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Powerful perspective

Celebrating the STEMinists of NetApp: Jocelyn Johnson

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Jocelyn Johnson
Jocelyn Johnson

I believe that advocating for the customer is one of my most important responsibilities as a NetApp® Active IQ® product manager.

I work closely with our customers to understand how they’re using our products and then bring their voice, input, and needs back to our engineering teams. After all, we design our products for the end user; it’s important that we make things as simple and effective as possible for them.

Ultimately, it’s not just about solving problems; it’s about anticipating them, breaking them down, and making the best product we can.

The impact of data

In the realm of Active IQ, data has a huge impact on everything we do. Data from the AutoSupport telemetry allows us to proactively identify problems—and opportunities—for our customers.

Data allows us to challenge the environment and ask important questions. What is underutilized? What should be enhanced? What can we do to make these things more apparent to customers? How can we grow that usage? These large volumes of data allow us to look at the usage of different product modules and figure out where we should focus our energy.

The power of perspective

Before you can use data to solve a problem—or optimize an opportunity—you have to understand the situation. It’s so important for us to get to the core of an issue before we jump in and start acting on it.

My first goal, especially when dealing with problems, is to get some perspective. I want to see an issue from other people’s perspectives so I can understand where they’re coming from.

We all see things differently, so taking that step back, understanding where different folks are coming from—getting that diverse perspective—allows me to see the bigger, broader picture. And ultimately, that perspective gives me a better idea of how we can solve problems and move forward.

The needs of the customer

Working in an extremely complex environment with ever-shifting requirements and priorities, the problems that we face can be incredibly challenging, and they often have a multitude of complicated solutions. In situations like these, it’s important to find the solution that is going to work for the greatest number of people.

In the short term, my first strategy is to address the issues that might have the biggest impact and that can be solved with the least amount of disruption. Longer term, I always take a customer viewpoint. I put on my customer hat and look at the things that are impacting our customers, from our tools to their systems. I look at all the available data and then, by choosing the simplest path and starting with baby steps, I move forward, making improvements by addressing one thing at a time.

The value of connection

Navigating these complex environments is not limited to our customer-facing operations. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenging landscape for us as a global team.

It has taken some creative problem solving to design inclusive virtual environments that foster growth and innovation and allow us to make and maintain meaningful connections with our colleagues. For example, to connect with my colleagues around the world I’ve started having meetings earlier in the morning to accommodate different time zones. This way I can have those one-on-ones, build connections, and gain a better understanding of what my team is working on and what I'm working on with them. It’s worth the effort to help me get to know and understand everyone just that little bit better.

The importance of “yes”

Although it’s important to make connections with customers and colleagues, it’s even more important—especially for us as women in technology—to make connections in the wider community. Your input, and your effort, can have a big impact, so don’t be afraid get involved.

For many years, I’ve volunteered my time to organizations and causes like the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Grace Hopper Celebration. The benefits go far beyond my contributions to these incredible organizations; I’ve enjoyed getting to know other women, especially other women in technology.

So get involved! You don’t have to take on a big role. Even networking, just saying hello, can be enough. I want people to succeed, because when one of us succeeds, we all do. Don’t be afraid to say “yes.”

Visit us today to learn how NetApp Active IQ Digital Advisor uses the power of artificial intelligence to provide insights, guidance, and actions that improve your system availability, security, and performance.

Jocelyn Johnson

Jocelyn Johnson is a Product Manager for NetApp Active IQ, working with customers to help optimize infrastructure assets using predictive analytics. She has a long history of strengthening customer relationships with her previous work in NetApp's Executive Briefing Center and with the VIP Meeting program, where she cultivated her understanding of customer needs and how to help teams reach successful outcomes.

Passionate about helping others in her organization succeed, Jocelyn has been actively involved in NetApp's Women in Technology program for seven years, including three years volunteering with the Grace Hopper Celebration.

Jocelyn completed her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Elon University, with a concentration in analytics.

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