Management Team

Mick Sawka: Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Mick has nearly 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and information services industry in the disciplines of brand/product management, market research, competitive intelligence, new business development, and channel management.

Michael (Mick) Sawka is the founder and President of The Brookside Group, LLC, a consulting and market research firm exclusive to the telecom industry. Founded in 1993, Brookside specializes in the disciplines of market assessments, channel assessments, competitive intelligence, and influencer marketing/channel programs focusing on consultant/vendor business development relationships. The Brookside Group has helped many telecom equipment vendors and network service providers assess new market opportunities, conduct market segmentation and vertical market studies, develop and manage consultant liaison programs, and conduct the primary and secondary market research required to justify and support these initiatives, and measure contribution to sales.

Prior to The Brookside Group, Mick spent five years at AT&T. His last position there was Division Manager, Network Services Venture Development. Before AT&T, Mick was a senior Marketing/Strategic Planning consultant at A.T. Kearney, and a Brand Manager at Johnson & Johnson.

 

Jim Burton: Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Jim Burton is Founder and CEO of CT Link, LLC. Burton founded the consulting firm in 1989 to help clients in the converging voice, data and networking industries with strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and distribution issues.

In the early 1990s, Burton recognized the challenges vendors and the channel faced as they developed and installed integrated voice/data products. He became the leading authority in the voice/data integration industry and is credited with "coining" the term computer-telephone integration (CTI). Burton helped companies including Microsoft and Intel enter the voice market and helped AT&T (now Avaya), Mitel, NEC, Nortel, Siemens and Toshiba with their CTI strategies.

In the late 1990s, venture capitalists turned to Burton for help in evaluating potential investments in IP PBX start-ups. He went on to help these and other companies with strategic planning and partnering, including NBX (acquired by 3Com), Selsius (acquired by Cisco), ShoreTel and Sphere Communications.

In the early 2000s, Burton began focusing on wireless services and technologies. In 2005 Burton started helping vendors with their Unified Communications strategy and in 2006, along with several colleagues, created a web site, UCStrategies.com, to provide information for enterprise customers and vendors.