Tag Archives: enterprise

Cathy Smith

 

Name: Cathy Smith

Cathy Smith

Cathy Smith

Designation: General Manager

Company: Cisco, South Africa

What do you do every day? I lead and run Cisco’s business in South Africa. I manage a diverse team of over 200 employees who have differing backgrounds and a wide range of technical and non-technical expertise – from engineers, systems analysts, sales leaders, human resources to marketing and legal counsel. My day to day engagements will vary according to the needs of the business. Sometimes I will devote my day to visiting government officials, customers and partners and other times my focus will be on internal meetings involving members of my team.

I also travel extensively both within and outside of South Africa to attend and often participate in both Cisco and industry events. It is important for the role that I do that I network extensively in order to remain close to our customers and our partner network. I am responsible for engaging with public and private sector organisations to work on strategies for digital transformation, thereby helping them transform their IT strategies, connect everything, embrace analytics, and secure their technology and operations.

Outside of work my family and friends are a big focus for me and Friday evenings, for example, are often dedicated to having dinner with friends. From a wellbeing perspective, I try to do a Pilates class twice a week as I really do feel strongly about taking care of my mental, spiritual as well as my physical being.

How did you get into the tech space?

I ventured into the technology space purely by coincidence – what I call a stroke of good luck because I was in the right place at the right time and I happy and proud to say that I have never looked back. I started my working life in the insurance sector as an applications developer and was very fortunate to work in a number of roles that helped grow my experience. Prior to joining Cisco, I worked at IBM for more than 23 years, where I held various leadership roles in IT service delivery, HR and sales.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Have dreams and aspirations by all means and always strive to achieve them but also be prepared to be flexible and willing to adapt because as we grow we change. Our goals may expand and our career paths may take us into directions we never even thought of and could well end up being completely life changing, but for the better.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? When the IT industry started in South Africa, it was considered very unattractive to women simply because it was viewed as involving a lot of physical work as well as shift work and for this reason many women shied away from seeking roles in technology. This perception is so misleading in today’s South Africa and I would encourage young women, especially, to be open-minded, ask questions and take the time to really understand what a career in IT really involves. As technology has become more and more commoditised, the skill level required is focused on providing value and service to customers as well as solutions.

Today, those who work in technology need to understand the ever-changing needs of the customers and adapt in an environment that is growing and evolving at a phenomenal pace. They need to fully comprehend business and people and the challenges that need to be addressed. To work in technology today, a candidate can come from practically any background or discipline – collaboration, developing insight and being able to adapt is key to building trust and delivering the best possible solutions that meet customer needs.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day?

I thoroughly enjoy what I do and I am passionate to succeed for both myself but more importantly for my family. I fully understand that I also have great responsibility to be a role model to young women in South Africa who would like to succeed within a leadership role as I have done. I am a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), an organisation set up to develop the next generation of ‘values’ based African leaders who are capable of guiding and leading their countries as they struggle to align the demands of globalisation with local visions of ‘a good society’.

Who did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a financial analyst but interestingly enough my class mates at school thought I would become City Mayor!

Twitter: @CathyS_Cisco

Stacey Hudson

Stacey Hudson, Discovery Vitality

Stacey Hudson, Discovery Vitality

Name: Stacey Anne Hudson 

Designation: Senior Development Manager

Company: Discovery Vitality

What do you do every day? I “herd” technical IT teams across the globe, to ensure we deliver value and quality IT solutions for global partners.

How did you get into the tech space? I received a bursary from a big mining company to study IT and work for them in that space when I graduated, the rest is history…..

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? It’s a question but guides my thinking in a lot of difficult situations…. “do you want to be successful or significant?”.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? It’s exciting and dynamic, but it’s complex and it isn’t a 9-5 job, and you work with highly intelligent, often crazy people. The frameworks are always changing. Be prepared to try things and be prepared for change.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? I never quite know what the day will bring, so it’s a new challenge everyday!

Who do you want to be when you grow up? An executive coach.

Find me on:
Twitter – @Staceysuperr
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=101420515&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Ulrike Weitz

Ulrike Weitz, Microsoft SA

Ulrike Weitz, Microsoft SA

Name: Ulrike Weitz

Designation: Enterprise Marketing Lead

Company: Microsoft South Africa

What do you do every day? My job is about creating brand awareness for our enterprise-oriented solutions. I engage with suppliers, vendors and partners to ensure that marketing collateral is aligned and that global campaigns are easily transitioned to impact the local South African enterprise market.

How did you get into the tech space? I was offered this opportunity at Microsoft 12 years ago and never looked back. Prior to joining Microsoft I worked at the Post Office HQ in Pretoria and was very fortunate that after the split of the Department of Telecommunications into the Post Office and Telkom, I was able to join the Post Office team to develop a corporate identity for the Post Office that covered a completely new brand – new look and feel for the post offices, a vibrant logo, uniforms, stationary, signage and many more to ensure the transition was well noted.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? The more your practice the luckier you get!

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? It is the sector to be in, if you look at the top brands today they are mostly technology companies as they are innovating faster than light and this offers customers a means to create new streams of business, ensure staff are much more productive and deliver on business requirements much quicker than before.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? The team of smart people at Microsoft. Every day we have the opportunity to sit around a table, apply our minds and come up with exciting and new ways of showing real business value to customers in a creative and fun way.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? A conservationist- I want to save the rhino or any other animal that is in danger of not seeing the next generation.

Find me on:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ulrike-weitz/13/582/3ba