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Pub Talk

"Sustaining Telecom Innovation With New Partnership Engines"


By Mr. Gabriel Sidhom
Vice President, Business Development & Alliances
France Telecom Research & Development, LLC

Open to the Public. 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. No fee.
The Pub Talk begins at 6:00 p.m.

Technological options facing a company today are multiplying faster than available resources to evaluate them. Convergence is creating technological combinatorial forms difficult to discern and even more difficult to measure in terms of potential risks and opportunities. Added to this is the current season of inclement financial weather, which is radically shrinking companies’, planning horizons to quarters if not months. At this Pub, Gabriel Sidhom will discuss how France Telecom R&D is facing these challenges while maintaining the cadence of innovation necessary for a telecommunications firm to succeed in keeping relevant and fresh the value proposition it brings to its clients. Specifically, he will focus on the changing role of partnership management as one of the engines necessary for generating sustained innovation.

Gabriel Sidhom was named Vice President, Business Development & Alliances for France Telecom Research & Development, LLC in April 2001. In this capacity, he is responsible for defining the company's business strategy; developing new markets and contracts; directing the company's technology, business scouting, and research engagements; managing research and development partnerships with companies, universities, associations, and institutions; and managing the company's product management group. In addition, Mr. Sidhom is responsible for developing and managing the company's broadband competency group. Previously, he held the position of Vice President for France Telecom's business wholesale services. In this role, he defined the strategy for the wholesale activity, developed and marketed the wholesale offer, and established and managed commercial relations with fixed, wireless and internet resellers and operators in France and internationally. Mr. Sidhom also represented France Telecom on several international alliance steering committees. Prior to joining France Telecom, he held various positions with GTE Corporation. Mr. Sidhom holds a BA in monetary economics & political science from Occidental College and a MA in industrial organization & financial markets from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a former board member of the American Marketing Association in New York.

France Telecom ( is one of the world's leading telecommunications carriers with over 107 million customers on five continents (220 countries) and consolidated operating revenues of 22.5 billion Euros for the first half of 2002. Through its major international brands -- including Orange, Wanadoo, Equant, and GlobeCast -- France Telecom provides businesses, consumers, and other carriers with a complete portfolio of solutions that spans local, long-distance and international telephony, wireless, Internet, multimedia, data, broadcast, and cable TV services.

Innovation is a fundamental priority for France Telecom. France Telecom R&D is the source of design and development for about 80 percent of the products and services marketed by France Telecom. The organization pursues three concurrent objectives: 1) continually improve existing services and networks through the initiatives of project teams over three to twelve months; 2) create foundations for the impossible through the efforts of work groups with 12-to-36-month horizons to develop new technologies and platforms; and 3) imagine the unthinkable in radically new domains through brainstorming workshops and by anticipating future uses. Since 1997, France Telecom R&D's laboratory in South San Francisco provides the France Telecom group with innovative technologies in Internet, enterprise services, multimedia, and Wireless through its access to US markets and execution of its six primary roles of technology & business model analysis and evaluation, software and hardware testing and evaluation, participation in industry forums and standard bodies, integration of innovative technologies into France Telecom's offers, and prototype development &. commercial "visioning" of new technologies. Key to these efforts has been a commitment to ongoing development of a wide range of partnerships with both large and start-up companies as well as alliances such as Liberty (of which France Telecom was a founding member), extensive work with universities (Stanford, MIT, UC Santa Barbara & Santa Clara University), and ongoing contacts with venture capitalists, including due diligence support.

Mr. Gabriel Sidhom
Vice President, Business Development & Alliances
France Telecom Research & Development, LLC
801 Gateway Blvd, Suite 500
South San Francisco, CA 94080
T: 650.875.1504
F: 650.875.1505