An insider’s view: helping customers throughout their development journey

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Posted on Apr 19, 2024 by Anna Chadenkova

5 min read

For this Insider’s View, Anna Chadenkova, Senior Marketing Manager, sat down with Caio Pereira, a Customer Success Engineering Lead, to talk about the ways he helps customers in their use of the FoundriesFactory™ platform – and about the most rewarding part of his job.

AC: Caio, you’re an engineer in the Customer Success team. What does your job involve?

CP: The role of our team is to support the customer throughout their journey from development through testing to production, and then on to fleet management and over-the-air updates (OTA), and ending with secure disposal. In practice, that means that it’s my job to make sure that customers know how to use the FoundriesFactory suite of tools, software and resources, and to support their instance of the Linux® microPlatform (LmP) operating system supplied and supported by Foundries.​io.

AC: When do you usually first engage with a customer?

CP: Here at Foundries.​io we talk about the eight stages of a product’s life, from first concept and development through testing and production, to maintenance and then disposal at the product’s end of life. We are here to support customers across that entire lifecycle. But the first engagement is normally at the very start of the customer’s first project in the FoundriesFactory platform. We’ll begin with an onboarding meeting with the customer’s developers. That’s our chance to work out with the customer how much support they are likely to need. That can vary a lot. Sometimes a customer might have migrated from a microcontroller-based product design, and it’s their first project on a Linux® OS, in which case we are ready to guide them through development on an embedded Linux platform. It doesn’t matter to us – we’ll provide the level of help that the customer needs. We meet regularly online with customers, and respond to tickets that the customer raises when they have a specific problem. We will also arrange training and tutorial sessions to help the customer learn about a specific topic, such as managing containers in Docker, or how to configure security keys and certificates.

AC: What topic do you find you spend the most time on with customers?

CP: Definitely security. Security is one of the great strengths of the FoundriesFactory platform, because security is built in from day one of a development project. For instance, the platform tracks the software components of every iteration of every variant of a product design, and automatically generates a software bill-of-materials (SBOM) unique to every unit that comes off the production line. It’s part of my job to make sure that the customer understands the importance of the SBOM, and its use in responding to CVE notices, as well as helping ensure compliance with software licenses. One of our regular tasks is to run through a checklist of the essential security actions that need to be completed before releasing a design for volume production. All of the capabilities and tools needed for comprehensive security protection are right there, built into the FoundriesFactory system, but we always make sure that the customer has considered implementing them before going into production.

AC: Embedded computing is a global industry. You’re a Brazilian who happens to live in The Netherlands. How do you take care of customers worldwide?

CP: I don’t do it all on my own! Our Customer Success team includes colleagues based in Brazil and on the west coast of the US, so between us, our working days cover 20 out of every 24 hours a day. And we work very closely as a team. I’ve had cases where a customer has come to me with a problem at the end of my day, and I pass it on to a colleague in Brazil, who then shuttles it on to the US, so that by the start of my next day, the problem has been resolved without any interruption to the customer’s development. That’s very satisfying – customers are very happy when that happens!

AC: Is that customer reaction what makes you excited to turn on your computer in the morning and face your first customer engagement of the day?

CP: Absolutely – my job is all about helping our customers to make a success of their decision to use the FoundriesFactory platform. It’s such an impactful product, and when a customer really works with it and the LmP, their work is made so much easier than before they used the FoundriesFactory software. It’s always a great moment when the penny first drops for a customer engineer, and they tell me that they see for the first time how the FoundriesFactory software ties all the threads of a product development together in a feature such as the SBOM or the TUF-based update utility. Customers all know that security is an essential feature of IoT products, but it’s normally been a really difficult thing for them to implement previously. When a customer realizes for the first time how straightforward and logical the FoundriesFactory system is to implement proper security, it’s a great feeling. It’s what I thrive on.

AC: That’s great, thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Caio.

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