Archive for the ‘When She Speaks’ Category

One Plus One Makes Eleven

February 15, 2020

OnePlusOnePanelFountainBlue’s February 13 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ‘One Plus One Makes Eleven’. This month’s inspiring panel of leaders came from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, but they had much in common.

  • They are clear and inspiring communicators who are both humble and confident.
  • They have navigated some challenging waters, and learned from both their successes and their challenges.
  • They continue to push the envelop, holding the bar higher for themselves and for all those they work with.

They also agreed on many things.

  • Empowering the people and the team is a critical management and leadership skill. 
  • The only way for individuals and teams to scale is to include a broader, more diverse team members.
  • It’s not always easy to integrate someone into a team, but it’s often worth the effort to try. Build rapport with each team member.

They also shared advice on how to get teams to be more innovative.

  • Create and nurture a culture which rewards failure, which invites courage.
  • Invite the multipliers to join the team. 
  • Inspire and engage the right people to join and stay. 
  • Embrace a collaboration mind set – 
  • Be ever ready to answer the questions: how are we better together? how are we making a difference?
  • Celebrate the wins.
  • Err on the side of inclusivity.
  • Decide for yourself what types of people would ‘push your buttons’. Find out how to best manage yourself, and best work with people who might be toxic or difficult under specific circumstances.
  • Be customer-oriented and motivate the team to also focus on the customer.
  • Be metrics/data-based, especially when emotions run high.

We close by challenging everyone to be the leader, be the change. Never settle into complacency. Celebrate successes, but then be passionate about what’s next.


FountainBlue’s February 13 When She Speaks event on the topic of ‘One Plus One Makes Eleven’. Please join me in thanking our panelists and our hosts at Citrix.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Indira Joshi, Director of Technical Marketing, Emerging Memory Solutions, Micron Technology
  • Panelist Shikha Mittal, Director, Product Management & Strategy, VMware
  • Panelist Marissa Schmidt, Senior Director of Product Management, CITRIX

A Seat at the Table

January 20, 2020

SeatAtTablePanelFountainBlue’s January 18 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ‘A Seat at the Table’.  Although this month’s panelists had a wide range of styles, perspectives and backgrounds, they have each certainly earned their seats at the table. Below is a compilation of their advice on how we could each also earn the respect, influence and resources needed to make a strategic and tactical impact at work and in life.

  • Be Brave.
    • If you want to make a difference and experience something different than what you’ve experienced to date, be courageous in making well-thought-out, uncomfortable choices.
  • Be Calm.
    • Manage your own emotions so that you can have more influence. When emotions run high, try to assume positive intent and understand the motivations and actions of people who are making you upset. 
  • Be Prepared.
    • Think strategically and tactically about what you’d like to accomplish and why, who can help make it happen, how it could happen, what success looks like, etc. 
  • Be Authentic.
    • Be fully and genuinely and openly authentic, truthful, compassionate and human. This is especially true through tough circumstances.
  • Be Connected.
    • Grow your personal and professional network to include a wider and broader swath of people.  
  • Be Empathetic.
    • Be open and empathetic, more curious than judgmental about people who are not-like-you. 
  • Be Collaborative.
    • Partner and work with like-minded people to achieve results which benefit all.
  • Be Charming.
    • Honey attracts flies better than vinegar. Never underestimate the power of charm. 
  • Be Strategic.
    • When making decisions, consider the why, the what, the who, the how and achieve those long-term and short term goals. 
  • Be Effective.
    • Know what success looks like and measure and report on your progress along the way, engaging all stakeholders.
  • Be Creative.
    • Embrace your ability to think outside the box. Welcome others to also voice diverse perspectives.
  • Be Compassionate.
    • Be gentle with yourself and others. We are all one, on an imperfect journey to finding our greater selves.
  • Be Positive.
    • Manage your self-talk and your energy to think and act positively.

The bottom line is that we can each earn a seat at the table, no matter what our background, role, education, etc., If you choose to have a seat at the table, first ask yourself WHY you’d like to do it, WHAT you’d like to influence first, WHO can help you to do so, and WHAT success would look like.

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FountainBlue’s January 18 When She Speaks event on the topic of ‘A Seat at the Table’. Please join me in thanking our panelists and our hosts at TechLAB.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Coco Brown, Founder and CEO, The Athena Alliance
  • Panelist Barbara Massa, Executive Vice President, People & Places, FireEye
  • Panelist Nivedita Ojha, Senior Director – Product Management, Edge Devices & Cloud, Mobile, SaaS, Citrix
  • Panelist Sonya Pelia, CMO, Cira Apps Ltd; Board Member, How Women Lead
  • Panelist Ronit Polak, VP Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks

Men Who Open Doors

December 20, 2019

MenOpenDoors.jpg

FountainBlue’s December 13 When She Speaks event was on the topic of Men Who Open Doors.  This month’s panelists represented a wide range of companies, backgrounds and roles, but they had much in common which made them great sponsors.

  • They consistently and strategically sponsor the women in their organization because they believe in the business, professional and personal benefits for doing so
  • They have success stories which show how sponsorship has benefited individuals, teams, and organizations.
  • They support and espouse a culture of inclusive beyond the people they can personally sponsor.

Below is advice they shared about how to sponsor a promising staff member.

  • Doing the right thing by someone and supporting their advancement is also good for your culture, your product, your company.
  • Be an empathetic and proactive listener. 
  • Help someone clarify their passion, and create a path to work on something of interest to her/him.
  • Have a merit-based view of the world.
  • See others without the filter of judgment. 
  • Learn from everyone, no matter what their role is, what their organization is.
  • Invite diverse perspectives to support everything from product development to decision-making, from hiring to marketing.
  • Encourage people to stop complaining and start doing something. Empower them to succeed.
  • Allow access to key leaders and customers so that they can see the larger perspective. 
  • Give them opportunities to prove themselves, to shine and thrive.
  • Help people gain the self confidence to reach beyond their comfort zone.

Below is advice for people who are seeking sponsors.

  • Be strategic about what you’re looking for, who can help you, how she/he can help you.
  • Know that not all sponsors are the right ones for you, and even that not all sponsors are good sponsors.
  • Be clear on your interests and your passion, and how these things can benefit the product, the group, the organization.
  • Be willing to work hard, to learn to think, speak and act differently.
  • Embrace feedback and input.
  • Be open minded about available options.

Below is advice on how we can help each other move the needle forward.

  • Help and support others, even if it’s not your job to do so.
  • Choose to do the right thing, and help others to do the same.
  • Have an abundance mindset – the more you help someone else – even if that person is not directly related to you – the more you help everyone.
  • Help someone find his or her voice.
  • Make a stand for someone whose not acknowledged.
  • Defend someone from the games others are playing to undermine her/him.

The bottom line with these sponsors is that they whole-heartedly believe that together with a more diverse, more inclusive team, we are ALL better off, in the short term and for the long term.


Please join me in thanking our panelists and our hosts at Texas Instruments.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; Director, Vonzos Partners
  • Panelist Dr. Benjamin Cook, Sr. Director, Nanotechnology – Kilby Labs, CTO Organization, Texas Instruments
  • Panelist JD Dillon, Vice President of Marketing, Enphase Energy
  • Panelist Martin Jessen, VP Learning Solutions North America, Schneider Electric
  • Panelist Mike Snell, Vice President of Operations, Global Operations, Lam Research
  • Panelist Jon Woolvine, Distinguished Engineer, Director Information Technology, Cisco 
  • with opening remarks provided by Rajni Dharmarajan, Product line General Manager, Texas Instruments

Unconscious Bias

November 11, 2019
UnconsciousBias

Left to Right: Sonya, Megan, Martha, Linda, Alia, Sujatha

FountainBlue’s November 8 When She Speaks event on the topic of Overcoming Unconscious Bias. Our panelists represented a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds, yet they had much in common.

  • Each are intelligent, driven, flexible and competent enough to excel in a corporate environment while remaining business-focused and people-centric.
  • Each are committed to sharing their best practices, in the interest of supporting the larger community.
  • Each has the self-awareness and confidence to address and confront their own unconscious biases, and stoically plod on the self-improvement journey, while supporting others with theirs.

They shared their advice with wisdom, insight and humor.

  • Be slow to judge, quick to support.
  • Be actively thinking, actively listening to what’s said and what’s meant.
  • Look closely, judge kindly.
  • Reflection and introspection help people get grounded and centered.
  • Take all the help you can get to manage your own unconscious biases – whether it’s through your company, your trusted board of advisers, your school and community, etc.,
  • Choose to be the bigger person when you are the one being judged. Consistently build that brand of taking the high road. Deliver with your results.
  • Recruit others to support you in overcoming biases, conscious and conscious.
  • Watch your language. Manage your filters. 
  • Pick your battles. Address the mid-term and long-term goals. The short term battles are difficult to win, especially when the biases aren’t conscious, when the judgements run deep.
  • Know what you can influence and what you can’t influence. Accept what you can’t influence – (at least not in the short term.)
  • Watch the packaging – how you dress, look and act may have others judging you favorably or unfavorably. Aim not to offend.
  • Have honest conversations with yourself about any biases you might have.
  • Immerse yourself in uncomfortable situations and circumstances so that you can better understand those who are not-like-you.
  • Spell out how others are categorized and considered for hiring and promotion. Is it fair and just? Is it generating the diverse results you say you’re seeking?
  • Create processes which would help others fairly consider all options.
  • Watch the exceptions that you’re making, to ensure that those exceptions are fairly distributed.

In the end, we concluded that it’s hard to be open to your own biases when you don’t know that you have them, or what they are. Assume that you do. That everyone does.

You can only manage your own journey, and support others as they manage theirs.


Please join me in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s November 8 When She Speaks event on the topic of Overcoming Unconscious Bias and our gracious hosts at Aruba HPE.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
  • Panelist Alia Ayub, Vice President of Tax, Lam Research
  • Panelist Megan Cheek, Head of Human Resources, Anatomage
  • Panelist Sujatha Mandava, VP of Product Management, Aruba HPE
  • Panelist Sonya Pelia, CMO, Cira Apps Limited
  • Panelist Martha Ryan, Executive Director Business Transformation, Maxim

Mentorship

November 11, 2019
Mentorship2019HonoreesFountainBlue’s First Annual Mentorship Awards event, part of the When She Speaks series, was scheduled for November 1.
Our mentorship awardees this year had a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, but each had much in common:
  • they each valued the input of the mentors from an early age and on an ongoing basis;
  • they worked with their companies to create a program which support dozens and even hundreds of men and women;
  • they each continued to mentor others as they themselves advanced in their careers;
  • they are each committed to continuing to mentor others, on top of their immense work responsibilities, community commitments, and the day-to-day joys and challenges of a busy family.
Our panelists agreed on the short term and long-term benefits of mentorship. Mentors can help solve current problems, but they can also help with longer-term gains building confidence, expanding perception, providing support, especially when times are tough.
 
There are many reasons to become a mentor. Not only is it personally satisfying, but also supports the professional development of mentees, but also the team and organization as a whole. Mentoring is a great way to give back – to your team, to your company, to your community, to the next generation. 
 
Below is a summary of mentorship best practices.
  • The mentoring relationship is a dynamic one – the needs of both mentors and mentees change over time. Clear communication from both sides help ensure productive interactions between mentees and mentors.
  • One goal from a mentorship relationship is to develop a ‘thicker skin’, so that the mentee is more resilient and confident even if an environment is less than ideal.
  • Mentors can successfully mirror behavior or attitude of the mentee, so that she/he can better understand how others are responding to them.
  • There are many different kinds of mentors and mentoring relationships. Just because you have a technical mentor doesn’t mean that you don’t also need a mentor to help navigate a new role, for example.
  • Mentors can help filter messages and information, so that you focus on what’s important and use your time most wisely.
  • Mentor people at all levels, not just those designated as ‘high-potential’. Even if the mentee never gets into management levels, that mentee would have more influence and more confidence in whichever level they’re in.
  • With that said, make sure that both mentors and mentees are willing participant. It doesn’t work to mandate a mentor-mentee relationship.
  • Have specific criteria if you’re matching mentors and mentees, and have direct communication to ensure that both parties continue to benefit from the connection.
Every speaker remarked on how important it was to develop our people, our relationships, and how mentorship is a critical tool to grow everyone at all levels at scale.

Please join me in congratulating FountainBlue’s 2019 Mentorship Honorees.
  • Amber Barber, Sr. Manager Business Operations Management, Lam Research
  • Serpil Bayraktar, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect’s Office – Development, Cisco
  • Christina Lewis, BU Controller/Director, Enterprise Finance, Western Digital
  • Ronit Polak, VP, Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks
  • Kavita Shah, Senior Director, Strategic Marketing, Nova Measuring Instruments
Thank you also to our hosts at Lam Research, to Erin Yeaman, Managing Director of HR, Lam Research and to Mike Snell, Vice President of Operations, Global Operations, Lam Research for their introductory remarks. 

Age of the Customer

October 14, 2019

FountainBlue’s October 11 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ‘Age of the Customer’. Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have such a fun, passionate, customer-focused panel to speak on this ‘Age of the Customer’ topic. Clearly their focus on the customer helps them better understand the needs and motivations of internal and external customers. The far-ranging conversation covered the drivers which lead to the empowerment of the customer, including the infrastructure development and technology advancement which influenced this trend:

  • The hardware and software advancements 
  • The networking and bandwidth advancements 
  • The big data, AI, database advancements
  • The sensors, IoT, and other data-generating devices and things

Indeed, the world has become more connected, the customers more empowered. Our panelists agreed that the challenge now is not getting the data, but filtering the data for relevancy; not retrieving the data, but how quickly we can get access to the right data; not creating simple if-then scripts around the data, but creating and continually updating programs to proactive receive and act on relevant data, so we can make real-time inferences and decisions, sometimes when the stakes are very high.

In this age of the customer, proactive companies:

  • invite customers to provide input on current and anticipated problems 
  • integrate historical, customer and market data to better anticipate future needs
  • synthesize data to add strategic value for each customer
  • help internal and external customers better navigate changes in market and technology trends

Below is advice provided by our panelists on how to better serve customers:

  • Be proactive. Err on the side of action. 
  • Don’t let ‘best’ be the enemy of ‘better’. 
  • Align stakeholders on a common cause – the needs of the customer.
  • Be fluid, be open. Don’t be complacent.
  • Invite the feedback and participation from the naysayers.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Be persistent – go over, go around, go through if you must.
  • Build communities.
  • Build relationships.
  • Leverage data and metrics to better understand and address the needs of the customer. 
  • Embrace failure as a lesson in succeeding. But if you must fail, fail fast. Don’t hang on to long to something that will fail. 

We concluded by remarking that serving customers will be more efficient, even as customers becoming more demanding for personalized solutions. So automation, ingenuity and programming will be key. However, humans will always be necessary. There will be no substitute for the human connection. Humans will always be needed to make those decisions, to solve for new problems, to come up with those creative solutions, in this age of the customer.


Please join us in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s October 11 When She Speaks event, on the topic of ‘Age of the Customer’ and our gracious hosts at Pure Storage.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
  • Panelist Donelle Block, Director, Global Support Operations, Pure Storage, Inc.
  • Panelist Lauren Larson Diehl, Sr. Director, Customer Success Management Global Program Office, Oracle
  • Panelist Shikha Mittal, Director, Product Management & Strategy, VMWare 
  • Panelist Meena Narayanan, Vice President – People & Culture, Livongo Health
  • with opening remarks by Bill Cerreta, General Manager, Platform BU, Pure Storage

See bios and invitation at https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/collaboration

Collaboration

September 25, 2019

CollaborationBestPracticesPanel

We were fortunate to have such a diverse, inspiring and experienced panel of leaders speaking on a range of collaboration concepts. They represented a range of educational backgrounds, corporate experience, and cultural and entrepreneurial backgrounds, but they had much in common.

  • They each leveraged collaboration to bring out the best in themselves and in others. 
  • They are each experts at drawing on the experience and backgrounds and perspectives of others, while focusing on common issues and problems.
  • They are each passionate about learning and growing, and committed to spreading their learnings to others.

Below are some thoughts they shared about the benefits of collaboration:

  • Collaborating with others leads to greater results for all.
  • Collaborating with others who are different than you brings great value still.
  • Business issues ranging from problem-solving to decision-making, from brainstorming to conflict resolution can be resolved through collaboration.

Each panelist emphasized that leaders who can best facilitate collaboration will consistently bring better results. Below is some advice on how to better encourage collaboration.

  • Understand the background and motivations of others, so that you can better work towards a common goal.
  • Identify criteria and factors of importance for a project’s success.
  • Ensure that the data you use is valid and true. That data’s integrity is critical to the success of any project.
  • Larger networks are not necessarily better, but more diverse networks generally can be better. So encourage diversity of thought in your team, for your projects, in your life.
  • Be inclusive of others. Help others feel comfortable contributing.
  • Focus on the needs of the customer. Ask your internal staff, your partners and your customers how you can best serve their needs.
  • Clear, transparent, true communication is critical for all effective collaborations. 
  • All successful collaborations rely on mutual trust.

Here are some final thoughts around collaboration.

  • Be humble. Be open. Be a lifelong learner who believes you can learn from anyone, from every experience.
  • Have a good attitude. Your Attitude and Your Aptitude will define your Altitude.
  • Empathy is the new superpower. Be empathetic to those around you. Understanding everyone’s point of view, and having compassion for their pain-points and challenges will help you better understand yourself and your project.

Resources:

Collaboration Best Practices

September 25, 2019

CollaborationBestPracticesPanel

FountainBlue’s September 13 When She Speaks event, on the topic of ‘Collaboration Best Practices’. Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have such a diverse, inspiring and experienced panel of leaders speaking on a range of collaboration concepts. They represented a range of educational backgrounds, corporate experience, and cultural and entrepreneurial backgrounds, but they had much in common.

  • They each leveraged collaboration to bring out the best in themselves and in others. 
  • They are each experts at drawing on the experience and backgrounds and perspectives of others, while focusing on common issues and problems.
  • They are each passionate about learning and growing, and committed to spreading their learnings to others.

Below are some thoughts they shared about the benefits of collaboration:

  • Collaborating with others leads to greater results for all.
  • Collaborating with others who are different than you brings great value still.
  • Business issues ranging from problem-solving to decision-making, from brainstorming to conflict resolution can be resolved through collaboration.

Each panelist emphasized that leaders who can best facilitate collaboration will consistently bring better results. Below is some advice on how to better encourage collaboration.

  • Understand the background and motivations of others, so that you can better work towards a common goal.
  • Identify criteria and factors of importance for a project’s success.
  • Ensure that the data you use is valid and true. That data’s integrity is critical to the success of any project.
  • Larger networks are not necessarily better, but more diverse networks generally can be better. So encourage diversity of thought in your team, for your projects, in your life.
  • Be inclusive of others. Help others feel comfortable contributing.
  • Focus on the needs of the customer. Ask your internal staff, your partners and your customers how you can best serve their needs.
  • Clear, transparent, true communication is critical for all effective collaborations. 
  • All successful collaborations rely on mutual trust.

Here are some final thoughts around collaboration.

  • Be humble. Be open. Be a lifelong learner who believes you can learn from anyone, from every experience.
  • Have a good attitude. Your Attitude and Your Aptitude will define your Altitude.
  • Empathy is the new superpower. Be empathetic to those around you. Understanding everyone’s point of view, and having compassion for their pain-points and challenges will help you better understand yourself and your project.

Resources:

See bios and invitation at https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/collaboration

Please join me in thanking our panelists and our gracious hosts at Western Digital for FountainBlue’s September 13 When She Speaks event, on the topic of ‘Collaboration Best Practices’:

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
  • Panelist Marilyn Becker, Director, People Analytics, Western Digital
  • Panelist Win Chang, Cloud Customer Experience Director, Oracle
  • Panelist Karthi Gopalan, Product Line Director, Mobile Power BU, Maxim
  • Panelist Shalini Kasliwal, Founder and CEO, JoinEight
  • Panelist Shveta Miglani, Head of Global Learning and Development, Micron

Keeping Up with the Bad Guys

August 13, 2019

BadGuysPanel.png

FountainBlue’s August 9 When She Speaks event, on the topic of Keeping Up with the Bad Guys. Please join me in thanking our panelists and our gracious hosts at Palo Alto Networks. Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have such a technical and articulate panel of leaders to speak on the Intent-Based Networking topic. Our panelists represented a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds, but they had much in common:

  • They have deep business and technical expertise that they leverage in their day-to-day activities.
  • They are continuous learners, making sure to apply new learnings to improve professional and personal outcomes.
  • They have a customer oriented mindset, and strategically focus on growing the ecosystem.

They each spoke eloquently on the cyber security opportunities and challenges ahead.

  • Plan ahead in case there’s a security breach. Train your people, adopt your processes, be aware of implications, etc.,
  • Be customer focused – whether you’re serving internal or external customers. See the challenges through their eyes and make it easy for customers to help themselves.
  • No matter where you sit at the table, communicate clearly and transparently, and manage projects and people collaboratively.
  • Leverage automation and AI to handle standard cyber security challenges, but don’t stop there. Assume that threats can’t be addressed through automation alone.
  • Regardless of whether you’re directly in charge, learn from each breach (whether it happens to your company, your team or someone else’s) and integrate these learnings into new plans and processes.
  • Critical elements for proactive cybersecurity management include: Proactive Risk Assessment, Strategic Continuous Management of Access, and Ongoing Authentication and Validation.
  • Security is a team sport. It’s everyone’s job at some level to Protect, Detect, and Respond to cyber security threats. 
  • Adopt tools and processes which would allow your company to manage possession, custody and control of assets.
  • With all the data out there, it’s important to quickly sift out the anomalies – as these events are much more likely to be problems.
  • Cybersecurity involves many overwhelming tasks. There are so many things to oversee and manage, so many things to control and configure, so many people to track and communicate with. 

Our panelists were bullish on the opportunities ahead in cyber security, and encouraged each of us to seriously consider how we could each contribute to a burgeoning industry.

They concluded that leaders and managers must stay on top of policies, requirements, training, as well as ongoing management and proactive planning and support. Nobody can do everything right all the time. Hence, it will take an ecosystem of partners to stay ahead of the bad guys. Collaboration is key.


FountainBlue’s August 9 When She Speaks event was on the topic of Keeping Up with the Bad Guys. Please join me in thanking our panelists and our gracious hosts at Palo Alto Networks.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Julie Cullivan, Chief People and Technology Officer, ForeScout 
  • Panelist Vaishali Ghiya, Senior Director, Security Sales Systems Engineering, Cisco
  • Panelist Katrin Jakob, Co-Founder, White Hawk Software
  • Panelist Jocelyn King, CMO, Encryptics; Managing Partner, Vonzos Partners 
  • Panelist Archana Muralidharan, Principal, Technical Risk Management, Palo Alto Networks

See bios and invitation at https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/badguys

Intent-Based Networking

July 19, 2019

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FountainBlue’s July 19 When She Speaks event, on the topic of Intent-Based Networking. We were fortunate to have such a technical and articulate panel of leaders to speak on the Intent-Based Networking topic. 

Our panelists represented a range of industries, experiences and roles, but were each educated as technologists and each displayed in-depth technical expertise and experience. They made it clear that IBN is inevitably in our future and provided clear examples of how it is impacting us today.

They have each seen the evolution of manual configurations around the network, and witnessed the progression to scripts and programs to manage networks, and then the development of software-defined networks (SDNs), which to this day still help automate the management of networks.

To them, IBN is a progression of this pattern. Software is progressively more leveraged to manage networks, and networking leaders are progressing toward solutions which better focus on the intentions of the customers.

For example, instead of having protocols for every scenario, an IBN approach might focus on the problem a customer would like solved.

Many things need to fall into place before we can smoothly transition to a deeper adoption of IBN.

  • The hardware and software infrastructure must be reliably, pervasively and securely available to all relevant stakeholders. 
  • There must be a level of trust and communication between customers and vendors and partners in order to best understand the customer intent. Plus ongoing clear and transparent communication is needed to ensure smooth development, monitoring, and execution to deliver that custom program.
  • Sufficient data must be available in order to manage create programs which address the needs of the customer.
  • There must be clarity on which party plays which role in the IBN development and management process – the visionary, the creator, the enforcer, the manager.

It’s not clear how and whether some industries and some companies will adopt IBN. But it is clear that there are advantages for leading companies to do so.

  • The amount of available data is mind-bogglingly huge, and will only get larger. IBN will help companies proactively deal with problems as anticipated by customers, rather than reactively respond to a problem, as defined by large (and growing) sets of protocols and rules. 
  • Leveraging AI and ML to deliver solutions based on customer needs will likely lead to deeper relationships, more partnerships, and a better understanding of current and even future needs of the customer.
  • Better understanding patterns and edge cases will help better serve a wider range of customers and their needs.
  • Making predictions based on data patterns will in turn help better deliver results for customers.
  • Each of the points above will increase customer retention and customer acquisition, while also potentially leading to a wider set of offerings for each customer.

The road to adoption will take more leadership, more innovation, more collaboration. The open sharing of solutions, combined with a customer-centric mind-set will help hard-working, smart companies and leaders make progress in embracing the adoption of IBN.


Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at Cisco and our panelists for FountainBlue’s July 19 When She Speaks event, on the topic of Intent-Based Networking.  

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Serpil Bayraktar, Principal Engineer, Chief Architect’s Office – Development, Cisco
  • Panelist Liliane Peters, Director Configuration & Release Management, Ericsson 
  • Panelist Ranjeeta Singh, VP, GM, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Teradata
  • Panelist Su Tsai, Director of Data Center Networking Services, Cisco IT 

See bios and invitation at https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/intent