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How Technical Architect Bergur Helps Customers Win with Data Streaming

작성자:
Bergur Ziska, Senior Customer Success Technical Architect

When Bergur joined Confluent’s customer success organization, he was looking for a new challenges in his career. In his previous organization, Burger had played an integral role in migrating a large financial institution onto Confluent’s data streaming platform. During this process, he developed a strong relationship with the sales and customer success teams at Confluent. Looking for a new opportunity to apply more than his technical skills, Bergur readily took up their invitation to interview and join the team—allowing him to turn his experience on the user side into valuable guidance and insight for today’s customers.

Now, as a senior technical architect, he’s using his knowledge to help customers take advantage of data streaming to drive business value. Let’s learn more about Bergur, the importance of customer engagement, and how Confluent fosters an environment for innovation and growth.

What motivates you to excel in your role as a technical architect in customer success engineering? How does Confluent support your ambitions?

In my role as a customer success architect, it’s my responsibility to help organizations understand how to gain value out of data streaming technologies. This can involve everything from educating customers on best practices and conducting technical reviews to devising new architectural strategies or migration plans for them to implement—all to ensure Confluent is helping them achieve their technical requirements and business goals.

I think the space that Confluent occupies is unique and offers a lot of opportunity for growth and innovation. Building systems using event-driven or stream processing technologies is an area that’s not yet fully developed. A lot of companies are struggling to understand it and even more leverage the full potential of what we have to offer.

In other words we are operating on the boundary of what is well understood and that always provides great opportunities and new ideas are just waiting to be discovered and implemented. Being part of that and having the opportunity to contribute towards that is what gets me excited.

What’s the best part about interacting with customers in your experience?

Customer engagements really let you see where the rubber meets the road. You experience first hand where your offering stacks up and the value it brings to the customer. Conversely, these engagements are also where you get inspiration for and insight into how your product can be further improved.

Every company has a different approach to solving similar problems but there are broader trends that you get to see with each project. Sometimes, it is just a difference in the language that is used. Other times, there are actual differences in constraints imposed by specific industry requirements. Every time you think you have seen it all, there is some new twist that is thrown into the mix. It is during these times when different perspectives and knowledge are measured against each other that new learning emerges, and that is very rewarding.

What skills or technologies have you learned since joining? What are you looking forward to learning next?

For technologies, I have had to learn some of the more operational aspects of Apache Kafka and also Kubernetes. Having come from a more developer-oriented side of this world this was a bit of a black box for me.

Working in a remote-first company is new to me so I have had to think a bit more about how to build and maintain relationships with people digitally. Coming from a place where you could always walk by someone's desk and start a conversation, this is not as easy a transition as one might think.

I am really looking forward to getting some more Flink experience under my belt as our customers start adopting it.

How else have you grown or changed since joining Confluent?

When I joined Confluent coming from a tech company, I actually stepped down in seniority. But I saw that transition—going from an internal-facing, developer-oriented position to a customer-facing role—as a great opportunity to start a new adventure and learn new skills!

Now, having had more than a year’s experience as a customer success architect, I’ve loved being able to adapt to working in a less predictable environment. As technical architects, we are available to help customers from a purely advisory capacity rather than making the decisions on how a project should go. 

Learning how to advise and sometimes persuade customers to take on new technologies and strategies has been a huge growth opportunity for me. Now, I can confidently go into new engagements and plan how to positively influence customer direction without mandating or dictating what happens next. Creating a win-win for customers and company in this manner is an art that I’ve really enjoyed learning.

What's unique about Confluent's company culture? And what’s one question you would encourage people to ask about the culture during their interview?

I think that the way that Confluent really makes the most of the great employees we have working here is how we treat each other as people. You get to work with really smart people, and everyone is focused on achieving a common vision. All the activities I have been involved in since joining have really encouraged active participation and ownership from everyone.

The question I would ask during the interview would be two parts: How do they thrive working in a diverse environment? How do they handle conflicts?

Conflicts, large and small, happen in every company. What I would want to tease out is to what degree they show empathy towards people's motivation behind their actions and put that before engaging in a power struggle. We are all working towards the same goal after all.

  • Zion Samuel is a writer on the Brand Marketing team at Confluent. Prior to Confluent, Zion has spent several years writing for organizations in various technology and healthcare sectors.

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