Name: Gabriel Dusil
Title: Director Partnerships, EMEA
Division: VeriSign Security Services
Location: Europe, Middle East, Africa
Interview: 30th November, 2004
Talk about your history at VeriSign.
I joined VeriSign back in August 2000 as the Marketing Director for EMEA. I was recruited from Motorola, where I was managing a small team of marketers. When I first joined VeriSign, EMEA affiliate expansion was in the middle of all its glory, but I needed to adjust to the change in corporate culture—from Motorola to what was at the time a “medium-sized U.S. corporation—and to the one-man-band aspect of my new role. VeriSign had recently bought Network Solutions earlier that year, and was busy with that integration. It was an exciting time. I soon learned that I was the first marketing hire outside of the U.S., and overall, the sixth employee in EMEA. So the position had good exposure within the organization, and a great opportunity for me to prove my capabilities. I also learned that I was joining a team of people who were the best in the industry. Working among the best of the best helped me raise my own bar.
With around 800 employees now outside of the U.S., it is now easy to forget that five years ago we were truly a European start-up. It has been amazing to see our growth over the years.
What’s a typical day at work like?
There is one common theme to my work day at VeriSign – each one is different. For my first three years, it was about delivering marketing programs and supporting our affiliate partners across the region. In the past year and a half I have taken on a sales position which has led me to pipeline management, customer expectation management, and overseeing the sales life-cycle to closure. I find that an integral part of this process often involves building and maintaining the customer’s confidence in buying from VeriSign, and ensuring a successful installation. In a recent Unified Authentication Services (UAS) deal, where we were offering two factor authentication services, we had no less than 25 critical issues to solve. And any one of those issues could have collapsed the deal. A team effort is the only way to ensure all these issues are solved, and this is exactly how we were successful in closing the deal – and today the customer is extremely happy with our performance. In fact the prospect was our first retail bank installation in the world – Alpha Bank, Greece, via our partner Adacom.
I spend about 50% of my time on the road. My days start at 9:00 and often finish as late as 10 p.m. My curse is that I can’t go to bed without clearing my email inbox!. Time zones play an important role in our daily activities. I speak to the Middle East and Eastern Europe during the morning which is 2-4 hours ahead of the U.K., then start discussions with the U.S. East coast by mid- afternoon, and talk to Mountain View, California in the evenings (8 hours behind the UK). Many of us in the European organization say that we “live VeriSign”. If you love your job then hard work is balanced by satisfaction.
What do you like the most about working at VeriSign?
As a self-proclaimed tech geek, one enjoyable aspect of my role at VeriSign is learning about IT, the Internet, and the security industry. Whether it’s sales or marketing, I have found that both disciplines give me the freedom to learn more about technology, in as much detail as my aging mind allows. I feel that VeriSign is on the leading edge of securing critical infrastructure. So I can experience a multi-faceted approach to learning new areas of our portfolio–whether it’s Anti-Phishing, cloud based authentication services, managed security services (MSS), or any new and exciting service coming down the line from our product managers.
From the sales perspective, I like the discovery phase of learning the customer’s requirements, and how they are positioning their infrastructures to the future needs of their target market. It seems to be more of an art than a science. For example, listening to what is not said is a much harder challenge than concentrating on what was said. The devil is always in the details, and learning these nuances has also been fun. With my marketing hat on, comparing this street-level data to what the analysts are saying about the market is a great comparison. The markets where VeriSign plays allows for an incredible scope of learning, to as much detail as I choose.
What does “One VeriSign” mean to you?
“One VeriSign” for me is about people, and how we develop relationships within the company, departmentally, geographically, or by product portfolio. Of course, we have a “One VeriSign” corporate vision, but it’s the trust relationships which we develop at the street level where the vision is realized.
What are some of your hobbies, volunteer efforts, & outside interests?
Not to shock anyone, but I suppose one of my hobbies is fitness (trigger for Souheil Badran to laugh out loud). I call it a “war with my body” – which some would agree is something I am losing. I believe that balancing the mind and the body are important to one’s health and happiness, and, for me, daily exercise counter-weights the daily intellectual challenges of work.
Much of my recreation is now spent as a parent. Watching my two boys—eight months old and three and a half years old—grow and develop. My children have been a life changing experience, as any parent can attest. I suppose the extent of my volunteer efforts is in babysitting my kids so that my wife can go out with her friends.
Tell us one thing about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t have guessed!
I suppose a shocker to most people is that I am a black belt in Shotokan Karate ((松涛馆). Although I have not been training for the past 10 years, I still release my pent-up energy on a punching bag twice per week at the local gym — another aspect of balancing my mind and body.
About the Interviewee
Gabriel Dusil is VeriSign’s Marketing Director responsible for the Europe, Middle East and African region. Mr. Dusil’s role includes the management of Channel and Direct Marketing, as well as Marketing Communications. His responsibilities also include the development of product strategies and market positioning throughout the emerging markets.
Prior to VeriSign, Mr. Dusil had been with Motorola for six years, as their EMEA Marketing Director for its Internet and Networking Group. He has over 10 years of experience in the communications industry, and over nine years of international marketing experience. Mr. Dusil has a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of McMaster, in Canada.