Sure, we know SoftLayer is your most favorite cloud provider under the sun. (And we totally heart you back.) But how well do you know us—the individual brains and brawn beneath our cloud? Yeah, we had a feeling you’d give us that blank look. Luckily for you, we’re going to fix that snafu. Starting right now.
Today we're launching a series that’ll introduce us to you, one SLayer at a time. Enter ”Under the Infrastructure.” We SLayers are a diverse, fascinating, and storied bunch. So come on in, kick off your shoes, and get to know the gang.
To kick things off, you’re going to meet Neil Thomas, a client services representative who has been stationed at our global headquarters in Dallas (DAL11, for those keeping score at home) for six months.
SoftLayer: So, Neil, tell us about a day in the life of a client services representative.
Neil Thomas: The client services team is responsible for many things. The most important one being, in my opinion, customer education. We are tasked with contacting new customers at set intervals (five days, 30 days, and 90 days from account creation) and making sure they stay informed on the platform's offerings and capabilities. I come in each day, log into all my tools and websites, and start calling new customers—anywhere from 30 to 80 customers a day. We also help identify new sales leads and handle some customer complaints, as long as they don't require a representative from accounting or support.
SL: So your inbox is definitely not at zero.
Thomas: Correct! It's busy, but it's satisfying being able to help customers with what they need.
SL: What's your favorite thing about being a SLayer, half a year in?
Thomas: Everyone here seems die-hard dedicated to what they do, and that seems to bring the whole team closer together. I love that for such a large company, everyone seems so close-knit. Coming from a 50-employee MSP, I didn't think I would find that here.
SL: That is definitely the SoftLayer way!
Thomas: And everyone seems to actually care about what the customer is going through and what the customer needs. Most companies tout that they are about that, when in reality, it's all bottom line.
SL: What have you learned since working at SoftLayer?
Thomas: I come from a technical background, having been a systems administrator and working a ticket queue. While I was comfortable talking on the phone and handling customer service needs, I've really had to develop my interpersonal skills to engage the customer and get them to open up. The SoftLayer employee atmosphere has helped me do just that. I didn't have much sales experience, and the guys in the sales department have really helped me understand what it's like to have a good conversation with a customer.
SL: Was it difficult for you?
Thomas: It was difficult at first, but it gets easier every day. There's a tremendous amount of support from my teammates and leadership to help me grow in the ways that I need to grow.
SL: Describe your work space for us.
Thomas: I'm a nerd. Always have been, always will be. My cube has a plush Tux (the Linux mascot), a remote controlled Ferrari Enzo, and a few collectors' edition PEZ dispenser sets. The cubes are low enough to socialize with employees or pop up for a quick question, but not tall enough to make you feel isolated from the rest of the world, like a normal cube farm would be.
SL: If we weren't all nerds, we wouldn't work at SoftLayer, right? Nerds are the best.
Thomas: I wholeheartedly agree.
SL: What would you do if you were the lone survivor in a plane crash?
Thomas: Everyone says that you should buy a lottery ticket in situations like that. I think it should be the opposite, because if you've survived a plane crash, then obviously that's sucked up most of your luck.
SL: Good point.
Thomas: Assuming I'd crashed in a place that was an easy rescue, or had been randomly happened upon were it to crash on a deserted island, I'd more than likely take a long time off and spend it with my wife and my son, Liam. I'm a workaholic, though, so even if I got a book or movie deal, I'd still keep my day job and work the rest of my life.
SL: Would you make up a Lost-type story or would it be strictly factual?
Thomas: It would probably end up being a mix of both. The systems admin in me would want to stick to the facts, while the sci-fi nerd in me would want to embellish. I'd probably throw a mix together and let people’s imaginations run wild.
SL: You gotta take creative license when the situation permits.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Join us for our next segment of Under the Infrastructure, where we’ll keep diving into the deepest depths of the cloud, SLayer by SLayer.