Talk of retraining networking staff to understand IT principles is commonplace these days in telecom. Most operators are investing in "reskilling" their current workforce -- in addition to trying to hire new folks with needed skills -- in the recognition that you couldn't practically replace mass numbers of people, even if you wanted to… and most companies don't.
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)'s Bill Walker, director of network architecture, comes from an IT background -- he joined CenturyLink after a couple of decades at companies such as Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Huawei. And while he certainly is a fan of retraining folks, Walker pointed out in a recent presentation at our NFV & Carrier SDN event that just sending networking folks off to take classes in IT isn't enough to truly broaden their skill sets.
Instead, it's important to engage them actively in cross-function teams that let them use both their existing networking skills and their newly acquired IT learnings. Otherwise, whatever is learned in a training session doesn't stick.
This comment was one of several Walker shared that fall into the practical advice bucket. Check out the video to hear more from someone who is very much engaged in real transformation of a legacy telco.
A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.