Empowering Employees Makes for a Successful AT&T Technology Transformation

April 25, 2017
By Pavnesh Rathi

As a director for AT&T Technology Development, I have a front row seat to the Company’s technology transformation.

We’re going from a phone company built on hardware to a software-centric technology, media and telecommunications company.

I work with people at every level to develop software-based apps and services. This collaboration spans executive leadership to frontline teams. These technologies help deliver a more seamless network experience for our clients and customers – wherever they live, work and play.

This transformation is a large undertaking—maybe even unparalleled in the industry. It’s an all-hands-on-deck approach.

While the technology we’ve built is impressive, the most important factor is our people. Without their belief in the Company and their dedication, a shift of this magnitude wouldn’t be possible.

But we’re not the only ones recognizing their hard work.

I attended the IDG AGENDA17 conference in March. There I learned many leading tech companies are taking a page from our playbook and focusing on their people. While technology growth is still a key business driver, industry leaders agree a people-first approach is critical for success.

Here are some of my top takeaways. I truly believe AT&T is leading the pack.

  • Invest in education: Successful company transformations depend on well-trained, highly skilled employees. Programs like Workforce 2020 give AT&T employees the opportunity to gain new technology skills. This training opens up new roles for them – ones required to help build our software-centric network.   

  • Bring the whole team along: Lasting, impactful change only happens when people are actively engaged and believe in the Company vision. It’s up to us to champion transformation and encourage employees at all levels understand their roles and contributions.  

  • Prioritize collaboration: We’re in an “everything on demand” lifestyle. And it’s only growing. To keep up with customer expectations, it’s critical for teams to work together, share ideas and identify problems and solutions in near real time. With this type of hyper-collaboration, we can deliver the highest quality products faster.

As I’ve seen at the conference, and firsthand at AT&T, people must be a priority. It helps grow our business and fosters an inspiring, people-focused culture, in which we all have a stake.  

Pavnesh Rathi is Director of Technology & Strategy in Network & Shared Services, Technology Development.

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