Some of you may have noticed a slow down on the blogging the last month. It has nothing to do with lacking ideas for content, and everything to do with a new role I’ve taken on here at EMC. A couple of weeks ago I moved into a vSpecialist Manager role covering the Commercial West Division. Basically this is from Texas, up towards Iowa and over to Seattle and back around to Texas. Ya, BIG GEO !!
Normally when things like this happen, you’ve had a chance to backfill for the role you are leaving, but in this case things moved pretty fast and we needed managerial coverage quickly so I moved into a dual role. Needless to say, it’s been a CRAZY last few weeks and my passion for blogging had to take a quick hibernation (to steal a tweet from Duncan). BUT I’M BACK!!
With this new role comes new fun around looking for good people to bring into EMC. It feels like I’m going to be spending a lot of my time on just recruiting and finding great people. The GREAT news is the team I’m managing are all rockstars which makes my job as a manager WAY easier !! At this point, I’m just trying not to screw anything up !!
Back to recruiting. Guess what, WE NEED GOOD PEOPLE !! Not just our vSpecialist teams, we have openings for Technical Consultants (Pre-Sales – Customer Facing Systems Engineers) for the division I cover as well. NOT to mention, even if we don’t have a current opening in a specific geography, we always need to keep a bench of people we can bring into EMC when openings happen and that can happen at a drop of a hat. I usually chalk this up to just straight up networking. I’m a firm believer that the great jobs are the ones you don’t often see posted, but hear about through your networking endeavors like theses!!
So I get asked a lot about what a vSpecialist is, and what does it take to be one. For the first question, we wear many different hats, but most of them have VMware+EMC on them somewhere. We help our customers understand the value of EMC in their VMware environment, and not just from a storage perspective. We talk Backup, Replication, Security, End User Computing (VDI as an example) specific to EMC products. The real fun stuff is that we also do a lot of discussions and architectures around taking virtual datacenters and helping customers understand how to transform them into their own Private Cloud (Automation/Orchestration/Repeatability etc) . We also work closely with the EMC Pre-Sales and Post-SalesTechnical team to make sure they are up to speed on the ever changing virtualization landscape. In addition, we do the same thing for the VMware field teams and our reseller partner brothers and sisters. We do these with lots of focus around architecting, and a lot of hands on training with them.
First things first, having a VCP or VCAP or years and years of hands on experience is a good place to start, but does not guarantee you will be a good fit for this role. What I think sometimes gets lost in what people see in our team is that the vSpecialist role is a Pre-Sales role. In other words, at the end of the day, we are a customer-focused group that helps our field sales teams during sales campaigns. We do this by helping differentiate EMC Solutions in customer accounts that have made a significant focus on VMware moving forward. There is an expectation of understanding that at the end of the day, we are all responsible for helping drive EMC to be the best in industry. The vSpecialist team also does a lot of evangelizing which means you have to have a TON of energy and willingness to stand up in large groups of people to present all sorts of interesting content. It requires you to have an overwhelming desire to read, absorb, seek out information in an effort to build your knowledge base of solutions that can help customers. We live by the motto of “teach, don’t impress” and we have a genuine desire to share our knowledge freely with anyone that is willing to listen or wants to learn.
On TOP of it all, you have to be capable of shifting topics, products, cities, states, countries at a drop of the hat !! By the way, I’m not saying travel is crazy, but it certainly can be from time to time. It really does depend on the geography you would be covering. I can tell you it’s the most rewarding, and exciting, and stressful jobs I’ve had in my career. I doubt you would find a vSpecialist (past or present) that didn’t say the same thing.
By the way, if you don’t feel like you have the VMware background necessary to be a vSpecialists, an equally passionate and outgoing group is our Pre-Sales Technical Consultants (TC’s). The fundamental DNA for each of our teams isn’t really all that different. One of big things we have in common with the TC’s is both of our groups are not shy or reserved!! We tend to have strong opinions and are not afraid to speak up and share them with others.
So, if you feel like this is in your wheelhouse, I would encourage you to send your resume to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll look them over and forward them to the right people. Right now, I’m looking for Houston and want/need to build a bench in the California Bay Area (San Fran, Santa Clara, San Jose etc) and maybe Phoenix. That doesn’t mean other vSpecialist managers don’t have open headcounts or bench requests. I’ll ask them to leave their request in the comments area. I’ll also encourage the TC managers to do this as well.
Have a GREAT Day !!