Czechs are known for their dedication, great sense of humor and an uncanny love for Pilsner. Our today’s guest represents it all. Let’s discuss life changing experiences, great moments with Extreme and the best beer in Prague with our next Hero – Peter Majerčák from Veracomp s.r.o!
How are you doing? Keeping busy during the lockdown? Managed to learn some new skill? Or maybe caught up on all the books or films that have stacked up? Tell us how you’ve been!
Thanks, I’m fine. Lately I’ve been learning new skills. Especially how to survive in a small flat with my wife who I married last month (laughs). Both of us have to work from home and we’re still not used to being together 24/7, but we’re both still alive, so I guess we’re doing OK. :)
But on a serious note, I joined the Movember initiative to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate or testicular cancer. So, I have to grow a moustache and run a lot till the end of this month. By the way, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to join the initiative. This year, I am raising funds and awareness for all the dads, brothers, sons and friends in our lives. Everyone can contribute – just follow the link below and help me hit my fundraising goal. :)
And if you’re asking about work, I took on mentoring a junior member of our presales team. Showing the ropes to my new colleague via videocalls, without personal contact, is kind of a new experience for me, but I’m getting used to it.
Congratulations on your marriage! It looks like new normal surely brought a lot of change to your life. The lockdown in March also coincided with your new role at Veracomp – you moved from Senior Presales Consultant and Systems Engineer to Senior Presales Consultant and Architect. Has your job changed a lot during the pandemic?
Actually, yes. This year my new colleague and good friend Michal joined the ranks of Veracomp’s Extreme Team. It allowed me to focus more on the architecture of customer solutions. Unfortunately, there are not so many personal meetings with our clients and partners these days, so another change is contactless working process.
Your collection of Extreme certifications is a sight to behold – one can tell immediately that you are a true Extreme Hero! Do you remember your first experience with Extreme technology? Ever wondered what pushed you first in this direction?
I remember it very well. It happened five years ago, in a meeting room at Raiffeisenbank in Prague, where I met Zdenek Pala, Technical Marketing Engineer at Extreme Networks. Back then I was working as a Consultant on the partner side of the business and I was simply amazed by his great presentation speech. The way he talked about reasons and advantages of Extreme technology… I just fell in love immediately. With Extreme, not with Zdenek, mind you (laughs)!
Since we’re talking about projects, what was your personal favorite with Veracomp? A project that made you particularly proud or you simply had the most fun with?
Currently, the project that I’m enjoying the most is Albert, a popular chain of supermarkets in the Czech Republic. We started with Extreme Management Center and we helped our customer manage a huge heterogeneous network comprised of thousands of devices – effectively and quickly. Furthermore, we are now working on a PoC of a store of the future, so keep your fingers crossed and wait for some big news coming up soon!
Basing on your experience, what do you think is the key component of a good relationship between the distributor and the vendor? Do you feel that Extreme technologies offer a lot of space for developing your personal career as a presales consultant and architect?
Extreme has acquired many vendors over the years, which means an ever-increasing portfolio of products and capabilities that I get to learn and explore. I like this challenge. But for me, the most important thing is to be constantly in touch with your Partner. It’s even better when you have offices in the same city. And it’s totally awesome when you’re friends with the same passions and hobbies, like, for example, mountain hiking and sharing stories from your trips over good beer. And that’s exactly the kind of relationship that I have with my Extreme guys here in Czechia. :)
We all know that Chechs do love their beer. Where would you take your client or your partner account manager from Extreme if he or she visited you in Prague and there would be no pandemic around? :)
Oh, it’s a very hard question since Prague is just brimmed with great pubs serving excellent draught beer. Lately, I’ve grown fond of smaller breweries where they prepare their own seasonal beer. Have you ever tried a summer ale on a long bike trip in the middle of a hot summer? No? Then ask Michal Zlesak (Sales Director for Central & South Eastern Europe at Extreme – editor’s note) about his thoughts. :) My recommendation in Prague would be to visit Lokál pub for a classic Pilsner, and Galerka or Kavarna na Šumavě for a beer from smaller, local breweries.
And speaking of being partners… we’re fresh from the 2020 Virtual Partner Conference. Did you enjoy the show?
Actually… not that much. But only because I feel that no virtual conference can reproduce the atmosphere of a live event, no matter how well it’s executed. On the other hand, I’d like to express my deepest thanks for your effort to still be with us somehow, despite these challenging times. It was interesting to see the talk show hosted by Joe Vitalone who basically debuted in this role at Extreme (and did a great job). I was excited to learn about the introduction of common HW for different OS platforms and the new capabilities of ExtremeCloud IQ.
We too can’t wait till we can all meet again! In your LinkedIn article about last year’s TechTalks you admit that Extreme knows how to take conferences to the next level, exceeding the expectations of all involved. So what are your expectations before the upcoming TechTalks 5.0 Virtual?
I like live demos and real use cases from projects around the Extreme world. As always, it is also nice to see my local Extreme guy, Emre, delivering his own session. The most challenging part might be preparing and providing all the participants (or, perhaps, only the Extreme Hero group) with technical hands-on labs. But I’m 100% sure that Extreme team will rise to the challenge, as it always does.
Do you feel like a hero sometimes? :)
From the very beginning of this interview. Thank you for this opportunity! :)