Last week, we have announced the appointment of Kathleen Claes to the position of Director of Partnerships & Alliances and Katy Wilson to Partner Manager. Today, we take the opportunity and invite Kathleen to an exclusive interview on her new position, her thoughts on open commerce and what this means for merchants.
Kathleen, welcome to the community! How would you describe your new role at Shopware?
My goal is to put Shopware in pole position on the international Commerce Market. My mission is to service and support the team and our Partners, removing any barriers that might hinder success.
When did you join the software industry?
I started my career in Sales when I left school, back in what I call the stone age. I have been an IT professional for over 20 years and started my first Channel experience in 2001, building and developing the Channel for Citrix in the BeNeLux. After having spent all my professional time on the infrastructure side of the technology business, I wanted to shift to the software and application side and go for a more international challenge. That journey started in 2011 with Magento, now Adobe Commerce. Having covered a Channel Development, Channel Leader and Channel Sales Leader role, I accepted the role as Sales Director Western Europe in 2017 during which I extended the Commerce Team in France, the Nordics and DACH, opened the Polish, Italian, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish and Portuguese Market.
So how did you finally decide to join Shopware?
With my Commerce, Midmarket and Open Source DNA, it felt very natural to me to engage with Shopware and explore collaboration opportunities. I am delighted joining a team with whom I feel a very strong connection and cultural fit.
From a technological perspective, how can Shopware as an ecommerce solution help merchants?
Shopware resolutely chose to create a robust, feature rich, open and affordable platform for the Midmarket. Having both B2C and B2B capabilities the platform guarantees a great ROI and TCO for any digital commerce plans of any merchant. The Open Source nature of our platform, strengthened by our fantastic international Partner community, enables merchants through a modest initial investment to make the platform create revenue for them and, if required, gradually adapt the commerce engine depending on their ambitions, growth and needs.
Your change to Shopware happens at a time when the fast-evolving ecommerce industry finds itself at the crossroads and is waiting for the next generation of commerce. What does this future look like?
No one can predict the future. One thing is for sure, consumers determine how they want to engage with their brands and merchants. It is our responsibility to make sure the platform can respond to any of these future needs. The fact that we are open source, have a laser focus on the commerce engine, are working in close partnership with our existing customers and collaborate with a very agile Partner ecosystem help us to live up to that commitment.
What it is the first thing you want to do at Shopware?
Meet the Team and meet the Partner ecosystem to learn from each one of them on how we can keep improving : every day is a school day!
One last question that certainly interests our community: what are you doing in your free time?
In my free time, I very much enjoy the company of my family, friends and my pets, among which a 50kg dog called Dina. I love nature, music and discovering good restaurants.
Thank, you, Kathleen.