Yoon-Soon thrives amid change. Even discomfort. That’s why he tends to shake things up in his life every couple of years. Before he and his Synnapex cofounder decided to start their own IT services firm, Yoon-Soon had spent 14 years pushing past his limits and quickly climbing up the corporate ladder. He started as a technical support specialist, moved to the United States where he worked as a solution engineer before returning to Canada. Yoon-Soon continued to work his way up with various IT firms as a Cisco network engineer. He later led a Unified Communications and Cloud Collaboration team.
As President and CEO of Synnapex, Yoon-Soon focuses on cultivating the vibrant culture at his fast-growing growing organization. More than two-thirds of the team are technical pros that Yoon-Soon and his cofounder have personally trained to bridge the gap between business goals and technical solutions.
“The company wouldn’t exist without that strong technical focus and logical approach embedded throughout our processes,” says Yoon-Soon, certified in Routing and Switching, and Unified Communications CCIEs.
Yoon-Soon’s vision has always been to serve customers as an extended team of IT experts. Differentiating Synnapex from the sea of sales-driven IT firms, Yoon-Soon takes pride in long-term partnerships over winning deals.
Entrepreneurship and technology are part of Nicky’s DNA. Before he dreamed of building an IT services firm, Nicky spent his teen years assembling electronic parts and fixing taxi radios. Fast forward to today, and Nicky is the same hardworking guy with a vision. Except now, he leads a company that executes more than 100 enterprise IT projects every year.
As Executive Vice President, Nicky is the big-picture thinker, pursuing the company’s high-growth strategy and redefining its goals.
“The world is changing. Technology is changing,” Nicky says. “If get comfortable and stay still, I’d be falling behind”.
Just like his co-founder, Nicky is constantly exploring outside his comfort zone. Both of them are fiercely motivated to be the best in business and technical know-how. That drive, in fact, is how Nicky and his co-founder initially bonded over studying for Cisco’s certification exam nearly two decades ago.
Nicky holds three CCIEs: Routing and Switching, Voice and Security. Prior to starting Synnapex, he designed multi-cluster collaboration deployments for call centres, network architectures for banks and pharmaceutical companies, and led business strategy at various IT firms in Canada and the United States.
As the Director of Services responsible for overseeing Professional Services, Managed Services and Project Management at Synnapex, Pauline is passionate about asking the right questions to feed her fascination with information, processes and people. It’s her naturally curious approach that transforms her teams and optimizes operations.
“What I enjoy is empowering employees to have the confidence to make decisions,” says Pauline, who focuses on helping the Synnapex team members grow as individuals. “I empower the team members by teaching them to have assurances and confidence.”
With over two decades of experience in the automotive and financial industries, Pauline uses her Six Sigma and Lean Sigma Certification training to optimize processes and operations. She enjoys ripping processes apart, asking questions to understand how it should work and then, putting an optimal solution together. The result? Stripping out unnecessary workflows, adding value to other roles and growing individuals.
Pauline spent 18 months in a sales role learning about Synnapex and their customer’s needs and experience. “This role provided invaluable information that you can’t get sitting in the back shop” she explained. Understanding our customer’s needs while balancing that with, both the needs of business and employees, is the science that intrigues Pauline.
When you ask Pauline what drives her, it’s the satisfaction of contributing to the individual’s success or to a positive outcome for the business and employees (just as she does in her spare time with event planning—she loves to see the smiles on people's faces). It’s that feeling of helping and empowering people.
Adam is the brains behind many of the solutions Synnapex proposes to its clients, recommending the right Cisco solutions and the optimal implementation strategy to put everything together on time and on budget.
With a CCIE certification in Routing and Switching, Adam specializes in assembling in-depth solutions providing the implementation, design, testing and optimization of integrated enterprise networks, with an added focus on full integration of Cisco Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies.
Known for his “get it done” attitude, Adam dives into every project with many questions. He’s serious about understanding the customer’s business goals, how departments work together, and how they communicate. Every piece of the puzzle helps him design custom solutions with precision.
“I’ve always been the type to take things apart and put them together,” says Adam, remembering his first internship performing supply chain integration at an electronics manufacturing company, or at home building and reassembling personal computers for family and friends. Although he later specialized in the networking and collaboration fields, he became fascinated with how all the different components worked together as one—not just the technologies, but the people who will ultimately use those systems.
The human side of technology triggered Adam’s curiosity, which continues to strengthen his ability to design comprehensive solutions. With every customer site he visited in his engineering and architect roles, he has observed the way different corporate environments work and do business together. He has talked with teams from all different departments and studied how organizations structure their IT systems around them.
As the Solution Architect at Synnapex, Adam stresses the importance of clear communication at every step. Whether he’s talking to a CIO or a general manager, he makes sure all parties discuss the business goals before going deeper into the technical solutions that will enhance business outcomes.
In a typical week, Giorgio could be talking with a mining company one day, a financial institution the next day, and a healthcare provider the day after that. With every meeting, he’s listening intently, learning about the company’s IT needs and then collaborating with his team to design solutions. Every vertical has its own language, and Giorgio loves the challenge of speaking all of those languages.
Giorgio is a Solution Architect at Synnapex. He meets with prospective and existing customers, and he’s instrumental in building long-term relationships starting with those early discussions.
“The most important thing we can do is listen to the customer,” says Giorgio, who stresses that point when training the technical sales team at Synnapex. “We’re looking for customers that want more of a partnership, not just a service provider to deploy one switch.”
With more than a decade of experience designing, implementing and maintaining Cisco Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies, Giorgio takes pride in seeing how his work has impacted enterprise customers over the long haul.
“We see customers come back years later needing an upgrade on a system, and then I realize, ‘Oh I built that five years ago!’ It’s a great feeling,” he says.
As a Solution Architect at Synnapex, Michael is adamant about perfection—or getting as close to it as possible. He’s proudly obsessed with details and is relentless about finding ways to optimize workflow. The more efficiently Synnapex works, customers ultimately benefit.
“Everything is under the microscope for me,” says Michael, crediting his nitpicky nature to his technical background. He holds a CCIE certification in Routing and Switching. His other areas of expertise include network design, wireless design, collaboration edge architecture, voice-enabled networks and security.
If you ask Michael what drives him to be the best, he’ll tell you about the power of the underdog. An avid hockey player, he’s often the shortest player on the ice at 5 feet, 5 inches tall. Yet he never backs down from chasing the puck out of a corner, even if it means getting surrounded by giants twice his size. His battle scars from knee and shoulder surgeries prove he never gives up.
Michael brings his that same competitive edge to Synnapex. Joining the team in the early stages of the company in 2015, he was attracted to the idea of building an organization with unbeatable technical expertise.
Today, Synnapex continues to grow and Michael plays an important role fostering company culture among the department managers and engineers. Whether that means teaching team members technical skills “the Synnapex way” or playing Super Smash Brothers together, Michael believes that strong teams are critical to the company’s success. “As long as you have happy engineers,” Michael says, “you have productive engineers.”
Blair is driven to find the right solutions. Blending his inquisitive nature, 18 years in the IT industry and a background in technical sales, Blair has an innate ability to ask a multitude of relevant questions. This skill, combined with his different way of thinking, helps Blair understand what the customer needs.
“I'm always curious to find out what was the cause,” says Blair in response to what drives him to be his best. “My desire is to get to the root of the problems. In fact, I take it personally to find the solution.”
Blair’s passion for troubleshooting, investigating and solving problems is evident among his team members and customers. Not only does he take time to really listen to the customer to understand the problem deeply, but he is also meticulous in searching for a solution that even the manufacturer hasn't seen yet; he enjoys the process of finding the correct answer.
Blair’s patience, inquisitiveness and empathetic ability to put himself in his customer’s shoes are his biggest strengths as the Manager of Managed Services. He believes that leading his team by example empowers them to continually bring new ideas forward, stay curious and delve deep to find the source of any problem. The result is providing customers with specific solutions to their problems.
Michael has a hunger to learn. Constantly. He loves immersing himself with knowledge, information and practical experience. After all, he earned his CCIE Certification in Internetworking Collaboration and is continuously learning new technologies to expand his skills by being focused, coachable and learning from every different direction. He credits his skill of knowing how to deeply absorb knowledge from his university days.
“If you can explain it to a 5 year old, it means you know it really well,” says Michael, who uses this as his attitude to learning. “Unless I can explain the technical complexities to clients in a way that anyone can understand, then I don't know it well enough.”
With over five years of complex technical experience combined with his strong communication skills, Michael stepped into the role of an in-house trainer for Synnapex clients. This led to the opportunity to provide technical support for a Webex event hosting the Prime Minister of Canada, which Michael humbly describes as “being lucky to work with Cisco and technically moderate the meeting.”
Michael’s communication skill is his biggest strength in his roles as a Solution Engineer and Professional Services Team Lead. He uses this skill to genuinely understand people. Whether that is his clients’ needs or his team members’ individual expertise, he uses this skill to create a customized technical solution with the right team members.
When you ask Michael what drives him, it’s his passion for technology, love of learning and teaching others. He believes and lives by the quote: “success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success. If you love what you're doing, you will be successful.”
Kyle is self-motivated to constantly improve and strive. With over eight years of technical experience in the IT industry, Kyle implements, learns and guides his team to be the best. His passion, discipline and self-motivation are evident as he works towards receiving his CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification after earning his CCIE Certification in Internetworking Collaboration in 2016.
“It isn't just the technical aspects that I care about,” says Kyle in answer to why he joined Synnapex as a Solution Engineer. “Here we work on IP devices, programs and servers, but, at the end of the day, it’s people that we’re dealing with, and that’s what I care most about.”
Kyle’s caring attitude towards his customers and every individual in his team is his biggest strength in his role as a Professional Services Team Lead. He believes that creating and maintaining a caring culture amongst the team while motivating them to become better at what they do, is the foundation for providing customers with high-quality, personalized service.
Kyle is passionate about being a good influence amongst his team members and creating trust with his customers. His secret? A strong work ethic, which started in his childhood with the disciplined learning of the piano, trumpet and violin, combined with the motivation to continuously improve. Although some people describe Kyle as a perfectionist, it is the appreciation from a happy customer, and the feeling of achievement for a project successfully implemented that drives Kyle to keep learning, continue studying and constantly improve. He sums up this feeling of helping others in one word—“priceless.”
As a Project Manager responsible for managing projects at Synnapex, Mike is steadfast about being organized and focused on details. His clear, logical and structured thought process allows him to successfully oversee complex projects while developing high-performance teams.
Mike uses his systematic thought process combined with his experience and training to create consistent, efficient and improved processes. He is able to cut through the noise by asking the right questions to identify underlying issues and concerns and uncover what is really important to the project and the client. Mike says, “by asking the right questions, you can uncover deficiencies without needing to fully understand what they really are.”
With over two decades of varied project management experience, Mike brings in-depth knowledge of customer service, managing complex projects and identifying project pitfalls before they become a problem. This insight led Mike to develop a series of project management templates for project delivery, tracking and reporting—creating governance and consistency across the business.
When you ask Mike, what is his motto in life, it is to work smarter, not harder. It is the satisfaction of planning and executing successful projects for his clients, using defined processes, robust plans and teamwork (a key reason he also enjoys following Formula One auto racing in his spare time). “If you plan it right,” Mike says, “then execution is easy.”