What is the Office of the CTO? What's it for? What does it do?

When I tell people that I work for the Office of the CTO at Extreme Networks, I often assume that people know the department’s role in a technology company. However, I always get myself in trouble with assumptions, so maybe it is a good idea to clearly define what the Office of the CTO at Extreme Networks actually does.

My co-worker, Jon Filson said once, “If the newspaper industry had an Office of the CTO, 30 years ago, it would have invented the Internet.” That’s really the main role of an Office of the CTO: Lead the technological vision for the company so that it can continue to evolve and exist. Figure out the future, please, today, or as soon as possible.

First, you need to understand the position of the CTO. A chief technology officer (CTO) is the executive in charge of an organization's technology intuitive and research and development (R&D). The CTO evaluates an organization's immediate and long-term needs to make the best monetary investments and internal resource commitments to achieve company objectives.

The CTO is one of the key executives that drive a company's vision and technology strategy while at the same time considering the needs of the company's customers as a top priority. The CTO at Extreme Networks is Nabil Bukhari, who also developed the futuristic vision of the world that is the Infinite Enterprise. Under his watch, we’re all working on creating tech that will build that world of the future.

The Office of the CTO is a multi-disciplinary team committed to developing and commercializing technologies that can be disruptive in the industry. The general goal of the Office of the CTO is not just to come up with ideas for new products and innovations but to also bring these ideas and concepts to market and deliver revenue and profit. As a result, this team should always be customer-focused -- it’s not just making tech for tech’s sake.

Ultimately, the Office of the CTO is a unit within Extreme with tasked with multiple roles:

  • Investigate technologies of the future
  • Innovation of new technologies
  • Incubator for new technologies
  • Thought leadership in the high-tech world

We report to Nabil, but we’re led on a day-to-today basis by Markus Nispel, VP of International Markets, Office of the CTO. And here’s an Easter Egg for you, since you made it this far: Markus took the time from his day to record the voice-over for the video at the top of this post -- that’s him in the white shirt at the 25-second mark.


About the Author
David Coleman
Director, Wireless Networking at the Office of the CTO

David D. Coleman is the Director of Wireless Networking at the Office of the CTO for Extreme Networks. David is a technology evangelist, public speaker and proficient author.

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