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Playing to the channel

Playing to the channel

Motorola Enterprise Mobility Business managing director, Vince Chiappazzo, is new to the role but already has some ambitious growth targets. He caught up with MATTHEW SAINSBURY to discuss industry trends and performing in the theatre.

What was your first job? I remember my first job was packing shelves at a supermarket for a little while when I was still at school.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

I ended up in the IT industry when I became interested in electronics and communications. I liked gadgets, looked at the industry and thought it would be a great career.

How did you join Motorola?

It was a long journey. When I first got into the IT industry, it was very much from the technology side – my first real job out of university was with Telstra as an engineer. I did that for four or five years, but started to want to be closer to customers, rather than stay in a pure technology role. An opportunity came up at Compaq, and I went there as a sales engineer. While I was there, they offered me a major account management role – from their point of view, I was quite good around customer interaction and relationships. That got me into the sales side of the business, and I’ve been there ever since.

What do you like about your current position?

I have just stepped into my current role and like a lot of the jobs I’ve had over the years, it’s never boring. In particular, in this current role, which is overseeing Australia and New Zealand, there is so much going on. I came from the Symbol acquisition, which was integrated into Motorola over the past couple of years, and the various businesses are now opening up opportunities to work more closely together. A lot of people are being promoted, through growth, out of the Australia operation and into our Asia-Pacific operation, which gives us another opportunity to look at our organisational structure and how we’re going to market. That offers us an opportunity to shape the organisation going forward.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

I would say most recently it has been the work I’ve done here at Motorola, in terms of overachieving against targets, and being instrumental in us winning significant business with key customers. Since I’ve come into Motorola, and Symbol before it, I have been helping shape our go-to-market model. My five years have really stretched me in different directions and given me the chance to test myself.

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

There’s not too much I dislike, but I guess one of my pet hates – and it doesn’t just apply to the IT industry – are those people that don’t really have a customer orientation. My own philosophy is to put yourself in the seat of the customer. Occasionally you come across people that don’t have that same orientation.

What will be the next big thing?

What we’ll continue to see is evolution of the key things about our industry and the things today that we sell to customers are critical to their operations. We’ve seen the advent of technologies such as 3G and GPS already. I think the whole mobility space within the broad IT industry is a really hot area, and I think we’ll see that continue to evolve. There’s no great revolution though. --P--- What’s the main focus for Motorola in the next year?

We want to consolidate what we do in the retail, transport and logistics markets – our traditional markets – and we want to provide the same value to other vertical parts of the industry. In healthcare, for example, we’re seeing take-up, and we’re seeing take-up in service field sales. Emerging verticals is also very much a focus for us. I think we are going to also be focused on bettering our approach with our software and applications partners, and the importance of them in taking a total solution to market. We also want to leverage the broader Motorola portfolio than we could as Symbol.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I try and stay fit – I do a bit of cycling, I also do a little bit of theatre and acting on the side.

What kind of theatre?

It’s almost a hobby. Outside of work, I have been participating in local theatre over the past four to fi ve years. It was something I got into quite a lot of years ago when I was in high school, and I’ve just started to get back into it. I perform plays, and the odd commercial show here and there – mostly comedies or dramas. I’ve done a little bit of Shakespeare, but it’s pretty onerous – the language takes a lot of practice, and it’s much more difficult to get prepared. It’s more than I have time for.

Did you ever want to be a professional actor?

When I was quite young, like a lot of people, I dreamed of being a rock star or actor.

Do you like gadgets? Yes, I don’t know how much time I get these days to play, but home theatre, and other bits and pieces here and there. I don’t get the chance to stay across it as much as I’d like to.

What is your biggest ambition from here?

Where I am now, in terms of career, is very exciting and challenging, and something I’d like to keep doing. At some point I will look to retire, but I would see myself doing this sort of thing for quite some time. I’m pretty happy and content in this space, so in terms of ambition, it’s to continue to pursue the same sort of thing that I’m doing now

Company Snapshots

  • Motorola had its beginnings in 1928 when Paul V. Galvin and his brother, Joseph, incorporated Motorola’s founding company, Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, in Chicago, USA.
  • The world’s fi rst commercial handheld cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC phone, received approval from the US Federal Communications Commission on September 21, 1983. The 28-ounce (794g) phone became available to consumers in 1984.
  • Motorola acquired wireless device vendor, Symbol, for $US3.9 billion in 2006.

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