My military experience of 23 years in the U.S. Navy and being able to travel the world exposed me to the global demand for telecom and information technology (IT) services. This also afforded me the opportunity of professional networking amongst individuals and businesses around the world. An innate curiosity of the what, why, and how behind the technology kicked in and took over from there. That's how FreedomFire Communications was born.
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
One particular relationship developed during my military career led to mutually exploring opportunities for putting the technology experience and knowledge gained to good use. This resulted in a friendship and partnership that’s covered 20 years and is still going strong. In 1998, while still on active duty, I started FreedomFire Communications. Due to the demands of the military, I was only able to work on this business part-time nights and weekends, obviously. The first few years were a “learning and gradual growth experience.” But today, we are doing business all around the world.
What topic areas are you most passionate about?
Network design and sourcing (e.g. ethernet/fiber networks and SDWAN for businesses of all sizes and verticals), network security strategies for businesses including employee training and educational programs, cloud migration strategies and cloud computing applications, IoT/IIoT connectivity and ecosystems for Industry 4.0, Unified Communications, Managed Services, Contact Center Technology.
Which influencers influence you within those key topics?
This is a hard one…there are so many I don’t want to offend anyone and leave someone out. But I’ll mention a few. Jon Arnold and Mike Quindazzi for network sourcing and design; Chuck Brooks and Tyler Cohen Wood for Cybersecurity; Lucian Fogoros and Ronald Van Loon for IoT/IIoT; Antonio Grasso and Yves Mulkers for all things Digital Transformation, Kevin Jackson and Neil Catturmull for Cloud Computing; and Jeff Kagan and Evan Kirstel for Unified Communications.
Outside of key topics, who else influences you?
This is an easy one (whew)… God, family, and my best friends of over 50 years (we grew up together) Joe DiMaggio, Rudy Layher, and Mark Fosdick. Staying grounded in the values modeled by these “life influencers” is important to me.
How would you describe your offline influence?
I write pretty extensively and share via social media and articles. Also, I absolutely love knowing that our free consulting services help save our clients time, money, and effort with their IT strategy, thus contributing to their overall success in whatever industry they may be involved in. In fact, our company motto “Helping YOUR Business, DO Business” is at the core of everything we do. Living the creed of “helping others” every day as our company culture is very self motivating for me. I am also very motivated knowing that we are at the forefront of innovation with the technology solutions we source and design for our clients. For example, helping a contact center incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technology into their operations or helping a company embrace Industry 4.0 concepts with IoT connectivity is quite a rush, very exciting. Simply put, getting our clients the most cost-effective and innovative solution for whatever network application requirements they’re targeting is absolutely priceless to me.
What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story? What resource do you use to stay ahead of the trend?
Besides following a number of influencers on social media in areas of interest (e.g. those I mentioned above), vendor news directly via vendor websites is useful as well as tech community interactions such as from TedX and CIO Chat. Publications such as TechRepublic and Network World are also useful.
If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?
I would be happy to provide a quote for content or news article, share or create a social post, co-create long form content, I am also interested in writing product review.
What are your passions outside of work?
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Head of Influencer Marketing Joe's central role is to build relationships with influencers and connect them to brands. Joe is also tasked with promoting the influencer marketplace and delivering value to the influencer community.