Prof. Brian Armstrong
Chair of Digital Business
Wits Business School
Prof. Brian Armstrong is one of the foremost ICT industry leaders in South Africa, with over 30 years of top level management experience in Telecommunications, IT, technology R&D and systems engineering, both in South Africa and abroad. He is widely regarded as a thought leader in digitalisation, convergence and business strategy.
In July 2017 Brian joined the Wits Business School in the role of Professor in the Chair of Digital Business. His focus here is on building a comprehensive knowledge base on the diverse dimensions of Digital Business, and developing more scientifically rigorous models for core concepts in digitalisation, with academically sound underpinnings .
Previously he was a key part of the leadership team under Sipho Maseko which has been credited with turning Telkom around, in the capacity of Group Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Commercial Officer. In his time with Telkom he also revived the ailing Telkom Business unit, and conceived and led the acquisition of BCX and its integration into the group. He was also responsible for the group’s Retail unit, as well as leading group strategy and transformation activities.
Before joining Telkom in 2010 Brian was BT’s Vice President for Middle East and Africa with overall responsibility to oversee and grow BT’s activities across the region. Before that his work experience includes South Africa’s CSIR, ultimately as the Director of the Division for Information and Communications Technology; and South African listed ICT services group AST (now Gijima), as Managing Director of AST Networks.
Brian completed his BSc (Eng) and MSc (Eng) at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1982 and 1984 respectively, and obtained his PhD from University College London in 1992. His professional interests include business leadership, digitalisation, strategic change leadership, corporate entrepreneurship, organisational design, multinational and multicultural business optimisation, and venture creation.
Executive Vice President
Johann Coetzee have 27 years’ experience in the South African and African private and parastatal sectors, with solid expertise implementing ICT solutions in the accounting, advertising, agricultural, communication, health, information technology, mining, manufacturing, and tourism industries, where he has focused on digitizing these sectors to align implementation of digital solutions with business requirements.
Johann Coetzee has joined NEC XON in 2021. As a key leader, he supports NEC XON’s aggressive growth strategy throughout sub-Sahara Africa and activities to broaden its market sector penetration. He will assume responsibility for sales engagement and solutions across NEC XON’s regional head offices in East, West and South Africa.
He holds an MBA (1988) and a BSC in Industrial Engineering (1985) from University of Pretoria, together with numerous management development certifications.
David Noguer Bau
Product Marketing Director
Global Strategic Alliances
Juniper Networks, Inc.
David Noguer Bau, Marketing Director for Global Strategic Alliances at Juniper is based in Barcelona. In this role, David works closely with alliances, Enterprise and Service Providers around the world to support them achieving their business objectives in a variety of areas such as 5G, SD-WAN, LAN, WLAN, or Cloud. David has been 14 years at Juniper in different marketing roles in Field Marketing, Strategic Marketing and product marketing solutions for Service Providers.
Prior Juniper, Mr. Noguer Bau worked at Nortel and Eicon-Dialogic and was the Marketing Chair at Metro Ethernet Forum Spain. David is a Computer Engineer by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and executive MBA from EADA, attending executive development programs at Henley, Harvard Business Publishing and Thunderbird University of Arizona.
Sales Director MEA
Karim Chaari is MEA Sales Director at Rakuten Symphony. He was previously Senior Sales at Airbus Defence and Space, and prior to that VP Sales at StreamWIDE, an international telecom solutions provider.
He has more than 18 years of experience in telecommunications and secure communications technologies. He held different positions in project management, technical sales and business development for international telecom vendors and mobile network operators.
He holds an Executive MBA from Mediterranean School of Business and a Master of science in computer science from Laval University in Canada.
Research Director, Networks and 5G
Caroline leads Analysys Mason’s Networks research practice, as well as leading many 5G-related research activities across multiple programmes. She is responsible for building and running Analysys Mason's unique research base of mobile and converged operators worldwide.
She works directly with Analysys Mason's research clients to advise them on wireless network trends and market developments. She has been engaged in technology analysis, research and consulting for 30 years, and has focused entirely on mobile and wireless since 2002. Her focus is on critical issues and trends related to mobile and wireless infrastructure, particularly operator deployment intentions for 4G, 5G, cloud-RAN and other technologies. She has led research and consulting projects with a wide range of clients, including mobile infrastructure vendors, large and start-up operators, regulators, trade bodies, government agencies and financial institutions.
Caroline co-founded Rethink Technology Research in 2002. Prior to that, she held various executive positions at VNU Business Publishing (then Europe's largest producer of technology-related B2B reports and publications). She holds an MA from the University of Oxford.
Chief Executive Officer
ATC South Africa
Anne Mclaren joined ATC in September 2011 as Executive Head of Legal, South Africa and was promoted to General Counsel, Africa in January 2013. In this role, Anne played a key role in M&A in the ATC African operations (SA, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya) and was responsible for overseeing the in-country legal teams, with a focus on strategic advice, commercial transactions, compliance, governance, regulatory oversight, procurement support, litigation and training.
Anne was appointed as CEO, South Africa in February 2019. Her focus in this role is on developing long term strategic relationships with key customers and other stakeholders, ensuring industry leadership, embracing and pursuing innovation relevant to the ATC business and driving efficiencies. Having worked in a regional role across the ATC African operations for 5 years prior to being appointed as CEO, Anne appreciates the value of effective collaboration across the region.
Prior to joining ATC, Anne was in private practice where she specialized in corporate and commercial law with specific focus on M&A, competition/ anti-trust and financial regulatory. While in practice, Anne conducted public seminars on the South Africa Companies Act and National Credit Act and published a number of articles on competition law and company governance in the South African Entrepreneur magazine. Anne read for her BA psychology and LLB at the University of Cape Town, where she was on the Dean’s top academic merit list and was awarded the Ina Ackermann Memorial award for the highest achiever in Commercial Transactions Law. She also holds a Higher Diploma in Tax from the University of Johannesburg and a certificate in Advanced Company Law I and II from the University of Witwatersrand.
General Manager: Networks
Anthony Laing is a passionate business builder that loves innovative technology and knows how to make it work commercially and operationally. He has worked across EMEA for over 20 years including the 11 most recent years focused on Africa and Middle East.
He is experienced in identifying challenges and trends in the emerging markets and building relevant skills, technology partnerships and operational capability to deliver relevant solutions. Anthony has been responsible for the design, deployment and operation of some of the largest service provider networks in Europe, UK and Africa.
Telecom, Media & Entertainment, EMEA
Timo Jokiaho is the Chief Technologist for the Global Telco Ecosystem at Red Hat. He has comprehensive experience in the areas of systems engineering, software development and hardware development in telecommunications, mobile networks, mobile devices, data communication, embedded systems, database systems and real-time operating systems.
SA Manufacture Manager
Etienne Gerber has a diverse experience in technical and commercial roles within the areas of telecommunications and renewable energy. His experience brings deep insight into the challenges of the customer and the markets in which they operate. Etienne has worked for Fortune 500 corporates such as Vodafone and Jabil where he was responsible for several start-up divisions.
He also occupied the roles of Managing Director and CTO in two technology start-ups. His current adventure with Polarium includes leading sales for the African continent and more recently the establishment of Polarium’s Cape Town factory where he is the General Manager. Etienne holds a Masters degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Vice President Business Development
EMEA OSA / ADVA
As VP of business development for Oscilloquartz, ADVA, Jörg Urban is responsible for the synchronization division's European sales strategy. He has worked in the network timing sector for a decade and for the last seven years has helped ADVA forge new business initiatives and penetrate key markets. Before that, Jörg worked for 20 years in the European telecommunications industry, operating from both a vendor and network operator perspective to drive new solutions, secure critical sales and develop key partnerships. Jörg has a Master of Science degree in telecommunication and computer science.