“Superior ability breeds superior ambition.”— SPOCK, Star Trek, Season 1: Space Seed
If you want the most efficient, logical battle plan in the galaxy, you simply need to board the Enterprise and ask Spock, right? Similarly, if you want the most efficient, secure way to architect your cloud environment and a battle plan for cloud migration, TRUE’s John Connors, Director of IT and Cloud Strategy, is your guy. A highly technical and precise thinker, John’s knowledge and execution will leave you thinking that you have just undertaken a conversation with Spock, himself. So in the spirit of pulling back the curtain a little bit and letting you get to know our Subject Matter Experts, this week’s blog sets John’s interview answers against Lt. Commander (and at one point Captain) Spock’s. Yes, we traveled into the future AND the past to accomplish this interview. Chalk it up to our vast mind share, TRUE innovation, and the Editor’s creative vision. In the end, who is the real Executive Science Officer here? You decide…
(TO JOHN): How did you get into Security Engineered IT, John?
JC: I was seduced and betrayed….Oh wait, no, that’s how I got into spying. As preparation for a career in IT, I studied Management of Information Systems (MIS) at UCF, and the first job after college was with a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP). Things progressed naturally from there.
(TO SPOCK): How did you come to work aboard the USS Enterprise?
SPOCK:I was the first Vulcan to enlist in the Federation Starfleet, serving aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike as a lieutenant, and later for James T. Kirk.
Data-Centric Approach to Problem-Solving
While Spock was cutting his teeth as a Vulcan, John was digging into all things technical and exploring the power of research. In fact, University of Central Florida’s Information Systems department is known for its primary focus on first-hand research as a primary means to understand evolving issues within the modern technical landscape, as well as help organizations engineer solutions that will help them leverage their data. This is evident in everything Connors does. Before recommending any solution, he not only studies its finer details, but he gets to know the technology, himself, from the inside-out. The essence of a research-based approach is to always ask if something can be done more efficiently, more powerfully, more effectively, than it is being done today. Further, as a highly experienced technologist, John Connors carries this same approach into his work both internally and with clients.
SPOCK: “Insufficient facts always invite danger.” - Star Trek, season 1, episode 24 (“Space Seed,” 1968)
What are some of your career highlights?
- I led the adoption of Amazon Web Services as the primary Cloud Solution/Program, with client penetration of 25% in year 1.
- As one of my past initiatives, I consolidated all Managed Services Programs into a single program, with clearly defined deliverables, pricing, and metrics-based reporting for each deliverable to promote “trusted advisor” status, then converted 100% of legacy customers to new MSP program. This undertaking significantly improved CSAT scores and increased gross revenues of existing accounts from $1.25M to $1.75M and total revenues to $2.1M.
- In 2277, I was promoted to captain, then assigned to the prestigious Starfleet Academy faculty, heading up the cadet training with Enterprise.
- In 2285, I handed over the cadet-filled U.S.S. Enterprise to Kirk for in order to undertake a harrowing rescue of the Project Genesis team.
True Team Leadership
When you look back on your career to date, what highlights really stand out to you?
JC: Two of my team members completed college during their work with me, there have been dozens of vocational and/or technical certifications attained, one team member became a certified diver, and three purchased a home for the first time.
SPOCK: “I have been and always shall be your friend.”
Okay, thank you, guys. You have made the rest of us feel small and shallow for just bragging about ourselves. You both inspire us, undoubtedly!
What industry certs do you hold, or relevant study courses have you completed?
JC: I am a certified AWS Solution Architect.
SPOCK: I am proud that in 2253, I was commissioned as ensign, still aboard Enterprise, under Pike.
Would you like to give a shout out to any family a favorite pet, or anyone else special in your life?
JC: Nope. (JC is a fairly private soul, but we hear rumors of some pretty awesome family members he adores.)
SPOCK: As a child, I had a pet sehlat (a cuddly Vulcan bear-like animal with claws and fangs). Its name is irrelevant to you, and… Emotions are alien to me. I'm a scientist.—Star Trek, Season 1: This Side of Paradise
What hobbies do you pursue outside of work?
JC: I chef it up.
SPOCK: I have carried a life-long interest in art, music, literature and poetry from many worlds, especially Terran, and played both tri-dimensional chess as well as the Vulcan lute or harp and a keyboard harpsichord.
What unusual thing should we know about you?
JC: When the machine uprising occurs, I will be leading the human resistance.
SPOCK: “Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them.”— Star Trek, Season 2: The Ultimate Computer
(See? We told you they were same-same.)
SPOCK: Also, “I'll have you checkmated your next move.”— (Star Trek, Season 1: Where No Man Has Gone Before)
Anything else you two would like to tell us?
JC and SPOCK: “Live long and prosper.”