Rob Peterson, Senior Vice President for Global Enterprise Sales joined Acuative in March as part of the acquisition of network-as-a-service provider, TenFour. The marketing team recently sat down with Rob to learn more about his background and understand his priorities for the year.
You can connect directly with Rob through LinkedIn here: linkedin.com/in/robcpeterson
Rob, please can you tell us a little about your background and work history:
Well, it is tough to go through 25+ years of work history in a few sentences, and I am typically not a man of few words, but I will try. I started as a public accountant and moved into corporate accounting and Finance in MCI in the 90’s during a strong growth period for the company. After about 10 years of analysis of large global outsourcing deals (valued over about $2B in contract value) and having the ability to travel around the world, I moved into a corporate strategy and M&A role for several years at Verizon. It was after that and several transactions I moved into Sales and have been there for 12+ years in executive management. I gained the privilege of working in Japan and Asia for several years actually living in Tokyo with my Family for 2 years. It was a great experience and led me to TenFour and ultimately my role at Acuative.
What changes are you implementing to the team at Acuative?
My preference is to always fairly evaluate the situation before commenting on changes, however my first priority is a focus on customers to minimize any impact change brings while also engaging with the people who support those customers before I move on to the process. Before I implement any changes, I first like to understand the challenges people are facing. As a leader I believe my role is to make it easy for our teams to conduct business and do their jobs. Whether you are in sales or operations, we should all tie in together on our processes, which will ultimately lead to a great customer experience and make it easier for our customers to do business with us. We also have some new hires joining the team in the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast.
What plans does the business have for the rest of 2022 and into next year?
On the Enterprise side, our focus is crystal clear. Ensure our clients receive a high touch support and experience. We put ourselves in the position to be the first call for services and solutions. We are also looking at reaching new logos. Everyone is a seller in this company and ensuring we all focus on sales and personal networks, will allow us to generate new business through references and recommendations. We will focus on our strengths and continue to bring in profitable revenue.
Where do you see the focus for IT decision makers regarding their managed network?
There are so many geopolitical issues going on which are impacting the daily routines of business. Once simple tasks of shipping, receiving and hiring have caused tremendous challenges and concern for our customers and IT decision makers. They are juggling so many more, once simple tasks, that the challenging tasks are that much more challenging. To be successful in execution, our role and focus must be on making it easy for our customers and picking up those tasks which are challenging them. With the shortages in the work force of hiring and retention in the IT industry, we can step in and truly be an asset for our customers. Management of those networks, for smart IT leaders should not be done internally. Provided we prove our value and capability along with strong SLAs of taking those networks over, the smart IT decision makers will look to a partner to handle the stable tasks and allow their team to focus on core strategy of delivering on business goals.
How is SD-WAN and SASE changing the market?
SD-WAN delivers the ability to move traffic around based on things like "what is this application" or "which path is faster right now". It is an overlay network. Applying security to your branches when they access the internet directly requires SSE. That comes in different flavors, it's usually a bunch of proxy servers in the cloud, so you send all your internet bound traffic to a cloud security provider (e.g. zscaler), then you have a single point of control. It is the first evolution in enterprise networking that requires doing everything totally differently than how legacy environments evolved. And that transformation requires expertise in both the older ways of doing things and the new way of doing things. That's what we do at Acuative and the value which we can bring to customers. We are the transformers. And when we finish, we don't go away - the network itself is being delivered as a service, so you don't have to worry about the next big shift - you've got us. Clients can focus on bringing value to their business. We focus on making sure their network makes that easy to do.