What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
The ability to grow Peer Software into a global enterprise while remaining a private company for almost 30 years without any outside venture capital or investments has been my most memorable achievement. In doing so, we have focused on building a culture at Peer Software that is unique in the technology space where we truly focus on long-term product goals (not short-term profits), long-lasting customer relationships and a dedicated team that think of Peer as a long-term career and as a family of like-minded technologists and not just as a job.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
I originally began my career in accounting and finance at one of the major global accounting firms (Coopers & Lybrand) during the dot com boom of the 1990s. Seeing the excitement and rapid pace of development in technologies at that time lured me away from the traditional role of an accountant to become an entrepreneur after only a few years in the corporate working world. With some partners, we started one of the earliest Desktop as-a-Service companies in the world at the height of the dot com boom. Since that time, I’ve helped start or worked at multiple global companies. However, Peer Software has by far been the most rewarding experience in my 25 years in the technology field.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
My management style has evolved over the course of my career. Today, I fully embrace the philosophy of being a servant leader. My goal is to attract and retain incredible team members for Peer Software, listen to their ideas and merge with the collective goals and then to provide the support mechanisms to ensure their constant growth and success.
What do you think has emerged as the technology trend of 2022 and why?
In my mind, increasingly distributed and remote global work has been the defining technology trend of 2022. Of course, the pandemic hastened this movement away from the traditional centralised office bound work model. As a result, there continues to a massive shift of IT infrastructure away from the traditional data centre towards edge and cloud systems.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Our investment in product enhancements focuses on three areas. First, Peer Software’s goal is to expand the capabilities of its distributed global file service that manages storage infrastructure across edge, data centre and cloud environments.
Second, as storage continues to grow exponentially across all sites, we look to provide enhanced analytics capabilities to enterprise customers to understand the trends in their data growth and how best to manage that.
Third, knowing that storage today is also looked at through the lens of cybersecurity, we will continue to invest in capabilities for fast restoral of data in the event of disasters as well as the early monitoring and alerting of suspicious and malicious file event streams.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?
Exercise and reading are on the top of my list for activities that help me unwind. In terms of exercise, running provides me with peace and clears the mind. I’ve also always been into martial arts since my youth and so I am thrilled to see many techies also embrace MMA today. In terms of reading, I enjoy biographies of leaders both in the political and corporate worlds, with a goal to understand how they individually approached tackling the unique challenges before them.
If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
I would learn to code! Having a solid background in accounting and finance has enabled me to thrive as a businessperson and to steer Peer Software through the twists and turns of the market with a steady hand. And though I have learned technology over 25 years in the industry and can hold my own, I still feel that having a foundation as a software engineer would have been immensely useful. Luckily, I have always been surrounded by incredibly talented engineers and our differing skillsets balanced each other well to help grow Peer Software through the decades.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?
We learned early on that to thrive in Europe, a company must invest in Europe for the long haul. We are proud that we have built long-lasting relationships with our partners and customers for over a decade in Europe to provide local language support as well as local time zone support. Additionally, through having local presence in Europe, we have understood that adapting marketing approaches to each country and culture was important to gain acceptance.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
As a growing international software company, I have continued to note the importance of communication, collaboration and a shared corporate culture across all our offices. We have understood that effective team building between our USA and European operations are critical to maintain a high level of consistent customer care for our global customers.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
My advice has been and will always be to focus on building expertise and relationships, not on chasing a title.Click below to share this article