From a biker to an entrepreneur, then to Anexia and besides he has his own photo exhibition: Technical Lead Voice Services Petar is an all-round personality. We’ve met our Voice Over IP (short VOIP) specialist in Graz to clarify the question precisely: “What does and who is Petar Beck?” In this interview he tells you how he improved his quality of life, what Voice Services are and why creativity in technology matters.
Petar, do entrepreneurs still need a telephone system at all?
Yes, almost every self-employed person starts by sharing their own cell phone number with customers. Suddenly he has the problem that he permanently gets calls. At the latest when they consist of two, he needs a telephone system, because then they have to take turns: One drives to the customer and the other takes care of the calls. The telephone system structures and processes them. For example, every company needs its own hotline. Mediashopping is very complex: you have about 50 call center agents, then 100 people call: the callers have to be distributed cleanly and the agent must also be given a minute of post-processing time – these are the tasks of a telephone system. The telephone itself, is just a device that rings when the telephone system tells it to ring.
You are our Voice-Over-IP specialist. What is Voice-Over-IP exactly?
Voice over IP means the ability to make calls via the Internet.
Open communication is the desire of every technology and in the telephony sector we are close to it.
Where do you see the future of the telephony business?
I definitely see the future in VOIP. The slogan is: free communication for everyone. To make that possible, the old copper phone lines would have to be abolished and international standardization must be introduced – that would be VOIP in this case. Then our provider in Austria could directly call the provider in Germany, which means that all providers are networked with each other and we have the highest quality from A to B. Open communication is the desire of every technology and in the telephony sector we are close to it.
What are the advantages of VOIP?
A big advantage is that less infrastructure is needed and that professional telephony is affordable even for smaller businesses. Also, home office isn’t possible without VOIP. For example, I am dialed into my corporate network via VPN at home. Without VOIP I couldn’t do that with my telephone.
Can you briefly explain what Voice Services are?
The term “Voice Services” refers to selling the ability “to make calls” to a customer or partner. This includes necessary components in the area, such as telephone system, SIP trunks, terminals, the complete telephony ecosystem. At Anexia, Voice Services are staffed in two areas of responsibility. One is the commercial managing director and I’m the technical managing director. I make sure that everything works technically and that it’s state-of-the-art. This also means that the infrastructure in our data centers, which are necessary to maintain our products, work.
You work across departments. Which department do you belong to or do you have a team behind you?
That’s a bit more complicated. I’m currently in Platform Solutions, to integrate telephony into the Anexia Engine (Cloud Management Platform). But I am also in the R&D department. In both cases I am the technical lead for Voice Services. I say to my colleagues what and how to build something and, of course, I coordinate with the department heads. On the other hand, I am still involved in end customer development at Telematica, a subsidiary of Anexia.
I’ve decided to join Anexia to effectuate something in the industry.
You were self-employed before joining Anexia. What brought you into aemployment relationship?
I’ve decided to join Anexia to effectuate something in the industry. Anexia offers me much more resources than I had before and it relieves me of many tasks: I’m no longer in direct contact with the customer, I don’t have to make sure that I have enough orders and earn enough money to maintain the company. Now I can concentrate on the development and look for something to go ahead. That’s why I came to Anexia. I didn’t just sell the company and went to New Zealand to take care of sheep.
Can you tell us something about your career development?
I’ve studied Software Development, but before graduation I got hired by a company. It was the first time I earned a lot of money, so I immediately bought a motorbike. I drove around with it from Thursday to Tuesday and worked the rest of the week. I still remember that I wrote the number 42 on a piece of paper. That was the time that I would have needed in the company until I could retire. My mindset in the company was different than that of the others. The company was just too rigid for me, there was no flexibility. That’s why I started my own business. Unfortunately, that drastically reduced my quality of life, as I could not drive around the area with my motorcycle. I worked for seven years without a day of vacation. Now you might understand why I wanted to join Anexia. I wanted more free time. But now I am very satisfied.
What does work mean for you?
Hm … all my life I’ve tried to create something. I’ve never asked myself if I liked what I was doing or not. I did it because I was good at it. Working for me therefore means: quality of life. I’ve gained this at Anexia because of a stable income and flexible working hours. I am a workaholic, so I need a certain amount of regulation. This drastically changed my attitude to work over the last few years. Now I’ve realized that bigger plans take longer to build, and I’ve realized that quality of life must be immanent, otherwise you procrastinate until it’s no longer possible. But my product is still my baby and I still want it to be successful and work at an international level – Anexia helps me with this.
When did you develop your interest in VOIP? Where did you get the experience from?Like I told you before I’ve started my own business. My first product was a network monitoring tool, combined with a quality management approach. A company offered me a lot of money for this software, including a development order. In my naivety I rejected it and thought that I could earn much more with it. One year later I did not sell this product once and was bankrupt. Then my business partner and I tried to make money with homepages and web development. We noticed that we need a telephone system, but we had no money. Then I read myself in and built one – of course only with the most necessary functions. A customer also wanted to have one and over time this has developed. There was more and more demand, so an innovative concept had to be developed, which allowed us to manage all customer installations without additional staff. That`s why we developed a product that didn’t require any maintenance in operational care. That was very innovative at the time.
But you also have a hobby, photography. How did that happen?
When I came to Anexia, I bought a camera, because I had free time again. I’ve started to taking pictures in automatic mode and it did not work at all. So I wanted to find out how it works better. Every evening I watched YouTube tutorials for hours. Although my photos were technically perfect, the character was missing. Therefore, I went to a photo academy. I also tried commercial photography. But the problem with customer orders is that you block your personal development and have no time to work on your own portfolio. I did not want that, that’s why I gave it up.
Your’re not taking pictures any longer?
I found out that it is much nicer to do photography without needing a financial return. Of course, you shouldn’t do it for free, but I only take pictures for fun and only accept jobs where I can learn something for myself. But I’m still a videographer and still concentrate on my photo exhibition. It’s probably the wish of every photographer not only to do something in order to make money with it.
How does photography and technology fit together?
The background is – If you are dealing with customer-oriented software, you will eventually feel that you are no longer creative, because you feel more and more like a service provider and not like a developer. If you do that for years, then you forget that you can be creative and just suppress that feeling. My basic idea was to reawaken and explore my creativity and I could live that out in photography.
Do you also need creativity in your work at Anexia?
Yes, I think there is nothing worse than repetition. I would immediately die at assembly-line work. For me, every movement you make twice is uncreative and should be automated. That’s why I like the concept of the Anexia Engine so much, because it’s all about automation. I think creativity is very important and I think it’s the opposite of repetition.
We’ve come to the last question. What would you recommend to someone who wants to do the same as you?
I’ve made all the mistakes you can make. That’s why I couldn’t recommend anyone to do exactly the same as me. But I made up most mistakes and definitely learned a lot from all of them. But what I want to tell everyone: I’m 32 now and I’ve slowly come to my senses. Those who start a business for themselves will quickly find themselves in a shark tank. It is not the technology that overstrains, but the maintenance of the company, which you force, due to lack of capacity of any kind, only operates on the side. That’s why you should certainly consider if you can achieve a lot more in your area with a partnership employment, as in my case with Anexia: with more resources, more leisure time and the understanding of the employer.
Do you also have a project that you would like to develop, but you lack the resources to do so? We are always looking for creative, motivated minds. Follow Petar’s path and apply for one of our open vacancies.