Patric Uebele: Standing behind only the best products
As part of Scality’s team based in Germany, Patric Uebele, Sales Engineer, is very much aware of the unique challenges posed by his job. “German, Swiss, and Austrian customers are very risk-averse, so that’s a special challenge when you’re selling an emerging product,” he explains. “Germany’s an engineering-driven country, so for a lot of customers, quality is everything.” He pauses and jokes, “For example, if you look at German and Swiss houses, they’re built so solidly, they’ll probably last another 500 years!”
One might say that Patric is the perfect fit for customers who “believe your PowerPoint presentations only up to a point.” As a technologist at heart with a rich career in both engineering and pre-sales, he can be relied upon for his expertise and his ability to proficiently demonstrate the features and functionalities of the products. Richard Feltham, EMEA Sales Engineering Director, remarks, “The fact that Patric can talk on the same level as technically-minded decision makers immediately brings mutual respect. He’s regarded as a trusted advisor.”
Patric’s commitment to his work means that he has exceptionally high standards of himself and of the products he represents. “He is very thorough,” Richard enthuses. “In all the work he does, he tries his very utmost to make it the best he possibly can. So he doesn’t cut corners. He wants to know all of the intricacies of everything that a customer is requiring and all the intricacies of how our product works. Then he tries to marry the two up and give the customer the best experience that he can.”
To do this, Patric himself must be convinced of the product’s quality. “If I felt deep inside that the product was crappy and then I sold it, I would have a lot of sleepless nights,” he admits. To help ensure that the products fit his customers’ needs and standards, Patric is active in communicating customer feedback to the product development teams. “I’m a strong advocate of bringing engineers to the customers occasionally because it’s very eye-opening for them sometimes. How customers make use of the product might be totally different from what engineering or product management had in mind.”
One of Patric’s noteworthy accomplishments was his successful efforts to bring on board one of Germany’s biggest IT players. For Patric, his success is grounded in what guides all his customer interactions—honesty and integrity. He explains, “The IT field in Germany is a relatively small world, so I’m still dealing with the same set of customers from, let’s say, 10 years ago.” He adds with a laugh, “It’s generally not a good idea to annoy them too much.” His commitment extends to maintaining great customer relations even after the deal is signed. “I see one of my roles as making Scality products ‘stickier,’” he explains. “By that I mean encouraging customers to consider Scality for their future needs as well.”
In another life, Patric was a student of theoretical physics at the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. (Just to give you an idea, his thesis title includes the phrase, “calculation of the magnetic properties of interstitial hard magnets.”) He feels his studies prepared him well for his career. “When I was doing my thesis, the common saying was, physics is the best preparation for your job life because it prepares you for all the disappointments and frustrations. The level of frustration you’re able to tolerate will go up substantially!” he laughs. These days, Patric still enjoys discussing physics topics with his wife, who works as a physics and math teacher.
His family life also includes spending time with his daughter, with whom he enjoys his favorite activity, cross-country skiing. “She’s 14 years old, and she’s faster than me now,” he quips. And why the appeal of cross-country over downhill? “It allows for contemplation. You can ski for 1-2 hours and see a lot of the landscape. It’s a nice rhythm so you can still enjoy your surroundings.” In addition to taking part in three or four cross-country ski races each year, Patric trains in summer on roller skis. “It looks a bit funny,” he admits, “but it’s fun.”
Unsurprisingly Patric favors colder regions in his travels, such as Scandinavia, Iceland, and northern Italy. This summer, he’s looking forward to a family vacation in the mountains near his home in Munich, where he’ll be sure to spend the days hiking and relaxing in nature. With all that he gives of himself at work, it will indeed be a well-deserved break.