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The Friendly Face of Personalized Support: Meet Your HPE Account Support Manager

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By Andrew Michell, HPE Account Support Manager III

One of the hallmarks of HPE Datacenter Care Service has always been the HPE assigned account team, which works closely with the customer to help them achieve their business and IT goals. And a key role in those teams is the Account Support Manager (ASM), who delivers a level of personalized support that’s unmatched in the industry. I caught up with Andrew Mitchell, one of our Colorado-based ASMs, to get an inside view of the role and why it’s such an important benefit for customers.

Michael Corrado: IT folks who haven’t worked with HPE Datacenter Care may not be familiar with the Account Support Manager role. How would you define it?

Andrew Mitchell: I’m basically a customer advocate and the contact point between the customer and all of the expertise that HPE Datacenter Care delivers to support the IT environment. I’m part of a team that typically also includes a technical account manager and a data center hardware specialist. HPE Datacenter Care is very customizable, so the size of the team varies. At a larger organization there may be five or six of us handling different facets of the environment – storage, servers, networking, whatever it may be.

It’s my job really to be the face of the team for the customer. At the beginning of a contract I’ll go in and work with the IT staff to understand exactly what the needs are, both proactive and reactive, and I’ll also work on the HPE side to make sure we bring all the right people to the table to meet those needs. I make sure that our team members have all the pieces to present to customers in our regular support planning and review meetings so we can proactively address the customer’s needs.

On the reactive support side, I get together with the HPE technical account manager and we meet with all of our customers biweekly to make sure we’re all on-page. Anytime the customer has an issue, we pull in whatever resources we need to get everything running smoothly again. At one company I work with, they call me the Doctor. When they have an issue, they just send me the information so I can diagnose it and bring in the right teams to solve it. It’s like: “Ok, time to call in Dr. Drew!” I have all the right relationships internally with the HPE engineering teams and the escalation teams to make things happen fast.

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Michael: What does a typical work day look like?

Andrew: Well, like anybody I guess, I usually start by looking through my emails and checking what meetings are coming up for the day. Like most ASMs, I’m semi-remote. But whether we’re working from a home office or an HPE site, we try to spend as much time as we can with customers. For one of my accounts, I’m on-site for one day each week. I might have meetings with their executive team as well as the admin team. The goal is to really become part of the group, to understand what HPE can do to assist them to be successful.

Michael: So you’re working at the business level as well as the hardware level?

Andrew: Definitely, yes. Our quarterly review is with the management team. We set up what we call an account support plan, which involves working with the business team to understand their critical success factors and how we can help them meet their KPIs. It’s all about building the relationship so that we’re targeting what they’re working on right now, but also helping them see what the future looks like and how we can help them get there.

I love that side of the job. I have a business background, as well as a technical background. That's one of the keys to success as an ASM – being able to understand your audience and talk to all levels of the company, whether it's the admins or the CIO. When you have the execs in the room, you need to be able to dig through all the details and the nuances that the admins are dealing with and give them the knowledge they need quickly.

Michael: Are you seeing more pressure on IT teams these days with the move to hybrid IT?

Andrew: IT is continuously fluctuating, continuously moving. We work with our customers to help them understand what cloud transformation looks like and help them feel more comfortable making that transition, if that’s the next step in their tech refresh. They see the ASM as their trusted advocate, and they look to us for advice on new things they can do and how to implement them without a serious loss in production.

And by the way, the advocacy role reaches deep into HPE. I work with the engineering teams; they know that I'm out there with the customers every day, and that business leaders and IT pros are telling me what they're looking for and what can help them in their next set of transformations. I help our engineering and R&D teams understand what businesses want to do with technology.

Michael: What do customers see as the biggest benefit you provide?

Andrew: I think it’s the fact that I can take a lot of the weight off their shoulders for the full range of support. If ever they have an issue, they just call me on the phone, and within minutes I've got things working in the right direction and relieving a lot of extra effort from their teams. Companies these days have so much going on, nobody has any cycles to waste on figuring out who to talk to about an issue. With my contacts in the HPE internal teams, I can remove a lot of the roadblocks.

Michael: What’s exciting for you as an ASM, and what’s next?

Andrew: I do a lot of work in the high-performance computing (HPC) space, especially on very large water-cooled supercomputers. One of the companies I work with is putting a lot of effort into reclaiming the loss of energy in their data centers. It’s been a huge ongoing project, and we've assisted them with continuously upgrading their facility, to where we’re now up to I think around 90% reclamation of energy. Very exciting stuff. I’m looking forward to just continuing to expand my understanding and my work with customers in the HPC space as HPE continues to lead in that arena.

Read more about how HPE Datacenter Care helps you build a bridge from legacy to modernized data centers.

 

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About the Author:

20190620_132211.jpgAndrew Mitchell Received his Bachelor's degree in Computer networking and his Master’s degree in Information Technology with a concertation in Project management. Andrew is an Account Support Manager (ASM) For Hewlett Packard Enterprise in the Fed space supporting HPC water cooled super computers. Andrew lives in Brighton Colorado with his wife and 5 boys.

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