Rene Tonon joined SysMech as a software engineer in 1997 and is now Business Development Manager. As part of our ‘2 Minutes with…’ blog series, Rene takes some time 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 long career in technology; when and why did you join SysMech, and what first attracted you to the Telecommunications industry?
I started off working in the banking industry in Geneva, delivering distributed solutions for managing electronic documents. When I moved to the UK, in 1997, I met SysMech’s Pete Godfrey and Rob Green, who were faced with the problem of delivering the first distributed fault management solution for Vodafone. It was a challenge I couldn’t resist.
We had to consider the vast amounts of network faults and present them to operators in a meaningful way – so they could prioritise and act effectively, and ultimately deliver the best mobile communication customer experience possible. Today, the challenges remain the same – there are different telecommunication services and new approaches to better address the challenges of network operators, but the focus is always on operational efficiency and customer experience.
Q2: What was the last tech gadget you bought and why?
Well with it recently being Christmas, and hearing my daughter mention something about a ‘drone’ it was promptly put on the list for Santa. And, it went down extremely well on Christmas morning!
Like most of us with busy family and professional schedules, I like gadgets that are going to make my life easier; so very simple to set up and use, and that bring some fun.
Q3: Tell us what you do in a typical day at SysMech.
As a business development manager, I’m very lucky to have a varied role which keeps me stimulated. Zen is such an exciting multi-faceted offering that I find myself spending a lot of time talking to existing and potential customers about opportunities, and defining solutions that add value to their businesses.
Q4: What has been your favourite project you have worked on at SysMech?
I have had the chance to work on many great projects, either because of the challenges raised, or the value delivered, or simply the people involved. Recently, we have delivered a combined Performance Management and Fault Management solution, under very tight deadlines. The solution delivered great value: monitoring of the launch of 4G services, and unprecedented correlation of quality of service with network faults. The buy-in from the users was instantaneous.
Q5: How about an interesting non-work fact about yourself?
I have two young children and love to spend my spare time with them; teaching them about sport, music and the arts. As a keen classic guitarist, I’ve initiated them to the joys of strumming a ukulele, which is great for a noisy jam session. And, to balance out a day’s work at the computer, I also enjoy tinkering with my classic car.
Q6: Can you give us your thoughts on how NFV will impact the industry?
The flexibility to deliver new services, adapt to trends and add functionality to services is key to retaining customers and attracting new ones. The virtualisation of networks and their functions will help operators to be more responsive to their customer requirements.
For example, we’re currently working on feeding key network data to a self-optimising network solution to drive automated optimisations and provide feedback on configuration changes. This dynamic will further improve the quality of service.
Q7: Where is SysMech going? What are you excited about in 2015?
For me 2015 is full of exciting prospects. Telcos’ perceptions of how big data solutions can be used in the industry is now evolving, and our product is evolving in-line with it. There are more user cases for customer experience management, and efficient management of the network with predictive analytics and automation. We’re now delivering solutions that we could only dream of five years ago; solutions which, in 2015, will gain more adoption and importance within the traditional OPCO business.
Q8: In your opinion, what should we be mindful of in the Telco space over the next 12 months?
Real time analytics, linked to customer experience, marketing and fulfilment of services through virtual networks will bring real value to the industry in terms of: operational efficiency, quality of service, and customer retention.