Symantec's David Dzienciol has always had entrepreneurial ambition. He recently spoke to ARN about moving through the ranks at Symantec, his cycling addiction and the charitable contributions he makes to the local community.
What was your first job?
My first job was selling hot dogs. My family owned an auction business, and I was always quite entrepreneurial. At 14, a friend and I used to set up a stand and charge $1. My first real exposure to this industry was with a New York city reseller called IPM Computer Systems. I was brought into that company as a junior sales rep in the early 1990s. Novell was getting into the LAN networking space at that time. There wasn't a lot of competition back then and it was a very big area for us.
How did you progress to where you are today?
Years ago, I was Seagate Software's first employee in Melbourne. There were only a handful of people working in the company before Veritas acquired its networking storage management group. I continued to hold different roles at Veritas over the years in channel and enterprise sales. Then Symantec merged with Veritas and for the first year I was running our federal government business and large enterprise accounts. In April I took on the role to head up our channel.
What does Symantec have in store for the channel? We are focused on ensuring that not only our channel but also our customers are the number one focus. One of the things specific to our channel would be our coverage model. What I mean by that is ensuring we pay attention to details when working with our partners, listen to their objectives, and ensure we have aligned our business goals to help deliver those objectives.
Recently we invested in what we call associate channel reps. These people are focused on our mid-market and SMB channel. We are continuing our investment in our partner infrastructure and will be investing further within the SMB space around opportunity registration programs.
What do you like about your job?
The people that work with Symantec are a big part of the job. I have an extraordinary bunch of people that help deliver our objectives. What I enjoy most is working with people that are cohesive and on the same page.
What is the biggest achievement of your career?
Getting to where I am within Symantec has been a great achievement.
What do you dislike most about the IT industry?
I think on a day-to-day basis you get thrown a lot of interesting challenges and complexities that are unique to this industry, but I actually enjoy that. If there is one pet hate I have it's the complexities around what we do. You think about all the acronyms that get thrown around, and the descriptions that we use for our technology to talk to our partners and customers: you really have to be living in this industry to appreciate what those are in reference to. Sometimes it is a bit frustrating when you're trying to explain what you do to people who aren't in the industry.
What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?
I don't think the Web 2.0 phenomenon and what we are seeing in terms of the next use of the Internet has been optimized at a business and consumer level. There is a lot of risk and complexity associated with what is going on with Web 2.0, which is going to continue to grow. We are seeing the use of things such as podcasts, and data is being transferred all over the Internet rapidly. Trying to manage that is a big opportunity for everybody.
What is the main focus for Symantec this year?
We have recently launched Symantec End Point Protection, which is a huge opportunity for our partners and customers. At the same time we are focused on the storage software space. We are looking to help customers remove costs and optimise their storage environments.
What do you do when you are not at work?
I used to do a lot of work when I didn't work, but ever since starting a family and having two children, I have to create a work/life balance. I have recently taken up cycling, which has filled in my spare time very early in the morning. I also play golf and have a 21 handicap.
Are you a part of a cycling group?
I am in the Team Brunetti group. Part of the enjoyment is that it's social as well as physical. Over the next couple of years I plan to get into more competitive cycling and some of the fundraisers.
Do you like gadgets?
I love gadgets. I actually have an iPhone, but I haven't got it connected. A friend of mine brought it back from the US. I am addicted to the electronic music world and over the last few months I have become fascinated with the whole emergence of video and podcasts.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I always wanted to be in business. I was fascinated by the concept of trade, buying, selling and deal creation.
What is your biggest ambition?
I have worked in the US and perhaps in the future I can do a stint somewhere else abroad, should family circumstances permit. I am involved in a number of charitable causes and it's a personal goal to continue focusing in that space and try and do as much good for the community as I can. I am very lucky to be where I am and it's always great to help others who haven't had as many opportunities.
Which charities are you involved with?
I am associated with some small charities in the community where I grew up. I was unfortunate and had a personal tragedy in my family, where I lost my brother to a road accident. I am associated with the school he attended and I do a lot of work in his name and honour.