Last month, in our technology issue, we profiled 10 technology trailblazers ranging from IT executives to engineers. However, they represented only a fraction of all the talent we uncovered in this field. That’s why we’re introducing this column highlighting the contributions of African Americans to all sectors of the technology field. We’ll all benefit from the wealth of experience and insight these experts have to offer.
If you have ever wondered how your e-mail travels from one computer to another, regardless of the distance between them, in just a matter of seconds, then look to the work of networking expert Lloyd Carney. As executive vice president and general manager for the Enterprise Business Unit of Bay Networks, Carney is a key player in the networking revolution. The Santa Clara, California-based company makes hubs, routers and switches, the devices that direct the flow of traffic in internal or external networks such as the Internet. The 35-year-old is responsible for the worldwide dissemination of cutting-edge networking products that have helped drive the phenomenal growth of the Internet and intranets. With a support team of nearly 1,000 engineers and product managers, Carney’s group develops products networking hardware for companies like the New York Stock Exchange, Bear Stearns and Coca-Cola. His unit accounts for nearly 65% of Bay Networks’ $2.1 billion in annual revenues.
These companies rely on Bay Networks to move huge amounts of data across their internal networks at lightning fast speeds. In fact, Bay was the first large networking firm to provide Gigabit Ethernet access across a local area network. This means 1,000 megabits of information can be transferred across a network every second, which is essential for a company like the NYSE, where time is money and every lost second can mean lost millions.
“Our job at Bay Networks is to make access to information easier, friendlier and faster,” states Carney, who predicts companies and consumers alike will soon be able to plug into an outlet similar to a phone jack and get a data tone.
“Since the days of the Pony Express, communications mediums have always determined the winners and losers in the business world,” says Carney. He believes electronic commerce, which relies on secure, interconnected computer networks, is an area of information technology that businesses should include in their strategic plans in order to remain competitive. Companies should look at electronic commerce, not only as a means to make money, but also to save money as it reduces response times and the volume of correspondence between companies. “All the major stock exchanges around the world use our products,” says Carney. “Seventy-five percent of all money transacted around the world is done with Bay Networks hardware.”
From communicating with vendors to fulfilling customer service requests, the increased possibilities for e-commerce are numerous. “Today we communicate with our vendors by electronic commerce to place orders, acknowledge receipt of goods, etc.,” he says. “We used to do this with only a few vendors with dedicated access; now we do it with more vendors using the