John Clark

  PreSales Consultant - Technical Account Manager

 Click here for CV in Word format

Click image for my career path  

15 years Post-Sales  
25 years Pre-Sales  


I have spent the last 25+ years working in PreSales roles, including recently helping VAR activereach to expand their portfolio into Cyber-Security, with products from vendors such as Netskope, Crowdstrike, Swimlane, eSentire and Attivo and Data Centre products from Mellanox and Cumulus. I spent many years working for leading networking vendors, including Brocade, Foundry Networks, Nortel Networks and Bay Networks in Pre-Sales/Technical Account Management roles and in all cases I have acted as the trusted adviser and key technical point of contact for many major clients in areas such as finance, media and service provider

I pride myself in being part of very successful sales teams with a number of account managers over this period, where my technical and commercial skills have led to key customer/project wins, with successful deployments and fruitful on-going relationships

Prior to that, I worked for 15 years in Post Sales engineering, on Mini Computers and the emerging Micro Computer arena, including all early Apple computers and the first IBM PC. I spent almost 10 years of this time as a senior engineer and then in house tech support for Unix systems from Convergent Technologies, Altos, MIPS Computer Systems and I specialised in Ethernet networking and TCP/IP systems for large customers like the Stock Exchange, Bupa Hospitals, 3i, Mathew Hall, Prudential   

Name: John A. Clark
Nationality: British
Status: Single
LinkedIn: john-clark-0a17423


Isleworth Grammar School
GCE O Levels
A: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Geography
B: English language, Biology, French
C : English Literature, Art
GCE A Levels
B: Physics
C: Chemistry

Open University 3rd Level
Pass grade 2:
S354 Understanding Space & Time
Pass grade 4: S358 Electromagnetism

Network Industry Training
Gandalf, Retix, Xylan, Bay Networks, IBM SNA, Nortel Networks (click for certificates)
Soft Skills: Holden Sales Training, Walter Blackburn Presentation Training (click for certificates)

Achievement of Excellence FY1996, Exceptional Sales Contribution 2003, Exceptional Sales Contribution 2006, SE Of The Year 2012,  Microsoft/Brocade Button Award 2012, 10 Year Long Service Award 2013, Contribution Award 2016 (click for photos)


2019 to 2020: activereach
I returned to the VAR  community with reseller activereach in 2019 with a brief to head up PreSales and to help bring in new revenue streams in cyber-security, as well as Data Centre and networking.

Having seen the evolution of both the cyber attack surface and the sophistication of attacks during my networking career, I wanted to expand my knowledge of contemporary endpoint and cloud computing security stacks. This role provided the perfect opportunity to do this and engaging with specialist vendors in this market, such as Netskope, Crowdstrike, Swimlane, eSentire, Attivo and Cisco Umbrella allowed me to both expand my expertise and to win new deals. I also continued my involvement with data centre architectures, open systems network operating systems and automation working in conjunction with Mellanox and Cumulus.

During my tenure, I also presented at a number of marketing events, including a very successful and well attended Supercharge event at Mercedes world covering EDR, CASB and SOAR, a Cumulus open networking test drive at The Gherkin and an office based Lunch & Learn session where I covered attack evolution and a deconstruction of the recent Travelex ransomware attack. I also wrote technical logs on Cyber Security Threats in a Digitally Transformed World and Why Enterprises Should Consider Moving To Open Source Networking
In a growing company where the divide between the sales and technical departments was still in evidence, I was able to bring my experience in translating the demands of the sales cycle and technical demands of new product training to bear, to help smooth the process of qualification, proposal, implementation and support. I also passed accreditation exams for Netskope, eSentire, Cisco and Flowmon.

2008 to 2018: Brocade

Joined Brocade through the acquisition of Foundry in late December 2008. Completed basic Fibre Channel training and 8 Gbps FC/basic DCX training in Jan 2009.   Won a new project for City based finance client's network, Insight Investment, just prior to the Brocade acquisition of Foundry, which included Foundry Brocade BigIron RX core LAN switches and Brocade DCX SAN directors (product ranges of both the acquiring and acquired companies). Initially won the contract to replace the existing core but went on to replace the entire network edge and therefore displacing Cisco completely from the network

Took a lead roll in promoting and winning Brocade Ethernet Fabric customers in 2010, including a major Data Centre with Linklaters and deployments with several media companies in Soho, London (e.g. Moving Picture Company, Rushes, Deluxe etc.). My association with MPC has been a long one, since first working on the project for their core BigIron RX router in 2006 and going on to provide them with VDX switches, including the VDX 8770 chassis to replace the BigIron RX in 2014.

Ran Networking Academy session for Brocade IP/Ethernet Partners/VARs, presenting on MLX Technical Deep Dive.

Won a Sales/Pre-Sales Incentive Prize in 2011 for the highest revenue for Ethernet Fabric in the UK (an engraved high end watch)

Personally managed, organised, configured and installed the network for the first major hosted Microsoft services (Lync, Exchange, SharePoint) deployment in the UK in 2011 for Sipcom, with VDX Ethernet Fabric switches and ADX Application Delivery Controllers. Won a Brocade Button Award with a citation from Microsoft for this work.

Won a major new Data Centre deal for Friends Life in 2012 with TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) in a very competitive environment with extremely tight timescales. The design used used an innovative 2 tier architecture with an Ethernet Fabric based on Brocade VDX switches and a routing core based on MLXe-16 switches running VRFs for security isolation. The Cisco design and BOM for this project was completed before our first meeting and there were only 5 months left until the DC would go live and provide data and services. Nevertheless, this became another new business win for Brocade.

Ran an online webinar for Brocade IP/Ethernet Partners/VARs on NAS, iSCSI and VDX Integration.

Won SE Of The Year Award in 2012. Given 10 Year Long Service Award in 2013.

Underwent full Challenger Sales training, in four stages and, using the 4K UHD movie post production campaign as a real customer example, awarded Challenger Champion status at the Sales Kick Off conference in San Jose 2014.

Following the take-over of Insight Investment by BNY Mellon, with a Cisco corporate standard, continued and expanded the trusted-advise relationship to win a project to replace the existing network with VDX 8770 chassis switches.

Won a Contribution Award in 2016  for handling the IP and Ethernet Fabric elements of the ESMCP (Emergency Services Mobile Communications Program) project, involving an order for over 100 VDX switches, with Motorola Computacentre and EMC

2003 to 2008:

Foundry NetworksJoined Foundry Networks as Pre-Sales System Engineer as part of the small, focussed UK team.Worked in the Enterprise vertical sector. Completed a number of major installations using FastIron Core Switches and FastIron Edge Switches (FES). Carried out design and implementation of IP telephony VoIP networks using a QoS enabled, resilient BigIron Switch core supporting IEEE 802.3af POE (Power Over Ethernet) FES switches for London based clients such as CEB (Corporate Executive Board) in Holborn.

Acted as Foundry design lead and technical point of contact for major clients in the rapidly expanding online betting sector. Carried out design and implementation work for Betfair on their London Data Centre and resilient MAN, using Foundry MRP (Metro Ring Protocol).Carried out lab testing and approval for Foundry ServerIron L4/7 load balancers and support for GSLB and SSL for British Telecom Retail.Won Exceptional Contribution Sales award at 2004 Annual Foundry conference in Santa Clara Ca.

Became SE for Foundry UK's largest account, BBC, in 2005. Carried out QoS testing at their White City labs for approval and deployment of Siemens HiPath VoIP/IPT. Acted as Technical Account Manager for BBC Broadcast's transition to RedBee Media. Took lead role in testing and deployment of ServerIrons for L4/7 SLB projects at BBC, including installation of complex active/active HA Pair SLB configuration and subsequent detailed L7 healthcheck development for Livelink server application. 

Moved to form new account team in 2006 focused on accounts in the Finance sector, primarily in the City of London.Won a major project for a rapidly growing FX trading company, ODL Securities. Carried out full testing and implementation of ODLs multicast trading platforms over a state of the art 10 GbE backbone network, using a dual BigIron RX-16 core switches and multiple FastIron GS edge switches with dual-homed 10 GbE uplinks, running 802.1w RSTP, VRRPe and UDLD resilience. Implemented 10 GbE Server load balancers for ODL's web based applications, including integrated SSL termination/acceleration and certificate handling. Won Exceptional Contribution Sales award at 2006

Won Exceptional Contribution Sales Award at 2006 Annual Foundry conference in Santa Clara California
Won a key new project for a new Data Centre and MAN routing infrastructure for Ocado, amidst strong competition from the incumbent supplier, Cisco. In very tight timescales, carried out full design, integration and interoperability testing with existing Cisco edge switches using MRP, VSRP. RSTP protocols and layer 2 ACLs. This has probably been the most memorable first customer meeting of my career, as they had intended to cancel it because the project was going to Cisco but eventually this meeting lasted a full 6 hours and lead to a new business account win of $1.4M within 5 weeks.

1999 to 2002: Nortel Networks

Joined Nortel Networks, the amalgamated company of Northern Telecom (Nortel) and Bay Networks, as a Pre-Sales System Engineer in 1999. Worked as the technical point of contact for several of the largest corporate accounts as part of the "direct touch" London City Sales Team. Completed numerous training courses on all of the Nortel Networks' Enterprise Solutions product and technology portfolio, including next generation routing-switches, advanced IP routing, secure VPNs, policy based networking, IP telephony, Optical DWDM etc.

Went on to perform the Technical Account Management role for Nortel network's largest City account, HSBC, with one of the largest deployments of Accelar 1200 routing switches. Acted as the London technical design authority on Nortel Networks Enterprise Solutions' largest switched MAN project, encompassing Passport 15000/ Passport 6000 multi-service/ATM core switches, Centillion 1000 ATM switches, Accelar 1200 Gigabit Ethernet switches and BayStack 450 workgroup switches.

Took the technical lead on Nortel's largest LAN project to date in EMEA, the HSBC new HQ, a 44 storey headquarters building in Docklands, London: a flagship converged network  supporting data, voice, video and wireless technologies for over 8000 users, with Passport 8600 switches, OPTera DWDM, Alteon Web switches and Option 81c PBXs. Developed  a series of technical presentations on key subjects, such as IP Quality of Service, IP multicast etc.

Moved  internally in 2000 to the IP Services Business Group with Nortel's Service Provider & Carrier Group, supporting the Shasta 5000 BSN (Broadband Service Node): an "Intelligent Subscriber Edge" Broadband IP Gateway, delivering 32,000 wire-rate instances of stateful firewall, Anti-spoofing, Diffserv QoS, IPsec VPNs, web-steering, policy-forwarding, accounting and Personal Portals.

Worked on projects for major Telcos, Service Providers, ISPs and Wholesalers including early roll-outs of UK DSL services, broadband satellite streaming video delivery and residential Internet connectivity over cable TV infrastructures. Also developed the inclusion of the Shasta BSN and Alteon 780 Web switches in Nortel Networks reference architecture for IDCs (Internet Data Centres) and ASPs (Application Service Providers). Wrote White paper on VoIP/IPTelphony technology.

Worked on a number of Wireless Internet access projects, in the 2.5G (GPRS) environment and early 3G (UMTS) roll-out, with the Shasta BSN acting as an IP service node and as a GGSN (Gateway GPRS Serving Node). Acted as the Shasta technical point of contact for one of the UK's first WASP (Wireless ASP) solutions.

1997 to 1999: ACI (Anixter Communication & Integration)

Joined as Senior Pre-Sales SE in 1997, primarily responsible for Bay Networks Products and ATM backbone switching designs for ACI customers in the Finance/Consultancy and High Street retail brand market spaces. Acted as technical point of contact for the OSPF migration for the largest Bay Networks router WAN in the UK. Developed and oversaw an acceptance testing regime for a 12 month migration strategy from an ATM PVC based core implementation to LANE and PNNI for a market leading retail organisation. Extended product knowledge to include the Xylan Omniswitch ATM range, via training at the Amsterdam HQ. Attended the Bay Networks Barracuda Sales/Pre-Sales training conference in Vilamoura, Portugal. Participated in regular non-disclosure meetings at Bay Networks EMEA HQ in Valbonne, Cote D'Azur, as the UK representative. Gave a series of customer presentations at the ACI "Breakfast Club" seminars on implementing ATM switching.

Took on new role in 1998, as Bay Networks Technical Account Manager: a dual role with both technical and commercial responsibility. Responsible for all Bay Networks products and designs, organisation of regular technical forums and distribution of all technical information internally to ACI. Re-launched the Bay/ACI relationship with a series of multi-media presentations, under the name "Synergy" (click for movie).  Targeted on ACI's Bay Networks sales revenue and responsible for commercial liaison, tele-marketing plans, incentive schemes, partner business plans etc.Attended Bay Networks Barracuda IV Sales/Pre-Sales training in Hamburg and the Strategic Product Rountable, a by-invitation feedback session for Bay Networks' key partners, in Valbonne, Cote D'Azur. Wrote press-release articles for Bay Networks "Switched On" magazine, detailing ACI case histories on large projects and new technologies.   

Championed the technical and commercial aspects of Bay Networks Accelar layer 3 routing switches within ACI, including technical design surgeries, customer evaluation programs and mailshots. Presented on Gigabit Ethernet Vs ATM technology, at the ACI "Breakfast Club" seminars. Attended Connect 99, the first Bay Networks Annual Technical Conference, in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

1995 to 1997: Logical Networks

Joined as Senior Network Consultant in 1995 and rapidly took on internal product responsibility for the newly amalgamated Bay Networks range, in addition to tender responses, network design and presentation with 3Com, Sonix, Centillion, Agile, Controlware etc. Typically involved with highly resilient LAN/WAN designs for major Corporate clients, often in business critical applications. Attended NAPS95 (Network Architects Summit) at Bay Networks Corporate headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Furthered ATM knowledge to become in-house specialist. Carried out design and critical acceptance testing for Bay Networks 1st generation EtherCell/LattisCell ATM technology, running ATM Forum LANE version 1.0. Majoring with the city sales team, gained detailed experience of IDP market data services, such as Reuters Triarch. Designed Logical Network's first cell switching design, for a large dealing room environment in the city.

Attended the 1996 NEDC (Network Engineering Design Conference), in Malaga, Spain. Furthered Bay Networks ATM design experience with the acquired Centillion TokenSpeed and EtherSpeed products. Acted as single technical point of contact for Logical Network’s largest account: including Wellfleet router upgrades for the OSPF/Frame Relay based WAN and migration from the city based FDDI campus to an ATM MAN, supporting multiple VLANs and virtual routing. Expanded ATM knowledge to include multi-media products from Bay Networks/FVC. Designed pilot project for international video-conferencing, based on H.320 and 25 Mbps to the desk ATM technology for city trading environment.

Extended 3Com product expertise to include Cellplex ATM products: designed a complex, resilient LAN for large pharmaceutical concern using this technology. Designed and oversaw the first Bay Networks Model 5000BH ATM network in the UK, for a mission critical city dealing organisation. Pioneered the implementation of Centillion GIGArray designs within Logical Networks, including redundant, load-sharing PVC/PVP configurations, interacting with Ethernet based dual-homing resolved by Spanning Tree.

1986-1995: TIS /MiSYS

Promoted to Technical Support Specialist in 1988, following software training (C programming, Informix SQL,TCP/IP). Responsible for System tuning, kernel re-compilation, panic debugging, equipment evaluation, training course development, large data centre installations, including 3 phase phase mains supply, UPS, air conditioning, systems resource tuning etc. Wrote the UPSmon autoshutdown software package in C language (V1.0,V2.0, TCP/IP remote version). Managed marketing, mailshots, pricing strategy, VAR network, internal stock (wrote SQL database to generate licence agreement numbers). Personally ported to most of the major Unix platforms. Produced various Technical Articles on environmental, physical, procedural issues which were used as the MISYS official stance on these matters.

Promoted to Technical Consultant in 1992, responsible for providing support to large customers and working in close liaison with manufacturers (e.g. Mips, Spider, Retix etc.) Under the banner of "MISYS TOTAL SUPPORT", provided environmental, network and systems performance analysis on a consultancy basis, with the department operating as a profit centre.

Ran in-house training courses on Computer Technology/Ethernet/Token Ring etc. for employees and customers. Carried out TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) of network cable installations and analysis of TCP/IP, IPX trace dumps from network "sniffer" equipment and LAN accreditation to IEEE802.3/802.5 standards. Liased with MiSYS sales companies (Misys Communications, TIS Ltd) on LAN/WAN topologies. Acted in project lead role for new products. e.g. Gandalf Premiere Bridge range.

Developed company business plan in 1993 to move into Network Computing arena and presented to MD at board level.This plan lead to the restructuring of the MiSYS Computer Services Division (MCM, MiSYS Communications, TIS & Zygal). Relocated to the Bicester offices to develop the Network Computing initiative. Received further training and evaluated Netware 3/4, Banyan Vines, MSWindows for workgroups etc.

Seconded to Misys Communications in 1994, the group's structured cabling and network hardware/services supplier, to fill in responsibility for the vacant Technical Managers position. Working in a pre-sales role, designed and presented solutions to customers based on 3Com (Superstack, MSH, Lanplex) and Chipcom (Online, Oncore) hubs utilising 10BaseT, 10base5/2, FDDI. WAN solutions based on 3Com (Netbuilder), Spider (Integrator) etc. WAN bridge/ routers, utilising ISDN, Kilostream, Megastream etc.

Designed and oversaw technical aspects of MiSYS Divisional subnetted IP WAN during1995, including connection to The Internet, using Cisco 2500 routers via ISDN.

1980-1985: MBS (Micro Business Systems)

Joined this small hard-working company as a Systems Customer Engineer, servicing Jacquard minicomputers (a bit-slice memory mapped crt system based on the Data General backplane). Repaired Systems, Pertec 24 Meg removable platter hard disks and peripherals down to component level on site, including oscilloscope set-up of drive servo and C.E. alignment.

Promoted to Technical Support Specialist in 1982, responsible for customer and engineer support, Sysgen of System II OS for tuning/hardware additions. Wrote various Assembler diagnostic aids and debugged customer SBASIC code. Support of Altos range (8600,68000,586,986) taken on, following Xenix training. Worked on early network technologies such as Altos worknet (RS422) and PC CSMA/CD coax LAN's.

Promoted to Technical Services Manager in 1985, responsible for Altos/Xenix/Unix upgrades, system site surveys, system moves, kernel recompilation, data transfer from systeM II hash files to C-ISAM using in-house conversion software.

1979-1980: CFM (Computer Field Maintenance)

Joined the West London Service Centre as a Junior Customer Engineer. After Extensive basic computer training (binary numbering systems, Boolean algebra, logic truth tables, CPU architecture etc.), carried out field repairs of 6800/8080/8085/Z80 based systems running C/PM. Promoted to Systems Customer Engineer following further training and work experience, maintaining minicomputers (e.g. DEC PDP8e), comms equipment and peripherals down to PCB level on site.


Remuneration: Basic + OTE + Stock Options
Benefits: Company car allowance and fuel, mobile phone, Private health plan, Company contributory pension scheme
Current Car: Lotus Exige V6 Cup & Noble M12 GTO (privately owned)


Club Lotus - Guigario Turbo Esprit V8 Project
Motorsport - Brands Hatch School graduation class B
Open University - Physics associate undergraduate
Running - completed 1993 London Marathon and 2016 Run2London 10 Miler