My Journey to the “Vendor Side”

This is a blog about a journey: a journey from being the customer of an IT Solutions Provider to servicing the customer. A journey about taking my perceived thoughts and ideas about the way I should have been treated as a customer and turning them into an action plan or template for the way I now treat my customers.
Background:
I am a college graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my 20 years in the IT industry, I have had a number of different titles – End User Support Specialist, Network Administrator, Sr. Systems Engineer, IT Manager – all with 3 companies. I did a 5 year stint with Company A in the Legal Profession in Ohio, and I served 15 years with Company B in the Financial Sector in Las Vegas.
Over the years, I have always wondered what it would be like to work for a vendor. I was curious about the ability to engage a wider range of technology, more in depth than the “in-house” IT professional usually experiences. In fact, I had multiple offers over the years; but Company B was a great place to work, so I never left.
During the early parts of 2014, I felt things were getting stale with Company B; so I got serious about a career change. I had a great relationship with Zunesis as a customer, so I explored employment opportunities with them. There was an immediate need and fit. In a few short weeks, I signed on with Zunesis; and after a nice week and a half vacation in California with my family, I started a new career.
Zunesis IT Solutions ProviderI had been the main contact for IT vendors for Company B. I have experienced all sorts of sales people:

  • The quiet type who let their products do the talking,
  • The boisterous type who think wining and dining is the way to close a sale (which I never complained about),
  • The “inside” sales guy who is constantly calling just because I had asked for a quote,
  • The “BFF,” that is, as long as there is a pending sale,
  • And, finally, the good ones who handle the relationship the way you ask them to and put the “Customer First.”

I have also experienced all types of engineers:

  • The “Of course I will come to Vegas and help you, stay out all night playing blackjack, and fall asleep in the conference room the next day,” type (not kidding),
  • The “I know everything about everything,” type,
  • And the good ones who are thorough, concise, and do what they say they are going to do. Again, the ones who put the “Customer First.”

As a customer I have experienced several types of sales people and engineers; this experience will help shape the type of Solution Architect I’d like to be as well as the type of sales people with whom I will align. I also bring to Zunesis years of experience as a customer, someone who has walked miles in the customer’s shoes. I bring a refreshing perspective to Zunesis’ motto: “Customer First.”
Stay tuned for my next entry as I describe my experiences in my first six months at Zunesis.

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