Personas Behind the Brand
Today’s featured leader: Mo Himedan
Join us as we bring you the latest in our ‘Personas behind the brand’ leadership blog series, where we delve into the insights and perspectives of influential leaders within our organization.
In this edition, we feature Mo Himedan, Global Director of Emerging Technologies at Onix.
With an impressive background, Mo has garnered extensive experience throughout his career. Previously, he was working at Google as a Cloud Solutions Engineer and Customer Success Manager. Prior to that, Mo held the position of Cloud Engineering Manager at Accenture. His interests include adoption of cloud-based solutions, Generative AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning.
Q. Can you share your experience and journey in emerging technologies? What excites you about this field?
My career journey has involved mini twists and turns but always with a bias towards learning and moving towards the highest value for customers. I started off in telecommunications and mobility, went into the business intelligence and data visualization space early in the adoption curve, then pivoted to cloud infrastructure and migrations at a time when cloud was taking off, and was an early proponent of AI methods and products while at Google.
In this next step of my journey, I continue to be focused on the impact that AI can have on our customers but also look at the world context – for example, as climate change and sustainability become topics of discussion for Wall Street analysts and board rooms, we need to be ready to help our customers navigate the space.
Q. How has your background in cloud engineering and customer success management at Google influenced your approach as the Global Director of Emerging Technologies at Onix?
Working in engineering had a big impact on shaping my mental model for the technology ecosystem. While previously I looked at technical domains discretely (data, infra, etc.), my model is now much more unified – with the understanding that customers’ most important problems are multidimensional and often require expertise across domains. The ability to bridge this gap is perhaps the biggest value one can provide to their customers.
My time in customer success shaped my business perspectives about customers. I took that role as I was finishing my MBA and was able to better support my customers beyond their technology needs. Examples of this were the Great Resignation and high levels of attrition in 2021. This was a challenge faced by all businesses and there was no technology solution for it.
Q. How do you stay updated with the latest advancements and trends in emerging tech like gen AI?
I spend as much time as I can with customers, listening to their challenges, opportunities, and use cases.
I listen to many audiobooks and podcasts on my topics of interest, most recently generative AI. I also have a very strong network of peers in other organizations who comprise a knowledge-sharing network and often share a headline or a perspective along with the potential implications for customers and businesses. This is a great space for debate and helps me develop a nuanced perspective on industries and technologies.
Q. What role do you believe cloud-based solutions play in enhancing overall business operations and scalability? How have you seen this impact in your previous roles?
I saw a post recently in which someone enumerated only four or five reasons why anyone would migrate to cloud. Among those were business operations and scalability. My experience certainly supports that premise. I’ve helped several Fortune 100 companies move to cloud and reap the rewards of improved operations, whether that comes in the form of agility, capability, or maintenance.
Scalability is another area where cloud solutions can have a large impact on a business. I started my cloud journey in the Bay Area working with digital native customers. These businesses often push the limits of GCP’s capacity and flexibility at an early time as well as cloud. For example, I helped a customer with a spiky workload migrate from another cloud to GCP. The challenge we faced was one of capacity during busy times and also of cost reduction during slow times. This customer’s cycles were daily recurring, so flexibility was of the utmost importance. We had to spike very high and also reduce the running infrastructure to near zero during downtimes.
Q. In your opinion, what are the major barriers or challenges organizations face when adopting new tech solutions, and how can they overcome them?
Perhaps the most overlooked area is change management. A well-designed program can be completely thwarted by a single dissentor. Sponsorship and early communication are required to make adopting new tech a success.
Q. How do you approach the evaluation and selection of emerging technologies to integrate into the portfolio of solutions offered by Onix? What criteria do you consider?
I’ve always believed that learnings happen in the field, alongside our customers. We developed our Sustainability offering after helping a heavy equipment operator understand and report on their Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We developed our DocAI + GenAI offering after helping a customer structure thousands of documents and improve accuracy in their ERP.
Q. How do you foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning within your team or organization to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and drive customer success?
Career mobility is a personal passion of mine. The way to empower our team members to embrace continuous learning is to first democratize information, not just in the form of learning content, but also business demand for that skillset. Second, we must provide autonomy so individuals can solve for problems with their personal context. And we must reward those who innovate.
Q. In a hypothetical scenario, if you were to develop an AI tool for a sports event/music festival, what features or functionalities would you include to enhance the overall experience for attendees and organizers?
This might be more VR than AI – I’ve always wanted to view sports through the eyes of the best practitioners in that sport. Imagine seeing the sub-second gap before a pass from Nikola Jokic.
That’s it from us for now! Join us very soon for another edition of Leadership Spotlights filled with information, innovation, and industry insights from Onix.