In this installment of our Employee Spotlight series, we’re pleased to introduce Roger Storm, who has specialized in Sybase database administration and design for over 25 years.
Spinnaker Support is proud to be recognized by analysts as one of the largest and most effective global vendors of third-party support, managed services, and consulting. Roger Storm and the rest of our experienced support professionals are the reason. Our team members deliver “follow the sun” service and average almost twenty years of experience.
Let’s get to know Roger!
Hi, Roger. Tell us about your role at Spinnaker Support.
I’m a senior SAP Sybase DBA consultant, which includes a variety of administration work for Sybase products, specifically the Sybase ASE (Adapted Server Enterprise). My job entails installing, setting up, maintenance, and troubleshooting databases. This includes replication server, which is another legacy Sybase product. I also administer Sybase IQ. I’ve been doing this work for more than 25 years. I serve as the primary DBA on our clients’ managed services accounts here at Spinnaker Support, ranging from banking to investments to hospitals to insurance.
What’s your background?
I’ve been working with these product lines for my entire career, since coming out of college in the ‘90s. Before joining Spinnaker Support, I was with Dobler Consulting. Before that, I was with SAP/Sybase. At SAP, I worked on special projects to bring their software onto the Sybase database platform. I’ve also spent a lot of time working as a technical liaison and always in forward facing roles.
When and why did you first get involved with Sybase database technology?
Coming out of college, I worked at an insurance company that was implementing a new general ledger system and a new client server. It was the first client server at that company, and Sybase was the back-end database supported for that general ledger system. Given that I was fresh out of college, everyone relied on me to be up on the latest technologies and the new approaches to this client server design. I just happened to start working on Sybase first, and I never looked back. I’ve had a great career with that product line, but I’ve also worked with SQL server and Oracle database.
What do you most like about working with Spinnaker Support clients?
I’ve always enjoyed working with clients to solve their problems and address new challenges. It’s fun getting to know the people and creating relationships. It’s rewarding for me to help them understand the technology. When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher and I thought, OK, how can I be a teacher, but still work with technology?
I really like what I do. I make a lot of friends, meet a lot of people, and our clients are great. We solve their problems, which makes them very happy, and that makes for great relationships. Our clients look to us as a source of knowledge, and they trust us to keep their systems running smoothly. We’re very straightforward with what we tell clients we can do and deliver. We get tons of positive feedback.
Do you have a recent example of going “above and beyond” to help a client?
A client needed immediate changes in their database architecture. We found that there were some settings that weren’t right. After a major review of the architecture, we found that there had been some oversights. We corrected them and then worked over the weekend to install the fix.
Honestly, though, I don’t consider this “above and beyond” as this is what we do. But from the client’s perspective, we went the extra mile. It was a limited-hour contract for support that needed us to act quickly to resolve the issue and then get it back in alignment. I’d already had some personal things scheduled for the weekend, but I rescheduled them and made the client a priority.
There are plenty of other examples of working weekends when we’re needed. I see this as part of our responsibility as primary consultants for clients who don’t know how to administer their systems. They rely on us, so I make sure I’m a little more flexible when client problems arise. Plus, Spinnaker Support is great in supporting me when I work weekends, and no one gets upset if I need a little flexibility during the week. From a work environment standpoint, that’s important. It’s all about having a good work ethic, and for an Iowa farm boy like me, that’s a given.
What is one piece of support advice you would give to a Sybase database client?
The thing I see a lot is that clients don’t maintain their databases. They stand them up, they load the data, and then they just let them run and keep loading more data. Eventually the database slows down.
One of my responsibilities is doing performance tuning with the Sybase server. Clients don’t understand a lot of that. An analogy is if you have a car, you need to change the oil, and change the filters and belts. Similarly, companies need to have a quarterly or annual review of their IT environment to make sure that all systems are properly tuned. There are also more users that get added and different connections that change. So, you can’t just let it run and think things will be okay. This is probably the most common shortcoming in database environments.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Family is extremely important to me, along with volunteering at church. I’m also a golf fanatic. I love to compete and spend an afternoon playing with my buddies. I’d say family, serving at church, and golf are my top three activities. I have a 13-year-old daughter and next few years are going to be fun watching her grow up. Supporting her and spending time with my family is of upmost importance to me.