E-Nor is expanding! We are pleased to announce the opening of our newest office in Tampa, Florida. Starting this week, our new location will service the analytics and marketing optimization needs of E-Nor’s clients in the Tampa Bay area and Southeastern United States region. Operations will be led by Principal Partner, Bilal Saleh. We recently sat down for a Q&A session with Bilal, and wanted to share this exciting news with our customers, friends and community.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background.
A: Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the chance to work on cutting-edge technologies with the brightest engineering minds in the industry. I am also fortunate to have worked with visionary marketers pushing disruptive services and business models.
My career began as a software engineer developing chip-level communication protocols for one of the early voice response systems in the industry. I then progressed through various leadership roles including engineering management, business unit head, and then general manager. I established a business unit responsible for engineering, marketing and selling a service delivery platform for developing, deploying and managing mobile applications, which was a major shift in my career. That’s when I started my MBA at Kellogg. At that time, I handled B2B and C2C marketing, business intelligence, data-driven product positioning and pricing, and the mobile applications eco system. I also created business models for service providers and app developers to monetize mobile applications and content, and handled sales funnel management – lead generation, tracking, and nurturing in an extremely complex and competitive telecom environment.
Q: You have been granted three US patents, that’s quite impressive, what did it take?
A: Being a part of a team solving problems at the industry level and shaping the global standards puts you in a unique position that really gravitates you towards innovation. I remember my first patent: I was working late with a colleague, drafting a proposal for one of the T1P1 standards groups and we came up with a simple solution to a complex problem without adding complexity to the network. After brainstorming the solution on the whiteboard, we both looked at each other and said, “This is a patentable idea!” We stayed up all night and drafted the patent application which was granted in less than a year.
Going through the patent filing process is exciting. We had to sell the idea to an internal committee consisting of some of the brightest engineering minds, marketers and, of course, patent lawyers. That was a humbling experience for me.
Q: You have traveled the globe consulting and advising some of the most well-known brands. This is a clear benefit to E-Nor’s customers, share a little of your global experience?
A: Remember, when you are a young and enthusiastic software developer, your world evolves around solving technical problems. When you leave the lab and start talking to customers and listening to their pain points, you quickly realize that technology is just one piece of the puzzle and you start to understand the big picture. Your mindset changes and you start seeing technology as an enabler used by business leaders to achieve economical value for their shareholders.
The fact that I worked with some top global brands/tier-1 service providers to solve business problems using technology, and was exposed to a mix of culturally- and technologically-diverse customers was a big plus. That exposure not only enriched and shaped my view of the role of technology in achieving business goals, but also helped me understand and appreciate my customers’ pain points and focused my energy on developing business solutions. This shift in thinking and mindset forced me to be even more analytical and data-driven, not only from an engineering perspective, but also from a marketing and business intelligence perspective, where deriving insight from all the data one has is a critical factor for success. I think this particular aspect of my experience will enable me to understand our customers’ business objectives and pain points, and to develop practical solutions that achieve measurable results.
Q: What is your vision for the Florida office?
A: E-Nor is a trusted consultant throughout California and beyond. I hope to be able to leverage the company’s expertise and brand, and expand it to the business community in the Tampa Bay area and the whole Southeast. I plan to grow our healthcare and tourism segments, oh, and beat the California office in YoY growth!
Q: As one of the pioneers in the mobile industry, where do you see mobile going?
A: There are a number of studies projecting that the mobile device will become the number one device for accessing the web. Putting this in perspective, and in the context of global brands that are not confined to any specific geographies, you can quickly realize that the volume and variety of data these devices will generate is mind boggling. Being a veteran of the mobile industry and having helped global service providers in developing their mobile applications strategies and business models gives me the ability to look at mobile data in a more meaningful way. For instance, understanding how the location of a consumer influences his/her browsing behavior and purchasing decisions gives a deeper insight into his/her needs and intents. Browsing on a small screen and using touch instead of clicks also influences a user’s web interaction behavior. Understanding these subtleties in user behavior and their impacts on buying decisions will be a fascinating and exciting problem for marketers to solve. We need to be able to decipher “big data” and make sense out of what consumers are looking for.
Q: You have adopted the E-Nor analytics framework and are helping businesses in Florida leverage data to make better business decisions. What are the major marketing and analytics needs you encounter when working with businesses?
A: Businesses need to be discovering how much valuable and insightful data they have at their disposal and figure out to how to leverage it to make more educated decisions. They should replace the guesswork with a data-driven understanding of their customer’s behavior, which ultimately leads to better marketing and business decisions. Business leaders should also develop an understanding of what they are doing well or not so well , i.e. why they are spending too much money on marketing but not realizing great returns. Basically. just help them know what they do not know when it comes to digital analytics!
Q: On the personal side, Feras said that you do two hours of cardio every morning… is that true?!
A: Well, that must have come from Feras, he is raising the bar! I think he is referring to my challenge to my 20-year-old nephew 10 years ago, to do two hours of cardio and burn 20 calories a minute. I do not recall who won the challenge!
Seriously though, starting my day at the gym gives me the energy and the focus I need throughout the day. My 30-minute cardio is the best time to organize my thoughts and plan my day.
Thank you Bilal for this interview, and welcome on board!! For more information on E-Nor’s Southeastern U.S. market, contact Bilal Saleh at (408) 988-0003 ext. 210 or Bilal(at)E-Nor(dot)com.