GSAP – The Final Frontier

A different type of post but one that deserves its own plaque on the mantelpiece due to its unique place on my career path. Time to write about the fantastic learning experience I had in the latter part of 2015. Nothing directly related to technology but more about how to be an effective pre-sales engineer and embrace new ways of introducing cutting edge solutions. GSAP is what I’m hear to rave about….



GSAP (Global Services Associate Programme) is a way of ramping up skills in a particular discipline at EMC and is recognised as an industry leading programme of education and development. Otherwise known as Bootcamp, this programme pitches to varying roles such as Project Managers, Customer Support Engineers and Presales. I was lucky enough to join over 20 Presales folk from all over the world just outside EMC Headquarters on the outskirts of Boston. The diversity of those attending was amazing and it was good to have a mix of folk with varying experience of I.T. from very little to over 10 years. Staff came from Malaysia, Switzerland, Lebanon, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and all over the US. It really was a mixed class !!

The programme is structured in such a way that it really involves each and every person and enables everyone to accelerate their careers in a short timescale. Topics ranged from highly technical product knowledge to soft skills that are key to an effective presales engineer such as presenting and addressing key business motivators for an efficient I.T. practice. We also had presentations on branding and how to define our success stepping outside our comfort zones and it was good to see these types of presentation being given.

Meeting various members of the EMC leadership was also rewarding as it clearly showed that everyone was ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ and all had a desire to make EMC a leader in new initiatives such as Cloud, Big Data and the new Information Generation. Everyone was very approachable from senior VPs to other presales folk and it was clear to me that people are always willing to help one another.

The GSAP leadership team always pay particular attention to each and every person in attendance and through monitored evaluations it is simple to gain and receive feedback continually to refine the areas where more development was required.

A bonus for me was once again meeting Chad Sakac (President of Global Presales) and his wife during breakfast at the hotel where we staying. I love the passion and encouragement that Chad always exudes and his leadership style was a compelling reason for me to jump aboard the EMC train.

This programme is merely a stepping stone to success at a global leader that wants to succeed with the ever evolving I.T. landscape especially with the upcoming Dell acquisition in 2016. I can really see the value of this training and how it will grow over time and maybe branch out to other disciplines in the organisation.

What was the the best takeaway from this experience ? 

For me, it was meeting and working with a variety of unique staff with various cultural and business backgrounds. These new friends will always be a part of my continued success and I’m sure that in years to come we will lean on each other to help and progress our desire to make names for ourselves. What an incredible talented group that I was lucky to be a part of.

My last mention goes to the incredible leadership team – Liz, Carolyn, Daryl, Chase, Hampton, Jenn, Brad and Kate were some of the names of the GSAP influencers that really made a difference to our success and without their hard work we wouldn’t be where we are now. Not forgetting the brilliant EMC presales staff who we worked closely with including Joe, Jim and various other professionals.

What remains to be seen is how this grounding will propel us all into the next frontier of I.T. Disruption….




  • Hampton Clarkson


    It was a pleasure working with you during the boot camp. I know that this group had a great impact on me and helped me to think outside the box. I have received a boost of motivation from your group and I found that after talking and working with you all, I do have a bit of “Geek” in me. Thank you for getting me thinking about my own blogging project and encouraging me to try it for myself. I will also continue to lean on you all for knowledge sharing and new ideas. Good luck in the field and I look forward to keeping up with you latest blogs.


  • Hi there pro-blogger!

    No other words could be used to describe this experience in a better way. The network, the knowledge, the workmates… Everything will help to step forward in our careers and as Hampton said in the States-side “this experience have changed us all and now we are better persons than before.” Amen.

    Along this years at EMC I received so many times GSAPers for shadowing and I always found these people different -in the best meaning. Now I am proud to be one of them, and the only thing I can say is THANK YOU!!

    Thanks Mr. Panchal to ink on a 21st-century page this memories.


  • Michael Khadra

    Hi Amit,

    Thanks for this blog man. You described in simple and accurate terms all the feelings that we had during that bootcamp and the entire rewarding experience that we lived.

    Each one of us started at some point during the bootcamp and ended up at a better place, with more technology in depth information, better professional skills and a solid background moving forward to grow better and faster in the future. All this was possible because the people investing from their time in this program whether Team Leads or Presales engineers, added their passion as well to give us the most out of this experience.

    It was a great pleasure being part of this bootcamp and this team and will be looking forward for your future posts 🙂

    We are GSAP, a Great Team, within a Greater EMC Global Team !!

    Michael Khadra

  • Tim Hermann

    Well written post, was a pleasure working with you. Looking forward to see you in the London, Zürich or whatever office in the future. Keep on posting!

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