Kieran Levis has worked in the markets for new media and technology since 1980, as a business executive, corporate entrepreneur, management consultant and recently as an analyst and writer. He now divides his time between writing, advising businesses and giving workshops on new markets.
The term ‘new media’ has now become almost synonymous with the Internet. In the 15 years before it became a mass medium, Kieran was involved in several multimedia ventures to commercialise different combinations of information, computing and telecommunications, and evaluated many more. As a marketing manager at Prestel, BT’s pioneering videotext service, 1980-83, he developed a new strategy focused on business markets, and launched specialised online services for private investors, travel agents and other niche markets.
At the new ventures division of BT Enterprises, 1983-87, he devised, mounted and launched Supercall, the first premium telephone business in the UK. This dial-up radio service provided financial information, sporting commentaries and entertainment over the telephone to a wide range of niche markets. Almost uniquely amongst BT’s new ventures, Supercall was launched on time and reached profitability within two years.
As director of British Aerospace’s satellite television division, 1989-92, he started several new ventures, including the first private satellite networks for businesses, Sportscast, a subscription channel for pubs, and Medical Television Network, a post-graduate training channel for hospitals.
As a senior consultant at the PA Consulting Group, 1987-89 he advised multinational IT and telecoms companies on marketing and business strategy.
In 1992 he started his own practice, Cortona Consulting, which specialised in markets for new media and technology, helping clients to understand rapidly changing competitive environments, evaluate business opportunities and develop new strategies. Occasionally he has worked as an interim marketing or managing director.
Cortona’s clients included technology giants like HP, BT, Cisco, IBM, Intel and Oracle, media companies like Havas, Pearson, Video Arts and the BBC, educational innovators like the Open University, eCollege and Haute École de Commerce, and start-ups on both sides of the Atlantic. Between 1995 and 2004, Kieran worked frequently in Northern California.
Analyst and Writer
The Internet has figured in virtually all his work since 1994, and he has written several lengthy reports on aspects of its evolution – e-commerce, e-business, e-learning, Internet video and collaborative working. He has twice devoted a year to studying the impact of technology on training and education. He wrote The Business of eLearning (Screen Digest, 2002) and contributed a chapter on e-learning to Handbook of Corporate University Development (Gower, 2005). He has also written articles on new media for the Financial Times and other publications.
He devoted most of 2004 to 2008 to researching and writing Winners and Losers, Creators and Casualties of the Age of the Internet, published by Atlantic Books in June 2009.