Follow this 6-part Meet the Expert series that features Polycom’s six Distinguished Engineers. In these blogs, we learn more about who they are and what makes them exceptional at what they do.
Today, meet Tim Lynch, DE.
Q: What was your career path to Polycom?
Tim: I started out at Novell (NetWare for Mac) and then moved to Ascend (dial-up based remote access) and then to Redback (broadband remote access and edge routing) before coming to Polycom. I joined Polycom in 2011 as a Principal Engineer and was promoted to Distinguished Engineer in 2015.
One of the things I observed at my prior companies is that they typically had a peak of success followed by a decline, so it’s very impressive to me that Polycom has maintained a strong business and major position in one industry for 25 years.
Q: What are your areas of expertise?
Tim: I’m fairly knowledgeable about general LAN and WAN networking technologies, particularly quality of service, and since coming to Polycom I continue to get more up to speed on RTC-related technologies like SIP, RTP, codecs, and recently WebRTC.
At Polycom I am the product architect for Polycom RealPresence Web Suite and RealPresence WebRTC.
Q: What do you credit as the reason for being promoted to DE?
Tim: I would credit having had the opportunity to contribute to some key Polycom initiatives (notably CloudAXIS, SoftRPP, WebRTC) and work with and learn from many excellent Polycom engineering teams in the process, I’ve had a lot of support at Polycom and continue learning from those around me.
Q: What inspires your work?
I’m a big believer in “humane computing,” or the idea that computers and IT should better our lives by extending our human capabilities and interacting with us in a people-friendly manner. I think Polycom’s core mission of enhancing human collaboration is very consistent with this.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is the never-ending opportunity to learn. A lot of people think that a Distinguished Engineer should know everything, but that isn’t always the case, we’re always learning new things. I also like that I get exposure to various projects across Polycom’s portfolio, this provides more opportunities for learning.
Q: Tell us about some of the most memorable moments of your career?
Visiting customers is always very memorable because I learn so much, and it is really gratifying to see our products used in the real world. Similarly, shipping a new product for the first time (CloudAXIS 1.0, for instance) because it is simultaneously very exciting, a great relief and somewhat scary. Being promoted to Distinguished Engineer and the activities around that were a great honor as well.
Q: Describe your approach when working with customers, sales people and partners?
I try to listen carefully to the customer input, understand the problems they want to solve very clearly, and then go from there. If you don’t listen to the problem, then you won’t create anything useful to the customer.
With partners, the strategy is similar; their goal is to find a solution to address the customer’s problem but they have a different insight into the customer than we have. They get how the solution fits into the customer’s business model and workflow, and it is our job to support our partners in building successful environments for customers.
Q: How do you work with partners and sales teams to address customer needs?
Once we have established clear communications and determined the customer's goals and requirements, I tend to approach the problem as if we were solving a puzzle, where the pieces are existing Polycom products and technologies as well as new ones that we could create given sufficient time and resources. Once those pieces are "laid out on the table”, we work together to combine them into a cohesive solution for the customer.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a passionate amateur singer. I sing solo as well as in groups, and enjoy improving my skills and repertoire in genres such as spiritual, barbershop, jazz, opera, and musical theater. l also play ukulele and harmonica.
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