In the spirit of the holidays, Meghan Fintland of NetApp Corporate Communications sat down with Jamal Boudi, of NetApp, regarding the role technology plays into consumers’ daily shopping habits. As a storage solutions architect, Jamal is responsible for designing and integrating solution enablement and product adoption for NetApp’s business partners and customers. He focuses on the alignment of immerging technologies with storage system requirements for specific markets or verticals, such as Big Data, OpenSource Object oriented repositories or large data sets on scalable file systems.
Meghan: You have a very technical role; can you give our readers a 30 second overview of what you do?
Jamal: I like to say, I help make magic with storage. It’s not the physical storage boxes but the power and innovation behind technologies that store and manage digital data.
I tell people to imagine that when they use email or shop online, all that data gets stored somewhere. My team and I build hardware and software products to store and manage that data. This can equate to everyday commonly known Office application data or an enterprise’s large database of current and historical proprietary information. In some cases, these data sets could follow an individual’s family record or history, their bank accounts, digital photographs, etc. For an enterprise, this information is employee records, product designs, financials, and customer information. You name it!
Then I tell them to imagine how lack of access to this data, or in a worst case scenario loss of this data, would impact a person’s precious life memories or an enterprise’s daily operational success……this would not make a Holiday tone, right?
Meghan: What is your typical day like?
Jamal: Overall, I help my colleagues solve interesting problems as it relates to technology while furthering our customers’ businesses. Sometimes my day begins and ends with meetings. In other cases, I may be focused solely on solving a customer’s complex technical issue. I basically do everything from contributing to a marketing campaign, to focusing on sales, or working on a specific product to meet or exceed its specification, anything and everything that will positively differentiate NetApp from the rest of the industry.
Specifically, I work on NetApp E-Series and EF flash technology. This type of technology is ideal for companies in which information consumption or data-access delays can constrain a business dramatically, affecting competitive advantage and sometimes ultimately negating consumer satisfaction. More than ever, companies recognize the benefit of faster data access. My team and I work to deliver a competitive and appropriate solution.
Meghan: You have a very technical role, how does what you do impact the everyday consumer? How important is storage behind their holiday shopping?
Jamal: Imagine shopping online during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, during a “Flash Sale” at a popular retail site, or even on just a regular day of the year. You expect and most of all trust the online retailer to give you a superb user experience. When purchasing digital goods for example, you want your transaction to run smooth, safe and most importantly accurate. Anything less jeopardizes your confidence in the retailer and ultimately could risk you not returning. Storage and data management technology are the retailer’s gold, crucial in making the shopper user experience seamless.
Online retailers rely on NetApp to help them provide a superior customer experience that can mean the difference between making a sale and losing a customer to a competitor. For example, I help to engineer and deploy the NetApp EF flash arrays. This product greatly assists global retailers to increase customer satisfaction and revenue. By deploying the NetApp EF flash arrays, retailers dramatically accelerate payment transactions for a faster and more reliable checkout experience.
Meghan: Can you elaborate on how NetApp enables faster and more transactions for online retailers?
Jamal: NetApp high-performance storage provides real-time transaction capabilities such as the ones we see in a database or data warehouse processing back-ends. For example, this means that whether the retailer is selling physical or digital products, real-time transactions allow e-commerce applications to monitor a user’s past searches and purchases to make more accurate recommendations that increase sales. For digital content, once a purchase is made, high-performance data storage will find and prepare that content for download more quickly. Of course, there are other integrated technologies that our company brings to the table but that conversation will be for another time.
Meghan: Why do you do what you do?
Jamal: I am a geek at heart I guess J ! Similar to being a kid, when you build something, such as a tree house, you want your friends to reap the benefits. I do the same thing with technology. I want to bring something innovative to the table where all can benefit. It’s important that it also has a great story behind it. I work with cross functional teams, different creative people. We help each other keep the energy up, which helps us motivate and grow our customers’ businesses.