Tag Archives: cloud technology

CloudTalk: Tech Culture and Product Evolution

 

Heard from down the hall and around the corner is the undisputed best laugh at ReadyTalk. Samantha Morgan is our Senior Product Manager with four years contributing to the ReadyTalk roadmap. Sam’s zest for tech and cultural charisma is what helps make ReadyTalk great. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you — Sam is the personification of our ReadyTalk brand. Read about her day-to-day balancing act of backend geekery and front-end friendliness.

 

Q: What motivates you the most?

A: I love that each day there are new and different challenges that we need to resolve. Most of these solutions directly benefit our customers. I can tell you about the hardest project that I worked on and how it ended up having the biggest benefit. Upgrading our participant interface from Flash to an HTML5 client was no easy task. So think about it this way — it was a change that impacted our customers’ customers, partners, and teammates. In our industry there’s constant demand for change and improvement because technology is always evolving. HTML5 added new layers of backend security protection and front-end quality for users.         

Q: What made the HTML5 change so difficult for you and our engineering team?

A: In short, it’s new technology. It’s an introduction of new services that supports our critical lines of business. We work with buyers that use ReadyTalk for a variety of reasons — work collaboration, huge webinar presentations, different audio types, etc. When there’s a large volume of people hosting and joining events on a new client it’s critical that we minimize disruption of their services. This means mitigating browser limitations for all customers and their most important people.

 

Q: Why are you so invested in ReadyTalk’s culture?

A: Because I believe that we work in a place where people are empowered to make decisions and influence the progression of our company. It comes down to loving where you work. I appreciate that we are highly accountable for our own actions. We care about our mission, purpose, and each other. And most of all we care about how our work serves our customers. “Our most important people” is an expression I like using as it relates to business and service. So when we find new people to come and work for ReadyTalk we try very hard to match those goals and expectations.    

 

Q: Describe ReadyTalk in one word?

A: Dynamic

CloudTalk: Bend the Ear of an Engineer

Nick Bitzer cut his teeth as a ReadyTalk engineer three years ago when he began on the Q/A and release team. Now, he’s responsible for maintaining backend reliability that makes our ReadyTalk products possible. He’s armed with an acute sense of our tech DNA, and a sleeve tattoo of a steamship anchor repping his Florida roots.

Q: What was your most memorable day at ReadyTalk?

A: The first day I got here. Haha seriously. It was a great introduction to the company culture and my whole team. Definitely a whirlwind of events that day. My first impression was how inviting and welcoming everyone was. Also, sometimes the formalities of meeting managers can seem awkward and forced on your first day. It was NOT that way at ReadyTalk. My questions were heard and answered, I was able to meet even the highest level directors and C-level executives. The access to people and resources was really an eye opener. I definitely felt the culture was dropped in my lap on day one. Plus, we crushed it at happy hour that evening, so that didn’t hurt either. It did hurt the next day.   

Q: What’s your most unpredictable type of work day?

A: The catch 22 is that the bad or difficult days are the most rewarding. Once in awhile, unforeseen production issues may cause a hiccup and I have to get up early to put out a fire. It just happens, as with any other service on the market. Even though these events are high pressure, I do enjoy solving the problem and identifying why something went wrong. I think that’s when I’m at my best because my teammates and I need a resolution ASAP.

Q: Even though you work on the backend in engineering, how does your work affect customers?

A: Since I’ve worked on a lot of our bug fixes and product enhancements, I enjoy acting on the concerns of our customers and delivering additions to our services. In this case, the engineering team works with the customer care department to remedy different components, or to stay competitive in the market by adding product features. This was especially true when I worked on the release team because we were building automation that verified our products. We pushed out the changes every six weeks so that definitely kept us busy. This relates to ongoing projects that reflect the voice of the customer, so it might not always impact my day-to-day flow. Rather, the bigger picture across the company as we get feedback about maximizing the user experience.

Q: I noticed that you have an exposed tattoo. Does that make it hard getting a table at a nice restaurant?

A: No. Absolutely not. It helps.

Legacy Systems and How to Move Away

Just about every company has them: legacy systems. They may be part of the architecture — the very infrastructure, at the heart of your company’s IT road map, too.

But what if these platforms are actually hurting your company’s performance?

What is a legacy system?

Legacy systems are old, usually outdated technology — either the hardware itself or the software. The reason they’re outdated is they may not integrate with other platforms, which could save your company time and money. They may not be able to sustain microservices. And they may not even meet your core needs, enabling reporting or handling the growing needs of your company.

In other words, legacy systems may be keeping your organization from reaching its full potential. Here are a couple ways you can separate yourself without spending a fortune.

A “rip-and-replace” approach might not be best for you

IT guys talking about legacy systemsWhile you might want to completely discard and replace your current legacy platform all at once, this might not be best course of action for your company. ComputerWorld wrote that this “rip-and-replace” approach is costly and can have negative impacts on your business’s productivity levels.

You also might encounter significant change resistance throughout your organization, making a successful implementation nearly impossible. Instead, considering slowly integrating a new system over time, with plenty of training and support opportunities available to guide employees through the process. Learn about managing change. The more you can manage the change, the better the implementation will be. Users will have time to adopt new protocols and processes, which means it’ll ultimately be more successful.

Maybe you need to find a healthy middle ground?

Instead of completely replacing your legacy system (even over time), maybe you should find a middle ground. In the case of cloud-based software solutions, some companies implement a hybrid option, that allows for both on-premise and cloud-based functionality. This option is especially beneficial for IT professionals who need added functionality ans security, but don’t want to disrupt the entire system.

Do you have a legacy horror story?

Everyone does. We’d like to hear and read yours.