VMware-focused VAR, SI, MSP & HW vendors employees WITHOUT on-hands VMware experience.

Hi everyone, please excuse the mildly irrelevant post. I suppose this can be asked of any technology/product, but I’m specifically dealing with VMware here, so…

I want to inquire about your experience with people in business-minded roles but that clearly(or you suspect) have no **operational** experience with VMware products or maybe **any** IT ops experience at all.

Positive experiences? Do you think it’s a necessity to have hands-on experience for these roles? Or is satisfaction possible if they don’t? Is it obvious? How were you able to tell?

I’m increasingly in a position where my company is bringing on more of this category of people… college “busm Admin” grads, maybe with MBA degree, but no ops experience(or little tech at all), to fulfil business-roles. I am trying to better understand if this is actually a good decision.

I’m also being asked to fulfil business roles in an area where I don’t have on-hands experience with the relevant technology and arguing that they should first offer supporting learning/utilizing the related tech extending beyond theoretical knowledge. (I mean, reading documentation without application seems akin to reading the dictionary and not communicating)

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One Comment

  1. I’m an SA for a VAR, and have been for 14 years now.

    On your question, it depends on what role you’re talking about. Are you talking about IT Managers/Directors/CIOs? Or are you talking about VAR Sales people?

    On the customer management I run into, about 2/3 are former IT (or more likely engineers who transitioned to IT then to management) and 1/3 are senior MBA types. The larger the enterprise, the more likely management is not technical in the classical sense.

    I’d say about 1/3 of the VAR/MSP sales people are ex SAs who transitioned to sales, 1/3 are your young MBA types right out of college, and 1/3 are old school sales people who transition from something else to IT sales.

    At the end of the day once you reach a high enough level, the technology itself doesn’t matter. What matters is the big picture. It is up to IT and the SAs to design and implement that technology. A great example is the VMware vs HyperV conversation. For those of us dealing with the technology, this is a key question that can literally shape an Enterprise’s IT infrastructure. For a CIO? It doesn’t matter one bit technology wise. They care about TCO, RIO, support longevity, and even vendor relationships.

    That said, even the non technical management and sales people understand the framework more often that you’d think. They’re not keyboard jockeys, but if you have an issue and need to bring in the big guns, nothing makes a vendor cave faster than a pissed off CIO explaining exactly how a vendor’s product has brought down his datacenter.

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