In today’s Meet the Chronosphere Team profile, we get to know Alex Miljanić, a Senior Sales Development Representative (SDR) who works out of Chronosphere’s New York office. In her role as an SDR, Alex is the first line of contact for many of Chronosphere’s new customers. In this interview with Chris Ward, Alex indulges us with her day-to-day life as a Sales Rep in the observability space, why she joined Chronosphere, and she talks fondly about her brief stint as an English teacher abroad.
What do you do at Chronosphere?
As a Senior Sales Development Representative (SDR) my day-to-day job includes sourcing, tiering new accounts, identifying champions and main point of contacts – I do a lot of the original engagements when we’re trying to break in and identify a good use case fit for our observability platform.
Is this about developing relationships?
Yes, I’m the first line of contact for many of the relationships we have/will have with incoming customers. My team will tier out accounts, collect information on their tools and challenges, and plan a strategy for use case tie-ins so we can have introductory conversations and make sure our relationship would be mutually beneficial.
What were some of the reasons that you decided to come to Chronosphere?
I came from a competitor. That was my first experience in sales. I really enjoyed observability and open source projects – and how those projects worked from the perspective of the engineers. I always wanted to stay in tech, but I found that my niche was in observability. Understanding how Chronosphere works, how scalable it is, how novel some of our control plane abilities are alongside the aggregation rights – ultimately, it was a decision about how advanced the technology is within the current day market, that’s what drew me in.
What did you do before coming to Chronosphere?
I worked in sales at another tech company and I wanted to stay within that space because I found that when you’re talking to engineers, observability is something always being prioritized or on the roadmap for future prioritizations – it’s a stabilizing front for teams understanding how their systems are behaving. If I’m talking to people in big banks, or talking to startups that are just getting their products off the ground – everybody is moving towards microservices, which are complex in nature and especially at scale. To handle microservices architectures, teams need to employ a seamless integration with reliable monitoring tools to track their metrics.
Observability sounds like a buzzword, but whenever I speak to engineers, it doesn’t matter if I’m talking to a VP of engineering or an SRE – when you say observability, describe Chronosphere with one or two sentences, it resonates with everybody. Whether or not it’s a current challenge that the company is facing is another story. But when you bring up the product, it’s something that everybody’s familiar with as being something of critical value
What is the most interesting technical challenge that Chronosphere is solving?
The scalability of microservices and resolving their associated pains. What I’m referring to can present itself in the form of outages and cardinality spikes in the same systems SRE and DevOps teams are actively managing. Chronosphere is particularly positioned in the market to handle these things.
We have the transparency and the visibility into your data which, now with these microservices becoming popularized and a de facto standard in the market – you’re noticing when you’re having these conversations with engineers, that they are all starting to see issues with the scale. They’re starting to understand that open source projects may not be able to handle the massive volume that they’re managing. So, they either have to hire a ton of engineers to build homegrown systems that can scale better – which costs a lot of money, or defer to SaaS vendors.
What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
At the moment, the team is working around strategically reframing not only what kinds of customers/teams we’re actively targeting, but also planning for the changing secondary and tertiary questions that they’re asking us given their wider experience in resolving the variable issues with their observability stack. OS technologies are fantastic – they’re amongst the most exciting pieces of the tech space for me. Engineers love them, and they love to adopt and configure them. The intersection point is creating a managed system that avoids vendor lock-in by being compatible with Graphite and Prometheus to maintain comfort/familiarity, but can successfully scale and store those metric stacks and reduce management overhead.
What’s a fun fact about you that nobody would guess?
This is actually on my LinkedIn. I worked at a Czech University in Prague as an English teacher for a year with students that were ages 16 to 28. I was 23, but I think they all imagined me as being older just because I was making the decisions in the classroom. A lot of incredibly intelligent exchange students who all had an impressive level of grit leaving their families to live in a different country.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I’ll say what other people call me – a llama. I have a friend at Chronosphere that always calls me a llama. I’m a little goofy and I have a really long neck.
Who is someone that you consider a role model and how have they helped guide you in your life or career?
My Dad got a PhD in computer science from Rutgers University. That’s why both of my parents relocated from Serbia to America. Then war broke out over there and they ended up staying in America. I would say my Dad influenced me both from an academic and professional standpoint. He’s just incredibly hard working, so I’ve had those ideas instilled in me from a very young age. Growing up, becoming an adult – I’ve realized having parents who aren’t just solid parents but are also good people is a real gift. My dad always used to say that when you start speaking too loudly in a discussion, your content becomes less and less relevant. That’s a pretty important point in life; I think you should always be clear. If you operate with distracting behaviors, people will get distracted.
What’s a quote you reflect on, you mention to people a lot, or that motivates you?
It’s kind of corny, but it’s one of Chronosphere’s pillars: “Win together, lose together.” When you’re a part of a cohort, everybody shares the same objective and the responsibility when things are going badly and when things are going well. You just have to stay aligned and share the emotional ups and downs that happen. I think in sales, they happen rather frequently.
Listen in to hear Alex and Chris’ entire conversation here: