Team builder

Eric Sele, Vice President of Sales, Southern and Central Europe, Middle East, Africa explains his proudest achievements

Tags: Ciena Corporation
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Team builder
By  Georgina Enzer Published  December 16, 2012

Eric Sele, Vice President of Sales, Southern and Central Europe, Middle East, Africa explains his proudest achievements.

Can you tell us how you began working in the IT industry in the UAE?

My work in the UAE started with an invitation to regional tenders, which helped us to position Ciena’s value proposition in packet and optical networking, and distributed software automation. Through these engagements we created relationships with strategic operators in the region who selected Ciena as a supplier.

What is the best and worst thing about the networking industry in the UAE?

The appetite for innovation and best in class technology really resonates with Ciena’s strategy. There is an exponential and evident demand for bandwidth and quality of service in the UAE, but the region also suffers from limited fixed network infrastructure and severe environmental challenges - which adds complexity to the task of meeting growing traffic demand in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Talk us through what you do on a daily basis.

I engage with operators, enterprise or government institutions to understand their needs and deliver solutions that best meet their specific requirements and help them change the way they perform and compete. My role is also to support the UAE team to ensure that we deliver, install and support solutions required by our customers and allocate resources accordingly.

What has been your proudest achievement in your career so far?

My proudest achievement has been to build a successful and talented team in the Middle East in the last couple of years.

What green product or innovation should the IT industry watch out for this year?

The energy consumption associated to telecoms is a key challenge affecting the industry. The rise of cloud computing, high-definition TV, smartphones and tablets, are creating enormous demand for bandwidth in the region. Ciena believes that next-generation networks should be designed in a way that not only reduces the cost of the megabit delivered, but also the associated energy consumption.

What IT company do you admire and why?

The first is the company I represent – Ciena, the company has decided to be a network specialist, instead of a generalist like our competitors. This allows us to build strong relationships with our customers and help them simplify and dramatically shift the cost curve of performance-on-demand networking. I also admire IBM due to its ability to transform itself from a computer business company into a strong leader in system integration.

Who do you look up to in your career and why?

The person I look up to in my career is Gary Smith – I know that once again it is internal but I admire a person who had the courage to go to a network specialist approach while the market was pushing for generalists, to build a converged optical/Ethernet portfolio while most of the industry was pushing for IP/Optical, to have been successful in the major acquisition of Nortel MEN Division without creating business rupture and in maintaining people commitment and values  of Ciena.

What do you do for fun?

As a Frenchman I like food and good wine and to share those moments of pleasure with family, friends, colleagues and customers - which is an important part of my culture. Practicing sport is also essential when you are travelling frequently for business - I love playing tennis and horse riding.

What is one unusual thing about you?

I am responsible for ten offices in Europe and everywhere I see the same interest to discover culture and people, which help me to be convinced that humanity is very rich.

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