Matthew Trial | Procurri | Cloud Expo Asia | Singapore

Avatar Ben Fower | 22/11/2018

Matthew Trial, from Procurri, joined us at Cloud Expo Asia in Singapore to talk about his move from the U.S.A to Singapore and his experience with Procurri. Hosted by Lim May-Ann from the Asia Cloud Computing Association.

May-Ann: Speaking of people coming here. Our next guest on the show is Mr. Matthew Trial and he’s come into Singapore from somewhere else. I’m going to let him introduce himself in a minute. He’s with Procurri and thank you very much Matthew for coming on the show with us.

Matthew: Thank you for having me.

May-Ann: So, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where do you come from? How long have you been here? And tell us obviously a little bit about Procurri as well.

Matthew: Yeah, so I landed here about three months ago. I’m a permanent resident now and plan on spending the next 18 months here. I’m from the US, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia never lived outside of Georgia till I moved over here. So, it’s a big change for me. It’s a big adventure and I’m loving every minute. So Procurri is a leading independent distributor or enterprise data centre which provide hardware and lifecycle services which includes independent maintenance. And really what I like to think that we do is solve our customers’ challenges and problems. So, we’re a global company and when a customer comes to us with whatever it is with their struggling with, we put our people in play and really put them in a position to solve that problem for them. Whether its global billing logistical delivery across a wide range of countries or realising value on the back end of equipment that they’re trying to dispose of. We offer all those services and that’s really what I try and get my team to focus on, solving problems for customers.

May-Ann: I think that’s an important part of all the work that companies need to do solving problems and in order to solve problems, you’re going to need a really good team. So, you’ve been here for three months and I’m guessing that probably given the Singapore culture they pretty much put you to work right from the start. So did you hit the ground running?

Matthew: I hit the ground running. I spent about 12 weeks here last year. So, I got to know the team a little bit before I came.

May-Ann: They work you before you even started.

Matthew: Oh absolutely, but they’re a great group of people and they’ve really taken me in and shown me around the place and made me and my fiancé feel at home. She came over with me and it’s been a great experience so far. I feel like I’m well-travelled but every day I learn something new it’s incredible.

May-Ann: Well, that’s Singapore for you. So, could you tell me a little bit about what you did before? and what you’re doing right now? Because I’d like to ask you a little bit about the difference in office cultures and people cultures because I mean I don’t know what it is like in Atlanta but in Singapore, we’re obviously a particular type of people and no matter where you go in the world there is definitely going to be different types of office cultures. Let’s not even compare countries as we can just compare offices. Just walking across the hallway.

Matthew: Yeah.

May-Ann: To another company you’re going to have a different office culture. So, could you tell me a little bit about what you did before and how it differs from what you’re doing now?

Matthew: Yeah, absolutely. So in my past life, I was actually an accountant, a CPA crunching numbers behind the scenes and when I came back to Procurri, I started heading up the operations and so when the CEO Sean Murphy asked me to come over and lead up Asia it was obviously a big challenge and a big change for me, but I welcomed it with warm arms and I was ready to go. Really from a cultural perspective, I think the biggest difference is just the conservative nature of the people in the office whereas in the U.S. Everyone is very rowdy and outgoing and a little bit extreme. Here it’s much more controlled much more conservative, and I’m trying to get everyone in the office to open up and become a little bit more outgoing. So, it might just be a Procurri thing, but I feel like it might be overall Singapore as well.

May-Ann: Will it impact your plans for APEC? I mean, I don’t think it will, but I mean given that you’re used to putting plans in place that will require a certain type of personality and now meeting a bunch of people who are probably very competent at what they do. Just not the same pattern.

Matthew: Yeah.

May-Ann: That what you’re used to. Will it impact some of the plans that you have for APEC. And what are your plans for APEC actually since we’re on the topic?

Matthew: Yes. So, no I don’t think it will impact any plans. I think they’re a great group of people and really, it’s a teamwork environment that I’m really trying to instil so from an overall perspective. You know our plans from a high-level are not going to change, we’re going to sell hardware. We’re going to provide services. We’re going to help our customers. But what I really want to focus on here is developing the team to be more team-oriented and really work together as a group and that’s where a lot of the success in the company has come from. We have such a wide range of expertise and skill sets in the company and when these people get together and work together, we can solve any challenge that a customer puts in front of us and that’s where all the big successes come from. Even if it’s something operational that no customer ever sees, you know, we’ve had a lot of huge leaps and strides in our platform that we’re developing for this global company. So that’s really where I think the most of my time will be spent, with the team trying to get them developed and then finding more people to bring on that have more skill sets that we might not have in-house already.

May-Ann: That’s really interesting I mean this idea of ensuring the group dynamics and team dynamics actually do come into play and I’ve heard a lot of people say that actually the boss, your person in charge of the team is actually really, really important and communication is obviously the core of all of that dynamics. Can you share with us one or two of your secrets that you’re going to be doing? We do you just in terms of practical advice? I mean do you meet them once a week? Do you have an all hand session? What kind of secrets from Atlanta can you share with it?

Matthew: It’s not a big secret but I think communication is key and a couple of the things that I’ve brought across and started implementing here in the Asia region is we meet every Friday and it’s maybe 5, 10,  20 minutes of me talking and sharing with the group and just getting everyone fired up after a long work week and usually there’s some kind of snacks some kind of activity

May-Ann: Food is important.

Matthew: Oh, yes, very important. I found out, so you can never have enough food and they love it and it’s really just about talking to everyone letting them know what’s going on and then keeping the workplace fun. So, I feel like it’s still a start-up even though we’re a publicly listed company on the SGX full of rules and regulations on a day-to-day basis. I feel in the day-to-day we’re still just a young company still looking to have fun and make great things happen.

May-Ann: So, in terms of the work-life balance. I’m assuming that you’re still trying to inject a little bit of that fun aspect into it.

Matthew: Absolutely. I mean we’ve got a lot going on. So, there’s obviously a lot of time spent at the office or working even at home after hours. So, you’ve got to keep it fun for the people and that’s really what I’m spending a lot of time on here. Making sure that they’re having fun while we’re getting all this work done.

May-Ann: Last question for you. If you were about to talk to someone who was about to join for Procurri. What would you tell them to be prepared for in terms of the work culture?

Matthew: I think I would say be prepared for a lot of change. We’re constantly evolving, we’re not at our final stage. We’re building something great here so it’s not going to be you come in and it’s the same thing every day. It’s always something different. So be prepared for change but be prepared to have a fun doing it and if you can balance those two things and you’d be a great fit for us.

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