Last month, Lawrence Cross joined Calix as a Consulting Sales Engineer. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Lawrence brings a wealth of telecom network software expertise to the Calix sales team. He will be an essential part of our engagements in the field with service providers as they move to a software-first architecture and utilize Software Defined Access (SDA) principles as the foundation for the future of their networks.
I recently spoke with Lawrence to learn more about his background and what is ahead for him at Calix.
Rob: Welcome to Calix, Lawrence! Tell me a little about yourself and your background prior to joining us.
Lawrence: Hi there. I am based in Allen, Texas and was previously with Fujitsu Network Systems. I served as their SDN/NFV Specialist. Prior to that, I was with Tail-f, which was a leading provider of multi-vendor network orchestration solutions before the company was acquired by Cisco. Funny enough, I was with Cisco before Tail-f for eight years. And before that, I worked with several other companies and have a long history working on software that is focused on networks, including network management, provisioning and SDN/NFV. And, I am glad to bring that experience to Calix.
Rob: Why did you join Calix and what role will you now be playing as part of the Calix team?
Lawrence: My new role is serving as a consulting sales engineer and I will be focused on SDN and OSS integration efforts for our service provider customers all around the world. When I started the interview process here at Calix, I quickly saw the difference with the team here, which was the energy in all the people I interacted with. There was a clear mentality in the company that was one of excitement.
There was also a rapid pace of change and innovation with the team, as they were digging in deep with customers to help them in their SDN and NFV projects. As we get further down the path with our customers as they transition to a SDA architecture, our systems need to be integrated and understood and that information coming from the network needs to be integrated into our customers network billing and management systems, as well as their portals. Every service provider does it a little differently too, so that is where I will come in to aid in that process.
With these interactions, it quickly became obvious to me that Calix was where I needed to be.
Rob: What are you most excited about in this new role?
Lawrence: My experience has all converged at this paradigm shift that is happening in our industry right now. I have always been a bit of an outsider with the network teams, as I was always the software guy. And now, with the shift, everyone is focused on software. With that, I feel that I can add a lot more value, both to Calix and to our customers. After working on software for 20+ years, I can bring insight into things like streamlining the integration process, more of a cloud delivery model for services. I am also looking forward to working with the various standards groups like CORD and ONF.
In just a few weeks, I have been so energized by all the people that I have interacted with around Calix, that I am waking up every day eager to get into my email and tackle my projects with an excitement that I haven’t had in quite a while.
Rob: Lastly, tell us something fun about yourself that we don’t know.
Lawrence: When I am not at work, I am an avid fly fisherman. I fish in both fresh and salt water all over the world. One of my favorite places I have ever been able to fish was a private island down in Belize.