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Tom works with the Comstor Services and Software teams in EMEA to drive sales and awareness of Cisco Services and Recurring Offers. This business is central to Cisco’s future direction so he’s responsible for making sure we’re first to market with the solutions both Cisco and our partners need to meet their goals.

Recognition

I joined Comstor as a Sales Account Manager in 2008, initially in the Channel Sales team working with smaller Cisco partners, then Senior Account Manager of three strategic partners, and then Product Manager for Cisco Services. I enjoy specialising in a particular field and becoming an expert on Cisco Services, and when the team grew, I was asked to lead the UK business unit and become a manager for the first time. I have now been promoted to an EMEA role including Cisco Software.

People

Undoubtedly the best thing about working at Westcon-Comstor is the people. I’ve enjoyed working for everyone who has managed me, and with everyone I have had the pleasure of managing. This industry can be tough, and it’s always fast moving. Having a bedrock of decent, hardworking and friendly people within the company has been crucial.

Progression

My progression has only been possible because of the faith people have shown in me and the guidance they have given me, including mentoring and 1-2-1 sessions with management. My first foray into management was almost by accident; I didn’t always get it right and the first few months was certainly a steep learning curve. But through the right training and a natural process, I gained in confidence and got a better understanding of how to nurture and develop talent.

Best day

Seeing one of my team step up as my replacement when I moved into the EMEA team was very satisfying. They really deserved it, and it illustrates the company ethos of trying to promote from within. I like to think I played a small part in helping them to grow so they could take over the reins.

Advice

My advice is not to be fazed by the technical aspect of joining an IT company. Build strong relationships with colleagues, learn from them and you can answer any question a customer can ask you. Always be vocal about your aspirations so that you are front of management’s mind when roles become available.

Team

The team we built in the UK for Services and Software made me immensely proud. I don’t recall any crossed words or negativity between us and we had some very good performances over the years, including best ever Cisco Services quarterly revenue, best ever market share, and best ever growth rate percentage. Each member of the team was dedicated, passionate and always willing to go the extra mile. We really were a strong, solid team.