We caught up with Marco Fanizzi, Vice President of Sales at Commvault EMEA, to find out what makes him tick.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
I have been in this industry for 31 years, so it’s difficult to pick just one. In terms of my career to date, however, I would have to say my appointment by Commvault as Vice President and General Manager EMEA has been my most memorable achievement. This is not only because of the type of company it is and the excellent technology it provides to its customers but also for the ethos and spirit of the people who work there.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
When I decided to start a career in technology it was because I felt that tech – ICT and telecommunication in particular – was starting to become more critical and influential. I felt there was going to be a significant change driven by the sector and wanted to be involved more directly in what was coming. For me, it’s important to do something you’re passionate about and with the influence technology has had, and will continue to have, I am very pleased I made the decision.”
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
My philosophy is always the same – I value the knowledge of the people that work with me and want to ensure I give them the chance and opportunity to contribute. I’m accepting of mistakes being made, especially where my team learns from them and make better future decisions based on them. Ultimately, I believe that compassion, collaboration and understanding is even more important now than it has ever been.
What do you think will emerge as the technology trend of 2020 and why?
I think there are two main things that will emerge this year. One is the most obvious answer: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is proving to be a more crucial technology than ever before. Second, as a consequence of what is happening right now, I think that everything with a zero-touch approach across all technology will become increasingly important. By this, I mean every element of technology within a business accelerating its move towards a software-defined approach rather than using siloes of technology. Companies are now beginning to understand that this is very possible – not easy but possible – and, if anything, they are seeing their employees working even more productively at home than in the office!
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Right now, the industries that are investing the most are those that are less negatively affected by COVID-19, such as telco food delivery and healthcare. But it’s actually these verticals that are often the least progressed in their Digital Transformation journey. Going forward, I believe that we will begin to see increasing speed and scale of investment from other verticals – from banking and insurance right through to manufacturing – in technology that gives them the possibility to be zero-touch, utilise multi-cloud, increase scalability and to serve customers at wider sites.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?
Right now, it is more important than ever to have rules around work/life balance and a regular routine during the day, while always ensuring to take breaks and have some fun at the same time. I have two sons, so I am now embracing the opportunity of spending time with them during the day. I’m using my breaks to chat with them, get involved with what they’re up to, even challenging them to 15 minutes of PlayStation! You need breaks between calls and meetings, otherwise you are at risk of becoming too stressed and losing focus.
If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
I spent the first 10 years of my career at an Italian company before moving to an international, US-based company. I found that I was a lot happier, more motivated and had really found the challenge I was looking for. If I could change one thing, I think I would like to have taken that leap earlier.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?
The beauty of Europe is that every country has its own unique culture. The ability to change and embrace transformation of any type – be it political, social or technological – is correlated with each country’s culture.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
My role 10 years ago was more internal, more correlated to legal and contractual aspects and more focussed on organisational change and adjustment. There was a great distance between myself and the rest of the organisation. Today it is largely the same but with additional expectation to have maximum visibility with customers, partners and employees, as well as publicly. I try to lead by example for the people that are working for me and encourage them to do as I do. I believe giving these examples in more ways, through more channels and platforms, is much more important in my role now than it was in the past.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry?
Nobody obtains a C-level position by chance. You must invest time, patience and long-term consistency in your behaviours. Be humble, be yourself, leverage your strengths and establish long-term relationships with people who are important to you and you aspire to be like.