Meet the Insiders: Paul Cameron, pixitmedia

From client support exec at IBM to global managing director of pixitmedia and arcastream, in this new interview, Paul Cameron tells The IT Insider about how he got started and what’s next for the two businesses.  

How did you get into the industry?

I was lucky to spend 25 years at IBM. I started my journey as a client support executive at IBM in 1998 and when I left I was responsible for leading the company’s storage division in the UK. That experience gave me fundamental background knowledge of the complete IT ‘stack’, hardware, software and services and it’s where I first got to know the channel.

In 2012 I moved to Tectrade. As a member of the main board of directors helped Tectrade expand into the USA and eventually sell the business to CSI Ltd.

Fast forward eight years to 2020, and I got a phone call from Ben Leaver, pixitmedia’s and arcatream’s CEO and founder – who I knew from my time at IBM. He was looking for a managing director, someone who not only understood the channel, but had deep rooted experience in leading sales teams,  I have never looked back!

I love the fact that pixitmedia and arcastream are collectively smaller organisations. Against a backdrop of having worked at IBM, my role is hands-on. Without a big office of people in the background, you have to roll up your sleeves, drawing on different skills and adding an extra element of freedom and self-judgment.

Tell me about pixitmedia and arcastream

We’re two businesses that run side by side but both utilise the award-winning technology solutions pixstor and ngenea.

pixitmedia caters to the media and entertainment industry. Its proposition is to empower broadcasters, film studios and creative organisations to access their data how and when they want. To create, collaborate on, share and protect their work without compromise, throughout the entire business process. In simpler terms, we enable the power of ideas for the creative innovators.

Our data-management solution, ngenea, helps our clients overcome the challenges of moving and accessing data across multiple storage platforms. It provides an enormously scalable high-performance data management layer that extends the existing filesystem into alternative storage options, giving complete control of data. It’s also a great candidate for allowing clients to run their workloads natively, in their choice of public cloud, or operate a hybrid model.

arcastream, on the other hand, provides high-performance, data-aware, software-defined storage for High-Performance Computing (HPC) environments. Its target audience includes research, academia, automotive, engineering, pharma, oil & gas and more.  Our software pioneers discovery at speed, scale and simplicity for the innovators within those sectors.

Traditionally, companies in these industries are performance-led and it’s crucial to have a single view of their data in high-performance environments. However, thanks to AI and machine learning technologies, storage solutions, positioned at the bottleneck of the supply chain, often fail to quickly cope with the increased amount of data. This has a direct impact on fast decision making.

Our solution, pixstor, can guarantee 100% performance for these workflows. At the heart of our solution is the IBM spectrum scale file system. We have developed our award winning software solution to deliver simplicity, scale, speed and security for our customers.

 

Where will your growth come from in the next five years?

pixitmedia’s growth will be a result of the expansion of our footprint within media and entertainment organisations. We are best in class at solving M&E workflow challenges and we are trusted advisors to our clients and customers, many of which we have collaborated with for nearly ten years.  

The strategy going forward is to achieve scale by working with partners and expanding our global channel programme so my experience at IBM will naturally play a key role.  

We also see our growth coming from the way in which we operate in a hybrid cloud world. I predict more companies will want the benefits of choosing how and where to deploy their data without the complexity often associated with legacy systems.

arcastream’s growth will undoubtedly come from the growing demand for HPC. The adoption of AI and machine learning can apply to many industries and many companies will benefit from data automation, such as engineering, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceutical.

Take the automotive industry and the emergence of autonomous vehicles, for instance. The potential market for us there is immense, and ngenea is the key to addressing the different challenges that enterprises face with managing and accessing data driven from high-performance GPU systems in a consistent way.

What would be your advice for anyone just starting out in business?

I’m lucky to have had the chance to work at a company the size of IBM, and to apply my previous knowledge to a company the size of pixitmedia and arcastream. 

My advice to anyone working in a large corporate would be to use it to your advantage – gain experience from the different departments and really understand it, so you can speak the language of the customers you’re serving. My mantra is, network, network, network. Grow your networks of contacts as much as you can. Social media obviously provides many more opportunities to do this in 2021 than it did when I first started my career.

However, if you’re working for a smaller organisation, you will have a much greater connection to the business and the people.  You’ll understand the importance of cash flows versus just looking at revenues, for example. That comes with a bigger sense of responsibility to employees. You’re not just a number in a big organisation, it’s possible to make a real difference. And if you’re managing people, then understand that everyone has their own way and style of doing things – treat people differently based on what they need, give them the opportunity to go beyond expectations.

 

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