After about 2.5 years Sorell Slaymaker decided to swipe left on Gartner.
Many don’t realize how well UC analysts get to know each other. Personally I attend a conference about once a month. I’m a bit of an introvert, but Sorell is pretty good at striking up conversations. I think we met in Boca soon after he started at Gartner. About a year later, after crappy hors d’oeuvres at an LA reception, we opted to get a steak dinner which would become a recurring pattern.
Eric Krapf once said that “Sorell is wicked smart.” I agree and learned a lot from him. He knows a few things about SIP, but oddly he’s never heard of sipping whisky.
His passion truly is telecom and networking. It turned out that our graduate studies in telecommunications overlapped, but we can’t recall if we knew each other (way) back then. Faces are hard, but Sorell can probably remember all of his phone numbers. He has uncanny abilities with numbers: speeds, feeds, and the freezing temperatures of various liquors.
Last December we traveled to Argentina. Probably my most technical business trip. In addition to seeing several telecom vendors we got to visit Alaa from Frost. At a recent conference in Bermuda we spent a day with Art (and Jane) Schoeller exploring the island on scooters. I once met Val (Mrs. Sorell) when I traveled to MN to see my son at school. Sorell met my wife here in Boulder when he attended a conference in Colorado. He even used my phone booth.
It’s interesting to interact with Sorell outside of tech – we sat on my deck and he conversed with my wife about the plants in the yard. He conversed with my son about aviation (they are both pilots) and offered some suggestions on raising chickens.
Sorell traded quadrants for Evangelism. Specifically a startup called 128 Technology which is currently in stealth. I don’t know much about this company. It isn’t Sorell’s first startup. He sold his last one to Cisco years ago. I know that he’s very interested in software defined networking. He also thinks that networking is in for big changes; specifically that enterprise nets will, like other IT resources, become services.
I know it was a tough decision for him to leave Gartner. He (and I) have a lot of respect for some of the folks there. In a relatively short period of time, Sorell extended across several Gartner areas including providers, UC, video, networking, and contact center. Although he enjoyed the work, ultimately I think analyst work was too much reporting and forecasting; and not enough driving for him. He will be much happier evangelizing the cutting edge.
Even better it’s possible that his new employer will allow him to contribute to TalkingPointz which needs more posts on networking. Perhaps he will write on topics such as promiscuous mode and safe networking.