Three Years at Microsoft

Three Years at Microsoft

Three years ago today, I walked into Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA and started my journey with onboarding.  After a flurry of directions, presentations and shock at the diverse individuals in the process with me, I returned home and started as the lucky person taking over Patrick LeBlanc’s previous position in a specialized group in the EDU.  I always hate starting a new job and this was no different.  I had no idea what I was doing, was drinking from the fire hose, (which at Microsoft is always the case with how much is constantly evolving in the technology) and not knowing anyone on my team.  I wasn’t sure how I’d even been chosen, as I had so little Azure experience and no analytics experience, but was told that hands down, I was the one they wanted.

Starting Out

I had a very busy, but quite effective manager in Denny Ramsey and really good team members, both technical, in Dustin Ryan and Steve Pontello, as well as less technical and more account strategy support.  I learned as I went along, but it was kind of bumpy and I just survived on all that Microsoft offered in the way of training and took care of my customers, keeping them happy.  About four months in, I realized a pattern of conversations with customers regarding Oracle and realized that many of those that were hanging back from migrating to Azure, in part, was because they didn’t know what to do with the Oracle databases that needed to move along with the rest of their datacenter.  I approached Denny and told him that I could move the databases to Azure just as easily as anything else and he let me know others had tried it and it just hadn’t gone well.  I responded, “Well, that’s because you’ve been doing it wrong.”  Denny chuckled and pretty much did a, “Let’s see what you got, kid.” and the rest is history.

Moving Up and Moving On

I transitioned to the Customer Success Architecture and Engineering team, (CAE) a year and a half ago as an SME on Oracle for Azure after 70% of my customers had grown to be outside of just the EDU.  This is now a full time role for me and I not only help customers globally with technical issues that can’t be solved by other teams, but own the documentation for Oracle on Azure IaaS, write white papers, scale out with partners and help them onboard and train other groups to do what I do.  I came here with my own workload and the ability to generate my own customer base.  There is more than enough work for me, and my spouse, the indomitable, Tim Gorman, who joined around the same time I joined the CAE and we are allocated around 4-6 times what other CAE peers are.   Tim working here is all Israel Vega’s fault, as he asked me if I knew anyone with my skills and I said, “Yeah, I’m married to him.”  They interviewed him, of course, loved him and hired him.

We have a great boss in Vincent Staropoli and he makes sure we don’t get abused by the field…:)  He gets us what we need and steps in when we need it.  I feel valued up the chain, even when there are layers of leadership that don’t really understand why Oracle is important as part of the data estate.  Hey, I’m mouthy and I’ve made a place for myself here and as Steve Martin says, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”  Oracle needs that at Microsoft.  All companies need someone who can voice the importance of all the technology, even when it isn’t part of the employer’s chosen platforms.

Anyone Can Do This

So people, trust your gut, work hard, do your best and build the role you want in life.  If I can be an Oracle specialist at Microsoft, you can be anything you dream you can be.

Three Years at Microsoft

Happy anniversary to me…and Microsoft!

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