After Hours: Jeroen Schlosser

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.

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After Hours: Jeroen Schlosser Jeroen Schlosser, managing director, Equinix MENA.
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 21, 2013

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.

Jeroen Schlosser, Managing Director, Equinix MENA

Getting personal

Nationality: Dutch
Number of years in the industry: 15
Favourite food: Asian
Holiday destination: City trips & Far East
Music: U2
Dream car: When I was 18 a Volvo 240, now too many
Gadget: Anything running IOS
Movie/book: The Constant Gardener
Piece of advice: Enjoy every day and don’t waste your time

How did you get to your current role?

There are three main drivers which have steered my career from the start. They are the ability to challenge myself, the opportunity to enjoy every day in the office, and to work with high performing teams. I like to explore my boundaries and capabilities and test myself. From the first job I took when I was still at school through to my current position, I’ve always looked for roles that challenge me and are within a challenging environment. Having been in the data centre industry for 15 years, stepping into the Middle East provides me with this opportunity. Being part of the first international global data centre in the MENA region, in a fast growing market is very exciting.

What is your management philosophy?

Building independent teams that like to be challenged and like to win and be successful. My role is ensuring that I create the right environment to achieve this and develop the resources for these teams to perform. I like to trust people and give them the support, space and time to be successful in their way.

What was your first computer?

My first computer was a Commodore 64. I was around 12 years old and totally lost into windsurfing. I created a program that would allow you to select your best surf-board. I still have that C64, and when I moved to Dubai I couldn’t let it go.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being a father. With my two daughters aged 6 and 13 years old, I realise every day how beautiful it is to see them grow up and experience the world through their eyes.

What is your biggest mistake?

There are probably plenty of mistakes I could mention. I believe it’s important that decisions are taken. You need to be professional in gathering your information, analysing scenarios and risk, and then take a decision. All decisions give you additional experience and knowledge, leading to better decisions in future. When I was 20 years old, I bought a second hand Alfa Romeo, even though everyone said not to. Within two weeks I spent the same amount again on repairs to keep it on the road!

What is your fondest memory of the Middle East IT industry?

My experience of working in the Middle East is that it is a great place to do business. It’s a totally different culture than I’m used to, but a very rich and welcoming culture in many ways. It feels like I’m building this memory every day, being part of  MENA ICT with all the new technologies, and new companies integrating their strategies and platforms into the global IT ecosystem.

What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market?

For me, the cloud-enabled enterprise will have a major impact within our region. One of the most immediate benefits of cloud services is the significant amount of rollout time they eliminate from a typical deployment. You can go from the beginning of the project to full deployment in a matter of months, or even weeks. With fewer barriers to deployment, an attractive OpEx model and no long-term commitments it gives enterprises a great strategic tool for driving growth and development.

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