2007 InfoWorld CTO 25: Carl Snyder

Director of global IT infrastructure and operations, Tellabs

Sometimes, the process is the product. Employing a blueprint drawn from 26 years of IT experience – along with best practices outlined in the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) – Carl Snyder already has reaped success during his brief tenure as director of global IT infrastructure and operations at Tellabs.

Hired in May 2006, Snyder has laid the foundation of an IT service management program for the $2 billion-plus telecommunications equipment company. "I'm leading the effort to educate the organization on ITIL terminology and concepts, conducting an assessment of the current service management maturity levels across 11 ITIL process entities … and developing a multiyear service improvement road map for improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and value of IT to the Tellabs business."

It's a critical goal, he says. "This program is significant because it cuts across every individual and every team in IT, and it's a positive transformational force making IT more efficient and effective."

Snyder has his work cut out for him, though. Tellabs has grown over the years through acquisitions and has maintained individual engineering centers. "These environments could benefit from technology and process rationalization in order to leverage greater economies of scale, standardization, and consolidation," he says.

That kind of undertaking requires not only a keen understanding of technology, but strong management skills – especially given that the company's 250-person IT department is distributed across global offices. Snyder’s approach is to be both leader and mentor, reaching out to employees one-on-one, while "developing and implementing a vision [and] supporting that vision with cultural guiding principles."

Moreover, Snyder has devised ways to improve Tellabs' contract manufacturing infrastructure, championing the overhaul of both the IT systems architecture as well as introducing IT service management processes to better support the company’s supply-chain model.

Also noteworthy: Snyder has spearheaded a project to ensure that the company's internal network runs on products designed, engineered, or manufactured by Tellabs. Not only is this a strong selling point for the company's sales and engineering teams, it gives engineers a means of more effectively testing Tellabs products on a live network.