5 Minutes With Irene Liakos (Telstra)

Irene Liakos, Wireless E-Mail Product Manager at Telstra

Irene Liakos manages a range of consumer communication products at Telstra. She is the Product Manager for Wireless E-mail at Telstra, Australia’s incumbent telecommunications provider.

Irene has great insights into Product Management. She brought up a very interesting point during our conversation – the concept of “value” that a product delivers to the organisation.

Her formula on delivering organisational value is clear and originates from good Product Management; “Managing a product well = increase take up of product = increase revenue and profitability of product = increase value of the organisation = increase share price = happy shareholders.”

In general though, Product Management according to Irene, is the glue that links marketing, operations, development and partner negotiations to bring customers a product or a service that they want.” Her approach to Product Management is two fold; it involves a helicopter view and when the situation demands it, the ability to delve in the detail and resolve the issue. She states, it “requires both a birds eye view of the market, product, environment, competitors and organisations as well as the ability to cut through to the detail of complex issues.”

When asked about her responsibilities at Telstra, she lists the following tasks;

  • Market and product analysis
  • Understanding government and regulatory impacts
  • Understand the competition and the consumer
  • Negotiating with vendors
  • Exploring new product ideas
  • Creating business cases, offer constructs and writing business requirements
  • Stakeholder management and project management

Her are tasks are in line with most Product Managers although working for a large telecommunications provider does mean that her product faces more public scrutiny than competitor products.

Irene concludes the discussion by saying that Product Management should be viewed “exclusive of operations and marketing.”

We can’t agree more Irene!