At Particle, we believe that innovation knows no borders. That’s why we’re constantly pushing the limits of what’s possible, breaking down barriers and expanding our reach to new corners of the world, continuing to find new ways for our customers to connect anything, from anywhere. Our customers bring their solutions wherever they are needed, and as a result Particle-powered IoT products into 130 countries around the world. In addition, approximately ⅓ of our customers are headquartered internationally, 100,000+ developers are located outside the U.S., and a number of large multinationals drive their connected products.
Today, Steve Bower, VP Customer Success at Particle, shared a few of his thoughts with us on all things international. How is Particle driving innovation across the globe? What are the unique challenges in driving success in a globally connected world? Why understanding nuances of cultural difference all the way from beliefs to taste are critical to success.
“I guess it started really young when I would “build” these elaborate road networks in my backyard and drive little toy cars to other countries. Always wondered what we would talk about and discover. I had an amazing opportunity to spend large parts of a decade living and working abroad. This hugely shape my worldview and help to realize there are many ways to solve problems and what it meant to enjoy success.”
How has that shaped the way you approach your work at Particle?
“Particle is a very unique technology company in that from day one the vision and subsequent organization and product vision was open and global in approach. Particle takes a global-first approach to hiring with a mindset ‘if you have an internet connection, you can work from there.”
Many companies try to say they are international but they really are a US centric company and was brought international by a customer or two. When I joined Particle 20 months ago I was overjoyed to see how an international mindset was embedded in the DNA of the company. That makes a huge difference in how customers experience their journey.”
Let’s unpack that a bit more. What is in the DNA?
“From day one Particle believed in open source. This was not just an engineering concept or the “thing to do.” It derived from a real belief that an open system would draw in collaboration from across the globe. This approach shapes every decision you make as a company from the products you build to how you drive success with customers. Underlying it all is a real understanding that the world can teach us so many things if we just listen. Listening has shaped Particle and why we are so successful internationally and at home.”
How does that translate into your international customer base?
“Customers are clever and recognize when a company has what it takes to support and scale with them. Whether you’re a small international startup or a multinational corporation with global reach, Particle’s products, solutions and teams are designed to help you succeed and thrive on a global scale. Particle is a trusted partner offering a robust platform, solution, and services for enterprises across the globe.
I love what I do because on a daily basis my team and I have the privilege to work with customers across the globe. Whether you are a small start-up in Europe, a US based multinational, or a developer in APAC, we love seeing our customers’ vision come to reality as they bring their connected products to market.
We have been the trusted partners doing this for over 11 years. And, we are just getting started in many ways.”
How has Particle invested in its product to support international customers?
“Our EtherSIM product provides support in over 150 countries and more than 350 carriers worldwide. Couple that with our LTE Cat-1 SoMs which are designed to work in many parts of the world and Particle has the product line and services to provide broad global deployments. In fact, I was looking at a recent report and there are Particle powered devices online in over 130 countries.”
What are the challenges of international IoT deployments that Particle helps customers work through?
“Generally speaking, Particle is able to provide a broad range of international expertise derived from our experience of deploying and managing international fleets for over a decade. It is this expertise that allows us to consult and proactively assist our customers.
Let’s drill down into one area that certainty could be an impediment for customers – certification and regulatory compliance. Particle offers regulatory certification for its products, including FCC, CE, and IC certifications. This means that customers can use Particle’s certified products in their own products without having to go through the certification process themselves.
Particle’s support team includes experts in regulatory compliance, who can guide customers through the certification process and help them navigate the complex landscape of international regulations.
Overall, Particle is committed to helping its customers comply with international regulations for wireless products by providing certified products, secure data transmission, and expert support. By taking these steps, Particle aims to reduce the burden of compliance and enable customers to focus on developing innovative IoT solutions.”
So wrapping up, can you leave us with an interesting taste or flavor from your experience living and working abroad?
“When you visit France you must try Banon cheese. French Banon cheese is known for its unique flavor, which is mild, tangy, and slightly nutty. The cheese is made from goat’s milk and has a soft, creamy texture with a rind that is wrapped in chestnut leaves and tied with raffia. The chestnut leaves and raffia impart a distinct herbal flavor and aroma to the cheese, which adds to its overall complexity and character. A friend once remarked “this is so bad yet somehow it is drawing me in to eat more.” I rather liked it, but then again I also love Japanese Natto.”