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“If my grandfather had copyrighted his last name, I wouldn’t be in sales!” An interview with Ludovic Saas.

Mitch Reyes Program Manager, Channel Published 22 Apr 2021

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.

In this snapshot, Extreme Champion Ludovic Saas, a solutions architect at Damovo, talks about working from home, how he discovered Extreme and his advice for managing customer accounts.

Hello Ludovic! Do you have any personal life hacks to make working from home a little bit more pleasant?

I have planned my mornings around the visit to the bakery across the street, where I order my take-away coffee and croissant. It helps to keep some bit of social interaction during the lockdown and support local business at the same time. Not very helpful for losing weight, though.

With the last name Saas, you’ve probably been kidded that you could advertise your services.  In all seriousness, you’ve racked up quite a career as a solutions architect. And for the past eight months, you’ve been working as a pre-sales specialist at Damovo. Tell us about this journey.

Right, I have come up with a few jokes throughout my years in IT. One goes like this: If my grandfather had copyrighted his last name, I wouldn’t be in presales, I would be the company shareholder! The version of the joke varied a bit, but you get the gist of it.

Funnily enough, I somehow managed to keep the same office, the very same desk, and generally the same colleagues during my pre-sales journey through Unify, Atos, and now Damovo, even while there have been changes in branding,  shareholders, and management.

Did Extreme find you at Damovo, or did you discover Extreme when you were working as the solutions architect in Atos or Unify? Tell us about your Extreme Champion origin story.

When the managing director of Unify recruited me back in 2013, he asked, “Do you know this vendor, Extreme Networks?” I replied that I had never heard of it and asked what they were selling. You see, back in my early graduate years, I was quite shocked to learn that Cisco even had competitors.

Mega corporations invest heavily in the young generation of engineers, gaining the overall mindshare of future professionals. That’s perfectly fine, but we need to understand that those who enter the job market sometimes come with a biased knowledge of the industry. It’s a way to create a fan base. But I guess this is changing too. Take Extreme Academy Live for example.

With an area covering 2,586 square kilometers (998 square miles), Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe. What can you tell us about it and its networking market, and the position Extreme holds in it?

You could literally compare Luxembourg to a village. A village where the neighbors from across the street are spying on each other from behind their curtains.  But jokes aside, I would say that the local society and companies based in the country tend to be rather conservative. Residents rely and trust their neighbor’s recommendations and referrals on solutions they are successfully using.

In Luxembourg, Extreme Networks is very much seen as the challenger to Cisco.

Damovo’s tagline is “Big enough to deliver, small enough to care.” What is your personal secret to running a great account?

Being able to create a positive and trusting relationship between people, in my humble opinion, is a must-have to be able to sell. That kind of relationship is important for all the people involved in the value chain of our industry: ―vendors, distributors, integrators, and customers. It’s a prerequisite to a sustainable environment. Everyone involved has a mutual understanding of each other’s challenges and needs because, at the end of the day, we are all humans trying to solve an issue, drive a change, or benefit from an innovation happening within the value chain.

What is your favorite Extreme solution? Do you think there’s a single one that opens the most sales opportunities?

I think that the ExtremeCloud Appliance turned out to be quite a success. The solution is able to deliver monitoring, supervision, and insights into the customer’s LAN and WLAN infrastructure. The appliance is comprehensive and can be bought on perpetual licensing. And it’s an on-premises solutions, which is required in more conservative companies.

Do you feel like a champion sometimes?

When I was younger and fearless, I tended to feel like a champion every day, like nothing could ever stop me. I have to say, times have changed and so have I. I became much more grounded, but I still enjoy my champion title at home. Especially when I get a hug from my little girl!

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