Cloudy Spotlight: "Stay one step ahead" with Yoann Pannetier

Yoann Pannetier, Cloud Engagement Manager Lead (CEML) from our Zurich office,  knows a thing or two about keeping it cloudy. Whether he is looking ahead to understand market shifts and trends so that he can anticipate customer challenges to deliver the best solutions, or he is flexing his leadership muscles to build project teams and inspire future experts, Yoann is a walking example of the Cloudreach value “Stay one step ahead.” We connected with Yoann to hear his thoughts on this value, how he and his team embrace it, and why it’s important for all Cloudreachers to do the same.

Yoann, tell us a bit about what you do at Cloudreach and how your work impacts the business. 

As a Cloud Engagement Manager Lead (CEML), my role is divided into 4 main pillars: 

  1. Build and expand a trustful relationship with our customers: CEMs are the first point of contact for a customer in most engagements we run at Cloudreach: the customer needs to trust CEMs enough to come and ask questions about future transformations. CEMs don’t know all the answers, but they know who to ask and how to get the answers. 
  2. Build, Lead and Inspire project teams: In the delivery phase, CEMs act as the central communication instrument for all team members. The CEMs coordonate workloads between team members, communicate the context of projects so everyone can bring valuable inputs in complex problem solving exercises. Above all, CEMs shield their teams against escalations, administrative workloads and other impediments to allow them to safely focus on the project. 
  3. Design and enforce companies Best practices: Leaders at Cloudreach are involved in the building of the company and take part in critical decisions around our internal processes and best practices. Once decisions are met, Leaders are responsible for the enforcement of these decisions in day to day work across the company. 
  4. Lead and grow team members into Experts and Leaders: In my opinion the most important pillar! Leaders get to know their team members, understand their personal goals and play matchmakers between career objectives and the broader Cloudreach key targets. Leader work together with their teams towards these and learn a lot from their teams everyday.

How have you seen the Cloudreach culture grow and evolve through time with the company?

When I first joined Cloudreach I was stunned by the emphasis on employees, respect and personal growth that is part of any human interaction here. Compared to the more conservative technology companies, people are not competing for the best seats at Cloudreach, they are competing to outperform themselves and to develop skills and knowledge that match their ambitions. Over the last 2 years, we integrated with our friends and colleagues from ETA, Cloudamize and Relus Cloud and grew to be almost a thousand people across NA and EMEA. But what changed the most is our competition. Nowadays, I feel the need to become the recognized leader in generating impact for our customers. This means keeping the emphasis on our talented people while bringing the essential question of generated impact into every daily decision each one of us will make. 

We are very excited to launch our new evolved values! One of our core values is “Stay one step ahead,” which connects closely to all the work you and your team do. Can you explain what “Stay one step ahead” means to you? 

Cloudreach -- since its early days -- has been a company that envisions the bigger picture. This is how we set course on public cloud adoption and became one of the most respected thought leaders in the industry. 

  1. What staying one step ahead means for Leaders and their teams: Following the market trends and technology shifts happening, for instance in hybrid clouds, and understanding which customer business benefits from which choices in the larger picture – and then aligning personal growth objectives with these trends.
  2. What it means for Cloud Engagement Managers: Understanding the impact generated by technologies at our customers and communicating the risks they undertake, the dependencies our engagements have towards success, but also the external dependencies our customers require to generate the desired outcomes and leverage the technology in the right way.

How do you stay one step ahead in your day-to-day life?

From my perspective, this boils down to developing a passion for what we do. If you are passionned for AI, you can’t stop wondering why each tool or piece of software in that area is developed and designed this way. In our broader context, one can be passionned about a very large field of technologies, but what makes us different is to use complex setups of technologies to uplift our customers businesses. From there I would say I am regularly taking a step back and putting my projects and tasks into a broader perspective and wondering “What is the end goal of this? Is there a smarter way to do this?” It all results in focusing on the right pieces of work, and blocking enough time to do it right.

Tell us about a time you’ve seen this value in action at Cloudreach.

On our very first engagement in the Nordics, I have been leading a large team of extremely talented people. We have been distributing Cloud Systesm Developers in hybrid Scrum Teams with customers’ employees. We had a bi-weekly call to come together and discuss issues we were facing and initiate discussions about how to solve this together. In these discussions, I found many extremely advanced proposals that were matching the customer larger business objectives and going beyond the technical expectations of the project. 

Our customer’s main business objective was to have the lightest touch possible in Operations by turning all scriptable applications into immutable infrastructure. Most of the proposals allowed us to modernise the estate of the customer by enabling cloud native tooling such as DocumentDB, RDS or even EFS to be implemented in a setup that was never done before. 

Staying one step here was knowing the largest trend, understanding the customer objectives and coming prepared with innovative proposals to address these needs even when not explicitly required.

Why is it important for Cloudreach to live by this value?

Cloudreach evolves in an environment that has a very high pace of innovation. Our partners release service updates by the dozen each day, but our customers and competitors also adapt and transform at an increasing pace. Cloudreach needs to understand indepths the forces at play on the global market and invest our valuable work on what matters most to make our customers successful. 

Ideally, by leveraging the fantastic capitalisation Cloudreach has made over the past 10 years and adding solid understanding of our customers’ business problems and of the global market trends, we are all in a position to be on top of the game and to maximize impact.

How does the Cloud Enablement team support all Cloudreachers to live this value?

Cloud Enablement is the spearhead of Cloudreach in front of customers. The complex offerings of the CSPs and the value proposition of Cloudreach Products and Services will be designed or customised by Cloud Enablement teams. Our teams must not only master in depth the CSPs services and Cloudreach services but also translate complex business problems our customers are trying to solve into technical requirements and architectures. This only works with a team of extremely knowledgeable, curious and proactive people. 

What three key pieces of advice would you give to someone to anticipate tomorrow, innovate today, and build for the future?

First, I recommend to all Cloudreachers that you keep asking yourselves these questions: 

    • “Why are we doing this?”
    • “Is there a smarter way of doing this?”
    • “Is there something more urgent I should be doing instead?”

Second, I recommend to always involve the impacted population in decisions to be made, Customers or Cloudreachers alike. 

Third, I recommend to keep benchmarking what we do against what is available out there. The pace of innovation around us is incredible and it is important to foster as much as possible of this innovation by being active members of our communities. 

If everyone is doing the right thing and does it right, the only possible future is success. 

Thanks Yoann! Visit our Careers site to learn more about the Cloudreach culture and our evolved values:

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