At first glance, it might seem that the talents and sensibilities of an accomplished composer and musician have little relevance to the radical transformations taking place in the world of high technology.
But if you're Scott Puopolo - technology executive by day, composer, drummer, guitarist, and recording artist by night - great music and cool technology have much in common. They both spring from vision, passion, and creativity. And if you also have a talent for music production, you can create experiences that change people's lives, whether you're producing a rock band or orchestrating advanced technologies to change the way people live, work, and play.
Puopolo is Vice President of the Global Service Provider Practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) - the company's global, strategic consulting arm. He and his team work with leading Service Providers (SPs) to create a future they call "Connected Life," where people will time shift, place shift, and collaborate with ease. Connected Life means that people will have access to entertainment (like their favorite music!), information, and social networks wherever they are, and on any device - quite literally changing how people live, work, and play.
Despite current industry and economic challenges, Puopolo remains as bullish as ever about service providers because they are in a unique position to enable the transformation to Connected Life. As incumbent providers of voice, data, and entertainment services, they already have a trusted relationship with every household connected to telephone services. If SPs stake their claim in the Connected Life, they can do more than participate in this emerging consumer market: they can lead and accelerate it.
By way of example, Puopolo notes in speeches at major industry events like Cable Congress that no other business sector is quite so adept at selling experiences rather than peddling technologies or speeds and feeds. Consider digital video recorders (DVRs). Before 2004, DVRs were primarily a decision about what device to buy - with Tivo being the device-of-choice at the time. Then service providers entered the market in a big way, reducing complexity and costs by bundling DVR services as part of consumers' cable options. By shifting DVRs from a device decision to a service decision - e.g., "watch your favorite TV show whenever you want" - cable providers accelerated adoption by 10 percent from 2004 to 2005. That momentum has continued, leaving Tivo and other device providers permanently behind.
Today, Cisco IBSG is working with service providers to mirror that approach in many exciting new areas. For example, Puopolo's team is partnering with AT&T to provide businesses with managed multimedia collaboration tools, such as going to market together with managed TelePresence for specific vertical industries. Around the world, the SP team is working on similar projects with BT, Telefonica, Telmex, Softbank, Tata, Telstra, and China Telecom.
The Service Provider Practice brings Puopolo in contact with every facet of his customers' business, including media and advanced advertising, the convergence of cloud computing and IT, managed services, and more. He and his team skillfully orchestrate experience in all these areas to transformation customers' businesses and create value.
In emerging markets, Puopolo and team provide counsel on how to propel developing economies forward, partnering with governments to deploy broadband and associated services. And some established markets are relying on Cisco IBSG to keep their economies competitive and growing, as in Singapore where Cisco is a key partner in Singapore's Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) program, a 10-year master plan and blueprint to synthesize "technology, infrastructure, enterprise and manpower."
Prior to Cisco IBSG, Puopolo enjoyed a number of positions related to the service provider sector in merchant banking, telco, and media. Puopolo spent nearly 15 years at Accenture, where he served as the lead partner for the firm's North American Telecommunications Strategy Practice, and led the firm's Eastern U.S. and Canadian, Communications, Media and High Technology Strategy Group.
Puopolo graduated cum laude from Harvard, where he was a Harvard College and Charles J. Paine Scholar. He earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in strategic management and marketing.When he's not making beautiful music with his Service Provider customers, Puopolo is likely to be found playing and recording in the Manhattan recording studio he built himself.