Cloudflare TV

*APAC Careers Day* How We Work Together in ANZ

Presented by Angela Huang, Raymond Maisano, Sierra Dasso, Xin Meng
Originally aired on 

Raymond Maisano (Head of ANZ), Sierra Dasso (Enterprise Sales Manager), Angela Huang (Senior Customer Success Manager), and Xin Meng (Solutions Engineer) will talk about the customer journey in Cloudflare, how our technology changes the world, and career mobility within the company.

Careers Day

Transcript (Beta)

Good morning everyone. Welcome to Cloudflare TV. By introduction I'm Raymond Maisano, the head of Cloudflare for Australia and New Zealand and this is Cloudflare's career day.

So really exciting to be here, really exciting to give everyone an insight.

This particular segment is on Team ANZ so you get to hear a little bit about how we work together, how the business has grown and some of the exciting opportunities that are coming up with the team and in such an exciting growing business.

So let me just start off. I've been here for two years now and when I started really we only had a handful of people and having to look this morning and we're just under 30 people inside of two years so our growth has been fantastic as part of picking up roles and some of the roles that we've been able to bring on is account executives, sales, engineers, customer success, both the customer success managers and customer support engineers, BDRs, partner sales, partner SEs, marketing both for our direct marketing, partner marketing, our expansion marketing roles have landed here as well.

We've got network support managers so we're continuing to build out a team that is really making a difference in this market, making a difference for our customers which is really the most exciting part and importantly not just sort of picking up one or two roles but picking up roles where people can really build and develop and grow their career in Cloudflare and for me that's the most exciting part to be part of a team that's dynamic, making a difference for our customers but also helping people grow and develop their own personal capabilities in their own careers and this is an insight that we wanted to give you into how we've been working, the roles that are available and importantly how you can also learn and be part of what is such an exciting business.

So that's a little bit about me, a little bit about team ANZ and I'm going to hand over to Angela who's going to step us through the next 20 minutes or so.

Thank you so much for that introduction to ANZ, Raymond.

It sounds like we have a lot of really great opportunities opening up and I really can't wait to see us grow in the region.

Welcome Sarah and Shin. Thank you so much for joining us today as we all share how we all work together at Cloudflare Australia and New Zealand.

So since Raymond's already kind of run through some introduction, why don't we start with a round of introductions for both of you and for me.

Tell us your name, your title and just a bit about the role you play in your day-to-day.

Sure. Sarah, you want to go ahead first?

Yeah, sure. So my name is Sierra Dasso. I am the Enterprise Sales Leader for ANZ and I've been here at Cloudflare for four years.

I really feel like I bleed orange in the sense that I love my job, I love the company I work for and I've had a lot of opportunity here.

I started off in the headquarters in San Francisco, had two years there of really getting the DNA and the blood of the company as it was growing very quickly and had the opportunity then to take on this role in Sydney where we were investing heavily and that some of my Cloudflare DNA could help, you know, build out and bring that to another country.

That was really exciting.

And then most recently I've taken on a team of my own account executives where I can support them and continue to scale their growth and be able to, you know, really make a difference for our customers in the region, making it local, making it tailored and giving them, you know, that great experience.

So that's a bit about my role. Yeah. Hi, Cloudflare TV. My name is Xin.

I'm based in Singapore. I was born in China but I moved to Singapore pretty much like during my secondary school years.

And now I support the ANZ region for Cloudflare.

So I've been in Cloudflare for around, my fourth year is coming up, so it's pretty much up between three and four.

And yeah, I like the phrase how Sierra described probably orange.

I really want to, I want to borrow that phrase as well.

I do believe in the orange idea. I do believe in Cloudflare and the ANZ region is the current region that I've been working on.

So my role, I support Sierra in her daily engagement with the customer.

I own the technical solution. I'm the technical guy behind Sierra to support her, to make her engagement with the customer successful.

I deliver what they ask for technically and make sure what the customer is asking for can be solved by the Cloudflare solution elegantly and nicely.

Yeah. So, so that's my, that's my daily job. I couldn't live without you Xin, just so you know.

Thank you so much. So I will be the moderator for today, but I'm also a customer success manager.

I've been at Cloudflare for about three years and I'm really, really excited now because I've started with the ANZ team and looking really forward to everything settling down over in Australia and being able to move over and join Sierra and Raymond and Xin in the region.

So really excited to have everyone here today, but let's go ahead and just dive right in.

So Sierra, I know, I know that there are a number of reasons why someone would need Cloudflare services, but walk us through a little bit about what their journey might be prior to kind of committing or signing on with us.

Yeah. So I think that the customer journey has to be through a few steps and there has to be a lot of small internal decisions that person makes.

And one of the first ones is that the status quo isn't good enough, right?

Making a change, doing something different has some value.

And, you know, people come to that realization in a number of ways, whether it's an attack, whether something bad happens, hopefully it's not that.

Most of the time it's research, it's knowledge about what's possible in particular, because we're in security risk is probably the biggest piece.

People trying to understand the possible risk, what's happening to their competitors, you know, similar companies in their industry and looking to improve the status quo.

The way that we can help customers is by providing that high level education, whether it's on Cloudflare TV or whether it's, you know, in person with the customer on a whiteboard.

But those are the ways that we help a customer recognize whether or not this is a fit for them, whether or not the risk is worth it and whether we should be partners or not.

Great, thank you. One, I have to key into the fact that you mentioned attacks, because I know there's been a lot of news around ransomware and threats lately.

Xin, like, how does the way you work with Sierra in your role change in what we consider to be kind of like an under attack situation?

Yeah, that's a good question.

So in my role, as just now I described, I work with Sierra to own the technical success of the customer.

I make sure we formulate the correct solution to solve customer problem in a daily basis.

And in an under attack scenario, the timeline of that process becomes drastically shortened.

So I will need to be more accurate in the solution design, need to be more concise in the way of communication to both the customer as well as the delivery team.

And I need to be also most important, I need to be more sympathetic towards customer situation because like they're under threat, they're panicking.

So the scope hasn't really changed, you know, under attack scenario, but it just gets more demanding under that timeframe.

And honestly, at that point, all the past experience you've been having, all the past solution you have designed, all the past conversation you had, all the past customer you've engaged will help you.

And that moment, it will become your asset.

It's like calling down all the past experience and suddenly like you level up at a moment.

And that really is how I see an under attack scenario is, and it also helps you to grow at that moment as well.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, imagine in that kind of scenario, collaboration and working like a well -oiled machine is that much more important, regardless of your role in a typical day-to-day.

So thank you, Jin and Ciara. I mean, I know that in my role, I'm always appreciative of all the conversations and the work that both of you do to ensure our customer success as they come on board with Cloudflare.

I really do think it makes a huge, huge difference in their experience and making it much, much more seamless, especially as others like myself, the customer's solutions engineer introduced to the team to continue supporting that customer and driving their successes long-term.

So we mentioned earlier before that there are a number of reasons why someone might need Cloudflare services.

Why us? Like why would they want to work with Cloudflare? Like what is it about our technology that makes us so cool?

Yeah, maybe I could jump in.

That is really a topic opener for me. I just love talking about technology topics.

So in Cloudflare, we have this mission to build a better Internet, right? And the nature of the Internet is for everyone.

It's pretty amazing that someone from Asia is able to connect a computer that's thousands of miles away that's located in Europe or America.

And the Internet is filled with challenges and problems, admittedly, but it is also at the same time probably the biggest consensus that we as human beings have ever been reached in history.

And what is amazing about Cloudflare is that we don't solve the problems or the current challenges of the Internet by trashing the old rules, right?

We don't arbitrarily and unilaterally come up with a new standard pattern and claim it's a much better, superior standard and say that everyone from the Internet should abandon the old rules and use new rules.

But instead, what Cloudflare tries to do is to use the existing rules, make it more that use the existing rule that is commonly agreed and make magic out of it.

For instance, one of the technology we always like to pitch is Anycast, right?

The idea of Anycast is it's not a pattern ingenious idea that Cloudflare engineers come up with, right?

It's an intrinsic IPV4 way of communication.

But before Cloudflare, not many people are using it. It's because despite all its benefits, it's super hard to manage and maintain, especially for the TCP web traffic, if I'm coming from a technical background.

So before Cloudflare, it's like a utopia technology that many people talk about it, but less people implement it because of the practicality.

And Cloudflare actually took the challenge, right?

We use this commonly agreed technology. We go heads-on with the challenge that we face and we work out ideas to make it more practical and make it operationalized in a global scale.

And now, nowadays, people follow the success story of Cloudflare and you can see more and more companies and more and more networks are trying to adopt the standard of Anycast.

So this is what I find really amazing about Cloudflare.

But also at the same time, it doesn't mean that Cloudflare doesn't innovate, right?

We innovate all the times. We actively expand the frontier of the technology.

For instance, Cloudflare also sit in the standard community of a lot of Internet protocols.

We come up with the TLS 1.3, the DNS over HTTPS, HTTP 3.

But the idea is that Cloudflare doesn't do it unilaterally. We do it in a collaborative measure and what we call multilateral fashion to make sure the Internet community progress as a whole and we as human beings progress as a whole.

So that's why I really believe in the mission and the vision of Cloudflare. And that's why I would really say I'm completely orange in my nature.

Yeah, I was going to say, that's why you're kind of front and center and witnessing all this over the last three years.

But admittedly, it does sound like a lot. I imagine that in a day-to-day, it could be a bit overwhelming.

So Raymond, Sierra, maybe you can tell us a little bit more about what it's like to work with all of this innovation and utopia technology, as Shin mentioned.

Yeah, I can start with that one. I think one of the key things that we can do as sort of consultants with our customers is to cut through the noise.

In a lot of ways, the security space is very noisy.

There are hundreds, actually, there's probably around a thousand providers that a large enterprise might need or might evaluate.

And to cut through the noise and show them exactly where Cloudflare fits and exactly what we might mitigate.

And even within Cloudflare, we have four key pillars around employee security and corporate network security and application security and serverless technology, four different categories with four different stakeholders and all different challenges and results and things.

So when we talk to customers, it's about asking the right questions to understand their priorities, to understand the risks that they have and what their ultimate goals are so that we can cut through the noise of everything that could overwhelm the customer.

And yes, it can be overwhelming for us too, but that's our role and that's why it's so fun and exciting is because we get to listen to them and deliver a recommendation and get through that and then pass over and pull in the right resources like Shin and others to deliver the how.

We talk about the why.

We know enough to be dangerous and to deliver on a good why. And once we have that strong why, we can pull in all the engineers we need to deliver the how.

And that's how we're able to work with so much innovation.

That's great. And again, I mean, I think it's worth repeating that really just that collaboration really is key to making that aspect successful.

If it's very intimidating to us, then it's very easily intimidating for our customers.

So it's our job to kind of help walk them through it.

But still, it's a lot to get up to speed on. So, I mean, Raymond, I don't know if you can tell us a little bit more about generally what our environment is at Cloudflare.

Yeah, I think it's an interesting perspective because so much of the engagement isn't around one person's connection into a customer.

It's so many facets that are required to one, be an expert in either the technology, be an expert in the customer requirements, compliances, certifications, all these levels, needs of what our customers are asking us for.

And this is about being able to really leverage the team and our expertise.

So, for example, Sierra has great intimate knowledge around customers' business needs and gets that insight around what is the problem they're actually trying to solve, not what is the technology that we should be putting in front of them.

And Jim's going to spend time understanding, OK, if we were to do this, how does that implicate the customer?

How do we onboard them? How do we build that up? How do we leverage the technology in order to make that happen?

So you consider all those aspects.

None of us learn all those things straight away. We don't come into this role going, we're experts in all of our fields.

So I find it really exciting that we're able to bring people into the team and help them work through some areas of specialization, help them build up the skills and leverage the team as well.

It's by far the most collaborative team I've ever been part of.

And I've been lucky enough to run some awesome teams in ANZ over many years that I have no doubt that this is a team that is collaborate and help each other first, solve the customer problem first, and then worry about my role and my responsibility second.

And that is the great aspect of not just the team, but how we learn together, how we really put our arms around team members and fill gaps of either knowledge or experience.

The learnings that we get from our other customers and we leverage that learning onto others as well.

There's actually a similar sort of environment that we use on the technology side.

We test some of the technology in our free tier, the business customers before we move it into enterprise to make sure it's hard.

And we take all that massive insight to continue to progressively improve our quality of service and what we protect, known threats, trending threats, etc.

We have to do that as people, as individuals, because that technology piece is one aspect of being able to build and develop your own skill sets and ensure that we're working together.

That is what makes one a harmonious team and also helps and gives us the opportunity to grow and develop and also build on a career.

And that's the exciting bit that I see is you may come in at one, I actually have a great story.

Kate was one of our BDRs, started in the team, developed a passion around taking that technical content and putting it in a language that most customers can understand.

And she moved out of that BDR role into one of our technical riders. And that sort of growth and opportunities of people being able to move across teams, across geographies, across business focuses, that's one of the most exciting parts around Cloudflare and the opportunity that we provide people in the team.

Absolutely, I'm in total agreement with you. I think Cloudflare has definitely been one of the most collaborative and the most supportive of a variety of different career paths, whether they be traditional or if you want to completely jump roles, you can definitely do so here.

And that's been a phenomenal part of being at Cloudflare.

Plus just the great opportunity to grow and expand, just as you mentioned.

But like I said, there are the traditional paths. But I think what's unique about Cloudflare is our international experiences as well.

Ciara is someone that has moved from our San Francisco office to our Sydney office, as you mentioned.

What has that experience been like for you? Yeah, well, I guess the first time I talked to Cloudflare about the need and the want to move, it was actually with Michelle, our president.

And I spoke with her about wanting to build the business and be a part of this exponential growth.

And she was just very encouraging, gave me the resources to figure out how to do that.

I met another female leader who was the head of our APAC region and knew that I needed to work for her.

And she told me that Australia was going to be the right place. And I didn't really know anything about Australia, but I agreed and went for it.

And becoming a part of this team where you arrive and there's a handful of people that haven't had that headquarters experience, and to see quarter over quarter our employee count growing, I mean, sometimes doubling, and really seeing each of these new people be successful, as well as as a team delivering for the business and delivering for our customers in such an impressive way, it's really been really rewarding.

And I think the ANZ market uniquely has a lot of white space of, of companies and organizations that are ready to be progressive and just haven't had the right guidance.

So when we meet them, it's a really wonderful story. And, and people like to hear it and are excited about working with us.

So that's been rewarding on on all fronts, and then has led to a lot of opportunities for me, right.

So, you know, when I came here, I got to work with larger companies and, you know, multi billion dollar organizations when that wasn't possible, when I was in the States, because, you know, more senior people had that role.

And now I'm taking on a leadership position, because we have these newbies and the experiences leading there.

So overall, it's been extreme gratitude for the opportunity that I've been given, and being pushed constantly pushed out of the comfort zone, which is so rewarding.

Yeah, thank you for sharing that with us.

I'm personally in the thing, you know, interested in your path, not only just because it's amazing, but because I hope to follow suit, and follow in your footsteps.

You know, really, really excited to be joining the Sydney team soon.

But I do have to kind of bring it back around to the collaboration bit, right?

I mean, with Cloudflare continuing to expand across the globe, you know, I imagine that collaboration does become more difficult, even in our current work from home situation.

How does one even navigate that challenge moving forward?

Right, maybe I can jump in. Like being in an Internet company, right?

Working in a global context, you know, is in our genes. Probably that's what makes orange blood orange.

Yeah, probably the global context is the orange color.

And like some common collaborative tools and productivity tools, it's been ubiquitous in Cloudflare, even before the pandemic.

And also, at the same time, Cloudflare has this really good culture of sharing knowledge, right?

Lots of knowledge and process are being nicely documented.

And anyone who's willing to find is able to find, like we have this absolute nice, well documented process, wikis and knowledge sharing, knowledge base that everyone has access to.

People at Cloudflare also do not hold back and jump in and help each other out and offer help as much as we can.

And also, at the same time, the process of sharing also consolidate your understanding as well, and also help you grow from the technical or from the commercial aspect.

So this sharing knowledge is what I believe makes Cloudflare, Cloudflare today.

Fantastic, thank you. Yeah, I'm really interested to see just how we collaborate kind of evolves as people start to think about returning to office.

I know we have a session later where Kate Fleming is going to be talking a little bit more about our back to better plan.

So for those of you out there that are looking to tune in, I would definitely tune into that session.

I mean, we're kind of close to the top of the hour.

So thank you, Shin, Sierra, and Raymond.

That's all we had for you today. And thank you so much for talking with me and sharing your experiences with others out there.

Any last words before we sign off?

One last one, Angela. Thank you everyone for listening in. We hope you enjoy hearing about our experience at Cloudflare.

Check out all of our opportunities, especially in ANZ, APAC, we have a lot.

So go to our career page and send us your CV.

Thank you. Excellent, and I'm going to jump in as well because Sierra has given us a nice sort of wrap on there.

You know, account executives, solution engineers, building out our federal government path, BDRs, we're continuing to build up there.

So it's just the most exciting time to be part of. There's opportunities today, there's going to be opportunities tomorrow.

Sometimes they align, sometimes they don't.

I guess we encourage you to have a look on our portal on LinkedIn to see when the opportunities are.

Reach out to us at any point.

We're keen to give you an insight into the roles we have and super excited to continue to really build out what is an amazing Australia and New Zealand business that has been an exciting part to be part of and really important that we're building this as a long-term investment into the ANZ market.

So thank you for me. Thank you, Angela, for hosting today.

I think it was a great insight around the collaborative piece of how we're all working together, working across geographies, working in Sydney.

Unfortunately, we're all sort of in Brady Bunch meetings on Zoom calls most of the time now, but we'll get back to some sense of normal and look forward to the creative ways that we can continue to learn from the experiences that we've had and also continue to really first deliver great value to our customers.

And that's probably the most fulfilling part. So thank you from my side.

Thank you from the team. And that's it from Cloudflare TV. See you all.

Thank you so much again. Come join us. Yeah, thanks again.

Bye-bye. Bye-bye. Hi, we're Cloudflare.

We're building one of the world's largest global cloud networks to help make the Internet faster, more secure, and more reliable.

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