FEATURED EMPLOYEE

How infosec engineers like Felix in our Security Operations Center set SYSCOM Global Solutions apart

Role:

Assistant Manager

Division:

Security Operations Center

Location:

New York Office

Expertise:

Coding

Hobbies:

Tinkering with cars & scooters

Experience:

8 years at SYSCOM

Role

Assistant Manager

Division:

Security Operations Center

Location:

New York Office

Expertise:

Coding

Hobbies:

Tinkering with cars & scooters

Experience:

8 years at SYSCOM

Meet Felix Khor, Assistant Manager SYSCOM Global Solutions’ Security Operations Center in New York. He grew up in Chinatown, lives in Brooklyn, and joined SYSCOM as a Systems Engineer right after graduating from his alma mater, Stony Brook University.

And for the past eight years, he’s been one of SYSCOM’s secret weapons. So secret, in fact, that even he doesn’t know it.

Drawn to computers from a young age, Felix picked Computer Science as a major all the way back in high school so he could “be a coding monkey, sitting behind my desk typing at a keyboard.” For a self-proclaimed introvert who claims to not like talking to people, it sounded like a dream career. “I thought I could just work on a computer all day and not have to talk to anybody for 30-40 years until I retired.”

So why is SYSCOM sending him across the country and even overseas to interface with clients and talk to new customers?

“I was originally never meant to be hired,” says Felix, with a laugh. “I was fresh out of college and they were looking for somebody more experienced, and my interview… wasn’t so great.” But someone at SYSCOM saw something in him, and took a chance. “I could’ve worked for one company, let’s say a bank, and just done PCs all day. Just talked to the same people, like my boss and whoever else, and I never would have talked to anybody else ever again. I don’t think that would’ve been the same experience.”

As an integral part of the Security Operations Center, Felix has come to understand the importance of knowing the ins and outs of each client’s business. Without a specialized managed SOC service catered to a client’s specific needs like the one Felix and his team provides, companies leave themselves open to attack and theft. But thanks to their always-on monitoring, assessment, escalation and reporting, his clients rest easy knowing someone who understands their business is on the case.

For Felix, the key to his success has been the breadth of experience he’s gained working for multiple clients across different industries. “In order for IT to work properly, you have to know about that particular company. You need to know the client’s industry. What works for one company won’t work for another.” Treating a factory that works with dangerous chemicals like a factory that makes car parts could lead to damages or dangerous spills, for example. “It expanded my horizon and my vision. I can look into things and question them. I can ask, ‘Is this actually the best way? Can we do it better?’”

In order for IT to work properly, you need to know more than IT. You need to know the client’s industry.

Felix Khor

Assistant Manager, Security Operations Center

That curiosity and broad, general knowledge across multiple industries—as opposed to deep but constrained expertise within one—has given Felix a confidence and easy relatability that has made him a crucial asset. He can get along with anyone, is eager to learn something new about everything, and already knows IT better than the back of his hand. It enables him to dive fully into unfamiliar situations (even when he doesn’t know the language), learn on his feet, and figure out what solution a client actually needs—instead of what he should sell them on.

Leading with solutions instead of sales pitches is key to the SYSCOM approach, and Felix has run with it. “I’m able to come up with the actual solution, not just a prescribed one. I look at things from a human perspective, not just IT. I try to see what they’re struggling with, and help them along the way.” Process and documentation are important, of course, but in Felix’s view, they can obstruct progress at bigger outfits. “Big companies have more structures in place, so they’re not as flexible as we are. SYSCOM can make decisions on the fly, without waiting for politics or red tape. I diagnose a problem, present a plan, and do it.”

At the heart of this solutions-focused approach is what drives the entire SYSCOM business: trust.

Building trust between engineers and clients and protecting that trust, even at the expense of more sales or bigger profits, is what sets us apart. It’s why, in an industry with an average customer retention of a few years, SYSCOM has maintained ongoing client partnerships for 10 years or more. And it’s engineers like Felix—engineers that make up over 70% of our entire workforce—that enable us to be this nimble, reliable, and trustworthy.

As we discussed the past, Felix also looked to the future. “We have untapped markets we can get into. SYSCOM being responsible and talking to customers on a human level breaks down a lot of barriers other companies would have.” He even has an eye on where he might be best used within the company, too. “I’m not a part of the future business team, but I hope to be. I miss being able to interface and talk with people. COVID has taken that away, for now.”

He’s still realizing what a strength his appetite for new experiences and people is. “I don’t see my ability to relate to people as a strength, I just see it as normal, everyday conversation.”

In an industry inundated with sales and short on solutions, the ability to simply talk to people in a friendly way about innovative products—and to get them to naturally trust you—isn’t just a strength. It’s a company’s future.

Leading with solutions instead of sales pitches is key to the SYSCOM approach, and Felix has run with it. “I’m able to come up with the actual solution, not just a prescribed one. I look at things from a human perspective, not just IT. I try to see what they’re struggling with, and help them along the way.” Process and documentation are important, of course, but in Felix’s view, they can obstruct progress at bigger outfits. “Big companies have more structures in place, so they’re not as flexible as we are. SYSCOM can make decisions on the fly, without waiting for politics or red tape. I diagnose a problem, present a plan, and do it.”

At the heart of this solutions-focused approach is what drives the entire SYSCOM business: trust. Building trust between engineers and clients and protecting that trust, even at the expense of more sales or bigger profits, is what sets us apart. It’s why, in an industry with an average customer retention of a few years, SYSCOM has maintained ongoing client partnerships for 10 years or more. And it’s engineers like Felix—engineers that make up over 70% of our entire workforce—that enable us to be this nimble, reliable, and trustworthy.

As we discussed the past, Felix also looked to the future. “We have untapped markets we can get into. SYSCOM being responsible and talking to customers on a human level breaks down a lot of barriers other companies would have.” He even has an eye on where he might be best used within the company, too. “I’m not a part of the future business team, but I hope to be. I miss being able to interface and talk with people. COVID has taken that away, for now.”

He’s still realizing what a strength his appetite for new experiences and people is. “I don’t see my ability to relate to people as a strength, I just see it as normal, everyday conversation.”

In an industry inundated with sales and short on solutions, the ability to simply talk to people in a friendly way about innovative products—and to get them to naturally trust you—isn’t just a strength. It’s a company’s future.

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