Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, and what is your background?

Hi! I’m Marcus Kitchens. I started my career as a GIS Analyst for a Houston, TX based firm after graduating college and interning @ Esri. After working in Houston for two years, I joined NISC as a MapWise Support Specialist. At NISC, I helped their members solve any mapping questions/concerns that they had. While @ NISC, I focused on the Telecom side of things. I spent three years @ NISC before I had the opportunity to work for Esri as an Account Manager for Local Government out of the St. Louis Regional Office. In this role @ Esri, I helped cities/counties (under 50k in population) in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky modernize their ArcGIS platform. I worked in this role @ Esri for (almost) 5 years before joining COS Systems as a Senior Sales Executive. I’m ecstatic to be a part of this great team @ COS Systems and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

What caught your interest in COS Systems?

COS’ end-to-end-automation approach is what ‘caught my interest.’ I’m a big fan of automation when it comes to helping people with their work. The GREAT team spirit and the dedication to customers at COS Systems piqued my curiosity, too. I love working with a fun team dedicated to helping their customers. So – COS Systems was a no-brainer. The chance of participating in Fika may have played a role, too 😉 

What are your goals for the coming months?

To learn as much as possible about how our software works and how our software can help deliver services to the community! Also, I look forward to meeting my COS Systems colleagues and getting to know them.

Why should people contact you and press the “connect with Marcus” button?

We want to connect as many people as possible to fast and reliable internet. However, building, running, and operating fiber networks that can offer just that is extremely complex, and we have made it our goal to make it as automated, effective, and viable as possible. As part of the Sales Team, I would love to have a conversation about how COS Systems can make your job easier. No matter if you are a traditional operator who wants to offer your subscribers a better customer experience or if you own an Open Access Wholesale Network and want to increase take-rates and extend the number of services on your network – we can help automate your processes from beginning to end; from broadband survey and demand aggregation to zero-touch provisioning and automated, (wholesale) billing.

Tell us fun facts about yourself.

I can play the piano! I have 2 long-haired dachshunds that are a bundle of cuteness, but both of them keep me busy with their shenanigans. I LOVE riding bikes whether it’s mountain biking, gravel biking, road biking, or even an exercise bike! I love it all when it comes to biking. One of my dreams is to follow the Tour de France in person. I’ve been watching it on TV for 20+ years with my dad. I would love to see it in real life one day.

A lot is happening in the industry in the US at the moment – The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access and to bridge the Digital Divide, and our US team is growing. To be at the right place at the right time, our CEO Mikael Philipsson has moved from Sweden to Florida and below you find a short interview with him where he tells us about his plans for the coming months:

Good morning Mikael, you moved from Sweden to Florida a couple of weeks ago – can you tell us a little bit about your background and your move to the US?

Good morning! Well, first of all, it is very exciting to be here in the States as it makes it much easier to drive our expansion in the US and Canada. We moved here at the beginning of August, so we have had some time to get used to the nice and sunny Florida summer weather. We already feel at home, and being closer to our US team is amazing.

My background is within the telecom industry, where I’ve spent a good 20 years. My main experience is from the operator side, as I was the CEO of a fiber operator that built fiber infrastructure across the Nordic region, addressing large enterprises and offering wholesale fiber to large carriers. About ten years ago, the company made a strategic decision to move into the residential market, and since then, has addressed millions of homes with it’s fiber-to-the-home offering. 

With this background, having personally faced all the challenges you meet when scaling an FTTH business, I got very attracted to what COS had developed, and that quickly made me take the step from my initial position on the board of directors to taking on the role as CEO a little over two years ago.

COS’s software was built during the crazy fiber race that started in Sweden in the early 2000s when there was a need for solutions like COS Business Engine that enable extremely fast growth through automation and optimization of both the revenue side and the network operations. This combination is unique and what operators, who are the same situation as we were 10 years ago, are dreaming of.  

The fiber race is taking off here in North America now, so this is really the place to be. We have been active in the US since 2013, and we have an amazing team here. We are expanding as we see a strong demand from fiber operators in the need for software to support their growth and optimize the KPIs driving their business. 

What are your plans for the coming months?

I will focus on growing the team here, meeting up with customers/partners, and attending several conferences: in mid-October, I will attend INCOMPAS in Tampa and Calix ConneXions in Vegas at the end of October. 

Finally, I am really looking forward to using my and the team’s joint experienc and software suite to help operators in this market to excel in the fiber race and to avoid the mistakes we made. Fiber infrastructure is a game-changer and hugely impacts all aspects of our society as exactly everything is digitized. COS Systems has an active role to play in this fiber race. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I and the team don’t want to miss!

Don’t hesitate to connect with me!