Hello Readers! Last week I published an interview Kareem Halasa, Practice Lead – Software Defined Storage and Resiliency for Emerging, this week I caught up with Ofer Azulay, Sales Director for Israel based in Veritas’ Herzliya office. In his #LifeAtVeritas interview, Ofer talks about when he started his career when the buzz around the Y2K bug was becoming a frenzied hot topic, with many speculating that on 1 January 2000 as computers around the world would stop working. No such thing happened and Ofer has used his experience gained over two decades to build and lead an experienced team in Israel. Read on to find out about his management style and who has influenced his life both professionally and personally.
Zoe: Hi Ofer, thank you for agreeing to participate in the Life At Veritas blog series. Let’s kick off the interview with… What made you choose a career in IT?
Ofer: I started my career back in 1998 when all you could hear people talk about was a Y2K bug. Computers and technology were already a big part of our daily lives and everyone was talking about how Y2K is going to change the world. I was fascinated by what you could achieve with the technology built into computers and wanted to be part of this revolution.
Zoe: What advice would you give to those trying to secure their first IT role?
Ofer: The best advice I could give anyone is to take any opportunity you’re offered as your first IT role, even if the role itself is somewhat below your initial expectations. There is nothing more valuable in our line of business than experience and you shouldn’t take it for granted when someone offers you a role when you have no past experience.
Zoe: How long have you been working at Veritas? And what do you enjoy most about your role at Veritas?
Ofer: This is my second round at Veritas. If you add up all the years I have worked for Veritas or have been part of the Veritas ecosystem, be it as a customer or a partner, it is 17 years of working for and with Veritas, seven of those years as a Veritas employee. I re-joined Veritas in July 2017 and apart from my role with the company, the people, culture and of course, the technology and realization that I have a strong, reliable and stable company behind me are what motivates me to get up each morning to do my job.
Zoe: What leadership traits make a good leader? And what’s your leadership style?
Ofer: I firmly believe that a good leader should have both a long-term vision as well as the ability to execute against that vision in the short-term. I believe that in order to lead your team to success you must embrace and encourage teamwork, listening and providing feedback between teammates to be able to learn from one another and help one another achieve our collective goals.
Zoe: To a certain extent everyone has been influenced in some way by our friends, family, peers or even people who are high profile, business leaders. Who are your role models and influencers? And why?
Ofer: I try to have my own personal style on how to approach my tasks. Having said that, I have learned and was influenced by many managers and colleagues I’ve had the pleasure of working with throughout my career. In the last couple of years, I was highly influenced by the management team in Veritas EMEA Sales organization, which includes my previous manager as well as my current manager, Jean-Pierre Boushira Sales Leader for the South Region and our EMEA Leader, Mark Nutt. I try to learn as much as I can from them about becoming a better sales leader. On a more personal note, a big influence on my life is and has always been my father, from which I learned the value of being patient, listening to other people and to be able to execute your plans.
Zoe: What motivates you? And how do you motivate your team?
Ofer: What motivates me is the firm belief that Veritas is indeed a market leader when it comes to technology and that we can help our customers deal with their strategic challenges around their biggest asset – their data. We have always operated in a Technology-first mindset and that is evident by the fact that we are just as motivated to win a deal with meaningful and innovative technology as we are motivated to close deals with a high value of revenue.
Zoe: Ofer, the Veritas South Team has had a successful year. How do you define success? And how do you build successful teams?
Ofer: I can summarize what success means to me in one phrase – market share. A successful team is one that understands the strategy and operates to implement in both as individuals and as a whole while positioning personal interest in parallel to the overall team strategy.
Zoe: Why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Ofer: If you have the desire to deal with technological challenges, lead the market, work with leading customers in any sector and vector and join a family where technology is the main motivation behind the company’s strategy, you should really look no further. Veritas is the place for you.
Zoe: What’s your favourite Veritas solution? Or product?
Ofer: As I’ve mentioned before, my personal history with Veritas goes back a long way. It includes being part of the consulting and education organizations where I was involved with Storage Foundation projects, which is of course now InfoScale. Ever since then, I’ve had a warm place for that technology in my heart.
Zoe: Describe Veritas in one word?
Ofer: As the name implies – truth.
Zoe: Ofer, what do you like to do in your free time?
Ofer: In my free time I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my family, go on outdoor trips, read a good book and watch football games with my friends.
Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Ofer: I think we are all tied so much to our mobile phones these days that I am not sure how we can live without it at this point.
That concludes my interview with Ofer Azulay, it was great catching up and thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts as an employee, customer, and partner. What stood out for me from this interview was how during Ofer’s career he has been in a relationship with Veritas; as an employee, a customer and a partner. It’s a small world and technology and the social networks make it even smaller. Finally, I agree with Ofer we are tethered to our mobiles and in fact much of the time too much, as we sometimes miss the beauty in life away from those tiny screens. So, put download your mobile device for 30 minutes and enjoy some quiet time.
If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Ofer Azulay, then do stay tuned as there will be more interview style posts from other people at Veritas. And if this has inspired you to join our team, then check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here.
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