What does it mean for GSX Solutions to reach the 20 year milestone?
Antoine Leboyer, CEO of GSX Solutions: It is certainly a key milestone in anyone's life. I can fully appreciate this when I think back to my younger days and then I look at my eldest daughter, who is 20 years old and in her second year at university.
But for a company in the IT sector, a 20-year anniversary signifies that we have experienced and endured so many radical changes in the industry. We have witnessed the era in which mainframes were challenged by minis, which were then themselves challenged by PCs. Then came the age of software, then something called the Internet, and now another something called the cloud. Every time, we thought that nothing more could be invented, another massive change would take place.
If we are still here and thriving after 20 years, it is a testament to our ability to realize that things will always be constantly changing, and that we must adapt to new worlds.
How difficult is it to adapt to change?
Antoine Leboyer: It is a massive challenge for individuals, as well as for companies both large and small.
There is a book I have read called Denial, written by Harvard Business School Professor Richard Tedlow. (http://www.amazon.com/Denial-Business-Leaders-Facts-Face/dp/B0042P56D0). I recommend that anyone and everyone read it. Professor Tedlow has since retired from Harvard Business School, and now teaches at the Apple University. There are great lessons to learn from his book which have inspired me greatly.
The ability to change begins with the realization that changes happen, and there will always be a delay in this realization. There may be times you can anticipate change, but frankly, it is rare.
When change takes place, it is scary but do not fight it - embrace it. Encourage discussion around new paradigms, then analyze how resources can and should be allocated accordingly. Set clear measures on both legacy and new initiatives. Do not be afraid to have frank and open discussions.
How have changes impacted the IT professionals who are using your solutions?
Leboyer: The most profound changes have come from leveraging cloud-based technologies. In this new world, availability is a given (or at least, should be a given). There has been a subtle yet clear shift in focus to new metrics - the most important one being the level of service experienced by the end-users.
What this means is that the new generation of professionals with whom we work no longer work in silos. They are personally responsible for all of the components that affect the level of service. This is quite similar to what is happening with the concept of "Devops" - the distinction between the development and production team has become blurred, and Devops seek to analyze and impact all steps of the cycle.
We are now working with, shall I say, "Adminops," who have a complete view of the delivery of the applications for which they are responsible.
We've had many deep discussions with "AdminOps" and have worked with them to spearhead a number of developments around the platforms mentioned at http://www.gsx.com/beyond-unified-communications.
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