Dynatrace Community is like a big, worldwide family. The family that does its best to support, help each other, and grow together along the way.
We’re very pleased that we can award Alicia Pepper with the Community Member of the Month recognition for August. Why? @alicia_pepper is a great example of a person focused on multidirectional development - combining professional development with attention to family values, able to reflect this into the business environment and our Community.
Can you tell a little bit about your professional life? Where do you work and what do you do in your job?
After graduating from Virginia Tech, with a degree in Industrial Systems Engineering and a minor in business, I was offered an amazing network support role in the Research Triangle in North Carolina with a large telecom company. This post-college opportunity afforded me on-the-job training and the ability to take on many roles. Toward the end of my 8 years in this role, my customer was a large company in the healthcare sector. I was fortunate enough to make lasting friendships and relationships in both industries. After taking 5 years off to raise my 3 kids, I was offered an incredible opportunity to work from home when my youngest twins began kindergarten.
Family is the driving force in my life, and I have appreciated the flexibility this industry has permitted me. Being a full-time telecommuter in a 7x24 industry, I have been able to manage my schedule to meet the needs of my family while still prioritizing my career and education. I believe this flexibility has contributed to the ultimate work/life balance and job satisfaction!
What is your story with Dynatrace? Why did you start using our products and for what project?
I currently work as the Dynatrace Managed application owner for an organization in the healthcare sector. I began using the legacy Compuware Server Vantage, AppMon, and DC RUM products about 10 years ago. As the Dynatrace suite has transformed, so has the adoption within our organization. After being a “customer” of the products for several years, the opportunity to support our on-premises deployments and assist other users to get the most from the monitoring was too good to pass up!
I love having the chance to showcase Dynatrace and introduce users to the level of data it can provide to proactively avoid, identify, and resolve issues is now part of my daily work. The opportunity to see results for the front-end healthcare customers that is achieved when the application developers use Dynatrace data to make improvements, efficiencies, and fixes are rewarding.
I feel fortunate to work and learn from our Customer Success Management and Insights team. Every meeting and interaction with these Dynatrace resources results in learning something new. When I get the opportunity to bring the Dynatrace insights team and application developers together there is always amazing discussion and specific improvements for the front-end customers!
Have you ever had any interesting use case for the Dynatrace platform that you found to be particularly intriguing? Could you tell us about it?
I think the distributed trace/pure path feature in Dynatrace always leads to intriguing discussions with our users. Unfortunately, we get pulled into assist teams after they have a repeated issue, they’re unable to resolve. When discussing their application flow verbally it never ceases to amaze me the difference between their perceived flow and the actual flow we find after Dynatrace is deployed. With so many legacy applications in our organization and normal resource turnover, Dynatrace gives an unbiased view of what is occurring vs. perception. With this view, we can often identify the issue quickly and effectively while simultaneously enabling application support to work better moving forward.
Why do you contribute to the Dynatrace Community and what part, or parts of it do you like the most?
and reviewing upcoming release notes, documentation, or upvoting/submitting Product Ideas (Request for Enhancements - RFE’s).
I believe I use the Product Ideas section most and therefore would say it’s my favorite 😊! I have been able to see firsthand the impact that our suggestions have on the Dynatrace product. Our team loves when our Product Ideas get upvotes, consideration, and integration into the product. I truly see Dynatrace Product Managers and Developers reviewing these and working to understand the suggestion and address it either with a coded fix or pointing out something we missed that already exists.
We review Product ideas we have opened or upvoted monthly. Dynatrace is constantly responding, reviewing, and working on them! As many of you know, this is not commonplace with other vendors we interact with. Often another vendor’s Product Ideas may sit for years with no response or acknowledgment. Dynatrace really achieves the collaboration of customer input and service. I’ve not worked with a vendor before who is so open to the customer’s needs and inputs. We have been fortunate enough to establish relationships with the same developers that we interact with within the community at Perform!
I STRONGLY encourage community users to get involved with the Product Ideas process. You don’t have to generate the RFE yourself, but Product Managers from Dynatrace have confirmed to us already that they do look at the upvotes to establish priority. If you see a Product Idea you’d find helpful use your voice and UPVOTE!
And how about your life outside IT – what is your biggest passion?
My family is the biggest part of my life outside work and the motivation for everything I do. My husband and I have 3 children (19, 17, and 17) - more like adults now! We’re extremely competitive and enjoy family game nights and anything sports related!
I spend 5-6 mornings a week working out at Burn Boot Camp! My fitness community helps to get me to get started the workday and (most importantly) relieves stress! I love that my husband and kids often attend with me! This was my absolute sanity throughout lockdown, and we participated in zoom camps and virtual challenges! With the support of Burn, we were able to increase our exercise throughout Covid and I met a personal goal of attending (live or virtually) 293 camps in 2021!
Most of my free time is spent volunteering and supporting my family’s activities. We’re active members in our High School Parent Teacher Association, Athletic Boosters, and Swim teams. I have served on the boards of all 3 and love donating my knowledge and time to support our students and teachers! I am looking forward to more free time as they each move on to the next chapter of their lives, but I know volunteering will remain a priority. My oldest just finished his freshman year at my alma mater, Virginia Tech. We enjoyed attending many football games this past fall we’re looking forward to fall season!
A real partnership can’t exist without close relationships and true care. Growing those relationships with customers and partners allows Dynatrace and the entire Community to drive product adoption, build strategic alignments, and deliver value. There’s nothing better than engaged users, shaping the product's future together with development teams!
Alicia, we’re really happy to have you in our Dynatrace Community and that you actively innovate with the Dynatrace team through product ideas. Great to see as well that you get satisfaction from your work by taking care of the infrastructure and data of your customers. Maybe the healthcare industry in which you work is not a coincidence. 😉