I remember the days when using awk, sed and grep on a log file was a really powerful way to extract useful data to help troubleshoot issues, or better plan a complex application deployment and management.
Now the amount of data that is generated by systems, applications and devices has proliferated to the extent that we are unable to use the old techniques to get information from the systems managed today.
A popular route for analysts is to download software on their laptops to help with this challenge and one of the more popular choices is visual analytics from Splunk. This personal need and learning has driven a “Shadow IT” style of adoption of the tool for Operational Intelligence in organisations. The Computacenter UK Infrastructure Operations team experienced some early success in this very manner. The initial benefits were amazing, but thought was needed on how to evaluate it as a corporate tool in order to drive operational efficiency and intelligence across the Global Managed Services Business.
On consideration of using a traditional approach for a proof of concept and pilot phase, which would take weeks to plan and more time to execute, it was decided to try a different approach. Something more agile was needed in order to benefit from quick results, the ability to test the software, its ease of use, and the other business benefits it could drive.
So with a little gamification and the flexibility of our Solutions Center, a competition was conceived…
The competition was to run for four-weeks only between teams from across the Computacenter Group. The challenge was to use Splunk’s visual analytics tool to address a Managed Services business problem in four weeks with just an afternoon’s worth of training. The teams were based in the UK, Germany, South Africa, Hungary and Spain, from both Service Desk and Infrastructure Operations.
All participants were given an overview of the tool and as mentioned before, half a day training which was run from the Solutions Center in Hatfield and broadcast across to the other countries via live presentation and video feed. A central infrastructure was provided with the software pre-installed.
The results were amazing, all the participants were data analysts so knew exactly what they wanted to get out of their data and were able to visualise it in the short space of time given to them. With varying help from Splunk experts, all were able to create compelling business-relevant dashboards, in just four weeks with very little training and while still doing their operational day jobs.
The results have allowed us to view what the art of the possible can be and now we can start further planning the use of this innovation driving software.
Welcome to the Sales Associate Blog, written by Aaron Norris, Ian Revell, Tim Murphy, Anjalee Vyas and Richard Beeching – A.K.A the Sales Associates of 2012.
This is the first of our regular blogs, being written to provide some insight into our lives as associates, the selection process and the programme. Hopefully this will be interesting and useful for anyone looking to join Computacenter as a Sales Associate (SA). If you’re looking to get into Sales and have an interest in helping some of the UK’s top businesses achieve their goals, this is probably the place for you!
So you’re probably wondering what the Sales Associate Programme is? Aaron explains “This is an 18 month programme designed to produce the future generation of Computacenter’s sales force. The key factor Computacenter look for is potential, and so they aren’t necessarily looking for IT graduates with previous sales experience (if you do, then great!). Each of our current Associates has their own story prior to the programme and a unique background. Whether you have just finished your degree or you want a more challenging (and rewarding) opportunity than your current graduate role, the only thing you must have in common with us is a drive for success!”
So what brought us here? Well we all had a variety of reasons for joining Computacenter, many reflective of our backgrounds, Ian explains “I was looking to work for a company and in a role where I could take my previous sales experience to the next level and Computacenter certainly offered that in terms of professionalism, career development and overall opportunity. The selection process for the SA program really confirmed this for me, coming out of the last assessment day I knew that any company willing to put that much effort in their recruitment policy was definitely somewhere that I wanted to join.”
“The assessment process was lengthy, beginning with a telephone interview, following on to a one on one interview with a client director, and then a tough assessment day “explains Richard . “Not only that but through the process you are exposed to a significant amount of the Senior Sales people as well as the MD and the CEO, and this gives you a flavour of how highly regarded the programme is within the company. We’d all agree that it’s a tough process but definitely worth it.”
“We began the Programme mid-January and initially this felt like a daunting experience for all of us. We arrived at the Hatfield HQ on a cold Monday morning to be whisked away in to our customer suite to start the learning process” Tim recalls. “This process could not have been more organised if it tried, with people from all corners of the business dropping in to help us with the on-boarding process. One of these people was none other than Mike Norris, Group CEO to welcome us and wish us the best for our future! This was a true reflection of the level of commitment the company was willing to dedicate for our success, and has since pushed us forward to do our very best.”
“We’re now in mid-July, 6 months into the programme and it’s flying by”, says Anjalee. “The Programme is split up into rotations, like mini work placements where we work our way all around the company, from marketing, to bids, sales etc…We’ve just begun our fifth rotation and we really value each rotation and love the exposure to the business we’re getting. The Programme is continuously pushing us to exceed even our own expectations and teaching us so much, and it’s these very factors that are keeping us really excited and passionate to succeed! “
We’ll be writing another blog next month to talk about the very inspirational Sales Kick Off and our journeys so far; we hope you’re as eager to read our next blog as we are to write it – see you soon!