Snips Doubles Down on B2B with New SVP of Engineering
It has been an exciting start to 2019 for Snips. Following a CES in Las Vegas, where we launched our three enterprise solutions and took home the Best of Innovation prize for Embedded Technology, Snips is continuing to focus on our B2B business by bringing in the best talent on the market.
In early February 2019, Emmanuel Barbier joined Snips as SVP of Engineering. His main goal is to make sure our existing and new clients bring innovative voice-controlled products and services to the market in the quickest and most efficient way possible.
In this short interview, Emmanuel offers his insight into what his first few weeks at Snips have been like.
Tell us a little about your background before Snips
Before joining Snips I was VP Engineering at Nagra in Kudelski group, leading R&D for their User Experience product lines for embedded devices. I was managing a global team spread across California, India, China and UK.
I have been in the Software Industry for 25 years and have spent most of that time in Digital-TV space which I first encountered when I joined a startup 20 years ago, called OpenTV. In the early 2000’s, we became the leader for set-top-box software solutions for PayTV operators. The fast-paced energy and startup atmosphere I enjoyed at OpenTV was one of the many factors that pulled me toward Snips.
Always in roles that bridged the gap between engineering and customer operations, my experience ranges from handling project engagement for major OEM clients or content owners like Netflix, up to product design from concept ideation to mass-market deployment.
More recently, I have worked hard managing large organizations spanning across multiple sites and dealing with transformation projects in particular during M&A or offshore projects.
What excites you about Snips’ Technology and Products?
I am completely in line with the mission and vision to bring a voice assistant solution fully embedded on-device to the market. In addition to the exciting technical challenges this presents, Snips’ values resonate with me, both as a consumer and as a professional. I believe voice adoption will grow rapidly as a new way of interacting with devices and the digital world in general. This revolution will spread through all industries. I do not believe voice processing can only happen through the centralized architecture imposed on everyone by the major American players. There must be alternatives and Snips is working hard to create one.
The vision of its founders and leadership team, and the relevance of the solution they have built convinced me to join team. I have been impressed by the early success Snips has had with the maker community and how quickly it gained the trust of so many developers around the globe. Unsurprisingly, these early returns have led to significant market interest from major enterprises around the world.
What skills are you bringing to the team?
I am bringing 25 years of designing products, leading engineering teams, and managing large customers. The goal is to structure Snips’ operations while the customer and partner base is rapidly growing to help us scale efficiently. In high growth moments like this, operational excellence is critical to ensure that Snips reaches the next level.
I am proud and happy to put my energy into the challenge of managing Snips’ service and execution portfolio. As well as all aspects of product design and development related to our success in the Enterprise market.
What have your first few weeks been like?
Snips is extremely fast! It is a very interesting moment, because several major deals are materializing and I have already been exposed to many challenging and exciting topics.
I have been able to meet almost everyone in the team and am very impressed by the amazing experience and diversity that Snips has been able to bring onboard. There is an incredible global talent pool here from nearly every continent. It is very energizing to be here in the center of Paris, so close to Le Louvre, working on such a great project with people from so many different cultures.
What is the future for voice?
I see our voice-enabled device future as very bright. The interest beyond pure tech players on this new user interaction model is growing fast. We are now seeing large brands, OEMs and service providers designing new products and new services based on voice.
There still are quite a few challenges to make voice user experience fluid. We are only at the beginning of this journey. Innovation is still required, in particular in the user context identification space, which is extremely important for natural language understanding use cases.
I believe Snips’ embedded focus creates a competitive advantage to identify and process users’ context better than anyone else in the market. Particularly, since Snips’ voice processing remains inside the home, office or any physical location where the context is reachable without compromising on users’ privacy or security.
Emmanuel and the Snips team will be available at Embedded World in Nuremberg Germany from 26–28 February. Book a meeting to meet the team and to see our technology in action!