UPDATE - October 23, 2007 - As of yesterday, I started employment with Voxeo. MANY thanks to all of you who offered kind words, job leads, references and help in many other ways. Thank you!
UPDATE - Sept 13, 2007 - Because I have been repeatedly asked about the type of roles I am seeking, I posted some thoughts on the kind of positions I would ideally like to pursue.
UPDATE - Sept 9, 2007 - My resume is now available for those wanting more information on my background.
"Every new beginning starts with some other beginning's end."
I found myself humming that chorus from the song "Closing Time" by the band Semisonic late on Tuesday after a very frank and cordial call with my manager (Mitel's CTO), who has always been great to work with and with whom I've had a wonderfully open relationship. Some of you may have seen the news - there was a "reduction in headcount" at Mitel on Tuesday as part of the "integration plan" resulting from the merger with Inter-Tel. This is pretty much inevitable in any merger as there is always some duplication and some need to reduce the overall number of employees. Unfortunately this time around my head was one of those. My last day with Mitel will be September 21.
I'll be honest and say that this was not entirely unexpected. Taking a role in a CTO organization focused on analyzing emerging technology is not without its risks. It's a great role to be up in the crow's nest with a spyglass scanning the horizon to identify opportunities and threats and calling down suggestions about where to steer the ship. You learn a huge amount and, quite honestly, it's a great amount of fun. (That is, if you are a techie/geek who is interested in how emerging technologies can be applied to solve business/communication requirements/issues.) But the risk is that if the seas get really rough, you're role isn't absolutely necessary for steering the ship. Navigation can still occur from the decks down below, albeit with a shorter perspective, at least until the seas are calm again. I knew this was a risk when I took the role two years ago - and so on one level I wasn't overly surprised to get the call. Disappointed? Absolutely. Initially shocked? Sure. Even with the intellectual preparation, I don't think you're ever fully ready for "the call".
That's the situation. Mitel's got a little rough patch of water to work through right now as it merges the two ships into one, and to keep with the metaphor, I guess, I'm one of those who had to go overboard. The company will get through it, I'm sure. It's got outstanding products and some of the most amazingly talented people with whom I've ever had the privilege to work. As they sort out the right size and structure, I know it will do fine and get back to clear sailing. I'm very grateful for the six years I had there. I learned an incredible amount and was honored to be part of the team. The list of people to thank is way too long to include here.
So now it's time for a new beginning for me.
What's next? I'm not sure, to be honest, as there are several pathways. I'd love to run back up to the crow's nest and perform that kind of analysis/investigation/exploration/communication/evangelism for a company in the IP telephony/unified communications space, especially with a focus on social networking / social media. I think its a great fit with my technical, strategic, marketing and communication skills - and I think sites like Facebook will have a profound effect on our communication. I'd love to help explore and guide people through that space. Having said that, I definitely recognize that those roles are few and far between. I may look into something focused in the VOIP security space, where I've obviously got some great depth and experience, or something related to IETF standards, another strong interest of mine. I've considered some form of strategic consulting, or joining the analyst ranks. There are a couple of books I'd like to write. There's a startup idea I'm pondering. As is obvious, I completely enjoy blogging, podcasting, etc. and may pursue a role focused in those areas - or in community development, another strength. And then there's always returning to my open source roots in the Linux space...
Whatever the case, my aim is to be with of an organization that is part of the disruption in this space (or at the very least chronicling the disruption).
Right now I'd love to hear from folks who have openings in any of those various areas (or know of such openings). Please do email me - or contact me via Facebook or Skype. For folks in the IT telephony/unified communication's space, I'll be out at the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo next week in Los Angeles and would be delighted to speak with folks there. (As I mentioned previously, I'll be speaking there.) Information about my background can be obtained at LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/danyork ), my VOIPSA bio or my (soon to be updated) www.danyork.com. In my ideal world, I'd love to find a role that lets me continue to live in Burlington, VT, (with some amount of travel) since we're nicely settled in here and love the area.
In the meantime, I may be blogging a little less here for a bit as I focus on what comes next. Also, I've already had a couple of questions sent my way:
Q: What does this mean for your role on the Board of the VoIP Security Alliance?
A: No change, assuming I wind up in a role where continuing with VOIPSA makes sense. My VOIPSA appointment was a personal one and was not associated with my employer, so it will move with me to wherever I land.
Q: What does this mean for Blue Box: The VoIP Security Podcast or any of these blogs?
A: No change. While I was always keeping Mitel PR and Marketing management in the loop on what I was doing with those sites, they were and are personal projects.