Armando Ruiz

Global Head of Telecom Engineering, joined NCR in 2017


Armando Ruiz

Global Head of Telecom Engineering, joined NCR in 2017

Could you begin with a brief overview of your background, career journey and what brought you to NCR?

I'm originally from Mexico City, Mexico. I was born there and remained there for college where I received my degree in engineering. When I graduated, I received my first job offer from Procter and Gamble. It was a great opportunity, so I packed my bags and moved to the United States to start my career journey. I specifically moved to Cincinnati, OH where I spent some time working at Proctor and Gamble before deciding I wanted to return to school. Following my career at Proctor and Gamble, I moved to Canada to attend graduate school at the University of Toronto for my MBA. When I graduated, I returned back to the U.S. and spent years working in North Carolina, Atlanta, Denver, New York and Boston with many technology companies.

My career in engineering continued to grow and I began to manage global teams and work hands on with different technologies. One day, over four years ago now, an executive recruiter from NCR reached out to me about a position to manage the telecommunications engineering group here. I went through that recruitment process and started at NCR right when the new GHQ campus opened.

Being an engineer, I've always liked technology, so I've always been involved with it — playing with gadgets and all of those kinds of things. But at the same time, I enjoy working with people and managing projects and budgets. I also like the international aspect of my work. I speak five languages and have always enjoyed speaking to some of my employees and people in their native language.

“The position seemed to bring all of my professional interests together: the international aspect, the technology and the people. That's what attracted me to come work at NCR .”

What is your role at NCR and what do you love most about your role?

I'm responsible for all of NCR’s global telecommunications. That means anything that is related to telecommunications, such as telephony, video conferencing, WebEx and Microsoft Teams. So, whenever you make phone calls or communicate internally and globally, my team is responsible for making sure it all works. We have teams in Asia, Europe and the U.S. and 34 contact centers all around the world from Japan, Malaysia, Egypt and Belgrade, Serbia. There is always someone available to support our employees and customers.

"We make sure that all global telecommunication infrastructure is always working so that there's always a way for our customers to reach us or to get help from us."

You mentioned the largely global aspect of your job. I’m curious if that affected your decision to join NCR. What about the type of work you would be doing for NCR specifically impacted your decision to join the team?

Personally, I travel extensively. I've been to over 100 countries and I always try to visit my employees wherever they are. I think that we all work for NCR but culturally, there's some nuances in each place. For example, the way people work in Japan is slightly different from India or Europe. Getting to see and engage with different cultures and learning their languages has helped me to learn how to best work with the people locally in each place.

“You cannot manage everybody like you're managing people in the U.S. because people have different cultural backgrounds. The fact I get to meet and work with people from around the world every day is one of the things that attracted me to NCR, ”

I want to switch gears a little bit to talk about LatinNCR, the BRG you are building currently. I'm really excited about that and would love to hear more about this and where do you see it going? Why were you inspired to create this BRG?

So, the BRGs, or Business Resource Groups, are vehicles that we're using at NCR to promote and encourage diversity. There's several of them that are already up and running as we know: Women in NCR (WIN), the Black Professionals Forum, LGBTQ (United) and more. For Latinos, NCR did not have a BRG. We just recently kicked off the LatinNCR BRG with our first major event being a Fun Thursday take-over at GHQ for Hispanic Heritage Month. We are always recruiting people to help with the BRG. NCR has a very diverse workforce, and the more that we encourage and support employees, the more we can broaden our perspective as a company. I see LatinNCR as a support system for employees, no matter where they are in their journey at NCR. Outside of work, I sit on the board of a nonprofit and stay involved in multiple others. In these organizations, I've seen the power of getting involved and encouraging people from my community to go to college and to find a good environment to grow. That affects everybody around them, including their families. So, with LatinNCR, we want to promote diversity, support internal employees, attract employees, but also look for opportunities to give back to the community as well.

How do you describe the culture of NCR?

I would describe it as constantly evolving. We have a lot of long-term employees. Personally, I work with people who have been with the company for 20, 30 and going into 40 years. Then we have a lot of new people that bring in a different perspective. NCR has done a great job of melding those things together and encouraging innovation. Everyone here is open to learning each other. I feel confident that we are continuing to push the boundaries of innovation when I walk around GHQ and see all of the expertise, collaboration and fresh ideas being shared.

Are there any specific projects or work you’ve been especially proud of?

“We had to manage the integration of this 1,000+ person company in Brazil into NCR. Originally, we were planning to do the migration on-site. Then the pandemic hit Brazil very, very hard and we were not allowed to travel. Despite all of that, we managed to get all the parts and pieces we needed there. We migrated everything to the NCR infrastructure and we never missed a beat with the customer. So, for them, it was completely seamless.”

I think that out of all of the projects I've been involved in, that was the one I was especially proud of.

What advice do you have for prospective candidates considering applying to NCR?

I think having a good educational foundation is important. If you are interested in a role similar to mine, computer science and engineering is always a good starting point. We use a lot of complex technologies and new hires quickly start working with that technology and learning new things.

“Spend time learning deeply about the business.”

Beyond your job alone, it’s also always good to get involved in other opportunities. I've been involved with the ITS Culture Committee, Global Diversity Council, IDEAS Council and the LatinNCR BRG. There's always volunteering opportunities and other activities, so try to get involved and connect with other people. Networking will help you to get to where you want to be in your career.

What are you most often doing or where are you most likely to be found outside of work?

I mentioned I'm a very big traveler. Lately, it hasn't been as possible to do, but I'm always planning some trip. I just completed a trip to Norway and Iceland where I got a chance to try many new foods like moose and reindeer and see recent volcanos and fjords. So, traveling and having new experiences is something I’ve always enjoyed. I'm always attending different events like Bastille Day, too, which is the French national holiday. I find ways to continue learning about different cultures. If not traveling or attending events, you can find me playing my favorite sport, tennis, or cycling.