Mike Tindall leads the product development and engineering teams at Commio. While attending Clemson University in 1998, he started his career when he co-founded Tsoft Solutions—a technology company that provided a host of networking services to off-campus locations. Tsoft was purchased by Atlanta-based competitor ClearSky Networks in 2001, hiring Tindall as the Network Operations Manager, where he designed and implemented their WISP back-office systems and network topology. In 2003, he built and ran a top-notch support team for US Networks.
He joined Bandwidth.com in 2005 as Director of Network Services and Sales Engineering until he was approached by Aaron Leon in 2009 with the idea of building a cloud-based routing system which became ThinQ. Last fall, after completing two acquisitions, ThinQ rebranded as Commio (see No. 2 below).
Tindall holds a B.S. from Clemson University, is a “40 under 40” winner, and is one of only 18 OpenSIPS Certified Professionals (OCP) worldwide.
- What is in your pockets?
Literally nothing, because I generally hit my workouts in midday around lunch, so I still have my workout shorts on and I don’t carry things in my pockets.
- What exciting thing has happened recently for you or your organization?
We’re a communications platform as a service company; “CPaaS” is the acronym. What that means is we take communications technologies and turn them into software applications so that other companies can build businesses around customer outreach or lead outreach or engagement, whatever they may be using voice or messaging for.
We’ve had quite a few exciting things happen. We made two acquisitions throughout Covid. One in the SMS messaging space out of Denver, Colo., called Teli, and another one out of Texas called Commio, which is a CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier). And we subsequently rebranded all three entities under the Commio brand. We’ve been working on integration of three companies for the better part of 24 months including adding a lot of really talented folks, which in this market is hard to do organically.
- What is your favorite coffee spot?
Jubala Coffee at Lafayette Village near where I live. I’m a local creature of habit.
- What keeps you up at night?
There are two top things for me because of the current geopolitical state of affairs and being a communications infrastructure platform company. We are constantly evaluating security threats abroad, denial of service, and things like that has been a topic that’s been in the news in our industry in the last few months. We work very hard with our security partners to try to make sure that’s taken care of, but we’re not a nation-state either.
I worry about all of the infrastructure. We saw what happened with Colonial Pipeline, the meat industry and distribution, and the list goes on and on. Think about our way of life as Americans and the degree to which we depend on automation and technology. So bad actors in foreign states is something that’s top of mind for me.
The other piece is on the economic side of things, what’s happening relative to inflation and the cost of goods and the impact that it has on everybody’s wallets, especially our employees and Americans as a whole.
- What is your favorite restaurant or happy hour?
I really enjoy Vinnie’s Steak House off Six Forks in north Raleigh. It’s a great local spot.
- What is next for you or your organization?
Coming out of the integration mode that we’ve been in through these acquisitions, I’m excited to be back in product-development mode as an organization. We’ve got some really cool products we’ve had in our backlog and are now developing that should be exciting for the market and for us.
These are first-to-market ideas around how to address one of the previous questions you asked me, which was what keeps me up? How do you build a more robust, resilient communications infrastructure? Thinking about being able to move your phone numbers around from one network to another on demand, which currently a business can’t do easily. As a big contact center, you can’t do that. So, we’re going to be introducing some business continuity products this year that are extremely important in this hybrid work environment that companies are working in.
I don’t think that we’ll ever see the day we’re a hundred percent in the office. I think that the economy’s going to have to support people that are sort of nomadic and dynamic with their schedules, and there will probably be some office component in there for folks that have to work when they work better that way. And the folks that work better in a remote or a hybrid environment, we have to accommodate that. So, we’re really adapting our products shaped to fit that malleable work scenario.