The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 13, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Dec. 8.
Next is Marketing Executive of the Year (Public Company) finalist Milo Speranzo, who’s senior director of North America marketing for public sector at Dell Technologies. Here, he talks key achievements, shaping the next generation of industry leaders, proud career moments and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2020 2021?
My role developing and standing up the Dell Global Recovery Center of Excellence, which met the dynamic government needs during a time of rapid change, is one of my key achievements of the past two years.
I established the center as an essential interlock between all Dell stakeholders, including marketing, government affairs, communications, sales, operations and legal. By bringing these crucial groups together, the center allowed us to serve federal agencies and guide them through a difficult time during the pandemic— an effort starting in early 2020 and evolving throughout the past 18 months.
What has made you successful in your current role?
A willingness to take intelligent risks and a consistent focus on the customer as a guiding point allows me to succeed in my role.
Dell Technologies encompasses a customer-centric mentality, which is key in developing the Global Recovery Center of Excellence. We launched the program when we identified a major barrier to government success — government entities’ ability to take advantage of much-needed stimulus funding and initiate major digital transformation required by the pandemic.
Also, I am not afraid of taking a risk when I have an idea that could make a significant impact. I believe that if you never experience failure, you are not reaching your full potential.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I am extremely proud of what we were able to achieve through the Center of Excellence. As a result, we launched over 1,000 new relationships and were recognized as one of the top 10 companies serving government in response to COVID-19. To me, this directly speaks to our ability to serve our customers.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Moving forward, we will continue to build on efforts starting within the Center of Excellence and use similar principles as we take on new challenges with our federal government partners. This is crucial to the future of our nation as both government needs and technology change rapidly and unexpectedly. Together, with the public and private sectors in close collaboration, we have the combined tools and expertise to tackle emerging challenges.
Advocacy programs are one example of an area where we continue to build on Center of Excellence efforts. We launched four new advocacy programs through the program to bring IT decision-makers in contact with the business decision-makers at their organizations. These advocacy programs supported grant writing, policy reviews and technical scoping. They will continue to develop and advance — and represent some of the unique approaches we will continue to pursue to support our customers.
How do you help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Instead, be concerned if you are not occasionally stumbling. I too often see the same activities, content, mindsets and strategies repeated year after year, all while the world is changing at a pace never before seen.
To keep up and maintain relevance, the strategies from the previous years are not going to always be as effective as the year prior. Take more chances, do at least one new “thing” every quarter. Sometimes our minor failures open the doors to our biggest successes.
Which rules do you think you should break more as a government/industry leader?
We tend to build walls in our industry. We have a mentality that federal IT is so different from commercial, so we tend to wall ourselves off from the broader organization and continually build from scratch. My message is that we are unique, but don’t get too full of ourselves.
Utilize as much of the corporate creative as you can by verticalizing. Don’t fall into the battle sales had with their commercial counterparts; marketing is not a fight for account ownership — it is a fight for thought leadership.
Reach out, be collaborative and benchmark from your best teams across the entire company, and don’t put yourself in a silo. Not only will it be better for your results, but also your career.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
I am proudest when I see my teammates excel. Starting in this industry over 15 years ago, I have seen some wonderful human beings grow both professionally and personally. I am not only proud when a member of the team gets promoted inside the company, but I am also thrilled (and a bit sad) when they take a great role that requires them to leave.
I have many former mentees working for our competitors, and every day I run across a LinkedIn post that reminds me how proud I am of them and what they are growing into.