Meet Roberto Rodríguez Torres, Founder and General Director of ATICA Telecom, our Extreme Champion of the Quarter.
Roberto, aside from your passion for sales, you also have a background in managing key customers. What’s the secret to running a great account?
I try not only to understand the customer’s needs, but also the needs of the person in charge of the particular area of the business we’re working with. Knowing what drives them, what do they lose sleep over, what are they spending the most time doing. Once I have a full grasp of their problems, I can help them make their processes more efficient.
The customer sees me as an ally because he understands I’m not just trying to sell him a technology. I’m more after making things work better by automating processes. I guess my secret is not to do business in the literal sense, but to authentically make friends by seeking joint growth and supporting each other.
Which experiences from your professional career have proved most useful when opening and operating your own business?
At IBM, I learned how to sell services and developed my product management skills. During my Cisco days, I truly understood what service providers really needed. Back then, my colleagues used to sell million-dollar projects, but I had to think of smaller accounts. This led me to learn how to integrate solutions and have a more technical vision of how to solve different business challenges.
All that experience from integrating solutions and managing high-performance teams, combined with an established list of highly trusted suppliers and satisfied customers, plus the motivation from my great friends – that’s how the idea of having my own business was born.
If you could go back in time to 2015 when you started the company, what advice would you give to your past self?
Don’t overthink it and start your own business now. You have everything you need to do it. Don’t let fear and the uncertainty of a steady income get in your way, it is part of the process and everything will be all right.
And how’s business these days?
I expect to continue to grow and improve. We have everything we need to do it: knowledge, clients, market. It’s a good time to grow our business with Extreme.
ATICA is an Extreme Diamond Partner – congrats. What does this mean to you?
We’re very excited to grow and gain this type of recognition from the vendor. From the support of Extreme, through the commitment of my collaborators at ATICA, to the trust of our customers – it’s everyone’s achievement.
What do you value the most in Extreme as a partner?
Extreme treats you like a real person. Right now, I could call anyone from Extreme and not only will they take my call, but they will also give me a straightforward answer to my problem. With other manufacturers you must go through the whole ticketing process, only to hear a laconic response a few hours later.
Before you became an Extreme partner, you partnered with Brocade Communications Systems. However, when Extreme acquired part of Brocade’s business, you chose to follow the purple path over Ruckus. Why?
Before Brocade was bought, I knew their products inside out. When they got divided, it was hard to decide who to go with next. Eventually I chose to commit to Extreme for their data center solutions – MLX and SLX – which are excellent technologies. Plus, I found some really great folks at Extreme. People sharing the same values, desires and zest that made me feel familiar with the way of doing business.
How do you feel about the Universal Platforms? Do you think the technology holds much promise for your business?
It´s a great solution. When I tell customers that they can have two operating systems in the same box, they usually don’t believe it at first. But once they realize I’m not overselling and that the same platform will work perfectly fine both in their current situation and for future growth, they become excited!
What are your biggest wins with Extreme so far?
We have several success stories, from small companies where we have solved many communication problems to large enterprises such as KIO NETWORKS, ULTRAVISION, IZZI, and Telcel, among others. All of these projects presented real technological, operational, and functional challenges. Beating big competitors with our customer service quality, methodologies, fresh ideas, commitment, and the humane treatment we provide makes us feel particularly proud.
What’s your biggest passion other than your work?
I love cycling. It all started when I was 16. I was low on budget, so it took me a lot of hard work to buy my first bicycle. It was a used Benotto, which by the way hadn’t been quite my size yet. But I made some small cosmetic changes and I was ready to go.
I started to train and little by little I got deeper into it. Today, cycling is like visiting different worlds for me. You should come to Mexico some day and see all these beautiful landscapes I see each time I get on the bike. Very inspiring and motivating.
Did cycling help you develop as a person?
Oh, yes. I think riding a bicycle is like life itself.
I remember my very first race. It led precisely from the Ajusco forest to Hidalgo (a state in the central part of Mexico), around 180 kilometers in total. Back then I had a heavy iron bicycle and no professional accessories or the proper outfit. You can imagine the struggle for a rookie. But in the end, I managed to finish the race.
Yes, there are some negative thoughts along the way. Yes, the road gets hard from time to time. But you mustn’t give up – keep going at your own pace and eventually you will reach your every goal.
Extreme Champions is a community of certified partner sellers who drive Extreme sales within our most esteemed partnerships. The program aims to recognize, reward, engage and enable a global network of partner sales professionals to help them drive Extreme sales within our most esteemed partnerships and become more successful in their respective markets. Read more Extreme Champion blogs here.
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