Jeff has been in the IT industry for the better part of 11 years with a focus on storage and virtualization. Since its introduction into the market around 2009, Jeff has been focusing on hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) platforms to help clients transform to more efficient, flexible and simple data centers. The idea behind HCI is to converge technologies within the data center into a single appliance, primarily storage and virtualization. Jeff’s background fits directly into that space. He has also earned his VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification, which is the highest level certification offered by VMware.
Q&A with Jeff Mercier
- Tell us about your background and how you got into technology.
- My initial introduction to technology was through PC gaming back in the mid 90s. The ‘engine’ that drove the ability to display pixels to a screen and the ability to communicate with others halfway around the world fascinated me and with that I started tinkering with PCs at home. When I got my first consulting job, it really opened my eyes to the capabilities of properly implementing technology in a data center and once I had an introduction to VMware’s virtualization technology there was no turning back!
- Describe your role at WWT.
- My role focuses on business development for HCI, which is a really hot market, yet can be confusing to many. Simplifying the data center is a very compelling idea for our customers and drives very high interest. My focus is on differentiating the major players currently in the HCI space like Dell EMC VxRail, Cisco HyperFlex, VMware vSAN, Nutanix and SimpliVity, and helping customers understand the landscape so they find the right solution for their requirements.
- What innovation is happening in the data center that has you really excited?
- Where do I start? HCI is opening up so many more possibilities within the data center by giving our customers the ability to test and create solutions with minimal investments. Innovation is still at the core of HCI. While most traditional arrays have been around for decades, their technology, while still very much having a place in the data center, often times does not allow much flexibility or feature development. HCI is still innovating and best of all, software driven, which allows for easier feature development and integration.
- Describe a recent interaction with a customer that led to solving a problem.
- There are many situations that I’ve been exposed to where a client didn’t know where to start. Some of that confusion came from a lot of marketing from many different vendors. The client called us in for an HCI workshop, gave us the requirements and we spent a few hours talking about what solutions fit and which didn’t. By the end of the workshop, we debunked some marketing claims, went through the good, bad and the ugly, and the customer had enough information to make a smart decision and move the project forward.