BSSOSS People #3
You chat with them on Twitter, you’ve met them briefly at a conference. You might have read their musing in the trade press and have mutual friends of friends. But do you really know them? In the third of a new and slightly irreverent series, Teresa Cottam reveals the surprising facts about some well known BSSOSS folk!
Name: Rupert Rawnsley
Day job: Founder and director of Keima Ltd.
Description: Some say he is the Yoda of the network planning world, and that Overture Online is powered entirely by The Force. But be that as it may, Rupert is the guy who brought us one of the defining moments in telecoms software – “BSSOSS meets Lego”. At Keima, Rupert has responsibilities ranging from company strategy to hot beverage procurement. He says a good day is when he’s writing code for amazing new products, and a bad day is when he’s debugging that code. [Ed: I know there's lots of CTOs wincing in agreement!]
Recommended websites? Rupert says he reads a large number of computing blogs, but not as many wireless ones. A few he recommends are: “GigaOM (especially Stacey Higginbotham), Daily Wireless, Light Reading, and a bunch of niche bloggers like Tim Farrar & Zahid Ghadialy. Oh and of course Microsperience!” [Ed: thanks Rupert, your cheque is in the post!] He also highly recommends RSS feeds in Google Reader (or other feed readers) to avoid wrestling with “badly designed websites” on a daily basis.
One thing Rupert would like to change about BSSOSS: Rupert says: “Telecoms companies supply a commodity product using commodity equipment, so they struggle to differentiate themselves. The people and processes that they have are the key to success and they need to invest in both; I think that automation is the secret sauce that can allow companies to capture processes and help people to do more with their time. Also they should buy millions of pounds worth of software from small British companies. ”
Who should follow Rupert on Twitter? If you’re interested in capacity crunch issues (or #capcrunch as we call it on Twitter), how to make your network planning more business-centric, or have a general interest in Lego then you should be following Rupert (@KeimaLimited). Some of his best Twitter movements were his “Cell in a Box” and the “Deployed Network in a Box” competitors he created to Alcatel-Lucent, which were designed and deployed in literally a day at Mobile World Congress 2011. (Alcatel-Lucent declined to comment at this point in time.)
Things you might not know about Rupert: Rupert spends most of his spare time playing with his kids, which he says these days revolve around something called “Minecraft”. He says an “early mid-life crisis” has lead him to the local gym, where he is apparently the oldest and most injury-prone participant.
What you’ll be drinking if you meet up with Rupert: Like many in BSSOSS, Rupert is a coffee man by day; but by night he transforms into a whiskey drinker!
Name: Gorka Urango
Day job: Business Analyst and Consultant
Description: Gorka is actually the friendly face of BSSOSS in Spain and not, as Camile Mendler postulated, a villain from a soon-to-be-released Bond film.
One thing Gorka would like to change about BSSOSS: Gorka is frustrated by the inflexibility of legacy systems. He says: “A lot of things are hardcoded in the BSS software. It’s good for the software business because operators must pay for the support, but it should not be like that. The biggest operators often have old systems supporting their data, and the integration of BSS software must be done with those old and chaotic systems.”
Who should follow Gorka on Twitter? Gorka is a great source of interesting news and brings a southern European flavour to BSSOSS tweeting. His wry sense of humour and generous retweeting makes him a great guy to have in your network. (@gorkaurango)
Things you might not know about Gorka: Gorka is a people-person. He says: “I love going out and meeting interesting people, and I like to take a walk after work almost everyday to get relaxed. I need to visit a new city every two months and I hate impolite people. I’m sure that everybody can get everything with just a little smile and a polite word.” And “here! here!” to that.
What you’ll be drinking if you meet up with Gorka: Consistent with the Spanish culture, Gorka differentiates between evening and night-time drinks. Gorka says in the evening he’ll be drinking beer, but when the party really gets started he likes a well-prepared gin and tonic.
Name: Simon Matthews
Day job: CTO for Cerillion Technologies
Description: Simon Matthews is a billing maestro with a difference – it is said his expertise in supporting flexible billing models is surpassed only by his internationally-reknowned expertise in children’s TV programming. It’s rumoured he recently turned down an Oxford chair in the history and psychology of Peppa Pig, possibly due to a conflict of interest with his ongoing research into Strawberry Shortcake.
Recommended websites? Simon recommends theregister, which he says appeals to him because the editorial is high on humour while also covering all tech. He also recommends telecomasia and telecomtv.com. Simon notes that custom streams on Hootsuite manage Twitter for him to a point where the BSSOSS feeds are useful and informative, and lead him to many other websites.
One thing Simon would like to change about BSSOSS: Says Simon: “I’d love to change the worldwide assumption in the BSSOSS sector that volume begets complexity, and as a result remove the legacy tiering structures to see some of the newer, smaller but innovative firms, with lower-sized customer references, punching above their weight with the credibility their solutions deserve.”
Who should follow Simon on Twitter? If you like your BSSOSS techie but slightly Twilight Zone (though more literally he’s in the Daybreak zone, as he’s one of the few UK tweeters you’ll find actively tweeting at 2am local) then Simon’s your man (@simonjmatthews). While he’s never been known to back away from a technical discussion, he’s equally at home with the business-level issues or seeing the funny side of BSS. His knock-out Twitter moments are many and varied, but we particularly like his #fuelledonlybycoffee twitter streams, and his contributions to #sexybilling. He deserves an honourable mention for his discovery of Pocari Sweat and the creation of the verb “BSSOSSing”.
Things you might not know about Simon: Simon says his claims to fame comprise: “Holding the British Taekwondo Association record for fastest in tournament knockout from 1993 to 1996, and consuming fruit pastilles without chewing”. I know which I think is the most impressive.
What you’ll be drinking if you meet up with Simon: As I have noted oftentimes before, Simon Matthews should be the poster boy for Nespresso – nevermind that pretender George Clooney. Beyond coffee, another favourite tipple is “real” English beer ie “the sort that comes from a barrel, is gasless, drunk at room temperature, and if you don’t use a tea strainer will cause you to get bits between your teeth.” Nice!
We’ll have some more BSSOSS people for you to meet soon. If you’d like to reveal the “real you” to the BSSOSS community then Tweet me!
Read about more BSSOSS people: