Name: Mike Paranihi Title: Director IS
Favourite restaurant: Sri Panang – Malaysian restaurant on K’Rd [Auckland]. Excellent food, great value for money and always busy – a good sign.
Most recent read: Sacha Baron Cohen: The Unauthorised Biography.
Favourite place to visit in New Zealand: Matai Bay, Karikari Peninsula
Worst job: Twinkie at Turoa. I lasted one week.
First computer: Commodore 64
What keeps you awake at night: My ever-growing list of internal and external stakeholders I need to maintain or develop relationships with.
Why did you choose to come back to New Zealand to live and work?
After having kids overseas, my wife and I wanted to give our kids the same lifestyle that we grew up with here in New Zealand, surrounded by family, schools with grassy fields and the great outdoors. New Zealand has a lot to offer and our lifestyle is amongst the best in the world.
What are the challenges of managing a global team from New Zealand?
Time zones are a challenge. However, you learn to work with the constraints of a globally distributed virtual team. New Zealand gets a lot of time zone overlap with the US, Asia and India. This helps when scheduling conference calls or meetings with colleagues in these regions. Where I suffer the most is connecting with colleagues in Europe.
Regular travel back to HQ is a challenge to my family environment. I used to travel to San Jose between six and eight times a year for meetings like operations reviews. Now we have Cisco Telepresence, I’ve been able to cut my trips down to two to three a year. I prefer to get up for a 5am Telepresence meeting as opposed to a 24-hour return flight to San Jose.
Not being on site at San Jose where my team are involved in some very heavy lifting during major releases is another challenge. During a major release folks may be working through the night to bring critical applications back online and I prefer to be in the trenches with them, rather than attending a Go Live call via the phone.
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