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Confessions of a Head of Product Management

Matt CretneyHead of Product Management
3rd Nov 2020

Matt Cretney looks back at his first 100 days in the role of Head of Product Management at Beeks.

 

I recently celebrated my first 100 days at Beeks since joining the team to head up their product management. I wanted to take this as an opportunity to reflect on my experience so far, as well as look forward to the year ahead. 

The work I’m undertaking at Beeks is broadly split into two areas: shaping the product roadmap for the managed cloud business, and working with the Beeks Analytics team to integrate their product into Beeks and develop it further. 

On the managed cloud side, I’ve been devoting a lot of time with the team who develop the Beeks portal which clients use to manage their Beeks Financial Cloud infrastructure. It gives users an instant view of all of their compute within Beeks, as well as the ability to instantly scale compute up or down to meet their requirements. It’s the kind of flexibility that you get from hyperscale cloud providers, but in the key global locations where financial firms need to be. Continuing to develop this portal to make life even easier for our customers is a key area of focus over the next 12 months. We want our customers’ experience with Beeks to be absolutely frictionless, with full visibility of their infrastructure via the portal or it’s API.

I’ve also been working closely with the Network team and Beeks sysadmins. Very smart team, and it’s really impressive how smoothly they turnaround very complicated deployments, and how committed they are to the security of the Beeks systems, as demonstrated with the recent ISO 27001 certification award. 

On the Velocimetrics side, it has been really good fun to geek out and get deep into the product. I’m really excited that one of the big things we’ve been working on in this area will be launched in the next few days, and as a teaser to that announcement, I can share a few details of what is coming in that launch and beyond: 

  • Integrated network monitoring. We’re working to make the product much simpler to deploy and to use than people are accustomed to with network monitoring products. The history of network monitoring tools is often that the data that they present is only used by IT, with very limited ability for business users to mix wire-level analytics with data from other systems. We will be changing this.
  • Better network visibility. Although business-level data is important, in some cases you need to make it easy and quick to get right down to the data that is on the wire. If you love packet captures, our use of Cloudshark embedded within the Beeks Analytics products means that you can quickly view and share the packets that you need, without waiting for lengthy downloads or the security risks of sharing these via other means.

At the moment, the Velocimetrics and Beeks teams are quite distinct from each other, because of history and geography (Velocimetrics predominantly London-based, Beeks predominantly Glasgow-based) but we are starting to see more common areas up ahead. But over time they will definitely be working more closely together, even if Covid restrictions mean that opportunities for physically getting the teams together are limited.

Joining any new company in the middle of a pandemic is a strange experience. In some ways, it probably made me settle in quicker. I often found myself meeting people who’d joined months before me, who had never met any of their colleagues in person either. Microsoft Teams helps to make the connections that are needed (although it’s very much an imperfect substitute for being able to meet up face to face). 

Beeks being a fast growing company has definitely helped me settle in to the role – nothing makes you feel like an old-timer as quickly as helping even newer people find their way around the organisation.  

Overall, it’s been a great start, and I’d definitely like to thank my colleagues both from Beeks and from the Velocimetrics side for their patience over the last few months, both with me as I acclimatise, but also with each other. It’s vital to recognize that every one of us has a different set of circumstances and concerns as we try to get through the pandemic and the changes that it imposes on us. By pulling together as a team, supporting each other and our customers, and innovating to change our industry, we are so much stronger than the sum of our parts.

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