New Faces of Bamboo: Introducing Tom Polivka

Editor’s note:  There have been several new additions to the Bamboo team since our last “New Faces” series, so it’s time once again to introduce the new folks to Bamboo Nation.  We’ll begin with Tom Polivka, Director of Enterprise Sales…

What is your role at Bamboo, and what are your goals for the year?

Tom Polivka, Bamboo Solutions Director of Enterprise SalesA huge HELLO to the Bamboo nation.  I’m really psyched to be joining the Bamboo team where I’ll be helping some of our larger customers in the Western half of the US and those in Federal government migrate to our new Enterprise Program.  My personal goal is to help transition many of our major SharePoint customers to the Bamboo Enterprise Customer program.  For those of you who haven’t heard of this new Bamboo initiative, it’s designed for large SharePoint enterprises supporting thousands of distributed users and a growing number of mission-critical applications.  Bamboo Enterprise Customers will enjoy non-key-restricted product distribution, assigned support managers, free training, and many other features that streamline large-scale provisioning and deployment. The response to this program has been overwhelmingly positive which makes this an exciting role for me!

What’s your professional background?

I graduated from college with a Computer Science degree and started developing applications and leading development teams before migrating into program management and sales.  I’ve been in the high-technology sales for over twenty years, with most of that time spent with software companies focusing on search, KM, imaging and other enterprise content management applications. 

What prompted you to join the Bamboo team?

In the past few years, I’ve watched with amazement as SharePoint has developed into a tidal wave, and legacy ECM companies scrambled to hitch their cart to Microsoft’s SharePoint horse.  As a result, I recently made the decision to jump on the bandwagon and find a great company that (1) serves the SharePoint community directly, (2) has a great reputation in the industry, and (3) respects and supports its customers and employees.  Bamboo turned out to be the perfect fit!

What are some of your first impressions of working at Bamboo? 

For a company of their size, Bamboo has an amazingly large and loyal fan base.  Bamboo is more focused on customer support and satisfaction than many larger companies I’ve worked with (and for), and it’s really obvious when I speak to our customers.  Once you’ve worked with the Bamboo family directly, you realize that everyone is totally committed.  Everyone goes the extra mile to assist the sales and support process.  It’s truly refreshing to never hear, “that’s not my job.”  The other thing that struck me immediately about Bamboo is the preoccupation with all things regarding food and the culinary arts.  The kitchen at Bamboo produces so many ridiculously delicious and fattening recipes that I’m scrambling to find a gym membership to burn off “the freshman 15.”

With over 60 products to learn, do you feel overwhelmed?  What’s your strategy for getting up to speed?

It was like drinking from a fire hose at first, but luckily everyone is pitching in to get me up to speed.  I come from an ECM background where incredibly convoluted, complex technologies require years of training.  One of the great things about Bamboo’s portfolio is that it’s much easier to understand and use without tons of training.  Admittedly, I’m a YouTube junkie so it’s refreshing to find so many presentations and tutorials out there that also help get me up to speed.

Other than your deep and abiding love of Web Parts, what interests or hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

I have five kids, so my favorite activities revolve around sports of all kinds – baseball, basketball, swimming – you name it!  I also struggle like a fool on the golf course and enjoy tennis, skiing and deep-sea fishing in my spare time.