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Five-minute interview: Armin Neumaier, Cisco ThousandEyes

The latest to share an insight into their career and life is the head of partner and channel sales EMEA at Cisco ThousandEyes, Armin Neumaier

Hi, Armin, tell us what you do for a living.

I am head of partner and channel sales at Cisco ThousandEyes in EMEA, leading a team dedicated to helping our partners and customers on their digital journeys (also, we’re hiring!)

Why are you the right person for this job?

I’ve been helping partners to solve their customers’ problems for years now, and it’s become something that I thrive at thanks to my curiosity. I love to listen and to learn, and this has helped me tune in with what exactly partners need and what goals they’re trying to reach with their customers.

What gets you up in the morning?

Since Cisco acquired ThousandEyes around two years ago, there’s been such tremendous growth and massive interest from the Cisco Partner Community that being a part of this journey together with my team is just a thrill for me both professionally and personally. 

Who helped you get to where you are today?

Family and friends have played a huge part, but also my sports trainer. From my time as a professional sportsman, I’ve always been used to training hard and playing in teams. I’ve learned that the best results are achieved by cooperating and trusting other people – and not taking yourself too seriously. You have to be humble, curious, and approach each new challenge with a readiness to learn.

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

We’re currently facing a moment in IT where automation is key – and everything that can be automated will be. My advice is to stay curious, be proactive, and always think one step ahead – and present that thinking to your leaders and peers.

Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’?

Surprisingly, yes. Not mentioning “the internet”, though, is much harder…we’re having more and more conversations around the implications of moving to cloud services, which are delivered via the internet and therefore introducing an environment that’s full of blind spots that need to be managed.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

In one word: cloud. I think in the next five years we’ll see a more pronounced shift in how the channel adapts to and wins opportunities that are driven by the relentless growth of cloud-based enterprise application software.

Tell us something most people do not know about you?

I’m really drawn towards nature and I have a cold morning shower outside of my house every day. That is, until winter comes and the water pipes freeze.

Have you learnt anything new – guitar, painting etc – during the pandemic?

I did gymnastics when I was young and competed until my late thirties. During the pandemic, the need for trainers skyrocketed in our community – so I decided to say yes to the opportunity to train kids in gymnastics and help to build their skills. This was really rewarding, and it’s great that it could help in kick starting their passion for gymnastics or potentially any other sports they may choose to go on to later in life. 

Armin N

“My advice is to stay curious, be proactive, and always think one step ahead – and present that thinking to your leaders and peers”

Armin Neumaier, Cisco ThousandEyes

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why? 

I want to leave a legacy where people say that they really learned something from me as a person and that I influenced their life in some way. Be it big or small, my passion is to help people strive for their goals. 

What is the best book you've ever read?

Man’s search for meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.

What temptation can you not resist?

A walk in the forest when it’s raining. 

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now? 

I actually first drove mountain bikes and road bikes – cars came later in life.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do? 

A crowd of people. I like the fresh air and not being stuck in confined spaces.

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

I would be a squirrel – they’re so fast in movement!

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

My wife and kids.

And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

Neither! First, I don’t like fights – and secondly (and thankfully), the situation is impossible as they live in different parts of the world.

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