Well as hinted in the last post I have decided to resign my position at AMS-IX and take on a new role at Telecitygroup here in Amsterdam, a big change indeed.
I have spent 3.5 years at AMS-IX and considering the day before the interview I had no idea what an Internet Exchange was (some say I still dont) things went well. During that time we (and I mean we) managed to launch the most successful partner / reseller program that the IX world has seen, it enabled AMS-IX to add over 100 new ASN’s each year for the last 2 years and more during 2013. The program has literally been copied (in some cases word for word) by many other IX’s around the world. As well as growing AMS-IX home IX in Amsterdam we also launched AMS-IX HK (which is now attracting connections) and are in the process of launching AMS-IX EA (East Africa).
When I joined AMS-IX I was given 2 goals a) establish a sales operation and b) get known in ‘different’ communities (as opposed to the RIPE and Peering crowd). I think both targets were achieved, the sales department is now 4 people (well once they hire my replacement it will be 4) and AMS-IX is well know on the carrier conference (especially Capacity) circuit. When I started i was the first dedicated sales professional (?) that AMS-IX ever had and at carrier conferences nobody would recognize anyone from AMS-IX (or any other IX for that matter). Now I am pretty well known on the circuit and managed to generate a good amount of business for AMS-IX via my network and it is that network which has helped me get the new job. A far cry from the first time at a capacity conference (I think in Malaysia) when someone said to me ‘who are you and what the f**k is an IX doing here’! 🙂
A thanks must to the AMS-IX team who held a really good farewell drink for me, well by the state of my headache the next day it was good, and gave me a couple of nice going away gifts (you can see a picture below).
My time at AMS-IX was well spent I think I did well for the organization and also it was a great chance for me to move into a growing industry sector that I hope I can stay in for a long time to come.
Since my leaving became public there has been a lot of interest in my old position and the interview process is still going along and I wish my successor all the best with the role. I dont see the numbers for 2013 as a challenge as the ground work ha already been done a very good inroads made into the targets, I think the coming years will be more of a challenge due to competition from other IX’s (and regional peering) and the transit price continuing to drop could be a big problem. There is no doubt that technically peering is the best for the network (user and operators) but increasingly the decisions will be made on a financial basis with solely the bottom line in mind. I think many people are attracted to the role at AMS-IX as they feel it is an ‘easy number’ but it looks easy from the outside but the amount of work put in behind the scenes (preparing for conferences and keeping on top of leads) is immense and maybe under estimated by some people.
So in two days I begin my new role and what do I expect? Well I am looking forward to a more corporate environment with much to learn, I also expect the completion to be a lot harder than i have had for the last few years (and am looking forward to that). I hope I do well in the new role, I will need luck but ‘the harder you work the luckier you get’ and I am prepared to work hard!
Not sure if I will write too much about my new role here but I will keep active and am going to try to move towards more informative posts with my opinion and observations on what I see in the industry!