Network Connections: EMTM Students Work Together
to Grow Tech Company
Mikhail Malamud EMTM’10 was more than a little busy in September, 2008, when he began the program. Just a couple weeks earlier, he had also started a new position as VP of Product Development and Marketing at the brand new startup Freedom Open Source Solutions. Despite the challenges of that first year, however, Malamud has found that EMTM has had an invaluable impact on his company’s growth and his own success.
Headquartered in Newtown, PA, with offices on both coasts, Freedom OSS is a professional services organization which works with customers to adopt and take advantage of innovative open source solutions, including cloud computing.
Cloud computing enables companies to provision computing infrastructure using web services from major cloud providers. Benefits of cloud computing are substantial and allow companies to improve time to market, reduce costs, scale on demand and reduce carbon footprint.
Cloud computing enables companies to tap into a virtual data center instead of maintaining in-house hardware for this purpose. (The typical data center occupies several thousand square feet and consumes several megawatts of electricity per day, but might only be utilized 10-20 percent of that time.)
Freedom Open Source Solutions offers a peer-managed services platform that allows companies to operate in the cloud while improving availability, security, governance and transparency.
Since 2008, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies have embraced cloud computing technology and the company has doubled its revenues and grown overall by 300 percent. “We’ve found that more and more organizations are looking to leverage this technology,” Malamud says.
The growth has also precipitated the need for new staff. Fortunately, Malamud has found two perfect job candidates at EMTM. “When the time came to hire two senior executives for our company, the two guys on the top of my list were fellow students from EMTM. I knew they would be able to handle whatever challenges the company faced not just because they have the right skills but because they have the ability to solve problems they’ve never encountered before.”
Malamud says that working in a dynamic space in a competitive landscape requires competency across a wide array of areas. He was looking for candidates with presentation and communication skills, a strong financial background, an understanding of product design, and a facility with both strategic management and human resource management. Because the company’s business model also relies on partnerships with other companies, marketing savvy was another major criteria.
One of his new recruits, Vladislav Vilensky EMTM’10, now heads up the West Coast office as client partner for strategic accounts. Prior to coming to Freedom, Vilensky had been working in IT and business consulting, most recently at Cognizant, helping companies in a range of industries establish large-scale internal systems. “I had been offering Mikhail some advice from an operational standpoint for about a year and a half. Then he eventually offered me a job,” Vilensky says.
Vilensky knew from working side by side with Malamud on a number of class projects that they shared similar values and would perform well together in a business situation. He also found the opportunity to help build an increasingly visible company with a potentially disruptive technology compelling. With his experience, he was well suited to the job. “My audience here is C-suite executives. They needed someone who could not just talk about the sales aspects but who would know the technology and operations behind it and could answer the hard questions on the spot.”
Vilensky has found that what he calls EMTM’s “trifecta” of critical classes Technology Entrepreneurship, Management of Technology and Strategic Management have very directly prepared him for positioning the company’s offerings for the right market segments. A recent class in Enterprise Software Development helped him prepare specifically for working with cloud computing technology.
Malamud, too, has found that the program has helped him not only to find personnel but also to evolve in his own role at Freedom. “In my job, I do a lot of management of technology projects and these are not like managing any other kind of project because you’re always working with a moving target. Identifying risks and developing a strategy to execute the project are critical.” Malamud says.
In addition, Malamud says the program’s strategy courses have helped him position his products to appeal to customers in a quickly shifting market. A class in corporate finance has also given him the tools to work out multiyear contracts with complicated pricing and cost structures for his government clients.
In all, the benefits of EMTM have been substantial. “I’ve really grown professionally as a result of EMTM, and we’ve taken our business from revenue losses to multimillion dollar profits,” Malamud says. “And on the personal side, EMTM has been a huge learning experience for me. My life has been transformed by it.”
“When the time came to hire two senior executives for our company, the two guys on the top of my list were fellow students from EMTM. I knew they would be able to handle whatever challenges the company faced not just because they have the right skills but because they have the ability to solve problems they’ve never encountered before.”
Mikhail Malamud, EMTM’10
“My audience here is C-suite executives. They needed someone who could not just talk about the sales aspects but who would know the technology and operations behind it and could answer the hard questions on the spot.”
Vladislav Vilensky, EMTM’10