Why am I excited to be here?
It’s simple. I love the evolution of technology.
The number of technology innovations in business in the past 20 years has been simply astounding. In the late 1980s and early 1990s I would write college papers in a computer lab or on a word processor (remember those?). We didn’t have the internet or cell phones.
I began my professional career in 1993, and I can remember a seismic shift that occurred in the way employees communicated with one another in about 1994 or 1995. Over a 6 month period, my daily routine shifted from reviewing about the 25 voice mails that I would receive daily to working almost exclusively via e-mail. It happened fast. Remember having to look up a local phone number when you were traveling in order to dial up and get on line? Roaming on your cell phone? For a time, Skytel 2-way pagers were all the rage—replaced overnight by the Blackberry. And the pace of change has increased ever since.
I’ve spent my career working in the technology and telecommunications space. While we’ve all experienced the impact of technology innovation in our personal lives, I have had a ring side seat to the disruption that has occurred in the delivery of technology to businesses, specifically in the telecommunications space, over the last couple decades.
The two largest drivers of the disruption in the telecommunications space in the past 20 years have been IP and optical technology. These technologies have reduced the cost of providing bandwidth by orders of magnitude and enabled integration of networks. This spurred the development of innovative services by a broader of the set service providers in a way almost unimaginable 20 or 25 years ago. Havoc followed within the ecosystem comprised of manufacturers who built and distributed the hardware and telecommunications carriers who delivered the services to consumers and businesses worldwide.
It was during this time that we saw the rise of new equipment manufacturers like Cisco, Juniper and Ciena, while market leaders like Nortel, Lucent, Alcatel, and Siemens were sent into a tailspin or were forced to merge in order to survive. The same level of chaos occurred in the service delivery space. My former company, Level 3 Communications was able to navigate these changing tides. Level 3 was founded in 1998, and by 2004, we had the largest internet backbone in the world. The landscape is littered with companies over the past 20 years that failed to anticipate change quickly enough or failed to execute effectively in the changing environment. One memorable example, the original AT&T, a company that once boasted one million employees was sold to SBC for a fraction of its former value.
I was fortunate enough to work for a company that survived and thrived during this period, but luck and good fortune isn’t what we relied on to spur growth and innovation. It was a commitment to culture that embraced change, and one that charted its course based on long term fundamental shifts in the way a service provider needed to operate in order to win.
Today, there is a similar shift occurring that impacts the manner in which software is developed, distributed and consumed—cloud computing. The next few years will see a massive swing in market share at all levels of the supply chain, from cloud operators to channel partners who help customers make the best use of the technologies available.
We all know about the “cloud”, and every company that’s close to this space has a cloud strategy of some kind. But like the changes that hit the telecom space, scale matters, channel to market matters, breadth of capability matters and execution matters.
There will be only a few winners in this new war, and Microsoft will win big. Their investment and commitment to a cloud first, mobile first world starts with their new CEO, Satya Nadella. Critical to Microsoft’s success will be the cultivation of a new breed of partner—one that takes change as a given and as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition. Microsoft needs partners that can meet the increasing demand on the sophistication of the services provided. Successful partners in the future will have great breadth of capability and will be able to partner both with the CIO and the Chief Marketing Officer. This requires not just software expertise, but business expertise and domain knowledge.
I am excited to join New Signature because we are that partner. The culture of the company, the passion for learning and the dedication to our customers is the driving force behind New Signature’s continued success. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be leading the investment in New Signature and to be joining this award-winning team.
New Signature will continue to grow, both organically and inorganically, and I am energized by the countless opportunities that lie ahead. The opportunity that energizes me the most is knowing that through this investment will be able to expand our capabilities to deliver an even broader and better experience to our customers. As we continue to navigate the shifting technology environment I, once again, find myself in the fortunate position of working for a company that will thrive in the face of change and is poised for greatness.