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A CISO’s Best Friend: Trellix Service Delivery Managers
By Liberty Williams · December 11, 2023
Every CISO I’ve ever met has a staffing problem. All those same CISO’s have another problem: Threats aren’t waiting for cybersecurity talent trainers to keep up. It’s virtually impossible to out hire the bad guys. New threats constantly emerge, countermeasures keep evolving, and the regulatory landscape almost seems to shift underneath our feet in real time. CEOs and Boards of Directors still expect our CISO friends to get the problem solved, and that’s where Trellix can help.
Trellix Public Sector Professional Services puts in the work for our customers every day. Whether our customers need us for an afternoon or the whole year, our consultants show up and get the job done. We do the heavy lifting, making life easy for our clients. We write down what we did, and we are always happy to share what we know with our client’s in-house talent. As much as our clients depend on us, we depend on smart and effective leadership to handle logistics, contracts, and everything else needed to let us focus fire on what matters to our clients. Let’s meet some of those leaders, and hear from them about what makes Trellix Public Sector Professional Services so special.
How did you get into the Professional Services game?
Chris Ginter, Sr. Director, Professional Services - US Federal:
“I’m a people person, always have been. That’s what led me to the Professional Services game. My experience as an active-duty sailor set me up to be the leader I am today.”
Jake Wolford, Director, Professional Services - US Federal Civilian and DISA:
“I entered the Professional Services arena in 2006, recruited by DISA Contractors while still in the Air Force. They saw my potential as a consultant, and I discovered my passion for business strategy while working on the original DISA HBSS Deployment. Over time, I kept exploring the doors that opened and eventually found my place as a Director in Public Sector.”
Mike Wahlhaupter, Director, Professional Services – Intelligence Community and Threat Intelligence:
“I started my career shortly after 9/11. I was working on cross-functional engineering teams to deliver critical capabilities. The problems were very complex. The teams, the leadership, and the methodology were super-impressive to me. I love working with and learning from people. I love solving problems. There’s no place better to do those things than working in professional services.”
Shannon Clancy, Director, Professional Services - DoD:
“It was a bit accidental for me. I was headed down the path of network architecture and a friend asked if I'd be interested in a Services Delivery position. I said sure, I'll check it out - not really knowing what I was getting myself into and here I am. I've led a number of highly skilled technical teams, from my time in the Marine Corps on Active Duty and my time as a Marine Corps Civilian to now.”
Laurel Callaway, Delivery Manager, Federal Professional Services:
“Having worked in Public Sector sales and business operations, I never thought that I would enjoy professional services as much as I do now. I am able to utilize all my education and experience in some way to support our Federal team and our customers. I feel extremely fortunate to work alongside this team of rockstars, where I get to learn something new every day.”
Jenna Olon, Delivery Manager, Federal Professional Services:
“I entered the professional services field after my active-duty Army service. While supporting Army Cyber Command, I worked directly with a fantastic team of McAfee professional service consultants. I was so impressed with how they went above and beyond daily for the Army customer that I later used my product experience and Army leadership skills to join that incredible team as a service delivery manager.”
Nikki Eacho, Delivery Manager, Federal Professional Services:
“I have worked with McAfee/Trellix products in a technical capacity for over 10 years. I have always enjoyed working in the cyber security field, but my passion is to help people. Moving into Professional Services has allowed me to merge these two together by staying technical but putting a larger focus on the Trellix Team members and my customers. I love working in my current role in Professional Services and supporting the amazing team we have.”
What is day to day like, managing Professional Services delivery?
- Try to be online by 8am. Check email, calendar, organize tasks and review game plan for the day (made day before)
- 9am sync with leaders to get a pulse on team meetings and top priorities for the day.
- 10am throw gameplan away, work on top fires
- Look up and see it’s 5pm..check email, calendar, and come up with a game plan for the next day.
“Managing Professional Services delivery is unpredictable but exciting. I approach each day with readiness, adapting to diverse tasks driven by our global clientele. Their missions fuel our work, motivating us to assist them in every possible way.”
“My days consist of structuring, prioritizing, and executing things I need to enable our teams, our customers, my colleagues and our business. I take pride in making myself available to anyone I can help. I spend 50% or more of my work time engaging in real-time with people in physical and virtual settings.”
“There is always a new challenge. No day is the same for me. There are some tasks that are rinse and repeat (administrative mostly), but our customer's challenges are never predictable and I like to think that where we thrive is in the chaos of helping the customer sort things out.”
“Working in Professional Services is an exciting experience because every day is different from the previous one. I enjoy collaborating with our consultants to ensure that they have everything they need to support our customers and to carry out their tasks effectively. Prioritization is key to success in this role because there is always a long to-do list. I always ask myself, "What is the most impactful thing I can do right now to make tomorrow easier?" This question helps me plan and organize my tasks for each day.”
“A PS delivery manager's day is dynamic and always exciting because each day differs slightly from the next. This role requires a combination of leadership, project management, problem-solving, and communication skills. Adaptability and balancing competing priorities are essential in this role.”
“In Professional Services I am more dependent on my teams and peers than I was as an administrator. This camaraderie with amazing people makes my job Fun. I love to learn from the people I work with. No two days are the same. I create a check-list with priority levels at the end of one working day for the next, and it rarely goes as planned. There are always new challenges (usually from customers) that take priority in your day. The always changing environment and priorities is where I thrive but I am always looking to see how I can be or do something better for the overall team.”
Tell us about the most rewarding parts of managing Professional Services delivery?
“The team. I have the most amazing group of leaders and consultants on the Trellix professional services team. I’d be lost without them.”
“The most rewarding aspect of managing Professional Services delivery is the people I work with and the opportunity to serve my country, even without a uniform.”
“Working with extremely talented people to bring to bear the full extent of Trellix in support of our customers. The ability to work on and solve very complex technical and operational problems.”
“The most rewarding part is seeing what talent our phenomenal group of consultants bring to our customers. This team of consultants is so talented and willing to collaborate to solve customer challenges. It is incredibly rewarding to see that play out and know that no matter who I ask a question to or bring a challenge to, I will get a well thought out and quality response.”
“Working with some of the brightest minds in the industry is an extremely rewarding experience for me. Our team consists of cybersecurity experts who have over 20 years of experience in the Federal space. As someone who is relatively new to this field, I consider the chance to learn from them as the most valuable aspect of my job.”
“The most rewarding part is although I no longer wear a uniform, I continue to feel some sense of service to my country in daily supporting our federal customers.”
“The most rewarding part of Professional Services is watching growth. This can be found in many forms. It could be the professional or personal growth of the people I work with. There is growth in the relationship with my customers as we work towards their goals. It can also be technical wins no matter how small that allows for more efficiency or better security in an environment.”
How about the most challenging parts?
“Keeping the customer happy. Professional Services are onsite with the customer and in most cases are the first to know about issues. It’s our job to get all divisions of Trellix (support, sales, product engineering) up to speed and attack the problem.”
“The most challenging part lies in reaching agencies we have yet to connect with. While we know we can be of service, not every situation is within our control.”
“Pace is a major challenge. Things move quickly in cybersecurity, especially when working to resolve a problem. Time is of the essence when there’s so much at stake. Communication is a challenge that must be closely managed. Synthesizing and delivering effective messaging and context across a broad community of stakeholders, who have different roles and levels of understanding, requires focused effort.”
“The most challenging parts typically belong to the human aspect of our job. Navigating tempers and customer frustration when systems are down or products are not functioning as the customer expects can be tricky. Our consultants are on the front line and typically take the brunt of that frustration, so we have to know how and when to step in and take that beating so our consultants can do the work to resolve customer challenges...knowing when to step in isn't always clear...and it sure isn't always fun. Being understanding and keeping patience while trying to survive the chaos is not always an easy feat.”
“Effective management of stakeholders' expectations, both internally and externally, hinges on the quality of communication. Proactiveness in communication and timely engagement with customers and internal teams is an art that defines our reputation. The manner in which we request assistance or interact with customers shapes their perception of our brand.”
“It depends on the engagement, but in my experience, communication is often the most challenging part of service delivery management because effective communication is essential to succeed. Whether internal or customer-facing, miscommunications can quickly lead to frustration, timeline delays, and dissatisfaction.”
“The hardest part of my job is having to accept that some people make terrible decisions against our best practices, compromising their environment. This is especially hard when we try to work with them to resolve all their concerns and make a workable solution, but they choose not to implement it.”
How important are partner relationships to Professional Services delivery?
“We wouldn’t be able to grow and staff our positions without our partners. They are critical to our success.”
“Partner relationships are integral to our success; our partners are like our left hand, supporting us in staffing and every other aspect of our operations.”
“All relationships are important. Establishing and fostering relationships north, south, east, and west is critical to our ability to get things done. It’s significantly easier to work with people who know and understand you.”
“Relationships are what make Professional Services Delivery happen. We have to continuously foster those relationships to facilitate growth in accounts. Having the best product technically doesn't always keep the work, but understanding customer challenges, their environment, and what influencing factors may be at work is crucial to success. The partners we have, whether they are our customers, account managers, sub-contractors, etc., are all critical to our success as an organization. We don't always have the right talent organic to our organization, so fostering those partner relationships are what help us drive success.”
“Very important! The more team members that understand our customer’s missions, the better! We love improving performance and overall efficiency.”
“Our partners are vital to accomplishing our business goals. Having great partners gives us flexibility, especially when a specific skill set is required or when there is a short timeline to fill a position for an engagement.”
“Our partners bring significant value to our teams. I rely on my relationships with partners every day. I love having them as part of my teams.”
Is there any wisdom you can share from your time managing Professional Services delivery?
“Do the little things correctly and on time. It will set you apart from your peers!”
“In my experience, the key is to never stop asking questions. It's essential to listen actively and engage in conversations with your team. Opening the floor to others' ideas often leads to improved solutions.”
“The first step in problem solving is ensuring that you understand the problem…the real problem. Fundamentals are extremely important. Be brilliant in the basics. As in mathematics strategy, break complex problems into smaller more manageable pieces and leverage the fundamentals to solve them.”
“Do your best to take care of the consultants on the team (whether they work directly for you or not). Don't get dragged down by the current challenge - there is always opportunity for growth and we usually learn the most during the challenging times. Be responsive, even if the news isn't great. Take ownership of mistakes, but have a plan to resolve and move forward. There is always time to take a second to think before you respond to something...take that time and make sure your response is answering what is being asked.”
“Expect the unexpected! Putting in a good-faith effort and expecting every possible outcome will never let you down.”
“Mission first, people always. I learned this lesson in the Army and lived by it daily, and I continue to do so. As a delivery manager, nothing is more important than accomplishing the mission except ensuring that you take care of your people.”
“Working in a team– communication and honesty (with yourself and the team) is key. Work / Life / Mental Health balance is also so important. If you do not do this well, you will not be as available for anything. When you have time to recharge and regroup, you are able to be more productive in the long run.”
It’s no wonder Trellix Public Sector Professional Services performs so well with leadership like that! If you found yourself getting as hyped as I did reading all that collected wisdom, consider Trellix Professional Services. We offer various strategic and technical services that can help your team automate, operate, and govern your cyber defenses. Contact your Trellix account manager, or if you haven’t got one yet, let us know you’re interested. Tell them the PS Service Delivery Managers sent you to start the ball rolling!
Make sure you read this disclaimer after all that interview goodness:
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