Tony Martin joined FalconStor in February 2016 as UK & Ireland managing director. His main role is to help FalconStor focus on accelerating its position as a leading storage innovator in the region. With extensive experience in software development and sales, Tony joined FalconStor having previously spent time as senior vice president EMEA Channels at CA Technologies, and, most recently, as vice president EMEA at Progress Software. Martin has also held the positions of director at Advanced Legal Solutions and managing director at Computer Associates UK. He talks exclusively to DCN.
What part of your job do you find the most challenging?
What I find most challenging is getting the message of FreeStor across to IT teams. With so much choice in the storage market, I often find that they are unsure as to what solution is right for their business needs. The issue is that there are so many definitions of software defined storage (SDS) in the market, which can ultimately leave customers very confused.
Looking back on your career so far, is there anything you might have done differently?
Perhaps a move to North America. I was offered an opportunity to move there and should have taken it when I got the chance. Europe doesn’t have an incubated culture in the same way the US does. There are thousands of software companies in North America, allowing for a stronger career progression. There are not as many opportunities in Europe, all the strategy and decision making for US companies tends to happen in the US.
Are there any major changes that you would like to see in the data centre industry?
The data centre industry has evolved from very specialist stand alone centralised data centres to a completely decentralised ‘choose the most appropriate platform’ environment. Data centres will continue to grow in size and number, serving existing and new applications from ‘behind the scenes’ and touch more areas of our lives, some of which we can’t even imagine today. Explosive growth of the data which is used by the applications that are starting to power our lives needs to be managed with less complex infrastructures and silos.
What qualities do you value in the people you work with?
With the right attitude, you can achieve anything and once you’ve got that, everything else falls into place. It helps you rise to the challenge and do anything you set your mind to. As Winston Churchill once said, “The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.”
What are FalconStor’s aims for 2017?
The storage and data management market is extremely fragmented and our aim is to show the industry that FalconStor’s FreeStor platform is the most comprehensive implementation of software defined storage in a hardware agnostic and data agnostic fashion. With companies asking how they can save money, mitigate risk and orchestrate storage and data together, we can highlight how well FreeStor helps these companies achieve their goals.
What are your hobbies/interests outside work?
Most of us work to live, not live to work. Developing the right work/life balance is a daily challenge but the most satisfying over time. I like to spend as much time as I can with my family doing things together when I’m not working
How would you spend your perfect weekend (imagining no travel constraints)?
Well (if everyone had the ability to instantaneously teleport), the perfect weekend would be to gather all my friends and family, from all around the world, together, in a stunning location. Spending time in each other’s company and just simply catching up.
Favourite: Book? Film? TV show? Singer/band?
Book – Dune, James Herbert
Film – Life of Brian
TV show – Game of Thrones
Singer/Band – Genesis
If you could travel back to any time period in history which would it be and why?
Ancient Egypt – there’s still a lot from that era I’d like to understand better. Archaeologists today don’t have the complete facts and are left guessing about Egyptian civilisation and culture from artefacts. Ancient Egypt seems to have an association with the birth of Christianity and a relationship to Ancient Greek culture. By travelling back to Ancient Egypt I could potentially unravel some of the mysteries.
Do you have any lifetime targets, professionally or personally?
Keep learning, stay healthy, stay ambitious, stay grounded, stay alive ……