A Day in the Life of James Whelan, Partner Technical Services

Time for another instalment in our infrequent but popular series A Day in the Life. In the hot seat this time is James Whelan, Technical & EMEA Compete Lead.

James Whelan

I work in the Partner Technical Services team (PTS) and my job is to ensure that our Partners in the UK, Ireland and EMEA are getting the support they need to win deals and deploy Microsoft technologies to their customers.

I have worked at Microsoft for over ten years and my technical background is messaging (Exchange), where I was a Support Engineer and then a Premier Field Engineer, before moving over to the Partner organisation.

It’s interesting trying to describe a typical day as I don’t really have one. My role is split between Technical Lead and Compete Lead, so my days are usually a good mixture of activities. What does this mean? Well, as Technical Lead, I collaborate closely with my colleagues in the Partner organisation ensuring that PTS is working with them efficiently and to ensure our Partners are getting all the assistance they need. For example, if a Partner is working on large or strategic opportunity and they need pre-sales or deployment assistance, I will work with all stakeholders to ensure that they are getting the appropriate input. Another significant aspect of my role is working with and being a point of escalation for our service delivery team who are based out in Bangalore, India. We have a great team of around 20 consultants who support our Partners across all the Microsoft technologies and I see myself as an extension of that team, working particularly closely with the delivery team leads, to ensure we are meeting the requirements of Microsoft in the UK and Ireland and most importantly, our Partners.

As EMEA Compete Lead, I support my colleagues across EMEA when they are experiencing blockers in helping their Partners, particularly when there is a competitive element to the Partner’s request and the consultant is unable to progress it for whatever reason. These can often be high-pressure situations, which is something I enjoy, especially when you see the outcome and it has been successful for the Partner.

Over the last few months, I have been spending a lot more of my time working on Microsoft Online Services, which is great given my messaging background. With the imminent launch of Office 365, I expect it to be a busy few months working with our Partners and getting customers on to this awesome new product.

No doubt, I will finish today having provided competitive assistance, been a relationship manager and had one or more technical discussions, amongst other things!

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