2020 FierceTelecom Rising Star — Colt's Francesca Serravalle

The FierceTelecom editorial team is proud to announce our second annual Rising Stars series, in which we’re profiling up-and-coming executives in the telecom industry. We’ve selected a slate of executives whom we think are on the rise in 2020. 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!

Colt hired Francesca Serravalle from UK regulator Ofcom, where she served as a technology consultant helping to craft telecom policy. Now she studies technology, business models and customer behavior to identify innovation opportunities for Colt. Right now the primary technologies she's studying are 5G and edge computing. 

"Currently, I am looking at 5G and edge and how bundling with Colt intelligent connectivity positions us as an enabler of innovation for B2B and key verticals," Serravalle said. Colt connects customers in a wide range of industries, including banking, retail, real estate and media. "I am supporting the business in innovating our service offer through a marketplace that offers network services on demand as well as developing strategic partnerships across the 5G and IoT ecosystem that enable us to deliver end-to-end digital solutions for our customers as they roll out IoT services as part of their digital journey," she said.

Prior to her time at Ofcom, Serravalle spent 13 years at NEC Europe, and one of her roles there was representing NEC at the 3GPP standard body for LTE. Her ideas on self-organizing networks became part of the LTE standard. Later, Serravalle was part of the team that drove the company's vision, messaging and content for Mobile World Congress. She said that experience sparked her passion for holistic innovation, which is one of the primary reasons she wanted to join Colt.

RELATED: Colt Technology Services dishes up multi-cloud connectivity on its SD-WAN service

Serravalle said that in the professional arena, her two primary motivators are passion and trust. "Passion for me works as an engine to drive my curiosity, to push my boundaries, but also to give me the stamina that sometimes you need," she said. "Trust for me is really important; it's an engine for professionalism, which in turn will drive deeper, more productive engagements with customers."

Although her job is to see the big picture, Serravalle is not afraid to dive into the details. "If I understand how things work, I can anticipate some challenges," she said. "I can deep dive down to the information element, and for me it's very important."

Serravalle believes one of the most essential elements of professional success is choosing the right company. "If you are in the right company, you are empowered to drive success if you show that you want to be part of it, that you want to be an enabler for the business and for the company," she said.