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Virtualisation in the Connectivity Industry

On The Connectivity Matters Podcast we were joined by James Morgan, SVP of sales at DriveNets. James is currently responsible for DriveNets’ growth strategy and leading the company’s European activity. Previously working at Juniper Networks as Head of Global MSP and NAS sales, as well as founding several successful startups, James has over 25 years experience across connectivity. He spoke to us about his perspectives on developments in communication technology.

So what’s your take on the current state of telecommunications?

Well, it’s interesting and dynamic. If you look at telcos and service providers, and where they make their money, there’s a huge ecosystem that’s eating into their profitability. Bandwidth is increasing dramatically, price per bit is decreasing dramatically, and the telcos and the service providers are in the middle of all that. There’s an opportunity for any business today to take advantage of cloud and the almost infinite bandwidth that’s available to really expand their businesses as enterprises. There are definitely challenges that a lot of CEOs and CTOs have, such as hyper scalers moving into their territory. They have to have a frenemy type relationship there, because cloud is the biggest macro trend that we’ve seen in my career. They’ve got over the top players coming in making serious amounts of money using their infrastructure. Whether it’s a consumer or business, if there’s something wrong with the network, it’s seen as the service providers fault, rather than anything else from the myriad of things that affect it. It’s increasingly complex.

The growth rates are not anything like some of those other players that I’ve just touched on. Companies like Juniper and Cisco and Fortinet, who are providing services through service providers in some instances are also partnering with the cloud players and, and so on. It’s all pushing the value of the service provider or telco down. We’re trying to help push back against those forces that are against them. Telcos need to solve these big strategic challenges as they try to digitally transform. Companies that have been around for a long time seem antiquated, even mediaeval in some instances. They’re hanging on to systems, processes and infrastructure that they really need to change and transform.

Moving into the future, are there any particular technologies that you are particularly excited about that are on the horizon?

Yeah, there’s a lot of artificial intelligence, which is a big word. And there’s a lot of artificial intelligence washing that goes on in everything. Everybody’s got an artificial intelligence capability all of a sudden, but I think that when that’s harnessed in collaboration with human beings it has the potential to really transform a lot of areas and do a lot of good. Whether that’s in healthcare, medicine, research or education, there’s some real positives from that perspective. Everything is hyper-connected nowadays. We have infinite access to compute and store and network that creates a combination of all of those aspects, realistically. I still get buzzed off that I can set my alarm on my phone, or my alarm system, or I can see someone ringing the doorbell when I’m down the shops. I think everything’s got a little role to play, but fundamentally the interconnectedness of everything is what excites me. As long as it’s used for the right things, in the right manner.

What impact would you say virtualisation and cloud native software has had in the telecommunications industry?

When you look at telcos and service providers, they’ve got different domains of the network and different areas that I think there’s a lot of benefit to be had from virtualization. I mean, one of the things that I did when I left Intact was actually set up a small startup that was focused on virtualization and using IT infrastructure to pool resources. Fundamentally what that brings, if you look at what’s happened in data centres, the same thing starts to happen in networking and security. Virtualization brings an awful lot of flexibility and an awful lot of power. What we’re seeing is that desire to have a hyperscaling operational model. That’s part of the transition that needs to be happening in the search provider world, if they’re going to compete with hyper scalars, we’ve got to be agile and flexible and have speed when it comes to delivering services and what your customers want. Fundamentally it’s all about business outcomes, and what technology can bring to an organisation with the right vision and desire. It really revolutionises and transforms the way that they can operate.

But again, it’s a journey, right? It’s an evolution rather than a revolution. We’re certainly seeing a lot of virtualization in the open RAM space. There’s definitely virtualization in cloud hyper scalers with regards to value added services, whether that be security services or other types of applications. And again, the telcos are kind of caught in the middle a little bit and need to really harness and define their roles as to exactly what it is that they’re gonna be providing and offering to businesses. Because it’s a hyper connected world, but it’s also hyper competitive.

How do you think that virtualization will affect how we’re building and designing these networks?

I’m right in the heart of it with DriveNets. What virtualization brings operationally is it’s just a completely different transformation from a kind of a very fixed, modular legacy, monolithic type approach. It’s very much a chassis where you’re always limited by the capacity of that particular box. You can knit them together and you can get more scalable, etc. but you’re still dealing with everything box-by-box. What we see with virtualization and the advent of white boxes that are carrier class is the ability to really disaggregate and virtualize the entire network. The entire network effectively acts and as if it’s one router, for example, or one switch will be at a scale of distributed different countries, it doesn’t matter.

There’s a whole raft of operational benefits in terms of the way you manage that; everything down to the logistics runs on one or two different bits of white box software as opposed to five or six different routing boxes to do different functions. When you combine functions to offer a multi service approach the network becomes like a cloud, and that’s the bit that virtualization really brings. Then you can just drop containers into those networks, whether it’s a third party firewall, an edge router, a core router… It’s all interoperable, and it’s truly scalable. You just add more white boxes as you want more scale. The huge demand for capacity, has been driven by the ability of the technology to enable that.

To find out more about James Morgan’s insights on connectivity media, listen to the full episode of The Connectivity Matters Podcast.

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Accessing the Cyber Security and Intelligence Industry

In our second episode of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we sat down with intelligence specialist AJ Nash. He is the VP of intelligence for external cybersecurity company ZeroFOX, and he spoke to us about his journey through the Intel sector and how that’s lead him to where he is today. Read on for his perspectives on accessing the cyber security and intelligence industry. 

How did you first get into the Cyber Intelligence industry?

That’s a good question, and like a lot of people, I didn’t have a straight path. It wasn’t intentional, but I frankly don’t know if there’s a single thing in my career that’s got me here. I originally joined the Air Force, my intent was to be a police officer and go to law school, and my test did relatively well. I was in the Air Force for nine and a half years, then I medically retired and moved into defence contracting. And so I started doing traditional Intel work in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, things like that. 

I was recruited for an opportunity. I had an interview with a defence contractor, and I literally interrupted them about five minutes into the interview, and said ‘I think I’m in the wrong room’, because all we were talking about was maths, science, computer science, operations research and cybersecurity. I didn’t know anything about most of the stuff. I told them ‘I’m an intel guy, where’s the terror? Where are the bombs?’ And they said, ‘No, no, we got people for all these things. What we need is some intel folks, we’re trying to build a new concept for how to do intel analysis specifically for cyber, and we need to have experts. We need people who can translate this to make sure this is useful.’ That ended up becoming what we called at the time cyber intelligence preparation of the battlespace. 

It was a great opportunity, and I accidentally got into cyber and helped work and develop that programme with amazing, smart, brilliant people. I was one of the folks who helped write the book along with my five or six colleagues. A couple of folks did the training. This ended up becoming foundational training for contracts at NSA and Cyber Command for a lot of cyber work. And so I learned a lot from a lot of people much smarter than myself. And that’s how I ended up in cyber, which was very much accidental like I said. So you know, from a career standpoint, it’s great to do terror and terrorists, there was certainly funding there, and then you go into cyber and it was a lot of funding there too. And so that led to a career doing cyber intelligence work at the agency and cyber command. I went into the private sector also by accident to be honest. A friend of mine convinced me to join LinkedIn, although I had never had a social media account for obvious reasons with my career, I would have been immediately compromised. That was always fun! But somebody recruited me through LinkedIn, and I moved to the private sector. 

I had a really winding path from a kid who’s gonna be a competent lawyer to a guy who does cyber intelligence work with one of the greatest companies in the world. So I’m a lucky guy, they say you put yourself in the right position. Maybe I own a little bit of it, but people have helped me along and I’ve just ended up in really good spots. 

We talk a lot about barriers to entry into cybersecurity. Is security intelligence still a good route into the industry? 

I guess it was for me. Intelligence is enduring, Intel feeds everything. I don’t think it’s going anywhere, so I think it’s a great way to work in this industry. I don’t know if it’s the easiest way to get in, necessarily, but for folks who are coming out of government and military we’ve already got the background and experience. That’s actually where private sector companies probably should be hiring their first Intel leaders. For those who are in university right now, wondering ‘how do I get into cyber?’, it may or may not be the easiest route, because again, only maybe 10% of companies out there have Intel teams, but there is a lot of demand. So if they’ve done the research, if they’ve got the education to back it up, and they can make the pitch, there’s opportunity there. But I also think there’s nothing wrong with somebody who’s coming in and wants to be a SOC analyst or do threat hunting or incident response, they’re all great ways to get in, as long as people understand those are different careers. If you want to transition from one of those to Intel, it isn’t just changing a title and moving desks. There’s some study and work that needs to go into that. From what I’ve seen, most folks who are getting into cyberspace are not coming in through Intel.

Is diversity improving within cybersecurity?

I think diversity is better now than it was, but we have a long way to go. So you know, I think if you go look at any panel discussion, chances are you’re gonna find four white guys on it. If you look at most Intel teams, most cyber security teams, the majority of them are likely to be white males especially in the US and UK areas. But I do think it’s changing. Our teams are great – we have three senior directors on the team, two women and a guy. They do all happen to be white, but one was an immigrant, so we’re not all Americans. I think part of the challenge is the talent that we still have to grow, right? There’s still a challenge in many ways, women are still not being encouraged enough as girls to go into STEM, so there’s still a lot of cultural challenges. The trouble we have is where do you hire the people from if they don’t go through the funnel, if we don’t build people with these skill sets? I think we really need to encourage young people, all ages, races, genders, to, you know, to embrace technology and embrace these opportunities. And we need to put funding in place for them and give them opportunities to do it so that we have more diversity across the board. So that’s a challenge. For people in my position, if you’re hiring folks, you have to keep in mind, I don’t want 10 people on my team that are the same person 10 times over. There’s a value to it for the team standpoint. I think a lot of folks are putting a lot of effort into this. But it’s hard, and it’s a long way to go. So better, yes, but not nearly good enough yet.

You mentioned a few really interesting things there about potential barriers to entry into the sector. So what would you say are the barriers to entry? And what practical steps can we take to reduce those?

Access to education is a barrier. I’ve talked about this around the world. There’s a privilege that I’ve had to get where I am, and certainly access to education has been there. I think we have to develop programmes that give people opportunities, regardless of their socio-economic standing. There are there are great programmes that do these things, other mentorship programmes, and there are other education programmes, that give people some of these options, but we need more of that. We’re seeing at least in this industry a move away from the bias towards everybody having to have a degree. Certifications are really valuable, and being able to demonstrate you have a skill is really valuable. On the other side, I know self taught people who are brilliant but they have a hard time getting the interview. I think folks are trying to do a better job of saying, ‘let’s get them in the room. They say they can do things, let’s test them out.’ We can be more creative in our education, but also much more creative in our hiring. 

I think that the biggest barrier to entry right now is still having the resources, funding and opportunity to get the education, skills or certifications needed. We then need to have the creativity on the hiring side to look beyond a paper and a resume and say, ‘who is this person? What do they bring to the team? Can we give them a position and a shot?” That is tough because we’re for profit companies, and a lot of companies don’t want to invest in training, they would prefer to hire somebody who’s plug and play, because it saves them time and energy and money. I think we have some challenges to solve in that area as well, especially as we keep saying that we’re 3 million people short in cybersecurity, and the number goes up every year, so it’s gonna take a collective effort to get there. Some of that might involve the industry buckling down and saying ‘we’re gonna hire people we know are qualified, we’re going to train them up.’ I think we’re seeing some of those areas improve as well.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is entering the cybersecurity industry? 

My one piece of advice is to be bold. I think a lot of people self-select themselves out of opportunities. Confidence is a challenge. Imposter syndrome is real – I can attest to it. I think be bold, and don’t undersell yourself. If it’s something you think you can do, and you want to do it, even if your resume says nothing about it, try to throw your hat in the ring, Try to get into the interview, try to have a discussion. The worst thing that could happen is you’re right where you left off. You gotta go do the thing, right? Try to get in there and find a way and be persistent with it. If you don’t get it one time, try another time, you know, talk to people. That includes things like just reaching out to somebody on LinkedIn. Don’t stop yourself by thinking ‘that person is really important, they don’t have time for me’. Reach out! That’s how I did a lot of it. I built a lot of my connections just by saying ‘let’s have a conversation’. Now people do that with me, I have had tons of folks reach out to me. They always seem surprised when I answer and I say ‘yeah, let’s have a conversation instead of a call.’ And people seem shocked by that. Listen, I’m not that important. I’ve got time for you, and if it’s something I can help with I will. I think a lot of people think that these people with these great titles and great roles and great amazing things won’t be interested. But you reach out, and you realise they’re awesome, and they’re happy to talk to you, they want to help. If you’re not bold, you don’t ask the question. So what if they don’t answer and move on to the next person? A lot of them will, though. People want to help each other. My best advice is always to be bold. 

To hear more from AJ Nash and other industry experts, tune into the Cyber Security Matters podcast from neuco here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What technology has had the biggest impact on the connectivity industry?

On the first episode of our newly rebranded The Connectivity Matters Podcast, we were joined by Chris Lennartz, the Vice President of Product Management for mobile services iBASIS. He’s had an incredibly successful career within the telecommunications industry, spanning over the last 20 years with a focus on strategic planning, business development and product management. Chris has also recently been voted number 18 in the top 100 most influential figures in the telco industry. We asked him for his insights on technology in the industry. 

What technologies do you think have had the biggest impact on the industry?

That’s a very simple one, it’s IP, because when I started, nothing was IP. Everything was TDM, everything was circuit switched. When IP came it completely revolutionised not only the cost of the network but the nature of the network and the way that the telecoms network interacted with a lot of different players, because suddenly the internet and telecommunications became one and a lot of new players came in. All the cloud stuff that we’re discussing right now started back in the 90s when the internet was opened up, and that completely revolutionised the telecoms industry. I know it’s been a long time since then, but if you ask me, that has been the biggest disruption and the biggest impact to the industry.

What impact do you think 5G has had and where do you see that progressing?

That’s a comparably disruptive impact. 5G is not only taking IP to a whole new level, it’s an evolution and revolution at the same time. If you look at evolution it’s more bandwidth. 4G already has more bandwidth than 3G, and 5G has more bandwidth than 4G, and that keeps going on and on. The most important thing about 5G in particular is that it revolutionises the way we look at networks. 4G was still a point network, then the whole virtualization thing came around. Now with 5G, you can make virtual networks from end to end spanning multiple networks. Network slicing will become very interesting if you look at specific IoT service providers or enterprises that need specific end-to-end connectivity with the specific quality of service or other parameters that you would normally do with a dedicated network. Now we can do it over the 5G network and just reserve a specific price for that, which makes it very interesting to have really one network that does it all. That will change the way we use the telecoms networks. 

The fourth industrial wave is really building on what 5G can give us. With the advent of private 5G networks, if you look at the predictions for them, it could be hundreds and even thousands of private networks that are being built. For example, it’s logical for airports to have their own network, given the fact that you have so many tourists or travellers in general to transport, all their suitcases to transport, on top of all the logistics and fleet management stuff that you need to do. How great would it be to have a network for yourself to do that? This proliferation of private 5G networks could really give a new boost to the way we automate the industry. 

Is there any tech on the horizons of either 5G or moving even further into the next generations that you’re most excited about in particular?

From a roaming perspective, it’s very exciting. It’s also challenging because on one hand, there will be even more bandwidth, but on the other hand there’s yet another new technology which is coming in. What we did right when LTE came along was go from SS7 signalling to diameter signalling. It was really good for us because at that time, we didn’t have market share, and disruption is always good for the challenger and not good for the leader. At that time, we were challenging the way things were so we took the opportunity to disrupt IP committee signalling, and we made a name for ourselves, and we built a solution earlier than anybody else. That’s why we became number three. 

Now, with 5G, this has happened again. This time we are leaders, which means that it can be a threat and opportunity at the same time. We’re going from diameter signalling to something that is called HTTP to signal, so yet another disruption. There will be a lot of companies that will think ‘hey, wait a minute, what I basically did 10 years ago, we can do now. So let’s do to them what they did to others.’ That’s challenging, but we need to challenge ourselves, it’s also an opportunity for ourselves, right? Because we are still number one, we can still get a lot of market share by doing this game right again, but there’s a lot more disruption this time to 5G than just the signalling changing its name. 

There’s also a lot more interesting use cases in roaming that will make you rethink the way we think about roaming. Today roaming basically means the traffic goes home from the visitor network, and is being handled there by the home operator. That takes 100 milliseconds in some cases, if you have to go from Singapore to Amsterdam, for example. However, if you have a self-driving car, that is simply not acceptable – the traffic can’t go halfway around the globe and then come back because that 100 millisecond is far too long. The latency of 5G for some specific use cases that all have to do with machine to machine or IoT should go down to less than 10 milliseconds. That means that traffic will need to stay in that specific region or in some cases, very close to the base station. That means that you have to start working with MEC on local breakout and applications being run, and very close to the base station. That means a reevaluation of the way we think about roaming. It’s going to be very interesting to see how all of these varieties of uses will need a variety of solutions. The way roaming works will be very different than 10 years ago when there were no devices, but just people going in on a day and using their phone.

To hear more about Chris Lennox’s insights into developments in the connectivity industry, listen to the full Connectivity Matters Podcast episode here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What challenges does the internet being the network now create in the cyber security space

In episode #77 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were delighted to be joined by John Spiegel, CTO at Axis Security.  

In this episode we unpacked everything from his career trajectory through to the nitty gritty world that is cybersecurity. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What challenges does the internet being the network now create in the cyber security space? 

“Oh, my, the internet really is is the is the is the future for connectivity.  

And it’s good and it’s also bad. The good is that you have this ubiquitous connectivity out there that for the most part is is inexpensive.  

If you think about the cost per megabit of an internet line versus an MPLS line, it’s significant. And, as a result, it’s enabling this incredible amount of productivity from companies. 

You don’t have to do constant maintenance, or patch upgrades, and the ability to access that from anywhere is amazing. But, on the other hand, we have this challenge of if businesses can get to any application at anytime, anywhere.  

The same thing is true for the bad cyber actors, you know, they can easily get into your network. Maybe because you misconfigured everything or something or maybe you know, you left something open. And that’s that’s a huge challenge.  

What I’m excited about is this rise of this concept called zero trust. And I know there’s a lot of marketing around it.  But it’s probably, in my mind, the most important thing that has happened. we had an opportunity to interview interview John Kinder bog a few days ago, he was one of the fathers of, of zero trust.  

And, his whole journey started because he started working on a pix firewall. And, he did not like the concept that there was one side that was untrusted and one side was untrusted. And he’s like, “come on, this is a computer. A computer is not a human.” You know, we built a society built on trust.  you know, we trust one another that, you know, when you pay for something you trust that person.  

Every interaction you do is built on this concept of trust. Computers don’t understand trust, they are built of silicone, rare metals, and they think in zeros and ones, trust is not a concept for them. So, that kind of started sparked him on this journey of zero trust.  

And if you think about how wins are built and what I did with SD win what I did in my past, building out these networks, these global networks for Columbia, sportswear and others.  

And I spent my career building these these artefacts, artefacts of of trust, and to me that was completely wrong. I should have gone a different way. And I think the future about branch connectivity is not good. it’d be about interconnections between a branch and, and a location, it’s going to be about building islands.  

Essentially companies are going to be building these islands. And the connections going out are going to be these almost you could say “zero trust” connections out to a SaaS application, or it’s a remote worker. Those sorts of things!” 

To listen to the full episode, click here. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Diversity & Inclusion-what advice would you give to organizations when it comes to improving this?

In episode #76 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were so excited to be joined by Mark Johns, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Switch Media.

In this episode we spoke a lot about Diversity and Inclusion, and Mark was able to give us excellent insight from his tenure, as well as how organisations can boost D&I through better interview strategies and also being located in diverse cities. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

Diversity & Inclusion: what advice would you give to organizations when it comes to improving this?

How have you seen the issue surrounding diversity change over your career?

Over my career, it has absolutely changed, massively. I mean, we’re in a much better place now than we were when I started out in 1991! 

Everyone was a white, generally bearded male. Now, in the radio world – it’s just completely the opposite, there’s opportunities for everybody no matter who you are, or where you come from. It’s so fantastic in comparison from where it used to be. However, it took quite a long time to change. But, the rate of change the last 10 years has been a lot faster. 

And, being in a country like Australia, and a city like Sydney – diversity is everywhere. And, it’s actually one of the reasons that we decided to move back here. 

We did a for and against list! We were living in Cornwall, in the UK at the time which is obviously a beautiful part of the world, but absolutely no diversity at all. We thought to ourselves, we don’t want the children growing up, thinking that this is what the world looks like. So, Sydney is a little bit like London, but with more culture! The food is amazing. 

What ideas or advice would you have for the industry when it comes to improving that diverse talent?

I take one specific example, although it’s not actually my example. It’s one that I stole from being in somebody else’s office. But there was a lady who came for an interview, and she was from Iran – and hadn’t had any success at all.

She had incredible qualifications, a Microprocessor Engineer I think. And in their company, they had a policy of letting anyone interview (not just managers), and she was given no opportunity because of who she was. So, the interview process had to change to avoid bias and give individuals the best opportunity possible. 

How do we open that door for people?

There’s always the risk of confirmation bias, even from a skikllset point of view, or because someone resonates with you more. So, it’s all about opening up that interview process and giving others opportunities. It can only be a positive thing. We do it all the time – and it works for us. 

To listen to the full episode, click here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The biggest impact on the space and satellite industry 

In episode #75 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Tina Ghataore, CCO of Mynaric

She has had an impressive career so far, holding C-Suite and executive roles globally, as well as contributing significantly to the aerospace industry. 

We unpacked a lot in this episode, from technology and innovation through to Tina’s own experiences and predictions for the industry. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What technology or innovation do you think has had the biggest impact on the space and satellite industry within the last sort of 10 years? 

I think the ability to do one-word processing, that’s been really key. And, that’s going to become even more important.  

I used to remember debates on how much power is generated from solar arrays, you know, whether satellites are fuelled one way versus electric propulsion, but just shrinking their size because different technologies, and footprints have got smaller or highly capable. And those are some of the things that I think, you know, we have to watch closely.  

And laser comm has been around for a couple of decades. I mean, I was on the periphery of all things laser comm in the early years of constellation, remember when 900 was a big number? And now clearly it’s not!  

I think just being able to do more, with less from a side standpoint on satellites, etc, has been critical.  

How do you see the current state of the new space market? 

I’m super excited about it. I think, you know, we’re getting beyond paper pitches. I don’t know if you guys have done the whole Silicon Valley VC route or you know, the UK fundraising or in mainland Europe.  

There’s a lot of it picking up the whole new space scene. But, I’ve witnessed paper projects that were able to raise eight to 10 million on a pitch deck of 10 slides! I’ve also seen some real nuggets of technologies and companies that have come through all of that because the fundamentals were correct.  

Whether it’s new launches, new satellite builders, or a San Fran startup – it’s exciting. And then, looking forward into the future, Earth observation is also interesting. 

Are there any particular technology nuggets that are having a really significant impact that you see across sac comms and connectivity? 

Funnily enough, I think laser comm! But no, honestly, I think when you look at the capex involved in really standing up some of these constellations, you need all these ground stations, or you need so many satellites. You’re collecting all this amazing imagery, what better way to interconnect these satellites by moving data between them.  

And then you know, moving it down through an optical channel in a very secure way, and in large bandwidth. So, I think the promise of laser comm is now I like to say and, you know, we’ve tinkered around with it, we’ve proven out the use cases, it works. And now it’s about –  how can you build the products, scale them and make them affordable? That’s what we’re doing. 

To listen to the full episode, click here

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Evolution of the live production space 

In episode #74 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Serge Van Herck, CEO at EVS

He has been a very visible figure in the media and communications world for over 20 years working as head of satellite service, sitting on boards, as well as holding C-Suite positions throughout his career. In 2019, he became CEO of EBS during one of the most rapidly evolving periods of live video production. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

The live production space has been right at the centre of disruptions over the years with the pandemic, how have you seen the live production space evolve and adapt during that time? 

Well, it has dramatically evolved. And we already had some trends before on the evolution from SDI to IP, but more importantly, the evolution to remote production.  

Due to this pandemic, remote production has really accelerated a lot. I think we were lucky to launch in 2020 – I would say this was by coincidence. Being able  to have newer technology enabled us this evolution, which has accelerated our business and helped customers to adapt to a new reality. 

What products in particular and solutions that you’ve seen today really excite you? 

I think a lot of people are talking about the plants. In my opinion, the plant is just computers, which are not in your facility but elsewhere. But in my perspective, one of the most incredible technologies we are working heavily on is artificial intelligence. 

It’s amazing what you can do with it. And, if everywhere you look, you can use artificial intelligence in one way or another. Thanks to AI, we can further improve the replays by creating virtual images between real images, something that artificial intelligence and our implementation of artificial intelligence is doing remarkably well. So, that’s a nice example of how we are implementing artificial intelligence. 

What’s your read on the industry right now? 

I think that our industry is in transformation, but it’s arguably always been like that. I’ve been in the industry for more than 20 years, and things are always changing.  

But for me,  it’s making sure that we create new technologies that respond to the needs of our customers. And then they can do more with less, and that they can do that in the most reliable way. However transformation is definitely there.  

What sense are you getting from your customers in regards to their investment into new technologies and solutions?  

Well, we like to say our strategy is about customer intimacy. So it’s not just developing new technologies and for just pushing the boundaries of technology. Instead, what we really try to do is to understand the real needs of our customers and respond with the right technologies, the right integration, sometimes of building blocks, to offer them a good solution that they can fully rely upon.  

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The biggest change in the broadcast and media industry 

In episode #73 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with the Srini Co-Founder and CRO of Amagi

He is a technology entrepreneur who began his career as a software engineer. Following this, he became the co-founder of Impulsesoft, a wireless audio company. And in 2008, he continued this entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Amagi. You can often find him speaking at global industry events discussing how cloud technology can help solve problems and add value.  

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What do you think the biggest change has been in the broadcast and media industry? 

“I feel, you know, the two fundamental things that are happening in the industry, one in the backend, one in the front end. There is this massive shift that we all know, towards streaming, towards connected TV, where people are switching to a connected TV experience.   

As part of this, obviously, we are seeing some trends of subscription potentially moving a lot more to advertising. People are getting a mix of both on demand, and then traditional cable. So, we’re seeing a lot of sub-trends, but the broad trend is that there is a movement from traditional linear to streaming. 

At the backend, the broadcasters are saying, “Hey, I don’t know what the world is going to look like five years from now”. I mean, it’s changing dramatically, I have to be prepared for that. That means having that flexible technology infrastructure to be able to react quickly to changes. This means moving to the cloud, away from traditional on prem hardware-based infrastructure.  

I think these are massive transformations that are happening right now. But again, if you ask me, we are just taking the video that has been produced the same way that been produced for the last 50 years and just distributing it on the internet!” 

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The future for Rivada Networks and RF Technology

In episode #72 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Declan Ganley, Founder of Rivada Networks

Declan is a well-known English-born Irish entrepreneur and businessman, and it was great to sit down and pick his brains in this conversation! We unpack everything from his plans for Rivada Networks, through to D&I and attracting talent.  

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What does the future hold for Rivada Networks? 

We’ve done an RFP to procure our satellites. So, we’re going to have contractors build out the satellites, they get to our requirements, design, etc. And we’ll be able to talk more about that soon. But, the RFP is out there, and we’ve got great responses to it.  

We’re very excited that we will be moving to do an RFP to procure launch service at the end of this year. And, we’re adding to the team. So, we’re in Germany this week at an industry show: presenting, recruiting – we are looking to find the very best people in this industry, the best brains, the best talent in this industry, and asking them to come and join us. It’s a phenomenal project.  

You’re not just a cog in the system, you know, we want real entrepreneurs! 

What are your thoughts on RF technologies?  

RF technologies from the ground to space piece – The thing is, you want to use RF to get to your first cell site in space; and then you want to backhaul everything through space, landing it back down again onto the planet, and then backhauling it through subsea cables, terrestrial networks, etc with all the problems that they have, from a security standpoint, from a latency standpoint, etc.  

When it goes to space, we want to keep it in space until we have to land it at its endpoint destination, wherever possible. But RF is not going away. Our RF will be technology, the capabilities around it will improve. And, I think that that yes, certainly that there will be a role for optical links to space itself, I think that will happen.  

Radio’s really good. It’s got much more potential than we’ve extracted from it. Our whole philosophy is that we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of the potential of radio. The reason we haven’t got much more out of it is not that the technology can’t do more. It’s because of regulatory requirements. 

Diversity and Inclusion – how are you going to attract great people? 

I want people that work hard, and who have got a phenomenal work ethic. So, if you haven’t got a good work ethic, don’t call us! If you’re willing to work hard, and you’ve got the talent, we want to hear from you – end of story. We are already a very diverse organisation. But, to be very honest with you, it’s not that we set out to be diverse! We have just searched for people with the right skill sets and attitude.  

A big bias that doesn’t get talked about as much is age, that someone is “very old” – however, we want people on our board who have that experience, otherwise what’s the point? If they haven’t been through the “wars” then we will have to relearn everything.  

So wisdom, experience, all of those things really, really count. And yes, diversity is absolutely essential.  

If you’ve got the work ethic, you’ve got the talent, and you’re willing to stick your neck out and take some risks, we want to hear from you. My dad taught me about empathy about putting your putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. How would you want to be treated? How would you want a member of your family to be treated in those same circumstances? That’s something that a lot of the world has forgotten. You know, being polite, being open-minded in that regard, and treating people decently is important.  

Listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How did you get into the NewSpace industry – Scott Herman’s path into the NewSpace industry

In our most recent episode of The Tech That Connects Us, we had the delight of speaking to the CEO of Cognitive Space, Scott Herman. After starting his career in the National Security community, he made the decision to move into the commercial world.  

We found out how he got into the New Space industry, delved into his past careers and why he believes that the geospatial analytics area is overlooked. 

We’d like to go back to the beginning, how and why did you get into the NewSpace industry? 

I actually spent probably the first half of my career working in the remote sensing and geospatial analytics world, but primarily, kind of hidden in the national security community, what you might call the black world.  

So, I’ve been doing this for a long time. Since getting out of school I’ve been in this constantly repeating loop of build systems for either running satellites or exploiting the data coming from satellites, applying that to global monitoring and national security problems. Build a little, field a little, go out and support those systems, and then come back and do it all over again and build the next generation. So that’s been a pretty consistent pattern.  

After spending probably the first 15 years or so working in the national security community, I made the leap into the commercial world. But again, kind of looking back at the national security mission.  

So that’s when I joined GOI in the days of GOI and Digital Globe before they were merged together into what eventually became Maxar. I worked there for several years and then several of us kind of jumped and started a new company that was eventually acquired by spaceflight and became Sky. I was part of the Spaceflight industries umbrella, with the launch business, satellite remote sensing business with Black Sky and the assembly business with Leo Stella. So that was a lot of fun.  

I worked there for probably about eight years. Until right around the time of the SPAC the IPO with black sky. But I continued to really be interested in this problem of how to apply artificial intelligence to satellite operations. I had been through TechStars, advising a small company that was starting to really make some inroads into this particular problem and became part of their advisory board. They eventually invited me in to help lead the company to success, go through fundraising and help get the product built and everything else. So, I came on as the CEO of cognitive space a little over a year ago. 

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What advice would you give to someone entering the broadcast & media industry?

In episode #70 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were delighted to be joined by Christian Massman, MD and CSO of Qvest Group.  

Christian started his career within the world of banking before making the transition to the broadcast media industry. Fast-forward to today, Christian is now the executive board member, Managing Director and CSO for Qvest group. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

So Christian, what is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry? 

“What always led me through developing people and actually judging people in terms of doing performance reviews, and really coaching and mentoring people was down to a book I read at the end of the 90s. And this book, by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, implemented the four E and one P methodology which I use.  

It has always helped me to identify the right talent for the right job, and then actually to develop people further in their careers so they can grow. 

And if you’re not familiar with it, the 4 E’s stand for energy, energise, edge, and execute. So, in terms of the attributes that you’re looking for, when it comes to developing talent in identifying top performers – the P stands for passion – and this, from my point of view, is the most important ingredient.  

Therefore, if you’re not doing what you’re doing with 100% commitment and passion, you’re maybe in the wrong job, and then look for something else. But it starts with being passionate about being hungry, really wanting to succeed or making a difference and so on.  

But energy, being able to have energy and being able to engage and energise others, of course, to take big decisions and execute on them is very, very important as well. But the P the passion is number one for me!” 

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Next Level Space Technology

In episode #68 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Steve Good, CCO of Ramon Space. He started his career at Hughes Network Systems before two stints at both Intelsat and contact EF data. He’s held a variety of executive roles in his career. 

He then moved to lead the strategic business development for TELUS Alenia Space before then, of course, joining him on space as their Chief Commercial Officer.

Steve’s had an illustrious career within the satellite industry spending over 25 years. So, we can quite rightly say that Steve is a true industry expert. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

So, where are you headed next? Where’s the next mission?

The next mission is, certainly we go further than then folks have gone before.

We’ve already got closer to the sun than folks have gone. But, at the end of the day, we need to bring that home to Earth, and what are we learning in space that we could use to better the human condition. So, what we’re really focused on is, you know, the future of space.

And, you know, another thing is we’re launching spacecraft for lifecycles of five years, seven years, 10 years, 15 or 20 years. Therefore, if you look in your crystal ball of 15 years back, which would take us to 2007, I don’t think anybody could imagine what we’re doing in 2022. And that’s, that’s the exciting part about it. 

So, there’s a lot of fear, or there should be fear, with putting up a static constellation, a static satellite that’s unable to adapt to new applications, we can remove that fear as an industry. 

What is left for you to learn in the future education on the horizon?

We learn something every day. So, life is a learning mechanism. But personally, I enjoy the classroom, I enjoy what a university setting provides and represents, and I enjoy being in the classroom. 

And I know that puts me in a minority, but I do like learning new things and increasing my knowledge. So, a PhD, perhaps a JD, perhaps, or both? Who knows? But expanding the mind is really something that I focus on.

So, how have you approached diversity in the company?

We believe that great ideas can come from everywhere, and anywhere, and different viewpoints are essential. We actively are recruiting we’ve grown, we’ve doubled in size over the past six months. 

So, I think we’re at about 60 people we read about 30, this time last year. We’re actively recruiting for a number of roles. And we believe that great ideas come from everywhere, and we need to offer additional opportunities for all. 

I think that we are looking at the universities, we’re looking at different backgrounds to bring to the table. It’s an interesting dynamic here where we’re all able to voice our opinions, and we’re a startup, so we wear many hats. So bringing in new opinions, and actively pursuing folks that come from different backgrounds are very key for us. 

To listen to the full episode, click here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Current State of the Video Industry

In episode #67 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Wolfgang Zeller. He has worked for some of the biggest names in European Telecommunications and broadcast from senior infrastructure roles with UPC to working as VP of service engineering for Vodafone Group

He’s held key roles in video technology for over 20 years, and he now heads up Vodafone’s Video Centre of Excellence.

We covered so much in this episode, from the state of the industry through to how he sees video progressing and changing over the coming years.

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

Are you excited by the current state of the industry?

Yes, of course! The ecosystem is changing, and different players are taking more important roles in the past. But, at the end of the day, we still have to deliver video to our subscribers, no matter what. You will meet different partners in the ecosystem with different roles, but it’s going to stay as it is – I’m certain.

But what do you think is the biggest lesson that the video industry can take away from this period of disruption?

I think if you look at it, everybody was very unhappy with their TV subscription model, and now, everybody is using third-party apps. 

So, I think we’re going to see a cost optimization exercise driven by our customer base. I think the idea is that you go direct to the consumer as the big provider and make loads of money – But I think it comes to an end slowly. And you can see it a little bit with Netflix already. 

Where do you see the biggest potential for content consumption?

Okay, so this might be a little far-fetched. But I’m really favouring if the self-driving cars – you can do a lot in them. 

You’re going to read the newspaper – and now people will watch a video. Maybe, another video device, with a different type of video – augmented reality, additional information, and so on and so forth. 

So, I think that’s what it is. And I break this all this down. What does it mean for us being in technology? It means “yeah, there’s going to be new devices and new types of infrastructures” – but, we need to make sure we deliver high video quality and it will have a myriad of new encoding technologies, too. 

So, there’s always something that’s a potential, especially if it motivates and drives people to consume video. 

What do you think will be the biggest challenge that it’s going to face the industry?

I think the challenge will be that you need to get the content to the people, and it will require a tremendous amount of bandwidth and capacity in any type of network. 

So, you have always these reports showing that consumption is peaking, and those reports haven’t changed over the last five to ten years. 

And, we’ll keep predicting, and people still building networks and consumers are still consuming the bandwidth and consuming a lot of video content. So, that’s going to be the challenge. And then, of course, you can be smart with encoding technologies, the way you deal with video.

You can listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Current State of The Connectivity Market  

In another insightful episode of The Tech That Connects Us podcast, we were joined by Jillian Kaplan, Head of Global Telecom Thought Leadership at Dell Technologies, who shared her impressive career progression as a working mother and perspective on the current state of the connectivity market. 

We’ve highlighted some of the key points below and you can listen to the full episode here. 

How do you see the current state of the market? 

The focus is very much on 5G at the moment. And as we look at 5G, we need to make sure we’re looking closely at the technologies that build 5G. So, the core, the brand, the foundation, the edge. For Dell Technologies, we have hardware that’s very focused on edge use cases and telecommunications use cases, which is extremely important. 

In terms of the state of the market, the focus is on making sure that the investments that are being made can be monetized and on helping CSPs understand how this can be done. So, to his end, building truly open networks is something that’s extremely important and something we’re focused on at Dell. We partner with communication service providers instead of just selling to them, for example. All the while, recognising that going to an enterprise market is different than going to a consumer market. So, that’s the biggest shift I see; this trend towards openness and ensuring things are happening in partnerships. 

What opportunities do you see in creating open networks? 

When we look at vertical use cases, manufacturing is going to be huge. There are opportunities in healthcare as well, and retail. If you think about it, when you think about the jump from 4G to 5G, a lot of people thought 5G was overhyped, because the existing apps didn’t actually need 5G to run on your phone today. But there will be 5G apps built, I don’t think it is overhyped. I think it’s important for consumers to get on the 5G network so that they’re ready for when 5G apps are built. 

For example, autonomous vehicles is a hot topic, even though it’s not happening tomorrow. And it’s important, as consumers, to start building an understanding about the different aspects involved, automation, for example, and question how we can learn about these developments before they roll out. 

How do you think the industry will change in the coming years? 

I’m confident the industry will become more diverse as things progress. One thing I’ve learned form being in the industry for so long, is that, especially in telecommunications companies, people tended to start their careers there and retire there, which isn’t the norm anymore. Although in telecommunications, it’s still not abnormal. 

As these people retire, it’s going to bring a new wave of talent and we’ll start to see more certificate programmes. I’d love to see more communications and 5G and 6G and WiFi 6 certifications out there, bringing a younger generation of people into the industry. I don’t think it has the same coolness factor as cloud technologies amongst young people, but I consider it to be just as cool; we need to help people understand how awesome a career in this industry can be. 

What are some of the factors that can help boost the diversity in the industry? 

Certificate programmes would be amazing because people wouldn’t need to necessarily major in telecommunications. There are a lot of people who have majored in something else but are curious to now learn about the telecommunications industry. 

I’m leading the Grow Talent Stream within the Diversity Council, working on getting more diverse talent interested. And one thing we did at Dell recently was, we hosted a webinar to showcase women who are working within the company who don’t have technical backgrounds, to show that you don’t need to know how to code to work in communications or even high tech. I think it’s really important for everyone to understand that you don’t need to be an engineer to work in tech and telecommunications. 

Click here to listen to the full episode. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How can the Content & Media sector be more sustainable?  

We were recently joined for another interesting episode of The Tech That Connects Us by Allan Delaurier, CEO at GLOOKAST, a company that develops tools to simplify digital media workflows by offering solutions to today’s most critical aspects of content productions and distribution.

How do you think leadership ought to look in the current state of the broadcast media industry? 

Everyone has their own individual talents and capabilities, but teamwork is the key. No one person can do everything. The focus should be on teamwork and an effort to want to succeed together.

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry today? 

A lot of players in the industry have downsized. The technical knowledge has dwindled; there aren’t a lot of people coming into the industry nowadays. Here in Canada, for example, schools would teach students about broadcast media and media entertainment, but all that is dwindling away. Which means a lot of graduates aren’t educated in how to get into the industry and the onus is transferred to manufacturers who like ourselves, to help guide clients through the difficult challenges and changes.

 What is it about your new role that really excites you? 

Cloud capability – the engine that’s driving progress. At GLOOKAST, we’re working to decide: Ok, where are we going to go, how are we going to get there, and how are we going to succeed? And because we’re software oriented, we’re transitioning very quickly into that type of business model. 

What do you think the future holds for content production and distribution? 

What excites me is the IP, the technology behind the capabilities. As we know, in the past, it transitioned from analogue to SD to HD and now 4K etc. But what’s happening is baseband is becoming less relevant, and IP is becoming more relevant. So, for example, say a football game is filed on a camera at 1080p that gets 3GB per second. But at home, a viewer isn’t watching at 3GB, they’re watching anywhere between 5 and 20MB   per second. So the quality is being compressed. In theory, the 3GB quality is good, but at home, you’re not seeing that. 

So, now you’ve got transport streams like NDI and STR with ingest-type capabilities, not just for playout. When I started in the industry 20 years ago, IP was just a management control solution, and it was primitive. Now the control of management is all IP that’s transporting over to the signal that we’re transporting on an IP as well. 

We’re going through a transition where we have the capabilities to run the NDI, the SRTs over IP. We know a lot of manufacturers out there already starting; companies in the camera industry are getting outputs in an IP contribution, for example. 

Nowadays we have cameras, even on our phones, that are good enough to record high quality content. What we need to figure out is how to get that content into our system, and that’s where GLOOKAST comes in; we’re solving the workflow puzzle by taking those different types of formats and different types of cameras and putting them into the workflow. 

How can the sector focus on being more sustainable? 

Power consumption is one area where it’s economically sustainable. Nowadays you can run more processes and do more capabilities on a single processing unit, you don’t have to buy a single purpose hardware unit to do one job. Whereas you can have one piece of hardware doing multiple jobs, which consumes less electricity. So, that’s an area where we’re all working towards sustainability. 

You can listen to the full episode here. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Consolidation Of The Space Industry  

In episode #63 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were lucky to be joined by Sebastian Asprella and Vojtech Holub, the CEO and CTO of ThinkOrbital. We wanted to learn about their take on consolidation in the space industry (and a few other interesting topics).

We touched on the technology behind ThinkOrbital, tried to learn whether they were ambitious or just crazy, and wanted to know roughly where the industry was headed as they explore new and attractive opportunities.

When will we see new consolidation in space?

The first area appears to be launch. We’re not saying we’re experts in this field, but we did talk to people who are. We analysed the market in depth regarding where we come in to see where that sets us apart. So, I would imagine that launch would probably be the first one.

I’m not sure if the market is oversaturated. But it’s interesting to see that there are still new startups or new companies coming into launch. And I would imagine unless they’re extremely differentiated, I don’t see how that’s a concern.

The second area that comes to mind is the mega IoT constellations. So many of them could be sustained, and there’s been so much capital going into them. Consolidation doesn’t necessarily mean that companies go out of business, but there may be some mergers and acquisitions along the way.

Vojtech, do you agree or have different opinions on that?

Launch may end up even worse than consolidation, in the sense that consolidation assumes that the larger, more successful companies will buy the smaller non-successful ones. Unfortunately, most of them will just go bankrupt and disappear. There will be just a few survivors of different sizes for the few markets.

In space, there is a need for orbital tags, and a lot of companies have seen that. These tags would allow you to change orbits, grab a satellite, move it, refuel it, etc. And this is a crucial capability that is desperately needed everywhere. But there are also a lot of companies that are working towards that. And I don’t know how many companies can be sustained this way. Maybe the national security interest of individual countries will come in and make them all work. I’m not sure. But it’s another thing that pops into my mind.

You can listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Who are OroraTech and what do they do?

In episode #61 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Thomas Grübler, the CEO of OroraTech. 

We touched on his career so far, as well as his insight on Diversity and Inclusion as well as what he’s actively doing.

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

What’s been going on since Covid? 

“We really grew during Covid, we launched our product actually a few weeks before the first lockdown, so all the ideas to travel everywhere and to get customers, and we got a partner in South America from it!”

How does it work? 

“So, when we started, we found out that these companies are actually not using the data which exists today already!

For example, when you have a firefighter’s number, and in a control room, quite often, they don’t know about the FS system, or the Global Forest Watch systems, and there are several reasons for that. Now let’s say there’s a huge fire, we fuse the data from all the different satellites, which are existing now, and we added our own algorithms on top. 

Then we can use our data to send off to them to use. So, they get the information, partly via email via API in the system, or we used WhatsApp previously!”

So from a diversity perspective, what is your take on it?

“Oh, what we were super lucky that from the beginning is we came from university, and our university is the most diverse place, we went to LSE. So, yes, there are people from everywhere in the world studying at the Technical University of Munich. 

So, we grew up as a complete diverse team. And what I’m super happy about is that we are not based on government defence contracts, and without needing defence, we can hire anyone from all over the world.” 

What would be the one piece of advice that you’d give to somebody that was entering the industry?

“So it’s super important to focus on the customer. It’s advice I always get from my investors, I think I do it. But on the other hand, it’s advice I’m giving to everyone. So, the customer should be really at the beginning.”

To listen to the full episode, click here. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

neuco are going to LA!

As the world starts to get used to traveling again and conference season is in full swing, the neuco team are getting ready for a year packed full of international travel as we continue our search for the brightest minds and most exciting technology providers in the Satellite and NewSpace industries.

“Where are we going next?” I hear you ask. Well, the neuco team will be showing up in full force at this year’s Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, California. This show, as well as its sister show in Bremen, is always a fantastic one and we are looking forward to meeting as many of you there as we can.

If you are attending and would love to chat all things space, satellite, NewSpace – and maybe a little bit of recruitment thrown in for good measure – then click the link below to arrange a meeting or reach out directly to one of our industry specialist consultants.

Ad astra!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Diversity in the Space and NewSat industry

In episode #59 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Miguel Ayala, the CEO of Aphelion Aerospace.

We touched on his career so far, as well as his insight on Diversity and Inclusion as well as what his business is actively doing. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

How do you think Diversity can be better addressed in the industry? 

“I look back at my own experience, and I’m not saying that, that everybody is like me, or thinks like me. But, one thing that I’ve noticed is that people follow people that they can relate to.  

What that means to me is that now that I have a growing platform, and that people are starting to listen to me, I intend to be more engaged with the community and more vocal with the community to raise awareness.  

I also want to find more young people that are looking for role models like them, that look like them. And at the same time, I invite other people of different backgrounds to have a say. I think there are many ways of doing things respectfully without offending anybody.” 

What kind of things are you doing at the moment to address this? 

“One of the things that we’re actively doing right now is we’re partnering with a non-profit organisation. This gentleman, who was part of a non-profit, put together this CubeSat project; a three-step project for high school students.  

The first step is for high school students to get grouped in teams, and build CubeSat simulators. Then, the next step is for them to build fake cube sets that are launched with the balloon, and then eventually, the next the third phase will be to build actual or real cube sets, get launched on a rocket. We have high schools here in the US, in Canada in the UK and Ecuador. 

We’ve seen so much interest from all these different high schools all over the world. So then all these kids regardless of financial status, they can get engaged, and they can learn how to build the cube sets.” 

What one piece of advice would you give to someone entering the industry? 

“Talk to people and build a good relationship with your boss, make sure that your boss and your manager are aware of your interests, your strengths and your weaknesses. And, be completely candid about your strengths and weaknesses as well. Make sure that your boss is actually your advocate. Unfortunately, a bad boss, especially early on can damage your career.  

Also, make sure you have a good relationship with your co-workers and with other leaders in the company and industry. Finally, maintain high integrity,  not just because you should, but also because you just don’t know who you will cross paths again with in the future.  

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The future of Content & Media

In episode #58 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were thrilled to be joined by Andy Hooper, who is the VP of Platform and Product management at Agile Content. Andy started his career in Accenture on their graduate programme later moving into the video space with Motorola.

We touched on his career so far, as well as his views and aspirations for the future both professionally and personally.

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

High quality content: What’s the reality of it? And, what’s the future of it? 

“The reality is that for a huge number of operators, there is space in the market for well delivered, well constructive high-quality TV and video viewing experiences, and that’s going to remain for a very long time.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say, a segment of people’s time will always be spent doing that and consuming it passively on a bigger screen, that’s and that’s not going to go away in the next 50 years. 

So admittedly, a lot of the attention will go away from that, but that’s fundamentally going to stay there. 

We tend to sometimes over-focus on the selling side of the technology in this industry on particular capabilities. But for a lot of customers, it’s still very important to have partners that are reliable and, and can execute and  be trustworthy.”

On a more personal level, in your career, are there any big goals or targets you have that you’d still like to achieve?

“Most of my life, I spent a lot of time removing stuff from my life, whether it’s clutter, or gadgets that I don’t need, and I resist buying gadgets that I’m unlikely to use very much anymore. That was something that I’ve learned. So, my ambitions don’t need to be driven by material possessions as much as they perhaps used to. 

I want to be able to say that I’ve created something from scratch. That’s the one thing that I think I’ve always been quite successful in. 

One thing that I’d like to achieve would be to find a moment that’s right, from a family and personal perspective, to start from scratch and take something from zero to something; and provide some honest employment for some good people on the way.”

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The next industrial revolution?

In episode #57 of The Tech That Connects Us, we hosted Gary Calnan, CEO of Cislunar Industries, who are an exciting Space company working at the forefront of orbital debris removal and space manufacturing. 

He has a breadth of experience both in and out of the Space industry, and it was great to pick his brains on everything related to his role, as well as “the next industrial revolution” which we’ll be covering today.

We hope you enjoy it.

What’s your current view of the market? And where do you see it heading?

“I think that we’re at the beginning of a new industrial revolution, actually. And, I think that it’s going to be driven by space. 

My only personal experience was similar to this when the internet sort of emerged in the 90s. In 1990, I would have been 12 years old. So, that gives you some idea of how old I was when the internet was emerging, right? I think that we are right at that moment where it’s just starting and people, who are visionary see the potential.

Imagine sitting here right now knowing that people will use the capabilities that are the infrastructure that’s being laid down right now for space? In the future, as costs come way down, peoples ideas will be built. 

It’s going to enable lots of new things,  but the market right now, I think, is really a boom time.  We’re seeing a lot of investment pouring into it from the private sector. And, you know, we’re seeing increased interest from the government as well to support these things.”

What do you want to achieve? 

“I think we need to create a robust in-space economy.  I think we’re well on the way to solving launch; there are over 100 companies trying to do their own launch vehicle, but we see SpaceX really driving the cost down there. If we can put all those pieces together, and start to build that industrial layer in space, I think that’s the next step.”

What are the steps to make that happen?

“You build a robust economy in space, you can then tackle space debris and build the foundation for a moon that has hotels for tourists. And then that lays the foundation for going out beyond and utilising nuclear propulsion technologies to increase the speed of travel. 

The foundation piece is building up this industrial economy and cislunar space, encouraging that to happen, and sort of try and drive that forward. That, to me is the next Grand Challenge. And now, there won’t be an interplanetary species for sure.​!”

You can listen to the full episode here!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Satellite & NewSpace Key Trends. neuco’s annual 2022 key trends report.

What’s in store for the Satellite & NewSpace industry?

2022, where’s it going to go, what does it have in store?

We’ve collated key trends from some of the influential figures across the 4 sectors we recruit into – Cyber Security, Connectivity, Content & Media and Satellite & NewSpace.

We’ve spoken to experts from companies such as A5G Networks, Dish Networks, Casa Systems, and more!

If you want to find out what we think will be the key trends for cyber security this year, then just click the link below to download now!

Click here to download now.

Content & Media Key Trends. neuco’s annual 2022 key trends report.

What’s in store for the Content & Media industry?

2022, where’s it going to go, what does it have in store?

We’ve collated key trends from some of the influential figures across the 4 sectors we recruit into – Cyber Security, Connectivity, Content & Media and Satellite & NewSpace.

We’ve spoken to experts from companies such as Sky, Amagi, Xite, and more!

If you want to find out what we think will be the key trends for cyber security this year, then just click the link below to download now!

Click here to download now.

Connectivity Key Trends. neuco’s annual 2022 key trends report.

What’s in store for the Connectivity industry?

2022, where’s it going to go, what does it have in store?

We’ve collated key trends from some of the influential figures across the 4 sectors we recruit into – Cyber Security, Connectivity, Content & Media and Satellite & NewSpace.

We’ve spoken to experts from companies such as Sky, Orbit Fab, Casa Systems, and A5G Networks.

If you want to find out what we think will be the key trends for cyber security this year, then just click the link below to download now!

Click here to download now.

Cyber Security Key Trends. neuco’s annual 2022 key trends report.

What’s in store for the Cyber Security industry?

2022, where’s it going to go, what does it have in store?

We’ve collated key trends from some of the influential figures across the 4 sectors we recruit into – Cyber Security, Connectivity, Content & Media and Satellite & NewSpace.

We’ve spoken to experts from companies such as Sky, Orbit Fab, Casa Systems, and A5G Networks.

If you want to find out what we think will be the key trends for cyber security this year, then just click the link below to download now!

Click here to download now.

The current state of the connectivity industry

In episode #56 of The Tech That Connects Us, we had the opportunity to sit down with Ollie Anderson, SVP, Americas at Benetel

We had an in-depth conversation about everything connectivity related, from how he got into the industry (after a stint in the military) through to the more intricate details of his role and the current state of the market. 

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it!

Which specific technology do you think has had the biggest impact on our industry?

“In my view, wireless broadband. It’s one of the biggest things and has enabled a lot of the content industry, a lot of the social media, mobile, you know, video distribution to do to handsets, etc. 

So, I think that has been the biggest thing. And now, going into the future, I think we are going to see more of augmented reality, virtual reality applications coming towards the consumers and being used at the industrial enterprise side, all enabled within wireless connectivity.”

How has the pandemic impacted the connectivity from your perspective and the industry?

“The need for connectivity has grown. And people have been realising that we need reliable connectivity. And now, when, when most of the world is working from home, we are using conferencing tools, just like we are today. So, I think the need for connectivity has grown immensely.”

Which region do you see as having the largest growth area between APAC and the Americas?

“So we see a lot of growth in Europe and in Americas at the moment. Both regions are extremely active and roll out 5G and so on. So, America, as far as Europe is a very active place for us.”

What do you anticipate being the big hot topics in the connectivity industry over the next 12 months?

“I think we are going to see a lot of private 5G solutions and deployments being done specifically for private networks, enterprises, industrial networks, and those alike. 

I think that will be clearly a trend. You see a lot of the cloud providers, for example, lining up their 5G solution offerings and bringing that functionality closer to the enterprise.”

If you’d like to listen to the full episode, click here to access it!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What are the barriers to space colonisation?

In episode #55 of The Tech That Connects us, we had the opportunity to speak with Bart Womack, CEO of Eden Grow Systems about his thoughts on space colonisation (amongst other insightful topics). 

Eden Grow Systems have had a fantastic year, from exceptional growth through to making significant key hires to take them to the next level. The future looks incredibly bright for the business, and we were so glad to have Bart on the podcast – we hope you enjoy it!

What do you see as the next major barrier to space colonisation? 

“I was at a conference one time with Bezos, we got to meet him and we were also both speakers. And, the biggest secret is that unless we radically genetically modify our bodies, we’re not built for space. 

When Bezos gave a talk at the New World Summit, he was saying that the real future of humanity will be in low Earth orbit; sky cities and sky platforms. This is because you can access the resources of the planet, and you can create a living environment that’s much more suitable for humans and enjoyable for humans, than in space.”

What are the realities of us living in space? 

“I don’t want to be negative, but from a resource standpoint, it’s not feasible. It’s not feasible without radically altering humans. So, I think we need to understand how we’re going to adapt our physiology and even our psychology to adapt to these environments and retain our humanity. 

I think a lot of times when I talk about the Earth being like a garden, one of the most important things that we understand is that we have to grow out of the pot first. You’re not going to just go out into space and Earth. 

Maybe when we have technology that can instantaneously transport us to other places. But until we have that technology, we have to grow out so that we’re still connected into the ecosystem here.”

What’s next for you and the team? 

“Right now we’re building our manufacturing facilities so that we can start expanding the orders that we’re doing. One of the most significant things is in January, we’re launching our crowdfunding on Republic. 

My dream is for our towers because as Dr. Day said, our towers are resilient, they offer the greatest profile of what can be grown. The next step is looking at getting high nutrient density food into kids stomachs. I went to public school, and the food that they eat is one step away from prison food!” 

If you’d like to listen to the full episode, click here to access it!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Startup Leaders Show with Lisa Dreher – Recruiting for Space and Beyond

On Tuesday neuco Co-Founder Laurie Scott joined Lisa Dreher on the Startup Leaders Show.

On the show, Laurie shares his keys to success, lessons learned along the way and how he has managed around and through roadblocks and scaled past the plateaus.

If you missed the episode or would like to watch it back you can watch it now.

The 2022 Key Trend for the connectivity industry.

For episode 54 of The Tech That Connects Us we were joined by François Duchêne – VP Wireless Solutions EMEA at Casa Systems.  

Tom Wilding and Alistair Wilson spoke with Francois about OpenRAN, Private networks and 5G, as well as what the future hold for Casa Systems. 

One question they asked Francois was what will be a ‘key trend’ for 2022 in the connectivity industry. 

Here’s what Francois had to say… 

“I will say even more acceleration, not only in terms of the 5G but in terms of the connectivity you get for global IoT. 

The industry is changing in multiple areas. With 5G we are moving to 5G as a standalone to allow the slicing capabilities on everything in their network providing public edge computing. 

We’ll see more private manufacturing in these areas and the global IoT connectivity as we’re seeing more and more connectivity of multiple devices including cars, phones, watches etc. So we’ll see a rise of smart cities allowing all devices to have narrowband IoT connectivity. 

This connectivity needs to be international as well. Because we’re living in a world where everything is moving and these vehicles are travelling all over the world and will need to be connected.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Diversity – we all have a part to play.

On Episode 53 of The Tech That Connects Us Tegan Valeny and Tim Meredith were joined by Carrie Wooton Managing Director at Rise – a group for Women in Broadcast.

With over 20 years of experience in the industry and being number 9 on TVB Europe’s The Watch List for 2021, Carrie is changing the Media Broadcast Industry!

We take a deep dive into issues surrounding Diversity, Inclusion and all that comes alongside. Read on for a few of Carrie’s insights into this topic.

How can we all be encouraging young talent into the industry? It’s got to start at a grassroots level. How can we all be addressing this? 

 
“It’s through exactly that, we’ve got to be spending time going into schools without a doubt. Individually and also collectively. As organisations make their commitments to diversity they have to allow staff to have the time to go into schools and work with, sponsor and champion these young people. 

We’ve worked with over 400 children in a three week period with our workshops, so let’s say 50% of them were interested. So we’re talking about creating a funnel and we have to commit to investing in those young people whether it’s going in to talk to them about job opportunities and pathways. 

The great thing is we live in a hybrid world, so it doesn’t always need to be face to face. Schools are crying out for workshops like this. They need engagement from us as an industry. So, company leaders need to make sure teams have time to go in and work with schools. But also have commitments to sponsor young people who are perhaps in lower socioeconomic areas and might not have the funding to come to London for a job, interview, workshop or event. But make those commitments. The opportunity is there, the possibility is there, and we can make it happen, we can change the dial without a doubt.” 

“The opportunity is there, the possibility is there, and we can make it happen, we can change the dial without a doubt.” 

 
What other recommendations would you give to these senior leaders as they build teams, as they recruit, as they seek to make their teams diverse and inclusive? 

 
“There are so many different things aren’t there? It’s about making sure that your recruitment process as a whole is fair and transparent. It’s about making sure that those processes also have diversity in them and that you go out to diverse communities with those job adverts. You also need to ensure that your HR teams are doing that, and not just going to the same usual places. One thing we’ve done is launch our own job board at Rise. Which has been brilliant, and it’s an amazing place to make sure you’re reaching a diverse community. 

Working with schools as I’ve already mentioned and with this for leaders, it’s all about the proof is in the pudding. As the leader are you going to be the one going into the school? Are you going to do it yourself because you feel passionate about the change you want to see in the industry? I don’t think as senior leaders you can say to your teams to go out if you’re not willing to step up and do it yourself. There has to be a demonstration of that commitment.  

One of the most simple things companies can do is make sure that gender diversity and ethnic diversity is represented on their website. If you don’t do this then how are people going to feel like this is an inclusive place to work in. 

From policies and procedures through to their recruitment processes through to their commitment to diversity, ensure the younger generation understands that there’s a pathway available to them. 

It’s also important that you as a company are committed to investing in them and ensuring their talent and expertise, which might not always be academic but to make sure that they know and that they feel invested in. 

We know that diversity improves the bottom line, there’s so much research behind that. We also know that diversity improves product innovation and the innovation cycle. Therefore that investment is going to come back to you as a company and your bottom line.” 

 
What would you say to people suffering from imposter syndrome or potentially thinks that an industry isn’t for them because they can’t see other people like themselves in it? 

“There’s so much we need to do around this. In our leadership report, we released last week 75% of those senior leaders did say that they experience imposter syndrome. What imposter syndrome does is it impacts your confidence which in turn impacts your internal dialogue to make you think about whether you should be going for that job and whether you can actually make a difference or not. 

It takes leaders and teams to understand that people experience imposter syndrome. There has to be an inclusive culture within the organisation that allows people no matter their gender or ethnicity to be comfortable to speak up about their imposter syndrome. 

A good solution for this would be mentors, whether they’re formal or informal mentors, we know the value of those and the impact they can have on your confidence and therefore your imposter syndrome. We see that within the mentees too, not just having a mentor but having a group of women that you work with every year, who have your back, champion you and talk things through with you. 

There are tools and techniques to help you through imposter syndrome, but underlying all the tools is confidence. The confidence comes through working in a supportive and inclusive environment. We can also manage our internal dialogue, ‘what does it mean? and what is the fear that underlines that?’.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What does the future hold for the connectivity industry?

Joining John Clifton and Tim Meredith on episode 52 of The Tech That Connects Us was Luis Beute VP Global Sales for Content Providers at Qwilt.

Luis takes us through how he made the jump from telecommunications to CDN and moved halfway around the world to do it too. Focusing on how he has taken as many lessons from colleagues and partners as from managers and mentors, this was a really great insight into Luis and his approach to balancing work and life.

One question we put to Luis was ‘what does the future hold for the connectivity industry?’, read on to find out his answer.

“I haven’t been a good visionary ever, but I’ll do my best. I believe as part of the habits we’re adopting because of COVID now there are many things we want to do from home that we used to do in person that virtual reality can really help with.  

In certain sectors it is already happening, take the real estate, for example, there are companies where you don’t need to visit the premises you are thinking of purchasing, it can all be done via VR. It’s also being adopted in the retail sector to some degree too. 

So VR has some future, but it’s also going to require some infrastructure characteristics that are yet to be widely adopted and that might take some years. 

5G, has already opened some doors but will continue to open more. If you think about it, what did you lack when we were only working with 3G? I’d say you weren’t missing many things. But then when 4G came along you can now watch very good quality videos on mobile for example. I think 5G will do the same, but more from an automation side including low latency.  

One of the applications for 5G I’ve been discussing is connected cars. This will take many years, as there needs to be the technology and the regulation for this. I’ll liken the advance of this technology to when e-commerce first launched, there was a lot of resistance from people to put your credit card number on the internet, so can you imagine sitting in a car without driving it or having somebody you know driving it? 

So a lot of the future advances will come down to the regulations and infrastructure around the applications of these technologies. I believe that this way has no return, I can’t say how long it will take but that’s the way we’re heading as an industry.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

We’re Attending Space Tech Expo Europe

The count down begins as Andrew Ball and Ewan Lawrenson represent neuco at Space Tech, Bremen!

Space Tech Expo Europe is the continent’s major dedicated supply-chain and engineering event for manufacturing, design, test and engineering services for spacecraft, subsystems and space-qualified components. The exhibition and conference draw attendance from thousands of industry leaders, decision makers, engineers, specifiers and buyers to meet manufacturers across the supply chain for commercial, government and military space.

If you are in Bremen on the 17th or 18th of November, make sure you drop them a note to get in touch!

TRADESHOWS ARE BACK ….Space Tech Expo Europe… it’s going to be a blast!!!

#neuco #spacetechexpo

You can’t be what you can’t see

Joining Tegan Valeny and Jake Sparkes for episode 51 of The Tech That Connects Us was Kate Wendelboe.

Kate has had a fascinating career and held senior, influential roles at BT, such as Director of Media & Broadcast and sits on the Board for Rise – a group for Women in Broadcast.

We delved into how Rise is helping address issues of diversity and inclusion, as well as a few other questions around inclusive teams and fitting in, here’s what Kate had to say.

How are Rise helping address issues of diversity and inclusion?  

“One of the best things we do with Rise is making sure that there’s that pipeline of talent coming up. Because that is it; it’s educating children from the youngest of ages, about the opportunities that are out there for them to open their minds up to industries like media broadcast and cyber security. 

With Rise we have a whole series of programmes where we’re looking at the pipeline, all the way from school, up to supporting professionals who are decades into their careers. Our Rise Up programme goes into school and we get kit and link it to some of the science curricula and talk about how images appear on screens. Then we get them to set up a studio in their classroom, so it’s a hands-on experience. Then in the afternoon, they film a game show which brings the whole thing to life for them. 

We’re then finding ways to keep in touch with them as they progress through the education system. We’ve set up a mentoring scheme for people who are at university, we’ve then got a second scheme for people who are early in their career and then networking events throughout to promote the network and to allow people to feel supported.”

So how can we make our teams more inclusive? 

“We’ve just had a brilliant series of events at BT about race, diversity and inclusion, and it’s something that we’re talking a lot about internally. You can have diversity but without inclusion, it’s important to make sure there’s representation. So we’re making sure that we have enough of different groups represented. So that everybody in the team can look around and see somebody who is a bit like them in some ways. And that very much helps in gender inclusivity and makes diversity sustainable. 

‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ 

This all comes back to culture it’s so important that we create a culture where these things can be discussed, and myths can be dispelled and people limiting beliefs about themselves can be worked through and dispelled as much as possible.”

What would your advice be to someone worried about fitting into the industry or concerned about being different? 

“Make sure that you’ve found as many different people as you can within the industry, to make sure you’re getting lots of different perspectives and find somebody that you can trust to talk to. It may be easier said than done but those conversations that you can have when you find somebody you can be open with will help you dispel some of the myths.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What does the threat landscape look like right now for OT?

Joining us for episode 50 of The Tech That Connects Us was David Brown Vice President and General Manager, International Sales – ZeroFOX. We heard his insights on the OT domain – where he’s headed up both IPOs and acquisitions, what really keeps CISOs up at night, alternative models for industry events, how to recognise the potential in new hires and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

One question Jake Sparkes and John Clifton put to David was ‘What does the threat landscape look like right now for OT?’ Here’s what he had to say.

“There’s no doubt that there are more types of attacks now on OT. We’re seeing ransomware popping up a lot more commonly, or at least we’re hearing about that more now. 

One of the interesting bits about OT is actually when you look at the infrastructure it’s built on. I’d still say that Windows NT and XP are probably the most prevalent operating systems in an OT environment around the world. 

So what does that mean? It means that there’s a tonne of exploits available straight off the internet, you don’t need to be that smart. But if you work up through the levels of sophistication and if we’re talking about large organisations they’ve got quite a sophisticated security posture. 

The two things that I think are really interesting at the moment in that space is the consolidation of the technology to see what’s going on in your OT network. Because if you are a CESO or an information security director then you’ve got more flashing lights than you know what to do with. You may also have an ageing workforce without the domain expertise to understand what’s going on. 

So I think there’s going to be a bigger drive for how do you consolidate all that stuff into a single pane of glass, there’ll be a drive to provide either AI or a managed service that provides recommended actions and remedial work for the top three to five actions that the organisation needs to be focused on. And those actions will be evidenced by what’s going on outside in the rest of the world. 

The second thing that’s of interest at the moment is risk. So you’re seeing now there are new bills going through in the US, and CESOs are looking at what’s the risk across all of my platforms IT and OT. A drive for this is that it’s not been so easy to understand what’s going on with OT, because you’ve had all these flashing lights and an unconnected system, with a lot of tech but it’s just not connected.  

The reason they want to know what their risk is because there’s also a developing insurance market where a number of insurers are getting together and looking at how they can take IT and OT cyber risk and turn that into a sellable product. When we look at the potential of that market it’s probably 30-40 times the size of the complete OT market. What I can see we will get to in the next 2-3 years is a similar system to the black boxes currently being used by vehicle insurers, so you’ll have a premium and it will vary depending on your attitude to risk and your controls that are in place across the whole estate. That then allows organisations to make an economic decision because you might say I will stand the increase in premium which justifies me doing these things across my plant. 

This then becomes a very much return on investment decision. It’s not about fear, uncertainty and doubt it’s actually about economic imperative.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Why the space industry needs to be thinking about refuelling.

Joining us on episode 49 of The Tech That Connects Us was Daniel Faber CEO at Orbit Fab. Daniel joined Andrew Ball and Ewan Lawrenson to discuss the future of the space industry and how Orbit Fab will fuel it. The vision Daniel has for the future of space is nothing short of spectacular!

So why does the space industry need to be thinking about refuelling?

“The problem is nobody is buying fuel in orbit yet. It’s worse than that, as nobody has fuelling ports. Everyone is in a paradigm where you just don’t refuel satellites. We’re working on getting people out of that paradigm and shifting that mindset. 

‘don’t disrupt your customers, disrupt your competition’ 

 So we’re trying to convince our customers, the satellite operators whose business is providing telecommunications service to people on the ground, they’re focusing on that, so they don’t want their business disrupted. 

 What we decided to do instead was realise that they shouldn’t be our first customers. The satellite operators will come along eventually but for now, we’re looking to partner with other satellite servicing businesses. For example, companies that are building tow trucks in space, these tow trucks are used for rendezvous and docking, it’s part of their procedure. 

 What currently happens is the tow trucks are used for four or five operations, they run out of fuel, you then throw away the tow truck and build a brand new one. You run out of fuel, throw away your tow truck and buy a completely new one and launch it. 

 In the space industry, despite how inefficient something is we still do it. Because there’s so much value to having that vantage point in space. 

 Once we’d realised that our market was the tow trucks and satellite servicing companies our probability of winning as a company is predicated on the satellite servicing industry. 3 years ago there were eight companies in this industry, today more than 60 companies are working on satellite servicing a 600% increase. 

‘today more than 60 companies are working on satellite servicing a 600% increase’. 

 The perception in the industry is that satellite servicing is inevitable. So it’s been a huge change in a brand new industry.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How can the Broadcast Media Industry have a positive impact on the Environment?

Joining us on episode 48 of The Tech That Connects Us was Darren Long Group Operations Transformation Design CT&I for Sky. Darren has been working for Sky for the past 32 years across News, Sports Entertainment and Production, as a director in a range of different capacities, such as Group Content Processing, Production and Services and Operations.

Darren joined Tegan Valeny and Henry Johnson where they discussed diversity, inspiring a healthy culture, the future of content creation and the importance of owning a dog.

One question Tegan and Henry put to Darren was ‘How can the broadcast media industry have a positive impact on the environment?’ Here’s what he had to say.

“At Sky, we’re now committed to becoming carbon neutral. Last weekend we did our first carbon-neutral football match in conjunction with Tottenham and the supporting staff and infrastructure. 

If we look at these opportunities, we’ve got an important role to play. We are a broadcaster, and all broadcasters need to ensure that we lead by example. That’s something that Sky has always wanted to do and we’re very lucky because we own the whole supply chain, everything from the customer buying the equipment through to making and distributing the programmes. This gives us a unique opportunity to own that whole customer journey from an environmentally friendly perspective. So we can ensure that from a carbon-neutral point of view we tick every single box along the journey. 

We took a really strong lead on this and Jeremy Darroch was instrumental in ensuring that everything we do going forward is “do we reduce our carbon footprint?”. From the packaging, we use to the way we recycle our equipment. Traditionally people would hold on to the equipment and never give it back, so of course, it went to landfills and various other things. Now, technically, you never own that equipment personally, it’s owned by Sky so that means once your contract finishes and you no longer want it then we take that back and recycle. 

 Everything we do going forward will be about actually how can we minimise the environmental impact. All the Sports we’re at, we ensure that the people who are working on the sports are doing so in a way that’s very economical and reducing the carbon footprint. From how they get to the venues, all the way through to the distribution platform minimising the power that we’re using. 

The key thing we can do is sending the message around why this is important and making sure that message is strong. So every single day we have a climate report which is on Sky News. It’s about educating people, not just preaching, but trying to give people an understanding of why we’re doing this. We believe in this wholeheartedly, and from an industry point of view if you look at all these productions now that whether they be for Sky or other companies they are trying to measure every single part of the impact of those productions. Traditionally you’d build sets and then destroy them, you’d use plastic cups and all those things. So whilst some of these things are very small, you know what? From small things grow large trees. 

 Sky is not just doing this as a tick box exercise, we really do believe in what we’re doing 100% and everything we do going forward around the way that we deliver our services and the way we recycle our services is going to be measured. That in itself is important, people should hold us accountable for our actions. It’s important that when products arrive that customers know that packaging isn’t just thrown in the bin but can be brought back to Sky, recycled and used again. 

 From an industry point of view, it’s time for us to lead the charge. There are lots of good broadcasters, filmmakers, and TV production crews who are doing this now. So we have a responsibility to keep doing this, keep improving and keep supporting companies and industries that bring innovation in this area as well.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Is the Cyber Security industry getting cloud security wrong?

Joining us on episode 47 of The Tech That Connects Us was Trish Cagliostro Head of Worldwide Alliances at Wiz. Trish joined Laurie Scott and Andrew Ball. They only scratched the surface in a conversation that spanned Cloud Security, threat intelligence, the partner landscape, Cyber’s diversity challenge, the joys of softball and much more!

Trish is a thought leader in the cyber security industry, so whilst we had her on the podcast we needed to find out if the industry was getting cloud security wrong as is mentioned by commentators in the industry. Here’s what Trish had to say. 

“Cloud security is hard. It’s hard and it’s a little bit different from what the rest of the industry says. Cloud security isn’t so much of a problem for the born in the cloud companies, such as Netflix, they’re fine. Where this does become an issue is when a traditional enterprise goes to the cloud. Organisations go to the cloud for innovation, the costs savings are nice, but it’s the elasticity and the ability to endlessly expand and instantly expand globally that is powerful. 

However, the way these traditional organisations go to the cloud typically looks like this. They look at their applications on-premise, they go with what’s easy and upload some VMs into the cloud and expect to take their on-premise security structure with them. 6 months then go by, and the customer is thinking that they can’t innovate and they aren’t saving much money. So they want to look at what they can do differently from here. They’ll then start to refactor some of their applications, containerise, embrace some more modern application architecture, replatform and kick the Oracle legacy databases to the curb. 

Now the organisation will have a stopping point on their cloud adoption, they have their legacy on-premise tools supporting the legacy workloads. So now they need to go out and use some cloud-native services as all the cloud providers have cloud-native services. But they’ll have some very different types of computing that are very different in the cloud than they are on-premise. Then there’s the idea of a managed service which comes with the complication of the shared responsibility model. So at this point, the company will be looking at different tools from different vendors for niche cloud security. This is where the breach happens, all of a sudden, there are three separate data silos, the traditional on-premise tools, the cloud-native services from the cloud providers and the new types of security tools that were brought in to deal with the new types of cloud computing. 

So now these organisations still can’t innovate, they’re probably spending just as much money as they were in the first place, Then the cloud provider comes in and says ‘let me tell you about serverless’. The whole model is then broken. So in this instance, I don’t think it’s fair to blame the cyber security industry. It’s a shared responsibility between the industry and the customers as well, to think differently about security in the cloud. 

I meet with partners all the time, and they’ll say to me ‘Okay got it, it’s the same way we dealt with data centre security. But you can’t think that way. You have to think of a customer and the entire cloud journey they’re going on, and then understand how to build a security strategy that supports them across that. 

The other part of this is beyond just helping them with the security strategy and explaining that the customer will need to have an unusually long term vision with this and that we need to be transparent, understanding and really dig into what we’re doing in the cloud. A lot of time to the customers it’s not obvious, they’re normally using a managed service and think they’re good. You need to have a clear understanding of what your responsibilities are as a vendor, then make sure you have the controls and mitigation in place to account for what’s really important.  

I really do think that when we think about this we can’t just think about it in phases, we have to think about it holistically through the journey. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What’s the current state of the new space market right now?

Joining us on episode 46 of The Tech That Connects Us was Sascha Deri CEO at bluShift Aerospace. Sascha joined Laurie Scott and Andrew Ball.

bluShift Aerospace, are an exciting New Space company aiming to not only drastically reduce the cost of space flight but also offer a much more environmentally friendly solution than any other launch provider out there at the moment.  

So what is the state of the New Space marketing currently? What’s happening and what’s coming to the market soon? Here’s what Sascha is currently seeing. 

“The market is taking off, there was some suppression of the market last year thanks to COVID, but that was for everybody. So with the nano and small sat launches that are occurring now they’re being owned by Space X, the majority of the small sats that are out there are theirs. But they are out there making it happen – so kudos to them. 

But there are also rocket companies left and right, in addition to launch specifics services like our own. But now those companies are looking at the possibility of also providing some payloads of their own because you’re sending stuff all that way, it isn’t a stretch to provide some of your services or at least some of your technologies. 

The market certainly didn’t grow as much as we wanted it to in the last year from what I saw. But Frost and Sullivan came up with a market report which said the market is looking strong and aiming to do 38 billion in just launches for small satellites to space by 2030. So that will remain a very strong industry. 

For us, the opportunities is not only that, but the population and corporations are looking to do things in a more earth responsible way. There’s a lot of focus on carbon footprints, there’s a lot of focus around transportation and electric vehicles and space transport is one of the last industries which hasn’t been touched by the ‘we should do things in a little more environmentally responsible way’. So what was cool for us as a small company launched in the United States was when we first launched a rocket using bio drive fuel we’d then see articles pop up in spacenews.com and other places then the dialogue started to change to ‘Hey space companies, you should be doing something that’s a little bit more earth-friendly.’ 

So our next launch will be off the coast of Maine, and we’ll be launching over the ocean, and in Maine, there’s a very strong fishing industry. So if your rocket has highly refined kerosene in it, or a nasty oxidizer what’s that going to do to the fisheries below? What is it doing to the ecosystem below? So even if we ignore the climate change aspects, if that rocket is plunging to the ocean and it’s not always being retrieved or it’s leaking a bit what’s that going to do to the fisheries? With ours, we can safely say other than the kinetics we will not contaminate the ecosystem below. Of course with our orbital launches and first stages of our rocket engines we plan to fully recover them and then next year we’ll be doing the same with civil, academic and commercial rockets. But you know in the bad case that one does plummet into the ocean we feel very confident that it won’t affect the ecosystem below us, and we won’t have our local fisherman being mad at us. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What can the satellite industry take from the mobile device space?

Joining us on episode 45 of The Tech That Connects Us is John Kinney VP of Quality Assurance with Intelsat. John joined Laurie Scott and Tom Wilding to talk about all thing’s connectivity, aircraft connectivity, business optimisation, quality and customer service. 

 John has an impressive background with over 20 years at Motorola and beyond, having worked at Rockwell Automation and Blackberry, so we wanted to find out what can the satellite industry learn from the mobile device space? Here’s what John has to say. 

“There are certainly some parallels between the two industries. They’re very similar actually, we’re just sending bits and bytes over different media. 

The main thing we can learn from the cellular industry is to focus on the customer experience. Everything starts with the customer. 

How does the customer want to use it? 

What issues does the customer currently have? 

Once we know what the customer wants and what issues we’re trying to solve for them we can work our way back through the network and supply chain, but we need to stay focused on the customer experience. 

As you know I worked for Motorola for a long time, and then went on to Blackberry and so I had a front-row seat watching Apple evolve. I remember the launch of the original iPhone in 2007. They came out with it and when it first launched the iPhone wasn’t very reliable, in fact, it was the worst-performing phone from a reliability perspective. The phone itself was fantastic from an applications point of view and it was neat and the industry was of course very curious, but it just wasn’t reliable. 

This is where Apple changed the rules to the game, this is where their focus went to customer experience. They knew when it launched that it wasn’t going to be the best, but the end isn’t the beginning. We need to remember the end, and Apple and the iPhone went from the worst to the best in two years from a reliability perspective. How did they do that? By focusing on customer experience, they did it by just learning, learning and learning some more. 

This is where they changed the rules in the industry. It was always the case that the network carrier would own the customer experience, so if you had a problem with your phone, you’d have to take it back to AT&T, Sprint or Verizon who would then send it back to the OEM. You’d have a middle person, within the loop. But Apple said no, we don’t want that middle person, everything went directly back to Apple, they bypassed AT&T who had an exclusive deal on the original iPhone. They did that intentionally, they wanted to learn and they didn’t want that learning to be filtered through the carrier, and they wanted to figure out what was going on fast and fix it fast. Which is what they did. 

 So, I learnt a lot from Apple just dominating from a customer experience point of view, they were a formidable opponent. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What can the connectivity industry and everything associated with being connected learn from its past?

Episode 44 of The Tech That Connects us saw Omae Qaise the Founder and CEO of OQ Technology join Laurie Scott and Tom Wilding to cover 5G, IoT, the evolution of M2M, Albert Einstein & Elon Musk. 

In a moment of reflection, Omar was asked what can the connectivity industry and everything associated with being connected learn from its past? Here’s what he had to say. 

 “One of the biggest lessons learnt is that the model of developing your technology, your hardware and your own ecosystem from scratch which has often been the way with traditional satellite and communication business isn’t the right approach. 

 The problem is, there are still many new space companies and startups going in the same direction. This is a major difference when you look at the mobile telecommunication industry, they’ve been through that phase and nowadays there are standards, you have GSM, LTE or 5G and there are multiple operators, chip vendors, and hardware manufacturers who all follow a standard. You can connect sensors to phones, and phones to operators just by changing a sim card. Could you imagine if all operators used different sized and shaped sim cards? 

 That’s why the satellite industry is expensive. Connectivity specifically is down to the hardware. If we want to change this then we need to tap into the existing ecosystem that everyone understands and uses from North pole to South, from Australia to America to India. That is the mobile technology that our satellites can be used for as cell towers in the sky. Users can connect seamlessly, and they won’t know if they’re connected to a terrestrial network or a facility network. This is a first in the world because mobile chips they’re very cheap, and the connectivity is cheap and that’s because millions of engineering hours have been put into scaling that technology. There is already an ecosystem, with lots of participants and players. 

 If you compare a 4 or 5 dollar cellular chip with a satellite alternative, firstly each satellite operator have their own chips, which start at a few 100 dollars, not including a device! Now imagine if the 5 dollar cellular chip could do the same job as the satellite chip and the terrestrial chip, it’s not something that’s unheard of but it’s yet to be scaled. 

 This is really going to open up a lot of opportunities, allowing access for a lot of users and enable mobility between terrestrial and satellite technologies. That will then funnel into big data of massive machine communication, which is one of the biggest aspects of the 5G revolution.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Is diversity and inclusion at the top of your agenda?

Diversity and inclusion is one of the most important ethical and strategic priorities for businesses in 2021, but is it top of your agenda?

Over the last month we’ve been busy collating some of the best answers from our amazing guests on The Tech That Connects Us podcast. Every week we ask the big question on diversity and inclusion and get insight into what they’re doing to make that positive difference.

In this white paper we’ve compiled 10 fantastic insights and tips business leaders need to think about if they want to begin the process of building a truly diverse organisation, filled with talented individuals from different backgrounds.

This white paper will provide you with some tangible actions, that will build momentum and have a positive impact on diversity within your business.

If you’d like to talk to us about what we have learnt or the experiences of others in your industry please get in touch.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What are the biggest challenges to the TV industry and video industry moving forward?

On episode 43 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Tim Meredith were joined by Nuno Sanches, General Manager for Telecom and Media at Kaltura.

When it comes to the TV and video industry there are a lot of challenges as we move forward, here’s what Nuno thinks are the biggest.

“In the media and professional TV industry, the biggest challenge we currently have is understanding the role of each of the agents and players. The structure of the industry itself is not settled. 

 It’s not clear if there’s market potential for a distributed content model, where we’ll have many providers providing content directly to many customers, or if we’re going to see the reaggregation of the intermediary where you then have half a dozen large aggregators that intermediate with a larger group of customers. 

 
This is the biggest risk but also the biggest opportunity, the winners and losers of each of these two configurations are dramatically different. Right now the question that will shape the industry is, can people be successful and meet the needs of the customer but reach them directly and profitably without having to be aggregated as it used to be. The question itself is still open, but we have a very interesting data point with Netflix in the fact that Netflix itself has stopped growing. Which has put all the projections about what the industry can be into an upheaval. 

 
We now have three or four players who could legitimately be at an equivalent scale in a couple of years that starts to make it clear that the winner takes all model doesn’t exist. But it still has not eliminated the fact that you could go back to essentially a US media company driven half by media and half by tech and have five giants who then consolidate everything like back in the days of paid TV. 

 
It’ll be fascinating to see whether this new world will emerge or if the old world of content aggregation will come back under a new banner of Video on Demand and non-linear content. 

 
For video, the biggest challenge will come from privacy. People do not understand the full impact of the videofied world we live in. This is why we’re only now starting to process the enormous implications of fake news and social media. We’re starting to grasp with personal exposure, if you’re putting up pictures of your kids or you out drinking then that’s something that could potentially come back to haunt you when it comes to a job interview. We’re only now understanding these implications. We’re starting to grapple with all this but the regulations around this have come afterwards. 

 
For example, does an employer have a right to record a meeting whilst you’re working from home? We’ve decided that this is now acceptable for everyone. So something could happen in the background and it’s ok for your employers to be recording it even though that’s in your home. We’ve made these decisions without fully understanding the implications.  

 
Over at Netflix, someone got fired due to some comments which were critical of the management team but on a channel they thought was private. If you’re adding video to these situations due to the depth of information you can get for a video the number of things that can go wrong goes through the roof. 

 
So a huge challenge for the video application world is how privacy will work, and we need to know the implications of these situations. One question we should be asking is how can machine learning and AI be used not for exposing your privacy but for protecting it? Can we use blockchain to make sure we control our own video feeds and keep the rights to them as if it was an NFT for example?  

 
If something happened that you didn’t want to be recorded then you’d have the ability to correct it in the master distributed file. These are important topics that may not come today because we’re all at home and privileged just to be talking to each other. But tomorrow they will come and they’re important discussions and the biggest challenge around video for the next decade.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What are the Emerging Marketing Trends Within Cyber?

On episode 42 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Jake Sparkes were joined by global Cyber marketing expert Reuben Braham

In the episode, we heard Reubens thoughts on the marketing trends that are emerging in the cyber industry. 

“Anything that we talk about regarding marketing trends, is actually a bit different to what we’d be talking about 18 or 19 months ago before we had the COVID 19 pandemic. 

Before the pandemic, it was different because we could travel and meet people face to face and be present. What I’m seeing now is that the world is ready for a more hybrid model of business, so our marketing needs need to focus on gearing up and being part of the virtual events and conversations, we’re having over Zoom right now. It’s something that is now more acceptable even for business meetings with CEOs, CMOs etc. So, we have to be ready for a hybrid business model.  

On the other side, we need to understand that people are going to be hit with a lot of virtual requests and that ‘Zoom fatique’ is real. All the different vendors and suppliers will want to have virtual briefings which will start to take its toll on our customers. 

The best strategies I’m seeing currently are around creating thought leadership content that can be circulated to your target audience, companies need to be building more blogs, building more thought leadership content and educating your market. 

When you’re building content you should be focusing on your perfect customers, understanding their pain points and doing your best to help them by being consultative with your approach. 

As a marketing department, you must be doing targeted research, and then use an account-based marketing approach, not just a shotgun approach trying to hit everybody. If you can build a library of very good content that can educate your audience and continue to educate them then that’s something that will have a massive impact on your business. 

In my first 6 months at Cyberint, our first task has been to build up our content library, I really believe that creating great engaging content will work wonders for not only engaging with your current and potential clients, but it’ll really help with our website SEO. Once you’ve built up that library of content potential customers will understand that you’re a player in the marketing, and they’ll start to differentiate your business from the competition.  

Virtual meetings and virtual events are starting to have their toll on people, and people would rather consume content at their leisure rather than at a set time. 

There’s also a lot to be said too for building out good automation and allowing 70-80% of your customers journey to be done through marketing automation. The more content you can give your potential client the more they’ll know about you and the more they’ll see you as the business to work with over your competition.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Disruptiveness of Kubernetes.

On Episode 41 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Dan Jeffery were joined by Subha Shrinivasan Senior Director, Customer Success at Robin.io.

Subha has over 20 years of experience across virtualization, datacenter, and cloud-native technologies. It was a great chance for us to talk about all things Kubernetes and more specifically the future of Kubernetes. 

Here’s what Subha had to say when it comes to Kubernetes. 

“Kubernetes is a very disruptive technology, and it’s going to disrupt two or three major trends we are seeing in the market. The first one is that it’s going to completely disrupt AI and machine learning. AI and machine learning are going to be the heart of every business in a few years from now, there won’t be a business that doesn’t use an AI or machine learning stack.

So, there is not going to be an AI or machine learning stack that is not deployed on Kubernetes, in the future at least 90% of the workloads that are built on EMR will be hosted on Kubernetes. 

Here’s why. See unlike other technology stacks such as AI and machine learning, which are actual services with technology that are constantly changing, it’s not just one application it’s a combination of multiple applications or what we call an application pipeline, that is stitched together to deliver AI or machine learning as a service. You don’t want to be locked into one technology stack, you want to be able to have the flexibility of being able to combine different stacks and adapt them for the use case.

Secondly, the integration with DevOps is going to be extremely critical as there is continuous innovation, development and improvisation going on. Machine learning is like a feedback loop, you derive certain analytics, you pass it back. So, it’s a process of continuous development. If you get locked into one technology stack or one infrastructure that is like this giant gorilla which is difficult to move, then you’re not going to be able to use machine learning efficiently and your results won’t be accurate. Then your predictive analytics will fail.

Kubernetes plays a major role in this because the way it is designed is that it’s very flexible to changes in your deployments. It’s logged into the infrastructure and then nothing is logged and sealed into the infrastructure, so you’re able to continuously move around the pods, you’re able to continuously move around the infrastructure and you’re able to use the same infrastructure and build any application or integrate with the DevOps stack and be able to move in a matter of a few hours or minutes rather than taking days and disrupting existing infrastructure.

My prediction is that there’s not going to be any Amazon stack in the future without coordinators on the platform.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What’s in Store for Television Studios and Live Audiences?

On Episode 40 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and William Trenchard were joined by Andrew Moultrie CEO at BBC Studioworks

A hugely passionate individual, Andrew has taken a different path to many in his journey to the top of the Content & Media industry but it’s no surprise to see him there. 

In this conversation, William asks Andrew about the future of studios and live audiences within studios. Here’s what he had to say. 

“The biggest itch I want to scratch about the future, in general, is sustainability. How can we create sustainable studios that are purpose-built?

Because historically you’d find an old space and then you’d hate it later. But now we have the ability to build locations or reconfigure them with a focus on the long term. So the way I’m looking into the future is the three P’s People, Planet and Profit. Profitability is not my driver. It’s one of the things which we need in order for us to employ people but it’s not the only thing. 

So for the future of studios, it’s going to be looking at the circular nature, and virtuous circle that is a studio. So where you get your renewable energies from, to the materials you build with to how you’re utilising water. We also need to be educating people within the facilities and giving them a sustainable mindset, because I do think in order to attract people to your organisations in the future you need to be aware of the planet. I think the youth of today, the alphas, the gen z and the Millenials all have the planet at the top of their agenda, whereas for the gen x’s and the baby boomers it’s been something we’ve kind of been aware of but it’s not been at our core. 

So the next evolution of production companies or broadcasters that want to use the facilities will be asking, ok what are your sustainability credentials, because the whole industry needs to get there on that basis? The biggest consumer of energies in the production cycle and light entertainment are the facilities so the onus is going to be on us. Historically we used to make money by burning energy and charging it back to the client, that can’t be the way of the future. 

From an audience perspective, it’s how you keep bringing audiences in and ensuring the audience is diverse and eclectic. So they’re representative of a modern Britain, not just based on the postcode you’re operating in and doing that in a way that’s safe and drives engagement. 

What we have found and it was really clear when we did virtual audiences was that you lose the chemistry of the show. Because social interaction is an energy, you’ve seen it in the football or at Wimbledon having a crowd there just changes things, compared to having a load of monitors where you don’t know where to look. Having that energy in the room really steps up the performance of individuals, it also steps up the interactivity and openness and also can affect the crews that are delivering as they feed off the audience too.  

So I think audiences will still be vitally important but it’s also how you integrate them more and more using technology as we go through different evolutions of the pandemic and as we bring live audiences back in. 

Technology will also help transform the interaction and the delivery of content. Technology is always changing, as the pipes get thicker there’ll be an increased ability to create different levels of engagement whether it’s participating live, or watching from home and interacting virtually. 

There’s so much, whether it be the potential to beam people into the studios virtually or use VR but that’s all to come and it’s exciting.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What is the Future of Broadcasting?

On episode 38 of The Tech That Connects Us Podcast John Clifton interviewed Mohammed Akhlaq, Chief Technology Officer, ITN. 

In his storied career, Mohammed played a key role in launching news giant Al Jazeera‘s US studio and channel, so we had to ask such a passionate industry veteran what his thoughts were on the future of broadcasting, and Mohammed’s answer was very interesting. 

What are you most excited about for the future of the broadcasters themselves? 

I think it’s a difficult question to answer, because a lot of broadcasters have legacy infrastructure, workflows, and traditional ways of doing things. Content isn’t produced the same way it was produced 20 years ago, it’s started to change slightly, but that part didn’t change.  

What’s really changed is the distribution of content. Rather than using the UHF transmitters, etc, you now have, streaming platforms, OTT platforms, VOD platforms, content on mobile phones or tablets.  It’s now more accessible, and that’s the area that has really moved forward quite considerably, with more production being the next phase. And we’ll move very quickly into it, into a more agile and more dynamic, scalable workspace.  

And the third phase would be how content is produced. Although that is yet to come, it will come, and it will be a fundamental change to the way that we produce content and consume content. And this probably will be the biggest threat to any broadcaster, because it’s taken away the crown jewels of what they are known for, and what they do really well.  

In the media landscape as a whole, the remote production and distribution elements of it make it much easier as an entry point for new start-ups to come into the market without having baggage of legacy. And therefore, they can be far more reactive, far more agile, far more dynamic, far more forward thinking and can change very quickly based on audience feedback.  

An example of this is eSports. Who would think that eSports would be a spectator event? It’s those niche markets that we’ll see from new startups within the broadcast sector. These areas that tier one broadcasters are just not interested in, because of the demographic or because the audiences are geared towards a particular type of genre programming.  

That’s where the new markets are going to be and it’s going to create some great opportunities for new startups to take advantage of. Because it’s a niche market that the broadcasters are just not interested in, but these guys can actually leverage that growing market. How many times have you seen kids watching YouTube channels? watching someone play Fortnight? Surely it would be more fun you playing it, but actually there’s a market for streaming games. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Augmented Reality and Full 360 are the future of Content

On episode 37 of The Tech That Connects Us Podcast John Clifton interviewed Pedro Bandeira, Vice President Product and New Business, Europe, Deutsche Telekom

A dedicated individual on a professional quest to make the ultimate content experience, Pedro has been at the forefront of most modern time development in the Content & Media industry, so it was only natural to query him on the future of the industry and the consumption of content, something he had very a very clear prediction on: 

Which technologies do you think are going to have the biggest impact on the future of the industry? 

“If we look the medium to long run, 5-7 years. Something that’s not coming anytime soon, but which I am a firm believer in, is augmented reality. So, if you can use your full visual space to not only consume content, but also be able to see in real time additional information associated with that content. If you bring everything together in terms of the full VR & Full 360 experience, you’re going to have a lot of potential for creating something very immersive. 

But it’s not yet here, it still needs to mature, but it’s going to happen. Because the same the same statement that I made regarding the 1990s in the digitalization of video also applies to this.  And when it does happen it will be a great experience in terms of content experience.  

When we take that full 360 VR video alongside augmented information associated with content, it’s going to change the way we fundamentally connect with content, not just personally but as a group; it’s going to offer a whole new way of interacting with content.  

But, before that, we still have a lot to do. It’s really thinking about the 4k market and what’s coming after 4k, it’s still not 100% mass market, it still requires us to push this to our customers as mass market. And I think the most important thing that we need to push is this dream of ‘All content everywhere’. If we can deliver on this vision, in which I can at any time access any content free or paid, (if it is paid, of course I need to pay) but I have the ability to access it from any device at any time.  

If we’re able to deliver on that alongside the right discovery plane on top of it, that’s what users want. They want the ability to find quickly what they want and consume it at any time. And that’s the bridge that we still need to cross in the next five years until we get go to the next level of content interaction with full 360 VR and augmented content experiences.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.    

How COVID is shifting typical hierarchal structures.

On episode 32 of The Tech That Connects Us Podcast John Clifton and Tegan Lloyd Williams interviewed Nancy Goldberg, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, Nagravision.  

From professional rock climbing and snowboarding to the EVP of Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at the Kudelski Group and Nagravision, Nancy has walked a very different path to most people in her position and one part of the interviewed that really stood out for us was how Nancy and Nagravision adapted their leadership style over the past 12 months.  

As a leader, how have you had to adapt your style over the last sort of 12 months or so? 

“I would say these last 12 months it’s been really tough, but incredibly helpful at the same time. It’s really pushed us in a way that we weren’t necessarily super comfortable with in the beginning, but it’s really opened our eyes and opened our ability to manage in a different way.  

I think one thing that we have been able to embrace over this last year is really looking at our entire employee base and shift away from the standard hierarchical structures, really empowering people across the entire organisation, with decision making, execution and what success even means.  

That is what has shifted for us in this organisation. This is a company that for many, many years was very hierarchical with our decision making; it was done from the top down. But when COVID hit we’re suddenly having to work in a completely different way, in completely different environment.  

Now, we have shifted into smaller teams all over the world. And all of these smaller teams can take on problems, resolve those problems, and push them back onto the organisation effectively. So that’s where I see where we’ve changed not only from a company perspective, but my own management style.”

What is the most positive outcome that has that has come out of this? 

“The most positive outcome, I believe out of this period has been camaraderie, collaboration and teamwork. Again, I think that as we have had to deal with the situation, and we are spread across 33 countries around the world with about 3,300 employees. We had to come together as ‘mini teams’ to resolve immediate problems and deal with time zone issues and deal with things in real time.  

For me the best thing that’s come out of this is this renewed sense of camaraderie of team spirit of collaboration. To me, that’s the biggest benefit that we have achieved over this period, or the biggest benefit from a very bad situation.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.   

The Future of Content is AI & Metadata

On Episode 31 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Will Trenchard sat down with the passionate Matt Westrup, VP Technology & Operation, A+E Networks UK and really delved deep into content, metadata, 5G and much more.  

A particular section of the conversion caught our attention as Matt expressed some interesting thoughts on the future and opportunities in the industry, especially when it comes to content and streaming, we caught that little soundbite and did a small write up, read more below: 

What do you think the future holds for the technology and consumer experience? 

I think AI and metadata will be the future. The idea of discoverability and personalization will become ever more a focus and will evolve very quickly, giving the chance for the consumption of content to feedback into the production of content, which is quite an interesting idea, and something people are going to have to find a balance around is creativity versus insights.  

5G is another future for consumer experience, this technology suddenly gives the consumer a whole different experience, especially with streaming and mobile use. These are the two technologies that will absolutely make a commercial difference. 

And where do you see the greatest opportunities in terms of the service? 

The ability to with confidence deliver content to a mass of people with the knowledge that they will absolutely love it and they’re appreciative that it ended up with them will be a big opportunity in the industry. But also, the different ways of partnering for distributions, the traditional lines of the ‘supply chain’ are being smashed, rebuilt and rerouted. And this change causes an initial lack of certainty on where your audience are on the supply chain, which is a big opportunity to innovate. 

And when it comes to the younger demographic, thoughts of short form video and gaming come to mind, do you think this has a role to play? 

Totally. And going back to metadata and AI, there are all sorts of businesses that are constantly producing new content, and that’s going to be having to be thought of very differently for those platforms, to be relevant, because we know the competition is there.  

But also, these extraordinary archives that many, many companies assessing how to we surface the data to be able to understand what value that could have? And what imagination can we apply to that to create something new out of it? So really there’s two kind of dynamics going on there. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.  

neuco to host Space Café United Kingdom

neuco will be hosting the upcoming Space Café United Kingdom, diving deep into many topics including the UK Space Industry.

This Space Café United Kingdom will feature lan Jones, CEO at Goonhilly Earth Station, in conversation with neuco’s Laurie Scott, Andrew Ball and Ewan Lawrenson, friends of SpaceWatch.Global.

The UK Space Buzz

Ian Jones, Chairman at Satellite Applications Catapult and CEO of Goonhilly Earth Station, one of UK senior experts that has helped developed and expand the satellite communication facilities whilst also adding new services such as Deep Space Communications, Earth Observation satellite tracking, data centre services, advanced manufacturing (electronics), training and outreach, will discuss with Laurie Scott and the neuco team what the future holds might hold for the UK.

The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions in dialogue with Ian Jones.

SpaceWatch.Global is a Switzerland-based digital magazine and portal for those interested in space and the far-reaching impact of the space sector.

Make sure you sign up through the Eventbrite page to take part in the upcoming regional webinar series featuring global space experts. One not to miss if you’re involved in the space industry!

The Importance of the ‘Permission to Have Downtime’

One of our most passionate, enjoyable, and fun podcasts to date was with former EVP Human Resources, SES Networks, Dara McCann with her deep expertise in diversity and people.

John Clifton and Laurie Scott sat down with Dara and really learned some fantastic insights into her unique perspective on fostering an engaged and hard-working team while we’re increasingly virtual. Her advice on ‘permission to have downtime’ was especially resonated with us that we’ve shared it below:

I think people must have permission to have downtime.” 

And I think people are concerned about their jobs in this environment, they are very keen to be seen to be doing all the right things and seen to be working hard. 

When people were going into an office, it was easy for a line manager to know, who’s doing hard work. It was superficially easy for people to see who was working hard and who wasn’t, who was in on time, and who was late. It was easier to have that little interaction that you could check “How are you getting on?”. 

Nowadays, people are relying on email and video to communicate. This leads some feeling like they have an obligation to be always ready for their camera.  

So, I think, in today’s world employers need to be a little bit more accepting of the fact that people are trying their best. People may be trying to school their children or trying to take care of people. 

As employers it’s important to give people permission to take a break, which is one way that we can improve their mental and physical health. 

But there can’t be a lip service where you simply say “Oh, of course, take the afternoon off” or “of course, go for a walk” and then secretly in your mind think: “I wonder if they’re actually doing any work?” when they’re back working. 

The challenge of today’s business environment is to be flexible and agile. Ensure you are connecting with your employees one on one, asking how they’re doing as it slows down a bit, but don’t forget that everything will get faster again soon enough. But it’s really that permission to take time out of the screen and really sort of recharge. 

And I think you need to look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and that a person’s psychological safety is just as important to them as their physical well-being.  

If an employee does not feel they can take time off without asking for permission, then there is a lack in the trust of that company, and it will most likely suffer from this deficiency. 

And so, you’ll find people with a lack of trust or demanding jobs often find themselves feeling guilty for taking time off. They know their boss or line manager wants that report or deadline and they don’t want to disappoint them, so it’s important that these relationships are built on trust as well. 

Leadership, people and dviersity are important topics that we cover on nearly every episode of our Podcast. So don’t hesitate to go through our podcast archives and listen to some of our fantastic conversations with business leaders and experts.

Lessons on Leadership from Lawo COO Jamie Dunn

We recently interviewed Jamie Dunn, COO of Lawo pioneering IP-based video and audio technology company for broadcast production, on an episode in our weekly podcast The Tech That Connects Us.

John Clifton and Tegan Lloyd Williams discussed a wealth of insightful information from taking opportunities, lessons learned, the boom of audio, and his thoughts on leadership; which we thought was especially poignant during these strange times.

So we’ve shared our version of his thoughts on leadership and communication below:

There are many ways to be a good leader, but one thing I think is fundamental in these times is communication. 

I always thought that it was about reading a lot of books on leadership, but they were just talking about this difference between management and leadership.  

And I concluded myself after thinking about this is that leadership for me is just about personality. Leadership can’t be trained, it’s something ingrained in someone whether they have a good idea of what it means to lead people and know-how their actions are going affect others around them or not. 

Leadership is about belief. You have to give people the confidence that what they are doing matters, and you should be able to do this without face-to-face contact if your messages are strong enough; from my point of view empathy in messaging is key for producing effective leadership. 

Empathy is all about leadership as well, understanding that what people are going through and where they want to go can be very important. 

I always loved the leadership aspect of my work. As a leader, I can help guide and empower those around me to be their best selves while also being well-connected with them. One area where this is really apparent is communication – as someone who has built his career on great communications skills it’s paramount that all leaders are proactive about listening and understanding what people go through to communicate effectively. This way we can support others during difficult times or celebrate together when things get better! 

It’s not easy just to say, you must do this, you must do that. Because of safety and traveling restrictions we have lots of limitations for what used to be a walk in the park. This is not an easy task; however, it starts with listening and understanding what people need to make adjustments that will help them succeed any way possible. 

Understanding how our guests excel in their respective market’s is always a great talking point of our weekly Podcast The Tech That Connects Us, So don’t hesitate to go through our podcast archives and listen to some of our fantastic conversations with business leaders and experts.

A Generational change in diversity – How a diverse team helps decision-making.

John Clifton & Will Trenchard sat down recently with Margaret Davies for a fantastic and insightful episode of The Tech That Connects Us Podcast, in which we thought the conversation just flowed.  

Margaret has held a number of senior commercial roles in her career and is now CMO at Red Bee Media, having rejoined them 3 years ago. She’s seen a swathe of changes occur during her time in the video/broadcast world and remains hugely excited about what is still to come.  

Among other topics, we explore how she felt very early on that she was clearly “woman in a man’s world” and touched on her thoughts and feeling for diversity in the STEM industry. From ways it has changed but also what needs to be done to address the balance.  

We learnt a lot from Margaret that episode so we’ve shared our version of her thoughts below:

A Generational change in diversity – How a diverse team helps decision making. 

There is a generational change in progress, and it starts first with the importance of encouraging young girls to enter STEM fields. However, we must also make sure that boys are encouraged to do other things as well. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, the tech industry needs your skills. This is why recruiting from diverse backgrounds is so important. It doesn’t matter what gender you are; the tech industry needs all of our skills. 

Diversity helps with decision making. It makes us more open and creative in the decisions we make, which is good for both customers and commercial engagements. It helps make us more open and creative in the decisions we make, which is good for both customers and commercial engagements. 

What will drive the change is not just reaching targets, it’s about business leaders recognizing that to improve your business and drive more revenue, you have to invite diverse voices into the conversation. 

That’s why diversity is important because the female voices that come through cut through very clearly, because women that work in this industry have to be smarter because they had to work harder to succeed. 

There’s a phrase in relation to sustainability. And it applies to diversity as well, which is:  

‘Sustainability as an initiative within any business is not sustainable, unless it delivers business value, it has to contribute to the bottom line’.  

And while we have clear laws that protect bias against a raft of categories, the reality is diversity has to drive business value. 

And that’s where it comes back because diversity lends itself to more diverse, more challenging decision making. And that’s what ultimately should drive business value. And it comes with, quite frankly, the men who are business leaders, recognising that they have to let more voices through in business to be able to drive a different type of business value. 

Diversity is an important topic that we cover on nearly every episode of our Podcast. So don’t hesitate to go through our podcast archives and listen to some of our fantastic conversations with business leaders and experts.

Discovery CTO Simon Farnsworth is our new Non-Executive Director!

Discovery CTO Simon Farnsworth

What better way to launch our news section than with one of the most exciting announcements in our history!

As of this month, we have a new member of the team, and what a catch it is…

We are beyond delighted that Discovery’s Global CTO, Simon Farnsworth, is our new Non-Executive Director!!

With over two decades of commercial and technological experience across Broadcast, Satellite, Media and Tech, his industry knowledge will be invaluable in ensuring we’re focused on the areas where we can add the most value to our clients and candidates.

In addition, his business acumen and expertise will be a key asset to our management team. Simon will bring additional clarity to our strategy and decision making, helping us become an even better organisation than we already are.

Ahead of joining, Simon shared his thoughts…

“To see how the neuco management team have put their foot on the accelerator since the start of the pandemic shows a great determination to succeed, and that’s something exciting to be a part of.

“With my background and experience, I feel I can add real value to their growth plans as their new Non-Executive Director. There’s a massive opportunity for neuco, they operate in growth sectors coupled with a very talented group of people, which makes it’s an exciting proposition.” 

Whilst the last year has been incredibly difficult and stressful, the team have been incredible as we’ve successfully navigated through some tough times. 

The appointment of Simon at this particular moment, takes on even more significance as we embark on our next stage of growth…we can’t wait to start working with him!