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Andrew Morawski: “Don’t sweat the small stuff”

5G has had a long-awaited arrival in the public eye, but what I’m most excited about right now is how we’re building the foundation of this revolutionary generation. Right now, we’re building the platform that will enable the development of applications that truly will change the world with 5G. The next mobile generation will offer […]

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5G has had a long-awaited arrival in the public eye, but what I’m most excited about right now is how we’re building the foundation of this revolutionary generation.

Right now, we’re building the platform that will enable the development of applications that truly will change the world with 5G. The next mobile generation will offer the most exciting and impactful technological advances to date; be it remote surgery, self-driving cars, or even immersing yourself in another universe with virtual reality. So in this moment, it’s most important that we get the foundational elements right. The platform we’re creating must be agile, adaptive, secure, scalable, and able to seamlessly integrate with existing systems so we can continue to build on it, even for use cases we can’t imagine yet.


The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?

In this interview series, called ‘The Future of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Morawski, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Communications, Networks. As leader of Oracle’s telecommunications industry global business unit focused on networks, Morawski is responsible for managing sales, strategic planning, product development, service, and support for Oracle’s Communications products.

Prior to joining Oracle, Morawski was most recently President and Country Chairman for Vodafone in the Americas, responsible for the management, compliance, governance and integration of all Vodafone entities operating there. He joined Vodafone in 2012 as Head of Internet of Things (IoT), responsible for leading Vodafone’s IoT sales, strategy and operational initiatives in North and South America.

Prior to Vodafone, Morawski was Managing Director for the Americas at Cable & Wireless Worldwide with overall commercial and strategic responsibility for the company’s enterprise and carrier sales, marketing, HR and service delivery operations in the region.

Earlier in his career, Morawski worked for Telstra in multiple roles including President and CEO of Telstra Inc, leading the Americas region for Telstra International. He has also held senior management roles with organizations such as Nortel where he managed the relationship between Nortel and SBC through the acquisition of Pacific Bell and SNET.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I actually started my career installing alarm and telephone systems for my friend’s cousin’s business on Long Island, proudly still in business and going strong today. In doing that, I found I enjoyed dealing with customers on our installation sites most, and had a knack for connecting with people. Following that instinct to build meaningful connections with people has helped drive my career to where I am today.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I have been fortunate to have many interesting things happen in my career. I’ve met world leaders, driven race cars on professional tracks, sailed Sydney harbor, rode elephants in Thailand, and attended some of the biggest sporting events across the world. However, one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had was being flown to New Zealand on a day’s notice for a job interview.

I landed in the evening, had my interview the next morning in the lobby of the hotel, was given an employment contract to review on an iPad on the spot, went to an Italian film festival with my new boss and his wife, then flew home the next morning. It was truly an experience I will never forget.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

I have had to manage several business turnarounds in my career and in every single one, the hardest part was getting current team members to let go of the past. Once you can do that, they can be inspired to really see the potential of the opportunity in front of them.

This motto is also one that I choose to follow in my personal life. I had a rough childhood. I chose not to be defined by it, and I’ve gotten to where I am because I work to create the life I want from where stand in the moment.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My wife. She has always inspired me to be a better version of myself. We became friends when I was 15 years old and I’ve been fortunate to have had her in my life for over thirty years now, sharing every step of my career journey together. She has supported me through every peak and valley, and I’m all the better for it.

When I started my first real “corporate” job, she gave me a steel block paper weight that says, “What would you attempt to do if you know you could not fail?” That was 25 years ago and I still have it on my desk today. Beyond the obvious sentimental value it has for me, I have kept it close for so long because it always reminds me that a lot of limitations we feel are self-imposed. If you can move past your own limiting beliefs, you really can achieve anything.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

About 6 years ago, I made a commitment to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion in our industry. Since then, I have been involved in many initiatives: I’ve been a Male Champion for Change, a He for She sponsor, and a mentor for women in technology.

I’ve spoken at MIT on the need for diversity in the tech industry and have had work published on the topic. Now, proudly, I am an executive sponsor for Oracle Women’s Leadership.

I think a lot of leaders legitimize beliefs that are used to justify gender inequities — that people receive promotions and earn rewards solely because they have worked hard and proved themselves, or that biases are irrelevant. But they aren’t, they exist, and they have an impact.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about the cutting-edge communication tech that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

5G has had a long-awaited arrival in the public eye, but what I’m most excited about right now is how we’re building the foundation of this revolutionary generation.

Right now, we’re building the platform that will enable the development of applications that truly will change the world with 5G. The next mobile generation will offer the most exciting and impactful technological advances to date; be it remote surgery, self-driving cars, or even immersing yourself in another universe with virtual reality. So in this moment, it’s most important that we get the foundational elements right. The platform we’re creating must be agile, adaptive, secure, scalable, and able to seamlessly integrate with existing systems so we can continue to build on it, even for use cases we can’t imagine yet.

How do you think this might change the world?

Creating a platform now that is not only secure, but also flexible and scalable for years to come will enable much swifter technological progress in the ways we’re able to leverage 5G.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

Everyone loves to think about the worst-case scenario with any new technology, but I don’t subscribe to the conspiracy hype machine. 5G is going to help us communicate and share more information, faster, and in higher quality. The applications are endless, and far from dystopian.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

I have worked for communications carriers for the majority of my career and have been fortunate to see the impacts of new technology first-hand. When 5G came on the scene I had customers trying to engage on it before the technology was even available — but following the Super Bowl, this was the first time in my career I have ever seen 5G on such a large scale. We’re past the “tipping point” and officially in the 5G era.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

Widespread adoption and innovation will be reliant on the development of applications and IoT-enabled devices and systems. 5G’s potential is significantly more expansive and innovative than just what our smart phone runs on, and we’ll see that reality as new applications and solutions are developed.

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. How do you think your innovation might be able to address the new needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic?

Absolutely — the pandemic has fundamentally changed the nature of work for most industries and positions. I don’t anticipate we’ll ever return to the working conditions we were accustomed to pre-pandemic. I think the work from anywhere movement will take real hold after 2021 and create new dynamics for companies and employees across the world.

This year, a lot of our customers turned to us when their workforces seemingly became remote overnight and their contact center traffic increased astronomically. Fortunately, with industry-leading communications infrastructure solutions like our Session Border Controller, we’ve been able to help customers maintain secure, reliable communications across their networks.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff

In any given moment there are hundreds of things going on that are going to happen if you do something or not. I learned that you need to let go and not try to control everything. I empower people around me to make decisions. It’s important to build a solid team that trusts each other to handle issues and drives resolution, so that everything doesn’t need to get escalated to you.

  • The stakes get higher, but that makes it more interesting

When I first started my career, I only had to worry about myself. Did I have a plan to meet my sales targets? Was I executing on that plan? I always put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and deliver on what was expected of me. As I progressed in my career, I had to start dealing with decisions that impact other people or other parts of a business. There are bigger consequences that impact lots of things around you as you move into management roles. It’s like moving from playing checkers to playing chess.

  • Decide early what you want to stand for (be known for) — what is your brand?

Your brand can evolve over time, but at its core, mine always stayed the same. It started out as someone who will deliver on what is expected of me. It has evolved over the years to be someone who will deliver what is expected of me, regardless of the obstacles, in an aware and empathetic way.

  • Business travel isn’t going to be as glamorous as you think

People love to say that I’m lucky I get to travel as much as I do, and in a way they are right. But it’s not all glitz and glamor. I have spent more time in airports dealing with cancelled or delayed flights than I care to admit, have been sat in many middle seats, and gotten to many hotels that look nothing like their websites. For me though, the worst part is that regardless of how well technology can keep us connected, it is really difficult to be away from family.

  • Perception is reality

Just because you see something a certain way, it doesn’t mean others will. It takes work to shape the perception of others through good communication and your actions.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger!

I would inspire a movement of self-reflection. We innovate and grow personally, professionally and even as a larger society when we stop and question ourselves. Ask yourself why you do things the way you do them; why you make the choices you do; feel the way you do. Question your assumptions and the actions you make off them. That’s how we can make true change for the better.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Follow the Oracle Communications Blog to learn more about all the exciting work that we’re doing in the industry and feel free to follow me on LinkedIn if you’d like to connect. Also, be sure to follow Oracle Communications on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for our latest updates.

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.


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