Martin Boháč is the regional manager responsible for service and delivery of Netscout products. He manages international business and commutes between Frankfurt and Brno on a weekly basis. His motivation? “Happy customers, happy employees, the variety of my work and time flexibility. But most of all my family,” he says.
How would you describe the business Netscout does to someone without a clue?
Netscout is a market leader in providing complex monitoring solutions to carriers and enterprises so that they can monitor the quality of their services.
Your headquarters is located in Boston. What gets done here in Brno, specifically?
We provide monitoring systems to telecommunication providers in Europe which help them monitor the quality of their service and troubleshoot them. Our customers are major telecommunications carriers like Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica, O2, and Vodafone. Our employees provide technical support, implementation services and consultancy when customers purchase a Netscout system.
If I worked for Netscout what would my day look like?
You would come to work, switch on your computer, log in the system we use to record customer support requests, scan them, remotely log in the customer’s system, and start investigating the problem. You would update the customer that the problem is being solved, and after solving it you’d close the ticket and move to another problem. Or you would be executing a deployment project either from our offices or directly on customer sites.
What kinds of problems are we talking about?
For example a customer calls that a server is down, a service is not avaiable, or a customer needs help tracing the calls – they consist of multiple messages exchanged between the network elements – and a part of the message can be missing. Some issues are easy to fix, other require a lot of investigation. If the problem exceeds the knowledge of local people we can call our level two or SW sustaining support that is mostly located in the US, UK and Germany.
How many people work for Netscout in Brno?
About 30 people, all men. I must admit we have been trying hard to hire some women because it would cultivate the work place but it is difficult to find them in the IT environment. In the US and UK we have some, though,
How international is your workforce here?
We closed one of our centres in Moldova and moved six Moldavian employees to Brno. I have personal experience with living abroad and know how difficult it is to start a life in another country, that’s why we started using the services of Brno Expat Centre to help our employees. Generally it is difficult to attract people from the higher-paid markets to lower-paid markets, even though the cost of living is lower here.
What else do you see as a problem when attracting talents from abroad?
I think the biggest problem is transportation – we don’t have a major airport and travel here requires slightly more logistics. Also it is complicated and lenghty to relocate foreigners because of all the paperwork. When expats move with their family and their kids are at school age, it is difficult to find a suitable educational institution. A happy employee has an interesting job and a happy wife. So it is also very important for the wife to have something to do and make friends here.
Is there anything the city municipality could do to make an expat’s life easier in Brno?
The public services and forms should be provided in multiple languages. And also they should keep supporting the Brno Expat Centre so that even a wider range of services is provided. It would be fantastic if there was a one-stop shop where they would get all their paperwork sorted.
What do you think makes Brno attractive to foreigners?
It is a major city in the European Union and highly civilised. The quality of life is very good, it is quieter than the capital, not that touristy, but still with plenty of things to do.
What skills are you looking for when hiring?
People need to know IT in general, they need to know how to administer complex Unix / Linux systems, have a good knowledge of Oracle, and they also need to know telecommunication networks – how a phone works, how a call is set up. Typically we hire people either from IT or telecommunications and cross-train them. Our slogan is “We are Netscout – Guardians of the Connected World”, I think it is an exciting job, we deal with the newest technology and people like it. We don’t have many leavers.