AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.

heretoday 7/28/2017 | 7:30:15 PM
Re: Masters v reskilling Thanks Sarah.  I get your point and question now about graduate school investment vs. more pointed technical reskilling.

My view is that one, graduate school, is a strategic path for an individual looking to improve cognitive thinking, knowledge and research methods with in their domain of study, and hopefully employment.  An example could be be an MS in Systems Engineering in Agile Methods.

More pointed technical reskilling, as ATT is striving to do, is to provide immediate task oriented training to learn a new skills relevant to the new domain (i.e. Domain 2.0+) in the pivot.  A great example of this is teaching network/telecom engineers OpenStack, Jenkins, Ansible, Python, SDN/NFV framework and others.  All of which can be accommodated in days/weeks long courses vs. years of commitment at a much smaller price point than graduate school.

I find both avenues extremely valuable, but for the immediate business at hand the latter plays a larger and more important role.  You will find both vendors and operators are doing something along these lines to pivot their businesses to the world of bare metal, open software and Agile/DevOps methods.
Duh! 7/28/2017 | 3:44:21 PM
Re: AT&T in Electronic Medical Records??? My limited understanding is that a not-for-profit exchange called Direct Trust https://www.directtrust.org/directtrust-101/ serves that role. It's not clear, based on an hour's web research, whether or not they are exclusive. In any event, it's not clear how Indigo 3.0's finds place in that ecosystem.

In a 2015 survey, 39% of sampled patients reported that their provider directly share health information. I assume that has gone up since. The problems are pretty familiar: complex standards, proprietary lock-ins, high-priced sofware upgrades. FWIW, my PCP is able to pull my records from other providers outside his network. It did not look like a one-click process.

HHS has an objective of getting all providers to exchange records by 2024. Or at least that was the case before January 20.

Sarah Thomas 7/28/2017 | 10:20:39 AM
Re: Masters v reskilling Thanks for weighing in, heretoday. We discussed going back to school on the panel in Austin around when this WiC TV was taped. And, I admit that I'm not sure now whether she specificially addressed MBAs or MS -- it was more about going back to school after being in the workforce, in general. It's good to hear your perspective on it as someone who hires in the engineering field. With the cost of education so high and the workforce not as stable as it once was, I was unsure whether continued education was still vital, especially with reskilling programs offering an alternative for a career pivot. Definitely sounds like it'd be a great panel focus for us!
heretoday 7/28/2017 | 7:07:48 AM
Re: Masters v reskilling Sarah,  Melissa doesn't mention anything about MBA's in this segment.  Not sure about the panel you are talking about.  That said, ATT's reskilling initiative is pretty amazing.  The pivot from HW to SW focus is tough and many companies are struggling to make the turn.. many will fall off the cliff.

Back to reskilling in the context of graduat school.  Here Melissa mentions a Masters in Computer Science.  In the world of engineering and engineering leadership say up to Directors, this is a huge differentiator and much more impactful than an MBA.  When hiring, and I hire in the engineering field, I specifically search for MS degrees in some form of IT.   I don't have much use for an MBA. 

Tough decision for an individual... MBA or MS... the vast vast majority of us are not going to grow up and run our businesses.   There are far more jobs that pay exceptionally well in senior IT and consulting that benefit from the MS.

Sady there aren't many coaching tools to help a person pick one over the other.

How about a panel on that topic?


mendyk 7/27/2017 | 10:53:30 AM
Re: AT&T in Electronic Medical Records??? You'd have to sign off on release at every point of transfer. So other than having to fork over $25  for hard copies, this would still be a cumbersome process. But it's for your own good.
Sarah Thomas 7/27/2017 | 10:39:12 AM
Re: AT&T in Electronic Medical Records??? A signature to release the information would apply the same whether you do it over hard copies, fax or EMR.
mendyk 7/27/2017 | 10:36:03 AM
Re: AT&T in Electronic Medical Records??? I would guess that HIPAA has something to do with the lack of data sharing in healthcare.
Sarah Thomas 7/27/2017 | 10:26:46 AM
Re: AT&T in Electronic Medical Records??? AT&T wants to play a role in data sharing, which still lacks in healthcare despite the progress with EMR. I've had to switch my son's doctor 4 times as we've moved in the past year, and every time I pay $25 to get hard copies of my son's files to take to the next doc, who then scans into their system. It's a tedious and unnecessary process, EMR usually only works within the same network, and not always well then, so I think she's talking about improving that. 

Here's more on AT&T Indigo and the healthcare example: http://about.att.com/story/indigo_redefining_connectivity.html
Duh! 7/26/2017 | 12:06:05 PM
AT&T in Electronic Medical Records??? What's with the tangent at the end? Surely, she can't be saying that AT&T is going to enter the maturing EMR market? Does she know about the ACA's mandate for Medicare and Medicaid providers to have EMR by 2014? Are any docs in the US still taking hand-written notes?

Or am I missing something?

Sarah Thomas 7/26/2017 | 10:42:19 AM
Masters v reskilling Melissa also said on our panel that she still thought a Master's degree was important in our industry, so it sounds like reskilling clearly can't take the place of an MBA, but it's still an important way to stay sharp on skills outside the scope of your job. If you are going to get a master's too, I'd recommend the field of big data/analytics in some form!
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