Career, OpenStack

2016 – Champion Solutions Group

As you may have noticed, this blog hasn’t been updated in a while. To be honest, last year afforded me little time to update, post or even be allowed to describe what I was doing (to some extent).  Most of the content came from my employment at Presidio, a great company to work for.  At the beginning of 2015, I took up a new challenge, wanting to do something new, something with cloud, something with DevOps.

January of last year was when I accepted a role at Ericsson as a Consulting Manager.  If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s used for enterprise consulting (think Accenture-like companies) and I worked for the consulting services at Ericsson.  In fact, we competed with Accenture and I met a few of the people who stuck around at one of my projects, where we won the bid for a large contract project.  Ericsson is also involved in the telco world, working with companies such at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.

Initially at Ericsson, I worked from home and was constantly trying to get involved. It seemed this is normal in consulting, but not for me. I honestly felt that if I wasn’t doing something that my job would be in jeopardy so I run presentations on virtualization, containers and devops and reached out to others in the company to learn more.  This paid off and I developed an opportunity in Europe which seemed perfect.  However, at the same time, Ericsson closed a large project with AT&T that I was called in to help.  The project teamed up with Mirantis (Ericsson holds an interest in them) to push OpenStack through automation and involved everything from the code management, CI/CD, automation to the tools, practices and integration.  We would be running with an agile development process utilizing SCRUM.  In any case, this involved me travelling to St Louis repeatedly and not spending a lot of time with the family.  I also seemed to be dealing more with people than the technology (not because that was what I was told to do, but because that’s what most projects are about, people working together).  In any case, I’ll likely share a lot of that later on.  I met some awesome people on the project that I hope to stay in contact with.

So why Champion?  Champion needed a pre-sales person in Atlanta and has not had the best of luck with the role in past years.  I would love to go back to Presidio, but honestly, they have enough people and they are really good. I needed a challenge.  Champion is much smaller than presidio, roughly 150 employees, and based out of Boca Raton, FL.  The culture mattered a lot to me and often at smaller companies, it is vital that people like you and you like them (less important at bigger companies but not irrelevant).  The interviews went well and I had to chose between them and another offer that was actually more senior but involved some travel.  Ultimately I chose Champion and made my arrangement as close to sales as I could (so my pay is aligned with the sales side as much as possible).  I love the idea of sales, you get paid on what you do, instant gratification and you’re in front of people.  Champion is also very interested in leveraging cloud, containers, and new technology and breaking out of the traditional VAR practice of “slinging boxes”.  I love problem solving and the variety of customer issues in my role keeps me excited and on my toes.  So my decision to work at Champion was based on a number of items, but mostly it was based on a good “fit”.

Hopefully I will be posting more content that is interesting this year so please follow the blog if you’re interested and use the tags if you like certain things but not others on my blog.

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