Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - 40

In a tip of the cap to WICT's Tech It Out program, which, among other
things, urges non-technical women to consider tech careers, we bring
you the paradigmatic non-tech techie. After being named SVP/GM of
Communications and Data Services of Comcast Cable in March, Cathy Avgiris took on a
portfolio of wireless, Internet and voice businesses worth $11bln. Having launched Comcast's
4G wireless data service and previously run its voice business, Avgiris is the rare tech executive
who knows numbers, having come from the financial sector. In an interview with tech writer
Jonathan Tombes, she says repeatedly that customer engagement is a key to success. [A full
transcript of this interview is available at cablefax.com]
CTFM: What was your focus when you assumed larger
management of the data platform?
Cathy Avgiris: Having been a part of the deployment of
high-speed Internet years ago, where the driving force
was to get out there as fast as you could, I had to take a
step back and reevaluate the landscape. Speed is what
gets customers in the door, but to retain them we want
them engaged with the broadband service features:
things like the best anti-virus software on the market; secure
back-up and access to digital media; Wi-Fi to extend
their broadband experience outside the home; a comprehensive,
intuitive communications center for their email,
address book and calendar. All easily accessible to them
wherever they are.
CFTM: How does video fi gure into your portfolio?
CA: Online video is a relatively new phenomenon. As the
nation's leading broadband service provider, it's our job to
make whatever you do on the Internet the best experience.
Video and broadband naturally are complementary. We want
our customers to have the best, most secure, online video
experience. They should be able to easily authenticate to get
to their content, watch it from wherever they are, set parental
controls, manage their DVR remotely, set a watch-list, use
the Internet for what it's best designed for - search and discovery
- then decide what to watch on the big screen TV in
the family room.
CTFM: How important is fi nancial analysis in your work?
CA: Well, having a fi nance background, it is a key element
to daily decision-making. I'm results-oriented, so facts are
important. Metrics on how the business is doing, how customers
are engaging with our products and services are important
in deciding where next to invest development dollars.
The P&L focuses us on driving top-line revenue and
40
cablefaxmag.com
subscriber growth, while improving operating effi ciency and
driving cost out of the business.
CTFM: What can you tell us about [non-profi t group]
The Career Wardrobe?
CA: I wish I had the time to devote more to it. Its mission is
fairly straightforward: Arm women professionals entering or
re-entering the work force with everything they need to get
a job, from interview skills to the right accessories and attire...
When I have clothes to donate, I think to myself, there
is a woman out there who could use this blouse, skirt, suit,
scarf, bag or shoes to get to their interview and get the job
they're after.
CTFM: Let's talk mentoring. What's the best advice
you've received?
CA: I try to learn something from everyone I meet and work
with, including my mentees. Mentoring is a two-way street.
The best advice I've gotten came from the president of a
forklift manufacturing company, when I joined it as a 28-yearold
CFO-'You will make mistakes. Don't be afraid of them.
Just don't make the mistake that will cost the company.'
Terrifying yet empowering to take calculated risks and make
decisions.
CTFM: Any advice to women entering cable?
CA: Don't be afraid to ask dumb questions. Learn about the
business you're in, the technology that supports it, how customers
use your products and fi nd out what's important to
them. They pay the bills, and more often than not, they're
women. What did I know about the phone industry fi ve years
ago? I didn't have a history of telecom, but I knew what the
objectives were. Grow the business, add subscribers, provide
value to them, make the product work reliably and effi
ciently, make your customers' lives easier. ■
November 2010
CableFAX: The Magazine
http://www.cablefax.com http://www.cablefaxmag.com

Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010

Contents
Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - Cover1
Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - Cover2
Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - Contents
Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - 4
Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - 5
Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - 6
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