Building a high-tech advantage

Three executives discuss where the tech
industry is going and how it’s getting there.

Image:Bill Teuber

Bill Teuber is vice chairman of EMC, the technology storage, security and information management company.

It makes sense to look at technology as a mature industry, given the pervasiveness of its impact and the increasing consolidation of technology companies. It’s equally accurate to say the industry is still young—the pace of innovation means that technology companies continue to rewrite the rules, and we’ve only glimpsed the possibilities of the digital age.

In fact, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Technology companies build competitive advantage through the same means as other established businesses—making sound investments and acquisitions, and understanding the regulatory environment. To stay ahead, tech companies must pay special attention to factors that fuel innovation, such as research and development, and talent.

Keyword recently spoke with PwC alums Bill Teuber at EMC, Bill Sample at Microsoft and Charles Chao at SINA Corporation about how they grapple with these key business imperatives.

Bill Teuber spent six years as a senior audit manager for Coopers & Lybrand, leaving in 1982 to start his own practice focused on the Boston venture capital community. He sold that business to Coopers & Lybrand in 1988, rejoining the firm as a partner. Teuber left the firm again in 1995 when he joined EMC, where he is now vice chairman. He has helped transform EMC from what was then a $1.4 billion provider of high-end data storage, to a $14 billion IT giant with a thriving storage, security, and information management business, and majority ownership in virtualization software leader VMware. “Fifteen years later, it’s still the place I want to be every day,” he says of EMC.