Hit the ‘like’ and ‘subscribe’ button, because our guest today just keeps on giving great learning content. Meet Matts Koppen, Pre-Sales Engineer at Kappa Data and our Extreme Hero!
Hello Matts! How are you? How was your 2021?
Actually, I’m doing great, thanks! I can tell you that 2021 was quite the year! I was involved in some great projects that really challenged me to find the best available network solutions for an optimized user experience.
You’re a rare breed of engineer who can connect technology, customer pain points and business needs. Could you tell us some more about your role and work at Kappa Data?
At Kappa Data I am a Pre-Sales Engineer, Product Specialist and Authorized Trainer. I love creating new concepts and business models, like the preconfiguring services that Kappa Data is offering. We preconfigure the hardware so that our customers get a plug-and-play solution that perfectly meets their needs and requirements, saving them a lot of time and effort!
What do you value the most in your relations with vendors? What does it take to become an Extreme evangelist for you?
I really appreciate the accessibility of people, having the option to ask for help at any given moment and being able to work together very well on our projects. I guess these are kind of moments when you truly realize that it’s the people who shape the technology, and not the other way around.
Your impressive knowledge of Extreme products is backed by numerous certifications. But the beauty of learning is that it never stops. Which current technology or solutions area are you most excited about right now?
I’m really excited about the power of Extreme Fabric Connect. I’m currently studying more about it, as I’m involved in a couple of Fabric projects myself. Also, one of my New Year resolutions is to get up to speed with the ExtremeCloud IQ – Site Engine and Control.
Besides selling products, Kappa Data offers a broad range of services, like configuration assistance you mentioned before, pre- and post-sales support, and also training. The latter seems particularly like your cup of tea, which brings us to the question: what do you enjoy more, learning new technologies, or teaching others?
I like to be challenged with new technologies. But I also love to teach and inspire others with the latest and greatest in the world of networking. Probably the easiest way to reach people nowadays is through the video content. I like to keep information accessible and enjoyable for everyone. We have a couple of other videos planned out for this year so be sure to keep an eye on our Kappa Data social media channels!
Before you joined the Extreme technical community, you had a long history with Aerohive products, helping growing the business on the distributor’s end. Has the Aerohive’s transition to Extreme been difficult to you as a trainer?
Quite the opposite, it was fairly easy thanks to the amazing support from the Extreme’s Learning Team. Being able to continue giving the classes in-house, as we have all the required hardware, has also helped us with the transition a great deal.
Speaking of cloud, how do you feel today about the expanding ExtremeCloud portfolio: Site Engine, cloud-managed SD-WAN, SASE ecosystem etc.?
I love the fact that we are moving to a Cloud-First Networking and experiencing the true power of AI. We are not only able to unburden our customers, we can also help them optimize their actual business processes. That being said, I’m really looking forward to the implementation of SD-WAN, which will bridge the LAN to the cloud.
What has been the biggest success in your career?
My biggest success so far involves a deal with more than 90 site surveys. Not only did I score the deal, I also set up the offer and coordinated the whole project for the customer. I worked closely together with our partner and the end-user to ensure that the agreed upon, state-of-the-art network solution was successfully delivered.
What project are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the ExtremeCloud IQ VA migration to the Public Cloud which we did for a healthcare customer some time ago. It was a very challenging task since we had to migrate in a live environment. We were able to finish the job successfully without ever impacting anyone's work.
And what project did you simply have the most fun with?
One of the projects I had the most fun with was providing a school with a complete cloud-managed network. I enjoy collaborating with our partners’ engineers and tackling the challenges that are presented to us. Also, I always enjoy projects involving warehouses and factories. These are very dynamic environments which usually require quite a bit of creative thinking to come up with the best solution.
I really appreciate the accessibility of people, having the option to ask for help at any given moment and being able to work together very well on our projects.
What would you consider your long-term career goals?
I would love to inspire the next generation of consultants and engineers in a leadership role. I enjoy the diversity that the Distributor world has to offer but I also see myself working for a vendor in the future.
What’s your favorite way to unwind or celebrate a win?
I enjoy celebrating our wins with the team, usually with a nice, well-deserved drink and some bite. My favorite way to blow off some steam? Go out into nature!
Any message you’d like to send to your colleagues, customers or partners?
Really looking forward to seeing all of you in person again. Hopefully, at the upcoming events!