Pierre Guéant: A technologist at heart who goes the extra mile
“I’d rather go into something where I don’t know anything than get bored,” admits Pierre Guéant, whose recent success with Scality’s Spanish accounts has furthered his reputation as an outstanding sales engineer. Indeed, when faced with unfamiliar territory, Pierre seems completely undaunted, even fired up. When he first arrived at Scality three years ago, he joined as an email specialist with zero knowledge about data storage. “That was the interesting part—learning about storage, about new technology, just trying to understand how things work.” Beyond expanding his understanding of new technologies, Pierre enjoys finding as-of-yet nonexistent solutions. “It’s not necessarily a technical solution like writing a piece of code,” he explains. “Sometimes it’s trying to find an angle, trying to tell the story in a different way so the customer relates to it.”
Pierre’s drive to understand mechanisms and inner workings not only brought him into the field of computer engineering, but also energizes his sales work. In order to do his job well, he says, it’s important to clearly understand all aspects of the customer’s problems, even the non-technical ones. “We help people do their job with our solution but you have to understand the whole picture in order to help them. It’s not only that I have a product that can be applied to your problem. It’s also how this fits into an organization and how it helps people do their jobs.”
Richard Feltham, Pierre’s manager, confides that his natural ability to instill confidence is key to his success with building long-term customer relationships. “He’s always got a smile on his face,” he says. “He probably has one of the hardest jobs in terms of the number of customers that he manages. But one of the reasons they keep coming back is because of him, because of the way he manages to keep their interest, articulate issues professionally. And that’s invaluable in our business.”
Pierre not only strives to improve things for his customers, but also for his colleagues. “He gives knowledge back,” states Richard. “When he learns something new or sees a better way of doing something, he’s very quick to share that with everybody so we can all benefit.” And indeed, one of the things Pierre truly enjoys about the company is being able to contribute his ideas. “You can speak out and have an influence on your day-to-day job. You can give feedback and most of the time it’s heard. That’s what is motivating to me. You don’t feel part of a giant machine where you have no influence in anything,” he explains.
Along with his impassioned commitment to his work comes an equally strong devotion to family. He asserts, “For me to be successful, I need to have the right balance between my life and my work, to be able to pick up my kid and to spend time at home.” Taking care of his two-year-old daughter dovetails naturally with one of his other passions, photography. “It’s great because you create memories,” he enthuses. Even here though, his engineer mind is at work. “I spend a lot of time in my free time looking at pictures taken by other people, trying to get inspiration or see how they do stuff, try to analyze how they do the lighting, for example. There’s a lot to learn.”
And it’s this insatiable curiosity that invigorates all that Pierre does and that is most valued by him. “Curiosity’s really at the core of everything. It’s something that’s important to nurture.”