Homecoming: Thierry Demorre chases challenges back to Avanade
- Posted on October 22, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Give a technologist a puzzle and stand back.
Need to figure out a new way of doing something? No problem. Wonder if there’s a better way to get from A to Z? Let’s look.
That’s the story of Thierry Demorre’s career. Thierry, an Avanade senior director, is at heart a natural-born technologist. He began figuring out what has become today’s wired world back when there were no manuals, no internet, and the top-of-the-line operating system was Unix System V. Just a loose connection of curious people wondering what this new world of computers could do.
“You had to know your stuff,” he said. “Read the books, practice, experiment. There was no one to help you. There was not even really a community at first.”
Self-taught, Thierry, originally of Paris, France, first took his interest in technology to an early small software company. “When I joined, the company had about 20 employees. I was the IT guy. No one knew anything about IT, not even me.”
Over the years as that small start-up grew, Thierry remained the sole IT person – until a buddy introduced him to Avanade. “He said, ‘Think of it as a billion-dollar startup where you can experience the latest Microsoft technologies,” Thierry said. He joined Avanade in 2001, a year after the company opened its doors. Today, Thierry’s employee dashboard tells him that 99% of people at Avanade’s 39,000 employees joined after he did.
In 2006, hungry for new technology challenges, he transferred to the U.S. team, which offered a wider variety of client engagements and industries. A few years later, his curiosity struck again. At the end of a client engagement for a financial services company, the client asked him to stay on.
“It was one of those opportunities,” he said. “When you are a consultant, you design, you find solutions, implement them and then go to the next customer. Here I had the opportunity to stay behind. The major factor for me was, I had designed that system. I knew it was good, but would it work as we expected? This was an opportunity to see an engagement from the other side.”
So began his career move into financial services technology. In the next few years, he worked for a number of companies, always searching for new ways to use his technical expertise. “As often happens with me, I got bored,” said says with a laugh. But through it all, he never lost track of Avanade.
At a financial services technology conference a couple of years ago, he ran into a number of Avanade friends. “They told me I should come back,” he said. Six months later, he did.
“It was an eye-opening moment where I realized I was missing the variety of clients you encounter when you work in a company like Avanade.”
There’s been no chance to get bored since he returned, Thierry said, once again a senior director based in Avanade’s New York office. “I’ve been pulled left and right onto all different types of accounts. I try not to get a particular label applied to me so that I can navigate the technologies and offerings and be relevant where my experience and skills are.”
That’s what happens when you never stop learning.
Being back at Avanade is like what he thought it would be – and more, Thierry said.
“Here everyone is focusing on the success of our clients. If we need someone who has specific skills, we can find the people we need for the perfect solution. We’re a real community. We’re all working toward the same goal.”
In fact, he’s sold enough on Avanade that he has recommended it to his daughter. A recent computer science graduate, she has joined Avanade, as well, as a consultant.
Overall, it’s been quite a ride, from the early days of rudimentary IT to today’s cloud, AI and machine learning environments. With the rapid pace of technology evolution and a world full of client technology puzzles to solve, we’re pretty sure Thierry will find plenty of challenges to keep himself engaged.