Michael J. Graven
tel. +1 (612) 568-5772
4127 Abbott Ave S
Minneapolis MN 55410-1004 US
 View Michael J. Graven's LinkedIn profile My LinkedIn profile


Experienced, versatile technical sales professional with a history of selling products and services in new, security-related areas. Skilled at managing customers, co-workers and projects in challenging business and technical situations. Exceptional communicator of technical information to diverse audiences.

Laguna Niguel, CA

Director, Sales
Alexandria, VA

Director, Sales
  • Delivered and led $33MM of sales over four years. Exceeded annual quota from 113-160%.
  • Grew product-related bookings from $0 to $16MM/year. Grew customer base from 0 to over 400.
  • Expanded sales focus from government and defense to energy, banking and the Fortune 1000.
  • Hired, trained and led a team of five “double threat” AE/SE's, while still selling as an individual contributor. Also trained new hires outside direct supervision.
  • Negotiated contract terms for product, managed services and professional services sales.
  • Forecast, tracked and reported key performance indicators for company leadership.

Manager, Sales Engineering
  • First purchase order. First non-preexisting customer. First million-dollar product sale.
  • Sole quota-carrying salesperson from 2007-2010. Did own meetings, demos, pilot projects and negotiated deals.
  • Utility player across sales, marketing, product management and even IT.
  • Defined and administered CRM and compensation systems.
  • Created monthly webinar program with marketing staff, expanded it to two tracks. Wrote, edited and presented material. Grew audience to over 600 attendees.
  • Wrote and edited early product collateral, presentations, white papers and documentation.
San Mateo, CA

Senior Sales Engineer
  • Founding member of sales engineering team. Successfully improved sales due to previous experience as a customer.
  • Communicated both technical and business value to prospective customers, using standard and vertical-specific messaging. Often conducted prospect meetings with little or no assistance from account executive.
  • Created and presented product information; assisted marketing with editing and message development.
  • Designed and conducted an on-site and remote trial program, helping customers experience Elemental's product in their own environment. Then, refined trial program so it led smoothly into implementation for established customers.
  • Developed Elemental's hands-on training program. Improved channel leverage and customer satisfaction by teaching partners and customers.
  • Applied industry knowledge to competitive position: analyzed competitors from a customer's view, then helped sales and product management understand the implications of changes in the marketplace.
  • Served as field liaison to engineering organization, documenting and escalating defects and enhancement requests. Regularly met with product management to influence development direction.

Manager, Information Technology
  • Rebuilt IT infrastructure for reliability, performance and frugality. Converted from ad hoc operations to stable, cost-effective services model.
  • Designed, budgeted and executed three major infrastructure expansion projects: redeployed internal IT infrastructure, from network switches up to new applications; and built two engineering test environments, totaling over 250 servers, all of which were remotely managed but fully available to engineering staff.
  • Performed most technical work as well as management and architecture responsibilities. Mentored and developed one junior system administrator.
  • Selected vendors; negotiated contracts and terms; managed business relationships. Constantly balanced technical and cash-flow requirements.
  • Established policies and processes for efficient operation without undue overhead.
San Mateo, CA

Director, Information Technology
  • Directed, led and supervised work of ten technical staffers. Created and executed $2.0MM budget to deliver IT services to internal customers. Reduced spending and headcount where appropriate by consolidating services and eliminating unnecessary ones, saving $0.5MM yearly.
  • Deployed new services in capital- and time-constrained business conditions. Reused equipment and resources to create new IT solutions with minimal cash outlay.
  • Dramatically improved customer satisfaction. Changed IT from perceived obstacle to acknowledged asset.
Consulting Senior Network and Security Architect
  • Reviewed and improved security and networking practice in an established IT environment. Identified areas of concern; recommended courses of action; implemented recommendations.
  • Simplified communications architecture to conform to current best practices. Reverse-engineered significant portions of underdocumented network; delivered concise, accurate documentation and analysis.
  • Improved performance of public website, international links, remote access infrastructure, internal networking and systems. Performed preventive maintenance and updated systems to current revisions.
  • Performed network and physical security assessment of an acquired subsidiary; recommended and implemented solutions to substantial issues discovered.
  • Enabled organization to continue operating at greatly reduced headcount by helping junior members of the team develop their skills and knowledge.

Mountain View, CA

Technical Manager, Enterprise Infrastructure Services
  • Managed and led a team of ten senior professionals focused on designing secure, scalable, reliable IT infrastructures for the company's 80,000 employees.
  • Directed efforts to consolidate, create and improve enterprise directory services during and after the AOL / Time-Warner merger. 
    • Coordinated and integrated resources and information from disparate sources including HR, IT, Legal, business applications, and operational security. Assisted management and internal customers with striking the balance between business information privacy and availability.
    • Managed implementation phase: budgeted, purchased, resolved technical conflicts, estimated and scheduled work.
  • Communicated regularly with customers, stakeholders, and other interested parties about how secure IT services might be of use. Advocated use of central authentication mechanism with distributed authorization responsibility.
  • Advocated and taught secure extranet construction techniques and services. Educated, re-educated, and helped a traditional IT department understand a new way of deploying enterprise services. The notion was adopted, and new IT initiatives began to be evaluated against it.
  • Served as on-demand consultant to other groups within IT services. Frequently lent expertise and opinions to projects in need of assistance with networking, directory services, and security decisions.

Senior Network Architect
  • Designed strategy for and directed first implementation of enterprise network for industry-leading software company.
  • Led implementation and engineering teams, mentored junior team members, and taught good data and voice networking techniques inside and outside the network group.
  • Successfully led and/or managed several large-scale network implementations; LAN infrastructure upgrades, secure extranet construction, and internal data and network security management.
  • Balanced business needs and security requirements in several challenging situations related to the AOL/Netscape/Sun Microsystems iPlanet business unit. Many of the challenges were technical; even more were political and cultural. The resulting network and system design met the engineers' needs, the lawyers' requirements, the managers' budgets, and the mental health professionals' deductibles.
  • Designed and led implementation of a VPN remote access arrangement, quashing a $2MM run rate during the company's difficult financial times. The new system offered increased security, lowered remote-access costs by 80%, enabled assignment of remaining direct costs to the responsible organization, and significantly increased employee satisfaction. Deployed into production at the leading edge of its viability in order to secure maximum ROI.
  • Served as informal liaison between parts of a nationwide network engineering group. Frequently travelled to build good relationships with customers and coworkers in all parts of the company.
  • Managed vendor relationships, advocating new features and services with preferred suppliers. Frequently assisted outside firms with opinions and guidance on new product requirements and techniques.

  Senior Technical Staff Member
  • Redesigned, documented and supervised deployment of new network infrastructure for Consumer Laboratory experimental use, substantially improving performance. Network serves over 100 technical staff at three geographically dispersed sites, using several major network protocols and transport media. 
  • Designed, deployed, documented and supported the community network at Celebration, Florida. System provides electronic mail, bulletins, chat and Web service to community members and is a test bed for new communications services. Project delivered on time, on budget, and met or exceeded expectations of internal and external customers. 
Member of Technical Staff
  • Designed and supervised many communications infrastructure projects: finalized and maintained departmental television, observation and video systems, directed procurement and installation of interactive voice response platforms, supervised installation of wide-area data and videoconferencing networks. 
  • Developed for testing an integrated messaging service that combines voice, facsimile and electronic mail services; demonstrated prototype service in studies. 
  • Scripted, produced and engineered video and multimedia productions for external relations and experimental use. Used state-of-the-art production techniques to create compelling presentations.
  Master of Science in Computer Science. Coursework and interests in networking, distributed systems and computer graphics. Completed degree requirements in one calendar year under AT&T Bell Laboratories' OYOC program.

  Bachelor of Arts in Computer Studies. Concentration in mathematics, extensive coursework and practical experience in networking.

  • Outstanding personal and written communications skills:
    • effective at communicating technically complex material to a diverse audience
    • credible with senior business leaders as well as technical high achievers
    • comfortable briefing, advocating a course of action, and leading technical discussion
    • conversational, accessible yet detail-oriented
  • Able to provide useful insight in areas outside of direct expertise
  • Experience managing high-achieving technical and sales professionals
  • Over 23 years of experience in system and network security
    • Threat-centric understanding of targeted and opportunistic actors
    • Securing UNIX, Windows and IP systems from intentional compromise
    • Incident response best practices
    • Working comprehension of x86 malware and Windows system internals
    • Doesn't glaze over when talking with malware and intelligence analysts
    • Able to say “APT” without snickering (and explain why)
  • Extensive internetworking knowledge and practice – though it's been a while since I drove routers for food.
    • In-depth knowledge of IPv4 protocol suite and network design issues
    • Cisco IOS configuration and management
    • Common LAN media and protocols; wide-area network systems
    • Security system design and practice
  • Systems design, analysis and maintenance: Solaris, UNIX systems, Windows