Q: Toby, can you tell us a little about the TAM program in EMEA?
Toby: When I joined nine years ago, I was the 18th TAM in EMEA. Today, we have 136 and counting — all pretty evenly distributed across the Northern, Central, and Southern sub-regions. We’ve experienced incredible growth right alongside VMware.
In the early days, our emphasis was in helping customers adopt virtualization. But as the technology has matured, our emphasis has shifted to helping customers get the most business value from their VMware investment.
So, today our TAMs have more of a business consulting profile, in addition to very diverse backgrounds in terms of industry sector and career experience. What they all have in common is a deep understanding of both VMware technology and the unique challenges facing enterprises in EMEA.
Q: What do EMEA customers value most about the TAM program?
Toby: At its core, VMware makes powerful software that challenges the status quo and makes IT easier, and in turn helps them to support their organisations business needs. A TAM’s job, then, is to help customers realize business value by smoothly moving through the challenges inherent in the successful implementation of virtualization technology. Most IT organizations find it extremely valuable to have the advice of a trusted, onsite advisor — someone who’s role is NOT to hard-sell licenses, but rather to provide technical and organizational insights from an outsider’s perspective, and to provide guidance regarding VMware solutions.
One of our largest customers recently told me, “Our TAM is the glue between our senior IT management and our teams on the ground floor of operations and engineering.” Someone who can see both sides of the change process and help get everybody working in the same direction — an expert who can help identify and close gaps between business objectives and IT capabilities.
Q: What kinds of event access does being a TAM customer provide?
Toby: First, TAM customers can join us at VMworld in Barcelona between October 12th and 15th. TAM-related events include TAM Day and TAM Customer Central, which are technical deep dives. These are among the most popular and informative events each year, and with good reason.
Second, TAM customers can participate in roundtables. There are two kinds: Global Roundtables are effectively a knowledge-sharing webcast, and Customer Roundtables, which are exclusive, customized in-country events where VMware product managers and technical specialists present a customer-determined agenda — sort of a mini-VMworld in a single day.
To learn more, readers should visit vmware.com/consulting/technical-account-manager and then give us a call. We’re happy to discuss if and how a VMware TAM can help your company meet its specific business objectives. To hear a TAM customer describe their experience, listen to Ignacio Zamorano, Director of Infrastructure from COLT Technology Services.
Toby Luscher is a VMware TAM Practice Manager in EMEA and manages the Northern EMEA VMware TAM business.