Challenges, pains and joys of being a worldwide PreSales specialist with an Italian mindset.
Come to Imagicle and you’ll see the world!
That’s what I first heard from my(future) boss when I took a Skype interview for a job opportunity as“Solution Specialist” at Imagicle.
On that occasion, I explained to him that I love presales job function because it allows me to meet and get to know lots of new people, cultures, languages etc. Well, Imagicle would have allowed me to do it in a special way,as I would soon discover.
The past (?)
By then, I was not a newbie in the Telecommunications sector. I used to work with UC vendors, system integrators, and resellers in Italy, where all technical/business-related communications were passing through emails, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings. You probably think I was born in the stone-age, but that’s the Italian way, and it still is nowadays.
The Imagicle future
Working at Imagicle has been a real step in the future for my experience.
I entered a smart, fresh environment where sales accounts could handle technical queries almost by themselves; managers at various level trust the employees; software developers are actively helping all departments in problem-solving and the coolest possible cross-company Solution Specialists team was ready to welcome me(andturn me into a Christmas party rockstar! Yes, I’m the one with the white wig ).
You would expect the usual presales activities, like preparing offers, writing technical specs and show slides about product portfolio — nothing like this.
At Imagicle we believe that the best way to appreciate and gather all inherent values of a solution is to test it. And here it comes the so-called“proof of concept”, or POC.
That’s when I start traveling…from my desktop workstation!
Imagicle is strongly oriented in leveraging remote session communications, for both business and technical purposes. Consequently, my duties include scheduling and performing remote POCs, keeping in mind time zones that range over GMT-7 up to GMT+5.
The “concept” of a Proof of Concept (conceptually speaking).
Partners and resellers very often take advantage of this useful selling tool: it allows customer to comfortably test all the applications included in the UC Suite on their premise, for an evaluation period of 30 days.
My job is to collect all information about customer’s needs and internal workflow processes, and then, based on requirements, deploy and configure an Imagicle solution suitable for the customer’s telephony environment. As easy as pie, right?
Sometimes, though, customers forgetssome tiny details, like mentioning that they’re using some 30-years-old phone sets or that they need to interface our apps with unknown, end-of-sales CRM/ERP software, with no APIs and no documentation available. But don’t worry!
Italian people are creative: most of the time I find a workaround and I get to serve my“espresso” solution, being able to put on the table a solution that, in those particular moments more than ever, proves to be just how our motto is praising: faster, smarter, easier!
The POC experience.
Believe me: POCs are great opportunities to get in touch with people all over the world and share the satisfaction of having an Imagicle working environment able to deliver all the crucial UC functionalities they are looking for.
Performing such activities from remote is a leap in the dark: you have no idea what’s on the other side of the LAN cable, and you can only rely on the guys on the other end.
That’s how I“virtually” meet people. All kind of people.
Sometimes they turn out to be very helpful; some of them are super skilled, others are very young and need to be guided through the process.
(Sure, sometimes mixing this up with my Italian cultural heritage – very passionate and creative – can make the circumstances a bit explosive, or, as usually happens, funnier than expected!)
I’m sure you think that a face-to-face, onsite meeting would greatly simplify this activity. Well, the answer is yes and no.
Yes, because you can put a face to a name, you can shake hands, drink coffee/tea and acquire a certain acquaintanceship with the customer. In Italy, in Middle-East and all Latin countries, this is very important.
NO, because a remote session forces both you and your remote party to pay attention to what you are doing and requires an active involvement to grant the access to the telephony system and perform the proper configurations. No time for distractions, phone calls, or other matters!
Focal point for the whole company.
Being a“Solution Specialist” in Imagicle is challenging as all interesting things are. My work represents the meeting point of various departments within the Company: sales guys need to know POC status; the support team may require advise on how to configure some new feature; the marketing dept. ask my contribution to editing guides and KB articles to keep the website always up to date, and so on.
This not only makes my job dynamic, allowing me to learn new skills and face different professional figures, but it is also the result of a solid organization, where each component works to create a harmonious whole.
But this is just a part of the story – the Italian one.
I’m sure that my professional service colleagues from another part of the world, in America or the Middle East, have a completely different one, and I am sure it will be just as funny and interesting!