It's hard to believe that two years have gone by since I left Centurylink and started Siegel Group, and you won't find much information on what I've been up to over that period of time. It's time to change that.
I spent most 2018 getting my wife's music business, Sandi Siegel, off the ground. That included finishing the mixing and mastering Dizzying Rain, her 2nd album, and releasing it. I also recruited band members, got some gigs, made some music videos, and launched her website and store. I also took some really great courses on After Effects, Graphics Design, and Facebook marketing, and got some gigs for her band. As a result of all this activity, most of my industry friends were convinced I had completely retired from telecom and was in the music business now.
Things started changing at the beginning of 2019, however. While I had been doing some advisory work for startups like Kentik and Bayware, and I got elected to the board of NANOG, I began a new business relationship sub-contracting through Yates Ltd. Yates Ltd is network transformation consulting firm that started a few years ago by Charlotte Yates, former CEO of Telwares with a focus on network transformation and IT cost optimization for the Fortune 500.
Through Yates Ltd, I have had the pleasure of working with several clients on a wide variety of projects, including IT organizational strategy and network contract optimization, network transformation projects involving Hybrid and SD-WAN, enterprise datacenter design, B2B network services architecture, Carrier API assessments, fabric mesh market analysis, smart building design, NAC deployments, planning for Zero Trust, and IPv6 transition programs.
This isn't my first go round on consulting. My first company, RTD Systems & Networking, Inc. which I founded at the young age of 19, started as a consulting and custom software business and later became an ISP. I also started Siegel Internet Engineering in late 1997 and it was a great bridge into a full time position with Frontier GlobalCenter that initiated a 20 year career with that company (now a part of Centurylink).
Two years into this new business venture, I am reminded of what I always liked about consulting. The variety of projects is such a wonderful opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and learn about organizations and their unique dynamics. What I used to dislike about consulting was feeling like a bit of an outsider...consultants are rarely viewed as being a true part of the team, but working with Yates has changed that. The folks over there have been really great to work with, and have decades of experience in network and organization strategy, vendor negotiation and project management. We have tackled huge projects together and saved our clients millions, and in some cases, tens of millions of dollars a year.
Best of all, I've learned an incredible amount. I haven't been very good about sharing that knowledge outside the clients with all of you, and that is changing, starting today. Stay tuned on this space for more.