WeAreDelphix: Meet Ross Millenacker
What do you do at Delphix and what inspired you to join the company?
I am a senior product manager at Delphix. Consider us an amalgamation of technologists, data-heads, business people, and cat herders rolled up into one role. In essence, we’re constantly checking the pulse of the market and evaluating how to best deliver value to our customers given our development bandwidth. Sounds fun, right?
You bet! And it’s also one of the major points of inspiration I joined Delphix. Our product team is rock solid and the groups we work with are amazing. Delphix also has a tight-knit community, strong company vision, a dominant product with an excellent market opportunity...and snacks!
You can ask me anything about…?
Product vision and roadmap. One critical skill for any PM is to be able to clearly communicate product strategy because it drives alignment between internal teams and our customers. Feel free to ask me what’s to come and how we’ll get there - I love talking strategy.
SAP ASE. I am the lead PM on ASE, which is one of the primary data sources that we support. I am constantly taking input from customers and the field and comparing it with market opportunity and technical feasibility to help steer our support into the future.
Our virtualization platform. I’m in charge of a large portion of our platform from infrastructure (e.g. environment management) to key functionality (e.g. VDB refresh). There’s never a shortage of things to learn as Delphix is a very deep and technical product. Happy to chat all things platform!
Business strategy and analytics. As a PM, I have to be keyed into our business strategy, so I frequently use analytics tools to help me track how we, as a product and business, are aligning to those goals. Feel free to ask me about anything from competitive differentiation to how we are looking to help our customers on their DataOps journey.
Lastly, IT security best practices. I just got my Associate CISSP certification, so this is a particularly relevant topic at the moment. As a PM, we have to focus on building security into Delphix - it’s table stakes for software development in this day and age!
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on at Delphix?
Of the initiatives I can publicly share and talk about, the coolest project I’ve been working on is helping to evolve our analytics processes and capabilities. At Delphix, we’re all about employing a data-driven approach to make strategic decisions, which is why our in-product usage analyses are so important. It’s a great feedback mechanism to understand how our customers use our product while indicating areas for improvement.
The entire product team is rapidly working to evolve our data capabilities. My particular focus is to develop new sources of value from our data by working with internal teams to understand cross-functional data needs and customers and encourage greater customer participation in our data program. To top it all off, all of this is coalescing into what will potentially be a new product feature.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
This quote illustrates a domino effect that happens when one event, like making your bed first thing every morning, can set off a chain of accomplishments throughout the day.
This is the start of a longer commencement speech that was given by Admiral McRaven detailing how to make the world a better place in 10 steps - I love listening to it for inspiration. You can find the full speech here and the more short, dramatic version here.
What’s your secret talent?
I’m an avid scuba diver. You’ll most likely find me on the central coast exploring the cold muck that is the Kelp Forests of Monterey Bay. While jumping into cold water may not sound appealing at first, I can attest once you get used to the temperature, the underwater atmosphere is bewitching from Metridium Fields to Jellyfish blooms. The California coast is unbelievably unique.
What song instantly puts you in a good mood?
“Warriors” by Freedom Call. Who doesn’t like a little metal in their lives? The energy from this song is intoxicating, it’s a great motivator - especially at the gym.
What drives you everyday?
Easy – I’m a new dad, so my daughter is always top of mind. Creating an environment for her to thrive is all the inspiration and drive I need.