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Personal insight: A day in the life of Oli Barker

We’re carrying on our Q&A sessions with the BT Wholesale community to find out more about what people do and what they’re like. Here we spoke with Head of Product Management, IP Telephony (IPT) and Unified Communications (UC), Oli Barker.

We sat down and chatted with Oli Barker. Now you can get to know him

When did you join BT Wholesale?

I joined BT Wholesale 15 years ago. After University I worked at Lloyds Bank as a graduate trainee and then became a Business Banking Manager for two years, serving the banking needs of all sorts of businesses across South West London and Surrey. I joined BT in 2000 on the Oceanic Recruitment and Training programme. This brought me into BT Wholesale – 30 recently qualified graduates with two years experience in non-telecoms industries and quickly introduced us to the fascinating and ever-changing world of telecoms and technology.

What are your main responsibilities in your current role?

I’m in charge of the IPT & UC Product Team. This includes Wholesale SIP Trunking, Wholesale Hosted Centrex, IP Voice Services (IPVS) and all associated Customer Premises Equipment. I manage a small but growing team of Product Managers and we are accountable for product development, roadmaps, Product P&L, sales channel enablement, contracts, bids and all in-life activities.

During a typical working day I’m involved in all types of activities, from bids, commercial, developments, strategy, training, external and internal presentations, marketing, evangelising my product area! You name it, if it’s IPT & UC then me and my team are involved.

What are the positive and negative aspects of your work and is there anything you’d change?

I enjoy all the variety and challenges that come with the job, in particular delivering results from BT and my customers. Elements that I find particularly frustrating are that things happen slower than I’d like. I want everything today, whether that be a development or a customer deal. This is one of the main challenges I face at work – trying to get things done at the speed the business and our customers want, and need.

If you weren’t working for BT, what would you like to do?

In my dreams, I’d be managing the England Rugby team into the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. Rugby’s a huge part of my life outside work, and I wish I had been good enough to have played for England, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case and my body fell to bits getting to the level I did manage to achieve!

Who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

The legend of England Rugby that is Sir Clive Woodward. I’d also like to bring along all of the boys who won the Rugby World Cup in 2003 – now that’d be a serious party to remember!

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