We focus on running the business, on growing it and helping our customers succeed. But sometimes we need to take a step back and appreciate what we’ve built, how far we’ve come. Of course it’s a huge team effort, although sometimes it all depends on a single intrepid team member. This struck me in particular when one of our field engineers, James Pattinson, posted a story to our internal site describing an Actifio installation he’d just completed in Nairobi Kenya. It’s a story that illustrates how far our technology reach has extended. It also demonstrates the persistence, creativity, talent, good humor, and dedication of our people in the interest of customer success.
James is based in the UK and had scheduled a five day Kenya trip to install Actifio clusters, switches and storage in two customer data centers. The trip was timed to be sure that the kit had cleared customs, but as these stories always seem to go, that’s not how it unfolded. There are always the travel related adventures, (“The taxi’s headlights were not working, but this turned out not to be an issue as the horn worked perfectly.”) but the more critical problem was that the equipment was still on the other side of customs. And it stayed there for the three days following his arrival.
What had been planned as an unhurried installation over five days became a rush-to-finish for two locations in one day apiece. All of the unpacking, racking, electrical, network, and food (fish heads) challenges had to be efficiently addressed. Finally, the physical work complete, James made his flight on time, and happily used our SecureConnect to complete the configuration remotely once he arrived home. And, along with extending our reach in Africa, he had a memorable story to tell.
His story is one more example of how Actifio is growing. Heck, we’re a Unicorn. We’re doing business in 30 countries. And we have offices around the world, two on the African Continent, in Israel and the UAE. So, this wasn’t our first installation in Africa, but it was the first in Kenya. What hit me about this story was the extension of reach and a pride in the performance of our people. This is what makes our customers enthusiastic and loyal. And we’re seeing it around the globe, from medium-sized businesses to global enterprises.
Another example of that global reach and customer engagement came earlier this year when we hosted a series of customer forums in Tokyo, Sydney and London as well as Dallas, Washington, Boston and New York. The events bring together hundreds of partners, customers and future customers to engage with peers, execs and experts. As with the story James posted about his adventures in Kenya, staff attending the Actifio Forums report back their observations. We know that the events are valuable for attending customers because the tell us so, and not just on evaluation forms. Executives from international enterprise customers sit on panels in front of other customers and prospects to share their experiences. They give us great testimonials. They also provide us an opportunity to hear firsthand from our community about how we can help better enable their success in our products and services. There’s always a social side too – food, live music, oyster shucking, or a drive around the Mercedes test track.
We’ve been building our relationships and technology, helping customers manage data since 2009. It’s been rewarding, fun, and, at times, a little nerve-racking. Mostly it’s been amazing. And yes, I’m doing a bit of chest thumping, but once in a while it makes sense to step back and admire your work. Then get back to it.