As the Director for our Technical Account Managers (TAMs), I see the work they do for our customers every day. I think of our TAMs as the “lighthouses” for our customers. They alert the ABS team when something hits their radar. They light the way proactively about future issues and creative strategies.
How does Michael Ashabraner embody aspects of your vision for the TAMs department?
Michael’s experience at ABS embodies what a TAM should be. He started in our sales department. After working there for 1-2 years, he became interested in the technical side of ABS’ business. He joined the help desk and worked his way up to be one of our Tier 2 Engineers. Our Tier 2 Engineers know our customers the best. They are subject matter experts when it comes to a customer environment and they know all the applications in a customer’s environment and the customizations to those applications. They even get to know the end-users and how they work.
Having this balance of sales skills, technical expertise, and customer knowledge is essential to the TAM role. Because of Michael’s experience, he may be the best equipped TAM in the department. He intuitively understands the hybrid roll that is a Technical Account Manager.
Which of the 14 ABS Way principles does Michael exemplify the most?
“If the Client Isn’t Happy, It’s Your Responsibility.” Michael takes this very seriously. He owns his customers’ issues and he works with our service and project teams very well to ensure his customers’ expectations are met. When they are not, he drives the issues to resolution. Customer service flows through Michael’s veins.
What is your favorite memory working with Michael? Tell us about a time that he went above and beyond.
Michael has a fantastic attitude. Whatever he puts his mind to, he accomplishes.
He recently walked into the office just before the weekend started and said to the rest of the TAM team, “I just found out the Louisville City Chili Cook-Off is this weekend. My brother and I just entered and we are going to win.”
We all laughed at him. He didn’t have time to prepare and those cook-offs have folks that take it seriously – not to mention, there were 2025 competitors!
We weren’t sure if Michael’s chili would even be ready, much less win. He walked in Monday morning and said they took first prize: a trip to Hawaii.
MEET MICHAEL ASHABRANER
We sat down with Michael to ask him more about his role as a Technical Account Manager at Advanced Business Solutions.
Tell us about how you got started.
I have been with ABS for almost 5 years. I started out by applying for a sales position and was hired shortly after. I was in that position for about a year, but I was always interested in a more technical roll. Mark (Lewis) knew I wanted to make a change, although I didn’t have much experience. He offered to let me transition into a HelpDesk position. I accepted the HelpDesk position and worked in that role for about 2 years. During that time, I worked hard to improve my technical expertise. I got my A+ and NET+ technical certifications and was hungry for a more challenging position. I was then offered a Tier II Engineer position which I accepted and was in that position for about 2 years. Then, in July 2019, I was approached by ABS management and asked if I would be interested in becoming a Technical Account Manager due to my technical and customer service experience. I accepted that role and have been a TAM ever since!
What do you enjoy most about your role as a TAM at ABS?
I love being a trusted adviser to my clients. It is very fulfilling knowing I am helping them with something so critical to their businesses.
How do you take a proactive approach to IT management with your customers?
I love technology and I try to stay ahead of industry trends and important new IT developments that may effect my client base either positively or negatively.
When and why did you become interested in IT?
I have been interested in IT and technology in general as long as I can remember. I built my first computer in 1991, shortly after that, my friends and I discovered how to network our computers together over the internet and play video games together. For me that was revolutionary and it solidified the path I wanted to take.
When you’re not working, what can you be found doing?
I love hiking with my Toy Australian Shepherd Niko. I still love to play online PC video games, of course. I am a big foodie so I love going out and trying new restaurants.
What is the ultimate tech device or equipment you wish you personally owned? Or What is a fictional technology that you wish existed?
I want a quantum gaming computer (not a thing), and a lightsaber (where are you NASA?)!