The Future of Communication Technology: Gautam Goswami of TeamViewer On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up How We Connect and Communicate With Each Other

If something goes wrong with your water heater in your house today, for example, you’re likely to call a service technician who you will have to interact with, potentially exposing yourself or your family to COVID-19. With AR, you won’t need to have anyone come into your home because you can have an expert technician from the heater company walk you through the necessary steps to get your broken water heater up and running again. Just like the manufacturer I mentioned earlier, an expert from the water heater company can walk you through the specific steps necessary to make the repair, using AR to ensure accuracy and safety.

The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?

In this interview series, called ‘The Future Of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gautam Goswami, TeamViewer’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) since March 2019. Gautam has over 20 years of experience in technology and marketing with notable roles at enterprise software and cloud services providers OpenText and Informatica. He is a seasoned tech executive and brings with him a combination of B2B and B2C marketing excellence.

Before joining TeamViewer, over the past three years he has been an independent strategic marketing advisor to a wide range of Permira portfolio companies ranging from enterprise software, consumer and financial services. Gautam has also successfully supported TeamViewer in developing a go-to-market strategy based on the increased global activities and product portfolio in 2018 as a strategic adviser.

Gautam leads TeamViewer’s marketing and product strategy and global marketing operations.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Iwas born and raised in India which is where I received my education in Mechanical Engineering, as well as my MBA in Marketing. In 2000, I came to America and started working at a company called Acuate where I rose through the ranks to become the VP of Marketing. Actuate was then bought by a company called OpenText where I rose to become head of Global Marketing.

It was around this time I decided I needed to make a move, and luckily I made a connection with Permira, a global investment firm who were recruiting executives for their companies in Silicon Valley. After a brief tenure at Informatica (A Permira Company) I formed my own consulting firm and started working with Permira across the portfolio as an external advisor. One of the biggest clients for my agency was TeamViewer, where I was asked to join the company and in March 2019, I was hired as the Chief Marketing Officer. I have since driven massive change at the company and transformed it from a pure B2BC small business player to an enterprise player. Our current drive has been to make TeamViewer a next-level enterprise leader in all communications and augmented reality-based spaces.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Many years ago, when I was at Actuate, I was the manager of Web Applications. One day, my colleagues and I were in an all-hands meeting where the CIO was proposing that we bring in Oracle CRM to take the company to the next level. I was the only person in the room to raise their hand and ask why we wouldn’t consider Salesforce instead. This suggestion earned me a handful of glares. But as we were leaving, I got in the elevator with the company’s CEO and he told me “Hey, I want to hear more about this Salesforce thing you mentioned.” I told him that it sounded like the CIO didn’t want to hear about it, but he asked if I had five minutes to come to his office to discuss the idea further. We ended up spending the next 30 minutes talking about why I thought Salesforce was the better option. After this conversation, the CEO learned more about my ideas and my background in marketing and moved me from the technology-focused role as manager of Web Applications to a marketing position and this move completely changed the direction of my career. And it all started with that elevator meeting!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite life lesson quote is to “live life king-sized.” I think if you are passionate about what you are doing, then you need to be bold and lose your filter because the only way technology can move forward is if people speak their minds instead of hiding that great idea in their head. I was always the kid in school who was never afraid to ask the dumb question and I have carried this with me throughout my life, as is evidenced by my Salesforce idea and elevator pitch to my former CEO that I just discussed.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am particularly grateful to Brian Ruder who is now a Partner and Head of Technology at Permira. Years ago, Brian and I were supposed to have a 15-minute meeting when Permira was trying to get me to join a company called Informatica. That 15-minute meeting turned into a 45-minute meeting and created a bond between us which lasts to this day. We have both become each other’s own sounding board and go-to person for all things marketing and product related.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I bring goodness to the world by making sure that the people who work for me live up to their potential and are set up for success. The way I do this is by being completely transparent with them. I think it is very important to tell those who are underperforming what they are doing that is making them underperform; that is the only way they can get better. But I also believe that you need to praise those who are performing exceptionally. This is the only way people can perform to their highest standard.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about the cutting-edge communication tech that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

Although Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a while now, it has mostly been about fun and games and not very serious. What we are working on right now at TeamViewer is going to change the paradigm of how people can help others. This communication tool will harness the power of AR to allow you to use video, audio, text messages and AR to transport yourself thousands of miles away and be in the same space as someone else to help them with a wide range of problems — from the complex, to helping them pick out their next pair of shoes, to guiding them through that new smart device they just purchased.

This communication tool is focused on the consumer, but we also are taking the same technology and making it available to the industrial world. For example, if you are in manufacturing and are standing in front of a machine that is malfunctioning, you won’t have to physically call in an expert technician to make the proper repair. You can simply put on a set of smart glasses or pull out your smartphone, and through our technology, connect with an expert that can walk you through how to make the correct fixes. This remote expert will not only be able to tell you how to fix the machine, but since the machine will be equipped with TeamViewer’s IoT sensors, they will also be able to tell you exactly what is going on inside the machine as you work on it and warn you of any issues that arise during the fix, curbing the risk for a serious accident.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

There really are not too many drawbacks that come to mind with this technology. AR is here to stay and will only prove more valuable as time goes on. As opposed to Virtual Reality, where you are in an enclosed space which can be dangerous, in the augmented world, you can not only still see where you are, but you can now interact with your world in a faster, quicker and better way.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

The tipping point was twofold. The first was the increased processing power of our phones. Recently, Apple released Lidar scanners on their iPhones which scans and captures specific scenes and objects around you, then displays them as 3D images. The second tipping point was the advent of 5G, which makes it possible to bring the power of AR to consumers through high-speed wireless communication and network capacity.

These two technologies unleashed the power of AR that until that point greatly hindered the development of widespread AR adoption.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

It is just a matter of time before AR is widely adopted, but I believe that the best adoption is when people don’t even realize they’re using something new but rather adopt it organically. The first real widespread use of AR was the Pokémon Go craze five years ago when people were running around trying to catch digital monsters. But as AR becomes more useful outside of the game space, it will naturally be adopted by consumers in such a rapid way that in a few years, AR adoption will be ubiquitous.

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. How do you think your innovation might be able to address the new needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic?

If something goes wrong with your water heater in your house today, for example, you’re likely to call a service technician who you will have to interact with, potentially exposing yourself or your family to COVID-19. With AR, you won’t need to have anyone come into your home because you can have an expert technician from the heater company walk you through the necessary steps to get your broken water heater up and running again. Just like the manufacturer I mentioned earlier, an expert from the water heater company can walk you through the specific steps necessary to make the repair, using AR to ensure accuracy and safety.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

I wish someone told me that if you believe that you have a great idea and that you know how to achieve your success, then don’t wait to go through the flow of four years of studying when you can go out there and pave your own path. This was not an option for me in India, but I believe that if you have a great idea, the time to act on it is now.

Additionally, I wish someone told me early on that when it comes to making decisions about people, instead of looking at resumes, look at the whole person. I spent many years looking at resumes which are highly misleading. A person’s personality and their basic understanding of the industry cannot always be determined simply by looking at a piece of paper. You have to take a holistic view of the person and determine if they are going to be the right fit.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

This is simple: get off Facebook!

Facebook’s engagement algorithm pollutes our perception of reality and is creating a crisis for our younger generations. Facebook manufactures outrage because outrage and scandal sell, so the way I would promote the most good to the most amount of people would be advocating against using Facebook.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can follow me on my LinkedIn page:

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.

About The Interviewer: David Liu is the founder and CEO of Deltapath, an award-winning unified communications company that liberates organizations from the barriers of effective communication. Liu is known for his visionary leadership, organic growth strategies, and future-forward technology. Liu is highly committed to achieving a greater purpose with technology. Liu’s business insights are regularly featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Tech Crunch, and more.


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