In which specific, tangible areas should we expect to be able to measure ROI?

As an executive in the fast-paced and rapidly changing world of wireless data, Janet Boudris, vice president of Cingular Solutions at Cingular Wireless, must anticipate what's ahead and draw from a global perspective to help lead the company into the wireless Internet future. As she guides her team in creating customer-focused solutions, Boudris draws on more than 20 years of experience with communications and telecom companies and a broad education, including a master's degree in advanced international studies from Johns Hopkins University focusing on economics, culture, politics and law.

She feels it is this experience and education that helps her think through processes and create value propositions for Cingular's customers. "The principles [of study] are all related and help make me much more sensitive to what the end user needs are."

Boudris' global perspectives are not only a result of her educational background but of her world travels, including a recent African safari and a trip through Egypt. But Boudris doesn't have to travel far to experience such cultural diversity. With Cingular's headquarters in Woodbridge, N.J., she frequently takes advantage of other passions: theater and New York City. "I love the diversity of the nationalities in the city...especially African, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures," she says. "I am part Lithuanian, and there is a rich history of food, dancing and clothes there that many people don't know about."

Boudris' broad experiences in business, marketing and technology led to her appointment to the Board of Trustees of Biosis, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that accumulates, organizes and distributes biological information. "It is an international company that deals with a lot of the same issues we deal with as a wireless data company--disseminating data to multiple audiences and ensuring data quality. Scientific companies face many challenges to ensure quality of information." For Boudris, thinking through these processes and what is involved in the changes is a critical part of her role at Biosis and at Cingular.

"The U.S. is demanding. People want to know, what is the value proposition?" Boudris continues. "Many industries are becoming commoditized. If the wireless industry is not careful with its services it will become commoditized too; it must create value in the services. Wireless service must evolve into both voice and data services."

To reach these goals, Boudris tries to get people to think about how things should be, not how things are. "I ask them to look ahead to what is coming up and think, what can I do about it today. Think about how to do things better and how to implement it now."

Boudris calls this leapfrogging. "Let's create something today so people can buy it today. What a different world we live in--wireless data is just exploding. Being there is very exciting--participating in changing business and people's lives."

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