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Communications In the Cloud Blog

Meet the Team | Eugene Likhovid, CTO

December 17, 2018
Eugene Likhovid CTO at S-NET Communications

You are one of S-NET’s original founders. When did you start S-NET?

Alex and I decided to start our own company back in 2005. It was a hobby at first, but it quickly turned into a secondary source of income. Now it’s a part of my lifestyle, it’s my passion.

Where did your career start?

I have always been very excited about the latest and greatest in technology. I fell in love with computer science during my teenage years, when I started building personal computers. A Computer Science degree and numerous Microsoft and Cisco network, security and voice certifications later, I still never purchase a pre-assembled PC, I always build my own.

Where did you work before starting S-NET?

I spent a number of years working at AT&T Global Network Services, managing and supporting the AT&T backbone network. I later joined Pepsi, where I spent nearly a decade working on various projects, from post-acquisition mergers to planning, designing and building new data center facilities, as well as managing network operations and their infrastructure.

What compelled you to leave a Fortune 500 position and start your own company?

Throughout the years of working at fortune 500 companies, I learned a lot, but I was faced with a lot of restrictions and limitations. I was especially frustrated by the long wait times to get even the most basic things done. By starting my own company, I was able to free myself and grow at my own pace.

What was the most challenging about starting a new company in this industry?

At the time, VoIP technology was very new and many organizations were reluctant to adopt it. Delivering the message on the potential of VoIP was not easy. It was also challenging to find new customers and break through IT obstacles while supporting existing clients and onboarding new ones, especially with limited resources. But is was all very exciting at the same time.

It is still tough to stay competitive, keep up with the ever-changing landscape of technology and be flexible enough to deliver good results, but I enjoy the challenge.

What are your primary responsibilities at S-NET right now?

I work in the background to ensure clients get the service they expect. I oversee the network infrastructure and security, as well as the work of the Engineering, Support and Operation teams.

Our client’s success, and ours, depends on good service, so ensuring they are satisfied and their needs are met in a timely manner is crucial. I have a great, diverse team that takes care of them. It is a very rewarding experience for all of us to be able to make other people’s lives easier, help their businesses grow, and be a part of that growth.

Were there any other stages in S-NET’s development that made you particularly proud?

There have been many. The most recent one was the successful acquisition of Strategic Telecommunications and the migration of all their clients to S-NET’s cloud communications platform in less than 90 days. This was a completely new experience for us and we had an extremely tight schedule to avoid service disruptions for all these clients. But it was a great learning experience.

I am also very proud of how far we’ve come. Alex and I started the company with minimal investments, we had no one to rely on but ourselves. Our entire operation was running on a few servers installed in one of our first customers’ storage closet. We had to support it on our own, working countless days, nights and weekends.

Fast forward 13 years, and we now operate out of multiple data centers using state-of-the-art equipment and applications supported by a number of teams. Our products compete with those of Fortune 500 companies. Now that makes me the most proud!

Are there any exciting new projects you are looking forward to?

I am very much looking forward to expanding our operations and presence to the west coast by opening new data center facility. It will be the next natural step, and it will allow us to better serve our clients in the area as well.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my family whenever possible. I have two kids who are enrolled in travel sports, so I get to spend a lot of time on ice rinks and volleyball courts. I also love outdoor activities, like fishing, hunting, camping, and spending quality time on the slopes on the west coast.

Do you have any exciting plans to look forward to?

I am traveling to Russia with my family and friends to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s this year.  And I am also excited about my first ever skiing experience in Europe later this winter.

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