Deep Dive: Lewis White, Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure – Europe, CommScope

Deep Dive: Lewis White, Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure – Europe, CommScope

We ‘Deep Dive’ with Lewis White, Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure – Europe, CommScope, who tells us more about life inside and outside the office.

Lewis White, Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure – Europe, CommScope

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement in the data centre industry?

I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing innovators since I joined CommScope in 2007, including people who have been behind some of the tech that is now used every day in the world’s largest data centres. I think my most memorable achievement has been working as part of a team that helped one of the world’s largest banks deliver five massive data centres across three continents – all of which still operate and underpin much of that organisation’s business over 10 years later.

What first made you think of a career in technology/data centres?

As an undergraduate I was always most keen on the sciences, I was never into ‘tech’, really until I left university. As I looked around to see where I wanted to work and what might provide a good future career path, I had several older friends all telling me to get in ICT. I knew I had the aptitude to learn the technologies, but moreover, I knew I liked to engage with people and communicate. I could see this thing was only going to grow and that it was an industry that was attracting lots of investment.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

I have worked hard on listening and using empathy in all of my interactions. I try to be as transparent as I possibly can be within the boundaries of a large organisation and the obligations that come with that. I got a great piece of advice from our founder many years ago – ‘the truth sells’. So, I encourage everyone to be as clear and transparent as possible in all interactions with our customers, regardless of the reaction or consequences.

What do you think is the current hot talking point within the data centre space?

AI is dominating conversations with our data centre customers right now. It has a profound impact upon the connectivity within the data centre, especially for optical fibre architecture, and presents a huge opportunity for the industry.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?

I am a big advocate of the power of distraction and making time for your own headspace. I don’t meditate, but I enjoy several outdoor activities that involve being immersed in the natural environment and the ‘moment’. 

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?

Aside from AI, and the onward march of the large cloud companies, the traditional enterprise continues to invest in their data centre infrastructure whether it is on- or off-premise. There’s also cloud and the systems to enable the move to cloud which also continue to attract investment. Geographically, new Internet connections have accelerated the newer data centre markets such as those in southern Europe which represents an exciting opportunity.

What are the region-specific challenges you encounter in your role?

Europe is a very diverse collection of countries, cultures and languages. Large countries like Germany, the UK, France and Italy operate very much like their own sub-regional markets, and we are a global company that tries our best to be consistent and aligned across our regions. In leading our European business, I work to try and give our customers a consistent experience, while ensuring we factor-in regional variations in how people and companies prefer to operate.

What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the coming months?

My role evolves with the needs of our business and customers every year. In the last year, we have made a concerted effort to show the market that we are leading in innovation by working on and successfully releasing multiple new solutions to the market. Another element of my role is to ensure our teams are well enabled to deliver the messages to the market, identify our customer’s problems and work together with them to deliver great outcomes.

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