Senior Practice Consultant, Infrastructure Consulting Practice
On any given day as a senior practice consultant focused on EMC IT service management (ITSM), Neil may be working on extending EMC’s ITSM thought leadership within the U.K., expanding opportunities for EMC’s existing ITSM consulting offerings, or identifying opportunities to create new offerings or to build custom offerings for clients that leverage EMC’s constantly growing software portfolio.
Regardless of which role he’s playing, “my focus is on customer impact,” Neil says. “I’m always looking for how we can help customers—changing the way they do things within their data center environment through data center transformation, helping them protect their infrastructure and information, or getting them to run their IT operations in a more efficient manner, for example.”
Neil’s projects frequently call for leading-edge knowledge, processes, and technology that are new for EMC or for the U.K. This means that Neil has the double challenge of educating the sales force to help them understand how the solution fits into EMC’s vision and to convince the client about the value of the solution and why they need it.
“What’s also a challenge is the speed of change,” explains Neil. “We’re always being pushed to be the thought leaders—to always stay ahead of the curve—and the fact that this curve is changing makes it tricky to keep on top of things in the midst of delivering projects.”
Neil moved to EMC Consulting from a presales technical role in which he focused heavily on EMC technology and identifying what products best met the requirements of his large enterprise customers. Today he enjoys being viewed in the organization as a thought leader and recognized for his ability to lead the company into new areas.
“I love that I can play a more strategic role both with the customer and with EMC. I’ve had the opportunity to work with multifunctional teams within EMC as well as with clients. Every day can be different. I wear lots of hats; I work on projects ranging from process to infrastructure to business and organizational design. This has enabled me to significantly broaden my skill-set.”
Flexibility is essential, according to Neil, and “you also need to be a self starter—willing to not just wait for opportunities to drop in your lap but to go out and find them. You need to be able work on your own as well as embrace multiple teams, bring in other people when necessary, and work as a team with your client.”
You also need good interpersonal skills. “A lot of the work we do requires a level of specialization in terms of what we talk to our clients about. As a consultant, you must be able to ask the right questions.”
“Most important, you need to believe in yourself. You’ll deal with a wide variety of people and roles, and you won’t have the specific expertise to address everybody’s expectations. However, if you believe in your own skill-set, ask the right questions, and bring in the help you need from within and outside of the organization, you’ll succeed.”
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