Joe Manuele of Dialpad: “Keep up with the technology”

Keep up with the technology. Dialpad is 100% public cloud-based, driving our Meetings, UCaaS and CCaaS offerings. This simply wasn’t possible a few years ago. It matters because our clients can enable our technology in minutes and scale it globally without limits. 5G infrastructure is being installed around the world. At the same time, most […]

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Keep up with the technology. Dialpad is 100% public cloud-based, driving our Meetings, UCaaS and CCaaS offerings. This simply wasn’t possible a few years ago. It matters because our clients can enable our technology in minutes and scale it globally without limits.

5G infrastructure is being installed around the world. At the same time, most people have not yet seen what 5G can offer. What exactly is 5G? How will it improve our lives? What are the concerns that need to be addressed before it is widely adopted?

In our series, called, How 5G Technology May Improve and Impact Our Lives, we are talking to tech and telecom leaders who can share how 5G can impact and enhance our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Manuele of Dialpad.

Joe Manuele is Sr. Vice President Corporate and Business Development at Dialpad, and former Chief Executive Officer of Highfive, which was acquired by Diaplad in August of 2020. He has over 25 years of IT and communications experience in the enterprise and global carrier markets, gained at organizations such as Avaya, Cisco, and Actelis Networks. Joe also served as Group Executive ̶ Communications at Dimension Data and NTT Global where he was responsible for the $2B UC and Collaboration business unit. Prior to Dimension Data, he was the Vice President of Global Cloud Services at Avaya, where he focused on driving strategic go-to-market activities and client engagement.


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?

Wow, where to begin? Born and raised by first-generation Italian immigrants, in Montreal. I initially started my career as a software developer, but quickly pivoted to sales. My journey has taken me to Toronto, Boston, Miami and the Bay Area, having worked for tiny startups to global multinationals like Cisco and NTT.

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

Well, I have traveled a lot — like four million miles worth, so I have a lot of stories! What I find most gratifying is the positive difference we can make when we apply technology for a greater good. Whether it’s enabling children to get to school more often by donating bikes, or helping to get broadband to everyone, I’ve seen the positive impact we can have in the industry.

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

One I heard recently from a former colleague was bang on. “If you need something done quickly, ask someone who’s busy.” The concept is that people who get things done are always busy — getting things done! Simple but true.

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?

I’ve been so fortunate to work with some amazing leaders. Rob Lloyd hired me into Cisco Canada early in my career and he taught me the value of culture. More recently, I had the opportunity to work for Jason Goodall at NTT Global and I saw how any individual can make a big impact, even in a company with 200,000 employees.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Work ethic, integrity and education. Being the son of immigrant parents, I learned the importance of hard work and I applied it to my career. Sweat wins over brains, every time! The integrity piece is really centered around treating others like you want to be treated. We work in a small industry, you never know when you’ll encounter someone you’ve dealt with in the past. Be that a former colleague, a customer or employer, remember that your actions leave a lasting impression.

Finally, education is so critical, regardless of what industry you’re in. Every business is being disrupted with new digital technologies — terms like “Machine Learning” and “Robotic Process Automation” weren’t in my vocabulary two short years ago and now they’re shaping the kinds of partnerships and acquisitions we’ll be making in the near future. Own your education, it’s up to you to keep up!

Are you working on any new or exciting projects? How do you think that will help people?

Dialpad recently announced a major partnership with T-Mobile which brings together the speed of America’s fastest 5G network with our AI-powered communications and collaboration platform. This crucial combination of network speed and built-in AI provides businesses the tools to build a 5G connected workforce, inching us closer to achieving a better connected, more secure future.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Like 4G, 5G has many different facets, and I’m sure many will approach this question differently. But for the benefit of our readers can you explain to us what 5G is? How is 5G different from its predecessor 4G?

5G is the next-generation network for today’s connected world. While 5G began rolling out a few years ago, we’ve only just begun wide adoption of the technology.

From a technology perspective, 5G has multiple advantages over 4G. 5G is one hundred times faster than 4G, has significantly lower latency, can support more devices and reduces power consumption. All of these factors add up, making 5G faster and more reliable, creating massive opportunities for organizations’ digital transformation.

The one thing that most folks don’t really discuss is the ability for 5G to carve out bandwidth at the application layer — so your Dialpad voice call will always get priority over, for example, Season 3 of Friends being downloaded by your teenager who is home during summer break.

Can you share three or four ways that 5G might improve our lives? If you can please share an example, for each.

The first and most obvious is flexibility. With faster, more reliable internet available from anywhere, you can choose to live in San Francisco and pay $3,000 a month to share a bed with someone. Or, you can rent a house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with three acres of land if you want. I think 5G will definitely encourage people to live where they want to live with the ability to literally work from anywhere. It’s extremely positive for businesses too since they can now hire the best talent, regardless of where their office is located.

5G also enables last-mile QoS (quality of service). This means we have the ability to dedicate a piece of bandwidth to a specific app and ensure nothing else is going to go over that connection. I can now splice segments of my home’s 5G internet so that my work apps like Dialpad are not affected by my daughter who is either online remote learning or, more realistically, playing Fortnite.

When people think of 5G, they typically imagine the speed it will provide. But what most people don’t understand is that the improvements 5G brings to latency is really the game-changer. Latency is just the technical term for delay and it affects how quickly you receive requested data. 5G decreases the latency rate by 200% compared to 4G — from 200 milliseconds to just one. This means latency-based technology, like self-driving cars, can make quicker real-time decisions. Because driving involves high-stakes, split-second decisions we haven’t been able to deliver on the promise of self-driving cars — yet. But, we’re getting closer because of low-latency connections powered by 5G.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this 5G technology that people should think more deeply about?

Just because 5G will enable us to work from anywhere — doesn’t mean we have to. We’ve been conditioned, especially during the pandemic, to work and stay in constant contact with colleagues. As 5G makes it easier to stay in touch, we should be more aware of the need to disconnect to keep our work and home lives separate.

Some have raised the question that 5G might widen the digital divide and leave poor people or marginalized people behind. From your perspective, what can be done to address and correct this concern?

I think it’s important for carriers to ensure they’re creating equitable and affordable access to 5G, despite location. It’s one of the reasons why we love working with T-Mobile as they are expanding 5G service to more rural communities and small towns across the US, including 5G device upgrades and low-cost 5G home wireless internet options. While these concerns are important and valid, 5G will also help create more equitable opportunities for everyone. You no longer have to live in or close to an expensive, big city to get a low-latency, reliable, fast internet connection.

Excellent. We are nearly done. Let’s zoom out a bit and ask a more general question. Based on your experience and success, what are the 5 things you need to create a highly successful career in the telecommunication industry? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Keep up with the technology. Dialpad is 100% public cloud-based, driving our Meetings, UCaaS and CCaaS offerings. This simply wasn’t possible a few years ago. It matters because our clients can enable our technology in minutes and scale it globally without limits.
  2. Embrace diversity. We are entering a post-Covid growth phase with GDP growth we haven’t seen since after WW2. The only way we can grow is if we are inclusive — we need more women, all races and classes in technology. And we can all play a role in making that happen.
  3. Think Global. Talent and opportunities are everywhere and global communications tools give us access to the world like never before. There are amazing people everywhere, be open to working with people you’re not accustomed to.
  4. Network: Connect with individuals outside of your field, outside your chosen career path. Odds are you’ll be surprised at how many amazing career opportunities there are.
  5. Become a mentor. I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring several individuals who have gone on to become very successful. The bonus? I always learn at least as much as they do!

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. 🙂

As a dad to an 11-year-old daughter, I have taken a personal interest in why girls lose interest in STEM subjects, usually around grades 5–6. I read Warren Buffett once say that the most untapped resource in America is the lack of women in leadership positions. I have mentored several women in tech, given them encouragement to go for that job they felt underqualified for or ask for that promotion they so deserve — and I think of my daughter, hoping she has someone helping her out when she enters the workforce.

So, I’d love to see us unleash the power of the incredible women in our lives to the US economy. We’ve made some great strides, but there’s so much more we could be doing.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can find me on Twitter at @jmanuele or on LinkedIn.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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