Red Hat's Tech Sales team helps our customers solve challenging problems the open source way using a unique combination of technical and creative skills. In our Tech Sales Spotlight series, we’re showcasing the journeys of some of our talented Red Hatters across the team.
Ana Basso first heard of Red Hat during her time at a technical high school in Brazil, where students had a subject focused on Linux. She clearly remembers their teacher showing them the company’s logo featuring Shadowman and explaining Red Hat’s role in the open source community.
Later, when Ana was looking for a job, she spotted an internship role at Red Hat. The logo had evolved into the red fedora of today, but it jogged the memory from her studies, and she decided to apply.
Upon joining as an intern, Ana was surprised to find that she wasn't just picking up the coffee. “I was treated as a member of the team—along with the responsibilities and demands that came with that! People were really accommodating, and the more senior associates were interested in getting to know us.”
Starting out as a solutions architect
After her internship, Ana was offered a full-time role in the Tech Sales team and was quickly onboarded. “My managers and colleagues were still very keen on teaching us how to excel in our roles and navigate the company,” Ana reflects.
Ana started off as a solutions architect, attending customer meetings, demos and workshops regularly. After a year, the team grew, and with that came new possibilities. An opportunity opened up for an ecosystem solutions architect—a role that already existed in the U.S. but not yet in Brazil.
Ana was initially hesitant to apply for the role. “At first, I was a little bit worried and thought I might be taking on too much. I sat down with my manager at the time, who I really trust, and they encouraged me to go for it.”
The role was still in presales—but more focused on the larger ecosystem—acting as a facilitator between Red Hat and our partners. Ana explains, “I help our partners become more engaged with our technology, articulate what it can do and stay aware of the latest updates. There are so many Red Hat products, and our technical documentation is very detailed. I have always been very passionate about helping our partners understand and pitch these in the best way possible.”
Ana has been an ecosystem solutions architect for four months now, and considers it “the best decision I’ve ever made at Red Hat.” As with all our roles in technical sales, it’s still very people-centric but with an additional focus on teaching and enablement—acting as the primary technical trusted advisor for our partners.
Growing and evolving alongside our ecosystem
Ana’s role also provides her opportunities to learn from our partner ecosystem. “Our partners deal with various types of technologies, different vendors and other competitors, and so it provides an opportunity to learn from one another and explore different use cases for Red Hat’s technology,” Ana explains.
The learning and growth have been continuous throughout the last three years. “I’ve had the opportunity not only to start my career but to continue to mold it as I want it to and make it into something I’m proud of.” Red Hat’s open culture has helped with this, says Ana. “The culture makes it much easier to showcase your ideas in a way that you might not be able to do elsewhere, and you get useful feedback that you can use to change and improve. Personally, I think it makes you feel safe, especially in a world where there has been so much uncertainty lately.”
What’s unique about technical sales at Red Hat? According to Ana, it’s that the team has a firm belief in the products and solutions they’re pitching. “As a presales solutions architect at Red Hat, you’re a storyteller, helping customers see what they can do with our technology and how it can make their lives easier. It’s important to believe in what you do and what you are selling.”
“I think of Red Hat as the nerdy kid doing cool stuff in the basement, and as presales, we have this—almost magical—job to turn technical documentation into something that customers can relate to and see how it would make sense for their business,” she says with a smile.
And even after three years, there are still things that surprise Ana about working here. The latest developments in Red Hat’s offerings and in upstream communities always surprise her. “It sounds kind of silly—like, I’m in presales so of course I’m gonna say our products are fun and amazing! But every time I sit down to study a new release, a new product or a new version, there’s something that makes me say ‘Oh man, that’s so cool!’”
Making time to decompress—and connect to your purpose
Once Ana hears about new functionalities, she makes sure our partners know about them, too—and get their perspective on the latest developments in the partner ecosystem. Although Ana enjoys how people-focused her role is, it’s important for her to take time to decompress, too. “I’m actually a very introverted person for someone who works in sales, and during my day I need to be an active listener. This allows me to create new content, resources and possibilities for our partners. It means that my work days are quite mentally demanding, so painting, drawing, watching reality TV, cooking or talking to my wife are very therapeutic.”
Ana also takes advantage of Red Hat’s flexible work policies, preferring to work from home when she can, as well as focusing her working hours during the times that she gets her best work done (which, for her, is later in the evening).
What keeps Ana motivated is the feeling that her work is making an impact within Red Hat and our customers and communities. “There are so many companies undergoing different transformations, migrating to hybrid cloud and so on, but they kind of all have the same objective, which is to modernize. I think my role plays a big part in helping customers achieve that at a wider scale, along with our partners.
“I don’t think I’d be able to work at a company where I didn’t believe what I’m selling is a good idea. Here, I can understand why our products and technology matter, which is important to me.”
About the author
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.