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Mastermind May: Meet HPE Mastermind and Certified Instructor Jean-François Marchal


Name:  Jean-François Marchal

Company: X9000

Title/Role: CEO

Location: Lyon, France

Education: Business School

LinkedIn Profile:  Jean-François Marchal

Jean Francois Marchal_final.pngJean-François Marchal





How did you get started? 

"In 1976, I had a part-time job during my studies: I was supporting a consulting company that created a cash management/optimization software for large companies. At that time, it was already based on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. After my military service, I founded my first company which developed financial software and sold the computers to run the software. The company started as a Digital Equipment Corporation partner in 1980, and the business evolved more on integration along with the open Virtual Management Software (VMS) operating system. I founded my current company, X9000, in 1996 with the introduction of new technologies to focus only on integration. Our current partnership with HPE is the continuation of this business. My role covers presales, some delivery activities, and training, along with management."

When have you decided to become a Master ASE?

"It was quite compelling: I decided to follow the certification path to get onboard on the HPE Partner Ready program and qualify for the next level up which will provide me with even more benefits and better HPE deal rates. Back in 2000, when HP acquired Compaq, in order to achieve a Master ASE certification, you needed to pass seven exams! There was a pilot program running for the new Master ASE certification that took place in Boeblingen, and I was asked by Frank Baillet, Partner Enablement Manager for France, to join and provide feedback on the new certification. I was one of the 1st guys to achieve the newly launched Data Center and Cloud Master ASE certification, although I was on the Server certification track. "

What do you see the benefits of being a Master ASE?

"HPE certifications are mainly a question of recognition for a relatively small company like ours. They give a certain status & provide a strong business advantage against the competition."

"When managing presales activities, the architect skills related to technical questions are backed up by a business view which is unique in the Master ASE training. This allowed us to manage bigger deals with large companies; we would not have won without our set of HPE certifications."

What is your favorite HPE technology?

"HPE 3PAR for sure. When HPE acquired 3PAR, I was asked to deliver the related 3PAR training to other partners, although I was coming from the Server track. During those training, I found 3PAR a really interesting technical subject: even if 3PAR is considered as an autonomic and easy storage solution where everything is simple, when you open the hood, you discover an amazing architecture with a huge potential, and you can learn a lot on Storage Data Management. "

What’s your experience from being an HPE Certified Instructor since 2016?

"I find this role really interesting and challenging: it forces me to have a larger scope of the certification content, take a closer look at the learner’s needs and bring my experience into the classroom. I deliver Storage Master ASE and Cloud courses once per month."

What's your tip for others interested in HPE certifications?

"That depends on the different level of certifications. In general, be curious, study in depth the different HPE products and learn their specifications, advantages and positioning against the competition. Focus less on the course content & course study guides themselves. Expand your knowledge and don’t forget that the trend is to sell end-to-end solutions and not boxes. Composable Infrastructure and Software are just there to solve customers’ problems faster and better."


As a Master ASE, you will be recognized as having reached the pinnacle in HPE Certifications. Customers will rely on you to bring rich technical skills to design and implement their most complex solutions. You’ll also see personal and business rewards while being able to network and share with one of the most exclusive teams in the industry.




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About the Author


I’ve been in marketing in IT for more than 7 years now. I love sharing fascinating stories about our partners and my colleagues!

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