A reflection of 11 months @Aryaka.
On September 1st, 2020, I joined Aryaka, now 11 months ago. Which makes this a good time for reflection, just before my summer break. Below is a snippet from how I introduced myself to my new colleagues:
“My name is Patrick Brog, I’m 49 years young ?, married to Tosca and we have two sons, Yuri (20) and Rick (18). All four of us love to travel abroad, especially outside Europe for a four-week summer holiday once a year. I live by the saying ‘Een dag niet gelachen is een dag niet geleefd’ (A day without laughter is a day wasted), I do like a (practical) joke from time to time. However, I’m also someone who strives perfection with regards to customer experience, satisfaction and trust. As I’m Dutch and originally from The Hague I tend to be quite direct and honest, I hope that others behave the same towards me.”
While I did of course realize that I was changing jobs in the middle of a global pandemic, I never anticipated that the impact of the pandemic would be this big, long, and that it would continue to impact all of us. About 50% of my role was to consist of traveling through western Europe to visit Aryaka partners, customers, and prospects. I was really looking forward to that, as I love travelling as much as I love to have face to face meetings, white board sessions, etc. However, till now, I didn’t get any further than our Dutch office in Arnhem and I have physically meet only three out of my 400+ colleagues. But this reflection is not to complain about the impact of the pandemic, as I would like to share some findings and experiences from Aryaka as a company and as a solution with you.
To be honest, I didn’t know about Aryaka until I was approached for the Sales/Systems Engineer (SE) role. So, I did my homework, researched the company, the solution, and used Google to find out as much as I could. I became intrigued about the solution, the vision, and the potential. Especially as I had been focusing on SD-WAN/SASE solutions with multiple different vendor solutions for the last 2-3 years in my previous role.
After careful consideration and weighing different offered opportunities, I decided to go for Aryaka, as you clearly understand by now. I can honestly say after 11 months that I made the right decision for myself! I’m very impressed by the solution offering, the insane customer satisfaction mindset across the entire company (one of my top personal goals as well), and the investment in research + solution development that has permitted Aryaka to transition from an SD-WAN solution to one that also integrates SASE. Or to be honest, in fact is transitioning, as not a single vendor currently can claim that they are 100% SASE capable already. For me personally this is good, as I’m now part of this journey where I’m learning so much.
Being able to help customers with their SD-WAN/SASE pain points across the globe over six continents with truly as-a-service solutions which can be flexible mixed & matched, enables me as an SE to really think from the customer requirement and business perspectives.
Personally, I’m especially impressed with the performance of our global Layer 2 backbone and 40+ services PoPs. In the last 11 months I was personally involved in winning multiple customers that were facing application performance and stability problems between continents. In these cases, our SmartConnect and SmartCloud offering solved their long ongoing problems in an instant and improved their application performance by a factor of four to ten (depending on the application).
The energy, the motivation, the team spirit, and the human aspect within Aryaka is impressive. Some examples of this are that in FY2020 Aryaka released a new feature or improved a feature every two weeks. For work-life balance, and we all know we’re working longer hours now, in 2020 we received an additional 5 and in 2021 an additional 7 vacation days to deal with the impact of Corona on our family lives. Lastly, Aryaka globally deployed Private Access, a new high-performance VPN as-a-service solution across all our 40+ service PoPs so that a customer no longer has to worry about VPN concentrator locations, redundancy, scalability, etc.
If I must mention something that needs improvement in my opinion, it’s the brand and solution awareness in the market. When I speak with potential new partners or potential customers I regularly get to hear ‘I haven’t heard off Aryaka before’. But this is part of our journey and my role, to create more market and solution awareness of Aryaka in the market.
I’m looking forward to all the cool SASE features that we are about to release, which will help me as an SE to broaden the conversations with our partners, existing and potential customers.
I wish everybody a very pleasant and above all a safe summer break, and I hope that we meet or talk again soon.