This article is absolutely not technical. At all. Instead, it is about me, and about this blog.
Without further ado: I am leaving consulting.
Phew, there it is. Only took me a day or so to write that.
Today is officially my first day in my new role, as a manager in the Technical Account Management (TAM) organisation. I obviously have a couple of projects that I am finishing or handing over, but overall, this is it.
The palette of feelings I had when I was signing that was pretty broad. On one hand, I am leaving behind consulting and Analytics, two topics I have been close to for 13 years. On the other hand, the new role is going to be so different!
Let’s start with what I am leaving behind. This is partly for me, to get it out of the system, put it somewhere, put a label on it.
First, the TAM role is very much focused on technically complex, big deployments of AEM and Campaign, at least right now. Traditionally, Analytics has been much less involved, partially, of course, because there is no architecture for applications that are completely cloud-based.
That means that all of those years of working in Analytics, both Analytics itself and the technical foundations and intricacies of data collection are coming to an end.
“Oh!” you say, “wow! Does that mean you’ll stop blogging?”
I don’t know.
The blog, for me, is a big part of why I am happy with what I am doing. It feels wrong to stop it.
But I am worried, mostly about inspiration. The actual writing has always been an activity outside office hours. I have written on trains and planes, in hotel rooms or airports, sometimes in gardens or beds. From that point of view, I could simply carry on.
My fear is that as the manager of a team, I will not have enough input, not enough touch points for interesting challenges that can be blog posts.
What I do not want is for the blog to become generic, high-level. I switched to a monthly cadence mainly, so I’d have more time to research, test, and write.
Right now, I am unable to say whether I’ll manage to keep it up.
You won’t be alone, though, even if I do stop. There are a bunch of other, well-established blogs about Analytics out there, most of them linked on the right.
A monumental part of this whole blog malarkey, as you might have guessed, is the social aspect. The blog has allowed me to feel part of a pretty global, interesting, motivated, open, and friendly group of people. I have written about what you all mean to me.
My new role will, to an extent, take me away from this. I do not know how far away.
In theory, it doesn’t have to. A good example is Jason Thompson, co-founder of 33 Sticks. He doesn’t write much about the technical intricacies of Launch or other pieces of software, yet to me, he is an important, integral part of “us” (whatever “us” is, exactly).
But even though I have had management responsibility in the past, I am light years away from being good enough to write about that, and so my contributions to the group will likely recede.
Good timing, right, speaking about Summit!
I have been part of Summit since 2009, mostly in EMEA. I have been to three Summits in the US, too, once in SLC, twice in Vegas. The sessions have been fun, the labs awesome, and helping people prepare and present in my role as track lead incredibly rewarding (when it worked). Even being a room host was fun.
And I have met so many interesting people at the Summits!
I know that I can keep on helping people, so that’s great, and I hope I can have an active role at Summit in the future.
BTW, if you attended Summit this year, how did you like it?
I was not presenting, instead I was on a bunch of chat sessions, answering peoples’ questions. The positive aspect of Summit being online, for me, was the sheer amount of people and questions we handled.
800 people in a break-out session? Simply brilliant!
Here comes the exciting part!
Technical Account Management, in a nutshell, is a role that works with a customer, long-term, along the CSM. The TAM makes sure that no matter who designs, builds, changes, or uses things about the Adobe-ecosystem applications does so in a way that makes sense.
This is, by definition, a role that is bigger than Analytics, bigger than any single application or cloud.
And while the TAMs usually have a strong background in AEM or Campaign, they are getting into Platform, and some of them are also quite knowledgeable around the “traditional SaaS” stuff, such as Analytics or Target.
My feeling is that in my new role, I will not be as directly involved in all of this, but I will be involved in a much broader picture.
There may be less digging, fiddling, and discovering, then, in my future, and more overarching, cross-application work, more complex work!
Since I am a big fan of keeping things simple, that complexity is both, intimidating and intriguing.
I expect that I will come to some harrowingly simplistic conclusions about Platform and the Experience Cloud! This will be fun!
I think that the complexity of the software around marketing (not only ours) is mind-boggling, and I feel that TAMs play an integral role in helping people wrap their heads around it.
In my mind, to come up with an analogy, a TAM is like my neighbour Kev.
He got me into mountain biking, and he also taught me a lot about the technology behind it. With his guidance, I was able to build my dream fat bike last year. He was (and still is, to an extent, via email) the guy who said “might want to change your worn chain, he?!” and so he keeps me alert and my bikes in good shape.
A person like that is worth their own weight in gold.
And I’ll get to manage a bunch of those!
This will likely be a pretty humbling experience, I’m fully counting on it.