How I Got Here: Life as a Business Development Representative
Join Komal Chauhan from Cloudflare's Recruiting team as she sits down with Ella Monck, SASE Sales Specialist at Cloudflare. Hear about Ella's journey to Cloudflare, and how she works with customers to ensure they're getting the most out of Cloudflare's platform — including Zero-Trust, email filtering, and more.
Hi, everyone. My name is Komal Chauhan and I'm one of the recruiters based in London at Cloudflare.
So I'm going to do a session with Ella today. So welcome, Ella. Can you just introduce yourself, please?
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me. I'm Ella.
I'm one of the product specialists here at Cloudflare and I've been at Cloudflare for two and a half years almost.
Amazing. So we're going to cover today, some people may remember that you joined a previous session that we had a few months ago on your life as a business development representative.
And I think a lot of our viewers found it really exciting to find out more about your career, how you got there and what the sort of technical aspect of a business development representative role involves.
So what we're going to do is go into a bit more of a deep dive as we have a lot more time today.
So it'd be great if we could just sort of start off by a quick overview of how you joined Cloudflare.
So I was lucky enough to be able to intern at Cloudflare in 2019. It was very exciting for me.
It was while I was at university. My last day was actually the day that Cloudflare IPO'd.
So that was super exciting. So after my internship, obviously I graduated in 2020, which was not a fantastic year to be graduating university.
So although I did get a massive extension on my dissertation, which I really appreciated at the time, but global pandemic also.
So I graduated in 2020 and then I reached out to the people that I'd worked with during my internship.
And I was asking for some career advice and what they recommended I do.
And I was kindly pointed towards the BDR role and specifically the BDR manager, one of the BDR managers at the time, and sort of went down that role of interviewing with Cloudflare and joined formally in January 21.
Amazing. So what about Cloudflare as a company appealed to you back then?
Yeah, absolutely. I think it was quite, I really enjoyed my internship and I really found the whole DDoS protection side of the business really exciting.
I've always kind of, so my undergraduate degree was in war studies.
So all of the attack sort of stuff I found very, very interesting.
So I've always enjoyed kind of technical things.
And so having that kind of, you know, being able to see the sort of tangible good that we can do in terms of protecting people from different attacks, I think was really exciting.
And yeah, it's definitely sort of what led me back after I graduated uni.
Amazing. So we're going to kind of start off and sort of break your career down into a little segment.
So obviously coming to the internship first.
So it'd be great if you could share how long you were interning with us and what sort of things you covered in that time period to make you want to come back to Cloudflare.
Yeah, for sure. So I was there for two months total. So I started in August and I left in September.
So during the internship, I did sort of sociopolitical analysis of DDoS attacks.
So I was given access to a lot of the data that we have on the attacks that we're seeing.
And I was essentially looking for patterns or looking for potential causes and writing basically essays about, you know, the circumstances around said attacks.
And I covered a lot of the Project Galileo websites as well, looking at that and looking at where the attacks were coming from and kind of when they were happening.
Did they coincide with anything?
There were some really cool things that I was able to find, which I can't share, unfortunately, because it is confidential information.
But all of the reports that I wrote were published on the internal wiki, which was really exciting.
So this all happened when I was 19.
So I was very stressed about posting them. And it was really exciting.
And the team that I was working with, the DDoS team, and they were super enthusiastic about everything.
And they would listen to sort of all of the findings that I came up with, as well as, you know, helping me out if I had any questions.
Because when I was interning, I was very, very much a novice to everything.
I understood what a DDoS attack was. But, you know, I would frequently, you know, annoy them and say, hi, sorry, what's a colo?
Can you can you help me understand this graph?
And then go back to typing away with my headphones on. So they were massively helpful.
And it was really a really nice environment to learn in.
And so I really enjoyed what I did on that two months. Amazing. I mean, it sounds like it was a sort of a really sort of steep learning curve, but, you know, very useful time spent, you know, learning all those things before you officially joined the year after.
So you didn't join on the technical side, you did join on the sales side.
And I believe you joined on the inbound function. So are you able to share a little bit more about what your role in the inbound team involved?
Yeah, for sure.
So I don't know how to code or anything like that. So joining on the technical side for me would have been impossible because, you know, I don't have that knowledge.
So I joined the BDR team. And in the inbound side of things, you're handling all of the incoming requests.
So you're handling, for example, when people are messaging, you know, asking questions about products, if they're looking to purchase one of our plans, they'll often reach out.
We operate a phone line. So there's calls coming in.
Under attack calls were a really big thing when I was in inbound.
So helping customers who were kind of having the worst day of their career in terms of experiencing usually a massive DDoS attack.
And so listening to them, working out who to point them to and doing a lot of those fire putting out style things was was really, you know, it was quite an exciting job to do, but quite tiring.
I will say I was I was always very tired at the end of the day. I can imagine.
And I guess it's the perfect place to learn and develop those communication skills and being that first point of contact with a lot of potential customers.
Yeah. Being on the phone as well, having to, you know, getting the questions fired at you real time and having to either come up with an answer or find the answer in the background or even, you know, it's always OK to defer to someone else.
But the more that you you're on these calls and having these conversations, the more you're able to just be like, oh, yeah, it's this.
And helping people in that way was was really fun.
And you in the inbound function at Cloudflare, there's a lot that you learn very, very quickly.
It's kind of a baptism by fire.
But it's it's it's fun. And the team are really supportive around you. So it's you know, if you're having a bad day, you can you can talk about you can like complain about what's going on.
I mean, that's an important part of the role is you have to be yourself and in the environment that you're working in.
And I know you quickly transitioned into our self-serve team.
So what did that look like?
What what would you say are the sort of main differences between the inbound function, the self-serve function?
I was so I was in the inbound team for quite a long time relative to normal and probably because I only speak English.
So obviously languages are super helpful with the BDR team widely.
But so when I moved to the self-serve team, I was working with our UKI team and looking for existing customers who are on our free pro business plans, who are kind of reaching the point where they need to scale up.
And so I would reach out and help them with that and, you know, make suggestions in terms of what makes sense for them to go towards, what makes sense for them to, you know, if they're if we're seeing a lot of sort of bot attacks, having that recommendation of, look, this product I think would work for you.
It looks like you're struggling. Let's have a chat. And so bringing in that kind of a conversation to customers and really understanding their environment and their requirements is really integral to the self-serve BDR role.
So there's a lot of, you know, analysis of accounts and thought that goes into the messaging that the team does.
And did you find the role quite different to what it was like in the inbound team?
Very, very, very different. Almost two entirely separate roles.
So it was a lot to do with I had a lot more control of my time in the self-serve team.
So with inbound, you're very reliant on what's coming in, whereas on self-serve plan, you're a lot with the self-serve team, you're a lot more self-reliant.
So, you know, if I wasn't getting anything coming in one day, that's not on customers not reaching out.
That's on me not reaching out.
And so, you know, I had more control of my time. I wasn't reliant on someone else.
But also I was completely self -reliant in terms of I had to do the outreach in order to receive any anything.
So that was kind of the big change. And also how you phrase things changes and how you get the information that you need changes.
So, yeah, the team leads and the managers really help you in terms of moving between roles and making sure that you feel comfortable with what you're doing in that new role.
And so there's there's people that you can lean on and who will help teach you.
But it is very different. It's really fun being exposed to something completely new, basically.
Yeah. It's amazing to hear that you had that sort of support network around you to lean on the team leads and also the managers so that they could guide you in the right direction, because I guess essentially that's what's helped helped contribute to your success.
And then I know after the self-serve team, you did a little bit on the expansion side.
Yeah, I did.
I did one quarter with with our expansion team who are really lovely and I really, really enjoyed working with them.
So looking at existing enterprise customers and, you know, if they have any requirements, reaching out, letting them know about events that we're planning, you know, trying to to help our expansion account managers, you know, do the best that they can with their role.
So a lot of, you know, QBRs with existing customers are reviewing, you know, how they're using Cloudflare, how we can help them use it more.
And a lot of a lot of those kind of conversations.
That was really fun because it's not just one region. So I was working with, you know, account executives from all kinds of different regions, which is always really fun.
I love talking with all kinds of different people. So I really enjoyed that.
And the account executives are just sort of one element of the sort of entire sort of network at Cloudflare.
So you are in your role involved with so many other departments to help you get through your sort of day to day responsibilities, I guess.
So which other teams have you really enjoyed working with?
I always love working with the solutions engineers and the solutions architects.
I've worked more with the solutions architects being in my current role as a product specialist.
But the technical resources we have at Cloudflare are really, really fantastic.
So it's great having, you know, we have we have a space in Google called Ask an SE.
So if you have any questions from customers that are, you know, going over your head, if they're too technical, you can reach out in that chat.
And all of our solutions engineers are in that chat. And if they have the answer, they will chime in with it.
And so having that as a learning resource is really, really great.
And and they're lovely people and always happy to help as well.
And I've worked quite closely with the marketing team and they always plan some some really interesting events and doing some like I did my first webinar back in January.
So doing all those kind of interesting things. I'm currently in Sweden for an event.
So doing all those kind of, you know, traveling with with work and stuff like that as well.
That's amazing. And we're going to come on to that a bit later.
So obviously, in terms of your sort of timeline as a business development representative, there's so many options that are available when you're looking at career progression.
And you decided to take a nonstandard path, which is the technical route, which is what I guess this this session is about.
So what made you think of sort of directing your career in that direction? So I knew from the beginning that the account executive role was was not for me.
And I just it's more of a personality fit.
And I knew very early on that I did not have the personality type for that role.
I don't think I'm emotionally resilient enough for it, to be honest with you.
I admire all of our account executives and the work that they do.
But I definitely couldn't do it myself. So I knew that very early on.
And being an inbound and being exposed to answering technical questions and, you know, learning more about the technology that Cloudflare does, that really inspired me to sort of reach towards a more technical role.
So I was considering that either the solutions engineering path or the path that I'm in now.
So I was very much inspired by one of my fantastic colleagues, Josh Watts, who is one of our senior product specialists within my team.
But he also started in the BDR role.
So when I joined Cloudflare, he was my team lead. And so I was very much inspired by him and the path that he chose.
And so I would reach out to him and ask questions.
And when I kind of decided that this was what I wanted to do, I sort of I scheduled a call with him and I was like, I want to do your job.
And he was like, OK, talk to my manager.
So Josh really helped me and helped me find resources.
And so it's really great having that kind of like a mentor within the company who's happy to help you with progression and things like that.
So Josh was a massive help to me.
And I really appreciate everything he's done. And we still have a weekly sync where he teaches me new things every week.
The other week I was learning about hashing, which was completely blowing my mind.
The concept that something can only go in one direction is baffling to me.
So, yeah, it's fantastic in terms of like the I really appreciate Josh and how his move really helped inspire me to make the same move.
And I'm really happy on the team I'm in.
Hopefully we'll inspire some more BDRs to come join the team. Yeah, no, that's amazing.
It's great to know that you had that like Josh as a resource to be able to reach out to him while you are still a BDR.
He was so accessible. You could just sort of put in time in his diary.
And I guess that's how you sort of make your connections stronger, your relationships.
And like you said, he's almost been a mentor to you.
So that's that's great. And when you see people who've gone through that path, like slightly ahead of you, it's reassuring to know that you can do the same thing.
So you obviously went through an internal interview process. How was that for you?
How was that process? Well, it was quite interesting. I feel like it would be very different for the other teams.
So I had spoken with Dave, who was the hiring manager for my role.
I'd spoken with him a couple of months before and basically told him, look, I want to be on your team.
And he was like, I don't know if we have headcount on my team.
And I said, well, that's your problem.
I want to be on your team, please. So having that conversation with him meant that when he was like, when he messaged me saying, look, we've opened this role on the team.
Hint, hint. I kind of went straight into applying for that role.
The interview process was was quite short relative to the to the initial interview with Cloudflare, which is typically quite long.
And it happened very quickly.
I think it happened over the space about three days. And so I had a very casual interview with the hiring manager.
So Dave, who obviously I'd spoken to before and he'd been aware for a while that I was interested in the role and interested in joining his team.
So it was a very easy conversation because he kind of already knew me and why I was interested in this kind of thing and what I did outside of.
So he kind of knew the background of any question you would ask someone during an interview.
So we ended up having a really interesting conversation about my dissertation rather than anything else.
And then I went on to sort of a more technical interview with one of the, you know, head solutions engineers for Area 1, which was the product that I focused on initially.
So with Dom and then with Kanika, who was on the team already.
And so the interview with them was was really interesting and, you know, explaining the product as well as, you know, the the product specialist role is an overlay role.
And a lot of the times where we're helping, we're not the person whose name is on the deal or anything like that.
So one of the questions was like, how will you feel about that?
And which I think was really interesting to consider, because obviously, you know, for me, it's I never wanted to.
I never really cared about being the person whose name was, you know, top of the bill or helped.
I just wanted to make sure that like people were happy with the product.
So I found that really interesting to think about.
And I think my answer is like, I don't care, but probably a little bit more eloquently worded than that.
But going to kind of those interviews and then the final one was with the head of the head of the team globally, who's who's now in a different role.
But speaking with him and talking about, you know, why I wanted the role, why he likes Cloudflare, why he stayed at Cloudflare.
So he he's been there seven years now.
So talking about like that kind of thing and more conversational than kind of like interviewee, not really like what are your biggest weaknesses, things like that, more just like casual conversation.
And then I think about half an hour after that, I was on the train and I got the call from from Dave being like, would you like the role?
And I was like, yeah. And he was like, I haven't told you the salary.
And I was like, oh, OK. I already said yes, didn't I?
So that was kind of the process. It's a little bit abnormal because our team was was very small.
There were seven people when I joined. So it was kind of nonstandard.
But obviously, as we've grown as a team, the interview process has become more, you know, regimented, more standard.
Yeah. Well, it's amazing to know that there are so many people at sort of different levels in the business that you can speak to and have open and transparent conversations with about the team and the role and what it looks like.
Obviously, our calendars are open, so we're very encouraged to, like, you know, just book time with people.
And Dave is always like, if you want to go above my head for something, if you need to go above my head for something, you're welcome to like just message Steve.
It's very it's very casual in that sense.
That's great. And obviously, coming to the technical side, I know a lot of people have probably tuned into the segment.
Aren't that technical, including myself.
So can you break that down for us? Like, you know, what does it look like day to day?
Yeah. So basically, I'm a resource for the account executives. So some of our products are quite confusing, even for me.
And especially our newer kind of the Zero Trust side of thing is something that is relatively newer and that account executives tend to be a little bit less confident in.
And so it's something that we really want to expand and grow.
So it's something that is really helpful to have the overlay team for.
So we focus on the Zero Trust side of things, looking at email security.
So I help with pitching to the clients and making sure that they're aware of what the product does, how it can help, you know, making sure that they really understand the ROI of the product and how it will solve their problems.
So a lot of it is actually listening to what the client's problems are and being the person who understands what they're talking about, when they're talking about, you know, MPLS links and all that kind of stuff.
So understanding the problem and then knowing how that maps to Cloudflare products is a lot of what I'm able to do.
And then talk to the account executive and say, this is what I would say.
How do you feel about it? And so making sure that, you know, I'm there to help the AE as much as possible rather than to, you know, be the person closing the deal with the client.
I'm there as like support, basically. Yeah, great. Thank you for sharing that.
And there's probably quite a few BDRs watching this who are thinking, you know, how do I know which direction I want my career to go in?
And for you, you said it was quite clear you didn't want to be an A, but for others, there's, you know, they may not be sure about which path they want to take.
So what advice would you give to those people?
I mean, first and foremost, don't stress about it.
There's this time, there's always time and there's always options.
So, you know, being able to shadow conversations with other teams and being able to speak with people on other teams helps, helps you understand where you want to head.
So obviously, as a BDR, you're on a lot of calls with account executives.
So you kind of learn pretty quickly if that's something you're interested in, but you're not on as many calls with solutions engineers or people in marketing or people in, you know, my team, for example.
So, so asking people if you can shadow their calls that they're doing with customers and having one-to -ones with people and saying, look, I'm kind of interested in what you do.
I'd love to know kind of how you got there and what that process is.
People are really open to talking about it.
I mean, if there's anything people love talking about, it's themselves.
So, so having that kind of a conversation of, you know, how did you do it?
How could I potentially emulate that? Everyone's very open to having those kind of conversations.
I've I've had those conversations, like I've been booking them with other people and saying I'm interested in your job.
I've also had people do it with me, which is a massive privilege when when people start becoming interested in the role that you're doing.
So I've been on both sides of it and people are always really happy to help and really kind and respectful of your time as well.
So ask, talk to people and also talk to your manager there. They know by like by the time that you're looking to to progress with the different roles, they know you quite well.
So they can say like I can tell you with confidence my manager would have said, yeah, absolutely don't apply for the role, Ella.
Like even without me saying I'm not interested in going that route. And like Ida was was my manager when I left and in my final quarter, for example.
And she was super helpful when it came to, you know, where do you want to go?
What do you want to do?
Obviously, Ida had known me for a while. I joined Cloudflare at the same time as her.
So we started at the same time, which is very sweet. So she was someone who I relied on quite a lot when it came to, you know, questioning what I was interested in.
But also your manager is there to help with progression as well. And it's not like it's not moving teams is really like a good thing with Cloudflare.
It's not something that, you know, you want to hide from your manager, for example.
And they're very happy to talk openly about it. And it's expected, especially in the BDR role.
So having those kind of conversations is always helpful.
Amazing. And obviously in your technical role now, we know you love it. But sometimes day to day, it isn't as rosy.
So we do want to be very real with anyone who is watching and kind of talk about the best bits and also the sort of challenges that you face in the role as well.
So, you know, people can get a really sort of holistic overview on what it is like in the team.
Yeah, absolutely. So sometimes it is very busy as the team.
Oftentimes people will double book you and you'll have to kind of organize your calendar.
I've had days where people have booked over my lunches before.
And then there's also times when it's like unsettlingly quiet and you are having to try and push people to do things.
So there are kind of the difficulty side of things, especially as an overlay role where you are reliant on other people as well.
As much as you're there to help them, you do rely on them to do your work.
So there is a level of, you know, making sure that the relationships are strong so that you can be aware of what's going on.
But also, you know, everything changes on a weekly basis.
One week I will be massively busy. This week I'm very, very busy.
But another week is really, really quiet and you just end up working on just internal things and you get worried about like, oh gosh, there's no deals coming in.
So there is that kind of a stress, but kind of evens out, I guess, because sometimes you're very busy and sometimes you're very not.
Thank you for sharing that. And in terms of, obviously, you mentioned you've been here for over two years now.
So it'd be great if you could share a timeline so that people can see the sort of movements that you've had in your time at Cloudflare.
Because we have been talking about all your different transitions. I'm so proud of how I made it, I'll be honest.
It took me a while. I know, it looks great.
I mean, so many different movements. And I think sort of focusing on the, obviously, you know, the BDR role is really key to your career because that's helped you get to where you are today.
And then obviously focusing on the technical career aspect as well.
But I do want to also highlight that you've had so many opportunities that you've kind of gone out and grabbed as well.
And more recently becoming the site lead for the London office, which is very exciting.
That was a really exciting thing.
Yeah. Are you able to give a few more details around that? Because I think it's important for everyone to understand that even though your day to day role is really important at Cloudflare, there's so many other things that you can get involved with.
And this, for example, is one of them. Yeah, for sure.
So this is kind of like a supplemental on what I do. So it's not a massive, like it's not a full time job, but it's a couple hours a month.
And so I work with the head of our office, Alonzo Bisomante, and the people team generally.
So, you know, Harriet Hay, Kyra, Delilah.
So I work with those guys on planning events and, you know, making sure that people have the chance to have like FaceTime with management.
So we have people flying in this week for Cloudflare Connect, which is tomorrow, which is very exciting.
So we have, for example, Matthew Prince coming into town.
And so making sure that people, you know, have a chance to see him.
So we did kind of Lucky Dip style lunches where a certain number of people will be able to have kind of a lunch with Matthew.
And then also with our head of product, Jen Taylor.
So there's a couple of different things that we've been we've been doing.
And we're working on sort of revamping some internal meetings and just doing things basically to get the team together and to to make everyone feel like a community rather than just an office, basically.
Yeah. Great. And are you enjoying it?
It's really fun. It's it's more like it's it's coming up with the ideas is a little difficult sometimes.
But hopefully we'll get some exciting things planned.
I'm looking forward to working and I love working with the people team.
They're really wonderful. So it's really fun. Amazing. So obviously, there's also the aspect of how important, you know, you mentioned the community, the relationships that you've built.
So the relationships and the friends that that you have originally started off as colleagues.
So what is the importance of that?
It's it's really nice, you know, there's there's a whole thing about London and that I think it's a very common perception that it's really hard to make friends as an adult in London.
And so so meeting people at work who are really wonderful is is so helpful.
And also having people who understand kind of what you do for a job.
You know, my best friends from university, as much as I love them, will never understand what it's like being a BDR or what it's like, you know, working in the office and, you know, the ins and outs of the day, you know, complaining about the coffee machine, for example.
So having people who understand what what you do for a job and who are also really lovely and support you outside of work.
So a really, really lovely example that really warmed my heart was that I was in a show.
So I did a gig with a bunch of people with like a choir and and a bunch of people from the office came to the to the event, which was really, really nice.
They came and, you know, they sat with my parents and with my university friends and they bought me a bunch of flowers.
And yeah, that was really, like, really heartwarming.
And I really appreciate it. And yeah, there's just a lot of lovely people, basically.
And so that's really helpful, working in that kind of an environment and knowing like some of the people you meet will be friends for a long, long time.
Amazing. And obviously you touched on the sort of more personal aspect there.
You mentioned you're part of a choir, which kind of brings me on to the sort of what else do you do in your downtime outside of Cloudflare?
Yeah, I'm massively into music. Music is like my whole thing. I love it.
I've been playing guitar since I was like 11 and been singing all of my life.
So music is a really big thing. If I was at home and I wasn't in a hotel, I would show off my guitars.
But you still have to leave that for another session. So music, music is a massive thing.
And I sing in a choir in London. We released our single recently, which is really exciting.
So having that kind of environment where you go outside of work and every Monday see a bunch of people and just sing some really fun music is really, really great.
And obviously like going on walks. London is a fantastic city to live in.
So having the opportunity to go to Hampstead Heath and to meet friends for coffee.
Yeah, I really like living in London. Yeah, that's great.
And then there's also the, I know you've got another slide prepared as well, sort of geared towards, you know, how to sort of encourage BDRs to go down the technical aspect and how you personally grew in the role.
So it would be great if you could share that with the team.
Let me pull it up. So this is kind of what I did.
There's kind of four things I came up with when I was thinking about this is asking for help.
So as I mentioned with the Ask an SE chat, you know, asking our specialists and our solutions engineers to help with even pointing towards resources, but also with just giving like the solution for dummies kind of an answer and really putting it into basic terms.
They're massively helpful and they're great at, you know, really helping people understand things and going the extra mile.
So asking the people around you for help, especially if you're going into the office and you have that face-to-face time with people, you can kind of just pull them aside and ask, you know, why isn't this working?
I was trying to run something on Cloudflare Pages the other day and I was having a little bit of a hard time.
And so I pulled aside one of our solutions engineers and I was like, help!
And everyone's really happy to jump in. And also if you want to just like message them and jump on a Google Meet or something like that, they're also really happy to do that.
Helping other people as well, answering questions is a massively beneficial way to learn things.
So when I was at BDR, I kind of framed myself as a technical resource for the team.
So it really helped me challenge myself in terms of being asked the questions that the team were unsure of.
And I would either know it and then feel confident that I knew something or I would have to track down the answer and that would be learning something.
So it was always beneficial and it helped them and it helped me.
And it also helps me kind of get the reputation of someone who is more technical.
And that really helped when I was looking to move role.
So I did a weekly session, which is still running, called Product with Ella, all lowercase.
So it was casual. And during that session, I just kind of answer any questions people had.
I talk about new releases and kind of just had that there as a resource for other people, but also as kind of a way to test myself.
Yeah, it's a great way to, I guess, sort of keep your knowledge growing, especially when other people are asking you questions that you might not know the answers to.
Oftentimes I didn't and I would pull up dev docs in the background, which is kind of leads us on nicely to the next side of things, which is doing a lot of reading.
So we have a lot of really great public facing informational tool, like tool books, developers docs, which links down there is massively helpful.
So dev docs has all of the information about all of our products publicly available.
And so, you know, using that as a way to understand how their products is really, really great.
We also have the Cloudflare Learning Center, which I actually cited while I was at university a couple of times because it has really nice, you know, explanations of what DDoS attacks are and different types of DDoS attacks.
So a lot of the public facing assets are really, really great for learning.
Obviously, we also have internal assets. So there's a lot of like posts that the team have written up on the internal wiki.
We have the whole ship board if you're getting really into the weeds with it and you want to have a look at like what's coming in terms of products.
And so really having visibility on what the product team are doing helps you learn because then you start looking at like, oh, why are we doing this?
Oh, what are these people commenting about? What does that mean?
And so having all of that reading and. Give me one second.
Sorry about that.
Am I back? So let me just pull my slideshow back up and I'll go to the last point.
Yeah, and so finally, shadowing conversations, as I mentioned earlier, is massively helpful.
So like attending the kind of technical calls that my colleagues were leading so I could like both listen to how they presented things, but also listen to what questions they asked.
That is something I found really helpful in terms of understanding what where we sit and what problems we can solve is listening to what questions people ask.
I have a whole page in one of my notebooks that is just good questions to ask that I've heard other people ask.
And that's really helpful to like refer to when I'm on a call.
Also, everyone has different styles.
You know, the way that I do a call is completely different to the way Kanika, who's one of the other specialists, does a call.
And we talk about the same product most of the time, but we just have very different styles.
You know, I'm incorrigibly enthusiastic about things where she takes a more sensible tone.
So it's just that kind of difference and listening to other people talk that really helps you kind of hone your own style of presenting.
And as well as, you know, listening to both the questions that our team ask the customer, as well as the questions the customer asks.
That really helps to to really solidify that knowledge.
It's great to know that even though someone else is doing a similar role to you, you are able to be yourself.
You know, you're able to show your individuality and you still get you both still get the work done and get across the line.
But just, you know, in different manners. So I think that's definitely encouraging.
Because, you know, you're not forced to sort of confine to a particular way of working or how you should be.
You're really allowed to sort of shine and show your personality.
For sure. And it's also what makes the team so kind of strong.
Our team is very collaborative in nature. So we're always like actively helping each other and the difference in styles and the difference in, you know, how we do things really helps fuel.
You know, you'll you'll be on a call, an internal call with the team and they'll be saying, oh, I was talking about this and this is how I talk about it.
And say, oh, that's really interesting. I would never think to mention that when I'm talking.
It just really helps you, like, become better.
We have a weekly call first thing on a Monday, which is a bit hard first thing on a Monday.
But we kind of just go through, you know, what challenges we've been facing as well as what challenges we overcame in the last week.
And that's really helpful hearing about, like, you know, my colleagues are very clever, very talented people and hearing about what they've been doing as well as what they're struggling with and being able to voice what I'm struggling with and have, you know.
Really, really clever, helpful people. Sharing of ideas and having that platform to basically sort of say that the struggles and challenges that you are facing on a weekly basis, because I think a huge part of sort of any role is learning from others as well.
And not just sort of from sort of the reading and the resources that you mentioned, but from other people's experiences and what they face and their positions.
Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned, obviously, earlier on, you're on your first road trip with Cloudflower, which is very exciting.
So I know you're at a conference.
So how's it been? It's, well, I'm very tired. I was up very early this morning, which I'm not used to.
So it's all very exciting. It's my first time visiting Malmo in Sweden, which is really cool.
Flew into Copenhagen and got the train over, which was really beautiful.
Like the bridge is massive and there's sea on both sides.
It's really gorgeous. And checked out the booth at the Nordics Games conference and then put out a couple flyers because they thought I was going to be speaking on Thursday.
But luckily it's all sorted and I'll be doing a keynote speech tomorrow, which is kind of a version of a webinar that I've done before.
So it's something, a topic that I'm comfortable with and also excited to talk about.
It's a really fun one talking about like the threats that people are receiving.
So going off of like we kind of the framework that the presentation goes on is about an attack that we received ourselves.
And then building up on how we use our own products to protect against that attack.
So it's really interesting and it's a great real life case study to talk about.
So it's always a fun conversation to have with people.
Amazing. I hope it goes well for you tomorrow. You have to let us know.
And then sort of looking to wrap up the segment, obviously, we talk about the BBR role.
We talk about the more technical role of a solution specialist that you're in now.
What would you say are the sort of starting on the BBR side, obviously, because that's where your career started.
The highlights and the sort of challenges.
And then similarly in your solution specialist role as well. Yeah, I definitely think as a BBR, especially an inbound BBR, a massive highlight for me was helping customers when they came under attack.
I always loved doing those calls and the adrenaline and the urgency.
I think that was a massive highlight and being able to see kind of the tangible difference that that made.
And also the ease that people felt once they realized that you could help them.
And that was was really special and it was really cool. And so that's something I really, really loved about the BBR role.
And it's quite relentless, the BBR role.
So you become quite emotionally resilient. There's a lot of people saying no to you.
So there's a lot I learned from it in that capacity. And I'm definitely more emotionally resilient than I was.
Not that I'm massively emotionally resilient. But there's definitely a lot you learn from from that and from from having that kind of conversation day in, day out.
So that's definitely something that I really learned in the role.
And then within my current role, you know, I would say the biggest highlight is my team and working with them.
There are a bunch of very, very clever people.
And I love, you know, asking them questions and I love working with them.
So that's a massive highlight of of what I do. I also love just being able to help people and being able to answer their questions.
That's really special and makes me feel really good about myself when I can help someone out.
So that's something that I really love doing.
I also, you know, it's always fun feeling like you're on a team with the AE.
I really like that as well. And then in terms of something I've learned in the role about the product, full stop, as well as how to have kind of high level conversations with really senior people at customer companies.
You know, I've had for someone who's still quite early in their career.
You know, I'm 23. Having conversations with people who are like CEOs of large companies or CTOs of large companies.
It's massive and it's really interesting just to have accessibility to that and to have your what you say matter.
And that kind of authority is really, really cool.
It must be quite nerve wracking at the same time as well.
It is a little. I always double check everything I'm saying and make sure it's right.
But also, the more you do it, the more you're confident in your ability to talk about the product that you work on.
So the longer you're in that role, the more confident you feel.
Obviously, Cloudflare is releasing a new product every very, very frequently.
So there's always stuff to learn about.
So you're never feeling fully 100 percent. But that's also part of the fun, I think.
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I think that's sort of everything. So definitely want to say a huge thank you for joining me today and going through the best bits of a BDR role and sort of sharing more about the technical path that you followed at Cloudflare.
And I'm sure there'll be a lot more work there moving forward.
But I'm really excited to see sort of what your journey brings next.
But I want to open the floor up to viewer questions.
So if anyone has any particular questions, then it would be great if you just post them in the chat and we can go through them.
If there's no questions, I'm going to ask you a few fun facts.
Maybe the questions will come later. You'll get a sort of flag through your inbox of like one to one meetings.
So thank you again for joining me today. And I'm sure we'll do this again soon.
And I hope everything goes well at your conference tomorrow. Me too. Me too. I'm looking forward to exploring Malmo a little bit.
Yeah, definitely. Take lots of pictures.
Yes, for sure. It's very pretty. Yeah. Perfect. Perfect. Well, enjoy the rest of your time in Sweden.
And I will connect with you again soon. And thanks, everyone, for tuning in.
Thanks for tuning in. The About You fashion platform has become the number one fashion platform in Europe in the Generation Y and Z.
It has been tremendously successful because we have built the technology stack from a commerce perspective.
Then decided to also make it available to leading fashion brands such as Marco Polo, Tom Taylor, The Founded and many others.
And that's how scale was born. What we see in the market is that the attack vectors are becoming increasingly more scaled, distributed and complex as a whole.
We decided to bring on Cloudflare to ultimately have the best possible security tech stack in place to protect our brands and retailers.
We use the Cloudflare bot management, rate limiting and WAF as an extra layer of protection for our customers by tackling the major cyber threats that we see in the market.
DDoS attacks, credential stuffing and scalping bots. What we see with a scalping bot here is that they are targeting high end products and then buying them up within a few seconds.
That leaves the customer dissatisfied. They will turn away and purchase somewhere else the product and thereby we have lost the customer.
Generally before it could take maybe up to half an hour for a security engineer to handle DDoS attacks.
Now we are seeing that Cloudflare could help us to stop that in an automatic way.
Cloudflare helps us to bring the site performance to the best and ultimately therefore create even more revenue with our clients.
Cloudflare access allows you to securely expose your internal applications and services, enforce user access policies and log per application activity all without a VPN.
This video will show you how to enable Cloudflare access, configure an identity provider, build access policies and enable access app launch.
Before enabling access, you need to create an account and add a domain to Cloudflare.
If you have a Cloudflare account, sign in, navigate to the access app and then click enable access.
For this demo, Cloudflare access is already enabled, so let's move on to the next step, configuring an identity provider.
Depending on your subscription plan, access supports integration with all major identity providers or IDPs that support OIDC or SAML.
To configure an IDP, click the add button in the login methods card, then select an identity provider.
For the purposes of this demo, we're going to choose Azure AD.
Follow the provider specific setup instructions to retrieve the application ID and application secret along with the directory ID.
Toggle support groups to on if you want to give Cloudflare access to read specific SAML attributes about the users in your tenant of Azure AD.
Enter the required fields, then click save. If you'd like to test the configuration after saving, click the test button.
Cloudflare access policies allow you to protect an entire website or resource by defining specific users or groups to deny, allow, or ignore.
For the purposes of this demo, we're going to create a policy to protect a generic internal resource, resourceonintra.net.
To set up your policy, click create access policy.
Let's call this application internal wiki.
As you can see here, policies can apply to an entire site, a specific path, apex domain, subdomain, or all subdomains using a wildcard policy.
Session duration determines the length of time an authenticated user can access your application without having to log in again.
This can range from 30 minutes to one month.
Let's choose 24 hours. For the purposes of this demo, let's call the policy just me.
You can choose to allow, deny, bypass, or choose non-identity. Non -identity policies enforce authentication flows that don't require an identity provider IDP login, such as service tokens.
You can choose to include users by an email address, emails ending in a certain domain, access groups, which are policies defined within the access app in the Cloudflare dashboard, IP ranges, so you can lock down a resource to a specific location or whitelist a location, or your existing Azure groups.
Large businesses with complex Azure groupings tend to choose this option.
For this demo, let's use an email address. After finalizing the policy parameters, click Save.
To test this policy, let's open an incognito window and navigate to the resource, resource on intra.net.
Cloudflare has inserted a login screen that forces me to authenticate.
Let's choose Azure AD, log in with the Microsoft username and password, and click Sign In.
After a successful authentication, I'm directed to the resource.
This process works well for an individual resource or application, but what if you have a large number of resources or applications?
That's where Access App Launch comes in handy.
Access App Launch serves as a single dashboard for your users to view and launch their allowed applications.
Our test domain already has Access App Launch enabled, so we can use it to view and launch our applications.
To enable this feature, click the Create App Launch Portal button, which usually shows here.
In the Edit Access App Launch dialog that appears, select a rule type from the Include drop-down list.
You have the option to include the same types of users or groups that you do when creating policies.
You also have the option to exclude or require certain users or groups by clicking these buttons.
After configuring your rule, click Save.
After saving the policy, users can access the App Launch portal at the URL listed on the Access App Launch card.
If you or your users navigate to that portal and authenticate, you'll see every application that you or your user is allowed to view based on the Cloudflare access policies you've configured.
Now, you're ready to get started with Cloudflare Access.
In this demo, you've seen how to configure an identity provider, build access policies, and enable Access App Launch.
To learn more about how Cloudflare can help you protect your users and network, visit teams .Cloudflare.com.
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