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Forward Networks was just named a Great Place to Work in the Bay Area by Fortune. We’re excited to be on this list in an area known for setting the bar high when it comes to treating employees well. Perks are nice, but perks alone don’t get 100% of employees to say they work at a great company — that comes down to people and culture. And 100% of my colleagues said that Forward Networks is a Great Place to Work, beating the national average by 43%.

During my first conversation with a recruiter, I knew in my heart that there was something special about Forward Networks. Throughout the rest of the interview process – my hunch was confirmed, everyone I spoke to was smart, dedicated, and authentic. I knew it was the kind of environment where I could be myself, keep learning, face challenges, and thrive.

I love our platform, and I’m so happy to be working with a technology I believe in – but for me, the best part of Forward Networks is the people I get to work with. Everyone is committed to doing what’s best for our customers.

About two months into my tenure, we had our first hackathon. I’ve always experienced hackathons as a (well-earned) week for engineers to go play with their toys without regard to practical application. That’s not how my amazing co-workers approached it.

Every team focused on resolving a challenge our customers had experienced. Founders worked on teams with junior engineers – side by side as equals. Best of all – we incorporated several of the teams' suggestions into shipped product within a quarter. This is because everyone checked their ego and truly collaborated to support our customers. It’s also because we have some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with on staff.

I’ve always appreciated working with smart people; I mean, who doesn’t? But sometimes it can be intimidating to ask questions. That’s never been the case here. People are not only willing to share knowledge, but to ask for your expertise as well. We all sit down to lunch together once a week – from our founders and executive leaders to the newest kid on the block.

I asked some of my co-workers why they think Forward Networks is a great place to work, and while the answers were unique, the themes of trust, empowerment, and people rose to the top. Here are some of the responses:

“I enjoy the level of autonomy I have in doing my job. I also appreciate that I have the full support of management anytime I need it.”

– Jack Shen, Customer Success

“Forward Networks fully supports its people. When I decided to pursue a master's degree that required me to move overseas, I had the full support of my team and leaders to pursue my dream and continue to contribute to the company.”

– Aditya Chakraborty, Design

“The people at Forward Networks exhibit a high level of integrity. They are dedicated, smart, hard-working, accountable, and responsive. I can trust them implicitly. At the same time, our product is amazing. There’s no other networking software offering like this in the industry, and we are just getting started.”

– Andi Voellmy, Principal Engineering Manager

“The Forward Networks platform is software I wish I’d had access to earlier in my career. We’re breaking new ground around network digital twins, and I get to be on the forefront of this development all the while working with great people that I trust and appreciate.”

– Tyson Henrie, Customer Success

“Forward Networks understands how to hire and empower people that exhibit a desire for continuous learning and growth. We have lots of people in the company that went to top schools, and we have people with non-traditional backgrounds. We all work together with mutual respect and trust which makes this a great place to work."

– Scott Arky, IT Manager

I feel so fortunate to be at this company with these people. Sure, we have a game room, happy hours, lunches, and great benefits, but none of that matters if the company culture is unappealing. We have a secret sauce that can’t easily be replicated; we have talent, trust, empowerment, and support, combined with the excitement of solving “unsolvable” problems. And … we’re hiring. Check out the careers page if you want to be as happy at work as we are!

Forward Networks is a winner in the 2022 Business Insights Excellence in Customer Service Awards. We are over the moon — because our customers are our top priority.

Our platform addresses unprecedented network complexity by collecting configuration and state data for all devices in the network and indexing it in a vendor-agnostic way. The platform collects data across physical, cloud, and virtual environments to help network, security, and cloud engineers make the network more predictable, agile, and secure by providing immediate access to actionable information.

Based on an advanced mathematical model, Forward Enterprise creates a network digital twin of an enterprise environment across on-premises devices and hybrid multi-cloud environments. IT teams can instantly troubleshoot, verify intent, prove compliance, and predict network behavior by computing all possible traffic paths.

Put more simply, we make hard stuff easy for IT engineers, so they can spend time on proactive projects. And we enjoy doing it! In a recent employee survey, one of our people put it this way: “The result of our work first and foremost helps customers in ways nobody could have imagined before; this motivates every person in our company.”

“We work with organizations whose networks cannot go down without significant consequences to the economy, public safety, and financial systems,” said Yadhu Govindarajan, Director, Customer Success, Forward Networks. “Each of these organizations are running highly complex networks and facing unique challenges that we help them address to ensure their networks are predictable, reliable, and secure. Winning this award is especially important to us, as it validates the impact of our commitment and effort.”

The Excellence in Customer Service Awards celebrate those who are winning by supporting their own customers and those who are developing the tools to help others find success. Awards were given out to consultants, outsource partners, and technology providers for superior performances in the past 12 months.

To learn more about the unique things we’ve done to support our customers, check out our customer value blog series by Yadhu.

NQE Helps Entertainment Venue Avoid 'Spectacular Customer Service Fail'

As any company that specializes in live entertainment knows, you're only as good as your last success. In fact, most entertainment venues are well aware that the difference between good and bad press attention often comes down to something as simple as whether a single bulb lights up at the right second.

Proper maintenance for such venues is so vital, in fact, that the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) says ride and attraction maintenance is the second-highest expense they face – with only employee payroll costing more. The average cost of an attraction “going down” is $100K per hour, not including the impacts of negative press.

However, as one such entertainment venue recently discovered, it's not only vital to ensure that the proverbial light bulb is turned on at the right second, it's just as important to ensure that backup systems work properly should a failsafe become necessary.

One network engineer who works in infrastructure operations and service delivery with such a venue recently encountered this situation when his team was tasked with verifying the network design. Traditionally, his team has had to assign several engineers to manually verify the integrity of designs for rides and attractions – a process of logging into network devices and visually reviewing configurations. Not surprisingly, that process can eat up hours of effort, and it's not unusual for problems to be overlooked.

By utilizing Forward Networks' NQE checks for design verification, however, his team reduced the process to less than five minutes, creating massive savings in terms of labor and time. But most importantly, NQE checks enabled the team to validate circuit redundancy and identify missing links. Had the primary circuits or links failed during a live show, the redundant circuits or links would not have kicked in to keep the show running smoothly – or at all.

"It was a problem we didn't even know we had, and we weren't even looking for it," he said. "If we hadn't run these checks on NQE, any failover scenario we might have had would have been unsuccessful, causing massive segments of the show to go down. We avoided an outage that would have been impossible to calculate by preventing a spectacular customer service fail."

That experience led him to expand the use of NQE with Forward Enterprise during the company's biannual Power Redundancy Drills. During these events, the venue effectively kills the commercial power feeds to different areas of the park to ensure that UPS, battery strings, and backup diesel generators function properly. Prior to doing so, the IT team is tasked with verifying the operational state of all network devices that will be affected, including verifying device states while they're on backup power and when commercial power is restored.

Traditionally, these processes have been completely manual, requiring considerable time and personnel resources. When a device fails to come back online or enters a "hung" state, the team is forced to deploy “boots on the ground” to conduct a building-by-building, closet-by-closet hunt to visually inspect the physical devices.

"Leveraging Forward Enterprise and NQE enables us to quickly identify any network device that doesn't come back in the proper operational state within minutes," he said. "In the event that we have to direct our technicians to physically inspect a network device, we can do so with far greater precision and minimize – if not entirely eliminate – the need to hunt for a failed element. This is a game-changer for our team."

To learn more about how you can use Forward Networks to simplify network operations, schedule a demo today. Be sure to read our other blogs in this series about how Forward Networks is impacting enterprise networks around the world, including UNDER PRESSURE: Enterprise IT Teams Use NQE To Reduce Time-Intensive Processes.

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