Exeleon Magazine

An Interview with Michael Rustom, IT Consultant: Navigating 25 Years of Technological Evolution

Michael Rustom

Q: With so much experience in the IT consulting and sales industry, you’ve undoubtedly witnessed significant changes. What initially drew you to this field, and how have you seen it evolve over the years?

MICHAEL RUSTOM: My fascination with IT began in the early stages of my career. I was intrigued by the potential of technology to transform businesses fundamentally. Over the years, I’ve seen the industry shift from basic computerization to advanced integration solutions that are now driving entire business models. The pace of change has been incredibly quick, and it’s only speeding up. It’s been exciting to stay on top of the trends and technological leaps.

Q: You’ve had a lot of success with sales, as well as with leading sales teams. What strategies have you found most effective in building successful client relationships in the tech industry?

MICHAEL RUSTOM: It’s mainly about building trust and delivering on promises. I’ve been dedicated to that process, and have made that my guiding principle, and that’s what’s led to the success I’ve been able to achieve. In this industry, you’re selling solutions that are going to be at the heart of your client’s operational success. In order to earn their trust, you have to demonstrate a deep understanding, as well as a genuine interest and concern for their business needs. You’ve got to be ready to show them exactly how this technology will address those needs. When I’m leading a team, I always emphasize the importance of listening to the client, being honest about what you don’t know, and asking for the time that’s needed to come back to them with a personalized solution for them that’s unique and that will allow them to build their business and achieve their goals. You’ve got to follow up, be consistent, and you’ll be able to form those lasting relationships that lead to sustained success.

Q: What key piece of advice would you offer to professionals looking to excel in IT and sales?

MICHAEL RUSTOM: The key is to remain adaptable and continuously learn. The IT landscape constantly evolves, so you’ve got to stay ahead of emerging technologies and find the best way to benefit your clients. When it comes to sales, it’s about taking this knowledge and communicating it in simple ways that get to the heart of the value of what you’re offering to the client.

Q: You’ve built your consulting firm around “building businesses” through technological solutions. Can you share a standout project that illustrates your approach and its impact?

MICHAEL RUSTOM: Certainly. My firm was recently contracted by a print marketing and packaging company to lead and deliver IT projects for their clients. One example was building and deploying a national web portal that verifies and registers users, delivers and validates training, and provides a secure platform for e-commerce. I’ve focused on developing this company’s business through organic growth of services, and the results have been great so far, with revenue to date of 225% of the initial engagement value.

Q: Looking forward, what trends or innovations in IT do you believe will be most influential for businesses in the coming years?

MICHAEL RUSTOM: It’s hard to overstate the transformation that’s coming with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. These technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for business optimization, from automating routine tasks to providing deeper insights into market trends and customer preferences. For businesses to stay competitive, they’ll have to embrace these technologies and find ways to integrate them into their operations.

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