Hello… Engineering Explosion!

AVANT’s team of qualified and experienced Cloud Sales Engineers got a big boost with the recent hiring of three new members.  Our Cloud Sales Engineering team is one of the key resources that our partners leverage as part of our Channel Sales Enablement program, as an extension of their own team or as objective third-party experts brought in as a skilled asset.

With this explosion of engineers, we welcome Ghazal Baniasad, Sarah Arnstein and Dane Menke to the team!

As AVANT’s newest CSE’s, Ghazal, Sarah, and Dane support AVANT’s growing ecosystem of vendors and partners. They act as the first line of support for technical qualifications and provide analysis, recommendations, and designs for partner opportunities that come in via email, over the phone, through Interactive Quick Assessments, or in person at AVANT Blue Carpets.  To support partners, a CSE must know the ins and outs of service providers in a given product area, such as UCaaS or SD-WAN, and, like the rest of our team, this newest class of Cloud Sales Engineers is fully immersed in the technologies and products offered by our service provider portfolio.

Ghazal, Dane, and Sarah are on hand to help build industry comparisons across providers in the form of AVANT Matrices (similar to reports from Gartner or Forrester), helping our partners look like rock stars in front of their customers, and delivering partner trainings at AVANT events like Special Forces and BootCamp.

Just as important as the role they play for our partners and their technical qualifications is that our new CSE’s fit right into AVANT’s culture.  Here’s a little peek at the people behind the role:

Ghazal Baniasad – Cloud Sales Engineer

I graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with my B.S. in Electrical Engineering. I then worked as an Electrical Engineer at a battery manufacturing company. There, I developed and designed circuit boards for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries followed by validation and calibration testing for function, safe operation, and design verification. Another critical aspect of this role was developing electrical products by studying customer requirements and researching assembly methods and materials; these technical skills serve as my backbone as a Cloud Sales Engineer here at AVANT.  Outside of work, I enjoy practicing hot yoga, cooking exotic dishes, and exploring Chicago cuisines.  I love to travel, trying to work my way across all 50 states. Twenty-two down, twenty-eight more to go.  Line up some customer appointments across the country to help me reach my goal!

Sarah Arnstein – Cloud Sales Engineer

I graduated from UIC with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I then worked as a mechanical patent engineer for an Intellectual Property Firm where I worked with inventors to analyze their new products/inventions and drafted patents that encompass all the inner workings and use cases. That foundational technical knowledge along with the communication skills I learned while working with inventors has helped me settle into my new role at AVANT and will continue to propel me forward in my career as a Sales Engineer.

I spend just about every morning weightlifting and making sure my health/fitness is on track. I also try to travel as much as possible and visit at least one new place per month.  I try to find places with wineries nearby as wine is another big interest of mine. It doesn’t happen quite as often as I’d like it to, but one of my favorite activities is skydiving. I started the classes to get my skydiving license a while back, and it’s a goal of mine to finish that one day. When I’m not doing anything exciting for a weekend, I admittedly like to play video games on my PC. Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley and World of Warcraft.

Dane Menke – Cloud Sales Engineer

I’ve spent seven years as a sysadmin, and three years as a sales engineer specializing in private cloud, colocation, and BaaS/DRaaS.  I’m a married Marine Corps veteran and lifelong soccer player, still occasionally playing in adult leagues on weekends.  My wife and I grew our first vegetable garden this summer with mixed results.  I like to think my technical chops are better than my green thumb.  We have two dogs named Xena and Gidget and a snake named Dot.  On my commute, I like to read books primarily about artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

Our team is growing to allow us to provide more frequent and more in-depth research to produce AVANT Matrices, a quicker response time for partner opportunities, and increased availability for customer calls.  Talk to your channel manager today to learn more about how you can put our Cloud Sales Engineers to work for you!