Meet our Technical Support Manager Adam!

in Meet Our Team, posted 4/13/06
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We have enjoyed getting to know you and now we would like to introduce ourselves!

Okay Adam..

dsdsWhere are you from?
I was born in Chicago. I was raised in Bensenville until I was three. Then I lived in Hoffman Estates, right outside Chicago. Around the age of 5 we moved to Park Ridge, which is where my parents live and what I still call home.

Where did you go to school?
I went to Western Illinois University which is about four hours west of Chicago. I had a great time and met a lot of friends.

What made you choose that school?
I don't know. My brother actually asked me that the other day. He's a sophomore in high school right now. They are already starting to pressure him about college, he was asking me why I picked Western and... I really don't know. I know that's a horrible answer for you.

What did you major in?
Oh I had a lot of majors... (laughing)....I went there on a physics scholarship, but I dropped that major really quick. Then for a couple of years I was a psychology major. Maybe it was just our school but the curriculum in Psychology just seemed way too easy. I was pulling straight A's and not even really doing anything to get them. So I quit. Then I found computer science and that's what I ended up majoring in.

What did you do after school?
I graduated on December 12th. A few days before that Marty (Sales Manager) who I went to high school with told me about a job opening here at Network Automation in the Technical Support Department. I had a couple interviews with Scott (VP of Research and Development) and moved to California less then a month later.

Wow, that happened fast!
I was thinking about moving to LA for a while. On New Years' day moved out here.

So you started in Technical Support at Network Automation. Was it a challenge to learn AutoMate and help customer's with their technical issues?
It came pretty natural to me. Talking to people was not a problem for me as it seems I have always had some sort of service job. I've never had a problem talking to people. There wasn't much of a buffer period for me to learn AutoMate because it's basically a high level programming language. It is essentially a simpler version of what I studied in school. It was more getting my way around the product. Learning the terms; actions, triggers tasks etc. Learning how to build tasks wasn't hard.

What do you think is some of the biggest challenges our customers face with AutoMate?
It varies greatly from customer to customer. It all depends on their background. For someone who is like myself, coming from a programming background, there is a small adjustment period because you are used to writing code. With AutoMate it's more of a drag and drop environment. Scott and Dustin did such a great job designing it to be so simple.

You think you're doing something wrong because it's as easy as it is. What would normally take 150 lines of code to accomplish you may now do in three steps. It's kind of like: wow that's it? If you don't come from a programming background there is a bit of a learning curve. You have to learn simple control structures like "If" statements and "Loops," but those are basic programming concepts not exclusive to AutoMate. It's simple to figure out. Once you get over the fear that "this is going to be hard", you realize it's not.

What kind of advice would you give our customer's on how to use AutoMate more?
My only advice would be to download it and try it out for what you think you're going to use it for. Suddenly you're going to find a million additional ways to use it. I have never really had to suggest to someone, hey, you could use it for this; people figure it out. But if they call me I definitely can give suggestions. People see the product and get a good idea of what they can do with it pretty quickly.

Where would you like to see AutoMate in the future?
AutoMate 6 isn't obviously what AutoMate 3 was. It is a very robust program and we have a lot of the bases covered already. But we really do like to honor suggestions and advice our users give. And a lot of the new features are only there because our customers have requested them. For example, one of the major new features in AutoMate 6 were the Excel actions. That was something that came from overwhelming requests from our customers. One of the many cool things about being in the Technical Support Department is that I get to witness the excitement of our users seeing their requested features become a reality. That gets people pretty reved up.Where would I like to see AutoMate go in the future?
We plan on releasing some new products that are really exciting. I'm looking forward that.

Well, it sounds like we learn a lot from our customers. And that they help us shape AutoMate.

We try to have a really open and honest relationship with our customers. If I have a pre-sales question with a customer and they ask if there is any known issue with a certain area of our product I'm going to be open and honest about it. We are a business and of course we want to make money, but the way we choose to do that is by making our customers happy [by being honest], not by shear volume or trying to rip everyone off.

We want our customers to be happy with our product because then it's something to be proud of. So yes, a lot of our suggestions come from our customers and we take every suggestion seriously and I'm excited to see a lot of those requests put into action in the next generation of AutoMate which will introduce some pretty big changes!

How does it feel to be an AutoMate Guru as you're otherwise known?
I suppose you're refering to my official forum title. Anyone gets that when they have over 1000 posts, but no one else has gotten there yet. I can't say that I have the title AutoMate Wizard like Jeff (Developer) does, but we all need goals. To be more like Jeff.

Are you excited to meet our customers at Interop Las Vegas?
Yeah I'm excited for Interop. It should be great. I don't know if we'll be meeting a lot of existing customers or more future customers. I'm sure there will be a lot of the latter. I have never really done anything like it before, it should be pretty exciting to meet our customers face to face... they will be impressed!