For this week’s blog we caught up with Symplexity’s new vCIO and Cloud Champion Steve Saylor to ask 5 questions to find out a little more about him.
1. What is your background in technology?
I have a diverse background and have worked with many technologies over the years. I worked with PLCs for machine automation and other industrial controls at a local manufacturing company in the late 90s. My knowledge and capability with enterprise technologies expanded when I moved to the Pacific Northwest to run operations and technology for a small construction company. As part of those responsibilities, I built a website and set up an online store for some of our niche products, and very rapidly grew the business from a local construction company into a multimillion dollar design and manufacturing company shipping to customers all over North America. As both the Operations Manager and IT Director I had to constantly balance the technology environment with the business processes and under my direction we implemented a new enterprise computing environment along with new line of business applications for ERP, CRM, and developed an extensive online presence. I spent several years in the non-profit world, helping both community and faith based organizations develop technology plans. For the last 4 years I’ve helped clients in the medical, banking, manufacturing, professional services, and non-profit industries identify and implement best in class technology solutions to meet their specific business needs. Experience has taught me a lot about what works, the value of reliable gear, and how the right technology can literally transform a business.
2. What do you like best about your job with Symplexity?
I go to work every morning with amazing people who are truly among the very best in their field to help businesses plan, implement, and maintain great technology. I get to work with great clients to help them evaluate options, solve problems, innovate with technology, and plan for the future. The technology landscape is constantly changing and evolving, which keeps the work I do fresh and exciting every day, and I have a real sense of accomplishment when I go home at night knowing I got to help one of our clients do what they do better.
3. What is the most exciting technology on the horizon for you?
Personal communications have changed dramatically in the last 10 years, the advent of applications like Facetime and Skype along with text messaging and social media sites have given us new ways to connect and collaborate with friends and family. These types of tools have been available in the business environment for several years but have had limited adoption and were primarily aimed at improving internal communications. We are starting to see more and more business clients embracing live video as a way to engage with customers in a personal face to face way even when they are on the go, and the use of both internally and externally facing social media style sites is allowing business to engage with team members and customers (particularly millennials) in a way that is familiar and meaningful to them. Recent studies have shown that consumers are really interested in engaging with businesses on a personal level and that businesses who respond to that interest have higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, and significantly better profitability. Technologies like Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco Spark, and Microsoft Skype for Business are facilitating that kind of one on one personal interaction with customers. It’s really an exciting evolution in business communications, and I expect to see some great innovation in the application of these types of technologies in the near future.
4. What is the most common technology related issue businesses face today?
Knowing who and what to trust. Can I trust my equipment to run reliably day in and day out so my employees can do their jobs without technology related interruptions? Can I trust my internal and external resources to maintain and secure my intellectual property? Can I trust the “cloud” and if so, how much? There are so many different and often times competing technologies that it can be overwhelming. This is true of organizations of all sizes, even those that have large teams of dedicated IT staff. So much of operating a business relies on technology today that getting it right is more important than ever, and trusting the wrong solution, person, or company can be a very costly and disruptive error.
5. What do you like to do when you aren’t at work?
I have been blessed with a really great family and love spending time with my wife and 3 kids. The 5 of us just completed our 10th road trip over the Rocky Mountains in July, so I suppose it’s fair to say we like to travel. I’m also a bit of a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoy riding a lot. If the Colts are playing I’m most likely watching, and my kids are die hard Komets fans so we try to get to as many of their games as we can.