2019 FierceTelecom Rising Star — VMware’s Gabriele Di Piazza

VMware's Gabriele Di Piazza (VMware)

The FierceTelecom editorial team is proud to announce our Rising Stars series in which we’re profiling up-and-coming executives in the telecom industry. We’ve selected a slate of executives from services providers, public cloud companies and telco vendors whom we think are on the rise in 2019. We’ll be doling out the names of our winners, two per day, so that our readers have the time to enjoy reading their profiles. And next week, we’ll post a Rising Stars poll, giving everyone the opportunity to vote for their favorite top executive to watch in the FierceTelecom ecosystem. We hope you enjoy the series!

Gabriele Di Piazza was always interested in telecommunications and decided to study it when he went to university in Italy. After graduating he worked at Hewlett-Packard in the company’s communications and media business primarily handling operations support services and business support services (OSS/BSS).

After 11 years at HP he moved to Microsoft where he led worldwide marketing for the operator channels group at the company. He also was responsible for Microsoft’s Media and Entertainment business. Di Piazza moved to the United States for his job in 2001, which was at the beginning of the rollout of broadband across the U.S. and the debut of IPTV. “It was an amazing moment of transformation,” he said. “I got to see how media companies were developing strategies from content production to monetization and legal processes.”

Di Piazza then rejoined HP where he became general manager of HP’s marketing optimization and was responsible for the company’s digital experience management products. He said this job allowed him to dive back into big data at a time when structured and unstructured data was just emerging.

That second stint at HP provided Di Piazza with the right experience to then move to Guavas where he became senior vice president of products and marketing. Guavas handles artificial intelligence-based big data analytics for some of the largest telcos in the world.

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Di Piazza is now the vice president of products and solutions for VMware’s telco and edge business unit. He’s been at VMware for more than three years. In this role he assists telecom operators with the transition to converged cloud environments. “I see a lot of parallels between what happened in the past with operations support services and the new generation of OSS,” he said.

Di Piazza said he credits much of his success to his movement in his career, whether it was movement within the same company or moving to another firm. “I like diversity of experiences,” he said. “It gives you the chance to learn and understand different industries and business models.”