The role of a technical evangelist

bridge-over-river

Several years ago, I wrote this quick blog on evangelism. As this is my new role here at DXC, I thought it worth sharing with this audience, albeit with some modifications.  Enjoy!

Recently, I came across this quote regarding the role of an evangelist:

“I’m an evangelist. People come to us with a problem, my team provides a solution, and I evangelize that solution.”

I tried to find it again, but I am not even really certain where it came from. Still, the topic got me thinking, mainly because, THAT IS ME!!

I recently participated in an interview, where the interviewer thought my title was a euphemism. But it is the real deal. And it is one that I am passionate about.

I know the first thought that comes into people’s minds when you say the word “evangelist” is someone on a pulpit, spinning tales of fire and brimstone. It has traditionally had connotations of spirituality, or the preaching of a spiritual leader.

For the record — that is NOT me. I can educate you about cloud security, or maybe even some of the finer points of the Force from Star Wars. But unless your eternal salvation involves a little green Jedi Master with a lightsaber, I probably cannot help you there.

The role of a technical evangelist has been around for a while now — someone who is out there promoting a company’s wares and enabling a sale. But I wanted to talk to you specifically about my role.

To me, the role of technical evangelist is one that informs, that communicates, that educates. I act as a bridge between our potential customers and our engineers. I can speak with members from the C-Table, or the engineers that manage the technical infrastructure (I have been a member of both at one time in my career).

I love the chance to promote our teams and our products: The company I work for has some of the best engineers there are — literally the world’s greatest experts. The products we sell often promote themselves — again, they are the best. A customer who has done any amount of research often comes to us because they know how great our products are. They read about the accomplishments of our innovators and leaders.

I will also be the first to point out when we are NOT the best at something. We can’t possibly be the best at everything, and when you approach a potential customer with the true capabilities of our solutions, instead of broken promises of vaporware features, they are much more willing to listen to you — and trust you. We are not going to win every deal — I get that. But establishing trust with the customer is the easiest way to win their business.

I fundamentally believe in educating — our customers, our competitors, anyone that may listen. I have a point of view — especially regarding information technology, the public cloud and how to get the most from using it. I figure the better informed our potential customers are, the more likely it is they will make an informed decision. And if our products and solutions are as good as I think they are, then an informed decision maker will naturally choose us.

(BTW — I know this is how it works. There are examples over and over again that the more effort you spend educating a potential client, the better off the customer will always be, even if that means they choose a competitor over a solution you propose.)

At the end of the day, my role is to talk to our customers (wherever they may be), discover the challenges they are having with their information technology, and educate them on possible solutions to their challenges. It is the best job ever, and I am very proud to be a technical evangelist!

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