Tricia Apperson has more than eight years of experience in IT sales and business development with over half of her career spent focused on software. Specifically, she helps customers develop software strategies for manufacturers like Cisco, Microsoft and VMware.

 

A large part of her role at WWT lies in understanding the changes in technology that are driving publishers to change the way they deliver their products – such as the impacts of virtualization and cloud computing – and helping customers to evaluate and adopt the best path forward for their particular organization.

Q&A with Tricia Apperson

Tell us about your background and how you got into technology.
My path into technology was not very typical. While I studied math in college, I ended up traveling abroad for three years after graduating and before starting in IT sales. Server virtualization was just starting to get popular in the industry, and I remember being intrigued by the technology. Eventually, I started to focus more and more on software and found a knack for helping customers make good investment decisions with regard to software purchases. From there, I became responsible for customers’ large enterprise agreements, ensuring they got the most out of their investments and helping them decide whether to move to the cloud.

 

Recently, the networking industry has seen a major shift by Cisco toward becoming much more of a software-centric company. Whenever a disruption of this magnitude hits the industry, customers need a strong, competent advisor to help them navigate the changes. This drew me to join WWT’s first software-focused practice where I have been working alongside Cisco and our customers to help create and deliver a full range of lifecycle services specifically for customers’ software investments.

Describe your role at WWT.
As a principal software sales consultant, my role at WWT is to support our customers as they evaluate and adopt Cisco’s new software models, enterprise license agreements (ELAs) and make sure they get the best ROI over the life of their investments. Software lifecycle services is an aggregate of WWT’s key differentiators that allows a customer to innovate and adopt software at an accelerated rate when applied within our proven methodology. Another key part of my role is to put together the right mix of lifecycle services that matches the customer’s software investments and business needs.
What innovation is happening in the industry that has you really excited?
Cisco’s taking another leap toward true software-defined networking (SDN) through their Digital Network Architecture (DNA). If I were to boil it down to its very core, it’s essentially using virtualization to allow network services to run as virtual instances. There’s more to it, of course, but what this allows customers to do is truly de-couple network software from the hardware. Cisco has already done this from a licensing perspective with their Cisco ONE license model, however, now it will be achievable from a technology perspective and drastically reduce the amount of time and complexity required to deliver rich solutions to a customer’s network.
Describe a recent interaction with a customer that lead to solving a problem.
I was introduced to a customer whose IT organization was put under a lot of pressure to keep technology running as long as possible in order to control costs. They refer to it as “sweating assets” and the business believed that if it was not broken, it didn’t need fixing. This led to a very static network architecture that ran on devices that were more than seven years old. The IT organization was now struggling to keep up with end-user demands because their network was undersized and underperforming as a result of being left in a largely static state.

 

The customer knew they needed to refresh, but they also needed to make sure they didn’t end up in the same situation as before: stuck in a static set of network capabilities for such a long period of time. We looked at using Cisco ONE as a way to provide them with a full suite of network features that would not only get them the main features that they needed right away, but would also provide them with additional features they could turn on two, three or four years down the road without having to come up with additional capital. In other words, not only were we looking out for their current needs, but we also were able to anticipate and cover them for years to come so they can be prepared when the business comes to them with new and greater demands in the future.

 

As an added bonus, the customer also is well-positioned to take advantage of Cisco’s new DNA platform. Cisco ONE provides them all of the licensing they need in order to use apps like Easy QoS and the IWAN app through APIC-EM.