People behind the Tech: Mathias Muehlfelder

Syniverse’s “People Behind the Tech” looks 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 and responsible for Syniverse’s Intelligent Engagement solutions for businesses. In my role, I oversee our cloud communication, mobile engagement and mobile identity services portfolio. I’m a part of the Engage line of business, which represents one of Syniverse’s three main product pillars. I’ve been with Syniverse for eight years now and work at our European headquarters, in Luxembourg. 

What are you working on this month?
We’re currently working on developing new features and technologies for our integrated communication platform. To do this, we’re renewing and rebuilding many software components to provide the highest performance and security for our customers’ traffic and transactions. This improved platform will bring a new world of value to customers. To improve the multiple mobile engagement channels that we offer today, we’ve set a goal to bring more orchestration across those channels. This means that customers will be able to better integrate their mobile engagement efforts to achieve more powerful results in an easier and more cost-efficient way. For example, when considering the best ways to reach mobile users, one user might prefer to receive messages through WhatsApp rather than standard text messaging, another might prefer to receive messages through an RCS-enabled phone with rich media features, and another user might prefer a push notification. Serving these preferences for different mobile users and allowing our customers to identify and reach them through the best channel represent the next wave of customer service and technology we’re focused on. Moreover, we’re developing services for our communication platform to work natively with cloud connectors and be integrated with a variety of sales and marketing platforms, like Salesforce. Our customers can store consumer preferences there, and we can then work with them to use this information to create and implement meaningful communications.

What aspects of these projects interest you the most?
This is an exciting project for me because it will enable us to further expand our capabilities and deliver new value. Currently, one of our major areas of expertise is in being a best-in-class messaging provider. With the new orchestration of processes enabled by our platform combined with our new service offerings, we have an opportunity to be so much more for our business customers, from a company that develops a chatbot and integrates it with a business, for example, to a company that is able to become deeply integrated into their customer communications. This will offer a lot more synergies and ways to deliver value than we’re currently able to reach through messaging only. Moreover, this functionality will help us strengthen revenue performance in the next few years, open new business opportunities, and further build our new Global Services offering.

My work frequently takes me on the road. This is a presentation on today’s new digital customer journey that I made earlier this month at the Customer Experience Management Summit in Vienna, Austria.

What’s one of the most valuable lessons you’ve gained during your career in tech?
As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” That is, you need a team behind you to be successful in the tech space, from product development, to marketing, to customer service operations. Without a doubt, all team members are needed to enable us to make our products successfully. But without selling it the right way, without having the proper financial management in place, and without having proper maintenance and customer service in place, our products cannot be successful. In this way, I see one of my most important product roles here as getting all members and parts of our team aligned, making them excited as I am about our solution, and making the whole solution a success and bringing it to market. Organizing all the parts to work together, connecting people with a vision, and aligning them to a common goal are crucial to success.

What’s been one of your best moments at Syniverse?
It’s hard to say, because there  have been so many. But one of the best is simply when I take a step back and think about what we do at Syniverse: We enable people to connect with each other through a number of different services, and we empower communication service providers to customize these services that people love and use so much. We connect people across different countries. We enable a taxi driver to let their future passengers know when they are arriving. We allow emergency communications when disasters strike. And we make it possible for family members to quickly and easily send photos so that they can share special moments with their loved ones. This amazing range of mobile and business capabilities makes me proud, and this feeling represents a best moment for me at Syniverse.

With my family, (from left) Louis, me, Leo and Kerstin.

Tell us about your technology lifestyle. What’s your favorite personal technology?
My favorite is my mobile phone. I always have it near me. I surf the web, watch TV and connect with people through it. But I also use it for making mobile payments, taking photos, navigating in foreign cities or finding out what the winds are like on my favorite surf beach. And at home, my phone helps me with everything from opening my shades to telling me what temperature the inside of my steak is – so I can remove it at just the right moment and be the perfect chef when serving food to guests!

What do you like to do outside of work? 
I like spending time with my family, doing things like going into the city for a leisurely breakfast or stroll. Also, if the weather is nice, we like to go to nearby lakes for a swim or paddle tour. We also have a wakeboard cable park just around the corner, which I often go to. Finally, I love to cook. When I have time on weekends, I relax while trying out something new to cook for the family, which has included barbecue dishes, traditional German meals, and cakes. My little son often helps me with these cooking activities.

Hiking with my youngest son, Leo, in Luxembourg.

Favorite book?
I don’t read often, but when I do, I enjoy reading books about travel and learning about different travelers’ experiences. It doesn’t really matter if somebody is hiking through South America or sailing the oceans. I just like real-life stories, and if they happened in foreign places, they are even more exciting to me.

Favorite vacation?
My favorite vacation destination is an all-inclusive resort, where everything is taken care off and my family can enjoy great food, spa amenities, and fun children’s activities. My hobbies often lead me to places where I can enjoy them. This includes all kinds of board sports, especially when they involve water. Kitesurfing and windsurfing are favorites, as is snowboarding. So, vacations are usually in sunny and warm places, where there is a lot of wind, or a lot of mountains with plenty of snow.

Kitesurfing in Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands.

Any three dinner guests?
My wife and my two sons, Kerstin and Louis and Leo. I spend about three-quarters of my job either traveling or working at our Luxembourg office, which is 350 kilometers (217 miles) away from my home, so I enjoy every opportunity I get to relax at home and spend time with my family.

Enjoying snowboarding in the Austrian Alps.

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