From Limerick to US tech leader: 'I found a role with growth potential'

From Limerick to US tech chief: ‘I discovered a job with progress potential’

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Ray Downes defended his hometown when he took the baton of Kemp. Now he’s main one other American expertise firm and bringing it to Limerick.

Ray Downes, an Irishman, is the CEO of FileCloud, a SaaS supplier of enterprise file sharing software program based mostly in Austin. He has been main the enterprise since elevating $40 million in a enterprise capital funding spherical in December 2021.

FileCloud is now shifting to Eire. Earlier this month, the corporate introduced plans to determine an EMEA headquarters and a brand new R&D hub in Downs’ hometown of Limerick.

Previous to FileCloud, he was CEO of Kemp Applied sciences, one other US software program firm based mostly on Limerick. He oversaw the corporate’s transformation from a distinct segment load balancing product to a market chief in software expertise earlier than being acquired for $258 million final yr.

Early in his profession, Downes held a number of management positions at FDI expertise firms together with Cabletron Programs and Enterasys Networks. In 2002, he co-founded Arrosys, a gross sales and advertising consulting agency specializing in launching expertise firms to varied European markets, the place he served on the management workforce till 2010.

Educated in his native Limerick, he and his spouse have lived in New York for the previous 10 years.

‘The most important threat I took was leaving a well-paid place in a big firm and co-founding a enterprise’
– Ray Downs

What’s your function at FileCloud?

As a CEO, I see myself as a jack of all disciplines. After all, that additionally implies that if you happen to’re nobody’s grasp – you must construct robust groups and leaders and be surrounded by sensible individuals like in FileCloud.

A key a part of my function is planning and strategizing with administration workforce stakeholders. I’m captivated with management growth it doesn’t matter what place you maintain. In the end, I need to give attention to eradicating complexity from the method to make working with FileCloud simpler.

I’ve a background in high quality assurance, and the continual enchancment mindset has served me for many years as nicely. I imagine that if leaders work and problem themselves, they need to create alternatives for everybody, from interns to senior leaders, to develop.

What are the largest challenges dealing with your sector and the way are you addressing them?

The sector of enterprise file synchronization and sharing (EFSS) and content material collaboration has a protracted historical past and is now pretty mature, as evidenced by the numerous distributors concerned within the subject. A lot of the issues prospects face ought to have been resolved by now. Sadly that’s removed from actuality.

Most EFSS suppliers have created easy-to-use cloud-based content material options. Typically, file sharing will be ‘arrange’ by particular person customers with out the necessity or data of IT and may inherit some fundamental type of management and safety offered by platform suppliers.

Nevertheless, this methodology of sharing recordsdata can pose numerous challenges for companies, particularly with regards to controlling and complying with delicate recordsdata. Additionally, leaving every part to at least one ‘cloud’ supplier and virtualizing every part opens up alternatives for cyberattacks and information exfiltration vectors.

Add to this an ever-growing set of regulatory and compliance necessities, information residency and sovereignty points, and there’s a large hole between what the vast majority of cloud-based EFSS distributors can provide and what the enterprise market actually wants.

That is the place FileCloud is available in.

What are the important thing sector alternatives you’re leveraging?

Since its founding in 2016, FileCloud has a single mission: to supply an optimized platform for out-of-the-box deployment on on-premises and personal cloud infrastructure, whereas enabling a excessive stage of safety and management over delicate content material.

FileCloud is uniquely positioned to deal with and capitalize on this chance, particularly with the rising calls for for information governance and compliance throughout the European company, manufacturing, R&D and public sector communities.

What has led you to the place you’re at the moment?

Early in my profession, I appeared for roles with a variety of progress potential. An organization that is not essentially the best paying job, however needs to scale shortly.

As they did, I bought the chance to work straight with the customer-facing enterprise aspect of many elements of the availability chain, after which utilized it to new work conditions.

What’s the largest threat you could have taken?

Undoubtedly, he left a well-paid place in a big company and co-founded with out pay till the corporate made a revenue. Very actual stress and little room for error. Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Studying was beneficial when enterprise house owners, employers, workers, and key sources of funding have been all determining how one can cope with the stress of being united.

What work expertise would you prefer to have?

I’ve had the chance to work and reside in lots of nations throughout my 30-year profession, however I at all times remorse that I do not need the native language expertise. If I had to decide on two new languages ​​proper now, it could be German and Czech.

How do you do your greatest in your workforce?

I need all workers to be enthusiastic about what we do. I do that by setting enterprise targets for one-year or multi-year targets based mostly on enter from key stakeholders. Then be sure everybody understands your targets and the way they match into particular roles.

I’m by no means afraid to repeat my core message and I’ve leaders in any respect ranges share what that message means to themselves and their workforce members. This helps everybody perceive that they’re a part of one thing greater than themselves, which ends up in a workforce that will get concerned.

Have you ever found a variety drawback in your subject?

Loads of good work is being carried out on each side of the Atlantic to encourage extra variety within the STEM sector. Schooling ought to begin a lot earlier with a enjoyable tech and engineering occasion that teaches about excellent profession prospects within the tech sector.

FileCloud’s engineering workforce alone is unfold throughout 17 nations.

What’s the very best job recommendation you’ve got ever obtained?

“It results in outcomes, not features.” This excellent piece of recommendation was given to me 10 years in the past, and I nonetheless write it down in my workplace at dwelling!

What guide did you learn? Would you prefer to advocate?

Andrew Chen, Chief VC of Andreessen Horowitz, The Chilly Begin Drawback focuses on how one can scale a product firm via community results.

Let’s examine why some take off and a few do not. Nice article for product of us.

What instruments and sources are important to getting via the work week?

I’ve at all times been a diary author. I take a variety of minutes, however my laptop computer has been distracted, so I am utilizing a ReMarkable 2 writing pill now. It gave me the flexibility to take notes that was absolutely searchable and accessible on all my units. i prefer it!

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