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April 2021 | businesschief.asia

APAC EDITION

Digital Realty: Leading the way in Asia Pacific READ NOW

Strategic Consultants in Australia READ NOW

Gateway to China Chayora data centres open the route to China READ NOW

Singapore Pools: Digitally Transforming Culture and Customer Experience LEARN MORE


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The Business Chief Team EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

GEORGIA WILSON EDITORAL DIRECTOR

SCOTT BIRCH CREATIVE TEAM

OSCAR HATHAWAY SOPHIA FORTE SOPHIE-ANN PINNELL HECTOR PENROSE SAM HUBBARD MIMI GUNN JUSTIN SMITH

PRODUCTION DIRECTORS

GEORGIA ALLEN DANIELA KIANICKOVÁ PRODUCTION MANAGERS

OWEN MARTIN PHILLINE VICENTE JENNIFER SMITH PRODUCTION EDITOR

JANET BRICE

VIDEO PRODUCTION MANAGER

KIERAN WAITE DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCERS

SAM KEMP EVELYN HUANG MATTHEW EVANS TYLER LIVINGSTONE DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE

ANDREW STUBBINGS SAJANA SAMARASINGHE

PROJECT DIRECTORS

KARL GREEN THOMAS LIVERMORE JAMES RICHARDSON MICHAEL BANYARD JOE PALLISTER JAKE MEGEARY KRIS PALMER MIKE SADR RYAN HALL BEN MALTBY TOM VENTURO STUART IRVING CRAIG KILLINGBACK JAMES BERRY JORDAN HUBBARD

MEDIA SALES DIRECTOR

JAMES WHITE RICHARD TURNER MARK CAWSTON

SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR

JASON WESTGATE MANAGING DIRECTOR

LEWIS VAUGHAN

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

STACY NORMAN PRESIDENT & CEO

GLEN WHITE


EDITORS LETTER

Global supply chains take another hit If events of the past year haven’t been enough to rattle the supply chain industry, March 23 saw hundreds of container carriers and vessels navigating the Suez Canal grind to a halt when the ‘Ever Given’ ran aground in one of the world’s most important trade routes

“It is estimated that the owners could face over US$3bn in liability claims”

BUSINESS CHIEF MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY

Following a week long battle to free the ‘Ever Given’, the ship is finally free and on its way to Felixstowe, but what effect has it had on global supply chains? With figures reportedly in the three hundreds, the ship that ran aground on March 23 at 05:40AM GMT caused a significant backlog in the Suez Canal. While those that could begin to take the costly voyage around Africa, 320 remained waiting for the vessel to be freed. Suspending all traffic through the Suez Canal, excavators, salvage teams and tugboats worked tirelessly to refloat the vessel coinciding their efforts with high tides. It wasn’t until 3:00PM local time on March 29, that the ‘Ever Given’ was finally freed heading to the Great Bitter Lake for a full inspection. It is estimated that the owners could face over US$3bn in liability claims. But can the damage to global supply chains be reversed? Time will tell. While the Suez Canal Authority is expected to increase the number of vessels moving through each day, more than 18,000 containers still have no fixed delivery date, which is likely to continue to damage global supply chains. The FIATA expects there to be high delays in shipments, increased costs, and product shortages.

GEORGIA WILSON

georgia.wilson@bizclikmedia.com

© 2021 | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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CONTENTS

Our Regular Upfront Section: 08 Big Picture 10 The Brief 12 Global News 14 People Moves 16 Timeline: Pfizer/Biontech COVID-19 vaccine 18 Legend: Jane Fraser 20 Five Mins With: Nicolas Maechler

36

Leadership

COVID-19: the role of a digital leader in uncertain times

24

Chayora

The gateway in and out of China

46

NTT Global Sourcing The power of one


66

96

Why employee wellbeing is dominating Asia Pacific

Making technology the future of mining

Human Capital

Newmont

106

Digital Strategy

Digital agility: the future for digital transformation success

74

114

Singapore Pools

Kearney

88

126

The future of audits and assurance

A new era of intelligent automation

Digitally transforming culture and customer experience

Corporate Strategy

Cost. Service. Agility. Supply chain’s new troika

Technology


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Creating Digital Communities in Cyber


138

178

KDDI Telehouse

Connectivity is our core strength

RPG Group

RPG puts people first in digital transformation

192

Digital Realty

Leading the way in Asia Pacific

152 TopTen

Strategic consultants in Australia

164

204

J-Tec Material Handling Driving growth in Asia

StashAway

Investing and wealth management in the new normal

218 UNIT4

Driving the people experience


BIG PICTURE

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April 2021


The light at the end of the tunnel Global

COVID-19 caused major disruptions to organisations around the world in 2020, but the promise of worldwide vaccination in the near future is providing a light at the end of the tunnel. With 7.8 billion people to vaccinate globally, organisations emerging from this global threat will certainly face challenges, but the innovations, transformations, agility and partnerships gained from the pandemic stands to build solid foundations for surviving and thriving post COVID-19.

businesschief.asia

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THE BRIEF “THE CHALLENGE AHEAD IS TO LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT COMPROMISING DATA SECURITY AND AUDIT QUALITY”

BY THE NUMBERS

Which changes made in response to COVID-19 are here to stay? Source: Gartner

65%

Emilio Pera

Partner and Head of Audit, KPMG Lower Gulf  READ MORE

“Digital agility needs people who are flexible, that think creatively and value change”

Flexibility on when people work

44%

90%

Changes to monitoring productivity for remote workers

Allowing employees to work remotely at least part time

Phil Lewis

Vice President, Solution Consulting EMEA, Infor  READ MORE

“Over the next few uncertain months and beyond the pandemic, intelligent automation is here to stay”

84% 80%

of employers are set to rapidly digitalise working processes

Simon Coombs

Industry X Digital Manufacturing & Operations Lead, Accenture UK  READ MORE

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April 2021

READ MORE

31%

of CEOs of decision believe that makers a shortage of said their skills in the firms have workforce is increased one of the key their spending threats to their on RPA in the organisation’s past three growth months prospects READ MORE

READ MORE


 APPLE Apple announces its largest quarter by revenue of all time, totalling US$111.4bn for the first quarter of 2021.

INNOVACCER:

Breaking down information silos in healthcare Founded in 2014, unicorn company Innovaccer strives to connect and curate the world’s healthcare information making it accessible and useful. What happened in Innovaccer’s Series D funding round? February 2021, Innovaccer announced its latest Series D funding round of US$105mn led by Tiger Global, joined by B Capital Group, Steadview Capital and M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund). The company’s Series D funding brings its total to US$225mn. What are Innovaccer’s plans for the funding? Innovaccer’s promise is to save hospitals (and patients) time and money by “breaking down information silos that prevent physicians from obtaining a holistic view of their patients.” The company’s centralised information hub pulls data from healthcare giants, labs and insurance, harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to better predict and stop health problems before they become chronic.

 GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE) AND TOSHIBA General Electric (GE) and Toshiba in talks, discussing the possibility of co-producing technology for offshore wind turbines. - KPMG KPMG has entered into exclusive talks with HIG Europe about a £400m sale of its UK restructuring business.  IKEA Ikea reports a 10% drop in UK sales to £1.9bn after closing its stores for nearly three months during the pandemic.  ASTON MARTIN Aston martin reports a £322m operating loss in 2020, alongside total retail sales dropping by 32%.

W A Y U P APR21

W A Y D O W N businesschief.asia

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GLOBAL NEWS

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UNITED STATES

Goldman Sachs commits billions to impact black women’s lives The largest commitment of its kind, Goldman’s One Million Black Women initiative commits US10 bn in investment capital and US$100 mn in philanthropic capital to advance racial equity. In partnership with Black women-led firms, this will drive investment in housing, healthcare, education, job creation, and more.

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April 2021

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UNITED STATES

Mastercard follows Visa with debut sustainability bond Building on its pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and to bring one billion people and 50 million small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, Mastercard issues first-ever Sustainability Bond. This follows Visa’s green bond debut in August 2020.


3

SINGAPORE

Dell Technologies funds innovation lab Ideate. Experiment. Co-create. That’s the idea behind Singapore’s Global Innovation Hub, an initiative funded by Dell Technologies (US$50 mn) to drive digital innovation. The Hub will focus on augmented reality, data analytics, cloud-native, cybersecurity and edge computing.

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KOREA

Samsung breaks Ericsson’s 5G global speed record Recently reaching world record 5G data speeds of 6.23Gbps, Samsung beats Ericsson and Qualcomm’s January record of 5Gbps. The breakthrough speed was set using a flexible new approach combining 4G and 5G (EN-DC technology) to maximise the benefits of both networks.

EGYPT

Suez Canal Bank accelerates digital transformation Egypt’s Suez Canal Bank is digitally transforming its customer experience to increase financial inclusion, as just 32.8% of the population has a bank account. With Temenos Infinity, products and services will be more accessible and optimised for mobile and advance tech like AI will be leveraged, for a Chabot service, for example.

businesschief.com businesschief.asia

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PEOPLE MOVES BINA MEHTA FROM: KPMG TO: KPMG WAS: HEAD OF CLIENTS AND MARKETS AT KPMG UK NOW: ACTING CHAIRMAN For the first time in its 150 years of operations, KPMG UK has appointed its first female leaders. Bina Mehta, Head of Clients and Markets at KPMG UK has been appointed as acting Chairman following Bill Michael stepping down. Mehta has over 20 years of experience in the international M&A and restructuring industry across the UK, USA and Canada. Mehta is also Chair of KPMG’s Emerging Giants Centre of Excellence in the UK and is a regular commentator on issues that impact founders and fast growth businesses. In addition to Mehta, KPMG has also appointed Mary O'Connor, who has taken on the role of acting senior partner. She is carrying out Michael’s day to day executive responsibilities.

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April 2021

Mehta has over 20 years of experience in the international M&A and restructuring industry across the UK, USA and Canada.


JETTE NYGAARD-ANDERSEN FROM: ENTAIN TO: ENTAIN WAS: NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NOW: CEO Replacing Shay Segev, Jette Nygaard-Andersen has been appointed by Entain as its first female Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The move made by Entain, increases the number of women leading the FTSE 100 to six. With over 20 years of experience in leadership and operational roles in media, entertainment, sport and digital businesses, as well as a track record of working with fast-growing digital next generation online and mobile entertainment companies, Nygaard-Andersen joined Entain in 2019 as a Non Executive Director.

JIM BAILEY FROM: ACCENTURE TO: CAPGEMINI WAS: SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR NOW: CEO OF THE AMERICAS STRATEGIC BUSINESS UNIT With more than 30 years of experience in leadership, Jim Bailey has joined Capgemini as CEO of the Americas Strategic Business Unit. Coming to Capgemini from 30 years at Accenture as Senior Managing Director, Bailey was a founding member of the Accenture Digital Leadership team, he was responsible for its mobility and internet-of-things practices globally. businesschief.asia

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TIMELINE PFIZER/BIONTECH COVID -19 VACCINE A brief timeline of the development of the Pfizer/Biotech COVID-19 vaccine candidate

March 13th 2020

March 17th 2020

April 9th 2020

May 14th 2020

Pfizer’s five point plan

Pfizer and BionTech co-develop vaccine

Pfizer and BionTech begin human trials

Responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19, Pfizer released a fivepoint plan. The plan called on the biopharmaceutical industry to join its commitment to unprecedented collaboration in order to battle COVID-19.

Pfizer and BionTech agreed to a letter of intent for the co-development and distribution of a potential mRNAbased coronavirus vaccine to prevent the infection of COVID-19

Pfizer advances the battle against COVID-19

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April 2021

To further advance the battle against COVID-19, Pfizer Inc. and the Pfizer Foundation pledged US$40mn in medical and charitable cash grants to combat the global health effects of the pandemic.

As part of the global COVID-19 vaccine development programme, Pfizer and BionTech began human trials on May 14, 2020. The first participants were dosed in the US in a clinical trial for the BNT162 vaccine programme.


Nov 18th 2020

Dec 2nd 2020

Dec 8-21 2020

Pfizer and BionTech complete phase 3

MHRA gives temporary authorisation for the vaccine

UK, US and Asia administer first doses of Pfizer vaccine

Following the completion of Phase 2 of the trial, Pfizer and BionTech reported on November 18, 2020 the completion of its worldwide third phase in which their mRNA-based COVID19 vaccine candidate - BNT162b2 - met all primary efficacy endpoints.

December 2, 2020 saw the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the U.K. grant temporary authorisation for the use of the COVID19 mRNA vaccine. Marking the first authorisation of the vaccine following its worldwide

Six days after the temporary authorisation granted by MHRA - the UK administered its first dose of the Pfizer/ BionTech vaccine. Seven days after the UK, the US administered its first dose on December 14, 2020, and on December 21, 2020 Singapore received Asia’s first batch of the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine.

businesschief.asia

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LEGEND

Taking the Citi by storm Jane Fraser CEO, Citi

J

ane Fraser’s appointment as the first female CEO of a major Wall Street bank is quite an accomplishment. A personal one for Fraser, but a much bigger one for women on Wall Street attempting to penetrate the traditional steppingstone roles to CEO positions that are overwhelmingly filled by men. In a report on gender parity in finance in 2020, consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that women held just 6% of CEO positions at major financial firms globally in 2019, a 2% drop since 2016. Fraser was named CEO of Citigroup in September and started the job on March 1, 2021, becoming the first woman to take the reins of one of Wall Street’s four major banks, just as momentum for Women’s International Day was kicking off. And her very first day in office, Fraser made a public pledge that Citigroup Inc. would achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Legend, indeed, though not unsurprising, as Fraser has become known as a leader who ‘gets stuff done’. 18

April 2021

The number of women among CEOs of the Fortune 500 firms.

37

A McKinsey consultant turned financial executive, who’s been with Citi for 16 years, most recently in the bank’s number two spot as President of Citi and CEO of the Global Consumer Bank, Fraser is renowned for having a ‘solid track record’ and for being a ‘fixer’, having worked her way through key business units at Citi, leaving each in a better state than she found it. Take Latin America. When Fraser was appointed as CEO of Citi’s Latin America business in 2015, the division was tarnished. Fraser turned it around, not just growing net revenue and profit, but also enhancing the work culture. Little surprise that she’s been heralded as the ‘Number 1 Woman to Watch’ for two consecutive years by American Banker, and that her name’s been circulating top banking circles for the last year with rumours swirling that she’d been earmarked for top jobs at Wells Fargo and HSBC. And while her credentials (University of Cambridge, Goldman Sachs, Partner at McKinsey, MBA Harvard), and Wall Street reputation, speak for themselves, it’s what has been described as her ‘ferocious work ethic’ yet reluctance to sacrifice her personal life to get to the top, that has resonated with many in financial circles. And especially women. Here’s hoping her captainship of the world’s ‘most global bank’ proves not just a success for Fraser, and for Citi, but marks a catalyst for gender equity industry wide.


“I’m often asked, ‘Can you have it all? Can you do it all?’ And I say, ‘Yes, you can, but you can’t do it all at once and don’t expect everything at once.”

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5MINS WITH...

NICOLAS MAECHLER NICOLAS MAECHLER, SENIOR PARTNER AT MCKINSEY & COMPANY DISCUSSES CURRENT TRENDS IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX)

Q. HOW HAS THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX) LANDSCAPE CHANGED SINCE THE OUTBREAK OF COVID-19?

» The last few years have seen

a huge increase in management focus on customer experience (CX) for business, which was seen somewhat traditionally as a consumers’ topic. The impact has been significant as customer experience matters in all industries. Moving from simple annual surveys to real feedback loops, they have started redesigning their operating models to be more customer centric. COVID-19 accelerated this shift: when your industry is at risk, those focusing on their customers come through stronger.

Q. HOW ARE ORGANISATIONS CURRENTLY MANAGING THEIR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE PERFORMANCE?

» Companies of all types – airlines,

banks, department stores - are still heavily reliant on survey-based tools and feedback loop systems to gather and respond to customer feedback. By touching 5-10% of your customers, these approaches act as a good temperature check to see how the company is doing. However, it falls short of understanding and proactively addressing what the core of your customers want.

“IN A DIGITAL-FIRST WORLD, COLLABORATIVE TOOLS, AUTOMATION, AND DATA AND ANALYTICS WILL BE KEY” 20

April 2021


Q. WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE TECHNOLOGIES THAT ORGANISATIONS SHOULD LOOK TO INVEST IN WHEN IT COMES TO CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?

» In a digital-first world, collaborative

“THE LAST FEW YEARS HAVE SEEN A HUGE INCREASE IN MANAGEMENT FOCUS ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX) FOR BUSINESS” Q. HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS MOVE BEYOND SURVEY-BASED SYSTEMS TO DELIVER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES AND MANAGE PERFORMANCE?

» We noticed that many customer

dissatisfactions could be predicted based on a certain course of actions (e.g. a late delivery, a missing customs form). Using innovative analytics platforms with real-time insights, CX leaders can translate the massive volume of existing customer and operational data to spot signals and take immediate actions. This in turn helps to drive customer acquisition, retention, market differentiation, and higher customer satisfaction (and many times lowers costs as well).

tools, automation, and data and analytics will be key. Here’s why: by using big data, predictive analytics, and machine learning, companies can go from “How are we doing?” to “How do we deliver on what customers want, now?”. This customer-focused, datadriven approach will allow companies to unlock efficiencies, predict customer behavior, track satisfaction drivers, anticipate churn, and flag opportunities to turn loyalty into profitability. But we also have to remember that CX is a team sport – and integrating people, process, and the right technology – will be a differentiator.

Q. HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS BENEFIT FROM ADOPTING SUCH METHODS AND TECHNOLOGY?

» One leading airline built a

machine-learning system based on 1,500 customer, operations, and financial data points to predict both satisfaction and future revenue for all of its 130 million customers, every day. The airline used this data to identify and prioritise those customers whose relationship was most at risk. Working with a combined team of approximately 12-15 data scientists, CX experts, and external partners over three months, the programme resulted in an 800 per cent uplift in satisfaction and a 60 per cent reduction in churn for priority customers. businesschief.asia

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CHAYORA

The Gateway In and Out of China WRITTEN BY: WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY: LEWIS VAUGHAN

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April 2021


CHAYORA

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CHAYORA

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April 2021


CHAYORA

Chayora’s Oliver Jones, Jonathan Berney and Tiger Zhao run through the data centre platform’s proposition, growth, and response to COVID-19

C

Chayora launched live operations in Data Centre TJ1 on its ‘ChinaScale’ Campus serving Greater Beijing on 29 October 2020.

hayora was founded 10 years ago by China Chairman Steven Cao, CEO Oliver Jones and COO Jonathan Berney in order to be able to deliver on the vision of becoming a “digital infrastructure partner” trusted by their customers in China, one of the most exciting, fastest-growing and yet most difficult markets in which to compete. They knew they had to build a business that would fulfil the aim of being world-class in all aspects. Chayora worked in partnership initially with Standard Chartered Bank as its Series B, first institutional investor and then subsequently with Actis, the UK-based private equity fund who acquired the SCB interest and then extended their investment in Chayora’s Series C round in China. With this backing, the Chayora Founders set out to build each aspect of the business to ensure that each element of its Digital Infrastructure: the Data Centre Campus; the corporate structure; the design; the construction standards; the data centre operations and security; the government support, grants and tax incentives; the network connectivity; the power availability; and of course the world-class leadership team were carefully assembled to deliver. The first phase of Data Centre Tianjin 1 (TJ1), the first of 9 planned Data Centres on Chayora’s 160MW IT load Tianjin Campus (serving Beijing and

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CHAYORA

“Within five years, China will have greater data center capacity than any other market in the world” OLIVER JONES CEO, CHAYORA

28

April 2021

the surrounding area with a population of more than 152 million people) was completed and commenced operations in October 2020. The first customer moved in during December 2020 and now with evident building demand and a pipeline growing as this ambition has become a reality, both for the Chayora Founders and for their customers. The expansion of this first facility to full design capacity and the planning for TJ2 as the second major Data Centre on site are already underway and a new hyperscale Campus serving Shanghai will commence this year as well.


CHAYORA

OLIVER JONES TITLE: CEO

9

Data Centres on Chayora’s 160MW IT load Tianjin Campus was completed and commenced operations in

October 2020

It will serve Beijing and the surrounding area with a population of more than

152 million

EXECUTIVE BIO

The first phase of Data Centre Tianjin 1 (TJ1), the first of

Oliver Jones is the co-founder and Chief Executive of Chayora. Oliver originally qualified as a chartered surveyor after graduating from Kingston in 1983 and after completing his MBA at London Business School in the late 1980s, specialised in corporate finance and the fast-growing management areas of property and business services outsourcing. Oliver specifically focuses on complex outsourcing transactions and property operating related investment deals. His experience in public partnerships has its roots in the UK in the 1990s when market testing and PFI models were developed. During this time, Oliver advised the UK Government’s Cabinet Office through his role on the UK PFI Panel Property Group and various industry professional bodies. He has worked extensively in real estate and service operator businesses internationally and has a particular insight into the Middle East and Asia through past business interests specifically the UAE, where he was a founder director of Emrill when with Carillion; Hong Kong and China with Citex and EC Harris; and Australia with Symonds.

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CHAYORA

“Increasing private market investment in data centers is going to be critical”

JONATHAN BERNEY TITLE: COO

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April 2021

JONATHAN BERNEY COO, CHAYORA

EXECUTIVE BIO

With over 25 years of international business, property development and construction experience, Jonathan before joining Chayora was Regional Managing Partner for EC Harris in Asia where he spent three years leading and successfully growing the company’s Asian business through a number of significant property and real estate deals. Jonathan has worked in Asia for more than 20 years and has very strong relationships with the corporate occupier market, particularly in financial services, having previously led EC Harris’s global Corporate Real Estate and Critical Systems team. Prior to moving to Asia, he led a number of development and asset organisations through significant transformations in order to maximise their development and operational performance. These included BAA, Land Securities, London and Continental Railways, Rail Procurement Agency and the Grosvenor Estate.


CHAYORA

Jonathan Berney and Oliver Jones from Chayora talk about their Data Centre Campuses in China

The ambitious plans and their execution could easily have been stalled or stopped all together by the Covid-19 pandemic, but this was merely another challenge to be overcome by the Chayora team. The mechanical and electrical fit-out of the first phase was completed in ten weeks. This was only achieved by having built a China-based world-class leadership team and supply partners all of whom shared Chayora’s ambition and values. The “Chayora Way” as the core values of the business, are now codified and at the heart of this central management capability which has emerged from addressing and overcoming the impact of the pandemic. Assembling a team consisting of Technical Director AC Lee; Programme Director Mark Froelich; Operations Director Tiger Zhao; and EVP of Network and Strategy Yali Liu meant that Chayora’s GM Kevin Sun had an incredible talent pool to be able to deliver, all with a common set of values. The Chayora businesschief.asia

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CHAYORA

“We have regular meetings [...] where we synchronise and talk about how the technology is evolving and how we as a facility provider can support it” TIGER ZHAO

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, CHAYORA

Way commitments of ‘DOING WHAT YOU PROMISE’ and ‘ACTING WITH PASSION’ were everything to this team. Combined with support from Vertiv, Cummins, Qian and CEFOC as primary and general contractors alongside H3C as designers, Bohan as Project Managers, and Turner and Townsend as Commercial Managers, the team were able to deliver what at first appeared an impossible task. With very active guidance from the Founders, often through Zoom from multiple locations the team delivered! What’s more, the same team has now raised its ambitions further and has a much larger and more complex programme of work ahead and due to be delivered with over US$900m of capital expenditure planned over the next 24 months leveraging an ever more experienced team and platform. The complexities of growing a Data Centre platform in China are extensive. Whether regulatory compliance, buying land, getting government support, creating an execution and operations platform, negotiating power and network agreements, and much more all serve to make China one of the most challenging global markets. Chayora was set up to be an expert enabling and operating organisation and where others have used local partners, Chayora decided that it needed to understand and to be able to execute each and every intricate detail. From negotiating investment and supply 32

April 2021

agreements to buying land in government auctions, to securing the more than 100 permits necessary for the progress to date, merely constructing a Data Centre now seems ‘easy’ and yet ensuring that it delivers authentically to the design standards set out has meant that attention to detail from everyone has been essential: from the board directors to construction site labourers and critical facilities managers. No aspect has


CHAYORA

TIGER ZHAO

been left to chance and this has resulted in a ‘China first’ of the Chayora TJ1 becoming the first OCP Ready accredited Data Centre in the country and also the first in Northern China to receive both Uptime Tier III Design and Construction certification, all of which will be repeated in Chayora’s future plans. The platform of the Tianjin campus has now been used to progress Chayora’s second campus, serving Shanghai.

EXECUTIVE BIO

TITLE: OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Tiger has multiple years of working experience in lead technical roles for Amazon Web Services China. Fluent in English and Mandarin, he has over 5 years’ experience managing capacity delivery and infrastructure operations at AWS datacentres, having built new data centres in Ningxia and Hong Kong as well as scaling existing data centres in Beijing, Ningxia and Hong Kong. Tiger has a proven record working in other multinational companies including Microsoft and Cisco. Tiger graduated in Electronic Engineering and holds qualifications in ITIL and PMP certification.

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CHAYORA

Chayora’s tested Tianjin platform means that the necessary regional and provincial differences can be readily incorporated particularly with respect to land purchase, power agreements and the development of high quality communication with the provincial government. Local nuance has also been pre-emptively incorporated into the development plan and Investment Agreement. Data Centre Operations are critical to achieving Chayora’s Vision. Keeping the Data Centre operational is only part of the story. Tiger Zhao, Operations Director, says “My focus is on Total Cost of Operation (TCO) and the customer experience. The starting point is our class-leading design with a 34

April 2021

“Making sure that you can add value to the customer, to the environments that are around you is hugely important” OLIVER JONES CEO, CHAYORA

PUE of 1.19, proven in testing of the actual facility, but my aim is to make that a baseline from which to improve.” Tiger says, “We use


CHAYORA

a Data Centre Information Management (DCIM) system integrated with our Building Management System (BMS) and combined with our customised programming to exactly match our design and use characteristics. We are consequently able to manage the performance of the Data Centre with ambitious technology driven plans for further improvement.” Customers are everything to Chayora and ensuring that all customers have a worldclass experience with the Chayora team is critical to our operational approach. “All our customers and their teams have an experience that makes them want to come back to us, whether it is our ability to meet their scalability, scale and performance

needs or their TCO requirements, security needs or customisation.” says Tiger, “For our visitors, we also have hotel-style concierge services to make working in a Chayora Data Centre a memorable experience. Based on the success to date the Chayora team and Jones specifically has ambitious plans for the future with further expansion and an expectation of six facilities being live within 24 months matched by an expanded customer base and significantly increased investment. The years ahead will be exciting.

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COVID - 19: THE ROLE OF A DIGITAL LEADER IN UNCERTAIN TIMES Speaking to Kearney and PwC, Business Chief APAC discovers what it means to be a digital leader in a time of crisis. WRITTEN BY: GEORIGIA WILSON

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April 2021


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

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LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

“In an era of unprecedented industry disruption, digital leaders are spinning more proverbial plates than ever before” RAMYANI BASU

PARTNER AT KEARNEY

I

n an era of unprecedented industry disruption, digital leaders are spinning more proverbial plates than ever before,” begins Ramyani Basu, Partner at Kearney. “Today’s digital leaders must live, breathe, and drive the right digital mindset, skillset and cultural changes across the organisation so that digital is not looked upon as just ‘a programme’ but rather a revitalised way of doing business going forward. “Digital leadership is about driving change at pace and scale and building the required support across the organisation to bring everyone else along for the journey. This means that a digital leader must act as a broker between the business and technology, an orchestrator of business 38

April 2021

and customer outcomes, a networker and collaborator with external partners, and a true leader of people. Echoing Basu’s thoughts, Amanda Line, PwC Partner and PwC’s Academy Leader adds,”Leadership has always required a specialised set of skills, such as curiosity, empathy, and decisive action. In today’s world, there is an urgent need for a new type of leader – one who has a digital mindset and has the skills to drive transformation. With the ever-expanding spectrum of new technologies, we need a new wave of digital leaders who not only understand the application of intelligent technologies in the workplace, but also know how to enable and empower their teams.”


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

The essential traits of a digital leader Reflecting on the essential traits of a digital leader, Basu begins by outlining that, “successful digital leaders have five key traits.”

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL DIGITALLEADER? " A successful digital leader recognises that digital transformation is not only about technology but about vision, capabilities and culture, good governance, the right operating model and an in-depth understanding of customers’ needs.

RAMYANI BASU

PARTNER AT KEARNEY

1. Bold and aspirational: having a vision and purpose that underpins the company’s strategic goals both short and long term. 2. Customer focus and centricity: successful digital leaders engage frequently with their customer base, and leverage data/customer insights to respond to their needs with innovative products, experiences, and solutions. 3. Collaborative and open to experimentation: a successful digital leader builds an operating model that fosters a culture of collaboration and ideation. This means that they allow for failure, which is an unavoidable part of the innovation process. 4. An ability to recognise, nurture, retain and attract talent: invest in your people with the same vigor that you invest in technology, as one will not work without the other. 5. Lead with authenticity: they will inspire their teams, recognise and share success, learn from failure and move on. “These skills not only motivate and drive your teams forward but are also essential when it comes to influencing your stakeholders,” continues Basu. Adding to Basu’s essential traits, Line says, “Knowledge of digital and data literacy is a given essential to have a strong command of the future economy. In my opinion, what’s even more important are humancentric skills. It is the soft skills such as communication, resilience, emotional intelligence, and entrepreneurial thinking that are pivotal in this new-age digital world.” businesschief.asia

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LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

“In today’s world, there is an urgent need for a new type of leader – one who has a digital mindset and has the skills to drive transformation” AMANDA LINE

PARTNER AND ACADEMY LEADER, PWC

However, despite the demand for future skill sets “we’re currently facing the biggest skills shortage of our lifetime, adds Line. “PwC’s Middle East CEO survey highlighted that 80 per cent of CEOs believe that a shortage of skills in the workforce is one of the key threats to their organisation’s growth prospects.” How digital leadership has evolve following the outbreak of COVID-19 “At the point of the COVID-19 outbreak, companies were still toying with what digital transformation actually meant and how to adapt,” comments Basu. “COVID-19 was in fact the catalyst required to move from a position of intent to action. It required companies to actually test their digital readiness.

With COVID-19 shining a light on the need for digital leaders to be more resilient and responsive to immediate threats and opportunities, “agility and adapting to new ways of working became paramount,” explains Basu. Further adding to Basu’s comments, Line says, “Prior to the pandemic, the World Economic Forum set an ambitious target to upskill one billion people by 2030. This was initiated to tackle the 75 million jobs expected to be displaced by automation and AI by 2022. Since COVID-19, the window of opportunity to reskill has become shorter in the newly constrained labour market. The way we live, work and learn has changed drastically, placing digital technologies at the forefront. The pace of change has accelerated the need for upskilling businesschief.asia

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LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

“This is a very significant change towards a digital future. Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and having digital skills is no longer a ‘good to have’, it is critical to business success” AMANDA LINE

PARTNER AND ACADEMY LEADER, PWC

and reskilling. In many organisations and economies, this crisis has highlighted the discrepancy between the skills people have and those needed for jobs in the digital world.” The initial outbreak (March 2020) and the role of a digital leader Looking back to the beginning of the outbreak in March 2020, Basu explains that, “At the start of the pandemic, digital leaders had to respond to safeguard both their employees and business. The priority quickly became the safety of their employees, which required a rapid re-think of the employee engagement and communications process to address what employees needed, Why? When? What? And how?” Adding to this, Basu continues, “Digital leaders had to couple these demands with 42

April 2021

ensuring that their digital infrastructure and set up was up to scratch and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to support the overnight move to remote working.” As the impact of the pandemic continued to evolve “the second important role was to manage steady state operations even during COVID-19 adversities. This included reviewing, strengthening and upgrading critical systems in an ongoing and sustainable way and not simply a stop-gap solution. Introducing automation for simplification and process streamlining, as well as identifying cost cutting measures to address the revenue downturns through prioritisation. “Once the foundations to run a ‘business in the new normal’ were in place, digital leaders were tasked to understand how to achieve


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

DEMAND FOR DIGITAL LEADERS PRIOR TO AND POST COVID-19 growth in uncertain times by using data and advanced technologies to determine the organisation’s advantage and identify new revenue and commercial streams to boost current business.” The role of a digital leader as the pandemic progresses With Line highlighting that “84 per cent of employers are set to rapidly digitalise working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work—with the potential to move 44 per cent of their workforce to operate remotely,” the role of a digital leader has “evolved from a state of ‘respond’ to a mode of ‘recover’ and ‘reimagine’,” adds Basu. “As next steps for recovery and re-invigorating growth, digital leaders must redefine and respond

“Digital leaders were in demand before the pandemic, but now there is an additional urgency for a pipeline of talent with the skills to implement new technologies in the workplace. In order to create sustainable success, digital technologies must be adopted as a core business strategy – and upskilling is key. In 2020, PwC’s Academy introduced a number of qualifications in the region to support training for the digital economy, including the region’s first qualification for AI, the Certified Artificial Intelligence Practitioner (CAIP).”

AMANDA LINE

PARTNER AND ACADEMY LEADER, PWC

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“COVID-19 was in fact the catalyst required to move from a position of intent to action. It required companies to actually test their digital readiness” RAMYANI BASU

PARTNER AT KEARNEY

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April 2021


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

to customer needs. COVID-19 has resulted in a major shift when it comes to customer expectations and demands,” she adds. “This is a very significant change towards a digital future. Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and having digital skills is no longer a ‘good to have’, it is critical to business success. Leaders and employees alike must adapt to a cycle of constant learning and upskilling to remain competitive,” continues Line. “Leaders need to continue to refresh digital and innovation strategies at a pace which matches market movements,” adds Basu. “There should be a focus right now on digital engagement, external partnerships, remote operations, automation, etc – however, these will evolve and leaders will need to keep an eye out for what’s next . Leaders will also need to build the right talent and skills, as evolving customer demands require evolving employee skill sets. Finally, they’ll need to build resilient and responsive value chains.” Thriving post-COVID-19 and beyond Looking to the future, Line thinks, “we will see more sophisticated technologies being integrated into the workplace, driven by digital leaders. To support these transformations, we will need to close the existing skills gap, and ensure that younger generations are prepared for the future workplace. “Young professionals will need huge investment in education and skills development. This requires a collaborative effort from governments, private organisations and education providers.” Adding to Line’s comments, Basu simply concludes that digital leaders going forward should “be focussed, make bold choices and be opportunistic in your approach to adopt new and agile business models, lower costs of operation and be laser-focused on your customer base.” businesschief.asia

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NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

NTT Global Sourcing: The Power of One Arvind Kumar, Global VP of Indirects at NTT Global Sourcing, on partner ecosystems and how a novel approach to indirect sourcing delivers true value WRITTEN BY: RHYS THOMAS PRODUCED BY: GLEN WHITE & CAITLYN COLE

Arvind Kumar

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It is 4 am in Houston, Texas, when Arvind Kumar checks his emails and preps for the day ahead. The Global Vice President of Indirects at NTT Global Sourcing has an important call with a team in India, 11 hours ahead, and will be working right through to the early evening. It is a demanding role, but one that Kumar relishes. He is an executive energised by the prospect of big picture programmes and an emphatic champion of bringing businesses together to achieve through collaboration that which would be impossible alone. Kumar’s values very much align with the shared philosophy of the NTT Global Sourcing team, a 60-strong global outfit that was assembled two and a half years ago by CEO Mark LeNeve to advance the role of sourcing within NTT and centralise the group’s buying power. Commanding upwards of $30bn in annual spend, it is a powerhouse of procurement. From the outset, the startup identified three core areas that would need to be modernised and reformed to excel in the modern landscape, and to realise the vision of the group’s top executives. NTT GS’s primary directive is to leverage the group’s combined influence and unify the hundreds of companies and entities that operate under its banner. “Our whole focus has been to


NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

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Arul C.T, founder and CEO of HelixSense, holds more than 25 years of global experience in automation and venture exits calls HelixSense a “disruptive digital transformation company”. HelixSense aims to leverage technology and literally disrupt and reimagine how companies manage their assets.

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Helixsense’s very own platform “Hsense” integrates people, processes and technologies. Arul describes the entire digital asset management process using four simple words -Connect, Compute, Monitor, Control and a four-step process to bring digital transformation.

Using unique edge analysers, the HSense platform collects data from assets and makes them self-reporting.” Using the cloud only for secondary analytics, “HSense” orchestrates digital asset management, while following maintenance standards and allowing for highly reliable risk mitigation.

The process consists of IT-OT integration where “big data” is collected by connecting IT databases and building management systems to “HSense,” integration of people with process standards such as ISO55K and SMRP practices, analytics and AI with structured, relevant and auditable data. AI-powered reports alert on trends and predictions providing actionable insights. Another game-changer is Helix’s R-FIT IOT ready to fit technology which accelerates transformation, creating Return on Investment (ROI) from the start. Combining the Internet of Things (IoT) and operation technology, HelixSense’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) replaces traditionally siloed functions with a fully integrated digital ecosystem that leverages data for the betterment of all stakeholders, resulting in

Digital Twins “A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object. In the case of building construction, a digital twin can tell you how to build, help you collaborate between stakeholders and assist you in maintaining and managing with optimum eff iciency. We are currently building a number of digital twins (cobots) to assist managers and technicians in using virtual reality. Our digital twins can also provide reports and prescribe risk mitigation actions. “HelixSense partners with NTT Global Sourcing on their transformation road map. NTT supports us with an extensive global customer base. We collaborate to create new joint revenue models for our customers,” says Arul.


NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

“NTT has created a meeting platform which allows everybody to work together seamlessly.” Arvind Kumar

Global VP of Indirects, NTT Global Sourcing

bring the strength of NTT as a group into one programme. Our job is to make sure we bring projects into a central focus area that can help us drive the big picture value and give back to the various operating companies across the group.” First, NTT GS established a common platform through which these decentralized

entities could bring their initiatives together. Better planning and strategic sourcing allows for the consolidation of spend across the business and its categories. The team also identified roughly 200 best-in-class vendors with which to build long-term partnerships. Kumar’s role with this newly minted procurement division is indirects, a broad remit that encompasses payment solutions, everything to do with real estate – from land acquisition and construction through to lease back and infrastructure built for data centres – and managing all the facility workplace services around the globe. It is also involved in the digital transformation programmes within the group, though “there's a slight difference in our approach,” Kumar explains. The implementation of new digital platforms such as SAP Ariba are group-level decisions that roll down to the company level. In this regard – in the traditional definition of digital transformation – Kumar’s division has little involvement. “But what we do in

Arvind Kumar; An insight into NTT Global Sourcing

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NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

2018

NTT Global Sourcing Inc. founded

60

Number of Employees for NTT Global Sourcing Inc.

80+ Projects

$100m Estimated Savings

contributing to the digitalisation efforts is to look at the pre-existing programmes and processes across the group and within the categories that we manage. We also ensure there is automation, enforce digitalisation, and transform the category and processes from legacy to next-generation.” Ecosystem of value This process of upscaling and reshaping legacy systems is also evident in Kumar’s approach to indirect sourcing. Traditionally, procurement is a one-way process of assessing and negotiating terms with a vendor to supply a product or service. Kumar’s model has upended this linear structure, instead creating an ecosystem of partners with an economy of shared capabilities, ideas and revenue generation opportunities. “I’m very passionate about this,” Kumar says. “I truly believe there's a larger picture that a lot of procurement organisations don't realise. The supplier partner ecosystem we are building on a strategic level provides vast opportunity to create and add incentives to businesses within

Executive Profile:

Arvind Kumar Title: Global VP of Indirects Industry: Strategic Sourcing Arvind Kumar joined NTT Global Sourcing when it was established in 2018, and oversees the group’s indirect sourcing as Global Vice President Indirects. His remit covers payment solutions, real estate construction, land acquisition, and managing all the facility and workplace services for NTT Group globally. An experienced executive, Kumar’s 20-plus year career has seen him work with market-leading organisations in banking, real estate, sourcing, and telecommunications, among others. Prior to joining NTT, he held several senior roles at French multinational Capgemini, including Global Head Workplace Transformation / Furniture & Fixture Standardisation, and Regional Chief Procurement Officer for India, UAE and APAC.

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NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

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our group, and for partners to work together to generate new income and business. I am a big proponent of building a supplier ecosystem, depending on certain projects, initiatives or categories, and promote collaboration with NTT in the middle of it as an incubation hub.” Kumar envisions NTT Global Sourcing as the “choirmaster” of this global network,

standing with an overview of the entire ecosystem, driving strategy and aligning these partners to work together – the upshots of which are beneficial to the entire value chain. “Not only does it help us generate better value with the partners, but also for our partners to work together in collaborative programmes,” Kumar says. “As a result, NTT businesschief.asia

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has created a meeting platform, which allows everybody to work together seamlessly.” He explains that today, partners that never knew each other before aligning with NTT are now working closely in conjunction to create new business and revenue opportunities. At the same time, these collaborative projects strengthen NTT’s supply chain and develop go-to-market solutions that benefit the group’s existing and new clients. Building the future This complex network of partners will soon be enshrined in a major capital project that has been in the works for some years and, in many ways, sits at the heart of NTT’s future. In Sunnyvale, California, the group is readying the unveiling of One NTT Vision Campus, a smart, sustainable building that is a physical manifestation of its capabilities

“[One NTT Vision Campus] is a living, breathing showcase of our ecosystem partners and what they deliver together with us.” Arvind Kumar

Global VP of Indirects, NTT Global Sourcing

NTT Global Sourcing

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NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

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Community impact

Supporting local partners is central to the One NTT Vision NTT is a global conglomerate, but remaining local and supporting the communities it works in is central to the One NTT Vision. Arvind Kumar, Global VP of Indirects at NTT Global Sourcing shares more: “I think it's our responsibility as a strategic sourcing arm of a company to maximize the benefit for everybody in the supply chain,” says Kumar. "We do that by making sure the vision and mission for a company gets translated to everybody that's in that combined team, whether internally or externally, because in many cases these are an extension of NTT.

At the same time, we must keep a focus on impacting the community. “I strongly believe when you do projects in my space, in real estate, we should always look to local partners, local players who are in the community, because they need a lot of help through COVID. It’s a combination of taking the big boys that we work with and integrating it with the smaller partners in the community that are in a five, 10, 20-mile radius of our office. We want to bring value to them and make sure that they're sustainable, make sure they get through this hurdle, and give them an opportunity to truly live and breathe. At NTT these are the missions and values we stand by, the One NTT Vision, and that touches all these elements as a company.”

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Arvind Kumar: Sunnyvale, the one NTT vision substainable campus

and future goals. Upon its mention, Kumar is instantly energised. “That is a very special project, very dear to my heart and the work I do every day because I've always wanted to be part of a sustainable, smart building programme. This is the vision of our CEO, bringing NTT companies together in one common real estate platform, one common office, but also make it a smart and intelligent workplace which focuses on employee experience, sustainability, wellness – all the key measures that today are important. At the same time, it has state of the art technology in terms of sensors, automation, IoT, and so on. And on top of that, it is a sustainable building, which means we have a solar captive fuel cell hybrid system with backup power being managed to back up the building and save utility energy costs. “This is a living, breathing showcase of our ecosystem partners and what they deliver together with us, how we use it

internally, and how we give back to employees. And also it becomes a showcase to show clients what we can do for them with these kinds of platforms and technologies as a solution provider.” For Kumar, the central role NTT Global

“The key for sourcing organisations in the future must be a solutions-driven approach.” Arvind Kumar

Global VP of Indirects, NTT Global Sourcing

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Sourcing played in the Sunnyvale project illustrates how his division deviates from the traditional procurement function. “Sunnyvale is a classic example of how we brought that spirit to life and really demonstrated that we go above and beyond standard procurement negotiation and other sourcing activities. We were also there

advising, guiding, developing the strategy, supporting the business, integrating the partners, bringing the ecosystem, creating this whole smart building concept of the One NTT Vision.” The outbreak of COVID-19 threatened to derail this construction project, and Kumar vividly recalls the onset of the virus.

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NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

“I truly believe there's a larger picture that a lot of procurement organisations don't realise.” Arvind Kumar

Global VP of Indirects, NTT Global Sourcing

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Returning from Sunnyvale to Texas on a flight last February, he awoke the next day to find companies shutting down, airports beginning to empty out, and individuals and businesses standing still, not quite sure how to react. “Now imagine, I'm running a construction project in Sunnyvale, I'm sitting in Texas, and we are in the heart of COVID. But we still have a timeline to meet, and we are pressured, and there's a cost impact associated with shutting down, then reopening, and other delays.” Here, indirect sourcing came into its own. “We played a big role, as you can imagine. In terms of procurement, we needed safety gear, PPE, masks, hand sanitiser – all of these things that were in short supply. On the other hand, we also had to help our clients


NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

procure these things, so we used our supply chain to support them through that process.” In the end, construction never stopped on the One NTT Vision campus. “We are close to completing the building and looking ahead to the big launch,” Kumar says. “We never stopped. We actually pulled through the businesschief.asia

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NTT GLOBAL SOURCING INC.

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Arvind Kumar: Expresses his opinion on small businesses during these difficult times

times and really made it happen against all odds. We kept people-focused, kept people safe and positive, and ensured that the business could continue.” With the global vaccine effort now well underway, Kumar believes we should remember the lessons learned during this turbulent period. “The key for sourcing organisations in the future must be a solutiondriven approach, focused on the value the supply ecosystem brings to the company when you build strategic partnerships. I think we need to look at a larger focus on that because in the next world that we're living in post-COVID, the supply chain partners and suppliers can add a lot of value in terms of not only managing the cost structure but being resilient to these activities.”

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WHY EMPLOYEE WELLBEING IS HUMAN CAPITAL

DOMINATING ASIA PACIFIC

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HUMAN CAPITAL

From wellbeing programmes to virtual self-care, employee care is being redefined in the post-pandemic era with HR leaders reshaping packages, big-name insurers rolling out coverage for mental health conditions and digital startups targeting corporates with innovative wellbeing apps WRITTEN BY: SCOTT BIRCH

W

hen it comes to employee benefits, supporting physical and emotional health is top priority for most employers. That’s according to a recent Willis Towers Watson’s report, 2020 Restoring Stability survey – Pay, Benefits, Wellbeing, which surveyed 746 employers across 15 APAC market regions, and which revealed that 49 per cent of employers have made or are making changes to their programmes in light of the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, a focus on health and wellbeing is a priority for HR leaders, with the majority of firms prioritising enhancing wellbeing programmes (40%), followed by healthcare benefits (23%), voluntary benefits, perks or discount schemes (17%) and annual leave (14%). And it is in the markets of Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines where mental health is particularly prioritised with more organisations in these regions stating that wellbeing programmes are one of the most important benefits they can offer their employees this year. In particular, two in five Asia Pacific employers expect to enhance mental health services and stress/resilience management, while a quarter will prioritise providing access to affordable and high-quality mental health solutions in their strategies.

Health benefits remain key The reality is that COVID-19 has catalysed a new era, accelerating the shift from ‘traditional’ group insurance cover to employee health benefits characterised by health technology and a wider definition of wellbeing – that encompasses not just physical health, but increasingly mental health too. As businesses work to regain their footing post-pandemic, HR leaders will be looking to reshape company offers, adapting health, wellness and benefits programmes and perks with the delivery of everything from enhanced sick leave and financial assistance, to adjusted hours of operation, childcare provisions and mental health support. Mental health support in focus Even before the pandemic, prevalence of mental health had become a common workplace issue, leading HR managers to introduce wellness programmes into its benefit packages and insurers to deliver such policies. Just a few months prior to the onset of COVID-19 in Asia, insurance giant AXA unveiled the first employee mental healthcare scheme in the market, AXA Mind Health Programme, offering Hong Kong corporates a comprehensive, one-stop mental health support package for their employee benefits’ portfolio. businesschief.asia

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44%

of companies in Asia Pacific surveyed* have started to provide professional mental health support as an employee benefit *Pacific Prime’s Global Employee Benefits Trends 2020 report

49%

“If there’s a positive to come from COVID-19 and its impact on workforces, it’s that traditional stigma associated with employees acknowledging mental health issues and organisations providing pathways to better mental health is improving… [and] mental health is increasingly being recognised as an equally important factor to physical health and wellbeing in a productive and healthy workforce” NEIL NARALE

HEALTH LEADER, MERCER MARSH BENEFITS, SINGAPORE

of Asia Pacific employers surveyed** have made, or are making, changes to their employee benefit programmes in light of the impacts of the pandemic domain registrar. **2020 Restoring Stability survey – Pay, Benefits, Wellbeing, Willis Tower Watson

In the wake of the pandemic and its aftermath (a recent global study by Qualtrics and SAP revealed that 67% of respondents were experiencing heightened stress levels) and as workplaces adjust to the ‘new normal’ and the struggles that come with it, more organisations in Asia Pacific are recognising the value of mental health and emotional wellbeing programmes on worker engagement and productivity. “If there’s a positive to come from COVID19 and its impact on workforces,” states Neil Narale, health leader at Singapore employee benefits agency Mercer Marsh Benefits, “it’s that traditional stigma associated with employees acknowledging mental health issues and organisations providing pathways to better mental health is improving… businesschief.asia

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EX Conversations — The central role of health and wellbeing in the employee experience

[and] mental health is increasingly being recognised as an equally important factor to physical health and wellbeing in a productive and healthy workforce.” More APAC businesses are committing to wellbeing-focused employee perks, from telehealth benefits to virtual self-care services. Take elevator company Otis Asia Pacific, which in light of the pandemic has made a commitment to revisiting its medical insurance package so that it covers mental health benefits too. “The pandemic has led to a much higher level of employee anxiety and stress, so most employers are focused on promoting or enhancing their current wellbeing programmes,” states Pheona Chua, regional senior consultant, corporate health & wellbeing, Asia and Australasia, Willis Tower Watson. “More than half of the companies we surveyed plan to prioritise access to high quality mental health solutions for their employees [in 2021].” 70

April 2021

“The pandemic has led to a much higher level of employee anxiety and stress, so most employers are focused on promoting or enhancing their current wellbeing programmes” PHEONA CHUA

REGIONAL SENIOR CONSULTANT, CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLBEING, ASIA AND AUSTRALASIA, WILLIS TOWER WATSON


Such numbers are reflected in Pacific Prime’s Global Employee Benefits Trends 2020 report, which surveyed firms in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Cebu and Bangkok, among others. While 34 per cent of businesses have already introduced additional private mental support, 44 per cent have started to provide professional mental health support, and 35 per cent have introduced extra physical or mental training sessions. “Increasingly, companies are offering programmes that help employees monitor and reduce their stress levels, provide apps to assist with relaxation and sleep, and hold workshops on emotional resilience,” states Pacific Prime’s CEO, Neil Raymond. “Employers are also progressively using telehealth programmes to provide mental health counselling and are more willing to offer counselling sessions through EAPs (emotional assistance programmes).” Promisingly, major markets in the Far East have introduced a broader range of offerings post-COVID-19, chief among them psychological health benefits, states a recent Willis Towers Watson survey of HR leaders across China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. In Taiwan, almost two in five employers have introduced free psychological counselling services to support employee wellbeing during the outbreak, while 12 per cent of companies in Singapore have done so. RedDoorz, a Singapore-based budget hotel booking platform has launched a mental health support programme (Hope Hotline) providing online counselling sessions via partner counsellors and psychologists to its employees, hotel partners and their staff across Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. CEO Amit Saberwal wanted to “play an active role

WFH Virtual Solutions With working at home ‘the new normal’, and likely to remain as an employee benefit beyond Coronavirus, businesses are having to up their virtual benefits and support. More than half (57%) of companies surveyed (WTW) now offer new virtual solutions making it easier to implement and support employees in working from home and thereby alleviating anxiety, with eight in 10 (79%) having increased access to videoconferencing to allow for virtual meetings to keep employees connected around the world. “Our study tells us that more than 50 per cent of companies in Asia-Pacific are likely to include telecommuting as an essential work arrangement option for the remainder of the year,” states Chua, Willis Tower Watson Asia and Australasia, and therefore “some employers may want to look at broadening their current programmes such as enhancing virtual care or helping their employees to set up an ergonomic workstation at home.”

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“Increasingly, companies are offering programmes that help employees monitor and reduce their stress levels, provide apps to assist with relaxation and sleep, and hold workshops on emotional resilience. Employers are also progressively using telehealth programmes to provide mental health counselling and are more willing to offer counselling sessions through EAPs (emotional assistance programmes)” NEIL RAYMOND

CEO, PACIFIC PRIME, HONG KONG

In addition to wellbeing programmes, businesses are considering and trialling other employee perks, from flexible hours to continued remote working, that take into consideration the demands of the pandemic and subsequent working habits, with a focus on promoting work-life balance. More than half (52%) if Asia Pacific firms surveyed (Willis Towers Watson Restoring Stability) have already begun offering flexible work hours to allow employees to tend to childcare or older relatives, while the ultimate in employee perks, Unilever Zealand has introduced a year-long trial of four-day weeks to see if it can “bring material change in the way [employees] work,” states MD Nick Bangs. Wellbeing proliferates Driven by corporate demand, insurers and employee perk firms are already rolling 72

April 2021

by helping [employees] embrace the new normal more easily” and hopes the counselling sessions “will provide much needed relief, and spread positivity and optimism.” Accessible to its 170,000 employees in Asia Pacific, Unilever has unveiled a 14-day mental wellbeing resilience programme, which utilises tools created by the Resilience Research Center to cover a wide range of topics, including dealing with negative thoughts; while EY Global’s APAC employees located in Sydney, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Beijing and New Delhi, can participate in daily workouts online through the EY Exercise programme as well as attend online seminars covering topics like nutrition and sleep.


HUMAN CAPITAL

out coverage for mental health conditions and initiating wellness plans. Recognising that companies will continue to encourage workspace flexibility, Chubb Asia Pacific has launched its Work from Home (WFH) Insurance, the first such product in APAC, which allows employers to meet the health, safety, and wellbeing needs of their employees whilst working remotely. Designed to “meet the evolving employee care and benefit needs”, according to Chubb Asia-Pacific’s deputy head of regional accident & health, Ben Howell, the policy boasts among its features a mental health benefit for the psychological counselling of employees diagnosed with stress disorders due to working from home. A further new Mental Wellness Plan, recently launched by insurer Aviva Singapore and employee benefits consultancy Mercer Marsh Benefits, offers corporate clients cover

for outpatient psychiatric and psychologist services; while two Singapore startups have successfully unveiled mental health enterprise platforms designed for employers to utilise as a staff benefit. While mental health app Intellect supports users with a range of interventions, digital mental health provider Safe Space, now has a presence in six Asia Pacific countries, offers three tiers of service for corporates, from giving employees access to self-help resources, to letting corporates top up digital wallets so staff can attend counselling sessions to offering corporates curated employee programmes. “Workplace mental well-being will be one of our top priorities going into 2021,” states Safe Space founder Antoinette Patterson. “Safe Space’s vision is to make digital mental healthcare and education accessible and comprehensive to businesses of all sizes, from startups to MNCs. businesschief.asia

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Yeo Teck Guan, Chief Business Technology Officer

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SINGAPORE POOLS PRIVATE LIMITED

DIGITALLY TRANSFORMING CULTURE AND CUSTOMER

EXPERIENCE Yeo Teck Guan discusses change management, COVID-19, and the digital transformation of Singapore’s state-owned gambling organisation. WRITTEN BY: HARRY MENEAR

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eo Teck Guan is a man on a mission. Since joining Singapore Pools Singapore’s state-owned gambling non-profit - in 2012, Yeo has worked tirelessly to enact a complete digital overview of the organisation’s capabilities and strategy. “Digital transformation is key. So it has been important to figure out how Singapore Pools, as a very traditional company with a long history, could leverage technology,” he explains. “Along the way we've learned a lot about how best to shape the customer experience and better support our customers.” This month, we sat down with Yeo to discuss the ongoing digital transformation strategy he is spearheading, enhancing Singapore Pools to be a more agile, digitallyempowered business.

PRODUCED BY: KRISTOFER PALMER A Safer Bet When Singapore gained its independence in 1965, the new government found itself faced with a number of challenges, one of which being illegal gambling. However, the new government was aware that a blanket ban - like Prohibition in the United States - would simply drive those activities underground, putting more money in the pockets of triads and illegal bookkeepers, creating an unsafe experience for Singaporeans looking to bet. “During that time there were a lot of illegal activities, including gambling, that were causing problems for the country,” explains Yeo. “So, in 1968, the government set up Singapore Pools to provide people who wanted to bet with a safe and trusted means to do so, and to use the funds to support our community.” businesschief.asia

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The organisation is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tote Board, which is a statutory board under the Ministry of Finance.. Over the past 50 years, Singapore Pools as played a leading role in combating the country’s illegal gambling scene. “Our mission was to provide those people who bet with a safe and trusted environment in which to do it, and ensure that the surplus revenue from gambling in Singapore could be channelled back into supporting the community through charities, rather than lining the pockets of illegal syndicates,” Yeo explains, adding that, in the decades since its inception, Singapore Pools has earned the trust of the country’s citizens. First and foremost, winnings are tax-exempt, so winners get to keep every dollar of their prize money. “Unlike in a lot of other countries, if you win a million dollars, you get to keep a million dollars,” says Yeo. And all the surplus 76

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revenue is channelled back to the government where it's used to build national stadiums and so forth.” In the 2019/2020 financial year, Singapore Pools collected close to S$9bn. Of that total, S$6.3bn - 70% of the total - was returned to the winners, 22% was collected by the government as tax revenue, and 5% was channelled to the Tote Board to be redirected to charities and grants that support the arts, community development, charity, education, health and sports sectors, with the remaining 3% representing the organisation’s operating costs. Digitally Transforming the Customer Experience The first step Yeo and his team took was transforming the Singapore Pools’ customer touchpoints, which were very traditional counter-service based and in-person when he arrived.In 2016, the team launched an


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enhanced Singapore Pools Account service that allowed customers to manage their accounts and place bets online. The platform is also supporting Singapore Pools’ efforts to work with the authorities on combating illegal gambling activity. Next, Yeo and his team rolled out new, digital branches. “Traditionally, customers come into our physical locations, speak to someone at a counter to place their bets, pay their money and so forth,” Yeo explains. “The digital branches allow our customers to access our services using new technologies, and conduct transactions in a way that is paperless, cashless and queueless.”

YEO TECK GUAN TITLE: CHIEF BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY OFFICER COMPANY: SINGAPORE POOLS INDUSTRY: GAMING LOCATION: SINGAPORE

“Our mission is to provide those people who like to bet with a safe and trusted environment in which to do it” YEO TECK GUAN

CHIEF BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, SINGAPORE POOLS

EXECUTIVE BIO

Socially Responsible Gambling Both the Singapore Pools app and digital branches will explore facial recognition in their onboarding process, not only to make the customer experience more frictionless and improve security, but also

Yeo Teck Guan is the Chief Business Technology Officer of Singapore Pools, a subsidiary of Tote Board. He is responsible for leading digital transformation and innovation within the organisation, while providing leadership to spearhead all Information Technology initiatives. As a digital evangelist at heart, his passion is to drive innovation and the digital acumen within the organisation, to grow its strengths as a contributor to the community. Outside of Singapore Pools, he is active within the business and professional community to contribute his expertise and knowledge to fulfil the mission and objectives of non-profit organisations and committees.


Adoption of digital technology to transform services and businesses Cisco has been proud to partner with Singapore Pools, helping them enhance their data center infrastructure. They have pivoted well to a digital-first world and we were proud to help them develop their various digital channels. Through our time with them, we have also helped Singapore Pools develop a comprehensive centralised platform for iShine Cloud, which was set up to provide charities with an affordable IT platform.

Learn more


Cisco and Singapore Pools: Innovation, Security and Trust

Andy Lee, Managing Director of Cisco Singapore & Brunei, on working with Singapore Pools on their digital transformation journey. Cisco Systems is a pillar of the digital age, helping companies of all sizes develop a roadmap for their digital transformation journey, transforming the way people connect, communicate and collaborate. “We use technology as the bridge between hope and possibility,” explains Andy Lee, Cisco’s Managing Director for Singapore and Brunei. “We help our customers build simpler, more secure and more cost-effective networks, in order to help them, not only unlock today’s opportunities, but also to ensure they are ready for the future.” Cisco was chosen by Singapore Pools as a key technology partner, helping them leverage technology from AI and big data to automation and cyber security in order to make better, more informed decisions. It’s a long-standing relationship built on mutual trust and a shared enthusiasm for innovation.

“We have a deep understanding of Singapore Pools’ core vision, business priorities and how they run their operations,” says Mr. Lee, emphasising just how important “collaboration and trust” are to the success of their joint venture. During the past 12 months, as the world found itself thrown into a new, often uncomfortable reality, Cisco has been an essential part of Singapore Pools’ support structure, as the company made the transition to a remote working model “almost overnight.” Mr. Lee stresses just how important technology has been as an enabler in managing that transition, something that has only served to elevate Cisco’s importance to its partners. By leveraging its cutting edge networking solutions, Cisco has been able to help partners like Singapore Pools “ease the transition to the new digital reality of a remote and distributed workforce.” Both Mr. Lee and Mr. Yeo are irrepressible disruptors whose work is never done. Mr Yeo has big plans for Singapore Pools, and Mr. Lee plans on being there to help every step of the way. “We are proud to partner with Singapore Pools on their digital transformation journey to streamline and automate all their manual processes,” says Mr. Lee. “We look forward to working closely with them to drive productivity, efficiency and long term business resiliency, in order to ensure a seamless transformation from the old to the now to the new.”


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TYPES OF PRODUCTS Singapore Pools' roster of products has evolved over the years, offering an alternative to illegal gambling avenues while also keeping to the organisation’s mission to promote socially responsible gambling.

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DID YOU KNOW...

Toto is a 6-out-of-49 state lottery game. First played in 1968, Toto is Singapore Pools’ oldest, and one of its most popular products. The Singapore Sweep was introduced in 1969, and involves a seven-digit sweepstake drawn once a month. 4D is Singapore Pools’ third lottery. The four-digit game hit the market in May of 1986 and holds prize draws every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Lastly, in 1999, Singapore Pools added sports betting to its portfolio, initially covering football, but adding motorsport in 2008 and horse racing in 2019.

to help further the organisation’s mission to promote socially responsible gambling. “By leveraging on facial recognition, we will be able to protect the security of our mobile app users, to prevent unintended bets through unauthorized access” Singapore Pools is a member of the World Lottery Association (WLA), which comprises more than 80 countries and oversees socially


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responsible gambling practices across the globe. “We have achieved the highest level of certification from the WLA, which we have maintained since 2012,” says Yeo. At the same time, Yeo adds that they partner with the Singapore government and the National Council on Problem Gambling to promote safer play, and work towards minimising the dangers of problem gambling to their customers

In the Wake of COVID-19 The Coronavirus pandemic had a dramatic effect on the operations of enterprises across the world, with some being better prepared to meet its challenges than others. “COVID-19 has created a number of pain points for us, and solving them has required a change mindset,” says Yeo. Singapore went into lockdown for two businesschief.asia

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IMPOSSIBLE DOES NOT C O M P U T E. Technology that turns ideas into reality.

DellTechnologies.com


DELL TECHNOLOGIES AND SINGAPORE POOLS: TRANSFORMING IT

ERIC SEOW OF DELL TECHNOLOGIES ON WORKING WITH SINGAPORE POOLS TO DELIVER IT TRANSFORMATION IN THE FACE OF CHANGING CONSUMER DEMAND In 2015, Yeo Teck Guan, Singapore Pools’ Chief Business Technology Officer, needed a strategic technology partner that had the ability to deliver essential technological innovation and support those innovations throughout their lifecycle. “He saw this in Dell Technologies,” says Eric Seow, Financial Sector District Sales Director for Dell Technologies Singapore. “We delivered what Singapore Pools needed: highly resilient, highperformance infrastructure that powers their 24/7 digital platform.” Since 2015, Dell Technologies has remained a key strategic partner of Singapore Pools, helping them use digital channels to better engage their community of consumers, as well as unlock the potential of new, innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, IT automation and the adoption of hybrid cloud. “Our partnership has grown even stronger and we have embarked upon several initiatives to inject new IT capabilities and greater resiliencies into their organisation,” says Seow. At the heart of this ongoing relationship, Seow explains, are commitment, empathy and trust. He adds that, “Having a close collaborative relationship is one of the key ingredients for any successful outcome. To develop that kind of relationship, there must be trust at every level. We have earned that trust through years of successful engagement and delivering on our promises.”

Going forward into 2021, Dell Technologies will continue to support its valued strategic partners including Singapore Pools - as it facilitates success in the new normal, and helps organisations leverage increasingly vital digital platforms and applications to drive successful outcomes. “We are seeing digital platforms becoming more vital for organisations to connect and deliver their differentiators to the consumer; blockchain becoming an intrinsic technology that will strengthen the security portfolios of businesses; the rollout of 5G driving new use cases for IoT; and AI, ML and automation as essential success factors in this new data driven era,” says Seow. “Dell Technologies has made vast investments over the years in all of these key technological advancements, with many of them being incorporated into the design of our latest products and solutions.” This year, Seow sees Dell Technologies’ relationship with Singapore Pools reaching new levels of engagement and innovation, as the two organisations “continue to explore new use cases for these advanced technologies and assess how we can deliver meaningful, enriching capabilities for Singapore Pools and their community of consumers.”


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months during 2020. “We were all working from home. We were lucky that our digital journey was already well underway when the pandemic hit,” Yeo adds. “We had already transitioned to Office 365, which meant we were well positioned to make the jump to working remotely. Singapore Pools' staff basically faced no difficulties during the lockdown.” However, Yeo notes that the shift to remote work elevated the cyber security risks that Singapore Pools faced. With some older staff working remotely in the cloud for the first time in their careers, Yeo explains that the whole company “needed to be extra vigilant when it came to cyber attacks.” In response, Singapore Pools has been conducting regular antiphishing campaigns to better train its staff to recognise and report any suspicious activity. 84

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“The digital branches allow our customers to access our services using new technologies, and conduct transactions in a way that is paperless, cashless and queueless” YEO TECK GUAN

CHIEF BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, SINGAPORE POOLS


SINGAPORE POOLS PRIVATE LIMITED

Training has been an essential part of managing cultural change amid a digital transformation and the constraints of COVID19. “There's been a lot of training and teaching over the past year. During the pandemic we've also held quarterly virtual town halls which we use to keep employees informed, and to educate them about upcoming changes,” Yeo says. “Change mindset needs to be top down and also bottom up. The senior management needs to provide support and leadership on our initiatives and instil confidence in the staff. Bottom up is about understanding whether our staff like and see the value in different tools and initiatives.” Yeo’s team set up forums for Singapore Pools staff to share their opinions, comments and suggestions on new initiatives, which were then incorporated into the company’s ongoing strategy.

DID YOU KNOW...

MAKING THE MOST OF DR OPEX “Traditionally, any CIO will tell you that you run your digital services on one data centre, and have a second running passively for disaster recovery (DR) backup,” Yeo notes. “Our DR has always been a big operational expense and, with the latest technology available, we're looking at using our DR facility to support the operational capacity of our standard data centre, meaning we have as much as 200% capacity to support customer demand for our digital services.” Unlocking additional capacity has become even more essential during the COVID-19 crisis, which caused a global spike in data demand which, combined with the Singapore Government’s recent moratorium on new data centre builds, means that getting the most out of available digital infrastructure is a higher priority than ever. “My team and I are trying to get rid of our DR data centre and pivot towards using it to better support our customers,” says Yeo, adding that Singapore Pools’ strategic partner, Dell EMC, “has been chosen to help us with this because their position in the technology landscape gels nicely with what we’re looking to accomplish.”

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Leveraging on IT infrastructure to help charities digitalise Singapore Pools has always aspired to be a “Company for Good” and is committed to leverage their strengths to achieve this goal. Leveraging their technology capital and IT expertise to benefit the community, Singapore Pools set up iShine Cloud in 2018. iShine Cloud is a charity that provides other charities with an affordable and integrated suite of charity-specific solutions via a secure cloudbased IT platform. Using Singapore Pools’ IT infrastructure, as well as other resources, iShine Cloud aims to improve the productivity, governance and efficiency of operations of charities, thus enabling them to focus on better serving their beneficiaries. With iShine Cloud, Singapore Pools is able to help keep charities running amid the COVID-19 crisis. While the rest of Singapore forges ahead with various Smart Nation initiatives, the nonprofit sector has been struggling to pick up the pace. Digitisation is therefore paramount to address these challenges. iShine Cloud has since onboarded 31 charities with 1,512 users and is looking to expand its solutions and support more charities in the future. 2021 and Beyond Yeo is always looking for the next project. He admits that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a few strategic goals weren’t accomplished in 2020. “Because of COVID-19, things were obviously slower last year; instead of nine or 10 megaprojects, we only did five. Having said that, we still managed to go ahead with some essential projects,” he says. “This year, we will continue on our journey to upgrade and consolidate our major systems, bringing in our global partners to help us move forward and improve.” 86

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“Ultimately, it is with the support of this very team that I am confident that we can continue our transformative success here in Singapore Pools” YEO TECK GUAN

CHIEF BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, SINGAPORE POOLS

As for what the future holds, Yeo adds that the achievements in digital transformation thus far would not have been possible without his capable and forward-looking team. “Ultimately, it is with the support of this very team that I am confident that we can continue our transformative success here in Singapore Pools.”

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The Future of AUDITS and

ASSURANCE Business Chief discusses the future of audits and assurance and the core priorities for the function in 2021 with KPMG WRITTEN BY: GEORGIA WILSON

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peaking with Emilio Pera, Partner and Head of Audit, KPMG Lower Gulf, he explains that “Audits are conducted in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) on financial statements as a whole assurance, on the other hand, will provide different levels of comfort on specific elements of the financial statements and could include non-financial information as well. Assurance is a much wider concept with a wider application.” Initial impact of COVID-19 for audits and assurance Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Pera reflects that “the most significant change is rapid digitalisation.” While prior to COVID-19,

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AUDITS & ASSURANCE

Emilio Pera, Partner and Head of Audit,

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AUDITS & ASSURANCE

“Audit firms are also using data analytics and in-house technology to effectively audit data held and processed in clients’ IT systems, to better identify risks” EMILIO PERA,

PARTNER AND HEAD OF AUDIT, KPMG LOWER GULF

“the winds were already changing,” comments Naveen Kalia, Partner, Audit, KPMG Canada. Auditors have had to adapt to new ways of working at a much quicker pace, harnessing remote tools and methods to deliver audits and connect with clients to review documentation, inspect evidence and engage in a secure environment. “As a result, information technology and data security have become key,” adds Pera. In addition to new remote working technologies, Pera adds that “recent changes in auditing and accounting standards have led to the increased use of specialist resources and skills as part of the audit, and as technology is playing an increasingly important role in obtaining audit evidence, audit procedures are also reassessed to drive efficiency, whilst not compromising on quality.” businesschief.asia

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COVID-19 presents new risks “The standards haven't changed, yet the pandemic has resulted in new risks. There have been significant changes to internal controls as a result of remote work arrangements this makes business more vulnerable to fraud and cybersecurity attacks, often while facing resource constraints and staff reductions — making it even more difficult to design effective controls.”

The future for audits and assurance and the core priorities for 2021 “One of the priorities in 2021 is to understand how we can leverage what we learned during the pandemic to further enhance audit quality. For instance, technology has been widely adopted to improve audit quality, by driving efficiency and greater coverage of a client’s portfolio,” comments Pera. It is important for the accounting industry to remain a step ahead of businesses transforming the way they collect and process data. As a result “continuing to invest in cognitive, machine learning and 92

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AUDITS & ASSURANCE

“The challenge ahead is to leverage technology without compromising data security and audit quality” EMILIO PERA,

PARTNER AND HEAD OF AUDIT, KPMG LOWER GULF

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“After embracing digitisation and artificial intelligence for high-quality, highly efficient audits, there's no going back. The future of audit is within reach and closer than ever” NAVEEN KALIA,

PARTNER, AUDIT, KPMG CANADA

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artificial intelligence capabilities to provide organisations with data-driven business insights as well as evolving reporting and regulatory requirements,” will be vital going forward, explains Kalia. “Audit firms are also using data analytics and in-house technology to effectively audit data held and processed in clients’ IT systems, to better identify risks,” adds Pera. While KPMG states that investments in technology are critical, there is no onesize-fits-all solution. With new technologies and expectations evolving rapidly, auditors need to constantly upgrade their skills and approach to bridge the skills gap. “The emergence of cutting-edge tools and innovation transforming audit has accountants thirsty for the knowledge to keep pace and thrive in the future of audit,” notes Kalia. Another benefit for the future is remote working, Pera explains that such workplace models “provide more flexibility and agility in both the delivery and connection with clients. Looking at a market such as the Middle East for example, specialist resources can operate virtually across geographies rather than being restricted through physical presence. This has also benefited work-life balance as teams are not required to travel extensively and be present in office or at the client site all the time.” Reflecting on the future for audits and assurance, Pera comments that “moving forward, auditors will be expected to exercise extraordinary judgement while evaluating asset impairments, valuations and estimates, even as they operate within uncertain markets exacerbated by the pandemic. The challenge ahead is to leverage technology without compromising data security and audit quality.” businesschief.asia

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NEWMONT

Luis Canepari CIO, Newmont

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Newmont:

MAKING TECHNOLOGY

THE FUTURE OF MINING

How the world’s leading gold miner is digitally transforming to rethink the mining life cycle, unlock productivity, improve safety, reduce costs and support sustainability

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WRITTEN BY: DAN BRIGHTMORE

ewmont’s considered implementation of technology is a key part of the digital journey towards operational efficiency and sustainability across its global operations. Chief Information Officer, Luis Canepari, is championing the company’s digital transformation efforts as it seeks to embrace automation and electrification. Automation “The era of manual processes in mining is over,” states Canepari. “Blasting, drilling, hauling, the processes at mills – all will become increasingly automated over the next 20 years. Whether we like it or not as an industry, that's where we're going to have to go if we want to remain competitive.”

PRODUCED BY: GLEN WHITE The process of automation is well underway at Newmont’s Boddington Mine in Australia, which will be the first open pit gold mine in the world with an autonomous haul truck fleet (AHS). Boddington’s autonomous haulage trucks feature rigorous safety controls to reduce employee exposure to potential vehicle interactions. Newmont is also executing a robust people strategy at Boddington, providing opportunities for reskilling and redeployment of haul truck drivers to other roles supporting the AHS. Artificial Intelligence “Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics go hand-in-hand with automation,” adds Canepari. “Access to data is key for our businesschief.asia

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Luis Canepari: Newmonts biggest challenges

operations. Correlating our drill data with the block modelling allows us to make faster decisions based on real insights. If you look at the success ratio for exploration in mining, it's pretty low; if we can improve that by a couple of percentage points, it will have a significant impact on our reserves. With data being generated across our organization, the ability to use artificial intelligence to tell us where our next drill site should be is a game-changer.” Digital Transformation Compared to other industries, mining has been slow to adapt to new technologies. Canepari pledges Newmont is aiming to rethink the mining lifecycle. “We’ve had a huge success with our first electrified mine at Borden, and we’re taking all the lessons learned from projects like these, and making them part of our Newmont mining model. Every new mine we're building, we're trying to re-create that digital transformation experience from our other mines.” 98

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Rapid Discovery with IBM Digital transformation has been a major undertaking for the IT department at Newmont. “The partnership with vendors like IBM, supports our work to consolidate our systems and further realize the synergies we have across the business since the acquisition of Goldcorp in 2019.” IBM was brought in through a rigorous RFP process. “We demonstrated to Newmont that we would bring top talent, and keep them there, to effect the changes needed successfully and bring these two companies’ systems together across finance, master data and supply chain management,” recalls Gene Allen, a Partner at IBM Global Business Services. “We had to learn how to dance together. We are both 100-year-old companies, but we used Rapid Discovery, an Enhance Program Launch and Agile methodology to help us deliver successfully together smoothly and efficiently.” IBM implemented Rapid Discovery to support this delivery. “We were looking at


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the five-year roadmap for Newmont to plan how everything should be sequenced and budgeted to accelerate this digital journey together,” explains Allen. Because change is rapid in the mining industry, it was important to identify the different constituencies in Newmont and how the move to a digital core should be sequenced to modernize, eliminate redundancies and sequence their systems changes in years to come.” Canepari highlights that Newmont piggybacked on IBM’s M&A experience to place all systems into one single landscape. “Rapid Discovery was about bringing our key stakeholders together across every business function for the most optimal outcome.”

LUIS CANEPARI TITLE: CIO INDUSTRY: MINING LOCATION: USA

“With the migration of all our systems to the cloud, we’ve managed to shut down five data centers already.” LUIS CANEPARI CIO, NEWMONT

EXECUTIVE BIO

Operational & Technological Alignment Canepari’s team are focused on catering to all stakeholders, from the mining sites to the back office. “We build trust and reliability. For us to enable automation, AI and push forward with this digital transformation our system needs to be reliable, even during a global pandemic, and our networks need to remain operational at all sites, no matter how remote their locations,” he says.

Luis Canepari joined Newmont in April 2019 as Vice President and Chief Information Officer; having most recently served as Goldcorp’s Vice President, Technology since 2012. As CIO, Luis leads Newmont’s information technology organization and is responsible for driving and overseeing enterprise-wide plans to further realize value from Newmont’s strategic business and technology investments. Luis has a history of leading major transformation and innovation initiatives. He was honored with a 2017 CIO 100 Award for business and technology innovation, and the 2014 Business in Vancouver Forty Under 40 Award. Before joining Goldcorp, Luis was Director of Engineering and Construction at AES Corporation, responsible for leading major capital projects in Latin America and recognized for his significant community contributions. Prior to that, he held various IT leadership roles at AES and ExxonMobil Corporation. Luis holds an MBA from Georgetown University. He also holds a Bachelor in Science in Systems Engineering from Universidad Metropolitana. He is also a Certified Information Security Manager and a Certified Information Security Auditor.

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The pressure of the global pandemic has allowed Canepari’s IT team to test out new ideas. “With so many of us working remotely it's been the biggest experiment for remote operations that we’ve ever had as a company,” he notes. “We have thousands of employees working from home. It has completely shifted the mindset from the idea that we all needed to be sitting at the mine site. This past challenging year has given us the opportunity to learn how to make our operations more efficient. Everything we’ve invested in, is beginning to pay off. We have resilient networks and a reliable infrastructure backbone that allows us to work remotely. And now that we have tested them to the fullest, we can factor these into our operations. Working remotely is also enabling Newmont’s IT organization to attract a more diverse workforce and overcome the challenge of what Canepari identifies as the misconceptions around the risks of a job in the mining industry. “By widening the net for outsourcing we’ll be able to attract even more talent to our IT organization.”

SUSTAINABILITY

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DID YOU KNOW...

Technology will continue to support Newmont’s sustainability efforts as the business looks to develop onsite renewable power generation and energy efficiencies. It’s all part of a new ethos for the business spearheaded by CEO Tom Palmer. The work from home/work from anywhere paradigm prompted by the global pandemic has seen Newmont, like many other businesses, embrace proven methods of business interaction offering the flexibility that connects the boots on the ground to the boardroom. How the business is powered, both by people and fuel, is under constant review. “Both new and existing mines are going to significantly reduce our emissions in the future. We have committed to a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, with an aspiration of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” says Canepari. “It’s one of our biggest priorities and will be supported by the continued electrification of our mines.”

Strategic Partnerships Consolidating the approach to partnerships since the merger with Goldcorp has been vital for Canepari and his team. “At the end of the day, more than half of my IT organization is outsourced,” he says. “Therefore, it’s really important to work with the right partners to create lasting collaborations that can support ERP and our business transformation. Our partners are helping us drive the outcomes we’re expecting in the short term. They allow us to scale and de-scale, depending on our needs. Just as important is how they culturally fit with our organization. We aim to work with companies who can easily adapt to our style and understand our requirements for a higher


NEWMONT

Luis Canepari: Newmonts Digital transformation

level of detail. It is that higher level of detail that keeps our employees safe.” To leverage automation and artificial intelligence, a robust and stable network is key. Newmont is working with Starlink and other private LTE providers to enable connectivity across all areas of its mines and at remote exploration sites across the globe. “Starlink doesn’t rely on traditional ground infrastructure,” says Canepari. “This type of satellite connectivity can deliver highspeed broadband internet ensuring the low latency that can support our efforts in remote locations.” Innovation in the cloud “The migration to SAP S/4HANA and bringing our infrastructure to the hybrid cloud - has given us more agility; we can deliver projects faster and move more rapidly,” reveals Canepari. “It also gives us the opportunity to experiment with proven tools from other industries. We’re getting out of the

“Blasting, drilling, hauling, the processes at mills – all aspect of mining will become increasingly automated over the next 20 years.” LUIS CANEPARI CIO, NEWMONT

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Luis Canepari: Newmonts Latest Achievements

“Borden’s electric underground fleet eliminate diesel particulate matter from the underground environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions.” TOM PALMER CEO, NEWMONT

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infrastructure business and re-training our team to move away from supporting servers to focus on finding opportunities to make our operations more efficient.” Canepari adds that cloud adoption is driving value by allowing him to deploy his team on more meaningful projects. “With the migration of all our systems to the cloud, we’ve managed to shut down five data centers already. We're starting to explore the possibilities of Edge Computing and what that means for our mines.”

BORDEN – ‘MINE OF THE FUTURE’

DID YOU KNOW...

Technology is the future of mining Mining companies are becoming technology companies and Canepari is excited by the chance to both boost production levels as well as ensure the safety of employees across the globe. “With more and more sensors and

In 2019 Newmont inaugurated its Borden Gold Project, Ontario’s mine of the future, featuring state-of-the-art health and safety controls, digital mining technologies and processes, and low-carbon energy vehicles. Anchored in a mutually beneficial partnership with local communities, Borden achieved commercial production on schedule within budget. At 1,000 square kilometres, Borden’s land package represents additional exploration upside, as the deposit remains open at depth in a favourable mining jurisdiction. “Borden opened a new gold mining district in Ontario and profitably extended operations at the Porcupine complex near Timmins,” explains Newmont CEO Tom Palmer. “In addition, Borden’s electric underground fleet eliminate diesel particulate matter from the underground environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This will help reduce energy costs, protect employee health and minimize impacts to the environment.”

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CYBERSECURITY

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April 2021

DID YOU KNOW...

Cybersecurity has taken on greater significance for Newmont in the age of autonomous trucks and drills. Canepari points out that, unlike securing SAP or payroll data, safety is at stake. “As CIO, I’m focused on how we ensure the right controls in place to secure this new technology, when just ten years ago it wasn’t even on the agenda. We need to provide true segmentation across the network with innovation and compartmentalization so we don't have the entire company exposed at any given time. A production system in Africa needn’t be exposed to a risk that we may have in Australia and so forth. We’re trying to contain risk to smaller components and manage it better.” Canepari measures success more in his team’s ability to respond rather than their ability to prevent. “It’s not just about firewalls,” he says. “We must develop the ability to quickly identify the risk, any breaches, and respond rapidly to them. That’s the biggest change in culture that I see from a cybersecurity perspective. It’s about really focusing on the response time, and the recovery is paramount.”


NEWMONT

“We had to learn how to dance together. We are both 100-year-old companies, but we used Rapid Discovery, an Enhance Program Launch and Agile methodology to help us deliver successfully together smoothly and efficiently.” GENE ALLEN

PARTNER, IBM GLOBAL BUSINESS SERVICES

devices connected to our operations we can analyze the data via the cloud in real time to improve efficiencies and safety at every level. The role of a CIO has changed significantly; from providing systems to providing the value that delivers safer working conditions.” Canepari also sees it as his team’s responsibility to enable the company to meet its emissions reduction targets and allow operations to become more environmentally friendly. “As CIO, system abilities are part of my DNA and I believe as a company, we need to leverage technology to develop our systems to better harness energy management, emissions controls and water management as they will be significant drivers in terms of the success of a mining company over the next 20 years.”

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AGILE DIGITAL

DIGITAL AGILITY: THE FUTURE FOR

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS

Phil Lewis, Vice President, Solution Consulting EMEA at Infor answers five questions on the importance of digital agility for digital transformation success WRITTEN BY: GEORGIA WILSON

Phil Lewis, Vice President, Solution Consulting EMEA

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AGILE DIGITAL

“It is no longer if a business will go cloud but more a question of what type of cloud” PHIL LEWIS,

VICE PRESIDENT, SOLUTION CONSULTING EMEA, INFOR

What does the term ‘digital agility’ mean? Digital agility can be understood as the readiness of an organisation to quickly take advantage of digital capabilities, without having to get bogged down in new projects just to get a new programme underway. This necessitates an open, cloud-based application landscape so a business can seize new opportunities such as business intelligence, big data or AI without having to go through a cumbersome integration and bolt-on process. This makes an organisation

Cloud-based solutions “I foresee cloud-based solutions, particularly with regard to external workforce management, playing a vital role in lending businesses the flexibility they need to take steps toward recovery. Just as they always have, contingent labour and services providers deliver the depth of skills and expertise necessary to propel businesses forward. With the right sets of digital tools, organisations can achieve maximum visibility and value from these essential workers, ramping up and down efficiently as the new year unfolds.”

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The impact of COVID-19 2020 was been defined by supply chain disruption. The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated trends that will not only lead to the diversification and localisation of supply chains, but also increase the need for digitalisation and end-toend visibility. Now more than ever, procurement is uniquely positioned to be transformative and highly impactful for businesses as we enter a new era of data-driven intelligence. A shift away from the traditional, linear supply chain to a broader supply network, coupled with dynamic partnerships driving innovation, will be key to gaining a 360-degree view of supply, improving cash flow, developing new products and pursuing sustainability initiatives. Breaking away from reactivity and focusing on proactivity will be essential in tackling new business challenges in a post-COVID-19 world. Network strategies, and making use of data-driven insights, will be important in avoiding repercussions from future shocks and shifts, replacing linearity with interconnectivity.

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more agile, focusing on the creative application of the technology to the needs of the business, such as identifying new opportunities for revenue. How important is digital agility when it comes to ensuring a successful digital transformation strategy? Hugely important, but it is not just about the tools but also organisational culture. Digital agility needs people who are flexible, that think creatively and value change. Many large-scale enterprises and businesses in our key sectors face huge, initial for ways into digital transformation – they are understandably fearful to ensure they have the right tools, people and culture to make it work. There needs to be a focused endeavour to see the end benefits of digital transformation and that is where the agility has to start – making


AGILE DIGITAL

sure there is consideration of the tools, platform and business processes right up front. Agility also leads a business towards realising the projects are not just about technology to incrementally improve the status quo, but an entire approach that – from the outset – aims towards optimisation and transformation. A key part of this is developing an agile culture – the freedom to have ideas. Too many employees are scared of ‘crazy’ ideas being shot down or putting a black mark against their name. For digital agility to lead to transformation, challenging of the norm must be built in to how the business thinks.

“Businesses tend to assess digital projects with a focus on either customer, supply chain, internal efficiency or people - those are the four main drivers for digital” PHIL LEWIS,

VICE PRESIDENT, SOLUTION CONSULTING EMEA, INFOR

What is driving the transition to digital agility? Businesses tend to assess digital projects with a focus on either customer, supply chain, internal efficiency or people – those are the four main drivers for digital. These are often organic and arise from an ongoing ‘how can we do better’ attitude. This has been accelerated by concerns of competition as companies are now fearful of being left behind competition and disruptive entrants. There is palpable fear around being digitally relevant and this is promoting digital agility. What have been the cornerstone technologies that have furthered digital agility, and what do you see emerging as a cornerstone technology? It is all about how attitudes towards data have changed. It was previously seen as a necessary evil but is now the number one asset in a business. Typically this drives an obsession with big data labels but it is what you do with the data that matters – using the likes of AI / BI / IoT etc to turn that data into a truly valuable asset. The automotive industry is the prime example businesschief.asia

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AGILE DIGITAL

“It is all about how attitudes towards data have changed. It was previously seen as a necessary evil but is now the number one asset in a business” PHIL LEWIS,

VICE PRESIDENT, SOLUTION CONSULTING EMEA, INFOR NAME SURNAME JOB TITLE, COMPANY NAME

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– using and selling the data produced by a car. Interestingly, we now almost take ‘cloud’ for granted – had we answered this question 24 months ago, cloud would have been the first consideration, but it is now table stakes. It is no longer if a business will go cloud but more a question of what type of cloud. We have moved far beyond the infrastructure conversation – the how – and into the what and why a business looks to embrace digital. In terms of the next specific technology, it really depends on the maturity of the individual company or project – businesses are only just reaching the point of a digital fabric rather than a bunch of digital projects. Prescriptive working, driven by AI and fed by masses of sensor data, holds a huge amount of promise for the B2B / industrial markets and we see some very encouraging early shoots in asset maintenance and field service. How important is it to develop a digital culture and change management plan when it comes to digital agility, and what would you say are the best practices for these two concepts? Communicating the vision of digital is vital but most employees these days accept the constant and relentless change of business – but a business still does need huge buy in from the workforce to be on board with constant evolution. The good news is that most businesses actually have this: people are realistic, especially in a post pandemic world that has enforced a huge mindset to accept change and exploit it. Again it comes down to people and culture – as long as people feel able and valued to contribute new ideas, it is going to work. This demands masses of communication to lead to embracing change at this pace. businesschief.asia

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KEARNEY

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KEARNEY

Cost. Service. Agility.

SUPPLY CHAIN’S

NEW TROIKA Suketu Gandhi, Kearney’s Global Leader in Digital Supply Chain and Plan on Sense and Pivot and supply chain’s new troika; cost, service, and agility WRITTEN BY: LAURA V. GARCIA PRODUCED BY: CAITLYN COLE/ GLEN WHITE

W

hat was at first thought to be a one-time disruption, the ultimate black swan event, has now become the new normal. The hardwon lessons of COVID-19 have shown us that moving forward supply chain resilience will be as imperative to business as cost and performance. Suketu Gandhi, partner and global product leader, Digital Supply Chain and Plan is helping companies the world over set a new plan for the “new normal”. Gandhi shows clients the way to achieving their targets by building agile supply chains that leverage today’s best tech to sense and pivot with fast, informed decision making. Real resilience is far more than performing “what if” scenario analysis and disaster response planning. It’s about increasing capabilities and building lighting fast reflexes, so you can respond to fluctuations in demand and an ever-changing business landscape with dynamic resource and capacity planning. As CEOs, COOs and CPOs now look to restructure their business model with the businesschief.asia

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KEARNEY

“Our success as consultants will depend on the essential rightness of the advice we give and our capacity for convincing those in authority that it is good” ANDREW THOMAS KEARNEY

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aim of increasing organisational resilience and agility, produced in partnership with MIT Technology Review, Kearney offers a comprehensive resilience stress test. Speaking with clients such as Mars and Johnson and Johnson, MIT and Kearney took a tech-centric view of data needs and how AI can help. The report says that at the core of company efforts to increase resilience and agility there should be two strategic priorities; decreasing complexities and using data to increase visibility at every node in the supply chain, and developing action plans to efficiently respond to change and disruption. Ghandi walks us through. Reducing Complexity Complexity must be managed, not expunged. “You have to step back and look at your business a few years out and think, what are the three things I should do? What are the structural changes that I should make?


KEARNEY

SUKETU GANDHI TITLE: PARTNER AND GLOBAL PRODUCT LEADER, DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN & PLAN COMPANY: KEARNEY INDUSTRY: MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY

LOCATION: CHICAGO

EXECUTIVE BIO

You must be very deliberate in the choices that are made based on the options that are available,” Gandhi says. “One of the key dimensions is finding commonalities and what can be done to standardise further. The more common you can make things, the easier manufacturing, assembly and sourcing become. Although it seems quite logical, unfortunately, we don't find people doing that.” “Another key element is inbound and outbound transportation, what we call geography. Where do you manufacture? Where do you sell? Now that's a simple question, but then you must also look at the geographical boundaries you cross and how many political boundaries as well. And that second question, political boundaries, is a loaded one because that can cause issues. Brexit is a good example of that. “The other part of geography is that countries like China and India are going to start insisting that if you sell in their

Suketu Gandhi is a recognized industry leader and subjectmatter expert in digital transformation, IT strategy and enterprise architecture, technology’s role in retail, the Internet as a channel, outsourcing and offshoring, IT organization evolution, and the use of technology for highly mobile assets. He is frequently published on digital transformation topics in outlets ranging from MIT Sloan Management Review to the Wall Street Journal. Suketu’s consulting work focuses on the impact of digital on business models, customer experience, operations, and IT. Suketu is a partner, based in Kearney's Chicago office.


We Make It Happen Aera Technology is the Cognitive Automation company that makes business agility happen. With our partners, we deliver the digital platform that integrates with your existing systems to make and execute business decisions in real time.

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Aera Technology: redefining agility in supply chains

Gonzalo Benedit, GM EMEA, Aera Technology on how Cognitive Automation is redefining agility in supply chains, as well as the company’s partnership with Kearney With 15 years of experience in various enterprise software leadership roles, Gonzalo Benedit joined Aera Technology in 2020 as General Manager, EMEA. “Aera is a digital platform that enables Cognitive Automation for large enterprises, such as FORTUNE 500 companies. So pretty large scale organisations operating mostly within the Consumer packaged goods (CPG), pharma chemicals and discrete manufacturing industries. At Aera Technology, we help them to digitise, augment, and automate decision-making at scale,” says Benedit. Whilst Aera Technology is headquartered in Mountain View, California, the company operates worldwide, with more than 450 colleagues across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Empowering leaders with Cognitive Automation When asked: what makes Aera Technology’s Cognitive Automation platform unique? Benedit believes “its uniqueness comes from the fact that it’s a single platform that is able to address the core dimensions that are critical to deliver Cognitive Automation at scale: data, science, process, and change.” Breaking down the four core dimensions, Benedit adds that “when it comes to data, Aera Technology is able to build a single data model. We’re able to connect with all the transactional systems of an enterprise and build a single end-to-end data model. When it comes to science, we help our customers to apply and deploy deterministic

logic, machine learning (ML), and simulations. In terms of process, it’s about digitising the way decisions are being made in a certain company, division or country. Last but not least, the fourth dimension is about change on which we not only deliver an intelligent experience that allows users to easily engage with the platform, but also generate a digital record of all the decisions that have been made and the context under which those decisions were made.”

Aera Technology’s partnership with Kearney After recently announcing a strategic alliance with global consulting firm Kearney, Benedit explains that Aera Technology is “incredibly excited about our partnership. This means a lot to us, and I would say there are two core components to this partnership - transformation and opportunity. For us, it’s an amazing opportunity working with Kearney; it gives our customers access to incredible experience built throughout almost a century, so that’s invaluable. Combine that knowledge with our ability to deliver at a very fast pace, Cognitive Skills, and a digital platform for Cognitive Automation, together we can enable self-driving enterprise. That’s a pretty unique value proposition for our customers.”

MEET AERA


KEARNEY

1926

Year founded

3,500+ Number of employees

$1.4 bn Revenue USD (2019)

country, then you must manufacture in their country. You have to give back some of what you take. So those are the type of political considerations you must take into account when building a strategy. You must decide where to manufacture, understand costs, service, agility and resiliency and put it all together. When looking to drive out complexity, Gandhi warns to set boundaries and suggests leaving the customer out of it, as customer-facing changes may have you in an unending loop. “What we have found is 120

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that having that as a constant is absolutely critical. Don't change that proposition because otherwise, you end up with a situation of circular logic, and you never reach an end. “If you start to look at things like changing features, then you have to consider if the customer will be willing to pay for it and you start to go around and around. New product development starts to fight with supply chain, who fights with the CPO, who fights with sales and marketing, and you never make your way out of it. That's why I say,


KEARNEY

emerging because the CFO used to call the CPO only to reduce cost. Whereas now he has to be a part of the discussion of risk. Our strong perspective is boards are going to start asking this question regularly. “The fundamental equations of being a CPO or running a supply chain have not changed. The math is still the same, but the granularity, however, has changed. It used to be that people would look at things at a country level, then geographical, then segment, then region. Now you’ve got to be at a customer individual order level. That's the level of granularity needed.” Gandhi says another change has been a move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to technical solutions, “There was this view

“The fundamental equations of being a CPO or running a supply chain have not changed. The math is still the same, but the granularity, however, has changed” SUKETU GANDHI

PARTNER AND GLOBAL PRODUCT LEADER, DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN & PLAN, KEARNEY

leave that constant, don't mess with it and move forward.” “However, no amount of effort will protect you against every shock. That's the first thing we tell people; you can’t protect against everything. So, what are the choices you want to make? And that becomes a CPO, CEO and CFO question.” Cost. Service. Agility. Supply chain’s new troika. The emergence of supply chain’s new troika.“So now we have a new Troika

that says a general solution for one is easily applicable to the other one. Now, what we are finding is that as we get into the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning, AI allows you to identify the parameters that matter. “For example, if we buy a standard shoe, versus an athletic one, one may be sold on price and the other one on features. That quite significantly changes how supply chain should look at it. And so now general solutions lose their power because it's easy to find a very specific solution.” businesschief.asia

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Lastly, Gandhi points out the maturement of risk tolerance, a factor Sense and Pivot looks at, shifting from implicit to explicit. Sense & Pivot Kearney started on the Sense and Pivot journey almost three years ago after spotting the trends around the difficulty of forecasting, the inflexibility of distribution centres, manufacturing facilities and transportation networks. However, there was still resistance to change. Ghandi says, “What COVID did was fundamentally accelerate the trend. What we thought would take another year to two years all of a sudden just came to life. It’s what I call the shift left phenomenon; years became months and months became weeks.” Just how unpredictable the world can be was a hard-earned lesson. Supply chains quickly realised they need to adapt and perform against plan despite the business challenges brought on by the disruptions and the limitations that lay within the supply chain. Sense and Pivot helps organisations to mitigate the impacts of risks such as extreme weather, geopolitics and unpredictable changes in consumer demand, creating a dynamic, highly responsive and resilient supply chain. Ghandi says the companies should be asking is if they are set up to sense the right information in order to pivot assets. Real-time information can be pulled from a myriad of resources such as business partners, social media, manufacturing facilities (for machine capacity or handling times), or even point of sale information. This information can then trigger an action or inform decision making. The trick is in aligning the right data to the companies goals. 122

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“No amount of effort will protect you against every shock. That's the first thing we tell people; you can’t protect against everything. So, what are the choices you want to make?” SUKETU GANDHI

PARTNER AND GLOBAL PRODUCT LEADER, DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN & PLAN, KEARNEY


KEARNEY

Suketu Gandhi from Kearney talk about resilience in Supply Chain

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Sense and Pivot is aimed at companies unique organisational objectives, such as cutting costs, meeting new demand requirements or achieving scalability. By leveraging advanced technology to sense information signals, Sense and Pivot goes beyond the collecting and analysing data and improves business performance by creating opportunities for proactive actions and well-informed decision making. At one customer, using advanced analytics and sensing daily inventory consumption demands at the SKU and store level, the company is able to pivot and quickly adjust shipments to reallocate inventory, 124

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reducing stockouts, returns and inventory waste, increasing it’s annual operating income by 10%. However, none of it can be accomplished without the right people doing the right things. Gandhi On People “We love technology. Absolutely. Who doesn’t? But you don’t want to over-index on that either.” The Building resilient supply chains report states “Initiatives to drive digitalisation and supply chain resilience must include components of people and process change


KEARNEY

“So now we have a new Troika emerging because the CFO used to call the CPO only to reduce cost. Whereas now he has to be a part of the discussion of risk” SUKETU GANDHI

PARTNER AND GLOBAL PRODUCT LEADER, DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN & PLAN, KEARNEY

management. This is a critical step for ensuring that data and insight drive real decisions at every stage of the value chain.” Gandhi recollects a saying that is all too fitting, “a colleague of mine told me if processes and software could rust, that would be wonderful because then we would rebuild. Unfortunately, they don't.” The signs of an outdated process in need of a redesign are harder to see than rust on a machine part. But processes can no longer be allowed to become stagnant. “It used to be that you would design a strategy and you went to sleep and then just executed it every day. And hope that

in three years, you got to look at it. That model is dead. Now we have a continuous design and execution model. That’s a big change, and that’s the essence of Sense and Pivot. Ghandi points out that just as it takes a skilled driver to drive a fast car, as technology expedites how we do business, the need for leadership and expertise matters even more. Because, of course, the faster you go, the harder the impact.

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INTELLIGENT FEATURE HEADER AUTOMATION

AD

MF

SC

A NEW ERA OF INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION Business Chief speaks to five executives from Blue Yonder, Red Hat, GE Digital, Accenture and UiPath to discuss the future of intelligent automation WRITTEN BY: GEORGIA WILSON 126

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INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

MW

RT

THOSE PARTICIPATING IN THE ROUNDTABLE INCLUDE:

MW: Matt Wells, Vice President, Digital Product Management, GE Digital

AD: Alan Duncan, Senior Director of Industry Strategy (Manufacturing), EMEA, Blue Yonder

SC: Simon Coombs, Industry X Digital Manufacturing & Operations Lead, Accenture UK

MF: Massimo Ferrari, Consulting Product Manager, Red Hat

RT: Renzo Taal, SVP & Managing Director, UiPath EMEA businesschief.asia

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6 Ways Inventory Management Fuels Supply Chain Explore How Inventory Management Enables Supply Chain to Reach Its Fullest Potential For most businesses, the supply chain is not only the primary cost centre but one of the most challenging aspects of running a profitable operation. This ebook examines the role of inventory management in each step of the supply chain and share best practices for how businesses can use inventory management to optimise and run a more profitable operation. Download Ebook Now


INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

1

Please could you define intelligent automation, and what it can provide organisations? AD: Intelligent automation can enhance operations and provide supply chain efficiency, helping to predict problems before they arise and increase the ability to navigate disruptions even months in advance. This puts organisations in a much better position to meet demands than ever before, with the long-term goal being to build a fully autonomous supply chain that is capable of identifying and resolving problems without any human intervention. MF: Intelligent Automation is a relatively new term, and as such, it's often framed in very different ways, sometimes called ‘cognitive automation’. It's used to describe the intersection of automation and AI-powered decision-making technologies.

“Machine learning and analytics technologies are at the forefront of current technologies that are facilitating intelligent automation” MATT WELLS

VICE PRESIDENT, DIGITAL PRODUCT MANAGEMENT GE DIGITAL

The main benefit offered by intelligent automation is the ability to actually perform actions based on data-driven recommendations, as opposed to just reporting a problem. MW: From proactive analysis to guiding operator response, modern intelligent automation technologies use the IoT’s connected systems, layered with new apps to help companies create and maintain revenue streams and improve operations. Companies around the world are blending combinations of digital capabilities and industrial assets to drive productivity and efficiency across an organisation or environment. In addition, intelligent automation technologies can businesschief.asia

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“As organisations navigate through uncertain times, intelligent automation has played an increasingly crucial role, helping to make key decisions” ALAN DUNCAN

SENIOR DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRY STRATEGY (MANUFACTURING), EMEA, BLUE YONDER

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help companies to reduce risks and costs by leveraging the data within the organisation to avoid downtime and facilitate predictive maintenance. SC: The role of automation has evolved across industries in the last decade, with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) accelerating the fulfilment of basic, repetitive tasks that require no human judgement. Intelligent automation is the next natural advancement of automation capabilities; by tightly integrating with AI and machine learning analytics, software platforms and models can learn, adapt and evolve to make business critical decisions – much like a human can. RT: Intelligent automation is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) amplified by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Simply, intelligent automation unlocks potential by allowing for the automation of non-rule based processes. The benefits include improved efficiency, business continuity and process resilience


INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

AI 101: What is Intelligent Automation? | Accenture

all while reducing human error, creating scale and increasing both customer and employee satisfaction.

2

What are the current trends when it comes to intelligent automation? MF: Surprisingly, while AI has been used for quite some time in different areas of business analysis or IT, automation is a relatively recent adoption. One of the major trends is the adoption of intelligent automation for response and remediation use cases. Take IT Security as an example, which is an area where automated response and remediation is growing. AI is well-established in this area, such as in the form of tools like threat analysis systems, but the use of automation to perform remediation actions on a threat identified by one of these technologies is a fairly new concept.

This is often intentional and reflects the maturity level of many enterprise organisations and the fact that AI and automation are orthogonal opportunities. MW: Machine learning and analytics technologies are at the forefront of current technologies that are facilitating intelligent automation. Fourth generation HMI/SCADA can add a layer of proactive analysis to deliver predictive intelligent alarming that makes it possible to evolve from being reactionary to predicting when an event will occur and taking proactive steps to remediate a pending situation. Machine learning can help to reduce the ‘noise’ that is inherent in system deployments today. This technology allows companies to use raw data to derive intelligence that will improve efficiency, reduce unscheduled downtime, and decrease process risk by providing information to the right operators in context, at the right time and place. businesschief.asia

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SC: Businesses are increasingly scaling the use of automation from specific functions to their wider business strategy, with the particular benefits of intelligent automation now a key objective. To enable this, we are seeing many businesses take a step back and place greater focus on the quality of their data and how it informs their foundational framework for intelligent automation. Some of the key capabilities this framework gives businesses include intelligent virtual agents such as bots and chatbots, which can be used for all manner of functions such as customer service, the IT helpdesk and logistics. As businesses become more advanced with intelligent automation, we are seeing their solutions become highly intuitive, whether predicting events and recommending reactive strategies, or automatically resolving queries with no need for human input. RT: As with many trends in 2021, intelligent automation is being further driven by the pandemic and the need to fully digitise workflows that can no longer be undertaken by teams in physical offices. For example, online transactions have increased, as consumers and businesses continue to order more products and services via the Web. Demand for cloud services has risen, in part because of the need to support more ecommerce transactions and homebased workers. More than ever, we need to combine thinking (AI) and doing (RPA) to complete tasks and support employees working remotely. As this happens, we will see workers embrace this change and start to demand more of automation – perhaps even becoming citizen developers and building their own intelligent automations. Moreover, these automations will become even more powerful with autonomous automation. To put this another way, we’ll see robots managing 132

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robots. They will be unattended – capable of monitoring and handling themselves.

3

How has the intelligent automation market been impacted by COVID-19? AD: As organisations navigate through uncertain times, intelligent automation has played an increasingly crucial role, helping to make key decisions around everything from stock planning and management right the way through to shipping routes and price points. Ultimately automation has and will continue to help organisations to get ahead of the game: quickly responding to changes in consumer behavior by helping to make intelligent and profitable decisions. Those who don’t adopt the technology risk falling behind the competition, especially during unpredictable periods. MF: This pandemic is a time of unprecedented challenge that affected all of


INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

“The main benefit offered by intelligent automation is the ability to actually perform actions based on data-driven recommendations, as opposed to just reporting a problem” MASSIMO FERRARI

CONSULTING PRODUCT MANAGER, RED HAT

us in many different ways. It urged many organisations to change, from transitioning to a work-from-home productivity model to accelerating their adoption of public cloud services. These are two examples where automation technologies became essential to cope with the scale and urgency of the demand. That's why automation, in general, moved from being an opportunity, discussed in technical groups, to an imperative at board level. The technology evolved and is still evolving, and this is because of the new level of problems we're still trying to solve, which obviously are also driving more adoption. MW: Now more than ever, software is mission critical for industrial companies as they meet the world’s toughest challenges with resilience, flexibility, and grit. Companies need the right tools to maintain business continuity with remote monitoring and control businesschief.asia

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capabilities so they can adapt production to extreme changes in volumes and mix of products. Today’s solutions must scale from plant to enterprise-wide and then beyond the four walls to enable connected workers as well as enterprise-wide visibility both on-premise and in the cloud. SC: COVID-19 has made intelligent automation more important than ever. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) carried out on the factory floor has evolved to become more intelligent, which was critical for maintaining business continuity whilst keeping workers protected and socially distanced. The other dramatic shift has been in the area of supply chain, with unexpected spikes in demand for certain products and services, and a complete drop off in others. The incorporation of intelligent automation across the supply chain has been crucial to ensuring continued efficiency, by adapting with agility and forecasting future needs. The pandemic has shifted landscapes and mindsets more generally, too, shining a light on the need for investment in digital and data to both prevent and react to seismic change. Whether it’s manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare or finance – all sectors have been given a harsh push toward digital transformation in order to survive. RT: COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted intelligent automation. While many organisations were already undergoing digital transformations before the pandemic hit, the rapid change in businesses practices and climate forced them to accelerate these efforts. Business leaders had to, and must continue to, innovate to find new ways of working, to adopt new business models and to increase efficiency in order to survive and thrive in less than favourable economic conditions. 134

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For many firms, intelligent automation (IA) has been the answer. Thirty-one percent of decision makers recently surveyed said their firms have increased their spending on RPA in the past three months – a key component in the landscape of IA technology

4

How can intelligent automation help industries navigate the global changes and challenges that are here to stay as a result of COVID-19? AD: Within the manufacturing industry, adopting intelligent automation has made it realistic for supply chains to make recommendations and decisions without the need for human intervention. The time and human brain power saved will enable manufacturers to focus on increasing efficiency, productivity and accuracy of


INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

operations. It also helps to keep processes more robust in the event of staff turnover, so that supply chains can continue to operate efficiently if employees get sick from COVID19 or move onto new roles, retire or leave the business. The role intelligent automation plays in keeping one step ahead on customer buying behaviour, rather than simply responding to incidents as they occur, is crucial as manufacturers navigate their way through the pandemic. This will play a key role in ensuring supply chains are resilient enough to cope with subsequent disruptive events that could occur in the future. MF: Automation is usually associated with IT, as a way to simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of provisioning and configuration of services and applications. While automation

proved to be very effective in those tasks, it can be used in many other areas of IT, like Network Operations, Security Analysts and Security Operations providing benefits across virtually any industry. Intelligent automation can help organizations react faster to changes outside their control, but, once implemented as a core technology, allows people to do more with the resources they have at their disposal, overcoming the challenges of scale, of always growing digital services, complexity of a more distributed workforce and customer base and speed of changes required by market motion. MW: As everyone has adapted to working remotely, there has been a large appetite for collaboration tools. However, most of these are IT tools, not operations technology tools, that industrial companies need to use to operate machines and continue to run and manage their business. Industrial automation technology tools allow for remote operations that promote policies like social distancing, while keeping teams safe and equipment maintained. This technology is the intersection between collaboration and enterprise productivity. In addition, the push to faster, more agile production applications drives industrial

“While many organisations were already undergoing digital transformations before the pandemic hit, the rapid change in businesses practices and climate forced them to accelerate these efforts” RENZO TAAL

SVP & MANAGING DIRECTOR, UIPATH EMEA businesschief.asia

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INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

“Over the next few uncertain months and beyond the pandemic, intelligent automation is here to stay” SIMON COOMBS

INDUSTRY X DIGITAL MANUFACTURING & OPERATIONS LEAD, ACCENTURE UK

companies toward a more holistic view of their operations that allow them to anticipate supply chain and production disruption. They are looking for global solutions that can deliver global visibility, orchestrate the execution of all their processes, and optimise each of their assets and plants in the context of the enterprise. This involves tools that provide for Rapid Application Development (RAD), zero-downtime upgrades / updates, and deployment of self-serve analytics across assets. Companies are also using industrial analytics to improve asset, process and people performance combining data across various data sources to rapidly identify problems, discover root causes and predict future performance. Enhanced software analytics improve quality, utilisation, productivity, and delivery of operations across the enterprise. SC: In manufacturing and supply chain, we saw the rapid reshaping of production lines to cope with the volatile demand in the early months of the pandemic, when businesses pivoted to adapt to the sudden surge in demand, for example, for ventilators and PPE. Elsewhere, augmented reality, IoT and advanced analytics have allowed businesses to automate and streamline where they have had to scale back or re-direct their workforce. In call centres, whether supporting retail, hospitality or healthcare, for example, intelligent

automation has been put to good use by directing customers to the right department without having to go through human operators. This has enabled human counterparts to focus on the important task of dealing with customer issues in a time of particular distress. Over the next few uncertain months and beyond the pandemic, intelligent automation is here to stay. Corporations have seen firsthand how intelligent platforms are enabling agile business. The events of the last year have shown just how important preparation and adaptability are and when integrated with the business strategy, intelligent automation not only allows for agility in crisis, but can help to prepare for future challenges that humans cannot do alone, meaning business can proactively prepare for various situations. RT: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, organisations and healthcare institutions around the world are facing extreme challenges – from hospital backlogs to influx in demands to business continuity challenges. RPA is – and will continue to – offer relief to overwhelmed organisations, and is already being used by UiPath customers to automate processes. Organisations across industries – including healthcare, insurance, government, retail, banking, and transportation – are using UiPath software robots to address the influx of demands brought on by COVID-19. businesschief.asia

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RPG GROUP

RPG PUTS PEOPLE FIRST IN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WRITTEN BY: PADDY SMITH

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PRODUCED BY: JAMES BERRY


RPG GROUP

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RPG GROUP

RPG is a global diversified conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, India. Samip Mutha, Vice President – Digital and Innovation, talks about how people are the key to a successful digital transformation

E

nabling digital transformation in a manufacturing business is no simple task. The manufacturing industry is exceptionally analogue by nature and has been working on multiple improvement frameworks like ISO, Six Sigma, TPM, WCM, Demings, TRIZ, etc, to name a few. The success of Digital in manufacturing depends on your ability to take people along and raise its quotient across the employees in different functions, front line as well as backend. For the shop floor, digital challenges are enormous. For legacy businesses with old plants, the need to embrace digital arises, especially with old assets and systems which obviously can’t retire overnight given the large capex involved. Digital in manufacturing is akin to performing surgery on a person, it needs to be highly customised, leave breathing space for recovery and have an airbag for side-effects. To want to embrace Digital in its entirety and build future-ready factories without any stoppage or impacting business, the need to balance the approach of Plant-Wide building for future, the so-called Smart Factories vis-à-vis machine (critical), as well as the process-level tactic is a given. When the question of building a strong Digital core in large global and distributed manufacturing operations arises, it strongly resonates as more of a “when” as opposed to a “why” with Mr. Mutha.

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100% culture The 3 Ms of manufacturing, namely Machine, Method and Materials, are important, as are smaller concerns compared to the 4th M Man (Culture) according to Mr. Mutha. “The digital success stories are 100% culture,” he says. “We are still a generation of people who are driving digital projects with an analogue mind, then blaming the technology, without realising our weaknesses. Every digital project requires an acceptance of the new normal. It merits believing unseen possibilities. The letting go of age-old habits seems more arduous in comparison to embracing new and future-friendly practices. The operator who, so far, has been regulating the machineries in and out, is likely to face a mental challenge

“I’M NOT A FAN OF DIGITAL STRATEGY. WE HAVE A BUSINESS STRATEGY AND THE DIGITAL NEEDS TO EMBRACE THAT TO TRANSFORM OR BUILD NEW BUSINESSES” SAMIP MUTHA,

VICE PRESIDENT - HEAD OF DIGITAL AND INNOVATION, RPG


Samip Mutha, Vice president - Head of Digital and Innovation, RPG


RPG GROUP

RPG group CORPORATE FILM #hellohappiness​

Samip Mutha has four key characteristics for effective leadership:

ETHICS AND INTEGRITY HUMILITY COMMUNICATION ABILITY TO TAKE RISKS

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in adopting a whole new way of thinking, let alone accepting new possibilities that stand to enable, elevate, and boost the lives of people. Business KPIs haven’t changed drastically, and will continue to remain constant. It was about 15 years ago that I started my career in Manufacturing Consulting, and OEE was good back then, just like it is today, and I am fairly certain that it will continue to remain so tomorrow. That said, what changes is your ability to command trust, bring transparency and give rise to transformation in terms of the ways in which the business has been running. “So, in the said culture, believing in possibilities is imperative. It won’t happen overnight, irrespective of one’s credibility. Digital is a journey, one has to live it, a journey of opening the mind to creative courses of action, establishing and showcasing success stories while also then scaling it up rapidly, making it a way of life. It tends to come more naturally if you start from the POV of business benefit and associated ROI for investors. If


RPG GROUP

"THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN DIGITAL IS ANALOG MINDS AND HENCE WORKING ON PEOPLE IS THE MOST CRITICAL LEVER FOR SUCCESSFUL ADOPTION"

SAMIP MUTHA TITLE: VICE PRESIDENT - HEAD OF DIGITAL AND INNOVATION COMPANY: RPG GROUP

SAMIP MUTHA,

VICE PRESIDENT - HEAD OF DIGITAL AND INNOVATION, RPG

The Digital Academy It was early on in our journey that we realised the importance of aligning as many RPGians to Digital as possible. In order to facilitate the agenda, RPG launched an in-house Digital Academy in 2016. “We identified seven or eight pillars in the universe of Digital, such as its use in marketing, manufacturing, and different key areas of our diversified businesses. Our people in every function had to go through it to understand the impact

EXECUTIVE BIO

you begin with the source of value for every stakeholder, then the chances of obtaining money run high. But more importantly, the adoption of new ways latch on too. “CFOs or CEOs have always envisaged the outcomes of a business rather than the tech processes involved. Hence, for me, success doesn’t reach fruition simply upon the approval of a project. It’s the start of a new chapter in my professional book, the beginning of another journey.

Mr. Mutha has 17+ years of experience in Management Consulting, Digital Transformation and Innovation in various industries across the geographies. He is currently working with RPG Group as Vice President and Head of Digital and Innovation with focus on Smart Factories, Connected Customers, Digital at workplace and Smart Products across diversified businesses of RPG from rubber and tyres to life sciences, EPC and IT. Samip is on the Panel of Future of Technology, IET since 2018 whose focus is to develop the platform that will benefit stakeholders from student to government to SME in accelerating the Digital growth of India. He is a renowned speaker in various forums including, CII, NASSCOM, IET, IOT Congress and many more along with leading B-schools on topics like IOT, Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, Industry 4.0 and Business Innovation. During his Journey with RPG, the group has won prestigious awards including EY Mint Digital award for AI project, Golden Peacock Innovation award and most recent Best Innovation Company 2020 by Economic Times.

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We connect what’s now to what’s next. Leverage a combination of business excellence methodologies (e.g., Lean, TPM, TQM) and technological enhancements (e.g., IoT, Predictive / Prescriptive analytics) to better address challenges of ‘waste’, ‘variability’ and ‘inflexibility’ across 4M (Man, Machine, Material & Method) dimensions and achieve next level of operational excellence across SQPCDM (Safety, Quality, Productivity, Cost, Delivery & Morale) aspects.


Hitachi Vantara: making intelligent manufacturing happen

Watch the 3 dimensions of industry 4.0

Hitachi Vantara’s head of global manufacturing consulting explains the approach of the company to intelligent manufacturing Hitachi Vantara is, in the words of Dev Ramchandani, Senior Director and Head of Global Manufacturing Consulting, “a global technology leader and a catalyst for sustainable societal change. We respond to global dynamic changes with insight and agility. Our unique approach helps deliver sustainable measurable business results and a better consulting experience.” Ramchandani insists that while Industry 4.0 has been a buzzword, there are now material successes to point to. He breaks down the Hitachi Vantara view into three key areas. One: “We need to start with a business outcome or a business driven approach, not a technology driven approach. So we need to have the business objective in mind and then go ahead and identify the relevant technologies, which will help us achieve that.” Two: “We need to reimagine operations. We need to keep thinking of the technical limit in our minds, because that is what we are headed to. We need to figure out how we can disrupt the current cycle and reach there.” And three: “People. This calls for a different skill set and we need to nurture people.” In what he calls the “five-box model” – process, mindsets, capabilities, technology, data – Ramchandani sets out his blueprint for the company’s approach to “sustainable behavioural change”, leading to sustainable impact. Hitachi Vantara is one of RPG’s most important partnerships, and Ramchandani calls the experience of working with the manufacturing group a “pleasure”.

“We at Hitachi have a very keen focus on harmony, sincerity and pioneering spirit, and these three elements are ingrained in RPG as well. Given the values were aligned, it has been an excellent journey working together.” Two other key ingredients in the relationship are a win-win mentality and open and trust based communication. That journey has been marked by a focus on ‘intelligent manufacturing’ leveraging a combination of business excellence methodologies, such as Lean, TPM and TQM, and technological enhancements like IoT, predictive and prescriptive analytics to better address the challenges of waste, variability and inflexibility across four key dimensions Ramchandani collectively refers to as “4M” (man, machine, material and method). “I would say intelligent manufacturing for us is to find the next S-curve of operational excellence across the dimensions of SQPCDM (safety, quality, productivity, costs, delivery and morale). We go about doing that by addressing waste variability and flexibility. These are the core challenges, so we address waste variability and inflexibility across all the 4M dimensions. Each of these has some inherent waste variability and flexibility, so we try to address that in order to achieve the next S-curve of operational excellence.” hitachivantara.com

Learn more


RPG GROUP

30,000 +

Number of Employees

$4bn+ Revenue

1820

Year Founded

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RPG GROUP

“DIGITAL PROJECTS ARE LIKE LEGO BLOCK ASSEMBLY, YOU NEED PEOPLE WHO CAN THINK OF EXPONENTIAL APPLICATION OF TECHNOLOGY TO BUSINESS” SAMIP MUTHA,

VICE PRESIDENT - HEAD OF DIGITAL AND INNOVATION, RPG

and the change Digital can bring to their function or areas. Mr. Mutha built on the Digital Academy to identify the torch bearers who would expand the Digital agenda and work with early evangelists to identify new opportunities.“There can not be better success for Digital Officers than other people talking about your project,” he says proudly. What is digital strategy? One of the challenges Mr. Mutha faces with the diversity of RPG’s portfolio is that there are more than 6 companies, with revenues ranging from ₹400 crore to ₹12,000 crore+ ($60m-$1.6bn), holding different positions in the industry in which they play, with varying financial muscles and appetite. “I’m personally not a big fan of digital strategy,” he explains. "I think businesses already spend a lot of time thinking about three-to-five-year strategies and plans. The digital – and everything else – exists because the business exists. So, we have a business strategy, and the digital needs to wrap itself around it to evangelise and transform the way business is done. ”In addition, Mr. Mutha believes the pursuit of success is a core driver to making digital change. “If I take an analogy of, let’s say, the military, what motivates people is success. If you told people they were going to war to die, nobody would join. What motivates them are success stories. You need to celebrate success at every level. It creates a pull factor within the organisation and acts as a booster shot in the cultural change as required.” Changing business is changing humanity It’s a lot of change, Mr. Mutha admits, not least the shift from capex to opex as products become more service orientated. businesschief.asia

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RPG GROUP

“WHAT MOTIVATES PEOPLE IS SUCCESS. IF YOU TOLD PEOPLE THEY WERE GOING TO WAR TO DIE, NOBODY WOULD JOIN” SAMIP MUTHA,

VICE PRESIDENT - HEAD OF DIGITAL AND INNOVATION, RPG

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RPG GROUP

A Recipe for Happiness | RPG Group Hello Happiness | 30 sec

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RPG GROUP

DID YOU KNOW...

SAMIP MUTHA ON PARTNERSHIPS...

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“I want to work with partners who understand the significance of the journey and have the flexibility to deal with the diverse layers of complexity. I always tell my vendors that the project will go beyond scope, timeline, maybe even the budget. I don’t condone negotiations. In digital, hard negotiation will give you instant gratification, but in the longer scheme of things, it will take away the mental mobility vital to such a project. After six or seven years, I still refuse to write a specific contract for digital. It’s easy to draw up contractual obligations and just “do my job” in theory, but that doesn’t help my inner purpose. We still have those unseen possibilities, and I see them every day. To that end, a partner who has the commitment to pull you through and make a successful journey out of the ingredients is what we all need.

April 2021

But the bigger transformation will be in the workforce. “One thing I see is that the rise in humanity will be a basis for the kind of work that is being done. People will break free from doing jobs that are unsafe, mundane, predictable, or overtaxing. It’s going to encourage a safer and healthier way of life, which is a win for humanity at large, a role that Digital is going to play. A massive democratisation of talent is going to take over, changing businesses fundamentally, and it’s important to understand those underlying changes happening in every industry that you play in.


RPG GROUP

“THERE CAN NOT BE BETTER SUCCESS FOR DIGITAL OFFICERS THAN OTHER PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT YOUR PROJECT”

“AI and analytics are going to be at the focal points of digital,” Mr. Mutha notes. Yet, he is certain that despite the said aspects being nothing short of vital requirements of motion in digital transformation, they need to be more intrinsic to it rather than separate strains. After all, nobody mentions programming languages when they talk about software. Why would they mention data and artificial intelligence? It’s the bottom line of any technology project.”

SAMIP MUTHA,

VICE PRESIDENT - HEAD OF DIGITAL AND INNOVATION, RPG businesschief.asia

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TOP TEN

AUSTRALIA'S STRATEGIC CONSULTANTS Business Chief APAC takes a closer look at the top 10 largest strategy consultants in Australia ranking them by year founded

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TOP TEN

WRITTEN BY: GEORGIA WILSON

O

ne year on from the outbreak of COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic hasn’t slowed down the global management consulting services market which is expected to grow to US895.46bn in 2021 at a CAGR of 9.2%. With this in mind Business Chief takes a look at the 10 leading strategy consultants in Australia, ranking them by the year they were founded.

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TOP TEN

“Organisations need to integrate diverse expertise to think, plan and act faster”

10

KPMG Strategy

est. 2014 Australian Offices: Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney KPMG’s Global Strategy Group was founded in 2014. KPMG Strategy believes that with “the pace and scale of change today is creating more complex strategic challenges. Organisations need to integrate diverse expertise to think, plan and act faster, and be able to constantly reinvent themselves.” To help organisations to achieve this, KPMG Strategy works with its clients to challenge the norms, identify strategic opportunities, define and develop tailored strategies, plan and implement value adding strategies, and implement transformation, change management, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and finance restructuring, tax structuring and risk management situations.

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09

EY-Parthenon

est. 2014 Australian Offices: Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney EY-Parthenon, founded in 2014, when The Parthenon Group became a part of EY, is one of the largest global strategy consulting organisations. EY-Parthenon helps CEOs and leaders design and deliver transformative strategies across their entire enterprise for long term value. Believing that “every successful business strategy is underpinned by an in-depth understanding of industry dynamics and the competitive landscape in which it sits, EY-Parthenon helps CEOs to “reimagine their ecosystems, reshape their portfolios and reinvent themselves for a better future.”


TOP TEN

Strategy&

est. 2014 Australian Offices: Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney Strategy&, also founded in 2014 when Booz & Company became a part of PwC. In joining forces the two combined “a century of strategic expertise with the technology and scale to make strategy real.” Harnessing itss global network, Strategy& provides clients with its deep and broad capabilities expertise, by combining its strategic foresight with the experience of frontline teams across PwC. “Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, which means we have to be prepared for whatever challenges you face. We have the resources and experience to navigate and deliver in both today’s real world and tomorrow’s unknown future. It’s a powerful combination that helps you build a better strategy from day one,” states Strategy&.

07

Monitor Deloitte

est. 2013 Australian Offices: Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney Founded in 2013 following the acquisition of The Monitor Group. Monitor Deloitte helps organisations “navigate the future with confidence.” Monitor Deloitte began operating in Australia in 2013, its strategy practitioners combine deep industry insights with cutting edge methods, helping leaders resolve critical decisions, drive value, and achieve transformational success. “We work with chief executives and their teams to create effective corporate and business unit strategies and to secure alignment across the enterprise.” Monitor Deloitte’s parent company Deloitte, “Deloitte helps was founded in 1845 it is organisations a leading global provider navigate the of audit and assurance, consulting, financial future with advisory, risk advisory, confidence.” tax, and related services. businesschief.asia

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FinTech Podcast Listen Now Listen Now


TOP TEN

05 06

Oliver Wyman est. 1984

Australian Offices: Sydney Oliver Wyman founded in New York in 1984. Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting, it began its operations in Australia in 2004. By combining deep industry knowledge and specialised expertise in strategy, operations, risk management and organisation transformation, Oliver Wyman works with its clients to optimise businesses, improve operations and risk profiles, and accelerate organisational performance to seize opportunities. “Everything we do is driven by our values. We search for self-starters and free-thinkers who want to work together and share success,” - Scott Mcdonald, President and CEO, Oliver Wyman.

L.E.K. Consulting est. 1983

Australian Offices: Melbourne and Sydney Founded in 1983, L.E.K Consulting was named after its three founding partners James Lawrence, Iain Evans and Richard Koch. “We are passionate about helping our clients achieve practical results with real impact.” Since its founding L.E.K Consulting has become a global strategy consulting firm with a presence in America, Europe and Asia Pacific (APAC). L.E.K Consulting advises clients – some of whom are facing unprecedented change and disruption – on their most pressing business challenges. “Our ongoing aim is to help clients succeed. We examine these challenges in new ways to produce breakthrough insights and deliver new solutions. We deliver insights with impact for our clients using our unbiased, factbased, rigorous approach to uncover business truths.” businesschief.asia

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TOP TEN

04

Bain & Company est. 1973

Australian Offices: Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Founded in 1973, Bain & Company helps its clients to “see the world differently, discover opportunities you may never have imagined and achieve results that bridge what is with what can be.” Bain & Company began its operations in Australia in 1989 working with ambitious clients to define the future. Bain helps its customers solve challenges in strategy, marketing, organisation, operations, information technology, digital transformation and strategy, advanced analytics, transformations, sustainability, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions, across multiple industries and countries.

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03

Boston Consulting Group est. 1963

Australian Offices: Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Australia partners with leaders to tackle some of their most important challenges and capture opportunities. Founded in 1963, BCG at its founding was “the pioneer in business strategy.” In 1990, BCG began its operations in Australia, bringing its diverse, global team with deep industry and functional expertise to the country “to spark change through leadingedge management consulting as well as data science, technology and design, digital ventures, and business purposes.” BCG operates in “a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organisation to deliver results that help our clients thrive.”


02

TOP TEN

Kearney est. 1926

Australian Offices: Sydney and Melbourne

Kearney (Australia), founded in 1926, Kearney is built on the principles established by its founder, “our success as consultants will depend on the essential rightness of the advice we give and our capacity for convincing those in authority that it is good,” - Andrew Thomas (Tom) Kearney. Kearney, opened its offices in Sydney and Melbourne in 1994, offering its services in multiple industries including aerospace, automotive, energy, health, finance and transportation. Its consultants adopt a “collegial, collaborative culture – and a passion for doing innovative work that provides our clients clear benefits in both the short and long term.”

“Consultants adopt a collegial, collaborative culture – and a passion for doing innovative work” businesschief.asia

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TOP TEN

“We are ambitious in helping our clients to realise economic and social benefits for all citizens in our community”

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McKinsey & Company est. 1926 Australian Offices: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney Founded in 1926, McKinsey (Australia and New Zealand) helps organisations “achieve their full potential by delivering Change that Matters.” Partnering with local leaders in the corporate, public and social sectors, McKinsey strives to create opportunities for growth, transformation, to build new businesses and to strengthen existing institutions. “We serve our clients across the spectrum, from trusted advisor to top management to hands-on coach for front line employees – enabling technology and building capabilities at every level of the organisation. We are ambitious in helping our clients to realise economic and social benefits for all citizens in our community.”

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INVESTING AND WEALTH MANAGEMENT IN THE NEW NORMAL Nino Ulsamer, Co-Founder and CTO, expounds StashAway’s new approach to investment based on customer-centricity, data and automation

WRITTEN BY: WILL GIRLING PRODUCED BY: MICHAEL BANYARD

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igital technology has the capability to democratise the instruments of financial services in previously inconceivable ways; what used to be tools reserved for professionals are now being made available to the general public on intuitively designed, tech-enhanced platforms. Headquartered in Singapore, StashAway was founded in 2016 upon the principles of providing bespoke, affordable and high-quality digital solutions for wealth management, and it’s a mission that continues to this day. Nino Ulsamer, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, spoke with us about how the company started and its goals in the APAC (AsiaPacific) market. “It was more than five years ago that I met Michele (Ferrario, CEO and Co-Founder), who, at the time, was looking for a business partner to start a new company,” recounts Ulsamer. Ferrario, a successful and experienced entrepreneur with established businesses in North America, Europe and Asia, was dissatisfied with investment


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STASHAWAY

NINO ULSAMER TITLE: C  O-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER INDUSTRY: FINANCIAL SERVICES LOCATION: SINGAPORE

EXECUTIVE BIO

Nino Ulsamer is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of StashAway, Southeast Asia’s largest and fastest-growing digital wealth manager for both retail and accredited investors. Previously, Nino founded Personio, a successful web-based HR management platform, and before that focused his career on e-commerce, founding two Rocket Internet-backed companies in Russia. Nino holds a Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Munich and was Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley. He also holds a Degree in Technology Management from the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM).

products offered to him by banks in the latter and wanted to develop something comparable to those in other regions. He immediately went to Ulsamer as his first port of call. A seasoned veteran of the European roboadvisory market, he too shared an interest in a different investment model because of his own experiences. “I didn't know much about investing at the time, but the idea of having a digital wealth manager that acts as a guide for your investing journey and isn’t incentivised by commissions or trying to sell you random products was very attractive.” Bringing on board Freddy Lim, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, provided the final piece of the puzzle, and StashAway was created. The company calls its platform “wealth management, like it should be” and offers customers a superior investing experience via five key factors: • One low, variable and transparent management fee (calculated by the size of investment) • Knowledgeable customer service agents • Decision-making guided by data insights • Unlimited and free money transfers and withdrawals • An intuitively designed mobile app (currently rated 4.5+ stars) Having founded several tech companies prior to StashAway, Ulsamer states that his primary concern was to achieve “simplicity” in the overall user experience, “Ultimately, what our product does is not actually that simple, but, for the customer, it’s extremely intuitive.” Next, he introduced automated processes to boost cost-efficiencies and keep expenditures low, savings which subsequently benefit users in the form of very low fees. These highly customer-


STASHAWAY

StashAway's Founding Story

centric priorities demonstrate the StashAway executives’ decades of experience in the tech sector investment; they know what matters most to the end user, and this is what gives the company its edge. “Our team is now around 150 people strong and that depth of experience translates into our results,” states Ulsamer. Firstly, StashAway now holds a CMS license for retail fund management from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which recognises its compliance with the “highest regulatory compliance standards” regarding audits, capital requirements and more. “Secondly, we’ve built a proprietary investment strategy called ERAA.” Economic regime-based asset allocation (ERAA) is a sophisticated investment strategy that Ulsamer claims was previously only available to high-net-worth individuals. StashAway’s innovation has been to introduce this previously unattainable system to retail customers. “ERAA is

our proprietary investments strategy that powers all portfolios,” he explains. “It's based on the observation that the economy moves through different cycles, and asset classes don’t behave consistently across different economic

“The idea of having a digital wealth manager that acts as a guide for your investing journey and isn’t incentivised by commissions or trying to sell you random products was very attractive” NINO ULSAMER

CO-FOUNDER AND CTO, STASHAWAY

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Zendesk + StashAway: Scaling support in a conversational era

SPREAD OND OR INUM

Wendy Johnstone, SVP & COO APAC, discusses trends in APAC finance, new customer expectations, and why messaging is the future of customer experience

“The Asian finance industry is currently seeing unprecedented changes: digital disruption, shifting customer expectations, and obviously the very challenging economic environment presented by the pandemic,” says Wendy Johnstone, SVP & COO APAC, Zendesk, in reference to the company’s recently released Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2021. “Customers have stepped back, re-examined what their priorities are, and adopted new behaviours. They want to connect in a more convenient, conversational, and personal way with brands, and that's really been driven by messaging.” A leading provider of customer service software, Zendesk’s mission has always been to democratise customer service software to help foster better customer relationships. It’s an important mission, particularly at such a turbulent time of change in the finance industry and socio-economic upheaval, and that’s exactly what Zendesk has been helping StashAway to do. “We started working with StashAway back in 2017, when it was looking to improve both its customer engagement and its customer service agent efficiency,” Johnstone explains. “We’ve helped StashAway deliver the world-class omnichannel customer experience it’s known for,”

continues Johnstone. “Customers can use a variety of channels and with a completely unified view, StashAway’s agents don't need to waste precious time manually synching customer data across disconnected systems.” Furthermore, Johnstone noted that “messaging has very quickly become the preferred channel for customers to engage with businesses,” drawn by its convenient, fast and personal nature. StashAway was among the first to deploy Zendesk’s WhatsApp integration when it was launched, and doing so enabled the company to dramatically reduce their first response time to just 30 minutes - significantly lower than the industry benchmark of 24 hours. Shortly following its introduction, she relates that it has quickly become a strong customer favourite. StashAway’s focus on its customers and view of CX as a strategic differentiator has placed it in good standing to address the changing needs of its customers. “It’s a fantastic partner of ours and the relationship has really grown and deepened over the years. A big reason for this has to do with the team,” Johnstone concludes. “StashAway is a digital native, and these are the organisations who we see disrupting the norm and driving the transformation in financial services. It’s taking a very open minded approach to trying lots of new initiatives; Zendesk is very honored to be StashAway’s partner and support its growth.” zendesk.com


STASHAWAY

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DID YOU KNOW...

ONE OF STASHAWAY’S CLOSEST PARTNERSHIPS HAS BEEN WITH SOFTWARE COMPANY ZENDESK

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Zendesk was founded in Copenhagen in 2007, although it has since moved its headquarters to San Francisco, California. Specialising in support, sales and customer engagement software to fit a variety of needs, StashAway forged an early and enduring collaboration with it. “It’s our support platform; we've used Zendesk from the very beginning and have established a strong relationship with it over time,” Ulsamer explains. StashAway was actually one of the first financial institutions in Asia to use their WhatsApp/Zendesk API. In a case study, we were able to optimise agent performance by 50%. “We're very happy with Zendesk and look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”

April 2021

Left to right: Nino Ulsamer, Michele Ferrario & Freddy Lim


STASHAWAY

regions.” Gold, for example, will behave differently during periods of growth than when the economy is in recession. StashAway will monitor the performance of every asset class and then consider value adjustments, comparing the ‘fair value’ of a certain asset and its current price and looking for any harnessable differences. “Out of all this information, we create an optimised portfolio that attempts to maximise medium-term

returns while minimising risk. Our customers are extremely satisfied with the returns that they've achieved so far.” Maintaining the company’s individual vision requires specialised technology, therefore StashAway develops the majority of its technology in-house. “It also means that we can provide a very coherent experience for our customers as they go through the various stages of the onboarding process,” says Ulsamer. businesschief.asia

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Available online, the process for signing up can be done easily from a smartphone in less than 15 minutes. The user is asked a series of questions in order for StashAway to understand them and their “risk appetite”. Following standard KYC (know your customer) practices, new customers can expect to be fully onboarded within 24 to 48 working hours. “Using CRM (customer relationship management), we leverage data to understand customer behavior and present the most ideal experience or content to them at any given point in time.” The objective, he continues, is not simply to convert the customer but actually to educate them on their investment journey. “We've always tried to stay at the forefront of technological innovation in general, and that’s helped us build a very strong engineering team. By keeping our

“Our customers are extremely satisfied with the returns that they've achieved so far” NINO ULSAMER

CO-FOUNDER AND CTO, STASHAWAY

processes very agile and fast, we’re able to react to customer feedback quickly and therefore able to continuously innovate.” Despite this, however, Ulsamer is clear that there are still challenges to operating in the APAC region. With myriad local regulatory requirements to consider in each area it operates in, the company has to maintain a close working relationship with regulators in businesschief.asia

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STASHAWAY

each territory. “Also, if you look at a customer in Singapore and compare them to a customer elsewhere, they're going to be very different and have separate expectations about the product,” he adds. Therefore, StashAway is careful to conduct market research and interviews with potential customers from the very beginning. Doing so allows it to adjust its product and messaging to cater for those variances. In a clear display of transparency and customer focused innovation, StashAway even helps its customers comprehend complicated clauses in its terms and conditions by adding a ‘translator’ for legal jargon. Despite the difficulties of 2020, success has followed swiftly in StashAway’s wake and 2021 is off to a remarkable start. The company recently announced that it is now managing over US$1bn (SG$1.35bn) in assets, achieved through StashAway’s

154

Number of Employees

2016

Year Founded

Nino Ulsamer talks about the benifits of Stash Away

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STASHAWAY

“Ultimately, what our product does is not actually that simple, but, for the customer, it’s extremely intuitive” NINO ULSAMER

CO-FOUNDER AND CTO, STASHAWAY businesschief.asia

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ability to generate strong returns in a volatile market. In total, its portfolios have generated annualised USD returns ranging from 17.1% (for its highest risk portfolio) to 5.3% (for its lowest risk portfolio) since its launch in July 2017. In 2020 alone, the USD portfolio 176

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STASHAWAY

How is StashAway different from other robo-advisors?

“First and foremost, our goal is to continue to help customers navigate the ups and downs of the market” NINO ULSAMER

CO-FOUNDER AND CTO, STASHAWAY

returns ranged from 24.1% to 5.2% respectively, and consistently outperformed their samerisk benchmarks. 2021 will see StashAway exploring opportunities for further expansion within Asia, with the same careful scrutinisation of

market potential and regulatory restrictions that are hallmarks of its general approach. “Typically, when we go into a new market, we try to educate clients and offer a product that previously wasn’t available to them,” Ulsamer says. “But, first and foremost, our goal is to continue to help customers navigate the ups and downs of the market.” His vision for StashAway’s development is the continued refinement of its overall wealth management experience. The world has been irreparably changed by the events of 2020, and how people invest must change with it. Focusing on data, technology and customer-centricity, StashAway will continue to leverage its approach to produce new and exciting results. “We all live in a new reality now, right? Firms need to adapt to the new normal.”

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

CONNECTIVITY IS OUR CORE STRENGTH WRITTEN BY: JANET BRICE PRODUCED BY: LEWIS VAUGHAN

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

Ryo Kurita

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

Creating a seamless experience for the end user is the result of a visionary approach in global connectivity services from KDDI TELEHOUSE

C

onnectivity is the core strength of KDDI TELEHOUSE which seems apt for a company that was conceived in the same year as the first text message was successfully sent to a Motorola beeper. KDDI TELEHOUSE is a single source provider for colocation, cloud migration and connectivity services. According to General Manager, Ryo Kurita, the company predicted a shift in data management 30 years ago. Today, it has a global footprint of more than 40 data centres offering support for startups to Fortune 500 companies – showing its visionary strategy has been successful. While the world was perfecting online networks, KDDI TELEHOUSE was perfecting the infrastructure to support the increasing demand for network operations they predicted was coming. KDDI TELEHOUSE is one of the leading providers of carrier-neutral data centres from Shanghai to Paris and with personnel around the world including San Francisco where Kurita spoke from his office about the importance of a rock solid digital infrastructure to support data – which is getting bigger every day.

“Connectivity is our core strength” RYO KURITA

GENERAL MANAGER, KDDI TELEHOUSE

“Connectivity is our core strength,” said Kurita who pointed out the company now has a presence of over 40 data centres covering 10 countries including London, New York and Frankfurt. Ongoing investments by $48 billion Japanese parent company, KDDI, ensures it is one of the most financially stable providers in the industry. KDDI is a Global Fortune 300 Company and continuously invests in its facilities and services. Kurita commented there can be some confusion over KDDI and TELEHOUSE. “They are basically the same company,” he said. “KDDI is the parent company of TELEHOUSE and the second largest telecom carrier out of Japan. It provides comprehensive global ICT solutions such as system integration, cloud migration, Internet of Things (IoT), network services and related IT services. TELEHOUSE is the brand name of the data centre arm and originally established in New York in 1989 and London Docklands opened as our first purpose-built colocation facility in Europe in 1990,” he said. Connecting mission-critical systems As more enterprises seek ways to re-invent themselves online and stay agile to survive the fallout from the pandemic there are more calls than ever for faster data speed – a call KDDI TELEHOUSE is answering. Businesses in industry sectors including finance, media, telecommunications, IT hosting, health and cloud providers already businesschief.asia

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KDDI TELEHOUSE: Connectivity is our core strength

“Throughout our whole 30 year journey we've focused on positioning ourselves to be a connectivity data centre provider, enabling an ecosystem that our customers can leverage to easily connect with each other, and then enjoy rich connectivity in our facilities” RYO KURITA

GENERAL MANAGER, KDDI TELEHOUSE

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trust KDDI TELEHOUSE to guard their missioncritical systems. KDDI TELEHOUSE provides a neutral, scalable peering infrastructure that assures a reliable stable internet connectivity which is a simpler option for faster connections between network, content and cloud providers. Many of the world’s major Internet Exchanges (IX) are established and operating in TELEHOUSE facilities worldwide. The TELEHOUSE Docklands campus is known as the home to the London Internet Exchange (LINX), the world largest internet exchange carrying a huge amount of European and global internet traffic. Across the waters, TELEHOUSE Paris Voltaire hosts multiple IXs including France IX, and TELEHOUSE America operates NYIIX in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. All are significant hub locations for the backbone of the global internet. Similarly, in Japan, TELEHOUSE Tokyo Otemachi collocates the largest IX in Japan, JPIX, enabling an ecosystem of


KDDI TELEHOUSE

providers that result in quicker, more stable connectivity to the average person on the street and in their homes. “One of our iconic campuses is London Docklands where we strategically established a carrier neutral data centre and the most connected data centre in the world,” said Kurita. “Throughout our whole 30 year journey we've focused on positioning ourselves to be a connectivity data centre provider, enabling an ecosystem that our customers can leverage to easily connect with each other, and then enjoy rich connectivity in our facilities.”

RYO KURITA TITLE: GENERAL MANAGER INDUSTRY: TELECOMMUNICATIONS LOCATION: CALIFORNIA Customer-focused and datadriven is how Ryo Kurita, General Manager of KDDI TELEHOUSE, describes his leadership strategy with the KDDI TELEHOUSE. Kurita started his career journey with KDDI 15 years ago working at their Japanese headquarters in Tokyo where he focused on the nonJapanese enterprise market including data centres, mobile phones and fixed network services. “I relocated to the San Francisco Bay area seven years ago with extended responsibility to lead the team that maintains the relationships with all major US global companies on a global scale,” he said.

Low latency and cost-effective connections With many of the world’s largest cloud providers already established in TELEHOUSE Data Centres, global businesses can benefit from these low latency and costeffective connections. The KDDI TELEHOUSE ecosystem also provides a platform for its customers to connect with more than 3,000 business partners in the TELEHOUSE ecosystem. The private network ensures accelerated access to applications hosted in

$48bn 40+

Global data centers in 10 countries, giving flexibility and scalability

190

Countries have global network coverage

EXECUTIVE BIO

in revenue for Japanese parent company, KDDI

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

“One of our iconic campuses is London Docklands where we strategically established the carrier neutral data centre and most connected data centre in the world” RYO KURITA

GENERAL MANAGER, KDDI TELEHOUSE

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

1989

TELEHOUSE data centre opens at the Teleport, New York, USA

1990

TELEHOUSE Docklands was established and became the home of the London Internet Exchange

1999

TelehouseVoltaire opens in Paris

2000

TELEHOUSE expands in Asia with Hong Kong

2012

TELEHOUSE expands further in Europe with a Frankfurt location

2017

TELEHOUSE launches its cloud connectivity service “TELEHOUSE Cloud Link”

2020

TELEHOUSE launches new fourth facilities in Frankfurt and fifth in Tama, Tokyo

2022

TELEHOUSE is expanding its iconic London Docklands campus, and will open TELEHOUSE South businesschief.asia

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

“I think that is a reason why our customers choose TELEHOUSE – to be able to provide a better user experience for their end users” RYO KURITA

GENERAL MANAGER, KDDI TELEHOUSE

public, private or hybrid clouds. Commenting on what the competitive edge is for KDDI TELEHOUSE, Kurita re-emphasised that “connectivity is our core strength. Customers can connect with all kinds of ISPs, carriers, contents providers and hyperscalers. Many people who use smartphones, or enjoy online services such as SMS gaming or streaming services, are all accessing cloud services – some without realising it,” he said. 186

April 2021

“Many people are accessing cloud services knowingly or unknowingly by using Apple or Google products to some degree. Being able to connect with those cloud and content providers, as well as carriers or ISPs in a faster and easier way is a critical component for all service providers who run their businesses over the internet. I think that is a reason why our customers choose TELEHOUSE – to be able to provide a better user experience for their end users,” he said. As one of the most widely connected ecosystems globally, TELEHOUSE Carrier Interconnect brings together more than


KDDI TELEHOUSE

750 connectivity partners – such as leading global Internet Exchanges and Tier 1 carriers – with all the major mobile, cloud and content providers as well as enterprises and financial services companies. Outlining the importance of partnerships with hyperscalers, Kurita said that from a data centre provider perspective, some of their data centres like London Docklands or Paris Voltaire were selected as AWS Direct Connect or Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute locations. “It is not only a data centre provider relationship, we also support these huge cloud businesses in multiple ways. For example

DID YOU KNOW...

POWER OF PARENT COMPANY: KDDI The parent company of TELEHOUSE is KDDI, a global fortune 300 Japanese telecom and system integration provider. Established in 1953, KDDI has been operating as a leading telecommunication provider in Japan for over 60 years serving more than 60 million users and providing its own successful brand of handsets. With about 45,000 employees worldwide, KDDI has more than 100 offices in 28 countries around the world, supporting clients locally. With a diverse portfolio of services, KDDI owns and operates a number of global subsidiaries to ensure their clients have access to the best performing end-to-end ICT infrastructure. KDDI’s offers a full-scale end-toend international network services to more than 190 countries. This enables customers with overseas subsidiaries to build full-mesh global networks by accessing KDDI’s Global network. KDDI maintains Network Operations Centers (NOC) in its TELEHOUSE sites to monitor the network infrastructure of customers to ensure their performance is uninterrupted.

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KDDI TELEHOUSE

“We help many enterprises adapt to make their business sustainable and efficient now and in the future” RYO KURITA

GENERAL MANAGER, KDDI TELEHOUSE

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with TELEHOUSE Cloud Link, we provide a platform for companies to access multiple cloud providers, including Google, AWS, and Microsoft. Another example is last year when we launched AWS Wavelength in Japan showing how KDDI TELEHOUSE can bring connectivity and cloud together. We have AWS Wavelength equipment located in our data centres right at the edge of our mobile network in Japan. This enables AWS users to develop and launch their applications at the edge of the network to leverage the ultra low latency and high bandwidth over our 5G network. These are just some examples of how we are going to strengthen such partnerships with these hyperscale cloud providers.” Always looking ahead KDDI TELEHOUSE leverages decades of experience in technology to anticipate


KDDI TELEHOUSE

where their customers will be tomorrow. Their Tokyo research and development engineers are investing in developing technologies that will be game-changers in our future. “We help many enterprises adapt to make their business sustainable and efficient now and in the future,” said Kurita. “One good example is in the IoT arena. Our IoT solution was adopted by some major automobile companies and our SIM cards are embedded into their automobiles on a global scale. For instance, KDDI has collaborated with Toyota Motor North America and AT&T who provide 4G LTE connectivity. It’s adding a feature of data communications to the legacy car function itself – our platform is helping those automobile companies to collect and analyse the behavior of how they drive. I think that is a very exciting business model shift.

open to this as long as it had synergy with their existing service portfolio. Looking ahead, Kurita outlined some of the main expansion plans for TELEHOUSE. “We’ll be launching our new Dockland campus, TELEHOUSE South in early 2022 which is just 300 meters from our existing London Docklands campus. A network of dark fiber cables will facilitate integration with the existing Dockland campus. This location enables customers to benefit from low latency

TELEHOUSE DOCKLANDS – WORLD’S MOST CONNECTED DATA CENTRE

DID YOU KNOW...

Strategic acquisitions On the subject of global acquisitions, Kurita said, not limited to the data centre business, but for KDDI as a whole, they were always

TELEHOUSE Docklands North became Europe's first purposebuilt neutral colocation facility when it opened in 1990 and is the most connected data centre in the world. London Internet Exchange (LINX) traffic has been moving through the carrier-neutral TELEHOUSE campus since 1994 due to the number of carriers present in the data centre and the level of latency. In August 2016, TELEHOUSE Europe added to the facility and opened a $177 million North Two data centre of 24,000 square metres which is the only UK data centre to own a 132 kV on-campus grid substation that is directly connected to the National Grid, reducing transmission losses and improving power density and service continuity. TELEHOUSE London North is listed as most populated data centre in EMEA by the data centre rankings working with more than 530 network carriers, ISPs and ASPs.

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“I predict that data centre demands are going to be on a more micro a level and spread around more locations with the combination of a shorter latency path” RYO KURITA

GENERAL MANAGER, KDDI TELEHOUSE

and access the highly connected environment and dense ecosystem. “We are also adding a couple of more megawatts capacity in Paris and Frankfurt as well and during the last year we also opened a large Tokyo data centre campus – what we call “Tama 5” – that gives us plenty of space to build even more data centre capacity in the future. “As a connectivity data centre provider we'll continue to expand our data centre portfolio on a global scale as well as enhancing our connectivity related services such as Cloud link and AWS Wavelength,” he said. Casting his thoughts to the future, Kurita said: “I think everybody agrees mobile edge computing is a buzz word in the data centre and the cloud industry at the moment because more real time edge transaction is needed by the nature of the business and cloud providers want to get closer to their end users to realise seamless transactions with any devices. “So more of the data needs to be processed locally and that may eventually require more data centre capacity even in tier two or tier three cities. That may also require more well established connectivity even in some emerging countries. I predict that data centre demands are going to be on a more micro level and be spread around more locations with the combination of a shorter latency path,” he said.

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LEADING THE WAY IN ASIA PACIFIC WRITTEN BY: HARRY MENEAR

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PRODUCED BY: LEWIS VAUGHAN


DIGITAL REALTY

Singapore (SIN12) Data Centre businesschief.asia

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Mark Fong, VP Sales of Digital Realty’s APAC and Japan divisions, talks sustainability, site selection, and the region-wide expansion of PlatformDIGITAL®

T

he APAC data centre industry is at a critical stage. Spurred by the pandemic and the transformative effects of ongoing, widespread digitalisation from Seoul to Singapore, the region’s data centre industry finds itself on a trajectory towards unprecedented growth. According to Structure Research, APAC is now the largest data centre market in the world in terms of colocation revenue – at US$24.1bn compared to USD $19.8bn for North America – and also the fastest growing with a 13.7% CAGR over the next 5 years. The pandemic has further accelerated this growth, pushing the region to the forefront of data centre development for the foreseeable future. This expansion of digital services is a necessary one, as the data generated across the digital economy grows exponentially. By 2025, Gartner forecasts that there will be more than 25bn active IoT endpoints around the world, generating as much as 79 zettabytes of data every year. “The huge influx of enterprise data can lead to difficulties in moving it. Barriers brought on by data gravity will cause unfavourable complexity when considering business locations and data proximity to users,” warns Mark Fong, VP Sales of Digital Realty’s APAC and Japan divisions. “It is important for businesses

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DIGITAL REALTY

By

2025 Gartner forecasts that there will be more than

25 billion

active IoT endpoints around the world, generating as much as

79 zettabytes of data every year

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“It is important for businesses to overcome data gravity barriers that accompany digital transformation amidst global expansion efforts” MARK FONG,

VP SALES, APAC AND JAPAN, DIGITAL REALTY

Hong Kong (HKG11) Data Centre

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to overcome data gravity barriers that accompany digital transformation amidst global expansion efforts.” At the same time, the need for sustainable practice is being felt more and more keenly in a region where green design has historically lagged behind regions like Europe and North America for years. The industry needs to change and grow simultaneously and, during tumultuous and uncertain times like these, the opportunities for a company with the ability to force the advantage are virtually limitless. For Fong, there’s only one company capable of capitalising on this opportunity. “We want Digital Realty to become the recognised data centre leader across


DIGITAL REALTY

Asia Pacific and the only global provider dedicated to the full customer spectrum from service providers to enterprises,” he says. “We are well on our way to achieving those goals as we continue to expand our presence in key markets in the region including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore and enter new countries like Korea.”

MARK FONG TITLE: VP SALES COMPANY: DIGITAL REALTY INDUSTRY: DATA CENTRES LOCATION: APAC AND JAPAN Mark brings over 23 years of experience in the technology industry, contributing in various capacities in direct sales, channel management and business development across Asia Pacific and Japan. In his current role as Regional Vice President of Digital Realty, Mark leads the company’s sales strategy and execution in Asia Pacific and Japan covering hyperscale, scale, enterprise colocation and interconnection customers. In addition, Mark is a core member of the leadership team responsible for Digital Realty's rapid expansion in the region. Prior to Digital Realty, Mark held regional leadership positions in both direct and channel capacities with top technology companies including Equinix, Oracle and Commvault.

EXECUTIVE BIO

A Year Like No Other The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the APAC data centre industry cannot be understated. Reflecting on the last 12 months, Fong notes that, “The pandemic has caused a permanent shift in how businesses consume services. The cloud

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OUR PARTNERS


DIGITAL REALTY

PARTNERING FOR SUCCESS: DIGITAL REALTY AND NEWARK ENGINEERING “Our strategic partners have played a critical role in supporting our business throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Our business relies on timely delivery of spares as a result of maintenance routines or break fix routines. Additionally, our construction program requires timely delivery of mechanical and electrical infrastructure. The pandemic has really highlighted how complex the supply chain and logistics systems are. With air freight severely impacted in early to mid2020, our partners worked with us to provide updates on how their business continuity efforts were rolling out in support of our ongoing requirements,” says Fong. “Newark Engineering has been one of our key partners since our first Singapore Data Centre (SIN10), they are also currently working with us to expand the partnership into our second Hong Kong facility (HKG11). “They are also the local distributors for a number of key pieces of cooling equipment.”

“We want Digital Realty to become the recognised data centre leader across Asia Pacific” MARK FONG,

VP SALES, APAC AND JAPAN, DIGITAL REALTY

has come to the fore and this will continue driving the demand for data centre providers like Digital Realty.” In response to these seismic shifts in customer demand, Fong has seen the APAC data centre industry go “from strength to strength”, emphasising that the pandemic “has fundamentally changed the way enterprises conduct business and how people generally consume services. Businesses are now prioritising their digital strategies and building long-term resilience.” businesschief.asia

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DIGITAL REALTY

“The pandemic has caused a permanent shift in how businesses consume services” MARK FONG,

VP SALES, APAC AND JAPAN, DIGITAL REALTY

As digital services have become akin to an essential utility like electricity or water, Fong notes that many organisations are learning (sometimes the hard way) that an all-in public or private cloud strategy isn’t the only way to go. “They inevitably end up with some sort of hybrid offering and this realisation has helped us in two main ways,” he explains, noting that, not only has the shift towards hybrid cloud in APAC led to a rising awareness of the ways in which an operator like Digital Realty can support its customers’ digital journeys, but also that the past year has seen an increased shift in demand away from the all-in public cloud model towards colocation services like those offered by Digital Realty. A Pan-APAC Expansion As demand and opportunity grow, Digital Realty is executing an expansion across APAC of historic proportions. The expansion involves spinning up new data centres in markets where Digital Realty already has an established presence, like Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Japan, as well as entering new markets like South Korea. “We’re excited to launch our third data centre in Singapore, Digital Loyang II (SIN12),” says Fong. “SIN12 will leverage PlatformDIGITAL® to enable global distributed workflows in the data centre to remove data gravity barriers and scale digital businesses.” 200

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Digital Loyang II ( SIN12) Our first retail colocation-enabled data centre in Singapore

Seoul (ICN10) Data Centre businesschief.asia

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The facility will bring another 50 MW of capacity to a market where the company already delivers 69.4 MW through its SIN10 (45 MW) and SIN11 (24.4 MW) facilities. “SIN12’s high power capacity will ensure more storage capability and host larger amounts of data. It also serves as a gateway for customers to strengthen their connection regionally and globally,” adds Fong. “We’re also expanding our customer reach covering both large scale as well as smaller enterprise customers through our product offerings.” In Hong Kong, Digital Realty is spinning up its second carrier-neutral data centre in the back half of 2021. Located in the urban area of Kwai Chung, HKG11 will deliver an additional 24 MW of critical IT capacity, right in the heart of Hong Kong’s rapidly developing data centre cluster. Also on the horizon is Digital Seoul 1, a 12 MW facility scheduled to start operating in Q4 of 2021. The project was announced at a virtual groundbreaking ceremony in June last year, and represents a vital first step into the South Korean market which, despite being one of the most digitally-developed markets in the world, has often proved a tough nut to crack for international firms. When selecting these sites, Fong explains that there are a number of factors that Digital Realty takes into account, from “land availability, access to power, domestic and international telecom services,” to “government stability and regulation, domestic adoption of hybrid cloud services, and international market interest.” It’s an interesting market to operate in, says Fong. “APAC is not a single country like the US or a union like the EU, and that poses unique challenges in having to account for vastly differing regulatory frameworks when doing business, as well as culturally different ways of buying and selling.” 202

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“Our strategic partners have played a critical role in supporting our business throughout the COVID-19 crisis” MARK FONG,

VP SALES, APAC AND JAPAN, DIGITAL REALTY


DIGITAL REALTY

Growing Green “The energy consumption of data centres has gained much attention in APAC due to the extent of their carbon emissions,” says Fong. “According to a major local telco in Singapore, almost 7% of the total energy used in the country comes from data centres. That is a significantly higher percentage than the 1-2% average you see in the rest of the world.” If APAC is to balance astronomical growth with sweeping sustainable change, its data centre operators need to think, build and run

Almost

7%

of the total energy used in Singapore comes from data centres compared to

green. Digital Realty’s approach to increasing its sustainability in APAC is firmly rooted in its efficiency commitments. Fong explains that the company is “Deploying better technologies to improve cooling, improving the energy utilisation of facilities and IT systems, and adopting ‘smart’ approaches and AI to identify where energy can be reduced.” He adds that, “We prioritise innovations in cooling efficiency because 35-40% of total energy consumed by data centres is used to run energy-intensive cooling equipment.” In Southeast Asia, more than 95% of data centres still use air-based cooling, a highly inefficient system from the days when facility management more or less boiled down to the mantra “keep it as cool as possible and don’t worry about the costs”. Fong explains that, for Digital Realty, “Liquid cooling technology is considered to be the preferred solution to effectively cool down heat-intensive CPUs and SSDs,” noting that modern liquid cooling systems “can reduce power consumption by 20-30% and water usage by up to 50%.” The Road Ahead The coming year will be one of simultaneous, sustained growth and expansion for Digital Realty in APAC, as new data centres open across the region, leading to new opportunities for stakeholders, partners and customers alike. Looking to the months ahead, Fong and his team have lofty ambitions, and every intention of achieving them. “We aim to propel Digital Realty to become the recognised data centre leader across APAC,” he says. “We’re also aiming to seamlessly execute our expansion efforts in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, as well as opening our first facility in South Korea.”

1-2% in the rest of the world businesschief.asia

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J - TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

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DRIVING

GROWTH

IN ASIA

Process know-how, open control systems and independence from suppliers is leveraging business growth for J-Tec Material Handling in South-East Asia

WRITTEN BY: JANET BRICE PRODUCED BY: THOMAS LIVERMORE

O

pen control systems, an independent approach to suppliers and the skill to design tailor-made solutions is helping J-Tec Material Handling leverage its growth throughout South-East Asia. Just three years after the Belgium-owned company - a wholly-owned business unit of its parent company Katoen Natie - put down roots in Rayong, Thailand they are driving growth across SEA as a process engineering partner to clients in the food and chemical industry. “Part of our business plan focused on the possible synergies with Katoen Natie who have been in Thailand (and Asia) for more than 20 years,” said Arnaud Nelissen Grade, Sales Director Asia at J-Tec Material Handling. “Aligning ourselves with Katoen Natie allows us to share resources like IT and HR more efficiently. But more importantly, it has resulted in a closer cooperation between the existing business units here which now makes our group quite unique in the region in terms of what we can offer to our clients. businesschief.asia

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J - TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

“In terms of growth we just got started, but we've already exceeded most company targets and expectations that we set up three years ago.” ARNAUD NELISSEN GRADE SALES DIRECTOR ASIA, J-TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

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“We were also attracted to Thailand because it is a big market with a lot of investments going on in the food and the chemical industry. On top of that, J-Tec previously had some success with significant projects in Thailand - so we felt that we could easily build on those to gain momentum.” For more than five decades, J-Tec has focused on its customer-centric approach and has retained its competitive edge in handling solids and liquids due to the fact it is totally supplier independent and offers clients open control systems moving away from the more standardised approach of most of their competitors. “This means we can guarantee a customised solution for every challenge,”


J - TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

ARNAUD NELISSEN GRADE TITLE: SALES DIRECTOR COMPANY: J-TEC MATERIAL HANDLING LOCATION: ASIA

said Nelissen Grade who bridges the gap between Europe and Asia as he spearheads the rapid growth in the region. Speaking from J-Tec’s Asian headquarters in Rayong, he said: “We don’t offer a onesize-fits-all approach; instead we listen to the client and use our in-house knowledge and tools to develop a tailored solution for their project. “J-Tec acts as a partner during the complete process: from the conceptual design, on through detailed engineering, procurement and manufacturing, up until installation and commissioning, and if required training and maintenance.” He pointed out the open control systems mean clients are not ‘handcuffed’ to J-Tec

EXECUTIVE BIO

INDUSTRY: INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION Arnaud holds a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering from GroupT Leuven Engineering School. Graduating in 2009, he spent most of his career abroad, mostly in China for Jan De Nul and in Rotterdam for Fabricom, working in various project and construction engineering roles. After earning a Postgraduate Degree in Business Administration, he joined J-Tec in late 2014 where he immediately contributed to J-Tec’s success as a Sales Engineer. In 2016, he moved to Thailand to spearhead J-Tec’s business development in SEA. Since then, he has devoted his time to putting J-Tec on the Asian map, taking the lead in Sales, HR and Strategy, establishing J-Tec Material Handling Ltd. as the regional HQ and focusing on building a sustainable foundation for J-Tec’s growth in the future.


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J - TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

“We have all the experience and all the competencies in-house at J-Tec but we just need to keep working on how to effectively apply this in Asia without really rushing it.” ARNAUD NELISSEN GRADE SALES DIRECTOR ASIA, J-TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

if they want to extend the factory or system in the future. “Instead, we believe in delivering quality and that keeping this promise means J-Tec will hopefully be involved again in the future” he said. Supplier independent Independence from suppliers is one of J-Tec’s key differentiators. “If we look back 50 years, J-Tec started as a representative of certain brands of component manufacturers. Over the years the projects became more complex and we evolved towards an engineering company,” commented Nelissen Grade. “We knew our competitors and at that time, we made a very clear decision to start designing our own systems and become completely supplier independent in order to offer that additional flexibility. “Today, in contrast with many of our competitors, we don't produce our own equipment. Most of the equipment in our systems are purchased from third parties, OEM for standard equipment and independent manufacturers for custommade equipment that we design ourselves, but is then manufactured by these third parties. “The way we make a difference is by leveraging this strategy. We always focus on finding the real optimal process design for

any given application, which will then define which original equipment manufacturer (OEM) equipment we will source and where to source it. If it doesn't exist or if it needs to be custom made, we will design it and have it fabricated, typically in the region where the project is located.”

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Arnaud NelisseN Grade talks J-Tec Material Handling

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J-Tec is a company member of EHEDG The European hygienic engineering & design group. “We are involved in several relevant associations related to our industry, the most important one being EHEDG. J-Tec is an active, contributing member of EHEDG and has been assisting in the development of the industry standards with regards to hygienic design for Dry Material Handling for more than 10 years now. Such collaborations help us stay up-to-date and highly relevant in what we do.”

1970

J-Tec Material Handling was founded in 1970.

140+

Number of employees

€50+mn Company revenue

Three-dimensional experience One way in which J-Tec is turning to technology to give them a competitive edge is offering customers a virtual tour of a proposed factory development. “By using the power of Virtual Reality (VR) we are able to elevate a factory design from a flat plan to a three dimensional experience,” said Nelissen Grade. “It enables us to show the customer and let them discover their future factory before it's even built which also helps us in the design of our systems. If our engineers and our customers can walk around a realistic 3D representation of the plant, we can discover potential problems, find alternative solutions and adjust the design much faster and more efficiently which benefits both J-Tec and its customers. “A small thing like being able to visualise their factory also adds an element of wonder for the customer,” he said. Commenting on J-Tec’s digital transformation to Industry 4.0, Nelissen Grade said: “Like many companies, we have an Industry “4.0” plan that is being rolled out to improve and expand our services during and after projects. “We are developing several technologies involving the use of big data related to the businesschief.asia

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systems we build. This can, in turn, lead to remote monitoring of certain metrics and KPIs, preventive maintenance and the further expansion of our internal know-how on how to design the best possible systems with optimal performance using realistic process simulations. “Furthermore, we have accelerated our remote assistance program, finding ways to support our global customers without needing to be physically present, for example using AR, which has become highly relevant due to the pandemic.” Future technology trends “For our industry specifically, we do believe and invest in big data and remote assistance and see this as a trend across several industries,” said Nelissen Grade. “Also, hygienic design, contamination prevention… are big trends and we are continuously developing solutions for our clients in this regard, particularly in infant nutrition. “Lastly, automation is gaining momentum even in countries with a lower labour cost. Automation has many advantages such as a higher efficiency and accuracy, improved working conditions… but especially in these COVID times, it limits the required manpower needed in factories and prevents The company's contamination to a large extent.” headquaters are located in Antwerp, Nelissen Grade helped Belgium spearhead the original business plan on the value of J-Tec moving into the Asia market. Locations worldwide “The ultimate goal was to set up an entity in Thailand that acts as a regional headquarters. We will Year regional take the lead from here for our headquarters in Rayong, further expansion in the region. In Thailand openned

HQ

8

2018

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“This means we can guarantee a customised solution for every challenge,” said Arnaud Nelissen Grade, Sales Director Asia at J-Tec Material Handling, who bridges the gap between Europe and Asia as he spearheads the growth in the region.” ARNAUD NELISSEN GRADE

SALES DIRECTOR ASIA, J-TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

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4 ADVANTAGES OF J-TEC’S OPEN CONTROL SYSTEMS

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-Tec’s open control systems is just one of the key differentiators setting them apart from most of their competitors. Nelissen Grade explains the main reasons why this gives the company such an advantage. “The first is flexibility - which is something we're proud of because we are independent. We are flexible in selecting equipment and in the same way, we want to make sure that that flexibility is translated into the control system. More often than not, our main competitors have more standardized control systems that are not very flexible, based on their own equipment. J-Tec is different in that we also have limited standards that guide us, but every system is completely custom made based on specific needs of the project. This results in a more lean control system with smaller and cheaper hardware. “Number two is that our systems are “open”. We are not like some of our competitors who design “black box” type systems which means the client needs their intervention if they want to expand. We had an example of this when one of our key accounts in Indonesia actually contacted us. They wanted us to do an expansion to their factory, but in the end, they were forced to go back to the previous supplier because the control system was locked which would be very costly to change. Instead, we offer open and transparent control systems using building blocks that are then ‘assembled’ based on the process design. The blocks themselves may be protected, but the program itself is open-source and can be accessed by our clients directly. “Number three is the fact that our independence from suppliers means that we work with a large variety of different

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suppliers from all over the world. As a result, our experts have gained quite a significant understanding of how to control the variety of equipment. They often have a better understanding of how to control certain equipment as part of a broader system than the actual manufacturer of that equipment. This means that they can correctly use the specific characteristics of each equipment to optimise the performance through automation. And since these programmers are actually involved during commissioning on site, this greatly improves the efficiency, expedites commissioning and avoids all the hassle of finding bugs that would happen when using third-party programmers.” “Finally, we are able to design a fully comprehensive control system involving all aspects of the production line, even for equipment that normally comes with its own control software. We can use our experience and know-how in using many different systems to program software for that equipment and integrate this in a single control system. As an example, whether the extruder itself is part of our scope or not, we can integrate it in a single SCADA system, avoiding the need for communication between various control systems from various suppliers.” “In the same way Steve jobs did with Apple - controlling the product design from end to end: hardware and software - we are doing exactly the same with our control systems.” “All these things means that we are very good at designing and offering control systems that are lean and simple - a single control system for the entire process, regardless of whether the equipment in that process is supplied by J-Tec or not.


J - TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

terms of growth we just got started, but we've already exceeded most company targets and expectations that we set up three years ago. “One of the targets we had was to grow a local team to perform key client-oriented activities like Sales and Project Management more locally. And so we grew from a fulltime equivalent of two to about 13 people permanently based in the office in Thailand in just three years. We are still actively hiring but with the mindset that we have only got started, so we are slowly building the foundation of a durable business. “We have all the experience and all the competencies in-house at J-Tec but we just need to keep working on how to effectively apply that experience and competencies in Asia without really rushing it. There's no point coming to Asia just to be in Asia, we need to do it right. That is what we are focusing on right now.”

“When it comes to highly advanced packaging systems, we have worked with Statec Binder on various occasions. They share a lot of our values such as high quality and an impeccable service.” ARNAUD NELISSEN GRADE

SALES DIRECTOR ASIA, J-TEC MATERIAL HANDLING businesschief.asia

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Partnership with Statec Binder Although we don’t have fixed partnership agreements with any supplier – one of our core strategies – we do have a list of preferred OEM that we tend to work with. This follows a rigorous supplier selection process to make sure that our approved suppliers can support us and our customers in the best possible way.

“In the same way Steve jobs did with Apple - controlling the product design from end to end: hardware and software - we are doing exactly the same with our control systems.” ARNAUD NELISSEN GRADE

SALES DIRECTOR ASIA, J-TEC MATERIAL HANDLING

One of J-Tec’s preferred suppliers is Statec Binder who offer high-performance packaging systems for open-mouth bags, FFS machines and related palletising and bagging systems used in a wide variety of industries for packing different products worldwide. “When it comes to highly advanced packaging systems, we have worked with Statec Binder on various occasions worldwide. They share a lot of our values such as an impeccable service and a high quality and performance level. I hope that the global partnership can continue for many years to come.

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UNIT 4

DRIVING THE PEOPLE EXPERIENCE WRITTEN BY: LAURA V. GARCIA PRODUCED BY: BEN MALTBY

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Unit4 PSA Smart Cloud Collaboration platform for better workflow, faster decision making, and an agile workforce empowered to focus on what matters

U

Manav Singh General Manager and Scaleup Leader

nit4 PSA’s ecosystem of powerful teams and partnerships are perfectly aligned to make for an exceptional people experience that drives customer success for Professional Services, so you can offer a better way to work that makes for a better place to work. From Magneto quotes to the value of authenticity, speaking to Manav Singh, General Manager and Scaleup Leader for Unit4 PSA, is anything but boring. The man has an intense passion for what he does, and it’s apparent from the moment you meet him and is reflected in everything he does. It’s what fuses and fuels Professional Services Automation (PSA), bringing their people and their partners together, empowered and focused on a collective goal, a cohesive ecosystem designed to optimise success. Built on Microsoft's Power Platform, Unit4 PSA focuses on the operation front end of professional practices, enabling them to optimize operations, innovate business models and win more business. The secret to Unit4 PSA’s success is that Singh himself remains married to a winning framework rooted in the belief in his people and the strategic alignment of business partners. It’s old-school thoughts done in a new age way, with heart, passion, and conviction. And his customers are better for it. businesschief.asia

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MANAV SINGH TITLE: GENERAL MANAGER AND SCALEUP LEADER INDUSTRY: SOFTWARE LOCATION: NETHERLANDS I am a scale-up leader embarked on a current mission to create a globally leading business, enabling professional organizations to optimize their project and peopledriven business by delivering a leading practice management suite to support the end-to-end process from opportunities to cash. I am energized to bring an innovative technology to market enabling professional services organization to execute their business flawlessly.

EXECUTIVE BIO

“Bring me your unfiltered self because you cannot unleash your true self or your true potential if you’re expending your energies on hiding your innate inner traits” MANAV SINGH

GENERAL MANAGER AND SCALEUP LEADER, UNIT4 PSA


UNIT 4

UNIT 4 | Know Your Customer

Redefining PSA to help practices Pivot, Strengthen, and Amplify To achieve operational excellence, you must address the following four key areas: Executing profitable projects, optimising resource utilisation, billing with precision, and winning more business. Unit4 PSA gets you there, despite our ever-changing world. Practices built for the future create an environment that allows their people to focus on what matters most – delivering customer value. By leveraging technology, companies can remove non-valueadd administrative tasks and streamline workflows, and empower their people, providing all the information employees need to be successful at their fingertips. Remote-work and a global pandemic pose epic challenges, but Singh and his “team of teams” are up to the task. Engineered for flawless execution and customer success, Singh sticks to old principles, but like vinyl records, and hipster

trends, he has made the old new again by understanding and leveraging their true value. A unified platform focused on optimising front-end operations with automated setups, seamless data flow and integrations, and built-in intelligence ensures that practices are focused on delivering value to customers timely and profitably. With a clear view of current operations, practices plan for the future by making sure they have the right resources and strategic customers. All this within a simplified IT landscape. Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Power platform, Unit4’s PSA Practice Management is a full end-to-end solution built for professional services to standardise work, from sales, automation to onboarding your customer, project management, expenses, invoicing, financial transactions, and human competence management. Singh explains, “We help practices manage their end-to-end process from the businesschief.asia

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point an opportunity presents itself until the point that they invoice the end customer. We cover everything from managing an opportunity, creating projects, staffing people, measuring utilisation, booking time, managing expenses, approvals, and so forth, all the way until invoicing the end customer. “All of that in a single solution that is built on Microsoft technology which has its own advantage of making sure that we don't have any legacy technology. Being ERP independent 224

April 2021

also has the added benefit of delivering faster time to value. That is, essentially, what we offer. But, in actuality, we’re in the business of pivot, strengthen, and amplify. We help your business pivot. We will strengthen what you already have, and we will help you amplify your business as you've never seen before.” Team of Teams “The magic is in the combination of a clear goal, energised and empowered people,


UNIT 4

SOFTWARE Industry

20

We operate in 20 countries

Tailor-made

For Accountancies, Consultancies, IT services and Engineering practices

GLOBAL PARTNER NETWORK

and creating a safe space where it's okay to make mistakes. I think that’s what fuels a productive and effective organisation. And from there, you amplify and scale,” says Singh. “When it comes to decision-making, a traditional team gums itself up, creating a choke point. And at the pace at which the world moves today, what you need is a ‘team of teams’, a segregated autonomous unit. You give these teams the autonomy

to make decisions and execute on visions. If you do that right, then the only factor you need to bind these teams together is a common goal.” Unit4 PSA enables practices to realise the power of this construct. With its Smart Cloud Collaboration, Unit4 PSA delivers a single solution leveraging Microsoft Power Platform with seamless integration to O365, Power BI and Azure toolsets – making information and intelligence available to all fringes of a practice and empowering individuals to make the right decisions at the right time. As Singh says, “There needs to be a common-sense of consciousness. Everyone needs to understand what the aim is so that day-to-day, they can make the right decisions and ultimately get you to your goal. This engrains a sense of agility, and an ability to pivot and react to changing conditions dynamically, and delivering a resilience that a traditional way of working does not give you.” ITK: In The Know Solutions Group With customer in over 20 countries, Unit4 PSA's success is supported with a robust ecosystem of strategic global partners. ITK stands as a shining example of the close collaborations that make up Unit4’s rich global partner ecosystem. “Our partners are very important to us, and ITK is a great example of a very successful partnership that we highly value. They are very true to their name and bring a bounty of industry practice that make them not just a technology partner but a trusted advisor. That’s really where their experience shines. “We have a very close collaboration with our partners, ITK being one of our key ones, and we are always on the same page in terms of how we are addressing the market, what can we do for them, and how we can make them more successful. businesschief.asia

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UNIT 4

“So that relationship really works very, very closely. The interesting thing is that all our partners are not just software partners; they’re users. ITK is an IP services firm, and they use PSA to manage their practice. So they’re not only advocates for us but can showcase the value that PSA brings. They can speak to some of the challenges that they faced and how we helped them to manoeuvre them.” When it comes to selecting partners and ensuring mutually beneficial relationships, Singh prefers quality over quantity. “Otherwise, you spread yourself out too thin, and you’re able to provide them with the right level of focus and attention that they need, and it really doesn’t help you to mutually grow. So our philosophy is to focus on the right partners. “This means that we're going to have fewer partners, but the partners that we

“We’re in the business of pivot, strengthen, and amplify. We help your business pivot. We will strengthen what you already have, and we will help you amplify your business as you've never seen before” MANAV SINGH

GENERAL MANAGER AND SCALEUP LEADER, UNIT4 PSA

are going to have will be equally invested in our vision as we are. This allows us to throw all of our weight behind those select partners and make sure they are successful, and together, we’ll drive market penetration and make them the face of the region. “You have 120% of our support, and we will make you successful. In return, all we ask is that you be as equally invested as we businesschief.asia

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are in delivering on the vision we have for the business and the product.” It’s a nice, intimate circle of partners, backed by the right people, empowered for success. Hunger. Persistence. Authenticity. Unit4 PSA has created a team that is passionate and aligned towards a common goal – enabling next-generation practices to thrive in the new business reality. But it’s not done yet. Unit4 holds fast to the belief that improvements are never done, and business should never remain static and continues to move at the speed in which today’s challenging business environment requires. The other key component of a successful “team of teams” is ensuring they consist of the right people with an alignment on personal goals and expectations.

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“For me, the strongest relationships are built when people want to collaborate with you rather than need to collaborate with you. Being open, honest, and genuine have always been key pillars for me to achieve this” MANAV SINGH

GENERAL MANAGER AND SCALEUP LEADER, UNIT4 PSA


UNIT 4

In order to clearly communicate goals, Singh says his construct consists of three areas, “First, I give them a crystal clear picture of what we want the end state of the business to be. How big do we want to grow? What regions do we want to capture? What customers do we want to target? And how are we going to get them?” All components of a standard business plan, Singh points out, but the difference is in the clarity and execution. With an unrelenting focus on the end goal, and teams of teams all pointing towards the bullseye, Singh then sets a schedule, prioritises, and measures the efficacy of solutions. Those that are considered to be

successful are amplified. Those that aren’t are scrapped before moving on to the next idea. It’s a systematic, quantified process that allows them to arrive at the best possible solution— A perhaps simple yet powerful concept that optimises outcomes. “I want them to be hungry and to do things because they want to do them, not because I told them to. So, let’s mutually agree on what’s important for you and for the company, and let’s consider that the floor because there is no ceiling. “The second thing I ask for is persistence. Nobody comes to work to fail. Nobody will drive to their office and say, you know what, today I'm going to do a poor job and businesschief.asia

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aim to fail at what I do. However, things will rarely work out the way you want them to. There will always be problems, either you don't have the right people, or you don't have the right budget, or you have a global pandemic. There are a gazillion things that could happen. You have to keep persisting and not let the challenges bog you down.” “If you're using half your concentration to look normal, then you're only half paying attention to whatever else you're doing.” — Erik Lehnsherr 230

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“I’ll show up a hundred per cent, and I want you to show up a hundred per cent with me” MANAV SINGH

GENERAL MANAGER AND SCALEUP LEADER, UNIT4 PSA


UNIT 4

Cringing at the analogy, Singh references a quote from Erik Lehnsherr, otherwise known as Magneto, from the X-Men comics. Despite its perceived “cringyness”, however, it’s perfectly apropos to his thoughts on the importance of authenticity. “The third thing I ask from an individual is for them to be genuine. Bring me your unfiltered self because you cannot unleash your true self or your true potential if you’re expending your energies on hiding your innate inner traits. I’ll show up a

hundred per cent, and I want you to show up a hundred per cent with me,” Singh says. “The world is not static. It’s dynamic, and as things change, you must be able to pivot. To avoid becoming extinct, your business must evolve at pace with the changes. You must redesign your business models to meet the challenges of the day, that’s what teams of teams is for, and that’s what Unit4 PSA is for.”

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