May Sales Engineering Braintrust

Sales Engineering Braintrust featuring Director of Engineering Niko O'Hara

Check out the latest edition of our Sales Engineering Braintrust, which includes:

  • Win Wire: We break down how an AVANT SE helped the Trusted Advisor close a recent SD-WAN and Connectivity deal, resulting in more than $24K MRC
  • Engineering Spotlight: Meet our Senior Director of Engineering, Niko O’Hara
  • Pathfinder Updates: Explore our new SASE Matrix so you can compare providers with your customers, and grow your knowledge with our new Security Engineering Quick Hits
  • AVANT Updates: Dive into our latest AVANT resources, including our podcast and new CCaaS 6-12 report

 Win Wire

The Breakdown

  • Technology Category: SD-WAN and Connectivity
  • Sales Engineer: Sarah Arnstein
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Customer type: Drug and Alcohol Recovery Centers
  • Size and scope: 25 locations
  • Winning provider and solution: Aryaka SD-WAN and Nitel Connectivity
  • MRC: $24,721

The Details

What were the drivers and requirements?
The customer was experiencing dropped calls at almost every location. Because of this, they considered moving to UCaaS, but wanted to make sure their network was solid and stable before making the transition.

How did we win?
Together, the Trusted Advisor and SE Sarah Arnstein spent time with the customer talking through the issues they were experiencing within their network, with an emphasis on telephony , to ensure that any proposed solution met their current and future needs.

How did AVANT support the win?
Sarah Arnstein joined the Trusted Advisor to add an educational component to the initial call with the customer. Sarah understood the concerns within the current network and carefully walked through the different SD-WAN architecture types. She explained the benefit of each option, as well as the pros and cons they should consider. She also brought SASE into the conversation, demonstrating how combining SD-WAN and security could make sense for this environment. After this discussion, Sarah recommended three providers for the customer to evaluate, one being Aryaka, which the customer ultimately selected.

Our Sales Engineers are ready and armed with the tools and knowledge to support your opportunities as well! Connect with them here or fill out a solution IQA to discover how our SEs can help you close the deal!

Engineering Spotlight

Meet Niko O’Hara, AVANT Senior Director of Engineering!

With an Electrical Engineering degree from Northwestern, Niko became the first Sales Engineer at AVANT (or any TSD!) in 2013. While he occasionally misses the 1s and 0s of circuit programming, the vast exposure to various technologies in the channel was too hard for him to pass up. Being “born in the cloud” allowed Niko to rapidly gain expertise in emerging products and services like SASE and MDR/XDR.

Niko has essentially worn every hat on the Sales Engineering team at this point, but he currently serves as the head of Engineering and Training at AVANT.

Outside of work, here’s a bit more about Niko, in his own words!

Where are you located? Chicago suburbs

What are you currently reading? I’m in the middle of The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons, mainly because I love NBA basketball. I went to San Francisco at the end of March to catch two Golden State Warriors games, and I find Bill Simmons incredibly entertaining. Next up is either Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin (a re-read) because I need a refresher before season two of “House of the Dragon” or Crazy Rich Asians because I enjoyed the movie recently, and I’m two of those three things (hint: not rich).

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? This is a bit of a toss-up, depending on how realistic I have to be. Without stretching too much, teleportation – imagine the time you could save! – as long as I could take belongings and people with me. Less realistically, control over time would be my superpower. Not exactly time travel, but the ability to pause time without aging, so I could do whatever I need or want without missing out! I’m sure it would be tempting to turn into Kang the Conqueror and become a massive villain, but I’d do my best to avoid the temptation.

You can connect with Niko on LinkedIn here!

 Pathfinder Updates

  • Share a detailed look with your customers of the major SD-WAN, SSE, and SASE platforms and their technical specifications with our new SASE Technologies Matrix
  • Dive into our latest Security Engineering Quick Hits by SE Stephen Semmelroth, who will guide you through the Cyber Defense Matrix, how to use AI tools for security marketing, and the security buyers you should target
  • Check out our latest Ninja Notes on Comcast, Dataprise, Thrive, and Zoom

 AVANT Updates