Portugal

2007-09-27
In Lisbon today, where Vodafone is one of the first mobile operators to have started to massively deploy their own DSL network, and looks to provide an IPTV and video on demand service. The meeting is very important as Vodafone Portugal is the first ‘OpCo’ of the Vodafone group to source an IPTV system. Competition is fierce, mainly with Alcatel-Lucent-Microsoft.
In their magnificent headquarters facing the Vasco de Gamma bridge on the Tage, we have one hour exactly to present to the CTO and CMO and their staff, and as we came in numbers (CMO, CTO-me-, local sales, head of the IPTV unit), we each carefully prepared our speaking slot.
This is without planning for the failure of the giant plasma screen of the meeting room, which eats a precious 15mns, and many questions.
With the next meeting already waiting in line, in the end I have to compress my pitch to just 5 minutes. I rapidly calculate that this will have cost, my salary not included, about 300€ per minute.
So this has been another wake-up at 5 am, a flight way and back to Lisbon… for 5 minutes of useful time. We sell and promote videoconferencing systems for the masses, but somehow we still prefer to fly, even in the telecom industry. This makes me wonder how much worse the global warming must become, how much more expensive oil will need to be, before businesses really start to change their habits.

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