Telefónica as seen by María Pilar Cantarero, Senior Program Manager at Telefónica Tech

Meet María Pilar Cantarero, Program Manager in the Big Data and AI Technology area. Discover her personal and professional career.

Interview with María Pilar Cantarero, Program Manager in Big Data and AI at Telefónica.
María Pilar Cantarero

María Pilar Cantarero

Reading time: 4 min

How long have you been with Telefónica and what is your assessment of your time here?

Although I’ve been here since 2016, my relationship with Telefónica goes back many years, as I’ve worked in other companies (mobile terminals, above all) very focused on providing support and business to the operator, as well as having been a collaborator for more than 5 years with Telefónica I+D. That made me want to come back to live the experience from the inside and definitely be part of this great family. And my assessment is positive, of continuous adaptation after these last few years with so many changes and various crises… but enjoying what I do thanks to the team that surrounds me, that is Telefónica’s greatest value, its people! 

Is there any project at Telefónica that you feel particularly satisfied with or proud of? 

When I joined CDO (2016), some of the initiatives were top-secret (unknown to the general public, but which marked an era internally). Before that (2006), I was part of the “Movistar Desktop” (the old USB sticks that allowed you to connect from anywhere). I also worked on the project (2014) that was the precursor to the current contactless transport card for the Community of Madrid, which we developed together with Samsung (where I was working at the time) and Telefónica. But, undoubtedly, this last stage focused on Big Data platforms, especially Smart Steps and Smart Digits, makes me feel proud of the team that we formed, the good work and the progress that has been made despite all the changes we have experienced along the way!  

What do you think Telefónica has contributed to society since it was founded? 

Telefónica has been a benchmark company that has reinvented itself over the course of this century, making its way into other geographies, becoming a multinational and setting itself the goal of connecting people’s lives where it could not reach, making the network accessible to everyone. The work done at the Telefónica Foundation is also incredible, where I am actively involved in initiatives in favour of diversity, such as empowering more women in the technological field or the insertion of people with special abilities in our teams.  

Where do you see Telefónica in the future? 

Leading change, of course. And, as a good technologist, I would like it to be at the forefront of engineering, not only in the Spanish market, but worldwide. Innovation is part of our DNA and the desire to keep moving forward is the dynamic of the teams in which I work. I believe that this must continue to be our leitmotiv and this is what we have shown: although there have been many barriers, we have faced them as real opportunities… not many companies see their second century of life begin! 

Could you live without a mobile phone? 

I’m afraid not… I’m from the generation that saw the birth of the mobile phone, I have experienced first-hand the revolution it has brought about and everything it has given us: how it has connected us with people, how it helps us in our daily lives (productivity, immediacy), how it has become a completely essential personal element and, at the same time, a powerful work tool. But it also means we are more exposed than ever, and we need to know how to manage this well, protecting ourselves from the threats that exist (and will continue to arrive), which is why we are firmly committed to cybersecurity.  

Help us solve one of humanity’s great enigmas: the potato omelette. With onion or without onion? 

Well, I will say that my answer is part of the process of wanting to understand both positions: years ago I would have told you categorically that without onion, but, with the passage of time and after being willing to value the other version, I will say that potato omelette with onion is also very good, hehe. In any case, in the kitchen as in life, as long as it is made from the heart, with quality ingredients and a careful process, ¡any recipe succeeds! 

Nominate another colleague to appear in this section 

Well, I would love to see several of my colleagues here, although I might put them in a compromising position, I have to try: Rafael Pellón, Javier Villar, Silvia Palacín or Maritere Nieto….I would love to read your interview! 

In #Thespanishomelettething tag section we interview Telefónica’s employees on a variety of topics, while trying to solve one of humanity’s greatest dilemmas.

The Spanish omelette ranking

63%

WithOnionists

20%

WithoutOnionists

17%

OtherOnionists

Get into the ranking! We want to know about you – tell us your story!
* This interview is aimed at Telefónica’s employees


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