Mani is a Technical Account Manager based in Madrid, Spain. He joined AWS in June 2021.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Mani: I started my professional career working in IT support, until I landed in the financial services world where I spent almost 13 years, where I had the chance to see from the inside the flourishing of the fintech industry.
During this time, I was fortunate enough to become familiar with different sides of the businesses going through different roles, from network and system administrator to infrastructure director and SRE manager, while also been heavily involved in security, compliance and business-related issues.
Before joining AWS, I was leading a mixed team of engineers formed by SysAdmins, development and QA engineers. I wasn't looking for a change at the time, but the idea of being part of one of the most impactful and innovative projects globally had been on my mind for a long time, so when a recruiter contacted me I took my chances. Leaving my team was tough, but the opportunity to surround myself and learn from some of the best in the business made the decision almost a no-brainer. This also meant a change of role, which was a challenge I was excited about.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Mani: I am Technical Account Manager (also known as TAM), our main duty is to help customers to succeed in their business closing the gap between their organization and AWS. We assist them in their journey in the cloud, not only by enabling them to get best out of our services and customer support, but also positioning ourselves as the client advocate within AWS. Gaining the trust of our clients and make them feel that we are somehow part of their teams is one of the key outcomes we are looking for. To achieve this, a TAM has to be both reactive and proactive, some of the day by day activities include escalating customer issues and overseeing support interactions, helping optimising workloads and costs, giving operational advices, delivering business reviews and syncing frequently with them to ensure that we are aligned with their goals.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Mani: I think a good balance between technical and soft skills is the recipe for success in this role. Architecting, system administration, networking, IT operations and general compute knowledge is useful to speak with our customers in their “same language”. Sometimes customer workloads rely on specific technologies, which is also a chance for us TAMs to expand our skillset in order to be more efficient and helpful, so having the will to grow in that regard is also a plus.
On the other hand, skills such as the ability to communicate clearly, synthesize, prioritize and have bias for action are very important. Empathy is key to keep customers trust, make them feel that their pain points and success histories are also our own. This is also important in the relation with our colleagues, as TAMs we are usually in the middle going back and forth between the customer and across AWS teams, being able to keep a positive and constructive attitude while engaging situations it’s definitely helpful.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills for your role?
Mani: In my case, I didn’t have much experience with AWS before joining, so I had to embark in this almost never-ending journey through the services. Fortunately, training is something that is encouraged and there is a lot of resources available to grow in that aspect.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Mani: Being surrounded by such brilliant people is very motivating, having the chance to interact and grow along these awesome colleagues all around the world is one of the highlights of the job.
This also applies to our clients and their workloads, navigating through challenges and helping them to succeed while getting to know their projects is quite exciting.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Mani: Excitement and challenge often go hand in hand, so the previous answer also applies for this question. Being up to par or raise the bar next to such knowledgeable people requires a “Always Day One” mentality.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Mani: Believe in yourself and have fun. We all feel overwhelmed at first, and some say the "imposter syndrome" never goes away, but that's fine as long as it serves as a catalyst to keep things interesting and fun.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Mani: Teamwork, ownership and discovery.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Mani: I'm passionate about music, I love spending time listening and talking about records. I also enjoy working on my own music production.