In today’s fast-paced business world, staying connected has never been more vital. At CDW, our customers rely on our Enterprise Networking team for industry-leading tech solutions — but the value of partnering with our team extends far beyond procurement.
Our networking professionals go the extra mile to provide actionable solutions for enterprise organizations. With specialized teams across nearly every vertical, our coworkers have the industry expertise and technical know-how to solve our customers’ full IT needs.
The Enterprise Networking team supports a wide range of engagements, from simple upgrades to full modernization, to build scalable solutions that align with our customers’ unique goals. By combining interpersonal skills with diverse technical backgrounds, our coworkers collaborate to help customers plan, execute and manage strategic networking upgrades.
We talked to two of our networking professionals, Caitlin Dean, Networking Inside Solution Architect, and Robert Herriage, Enterprise Networking Manager, about their impact at CDW. Here’s how Caitlin and Robert empower customers with leading-edge networking solutions.
With specialized teams across nearly every vertical, our coworkers have the industry expertise and technical know-how to solve our customers’ full IT needs.
Caitlin Dean (CD): I am part of the networking presales team. I cover 3 sales teams in the West region for SLED (State, Local and Education). I help create bill of materials and talk directly to a customer on more complex projects. I help customers know what their options are so they can move forward to the solution they need. I strive to help them get back to being able to take care of their business.
Robert Herriage (RH): I lead our emerging technology presales team for CDW Enterprise Networking. My team evaluates new technologies, such as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Data Center & Cloud Networking, to determine how we can help customers take advantage of new technologies to more easily solve their business problems. We help customers from advisory through implementation and adoption. For emerging technologies, we find advisory plays a huge role as customers typically have a problem they need to solve but aren’t quite sure how these new technologies come together to deliver desired outcomes.
CD: I started in sales and strived to never treat the customer like another transaction. They are people too, who like to be treated and talked to as such. I have taken that with me into my ISA role when speaking to customers. Yes, I still need to stay professional, but that doesn’t mean that I have to be a robot. Be polite, smile when your camera is on and be there. When on a call, I focus on that call only. If I am typing, it is for notes or searching for documentation of something they are asking about.
RH: I impact a few key areas in my day-to-day. First, I help my team directly by ensuring that they can logistically perform their own day-to-day activities. I’m also working with them constantly to develop their career along whatever path they may desire. I also help them ideate and create additional capabilities within the team or within the greater CDW team to deliver on solutions for our customers, whether that’s something as simple as learning an up-and-coming technology, like cloud-delivered firewalls, or tying together CDW’s amazing capabilities from our multiple teams, such as Digital Velocity’s automation or our Data Center Transformation’s Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR). Lastly, I look forward to what’s “coming next” to ensure we can repeat the cycle so we can continue to help our customers long into the future.
CD: The people and culture are great. I know that I can ask questions, and it is okay not to know everything, just don’t pretend to know. One amazing thing about working at CDW is we have so many resources so we can learn what we don’t know.
RH: Bar none, the people and collaboration. Everyone is focused on our customers and will help just about anyone to help our customers. It was truly a game-changer for me. It’s the reason I’ve been at CDW for 10 years.
CD: We cover all aspects of networking at CDW. Multiple verticals covered, consulting, procurement and engineering. We don’t just sell hardware; we sell solutions from beginning to end.
RH: The depth and breadth of our networking practice are amazing. We have folks that have come from IT in multiple verticals like retail, healthcare, hospitality, legal, military and consulting, supporting some of the world’s largest customers in the most complex environments. Coupled with the rest of our consulting and procurement capabilities, it makes us the leader in the reseller/systems integrator spaces, and soon in general consulting.
CD: Networking is the backbone of all technology. Think of end users as houses, and without streets, roads, addresses and more existing, you have nowhere to go outside yourself. For example, if a grocery store represents a server/website, you need roads, and for the best experience, you want the roads smooth and free-flowing. When the road is rocky/bumpy and congested, everything takes longer and people are unhappy.
RH: Networking chose me! I started as a Unix admin and progressed to general sysadmin supporting Windows and Servers. I found I needed more networking expertise to do my job, so I got CCNA-certified and fell in love with networking. At that point, I made a career switch to networking full-time. There is something about connecting people to other people and applications that really resonates with me, so I have built a career off of it.
Want to help organizations prepare for the digital revolution? Explore our career opportunities to make an impact with CDW.
– CDW Team