Pulsar Technologies

               For the duration of my time in Spain I will be working for Pulsar Technologies. Though Pulsar’s client base extends into four countries on three continents, they were founded and remain headquartered here in Spain as a company dedicated to information technology (IT). Specifically, Pulsar focuses on the monitoring aspect of IT, with products that gather usage data for printing services, computer networks and corporate resources and use that information to optimize a business and improve efficiency. Pulsar accomplishes this task with a combination of patented software and hardware devices which work with a variety of third-party computing systems. This adaptability and variety of services has helped Pulsar gain an international presence, with current business in fourteen countries across three continents and continued expansion on the horizon.

My internship specifically focuses on the network monitoring aspect of Pulsar’s work, as I work with a Pulsar product called Vigia. Vigia is available as both an appliance that can integrate with a companies’ network servers or a downloadable software package. Both varieties function by monitoring network traffic and allocation of computing resources to report findings and determine if anything is out of the ordinary. In doing so, Vigia helps extend the longevity of computing resources and can help with the detection of both malicious network presences and negligent inefficiencies. And since modern companies in every industry rely on technology and computing systems for their daily functionality, there is a vast market for this sort of detection and therefore for Vigia and Pulsar’s other services. The cutting-edge presence of this technology, however, also presents challenges to Pulsar and other network monitoring companies.

A variety of skills and strengths are necessary to successfully operate a network monitoring company. First, an in-depth knowledge of systems architecture is required to precisely understand the interactions happening within and between the various levels of a network. This is especially difficult considering the variety of different computing systems used globally: from different operating systems (Unix, Mac, Windows, to name a few) to different protocols for data transfer. Beyond this knowledge of system hardware and architecture, a certain software competency is also required to have success as a network monitoring company. A variety of program languages and tools exist in the modern workplace which serve a variety of purposes. Pulsar alone uses PHP, Redmine, GIT, SQL, JavaScript, AJAX and more. And those are just a fraction of the sum total of existing tools. Proficiency in as many of these languages as possible is certainly a skill required of network monitoring employees.

In addition to the pre-existing knowledge of software and hardware, there are also some less tangible skills required of employees in this field. For instance, it is immensely important to be flexible in the network monitoring industry. Due to the cutting-edge nature of the industry, old tools are constantly made obsolete, current tools are updated and new tools are developed. To be successful, companies in the field must adjust at a similarly rapid rate. Teamwork is also hugely important in this field, as development of products seldom happens on an individual basis. Within a company there are employees with differing specialties. Within the IT department of a company, for instance, some people will know software better than hardware while the opposite will be true of others. And these employees will have to work together to be successful. In the same way, it requires multiple departments to competently sell a product (marketing, finance, etc.) and interfacing with these people is just as important as working within the IT team. Flexibility and teamwork are of the utmost importance in network monitoring. But they might be even more important in network monitoring on a global scale.

In addition to requiring certain competencies as an IT company specializing in network monitoring, Pulsar requires certain competencies as an international company and as a company based in Spain. For starters, knowledge of Spanish law and business customs is a requisite to operate and garner clients. For instance, Pulsar offers certain social benefits to its employees, such as a Friday work day which ends at 2:00 as opposed to the typical end-time of 6:00, thereby awarding employees with an opportunity to go out and socialize. While this might seem odd in other countries, it goes a long way towards productivity in Spain where socialization is emphasized and appreciated. Knowledge and strategic recognition of these cultural norms is important to successful operation as well as the much more clear-cut business of acting within local laws and customs.

To summarize, Pulsar is an IT company with a vast portion dedicated to network monitoring. The people there use their knowledge of software and hardware alongside the skills of adaptability and teamwork to develop high quality products. And they use their knowledge of Spanish business culture to sell these products efficiently. I am very much looking forward to my firsthand experience at the company this summer.