An Interface With Mr.Mark Mullins Product Marketing Manager Fluke Networks
Mark is one of the founding members of Fluke Networks, starting in 1993. He has been involved in all of
the key areas of the business, including cable testing, network troubleshooting and analysis. He
currently oversees the company’s Global Communications efforts, keeping customers and prospects up-
to date on cable testing products and technologies. As a member of the Ethernet Alliance Marketing
Committee, he is responsible for promoting the Gen 2 Power over Ethernet Certification program. He
holds a B.S. in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Washington.
Please Brief Us about Your Role & Job Profile at “Fluke Networks”
I’m the Product Marketing Manager for Fluke Networks, which means that I work with the product development teams to ensure they understand our customers and the markets and also take the new products, once finished, to market. I’m also one of the founding members of Fluke Networks, which means I’ve been with the organization since it started in 1993.
Can You Please Brief Us About Company’s Global Network & Activities?
We sell almost exclusively through resellers worldwide, because they have a relationship with the customers and also provide many of the other products (such as cabling and racks) that they need.
Please Brief Us About Various Product Range.
There are two main jobs that we help customers with: certification and troubleshooting of copper or fiber cabling. Certification is performed before the cabling system is used, to ensure that it can perform as required. The alternative – just plugging things in and seeing if they work – can results in disaster, because networks can operate under marginal conditions. But a small change, such as an upgrade to a higher speed, or even an increase in the ambient temperature can cause the system to fail completely. With a certified system, you know that there is enough margin to ensure operation under real world circumstances. Because people make mistakes like breaking cables and stuff wears out, troubleshooting tools are also necessary. Certification products typically can troubleshoot as well.
Being One of the Leader in Troubleshooting & Installation Tools Provider, How
According To you market has Evolved over the years?
Over nearly 30 years in the industry, the biggest change has been the increase in bandwidth of copper and fiber cables – greater than three orders of magnitude. In the fiber world, that trend has continued over recent years while in the copper world, changes have been going in a different direction – adding Power over Ethernet (PoE) to the cabling. While PoE offers simplicity and cost savings (one cable supplies both data and power), it does place additional requirements on the cable’s performance, making certification more important than ever. And in the industrial world, most new installations are controlled by Industrial Ethernet instead of legacy bus systems.
Of course, customers expect their test equipment to support all these new technologies while being easier to use and more efficient. We think we’ve been on top of that with products like our new LinkIQ Cable+Network Tester.
Which Key Industries Do You Cater to? Please Share Some Of Application Areas.
Nowadays, everybody has a network, so we sell to nearly every industry. However, there are some places where testing is especially critical, such as datacenters, which have a huge number of high-operforamnce connections, and PoE deployments, which are popular for security, A/V and Wi-Fi. Industrrial Automation is a growing part of our business, as the cost of downtime in such applications is prohibitive. We work very closely with the contractors and installers who serve these industries.
What Is Your Marketing Strategy For Indian Market?
Our Marketing Strategy for India is to focus on the Industrial Automation segment as well as promoting and educating our flagship products -VERSIV. We also recently launched the New LIQ for Industrial domain. Apart from these, we are also targeting the Data Center industry (Fiber Tools for managing the Data Center Infrastructure).
Please Brief Us About The Quality Policy For The Business.
When you work at Fluke, you don’t really have a choice when it comes to quality. Our advantage is that our tradition of quality means we have processes and people that know how to produce quality products. We design then for quality and then test them to make sure they will work under a variety of conditions. (See a video on that here.) Quality statistics and defects are tracked continuously to catch the rare product failure. And our software verification testing is just as thorough.
What Is Your Future Vision & Growth Plans for the “Fluke Networks” ?
One of our drives is “democratizing workflows”, which is a fancy way of saying, “make the product easy so that every tech can be an efficient user”. That means really understanding the jobs they have to do and using new technologies to make it easier and faster. We’re also looking at new approaches for fiber testing, and new technologies such as Single Pair Ethernet. Education also drives our growth – we feel that an educated customer is more likely to be a Fluke customer.