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Technology Reinvented the Modern Marketplace

Joseph Vesey, Chief Marketing Officer,Xylem

Joseph Vesey, Chief Marketing Officer,Xylem

Joseph Vesey currently works as the Chief Marketing Officer of Xylem, where he is responsible for the company’s marketing function, expanding the digital marketing efforts, and developing key account management capabilities and integrated IT efforts to accelerate commercial excellence. Prior to joining Xylem, Vesey worked at General Electric for ten years in a number of positions, including Vice President of Access GE (a commercial consulting role), Global Product Manager (GE Water), Global Product Manager,  for Lexan Sheet, Industry Leader, and Regional Sales Leader (GE Plastics).

As a chief marketing officer, what, according to you, are some of the major challenges facing businesses today?

We are certainly living in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) business environment like we have never seen in our lifetime. Complexities around  global supply chain and our ability to serve customers with solutions they want and expect on time, continued inflation and margin compression, geo-political risks from the war in Ukraine to tensions in Asia, stress in the energy markets, massive moves in monetary policy and interest rates that will impact the cost of debt and equity markets,  unprecedented natural calamities and ensuring we recover from this global pandemic and manage the impact it has had on mental health and defining what the “office” means moving forward. So yes, there are a ton of challenges facing business leaders today, which also makes it that much more important to have the very best leaders on your team..

What are some of the emerging trends in the marketplace today?

In the marketplace today, we see there are numerous technological advancements that are assisting us in not just surviving but leading in the hybrid environment we are living in. I believe that the world is gradually gravitating toward exhibiting products through virtual reality (VR) or using other cutting-edge technologies. This will play a vital role in improving customer experience.

We are also witnessing the trend of incorporating digital technology into pumps, treatment devices, and test devices, which has helped lower costs and improve equipment lifecycle.

What are some of the project initiatives that you have recently worked on?

We are witnessing the world moving toward smart products and embedded sensors. There are several digital trends in the marketplace, but let me touch on two that are playing out in our space. The first is edge computing. Some customers are worried about storing a significant amount of data in the cloud as cost and security concerns increase.  This is why the adoption of edge computing has increased rapidly. We have launched several solutions that take advantage of this edge computing digital trend.

“In the coming five to ten years, digital will become pervasive, and tons of data will be available and processed through AI (artificial intelligence) for insight, productivity and better decision making.”

Secondly, there is a growing need to implement digital platforms. A digital platform is a place where several parties can interact and conduct business with one another, either in a marketplace setting like purchase and sell or in another setting like knowledge exchange. I believe there is enormous potential for a digital platform to emerge in the water industry where numerous individuals from various parts of the water value chain can collaborate to share knowledge, gain fresh perspectives, and hopefully make better decisions that benefit communities by providing access to clean water.

How do you envision the future of this space?

In the coming five to ten years, digital will become pervasive, and tons of data will be available and processed through AI (artificial intelligence) for insight, productivity and better decision making. I think the traditional digital world we live in today (web 2.0) will materially be competing with a web 3.0 world where decentralization on blockchain technologies will give additional freedom to users for a new wave of innovation. I hope this certainly plays out in the water space, as we have serious challenges to solve in order to achieve the UN Sustainability Development Goal to brings safe drinking water and sanitation to the billions of people who do not have access to it today.

What would be your piece of advice for budding professionals in this field?

Embrace diversity in all aspects of your life, from the teams you work on to how and where you expose yourself to develop and learn. Diverse teams beat homogeneous teams every day of the week, learn to excel in these environments for the benefit of each of your team members, and yourself. 

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