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Meet the VP of product management

Artel's Rafael Fonseca discusses how he enjoys helping customers solve the issues that “keep them up at night", and why he believes there's no better way to learn than doing

Rafael Fonseca, VP of product management, Artel
Talk us through an average day in your role

I wear several hats at Artel (developer of mission critical solutions for broadcast) and the main areas of focus are product management, marketing, and sales/business strategy. As such, one of the things I like about my job is that not every day is average or similar, but in general I tend to divide my day among those three activities. Under product management, I might be looking at managing features and functionalities for existing products or thinking about new products for our existing lines. This sometimes involves speaking with customers, partners, or potential customers to get a sense of the challenges they face so that we can respond with solutions to address these challenges. This might also involve developing a business case to justify investing corporate resources in developing these solutions. 

Next, I might work on a large set of activities which encompass marketing. This could be identifying/developing/capturing user stories to share with the industry at large, promoting a specific solution and how it helped users solve their challenges, or engaging with the industry via all kinds of marketing vehicles – our website, through interviews with the press, social media, or webinars.

Finally, I would spend time drafting methods and strategies to help our sales folks be more effective in helping their customers solve the issues that “keep them up at night!”

How did you get started in the media industry?

I come from a networking background, specifically optical and data/IP networking. This background exposed me to several transformations to IP in different industries, all real-time communication industries, which eventually allow me to land in broadcast during the start of their transformation to IP. I consider myself an “eternal/perpetual student” so getting into broadcast gave me the opportunity to learn, expand my perspective, and be exposed to the magic that happens behind the scenes that we get to enjoy at home!

What training did you have before entering the industry?

I am formally educated in telecommunications with degrees and certifications in business management, but I have leveraged industry courses facilitated by SCTE and SMPTE among other organisations like the IABM and industry alliances like AIMS.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

I like that the “final” products produced by the industry are very tangible to the general public and help entertain, educate, and inspire.

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

Get exposed as much as possible to the aspects of the business environment, from development, manufacturing, and business strategy to sales and marketing. Leverage the myriad of on-line tutorials that exist free of charge, and just do it. There is no better way to learn than doing.