited with launching Aryaka’s Accelerate Channel Partner Program which earned the prestigious 5-STAR CRN Award in 2022. Patterson is also a recipient of the 2022 CRN Channel Chief Award and 2022 Channel Futures: Circle of Excellence Award for dedication, industry stature and accomplishments as a channel advocate. Prior to joining Aryaka, Patterson was the West Division Vice President for Lumen’s indirect channel, where he led the global sales and revenue strategy for a $1billion organization within the Lumen Channel Partner Program. Patterson is a passionate supporter and contributor to philanthropic efforts, and currently serves on the board for the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). He resides in Colorado with his family.
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