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IoT Evolution Profile: Kelly Gay, Sierra Wireless

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IoT Evolution has the opportunity to speak with Kelly Gay, VP of Vertical and IoT Services at Sierra Wireless, about her experiences as a woman in technology and how she things about the IoT industry. She is responsible for the company’s rapidly-growing managed enterprise end-to-end IoT solutions and services group.

Her experience prior to joining Sierra Wireless includes leading IBM’s $1.2 billion media and entertainment industry group, building and selling two venture-backed companies to public companies, and serving as COO at managed enterprise IoT solutions provider Numerex prior to its recent acquisition by Sierra Wireless.

Here are her thoughts:

What actions or habits would you recommend to other women seeking to succeed in the technology industry like you?
I have spent my entire career in the technology industry and, along the way, have become aware of the characteristics that have helped me succeed. To other women (or men) seeking to succeed in the technology industry, I would offer three concepts:

  • Differentiate Yourself with a Positive Attitude

At the very start of my career, I could tell immediately that I had a more positive and optimistic attitude about my ability to contribute to sales than others did. I was, and still am, always positive, upbeat, and someone who is always looking for opportunities to pull others up. I was willing to take on the most difficult customer or task with an attitude that I would succeed. Because of that, I was given more and greater responsibilities than others, since it was easier to give them to me than to cajole or convince others to take on these responsibilities, and then convince them that they could succeed at them. Early in my career I differentiated myself with an optimistic, positive, get-the-job-done-no-matter-what attitude, and it worked. 

  • Believe in Success

How hard is it to think you are going to fail? How hard is it to fail? Both thinking you are going to fail and failing take no effort whatsoever. Inherent in pessimism is the assumption that all those other people in an organization are the ones that can be counted on to get the job done, because a pessimist doesn’t intend to. Believing that you will succeed and succeeding might take more effort – especially because you have to put in the work to actually succeed – but by visualizing success, you are more likely to find a path to the result you want. In addition, by believing in success and communicating this vision, you find yourself able to inspire others to work with you to realize success together.

  • Focus on the End Result

When I first became the Chairman, CEO and President of KnowledgeStorm, it was a role I had never been in before, and therefore, had no experience base to pull from. Yet I fully expected to succeed, even though I had never held a similar role. What I did know was how to manage outcomes, so I took purposeful, thought-out actions, played out over a period of time, to achieve the end results I was after. It’s time consuming, but if it is worth doing, then it is worth doing with the intention of winning. Play to win all the way to the moment that you either win or lose. If you win, great, you got the end result you expected all along, and your image as a go-to person with a magical ability to succeed is substantiated yet again. If you lose, it can be crushing and debilitating, but it is a moment in time to learn from, instead of a long period of mediocrity brought about by not believing and not planning. Control for the result you seek, and do it through preparation and thought.

What would be your dream career outside of IoT?
It’s hard for me to think of myself in any industry other than technology in its broadest definition, having spent my entire career in the technology industry in one form or another. However, sometimes I think it might be exciting to combine my experience in the technology industry with my passion for Atlanta’s new Major League Soccer team, Atlanta United FC, through a career managing sports performance technology for Atlanta United FC. How fun would that be? 

Sports performance technology and Atlanta United FC are both new, innovative and growing in popularity. The idea of helping my favorite team succeed, by enabling them to deploy and use new technologies that improve their players’ performance and perhaps even contribute to them winning the MLS Cup, is very appealing. 


The IoT Evolution Expo, and collocated events, IoT Evolution Health, LPWAN Expo, The Smart City Event, and IIoT Conference, will take place Jan. 29 to Feb 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit IoTEvolutionExpo.com to register now.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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