Inspiring Insightful Innovation Marc Sollars, CTO of specialist integrator of next-gen technology Teneo, jumps on NCN’s Q&A bandwagon. What are you up to today? To d a y I a m i n Lo n d o n m e et i n g c u s to m e r s a s I u n d e r ta ke m y ro l e a s c h i ef te c h n o l o g y o f f i c e r at Te n e o . T h e re a re t wo p a r t s to m y ro l e . F i r s t l y , i t ’ s a b o u t m e et i n g w i t h o u r g l o b a l c u s to m e r s a n d m a k i n g i t o u r p r i o r i t y to u n d e r s ta n d h ow t h e y s e e Te n e o . P r i m a r i l y t h e m e et i n g s a re s et to a s c e r ta i n a n u n d e r s ta n d i n g o f w h e re t h e i r b u s i n e s s i s g o i n g , ga u g i n g t h e i r o b j e ct i ve s fo r t h e c o m i n g y e a r, t h i s e n s u re s we re m a i n re l eva nt to t h e m . M y s e c o n d a re a of re s p o n s i b i l i t y i s to wo r k w i t h o u r i nte r n a l te a m s a n d ex te r n a l ve n d o r s to i d e nt i f y n ew s o l u t i o n s to f i t i nto o u r p o r t fo l i o .
How and why did you pursue a career in the Data/Comms industry? My father worked in sales in the IT industry for the majority of his career, and I had started within the server/desktop arena. Data/ Comms always seemed the more dynamic and I welcomed the opportunity to join Teneo 18 years ago to work initially within the MPLS management space; a fantastic change from rebuilding RAID arrays!
What project/work achievement are you most proud of in your career and why? I ’m proud to have been p a r t of t he m a na gement team t h at has grown Teneo into th e gl o b a l bu si ne s s it is to da y, bot h b y acqu i sition s a nd o rga nic growt h . I ’m also proud to have h e l p e d embe d our CSR within t h e compan y cul ture a n d b e ing a b l e to gi ve ba ck, which ha s s e e n u s bu i ld scho o l s in Uga n d a , E t h io p ia , Ghana a n d Sierra Leo ne wh il s t also su ppor tin g empl o y e e s ’ char i tabl e proj ects .
22 | January 2018
What is the worst thing (outside of your control) that has ever gone wrong on a work project? About 10 years ago in India we had some equipment stuck in customs. The installation dates for the customer were set in stone and in the end we had to fly someone to India to move along the equipment and pay the duties and taxes in person to meet the customer’s deadlines.
“The Data/ Comms industry always seemed to be dynamic so I welcomed the opportunity to join Teneo 18 years ago”
What is one thing you’re tired of hearing either at work or about your job? Right now, it’s how a lot of vendors think they solve GDPR. The marketing and hype over the last 12 months has got out of hand, meaning that if you raise the subject with a customer you instantly see their eyes roll. It’s an important subject and companies need to take it seriously by looking at what data they need to identify and then find the right solution as there is no silver bullet.
What is your favourite piece of technology right now? Right now it’s my Amazon Alexa. I am a bit late to the whole smart home arena, but I am excited to see what’s possible and also how this technology can be used within business.
What product/s or concepts do you think will be the next big thing in the industry? I expect SD-WAN to start to see a larger number of deployments this year. Over the last 12 months we have seen customers doing their research to understand how it can help their businesses and now projects are starting to gain budgets. The CASB market is another that has been rather slow and with the recent Gartner Magic
COMPANY PROFILE Specialist integrator of next-generation technology, Teneo, offers global organisations the strongest mix of visibility, performance and security solutions for sophisticated networks and applications. Passionate about what it does, Teneo proclaims to be the spark that ignites a new approach to innovation. The company boasts a team of specialists who bring expert technical knowledge and solid commercial understanding that, combined, helps its customers to think differently: opening minds to new possibilities. Teno recognises that its 24x7 services help fastpaced, global IT teams take immediate advantage of the latest technology advancements without the upfront capital outlay or associated workload. Its agile, flexible delivery capabilities span 200+ countries and it is relied upon by 1500+ organisations worldwide.
Quadrant being released and customers having more data in the cloud I would expect that to see growth this year.
You can invite three people living or dead out for a pint or over for dinner (not including family & friends) Who are they and why? Richard Branson: an entrepreneur that I respect and would like to hear his stories and advice. Ant and Dec: for their humour and you get two for the price of one. Prince Harry: for an insight into his life and charity work.