Meet Donna Horton, Your Automated Solutions Engineer Extraordinaire

Donna Horton Automation Solutions Engineer

You might have talked with Donna as she trained you on Automate as an automated solutions engineer, or helped you solve a problem as a technical support representative.  Now you have a chance to catch up with our ASE Superstar.


Donna, you started out at Network Automation as a technical support rep and then became an automated solutions engineer (ASE)—suffice it to say, you know NAI and Automate pretty well.  What are the different aspects of those jobs?

The technical support rep position was all about problem solving and working with customers, development and quality assurance departments to ensure customer satisfaction.  The solutions engineering position involves multiple aspects of working with the products.  I do everything from training, demonstrations, implementations, consultations, writing blogs, creating technical how-to videos, sample tasks and workflows, creating web content and collateral data, customer auditing, problem solving, working with customers to continuously ensure satisfaction (which I enjoy), as well as working with everyone in the NAI company.  As an engineer, I am the product expert on all the features and functionality of Automate.

Where are you from?

Los Angeles, California

Where did you go to school?

I went to the University of Phoenix and majored in business administration, after spending 10 years at Hewlett Packard and 2 years at Symantec working as a network administrator, systems administrator, and systems engineer.  I wanted to start a computer training school or work on the business side of engineering technology.

How long have you been with NAI?

I have been working at NAI, since July of 2010.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges customers will face with Automate?

The biggest challenge is writing a workflow and/or a task to replace a business IT process.  Once the task and/or workflow has been created/written, then customers can relax knowing that Automate is taking care of the processes and handling the work as designed. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect is when I deliver training and customers leave understanding the product, equipped to completely manage the application, task, workflows, troubleshoot etc.  Whenever I have an opportunity to follow up with a customer and review his or her automation project, I am always so proud to see a working task/workflow...or several!

Do you use Automate in your daily activities? If so, how?

Yes, I have a task called “Daily Startup” which contains a login trigger that kicks off when I log in.  The task opens Microsoft Outlook, logs me into the company intranet, and Microsoft Lync’s Instant Messenger.

What is something your co-workers don’t know about you?

I have completed over 12 Los Angeles Marathons and rode in about five LA Bike Tours!

Way to go, Donna. How about your favorite comfort food?

I have several favorite comfort foods; my first is Wor Won Ton Soup!  My second is homemade hard shell Chicken Tacos with everything on them from melted cheese, sliced avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, black olives, and salsa.  Third is a Turkey Burger with sautéed mushrooms, Muenster cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes on an onion wheat bun with homemade French fries. 

Your mac and cheese is always one of the most popular dishes at our company potlucks, where did you learn how to cook?

I learned to cook from my mom, sisters, husband, Food TV Network, specifically Emerald Lagasse and Paula Dean, and the Internet.

If you had one super power what would it be?

My one super power would be to have the ability to heal people with one touch!

And finally, if you were to be an Automate Action, which one would you be?

I would be a SharePoint Action!