Itentialite Spotlight: Mike Elrom
With the holiday season quickly approaching, we wanted to take some time to show gratitude for our amazing team members here at Itential with the launch of our employee spotlight series. Each month, we’ll feature an “Itentialite” and share insight on what makes them who they are and what cool projects they are working on. Get a glimpse behind the curtain with our first spotlight.
Without further ado…
Some know him as Mike, others know him as Elrom. But whatever you call him, he’s always the life of the party, from holiday parties to all day strategy sessions to rockstar demo’s. As one of the OGs of Itential (employee #2), he is one of our few Itentialites with his own Slack emoji.
Since the age of 17, Elrom has worked in Telecomm. At first it was cold calls trying to set up long distance phone service. Now, he’s one of the unsung heroes at Itential who does everything from developing our solution to delivering it. And not to mention, he’s helped lead some huge sales initiatives. (In our best Drake voice, “Started from the bottom, now he’s here.”)
Since Elrom chose to be with us at Itential instead of being on Jersey Shore, we thought it would be a good idea to get to know him a little better.
Name: Mike Elrom
Title / Group: Technical Pre-Sales Director
Location: Tampa, Florida
What do you like most about working at Itential?
This is a tough one to answer since there are so many great things about being at Itential. The cool technology, the win at the end of a successful POC, the closure of a sale, but mostly the culture. Working at Itential is like being part of a family. We are a close organization. I love coming to Atlanta and seeing everyone. It’s such an open and friendly work environment where everyone’s ideas matter and are important and I think Committee Week was a great example of that.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
I’m really enjoying the new Red Hat partnership. For years we’ve been discussing new partnership opportunities and Red Hat Ansible has been the perfect fit. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the Ansible launch from a sales perspective and give demos to prospects at AnsibleFest in Austin. It was truly a great experience to receive direct feedback from the community and hear them find value in our messaging and solution.
What is your favorite use of automation?
My favorite use of automation is definitely zero-touch. I remember years ago, in a former life, I worked at a CLEC and we were automating UNE-L services for our customers. We were achieving zero-touch provisioning and then measuring that against the manual approach (30-minute savings per order x 3000 orders per day in my example). Achieving automation through Java and Python alone was hard though. We spent months building out a rigid system to support this. Today, with models and the right platform (Itential, of course), we go into POCs and perform this in hours.
What are some exciting trends you see today in the industry?
Automation is winning. Everyone is talking about it, but few are really doing it and doing it right. It’s a problem that exists at companies large and small.
If you could switch your job with anyone else within Itential, whose job would you want?
I love technology and have always wanted to be a CTO. Since I look to Chris Wade as a mentor, I’d love to switch with him. He does an amazing job staying engaged in all aspects of the company. I’m really not sure how he does it!
How do you describe what you do for a living to family and friends?
When my kids ask me what I do for work, I tell them I work for a company that makes the internet on their tablets work. I think that seems to spark interest in them; my older two (10 and 8) have signed up for a coding class in their elementary school. Given the opportunity, I love to completely explain it to people, but the depth of the response will depend on their understanding of technology and networks.
You’re at a Karaoke Night. What song are you singing?
I’ve never officially sung Karaoke, but given the opportunity I’d jam out to Avicii and Snoop Dogg.
What technology innovation made the most impact on your life?
My first thought was Google, but I’d rather take a step back and say the internet. I remember my dad working two full time jobs when I was a kid. For many years, I only saw him on weekends. The advancement of the internet has really changed things by creating jobs and affording remote employees such as myself great opportunities.