Member Spotlight, November 2022 - Manuel Bock

Zscaler Member Spotlight: Meet Manuel Bock

Manuel, Zenith Trailblazer steps into the Zenith Community spotlight for November 2022 and we are excited to to share their story!

Manuel has been active on the Zenith Community since July 2019.

Read on to learn more about his passions for Mountainbiking and for life outside of IT

Q. How did you start using Zscaler Products?

I had my first contact with Zscaler at an IT/cloud security service provider here in Germany around 2017. Due to the worst possible experiences with on-premise security solutions, Zscaler was the far more modern and advanced solution. Soon after, I had the unique opportunity to rebuild the IT of a mid-sized company on a greenfield cloud-native basis. The path was clear: no more on-premise solutions in the branch offices (except for routers, access points, and a few switches). Due to the shared history with the company, I enjoyed a high level of trust and was thus able to design the IT security according to my ideas in addition to the general IT architecture. Zscaler ZIA and ZPA were active from the beginning and so it was easy to implement and roll out the services.

Q. Tell us about your family.

My wife Geli (3rd from left ;-)) and I have two kids (2nd and 4th from left) and live in Munich, Bavaria next to the famous “Englischer Garten” and various beer gardens like “Chinesischer Turm” and “Hirschau”.

Q. What are some life achievements that you are proud of?

Life achievements? Actually, I still feel too young for life achievements. But when I’m asked the question: my family, being a dad to a great son and a wild daughter.

Q. Tell us about your organization. (specifically, your department/team)

Here at XEMPUS, we build a digital solution for pension and corporate health insurance. Quite popular topics here in the DACH region. Right now I represent the team “protect & defense” and mainly take care of the security of our systems, cloud architecture, and cloud transition of our environments.

Q. What is a typical day in your life?

Coffee, even more coffee, looking at computer screens, doing sports, quality time with my family, and later in the evening enjoying video games from vintage to the latest shit.

Q. How did you grow your career and what advice would you give to people looking to forge ahead on the same path? What are essential skills to develop?

Easy one: ask questions, stay curious and keep in mind there is a world outside IT.

Q. You attended Zenith Live - 2022 tell us about that experience {only if they attended}

To be honest the EMEA Zenith Live in Munich was lacking a little bit of the enthusiasm and charm of e.g. the event in Lisboa. But in the end, I really enjoyed meeting friends, colleagues, and other nerds :wink: again and discuss everything and anything and 42.

Q. You’re a Zenith Trailblazer - what do you enjoy most about being in the Trailblazer program?

I really was amazed and felt honored seeing my name on that Zenith Trailblazers sign in the community booth. It is a pity I could not attend the Zenith Live in Vegas in person and “only” have seen it on Vanitha’s LinkedIn post.

Q. What made you originally want to join the Zenith Community?

It was 2019 and we just went live with our Zscaler environment. And as every time you have new toys, there were a bunch of questions, flaws or strange behaviors and I was looking for advice and hints and tips without bothering Zscaler support. Our initial deinterpreter was very diligent, but after a short time, he could no longer answer our questions. So I remembered someone talking about the community at Zenith 2018 in London…

Q. What is/are your favorite hobby(ies)

  • Our cottage in the Alps with wife and kids, chopping wood, hiking, and biking…
  • Mountainbiking (“if you want to go downhill you also have to go uphill” - no e-bikes here!)
  • Gravelbiking (also only muscle power…)
  • Computer-, arcade, and video games (any type and age, Amiga forever!)
  • Affordable vintage cars (e.g. ‘71 Fiat 500R)

Q. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Corsican Lonzu and bavarian beer (as you did not ask for “drink”).