Inside Illumio is a monthly series that highlights the exceptional individuals behind Illumio’s world-class products. Each post will take a peek behind the scenes to spotlight a member of our team. Come get to know us a little better and learn more about what makes Illumio’s culture so unique.
This month, meet Alex Goller, Illumio’s Senior Systems Engineer. Hear about his chocolate lab, Mr. Rossi, his love for skiing, and how he went from developing software to selling it.
Tell us about yourself. What do you do at Illumio?
I’ve worked as a systems and sales engineer at Illumio for the past two years out of Munich, Germany. We work closely with sales and account representatives to give customers the best possible technical user experience. We explain the product to customers and prospects, do product demos, and answer any technical questions that come up. There are a lot of relationships to manage with a lot of different stakeholders, so it's super interesting work. I also love technology, and earlier in my career I was in a development role. I found development to be too much of the same every day, and after 10 or 15 years, I wanted to get more exposure to people – that’s what brought me into sales.
What does a day of work look like for you?
Traveling and meeting with customers in person has typically been a substantial portion of my work, and it still is, but now my meetings are 100% remote. This means I can spend more time with family and my dog, but it's also a bit challenging because I don't get the face-to-face interactions with customers that really help you get to know each other, and I miss that.
My calendar is still packed with customer meetings and product demos. When I’m not talking with customers, I’m meeting with people in product or technical marketing to help me explain different parts of the product to customers in more detail. When I have some free time, I love to tinker with tech stuff like our API. I'm really passionate about the product, and I’m convinced our solutions are both the right thing for folks to do and the right way to do it.
What are you working on that excites you?
It was so much fun to be a part of a recent hackathon that we hosted to branch out from my usual work a bit. I also like setting up or automating demo and lab environments to share with other people in the company because it is quite rewarding to me. Ultimately, working on automation projects that end up helping other people is what’s most exciting to me.
How do you stay illuminated during the workday?
Now that my work mostly happens via Zoom meetings, I love to walk my dog, a chocolate lab, Mr. Rossi, during my breaks. I usually walk him in the mornings or at lunch, which is a great way to get out of the “office”. I'll even take some of my calls on those walks. I also like to keep up with a lot of the tech that’s directly connected to Illumio, so I’ll read a lot of books and online content to stay inspired throughout the day.
What have you been watching or doing to pass the time recently?
I like to do a lot of geeky stuff around the house. Everything I have is automated – I can use Siri to shut the window blinds and do other fun things. So yeah, pretty geeky. Of course, I also watch some shows on Netflix and Amazon in my spare time too.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned at Illumio so far?
We are truly living the values of Illumio on a daily basis. When I came here, there was a lot of talk about bringing your best and being prepared for meetings, and that was something I hadn't done consciously before. But having “be prepared” as a personal mantra and saying that to myself all the time really helped me to get better at my job and pay better attention to my customers. That sentiment is something I absolutely appreciate about this company. Also, everybody at Illumio brings their best and runs to challenges – that’s important. I’ve truly never had a bad experience with anyone at this company.
What are you passionate outside of your career?
I love sports. I'm an avid mountain biker. I’ve done some races in the past, and I spend a lot of time training for them. I also love skiing and try to get on the slopes whenever I can. I’m quite lucky and live very close to the Alps – I’m about 20 minutes from the next lift. I've been skiing a lot in the U.S. as well, and it’s so different from Europe. Usually when there's a sales kickoff, I’ll use the opportunity to hit some of the slopes out West like Salt Lake City, Telluride, even Jackson Hole. It's really a great experience to ski in the US.
Which Illumio core value resonates most with you and why?
I have two: Bring your best and run to challenges. I'm always trying to do all I can for the team and our customers. I seek to bring my best and I have a feeling that everybody at Illumio does that very well. As I said, I’ve never had a bad experience with anyone inside of Illumio. Running to challenges is also crucial in sales because sometimes you need to go the extra mile to close a sale or help your customer.
What do you want people to know about working at Illumio?
I think it's one of the best places to work. This is easily one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. My colleagues and the rest of the team are all so awesome. Everybody helps out and really lives our core values. We all trust one-another and know we have all the support we could ever need.
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