Nov 03, 2021
Inside Tanium: Technology Strategist Ashley McGlone
Increasing our footprint in manufacturing while spreading the word about Tanium online, on stage and on cameraBy Tanium Staff
Ashley McGlone, who just passed his four-year anniversary with Tanium, remembers when he joined the company in 2017. He looked in awe at people who’d been with the company for four years. “That was 2013,” he notes. “It was the beginning. We hardly had any customers then. So, four years gave you legendary status.”
We recently sat down with Ashley to talk about his journey to Tanium and hear what he’s been up to in the last four years.
The story of how you ended up at Tanium is pretty unique. Tell us about it.
Ashley McGlone: It’s a fun story. I had a successful blog at Microsoft for seven years. Plus, I’d done a lot of video presentations and speaking at conferences, outside my normal role. I didn’t start out to build a personal brand, but through those activities I developed a lot of LinkedIn traffic, most of which I ignored.
Then a former Microsoft buddy who’d come to Tanium advised me, ‘Stop ignoring this recruiter from Tanium on LinkedIn.’ It turns out he’d messaged me about a role at Tanium he thought I’d be perfect for.
I’d never heard of Tanium, but I’d been looking for other roles inside Microsoft for about eight months. There were a few possibilities, but none materialized. So, I signed on with Tanium after I talked to the recruiter.
When I saw Tanium in action for the first time, my jaw dropped. As an automation person, it seemed like science fiction. It couldn’t be real. I knew I wanted to be part of this technology.
What about Tanium made it seem like science fiction?
Ashley McGlone: Well, I’ve been in the IT trenches for more than 20 years. Every day someone is asking you to find something. A piece of installed software, a missing driver, a running process. You name it.
I was a scripter. I did 12 years of VBScript and PowerShell. I created automation scripts to find those kinds of things. I knew even with all the tricks I had up my sleeve, like parallel execution and remote connections, I could never get the ease of use or the speed of Tanium without rewriting a script every time.
With Tanium, I can drop my script in, and it’ll get everything I need in seconds. It just took away all those barriers from daily IT work that you fight against as an IT or system admin. A tool like this is a real gift. That felt like science fiction.
Ashley’s interest in computers started at a young age. Grand prize at the high school Science Fair back in 1985.
What was your role when you started four years ago?
Ashley McGlone: I came in as a Director of Technical Account Management, a DTAM. Back then, we didn’t have all the other roles we have now. So, I did everything: the pre-sales demo, the proof-of-concept (POC) install, converting that to production, and then maintaining the account. Keeping the account moving forward and working with them to make sure they were getting the most value out of the product.
How has your role evolved since then?
Ashley McGlone: My current manager, Shawn Surber, approached me early this year. He’d written a new job description for me, which after some tweaking by human resources became Technology Strategist in Manufacturing. I had Toyota in my resume and some background in manufacturing, as well evangelism experience at Microsoft. Shawn wanted me to help him recreate that at Tanium.
So, now my current role has two parts. I’m building the evangelism strategy for the company, which is a dream come true. And I can bring other people along for the ride, helping launch new shows we’ve done recently. Coming soon, hopefully, we’ll have a technical blogging platform for all our experts at Tanium to share their experiences. I want Tanium to be known as a company of experts, where people come to do their life’s best work.
What’s the second part of the role?
Ashley McGlone: The second part is building our guidance for the manufacturing vertical, which is very challenging. Tanium does really well on Windows, macOS and Linux. But when you get into manufacturing, you have Operational Technology (OT) — Internet of Things (IoT) devices and a factory floor. You have whatever product with embedded systems that are rolling down the assembly line, whether it’s a TV, a refrigerator or an automobile. And all these different technologies must be secured and managed.
I sort of went into a cave for five months to really get my head around the manufacturing vertical and create our story in that space. I had multiple meetings with customers and account teams, watched webinars, and read all the industry newsletters. The messaging that came out of that has really landed well with everyone we’ve shared it with. Recently I was able to get my first time out at a manufacturing conference as a Tanium evangelist and share that work. Based on many comments from attendees, it resonated on several points and generated the buzz we had hoped.
Tell us how your show Go Tanium started.
Ashley McGlone: When I came to Tanium, I never dropped the public engagement side of my daily job. I spoke at three or four in-person or virtual conferences a year. I had quite a bit of experience in that area when I was at Microsoft.
Go Tanium grew out of the request for a video to support the launch of Blue Star, which was our new user interface (UI) release. At the time, I said, ‘We’re releasing new things all the time. We could make a web show to highlight all the folks at Tanium and what they’re creating.’ So, Go Tanium was born. Later, as we added more shows, it became Go Tanium Tech Talks.
What is Go Tanium trying to accomplish?
Ashley McGlone: Go Tanium Tech Talks is really a show by an admin for admins. One tagline for the show was, “From my messy work-from-home office to yours.”
We already had a lot of marketing content for buyers and mid- to executive-level people. I wanted something that was hands-on in the console. I wanted to give our Tanium admins in the field a resource where if they invested 20 to 30 minutes over lunch, they’d get something that would help them immediately use the latest capabilities they already own.
You’ve got the user sitting at the console saying, ‘I can go read the docs, but how does that really work when I’m trying to make it happen?’ And we’ve got great docs, but the show is like having a tour guide holding your hand, stepping you through a process the first time to get over that initial learning hump. Then you’re good to go.
What’s next for you at Tanium
Ashley McGlone: What’s next for me is completing the vision. I want to launch all these pillars: online, on stage, and on camera. We’re doing well with on camera. For on stage, now we’ve got an internal speakers’ bureau to get the right person, in front of the right audience, with the right message. Online, we’re working on a social media strategy. Getting that technical blogging platform built in the near term is a top priority for me.
On the manufacturing side, I want to see us expand our partnerships, so we have a complete, end-to-end compliance, visibility, and control story for our customers, which they need to meet the amazing volume of regulations they’re facing now. And what connects all that is bringing others along to experience the amazing level of career satisfaction that’s available when working for Tanium.
You can tune in to all the Go Tanium digital shows here.
“Inside Tanium” is part of a series that highlights the people and culture of Tanium. To learn more about Tanium and explore our range of career opportunities, visit our Tanium Careers page.