After Hours: Yarob Sakhnini

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: Yarob Sakhnini Yarob Sakhnini, Regional Director, Brocade MEMA.
By Staff Writer Published  May 4, 2014

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

Yarob Sakhnini, Regional Director, Brocade MEMA

Getting personal
Nationality: Jordanian
Number of years in the industry: 23
Favourite food: A good steak
Holiday destination: Switzerland in summer to get away the heat of Dubai
Music: Depends on the mood, but mostly golden oldies
Dream car: I’m very practical. Anything that gets me from point A to point B.
Gadget: XBMC
Movie/book: I don’t have much time at all for movies and books, but Gladiator stands out as one of my favourite movies.
Piece of advice: Be real!

How did you end up where you are now?
I started my career as a networking engineer with CNS, a leading UAE based infrastructure integrator and managed services provider. I then moved to 3Com and was responsible for systems engineering activities in MENA. I also served at Foundry Networks as systems engineer for a little under eight years before the company was acquired by Brocade. Since then I have been involved in building a stable, result oriented and customer driven pre-sales engineering team at Brocade. I have just been appointed regional sales director for the Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa region where I will be responsible for leading the sales and pre-sales engineering teams as well as planning and executing channel and marketing strategies to help grow Brocade’s business in the region.

What is your management philosophy?
I believe strongly that each person has his/her own way of doing things. People tend to excel when they work towards goals that they understand. At the same time the best way to get the most out of people is to be honest, direct, supportive and open to ideas.

What was your first computer, and when did you first use it?
My first interaction with a computer was during high school (a very long time ago). I was fortunate that my father was heading one of the first computerised news databases in the Arab world and during my summer vacations I used to work for his computer department. So my first interaction with computers was with a DEC VAX where I learnt to program in COBOL. I was hooked instantly.

What is your greatest achievement?

I am very fortunate to have a very understanding wife. With her support I am very proud that I have managed my work/life balance to allow us to raise our four very successful daughters.

What is your biggest mistake?
Any mistake is a big mistake in my book. But instead of dwelling on my mistakes, I prefer to use them as learning experiences and see them as stepping stones to success.

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

I started working in the IT industry in the region in 1991. During these years I have met and developed memorable relationships with many people in the industry. One of the best feelings is when you bump into somebody that you had a very close working relationship with in the past but have not met for years.

What technology will have the biggest impact on the market in 2014?

Rather than a certain technology I believe that data centre roll-outs and cloud services adoption will have the biggest impact on the IT industry this year. I believe that the IT landscape will look drastically different from where we are today. Especially when we see some cloud service providers negating the need for massive private physical build-outs. Within the networking space Ethernet Fabrics will transform the industry.

What’s the best way to deal with stress?
Avoid it! I have a very calm and cool personality. Planning in advance is key.

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