Talreja ran and launched the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition in 2009, a partnership between Cisco, EMC and VMware to increase business agility using virtualization and the private cloud. Under her leadership, the VblockTM Infrastructure Platform helped propel VCE to $10 million in business in just 4 months. VCE is a $1 billion business today. She sees efforts to understand what factors impact the customer experience and improving customer perception indicators as one of the biggest stories in cable this year.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months?
This is an incredibly exciting time in the era of digital disruption as it is not just cloud, analytics, social, mobile and security that are driving a market change, but the convergence of all these elements. My biggest professional accomplishment is that as a leader of the service provider business, I have played a key role, along with my team, to not only drive cloud initiatives but the merging of all these technologies. I am honored to be recognized for my leadership in these converged industries with multiple nominations for the prestigious CableFax award, and being named a top-20 woman in cloud.
Best business advice you’ve received?
In the rapid changing world of digital disruption, it is imperative as both leaders and individual contributors that we learn fast and fail fast. It is critical to constantly evaluate the business portfolio and balance the investments between growth areas and cash cows, and make course-corrections to the strategy and implementation as needed.
How do you define diversity?
Diversity drives business growth. Diversity is not just focused on gender, race, religious beliefs, etc. it is about bringing different perspectives to drive the right decisions. A diverse business is essential to help enable long-term growth, innovation and risk-taking.
How can cable better support diversity?
Cable consumers are a cross-section of the human population, which is nearly a 50-50 split of men and women. So in order to adequately serve their customer base, cable companies need to have a diverse base of executives that also includes women. Ideally, women leaders should be dealing with female cable customers who also really understand the customer. This also sends a strong message to customers as many of them want to do business with companies that value a diverse and a well-rounded workforce
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
The cable industry is facing many challenges, but one of the most formidable is from Over the Top (OTT) content and applications and evolving customer behavior. Analytics is an important tool that is helping cable companies thrive in this environment in a few specific areas:
• Improving Service Quality / Customer Experience: Understanding what factors impact customer experience and service to help take proactive decisions to improve customer perception indicators
• Improving operational efficiency and reducing costs: Holistically analyzing operational data to minimize truck rolls and getting service activation right at first attempt.
• Understanding customer tastes to make more informed decisions for bundling products/services and for deciding which shows to bid for to drive increased revenue
We will continue to see cable companies embrace analytics as a key differentiator and driver of growth
How do you define success?
I think a successful career is defined by being true to who you are both personally and professionally, and by not being afraid to take risks. The other key aspects of a successful career are always being willing to learn, and being open to new opportunities. Being mentally stimulated, continually enhancing your skills and feeling challenged are all priorities for my team, and I believe they are also important attributes of any good leader and manager.