Forbes Technology Council members are in a wide range of industries and come from a diverse set of experiences. However, they all have lots of great insights to share, from best practices for technology departments to smart predictions for the future of tech. To showcase their expertise, we’re profiling Forbes Technology Council members here on the blog. This week: Arash Asli.
Arash Asli is CEO and founder of Yocale, an online booking and scheduling platform that connects local businesses with their customers. Arash helps businesses transform into customer-focused companies by embracing new social, mobile and local technologies.
What is your background, and how has it influenced what you do today?
I was born in Tehran and emigrated to Canada when I was 13. My parents gave up a very comfortable life to give me, my brother and sister a better life. My drive was to make sure what they gave up was again worthwhile. In my teen years, I worked three jobs while going to school – and my paradigm has been with this perspective in mind to grow.
My passion started in technology in the early 90s. I switched back and forth between being a techie, working in sales, management, and eventually found my passion in technology management.
I held a variety of roles over the years. I worked as a chief solution architect of an enterprise CRM system, ran a professional services organization, was head of sales consulting, and led worldwide business development. My experience gave me a very diverse background, and I got to travel the world with over 600,000 miles. Over 14 years, that gave me a great global business acumen.
Before my current role, I was executive vice president of another technology company managing a portfolio of a half-billion-dollar mix of enterprise and SMB business solutions. I found my new passion for SaaS and SMBs around social, local, and mobile technologies.
So I started Yocale.com with a vision of connecting local businesses with local consumers, while at the same time bringing technologies that were traditionally complicated and expensive into the hands of local small and medium service providers.
What do you think is the most interesting piece of new technology today? (And/or how do you see the technology landscape changing in the next 5-10 years?)
The most interesting yet scariest technology today is machine learning. We’ve seen how computers have become so smart over the years, but to get them to a point where they can learn to be smart and do things we never thought possible is quite a revolution.
This revolution will bring a new definition to automation. Did you ever think it was possible to have driverless trucks driving thousands of kilometers and going through customs? Well, that’s just the beginning!
What’s your best piece of advice for technology executives to keep on top of the rapidly evolving tech space?
Your biggest competitor is the status quo. Don’t let “vanity metrics” fool you. Dedicate time to read books, blogs or articles to stay on top of trends. Always network, and if you get stuck find someone that can help!