Name -- Steve Francis
Role -- VP of Sales
Location -- Seattle, Washington, US
How long have you been at Instaclustr?
I just started at Instaclustr less than a month ago, so I’m brand new to the team. I joined after more than five years at VMware, where I most recently served as Senior Director, U.S. Commercial SDN & Cloud.
I actually wasn’t looking to make a career move; I was approached by a recruiter. But when I learned more about Instaclustr’s business, culture, and the role I’d be taking on, it was hard not be excited about a new opportunity here.
What’s on your plate for today?
I just got off a call with a business to explore a potential partnership. Next up is a lunch here in Seattle with a prospective customer in the travel industry, and then a call with an existing customer. I’m also working on doing some recruiting initiatives, as we continue to expand our global sales team. Then later this afternoon I’ll be doing planning around sales process standardization.
How is Instaclustr’s sales team structured?
I work remotely from Seattle. Our sales team is really distributed in order to serve a worldwide customer base, with field representatives spread across the U.S., APAC, and EMEA. We also have a couple of inside sales reps and a sales development rep. I’m usually traveling every couple of weeks or so, visiting our U.S. reps as well as meeting face to face with customers and prospects.
Do Instaclustr customers tend to be big businesses or smaller startups? Are certain industries particularly suited to what Instaclustr delivers?
In terms of size, our customers are all over the place – from major, established enterprises to startups just getting off the ground. And we’ve really seen Instaclustr’s managed platform resonate with organizations of all different makes and models. That said, there are some industries where we have seen particularly high adoption, including gaming, banking and financial services, and e-commerce, to name a few.
Are most customers turning to Instaclustr to handle technologies they were managing themselves, or switching to Instaclustr from another provider?
Usually, it’s something companies have been trying to handle themselves but realized they’d save money, time, and headache by enabling a partner to expertly manage these open source data stack technologies on their behalf.
Open source software is often compared to a free puppy. It sounds delightful but owners quickly realize that there is a major commitment involved. We help our customers to enjoy the open source puppy while taking care of much of the care and feeding for them. We enable our customers to realize the benefits of these powerful open source solutions with expertise that most companies – even big ones – aren’t going to have within their own walls. This frees them up to innovate and focus on their core business competencies.
With Instaclustr employees dispersed around the world, how does the company ensure a close culture?
The culture here is certainly one thing that drew me to take this role. Everyone is genuinely friendly and mission-focused. For me, a strong company culture comes from being as transparent as possible, with leaders in the trenches doing what they’re asking everyone to do, and having their back. That creates a culture of trust, where people are confident to take risks. Instaclustr does that.
What’s the best part of working at Instaclustr?
It’s exciting: we have a huge market opportunity, a great culture, and a lot of smart people ready to succeed and see our opportunity realized.