30 second interview with Kate Wallyn, Marketing Manager, Oryx Align

With 13+ years' experience in the IT industry, Kate has spent her career building and driving strategic marketing plans aligned to business goals and objectives within varying budgets. 


1. What was your first ever job?

When I was 9 years old I worked at a donkey sanctuary, riding and exercising the donkeys and helping muck them out. I was paid in honey from the bees kept by the lady that owned the sanctuary... The real world came as quite a shock after that!!! 

2. Why did you get into the channel world?

I began my career here, working for a boutique Cyber Security Reseller. I've always enjoyed the perspective from the middle ground. Learning about the latest technologies that are available and building partnerships with key vendors but also from a client's perspective, understanding the challenges and trends that present themselves, recognising the business cases and developing solutions to address them. Also experiencing the rapid evolution of the industry and having the flexibility to be able to adapt and respond accordingly and speedily from a more client focused perspective.

3. What does your current role entail?

I am fairly new to OryxAlign and with the recent introduction of GDPR, It's been a little data and policy heavy these last few weeks but generally I am responsible for building and implementing the business's marketing plan in line with core business values and objectives. This year we are focusing more on building on partner relationships - recognising that there is a lot of support available that we could utilise as an SMB. So I will be working hard to ensure we are working closely with them. We are also shifting our direction slightly and leaning more towards Cyber Security solutions in line with our clients requirements. We are currently evaluating some new technologies to add to our portfolio too so there will be a lot of new messaging and exciting client case studies to bring together. Thought leadership events and webinars for clients and also the internal team are going to become more frequent and effective communication in general is my top priority this year.

4. What have been the most significant challenges for the channel in recent years?

There have been quite a few but I would say some of the more significant challenges have been:

  • The over saturated vendor landscape that continues to expand daily with new technologies, each with its own USP's and superior features... Where would we be without Gartners Magic Quadrants and those industry analysts that scrutinise every aspect of a solutions capabilities
  • The uncertainty of Brexit. Not knowing how client relationships, partnerships, employees and business contracts would be affected. The fluctuating currency exchange rates and the effect on overseas business, generally the necessity to take extreme precautions and measures to protect businesses in the worst case scenario.
  • More recently of course, the dreaded GDPR that has taken over the lives of so many.... The requirement to be able to trace the lifecycle of all the data you hold and ensure that its location meets the necessary requirement for data storage. For any businesses that have lacked data entry, reporting and cleansing expertise until now, the GDPR deadline marked the erasure of prospecting databases for many.


5. What can our delegates expect from your presentation/panel?

Hopefully an insight into how other MSP's approach their marketing requirements. It's always useful to hear other points of view and perspectives. There isn't a ‘one size fits all' method to marketing for Managed Services but if this discussion encourages you to consider additional approaches and highlights ideas that may not have been previously apparent, then it will have achieved it's purpose. I for one am interested in hearing about what others in my field are getting up to....