This month, you have the opportunity to meet one of GCOMM’s backbones – Craig Deutsher. With over 15 years of experience, Craig brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the GCOMM and LiveBackup teams. Read about what his role involves and how he has helped the companies grow.
1. You have been with GCOMM since the early days, correct? Tell me a little bit about your background and beginnings with the company.
Well, I have over 15 years of experience in the IT industry now, which I started building after my secondary education. Back then, I wanted to learn and gain experience and skills by working, which lead me to completing industry certifications.
I started with the company in the early days, when it was DataFX. Adam Tessieri, the current Product and Carrier Relations Manager at GCOMM, was the one who introduced me to DataFX as they were in the search for network technician. I applied for the position and got in.
So, I’ve been with GCOMM for about 13 years. Back then, it was a smaller company that was servicing IT needs of local businesses. My position was on-site network technician, which involved supporting customers and responding to their requests, such as updating servers and fixing network issues. As the company was growing, so was I – both personally and professionally.
2. What are some other roles that you held at the company?
Throughout the years, and as my experience and skills were building up, I was moving from senior technical positions to managing a small technical team and then to managing the entire technical department. The technical department back then was comprised of the Internet and IT support teams.
From there, I progressed by moving from GCOMM to building LiveBackup from an idea into a functioning business. So, for the last 5 years I have been mainly focused on building LiveBackup and in the last year or so my work has been again involved with GCOMM.
3. Could you describe what your current position with GCOMM involves?
My job with GCOMM is to develop a vision for the technical department and make sure it’s being followed. I do this through management of the technical team and embracing the new technologies.
This means that I am responsible for building positive relationships with the team, mentoring them and making sure they achieve their own personal goals.
Additionally, I work towards maintaining the strong relationships with our customers and ensuring that GCOMM exceeds customer expectations.
4. When and how did LiveBackup come into the picture? Can you give us us a little more details about the original project. What were you hoping to achieve?
GCOMM identified that there was an opportunity to add another offering to our services and leverage the GCOMM network. This offering was backing up business data. We identified that in Australia, at that time, there were no service providers focused on business backup. They mostly focused on backing up small quantities of personal data.
From that idea we progressed to building LiveBackup. This involved an extensive research program which lasted about 2 years. It was an interesting journey, which payed off as we went from having nothing to becoming a market leading backup provider, attracting large businesses and some well known brands.
5. Everyone knows that starting a new company is an extremely difficult job. What are some of the biggest challenges you faced while developing the business (LiveBackup)?
The main challenge was identifying software vendors that would meet our stringent specifications that we set out in the early days.
After finding the right vendors, other challenges included actually building a product and documenting everything. This involved developing price lists, price books, agreements, as well as determining the sales strategy and developing a plan on how to target customers.
6. Where is LiveBackup now? What are some of the company’s plans for the future?
Over the last 3 years, LiveBackup has grown quite fast. The company has a large customer base and partner network. Currently, we are backing up around 400TB of customer data.
We have worked hard on developing a good relationship with our partners. They are extremely satisfied with our backup service as they are able to integrate LiveBackup’s offering into their existing products and meet the needs of their end users.
There is a growing demand for cloud-to-cloud backup and as such, we will continue to expand our offering to more cloud-to-cloud service providers. At the moment, we support Salesforce and Google apps and there is an increasing demand in that area.
Another area that we are going to pay attention to is disaster recovery. We will focus on enabling customers with the ability to power up servers in the event of a system failure or site disaster.
7. What are some of the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
It is definitely working with the GCOMM team and our customers. As a team, we all work closely and it is very pleasing to be in such environment. Doing business with our customers is another aspect of my job I enjoy very much. Furthermore, expanding my knowledge and skills while working with new technologies is what has kept me in this industry for the past 15 years.
8. Where do you see GCOMM and LiveBackup in 5 years?
As the IT industry drastically changes over time, so do GCOMM and LiveBackup. It can most definitely be expected that both GCOMM and LiveBackup will evolve with these changes in the next 5 years and I believe that the companies will be in alignment with the technology and embrace trends and changes as they come.♦ End