Interview with Scott Shadley, VP Marketing at NGD Systems
Being a founding member of the SSD Storage Revolution as part of my efforts at STEC Inc, the Pioneer in Enterprise SSD Storage, I participated in growing a small startup into a $300M+ powerhouse. With a combined 17 years of service to all aspects of Micron DRAM/NAND development, and many adventures, including several $300M+ products under my management, I am excited to see what I can do with a new career at NGD Systems
TDE: Thank you so much for taking our questions! Tell us a little about your business and its history?
Scott Shadley: NGD Systems was founded in 2013 based on the premise that SSD providers of the day were not actually solving a customer data need, they were simply abstracting it. By creating Computational Storage NVMe SSDs, Nader Salessi, Vladimir Alves and Richard Mataya (Co-Founders) delivered to a true customer pain point. Instead of providing a band-aid approach, they took the imitative to present a true solution to an existing problem and provide the market and customers with a way to address the data Tsunami that is being generated today.
TDE: What are your thoughts on the current pace of digital transformation in your industry?
Scott Shadley: Given the history of the SSD market and suppliers in the space, the ability for these large corporations to address and adapt to modern transformational issues is much like trying to turn a raging elephant. The ability to be nimble, aggressive and support real needs in real time does not exist in most of the market and efforts like that of NGD Systems and other startups is the only way for the future of storage to succeed in delivery on the needs of the industry.
TDE: What do you feel is the one technology trend within your industry that cannot be ignored?
Scott Shadley: Data management at the data storage location. If you can ingest PetaBytes (PB) of data into storage and not have a proper way to retrieve the value of that data, then what you have stored has become useless. By addressing the issue of movement, not simply storing data, the market has an opportunity to reach a new height of performance that goes well beyond any ‘interface’ improvements that are the current focus.
TDE: Have you used technology for managing a) field team operations, b) sales/channel management, c) shipment tracking, d) employee engagement, or e) customer retention? What has been your experience?
Scott Shadley: As we are developing and deploying products at scale through 2019, we have been looking for new tools, best practices and innovative ways to address these issues. To date, we have not found a specific solution that addresses our needs of today and tomorrow, but we continue to engage our teams with many vendors to determine the best plan moving forward.
TDE: How integrated is your customer experience- from sales to operations to delivery tracking? Do your customers have access to a common portal?
Scott Shadley: We currently handle each customer with dedicated support. Our team has ownership from customer acquisition through all stages and into delivery of products. Today, that is focused much on a 1-1 effort, and we are working to implement a ‘portal’ for scale and increased customer count.
TDE: How paperless are your operations? Do you feel any part could be digitized and if yes, which?
Scott Shadley: We rely heavily on both paper and paperless operations today but realize and acknowledge that going to a more streamlined and paperless process is key and we are working now to deploy an ERP systems that will address this issue.
TDE: In the next quarter which part of your business are you focusing on? Which part of your business can be further optimized using technology?
Scott Shadley: As we roll out our ERP platform we will continue to increase the use of it into customer management, CRM and other tools that can be incorporated into that effort. We understand that at a scale of company we are at, and the anticipated growth over the next 12 months, that we need to be more aggressive to get true technology driven and managed efforts in play. From ordering supplies, to automated expenses and even to simple lead tracking for sales are all efforts we plan to focus on in the near future.
TDE: Do you view & use a common management dashboard to check the health of your business?
Scott Shadley: We have a gap here that we are working to address. Compliments to the current size and interaction of the team, this is much more of a weekly ‘status’ report out. But a more modern and technology driven dashboard is being developed to ensure the growth of the company and the success of product rollouts. Anywhere from metrics on spending to details on employees available at a ‘mouse click’ are becoming more necessary.
TDE: How do you keep yourself updated? What are some of the websites or magazines or apps that you subscribe to or read regularly?
Scott Shadley: The area number of subscription ‘inbox’ platforms that I read that are technology and segment focused, as well as many that are simply around business development and general market.www.Storagenewsletter.com www.Gartner.com (Subscription service) www.nextplatform.com www.HBR.org
TDE: What’s your favorite social network – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?
Scott Shadley: My use of social platforms is truly limited and I rely on my marketing team to manage a majority of these efforts. At this point in time, I rely on LinkedIn for business networking more than any other platform as it fits best with our business model.