I have been fortunate over the years to work with an amazing team of people. And with these people, we developed, launched, and operated many great products. If you don’t know these fine people, I have to call out Jim Pisz, Jason Schulz, Carroll Gordon, Chris Ogden, Ellen Rooney, and Brian Inouye. They made my 13 years at Toyota amazing and were the greatest team to work with on bringing these products to life.
Here is a list of the products I helped bring to market and operate and my exact roles in their development and delivery.
Lexus Link was launched in 2000, available on 4 models through 2007, and is no longer operational. Lexus Link was a white label version of OnStar.
The first generation of Lexus Link was initially an analog system. The Federal Communications Commission’s sunset of analog technologies rendered the first generation of Lexus Link functionally obsolete. I led Toyota’s efforts to lobby the FCC on the analog sunset, created, obtained approval from Toyota Executives, and implemented the strategy to make owners whole. The lobbying efforts involved coordination with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, Honda, VW, and Mercedes Benz. I continued to lead all FCC lobbying efforts and OEM coordination for the remainder of my career at Toyota.
The analog sunset of Lexus Link required significant educational efforts of Senior Executives and government officials to fully understand the implications of regulatory actions. It also involved a tremendous amount of cross company coordination including engineering, customer care, finance, accounting, legal, marketing, and advertising in the U.S. and in Japan.
The second generation of Lexus Link was launched with digital, CDMA based technologies in 2005. I developed the “go to market” services and product strategy for digital Lexus Link. And once launched, I oversaw the day-to-day operations of all the services, including lifecycle marketing, advertising, subscription renewals, reporting, vendor management, and all financial and contractual obligations.
XM Satellite Radio in Lexus, Toyota, and Scion was launched on Lexus and Toyota in 2004, rolled out to all models including Scion, and is now known as Sirius XM radio.
I took over day-to-day operations of XM Radio, overseeing marketing, promotions, customer care, dealer operations, reporting, and interfacing with all aspects of subscription services. I was also responsible for coordinating next generation product plans, interfacing with all three Divisions, all financial and contractual obligations.
First generation Toyota Safety Connect and Lexus Enform was launched 2009 and are fully digital CDMA system with ATX (purchased by Cross Country, renamed Agero, and recently sold to SXM) as the telematics service provider.
I developed the “go to market” services and product strategy for Lexus Enform. And significantly, I took over the Enterprise Project Management Office for the launch, overseeing a dedicated team as well as coordinating a significant cross divisional team. Safety Connect and Enform required developing and/or re-engineering of over 72 different IT systems connecting Toyota to ATX and to dealers. I was responsible for all executive communications, reporting, schedules, testing, implementation, and launch efforts.
I was deeply involved in determining the “go to market” applications and cross-divisional launch efforts. I led the naming efforts and oversaw the team that unveiled Toyota Entune and Lexus Enform App Suite during CES, winning CNET’s coveted Best of CES award for vehicle technology. I was responsible for all branding, positioning, and public relations for the product launches. During my tenure, I was able to deliver a 4,100% ROI on marketing and PR.
I developed the strategy for adding new applications as well as developed the processes for removing applications, should that ever be warranted.
There were many, many products in my portfolio that never made it to market, but contributed greatly to my understanding of connected vehicles, U.S. dealers, automobile manufacturing, and U.S. operations. The bulk of these research projects centered on testing different communications technologies for sending information to and from the vehicle.
I explored satellite technologies including GEO, MEO, and LEOs. I worked closely with the Alliance on LightSquared and remain close to movements with the satellite industry. I ran several interesting tests with dealers and early versions of WiFi technologies, exploring the viability of sending large amounts data from a moving vehicle through a hot spot. I explored DSRC and mesh technologies. And for obvious reasons, I stayed very close to movements within the cellular industry, including the ramp up and launch of LTE.
Several explorations went beyond traditional telematics applications and veered much more closely to what is now known as SPIME.