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30 Best Leaders To Watch 2019

Transforming Business by Using the Power of Analytics A Conversation with Dr. Silvia Veronese, SVP of Global Customer Success at: Guavus


Guavus is known for providing the ability and the intelligence to manage big data in real time, giving a tremendous boost to Communications Service Providers (CSPs), enterprises and governments looking to make a digital transformation. Guavus fundamentally believes that in order for companies to become truly data-driven, a new data fabric is needed that correlates and analyzes the massive amount of customer, business and IT operational data riding across their networks. By providing access to this data in real time, Guavus’ analytics solutions are enabling companies to make faster, data-informed decisions and deliver superior customer experience and new services.

Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful business or IT leader?

A great leader must have a vision – the ability to see in your mind’s eye what lies ahead, finding a balance between ‘what can you do today’ and ‘what you want to achieve tomorrow.’ You need to know where your company stands and how your key assets can best meet the needs of your customers and market.

A leader never settles for less than what they know they can achieve. Always challenge yourself and your team to keep going and to push forward because only in this way can you grow as a leader, as a team, and as a company. To get there, you must tackle your fear of failure. The truth is that failure is not an obstacle, a wall between you and your goal – it’s the foremost experience to achieve that goal.

And finally, there is the call to action – the ability to actively reach an objective, no matter how complex it is. Aim big, but make it real and stick to the plan. Having a great goal is fundamental for any company, but to make it achievable you must approach it with logic and pragmatism. This means identifying the problems and breaking them down into manageable tasks without losing sight on your ultimate goal.

Q. How does your company contribute to Digital Transformation?

When we talk of digital transformation, what we are really witnessing is a complex and multifaceted process representing a massive cultural shift, a revolution affecting every part of an organization. The idea that you could just buy the right software and instantly increase productivity is appealing. But fundamentally, digital transformation is about changing how customers and a company work together, not just which technology they’re using to get the work done.

Guavus’ goal is to help customers understand that data is the new oil, the new digital currency for providing deeper insights into their business. No matter which market, gathering data and analyzing it is fundamental to helping a business grow. In this scenario, analytical models and technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning become a crucial way to analyze large amounts of data and to make companies effective in real time.

To assist in this, we provide analytics solutions that enable customers to improve their operations and better engage their customers and grow their business. How we achieve this is we truly co-innovate with our customers. We work with them to root out the most challenging problems in their business and we quickly propose a custom analytics application solution. We segment the solution in such a way that the customer gets to see frequent demonstrations of it as it’s being developed. This ensures that the application, as it progresses, will address their problem and also allows for fine tuning of the application, ensuring it addresses all operational needs along the way. Our ability to marry innovative solutions with existing product technology allows Guavus to deliver high-value solutions quickly in a manner that proves immediate value and are able to be adapted to changing business models and business requirements.

Guavus analytics run on the largest data lake in the world, which grows at a rate of half a petabyte a day. Today, six of the seven largest telecom providers use Guavus technology – we’re helping the top mobile and cable operators and telcos worldwide to truly make that digital transformation.

Q. What were the initial hurdles you had to overcome as a company?

Challenges are always present and, somehow, always the same. The biggest one is freezing. For a company like Guavus in a field that is advancing so rapidly, inaction is deadly because only by moving forward can you achieve growth and, accordingly, set your expectations even higher. If you find yourself freezing, gather your circle, listen, brainstorm and choose a path out of the crisis.

Another big threat is ignoring when to pivot. If you find yourself doing everything right but without reaching the results you were expecting, it’s time to change, to reassess or rebrand. To break free, you need to channel the fluidity of the market into new opportunities and at the same time balance these demands with a solid delivery and customer experience.

And finally, you need to focus on only one vision instead of considering multiple approaches, which is probably something a lot of startups face at the very beginning. There are many ideas and all of them are good ideas. Nothing is clearly defined in the market. Eventually, you make a plan and you’ll give it a try to see how the market responds. If the results are bad, you move on to the next one.

Q. If you had one piece of advice for someone who's just starting out what would that be?

Be open to feedback as much as possible and be flexible, because you can’t achieve anything if you are trapped by your own pride or bias. Don’t be afraid of falling short, because there is no growth without challenging yourself to do better. Nurture your idea through different points of views – listen to your partners, your mentors and your peers because teamwork is the best way to accomplish something worthy.

Q. How have you evolved over the years?

As the years go by, what I have gained are the soft skills of being a leader. It is easy to fall into a directive style of leadership, anybody can learn that. But there is another way – you can lead with understanding and commitment. One of the most important lessons I have learned is how to value and support the team because only in this way will the team support and value me.

And finally, I have learned how to deal with more complex and ambiguous problems. Sometimes there is just not enough time, decisions need to be made even with incomplete information. In these kinds of circumstances, the worst you could possibly do is not acting. You need to keep going knowing that you are not alone because you have a team backing you up and the expertise you have built through and through to show you the way.

Q. Where do you see your company in five years?

A couple of years ago, Guavus was acquired by Thales, a worldwide leader that provides solutions for the aerospace, defense, transportation and security markets with the objective of strengthening the processing and predictive analysis of “big data,” an increasingly critical factor in real-time decision-making. What we want to be is the top streaming analytics company, recognized worldwide for reducing operational costs, understanding user data, user behavior and ultimately increasing the overall customer experience as it pertains to the big data domain. Nowadays, big data plays a key role in the digital transformation of CSPs, businesses, governments and cities. Guavus is perfectly suited to meet the growing needs of an increasingly connected global ecosystem. The road is clear – we have the expertise and solutions to make a difference and to keep growing in a market that is thirsty for big data analysis.

The Dynamic Leader

Dr. Silvia Veronese | SVP of Global Customer Success

Dr. Silvia Veronese is responsible for the successful adoption of Guavus technologies – from delivery to services to support – driving innovation and transformation in the largest big data environments of the world. Silvia has extensive experience in big data, analytics, algorithmic modeling, security, information management and governance in both enterprise and service providers market.

Prior to Guavus, Silvia pioneered the function of customer success at HP and HPE for a market of more than 40,000 customers and partners. Silvia was a co-founder of several start-ups in data analytics, traffic monitoring, and high-frequency trading. At IBM, she was part of the team that designed the first parallel shared memory computer.

Silvia spent the first half of her career in academia as a professor of Mathematics at the University of Utah teaching and researching high-performance computing and non-linear dynamical modeling. She has published several articles about mathematical modeling, biomedical engineering, network, and traffic flow analysis. She is a doctor in mathematics graduated from the University of Pavia, Italy, she has an MBA in Management of Technologies from the University of Utah and has completed her post-graduate studies at M.I.T.