Can you tell us a little about yourself Werner?
Werner Scholz: I grew up in Vienna, Austria and went to university there. After I finished my PhD I moved to the U.S. to work for the computer hard drive manufacturer Seagate Technology in their R&D division. After almost 12 years with Seagate, I moved with my wife and family to Melbourne.
How did the connection with XENON come about?
WS: Looking for jobs online I came across an opening at XENON which was a sales position. Even though I did not have any direct experience in the sales area I still thought “Well, it’s an interesting company, they’re closely related to what I’ve been doing – why not apply and see what happens?”
Although the sales role was not a good fit, XENON was looking to fill a leading technical position as well. That job was the perfect fit and it is really working out great so far!
How does Working at XENON compare with other companies you’ve worked at?
WS: At XENON I have the opportunity to wear a lot of different “hats” and contribute to various aspects of the company. I feel I can make a difference to the success of the company in a more direct way than in my previous roles. Also, I am interested in not only R&D and the technical areas but also working directly with customers and developing new systems to address their needs.
What do you see as a challenge to the computing industry today?
WS: As an industry we are racing to adapt to the overall transition from desktop and laptop computers to mobile devices – including the need for huge infrastructures and servers in the background that these devices can communicate with. There are many companies looking at hardware and software solutions on both sides and that’s where we have to be very quick to adapt. We’re working to deliver precisely the tools, servers and software solutions required to address those needs and be an industry-leader.
What areas will you be most focused on at XENON?
WS: One area I want to specifically focus on is how we can add value to the solutions we’re delivering to customers – on top of the hardware we’re providing. I want us to deliver turn-key solutions – completely integrated packages – so we can solve our customers’ needs right away.
12 months from now – what would you like to celebrate achieving in your past year at XENON?
WS: I’d like to celebrate several big customer wins in terms of integrated solutions, so that we’re not just delivering components but fully-integrated solutions. We have a wealth of experience, in areas that allow us to bring together solutions that address specific customer needs that we can then offer to the Australian and international markets.
Chief Technology Officer
Your name appears on multiple patents and over 80 industry publications and white papers. Can we expect more of the same in this role?
WS: I think effectively communicating new technologies to customers is of great importance. At XENON we want to get word out about the new solutions we’re developing to highlight what our products can achieve and what added value we can deliver to our customers. So, we are planning on writing white papers which show our customers what we can offer and what our solutions can provide that you can’t find anywhere else. At the same time we will make sure that we protect our R&D investments and intellectual property, which are a critical asset in this fast paced industry.
One specialty at XENON is their HFT (High Frequency Trading) servers. How do you see this area developing over the coming months?
WS: There are two driving forces for HFT servers. One is CPU performance which XENON is actively pushing to the limits and working hard to design systems that are beyond what the current technology is capable of. But at the same time we’re making sure they’re as reliable and stable as required by the financial industry as it is an area you literally don’t want to miss a heartbeat in.
The other driving force is the critical nature of the network interface. So we are working with our partners to deliver solutions which take more and more load off of the operating system and the CPU and integrate it directly into the interface. That way we are much closer to the wire and can reduce latency even further.