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Allison Cerra  

Expert on How Technology is Shaping Business & Employee Behavior

At the helm of an award-winning marketing organization for one of the world's largest suppliers of communications networking equipment and services, Allison Cerra is a leading expert in consumer identity and psychology—specifically, how these are formed and altered by our increasing reliance on technology. As vice president of marketing, communication, and public affairs for Alcatel-Lucent's Americas region, Cerra oversees the marketing programs and consumer research that shape telecom networks throughout North and South America, and works with organizations to devise go-to-market strategies for new technology services, including cloud, mobile broadband, and IPTV. A principal part of her job involves anticipating how our increasingly networked world will change consumers' mindsets and expectations.

Cerra recently co-authored Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age. Based on extensive primary research involving more than 5,000 US consumers, the book examines how our Internet proficiency is blurring the boundaries between our virtual and real-life personas, resulting in a shift in our behaviors, the way we deal with each other, and the way we interact with the world. She is also the co-author of The Shift: The Evolving Market, Players and Business Models in a 2.0 World, which estimates a $100 billion market opportunity when networks are leveraged as development platforms. In addition to both books, Cerra has published multiple whitepapers and articles about emerging user broadband trends and market potential for next-generation services.

In her engaging presentations, Cerra instructs marketers and strategists as well as educators on how to best understand buyers, employees, and students' new consumer identities and psychologies in order to influence their buying habits and preferences. Whether your interest lies in sociology, psychology, marketing, or technology, Cerra examines the impact of living in an age where virtually all of our personal information and interactions with others can be available with the click of a mouse, keypad, or remote and offers take-home solutions for honing in these various markets.

Prior to her position at Alcatel-Lucent, Cerra served in a variety of product management, marketing, sales, and operations positions for various service providers, including GTE, Verizon, and Frontier. She was named to the "40 Under 40" lists of Global Telecom Business and the Dallas Business Journal, recognized as the Outstanding Young Alumna from Southern Methodist University in 2011, and honored by the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the American Marketing Association as CMO of the Year for 2011. She currently serves on the boards of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Telecommunications Industry Association.

Allison Cerra obtained her BS in marketing and management at the University of South Florida and her master's degrees in business administration and telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.

TOPICS

Identity Shift: How Technology Changes Who We Are, What We Do & Whom We Trust

The Shift: Where Education Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age

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Transforming Business: Big Data, Mobility & Globalization

The consumerization of IT in the enterprise represents one of the most fundamental shifts in how businesses procure and apply technology since the advent of PCs in the 1980s. In this talk, Allison Cerra will discuss the results of research directed at more than 5,000 respondents across every walk of life in US and Chinese enterprises - including frontline knowledge workers and HR, IT, and business decision makers - to reveal the opportunities and risks when technology collides with culture. She will also frame how the expectations of tomorrow's knowledge worker will further alter the complexion of the enterprise and technology's role within it, based on research directed at several hundred elite upcoming graduates from the top universities in the United States and China. In particular, this research addresses the following questions:

How are the trends of mobility, cloud, big data, and collaboration changing the behavior and purchasing habits of the enterprise? What are the opportunities and challenges for enterprises and those that serve them? How are company culture and the role of various functions (including IT, HR, finance, and marketing) being affected by the changing appetites and work patterns of employees? What are the implications to enterprises attempting to attract and retain the skills necessary to compete in a hypercompetitive global marketplace? Identity Shift: How Technology Changes Who We Are, What We Do & Whom We Trust

The thousands of mouse clicks, channel changes, and location updates consumers make each day form a constellation of preferences and tendencies that enable companies to serve up more personalized, relevant, and meaningful goods and services. However, headlines are littered with stories of companies failing to successfully use this type of data for targeting purposes. Based on Alcatel-Lucent's extensive research study covering more than 5,000 US consumers (from teenagers to mid-lifers), Allison Cerra will reveal how consumers view this provocative topic and how companies can successfully navigate relatively uncharted waters to use consumer identity effectively and responsibly.

This session is designed for marketers and strategists interested in understanding how technology is increasingly influencing who consumers are becoming, as well as for employers looking for a deeper understanding of how tomorrow's workforce is poised to change. While the most engaged audiences will be those that offer technology services to consumers, the content also resonates among practitioners of social sciences - from marketers to HR leaders - seeking to learn the nuances of identity and the underlying psychological forces that influence buyers, influencers, and employees.

The Shift: Where Education Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age

In this session, Allison Cerra not only examines how Millennials, as a generation, are most influenced by the technology surrounding them but also points out key differences that Millennials of various life stages (college students vs. young professionals, for instance) experience when shaping their own identities. Given that most educators are not digital natives themselves, this presentation explains why certain behavioral patterns among Millennials are commonplace and demonstrates how swiftly technology is changing the landscape.

This session is designed for educators and explains why technology is a major cultural cornerstone among Millennials and how this generation is poised to change tomorrow's workforce.

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