If the only source of knowledge is experience, as Albert Einstein put it, then this interview can probably save you a year or two! The wisdom, modesty, and kindness – these qualities of a true Extreme Hero best describe Peter Lindblom from Telia Finland, our guest today!
Peter, you’ve worked at Telia Finland for almost 35 years now. What’s the source of your commitment and dedication?
I’ve been lucky to have always had the chance to work with new, leading edge, sometimes bleeding edge technologies, constantly being challenged, and learning new things. At the same time, I’ve always had the opportunity to work with customers and end users. When you see things from different perspectives, you can more easily create solutions that address pain points customers are experiencing.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? Most recently, your technical expertise proved instrumental to closing a remarkable project for a large welfare area in Finland.
As with all our customer success stories, this was a team effort that included several of Telia’s services and all the individual pieces of the solution package had to fit together. So, the credit really goes to everybody involved. I’m proud of every customer success, whether big or small. Our customers trust us to create solutions that solve their needs for many years to come and at the right price point. Every customer is unique and deserves to be treated as such.
What can you tell us about the welfare area project? What were the key objectives? What were the biggest technical challenges that you faced? And what new capabilities and benefits does the new solution provide?
Telia is a managed service provider, and the project consisted of WAN and LAN services, among other things. The objective was to provide the customer with a future-proof solution as a managed service. From the LAN perspective, there were no surprising technical challenges nevertheless it was still quite a complex environment.
The customer got a state of the art, highly automated and secure network as a service. New services can be easily and quickly added to the network, whenever the need arises.
When you see things from different perspectives, you can more easily create solutions that address pain points customers are experiencing.
Many industries, including healthcare and local government, are undergoing a rapid shift as a result of digital transformation. What are the biggest and most immediate needs that you’re addressing right now for your customers in Finland?
Customers in Finland are looking for network as a service, including both LAN and SD-WAN. Over time, I expect SD-WAN to become more prevalent network service and it will replace MPLS to a large extent. An important part of this transition is the ability to take over the customer’s existing network and migrate to Telia’s service portfolio during the contract period.
Telia is the largest network service provider in the Nordic and Baltics region. How would you describe your experience as an Extreme partner? Which elements of the partnership would you say are the most satisfying – both to you personally and your company?
Our companies have worked together for a long time, starting in the early 1990s with Telecom Finland and Cabletron, and we’re still partners as Telia and Extreme Networks. I’ve always found it easy to work with Extreme as a partner, without a large amount of bureaucracy, and I hope it will stay that way. Over the years, the products and solutions from Extreme have been innovative and reliable. Because my background is technical, I’ve also liked the level of quality from GTAC. I’ve run into some tricky problems over the years, and they were always there to help.
You’ve sported the Extreme Hero badge for quite some time now. What excites you the most about working with Extreme Networks?
The people and the fact that Extreme solutions make you think differently about designing and operating networks.
I’ve always found it easy to work with Extreme as a partner.
Which solution or product do you like the most?
Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for ExtremeControl, ever since we started working with it in 2008. And nowadays Extreme Fabric Connect due to its inherent automation, stability and multi-tenant support, while at the same time being easy to deploy.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? And what piece of advice do you have for Telia’s customers?
Never assume that you know everything and that you are always right. And never stop learning and being curious. As for the customers, due to the global supply situation, my current advice would be to start planning for network upgrades and installations as early, as you can!
If you could ask a genie three wishes right now, what would you wish for?
Sanity. It would be nice to get some sanity back in this mad world and to make people realize that each and every one of us needs to be less selfish in order to take care of the only planet we have. And if those wishes were granted then I’d be just a little bit selfish and ask for a perfect pint of Guinness.