DCN May 2016 - Page 15

meet me room What are the biggest changes you have seen in the data centre industry? Resilience, availability and performance is moving further up the infrastructure stack which we are seeing migrate from expensive branded hardware up into intelligent software. Another significant change is the decoupling and commoditisation of servers, network and storage. The traditional data centre tiers have collapsed, leveraging local server storage, especially the use of flash to create virtual server SANs. This proves that the hyper-converged infrastructure is shaking up the data centre and is booming now. That said, innovation is sweeping the data centre faster than we’ve ever seen before – better architectures are being created allowing better flexibility at lower cost. Are you able to tell us briefly about any projects you are currently working on? We have a great mix of projects on the go right now. Probably the most exciting project underway is the scaling up of our hyper-converged all-flash appliance business – aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. Our hyper-converged appliance simplifies the management of servers, storage and networking into high performance scale-out data centre building blocks. This enables IT managers to get back to looking after business imperatives rather than spending unnecessary time on managing their IT infrastructure. Recently our global account team landed a major project with a leading investment bank to deliver an optimised desktop workspace to 75,000 staff, which should keep us busy over the next few months! What is the main motivation in the work that you do? Working with extremely talented peers who drive change and disrupt traditional thinking when it comes to storage definitely motivates me in my work. I love being a part of that ‘lightbulb’ moment when a prospective customer or partner realises the value our software can unlock. Having this as a part of my job makes getting out of bed every morning an easy task! What qualities do you value in the people around you? I try to surround myself with people who have integrity, humility and diligence as I think these are all important qualities. However, one quality that stands out above the rest for me is passion. Working with people who are genuinely passionate about our company vision, culture and DNA is a great environment to be in. When there is a genuine belief in the work we do, it feels as if every moment is spent on an adventure whilst effortlessly driving a common message and outcome.   What is the toughest lesson you have ever been taught in your career? I have been in this industry for many years and I truly believe that you have to take the rough with the smooth and always face everything head on. In earlier careers I had often avoided tough or tricky situations, especially if it meant confrontation, by trying to work things out behind the scenes or I would try to work around a difficult situation rather than simply addressing the issue. Although by doing this I learned that this often makes a situation far more difficult to resolve over time. By having I try to surround myself with people who have integrity, humility and diligence as I think these are all important qualities. learnt how to handle difficult people and tackling tough situations head on, I realised that you can actually sort out issues much more quickly and effectively. People react well to thoughtful and direct communication and the sooner a problem is addressed, the easier it is to fix.       What are your hobbies/ interests outside work? I have a wife and two young children who delightfully consume nearly every spare moment that I have outside of work. Although I am a qualified paragliding pilot (paragliding = taking off on a hillside and working your way up to the clouds by riding thermals) and I try to get out and enjoy the odd long weekend away flying when I can. My all time favourite paragliding spot has to be the Greek peninsula, the views from that high are breathtaking. 15