Welcome to the first blog in our At Home With series, where we introduce you to some of the team at IP Telecom, and offer insights into their world (working from home).
At IP Telecom, we have maintained our company culture and team spirit. We achieved this by drinking from our fountain of innovative solutions, while using the suite of products available to us to connect with our customers, and staff, to achieve results.
This week, we met with IP Telecom's conductor, our NOC Manager, Dermot Frost. Dermot manages our network infrastructure and lends his expertise on the more complex support queries.
Maintaining a VoIP network across multiple data centres must be a tasking job, but Dermot calms himself down with classical music (my observation).
Dermot opens our series for us, where we will find out about what drives him, and how he ensures that IP Telecom's network operations continue to hit the high notes.
What is your role at IP Telecom?
I am the Network Operations Centre manager at IP Telecom. What this means is I run the team that looks after IP Telecom's infrastructure and also deal with some of the more complicated support queries that come from our clients.
What drew you to IP Telecom originally? And how has IP Telecom changed since?
I was attracted by IP Telecom's use of open source software components to build a very robust and scalable infrastructure. There is also a great willingness to learn and share expertise right across the company, which I appreciate having previously worked in higher education for a long time.
We're still very much the same, just doing things in a slightly different way since we're all working from home.
Give me three words to describe IP Telecom?
Fun, challenging, open
What do you like most about IP Telecom? What has been your favourite project at IP Telecom?
Early on in my time at IP Telecom, I was asked to do a remote upgrade of our compute and storage platform in one of our data centres. I was a bit nervous about being given full control of the system with the ability to break absolutely everything. Luckily our pre-planning paid off, and I managed to carry out the upgrade reasonably smoothly. It showed the trust that the management team put in me even as a relatively new employee and convinced me that I had made a great choice joining the company.
What is the best thing about working for IP Telecom?
The culture of openness. A willingness to try new things, and to treat failures as a learning experience - rather than pointing the finger exercise.
What is your proudest moment at IP Telecom?
Having never worked in the telecoms industry before IPT, there was a steep learning curve after I joined the company. Sure, IT infrastructure is the same the world over, but there is a lot of domain-specific knowledge on top of that to build a world-class IP Telephony system. My proudest moment is a small thing, but it was when I realized that colleagues in IPT were now relying on my answers to questions about the phone system, not just operating systems and networking equipment.
Your favourite band or musical act
I flip back and forth between listening to classical music and being a metalhead depending on my mood. So if I can cheat and pick two, I'm going for a pair of Germans: JS Bach and Kreator.
Describe what you were like at age 10.
A teacher in school once called me 'Tadhg an dá thaobh' which is the Irish for 'Two-sided Tim' or more precisely two-faced. But he didn't mean it as an insult, more than in the classroom I learned everything and never got in trouble, but that out in the yard or football pitch I was in the middle of every fight and incident. I guess I lived the work hard, play hard lifestyle even back then.
Do you have a favourite quote? If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?
- My kindle (with a way to keep it charged)
- My guitar
- My duvet
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
It'd be a pretty boring book, to be honest. Something like "Conflict Avoidance for Dummies"
Give me three words to best describe you:
As a student, we were all asked to do the Myers Briggs test to help determine future career suitability and the like. About as useful as horoscopes if you ask me. But anyway I ended up in a group that gives three words that definitely don't describe me: Thatcher, Napoleon, Nixon.
You're going to write a book about IP Telecom, what would the title be?
What the SIP?!