The Real Telecom Ecosystem

ColumnistEditor's NoteLeadershipManagement & Motivation
ISE Columnist Sharon Vollman

The word “ecosystem” is used a lot when talking about the telecom/ICT space. 

The formal definition of an ecosystem is a community or group of living organisms that interact with each other in a specific environment.

In the case of telecom/ICT networks, we liken this to technologies and equipment that make the wireline and wireless networks do their magic.

Unfortunately, in our day-to-day business interactions, we tend to underestimate how the “living organisms” (aka people) impact our collective success. 

We wouldn’t allow dysfunctional equipment to impact the network, right? Nor should we allow our team members to get stuck in unhealthy and counterproductive working relationships.

That’s why ISE magazine features more than just technologies and solutions. We bring you insights from people who motivate and lead teams who transform the network. 

This month, check out our interview with Brenda Laboy, AVP, Access Construction & Engineering, AT&T California. She offers some cool thoughts about how to empower a healthy human network: 

“…it’s important to engage our teams so they continue to feel connected to how their role makes a difference to our customers. At a big company, it’s easy to lose that connection. And as a leader, I strive to bring that focus back into view for my team.”

“One skill that enables adaptability is listening. Listening to your employees, peers, and customers. As a leader, you are a sounding board who can clarify and amplify direction for others on your team. In the process of active listening, you can increase your understanding of concerns, requirements, and possible changes as well as foster more collaboration and innovation within your organization.”

Connections. Listening. Simple but potent best practices we all should apply — ALL the time. 

Why? Because we’re only as strong as our ENTIRE ecosystem.

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About Sharon Vollman

Sharon Vollman is Senior Vice President, Editorial Director of ISE magazine. She oversees all editorial processes and staff for ISE magazine, the ISE e-newsletter,, and leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO and several events. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996, when she joined OSP magazine as editor. Prior to that she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/advertising from the University of Iowa.