We Are Wavefront: Meet Christian Magsisi

We Are Wavefront is an ongoing series providing an in depth look at the individuals who make up Wavefront. Being a Centre of Excellence for commercialization and research, there are many facets to the work we do. This month, we sat down to chat with our new VP Enterprise Solutions, Christian Magsisi.

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m based in Toronto, but originally born and immigrated from the Philippines when I was 5 years old. I am an avid sports fan, you can frequently find me on the slopes snowboarding, in the gym playing basketball, volleyball or on the diamond playing baseball and softball. When I’m not competing in a sport you can find me in my shop at home building furniture; carpentry runs in the family and I’ve enjoyed making pieces for my relatives and friends.

My background includes working in the telecom industry and consulting in software, new product development and digital transformation. Much of my work has been in the growth of the companies I’ve worked for and consulted with. This also involved sales/business development, delivery and operations. During my time at Rogers I had the privilege of being a part of the team that began to bring IoT and Mobile to the forefront of Canadian enterprise technology roadmaps across multiple verticals as a solution architect. As my career transitioned to a traditional systems integrator and consulting, my interests in innovation and the startup community was nurtured through partnerships and creating, as well as bringing thought leadership to communities of new emerging technologies and methodologies including: Agile, DevOps, IoT and AI. The sum of many of my experiences are being drawn upon with my position here at Wavefront, so I’m glad to be on board!

Right now I’m re-reading The Lean Startup by Eric Reiss, one of my favorite books. One of the key ideas it explores is the importance of creating a particular experience for your customers as opposed to being too focused on developing your product or technology itself. Without keeping the customer experience at the forefront, a lot of your energy can be wasted.

How would you describe what you do at Wavefront?

I’m here to help Wavefront grow and leverage the great ecosystem and community of businesses leaders coming out of our accelerator programs. Many profitable, award-winning tech companies have emerged from Wavefront. However once up and running, the challenge for many of these companies is to get their innovations into the hands of enterprises, both in the public and private sectors. We also help with that.

We work with large enterprises to help them realize the value of investing in different technologies. This may involve creating an entirely new product, or transforming an existing one. Implementing new products and solutions can seem a daunting or a costly challenge for large enterprises, but our job is to help them make desired changes in a shorter amount of time and fully realize their investments.

With many new solutions emerging from our network and acceleration programs, enterprises are able to tap into a robust community of innovations as they look for solutions. My role is to facilitate dialogue around the need for these solutions, and the options available.

Why did you want to work the tech industry?

I’ve always been fascinated by the startup community and how it’s evolved over the years. In past, it’s definitely been associated with a culture that is more free-wheeling than the corporate world. But now we’re seeing many startups act as thought leaders in innovation. Large corporations are taking notice and following suit both in terms of the technologies adopted and the approach they take to problem solving.

What also really drew me to the industry was seeing the results of implementing radical technological change within organizations. At Wavefront, we are at the forefront of driving this change and helping Canada be a better country as an end goal. That’s exciting.

How is Wavefront making a difference in Canada?

Wavefront plays a unique role as an intermediary because of our designation from the federal government as a centre of excellence for commercialization and research. We are the bridge between the government investing in the innovation of Canada and the enterprise and public sector organizations looking to nurture that culture within their teams. We’ve taken on the challenge of facilitating this change within the country by providing thought leadership and sharing our resources and expertise back to the country through the public and private sector.

A growing trend and area of work for Wavefront has been Smart Cities and Smart Communities. More communities are engaging with wireless technologies as cities continue to adopt ‘smart city’ elements into their infrastructure. Wavefront’s role is to understand the related challenges from the ground level, and leverage our network of companies and partners who are developing solutions to meet those needs.

Our role as an intermediary includes encouraging startups and cities to work together or lead a new product initiative with our experience and resources. Collaborating to adopt solutions already created, or building upon them for the betterment of Canada creates a lot of value.

From your perspective, what does the future of IoT hold for Canada?

There’s a lot of talk about Machine Learning and AI and the future. At the root, this deals with data being intricately related with IoT. Using these technologies, we are crossing into a world where we are training machines to make critical decisions for us, so that we can focus on more strategic aspects of running the public or private sector. We’re seeing so much movement in this realm that some are calling it the 4th revolution. It is exciting to think about the possibilities for Machine Learning, AI and IoT combined.

Connect with Christian on LinkedIn.

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