Technology in the age of COVID-19

I would like to share with you this interview from Technology Harmony Podcast by Symphony Technology Solutions. Thank you so much, Katy Galley (podcast’s host) for this awesome interview.

[If you missed Podcast Interview, you can find it HERE]


Topic: How is Covid-19 impacting telecommunication and integrated systems industries?

Katy Galley: We have Executive Deal Lead with AT&T Bryan Wilson. How are you doing Bryan?

Bryan Wilson: Very good, thank you. Thanks for having me Katie.

Katy Galley: Absolutely, thank you so much, Bryan, for stopping by and sharing your story, uhm, you know our, you know our manufactured little studio today.

Bryan Wilson: Happy to be here.

Katy Galley: Awesome. So Bryan, just to kind of get to know you a little bit, can you tell us a little bit about your professional journey and how you got the job that you have today?

Bryan Wilson: Well, I’ve been in Fortune 500 most of my career. I graduated from college and started at GE and then moved to IBM and then Sun Microsystems and then I wound up here at AT&T, about eight years ago. So I’ve been at AT&T with Network Integration for about eight years and we are now moving and transitioning NI into a new group within AT&T called Advanced Solutions.

Katy Galley: Wow, jumps from some big companies in your past got quite the, uh, resume there.

Bryan Wilson: Well it’s- I’ve been very fortunate and they’ve been really great companies to work for and understanding big company processes and the way big companies work it’s been really great, really awesome customers and so it’s been a blessing.

Katy Galley: Absolutely, and so Bryan specifically you said getting into network integrations and in the last couple of years with AT&T.  So what exactly does that mean? What is that space entail?

Bryan Wilson: Well, a lot of people might not understand or realize the AT&T is a very large system integrator and we are very large in the government space and also in the private sector. Mostly with, you know, large fortune type companies, but also with emerging companies that are growing and forming, you know, consolidations with acquisitions and also companies that are, you know, migrating to new technologies. AT&T steps in with their past, with their solutions, their services, and their products to help those customers.

Katy Galley: And so being now, and I mean that’s amazing to learning, of course, the depth of AT&T. I mean you might have if you don’t know a lot about what AT&T does, I mean I’m certain most everybody knows that company name, but then learning about the depth of it and learning too; specifically, how you’re a systems integrator. And so Bryan, specifically now just with what’s going on in the world today and as you’re within your involvement in AT&T I wonder in your industry specifically what do you see as the major impact that Covid-19 is having?

Bryan Wilson: Well. Being a telecom company and having a DNA with our roots being in telecommunications we have really been fortunate to be in an area of the economy where working from home is something that we’ve done, and be felt very comfortable with, and helping companies sort of allow employees to work from home, is something that we’ve done for several years. So, then, the move from analog to digital, the move from voice over IP, and now the move to telecommunications through video conferencing, it really has been a, I guess, a path that we have grown into with our customers lead request, and also our business customers, and our home customers. So it has really been an area where our employees have done it and it’s been easier for us to help other customers and help their businesses- have gone online and worked remotely.

Katy Galley: So, it’s more so, I mean you were already kind of prepared for something, not prepared for something like this, necessarily, but you’re prepared for the capacity working from home, and so now, on the back end, you’re able to help other companies then, who are now starting to learn how to work from home?

Bryan Wilson: Yeah, I think so that’s a good way to phrase it. The technology has been there; it’s maturing it is becoming more mainstream. You know, looking how COVID has affected the education environment. And schools being done remotely, teachers working remotely with students, professors working remotely with their large projects, and then you know managers and their team working remote- it has become almost a maturation of the technology that has been here for a while and COVID has sort of created an environment where we’ve had to use the technology. You know, for example, you know churches have not been meeting for, you know, several weeks and they’re having online services, and they’re having telemedicine with doctors working with their patients using telemedicine, and conference call, and videoconference, so I think the technology has been there and the network has been very resilient and has been stretched, but successfully allowed us to use this new technology to continue doing what we need to do, through, you know, through this COVID situation.

Katy Galley: Yeah, I mean that makes a lot of sense, like you said it’s kind of transcending into churches and educate, the educational sector too, so it’s kind of- it’s not obviously just in the technology space, but then it’s, you said, it’s kind of maturing at a more rapid rate into these other industries that might not have been exposed to this level of technology, I guess technological innovation, before.

Bryan Wilson: You’re exactly right, that-that is it in a nutshell, really.

Katy Galley: Yeah, and I mean but that’s amazing then, too, that AT&T is able to be at the forefront of that, and kind of help them in that- in that guidance, and so then, Bryan, specifically- I know you’ve already touched on this different adaptation that maybe you see as needing to be made in your industry specifically, or as it kind of maybe Covid-19 continues, this maturation of the technology, but what adaptations or more adaptations do you see being needed to be made in your industry, and, more specifically, as it pertains to AT&T as Covid-19 continues?

Bryan Wilson: Well, I think that’s a good way to be seen situation. I guess, what we will look forward to, is to see how society embraces the technology and the means of communicating and how we are just, as a society going to be doing things just going forward. The basis of our society is still interaction and interacting in a different way may be embraced and accepted, but we still, as a community, want to do things together and, you know, for example, looking to see how the sports and entertainment venues are going to be different, how are we going to try to monitor the health of our citizens and our in our users; going forward we have customers looking at, you know, how can they put the safety of their employees and their-and their customers in a-in a primary, I guess, situation so that no one is put at risk, and we keep their health and their safety, you know, as a primary concern. So, things are going to be different, things are going to be a, I guess, adjusting to a new normal and we’re waiting to see what that new normal looks like, but I’m sure that technology is going to be a big part of it. To what extent, we will find out, we’ll see, but it is also allowing us to span internationally and what we’ve sort of, I guess, seen recently is also the international teaming and the video conferencing of working in teams. So it’s an exciting time, and it’s something that we really didn’t see happening as quickly as it has, but something like this pandemic has caused us to fast forward and implement things in a little different and faster paced than we may have anticipated.

Katy Galley: Yep, and I mean that’s, it’s pretty clear and the way you’re describing it and then to how the technology has had to mature much faster, like you said, and even though it was there, it already existed- it’s how it had to kind of catch up with what was going on at a really rapid pace, and so then, Bryan, I’m in that-with that similar vein, I mean, talking about different industries outside of the technology industry, but I mean more specifically to looking inwardly with integrated systems and AT&T in just this technology space, um do you see something that maybe all the players within this industry can be doing to maybe help each other out right now or as we start to kind of look to the future, like you said, I mean, how-we can’t really guess what’s going to happen, of course, but is there something, that maybe you see, that could be how we could start to be doing, or on the backend, begin to help each other out as the corona virus pandemic maybe starts to slow, and we start to really be having this technology- such an integral part of our lives now.

Bryan Wilson: Well, I think that is an excellent lead-in to companies working together closely, and working to satisfy business and technology-needs, working with customers. It’s been really amazing and inspirational to see how the public-private partnerships have come together and we’ve seen communities come together to assist one another, to work together, to embrace the first responders that we have with AT&T, you know, the First Net Initiative that is being rolled out for our first responders the, you know, the health care workers that are really, you know, keeping us safe in a, you know, in a tough environment, and to see communities and companies and even competitors work together, and where we can, to do things to better everyone, and to get us through some of these, you know, very, you know, unknown times, and seeing how things are turning back on and coming and, you know, out of a, you know,  shut down like we’ve had; I think it’s really really, I guess, encouraging, to see how it’s coming together and so with issues of, I guess, change, also creates opportunities and so I hoping that, you know, customers and technologists, such as myself, can understand that change is inevitable, we will get through this, and, with technology, and with communities, and with people wanting to succeed together that we can accomplish, you know, many great things going forward.

Katy Galley: I love that, it’s such an incredibly positive outlook, but then, too, coming specifically- it’s from our practical place to, I mean, you see it being a technology, see yourself, knowing the impact these incredible technologies are having and can have; and so that’s, um, I love that just having that positive forward-thinking. And so, Bryan, for you, now- one, thank you so much for sharing your insight today- if anyone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about AT&T, where might they connect with you?

Bryan Wilson: Well, I’m on most of the social media platforms. Bryan Wilson, Bryan E. or Bryan Eric Wilson and I’m happy to engage in reply and help anyone that might have a question or have a thought that I might be able to help them with and anything I can do I’m happy to assist.

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