James Williams is the Founder and CEO of MrConnectivity, a consultancy practice with mobile engagement as its principal focus. His clients include Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Content Aggregators, API companies, Messaging Hubs, Technology vendors and Enterprises. James founded MrConnectivity five years ago, leveraging 25 years’ Telecoms experience. His time is now spent helping companies develop comprehensive Mobile Engagement strategies and multi-channel product suites that can be used for both Inbound and Outbound.
Please could you give a brief summary of your career journey that led you to become CEO of MrConnectivity?
Other than at the start of my career, much of what got me to where I am today has been by accident. I used to be Mr Numbers but early on in my career fell into the world of training which I chanced upon and found I really enjoyed. I learnt all about the differences between teaching and presenting, it dramatically increased my product knowledge and it got me out on the road visiting customers at their sites all over the UK and then all around the world. From training I moved into Business Development and Sales and there I have been for many years. I took the plunge just over five years ago, setting up on my own, and I’ve not looked back!
What’s the most important aspect of your role as CEO of MrConnectivity?
Ensuring I bring enough business into the company to keep everything rolling! Without that, there’s no MrConnectivity. Once you have a product or service to offer, without sales, you don’t have a business! Although I’m essentially a one-man band, I do have a vast network of great people to call upon, to be brought into projects on a consultancy basis as and when needed. This ensures I am flexible to meet the needs of any company at any particular time.
What have been the biggest technological advancements in the 25 years you have been working in telecoms?
Without doubt the biggest advancement I have seen is how things have gone truly mobile. Mobility is key and thanks to advancements in processing power, battery technology and expanding WiFi and mobile broadband provision globally, true mobility is being realised. Mobile is driving connectivity in the developing world.
Also, what scares you the most when it comes to technological advancements in communication?
Location-based technology. In an increasing drive to personalise customer experience, target adverts etc., a person’s location at any point in time is key. Unfortunately, in many ways 1984 is very real! The genie is out of the bottle and the impact of tracking technology will simply increase over time, and not for the better…
CEO, Business Development Manager, Keynote Speaker… that’s a lot of roles and skills, which are your favourites?
Business development and building relationships is what I do. It really is in my DNA and is what I enjoy. This is exactly what my business is all about. I have got into the world of keynote speaking only fairly recently but have to admit that I find it a real buzz and will be doing a lot more of that. It’s all about engaging with your audience and there is no recipe for that!
What do you feel will be the top trending tech topic of 2019?
Advancements in AI are on everyone’s lips at the moment and this will continue into 2019. What I really see as adding true value globally though is the internet of things (IoT). This has been around for a number of years but I really see it coming to the fore now, particularly in light of eSIM. eSIM is a global specification by the GSMA which enables remote SIM provisioning of any mobile device. You are not tied down to physical SIM cards. eSIM is real now and will spread rapidly, truly allowing so many types of device globally to be connected seamlessly. Now that will truly benefit people. Isn’t this what Telecoms is really about?
What’s your most hated tech buzzword?
I am sorry to say but at the moment it’s a tie between ‘RCS’ (Rich Communication Services – unofficially known as ‘SMS 2.0’) and ‘5G’! I go to too many industry events which talk about these two things incessantly!
Speaking of advancements in tech, what are your thoughts on AI?
In measured amounts it’s absolutely fabulous for assisting humans with a huge range of tasks. I have personally seen how the effectiveness of chatbots has increased dramatically in the past couple of years, driven by developments in AI. All this helps businesses of any size save money in the area of customer service – all whilst giving customers access to information they need in a faster, less intrusive manner.
What was your dream job as a child?
I know it sounds Bond villain-esque but I wanted to be a huge industrialist, founding and running a massive global corporation employing millions! The dream has gone awry slightly but I get a real buzz from what I am doing right now as I feel that I make a real difference!
Finally, what is your life motto?
Hoc Age. This is actually my school’s motto, Bradford Grammar School (BGS) in the UK but I subscribe to it totally. Loosely translated from Latin, it means ‘just get on with it’. I.e. just do it. Nike was founded in 1972 but BGS has been around for 350+ years so I know who got there first!
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