Al Monserrat is the new Chairman of the Board at itopia.
This blog post captures a recent interview between Al Monserrat, who was recently appointed as Chairman of the itopia Board, and Jon Lieberman, CEO & Co-Founder of itopia.
Jon: Al, you’ve been on our board for some time now, so I want to welcome you to the chairman’s seat and thank you for your participation. I and the rest of the itopia team are looking forward to great things together.
Al: Thank you, Jon. It’s been great to work with you and your team, and I expect this year to be even more exciting.
Jon: Al, what can you share about your road to itopia? What did you do before joining us?
Al: Sure, Jon. Like anyone, I paid my dues in the trenches, growing into executive roles from a start as a software developer at Accenture and early roles in sales at another South Florida start up. That company’s acquisition by Citrix led to a long tenure at Citrix. And those were great years. I led worldwide services, the North American region, their channels team, the integration of many strategic acquisitions, and ultimately ran their global sales and services team as we grew the company to $3 billion, from around $300 million when I first joined. When I felt it was time for a change, I joined an emerging tech company called RES, where we built new products and expanded geographically, leading to a successful sale to Ivanti. Then, I led the Imaging Division of Nuance through its spin off and acquisition by Kofax, and joined the itopia Board later that same year.
Jon: Thanks Al. What resonates with me from your career is, you’ve done the work of building and growing a company over the long haul. And you’ve taken fast growth companies through growth and change. And I think that speaks well of your native talent and intellect.
Al: Jon, the rule I follow is, do the right thing for customers and employees. Ultimately, that leads to creating shareholder value. Never make assumptions about what’s best, because our markets change so quickly and abruptly, as we’ve seen. But focus on modern, simple and valuable solutions for customers and get it done.
Jon: Al, the obvious question: what’s your motivation in taking our chairmanship? And what about joining us at itopia in the first place?
Al: I joined the itopia Board in November 2019. I made that choice because it was clear itopia was poised for great things. What was most impressive for a young company was the incredible feedback from customers around their experience with itopia. The value, speed of onboarding, simplicity and quality. At the time, itopia’s DaaS solution was already the simplest, most elegant and fastest way to deliver Windows desktops. Far better than the many I have seen many in this area. The overall strategy is also on target as every company that invests in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has an immediate need for itopia’s orchestration and automation platform. So it was the “perfect place at the perfect time.” GCP is growing fast and research shows them to have the most modern, innovative and fastest cloud platform.
Jon: Late 2019 seems like a lifetime away, now.
Al: Jon, none of us saw 2020 coming. None of us foresaw that virtually every company around the globe would need to instantly transition their workforces from office to remote. So, my assessment that you were poised for great things in late 2019 was correct – but the reality was so much more. What has always impressed me about itopia is how even before the business changes required by the pandemic, itopia was already operating in an entirely remote manner. The team had never visited a customer site to sell or implement a solution. This was unheard of for companies delivering solutions in the same space. For itopia and its customers, the events of 2020 did not necessitate any change in their operating practices.
Jon: As you know, Al, itopia saw record-breaking growth in 2020, and we’ve been there for a great number of companies as they’ve transitioned their workforces. We’ve also attracted a new investment round that is further accelerating our growth and making life at itopia even more interesting. So, Al, it’s 2021. What do you think of itopia’s position now?
Al: (Laughs) Jon, it’s like a trip to Disney World. Workforce transitions haven’t stopped. Our new working normal will remain different – hybrid – and corporate IT will continue to need more than ever to support workers with streaming apps and workspaces with ease and speed. That’s what itopia enables for Google Cloud. But we know there’s more ahead for us. Much more.
Jon: We’re not standing still, Al.
Al: No, we’re broadening our technology, our geographic reach, and our customer base. And you and I will have big news to share soon that signals a fundamental expansion of our technology that will open us up to a whole new world of customers. Another itopia differentiator is quality. By the time we announce the great news, itopia will have several customers fully up on the new solution. That’s how you have achieved an extraordinary customer experience. I’m proud to be here at itopia now because we’re delivering solutions the world’s organizations need. We’re making technology simpler, so it’s easy to adopt and manage by more people.
Jon: Thank you, Al, for joining us and for stepping up as Chairman. We’ll need your leadership and knowledge even more in the months ahead.
Al: Thank you, Jon.
The appointment of Al Monserrat as Chairman of the Board is effective as of March 2021.