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Meet Our Team: Peter McKeag

What is your background?
I started off my professional career as a live sound engineer, both at a renowned local venue and as a touring engineer. My job was to make them sound loud and clear, ensuring the band’s performance was communicated to the audience in the best possible way. I’ve always appreciated having clarity of sound on top of physical volume. Loud is great, but sometimes you can end up with missing the key subtleties and nuance. So, when I used to mix sound, I always worked to achieve clarity. I then worked in OEM sales for a while, specializing in the Rail industry, and Zenitel was one of my customers. I’ve been with Zenitel for three years now, mostly specializing on IP Speakers and Public Address Systems. I’ve always been customer oriented, and I find that relationship building is important. I like hearing what people have to say, and I like trying to solve their problems. It’s interesting that I went from making people deaf from hearing loud rock bands to working for a company that provides system listening solutions.

What do you enjoy about your role?
Having a direct hand in bringing the product to market. I enjoy taking someone’s commercial pain-point or technical problem and having a direct hand into bringing that to fruition, and to work on a project, that at the end of the day, is driven by someone’s need. I like to start with the market need and then to turn it into a tangible product – that is fulfilling to me. It capitalizes on my personality and skillset to be able to represent the customer group and help turn it into something that R&D can work with.

How have you increasingly seen end users embracing audio as a security solution?
Audio is important, and the convergence of technology and audio solutions as networkable devices is increasing. Look how pervasive audio is in our homes, like the Amazon Alexa…It makes sense that the same uses of devices would bleed into the security industry as well. We can address not just intercom telephony, but also the public address side with IP speakers, we can offer a communication tool. Audio will soon be more attractive as a security solution because video and access control are reactive;  they are often after-the-fact, whereas in my opinion, adding audio adds more context and proactivity to a situation. People need new solutions and audio is one of them. Part of the challenge is that some people don’t yet realize the potential of audio and the fact that it’s available as a solution.

What career advice do you have?
Overall, just a willingness to try new things and to follow opportunities. The reasons that I moved from the “rock band” world was quite pragmatic. But it worked out for me. For others, I would suggest finding your passion, listen to what others suggest that you could with your passion, and weigh that against your own wants and needs. Always ask the dumb question. My job now is to explore what we could give a customer; it’s about listening to what people really want aside from our own biases. It’s a theme through my working life so far: the ability to collaborate, whether it’s a band, or a train-builder, or an electronic component manufacturer -- you have to work with and take on people’s goals and passions to succeed in a mutually beneficial way.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I am a very keen archer, and I just did my first competition for field archery. Although I started with the target archery side, which helped me to build proficiency and consistency, I feel field archery is more the practical application of the discipline. Roving around the woods and hitting targets placed in interesting positions and at unknown distances adds another level of skill and enjoyment. And wWhat better place to take up archery than the city in which I live, given it’s so synonymous with Robin Hood? Also, as I mentioned, I’m a huge lover of all music, even though I don’t work in the industry any longer. I used to say that there’s only one reason why you get into the music industry: for the love of it. And I still love it.

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