JanWiersma.com

My move to SDL…

It’s the weekend before the holiday season and just like last year I find my self at an US airport making my way home… just in time for Christmas.

Sitting at the airport lobby, listing Christmas songs, I can’t help to reflect on the past year.

A lot has happened and things changed a lot. I have left OCOM (LeaseWeb/EvoSwitch/Dataxenter) after 2 years in September this year. Something that some of my peers in the market didn’t expect, but was long overdue. For too long I couldn’t identify myself with the way the company was run and its strategy. No good or bad here… just a big difference of opinion on vision and execution.

The last 2 months I have been able to talk to lots of different organizations in an effort to see what my next career step should be. I needed some time to recuperate from my little USA adventure with LeaseWeb & EvoSwitch. It was a great project to participate in but all the travel took a big toll on my personal life and me.

I also learned how passion for your work can be killed and what it takes to be sparked again. And how people are motivated by the Why in their jobs.

I had some good conversations with DCP board members Mark and Tim about my frustration in the lack of progress in the datacenter industry. It felt like I have been doing the same datacenter and cloud talks for the last 3 years, and things still didn’t move. I wanted to have the opportunity to really make a difference.

In November this year I joint SDL as the VP Global Cloud Operations. Again something most of my peers didn’t expect.

SDL’s services are based around language translation, customer experience and social media intelligence. Most of them are geared toward a CMO and its department. The company is making an aggressive play in to the PAAS/SAAS market.

Gartner has identified the potential of CMO’s moving in to cloud computing consumption publishing “The Top Four Impacts of Cloud Computing on Integrated Marketing Applications “.This is based on the prediction that in 5 years from now the CMO’s will spend more then most CIO’s.

Running this PAAS/SAAS environment requires a large-scale infrastructure that is able to handle high volumes of traffic and data storage. Being able to deliver these services on a worldwide scale, with the ability to scale-out, don’t only require technical transformation but also process & organizational.

During my conversations with SDL’s leadership (and specifically its CTO) their vision around infrastructure and service delivery lined up perfectly with mine. It encompass everything I worked on the last 5 years and the associated vision I evangelized for many years; DevOps, Kanban, Infrastructure as a Service (and the true meaning of the ‘service’ part), BigData, etc..

The next months and years I hope to execute on the companies cloud vision and build the needed reliable & scalable infrastructure and a world-class team to build & support it.

In the coming months I will share more information on SDL’s journey.

Have a great Christmas!

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