Unified Communications Featured Article

David Yedwab Thinks IT Through with TMC

January 16, 2009

David Yedwab is a Founding Partner for Market Strategy and Analytics Partners, a company that custom designs marketing and sales strategies.
A seasoned technology marketing executive, Yedwab has over 25 years of experience providing marketing, sales, technology and business strategy advice to some of the world’s largest and most successful companies including – Cisco, AT&T, BellSouth, Apple, NTT, NEC, Nortel, Samsung and Siemens.

He also currently writes for Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) by contributing to his own online blog, called “Thinking IT Through.”
Yedwab recently took some time to share his thoughts on the IP Communications industry with TMC President, Rich Tehrani.
RT: Who has influenced you most in your career and why? 
DY: Karl Martersteck, my manager early in my time at Bell Laboratories, who had been involved in the early Space program and was transferred to “boring” telecommunications OSSes, who had a great saying posted on the door to his office.  I don’t remember the picture but the words have been most memorable – “Bloom where you are planted.”  That advice and his guidance for how I too, should accept situations as they exist and grow from them – learn, absorb the nourishment and flourish.  He later went on to head AT&T’s entire global network and I changed from my technical track to become a marketing technologist.
RT: What excites you most about our industry? 
DY: It’s always changing.  I’ve been around since the application of computer software systems to mechanize the paper record of phone companies and before the prior technology change out – the Digital PBX replacing Analog and the Bell System Divestiture (25 years ago – WOW).  And I’ve been fortunate in having the opportunity to grow and change with the industry.  And, I believe, having been part of some of these major shifts, provides me with knowledge and insights that can be valuable to my clients.
RT: What areas do you wish you could devote more energy/attention/resources? 
DY: Understanding more about current software development methodologies and capabilities.  I grew up in the software development world but it has been a while since I really did any coding and haven’t had the opportunity to really dive into the new languages, methods and techniques – although I have built several web pages.
RT: What pain does your company take away for customers? 
DY: Market Strategy and Analytics Partners helps our clients wrestle through difficult market, product, technology, channel or business issues by binging focus, independence and broad experience to focus on the issue at hand.
RT: What does your dream mobile device look like? 
DY: My dream mobile device isn’t likely to be one device.  One probably resembles an iPhone but with telepathic input for email and IM and ??– I truly hate typing and have yet to see voice recognition work in the chunks of words my brain thinks in.  Another will be the next generation of the powerful laptop computer – I do think we need two form factors … one while mobile and moving – the evolution of the PDA/smartphone; the other while mobile but stable – the evolution of the laptop.
RT: If you were forced to head Nokia, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, GM, Cisco, Nortel or the U.S… Which would you pick and why? 
DY: It certainly wouldn’t be Cisco, as following John Chambers could only be a losing proposition in relation to his currency.  Or, maybe it would be Cisco, as perhaps John has set Cisco up to be successful for the next decade already and all that’s left is good execution.
RT: Poof – you become President-Elect Obama’s top advisor on tech. What should he do to foster more technology use in the U.S. and abroad? 
DY: We have enough evidence that smart IT and UC actually saves money, giving more aggressive tax benefits for tech investment and have our “WPP-like” new infrastructure investments truly focus on new infrastructure …
RT: How has open-source changed our space and what more can it do for us? 
DY: Open source has assisted in changing the historically vertically siloed industry into a horizontal software-like stack.  It has also driven the evolution of software development and time to market much more rapidly and is beginning to do the same for distribution and marketing – the major remaining question is what does it do to business models.
RT: When does Microsoft become a major force in communications? 
DY: You mean it’s not? Apple? RIM, Nokia?  The device leaders, cited here, are fulfilling a major piece of the anywhere, anytime any service paradigm – the services are only a good as the user-devices are capable of using/displaying.  Let’s hope that they innovation these three players keep driving continues to push the rest of the industry to innovate and create what people and businesses want.
RT: What surprised you most about 2008? 
DY: I was most surprised by the speed with which learned, or didn’t learn, about the financial crisis and, despite the almost omnipresent news media, how little we really learned and still have learned about the depth and breadth of the problems.  For example, why didn’t we know that TARP wouldn’t know what was done with the $350 billion?
RT: Assuming we need it (and who couldn’t use some extra cash), what do we tell Congress to get a multibillion dollar U.S. government communications bailout? 
DY: The infotainment industry is the current and future engine for US global competitiveness and, the public IT infrastructure (fast broadband) needs to return the US to a leader, not a lagger in deployment.
RT: Is the green movement dead now that oil is plummeting in cost? 
DY: No, “being green” is a way to conserve dollars as well as saving the environment.  It’s clear that the drop in oil prices is only temporary and we can’t risk losing focus for more energy efficiency, independence and alternate sources.
RT: How does IP communications help in a recession? 
DY: While we had been concentrating on the business productivity aspects of UC, there are true operational cost savings from deploying UC solutions and the industry should be paying more attention to these successes as we examine the deployments being made.
RT: You are speaking at ITEXPO which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. Why do people need to hear what you say, live and in person? 
DY: My panel on UC Communications Basics will assist in looking at the savings benefits as my panelists from three diverse companies – Covergence, Siemens Enterprise and SpanLink – have agreed to take a case study approach to out topic and show some actual cases with hard benefits.
RT: Make some wild predictions about 2009/10. 
DY: The financial tsunami will not be as bad for our industry as was the Internet bubble earlier in this decade.  Wireless operators may actually open their networks to third party applications and not hamper the connected devices.  Enterprise FMC (or Mobile UC) can have significant take-up as the finance organizations learn how much money they could save by deploying these solutions.

Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world�s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.

Edited by Michelle Robart