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Rocketeers Recognized: Willis Owallah, Service Management Engineer

In this edition of “RR”, we introduce an exceptional team member who embodies a BeyondID core value integrity. He keeps this value at the forefront of both his professional and personal pursuits. With surprising musical talents and a passion for knowledge, Willis’ multifaceted nature shines. However, what truly sets him apart is his unwavering dedication to philanthropy, a testament to his commitment to making a positive impact on the world.  

Join us as we delve deeper into the life of this extraordinary individual.   


What is a fun or interesting fact about yourself?   

Many would be surprised to learn that I have a musical background and I can read music and play the piano. I love Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, with a favorite being “Cats”. I participated in two of his musicals: “Jesus Christ, Superstar” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. 

What three words would your friends use to describe you?   

Committed, encouraging, tenacious.  

What originally got you interested in your current field of work? 

When I got into web development, I did not know how to securely authenticate users. My research led me to Okta and Auth0, among others. I was quite excited when I got a call for a position at BeyondID because I knew it would fill this significant knowledge gap.  

What does a typical day look like for you at BID?   

At the VSOC (Virtual Security Operations Center) we monitor alerts from customer environments, primarily their Okta tenants, for potential threats. We notify customers whenever we see potential breaches and provide mitigation options. Beyond the VSOC, we also work with customers to resolve application integration issues.  

Briefly describe your career prior to BID?   

Before BeyondID I worked in both telecom and in IT services, switching between business and technical roles. I worked as a teletraffic engineer, network engineer, project manager and service manager. On the side I developed web applications. In 2017 together with some friends we started a company to provide IT services in Africa. Starting and running a business is not easy and I have to give it up to the founders of BeyondID for building a successful company in such a short time.  

Outside of work? Passions, hobbies, interests?   

Helping my wife and her team build Ageno Special Learning Center, a 501c non-profit organization for children with special needs. Through Winam Institute of Technology I train talented young people in Kenya and give them the ability to gain experience that can open pathways into tech careers.  

What is a valuable piece of feedback that you have received in your career that helped you grow? 

I had a mentor who kept reminding me to always focus on my career while doing the best possible at my current role; keep the big picture in mind but don’t lose sight of excelling at what you are doing in the moment. 

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?   

Complete the Ageno Centre, the facility that Ageno Special Learning Center Is building in Kenya for children with special needs and continue to build several learning hubs in smaller rural towns in Africa. We would continue our work in providing children with computers, strong internet access and stable electrical power where students can access learning materials in all fields from online learning providers such as Coursera, NPTEL, EDX, Udacity, Udemy, etc.  

Last book you read, or podcast you listened to?   

I do not read as much as I used to. The last podcast I listened to was “How to Start a Startup”, which was recorded by Sam Altman before he became CEO of OpenAI. I believe it was while he was still at the accelerator, Y-Combinator.  

Which BeyondID Core Value do you exhibit the most in work and life?   

Integrity.   

This is important to me because without integrity you’re likely to do things under pressure to please someone in the short-term, but it could have long term effects. I won’t make promises to customers about a project or skillset that I cannot fulfill. I always try to consult our team before making any commitments, and being very honest about what we can or will do for them.   

 



If you’d like to join Willis and hundreds of other motivated BeyondID Rocketeers, check out our open positions.

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Erin Moore
Erin Moore

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