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Meet the… senior solutions engineer

Edgio's Grant MacLeod tells TVBEurope about a role that involves problem-solving for customers, and why it's important to get hands-on experience in the media tech industry

Grant MacLeod, senior solutions engineer: video and streaming, Edgio
Talk us through an average day in your role

My role is customer-centric, and I work closely with our clients from the get-go, including world-leading sports organisations, broadcasters, and streaming services. Our customers face a range of diverse streaming challenges. Delivering live sports streaming at scale or launching free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels are complex tasks. Adding personalisation while optimising for global audiences adds significantly more complexity. So, during the initial prospecting stages, we’ll explore our customers’ unique requirements and discuss how to tackle those challenges through proof-of-concept demonstrations using our streaming product, Uplynk. Once sales processes are completed, I’ll work on integrating our platform within existing customer environments as seamlessly and efficiently as possible.

My job is about problem-solving for customers. Integrating dynamic and globally scaled streaming workflows across both video-on-demand (VoD) and live environments can be a complex challenge. So, it’s important that we gain a deep understanding of our customers’ infrastructure and systems to find the best way to plug in our technology, features, and expertise to sit alongside existing functionality or third-party partner workflows. Not just in a way that just tackles today’s streaming challenges, but that provides the flexible foundations to adapt and evolve in the future, too. 

Part of what we do is bring a consultative and advisory approach when working closely with customers to build trust, and, importantly, empower them with the tools to navigate through rapid and constant change in the media industry. 

How did you get started in the media industry?

I fell into the media industry half by chance and half by passion. My first role in technology was at a civil engineering firm. During that time, I was taking a sound engineering course and pursuing my own interests in video and editing. I then got my first gig as an event manager working on corporate, entertainment and live music streaming events. I ended up managing the live event operations centre where I deepened my knowledge in streaming technology. Looking for a hands-on role that would allow me to work more closely with customers, I eventually moved into solutions engineering and haven’t looked back since!

What training did you have before entering the industry?

Alongside my sound engineering training, my personal interest in video, audio, and media in general really laid the foundations for my career in the industry. I’ve always enjoyed the problem-solving that comes with media technology, and earlier in my professional life I was fortunate to be able to develop my skillset through practical experience, learning on the job and ‘getting my hands dirty’. 

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

I hugely enjoy working in media, and I find streaming fascinating. Overcoming customer challenges and helping them deliver great content to audiences is incredibly rewarding — it’s a big part of why I got into this role. I’m lucky enough to get the inside track on seeing Edgio customers achieve great streaming results every day, and across the world’s biggest live events.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

Throw yourself into your role and get hands-on — spend time learning about, and experimenting with, your equipment and solutions. Speaking about technologies or workflows in an abstract, theoretical way only gets you so far. A large proportion of my professional development has come through first-hand experience to forge a deeper product understanding, test new features and functionality, and ultimately, unlock new and exciting opportunities. 

Lastly, be inquisitive and curious. The media industry is changing faster than ever, so be prepared to tackle unknown challenges head-on and innovate to push the boundaries of what’s possible.