August 3, 2022

Marketing Communications Director

The People Behind DriveNets: Scott Robohn

“So, when I had a conversation with a customer, and he asked me ‘Could you just put your OS on these white boxes?’ and I couldn’t answer him,” explained Scott Robohn, then he realized that the disaggregated networking approach was real and growing in demand.

“The People Behind” is a blog series meant to share stories of the amazing individuals behind DriveNets.

From developers and engineers to sales managers, every week we’ll get to the heart of the team behind the disruption of the networking industry, so you can get to know them a little better!

The People Behind DriveNets: Scott Robohn

This week meet Scott Robohn. With more than 25 years of experience recruiting, developing, and leading technical teams to drive sales and customer satisfaction, Scott has spent nearly twenty years at Juniper Networks, Nokia and Cisco before joining DriveNets.

What brought you to DriveNets?

Already, 5 years ago, disaggregation was on Scott’s radar.

“Watching from a distance, I saw how AT&T was driving virtualization,” Scott related, “they were really trying to shape their vendors and partners, forcing vendors to do end-to-end testing.” This started to irritate the traditional networking equipment vendors, who continued to roll out larger chassis and new line cards that support the latest network interfaces.

“Naturally you want to sell software and hardware,” said Scott “so disaggregation was very irritating to these vendors.”

At another point, Scott had a conversation with a customer. “He asked, ‘could you just put your OS on these white boxes?’ and I couldn’t answer him.” When he brought this request back to R&D, they didn’t want to do this. For traditional vendors, it’s been very valuable to keep software and hardware together in the same appliance.

Then just around 2 years ago, Scott found himself in talks with DriveNets. “Actually I wasn’t ready to make the jump right away,” Scott confessed, “but in 2021, as I saw the company growing and feature set maturing, I said to myself ‘this is a perfect opportunity to both leverage what I know, and learn new things and get new skills in the future of the industry.’”

What are your job responsibilities now? 

Scott serves DriveNets as a VP of Sales Engineering and Operations for the Americas region. “This is a great opportunity to both address technical presales issues as well as the other side at the post sales end, driving good collaboration and sharing skills across a great team.”

Why should Service Providers prefer the DriveNets solution over the competition? 

For the service provider, the disaggregated networking model from DriveNets gives them leverage. “With a new model to build out networking infrastructure, they can break old models, and break costs, while offering new network-centric services that run on the same platform.”

What is the most exciting part of working in DriveNets? 

Scott is excited to be surrounded by extremely sharp and motivated people, from the R&D side to the field team. “Everyone I come in contact with is fully engaged,” he said, “And R&D’s superpower is their ability to turn features around in no time.”

With companies often waiting as long as quarters to get new features, “the team can turn around a feature in weeks, from code development perspective.”

How do you like to start your working day? 

Scott really enjoys being outside with the quiet. “I get up, have coffee, sit outside, then think and process before the day gets started, and I’m 7 hours behind the main office, so it takes self-control to not dive into all those emails.”

Do you have a favorite quote? 

If all of your packets are high priority, none of your packets are high priority.

What three thing people don’t know about you?

  • Scott competed as a race walker in high school, as part of track and field
  • Scott attended a university that has a large deaf and hearing-impaired population, so he learned sign language “to know what names they were calling me on the basketball court.”
  • Scott used his sign language skills to meet his wife (who was not deaf or hearing impaired). “She was interpreting at a university event, and I approached her. My sign language skills were horrible and embarrassing, but it worked, and now we’re coming up on 34 years together.”

One more interesting tidbit is that Scott has a passion for taking pictures of manhole covers and other communications infrastructure. He got started about 9 years ago, when he started walking a lot for exercise. It really changed his life, losing about 160 pounds in the process. As he walked around, he noticed lots of interesting manhole covers for service providers, and being from the networking and communications industry, this caught his attention. You can see the growing collection of #robopipes pictures on his Instagram

Want to join the fun? Check out our current open positions  https://drivenets.com/careers/

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