This blog is the fifth in a series profiling the August 2018 Living Our Values (LOV) winners and honorable mentions. The LOV Awards are the highest honor that NetApp bestows on its employees. Each winner is brought to Sunnyvale for the company All Hands meeting where they are thanked by the CEO and featured as part of the meeting and live stream. In addition to other recognition, NetApp gives a donation of $5,000 in their name to the charity of their choice. Previous  blogs in the series highlighted Americas LOV Winner Arvind Venigalla, APAC Winner Jessie Zhang and EMEA Winner Markus Christmann.


Maria José Miranda, Regional Director – EMEA LOV Honorable Mention


Regional Sales Director Maria José Miranda is revered and admired by her peers throughout Spain and Portugal. Based in Madrid, Maria José is praised for her commitment to her team and for always encouraging her reports to communicate with her and each other to keep NetApp top of mind with customers in the region. She’s also known as a caring manager who looks to help others succeed.


As her colleagues note:


“Maria José is a strong believer in teamwork. A company’s biggest strength is people and only with a strong team we can be strong in business and in relationships within our ecosystem. She makes a big effort in sharing our successes and celebrating together when we achieve something special, recognizing people for their contributions to the team and encouraging participation at every step. Together we can go further, and she constantly coaches us to realize this.”


“It’s not easy to lead a team correctly. It’s almost impossible to lead it perfectly. It’s very hard to keep everyone happy all the time…But what is even harder is to exceed what’s expected from a leader, making sure we achieve our goals and shine, but always in search for our motivation, for our confidence, for our appreciation of others, always encouraging us to go beyond and help each other. Although I believe she knows we value her very highly, recognitions at this level are not frequent, and sometimes might be needed to make sure she knows we are very thankful for having her leading us. She’s a great person and is helping us be better too.”


“Maria José has been a great leader for our region for several years now. She has always been committed to keeping a strong and motivated team, always caring for each of us, always willing to help us grow and succeed.”


As for her LOV Honorable Mention, Maria José has the following to say:


How long have you been at NetApp and what is your day to day role here?

I have been close to 10 years at NetApp, nine in the role of Country Manager for Spain and Portugal (Iberia multiregion). My day to day means leading a group of great professionals, some of them reporting to me, some others not, to achieve our Iberia goals. I help to make them happy, realize their work and also keep our customer installed base happy with our solutions.


What did it feel like to hear that you’d received an LOV Honorable Mention?

It is the best honor I could receive within NetApp overall because it is my team’s recognition, as well as other people’s who are related to me and know me well. It was a total surprise. There are many people who deserve it, and it is very difficult to choose one only.


How do you try to live the NetApp values on a daily basis?

I feel very close to NetApp values in general, and this is the reason while I am still here after 10 years, so it is easy to live them as they are in my DNA. Also, I think it is very important to lead by example, and I am happy that our Iberian employees also live NetApp’s values every day.


How does it feel to be recognized by your peers for what you do?

It is the most precious recognition I can get. When you achieve good numbers, you are recognized by the company with salary and promotions. But having the recognition of your colleagues is when you go a step further and think, maybe I am doing really good for these people!  Your heart beats a bit harder.


What’s your favorite thing about NetApp’s culture?

Everything related to people: motivating teams, looking after employee’s careers, celebrating success, recognizing values, solving problems, employees events and all the like.


SAM Major Incident Team – APAC LOV Honorable Mention


If there’s any group of people who deserve the name “hero” on a daily basis, it’s people who work in customer support. They are on the front lines for NetApp every day, handling the incidents that can occur when we’re all reliant on technology.


The SAM Major Incident, based in Bangalore, is a team of 20 individuals who handle some of the most critical technical issues for NetApp’s customers. Although the team is on-call 24 hours, seven days a week, they received the LOV Honorable Mention for how they handled an incident that occurred during an upgrade. The customer involved was quoted as saying the following about how the team handled the issue:


”The continuity provide by NetApp was phenomenal. The speed at which escalation engineers and area experts were engaged was particularly impressive…In my 21 years of working in IT, this has been the best support I have ever experienced.”


As one nominator put it: “When results are achieved with the highest level of commitments from SMIT and other teams and the customer had words only to describe how good the support they received was, we can say that ‘We Got Things Done, and We Won!’”


Members of the SAM Major Incident Team include: Umesah Jayaprakash (Sr. Mgr. Support Account Management (India) GSCS COGS); Madhava Mallya and Karthik M. (Managers, SAM Major Incident Team); and SAM Major Incident Managers Anitha V., Ganesh Patil, Kumaravel R., Mithu Narayan, Rajath Rao, Rakesh K., Roopraj Kumar, Shiva Kumar, Shyamprasad K.A., Abhishek C.A., Ananth Vijay, Anup G., Bhabani Padhy, Ravi Shankar T.S., Rishabh Thakar, Sourav Mishra, Vaishnavi S., and Wungreiton Ahor.


Here’s what the team had to say about their LOV Honorable Mention:


What does the SAM Major Incident Team do on a daily basis?

The SAM Major Incident Team (SMIT) supports all P1s and critical issues for SAM (Support Account Manager) supported customers during their off-business hours. We are a team of 20 in NetApp Bangalore, supporting 140+ SAMs and over 460 customers across the world. 

SMIT operates 24×7 with our primary focus on customer centricity and stakeholder management. 


What did it feel like to hear that the team had received an LOV Honorable Mention?

We are extremely proud and honored as this is a moment to rejoice. We are thrilled to have received the LOV Honorable Mention. This award reflects the team’s hard work, dedication and focus, which contributes to our customers’ success.


How does the team try to live the NetApp values daily both internally and with customers?


The complexity involved in managing a P1 incident, where business impact is substantial, is challenging. The SAM Major Incident Team brings together the skills of various stakeholders within NetApp and helps Get Things Done! for our customers.


The team also believes in Teamwork and Synergy as this helps our customers achieve the best results from NetApp Solutions and Services. Many testimonials from internal stakeholders and customers have reinforced our beliefs, and we strive to deliver this experience consistently.


How does it feel to be recognized by your peers for what you do?

We are greatly honored with this recognition. Acknowledgement from peers motivates one to transform individual efforts into high-performing teams that are ready for new challenges. We are also grateful to our peers for recognizing our efforts, this will further inspire us to go above and beyond for our customers.


What sets the NetApp culture apart? How does that inform how you do your jobs on a daily basis?

NetApp’s culture builds an environment of openness, trust and respect. Teams have cohesion and establish regular and open lines of communication where everyone can put forth their ideas and skills. Effective teamwork is encouraged through collaboration, and that ultimately leads to an organization’s success.


The NetApp Culture also embraces giving back to the society through volunteer time off that makes a positive difference in and around our world. The SAM Major Incident Team members have volunteered multiple times for such noble causes, and we are proud to be associated with an organization that cares for society.


Eric Thompson, Sales Education Program Manager – Americas LOV Honorable Mention


Training is an essential component of keeping NetApp’s field teams up to speed on NetApp’s products. As the company has expanded its portfolio over the past few years, training has become even more critical for the field.


NetApp University trainers like Eric Thompson are here to make sure the field teams are successful. Eric is responsible for NetApp’s Fast Track program, which helps get new sales hires prepared to sell our products and services. In his 10 years at the company, Eric has had a part in training practically every new sales hire that comes through the company so they can hit the ground running—that’s no small feat. It also means coordinating the schedules of everyone who presents during the program—which can range from the CEO to BU leads to technical experts and sales leaders. As one nominator put it, “this is no easy task as busy people have very active and changeable schedules.”


Eric’s nominators praise him for his flexibility, his ability to communicate across functions and his ethic of teamwork.


“For over 10 years, Eric has trained all of our new hire sales and SE staff that have joined NetApp—that’s roughly 4,200 people! During that time, Eric has instilled into our lifeblood that to be successful, the importance of teamwork across the entire customer facing team is essential. His constant dedication to the efficient training of each class, to individual needs and to the attendees’ overall success is a true insight into Eric’s unmatched professionalism, dedication and love for his job and the people he is training.”


In addition, Eric was commended for the impact he’s had on careers at NetApp and for being a caring trainer:


“Simply ask any sales rep who joined NetApp over the last 10 years about Eric and their experience at Fast Track and they will talk about how Eric made a huge impact on their career at NetApp.”


“He is truly a caring and dedicated professional who always goes the extra mile to ensure all his students are happy.”


Eric had the following to say about receiving the LOV Honorable Mention:


How long have you been at NetApp and what is your day to day role here?

 I’ve been with NetApp for 10 ½ years. I manage our NetApp University Sales New-Hire program, which includes our Fast Track program.  


What did it feel like to hear that you’d received an LOV Honorable Mention?

I was humbled and thrilled to be selected. But, it also drives me to be better at living our values!


How do you try to live the NetApp values on a daily basis?

 It’s up to me to go beyond just showing up for work! I try to learn something new each day and to use what I’ve learned to help our sales teams around the world be more successful. 


How does it feel to be recognized by your peers for what you do?

It feels great! But, I get to work with lots of people, who work behind the scenes to make what I do possible.


What’s your favorite thing about NetApp’s culture?

I love the fact that our leadership demonstrates their dedication to our success. It then becomes my turn to pass it on to those I meet and work with.


Lisa Melsted

Lisa Melsted develops culture strategies and content for NetApp’s Employee Engagement team. A tech industry veteran with more than 15 years’ experience in various communications and marketing roles, she holds Master’s degrees in Creative Non-Fiction from Emerson College and English from the University of Iowa. She has also written articles about technology for publications such as Forbes BrandVoice and TechPageOne.

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