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Episode Info:

Welcome to episode 23 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two VMware Solution Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode, we discuss John’s 3 Year Check-in at VMware, Part 1.
Original Recording Date: 2019-1-26
Topics – John’s 3 Year Check-in at VMware, John’s Observations
1:30 Topics Begin

* How did John fare at Michael Jordan trivia since this is episode 23?
* John and Nick have hire dates that are roughly 2 years apart.

4:31 What Has John Learned?

* 4:31 Core job functions

* Reached competence in year 1
* Explaining the portfolio

* Virtual desktop was a blind spot
* Portfolio much larger than it once was
* Understanding where these products have relevance to customer business problems

* Coming up with a good company elevator pitch was important. John gives the example of having to do this at a career fair.
* Understanding customer business issues was new to John.
* Building relationships within customer organizations and being relevant

* How close does John see the role of the SE to the account representative?
* We have to know where our solutions will definitely and when to rule them out based on the situation (first level technical qualification).
* John supports two account reps.
* An account rep will be focused on higher level relationships within the organization that a SE may not have.

* 14:20 Extended job functions

* Built up to competence in year two
* Extending relationships with the VMware business units to product team members, technical support team members, etc.
* Using large events like VMworld / others to build better relationships with customers

* 18:16 Building an internal network / determining career trajectory

* Competency in year three
* Build stronger relationships with the partner ecosystem

* John had to learn the value to the company from going through a partner / reseller.
* Sometimes deals are better taken directly than through a reseller.
* Partners may need to help with implementation or help customers manage support contracts. John gives a nice example of when he leaned on a partner for help as a customer.
* John cites participation in communities such as Spiceworks as a way to get some information on how the ecosystem works.

* Other organizations within the company like OCTO (Office of the CTO)
* Relationships with tech marketing folks

25:02 – What is the Job?

* 25:02 Customer focus

* It’s very important to understand what the customer does on a very basic level (their product, how they sell, what their value is in the market, who their competition is, how they view themselves, etc.).
* Customers need to know you’re willing to help before sharing certain information with you. It comes down to the types of relationships one has within the organization.
* Understanding customer organizational structure and how they measure success is important before proposing any solutions.
* Overcoming internal challenges like politics and personnel takes time.

* John didn’t see the big picture of making the organization / department successful as a customer and had to learn it after lea...

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