Category Archives: Career

Fish Gets a New Job: “Solutions Architect”

Fish Gets a New Job: “Solutions Architect”

Many of the best things that have happened in my life weren’t planned.  🙂  Becoming a “Solutions Architect” is one of those things.  I didn’t plan it.  I’ve been in CPOC (Customer Proof of Concept) for almost 17 years now.  🙂  Why?  Cause truthfully, having fun and enjoying my job is exceedingly important to me.  And I’ve never seen a job (in Cisco or outside) that would be more of an absolute perfect fit for me and what I consider “fun”.

But like I said…. Many of the best things that have happened in my life weren’t planned.  🙂

For those of you who know how very much I totally love CPOC… you might be wondering “Fish, what happened that made you decide to look for another job?”.    Uh… nothing.  Like I said… it wasn’t planned.  In fact, i didn’t even interview or apply for the job.

The new job is actually

  • a newly created position in a
  • just created team
  • reporting to an awesome leader
  • with 2 technical playmates I adore (ahem.. sorry.. co-workers)


Solutions Architect: What I Will Be Doing

Teehee… well the team literally just came into existence last week …. so we are still working this out.  Why?  🙂  Cause I’m not just Solutions Architect for CPOC.  You see the larger organization that CPOC is a part of has been re-org’d at our VP level.  We are now “PoV (Proof of Value) Services”…. with varying offerings inside of that org.  CPOC, of course, being one of those offerings.  But we are also dCloud… and the Customer Briefing Centers… etc … etc.  And… we are global.  🙂

<– Our New Logo by the way.  🙂

For those of you who know I adore troubleshooting and being a Network Detective… you can imagine the big cheesy grin I had on my face when I saw the magnifying glass in our new logo.


So while I don’t know what being a Solutions Architect will mean at the higher “PoV Services” level.  I can already tell you that the most recent CPOC I was in just last week is a classic example of the solutions based and big picture end to end solution fun I have already had the joy of being a part of.

To be a part of a larger solutions based team. Wow.  Just just wow!

ENCS, ISRv, Viptela, SD-WAN, NGFW, ASA, StealthWatch, ETA, … and the list went on and on.  And then… as if that weren’t enough.  Oh my gosh… woot woot baby!  Bring on the VMS and orchestration cause this CPOC was for a managed service offering – with VMS doing the orchestration.

Why was this CPOC so much fun?

  • Solutions Based
  • Teaming with some of the most awesome SMEs I’ve ever worked with
  • Being just “one among many” and working on such gorgeous, awesome, and strategic solutions


Can you tell I’m just a teeny bit excited?  As if that wasn’t awesome enough…. I’m super excited about my playmates… I mean co-workers.


Solutions Architect: My New Team

Let me introduce you to my AWESOME and incredible co-workers I am just THRILLED to pieces to be working alongside with.  I have had the joy of working with all 3 of these people.

Steve Moore I have known for 21 years and have worked along side of him in CPOC for quite a number of years. The dude has patents and is a co-author of RFC7868.  Yes.. to me this is super major geek coolness points.  🙂

Christine Strom I met years ago when she was a college intern for CPOC.   For the past few years she has been my manager… but truth be told she so much more than a manager.  She is a true leader and a vital part of this small team. Shhh… don’t tell her but I think she is just wicked smart, visionary, and super cool.

Dustin Schuemann I just so adore him!  He has been in dCloud for a number of years now.  Super smart…. super nice… and just wonderful geeky fun to be around.  I have worked with him in the past and I’m stoked I’ll be working even closer with him now.



Steve Moore – Solutions Architect







Dustin Schuemann – Solutions Architect







Christine Strom – Our fearless and AWESOME Leader




Solutions Architect: What’s Next?

I see in my future lots of fabulously exciting and scary challenges…. lots of fun… lots of learning… and lots of hard work.  🙂    Who could ask for anything more?   🙂



My Career Planning: A Ride-Along

My Career Planning: A Ride-Along

About a year ago I shared with you (Thinking Out Loud: My Career Planning) a little about my yearly career planning process.  This time I’m going to bring you on a ride-along of this year’s annual Career Planning exercise. First and foremost I must answer a common question that I was asked a lot afterContinue Reading

Security Here I Come!

Security Here I Come!

The announcement has been made!  It is completely official!  I can finally share the awesome great news I am so excited about.  Security will be my absolute #1 focus now.  Security has always fascinated me.  My entire career.  ….. It’s just that the fundamentals of routing and design intrigued me even more.  🙂 But now? Continue Reading