Employer: Dell EMC
Function/Role: Advisory Systems Engineer
Location: Bangalore, India
- Dell EMC Proven Certifications
- Associate - Backup Recovery (DECA-BR)
- Associate - Converged Systems and Hybrid Cloud Version 1.0 (DECA)
- Associate - Data Protection and Management Version 1.0 (DECA-DPM)
- Associate - Information Storage and Management Version 3.0 (DECA-ISM)
- Information Storage Associate (EMCISA)
- Specialist - Cloud Architect, Virtualized Infrastructure Version 1.0 (DECS-CA)
- Data Center Architect, Enterprise Backup Recovery Specialist Version 2.0
- Specialist - Technology Architect, VNX Solutions Version 7.0 (DECS-TA)
- Technology Architect, EMC Availability Solutions Specialist Version 1.0 (EMCTA)
- Technology Architect, EMC Information Storage Solutions Specialist Version 1.0 (EMCTA)
- Technology Architect, EMC Storage & Information Infrastructure Specialist Version 5.0 (EMCTA)
- Implementation Engineer
- Implementation Engineer, XtremIO Solutions Specialist Version (EMCIE)
- Specialist - Implementation Engineer, Unity Solutions Version 1.0 (DECS-IE)
- Product/Technology Specific
- ScaleIO 1.x Server-Based SAN (DEC)
- XtremIO 3.x Flash Storage Solutions
- Isilon Certified Storage Professional
- VMWare Technology Sales Professional (VTSP 4, 5, 5.5, 2016)
- Master of Computer Applications (MCA), Indira Gandhi National Open University, India
- Master of Business Administration (MBA), Osmania University, India
Area of Expertise: Data Center Infrastructure Consulting
How did you get your start in IT? Was it something you were always interested in?
Curiosity of how things work led me to learn more about technology, and when it came to information technology in particular, it was no different. I always explore how things work and talk about it with my friends and colleagues.
I started my career as a Sales Engineer selling Telecom solutions. Over time I transitioned from a Sales Engineer, to a Presales and Project Manager deploying large contact center solutions.
I chose Presales as a career path because it gave me the opportunity to articulate the benefits of the solution and help architect solutions for my customers. A basic premise of Information Technology is to make information accessible. It is a privilege to be associated with the best in class solutions company that can offer IT, digital, security and workforce transformation all in one place.
What is your favorite part of your job, and why?
Learning something new each day is part of my job role, and every business problem teaches something new. Solving these business problems provides satisfaction as well as builds my credibility with customers and my peers. With rapid changes in technology, an early adopter / learner can gain an advantage over others. My job presents challenges to learn not just my products, but also the competition’s products and the ecosystem. The continuous learning, unlearning and updating keeps me relevant in my profession, and helps me be a trusted advisor, which is a matter of great pride.
It’s clear that you are very enthusiastic about learning, as you have achieved many certifications. What motivates you to pursue new certifications?
Knowledge is power. I make time to include learning something new, on a weekly basis. This gives me a unique opportunity to be the person to go to within my organization as well as in my peer group. Preparing for a certification gives me an opportunity to learn the concepts and its application. Certification is a validation of learning and applications, and tests your knowledge in all related areas.
Every new solution offering is introduced to solve a problem. Reading, learning and being hands-on helps me learn, apply and design solutions in an effective manner. Hands-on helps one experience the functionality and builds confidence to optimize the capabilities of the new offerings.
What does it mean to you to be a trusted advisor, and how does that help you interact with customers?
I take pride in being a trusted advisor for my peers and customers. My peers reach out to me since they recognize that I think outside of the box and I am innovative. The knowledge of the ecosystem also helps me be a solutions consultant, putting my customer first and suggesting to them the solution that meets their requirements.
How much do you prioritize training for yourself and your team? How do you identify opportunities for training and development?
I schedule my learning on my calendar and ensure that I stick to my learning schedule. Every quarter I plan to complete my accreditations and product updates early, and leverage the learnings and updates in the offerings. I subscribe to and leverage various learning tools available internally as well as with ecosystem partners. I keep exploring new technologies and offerings, sense an opportunity to learn, and leverage the offering for my customers. I have been a pilot user for many tools and provide feedback for tool development. As a mentor, I have influenced many to complete their certifications and be successful within their career. When I see new, useful content for my team, I make sure to share with my entire team.
Are you currently taking any of our training courses, or our Transforming your IT course?
I am currently taking the Converged Infrastructure Solutions Online ILT and will be taking the certification soon. I also plan to take Data Scientist Associate training in the future.
What was your favorite training course, and what about the course was most helpful to your career?
Every course has a use case and a benefit and it would be difficult to single out a particular course that has been more helpful than another. However, if I were to choose just one of the courses, it would be the training course that led to the Solutions Design Exam for Technology Architects. This was a course that was not product-centric and covered the basics of solution design and approach. This was also a foundation course for presales engineers that provides insights into tools for sizing solutions.
Is there a course that isn’t offered that you wish would be developed? What topics would you like covered in the course?
I am currently working on next generation solutions such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and coding. I wish there was a structured learning around this area, and around IoT, sensors, and how things work for the next generation intelligent solutions
Tell me about the biggest challenge you’ve ever tackled. Did you work with or lead a team? What were the project’s challenges? How did the project turn out?
I have worked across multiple territories during my tenure at Dell EMC. I have worked with several teams and have been recognized as an excellent team player. I believe in pursuing, accomplishing and overachieving the goals set, and virtually leading the team with a few of the technical and consulting initiatives mapped to revenue goals. I aspire to experience and learn by being out of my comfort zone and have moved from a well-established IT/ITES territory of Hyderabad that I built and nurtured from scratch over the years to a BFSI consultant role for South India in EMC. Prior to my involvement, EMC had a negligible presence in the BFSI sector within South India – the presence being dominated largely by competitors. I had to hone my technical skills to be able to understand the BFSI landscape and application ecosystem from the basics – which I consider a large challenge that I successfully tackled. I set the goal of getting EMC an entry into the Core banking arena of banks within South India. With persistent efforts in influencing the bank’s IT team – the SI team involved with the bank; and the consultants approving the bank’s Technology Refresh design – I was able to strategize along with the account manager and succeed in displacing the incumbent in the refresh. This became a one of its kind, lead reference for many other successful wins that followed.
How do you think Converged Infrastructure/Hyper-converged Infrastructure will reshape the IT industry in the next 5 years?
My view is that high speed interconnect fabrics offering improved latencies will result in the adoption rate of CI/HCI to become mainstream over traditional approaches in the next 5 years – even for Tier0/1 workloads from Edge, to Core, to Cloud. The IT industry will exhibit a preference for HCI solution stacks that can differentiate in integrating layers all through the stack with automation to handle workload agility on-prem, dynamic scale, and elasticity to cloud ensuring information security (ii) making it open, flexible and extensible for integration with workflows (iii) offer consumption model variants to suit the myriad business workloads and consumer segments.
What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the IT industry in the next 10 years?
Technology is ever changing and improving. I believe it is moving toward software defined and more Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. I feel that in many respects life will become simpler as more devices become connected and more sensors and internet of things devices are adopted.
Name a major achievement in your career or any awards that you have won. What did you win the award for?
I have received multiple awards in my career at Dell EMC. I have received the highest number of certifications in the Xtreme certification challenge for 2 consecutive years. Apart from tangible awards won, I would note my achievements to the impact I have had on consulting engagements through my different roles at Dell EMC. My contribution has resulted in helping to accelerate the IT and digital transformation journeys of our customers; business growth of the territory I was associated with; and breaking into many competitive accounts, thus establishing Dell EMC’s presence.
Which award that you have achieved are you most proud of, and why?
While I am proud of each award, the one award that is special is in recognition of the work we put in for a government project which helped reduce the processing time of the data for emergency responses. This had a tremendous impact to society, where satellite images were used to forecast and predict emergency situations. This helped save the lives of people, and aligned with my aspiration to use technology to build a solution in the right way to serve a societal cause.
What drives your success?
Success is amplified when customers, partners and Dell EMC win together and realize value together. I find success in being a change agent in adapting and winning, by aligning to the strategies of the group and organizations I work in, constantly enhancing my core competencies, learning newer technologies and sharing the learnings and experiences with people I am associated with, as well with peers, partners and customers.
What value does your certification bring to you? How has being certified helped you professionally?
Preparation for certification involves planning, reading, working hands-on and going through the content for the certification. The certification material reinforces the concepts and strengthens one’s learnings. The hands-on labs that are included with the training help us apply the learning to customer environments. Preparing for a certification enhances the knowledge and confidence with which we approach a problem and solve it successfully.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out in the Dell EMC Proven Professional Certification Program?
Plan and set goals and execute to achieve. Certification gives you recognition and boosts your confidence. One should be able to gain the certifications on the products/technologies that they work on. This gives a sense of commitment to learning and proving that you know your product/offering.
What is a unique skill you have outside of your career?
In my leisure time, I try my skills and experiment with photography. I also participated in the Make it Real contest at Dell EMC and my photographs were published on the posters. I also do a lot of DIY projects in my leisure time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
Deep down, I am an environmentalist. I do my part to help the environment and am glad that I have been able to influence some of my friends and family members. At home, my kids have joined me in organic farming. We are heading towards zero organic waste going to landfills, and plastics are sorted and given for recycling. I feel that if we all showed concern for the environment, we could prevent further damage to this environment and make this planet livable for future generations.
Read other Dell EMC Proven Professional Spotlight interviews in the Proven Professional Spotlight Archive