People behind the Tech: Kathiravan Kandasamy

Syniverse’s “People behind the Tech” takes a look at some of the professionals who make technology work for our company and our customers.

What do you do at Syniverse?
I’m Senior Director of Product Management for our Connect line of business, which includes all our services for connectivity and represents one of Syniverse’s three main product pillars. In particular, I oversee the development and management of one of our major products – Syniverse Secure Global Access, our private, isolated network that we launched last year and that is designed to protect company data and transactions from the rapid rise of sophisticated cyberattacks and the growth of new pathways that the internet of things (IoT) is opening today. I’ve been at Syniverse for almost three years now and based in Dallas, Texas, but I often travel to and work at our headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

What are you working on this month?
We’ve made a lot of exciting progress with Secure Global Access recently with the launch of new wireless area network (WAN) capabilities in North America and new cloud connectivity capabilities in Europe. In addition, we’ve also been making excellent progress with new Global IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity) product. With IMSI, mobile operators can connect their subscribers to any device and machine — wherever and whenever it’s on. This enables a new era of connectivity for the innovations promised by 5G and, importantly, opens a new gateway to the internet of things (IoT) and the multitude of devices that will power it. Finally, through work at our Innovation Lab, we’ve been continuing to refine our private LTE product. Private LTE allows communication service providers and businesses to have LTE coverage inside a building and outside around a campus. This provides network capacity expansion on a massive scale, easily deployable and cost-efficient local network capabilities, and highly secure alternatives to Wi-Fi.

What aspects of these projects interest you the most?
I think one of the biggest things is the tremendous potential in integrating some of our products as a solution in which the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. One of our latest projects, for example, integrates our Global IMSI product and allows an IoT customer to enable their devices to use cellular wireless communications and transport their IoT data seamlessly via our Secure Global Access network to a public or private cloud system. As another example, we’re extending our private LTE capabilities now to enable a new range of IoT use cases, with private network solutions that offer easier deployment, superior coverage, higher-quality user experience, and greater security, among others.

What’s one of the most valuable lessons you’ve gained during your career in tech?
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to always stay up with the newest technologies so you can be prepared to integrate these technologies as well as adapt older technologies to work with the new ones. When you think of some of the giants of the tech industry that have fallen by the wayside by failing to keep up with the latest pace of innovation, it tells you that in this industry it’s imperative to be fast, agile and innovative. Our ability to learn and apply new knowledge faster that our competitors is essential to our survival. This is why the development of new innovations and bringing of new products to market drive me every day.

What’s been one of your best moments at Syniverse?
One recent moment that stands out is when a new employee reached out to me to say he gained so much by watching a recently recorded webinar I led on Secure Global Access. He was enthusiastic about the potential of this new service, ready to contribute ideas about developing new capabilities for the service, and curious about how he could collaborate with my team directly. Coming from someone who just joined the company, this was amazing to hear and a powerful validation of our work. We need this enthusiasm and support from everyone to make our products succeed! Our greatest strength as a company is our people.

Tell us about your technology lifestyle. What’s your favorite personal technology?
It won’t come as a surprise that I love IoT technology. I enjoy dabbling with smart home technologies, and my pet project is integrating various home appliances and gadgets. At this point, I’ve dabbled with a slew of home security systems, web cameras, smart TVs, smart light bulbs, and smart door locks – you name it – and I have enough Google Home and Amazon Echo devices now to connect a small village! I’m also a stereo and home theater enthusiast. I currently have about 20 speakers and three subwoofers in two home theaters, and two high-performance stereo systems. Plenty of audio and video entertainment options here!

What do you like to do outside of work? 
My wife and I enjoy supporting our two kids, one who plays viola in a high school orchestra and another who plays trombone in a high school marching band, and we also love volunteering in our community. When I can find the time, I also love to explore the Texan country backroads on my motorcycle.

Favorite book?
Billions and Billions by Carl Sagan

Favorite vacation?
A trip to Nepal, where I was able to see some of the Himalayan peaks up close.

Any three dinner guests?
Carl Sagan, Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

With my family, (from left) me, my daughter, Kancana, my wife, Puspa, and my son, Kantha, after a concert for the Frisco Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas.
On a family vacation at a place that many people may recognize.
Enjoying my home stereo system and extensive music and video collection.

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