As the VP of research and development, Eduardo Ross leads his team at ASNA to provide products and services to bolster technology and system implementation for companies.
At the core of innovation is intellectual curiosity fueled by a passion for pursuing bold ideas with the ultimate goal of making society better. Founded in 1982, ASNA has been an industry leader offering cutting-edge solutions and a full complement of integrated software and services to elevate IBM i report program generator (RPG) assets.
IBM i is an operating system designed to reduce the need for intervention from IT for configuring and reporting. ASNA specializes in bringing IBM i assets forward to enhance web UI, connect and migrate mobile devices, and modernize IBM i RPG assets.
For Eduardo Ross, VP of research and development at ASNA, problem-solving is rooted in both his own identity and that of ASNA. TXi caught up with Ross to learn more about him, the future of innovation, and how ASNA is a reflection of what emerges when collaborative knowledge and application of skills come together.
Providing the Tools To Create Solutions
Ross has enjoyed a long and fruitful career at ASNA, joining the company in 1987. As he earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's degree in Information Systems from the Monterey Institute of Technology, computers had always piqued his interest.
"I always wanted to develop tools and products. More for the computer, that was my angle."
After completing his studies and a stint as a computer science professor, Ross joined the ASNA team with a shared vision.
"That's the angle of our company. We don't develop software for end-users; we develop software for software developers. Think of it like this, we didn't create furniture; rather, we built the tools for the carpenters to build the furniture."
Providing the tools and resources for others to thrive contributes to the success of ASNA.
"Our customers are other programmers. And those programmers are doing the real work because those are the [people] who are writing the accounts receivables and the payroll applications, and the order entry on the web. They are the ones that address the real needs of society. We provide the tools and services to them or to their departments, which then enables them to do all this other work, which is the work that is worthwhile."
Innovation Can't Exist Without Collaboration
Ross's enthusiasm for collaboration through innovation is evident.
"There's a resurgence, I think, of people, a lot of very bright people, going back into producing or innovating the computer field itself."
His insight points to a focus on fundamentals when discussing ASNA's place as an industry leader and innovating how companies work with technology throughout its 30-year history.
"There are two parts there, and one is our customers' needs, and the other is intellectual curiosity. So, it's like we have external and internal drivers."
Working in tandem, ASNA teams operate with a common goal in mind.
"Our sales and management departments present us with a problem that's out there. We see what the problem is and think, 'how can this be solved?' So, that's one of our drivers. And then we have the curiosity of the developers, our own engineers. That's when some of the real innovation occurs. Not just in the lab, but what will be useful for society."
Equally important, like all business models, is the ability to keep up with and surpass competitors.
"Recognizing that there is competition is another big motivator for innovation. We see our competitors doing things, and it motivates us to say we can do better."
Technology Is Limitless Through Shared Knowledge
With a finger on the pulse of technology, Ross sees emerging trends pointing toward a more unified vision for how technology operates with business operations.
"I definitely see a turn toward more collaboration…a lot more. There's a big movement in our world of open source, where people are creating things and sharing the source code."
Through widespread collaboration, a shared knowledge yielding new and fresh ideas emerges.
"We have 25 years of history saying, 'no, just give me the part that the computer understands.' [Now its] give me the part that the human developer wrote, so I can understand it as another developer and enhance it."
Looking for more information?
View the first episode of TXi Presents: Business Around the Table with Jason Halsey to experience Ross's story further.