Robby Andrews, account manager and customer advocate

February 26, 2018 - by Carol Cobine

Joyent is hiring technical roles throughout the organization. Join Robby and the rest of our team by applying to one of our many open positions.

Robby Andrews is an Account Manager at Joyent. He is a technology enthusiast with a passion for empowering and educating his customers. I had the good fortune to meet him during a recent Sales gathering in Joyent's San Francisco headquarters. As a new employee, I talked with Robby to learn more about his work and gain insight into Joyent's customer-oriented culture.

What is an Account Manager?

Account Managers have an important internal role at Joyent. While they act as the intermediary between Joyent's services and the customer's business, the focus is completely on the customer. Account managers work across Joyent's sales, product, development, and technical support teams to provide customers with the different services they need, including solution design, installation, training, maintenance, and support.

Customer support comes easily for Robby, lovingly modeled by his parents. His mother was a teacher, instilling in him a love of learning and a way of connecting what he knows to the larger world. He would also accompany his father on gigs fixing computers for others. Robby saw how much people appreciated his father's support. He saw the relief they experienced that someone knew what to do and was willing to help. At an early age, Robby learned how important it is to connect with people and bring them solutions that make a difference. "My job is to help my customers, improving their lives using the tools available to them, and I love it," Robby says.

What makes good client relationships?

Robby knows that a good client relationship starts with a comprehensive understanding of their business and how cloud infrastructure and software can help them achieve their business goals.

Robby is his customers' first line of contact and their advocate at Joyent. He knows the customers' workload and the technical requirements around them, no matter how complex. He knows what services can help their businesses run better according to what is most important to their business. "Each customer has unique needs," Robby explains. "Account managers must have an excellent grasp of the smallest aspects of each customer's business while keeping their overall goals in mind."

That level of engagement has energized strong, collaborative partnerships. Robby's customers trust him to advocate for their business and confide in him their concerns. In fact, before we spoke, Robby had just ended a call with an frustrated client.

"I am not just an advisor. My clients have absolute trust in us," Robby explains. "When a customer brings us a concern, I lean in. We all lean in to really hear them and to find a solution."

Robby considers it a privilege if his clients respect Joyent enough to call when they have a problem. Robby takes good communication very seriously; it is one of most important aspects of being an account manager. As an example, Robby explains that when frustrated clients can really explain their concerns, he can respond with an actionable plan to address them.

How do you see the bigger picture?

Robby began his career by providing support for a small startup company. He soon realized he had a unique and important perspective. Not only did he have insight into his company's business solutions, he also clearly saw how to resolve their customer challenges. Robby believes that companies can get so focused on the details that they lose sight of the bigger picture. Not Robby.

Account Managers must stay aware of very complex, deeply technical information but keep the broad view in sight. "I can speak to all levels of technology and put it in terms my customers are comfortable with," says Robby. Joyent has highly technical customers, but this industry has enough complexity that people can get overwhelmed when technology changes swiftly.

Robby Speaking to a Crowd

"I interpret for my customers, identifying information and resource requirements when emerging technologies can help their business. I make it all understandable for my clients in a way that highlights the value to their business and relate it to their goals and the bigger picture. I find a lot of satisfaction in that," Robby says.

What's a solution-oriented tribe?

The most rewarding aspect of Robby's job is engaging with customers, but he finds it equally amazing to work in a company that values customer service as much as he does. Robby stays current with cutting-edge technologies for his clients. It's easy and natural to learn new technologies and understand how to use them when working in a culture of innovation. Robby can tap into to the diversity of expertise within Joyent anytime he needs.

"Joyent is the original steward of Node.js. How cool is that? I can just reach out to my peers, who not only support this technology, but also experiment with the applications in meaningful ways. And they are my coworkers, my tribe!" says Robby.

"When I was building my app," Robby continues, "I could ask practically anybody here for help. And I still can. Joyent still provides comprehensive support for Node.js. It's a powerful tool. I am incredibly lucky to be part of Joyent."

You are an innovator, too?

In his free time, Robby makes music and software. He loves making the connection between a problem or something that can be done more efficiently using automation or software and then using that to help others.

"I always lose my TV remote, or it breaks, or I don't have the line of sight for the infrared remote to work. One day, I wondered whether I could build something using Node.js to control all of my devices from my computer. My app wouldn't need line of sight, and I wouldn't need to point the remote at each TV individually. I checked to see if Samsung TVs have a serial port. They did. All modern TVs have built in Ethernet and WiFi. Together, this made me realize that I could build an app to control all of my TVs. It was a fun project."

What do you wish people knew about Joyent?

"People often define innovation as creating something completely new or unexpected. At Joyent, we are innovating every day, finding creative solutions that solve tough problems," Robby says.

"Our products and the systems we maintain evolve in complexity every day. Our customers are savvy, and the competition for them is fierce. I have seen critics and competitors refer to us as arrogant, but we have to stay sharp. We love solving complex problems and our customers are behind the spark of our creativity."

Joyent's work is open source, so Robby wants people to see that the passion and joy in sharing our success isn't arrogance, "We are celebrating our success with you."

Join Robby and the Joyent team in helping our customers succeed!