Making an active start on IP telephony

Making an active start on IP telephony

What was your first job?

My first real job was working for call centre solution provider, Davox Corporation (now known as Aspect Software). I joined them as a customer support engineer. I was responsible for support as well as programming various call centre solutions such as predictive diallers, communication servers and interactive voice response (IVR). I was based in Sydney, covering the whole of Australia, and worked with the management team for eight years.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

My initial interest was in gadgets, then I studied programming at high school. I was amazed at what I could achieve on an Atari system. I mainly worked with programs related to games, but became interested in the back-end programs as well as programming at the CPU level.

How did you progress to where you are today?

I have to thank my lucky stars but I wish it was that easy. Dedication to the responsibilities that I was given and ensuring I gave 100 per cent on the tasks I took on has paid off. Some of my greatest achievements over the years have been building organisations from the ground up.

In my last role I joined a multinational organisation - Aspect Software - which had two people in Asia-Pacific. I looked at the opportunity as a challenge. By the time I left, there were 16 offices and 180 employees in the region. Our revenues grew from a mere 2 per cent of global revenue to 20 per cent. I joined GlobalConnect as managing director last August.

What do you like about your current job?

My role is diverse and full of action. I don't like sitting around and like to keep occupied and achieve results. The task has to be mentally and physically challenging. The pace we work at is also exciting. In this industry, you have to be ready for the unexpected. Some of the customers we have operate in very competitive environments and it's important for them to know that when they have an urgent requirement, they can rely on GlobalConnect for their technology needs.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

I was the regional vice-president at Aspect and being part of an organisation that grew significantly is one of the highlights in my career. I was able to play an integral role positioning the company and its products in countries where it had no presence and enabling it to become a dominant player within a short timeframe.

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

Some organisations are in this industry for a short time and they will promise anything to win the business. Customers have become wary of these organisations due to their own negative experience, but now they look at all vendors with caution.

What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?

Unified communication (UC) where you can perform multiple operations from a single solution. This would be achievable regardless of where you are based. One way to look at it is combining the plain desktop phone set with today's IP telephony environment. In addition, you can load applications that allow you to gather business-related information as well as conduct video conferencing. In the current market, where we are increasingly environmentally conscious, video conferring is a great start - imagine holding your business meetings without the need to travel to another location. At GlobalConnect we practice what we preach. As we have expanded, our meetings include personnel from interstate offices who are linked in via video conferencing. This allows everyone to be able to communicate as well as view each other. It provides almost the same feeling as being in the same room.

What is the main focus for your company this year?

In October, GlobalConnect acquired Sirius Converged Solutions. It's important for us to ensure the acquisition is successful. This is not only a measurement of business growth, but also how well the people who came into the business blend into their new environment. The same is also applicable for the customers we acquire as customer satisfaction is one of our core strengths.

What do you do when you are not at work?

Many things. They include playing guitar, cycling and scuba diving. I also spend time with my two boys, who are very active. Whilst my guitar playing skills are limited, I am an avid cyclist and have competed in many races overseas. The most memorable one I was involved in was a mountain bike race in Malaysia, where I came across a herd of wild cows and a cobra. Scuba diving is one of those sports you can do anywhere and I have been fortunate enough to dive in several parts of the world, including the Caribbean, Philippines, Malaysia, and, of course, around Australia.

Do you like gadgets?

I am a mobility junkie and love gadgets allowing me to be contactable anywhere with ease. When I joined GlobalConnect, the first item I installed on my notebook was a soft phone that enables me to take my office phone wherever I am in the world. I am also a big fan of the Blackberry and I can appreciate why it's also known as "crackberry".

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A pilot. I flew for a small commercial aviation company for a while before I got involved in IT. I was flying in the Northern Territory for a company involved in carrying passengers between Darwin and Alice Springs. I was also fortunate enough to fly in the Kakadu region. Flying through the gorges in this area is an experience of a lifetime and being in control of the aircraft definitely added to the thrill.

What is your biggest ambition?

To run a company at a multinational level and when I retire (I wonder when that will be) to be remembered for the legacy I will leave behind.

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