Wow. It seems like just yesterday that everyone was getting set to start the 2012 sales kickoff roadshow, culminating in a wonderful week of pinball and pints in London at Cisco Live EU. Now, I look around and see that we are quickly closing in on 2013 and I’m dismayed to realize how fast the year has gone.
I also realize that this last year has aged me in many ways.
My incredible, amazing, indefatigable teammate Jay Cuthrell says “VCE is all about riding the rocket while constructing and reworking that same rocket in real time.” He’s not wrong, I’d just add that we have a tendency to do that construction and reworking while sipping a cocktail, eating prodigious amounts of meat, using three different social media platforms at once, researching a dozen new technologies, tweaking customer presentations and trying desperately to keep everyone’s names straight. Don’t try this at home. No really, don’t.
It’s been fantastic to watch the VCE organism coalesce into a multi-national, snarky, hard-working, sharing (mostly) by default, channel-agnostic group of technical superstars. We knew going in that the vArchitect role was going to be an incredibly hard one to hire for, and an even harder one to keep. Trust me, there are many people who have interviewed for those positions and not made the grade, but those that have risen to the top are some of the most impressive pre-sales architects I’ve ever met. I’d name names, but there’s no way I’d remember them all, and it would just serve as a list for some recruiter to use. Being fluent in one data center technology is hard, being fluent in three plus all of the enterprise applications that our customers use AND able to communicate and any level of discussion from nerd knobs to executive summaries is both difficult and the only way to be successful at VCE. My hat is off to those guys and girls and the tremendous amount of work they put in. They are the true magic that keeps the VCE rocket in the air.
Speaking of “in the air” holy cow have I seen the inside of a lot of airplanes this year. I traveled as much in 2012 than I have in the rest of my lifetime combined, and there is definitely a price to be paid. It’s hard on the body, hard on the family and hard on maintaining a sense of space and time. More than once I’ve woken up in another generic Marriott and wondered where I was and which time zone I was in. While I love my job, and getting to travel and talk to customers and partners all over the globe is a dream come true, being away from my family is hard. Luckily, I have the best partner I can think of to make sure things stay working at home while I’m gone. Every time we go somewhere and I see how other kids act I’m reminded of the wonderful job my wife does with the kids. I’m very lucky.
I promised that I wouldn’t do a “predictions” column, and I intend to keep that. No one cares what I think is going to happen next, and anything I told you would be biased because of who I am, where I work and the things I know. Instead, let’s take another couple days to revel in the success that came in 2012:
- VCE established clear leadership in the Converged Infrastructure space, dominating in market share and growth
- I moved to a team within the company where I feel like a completely natural fit. Being on a team where everyone shares in the burden, where everyone is a vested part of the “doers”, is an incredible (and rare) feeling.
- I continued to find rooms where everyone is significantly smarter than I am. Thank goodness.
In the end, I met more good people, in more cool places than I ever expected. To all of you who I talked to, drank with, shared a meal, a dance or a laugh: thank you. Here’s to more of the same in 2013.