Enterprise Technology Integration & Essential Advice for IT Leaders with Evolve IP’s Peter Eisengrein

Author: Scott Kinka

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The Bridgecast - EvolveIP LogoAs one of the early innovators in the hosted PBX space nearly twenty years ago, Peter offers countless insights on pre-integrated, self-contained user environments for remote work, collaboration, and innovation.

Evolve IP partners with IT professionals to integrate their essential productivity and communication tools into a single, secure cloud-based solution, fine-tuned for the hybrid workforce and delivered as a service. By integrating these disconnected systems and filling in the gaps, they improve both productivity and security, increasing uptime to improve the future of work for everyone.

  • The challenges of enterprise technology integration and why you don’t want to be in the integration business.
  • How Desktop as a Service (DaaS) simplifies IT operations and enables remote work and why wider adoption is hindered by various factors.
  • The shift from a CapEx model to a monthly recurring model is challenging but beneficial.
  • How cloud-based communication platforms enable easier security management and device control.
  • Insight into why voice specialists have focused on leveraging productivity applications as the front end.
  • The hype about AI technology and what companies must consider when implementing it.

The Bridgecast - Peter_Eisengrein_headshot1ABOUT PETE EISENGREIN

Peter is a founding member of Evolve IP. Currently serving as Chief Product Officer, Pete is responsible for product vision, strategy, and execution, and leads a high-performing product management team, collaborates with cross-functional teams, and defines product priorities to deliver tangible business value through innovative cloud solutions. Prior to taking on the CPO role, he led Evolve IP’s global Voice Engineering team.

Before joining Evolve IP, Peter served as Director of Engineering for ATX Communications, Inc., where he was responsible for the planning, design, budgeting, development, and support for the ATX network. In this role, Pete oversaw the technical product development and design of the ATX Voice over IP (VoIP) product.

Peter holds a B.M. from West Chester University and completed his post-graduate studies at Temple University.

CONTACT PETE

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Scott Kinka: 

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Bridge. I’m super excited about this one. We’ve also fumbled to make this happen several times, so the schedule’s worked out today. Here we are. I have Peter Eisengrein, the Chief Product Officer at Evolve IP, on the episode with us this week. Pete, how are you this morning? 

Peter Eisengrein:

Well, thanks for having me. I’m glad we finally got this done. 

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, exactly. And in full disclosure, I think first up, Pete, how long have you been at Evolve IP? 16 years?

Peter Eisengrein:

17 years. 

Scott Kinka:

17! God bless you. 

Peter Eisengrein:

Don’t shortchange. 

Scott Kinka:

I think we were bantering at the beginning of this call, and I think we’ve known each other for. I don’t know; maybe 25? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

What year did you start over? 

Scott Kinka:

I guess 96, 97, yeah.

Peter Eisengrein: 

Oh Geez.

Scott Kinka:

So, more than 20. So this will be a fun conversation. We’re coming at it from a different ends of the spectrum too, which makes it even more fun. Pete’s the Chief Product Officer at EvolveIP, but I’ll tout you a little bit here, Pete. Truth be told, if you asked me, someone asked me, who are the ten guys in the United States who invented VoIP? And I’m sure that’s making you blush and you probably tell me that I’m being ridiculous, but you’re one of the longest-standing hardcore VoIP engineers who really helped commercialize these offerings at the beginning of, in particular, hosted PBX, which eventually became uca. And I’m talking mid-two thousands, early two thousand era at this point. So, Pete, that’s amazing. Now you’re the Chief Product Officer. I know you’re engineering, I know you’re a tinkerer, so nobody’s going to get you off of the command line, but you’re a front-of-house guy with a C. So I mean, personally, our producer, Gene and I were talking on the pre-show. We’ve actually seen this trend a couple times. We’ve had some conversations on this. So before we get into tech, I’m just curious: you’re a tech guy who’s a Chief Product Officer, and I’m seeing this trending, we’re seeing this more. Why do you think that is? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

It’s interesting because I kind of fell into it. It wasn’t part of the grand plan or anything, but at Evolve, the product team back towards the end of last year needed some love, right? Yeah. I could see that they needed some direction and I just sort of started inviting myself to their meetings and starting to give some direction on where I saw the market going and where I thought they needed some help. And then that was probably December last year, and then ultimately in January started having conversations with our CEO. Then early February made it official that, okay, I’m in charge of product now, And I think it’s worked out pretty well, right? We’ve been able to plan out where we think we need to be and what tactical things need to happen. And we’ve been getting a lot of stuff accomplished, which is great. Do I see it as a trend? Typically somebody in the role that I had in engineering would normally go towards a CTO role or a CIO role or something like that. And I think that that’s still a path, but there’s a really natural sort of combination between engineering and product. It makes sense. And having the experience that I had over on engineering and sort of daily operations, pulling that over into the product side helps because you’re able to see it from that perspective and not just the, okay, here’s the things that we need to do. You’ve got in the back of your mind all of the stuff that comes along with that. And so do I think that that will continue as a trend? Maybe? For me, it worked out, and I’m really happy with what I’m doing. I’m enjoying the side of it. It’s certainly not any less busy. 

Scott Kinka: 

Lemme ask you this question. I mean, I think sometimes in engineering, and you and I have had some conversations about this just in our own interaction over the years, we’ve had some developers that would fall into this camp just because you can, doesn’t mean Made you this cool thing last night. Awesome, thanks. Does this role give you some interesting perspective on that? The difference between the tech side of organizations and the prioritization side of organizations as it relates to customer needs, how things are rolled out? Tell me a little bit more about that. I do think young companies fumble over that problem often startups too. We’re going to make stuff. I’ve seen it all over in AI right now in particular too, which we’ll get into a little bit later. We don’t need to unpack that now, but has it given you some fresh perspective on the idea of really being conscious about turning things on?

Peter Eisengrein: 

Yeah. A hundred percent. Because you look at that and you’re like, okay, that’s great. When you’re small, you’re nimble, and you create stuff, and you don’t think about the long-term tech debt that you’re building, and that’s what it becomes is this tech debt that nobody really knows anything about, and you’ve got to deal with it down the road at some point versus something that’s a little more methodically planned out and designed and productized and engineering’s involved and you build out the whole path all the way through, including how am I going to support it? How am I going to sell it? How am I going to do all of these things? What documentation do I have in place? And that’s why I think as you get into the larger organizations, and certainly when you talk about the really big guys, they move at a glacial pace, but when they deliver product, they deliver it a hundred percent, right? There’s no partial delivery. The small guys deliver stuff fast, a little messy, and it’s really hard to support as you go on. So I would say evolve somewhere in between, right? We’re fairly nimble. We try and be really process oriented, try and make sure that we’ve got all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed and all of that, but at the same time, you can’t lose that nimble. I want to deliver stuff that customers want and not have to take two years to do it. 

The Challenges of Enterprise Technology Integration

Scott Kinka:

A hundred percent. I mean, gosh, we could spend an entire time on product development because this is super interesting, but let’s get into the meat. Pete, this one’s for you and it’s an interesting time to ask you because you’ve changed your role, but what’s Pete Eising grinds superpower as an executive, as an engineer, of all the things you do, what’s the thing you think you do the best? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

That’s a great question. It’s a couple of things. I’m creative by nature, so I’m thinking how do we deliver stuff that’s interesting? And I can see long-term. Now, where I struggle with that is the organizational creating processes, and although I’m really good at that process and engineering side of things too, but I like to sort of look at the big picture and distill it down to something. So that’s one. The other, I think I’m a people person, although I’m not a great organizational person from a management person like a pure manager. I’m not. But anybody that I’ve worked with generally enjoys working with. 

Scott Kinka:

Okay, Pete, do you think that that struggle, I mean we’re talking about this from their perspective of suppliers, right? Of people who are delivering things to hopefully to the listeners of the podcast, but the listeners of this podcast are largely IT people themselves. I mean, is there a lesson for them also in this idea of the struggle of creativity and making it because I think it’s going to be a good use of time, energy, and money, and also just getting it out there in the wild and having it well documented. And is your struggle on the service provider side all that different than kind of the average IT leader needs to think about in terms of rolling out tech in their own organizations? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

No, I don’t think it’s that different. I think the people side of it is really helpful. As I’ve moved into this new role, because I’m a little more public now, I’m in front of customers more often than I used to be. I’m in front of partners more often than I used to be. I’ve had to visit several of both. I’m traveling a little bit more now and having that ability to be a people person is helping there as far as IT leaders and how they deliver, I think there’s still something to that, right? And that’s why some people, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but they put themselves into engineering and they’d rather be heads down in their head in a computer, whether they’re writing code or configuring routers and firewalls or what their role is, they tend to, I guess it’s more of an introvert versus extrovert, somewhere in between. I’m an extroverted introvert, if that makes sense. 

Scott Kinka:

Let me be a little bit more controversial than you just were. I saw you get out of the data center. If you want to solve this problem, you’ve got to spend some time with your end users. I mean, on a regular basis, if we’re getting involved, if I’m a project’s getting to me like, Hey, Scott, we need the kicks save from you. Nine times out of 10, I would say that there’s a communication issue between IT and end users. It’s not the technology broken, it’s broken. It’s not that the rollout was poor, it’s not that the numbers didn’t port. Yes, those things happen, but it’s generally more of the end user are going, why did we do this? This is disruptive to me. Right? So anyway, super interesting on that one. Just quickly, for those who don’t know, and we’ll certainly reference previous episodes where we’ve had Evolve IP on here, and we’ll talk about one of them in a minute, but can you give me the, Hey, we’re in an elevator together, Evolve IP story? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Sure. We are a cloud services provider. We basically play in three areas in UCaaS, unified communications in contact center and in the compute side of the house. And when I say compute, we’re talking about desktop as a service, we’re talking about ias, infrastructure servers, and then also a bunch of the software that you’d put on that. Typically in terms of security, we’re Uber security focused these days looking at how do we round out the things that people need? And this goes back to the conversation we were just having around talking to your end users. In this case it might be customers understanding what they actually want and need and not delivering stuff because it’s cool, but because it actually brings value to their job to help them and assist them and make their lives easier. So Evolve plays really in those three areas. Again, coming from where I came from was on the voice side of things. Obviously I’ve been compute adjacent for all these years. I’ve been a user, not so much a thinker or tinker on the compute side, but now I get to play on that side too. 

Scott Kinka: 

Most of the people that we have on the pod suppliers who are great in their buckets, they’re top right magic, Gartner, magic quadrant, they deal with all of that. They’re a specialist in one of the things that you just mentioned. Is this a conscious model to deliver differently than them the right user to buy all that stuff from you? Because that’s not typically the way we think about technology. 

Peter Eisengrein: 

No, and it’s not typically the way it gets sold either, because ordinarily when somebody’s in a buying cycle for one of those things, they’re not necessarily in the buying cycle for all of those things. You’ll see uc and contact center getting sold pretty often together, not always, but for them to also add compute or if they’re on the compute buying cycle, they’re probably not also on the voice buying cycle. So we consider that a unicorn where they exist, where they’re buying all of them. In that case it’s more of a land and expand for us where they bought one thing and down the road they might buy something else because Evolve IP is a vendor. But in terms of the strategy to get here, yes, that’s always been sort of the plan. When we started, as you know, we started with Evolve. We started with voice hosted PBX, we got into call center, which was kind of a light version of what contact center is today, but there was always the design, the business plan to be in multiple buckets. That part of that is you don’t have all your eggs in one basket, but also it’s about customer value and trying to distinguish yourself. While you may not have all of the bells and whistles of some of your competitors who are in the magic quadrant on each of those things, to find one vendor that you can rely on call for support and have one person to contact for all of those things is kind of unique and it was part of the design. 

Scott Kinka:

I think sometimes this sort of buying maybe best of breed is not the right answer. I know that you guys have the right phrase. I know that you guys are and you have your own rankings and Gartner and all that and various categories that you’re in, but just let’s take the macro level concept of buying best of breed versus sort buying it with a services layer and integrated. It’s like in this mode, you’re chasing feature in this mode. You just got put in the integration business, which is kind of interesting. I can go buy all these things, I got to make ’em work well together. It brings up an interesting fact. So when we had an episode, I guess it was about a year ago with Kevin Sullivan who is on the team, a fantastic tech 

Peter Eisengrein:

Reports to me now, by the way. 

Obstacles to Wider Adoption of Desktop as a Service

Scott Kinka: 

Awesome, right? Love the guy. We spent almost the entire time talking about das at the time, and I think it was because we were sort of having a conversation around what we’re settling back to post covid and mobile workforces and things of that nature. You talked a little bit about the other businesses that Evolve is in. Is DaaS still a core practice for you? It’s kind of a multi-part. Question. What are the real use cases of it in your world and what makes it so hard to do? Why don’t we see a lot more of it on the DaaS side? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

That’s a great question. Kevin is brilliant at talking about this. He’s so much better than I am at talking about this, but at the end of the day, we look at das not as a security solution but as a security enabler because what it’s doing for the end customer is being able to manage things centrally as opposed to having to manage, especially now in the post covid world where so many people are working remotely, you don’t have to manage all of these devices out in the world. You’re now managing everything in the center, and you can create really consistent rules and security policies that cover all of your stuff. At the same time, making sure that if a laptop or something gets stolen, the thing that gets you into the das, if it gets stolen, lost, whatever, you’re not having a bunch of content locally on the machine that could potentially be very disruptive to your business. So being able to do that simplifies the leader’s role in terms of standing up new servers, yes, desktops, whatever, because you’ve got templates that you can just spawn off copies of it, so there’s no longer that same lag time and all of the effort that goes into onboarding a new person. I hired somebody. Typically, in the old world, you’d buy a laptop or a desktop, and then you’d have to install the software on it, and then you’d have to, in this case, deliver it to wherever they work since they’re probably not in an office anymore, or maybe they are. But in the das world, it’s simple. We’ve taken what used to take two weeks to build it out, procure it, build it, ship it, and then support it. And now, within an hour or two hours, somebody’s spawned off a desktop that has everything that they need. 

Scott Kinka:

So I chuckled in the middle of that, Pete. This is an inside joke that nobody will get, but you said two weeks. It just makes me think somebody would have known two weeks ago that I have this for you. God loves the whole other issue. So look, all that sounds compelling about Das and I don’t want to spend our whole time dwelling there, but why aren’t more people doing it then? What’s the Achilles heel, at least in most offerings out there around that?

Peter Eisengrein: 

Well, probably for us, and one of the things that makes us different is the fact that we’ve mastered how to do audio on it. And I think that’s one of the things that differentiates us where we do have competitors in the market, and they’re very good competitors, but because we’re also a voice company, we’ve got expertise there and being able to do both of those a little bit unique. Now, why doesn’t Das take off more? I think part of it is just momentum. People are used to buying in a certain way, and when they need hardware, and they’ve got somebody they got to hire, they know that they call their VAR, and they buy the gear, and they do this, and they do that. And what we’re trying to do is talk about the value. Now, it also swings from a CapEx model to a monthly recurring model. 

Scott Kinka: 

It’s Completely thinking that, yeah, I mean, if you think about all of the capital gear that the business has bought, probably the largest one that’s in a depreciation schedule. Our end devices, our edge devices, and servers are hard enough to go. I have to get off the drip on my depreciation, and eventually, I want to turn that into CapEx. But you’re always constantly in a desktop replacement cycle. So when can you draw a line and move it to Opex? It is tough, right? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Yeah. But for the people that do adopt it, there’s no going back. Why wouldn’t you? Especially like I said, when you start talking about security enablement and being able to manage the things that attach to it becomes so much easier. As an example, we already talked about the desktop and what files you might have that are sensitive that are sitting on the desktop. Well, again, let’s take it in the other direction. Instead of hiring, if somebody’s terminated, being able to shut that off and make sure that you don’t have to get the gear back because either using their personal gear or you gave them some sort of cheapo desktop or however they’re accessing the das, being able to disable that right away and make sure that they’re not taking any of that with ’em. Also equally important. There’s so many reasons to talk about it, 

Scott Kinka: 

But yeah, so here we are. We’re 20 minutes in, and I pumped you up as somebody who’s on Mount Rushmore of hosted PDX, but we haven’t talked about communications at all. Let me swing it that way. By the way, that’s not just me. You can ask folks from Cisco who would say that. So you just be very, 

Peter Eisengrein: 

I’m watching a little bit, and it’s ridiculous. 

The Future of Telephony

Scott Kinka: 

So you’ve mentioned the hard part about audio, so let’s use that inside the desk. Let’s use that as a swing. You guys are voice specialists. You mentioned that, and years ago, you made the swing to focus on leveraging productivity applications as the front end. And teams were a big driver. Thankfully, you guys were already there when COVID happened, right? We’ll take that as, but I mean, listen, zoom blew up during the pandemic. WebEx is back to making a push, and I know you guys are a big WebEx provider. Just talk to me a little bit about the state of UC in general. I mean, it used to be about the buttons that every service provider had, and now, largely speaking, people have multiple platforms. They’re trying to figure out what their long-term strategy is. What is it that you’re seeing out there in general? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Yeah, you’re absolutely right in terms of what the service providers in the VoIP space are dealing with used to be about the features and functionality of the PBX. Today, that’s really just an enabler to the UC platform, whether it’s Teams, WebEx, or whatever you’re using. Zoom became a verb because of all of this. And the interesting thing is most people that we’re bringing on today, nearly a hundred percent of them are buying in the collab space and in the US, it’s almost all teams in Europe we’re seeing it’s mostly Cisco WebEx, which is just an interesting thing. I can’t say why it’s a different take there, but where do I think it goes from here? Again, the telephony side of it doesn’t go away anytime soon. Now, interestingly, if you could get Microsoft, Cisco, Zoom, and maybe some others to collude a little bit, the PSTN would become unnecessary if I could call. 

Scott Kinka: 

They would interrupt, right? Exactly. You wouldn’t need to have a DID. 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Right? But the interesting thing that we saw as we continued to grow our usage on the PSTN side actually went way down as everybody went home because they’re now using their collab system to have their daily conversations. I rarely have a conversation with somebody external unless taking a sales call. But even the calls that I’m having with customers and partners and everything else are usually on teams. So there’s no PSTN involved. And so the feature functionality where that plays, I think, still has value the way we deliver that because, again, our PBX is connected to the outside world, and it’s connecting to the collab side of the house. And what that means is if, for instance, Microsoft is having a bad day, and luckily that doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, we’ve got abilities for the users to be able to redirect their calls from call forwarding or however they want to do it. You can prescribe that, or you can do it in a responsive mode, but that’s part of it. The other thing that we’ve done, and I mentioned our contact center, which is one of the few pieces of RIP that we own, is we truly integrated it, whereas an over-the-top PBX and contact center deployment, the contact center has no notion if I pick up my handset and place a call to order my lunch, whereas we’ve done that so that the contact center and the PBX are really tightly integrated and they know the state. So, I’m not going to deliver a call to an agent who’s already on another call and may be outside the contact center. 

Scott Kinka: 

Yeah, I get it. So this idea that the reliance on the PBX has waned because people are collapsing in their platform of choice, as you mentioned, largely teams in the US, at least from your experience, also changes the idea that somebody’s available because that’s not, that is generally not seen in the telephony solution if they’re on a team’s call or they’ve stepped away for lunch or what have you. Okay, that’s super interesting. First off, it’s another inside joke, but this is funny. One, is it finally the year of video, Pete? Wait, let me let everybody in on the joke. So Pete, in that history of Pete and I working together, I was running product as a chief technology officer and Chief Product Officer, and Pete was running engineering, and every year I was prepping him when it was not easy to do, and it wasn’t built into these platforms. I’m like, Pete, we got to get ready. This is the year of the video. It was 2010. So, it finally happened a decade later, in 2020. Here we are, back to the future that actually occurred, right? But let me get back to the conversation though about dial tone. If we’re communicating most of the time within the collab platforms, then why doesn’t an end user just use Microsoft calling plans if all they need is the occasional phone number? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Yeah. Well, again, one would be if you want to integrate it into a contact center or something like that, but probably more important is if you want to integrate with others within an organization that maybe doesn’t have collab as an example, maybe only your knowledge workers have teams, or maybe most people do, but then your conference rooms and you want to still be able to integrate the conversation between those. Now, I know that Microsoft also rolled out a gateway product that you can do some of that, but it is just an overall better experience if we’re able to treat it all like one organization and your teams-to-teams calls still run over Microsoft, but your teams to PB can come through us, and we can manage that better. 

Scott Kinka:

No, that makes sense. And I would also imagine, I dunno, if you can talk about this. I mean, I know of a customer of yours that has big facilities where there are just lots of phones and knowledge workers. That’s another potential use case there, right? Sort of the phone on the wall.

Peter Eisengrein: 

Oh, yeah, yeah. And there’s still plenty of people that want both. Particularly when you start getting into exec level, they want their handset because that’s just how they work. Or maybe they’ve got an assistant and the phone rings both of them. We can do all of that and ring their collab at the same time so that we’re able to do all of those things together. It’s a pretty interesting mix. 

The Hype and Challenges of AI

Scott Kinka:

So I think again, that’s another conversation we could drain for another 40 minutes. And I’m going to bring up the two initials that everybody’s talking about right now and just ask you a little bit about AI. And I want to get into some personal questions, and we’re running right on time. So I’ll just say, on the AI side, let me ask a top-level question. Are we doing the same thing with the term AI that we did with the term cloud ten years ago? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

To a degree, everybody wants to go out and buy AI, but they don’t really know what that means. And there’s so much to it around security and making sure that you’re not leaking private information out to the world. It is something that we are using, and in fact, we are in the process of working on some of this in the contact center. Now, competitors would look at that and say, you guys are way behind. But the reality is people still don’t really know how to use it. And I just had this conversation with a customer who is in banking, and they wanted to understand. Okay, what does that mean? Are you guys using public AI to do this? I’m like, well, hold on. If you wanted to do AI in your context, and I’m talking about a virtual agent, something that answers the call in natural language, tell me why you’re calling today and being able to deal with that call. In our world, public AI works really well in that, assuming that the data is good, that it can gather, but being able to look at that and say, okay, I’m going to route the call based on the things that I know about this company. Alright, that’s fine, I can do that. But when it starts getting into banking, the first thing I said to them is, if you guys want to use AI in that world, I want you to run the AI and give me an interface to connect to it, right? Give me the API to talk to it, and we will do that. What I don’t want is your data, your bank data in my, of course, absolutely not, right? And I don’t want access to it. So, how do you deal with AI? And again, that’s on the security side, but there’s so much hype around it, and we’re equally guilty because you want to be able to have a story. Some of that for us is in the collaboration space, how copilot integrates with teams, and what WebEx is doing with AI. And it’s all really cool stuff. I use it regularly. I’ve begun writing about it more on LinkedIn. We’re doing more with call recording and being able to not just be able to do transcriptions but also really understand the sentiment and the overall context of a conversation and how that’s important and be able to do interesting things with that. So, a lot of it’s still hype. In fact, I was just looking at Gartner’s hype cycle on AI, and some of it’s relevant, and some of it’s a long way off. It’s happening at such a quick pace, though, that yes, there’s a lot of hype, like the cloud was hype, but we either have to make some decisions on how we’re going to deal with it sooner than later or else just going to fall behind. And that’s true for everybody. 

Scott Kinka: 

Governance is an issue, not a massive issue. That’s been something that I’ve been talking quite a bit about. I have a couple of public sessions coming up around just governance in general and understanding that running your own large language models versus leveraging public ones, we could be on this one forever. I think the thing that always cracks me up about it is the CX world, and you mentioned it in the contact center, wanting to have a bot engaging in conversations. It’s got to learn from something. I regularly will have customers think that they can paper over a crappy process by turning a bot on. And I’m like, well, listen, if there’s no process for the bot to learn, then it’s not going to help you. It can make inferences, but you’re going to have a 30 or 40% false positive rate. How organized are you? How would you train your next agent, your next live agent? And that’s kind of the way you have to think about training your next artificial agent. If it’s not someplace, I don’t know how you’re going to get a dependable outcome at the end of the day. 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Yeah, and that’s interesting because you’ve seen articles out there. I think it was an airline in Canada that maybe had this issue where somebody was working with a chatbot, and it gave away something based on a procedure that didn’t exist because one didn’t exist, and that wasn’t explicit. The bot made it up based on what it knew. 

Scott Kinka: 

Wow. We’re going to have to have another episode, Pete, because we just had three conversations that could, I’ll go for another half hour. We’re going to lightning round, finish this. All right, these are just some fun questions. Let’s just fire through this first one. I need a shameless prediction. Be Nostradamus for the next 12 to 18 months. It can be in tech, but it could be in sports or politics or whatever. What’s going to happen? Somebody can look back at this in a year and see if you were right. 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Alright, I’m going to stay on the AI theme. I’m going to say there’s going to be, and I’m not even going to call it a breach. I’m going to call it a leak. There’s going to be a massive leak of data. Okay? Dunno who dunno where, but it’s coming.

Scott Kinka: 

And that really goes to that governance conversation you were talking about. If companies don’t figure out what their policy is going to be going forward with their employees, then this is probably the biggest shadow opportunity, shadow it risk we’ve had ever, frankly, at the end of the day. Okay, that’s super interesting. Next one, who’s going to win the Super Bow,l World Series, NBA championship, you can’t say, and Stanley Cup? Pick one and make a prediction. Go for it. 

Peter Eisengrein: 

We’ll go to the World Series. 

Scott Kinka:

Okay.

Peter Eisengrein: 

I think it’s the Phils this year, man. 

Scott Kinka: 

I had to listen. I would love it. I’ll be out there on the greased-up poles with you if we do that. So I love that one. We don’t need to drain that. Just look at the standings right now, and we’ll see what’s happening. Alright, I’m going to ask you a funny question and then kind of like a business leadership question. So here’s the funny question. I asked a lot of our guests about this. I like to compare the answers, but the next apocalyptic thing happens. You can pick whatever movie is your favourite. It could be the Matrix, or I Am Legend or something, but whatever life changes dramatically, only one app works on your phone. Which one is it? 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Alright, I’ve prepared for this question. Okay. 

Scott Kinka: 

Alright. You’ve done your homework and watched the previous one, so okay, 

Peter Eisengrein: 

I’ve got two, but I know I can only get one. But I’m going to give you what the second runner-up is. The runner-up is Shazam, which is the thing that made me fall in love with smartphones in the first place. I was blown away by it, and I’m still blown away by it. But the real one is this little app called A Color. And I’ll tell you why. In my personal life, I’m a painter, and I use this thing you basically can like in Photoshop, where there’s a little eye dropper that can take the colour out of an image. It does the same thing. And then I can blow up the colour a little bit. And if I’m trying to paint something from an image, it helps me Validate the colours. 

Scott Kinka: 

And so your expectation of this apocalyptic event is you’re not going to need access to the internet. Nothing’s going on. You’re like in your cave with some paints that you’re mixing up from natural stuff that’s growing outside, and you’re like, I just need to match colours. I love that one. When this happens, Pete is totally off the grid. Alright, last one. I have a bunch of business questions in here. I’m going to pick one fun. I’m going to look at my list here. All right, I need advice for IT leaders that you wish you had known when you were a first-time manager. 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Oh wow. 

Scott Kinka: 

Yeah, I didn’t prepare you for this one, so you can take a second. I’ll hum in the meantime. Yeah. 

Peter Eisengrein: 

Alright. So here’s one of the things. As a leader of an IT group, it’s really important that you honour their typical business day and not bug them constantly after hours. And the reason is there are going to be moments where you’re going to need them around the clock for like 72 hours. Something’s going to happen, and you’re going to need them. And you want to make sure that when that happens, they’re one going to answer the call because they realize that, all right, this is really important, and I got to deal with it. But you don’t want them so burnt out that they’re constantly under fire like that. So you got to make sure that you’re honouring. And it doesn’t mean that none of us work 40 hours in it, but you have to have some boundaries around it. And when things are normal, make them normal so that when things are really urgent, they’re urgent, and everybody’s willing to respond. 

Scott Kinka: 

Pete that sounds like a quotable right there. Note to Gene, who’s watching the episode here from the production script. I really like that one. Pete, this has been the absolute. I promise you it’s going to be the high point of my day, and it’s still early in the morning, so this was awesome, man. Thank you so much for the time. I’m glad to hear things are going awesome, and I hope that our listeners found this as entertaining as I did. Thanks for joining us here on the bridge, Pete. 

Peter Eisengrein:

Thanks. It was a lot of fun. You got it. See you. 



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