Technical Account Managers (TAMs) add value for their customers in many ways. Across our industry TAMs spend their days as sleuths determining the best ways to service their customers through activities such as product briefs, support escalations, and being that single point of contact representing their particular company. The VMware Technical Account Manager program differentiates our services by striving to be the Gold Standard for TAMs in the technology industry. In this post I’ll explore VMware Advanced Certifications and why VMware TAMs not only continue to further their own technical expertise but also how that translates into additional value for our customers.
I’d argue that the VMware Technical Certification Program is one of the most intense and valuable programs in our industry. It starts with the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) followed by the VMware Certified Professional (VCP), then VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX), and culminates with the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX). At the time of this writing there are just 200 VCDX holders worldwide! The VCIX is the successor to the VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification and has not been completely rolled out yet. In addition to these levels of certification there are several “tracks” within each level as illustrated in figure 1 from the Certification Roadmap:
- Data Center Virtualization (DCV)
- Cloud Management & Automation (CMA)
- Network Virtualization (NV)
- Desktop & Mobility (DTM)
The above information is important in order to illustrate a few key points. First, achieving advanced VMware certifications is difficult. Each area on the roadmap above represents not only a significant level of hands-on experience with our products, but also design and architecture abilities. Second, once achieved, it still takes considerable time and effort to maintain those certifications. As new versions of products are released, new certifications follow. For example, VCP5-DCV has been the most popular certification for some time. However, VCP6-DCV has recently become available following the release of vSphere 6. Thus, VMware certifications are much more of a continuous education process than simple standalone exams. Finally, having access to talent that can not only get deeper into a single subject area (or product) can be difficult enough. We, at VMware, not only continue in our areas of expertise with advanced certifications, but we step outside of our comfort zone to ensure we are well rounded. These are the keys that differentiate the VMware TAM service.
Customer service is the highest priority for a TAM. In order for VMware to ensure our customers receive tremendous value from their investment in the VMware TAM Program, our TAMs must be able to efficiently field technical questions, as well as provide technical guidance. The more our TAMs can provide that value themselves, the more efficient and effective the TAM can be for the customer. VMware Advanced Certifications, such as the VCIX and VCAP that many of our TAMs have achieved and continue to push past, show that the VMware TAM Program can provide much more than just customer service. We are proactive on both technical and non-technical levels so we are able to provide technical deep dives, health checks, and align business strategy to architecture.
In summary, TAMs across the industry work hard to ensure their customers are successful. The VMware TAM Program extends that core tenet past conventional customer service to create highly technical resources who greatly streamline our customers’ time-to-value. By combining both business and advanced technical acumen, VMware TAMs have become a highly strategic resource that customers depend on to help them navigate their most difficult challenges.
Adam is currently a TAM for VMware who works with a small number of large Enterprise & Government customers as a consultant within the VMware Professional Services Organization (PSO). Adam provides technical guidance and advocacy to his customers and provides customers access to exclusive content, access to road maps & product managers, as well as being the single point of contact for everything VMware-related. He currently holds VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DTD, EMCISA, and several Cisco Data Center Specialist certifications. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.