Japan SPM Reunion 2006
Ken, Marianne, Alan, EJ, Konstantin, Cecilia, HT, Don, Maria, Tom, Elizabeth, Fab, Jane & Read
The group had a grand time during the first Japan SPM Reunion on August 12, 2006 in Naperville, IL.
Thanks to HT Chen and Konstantin Livanos for organizing the event! Thanks to Ken and Marianne Paker who drove in from Madison, WI and to Read and Jane Moffett who flew in from Cape Cod, MA.
We missed a number of our colleagues, and hope to see them at a future reunion.
Why would people come so far for dinner and a chance to swap stories? The simple answer is that the pioneering effort lead by Switching Product Management (SPM) to enter the Japanese market with AT&T's Bell Labs 5ESS digital switch was a thrilling, never to be forgotten, adventure!! Bottom line: it was a huge success!!
In late 1990, I was given the responsibility to figure out how to break into Japan becoming employee No 1. This was viewed by all as a mission impossible since AT&T had used a full court press at the top corporate level in 1985. That effort failed totally. When I was tapped to lead our market entry into Japan, I had the most experience and success in entering new markets with 5ESS, and my approach was win on the merits, not to use political pressure.
It was a pleasure to build-up the team in Japan and the USA because only the most creative, the most technically experienced and the most confident people were drawn to this huge, daunting task. We also benefited from tremendous organizational support, and the SPM team had to educate everyone on how to operate in Japan.
Winning business in Japan was very challenging and difficult. Developing the exact technical requirements, completing developments on time and making a profit were each difficult and challenging. Each aspect required creativity and tenacity on a 24x7 basis. In total, 700 years of engineering development was needed for Japan, and these projects brought in over a half a billion dollars in revenue.
As one example, here is a working level celebration photo for a project for NTT. HT, Tom, Read, Alan and I are in the photo.
This project replaced all of the equipment in Japan
that delivered operator services for NTT. This was a $100,000,000 project, and the US Ambassador, Walter Mondale, was
part of the official cutover ceremony in Tokyo.
So what are Japan SPM members doing now? Here is a brief list:
|Here are some photos of SPM members with their wives and some candid shots taken at dinner.|