Alumna Celeste Rudd making an impact through the software business


Courtesy of Celeste Rudd

Alumna Celeste Rudd sits with Lisa Gardner and Sheryl Wharff at the 2018 Women of the Channel Leadership Summit East in New York City. This event is where female leaders advance their careers and strategic goals. “My interest in software stemmed from the desire to make a meaningful impact on society as well as my love of softwares constant need for adaptation to market needs and potential to make an incredible living. I am never bored and I know that what I do is impacting people in a meaningful way daily,” Rudd said.

From selling enterprise-grade scalable software to providing consulting, alumna Celeste Rudd has been promoted to Americas Alliance Manager for Micro Focus since joining in March 2016 as an Account Manager in the Enterprise Security Products group.

“In Sept. 2017 the Enterprise Software division of Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) was acquired by Micro Focus,” Rudd said. “I wanted to sell solutions that would make a positive impact on the organizations that purchased the software and their customers.”

Micro Focus specializes in Information Technology (IT) software that aids in increasing a company’s speed, agility, security and insightfulness.

“We help customers bridge the old and the new by maximizing the Return on Investment (ROI) on existing software investments and enabling innovation in the new hybrid model for enterprise IT,” Rudd said. “By bridging the gap between existing and emerging technologies, our software helps our customers innovate faster with less risk on your path to digital transformation.”

As Americas Alliance Manager, Rudd is responsible for the 360-degree relationship with Deloitte, a multinational professional service network, in North America and South America.

“I am involved with all transactions that have a tie to Deloitte. I work with Deloitte on creating solution offerings that have Micro Focus software at its core. I [also] coordinate events to introduce the teams at both Deloitte and Micro Focus to the alliance program in place and to each other,” Rudd said. “An example of this would be conducting a presentation at a Vice President’s Quarterly Business Review to teach the Sales Management team about how Deloitte and Micro Focus work together.”

Rudd was not originally looking at the Americas Alliance Manager position but was instead sought out by the manager of the global alliance with Deloitte.

“I was intrigued. I learned that the position would stretch my capabilities far more than a direct sales management position as it would include management by influence as well as visibility into many other functions of the business. My goal was to grow professionally and this was the perfect opportunity to do that,” Rudd said.

Rudd labels closing a $2.4 million opportunity in September 2018 for Application Security Software as her greatest accomplishment since working with Micro Focus. This opportunity had a 20-month sales cycle which involved many teams across Micro Focus.

“Not only did that single opportunity put me over quota for 2018, but it also ensured that our first responders in the United States and globally are better protected against cybercriminals. An added bonus was that closing the deal helped folks within my organization meet their financial goals,” Rudd said. “One of my subject matter experts was able to give his family a proper Christmas while he was covering two mortgages due to his commission. The impact of the deal was not only monetary but also personal to so many. I could not be more proud of the team that helped make it happen.”

However, Rudd says that her biggest struggle while working with Micro Focus has been effective communication.

“I am a very direct, action-oriented person which can be perceived as being aggressive or overly blunt. I have had to learn how to soften my approach in order for the message that I am trying to convey to be received favorably by the person that I am speaking with,” Rudd said. “I do not believe that I will ever perfect this skill but I work diligently every day to improve. I have had missteps along the way; however I have learned from those, apologized, and committed to always do better.”

Moving forward, Rudd would like to eventually become the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for a technology company. To achieve this, Rudd must achieve multiple smaller goals along the way.

“The first of those goals is to see my region hit its numbers in fiscal 2019. To do this, I am focusing on enabling the sales teams at Micro Focus with an understanding of our alliance with Deloitte, growing our footprint in Canada and starting up our partnership in Latin America,” Rudd said. “The next major step on my path to becoming a CRO would be working to obtain a promotion to the Global Alliance Manager position. I am anticipating that this step will take two to three years as there is a lot of knowledge that I need to gain as I have only been in my current role for a few months thus far and still have a lot to learn before I would be ready.”

Rudd remembers the lessons that she learned while attending West through her teachers and responsibilities that came with extracurricular activities, specifically being a part of the water polo team.

“West taught me that it is okay to go out on a limb and try something new. This has been the most important lesson that I took [with me]. Because of learning this early, I have made several moves to cities where I did not know anyone but was able to grow my career and make new friends,” Rudd said.