Ron Whitt has worked in the network and service management space for over 20 years. Most recently, he has been focused on service orchestration and fulfillment applications. While primarily focused on service providers, Ron has also helped craft and implement solutions for Fortune 500 and DOD customers. Currently, Ron is a technical solutions architect, specializing in orchestration solutions for WWT’s service provider solutions practice.
Q&A with Ron Whitt
- Tell us about your background and how you got into technology.
- After college, I was hired on with Motorola as a Field Engineer, supporting data communications and network management products. This field work became an excellent foundation for the years to come. I moved from customer service to pre-sales and found that as my niche. I worked for a small technology company in the Midwest that manufactured network and protocol mediation solutions for the emerging synchronous optical network (SONET) industry. This brought me in contact with FCAPS applications and the US Tier 1, 2 and 3 service providers. This opportunity allowed me to try my hand at various aspects of the growing business. I built three departments for my company: Tier 2 Support, Customer Training and Sales Engineering.
As the Sales Engineering director, I got the chance to travel the world and help service providers with their management and OSS solutions. Finding software to be the wave of the future, I was hired on with a premier OSS vendor. From there, I expanded into eTOM applications, working with service providers and the DOD on multi-million dollar deployments for fulfillment, product management and inventory. I was offered a job with Cisco to be their OSS subject matter expert. This opportunity opened the door for deeper work in network automation and orchestration, designing multi-system solutions using NSO and companion systems. Now at WWT, I leverage this experience to help our service providers and Fortune 500 companies adopt network automation, improve their operations and gain greater returns on their network investments.
- Describe your role at WWT.
- As the subject matter expert for orchestration and network automation, I’m given the opportunity to build WWT’s pre- and post-sales capability. This job is never the same — and I love that! One day I’ll be conducting customer workshops and the next I’ll be building solutions in the ATC for demonstrations. Still other days, I’ll be working with deployment experts to build SOWs and help roll out solutions. This is a diverse role and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help our customers create new strategies and applications.
- What innovation is happening that has you really excited?
- Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Automation is turning this industry upside down. We are seeing a wave of innovation similar to other events like the rise of the PC and wireless communications. NFV and open-source technologies have customers rethinking how they build, deploy and grow networks. Bare metal boxes have transformed into software, and manual procedures have turned into end-to-end automation. WWT, our OEMs and our customers are all adjusting to this tectonic shift. Given our role as an integrator and advocate for new technologies, WWT is in the perfect place to leverage this wave of change and be at the center of innovation.
- Describe a recent interaction with a customer that led to solving a problem.
- I have been conducting NSO workshops for various customers, helping them understand this valuable application. One global financial took the information from the class and worked with WWT and Cisco to completely automate the turn up of trading floor infrastructure. The knowledge and support they received from WWT will enable them to reduce their time to deploy, better manage change and reduce costs.