The Presales Way

I recently came across my old notebook from 2011 when I started at Legacy EMC as a vSpecialist. It was quite nostalgic going through my notes, other scribblings and random ramblings but the most cherished notes regarded my role as a vSpecialist. My manager was Travers Nicholas (@traversn). He’s dynamic on stage as a presenter and also on a one-on-one basis and he was the person who convinced me to join EMC. I’m still grateful to him, even now, for recruiting me to one of the best teams and companies I’ve had the experience of working for.

During one of our first meetings he laid out the roles of a vSpecialist, the values of which I still try to live each day as a Systems Engineer at Dell EMC. The organization may be undergoing some changes but our mission and our role remains the same.  There were four key areas that was required of me which I would like to reflect on.

Sales Support:

The first thing we do as presales is to support our sales counterparts and to support the sales cycle. We work to ensure the technical win by understanding our customer requirements and we build the best solutions for them. We present to customers, we support VMware on EMC and VCE (now CPSD – Converged Platforms & Solutions Division) from a sales perspective.

Marketing Support:

To support the marketing team with events as a speaker or presenter or other role as required (running vLabs, booth support) at events such as EMC Forum or vForum.  To provide content such as presentations, documentation & news letters or similar and to promote EMC as the “Number One” choice for customers who run VMware. To speak at the Executive Briefing Centre session or local EBC On The Road sessions.


As a vSpecialist we had access to some extremely exciting, cutting edge information and content. This is only of value though, if everyone is aware of the information and can deliver the same message. Therefore, it was important for us to enable fellow presales team members and to deliver the “Why EMC for VMware” messaging. This messaging would be for both sales and presales as well as for our partner presales community.


Related to the enablement point above. There was tons of information, several weekly calls across both EMC and VMware portfolios. It was overwhelming at times because we were expected to know lots about a lot. We needed to learn so as to deliver the messaging.

Since then, I’ve moved from vSpecialist to the Advanced Software Division, transitioned to the Software Defined Solutions Division and now I’m part of the core presales focusing on the Telco space. My role has changed, the company has changed but I still operate by the vSpecialist principles instilled in me six years ago.

One other thing that Travers told me was “Read virtual-geek, often”. This, I still do today. The vSpecialists always wondered how Chad manages to do what he does – writing pages and pages of content for his blog, while still running the vSpecialst organization (and later global presales). It still remains a mystery but then again, Chad is amazing at what he does. Chad’s posts are detailed and provide a great source of relevant industry context.  Finally, I’m reminded of a line from a song famous among vSpecialists, “We’re number one, vSpecialists, we get the job done.” You can check out that video here.