Meet Michel Loubier, a VMware Canada Strategic Account Manager who works closely with Shared Services Canada to manage IT infrastructure for 43 different federal departments. With over 40 years of experience in the IT industry, Michel is a true expert and the Canadian Federal Government is his specialty.
Fun fact: Michel is officially VMware Canada’s longest serving employee, having just celebrated his 13th anniversary with VMware this fall. To celebrate, VMware donated $6,000 in Michel’s honour to a local charity of his choice – Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa.
We recently caught up with Michel to talk about working at VMware and his recent experience with Habitat for Humanity:
Q: Congratulations on 13 years with VMware!
ML: Thank you! It’s very exciting. I’ve been in the IT industry for almost 40 years, working across 5 different companies. Each company made innovative contributions to the technology industry, but none come anywhere close to what VMware is doing now. If I had to make a comparison, VMware does not just build better mouse traps, they change the DNA of mice yielding a new way for us to view them.
Q: Can you explain a bit more about why you think the VMware approach is different?
ML: VMware started by bringing virtualization technology to commodity hardware, which is essentially the forefather of cloud computing and digital transformation – something that is a top priority for almost every IT manager today. The company never stops innovating – just when you think you know everything about VMware they introduce new innovative ways to deal with IT security, new practical applications of artificial intelligence or a creative way to tackle the internet of things. Thirteen years sounds like a very long time at one IT company but with new innovative technologies appearing every few months, time literally is just flying by. It just never gets boring.
Q: We like to keep you on your toes! What is it that makes you excited to go to work in the morning?
ML: I enjoy solving problems – the larger and more challenging the problem, the better. In my role, I work with Shared Services Canada (SSC) which means working with 43 different federal government departments. When SSC was founded, the departments were not given any new funding and their authority was focused on the infrastructure running the applications owned and operated by departments. This has been challenging but I’m enthusiastic about the prospect of consolidating the federal government’s IT under one entity to elevate Canada’s ability to deliver digital government services to all Canadians.
Q: You were recently awarded a charitable donation to honour your anniversary. Why did you select Habitat For Humanity Greater Ottawa?
ML: I started working with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa in 2002, participating in their first major project – it required eight homes to be built at once. Through this experience, I learned about their philosophy of providing affordable home ownership for working families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain ownership, and I experienced first-hand how Habitat changes the lives of area families. The group also provides a true purpose for the volunteers and supporters working with the receiving families. I became part of a very strong knit group of individuals supporting the Greater Ottawa community who have been there for me in good times and in difficult times.
Q: You not only contributed funds to the organization – you organized other VMware Canada employees to join you for a build. What was that experience like with your colleagues?
ML: Yes – it was important to me to be a part of the build and I wanted to encourage my fellow team members to do the same through a VMware Canada Build Day. This build is part of the most ambitious Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa project to date. In total 16 townhomes will be built, and we participated in Phase II, which includes 4 townhomes. Our entire Ottawa-based team joined the build, as well as two members from our Montreal region. This was the first time I had participated in a build with my coworkers and it was a fabulous experience. We divided the team up – some were installing windows, some were working on the fire walls between units, and while others built bulkheads to cover ducts. The day provided a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for all involve – we contributed to building a better community in a very real and tangible way.
Q: Before we close, what’s the big IT trend or issue you think we need to watch?
ML: Right now, digital transformation is the main buzz. Suppliers want to get closer to their customers, while governments want to get closer to their citizens and constituents. Those consumers want simple apps on their phones to do things faster and easier. Smart homes are going to get smarter and yes, self-driving cars will find a logical purpose eventually. With all these advances comes the responsibility of protecting privacy and security. Cyber space is the new battlefield and a laptop or tablet has become the primary tool for both organized crime, petty thieves and other unimaginable crimes. There is a shortage of IT security professionals and I don’t believe we can fill that gap with traditional education or job training. Cyber Security is an area where I see the application of “cool” technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) used to solve very real issues and make the world of technology a much safer place. These are the advancements we all need to not only watch but seek out and learn. Digital transformation has created a completely new landscape when it comes to IT security and if you’re not keeping pace, you’re vulnerable.
Interested in joining the VMware Canada team? Check out our open roles!