Big Interview

Q&A: John Vladimir Slamecka, regional VP of Europe, Middle East and Africa, AT&T

John Vladimir Slamecka, AT&T's regional vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, speaks to Capacity about his predictions for the global wholesale access market.

You’ve been with AT&T for 22 years, including regional roles supporting AT&T’s retail and access management business. Can you tell us about your role and your priorities for 2015?  

I serve as the head of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions for the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It’s AT&T’s largest global region where our customers make up 57% of FTSE 100 companies, more than 90% of the CAC 40 Index and over 85% of the DAX Index. I’m excited to lead the business at this transformative time in the industry. We’re seeing technology change industries and create new market leaders. It’s our role at AT&T to help our customers reap the benefits for long-term and sustainable futures.   

This year, we’re continuing to help our customers connect, protect, virtualise and manage their businesses. Our customers can connect to our network from around the world – whether it’s their headquarters in Paris, an operations site in Johannesburg or a branch office in China or the US. Our world-renowned networking capabilities and global scale mean our customers’ most critical assets are highly secure. At the same time, they benefit from an evolution to leading-edge technologies and services. 

How have times changed for multi-national businesses and what does the future hold for them?

Mobility and globalisation are changing everything. They’re changing the way we work. For most businesses, staying connected is more important than ever. Employees, workforce and channels need to access their work at any time, from virtually anywhere. As mobile and cloud solutions progress, we are seeing a shift. We’re mobilising people, processes and assets. And we’re helping our customers transform their businesses by solving the challenges of the connected world, while capturing its opportunities.

You were the former head of AT&T Global Wholesale & Access Solutions. What does the future hold for the access market?  

I’m encouraged by the collaboration among service providers. It’s a dialogue that fosters innovation and commerce. Forces like mobility, unified communications and security are shaping the enterprise communications market and changing the wholesale market. Open technology standards and scale are drivers in the wholesale market too.  

My experience leading AT&T’s international access management business means I have a full view of the communications market. I can share this deep insight with our enterprise customers for their competitive benefit. Our customers need fast and reliable, strategic knowledge as they grow in emerging markets around the world.  

What are the major trends in the EMEA communications market? How do they compare to the rest of the world? 

Mobile devices are becoming the “remote control” for businesses, in the way the smartphone is the “remote control” of your life.  Once connected, everybody needs to focus on security. This is a story that resonates in EMEA and with our customers around the world. Our customers are concerned about protecting their assets. We give them peace of mind, because security is at the core of what we do.  

They want new technology that works with existing systems and a highly secure mobile environment. They want solutions that address current challenges and anticipate those in the future. And they want a way to stay ahead of competitors with innovation and flexibility.  

More customers are asking us to help with strategic consultancy and architecture planning. We’re designing road-maps for them that deploy new technologies in an integrated way with their foundation network. It means our customers can reap the rewards of emerging technologies in areas such as security, cloud, unified communications and mobility.

How is the merger going between AT&T’s mobile and business units?

Last year we combined our mobile and business units. The move uniquely positions us to address transformational trends across the market. We can connect all points with our unmatched set of assets and experience. We can virtualise collaboration infrastructure, manage end-to-end service and deliver through a highly secure mobile cloud architecture. And our globally available network helps our multi-national companies run their critical applications easily from all places. 

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