“Fran,” as we call him, joined inConcert as VP of Engineering in July 2021, following a long and successful career as CTO in leading companies across the digital industry sector. Adding him to the team aims to strengthen all inConcert’s engineering areas, which he has been doing exponentially in this first semester in charge. We chatted, and he told us about some of these achievements, including creating a PMO, security developments, and investments in the cloud.
What operational changes have you promoted since you took on this role?
The first thing was to consolidate a multidisciplinary PMO (project management office) team that supports and controls the projects to improve operations and make them more efficient. We implemented Business Intelligence tools to help the company’s strategic decision-making process, which involved integrating the new PMO with the current project management tool.
At an operational level, we made progress on unifying the inConcert office network (located on several continents) into a single environment. This makes communication and collaboration more accessible and better supports work from home.
An Information Security Management System (ISMS) and corporate compliance system were also created. This involves a set of policies and procedures to correctly manage information and assess the risks faced by the company.
Computer security has been one of your key aspects since you took the role. What progress has been made in this regard?
A new state-of-the-art antivirus system with advanced EDR techniques was implemented, and a Security Operations Center (SOC) with threat hunting was outsourced, which constantly analyzes the telemetry of the security systems.
Unifying identity management within the company has also been crucial. This involves using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools for workers to access the cloud more independently and securely, providing secure file transfer solutions with malware protection and secure two-factor authentication mechanisms.
What have the most significant changes implemented in the cloud environment been?
One of the main changes has been concentrating the perimeter security equipment into a more robust solution with High Availability (HA) and greater performance.
We have also implemented infrastructure monitoring tools and replanned the service alert platform, which sends notifications to specific work teams across multiple devices.
Lastly, I would also emphasize how we changed the Internet communication architecture for a new Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) solution and how the data center architecture and design were updated in preparation for HA.
What can you tell us about the significant investments made in the cloud environment?
Another objective of this semester has been to improve the stability of the cloud environment. Since July, we have invested over 1 million dollars in new computing infrastructure with redundant elements and n+1 architecture for computing. We have also invested in network electronics to separate the SAN and LAN networks physically (and not logically).
What are the main challenges you have faced in recent years? And what do you forecast for inConcert?
The biggest challenge I have faced in my career was coordination and management during the first days of the pandemic. Organizing thousands of employees so that they could work from home in record time was a true test of innovation, coordination, and logistics that was achieved with the efforts of a professional team.
My goals and motivation for this new role as VP of Engineering are to improve the services we provide to our clients, working towards a more secure and innovative environment based on the latest technological developments and continuous improvement. I will work on this with the excellent team of professionals that make up inConcert.