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EMC Proven Professional Spotlight: Michael Churchill

Michael Churchill.jpgEmployer: Nacreous IT services LTD

Function/Role: IT Consultant

Location: London, United Kingdom

Certification(s) Achieved:

  • Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Computing
  • VCE Certified Converged Infrastructure Administration Engineer (VCE-CIAE)
  • VCE Certified Converged Infrastructure Implementation Engineer Storage (VCE-CIIEs)
  • VCE Certified Converged Infrastructure Implementation Engineer Virtualization (VCE-CIIEv)
  • VCE Certified Converged Infrastructure Implementation Engineer Compute (VCE-CIIEc)
  • EMC SE Converged Infrastructure VSPEX 2015
  • EMC SE Converged Infrastructure VSPEX BLUE 2015 
  • EMC SE technologies 2015
  • EMC SE Converged Infrastructure VSPEX Maintenance 2015
  • EMC SE Solutions the EMC Portfolio 2015
  • Implementation Engineer Isilon Solutions Specialist (EMCIE)
  • Implementation Engineer VNX Solutions Specialist Version 8.0 (EMCIE)
  • Implementation Engineer Symmetrix Solutions Specialist Version 6.0 (EMCIE)

Education: BTEC National Diploma

ECN: ChurchM

LinkedIn: Michael Churchill

What’s your background?

Since leaving the Navy I have worked in various areas, I started out in Storagetek as a service delivery representative fixing their various storage products and equipment. I steadily then migrated to working on EMC related storage devices and SANs either Brocade or Cisco and the moved on to working on more general equipment, working for companies like CSC, 2e2 and Computacenter, before finally moving on to work on Cisco UCS and Vblocks

Have you always been interested in technology?

I have basically been an engineer all my working life, starting out as 16 in the Navy were I did a full apprenticeship and learned different technologies and skills. This left me with a sort of in grained interest in technology in all its forms.

What drew you to work in this field?

I became interested in converged infrastructures as I saw it as a natural progression of my skills set and the various roles I have held, coupled with a need really to expand my employability and roles into new areas that linked to my core skills sets and experience which aids career progression.

How has it changed since you started?

The way the industry has changed mainly from my point of view is the need to be more of a generalist with skills in a larger more diverse set of technologies rather than a single technology specialist. With more modern converged structures it pays to understand the whole platform as it is more closely integrated and managed.

What most interests you about your work? What is your current job like?

My present role is working as a VCE resident on a project for BT. The most interesting thing is that no two days are the same and the role is very fluid in terms of what you are working on and doing which keeps you on your toes and makes the working days enjoyable as well as a challenge.

Name a major achievement in your career or any awards that you have won.

My primary achievement in my career development has been the ability to adapt to working with new technologies and grasp different types of solutions and then translate this into being able to support the different technologies in the real world

Can you describe the value to you of your EMC Proven Professional certifications? Why did you choose to get certified? How has the EMC Proven Professional Program benefitted you professionally?

The main value to me of the qualification I have gained is in aiding my career progression. Having the certifications proves to my employer that I have the right skills they need. It also helps me in terms of having a way to target my learning and training to a specific technology and achievable goals rather than trying to learn new skills ad hoc on the job.

It also benefits the companies I have worked with in terms of adding to their partner status and allowing the companies to access greater level of support and discounts. This is a major factor in determining the training provided and required and in some way can be a major driver to why I have achieved these qualifications

You are also VCE certified—what drove you to earn VCE certification? Do you find that your VCE certifications complement your EMC Proven Professional certifications?

I started looking at ways to get more involved with Cisco UCS and Vblocks as part of my role in my last company. This led me to investigate ways I could bring my skills more in line with working with VCE technologies and promote myself within the company so I could secure more work within the VCE technology are as a whole. The VCE qualification was basically a "must have" that highlighted both a different skill set and my interest in this technology to my company at the time.

Are you active on the EMC Community Network (ECN)? What is your favorite part of the community?

I use the ECN community as a valued resource and find it a good source of information to resolve questions and issues that I may encounter. However, I tend to dip in and out of this depending on the level of requirement.

What big project are you working on now? Or what major project have you recently completed?

I am working on a project for VCE within BT and have carried out several major installation of Vblock in the last year.

Where do you see yourself in the future? Are there any new technologies or skills you want to learn?

I am going to  continually try to learn new skills. I use online training courses to get grounded on new technologies and to keep abreast of technologies outside my core areas. I am looking at primarily VMware and Cisco networking qualifications to try and round out my CV and knowledge across all areas related to converged infrastructure systems.

Converged Infrastructure appears to be the direction throughout IT. What are your thoughts on the future of CI? More specifically, how do you feel your Proven Professional and VCE certifications prepare you for CI implementations?

I have done a number of CI implementations for VCE in the last year. The training allowed me to quickly grasp the fundamental behind the technologies and gain insight before actually having to prove it when on the ground.

What advice would you give to someone entering the EMC Proven Professional Program or the VCE Certification Program?

The only real guidance is do not rush the qualifications. Set achievable goals and then work to them.  Understand the requirements of your chosen qualification path and then take each piece of this in turn.

Read other EMC Proven Professional Spotlight interviews in the Proven Professional Spotlight Archive

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