This week, we begin a series of interviews with NetApp District Managers to learn more about their roles at NetApp and some of the challenges they are facing on the front lines in their districts. We had a chance to sit down with Tom Rigamonti, District Manager for NetApp’s US Public Sector, State & Local Government and Education (SLED) to talk a little bit more about his role and what he’s seeing in his district and with his customers. Read on for more.

GDD: Can you tell us a little bit about your role as District Manager at NetApp?

TR: As District Manager for the Central District of the SLED market at NetApp, I lead a talented group of sales managers and technical system engineers that manage and win new accounts across 15 states from Texas and Louisiana up to North Dakota and Michigan. In my role, I lead a team that’s in charge of getting the right solutions to the right customers in the public sector. The SLED market is complex and challenging, as each sub-vertical has its own unique pressures. Our state customers are unique because they have to balance the political landscape at the state level while maintaining a focus on federal regulations. The local verticals have more of a grassroots perspective on things. Our healthcare customers are oftentimes dealing with life and death situations so they need to work with strong partners. Higher Ed customers are more collaborative and K-12 customers are always doing more with less. All of this requires huge amounts of adaptability and agility on our part to make sure we are meeting the very specific and unique needs within the SLED market.

GDD: What do you like most about working at NetApp?

TR: NetApp has such tremendous potential and I’m really excited to help be a part of unlocking the potential that we have. We’re at the leading edge of storage infrastructure technology and helping customers manage their data in multi-cloud environments. I‘m excited about the new leadership that has been added to our executive team.  They are so customer focused. We have people like our CFO, Ron Pasek, who wants to go out and meet with our customers. Then we have Henri Richard who is Executive VP of Worldwide Field and Customer Operations is a true sales leader at heart.  They do a great job of energizing the team and bringing excitement about our daily mission. I know our new CMO Jean English is excited to help amplify the message to all the external constituents that we have to tell the story. That’s what gets me excited about working here – because I know that the more people hear our story and vision, the more they will embrace NetApp.

GDD: What challenges are you seeing in your district?

TR: My team manages a huge region of the United States in a vertical market that is constantly changing. I would say that the biggest challenge is being able to adapt quickly to the needs of our SLED customers but I’m grateful to have such a flexible team that has been successful in what they do. As a company we are trying to bring simplicity to a complex organization – from George Kurian all the way down to my level of leadership, and it can be an incredibly challenging task in an environment that is always changing.  As a manager and a leader, I’m challenged with being able to filter down the key messages internally and externally and how our team can be effective in execution to not only sell something but also drive customer satisfaction and partner satisfaction.

GDD: Are there any customer success stories you can share?

TR: The best customer success stories to me are sometimes the quiet ones.  Knowing you have fantastic, market leading products that work, and customer trust you is a great place to be.  Customers find tremendous value in solutions that protect and encrypt their data, leverage our efficiencies to spend less, and the choice and control to choose what cloud they want to deliver IT as a Service. As an example, we have several higher education and medical customers along the gulf coast who replicate their data to maintain business continuity in the event of major storms and flooding.  Our K-12 customers run 24X7 and need ease of setup and management for storage as well as for video surveillance.  We have several state agencies across the mid-west who uses our All Flash Storage and encryption across multiple data centers to ensure legislative services can be delivered fast and secure.  We work with numerous world-class cities to ensure critical services are available in any situation, including on-demand telemedicine to save millions in hospital, first-responder and ambulatory costs.  Finally, we are helping customers eliminate legacy tape backup to now archive data to their own private or public clouds with our AltaVault cloud-integrated storage.  In the end, it’s our technology and our teams that make the difference in our customer’s success.

GDD: Is there anything you’d like to share with us that we can’t learn from your LinkedIn profile?

TR: I try to have fun and embrace a collaborative environment with my team. We have an informal training that we do that we call “on the porch” and it’s a requirement that anyone who steeps on the porch with us has to have a beverage – whatever beverage they want. Since we are so dispersed I’m trying to build a sense of team and have an informal way where we can share information and feel good about the team they’re on and the company they work for.  Hopefully I’ve been able to do that.

Interested in learning more about how AltaVault? You can find out more here.