New Kaazing CEO Vikram Mehta: “The more I looked, the more intrigued I got”
Former IBM VP system networking Vikram Mehta was looking forward to spending time with his children and winding down when his contract at IBM ran out in April.
Yet those plans all changed after he was introduced to real time comms provider Kaazing. Now, after being unveiled as the San Jose company’s CEO, Mehta is looking forward to the challenges ahead with what he describes as “revolutionary” technology.
“The more I looked, the more intrigued I got,” he tells DeveloperTech, adding: “I think what we’re doing over here at Kaazing is truly revolutionary.”
Kaazing’s technology is based around the WebSocket Gateway, an enterprise-grade platform to deliver real-time data transfer in an internet of things (IoT) heavy world - hence the tagline “the heart of the living web.”
Mehta compares this change to the telegraph networks of the 1800s, which were cumbersome and not to scale compared to the telephony networks which came in a century later.
“Devices that are sitting inside of the corporate LAN will always be referred to as first class citizens, and anything coming over the web will have to rely on this request response medium of communication. Well no more,” he claims.
“I think the possibilities that this creates for connected devices in an internet of everything world, this is very fundamental infrastructure technology to help the world realise the power and vision of everything that’s been talked about.
“That’s what got me going, and that’s why I’m here,” he adds.
Mehta sees his job as taking two stands initially; recruitment and education. The former has already begun at an executive level, with CMO Jeremy Geelan and VP architecture Todd Montgomery joining the team. Yet spreading the message is a bigger task altogether.
“As I’ve gone out and spent time with customers and partners, the one big ‘aha’ that I’ve realised is every time we engage in an opportunity, I think customers see a tremendous amount of value,” he explains. “We just haven’t had enough feet on the street, so to speak, to do the door knocks.
“The value of the technology is very compelling,” he continues. “But obviously people have been used to doing things a certain way for the past two decades.
“I like to tell people that the enterprises we are targeting, these same enterprises several decades ago were quite happy using token ring networking. It worked for them, they never understood what Ethernet was all about until they understood the benefit of Ethernet. And the rest is history.”
Mehta admits the marketing message may need a tweak, but it’s difficult when you’re targeting the biggest organisations.
“That took a lot of evangelical work on part of the industry, and likewise here we have to do the same,” he explains. “Now there’s a better way. But you have to make the investment to educate the marketplace, and help people understand what the benefits of that are.”
The Kaazing CEO describes a “healthy paranoia” in the enterprise when transforming their IT.
“You’ve got enterprise apps, and you put web servers in front of them, and then you put load balancers to load balance the web servers, and then you put load balancers to load balance the load balancers that are load balancing the web servers,” he says, breathlessly.
“It’s just a hierarchical mess, and it’s costing enterprises a fortune. And at the same time, they’re staring down the barrel of millions more people, devices and machines trying to connect into their infrastructure as this whole IoT thing takes off.
“They do recognise that they’ve got to be able to simplify their infrastructure, because if they don’t do it rapidly, they’re going to get impacted vis a vis their customers.”
Mehta concludes: “While there’s always complexity associated with large business and how fast they can move, I think there is inertia from within these corporations to get moving very rapidly.”
For now it seems an ideal partnership: networking expert and IBM veteran meets company with communications technology looking to spread its word.
Mehta sees the challenge facing Kaazing as similar to VMware’s outlook on virtualisation at the start of the millennium.
“People were really not understanding what this virtualisation was all about,” Mehta explains. “There was a lot of education, a lot of stuff, and the rest is history.
“I think if we put our head down, and tail up, and execute with precision, then I think the opportunity for this company could be as big, if not bigger, than the opportunity was for VMware in their marketplace.
“They did a phenomenal job of executing that – so we’re going to learn from what those guys did.”
What do you think? Find out more about Kaazing’s solutions in this exclusive resource available to download here.
If you are interested in IoT, please visit IoT Tech Expo Europe in London's Olympia, December 2-3 2015.
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