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Q&A with AT&T General Manager of Smart Cities business unit

Mike Zeto discusses AT&T’s priorities during Smart Cities Week

WASHINGTON–One year into running a dedicated smart cities business unit, General Manager Mike Zeto discussed the operation, lessons learned and priorities going into 2017 during the Smart Cities Week event.

On the year old business unit: “It actually in essence turns into a startup inside a very large organization. That’s  one of the ways we innovate quicker, we get to market faster…in the emerging spaces. What we’re doing with samrt cities is we’re taking key learnings from connected car and Digital Life…and I applied a lean startup methodology to it. Now, we are fully stood up, we’re a year in, we’ve got a full organization, we’ve got some great key learnings and we’re hiring even more headcount going into next year.”

On balancing maximizing shareholder value with empowering important projects: “It’s a mindset that the company has to have. There’s some give and there’s some take. We’re gonna go in and there’s gonna be some pilots that we’re gonna have to do that are gonna cost AT&T some money. But the key learnings that are developed from that will allow us to build solutions that we can then take out and scale that will generate more than enough revenue, right, for our shareholders. Smart cities is really about creating a better environment for the citizens.”

And looking ahead to 2017: “We’ve got four pillars: connectivity of multiple different types that’s secure and scalable. We’ve got platforms and applications. Security, developer environments, cloud solutions, we’ve got that covered. Alliance members–great partners to bring to the table. We’re focused on developing that last set of products for the end of the year. We announced a spotlight cities program where we will go out to 10 cities and help them develop a holistic strategy within the framework, bring the partners to the table, deploy three to five solutions in a certain area.”

Click here to view the complete interview with Zeto.

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