BT is the “AT&T of the UK,” according to its president Jennifer Artley. The world’s oldest communications company, formerly called British Telecom, it services 180 countries and generates 25 billion British pounds (or some $35 billion) in annual revenue.
Though BT Americas is headquartered in Coppell, Artley, who heads one of four global divisions of the telecom giant, lives with her husband and two daughters in Denver. With a territory that includes 28 countries across North and South America, she’s on the road every week. North American customers include Credit Suisse, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Mastercard. In Latin America, customers include Nestlé, PepsiCo, Fiat, CableVision, and Prosa.
“I just got back from Dallas, and, before that, New York; Atlanta; São Paulo, Brazil,” she says. “I’m heading to London the week after next. I’m often in many places.”
On her recent trip to Dallas, Artley, 47, looked back on 2017, estimating that BT Americas was responsible for more than $1.4 billion in revenue.
Since being promoted from COO to president in June 2017, she now leads a team of 3,000 employees, 250 of them in Coppell. “In Dallas, we have a rich tech talent pool to tap into, and we like Texas from a tax perspective,” she says.
Artley, who earned an MBA and master’s at the University of Pennsylvania, is the master of the teleconference, one of BT’s services for the world’s largest multinational companies.
“I do town hall roundtables to find out what’s on people’s minds. I tend to be extremely collaborative,” she says. Artley calls herself “a champion for women and anyone with ambition to do a little more.”
“Mostly, I’m a champion for accelerated growth,” she says.
These days data breaches, which can cost tens of millions of dollars, keep Artley up at night and working on weekends.
“The proliferation of data is exponential,” she says. “A key challenge is prioritizing what data needs to be held at what level of security. Not all data is created equal.”
BT in the Americas offers what it calls the “Cloud of Clouds,” technological solutions for connectivity, data, IT services, and next-generation intelligent networks. BT, she says, works to stay ahead of all new developments and trends, particularly related to digital customers, digital businesses, and digital employees. “It’s all about speed and agility,” she says. “It’s a new and exciting way to look at the world.”
BT customers, she says, want standardized, repeatable, digital solutions to drive deeper and richer interactions with their customers by managing data, moving data to the cloud, and creating productive digital employees—all with maximum security.
Artley says it’s all part of the fourth Industrial Revolution, which has evolved from manufacturing, to mass production, to electronics and information technology, to the digital revolution and mobile devices. It’s been multiplied by emerging technologies in robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, and the Internet of Things. Artley helps her customers stay agile, creating new jobs as the old ones go away. “You can’t automate creativity and empathy,” she says.