This blog was originally published by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, and has been re-published in full with permission.
Meet Dion Ryff, Aruba Mobile First Expert (AMFX) and Senior Network Engineer with Matrix CNI. Dion is proud to be the first AMFX hailing from Australia, where he uses his expert Aruba skills to solve unique problems in verticals where “normal” solutions often fail.
The AMFX badge is the highest level of achievement within the Aruba certification program. The AMFX Hall of Fame celebrates the elite network professionals that chose to align themselves with Aruba, the most innovative industry disrupter.
- Aruba Certified ClearPass Expert (ACCX)
- Aruba Certified Design Expert (ACDX)
- Aruba Certified Mobility Expert (ACMX)
- Aruba Certified Switching Associate (ACSA)
- HP ASE - FlexNetwork Architect V2
- HPE ASE - Data Center Network Architect V1
- HPE ATP - FlexNetwork Solutions V3
- HPE MASE
- Ekahau Certified Survey Engineer (ECSE)
Jenna: How did you begin your career journey in mobility?
Dion: I started my journey into mobility by complete accident. I was working as a site administrator responsible for service delivery, providing asset rollout, management and support to users of large education campuses. During one of the Christmas holidays, there was a requirement for someone to work temporarily in the networking team and assist with completing a wireless rollout. There wasn’t much work happening in my area and my original skillset was in networking, so I took up the baton as a way to keep myself busy during a normally slow period.
By the end of the project, I had become completely hooked on Aruba wireless technologies and the delivery of solutions that enabled users. Shortly after the project was complete, I transferred permanently to the networking team and became responsible for their entire wireless infrastructure.
Jenna: What made you invest in learning about Aruba and becoming an AMFX?
Dion: After being exposed to Aruba technologies in my previous role and understanding the vision Aruba had for its customers, I wanted to learn more and invest in my skills. I had an opportunity to start working for one of Aruba’s most successful partners in Australia, who helped invest into my training, which allowed me the opportunity to invest in Aruba’s certifications.
After achieving many of the professional exams Aruba had to offer, I learned that Australia didn’t have many expert certified engineers and had zero AMFXs, so I set my eyes on a new challenge: To be one of the first person in Australia to achieve this level of certification and demonstrate my skills and abilities. Roughly a year later and large amounts of studies and hours spent in lab environments, I managed to achieve this goal.
Jenna: How has becoming an AMFX affected your interactions with customers, colleagues and managers?
Dion: Before obtaining my AMFX, I often got dismissed or was not necessarily trusted for my skillset as I am much younger than many others working in similar roles in the industry. Becoming AMFX-certified has allowed me to provide validation to people who may have those thoughts of my experience, skillset and product knowledge, as well as give the customer the confidence to bring their most difficult issues to me and trust in the solutions I present to them.
Jenna: What are the top three things that you gained from being an Aruba AMFX?
Dion: Knowledge, confidence and recognition as an expert in the industry from my peers and customers.
Jenna: Can you share a story that called upon your expert knowledge?
Dion: It’s hard to select any one story where I have had to draw on my export knowledge, because I am required to draw on my knowledge and skillsets on a daily basis with our customers. The majority of our customers operate in the education, higher education and health sectors, which have unique problems and are a daily challenge just to operate within. Many "normal" solutions deployed tend to not work or fit and being able to get Aruba technologies to shine in these sectors with this skillset, when all other vendors struggle, is extremely rewarding.
Jenna: Can you share a piece of advice for individuals who want to become an AMFX?
Dion: Don’t rush to try get your Expert exams. Make sure you have more than just the theory and lab knowledge made available to you via training. Practical real-world experience is invaluable to achieving the certifications. Otherwise, you will have a hard time and will result in having to re-sit long eight-hour exams.
Jenna: What is your favorite piece of personal tech?
Dion: I would have to say my AirConsole. I can sit outside of chilled rooms and work while everyone else is freezing inside. I also have the ability to create my own hotspot when traveling and a hotel room only has a data outlet available and either no or poor wireless.