My name is David A. Chapa I work for Veeam Software in Product Strategy as its Global Evangelist. I have been in and around data protection for 30 years. I have been witness to a great change in this space, but at the same time, I have seen many things stay the same. After spending years in the trenches as a backup admin, I moved to the manufacturer side in the late 90s starting with Cheyenne Software. Today, as an evangelist, I get to speak with a wide variety of customers and partners to understand the current market challenges and the opportunity for us to help close the availability and protection gaps that exist in today’s organizations.
What is theCTE.net?
This is my personal blog, my employer does not monitor it or approve any of my posts. Therefore, everything here is my opinion based on my years of experience
As for the title, The CTE, I have held many positions in the past as a Chief Technology Evangelist, so I decided to start a blog of the same title, thecte.net.
Fortunately more and more companies and organizations are becoming familiar with the role of the tech evangelist. Probably the most well-known Technology Evangelist is Guy Kawasaki, he was Apple’s first, and I dare say the industry’s first, technology evangelist.
For me, in my own journey, I have been refining the job description of the “Chief Technology Evangelist” and what its role responsibilities should be. It has evolved, and as I mentioned, I’m happy to see more companies embrace this type of role.
The Chief Technology Evangelist serves and reaches multiple constituents. In no particular order, below is my short list of constituents.
- Partners (resellers)
- Industry Pundits, Influencers, and Bloggers
- Industry Analysts and Media
- Product Management/Marketing
- Executive Team
You can see the role can reach quite a broad audience, and by design, it is organized as such. The role of the evangelist, if you simply take it from the dictionary is to spread the word with zeal or an enthusiastic advocate. In fact, this is a very large part of the role, but just as important as enthusiastically advocating on behalf of your employer or client and its products, is listening. A good technology evangelist will not only help spread the word but will listen to those he/she is spreading the word to.
Without client feedback, products are developed in a vacuum. Without understanding what drives the business of your partners (resellers) you may never have a channel program that removes the barriers of selling your solution. Without the Industry pundits, influencers, analysts and media writing about your organization, product or solution, you may never get the reach you fully intend and deserve. This is the essence of the CTE.
The Art of Listening
One of the things I detest is poor customer communication. Not just “telling” but listening. If you ever tried to cancel a service due to quality issues, you know exactly to what I’m referring. I found this out to be true when I was dealing with my cell phone company. Never once did they ask me why I wanted to cancel a particular service, but only giving me options to extend it for 90 days, free of charge, to cover any problems I may have faced previously.
Now, if a customer has a problem with your service, this it IS NOT time to try to evangelize why your solution is the greatest – it is time to listen to the concerns and dutifully take that feedback into engineering/development, product management and some of the executive team to illustrate what customers are looking for and why. It is amazing what happens when you listen to your customers and empathize with the challenges.
So the role of the evangelist is much more than just a mouthpiece, or it should be, it is the conduit to help deliver a better product development process, more strategic messaging, and to let everyone know your solution exists and you are a company that listens to its customers!
Chapa, signing off