At the helm of an award-winning marketing organization for one of the world's largest suppliers of communications networking equipment and services, Allison Cerra is a leading expert in the psychology of IT consumerization and online consumer identity. As vice president of global marketing and communication for Alcatel-Lucent, Cerra oversees the marketing programs and consumer research that shape telecom networks around the globe, and works with organizations to devise go-to-market strategies for new technology services, including cloud, mobile broadband, and IPTV. A principal part of her job involves anticipating how companies and their employees are adapting to our increasingly networked world, and how that world will change consumers' mindsets, expectations, and influence their buying behaviors.
Cerra recently co-authored Transforming Business: Big Data, Mobility and Globalization, which is based on extensive primary research involving more than 5,000 employees and elite college recruits from across the United States and China. The book explores how today’s networked world and its proliferation of mobile devices is driving eye-opening cultural change in the workplace and shaping the attitudes of the future workforce. She is also the co-author of Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age, which examines how our Internet proficiency is blurring the boundaries between our virtual and real-life personas. The result is a startling shift in our behaviors – as parents, professionals, consumers, and gamers – and the way we interact with the companies that serve us. In addition, Cerra co-authored The Shift: The Evolving Market, Players and Business Models in a 2.0 World, which estimates a $100 billion market opportunity when communications networks are used as application development platforms.
In her engaging presentations, Cerra shares with enterprise decision makers how an increasingly mobile workforce and the rise of BYOD (bring your own device) is altering the IT landscape and the workforce culture at large as employees and tech consumers become one in the same. She also advises marketers, strategists, and educators how to best understand evolving consumer identities and psychologies in order to influence their buying habits and preferences. Whether your interest lies in sociology, psychology, marketing, or technology, Cerra examines the impact of living in an age where personal technology rivals that found in the workplace, and an age in which virtually all of our personal information and interactions can be available with the click of a mouse. Throughout these explorations, she offers practical prescriptions for addressing the new consumer and employee opportunities that result.
Cerra brings more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry to her market research and presentations. Prior to Alcatel-Lucent, she served in a variety of product management, marketing, sales, and operations positions for various service providers, including GTE, Verizon, and Frontier. She was named to the "40 Under 40" lists of Global Telecoms Business and the Dallas Business Journal, recognized as the Outstanding Young Alumna from Southern Methodist University in 2011, and honored by the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the American Marketing Association as CMO of the Year for 2011. She currently serves on the boards of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, the Institute for Communication Technology Management and the Telecommunications Industry Association.
Allison Cerra obtained her BS in marketing and management at the University of South Florida and her master's degrees in business administration and telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.
Transforming Business: Big Data, Mobility & Globalization
The consumerization of IT in the enterprise represents one of the most fundamental shifts in how businesses procure and apply technology since the advent of PCs in the 1980s. In this talk, Allison Cerra will discuss the results of research directed at more than 5,000 respondents across every walk of life in US and Chinese enterprises - including frontline knowledge workers and HR, IT, and business decision makers - to reveal the opportunities and risks when technology collides with culture. She will also frame how the expectations of tomorrow's knowledge worker will further alter the complexion of the enterprise and technology's role within it, based on research directed at several hundred elite upcoming graduates from the top universities in the United States and China. In particular, this research addresses the following questions:
How are the trends of mobility, cloud, big data, and collaboration changing the behavior and purchasing habits of the enterprise? What are the opportunities and challenges for enterprises and those that serve them?
How are company culture and the role of various functions (including IT, HR, finance, and marketing) being affected by the changing appetites and work patterns of employees?
What are the implications to enterprises attempting to attract and retain the skills necessary to compete in a hypercompetitive global marketplace?
Identity Shift: How Technology Changes Who We Are, What We Do & Whom We Trust
The thousands of mouse clicks, channel changes, and location updates consumers make each day form a constellation of preferences and tendencies that enable companies to serve up more personalized, relevant, and meaningful goods and services. However, headlines are littered with stories of companies failing to successfully use this type of data for targeting purposes. Based on Alcatel-Lucent's extensive research study covering more than 5,000 US consumers (from teenagers to mid-lifers), Allison Cerra will reveal how consumers view this provocative topic and how companies can successfully navigate relatively uncharted waters to use consumer identity effectively and responsibly.
This session is designed for marketers and strategists interested in understanding how technology is increasingly influencing who consumers are becoming, as well as for employers looking for a deeper understanding of how tomorrow's workforce is poised to change. While the most engaged audiences will be those that offer technology services to consumers, the content also resonates among practitioners of social sciences - from marketers to HR leaders - seeking to learn the nuances of identity and the underlying psychological forces that influence buyers, influencers, and employees.
The Shift: Where Education Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age
In this session, Allison Cerra not only examines how Millennials, as a generation, are most influenced by the technology surrounding them but also points out key differences that Millennials of various life stages (college students vs. young professionals, for instance) experience when shaping their own identities. Given that most educators are not digital natives themselves, this presentation explains why certain behavioral patterns among Millennials are commonplace and demonstrates how swiftly technology is changing the landscape.
This session is designed for educators and explains why technology is a major cultural cornerstone among Millennials and how this generation is poised to change tomorrow's workforce.