SANTA BARBARA, CA – With Xandr, there’s no questioning the vision of AT&T as it harnesses its growing data, content and communications assets. It’s all about the execution.

“And now comes the heavy lifting,” says Brian Gleason, CEO, Performance Media Group, GroupM. “From a vision, I think they’re spot-on.”

In this interview with Beet.TV at the Xandr Relevance Conference, Gleason talks about Xander’s expected ambitions in the media ecosystem and why it has a leg up on Verizon in pulling together data and technology.

Having AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson present at the conference shows support for what Xandr is setting out to do, according to Gleason. “When you look at AT&T as a company, they’re massive. I think Randall said they spend more in the U.S. than any other company. You start to tie those things together and I think they outlined it quite well.”

In addition to data, a 142-year track record is “important when we think about things like trust. I think the title of the conference with Relevance is exactly what it should be, is how do they make all of those things relevant and put them together in a way that fulfills the ambition of making advertising matter.”

Asked about Xandr’s influence on the buy-side and sell-side, Gleason says the company has to be “an ecosystem play,” with its AppNexus acquisition providing the pipes. “The next step will be, is there other assets that you could put alongside that inventory in the marketplace itself? Can they bring data to it?”

He notes that Verizon had “a similar ambition and was never able to connect the data to the inventory. They had a little bit more of a plumbing problem as well because they had a lot of different technologies to try to stich them together. So I think the execution is critical.”

The end result of the execution must be performance, data and technology aligned with advertisers’ goals to “achieve actual outcomes. It’s not as easy as people think.

“AT&T we look to as a key partner in being able and hopefully enable us with more tools to connect those different assets together, which will enable our brands,” says Gleason.

This video is part of a series leading up to, and covering the Xandr Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara. For more videos from the series, please visit this page. This Beet.TV program is sponsored by Xandr, a unit of AT&T.