An after-school program in the fourth grade is where Kyle Maurer found his passion.
He’d always been a curious kid, taking things apart to see how they work. But Kyle says things really clicked when he was introduced to computer technology and command lines.
“Tearing a computer apart, putting them back together, and learning how they operate, that’s where my passion for networking began,” he says of the after-school program he signed up for as a pre-teen, “and that was that.”
The connection to connectivity
Kyle now works from his home outside Atlanta as a senior network architect for SONIFI Solutions, Inc., the leading B2B technology provider in the hospitality, healthcare, and commercial industries.
His role focuses on making Wi-Fi installations in hotels easier and more efficient, while providing the best and most reliable connectivity for SONIFI customers and their guests.
His expertise in internet networking has grown in the 12 years he’s been at SONIFI, with the foundational roots starting after high school in the military.
“There was a list of jobs for me to choose from when I joined the Army, and one of them was building and supporting networks for aviation,” Kyle says. “It was in line with the technology I was interested in, keeping everything connected where it needs to be, and it’s where I learned the core skills I use in my job today.”
After five years in the Army, Kyle got degrees in networking and computer support, then joined SONIFI after a classmate recommended the company.
Kyle spent several years as a network engineer, designing and installing networks for hotels to provide the Wi-Fi connectivity needed at SONIFI’s hospitality customer base.
“When you travel, it’s just expected now that you’ll be able to connect to the internet,” Kyle says of the ubiquity of Wi-Fi connectivity in the hospitality industry. “When I go to a hotel at the end of the day, I FaceTime with my wife and daughter, catch up on work, relax for a bit—and you need reliable Wi-Fi for all of that, all the time. Travelers expect that, and hotels need that for their staff to do business.
“It’s interesting and fun to be the ones to make sure all that happens.”
Exploring—and inspiring—what’s possible
Andy Senge is a senior product manager with SONIFI’s internet division and has worked with Kyle on many initiatives over the years. He says Kyle’s enthusiasm for his work is contagious.
“Kyle has always been among the most dedicated, helpful, dependable, and informative—as well as informed—colleagues I’ve worked with,” Andy says. “Aside from the fact that Kyle’s an exceptional engineer, he’s an exceptional leader, mentor, and teammate.”
Alongside his day-to-day responsibilities, Kyle has played a critical role in developing strategies with major hotel brands for their network architecture, building a switch configuration tool to help engineers during implementations, getting a new authentication server running, coding for better firewall securities, and creating automations that save time and improve performance.
“The entire time I’ve known Kyle, he’s digging in to figure out the solution to a problem, or developing tools to make people’s jobs easier,” Andy says. “And he shares what he learns by contributing thorough and helpful documentation and knowledge base resources.”
Andy says Kyle is just as committed to the smaller everyday ways he can help as he is to the big-picture strategies for the company’s future.
“From fixing an Excel formula or explaining a heatmap, to hopping on a call to answer a question from a new employee, Kyle makes sure his colleagues are taken care of so our customers can be taken care of,” Andy says. “He’s willing to assist others without hesitation, and always with kindness, professionalism, and all-around excellence.”
Kyle says the collaboration goes both ways.
“The people here at SONIFI, it’s not just that they have skills and experience, it’s really great teams with great ideas,” Kyle says. “Bouncing things off each other, going back and forth, we come up with something even better than what we could come up with by ourselves.”
Sometimes I love when I’m wrong, though. That’s when I recognize that I haven’t fully reached my potential. There’s always something new coming, someone with another idea, something we haven’t thought of yet.
Seeing a forever career
SONIFI has become the fastest growing provider for hotel Wi-Fi, with plans to double its internet business over the next five years—which is exciting to Kyle, who transitioned to his current role as a senior network architect a few months ago.
“There’s challenges to solve for, which is what we do best,” Kyle says. “Sometimes I love when I’m wrong, though. That’s when I recognize that I haven’t fully reached my potential. There’s always something new coming, someone with another idea, something we haven’t thought of yet.”
It’s this spirit of collaboration and commitment to collective success that led Andy to nominate Kyle for SONIFI’s inaugural Signature Awards, which recognize the best qualities among its employees.
“There is no doubt that our whole team is better because Kyle shares his time, his ideas, his expertise, and his support,” Andy says, making it no surprise that Kyle received the Signature Award for collaboration earlier this year. “I am positive that Kyle’s consistent efforts are a direct contributor to the success of SONIFI’s internet products today, and to where we hope our business to be in the future.”
When asked what he thinks his own future looks like at SONIFI, Kyle smiles. “I’m going to pretty much stay here forever, going as far as I can take it.”