15 May 2014
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More on me: Rhys Taylor, Aerohive

By Donovan Jackson

Wifi networks are a pretty remarkable achievement for the industry and are at the root of some of the biggest developments in the technology industry in recent times.

That’s what makes Rhys Taylor’s work all the more rewarding; as regional sales manager for Aerohive Networks, he’s right at the forefront of taking WiFi further every day.

Radio networks have played a central role in his career from the very start, Taylor relates. “I enrolled in the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1990 as a telecoms operator, so my background in radio frequency goes back quite a way.

"After nearly seven years, I left to work for what was then Telecom Business Systems as a PABX technician, becoming a presales engineer and then a sales specialist.”

It was around the turn of the millennium that Taylor combined the telecoms side of things with the IT bit, moving into the systems integrator space with Datacom.

What makes the industry appealing, says Taylor, is the pace of change – and in particular, where networking is concerned.

“The progress in mobility is pretty remarkable; the whole BYOD boom is enabled by WiFi and as someone for whom radio has always been an interest, that’s awesome – and it still works for me,” he relates.

Keen as he is on radio, Taylor nevertheless says his fascination doesn’t extend to the ‘ham radio’ hobby. “I’m not quite that bad,” he jests, though admitting he has friends who do indulge.

The power of technology to make a difference is probably best expressed in what Taylor sees as the difference between a good company and bad company.

“That difference comes down to understanding the ‘why’ of the organisation. Most people know what a big company does, but knowing why is more important. For example, Apple makes an effort to see that everyone knows why it exists.”

Aerohive is a little similar in that respect, continues Taylor. “We’re in this industry to support people through their lives and technology has the power to do that.

"It impacts on every aspect of our lives today – for example, my two kids have excellent WiFi at school. The way it improves and enables their interactions is fantastic.”

But boundaries are just as important, Taylor adds. “Technology is part of our lives but it isn’t everything. It was never meant as a substitute for people or friends; some social media stuff is pretty cool and an extension of society.

"Other parts, not so much. Just like you have good neighbourhoods and bad neighbourhoods, you want to stick to the decent ones. And when it comes to guiding your kids, you keep them out of the bad areas.”

The road to success starts by setting goals and working towards them, Taylor believes. “Sometimes you do have to move the goalposts. You have to be pragmatic about that,” he adds.

Inasmuch as personal philosophy, Taylor likes to keep it simple, drawing on the maxim that, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.

"And I’m pretty lucky to have landed a role with a great company in which I believe; it certainly helps working with something that you’re passionate about.”

A family man, Taylor is equally passionate about his two children, who toegther with his wife, accompanied him on a recent trip to the United States.

“With two kids, that pretty much takes up all of the waking hours that I don’t spend working,” he says.

Visit Rhys Taylor's Linked In profile here.

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