2 Minutes with…. Mark Slinger

Mark Slinger joined SysMech as Head of Product in March 2014. He now leads SysMech’s product team through research and development to launch and marketing. Mark takes two minutes to tell us a little bit more about his career, the Telco industry, working at SysMech and his tech and non-tech passions.

Q1: You’ve had a really interesting career in IT and software, particularly in the Telco industry. Tell us what attracted you to Telecommunications.

I’m attracted to the Telco industry for many reasons. Firstly, it’s one sector that’s always at the forefront of leading edge technologies. And, secondly, it’s a very global industry; it’s something that affects people and organisations all over the world. It’s an extremely exciting area to be in.

Q2: What was the last tech gadget you bought?

I’ve actually bought a couple of gadgets recently. One of them is a portable phone charger, which is indispensable as I’m often in and out of the office and using my i-phone all day to keep abreast of emails etc. I’ve also purchased a SONOS wireless hi-fi system. I really love listening to music, collecting tunes on the go – via my phone – and streaming them through a speaker when back home.

Q3: Tell us what you do in a typical day at SysMech.

My days at SysMech are always very varied. During a typical day I review industry and competitive news, talk to customers, liaise with the sales teams on customer and product feedback and new opportunities, prioritise our focus with executive team, work with the engineering team to scope out creative solutions to complex problems, oversee current product and feature development status and work with our PR and marketing partner, The CommsCo to get our message out via our blog and social media channels.

Q4: Where is SysMech going? What are you excited about?

Our goal is to simplify the network management of all mobile and fixed networks by providing a zero latency understanding of the network, service and customer health – and to automate the identification and analysis of complex problems.

It’s very exciting that we’re able to take data from any source at any volume, correlate this and then automatically identify patterns to provide an instant view. A view that’s allowing operators to truly see once hidden problems before they become major customer impacting (and newsworthy) issues. The unknowns are becoming known!

Q5: Everyone’s got their own opinion on whether big data is still a big deal. Tell us yours.

Big data’s a big deal when you don’t have the tools to cope with it. And new services are bringing even more data into the networks, so being able to automate complex actions is critical to staying on top of things. Our big data applications make it easy for all users, within a network operator, to have an immediate understanding of what’s going on.

Q6: Could you give us an interesting non-work fact about yourself?

I’m a real foodie so if I have any spare time you can find me in the kitchen trying to conjure up something new – and testing it out on my family, friends and neighbours. I also love to travel as I lived abroad as a kid and was exposed to many different cultures and countries. I now take every opportunity I can to visit somewhere undiscovered.

Q7: In your opinion what should we be mindful of in the Telco space going forward?

Researchers forecast that by 2020 the number of mobile users will reach 6 billion and the number of people accessing the internet will reach 4.7 billion – primarily though mobile devices (Global Telecom Trends to watch by 2020). Telecoms is now forever being reshaped by the Internet, all things will become connected; a digital intelligence that lives in our cars, homes and offices.

As a result the data that’s used to manage and maintain a consistent customer network experience is continually increasing in volume and complexity. At the same time network operators are continuing to look at ways to reduce costs. They need to do more with the same resources, automate as much as possible and invest to manage it all; ensuring a seamless experience for users. As such technologies like SON, to automate optimisation complexity, and NFV, to drive network capex/opex reductions, will only become more prevalent in the coming years.

The Zen big data suite can help now by simplifying network data complexity, reducing the number of tools and automating root cause analysis; enabling operators to do more with the same resources.