Paul Obsitnik - Advisor to Fiber Smart

Please list your name, company, title, and brief overview of your role at your current company.

Paul Obsitnik, Maxim Integrated, Vice President Marketing. I lead Global Marketing at Maxim Integrated, responsible for overall marketing strategy, digital marketing, brand & communications, demand generation and sales enablement.

How did you come to hear about/become involved in Fiber Smart Networks?

I worked with David at ONI Systems where I was Vice President, Business Development. We have kept in touch since then and I have watched enthusiastically as he built Wave2Wave and Fiber Smart Networks from the ground up, helping along the way if I could.

What do your responsibilities include as Advisor to Fiber Smart Networks?

I see my responsibilities as an Advisor to Fiber Smart Networks as advising in areas where I have expertise, including Marketing, Sales/Business Development and corporate growth/leadership.

What are you most excited about for the company?

What excites me most is that we have been changing the nature of the communications network over the past 5-7 years from one of a static nature in terms of deployment and operation to a virtualized infrastructure allowing for more agile deployment and operations.  Ultimately, this leads to networks that are more responsive to user needs, able to meet the challenges of next generation services but also doing all of this at a much lower cost point.  Much has been done at the software layer, great advances have been made at the network layer but the physical infrastructure is still stuck in the old way of doing things.  Fiber Smart allows us to take the revolutionary paradigm shift all the way down to the physical infrastructure to complete the transformation and realize the ultimate promises of these advancements.

What are the challenges you will help the company overcome?

As mentioned above, the challenges where I can assist the company are on the Sales & Marketing front to help build awareness and sales of the company, on the corporate growth/leadership side providing perspective from my 25+ years work experience and facilitating any contacts on the customer and financing sides.

What do you hope for the future of the company?

I would love to see Fiber Smart revolutionize the deployment and operation of physical networks to enable the final attainment of the virtualized network.  This would be a huge advance to many companies success as well as continue to benefit seen by all members in society of the value of interconnectivity.


What challenges do you see our industry facing in tackling the changes in our working environments caused by COVID-19?

With many individuals working remotely, the network has never been more important.  In general, it has held up OK but there are still too many disruptions, examples of poor performance and disconnections that slow down productivity and increase user frustration.  Additionally, many employees of network infrastructure companies are unable to travel due to the pandemic.  While the downstream speeds have held up relatively well, the upload speeds have been challenging.  Where everyone is now using applications like Zoom, Teams, etc. this is exposing the weakness of this configuration.  The pandemic clearly shows the need for organizations to be able to respond rapidly to these reconfigurations and in a way that is not over-reliant on individuals going into areas to make physical changes.

How well do you think the industry has responded to these challenges?

Not well at all.  They have been hamstrung by the inability of individuals to travel along with the need for manual infrastructure adjustment.

What further changes do you think the industry needs to make to be better prepared in the future in case of a second wave or new epidemics?

The more the industry can virtualize all of the network to allow for rapid, automatic shifts in resources to accommodate user demands, this will help alleviate the impact of a second wave or new epidemic.

How do you see automation in general and in networks?

Automation has been great accomplishment at the top layers of the stack in the software environments resident there.  As you go lower in the stack, though, the impact of automation decreases more and more the lower you go.

How do you see our network in 5 years? And what would be our new experience as a consumer, or as en enterprise?

In 5 years, I see adoption of the virtualized network, including the physical infrastructure, gaining momentum.  As much of the higher layers have been on this journey for a number of years, the great advancements/changes will be lower in the network layers.  This will complete the revolution for those companies embracing these changes and will result in lower cost networks, more nimble but, more importantly, continuing the advance of the Cloud as the infrastructure can now fully embrace this mentality.  This will result in not only lower cost services but new services as cloud providers and network operators start to see how they can virtualize all levels providing more choice & flexibility for users.  Finally, there are many applications we are not even thinking of that will result from these changes as we’ve seen with all of the revolutionary changes over the past 30 years.

Where do you see pain points in networks? And any relates to us?

I think I’ve addressed this in the above responses but let me know if there are some gaps.

What do you see our path of success? And what we have and what we are missing?

The path of success for Fiber Smart Networks is to focus on and lead the advancements in “virtualizing” the physical infrastructure so that networks can truly be more nimble and agile at all layers.  ROME is an amazing achievement and advancement in this area.  At this point, while continued development around ROME is important to continuously improve it’s effectiveness, increasing awareness, mindshare and initial design-wins is critical to get the momentum moving.