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The Upcoming Era of Deep Telephony Personalization and How Tellabs Wants to Help Carriers make it Happen

As the global population grows it seems the desire for each of us to do things differently from others will only grow. Just as this trend is responsible for billions of dollars on fashion spending, millions of tattoos and custom cars, expect it to take over the worlds of tech and telecom as well. Don’t believe me? Then how do you explain consumers sporting music players of different colors which match their outfits?


This trend was a major theme of a recent meeting I had with Robert Pullen the CEO of Tellabs in the company’s Illinois headquarters. According to Pullen, his company will help carriers succeed by assisting them as they provide customized services to their customers.

He further went on to describe the evolution of communications which started with humans sending information over water, roads, railroads and planes. He feels the internet and now personalization and customization are the most recent embodiments of communications.

Interviewing Pullen was made pretty enjoyable by his use of frequent and succinct statements which quickly show where his company adds value. For example, a one-liner which was particularly memorable was that Tellabs Enriches peoples’ lives by innovating the way the world connects.

Pullen explained his company is transforming first from TDM to IP and now the next layer of applications and content. From there he touched on parental controls as a potential area of personalization.

Other important nuggets include the idea that you need to sell your way through the downturn and he pointed to emerging economies as one area where they are doing this. Latin America sales for example were up 60-70% at the time of this interview. Another interesting factoid is the company’s R&D spend which is currently a significant 16-17% of sales.

Some of the focus areas of the company are mobile backhaul, optical, business and professional services. The future of the company is certainly going to be more closely tied to mobile devices and Pullen acknowledges they are positioning the company to take advantage of this trend.


This is likely one of the reasons for the recent hiring of Vikram Saksena, the ex-CTO of Sonus and ITEXPO keynoter. Saksena has impressed me greatly in the past as he understands how the next generation of services will transform telecom. Saksena and Pullen were busy strategizing when I spoke with them and I am very interested in seeing what new solutions this collaboration allows Tellabs to bring to market.

Greg Galitzine was in this meeting as well and we can expect a more detailed article from him in the May 2009 issue of NGN Magazine so be sure to subscribe today so you don’t miss it.

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