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The Value of Mobile in the Digital Age

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s we enter into the final month of 2020,

Elsewhere, we discover what it means to be

we speak to the likes of Andy Gladwin,

a digital brand in today’s world, as well as the

Head of Mobile at Cheetah Digital, on the

ways in which companies can drive the most

importance of mobile technology in a digital

value out of their digital brand strategy in our

transformation strategy; Iron Mountain Data

roundtable discussions with McKinsey, Toluna

Centers’ (IMDC) Alex Sharp & Eric Boonstra

and Ebiquity. While Vikas Butaney, Vice

on the company’s services, ambitions, and

President and General Manager of Cisco

why sustainability is at the heart of its oper­

IoT, explains how companies can get the

ations; and Zoran Vasiljev, CEO at Centili,

most out of IoT; and Ray Joyce and Steve Gill

on why MPaaS (monetisation platform as a

HR Services at EY discuss the rise of human

service) could be a decade-defining trend

and AI collaboration in HR operations.

in digital monetisation.

“One major trend that is being shown at the

Other leaders that feature include, Ntyatyi

present time is to provide HR and, in turn,

Petros, Head of Group Stakeholder Relations

organ­isations with greater insight to their

at Absa Group, who discusses the fund­

data,” notes Joyce.

amentals of stakeholder engagement and

Finally to end the year, our December Top 10

how the process is evolving as a result of

ranks - by year - its top mergers and

technology innovation. While Fuad Chapra,

acquisitions made by companies in the

Head of Family Business, KPMG (Saudi

EMEA region over the last two decades.

Arabia) provides his expert insight on

Do you have a story to share? If you would

investment management benefits and trends. “Similar to other industries, technology has become increasingly important to enhance customer experience [...] Blockchain could save investment managers approximately US$2.7bn through the use of distributed market infrastructure,” says Chapra.

like to be featured in an upcoming issue of Business Chief EMEA, please get in touch at georgia.wilson@bizclikmedia.com

Enjoy the read! Georgia Wilson b u s in e s s c hie f. e u


Between hope and possible there’s a bridge.

There from the beginning to where we stand today. And to where we will go from here. One company. One promise. If you can imagine it, we will build the bridge to get you there.



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Kayleigh Shooter Andy Stubbings Eve Howat Daisy Slater

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Jordan Hubbard

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Karl Green Thomas Livermore James Richardson Michael Banyard Jake Megeary Kris Palmer b u s in e s s c hie f. e u


12 Cheetah Digital: The Value of Mobile in the Digital Age



38 What Does it Mean to be a Digital Brand?

70 82 58

Mergers and Acquisitions of the Last Two Decades





128 JTI

146 PWC

164 Liberty Global

180 9mobile

214 BKW AG





272 242 Endava

256 KWS Group

O2 Czech Republic


316 IMI Critical Engineering


300 Bayer

346 Cap DC

334 Kensington Mortgages

360 Iron Mountain

376 Vodafone Ghana

390 Pestana Hotel Group

406 Waygate Technologies




TSP Engineering

450 Special Investigating Unit

460 American University of Beirut Medical Center


Cheetah Digital: The Value of Mobile in the Digital Age WRITTEN BY





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Andy Gladwin, Head of Mobile at Cheetah Digital, discusses the importance of mobile technology in a digital transformation strategy


s digital consumers’ needs have evolved, all-too-many brands’ approach to them have not kept pace. Modern consumers

enjoy almost blanket 4G coverage, but the digital experiences they receive is oftentimes akin to dial-up. Better data sets and more sophisticated 14

targeting has not necessarily led to better advertis­ ing, experiences or content. Graduating from the University of St. Andrews in 2005, Andy Gladwin, Head of Mobile GTM at Cheetah Digital began his career in mobile technol­ ogy by joining Ericsson on the graduate scheme where he worked his way up to Head of Commercial for their SMS business unit (Ericsson IPX) which became part of Netsize. In 2013, Gladwin moved onto hold leadership roles at ExactTarget which was acquired by Salesforce, CLX Communications and his most recent tenure was as Vice President lead­ ing sales of Vodafone’s global SMS business, where he attended Vodafone’s executive leadership talent programme ‘Inspire”. It was a reunion over a coffee in London with his former leader Sameer Kazi from ExactTarget that DECEMBER 2020


busi ne ssch ief . eu


Managing Mobile Moments in an Omnichannel World. CLICK TO WATCH



16 set the compelling path to join Cheetah

find an enterprise that doesn’t want

Digital. “I realised that this wasn’t just

to engage with their customers in the

a coffee, but an opportunity, one that I

most frictionless manner possible. Part

couldn’t really refuse. The opportunity

of working out what makes the engage­

was to go and work within a visionary

ment frictionless is identifying where

company that is set to disrupt the digital

the customers exchange information

marketing landscape and shape the

and communicate. This is mobile.”

Mobile contribution to this strategy.”

These are the thoughts of Andy Gladwin,

Eight out of 10 digital minutes reside

Head of Mobile at Cheetah Digital.

on the mobile phone, with consumers

“To convolute the issue we live in

picking up their device on average 96

an omni-channel world. Consumers

times a day. It’s clear that a fully-fledged

interact with an average of 6 digital

mobile strategy is no longer a nice to

touchpoints when engaging with a

have, but the cornerstone of any digital

brand. Whether that be content on

transformation. “You are not going to

social media, payment through wallet,


“Mobile sits at the heart of digital transformation. Eight out of 10 digital minutes reside on the mobile phone” — Andy Gladwin, Head of Mobile at Cheetah Digital

preference insights and behavioural data to no longer infer, but anticipate what its customers are likely to do

news from SMS, or offers via email to

next. Then they can use this data to

name but a few. Principally however,

power more-personalised, and criti­

all these touchpoints can be directly

cally, frictionless engagement across

accessed through mobile. And the

all touchpoints. It helped of course that

upside to this is brands can gather vast

SMS, as well as browser, email, apps,

amounts of consumer data, opt-ins,

social and wallet are available on the 17


Andy Gladwin Title: Head of Mobile

Company: Cheetah Digital

Industry: Computer Software

Location: United Kingdom

Approaching 15 years experience across the mobile messaging market, Andy Gladwin is a thought leader in mobile channel communications. He has been an active participant within industry bodies and worked at different levels of the mobile value chain most recently as a VP within Vodafone’s global messaging division. Today he resides in the UK, where he is the go to market leader for Cheetah Digital’s Global Mobile service offering.

busi ne ssch ief . eu


vast majority of mobiles. What’s clear

report that they have only a few of

is that mobile should be the nucleus

their marketing channels connected.

of any digital communication strategy.”

Each and every vertical is undergoing rapid digital transformations, however



thinking brands have headaches

Naturally in any modern enterprise

managing brands and data sources in

there are a plethora of institutional

different territories, time zones, and

challenges that make a mobile-first

languages. Data silos are an unfortu­

strategy somewhat difficult to realise.

nate inevitability.”

even the most modern and forward-

In the data economy, it’s not uncom­

When it comes to software, Gladwin

mon to hear marketers complaining

explains that over his many years work­

about how they have too much data

ing in mobile he has come to realise

to analyse. “53% of organizations

that centralisation is key. “Modern


Thinking Caps | Andy Gladwin on Messaging Apps, RCS, and if SMS is Even Relevant Anymore CLICK TO WATCH








the customer in a unified, single view, which is necessary to fully understand each customer and provide them with a truly-personalized experience. The opportunity to wow the customer is lost forever.” Explaining some of the benefits of this approach, Gladwin says, “having a centralised, single source of truth of the customer serves as a complete, up-to-

enterprises are awash with data, but it’s

date record and empowers marketers

fragmented from all manner of sources

to build lasting and more meaningful

and siloed in disparate systems which

relationships with customers through

are not integrated, nor were designed

accurate, timely, and trustworthy data.

to be. Marketers have no way of seeing

The closer marketers can get to the busi ne ssch ief . eu



utopia of a golden record, the more

mobile app before you choose to send

likely they are to interact with custom­

an email. This helps to assure that those

ers through preferred channels with

things correlate to have the right level

preferred messages. Done fittingly, as

of relevance and value, as well as drive

customer preferences and/or transac­

a single voice.”

tion history change, the record changes with it. Going a step further, Gladwin further

At Cheetah Digital, the company takes the data insights and processes these within its Engagement Data Platform

highlights that a centralised approach

(an evolution of a CDP). “On a software

enables enterprises to engage with

level, it’s from here that enterprises

customers in a personalized, meaning­

are able to securely manage that data

ful way. “Anticipating customer behavior

from any source and in real-time with

through insight enables you to keep

other digital channels. We can also

ahead of the competition by delivering

apply machine learning to optimise

the right experiences at the precise

send times, as well as building pro­

moment a customer engages. You can

pensity models that look at feedback

see what was the last activity and what

loops and other insights to determine

their behaviors have been within the

the likelihood of a customer following


through with an associated call to action. According to McKinsey, there is a 10 to 20% incremental boost in conversion rates and customer lifetime value when coordinating messages across chan­ nels,” comments Gladwin. “Marketers and their customers deserve better. With the Cheetah Digital EDP, as consumers engage in mobile apps, wallet, email, social media

“You are not going to find an enterprise that doesn’t want to engage with their customers in the most frictionless manner possible” — Andy Gladwin, Head of Mobile at Cheetah Digital

platforms, chat applications, and other touchpoints, this data is ingested in realtime and can be acted on immediately.” 21

POWERING PERSONALISATION WITH THE RIGHT DATA The converging forces of privacy legislation sweeping the globe, and consumers that are ever-more cog­ nizant of privacy preserving tools, means that they are likely to only con­ tinue doing business with the brands that they trust and who tailor cam­ paigns to them. Expanding on powering person­ alisation from the right of data, that’s gathered compliantly, Gladwin breaks down the best approach. “The future of marketing to individuals with rel­ evance is about asking them about busi ne ssch ief . eu


“Above all the most important decision maker in channel choice is that of the customer and every enterprise should actively seek preferences and correspond with their communications accordingly” — Andy Gladwin, Head of Mobile at Cheetah Digital 22 their interests, motivations and desires, rather than inferring or snooping on them. This is zero-party data. Forrester describes it as a class of data that is intentionally and proactively shared by the customer.” “Unfortunately it’s not merely a case of building it and they will come. Digital consumers expect to be entertained, engaged, and receive something in return for their attention and personal data. At Cheetah Digital, we have a solution – Cheetah Experiences – which enables our customers to create interactive marketing campaigns that engage with customers and collects DECEMBER 2020

first-party data, complemented by a raft of preference and behavioural data that customers volunteer – the key is offer­ ing a tangible value exchange.” Gladwin continues, “and it doesn’t need to be a red-letter prize, things like coupons, competitions, social kudos, or exclusive content drive value in return for data.” When it comes to the role of mobile in the acquisition of data, Gladwin explains that there are three parts. “The first is

again ensuring that the organisation is

to leverage the immediacy of mobile

present on the relevant and preferred

channels to enable enterprises to

channels of their customers to provide

become scientific with their send time

access. Part two is harnessing tools

and resultantly maximise conversion

such as the haptics of the mobile device

by delivering the right message during

to drive a value exchange that is inter­

the moments of relevance. With a native

active and engaging. This could be to

capability on every handset, SMS is

use scratch screens to reveal a promo­

an effective vehicle to address a large

tion or to gain customers insights as

audience and engage with immediacy.

they swipe left or right to register their

90% of messages are read within 90

preferences or interests. Part three is

seconds and unlike some alternative


busi ne ssch ief . eu


younger channels the technology is not a barrier, where there is the same level of familiarity to a 17 year old as a 70 year old.” In addition to data acquisition, mobile technology can also offer it’s own addi­ tional behavioural and contextual data insights to drive personalisation. By observing frequency and recency data from an app, enterprises can ensure that they are addressing customer needs in line with their interactivity and associated customer lifecycle 24

placement. Location is another asset

on the metrics that move the needle,

that can trigger contextual real time

not just those that look good on paper.”

engagement as consumers enter or

When it comes to the importance

exit a geo-fence or taking it to a macro

of its people, Gladwin explains that

level, it could enable a retailer to review

at Cheetah Digital the company has

environmental conditions and promote

an in house services organisation to

raincoats to one customer and swim­

provide its customers with support

wear to another based on the weather

and account management services

at the time of send.”

– which is something that Gladwin believes distinguishes the company


from its competition. “Our in house ser­

Cheetah Digital is an organisation

vices organisation have a very intimate

rooted in driving business outcomes.

understanding – not only of the client

To realise that it’s imperative to have

– but with our technology. This native

people lasered on business goals

expertise enables them to not only

rather than vanity metrics. “Whatever

consistently drive and deliver results

vertical you’re in, you need to focus

through implementation and design,


where engagement has moved from transactional to conversational gives brands more of an opportunity to engage, listen and influence customer behaviour. For too long marketing has been a decidedly one-way affair, with brands seeking to push their message louder and further into more intimate contacts. However it’s not better marketing, just better targeting. Using mobile to engage in true two-way com­ munications with consumers through legacy and emerging channels will be but also to enhance performance and

the next significant paradigm shift.”

ultimately revenue and profitability for track the right metrics, convert these


into tangibles like revenue and prove

The relationship between consumers

ROI. Through perpetually testing and

and enterprises is moving from physi­

enhancing the use of mobile channels

cal to digital at such velocius pace

we can optimise these numbers.”

and to be effective managing mobile

our clients. We’re here to identify and

Looking at the mobile industry

channels and customer moments are

as a whole, Gladwin believes there

critical for driving engagement. This

are several major shifts emerging

has never been as important as it has

for mobile technology. “Devices

been in the past year or so, as market

have gone from being convenient to

and customer dynamics and consumer

connected and through this period,

priorities are changing – as consumers

content has evolved from being

are avoiding crowds, spending less

relatively basic to incredibly rich. The

time in stores and venues and increas­

evolution of the channel ecosystem

ing their online activity. busi ne ssch ief . eu



When thinking about mobile and how it connects brands, consumers and touchpoints, it is an ecosystem that offers many channels. “SMS as we discussed earlier offers ubiquity, immediacy, engagement and familiarity, and of course gives the benefit of high confidence to deliver a message to all customers with it being read in a short time. If you were to receive a fraud alert, you would want to receive it via SMS so you could act quickly rather than an email. Apps hold value driving 26

convenience, immediacy and provide a non-restricted environment to rep­ resent a brand’s content. Having your

provides a gateway to reward loyal cus­

app on a home screen is like having a

tomers with points or coupons.”

prominently placed billboard and offers

Clearly there’s lots to ruminate, but

a streamlined pathway to gain informa­

Gladwin is clear “above all the most

tion such as bank account details or a

important decision maker in channel

call-to-action where your airline seat

choice is that of the customer and

reservation may be open to confirm.

every enterprise should actively seek

Apps also open up the opportunity to

preferences and correspond with their

trigger real time messages based on

communications accordingly.”

activities such as in app behaviours or geo-location.”


“Mobile wallet is fast emerging as

When discussing the impact of COVID-

another convenience touchpoint for

19 so far in the industry, Gladwin says

consumers, from paying for coffee or

“There has been an elevated impor­

catching a train, but for marketers it

tance during COVID to support the


27 lack of physical customer engagement

Recent research shows that app

and rise of eCommerce to substitute

utilisation is up 50% and the pandemic

physical relationships. For example we

has accelerated the enterprise digital

have a supermarket client in France

communication strategy – on average –

who sent out a message to all of their

by about six years. “Moving companies

customers in March detailing their new

forward in that strategy, mobile again

store opening and closing times along

is becoming even more key. To be

with their online ordering capabilities.

successful you need to be where your

So in terms of driving clarity in an ambig­

customers are, and that is no longer

uous environment, SMS has been a great

physical engagement. With the rise of

way to cut through the noise, to be able

remote customers, mobile is going to

to go through a different channel that

be the key to success.”

isn’t suffering from buffering and other issues, to get immediate important mes­ sages across during this time.” busi ne ssch ief . eu

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y


Exploring the fundamentals of stakeholder engagement WRITTEN BY




busi ne ssch ief. eu

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

Ntyatyi Petros (Absa Group), details the fundamentals of stakeholder engagement and how the process is evolving as a result of technology innovation


n its most basic form, stakeholder engagement is centred around the cultivation and mainte­ nance of mutually beneficial relationships with

those that have both a direct or indirect impact on an organisation. With this in mind, Ntyatyi Petros, Head of Group Stakeholder Relations at Absa


Group explains to Business Chief that “stake­ holder engagement is a critical value-creating process that furthers the growth ambitions of a company.” These types of engagements develop meaningful platforms to share information about a company’s business, social, political and physical environment, as well as its plans and processes. “Stakeholder engagement is an iterative process that involves ongoing engagement, monitoring, evaluation, and re-engaging with stakeholders to reinforce key messages,” adds Petros.

THE BENEFITS VS. THE CHALLENGES THE CREATION OF TRUST “Without trust, very little business can take place,” comments Petros. Stakeholder DECEMBER 2020


“Stakeholder engagement is a critical value-creating process that furthers the growth ambitions of a company” — Ntyatyi Petros, Head of Group Stakeholder Relations at Absa Group

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L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

“Organisations must be clear from the start what they seek to achieve from engagement with stakeholders” — Ntyatyi Petros, Head of Group Stakeholder Relations at Absa Group

engagement improves the under­ standing of the interests and expectations of key stakeholders as well as generating shared values.

A SOCIAL LICENCE TO OPERATE “In the business world, stakeholder engagement is essential to the bottom line,” says Petros. If done correctly and consistently stakeholder engagement gives an organisation a social licence to operate, enabling stakeholders to advocate for the company.


COMMITMENT When it comes to stakeholder engage­ ment, commitment, time, and the ability to prioritise and allocate resources for max­ imum impact is a challenge. “Effective engagement can be compromised by


How Mobile Network Operators are evolving and investing to service everyone CLICK TO WATCH



33 an ability or willingness of stakeholders

consistent dialogue with stakeholders

to move beyond their own narrow sec­

to listen, learn, understand and influ­

toral interests,” comments Petros.

ence the relationship to get the best outcome for both parties.” As a result a


strategy must coincide with a policy that

Stakeholder engagement is not a

will guide engagement to be meaningful,

‘one off event’. Petros explains that “it

consistent and ongoing, to avoid confu­

takes a great deal of patience, effort

sion, duplication and resource wastage.

and proactive engagement to shift

“Organisations must be clear from the

negative stakeholders into a positive

start what they seek to achieve from

disposition and keep them as allies.”

engagement with stakeholders. They

When it comes to getting the most

must understand what is important to

out of stakeholder engagement opera­

a varied group of stakeholders and

tions, Petros explains that engagements

importantly, how they must engage

“must be underpinned by frank and

them to get the best influence.” busi ne ssch ief. eu

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y


• identify all stakeholders that are critical to the business • Profile the critical stakeholders, ascertaining their disposition towards the company. Are they allies, hostile or neutral towards the company? Should they be advocates of the company?


• Develop a communication and engagement model that is underpinned by the company’s key messages - Ntyatyi Petros, Head of Group Stakeholder Relations, Absa Group

EXPLODING THE FUNDAMENTALS With the entrant of fast-evolving technological capabilities, Petros iden­ tifies that “technology has exploded and fundamentally changed the way people connect, which is evident in stakeholder engagement.” With the availability of multiple channels of engagement - each with their own DECEMBER 2020

“Technology has exploded and fundamentally changed the way people connect, which is evident in stakeholder engagement” — Ntyatyi Petros, Head of Group Stakeholder Relations at Absa Group

benefits and challenges - stakeholder engagement professionals need to be able to choose the most appropri­ ate channels of communication in order to maintain the fundamental purpose of stakeholder engage­ ment. “Engagement is no longer a top-down process, companies are seeing greater demand for consulta­ tion and meaningful engagement from their stakeholders. There is constant change and the external environment is shifting rapidly,” adds Petros. Another distinctive shift in stake­ holder engagement operations highlighted by Petros is “stronger collaboration between different profes­ sionals e.g. stakeholder engagement busi ne ssch ief. eu


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y


“Stakeholder engagement is becoming increasingly about holding each other accountable and ensuring that we retain our commitments and moral authority” — Ntyatyi Petros, Head of Group Stakeholder Relations at Absa Group DECEMBER 2020

managers, media relations managers, social media specialists and managers of corporate social investment to give stakeholders a holistic experience.” Following the impact of COVID-19, Petros expects the shift of ‘embed­ dedness’ into everyday business decision-making, when it comes to stakeholder engagement to continue to increase. “There is already an appre­ ciation of the need for collaboration and co-creation of solutions. A trend that I am seeing is the recognition that


stakeholders must put greater effort

comments Petros, who concludes that,

in leveraging each other’s strengths

“stakeholder engagement is becoming

to obtain greater impact and work

increasingly about holding each other

towards achieving common goals.”

accountable and ensuring that we retain

Reflecting on stakeholder engage­

our commitments and moral author­

ment, Petros sees greater use of data,

ity. Previously, stakeholders would be

data analytics and other intelligence

reluctant to hold companies to account

gathering mechanisms in its future to

for fear of losing relationship benefits.

improve decision making. “Stakeholder

However, stakeholders are becoming

engagement is already increasingly

much more emboldened.”

seeking to predict and anticipate emerg­ ing risks and scenarios to introduce better insights into the organisation,” busi ne ssch ief. eu




EY: Collaboration Between Humans and AI in HR




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Business Chief EMEA discusses the rise of human and AI collaboration in HR operations with Ray Joyce and Steve Gill HR Services at EY


In the last decade, the rise of artificial intel­ ligence (AI) has been exponential. By the end of 2020, the AI industry is expected to have a

total revenue of US$156.5bn, with 80% of emerg­ ing technologies having AI foundations as we enter into 2021. While the International Data Corporation


(IDC) expects investment in AI to be impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, the corporation still predicts that the worldwide revenue will surpass US$300bn by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.1%. With this in mind, Business Chief spoke to Ray Joyce, Global Talent Predictive AI Lead, HR Services and Steve Gill, Global Talent AI Lead, HR Services at EY to discuss the rise of human and AI collaboration in HR operations. Working in the industry, Joyce identifies two major trends that are currently occurring in the industry, “I think one major trend that is being shown at the present time is to provide HR and, in turn, organisations with greater insight to their data.” He highlights that harnessing machine



busi ne ssch ief. eu

U S E C A S E S O F A I I N H R : C H AT B O T S A N D C A R E E R P L A N N I N G

“A chatbot enables employees to ask HR-related questions in a ‘safe-place’, but can also relay insights in data directly to the employee. Learning recommenders can be used to help them learn new skills, which nudges and prompts to promote engagement. Career planning scenarios can help employees model what their future career path in

an organisation can look like, and how to get there. For candidates, automated screening and sourcing removes the need for a recruiter to sift through multiple CVs (all of which are done objectively).” Steve Gill, Global Talent AI Lead, HR Services at EY

learning at an organisational level

are beginning to replace (in a limited

helps identify trends in data which may

fashion) Employee Self-Service

not have been easily identified before.

portals and beginning to carry out

“From an employee perspective, the

transactions, such as a change of

biggest trend is most definitely chat­

address. This level of automation will

bots – which not only provide a fast

only increase as companies become

and reliable place for an individual to

more confident in allowing AI to com­

have questions answered but also a

plete tasks on behalf

safe environment, where they can ask

on an individual,”

any question they like and get a per­

comments Gill,

sonalised answer back in real time.”

who adds that

While agreeing with Joyce, Gill does

“for instance, a

predict that the future will move away

recruiter could

from using AI solely for insights in

raise a new req­

data and chatbots, and become more

uisition; as soon

centred around automation. “This is

as this has been

already being seen in chatbots which

completed, busi ne ssch ief. eu



44 H U M A N S A N D A I : H R T R E N D S A S A R E S U LT O F C O V I D - 1 9

“Quick access to information, be it answering questions from employees about what COVID means to them in the workplace through providing insights into all the data that could affect a business, are just two solutions we used at EY. Our internal chatbot was quickly updated to help provide real time answers to employees around simple questions ranging from the mechanics of suddenly having to work from home to personal wellbeing, eg ‘How do


I isolate and continue to work?.’ We also ingested the enormous amount of data that suddenly became available, using AI to cut through the padding and speculation, allowing EY to analyse this real data to help us better understand the effect the pandemic would/could have on our business and our clients.” Steve Gill, Global Talent AI Lead, HR Services at EY

the system has already reviewed the

‘know’ their people. AI allows talent

current talent pool(s) available and

teams to analyse the data in ways that

made recommendations on who would

they have never been able to in the past.

be a good fit – and more critically why.

With this insight also comes the ability

Process mining can review current HR

to automate many tasks based on the

processes and make recommenda­

data in a way that is not only consist­

tions on savings based on budgets,

ent but also objective.” However, Gill

time and people.”

comments that while this is certainly

Identifying that talent is the most

a benefit for organisations, “HR data

expansive resource that an organi­

is not always ‘clean’ - as any company

sation has, and typically the most

that has done a data migration will know

expensive. Joyce explains that, while

- so there may be tasks needed to ready

the digital footprint that employees

the data. Once this has taken place, it

generate on a daily basis is significant,

will be of utmost importance that the

before many companies do not always

rules and mechanisms used follow the

The Future of HR is Digital | Kiran Jadav & Steve Gill CLICK TO WATCH



busi ne ssch ief. eu




organisation’s inclusion, equality and

AI adoption strategy, it is important to

diversity principles, so that trust can

“ensure that there is an ethics and bias

be achieved.”

review team in place which contains

While there are a lot of AI solutions out

members of the HR team. Ensure that

there, Joyce states that organisations

every step of the journey they are part of

must “see through the ‘sales’ and ensure

the team and understand the AI. Ensure

that the solutions are tied to key metrics

HR knows that they own the solution

within the business case. Start small -

and that it is their AI. In addition, do

but think big!”

not plan or structure your strategy so

Agreeing with Joyce, Gill explains that

that you have to have everything 100%

when it comes to developing an effective

accurate; AI needs to learn and to make


“it is important that HR teams feel involved in the AI solutions. AI should not be ‘done to’ but ‘with’. Most of the data or processes that AI will change or replace will be owned by the HR or People teams and it is very important that the ownership stays with them. Letting the HR team have a say in how the AI will operate will help drive the adoption and take away uncertainty. It is important that content owners trust the AI to make the right decision or answer the question correctly, espe­ 47

cially in an area like HR.” Ultimately Joyce concludes that when it comes to the collaboration of humans and AI in HR operations, “An open mind is critical. Technology is changing rapidly and what may be true today can mistakes, bring your employee base

change tomorrow.” As a result, organi­

with you, let them have a say in what they

sations need to be agile in their thinking.

want so that solutions are meaningful to

Joyce also highlights that emerging

them. It’s all fine having the most techy,

technology is not perfect to begin with,

whizzy solution, but if

and there may be failures along the way.

it is not what the employee or business

“Having strong stakeholders, a resilient

wants, then basically it just turns into

culture, and accepting potential failures

an expense and the budget could have

as a learning curve instead of a reason

been used elsewhere.”

to stop will allow companies to keep

Further to Gill’s explanation of an effective strategy, Joyce adds that

moving forward, and then ultimately reap huge rewards.” busi ne ssch ief. eu








busi ne ssch ief. eu



in the western region of Saudi Arabia, started his career at KPMG in 2014. Chapra’s responsibili­ ties at KPMG include: leading M&A transactions, group restructuring assignments and business valuations, as well as specialised advisory services to the government of Saudi Arabia and leading family businesses. Prior to KPMG, Chapra has held executive positions at Panda Retail Company and the Savola Group.

WHAT IS INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SUCH SERVICES? Investment management is the service provided by professionals in the management of financial assets and investment assets for an entity or an individual based on an agreed upon investment plan.



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Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the global edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company, helping organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Visit www.hpe.com

“BLOCKCHAIN COULD SAVE INVESTMENT MANAGERS APPROXIMATELY US$2.7BN THROUGH THE USE OF DISTRIBUTED MARKET INFRASTRUCTURE”” — Fuad Chapra, Head of Family Business at KPMG (Saudi Levant Cluster) and Head of Advisory in the western region of Saudi Arabia

in their investment that matches their risk profile and the desired investment horizon, commonly through the invest­ ment in funds. Furthermore, investment manage­ ment service providers would typically work to re-balance the investment portfolios based on the latest trends and analysis, thereby taking this bur­ den away from the investor.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND WHEN ARE THESE TYPES OF SERVICES BENEFICIAL FOR BUSINESSES? There are costs associated with investments through an investment management service provider – the

Professional investment manage­ ment services offer a wide array of

fee that is required to be paid to the investment manager. This could

benefits. The primary benefit to inves­ tors is that this allows them to obtain advice and recommendations from experts in the field of investment and those that specialise in various types of investment. More importantly for individual investors, investment management services allow an easier means for the investor to achieve diversification busi ne ssch ief. eu



of the performance of the endowments of Yale and Harvard, both of which are amongst the largest university endow­ ments in the world. With a staff of 30, Yale believes in the model of managing investment managers. Harvard, on the other hand, has had staff up to more than 200 individuals and performed a hybrid of selecting its own investments and managing investor managers.



Similar to other industries, technology either be on the basis of a percentage

has become increasingly important to

of assets under management and/or a

enhance customer experience. This

percentage of profits over a specified

includes digital onboarding of new cus­

amount. This implies that if the inves­

tomers and providing transparent and

tor had invested in the same assets by

up-to-date information on the status

themselves, then the investor would

of the customers’ investments.

generate a higher return. In addition to the benefits mentioned

Furthermore, there has been a sig­ nificant rise of robo-advisors which

earlier, engaging with an investment

automate investment management

management firm allows businesses to

through the use of algorithms, and

focus their efforts on their core opera­

thereby making investment management

tions. Furthermore, it allows the business

services more accessible for a wider

to have flexibility when they want to

demographic, as well as an increase in

change their investment strategy. A

availability of exchange traded funds that

good example of this is the comparison

aim to mirror performance of a particular



all activity is verified and accurate.

By harnessing blockchain, invest-

Ultimately, this can reduce the time

ment managers can benefit from

and costs associated with conduct-

its smart controls and automation

ing verifications.

capabilities. With Blockchain’s business rules and computer protocols,


investment managers can run settle-

Blockchain technology can eliminate

ments without human interference

human error for investment manag-

and facilitate, verify, or enforce the

ers, by using real time track and trace

negotiation or performance of

audit trails.

a contract. Transaction ledgers Conducting transactions on block-


chain technology, all parties can

Adopting blockchain technology

gain transparent access to the

reduces transaction costs, as well as

data via a distributed network.

the need for infrastructure and the

This type of transaction can not

associated costs.


be altered without permission from the network, which means

Source: Accenture and IBM

busi ne ssch ief. eu


a significant impact on investment


management services. As an example,

COVID-19 has caused significant mar­

Castalone estimated that blockchain

ket volatility, a reduction in deal volume

could save investment managers

and uncertainty in asset valuation. As a

approximately US$2.7bn through the

result, many investors have sought to

use of distributed market infrastructure.

shift towards less risky investments. In

Last but not least, artificial intelligence

contrast, sovereign wealth funds have

and machine learning are also antici­

seen this as an opportunity to acquire

pated to change the way investment

equity investments at attractive valua­

managers make investment decisions.

tions. COVID-19 has also accelerated

index. The US ETF market is expected to continue to be largest. However, the European ETF market is projected to have more aggressive growth. Blockchain is also expected to have


AI & Manufacturing in Asia — Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions: Microsoft Asia CLICK TO WATCH





digital transformation across all industry

as well. This includes opening and

segments, thereby warranting renewed

enhancing channels for digital wealth

diligence on investment recommenda足

and robo-advisory in addition to lev足

tions. In particular, equity investments in

eraging digital to enhance the overall

companies that may have traditionally

customer experience. It is important to

performed well may not necessarily be

note that the move towards digital will

a good investment if they fail to digitise

also increase the importance of cyber足

their business model and adjust to the

security and ensuring the protection of

new normal.

customer data. In terms of investment

Similarly, investment management

strategy, post COVID-19, investment

companies should seek an acceler足

management service providers are likely

ated pace of digitisation for themselves

going to seek out undervalued assets. busi ne ssch ief. eu


What Does it Mean to be a Digital Brand? WRITTEN BY




Business Chief speaks with leaders from McKinsey, Toluna and Ebiquity on what it means to be a digital brand and the best strategy to drive value


here are a number of definitions for what constitutes a digital brand. In this roundta­ ble, leading experts look at the difference

between digitally native companies and how tra­

ditional companies are becoming digital. Business Chief also gains insight into what it means to be a digital brand in today’s world, as well as the ways in which companies can drive the most value out of their digital brand strategy.

THOSE PARTICIPATING IN THE ROUNDTABLE INCLUDE: JP: Jesko Perrey, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company MM: Michele Morelli, EVP, Global Marketing Strategy, Toluna AM: Angus McLean, Director at Ebiquity

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“It is virtually impossible to segment a traditional brand from a digital brand today because social media and the internet are ubiquitous” — Michele Morelli, EVP, Global Marketing Strategy, Toluna

WHAT IS A DIGITAL BRAND? JP: ‘Digital brand’ can often be mis­ leading because too many companies

T H E I M PA C T O F C O V I D -1 9

think that it’s simply doing what you already do but using digital channels.

Thanks to COVID-19, the adoption of digital that would have happened across all industries in a five to 10-year period happened in six months. Essentially, COVID-19 has stolen companies’ time to prepare for this development. Combine that with the latest and greatest trends which are personalisation, being human and being socially responsive and my advice would be: be yourself and don’t try to play an artificial game.

This is much more about a mindset. A digital brand is a brand that anticipates and is responsive to their customers’ needs. To do this at scale, companies rely on flexible technologies, com­ prehensive data sets, and advanced analytics. Given the profound shift to digital during COVID-19, every brand needs to be a digital brand. MM: There are two ways to look at digital brands. One is a brand that exists solely within the ecosystem of the digital environment. Huffington Post and Twitter are both digital brands. The other, and more interest­ ing, perspective is digital brand as

Jesko Perrey, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company

part of a ‘traditional’ brand’s identity and strategy that acknowledges and leads with the importance of its online presence, user experience and busi ne ssch ief. eu



engagement. It is virtually impossible

being developed in a productive way.

to segment a traditional brand from

Influencer marketing, for better or

a digital brand today because social

worse, is also part of digital marketing.

media and the internet are ubiquitous.

The steps from an unboxing video view­ ing to purchase are much shorter than



for personalisation in messaging and

MM: One trend we are seeing is

communications. Especially in the

the continued blurring of brand and

current environment, digital brands

acquisition marketing. The stand­

are expected to not only adapt their

ard customer journey path taught

communications messaging and

35 years ago has been completely

tone to reflect the circumstances,

disrupted. The path to purchase is

but to change their product and ser­

not linear; today it’s more a jumbled

vices offering. This is where market

mess. People are consuming content

research – especially platform-based,

for entertainment and the ‘time-to-

agile research – is key.

in a non-digital world. Another trend is the greater need

purchase’ window has been greatly

JP: Two stand out. One is person­

reduced across the board. In social

alisation, which is the ability to tailor

media, shoppable posts are now

offers, products, services, and com­ munications to individual customers wherever they are in their decision journey. These brands harness technology and insights to always be relevant to their customers. The other is the ability to continually pivot and innovate. That requires an operating model that constantly looks for new opportunities and develops new ways to tap those opportunities so they can


FoRfest2020 - Brand Building by Responding to Shifting Consumer Needs in Real-Time CLICK TO WATCH



63 stay ahead of competitors wherever

will fall and the friction for consumers

they emerge.

to purchase from these brands will erode away. We have already seen the


introduction of seamless, one-touch,

AM: The future was always bright for

stores and Amazon marketplace.

digital brands, a growing and highly

However, COVID has accelerated

connected customer base, easily

digital transformation among almost all

accessible target audiences through

companies to varying degrees, includ­

major digital platforms, being able to

ing traditional incumbents.

move faster than larger more traditional

end-to-end ecommerce with Facebook

JP: The human touch is becoming

competitors and not being restricted

hugely important. In response, digital

by geography or physical retail. As

brands will get more human and more

the world moves evermore online, the

personal. They will be much smarter in

barriers to entry for new digital brands

terms of spending and more diligent in busi ne ssch ief. eu


measurement and optimisation. The variety of channels is so huge now, and the ways that customers use them change so often, that brands have to be much more diligent about how they spend. Across all countries measured in our global consumer sentiment surveys, consumers revealed that they are turn­ ing to digital and reduced-contact ways of accessing products and services. In the UK, 71% of consumers stated that they had tried a new shopping behaviour, with 16% stating that they had tried a 64

new digital shopping method. As these habits further evolve, granular data analysis and disciplined marketing-per­ formance management will be essential for brands to stay in touch with their cus­ tomers and drive MROI. In addition, we’re seeing corporate purpose, environmental considerations, the balance of individual time and all social topics (such as Black Lives Matter and diversity) driving the consumer agenda. As such, there are many poten­ tial areas for getting it wrong. Again, this is really about developing deep and meaningful connections with customers based on a deep understanding of what they care about, want, and need. DECEMBER 2020

“The human touch is becoming hugely important. In response, digital brands will get more human and more personal” — Jesko Perrey, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company


MM: Voice and audio will be the next

aren’t using a click to engage. Audio

frontier for digital brands. It’s impor­

branding and sound logos will become

tant to note that digital brands evolve

increasingly important.

as consumer behaviour evolves. And what their presence looks like in a more


non-visual world. Right now, UX, UI and

JP: The basics still hold: you need to

design are an integral part of a digital

provide something that your custom­

brand, but brands must think about what

ers value. But with ‘digital’ at the core,

interactions will look like when people

you can react more quickly, test new

now, digital brands need to understand

busi ne ssch ief. eu



opportunities cheaply, be much

Marketers have to work closely with IT,

more precise about how you con­

sales, operations, finance, etc, to make

nect with customers, and go after a

digital work. On the other hand, just

much more granular and widespread

because digital gives you the oppor­

set of opportunities. Is it even possible

tunity to do more doesn’t mean that

to be a ‘non-digital’ brand in today’s

you should do it. Privacy, security and


purpose are all issues that consumers

The challenges are huge. On the

care deeply about, and brands need to

one hand, it requires a new order of

continually balance how they want to

collaborative leadership to manage

connect with customers with the need

the complexity of technology and

to maintain trust with them.

data-driven marketing at an unprec­ edented degree of granularity. DECEMBER 2020

MM: All brands are now digital brands. The differentiators are;

“Is it even possible to be a ‘non-digital’ brand in today’s environment?” — Jesko Perrey, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company

brands in reaching potential customers on digital platforms. Another benefit of being a digital brand is the ability to turn on, turn off and change strategy quickly based on data and insights gathered through digital channels. Being able to dynamically and at reasonably low cost produce and

prioritisation of digital, emphasis on

iterate creative, product messaging

the UX and UI and integration of digi­

to what works is a huge advantage.

tal platforms in customer service and

However, building consumer confi­

products. This all equates to simplicity

dence and brand credibility without a

for the consumer. For instance, with

physical retail presence is a challenge.

digital, you can open a bank account

Can your brand be trusted to deliver?

quickly to secure the best interest

Does it actually exist or is there risk of

rate online. The offline method seems

an online scam?

obsolete and laborious. The benefit

Many small businesses establish­

is clear: the better and easier it is for

ing themselves as digital first brands

consumers to do business with you,

are bootstrapping and don’t have the

the more market share you gain.

deep pockets to compete with more

However, for all digital brands,

established brands. As with any small

customer service is challenging and

business, people are wearing many

must be a top priority. If you need to

hats and might be the HR, marketing

reach an actual person at Facebook

and logistics person in one. However

or Google to fix a problem or answer a

the ability to find talented contrac­

question, good luck! Customer service

tors and online tools to help has never

doesn’t exist for some of these large

been easier. Many online brands out­

digital brands. Amazon got this right.

source key functions like shipping and

AM: A major benefit is the ability to

logistics and never actually house the

compete against well-established

physical product. busi ne ssch ief. eu




‘learn to walk before you run.’ A good

JP: You need to pull it back to the prin­

ferentiation) and which really focuses on

ciple of good marketing/branding. The

what your brand stands for. In addition,

rules of good marketing and branding

one of the key features for an effective

are being distinctive and being differenti­

strategy is the right people. Key people

ated. That’s particularly important to

are the core differentiator and make

revisit now as consumers are re-evalu­

the magic happen. They are the scarc­

ating what’s important to them and their

est resource in digital and non-digital

families. Even more important is the rule,

brands. Another is to combine creativity



digital strategy, therefore, is a strategy that focuses on the core elements (dif­

(often an element that is underplayed in digital brands) and match it with superior advanced analytics to ensure long-term success. Advanced analytics allow you to personalise, select elements that are appropriate, and allow you to spend effi­ ciently. When companies get that right, their investments generate value quickly

“The ability to find talented contractors and online tools to help has never been easier” — Angus McLean, Director at Ebiquity

and they develop strong relationships based on trust with their customers.

within an organisation. Moving offline

MM: Put the customer at the centre of

research processes online allows you

your strategy. Understand: how do they

to keep the customer close while also

engage online, where they are going, and

maintaining the integrity and quality of

what content are they consuming? As a

your research.

digital brand, these questions are para­


AM: The most effective strategy is one

mount. Digital tracking is an effective

that gets implemented, which generally

way to spot changes in digital search and

means keeping it simple. Defining the

buying behavior. With access to in-app

vision and setting goals, establishing a

buying behaviour and mobile search, our

timeline and clearly communicating the

clients use digital tracking to understand

strategy to everyone who needs to be

when and how consumers shop. Brands

involved. A strategy cannot be effective

should also focus on user centric design.

if people are not aware of it and have not

A good UX designer always has the con­

bought into the vision.

sumer at the centre of their design. With

Management support is also key to

this approach, users are at the centre of

any digital initiative. They require invest­

every step of the design process.

ment in tools and people but progress

Digital is not only about the external,

is better than standing still so don’t over

it’s about the internal. Employing digital

complicate it. Set goals, use data, test,

technology in areas like research speeds

iterate, support successes and learn

up decision-making and creates agility

from failures. busi ne ssch ief. eu




Cisco:How to Get the Most Value Out of IoT WRITTEN BY


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Business Chief speaks with Vikas Butaney, Vice President & General Manager, Cisco IoT on how to get the most value out of the internet of things (IoT) TAKING IT BACK TO BASICS, WHAT IS IOT? Vikas Butaney, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco IoT, defines the internet of things (IoT) as a set of technologies that extends connectivity to edge devices and a wide range of ‘things’ to extract value from business data 72

and accelerate digitalisation. An example of IoT powered devices in an operational setting include automated robots that need to work 24/7 with no interruption in their communications in a pick and pack distribution centre or manufacturing facility. In all cases where IoT is deployed, Butaney emphasises the importance of a secure and reli­ able communication system as foundational to success with this technology.

“Securely connecting IoT devices is paramount” — Vikas Butaney, Vice President & General Manager, Cisco IoT


61% of enterprises show a high level of IoT maturity, Gartner

75bn of enterprises show a high level of IoT maturity, Gartner

127 new devices are connect to the Internet every second, McKinsey

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ericsson.com/ 5g-switch

Move towards zero touch, cut down on time

Ericsson. The 5G switch made easy.

With automated provisioning and insight-driven service assurance, Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration simplifies operations, moving you closer to the zero-touch experience. This means greater savings and shorter time to market.


3. Establish cross-functional teams

1. Be strategic and maintain focus.

4. Ensure that technology partners

It is important to understand the

have a high level of experience in

objectives and use cases before

your industry and the market power

designing IoT connectivity and

to maintain business operations for


decades. Butaney notes that “these

that have shared business objectives.

types of operational settings have a 2. Avoid having a site by site, custom deployment of IoT. Instead, define

long shelf life. It is important to make sure that IoT solutions do too.”

company-wide standards, which are deployed step by step across

5. In addition to ensuring technology

the company as facilities are

partners have a high level of indus­

built or refreshed. “This standard

try experience, it is also important to

approach will drive the greatest

engage IoT partners at every stage

amount of efficiency at all levels

to accelerate learning and over­

of the organisation.”

come challenges. busi ne ssch ief. eu



“Video and mission critical communications over wireless are exploding edge bandwidth requirements and requiring new wireless technologies to support near-zero latency connectivity” — Vikas Butaney, Vice President & General Manager, Cisco IoT

THE CHALLENGES IOT Complexity: frequently operational settings across industries are legacy



systems that have been around for

Productivity improvements: the

decades. As a result rolling out new

capabilities of IoT are enabling

solutions with IoT can be complex.

improved operational efficiency such as: reduced downtime, improved

Security: when deploying IoT solu­

resilience and efficiency, as well as

tions, organisations need visibility

improved output and speed.

on what is connected and potential threats. It is important for organisa­

New customer experiences:

tions to leverage IoT security tools

Cisco’s Control Center connects

to ensure that they are not vulnerable

over 60 million cars, enabling new

to cyberattacks.

driver experiences, shile machine builders and device makers use

Scalability: With IoT being com­

Cisco Control Center to connect

plex to deploy and manage at scale.

100 million devices offering their

Butaney explains that IoT projects

customers new capabilities.

require a strong partnership between IT and OT in order to build scalable

Improving the way people work:

and secure projects for lower lifetime

improving workplace safety, produ-

TCO. “Bespoke projects are hard to

tivity, efficiency and revenue.

sustain over time.”


Vikas Butaney, Cisco | Cisco Live EU Barcelona 2020 CLICK TO WATCH





for high bandwidth, low latency wire­

With 75 billion IoT devices expected

devices on the move, “this wireless

to be connected by 2025, Butaney

connectivity to ‘things’ in motion is

details that “securely connecting IoT

frequently much more demanding

devices is paramount,” but requires

than connecting data to people over

a new level of security vigilance than

wireless. Video and mission critical

before. As a result it is important to

communications over wireless in min­

implement IoT security solutions out­

ing, ports, manufacturing, trains and

side of traditional network firewalls.

roadways are exploding edge band­

In doing this, IoT devices can be con­

width requirements and requiring new

nected securely and continuously

wireless technologies to support near-

monitored for potential threats.

zero latency connectivity.”

Another key trend highlighted by Butaney is the increased demand

less. With the increase in connected

In addition to security and high band­ width, low latency wireless, Butaney busi ne ssch ief. eu


E M E R G I N G I O T T R E N D S A S A R E S U LT O F C O V I D - 1 9


IoT has become a CXO-level conversation again: IoT’s value proposition is rapidly expanding from productivity, efficiency, and new services to enabling the board-level topic of 2020 - business resiliency. Businesses need to rapidly adjust operations based upon the workforce availability, supply chain interruptions, and changing customer expectations – exactly the places where IoT now sits. IoT is delivering secure remote operations: over the last few years, the focus for IoT was on connecting devices to tap into new data for analytics. Now, in response to COVID, there is an added requirement to enable remote operations for both business resiliency and cost efficiency. This will fundamentally change how IoT devices will be connected.


IoT is now accelerating the move to a new class of networking: companies need secure remote access to IoT devices for diagnostics and remote technicians, in addition to remote controlling and operating IoT devices. This new dependence on IoT raises the bar on secure remote access requirements, including: • Connectivity for IoT devices requiring increased bandwidth • Extremely low latency wireless connectivity for applications at high speed • C ybersecurity to protect expansion of the threat surface • Network automation to make deploying and managing IoT devices at scale doable with finite resources • Edge computing for when going to the cloud is too slow to support real-time edge processes and analysis is needed closer to the IoT device

79 highlights the role 5G will play in the

weaknesses that address specific

future of IoT. “Wireless technologies

goals. The same is true for connectiv­

are a key pillar of IoT and 5G has

ity needs in IoT deployments.”

huge promise,” comments Butaney,

With organisations needing a

who also states that, by 2023, 34%

cohesive strategy that doesn’t result

of all mobile connections will be IoT

in costs, complexity and security

connections, up from 13% in 2018.

risks, particularly in a post COVID-19

However, he does emphasise that

world, Butaney explains that there is

there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

an increased need for business resil­

“Think of your mobile phone: one type

iency and remote operations. “These

of wireless technology doesn’t meet

needs are driving an evolution of

all your needs. You have LTE/5G

automation systems to be more end-

cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and

to-end connected, more autonomous,

NFC - at least five wireless technolo­

and able to be remotely supervised

gies - each with their strengths and

via IoT connectivity.” busi ne ssch ief. eu



“This wireless connectivity to ‘things’ in motion is frequently much more demanding than connecting data to people over wireless” — Vikas Butaney, Vice President & General Manager, Cisco IoT DECEMBER 2020

Butaney recommends a four-step process for picking the right IoT wireless technology to reduce costs, complexity and security risks: 1. Decide what IoT device you are going to connect 2. Decide the application requirements - latency, reliability, cost, thrupu, etc 3. Decide the deployment scope indoors or outdoors, over miles or a few hundred feet 4. Assess the technology options against those requirements Overall, Butaney expects IoT to continue to deliver radical transforma­ tion across industries. “In a sense, the future is now. IoT is already critical today for many businesses. This will only become more pervasive.” Just a few examples of the future and

Combined, businesses, governments and consumers will invest nearly

US$1.6trn to install IoT solutions in 2020, PwC

current impacts of IoT include: con­ necting intersections to reduce traffic and improve road safety; connecting robots to reduce machine downtime through predictive maintenance; and connecting workers to improve worker safety ( measuring worker proximity in an age of pandemics). busi ne ssch ief. eu


T O P 10



Mergers and Acquisitions of the Last Two Decades Business Chief ranks – by year – its top 10 mergers and acquisitions made by companies in the EMEA region over the last two decades



busi ne ssch ief. eu


T O P 10


JUNE 17 2020



Saudi Aramco acquires 70% stake in SABIC

June 2020 saw Saudi Aramco acquire a 70% stake in SABIC, a pub­ lic petrochemicals manufacturer, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The transaction - totaling US$69.1bn - was said to be consistent with the energy and chemical company’s long-term strategy to expand its integrated refining and petrochemicals capacity, as well as derive value from the hydrocarbon chain. “The completion of this transaction marks an important step in Aramco’s continuous drive to develop a global integrated Downstream business designed to add value across the hydro­ carbon chain. As SABIC joins the Aramco family of companies, we expect to create synergies and add value through integra­ tion in procurement, supply chain, manufacturing, marketing and sales,” commented Abdulaziz Al-Gudaimi, Senior Vice President of Downstream, Saudi Aramco.



APRIL 6 2020


Safaricom and Vodacom jointly acquire M-PESA

In a joint announcement made by Safaricom and Vodacom the two organisations Acquired the M-PESA brand, product development and support services from Vodafone as part of the two’s joint ven­ ture. The joint acquisition aimed to accelerate the growth of M-PESA in Africa, as well as develop opportunities to expand. “For Safaricom, we’re excited that the management, support and development of the M-PESA platform has now been relocated to Kenya, where the journey to transform the world of mobile payments began 13 years ago. This new partnership with Vodacom will allow us to consolidate our platform development, synchronise more closely our product roadmaps, and improve our operational capabilities into a single, fully converged Centre of Excellence,” commented Michael Joseph, outgoing Safaricom CEO, on the acquisition.

busi ne ssch ief. eu


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APRIL 1 2020


Capgemini acquires 98% of Altran Technologies

As of April 1 2020, Capgemini acquired 98.15% of Altran Technologies, providing the company with 98.03% voting rights. With similar corporate cultures and operating models, the integra­ tion process of both companies provided the new group with greater capability to support industrial and technology companies in their digital transformation journey. “We are satisfied with the outcome of this friendly tender offer, whose success allows us to hold more than 98% of the share capital, giving us access to all the value creation levers. We would like to thank all the Altran shareholders who tendered their shares, thus validating the soundness of our strategy and the industrial project we are proposing,” commented Paul Hermelin, Chairman and Aiman Ezzat, Chief Executive Officer, Capgemini Group on the acquisition.

busi ne ssch ief. eu


T O P 10

DATE JULY 8 2019



Orange completes 100% acquisition of SecureLink

July 2019, saw Orange complete an 100% acquisition of SecureLink in a US$611mn deal aimed at reinforcing its cybersecurity opera­ tions in Europe, to combat the increasing global threats. “It is a growing market that requires both a critical size to respond to the complexity of attacks and close proximity to customers. This new acquisition positions Orange as the industry leader in Europe, with more than 600 million euros in pro forma sales in 2018 and more than 2,100 cyber security experts,” commented Orange on the acquisition.





First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi merger

July 3 2016, saw the boards of both First Gulf Bank (FGB) and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) vote unanimously to merge the two banks. The merger transaction was approved by both organisations’ shareholders on December 7 2016, with the new entity changing its name to First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) in May 2017. “The launch of our new brand marks the culmination of the historic merger between National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and FGB, and reflects the successful union of these two renowned institutions. FAB represents the genesis of a story, built upon our sturdy Abu Dhabi roots and is set to spark a movement dedicated to helping everyone we inter­ act with, to grow stronger. This is an exciting milestone, as we establish a new identity which draws on past achievements, whilst symbolising our vision for the future,” commented His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of FAB.

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Pack the essentials for your business trip: Laptop Charger Business insights Payment solutions

From T&E expertise to business insights to payment solutions, the American Express Corporate Program gives you all the tools and services you need, so you’re fully prepared for business wherever you are. To learn more about the American Express Corporate Program, visit www.americanexpress.com.


FEBRUARY 15 2016


Royal Dutch Shell acquires BG Group


In a US$53bn deal, Royal Dutch Shell acquired the entire issued and to be issued share capital of BG Group plc. The acquisition of BG Group, came as a result of the company’s efforts to enhance free cash flow and accelerate its liquefied natural gas (LNG) and deep water opera­ tions to reshape the company. “This is an important moment for Shell. It significantly boosts our reserves and production and will bring a large injection to our cash flow. We have acquired productive oil and gas projects in Brazil and Australia and other key countries. We will now be able to shape a simpler, leaner, more competitive company, focusing on our core expertise in deep water and LNG,” commented Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell.

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T O P 10


MARCH 6 2007



National Bank of Dubai and Emirates Bank International merger

March 2007 saw the National Bank of Dubai (NBD) and Emirates Bank International (EBI) merge their operations to become the largest bank in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by assets. Following the merger the new entity was rebranded as Emirates NBD. “The integration of two of the UAE’s firmly established and bestknown financial institutions will create a UAE champion and a regional leader. This merger reinforces Dubai’s position as a world class financial centre,” commented His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.






Air France and KLM merger

With airline competition continuing to rise, September 2003 saw Air France and KLM merge their operations to become Air France KLM Group. The IPO was officially launched in 2004 on the Paris Euronext and Amsterdam markets as well as on the New York Stock Exchange. “Since May 2004, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have become the largest European airline group: 1 group, 2 airlines, and 3 businesses. Each airline has retained its individual identity, trade name and brand. The 3 core businesses are Passenger Business, Cargo, and Engineering & Maintenance. Both airlines run their own operations from their respective hubs Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol,� notes the group.

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Adaptability is not an aspiration. It’s a business asset.



“Applying Industry 4.0 processes has improved production decision making at 85% of manufacturers.” MPI Group study 2020 – read the study to learn more To survive in an era of volatile demand, uncertain supply, and constrained capacity, your organisation must be adaptable. Now is the time to commit to a new way of working that can help you adapt to supply chain disruptions, react to changes in demand, and capitalize on new opportunities. SAP will work with you as you move towards digitalization and Industry 4.0 in a company-wide, business strategy that focusses on data-driven customer attention and • Build intelligent, individualized products by connecting each customer’s voice to everything from product planning to delivery. • Meet the demands of customers looking for sustainability. • Create the kind of production process that adapts • Use intelligence and networks to integrate every machine, partner, and employee. • Connect the entire company, bringing together logistics, sales, and service, so every step is orchestrated. The SAP Digital Supply Chain portfolio supports industry 4.0, enables the digitalization of engineering, manufacturing, and asset operation processes, connects and automates machines and devices, and brings intelligence via AI and advanced analytics to an entire production process. This can help to continuously improve production performance, lower cost, and increase the agility and resiliency of your supply chain. Adaptability is no longer an aspiration, it’s a business asset that can help you stay connected to your customers, integrated with your partners, and ahead in your industry.

T O P 10


Deutsche Post acquires DHL Dating back to 1998, Deutsche Post had a long standing interest in DHL International. Over the course of the next five years Deutsche Post continued to expand and intensify its interest in the company, acquiring a total 75% majority


stake in DHL In July 2002. By December 2002, DHL became a wholly owned sub­ sidiary of Deutsche Post after it acquired the remaining percentage. “The merging of capabilities is an exam­ ple of the synergies possible within the Deutsche Post World Net group of compa­ nies. The combined strength of Deutsche Post Global Mail’s network and DHL’s express network benefits customers with one of the most robust and technologically advanced global networks in the interna­ tional mail market offering convenience, efficiency and cost savings,” commented Randy Clark, Senior Vice President, the Americas, DHL Worldwide Express.





Annual General Meeting 2020: Interview with CEO Frank Appel CLICK TO WATCH



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T O P 10




France Telecom acquires Orange In a US$32.9bn deal, France Telecom acquired Orange in 2000 from Vodafone, establishing the company as the second largest mobile company in Europe at the time. As part of the acqui­ sition, France Telecom merged Orange, Itineris and its other mobile activities to create ‘New Orange’, and taking on US$2.3bn of its debt. “The acquisition of Orange and the creation of New Orange is a major step in France Telecom’s international strat­ egy to become a European leader and global player,” commented Michel Bon, Chairman, France Telecom.


MAY 30 2000

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MPaaS: A Value Proposition for the Next Decade WRITTEN BY



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Zoran Vasiljev, CEO at Centili, explains why MPaaS (monetisation platform as a service) could be a decade-defining trend in digital monetisation


hen McKinsey recently noted that the tel­ ecommunications industry has become even more central to how modern society

operates following COVID-19, it was all too familiar to people and companies building digital services for millennials and Gen Z. These individuals and businesses are immersed in the world of low atten­ tion spans and instant purchases, apps and mobile services, and the constant striving for frictionless user experiences. To them, mobile operators could open many doors and solve many problems, if they are willing to share the key. Beyond providing minutes and gigabytes, telecoms could indeed plug many of the essential components into the digital ecosystem. Think pay­ ing for taxi rides or app subscriptions with telco tariffs with one or two taps on the phone. Think onthe-go verification via the identity attributes MNOs (mobile network operators) can supply. Think engagement and user journey orchestration via texting and bots.

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many global markets. Learning apps, audiobook services and e-publishers are increasingly looking towards MNOs as partners in monetisation. To put it in play on a larger scale is not easy, but it’s doable. According to Zoran Vasiljev, CEO at the monetisa­ tion company Centili, carrier billing platforms and business practices have matured, and the time is ripe for a dif­ ferent approach. Since being founded in 2011, the company he is now leading The potential of carrier billing in the 104

has implemented countless payment

digital ecosystem is not a new story:

pages, flows and subscriptions with

buying a low-priced game token, a

hundreds of MNOs and digital mer­

piece of music or social media item

chants. Wargaming, Badoo, iTaxi,

with a mobile phone and charging it

Bigo and 21st Century are some of

to a phone bill has been an appealing

them. As a technology partner, Centili

prospect for 20 years. Yet telco pay­

has removed complexity and worked

ments have not risen to the universal

out ways to make carrier payments

availability and recognition.

easy to spot and use by customers,

Regulation, hesitation, and revenue

easy to manage and settle by mobile

split issues held the potential back.

operators, and easy to add to games,

Despite that, great examples of telco

websites and apps.

payments came to life in the past

Vasiljev believes that, in 2020, the

years, enabled by enthusiasts from

prerequisite expertise, platforms and

monetisation companies, MNOs and

knowledge needed to implement

agile developers. The gaming industry

and run carrier payments on a large

has gone a long way. Dating service

scale now exist, in ways that will not

‘Badoo’ excels in using telco billing in

only serve subscribers, MNOs and


merchants but also boost innovation in

Coded from scratch in 2011, it

the ecosystem. Their flagship product

has grown ever since, with constant

– Centili Maestro – is a cloud platform

upgrades reflecting the needs of tel­

with key capabilities to do just that. It

ecoms and merchants from all corners

comprises APIs, a bundling platform,

of the world. Connected to 280 mobile

payment pages, portals, and dash­

operators, Centili system can apply

boards. It smoothly integrates into

microcharges to mobile tariffs of over

MNOs existing business processes

four billion people, while managing

and billing platforms, adhering to the

subscriptions, bundles, opt-ins, and

highest security standards.

refunds, as well as revenue splits


Zoran Vasiljev Title: Group CEO


Company: Centili

Industry: Mobile Payments Location: London, UK Zoran Vasiljev is the Group CEO of Centili. He is an executive with extensive knowledge and legacy in building and running successful digital ventures. He is specialized in telecommunications, investment strategies, M&A, organizational transformation, marketing and product development, channel strategy and business development. Zoran has more than 25 years’ international experience in digital media, telecoms, and management consulting. Before joining Centili, he led projects in the EU, MENA and APAC, holding top executive and leadership roles with Apigate, Axiata Digital, StarHub, Arthur D. Little, Value Partners and Peppers & Rogers Group. He joined Centili in March 2020. busi ne ssc h ief . eu


and settlements. At the same time, it

running of their digital monetisa­

enables MNOs a real-time view of the

tion ecosystem significantly. Centili

third-party charges happening over

handles commercial agreements and

their network. They can structure this

settlements with national and interna­

part of their business professionally

tional merchants and integrates

and transparently, with monitoring,

them onto the billing platform.

analytics and alerting on multiple levels. Self-care portal for mobile

edge and capability, built through

subscribers is an important part of

consistent specialist work completed

the package, too.

over the last 10 years in Europe, Asia,

Such a proposition is increasingly


“It is the very core of Centili’s knowl­

Middle East and Africa. This year

described as MPaaS (Monetisation

MPaaS has been gaining serious trac­

Platform as a Service). For mobile

tion, with global markets recognising

network operators, it simplifies the

the value,” Vasiljev emphasises. Five

Centili SMS Payments flow demonstration CLICK TO WATCH




to use it to add gaming content to their portfolio. TV streaming services and video game developers are also seeing the benefits of using the Monetisation Platform as a Service model. As Vasiljev points out, the proposi­ tion reaches beyond the standard implementations have either started or

PaaS scope, as it includes business

finished since April. Several European

services and consultancy, and it’s

MNOs have turned to the MPaaS model

been evolving towards the Software

to launch digital services quickly, while

as a Service (SaaS), already including

skipping the long and expensive integra­

many characteristics of that model.

tions on their legacy systems.

“Exciting times are ahead,” he con­

Besides mobile network operators

cludes, as he firmly believes this to

there has been interest from other

be the winning proposition for digital

verticals. A major Nigerian aggregator,

monetisation in the upcoming decade.

‘21st Century’, is using Centili Maestro as an underlying platform for largescale projects seen as having a major impact on the digital transformation in Africa. European VoD platforms and cable TV STB providers are starting busi ne ssc h ief . eu








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n uncertain times, the benefit of a strong and enduring financial institution can be invaluable to maintaining the wellbeing

of communities. Wesleyan Assurance Society (Wesleyan) is a Birmingham-based company founded in 1841 that, across its long heritage, has 110

survived two world wars, several global depres­ sions, the 2008 financial crisis, and is currently weathering the storm of COVID-19. In all that time, and despite the difficulty, its dedication to “creating brighter financial futures” for trusted professionals, including doctors, dentists, teachers and lawyers, has remained robust, unshaken and secure. Group Chief Operating Officer David Stewart’s journey with Wesleyan began in April 2019, when he joined as Technology & Transformation Director, rising to his present role five months later. Originally trained as a chemist, Stewart found that his true passion lay in business, “I had my first foray in financial services back in 2008 when I joined what was HBOS, which was taken over by Lloyd’s in a matter of weeks.” Rising steadily to a



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Take back your time, capital, and resources to focus on what you do best Today’s business environment is more challenging than ever—your business needs to operate on a leaner budget, with your employees working remotely more frequently. To remain competitive and thrive amidst change, let Lenovo Device as a Service (DaaS) manage your device lifecycle, freeing your employees to stay dedicated to clients. Your business must get the best from each employee to succeed. IT has to empower your employees to stay focused no matter where they’re located. Whether you’re an up-and-coming small business or a global enterprise, Lenovo’s services portfolio offers a Device as a Service solution to keep your operations leaner, your costs lower, and your employees more productive.


Lenovo: Partners in productivity Rob Makin, WW Executive Director, Lenovo Device as a Service, explains how Modern IT can secure success and stability amid a market of uncertainty “We had to move very quickly when COVID-19 struck,” says Rob Makin. Makin, who has spent the past 25 years leading IT sales and business teams across Europe and APAC, is closing in on six years at Lenovo. There he heads up the worldwide Device as a Service (DaaS) business, helping companies adapt their IT infrastructure to empower employees and move away from the outmoded CapEx model. “This basically entails us managing the full life cycle of their devices,” Makin explains, likening it to a “mobile phone experience” requiring little input on the part of the end user. Lenovo handles distribution of devices - in the office or, more frequently these days, at home - remotely testing, loading software and preferences, and managing any issues or updates along the way. At the end of the chosen contract period, Lenovo collects the device, closing the loop. “From a productivity point, it’s a huge advantage; from an experience point, it’s a huge advantage, particularly when we are working from home and don’t have that IT specialist to go to,” Makin explains. Overhauling legacy IT systems “can take months or years,” he says, but a partnership approach “works best.” Lenovo has a close partnership with financial services leader Wesleyan. “We’re very proud of our relationship at Wesleyan. It’s very much a cohesive team, which makes the support of their workplace environment a simple thing. We also deliver predictability of cost, something that was important before the pandemic and is now even more vital for organisations.”

Rob Makin @ Lenovo

Lenovo DaaS ensures stability in user experience and cost-age at Wesleyan, but Makin says the two firms are collaborating on further transformations for the post-COVID market. “We are talking to Wesleyan about how we can implement Lenovo Device Intelligence, our predictive and proactive analytics, across their devices,” Makin says. “This means rather than a device having errors or faults, whether it be software or hardware, we want to be able to predict when it’s going to have an issue.” This flexibility will be key to the future success of businesses, says Makin. “And that’s certainly what we at Lenovo DaaS believe in; what we are developing and expanding to is to really look at Modern IT low-touch as a service. We want to really accelerate and support enterprises and the businesses moving forward as we come out of the pandemic.” lenovo.com/daas




our members and customers. That’s a goal I buy into wholeheartedly.”

number of executive positions within

Stewart states that he brings

the company, he relates that, when he

three aspects of his career outside

first heard about Wesleyan, he was

of finance (primarily retail and sales)

immediately drawn to its culture, his­

to bear on his role as COO: customer-

tory and the opportunities it presented.

centricity, colleague focus and

“I was particularly attracted to the

commerciality. Although Wesleyan’s

company’s mutual heritage: we’re not

consistent capital strength has been

here to meet short-term shareholder

key to its enduring success, its will­

goals; we’re here to deliver value for

ingness to adapt its services to the


changing needs of its clients has

across executive leadership,” Stewart

been equally important: “Our financial

explains, including a new CEO, COO

consultants meet our customers day-

(Stewart himself), Chief Distribution

to-day and we also get a lot of insights

Officer and, most recently, a new Chief

from professional advisory boards.”

Financial Officer. “We are confident

This willingness to evolve even per­

that we are set up for the next phase

meates the structure of the C-suite:

of Wesleyan’s development.” This

“We’ve had a significant change

refers to the company’s accelerated


David Stewart 115

Title: Group Chief Operating Officer Industry: Financial Services

Location: Birmingham

David Stewart joined Wesleyan in April 2019 and became Group Chief Operating Officer in August. He has responsibility across Wesleyan for Change & Transformation, Technology, Cyber Security, Data & Analytics, Customer Operations, Procurement and Workplace Services. Prior to joining Wesleyan, David spent over 10 years at Lloyds Banking Group in a number transformation and operational roles, latterly as Chief Operating Officer for the Group Services division. Before joining Lloyds, David’s career spanned retail (Asda), FMCG (Mars) and telecommunications (Phones4U). This broad experience has been the foundation for David’s passion to deliver lasting change which benefits customers and colleagues. David is the recently appointed co-Chair of the fintech arm of SuperTech, the newly formed professional services cluster for the West Midlands. busi ne ssc h ief . eu

Let’s advance your IT and make it work harder for your business Blue Chip provides businesses with mission-critical IT support and infrastructure behind many of the largest brands in the UK. Specialising in mission critical systems through our Tier III and Tier IV by design data centres, we provide the e-commerce backbone for high street retailers whilst managing 10% of the UK’s banking traffic, keeping business running all over the world. From hardware and hosting to software and support, we work to advance your IT – making it work harder for your business.


THE BANKING CLOUD PLATFORM FOR GROWTH The spring of 2020 certainly wouldn’t be the optimal time to pick for a complex migration of a banking system’s IT infrastructure into the cloud. In recognition of UK financial services being tightly regulated, Wesleyan was looking for a secure cloud platform to fuel business transformation and growth. Blue Chip Cloud has an enviable collection of accreditations, which has enabled banking, wealth management and pharmaceutical companies to innovate within tight and ever-changing regulations Traditionally, financial services organisations have looked upon cloud moves in a conservative manner due to regulatory pressures and perceived risks. When these combine with complex IT infrastructure it can be difficult to see a way forward. Blue Chip Cloud is a game changer for the finance industry, who will often have a mixture of infrastructure to include traditional Windows and Linux environments, and the rock-solid IBM platforms such as IBM i, AIX and z/OS mainframe. A cloud transition for Wesleyan Bank had long been scheduled for Easter Bank Holiday weekend, a month into the toughest phase of national lockdown in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to careful planning with Wesleyan the transition into the Blue Chip Cloud was smooth and seamless. The delivery was carried out completely remote during lockdown, removing risk to all involved. All of the Intel and AIX estate moved over, with Blue Chip managing the operating system, backups and the disaster recovery solution, while securely hosting some additional infrastructure that’s not cloud ready. • 10% of the 157 UK banks hosted • £150bn+ funds under management hosted • 800 clients receive business critical services

COMPLIANCE IN THE CLOUD The security accreditations held by Blue Chip are at the highest level, holding four ISO certifications which are audited annually by a UKAS-accredited body. The company also undergoes an annual independent review of Service Organisation Controls (SOC). Blue Chip holds the highest standard for compliancy with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard - PCI-DSS Level 1. In addition to banks; famous retailers and supermarkets are customers, as this compliance covers online payments and card data.

“ We have many highly regulated customers in the Blue Chip Cloud under FCA and EBA parameters. As their key service provider, we help these customers meet their regulatory requirements by demonstrating our business and compliance maturity.” Derek Waterman Chief Compliance Officer, Blue Chip Blue Chip gives financial services organisations assurance they can meet regulatory requirements. The continual improvement ethos and transparency enables the IT specialists to continually support their clients’ journey with their regulators. KEEPING SECURE IN THE CLOUD The Blue Chip Cloud is underpinned by industryleading security vendors to build enterprise-class hardware and software solutions, with the availability, reliability and security demanded by the financial services industry. We’re widely recognised as a highly secure home for global financial data, handling a substantial amount of the UK’s banking traffic and removing the risks associated with a move into the cloud.” Tim Stringer Chief Information Security Officer, Blue Chip CONTINUED ASSURANCE While reliability, agility and security are at the heart of the Blue Chip Cloud, another factor that makes Blue Chip a destination for companies that operate across 180 countries, is the consistency to deliver, even during a global pandemic. Delivering any new cloud project throughout a pandemic is an achievement, maintaining a level of support is another achievement all together. So, we close with a statement from their long-term banking software vendor who partner with Blue Chip to deliver services for multiple clients: “Blue Chip were equally as responsive and reliable as they were prior to the pandemic, when, for example, we put in a request to troubleshoot a particular hardware failure. The mobilisation of the virtual team at Blue Chip with our own virtual team was consistent, quick and everything we would have wanted it to have been.”



two-year transformation journey, which aims to “raise the bar” of service delivery for customers. 118

Diversifying the company’s channel offerings has been an integral part of its tech transformation. Part of this focuses on customer-centric opera­

we want to deliver. What do we need to

tions: Wesleyan has been pursuing

bring into the organisation, and where

omnichannel capabilities to bring

can we find efficiencies and smarter

freedom of choice to an increasingly

ways of doing things, either by develop­

diverse client base. Although it’s often

ing capabilities in-house, calling on third

easier to adapt services in theory

parties where needed, or introducing

than practice, due to the increasingly

automation to certain processes.”

nuanced value of customer-centricity,

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

Stewart states that the company is

is one of Wesleyan’s key partners

employing a relatively simple method

on developing a new tech strategy,

to ensure its roadmap for innovation

particularly with an increased empha­

is correctly drawn: “Our approach is

sis on data and analytics. Stewart

to first identify what the ‘end state’ or

explains: “PwC has been instrumental

target customer experience is that

to us building our ‘data warehouse’.


From that, we’ve started to deliver use cases to the business, such as our customer intelligence dashboards that are now being used by all of our financial consultants to gain bet­ ter insights into customers’ needs. Importantly, PwC is also supporting us as we develop our ‘cyber matu­ rity’; we’re making good progress on our journey to enhance the protec­ tion that we can offer.” Additionally, Stewart references Bluechip, Lenovo and Softcat as “key partners who are helping to drive Wesleyan’s digital transformation journey.”

Wesleyan - We are all about you CLICK TO WATCH



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Change how you see digital transformation Digital transformation is about more than technology. We are working with Wesleyan to create a culture of innovation that embraces change, seeks imaginative ways to do business and uses data to unlock opportunity. Together, we are developing a more resilient business, able to move at speed and adapt to change while delivering great customer experience. Find out how we can help you achieve your transformation goals, contact: Justin Murphy Transformation Partner justin.murphy@pwc.com

Sultan Mahmood Financial Services Partner sultan.mahmood@pwc.com

pwc.co.uk/Wesleyan Š 2020 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved.

32589_RITM3840574_Wesleyan advert_v3.indd 4


0 07:33


robust then it’s built on quicksand.” Stewart points to Wesleyan’s success­ ful migration of its data centre, which

This touches on an important aspect

occurred over the Easter weekend

of digital transformation, not just for

in the height of lockdown. For most

Wesleyan but generally: if the funda­

organisations, data centre migrations

mentals aren’t right, neither will the

are among the most complex tech­

rest. “We are putting a lot of invest­

nology projects to deliver, and this

ment behind our IT resilience and

was no exception for Wesleyan. “The

cybersecurity; those are absolutely

implementation touched every single

essential. You can have the most fan­

area of our technology estate, much

tastic digital interface you want, but

of which was highly complex and

if the infrastructure behind that isn’t

incredibly frail.” Another example of

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122 Wesleyan’s approach includes starting

opened Wesleyan’s eyes to the fact

to incorporate robotic process auto­

that we can still be effective remotely.

mation (RPA) in customer operations.

Quite frankly, the idea of having flex­

Although the digital transformation of

ibility between home and the office

Wesleyan was already firmly underway

is hugely attractive, although some

prior to the lockdown imposed by the

employees find working entirely from

pandemic, it is safe to say that the cir­

home difficult.” This latter point is vital,

cumstances have shaped its progress.

he explains, as another crucial legacy

Shifting from an office-centric organi­

of COVID-19 has been the company’s

sation to a more flexible and remote

renewed emphasis on supporting the

operating model, Stewart is confident

mental health and wellbeing of its staff.

that the revised work paradigms will be

Support is something that Wesleyan

both enduring and ultimately beneficial,

truly believes in: its reach extends past

both to employees and customers.

customers, members and employ­

“Providing everyone with laptops has

ees and actually touches the fintech



In addition to the work it does for professionals in a financial capacity, Stewart highlighted that the company is a staunch advocate of equality, inclusion and diversity. Acting as ‘gender network sponsor’ for Wesleyan, he states the definite progress being made to balance representation of women in senior leadership roles: “I’m very proud to be the gender network sponsor. Since 2018 we’ve increased the number of women in our senior leader population from 18% to 30%. We’re still not where we want to be, but we have numerous initiatives that are driving that agenda forward.” Regarding the company’s efforts to assist communities and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, Stewart also highlights its

free-to-access, 24/7 healthcare and wellbeing support hub, Wesleyan Wellbeing. “The online service offers a free psychological triage, and access to specialist mental health clinicians for our members. Through the Wesleyan Foundation, we have also gifted over £100k to various charities and organisations in support of key worker mental health needs.” In September, despite the economic downturn, Wesleyan paid out its highest-ever mutual bonus to members: a £30m dividend to customers invested in its profits fund, with each investor receiving a 1% uplift on the value of their investment. As a testament to its financial strength, the Society has paid out over £67m to members over the past three years in the form of mutual dividends.

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the events of March slowed things down a bit.” Providing a valuable col­

Year founded

laboration space in the heart of the


workstations, numerous breakout

Number of employees

city, the initiative features over 30 areas and an auditorium. Significantly, it also provides the West Midlands of England with its own fintech cluster, something which had been lacking. “I think it’s great that Wesleyan is able

community. It achieves this through

to play its part in helping the local

its ‘The Engine Room’ initiative at

economy. One of the barriers to entry

Colmore Circus, Birmingham. “The

for fintech startups is simply having

Engine Room is a state-of-the-art

access to a physical environment that

fintech hub,” Stewart explains. “It was

is conducive to growth.”

launched in November 2019 and built up a fantastic head of steam until

Maintaining the same vision that has seen it prevail in the market for almost busi ne ssc h ief . eu





180 years, Wesleyan will continue to partner on projects with companies that demonstrate the same integrity, impact and committed work ethic it exemplifies. Part of its continued vision is an adherence to its individual mis­ sion and purpose: creating brighter financial futures for the professions we all trust. “We will remain a segment specialist because it’s the right thing for our customers and our business,” Stewart explains. “We are not a massmarket player. Rather, we cater to our customer groups in a very focused and appropriate way.” Wesleyan’s ongo­ ing transformation, combined with a well-crafted product range and awardwinning investment funds, appears to form a strategic roadmap geared for success. That success will belong not only to the company and its staff but also to its customers, whose vital work is needed now more than ever. “I said what attracted me to Wesleyan was the opportunity it presented. I’m 18 months into the role now and absolutely still firmly believe in our message.”

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Digital Transformation in the Tobacco & Vaping Industry DECEMBER 2020





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Chief Information Officer Atiq Samad reveals the transformations he has overseen at JTI, from industry 4.0 to artificial intelligence


TI is the world’s third largest tobacco company, operating in 130 markets with a workforce of 44,000 people, 29 fac­

tories, 8 R&D centers and 6 tobacco processing facilities around the world. The company’s Chief 130

Information Officer is Atiq Samad, and he has been in the role for two years. Such a large, global company has had a head start on the adaptations companies are experiencing worldwide in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as he explains: “Fortunately at JTI, we were already used to having virtual teams, because we are spread out all across the world, representing many different locations. We’ve learned over the last 15, 20 years how to work in a virtual team.” When Atiq joined JTI, he made it his mission to look at the company’s IT landscape holistically, in order to modernize its technology platforms under the banner of a Business Platform Modernization (BPM) program. “We were one of the first big companies with a single instance database on SAP



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How Wipro helped JTI implement a milestone program and reduce friction. Enterprises must do the near-impossible: Meet the high expectations of their customers and do it at the lowest cost possible. That’s why 93% of enterprises are embracing digital transformation to deliver greater value to their business. However, adding digital transformation initiatives on top of the day-to-day operation priorities is a big ask for most technology departments. JTI experienced this first-hand: IT management bandwidth was consumed in putting out fires, such as delivery quality issues and difficult supplier relationships. With no time left to innovate for the broader business objectives, JTI needed a solution that would allow its IT team to focus on what’s important. JTI sought help from a partner that could meet its needs by managing their global data center and cloud services — at scale, integrated and at a competitive cost. Wipro became exactly that partner. Wipro team quickly became immersed with the JTI team working toward the same goals. In fact, Wipro was onboarded in just 2 ½ months — three weeks ahead of schedule!

Lately, Wipro team has also supported JTI in their strategic BPM program: Wipro team worked diligently behind the scenes in multiple areas: data centers, SAP and more.

Since Wipro has started providing Data Center and Cloud services, JTI has seen tangible improvements and overall services stabilization, including a steep drop in Priority 1 incidents and a reduction in the incident/change backlog.

Wipro has done a tremendous job of transitioning our global Data Center Operations in a very short time and without disruption. Not only could they deliver a superior service as of day one, but they also kept improving and adding value. Ultimately, Wipro earned JTI’s trust and could further develop a successful relationship. — Guilain Rogg • VP, JTI

Our partnership with Wipro is a strong one based on solid execution, trust and commitment. Wipro has brought their best to create value for our business. I especially appreciate the focus on not only execution but also innovation that touches various aspects of our business. – Atiq Samad • CIO, JTI


Wipro A true partner for digital transformation In an ever-evolving business and digital landscape, enterprises need to be able to innovate while maintaining their core offerings. Wipro is the ideal strategic partner for helping enterprises unlock value through digital transformation, thanks to its internationally recognized expertise that extends far beyond data center and cloud operations. Wipro Digital and Designit are helping transform our customers’ business in fundamental ways.

Learn more about our capabilities today. Wipro • Wipro Digital • Designit



“We’re looking at the digital employee experience, and we’re even challenging the concept of offices entirely” — Atiq Samad, CIO, JTI

that moved from ECC to S/4HANA. And this was of course a big technol­ ogy migration, but not only that, we also did a finance transformation. In terms of our CRM, as part of our trade marketing excellence (TME) program, we decided to go to the lat­ est technologies with Oracle, which is the Oracle Engagement Cloud. We’ve also brought in a single source of truth called One Data, and we‘re looking into the factories and logistics too, to bring them up to the same level.”


It’s not just technology that has

the technology investment portfolio

changed as part of the BPM ini­

management process, where we have

tiative, but also the culture. “We are

a portfolio of all the technology invest­

bringing in an investment mindset.

ments. We look at each investment

So, hand-in-hand with the business

and look at both their initial business

platform modernization program,

benefits and their strategic fit to make

we have implemented what we call

a strategic roadmap.”


Atiq Samad Title: CIO Company: JTI Industry: Tobacco & Vaping


Location: Switzerland

Atiq Samad, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for JTI has held the position for the past two years and is responsible for JTI’s worldwide IT organisation. Atiq is accountable for the definition and execution of JTI’s long term IT strategies and responsible for the technology investment portfolio that supports JTI’s growth ambitions. Atiq began his career RJRI/JTI in 1994 and has consistently taken on new roles with increased accountability across the entire IT function, including leadership over the Center of Excellence, IT Global Development Center and Business Platform Modernization (BPM). Atiq holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from Indian Institute of Technology and MBA degree from Indiana University. Atiq lives in Nyon, Switzerland with his wife and 2 children.

busi ne ssch ief . eu


“At JTI, we were already used to having virtual teams, because we are spread out all across the world” — Atiq Samad, CIO, JTI

Part of that strategic roadmap has been embracing emerging technolo­ gies. “We’re expanding into artificial intelligence, IoT, robotic process automation. We already have them on a small scale, but now we’re going to expand further into the digital space.” Future projects coming down the line include getting more out of data with buyer insights and predictive analytics. “We’re looking into the digital space, and how we can lever­ age IoT for our vaping products, for


example. That also opens us up to





139 practice ecommerce - which we can’t with our traditional business.” The transformation goes further into the manufacturing sites themselves. “We are also looking into industry 4.0,” says Samad, “which we already do in terms of manufacturing, operations management and quality sensors. But we want to expand this and really look into transforming our manufacturing and factories. We’re also doing a pro­ ject now that’s focused on our global supply chain. That’s building the foun­ dation for greater sales forecast and operations planning (S&OP), where we busi ne ssch ief . eu

key people remarkable projects

#Precise Resourcing Outcome Focussed RealTime Hiring Decisions Assured Accuracy PreciseResourcing@hansonregan.com

will look at the entire company’s sales

Orange Business Services and Wipro.

and operations planning process - but

In addition to that we engage with mid-

that’s for the future.”

sized companies that give us more

JTI’s technological transformation has

agility and flexibility. Some of these

required the participation of a number

companies started very small and they

of partners such as Hanson Regan and

grew with us, so they feel part of the

SCL Consulting. Samad notes that the

team spirit that we have created at JTI.”

companies it works with vary in scale.

Thanks to the existing measures

“We have a few big strategic partners,

put in place by Samad and his team,

we work with SAP, Microsoft, Oracle,

JTI was well able to weather the


“We’re going to expand further into the digital space” — Atiq Samad, CIO, JTI

busi ne ssch ief . eu


coronavirus storm. “We have eve­ rything cloud ready - that’s why, for example, when we felt the impact of coronavirus, we went from 600 remote workers to about 18,000 remote workers within three days. From an infrastructure standpoint, we had to make an effort, but it didn’t cre­ ate big problems.” Samad further sees the pandemic as opening up possible avenues for potential change. “We’re looking at the digital employee experi­ ence, and we’re even challenging the 142

concept of the office entirely. Can we



Year founded

$12.4bn+ Revenue in US dollars

44,000 Number of employees


“We look at each investment and look at both their initial business benefits and their strategic fit to create a strategic roadmap” — Atiq Samad, CIO, JTI busi ne ssch ief . eu





not have dynamic offices, for instance?

in good stead for the future. “While

But as the CIO, my biggest focus always

our competitors are focusing on

has been and always will be on remain­

upgrading their systems and moving

ing secure, compliant, and resilient.”

to new platforms, we will already be

That philosophy is aligned with the

experiencing the value of that technol­

goals of the business at large. “Our

ogy. That’s one thing that really makes

goal is to become the number one

us ready for the future.”

tobacco company in the world. In today’s world, you cannot do that without technology. I’m excited about it because we can really add value through the technology we introduce.” Samad is clear that the technological work the company has done stands busi ne ssch ief . eu








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wC has identified a number of trends. affecting organisations, centered around a digital landscape that was growing in

complexity even before the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are in a very strange and unprecedented situ­ ation - the ‘new normal’, as we call it within PwC,” 148

says Ivo Van Bennekom, Director, Digital Identity. “What that new normal means, is that it’s acceler­ ated a big change that was already happening prior to the COVID-19 situation, where we see clients changing from a traditional value chain that was very direct, to starting to become more part of a digital ecosystem, collaborating to delivering a variety of services towards the end consumer.” Increased digital complexity and ever-changing employee roles within an organisation means iden­ tifying and allowing the access of users is all the more important. “Managing identity is vital, but it’s also a daunting task for many organisations who lack proper identity and access management (IAM) for governing their digital identities,” says Duane Carstens, Director, Cybersecurity & Privacy. “That’s regardless of their IAM service maturity DECEMBER 2020


busi ne ssc h ief . eu



and whether they are adopting or replacing digital technology through their digital transformation”. To help organisations with digital identity, the company maintains more than 950 digital identity profession­ als as part of a broader cyber team that is 3,500 strong, with extensive experience across various industries. PwC consequently differentiates itself from competitors in the space along a number of lines. “One of the biggest benefits that clients see when work­


ing with us, is that we can deliver an integrated approach to the whole breadth and depth of cybersecurity and digital identity management,” says Van Bennekom. Carstens believes in the transformative power of PwC’s cyber business. “The purpose of our cyber business is to help build a secure digital society. This is done through three key aspects, including 1) serv­ ing our clients, 2) extensive research and disruption to the market and to threat actors which is done by chal­ lenging conventional thinking, and 3) shaping society by being an exemplar. These three key aspects are encom­ passed by our DNA which includes DECEMBER 2020

empowering an innovative and

which companies must respond to.

diverse team.

“We see key emerging cybersecurity

PwC is equally focused on forging

risks as a result of COVID-19,” says

strong bonds with their customers.

Carstens. “There are a lot of opportun­

“Our value is defined by the relation­

istic threats at the moment.

ship with the client,” says Carstens.

The increasing attacks on businesses

“That relationship is born from an

means that identity and access man­

intelligent, engaged, highly collabora­

agement continues to be of paramount

tive process. It’s about helping them

significance, in the risk management

through their digital transformation

priorities of organisations.”

journey, through their challenges and

“The focus should be on provid­

providing the insight to assist clients

ing the right people, with the right

to reach their objectives.”

access, at the right time through the

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in innovative attack vectors

identification, authentication and app­ ropriate authorisation information


Ivo Van Bennekom Title: Director, Digital Identity Location: Arnhem-Nijmegen Region Ivo leads the PwC Digital Identity Impact Center for the EMEA region. Ivo has over 15 years of experience within the digital technology space, with a specific focus on global identity market patterns and translating them to business objectives for clients. He is a strategic and tactical Subject Matter Expert on digital identity topics advising Client Senior management. Ivo works for a variety of sectors, with a main focus on Finance, Retail and high-tech firms. He is engagement leader of several global Cyber Security & Digital Identity programs. busi ne ssc h ief . eu


PwC and Okta: delivering cloud identity solutions

Okta’s Paul Rooke, Managing Director - GSIs and Advisories, on the company’s provision of its cloud identity platform alongside PwC Okta is a cloud identity platform focussed on enabling organisations to use technology securely, as Paul Rooke, Managing Director - GSIs and Advisories, explains: “We promise to always protect the identities of our customers’ work force and their customers. We have 14 offices around the world, 2,700 employees, approaching 9,000 customers and six and a half thousand integrations with other technologies.” As companies look at their digital transformation programmes, they don’t want to get locked into legacy applications that take years to roll out, and they don’t want to be locked into identity solutions that are stuck onto those applications as an afterthought. We take away the headache of identity, allowing PWC to focus on the business requirements of their clients.” The partnership has afforded Okta the ability to get a broad view of client requirements, as Rooke explains. “PwC are authoring not just identity strategy, but across digital transformation as a whole. With PwC at the forefront of a client relationship, they work very strongly with our own professional services team, our own customer success organisation, and our engineering teams, to really get deep into our technology and make sure that our technology fits the requirements of those large programmes and customers.”

Rooke identifies legacy migration as one of the keys powering the relationship into the future. “We’re able to leverage Okta’s Access Gateway into legacy tools, whilst at the same time moving that organisation, as part of it’s transformation program, into the new world. That involves replacing on-premise apps with cloud apps, and at the same time, having Okta sitting on top of everything as a cloud technology that retains a gateway into legacy systems.” The company is further empowering users by putting its technology into the hands of developers. “Developers can actually build Okta into their own home-grown applications. That’s something that PwC can offer as a service to clients, guiding and helping them strategise around that.” Rooke remains confident in the strength of the partnership and its ability to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has presented to clients. “The remote work piece has obviously developed at pace this year, and that’s something PwC and Okta can deliver solutions for. For example, a soft drinks organisation is now managing the relationship with suppliers and their distributors globally using Okta as the identity solution. That’s something we’ve only seen accelerate this year.” okta.com



Year founded


Number of employees in Africa


Number of employees globally 154


security principles” Carstens adds. “Identity and access management is not just about the technology, it also involves the organisation’s people, processes and governance on the service. This holistic approach will provide secured flexibility for your remote workforce to remain productive and ‘work from anywhere’.” Defending against those threats requires capabilities across a range of arenas. “Digital identity can roughly be carved up into four different areas,” says Van Bennekom. “One is the work­force identity space, so access management, but also identity gov­ ernance. Second, is privileged access management, for users such as data­ base administrators that, basically with one press of a button, can wipe out a complete IT estate. Thirdly, we have customer identity, from B2B customers to consumer scenarios, or even governments and how they interface with their citizens. Lastly, we have artificial intelligence, RPA and the identity of things.” With such a wide range of areas to be aware of, a holistic approach is necessary. “What’s most important busi ne ssc h ief . eu


what tools, how are they using those tools, are they the right tools and governing the usage along your journey. Imagine if Hilary and Norgay just tried to climb without


Senior Vice President, EMEA SailPoint

knowing all the information about the route and having the 350 porters, 20 Sherpas and the tons of supplies to support the expedition. COVID-19 has changed the business landscape, with

On May 29, 1953 two men shake hands around noon.

over 55% of companies now looking to invest in new

One a 33-year-old bee keeper, the other a 39-year-old

digital experiences and requirements to support their

Tibetan climber. At that moment Edmund Hilary and

business. Also over 54% recognise the need to improve

Tenzing Norgay transformed the climbing world and

their cybersecurity and resiliency in light of the changing

achieved the accolade of being the first people to climb

workplace, according to PwC CIO Pulse survey. But after

the world’s highest mountain—creating a path for those

stay-at-home restrictions and social distancing suddenly

who come after them. To say in passing that you’ve

forced more collaboration and commerce online, over

“climbed Mount Everest” always implies that you did

52% of companies now recognise that they need to invest

the impossible.

in new technology and AI enabled business models to support their transformation.

Why is this important in today’s world? Whether it is COVID-19, new competitors, expansion, operational

Unfortunately, legacy technology complexity in the

efficiencies, all organisations need to transform to a new

current security landscape and outmoded platforms

digital era and one of the only ways you can do this is

remain major obstacles to the pace and success of

mapping out the path as to who in your organisation has

digital transformation efforts. Many companies have

hundreds—if not thousands—of systems running their business, with their security approach being siloed. Conventional IT approaches to these problems are not helping. Large programs, re-platforming, and complex replacements take many years, cost more than most companies can afford, pose risks, and are highly

Proactively detect and revoke inappropriate access

Enable stronger collaboration and effective governance

Automatically check access policy before granting

Unify and centralize access certifications across data

Model the future of a company’s access so they

unlikely to deliver on the promise. Accelerating digital transformation requires a new approach and with SailPoint Predictive Identity, organisations can build and adapt the route that supports their journey for their employees, partners, RPA’s and other stakeholders. Studies have found that undergoing a digital transformation can improve an enterprise’s productivity, collaboration, and innovation among employees. Additionally, it can improve prestige in the modern marketplace, streamline business processes, consolidate corporate assets, and improve the bottom line overall. The growth of cloud adoption (86% of the SailPoint EMEA Virtual User Group has predicted growth in SaaS applications in the enterprise over the next 18 months) will mean the integration of your business processes across endpoint devices, operating systems, applications and resources. It enables access to endpoints outside the traditional enterprise structures and across disparate locations to corporate assets, all of which will form part of the digital transformation; with SailPoint Predictive Identity and PwC we can help your enterprise handle transitioning to the cloud through its centralization mechanisms, structured approach and by ensuring regulatory compliance through the platforms monitoring capabilities. SailPoint’s Predictive Identity approach can help an organisation prepare for their transformation journey, as well as supporting it along the way and adapting when

and policy violations to strengthen security

across business, IT and audit/compliance teams

new access privileges

centre, cloud, and mobile systems

can assess the impact of a transformation on their application landscape

With SailPoint and PwC we are able to create an identityfocused digital transformation strategy that enable users – whether internal or external, human or nonperson – to streamline actions, duties, or processes on the journey. An identity enabled enterprise can scale to heights previously inaccessible as it ensures that you can climb to those heights responsibly and profitably. With identity governance as a key foundation for your digital transformation, it means that user permissions need to be tightly controlled more than ever. Your enterprise must be able to maintain security as well as ensure that business processes are smoothly managed and conducted. Digital transformation enabled by identity is a key for every organisation as it attempts to ascend their Everest. Tenzing later revealed in his autobiography, “Tiger of the Snows”, that Hillary had in fact preceded him, something they kept a secret for years. Because to a mountaineer, it’s not about who sets foot first, it’s about supporting each other through tough times and letting your partner shine. With SailPoint and PwC supporting you, there will be no summit you cannot conquer in your security journey.

encountering hurdles or new paths. With SailPoint Predictive Identity you can…

Map your current user estate and answer who has access to what, how did they get access and do they need access on an ongoing basis

Provide proof and irrevocable evidence of compliance to internal and external auditors

Visit us at www.sailpoint.com to learn how SailPoint can help transform your business with Identity.


PwC BriqBank helps with digital identity CLICK TO WATCH



158 in terms of digital identity is that

“The vendors that we typically work

management should have a complete

with are on a journey together with us to

vision for their identity and access

actually decrease the technology debt

management program. Coupled with

that you need in order to fulfill a lot of

that vision should be capability in man­

those use cases,” adds Van Bennekom.

aging and governing identity, as well

“Cloud solutions, for instance, simplify a

as controlling and monitoring access,”

lot of the technical digital identity com­

Carstens says. “Capabilities have to

plexity while also reducing the cost of

run across different groups, including

operating such a system.” The effective

human and non-human users, who

utilisation of appropriate technologies

will be in contact with your organisation

will allow organisations to spend more

and the assets that you’re trying to

time on what really matters: managing

protect, from applications in the cloud,

business risks related to digitalisation.

to on-premise solutions, databases and

An accomplished cybersecurity

operating systems and the data that

strategy is a vital complement to digital

resides on these assets.”

transformation. “Digital transformation




Duane Carstens Title: Director, Cybersecurity & Privacy Location: City of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa Duane is an Associate Director in the PwC cybersecurity and privacy practice, providing comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to assist businesses with assessing, building and managing their cybersecurity capabilities, and enabling effective management to a myriad of potential threats from strategy to execution. Duane’s working experience spans over 15 years working with listed entities across various industry sectors, in numerous countries, and within multiple roles. He is engaged in the understanding of technology and trends, and being able to articulate and make comprehensive, pragmatic decisions for businesses and consumers. Through Duane’s career, he has worked on security programs / ISMS development, vendor & client management, assessments, governance, risk & compliance, formalizing innovative business operating models, improving processes and optimizing controls, while achieving strategy and objectives.

busi ne ssc h ief . eu




“O UR VALUE IS DEFINED BY THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CLIENT” — Duane Carstens, Director, Cybersecurity & Privacy, PwC

can result in a company becoming a target for attackers because they know that there’s a lot of volatility within the organisation,” says Van Bennekom. “We understand how to integrate cyber­security into those types of transformations, because technol­ ogy continues to be the driver and it’s evident that security is an enabler of those digital journeys.”



PwC consequently ensures its cyber

processes and take the right approach

defence offering keeps up with the

to help organisations become smarter

pace and evolving trends. “We are

in terms of cybersecurity defense,”

already in the fourth wave of digital

says Van Bennekom.

transformation. Agility is becoming

While as a consulting and advisory

more important and, with that, the

house PwC remains technology and

required agility of cyber defence is

vendor agnostic, SailPoint, OKTA and

also increasing. We’re also bringing

CyberArk are some of the solutions

in consultants from other PwC com­

it employs to help clients achieve

petencies to understand business

their goals. “The technology vendors busi ne ssc h ief . eu

BUSINESS AT THE SPEED OF INNOVATION Privileged Access Management for the New Digital Landscape. Move fearlessly forward into the new digital landscape with CyberArk and secure access to the organization’s entire digital business, protecting all privileged credentials.



will continue to add the desired value to our client engagements.” Going forward, the two are clear that PwC stands in good stead to assist not only its clients but society at large with transformation in access management, decreasing complexity and improving the utility of digital envi­ ronments. “We’re focused on building

that we work with are a big part of

trust in society and solving important

helping clients to decrease their IT

problems while making sure that

complexity so that there’s more room

we are looking at this from a broader

to create business value,” says Van

perspective rather than just creating

Bennekom. “Typically, the vendors

locks,” says Van Bennekom. “You need

that we work with are capable of cover­

to understand what an organisation

ing a whole ecosystem of use cases

wants to achieve from a business

and different types of identities, all

perspective to understand how

from the cloud.”

cybersecurity can support that most

The companies with whom PwC

effectively. We’ll continue integrating

works with are therefore carefully

all those different competencies to

selected through a consultative

decrease the complexity and the risks

approach, based on product value

of our clients’ ecosystems.”

and market need. “Digital identity for us as a business is one of our growth priorities over the next few years,” says Carstens. “Together with the right partnerships, matching a solu­ tion to a client problem, and our robust methodologies supported by our global network of subject matter experts, we busi ne ssc h ief . eu




Communications Driven by Innovation WRITTEN BY



busi ne ssch ief . eu



Julie Fedele, VP of Emerging Business Activation at Liberty Global, on emerging business, venture partnerships and opening new markets


iberty Global could be the biggest enter­ prise you’ve never heard of. It’s not really a household name, though the household

is where it is to be found in the guise of its much more recognisable European brands Virgin Media, UPC and Telenet, and in the Netherlands Vodafone 166

Ziggo. Liberty Global is among the largest con­ verged video, broadband and telecommunication companies, with annual revenues of US$11bn, 11 million customers and 20,000 employees. This company has grown since its foundation in 2005 by means of a canny and active M&A strategy, riding the crest of the wave of transformation as telecoms has evolved through technology – a pro­ cess serially documented in these pages. Its latest announcement, the creation of 4,000 jobs by merg­ ing the UK operations of Virgin Media and Britain’s largest mobile operator O2 (owned by Telefónica) is at once creative and aggressively competitive. Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries is keen to seize opportunities in the dynamic markets of Europe: “When the power of 5G meets 1 gig broadband, UK consumers and businesses will never look back.” DECEMBER 2020


busi ne ssch ief . eu



Clearly a company on the move

“I quickly saw the parallels with the

determined to lead in the emergent

healthcare industry, having worked

telecommunications field, Liberty

inside across multiple roles during my

Global’s appointment of Julie Fedele

10 years at Bupa’s” says Fedele. “Both

to the position of VP of Emerging

sectors have seen sustained growth

Business in June of this year 2020

and rapid disruption. This disruption

was an imaginative move. She had

means that traditional sources of

little direct experience in telecoms

growth become challenged and finding

apart from an early stint as a con­

new sources is something that really

sultant with Telstra in her native

excites me. There is a tremendous

Australia but she came with a track

opportunity to reimagine capabilities

record of value activation, a quality

and partnerships by leveraging our

that’s perfectly timed with this com­

core assets like network, customer

pany’s current direction.

base and product platforms. We are


“When the power of 5G meets 1 gig broadband, UK consumers and businesses will never look back” — Julie Fedele, VP of Emerging Business, Liberty Global

essentially an infrastructure-based, consumer business that monetises this infrastructure with integrated services. As 3rd parties evolve their services, we become a meta-aggregator, simplify­ ing experiences for the consumer. Coming into this role, I asked: how can we leverage our assets at pace to develop new value – and break long development cycles?” Fedele learned the advantages of breaking technol­ ogy down into microservices that enable rapid change and flexibility. 169


Julie Fedele Title: VP of Emerging Business Company: Liberty Global Industry: Telecoms

Location: London

Julie Fedele, VP of Emerging Business Activation at Liberty Global, is a true value activator. Achieving an MBA from the University of New South Wales (2009 to 2012), her first foray into start-ups was an online enabler called Popping Up, helping online businesses take advantage of empty retail space and move ‘from clicks to bricks’. Since joining Liberty Global, Fedele has been appointed a Board Member of nonprofit organisation Women in Cable Telecommunications. Viewing life as a continual journey of learning, Fedele stated, “My goal is to improve how I understand the world and my place within it every day.” busi ne ssch ief . eu

We are Xperi. With the combined power of TiVo, DTS and IMAX Enhanced, Xperi is revolutionizing the way people experience entertainment at home and on the go. Our commitment to innovation, deep experience and end-to-end solutions like TiVo’s Next-Gen Platform have secured our place as a long-standing technology partner for Virgin Media, Liberty Latin America and other global brands. Together, we deliver awe-inspiring visuals, heartpounding audio and personalized content discovery to millions of people around the world, all day, every day.



“What we aim to do with the Emerging Business team is to create revenue optionality at pace” — Julie Fedele, VP of Emerging Business, Liberty Global

Bringing that principle to her current role, she’s in favour of over-the-top, or plug-and-play services. “What we aim to do with the Emerging Business team is to create revenue optionality at pace,” she says. “This is what differentiates emerging and new business. Emerging business is identifying completely new revenue streams. For example, launching a new business under the Virgin Media brand or a new brand, that taps new margetmarket segments.“We don’t


need to explore the whole pool – but we can widen the swim lane!” A business the size of Liberty Global generates a lot of ideas. And an impor­ tant part of the Emerging Business teams’ remit is to advance some of the best, the ‘activation’ part of her job title. The team consists of squads­ pods directed to look at, say, e-health, e-sport or consumer energy, Fedele explains. “With the team, we then scope out what this means, set param­ eters – for example when considering healthcare we split out ‘lifestyle well­ ness’, a very busy field, from ‘e-health, and concentrate on the latter.” From there on they operate like a DECEMBER 2020

Entering the Gigabit Era CLICK TO WATCH



173 separate business unit to define the

right, enabling families to stay in con­

opportunities and partners they might

tact and individuals to avoid isolation.

work with. These tend not to be start-

“I am deeply interested in how we can

ups, she says: though early-stage

create an ecosystem in the home,

businesses are her passion, it’s hard

based on peace of mind, safety

for a large enterprise to work with

and healthcare and every aspect of

them. “We look for Series B/C part­

people’s lives, through our enabling

ners and beyond. We want confirmed

services,” she says.

growth, sound management and a clear path to scale,” she says.

Content, it has been said, is king, and though Fedele fully expects the corporation to continue its M&A


growth, she focuses her team on

Covid has emphasised the central

partnership. She thinks there’s a

importance of connectivity, which

real gap in healthcare services to

has been elevated to a basic human

the home: “I am not talking about busi ne ssch ief . eu

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your operation. We ensure agents are utilised equally even when the number of callers and agents is unequal, and all underlying metrics, including average speed of answer and abandonment rate, are unimpacted in an Afiniti environment.

Patented Approach We are one of the few AI technologies truly capable of proving its impact through precise measurement. For all clients our patented ‘ON vs. OFF’ approach cycles Afiniti’s algorithm in short periods of time to provide a clear statistical view of the benefits we deliver. These brief, alternating cycles ensure any external changes in revenue strategies, agent population, consumer interests, marketing campaigns, and even weather are taken into account.

Learn more about Afiniti

Women in technology

The history of Afiniti


Afiniti’s impact



Year founded

$11.bn+ Revenue in US dollars

20,000 Number of employees




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“There is a tremendous opportunity to reimagine capabilities and partnerships by leveraging our core assets like network, customer base and product platforms” — Julie Fedele, VP of Emerging Business, Liberty Global DECEMBER 2020

flooded markets like e-fitness or digital yoga mats, but how we can play a role in the home when some­ one is facing a health event whether it’s a fracture, a diagnosis or a need for something like physiotherapy or even psychotherapy.” Fedele is passionate about activat­ ing new revenue. Her background includes running innovation labs and managing an accelerator programme for start-ups and she was impressed after joining Liberty Global to find that


it took an expeditious approach to

many moving parts and multiple things

onboarding new partners. She feels at

changing every day, which can be a

home, though admits to not being

challenge getting alignment over video

a typical corporate animal.

calls: I am really keen to show the rest

“We work in a very flat structure and

of the business how a ‘digital native’

personally l love the flexibility of work­

team works and demonstrate how a

ing remotely, though it has to be said it

large corporate like Liberty Global can

does have some downsides, especially

be nimble and activate new ventures –

for the younger team members who

even during a pandemic!”

are deprived of the chance to learn by osmosis from the rest of the team,” admits Fedele. “They are on my mind a lot – we work in an agile team, with busi ne ssch ief . eu


Inside 9mobile’s Digital Transformation WRITTEN BY





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9mobile CEO, Alan Sinfield, talks digital transformation, serving the underserved and creating a cultural shift, all in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic


igeria is a frontier market with huge reserves of untapped potential. A coun­ try of 206mn people, large portions

of its market are underserved, both in terms of Telecommunications, Media & Technology (TMT) and, Banking. The country’s telecom market only 182

has a mobile broadband data penetration rate of around 45%, and more than half of its citizens that are the right age to own a bank account are com­ pletely unbanked. “There’s huge growth potential here,” says Alan Sinfield, CEO of 9mobile. Having accumulated multiple decades worth of experience, both in the banking sector and lead­ ing telecoms in frontier markets, Sinfield sees a wealth of opportunities for 9mobile to grow and evolve into a top-tier competitor in the Nigerian mobile industry. We sat down with him to discuss his vision for digitally transforming 9mobile, driving major fibre deployments throughout a geographi­ cally and politically diverse country, banking the unbanked, and nurturing a vibrant ecosystem of Nigerian companies in order to build a truly sustain­ able, valuable, home-grown MNO. DECEMBER 2020


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“The sheer enthusiasm of the team here, the talent and passion they have for the business made for a nice welcome” — Alan Sinfield, CEO, 9mobile

A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY Founded in 2008 as Etisalat Nigeria, 9mobile rebranded in 2017 to better reflect both the company’s identity as a wholly-Nigerian owned, Nigerianfocused MNO, and its commitment to delivering innovative, best-in-class services to its customers. Currently, 9mobile is the fourth-largest telecom in Nigeria, a fact which Sinfield fully intends to remedy. “There’s no reason for us to be in fourth position in this market. We have


the same foundations from which to work from as the other operators in Nigeria, so when you compare our 13 million customers to the leading tel­ ecom players in the country, some of which have between 50 and 70 million, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be in the same space,” he explains. “We have lofty goals, but every intention of achieving them.”

EMBRACING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FROM THE INSIDE OUT Sinfield and 9mobile are in the process of acting on a five-year plan to transform the business into a leading competitor in the Nigerian telecom market. In order DECEMBER 2020

to realise the company’s full potential,

and VR to robotics. A lot of what we’re

Sinfield explains that new technologies

looking at centres around applying the

have a key role to play, both in 9mobile’s

latest technological advancements

internal operations and regarding the

within the operation to streamline and

offerings to its customers.

make it more effective,” he explains.

“We’re in a fast-moving world. There’s

“We’re also paying close attention to the

so much happening right now around

evolution of IoT, and how best to adopt

technological innovation, from AR

that technology internally, as well as


Alan Sinfield Title: CEO Company: 9mobile Industry: Telecommunications


Location: Nigeria

Alan Sinfield is a hybrid senior executive with experience and expertise in the telecommunications, banking and fintech industries. He has held board and senior leadership roles in several companies, including mobile, fixed line and broadband data operators, and in the fintech and banking sectors across emerging markets in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. He served as CEO for four years at Ooredoo (Starlink), a subsidiary of the listed Qatari Telecommunications Group, as well as serving as Chief Information Officer and Chief Customer Services Officer at Orascom Telecom (IraQna), a subsidiary of the listed Egyptian Telecommunications Group. Furthermore, he has held the role of Chief Executive Officer at Amara Communications Co. (ananda), a 4G LTE mobile broadband operator in Myanmar, from 2018 to 2019, and also held the position of CEO at Cadcomms (qb), a full-service Mobile Operator in Cambodia, from 2010 to 2017. busi ne ssch ief . eu



“We have lofty goals, but every intention of achieving them” — Alan Sinfield, CEO, 9mobile

explains. “In some instances, 3G is legacy technology, but when you’re looking at rural communities that have had no access to data so far, the speeds you can get with 3G are mindblowing in comparison.”

ROLLING OUT FIBRE how to use it to help customers’ busi­

While 9mobile already has an opera­

nesses perform better.”

tional network consisting of close to

Externally, Sinfield explains,

6,000km of fibre, Sinfield notes that

9mobile’s technological advance­

the market still remains largely under­

ments need to be rolled out in step

served. In the main, he explains, this is

with the expectations and demands of

due to a long-standing state of affairs

its customers. “It’s about understand­

tied to multiple levels of federal and

ing what the customers want, which

state regulatory control throughout

is high-speed data at very affordable

the diverse political landscape that

prices that works everywhere and

makes up Nigeria.

when they need it,” a challenging

“One of the barriers, historically, to

feat in light of the sheer size and

rolling out fibre in Nigeria is the fact

geographical diversity of the Nigerian

that it’s such a large country made up

market. Understanding the current

of individual states with local govern­

capabilities of the mobile network in

ments, which means you’re dealing with

different parts of Nigeria is essential

multiple levels of government below

to elevating 9mobile’s offerings in

the national level,” he elaborates. “What

a sustainable way.

this means is that some places are

“A lot of what we’re doing is based

charging for rights of way at rates that

on tailoring our technical strategy to

are just plain prohibitive.” The country’s

deliver right-sized coverage for the

minister for communications and digital

communities we’re serving,” Sinfield

economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, busi ne ssch ief . eu




has been instrumental, Sinfield adds,

the necessary infrastructure itself can

in challenging this status quo. “He’s

be prohibitive. “The cost of deploying

convinced a lot of states that decreas­

fibre is very high,” remarks Sinfield.

ing those up-front payments will lead

As a result, 9mobile has been forging

to better adoption of ICT technology

alliances and partnerships with other

and more revenue in the long-term.”

Nigerian operators, creating a shared

As a result, right of way charges are

fibre network that could soon serve

being dropped across the country,

even the most isolated areas of the

allowing 9mobile, as well as other

region. “It doesn’t make sense for all of

MNOs and fibre companies, to roll out

us to dig the same hole and lay the same

more infrastructure in support of the

fibre. We already have deals in place

Government’s five year broadband plan.

with other operators to swap fibre; we’re

However, even with government tariffs reduced, the expense of installing DECEMBER 2020

building out a huge ecosystem through­ out the entire country,” he adds.

M O B I L E B A N K I N G FO R T HE U N BAN K ED Of the 206 million people living in Nigeria, approximately half of that population is of an appropriate age to own a bank account. “Of that population, just over 50% of them are unbanked. That’s 50-millionplus people who don’t have access to banking services,” says Sinfield. Earlier this year, the

to be an online service, but with additional elements of traditional retail banking,” he says, agreeing that the service will be something of a hybrid between a digital-only challenger bank like Revolut or Starling, and a more traditional financial institution.

company became one of the first firms in Nigeria to receive the government’s new payment service bank licenses, as part of the government’s new initiative to increase financial inclusion.

The service itself can work on a host of different devices, from smartphones and tablets down to 2G feature phones. You don’t need to be on a smartphone or download an app to use it; the whole service works with USSD strings,” he says. “It’s more than just mobile money. We’ve got the capability for people to have savings accounts, remittance accounts, and more. It’s a great way for us to both enable our customers and to help the government achieve its financial inclusion goals. It really does open up opportunities as financial inclusion also drives digital inclusion, which will really support growth in Nigeria.”

In response, 9mobile has spun out a dedicated banking business to compete in the country’s burgeoning fintech space. Given his experience in finance, and previous work with mobile money solutions in other frontier markets, Sinfield notes that developing the new offerings has been extremely exciting and is looking forward to the launch of the new 9PSB. “What we’re developing is a standalone bank which is going

“We’re going to have retail banking halls, as well as ATMs.

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Forward together Respond today, adapt tomorrow, and reimagine the future microsoft.com/mea/together

“Our banking service is a great way for us to both enable our customers and to help the government achieve its financial inclusion goals” — Alan Sinfield, CEO, 9mobile

that process, everyone at 9mobile is an ambassador for the brand. If they don’t live, breathe and represent the brand then the company won’t suc­ ceed. The only way we will succeed is through teamwork.” He adds that, in addition to improv­ ing training programs and delving deeper into the company’s core competencies to better understand the strategic changes that need to be made, he’s working to create a rewards-focused culture at 9mobile. “We want people to understand that,


if they want to progress, they’ll have

Every digital transformation, at its

to put in the work, and that if they put

heart, lives or dies by the strength of

in the work, they’re going to progress

a company’s people. 9mobile is no

and be rewarded for helping to grow

exception. Sinfield admits that, prior

the business.”

to his arrival, the company had expe­ rienced a few difficult years related to


investment in infrastructure and other

As a wholly Nigerian-owned busi­

areas. “However, what we do have

ness, ensuring that 9mobile works

internally is a wealth of great human

to nurture and grow the ecosystem

capital, that we will be further develop­

around it in a sustainable way is an

ing through investment in training, and

essential goal for Sinfield and the

career development,” he says. “What

company’s shareholders alike. “We

I’ve been doing since I’ve arrived is let­

have a strong focus on using local

ting people know that we are turning

companies wherever we can to

things around. I’ve made it clear that in

help give them a leg up, by investing busi ne ssch ief . eu


KE Y P ART N ERSHI P S “O ur partners are key to ensuring that we achieve our business goals. We want to recognise where we’re strong, where they might be stronger, and make sure we’re leveraging the right alliances to ensure that both businesses mutually benefit” - Alan Sinfield, CEO, 9mobile. Ceragon Ceragon is one of our main network partners relating to microwave transmissions. They’re instrumental


in making sure our data is hauled back to our network hubs and how we provide broadband connectivity to our customers in areas where we cannot immediately lay fibre. We work very closely with them and intend to continue to do so as we roll out more of our network.



Comviva does a lot with us in the area of value-added services. They’ve been working with 9mobile for a number of years and have a solid, evolving solution set that they provide to us.

Huawei is one of our core network vendors. They provide great service. They’re always helping us expand our technical capabilities and we’re continuing to explore new ways for them to be a part of our value chain going forward.

Microsoft Microsoft is a major part of our future plans. They’re a key partner for everything we want to do and, in addition, they have some fantastic goals based around their CSR programs, so we’re working closely with them to ensure we make the most of the products and services they offer so we in turn can offer the best possible service to our customers.

Huawei believe in the market potential of 9mobile and proud to partner with 9mbile to provide network signal coverage and data connection for more and more people in Nigeria. Huawei fully supports 9mobile in fighting against the COVID-19 epidemic through ICT technology. Huawei and 9mobile will together contribute to the development of ICT talents in Nigeria and committed to more cooperation.

busi ne ssch ief . eu




“Everyone who works for 9mobile is an ambassador for the brand. If they don’t live, breathe and represent the brand then the company won’t succeed” — Alan Sinfield, CEO, 9mobile


and giving them our business,” he says. “As a wholly Nigerian-owned company, our shareholders want to invest in Nigeria and its communities, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to build a com­ pany that is sustainable and delivers real value to all of our stakeholders.” Going forward, Sinfield says that customers, companies and share­ holders can expect big things from 9mobile. He adds that he’s extremely grateful to the company’s loyal


Year founded

2,300 Number of employees


customers, who have continued to

and SME-size companies, which

support them through past years,

are very underserved right now. We

and that rewarding that loyalty is a

already work with a large number of

top priority for the company. “We

those companies and I want to note

have a lot of new plans and ideas. A

that we’re very grateful for their con­

lot of our customers have stuck with

tinued patronage and support.”

us through thick and thin, and we want to make sure that we reward their loyalty while we continue to invest in our network and services for them,” he says. “It’s not just at the consumer level though; Nigeria abounds with micro busi ne ssch ief . eu


Digital Transformation in Semiconductor Procurement WRITTEN BY





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Arm’s Alisa Bornstein, Group Procurement Senior Director, on the transformation in procurement worthy of Arm’s high-tech reputation


rm is a British multinational semicon­ ductor and software design company headquartered in Cambridge, UK. Arm

technology touches more than 70% of the world’s population, and its processor designs have ena­ 198

bled advanced computing in more than 180 billion chips to date, powering products from the sensor to the smartphone and the supercomputer. One of the key functions enabling its success is the supply chain. Alisa Bornstein is Group Procurement Senior Director at the company, with over 25 years’ experience in procurement at com­ panies including Ericsson, BT, Telia, Millicom, IHS and now Arm. “I have experience of procurement start-ups, green-field and significant transforma­ tions, as well as leading teams in multicultural, complex and fast moving environments and mature and emerging markets. At the places I’ve been I’ve professionalised and digitalised procure­ ment and brought in innovative, agile, lean and efficient service and solutions to the business.”



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“Strategic partnerships with suppliers are critical to supporting an organisation’s objectives” — Alisa Bornstein, Group Procurement Senior Director, Arm

and effective function supporting the business’ objectives and future plans.“ That transformation program was undertaken with the aim of digitalis­

On her decision to join Arm, Bornstein


ing core procurement processes to

says: “Arm stood out for its unique

enable efficiencies, boost controls,

people, culture of collaboration and

minimise risks, and improve the experi­

brilliant minds. Almost two years in,

ence for end-users. “Procurement

and after 18 months of the transforma­

digitalisation has exploded across

tion program, I am proud to say that

the entire business environment, and

procurement at Arm today is recog­

its entire value proposition to the

nised as a value-creating, responsible

overall organisation has changed tremendously,” says Bornstein. “Digitalisation influences all areas of procurement, from category man­ agement, strategic sourcing, supplier and risk management, to transactional purchase-to-pay operations.”


Arm | Architects of Possible CLICK TO WATCH



201 Naturally, the project has resulted

configuration changes and deploy

in a ground-up overhaul. “We started

all the solutions. We set separate

our digital journey by improving the

workstreams for supplier and content

basics, standardising and redesign­

enablement, and change management.

ing the whole source-to-pay (S2P)

The plan was rigorously monitored

process and deployment of Ariba,”

by external and internal teams.

says Bornstein. “This required a

Advice and support from the imple­

significant change in our ways of

mentation partner in the design phase,

working and the company culture.”

during configuration, testing and

The project hasn’t been without

during go live was absolutely a crucial

complexities. “We were preparing

success factor.”

the rollout for 18 months before we

Having been live with Ariba for the

engaged an external implementation

past year, Bornstein is satisfied that

partner. With them, a schedule was

the digital strategy has delivered and

developed to review the design, make

continues to create significant value busi ne ssch ief . eu

THE WORLD IS CHANGING. ARE YOU? Faster. More agile. More innovative. More sustainable. Lower cost. Improved EBITDA. If procurement is not accelerating your business outcomes, it’s probably time for a rethink. The world’s leading businesses trust Proxima.


Proxima: delivering true value in procurement Clare Harris, Senior Vice President Operations, describes how Proxima has established itself as a world leader in procurement consultancy services

Over the last 25 years, Proxima has established itself as a world-leading expert on procurement consultancy services, helping a broad spectrum of customers to unlock their supply chain’s full potential, from the largest Fortune 500 entities to bespoke startups. “Ultimately, we work with our clients’ procurement and commercial teams to help drive value from their cost base,” says Clare Harris, Senior Vice President. As a company, Proxima helps customers optimise what they spend with suppliers and build exceptional procurement functions. “When you think that, on average, about 70% of organisational spend is with suppliers, then you can immediately understand the potential that exists for savings and innovation,” Harris states. However, it isn’t necessarily a purely ‘cost-saving’ exercise; the company specialises in maximising the value of every penny spent. “It’s about understanding what value means to our clients, whether that’s cost, speed, return, risk efficiency, or quality.” Contributing to the company’s enduring success has been a flexible strategy focused on being adaptable to the changing supply chain environment. That evolution, Harris says, has been characterised by increased networking, collaboration and emphasis on procurement itself. The benefits of this industry development have been keenly felt by Proxima’s clients. One in particular, Arm, shares a close working dynamic with it: “Proxima has

Clare @ Proxima

been able to bring both commercial expertise and category knowledge, while also injecting capability at a time when Arm’s existing procurement team were quite stretched,” Harris explains. Establishing a “twoway feedback” loop, the collaborators have been able to react swiftly to challenges and coordinate decisively, “We work together at pace and deliver value quickly.” Using different time zones to its advantage, Proxima’s UK team can hand over to the US team and vice versa, creating a continuous cycle of problemsolving capability. This kind of partnership will prove vital in the postCOVID-19 world, where traditional operational patterns no longer hold true and an innovative mindset is crucial. As other companies strive to build an operating model for procurement that matches today’s challenges, Harris believes that Proxima’s breadth of expertise will become even more valuable. “I think a lot of companies are now asking, ‘How can we transform ourselves to make decisions quicker?’, and that theme will continue into 2021.” Proxima’s aim, then, will be to guide that development and continue its ongoing mission of delivering real value to its customers.

Know your suppliers inside out. Fresh insights, breaking news and unique sentiment scores, keep an expert eye on the companies that interest you.

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f in d ou t m or e !

“Our procurement team recognises the challenge that COVID-19 poses to our organisation and is working hard to continuously assess and mitigate these risks” — Alisa Bornstein, Group Procurement Senior Director, Arm

is looking into the future trends of the procurement digitalisation . “We’re in the time of technology disruption,” she

for the company, for instance by offer­

says. “Why not combine best-of-breed

ing a one-stop shop, with everything

systems and integrate them to work

you need in one place, and standard

together to deliver a great experience

source-to-contract process that

to internal customers and suppliers?”

ensures that purchase-to-pay works seamlessly. Nevertheless, Bornstein

To this end, she emphasises that procurement is about much more

Arm AI Processors Making Smartphones Smarter CLICK TO WATCH



busi ne ssch ief . eu




than buying. “There are many other

The ongoing transformation of Arm’s

areas where procurement adds value

procurement is built on the strategy to

and where technology enables data-

deploy leading procurement practices

driven intelligence and efficiencies.

and processes, supported by tech­

Innovation in Procurement is crucial

nology solutions, to deliver financial

for professional and forward thinking

benefits and added value, compre­

procurement functions.”

hensive corporate social responsibility



Alisa Bornstein Title: Group Procurement Senior Director Industry: Semiconductors

Location: United Kingdom

Alisa Bornstein leads Arm’s global Group Procurement organisation responsible for reshaping procurement while driving positive financial outcomes for the company. Her functional accountabilities include category management, strategic sourcing, supplier management, contracts and transactional purchase operations supported by enabling technologies. Her senior experience covers a broad spectrum of the function including procurement business partnering, strategy, processes, policies, data analytics, planning and execution of strategic and transactional operations, communication and training. Prior to Arm, Alisa held senior leadership roles at large enterprises including Ericsson, BT, Telia and Millicom where she focused on transformation and digitalisation of the procurement, and serving as the procurement subject matter expert for the business. Alisa is passionate about people and talent development, building collaborative business partnerships and teams. She is a progressive and highly respected procurement leader, and is a frequent speaker at Procurement and Supply Chain industry global conferences and forums. Alisa holds a Master’s degree in Finance from St Petersburg State University of Economics, Russia. She is Russian by origin, a Swedish citizen for over two decades and resides in the UK since 2014. Alisa is true international leader with experience operating around the world, facilitated by her multicultural and inclusive leadership style, with a warm, direct and consensus approach, and fluency in three languages. busi ne ssch ief . eu



“Group Procurement will continue to be a value-creating, responsible and effective procurement function, supporting Arm’s business and mission to architect a smarter world” — Alisa Bornstein, Group Procurement Senior Director, Arm




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“Digitalisation influences all areas of procurement” — Alisa Bornstein, Group Procurement Senior Director, Arm

products,” says Bornstein. “That’s achieved through building collabora­ tive, mutually beneficial relationships, a proactive development of leading practice strategies to maximise the value of these relationships, driving innovation programmes, reducing supplier-related risk, leveraging

(CSR), supplier risk management and

purchasing power and shared values

stakeholder engagement & collabora­

around sustainability and diversity.”

tion. It has required a shift in, among

As with essentially all of the world’s

other things, the way of working

companies, the COVID-19 outbreak

with key suppliers and partners, with

has impacted operations, particularly

Bornstein identifying seven key quali­

when it comes to the supply chain.

ties she looks for, namely being:

“Reports on how the COVID-19 out­ break is affecting supply chains and

• An expert in service type and market • Accountable • A Strategic Advisor • An Innovator • Easy to communicate with • A Cultural fit • Ethics and Compliance-minded

disrupting manufacturing and service operations around the world are increasing daily,” says Bornstein. “The

“Strategic partnerships with sup­ pliers are critical to supporting an organisation’s objectives in maximising the value it obtains from its external partners, providers of outsourced solutions and third-party services and busi ne ssch ief . eu




prediction is that the impact of COVID-

also bears in mind the impact on its

19 on global supply chains is to remain

suppliers, hence the action Arm has

for many months. Our procurement

taken. “We’ve sent communications

team recognises the challenge that

to key suppliers encouraging them

COVID-19 poses to our organisation

to share with us their business conti­

and is working hard to continuously

nuity measures. Arm’s top 20 suppliers

assess and mitigate these risks.”

were contacted, and follow-up is

Bornstein emphasises that it is not

ongoing to understand their plans

only focused on the well-being of its

and any impact this will have on Arm.

own organisation and employees but

We are also working with, for



example, IT equipment suppliers to

to be a value-creating, responsible

monitor and maintain our stock levels

and effective Procurement function,

on a regular basis.”

supporting Arm’s business and mis­

It’s no surprise then that Bornstein

sion to architect a smarter world.”

is confident that Arm’s procurement function will continue to live up to the company’s reputation as a hightech leader. “The world is changing. Industries are changing. But our focus in Group Procurement will continue busi ne ssch ief . eu

Driving Digital Change for Energy and Technology 214






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Thomas Zinniker, Chief Information Officer at BKW Group, explains how business is thriving through synergies across energy, grid and services


homas Zinniker, BKW Group’s Chief Information Officer, pops up on Zoom against a striking Alpine backdrop and

for the next hour, speaks with refreshing clarity about the changing nature of energy and tech­ nology, and BKW’s pivotal position at the heart 216

of these changes. Whether it’s urbanisation, climate change or digitalisation, BKW Group is a driver of change and comfortable embracing solutions, innova­ tions and data, as befits its vision to create “infrastructure solutions for a future worth living”. One of its core messages is decentralisation and maintaining flexibility amid volatility, across its three central business sectors – Energy, Grid and Services. Specifically, it has expertise in five key areas; Energy, Power Grid, Infra Services, Building Solutions and Engineering. The numbers speak for themselves. In the half year to 2020, BKW’s revenues shot up 12 per cent to around CHF1.5 billion and operating profit rose 5 per cent to CHF219 million.



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“We have grown dramatically over the last couple of years and we’ve taken the strategy to build up a network of companies rather than integrate them” — Thomas Zinniker, Chief Information Officer, BKW Group


Recently BKW announced its entrance into the gas market, primarily for two reasons; it has significant par­

“We have grown dramatically over

ticipation in power plants, enabling it to

the last couple of years and we’ve

buy gas more cheaply, and many of its

taken the strategy to build up a

business customers are demanding

network of companies rather than

turn-key solutions.

integrate them,” Zinniker says, “which

Fuelling Energy, Grid and Services

means we need technology to create

One key factor in the group’s ongo­

that network, to combine skills, for big­

ing success is its ability to diversify

ger projects and all the collaboration

and keep one eye on the bigger pic­

elements that are essential.”

ture – whether it’s entering the gas market and providing end customers with a comprehensive energy offering from a single-source supplier; opening


Diversity I Corporate Film I BKW CLICK TO WATCH



219 up new distribution channels with

With half of energy consumption

electricity suppliers and installation

occurring within buildings, the group

partners; or growing its end-to-end

is striving to develop solutions to save

Home Energy system. Underpinning

energy and reduce CO2 emissions.

all these elements is the technology;

Zinniker believes technology is a

each day computers with “100 engi­

“key enabler” in the fight against cli­

neering years’ worth of performance”

mate change.

scan the entire BKW network. From a ‘pure energy’ company, BKW

“With the increase in decentralised power production – be it wind or

has grown into a service company

solar – the grid has a completely dif­

across Europe, specifically Germany,

ferent meaning and capacity issues,”

Switzerland and Austria. In future,

he says. “Technology helps us get

Zinniker believes the energy sector

better insights into where the bottle-

has to come up with solutions in

necks are and also what we need to

a more smart way.

change to adapt to new consumption busi ne ssc h ief . eu

DIGI AL makes it work. The energy and infrastructure service provider BKW relies on SAP solutions as the basis for a successful digital transformation. As a digitalisation service provider, T-Systems in Switzerland supports companies end-to-end with the continuous development and operation of their SAP landscape. www.t-systems.ch

and production patterns, and to a

energy consumption dropped, but the

certain extent, steer the new ways

group has not been heavily impacted.

of consumption.”

In its company presentation, it states

In terms of engineering services,

Mühleberg nuclear power plant

BKW has been appointed as general

disassembly is ‘on course’ despite

planner for the overall build-up of the

the pandemic, while innovative, tech-

Tesla Gigafactory in Berlin – a pres­

oriented buildings include the Tic

tigious win for the group. Besides

Tric Trac solar-power cooling system

that, infrastructure services focuses

in Zurich and Lonza’s new laboratories

on the large transmission grids, com­

in Visp biopark.

munication networks, and drinking water supply. On the business side, COVID-19 has impacted its services area and

“Due to our model to hedge prices and sell production in advance, we were in a good position when energy prices dropped due to lower consumption,”


Thomas Zinniker Title: Chief Information Officer

Industry: Utilities

Location: Switzerland Thomas Zinniker joined BKW in 2016. As a CIO he is responsible for further developing ICT services – supporting the transformation of BKW from a pure utilities company to an international Infrastructure Services Supplier. Zinniker has a degree in Computer Science and Business Administration. Prior to BKW, Thomas worked in various global companies as a software engineer, consultant and CIO. busi ne ssc h ief . eu




says Zinniker. “When it comes to work­

from home, that we give employees

ing from home, we were well prepared

stability and structure from a working

and ready from the first day of the

perspective,” adding that the group

pandemic. We have been building our

ranks among the top 10 recruiters

remote working platforms for many

in Switzerland.

years in the light of networking the

Industry 4.0 is a hot topic in the area

newly acquired companies, so when

of power generation and power grid as

the lockdown came, it was quite easy

it switches to a decentralised model.

for us to transition.”

“Electricity cannot easily be stored

But Zinniker acknowledges that in a

so you need insights into what’s going

world of volatility, there will be ongoing

on with the power grid,” says Zinniker.

challenges and technology is going

“We will now have more room to influ­

to be increasingly crucial. “It’s impor­

ence production and consumption.

tant, during this period of working

With the combination of technologies


“We have been building our remote working platforms for many years so when the lockdown came, it was quite easy” — Thomas Zinniker, Chief Information Officer, BKW Group

Clean tech is another key area, though Zinniker wishes the debate wasn’t so “dogmatic” when assessing energy consumption benefits. The flexibility of a gas plant, for example, can be much better controlled and use less CO2 serving as a bridge to solar or other new technologies. Last year, BKW became the first

and combining new ways of storing

publicly listed Swiss company to

energy, we are better equipped to

launch a green bond for trading on the

deal with these uncertainties. In other

Swiss stock exchange, with CHF200

areas, AI is enabling us to plan with

million allocated to fund sustainable

new piping, leakages and installations

projects throughout Europe.

and check everything fits by using Augmented Reality technologies.” The cloud supports the group as a

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS Strategic partnerships across markets

tool to gain flexibility – but it is just a

and sectors are vital for BKW Group,

tool, Zinniker stresses. “Digital trans­

he adds. They add the crucial flexibility

formation is not just automation – it’s

and resilience in our growth path and

the smart integration of people, pro­

let us focus on our core business. For

cesses and technology. You need to question everything, have the right cul­ ture and be allowed to make mistakes.” He highlights Uber as a good example of a company which could have created an app that just bun­ dled call centres but they completely re-thought the model from the con­ sumers’ viewpoint. busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Intelligent tech needs ingenious humans Explore how Extended Reality is changing the way people and companies work at accenture.com/xr

“I like to see myself as the coach on the sidelines, there when they need help, rather than to interfere with the game itself” — Thomas Zinniker, Chief Information Officer, BKW Group

customers. “It is crucial to think out of the box, when developing new prod­

instance T-Systems is a strong partner

ucts for a changing market. Strategic

in the SAP area. We just outsourced

partner help us to bring in new ideas

the total SAP infrastructure to them.

an shed light on bling spots we all have.

“With their very strong position as a

Especially in areas, where we are

service provider to the energy market,

working since decades more or less

we are continuously exploring addi­

the same way”. 225

tional opportunities to further grow in to new areas.” As an operator for critical infrastructure in Switzerland we need to be resilient in case of major incidents in order to guarantee an up and running energy supply for our cus­ tomers. With HPEs services for data storage and backup solutions we have implemented additional resilience. Our goal was to build a fallback scenario which has to work in case our own security measures are failing. But not only in the infrastructure area, but also in the business part we rely on partners such as Accenture bringing in expertise and new ideas to develop new services for our


• Production sites: 103 • Countries: 8 • Shareholders: Canton of Bern (52.54%), Others (37.50%) and Groupe E (10%) • Employees: 3,200 (Building Solutions), 2,900 (Engineering), 1,700 (Energy) and 700 (Power Grid) busi ne ssc h ief . eu



“Digital transformation is not just automation – it’s the smart integration of people, processes and technology” — Thomas Zinniker, Chief Information Officer, BKW Group

BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY “From a career perspective I was always in the area of bringing IT into business, and making technology benefit the business. I’ve worked as a consultant for many years, in large multinational companies. But my philosophy has changed over the last couple of years. I’ve seen that the increased speed in



change can only be achieved through

help, rather than to interfere with the

self-organisation and self-sufficient

game itself. Always trust people – trust

employees. As a manager you can’t

is essential. Mistakes happen but be

always tell people what they have to

transparent and look for solutions.”

do. Provide people with guiding prin­ ciples, give them a clear target – but let them find the way to that target themselves. I like to see myself as the coach on the sidelines, there when they need busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Delivering World-Class Connectivity WRITTEN BY






busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Judith Gardiner and Sohail Qadir discuss their companies’ joint venture to bring an unprecedented level of connectivity to the Middle East


erched at the easterly edge of the Arabian Peninsula, where the Gulf meets the Indian Ocean, the Sultanate of Oman sits at the

crossroads of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Positioned as it is, Oman is uniquely suited to serve as an interconnection hub for the entire 230

Middle East region, as well as the wider world beyond. “The positioning of Oman is excellent,” says Judith Gardiner, Vice President of Growth and Emerging Markets at Equinix. Sohail Qadir, Vice President of the Wholesale Business Unit at Oman’s largest and leading telecom operator, Omantel, agrees. “This region is becoming highly connected,” he affirms. “Our location between Europe and Asia means that all the subsea cables that connect Asia to Europe, or Asia to Africa and so on, pass through the Middle East. We are becoming a hub for interconnection.” In 2018, Omantel and Equinix embarked on a his­ toric joint venture. Over the past couple of years, the data centre giant and Omani telecom leader have worked together to build a world-class, carrier-neutral data centre hub and international business exchange DECEMBER 2020


busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“There is no other place with this level of connectivity in the region. Even in the bigger data centres in Europe, it would be very rare to see something like this” — Sohail Qadir, VP, Wholesale Business Unit, Omantel

(IBX) in the city of Barka - just outside the Omani capital of Muscat. The facility, MC1, came online in early October of this year, with more than 23,600 square feet of colocation space and 725 cabinets for colocation hosting. Most importantly, the partnership has allowed Equinix to unite its global data centre network and extensive infrastructure expertise with Omantel’s strategically placed network of subsea cables to create the most highly connected telecom facility in the region. We sat down with Gardiner and


Qadir to learn more about this unique partnership and what it means for the future of Oman as the connectivity nexus of the Middle East and beyond.

A DIGITAL REVOLUTION As one of the world’s premier digital infrastructure companies, Equinix oper­ ates more than 220 colocation data centres in 26 countries globally. The Middle East, Gardiner explains, holds a great deal of promise for the company. “The Middle East has proven to be one of the most exciting areas of cloud growth and cloud has quickly become a key factor in the region’s digital trans­ formation,” she says. “There’s been DECEMBER 2020

Introduction to Judith Gardner Vice President of Gems at Equinix CLICK TO WATCH



233 rapid growth of the digital economy

and storage that is required for eve-

and it’s really driven increased demand

rything to function harmoniously,” she

for global connectivity and hybrid multi


cloud solutions. The increased use

Qadir notes that the Omani govern-

of cloud services and mobile devices

ment’s active role in the data centre

are causing an exponential growth in

and cloud industry has accelerated

the volume of data being stored and

dramatically over the past year, due in

processed.” Gardiner adds that the

part to the COVID-19 pandemic, but

expansion of the Middle East’s digital

also as a result of the region’s changing

economy has also spurred the adop-

relationship to the oil and gas industry.

tion of new applications and services

“The Middle East is heavily dependent

using advanced analytics and machine

on oil revenues, with some economies

learning, which are demanding greater

in the region being as much as 90%

performance. “They’re really leading to

dependent on oil revenues, and you

a reshaping of the network compute

will not find a country - especially in the busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“The Middle East has proven to be one of the most exciting areas of cloud growth” — Judith Gardiner, VP, Growth and Emerging Markets, Equinix


Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - that

A few years ago, cloud was something of

is less than 75% oil dependent,” he says.

a no-no in this region. Just a few months

Following the global drop in oil prices

ago, the Omani government announced

last year, there has been a serious push

plans to deliver Oracle cloud in Oman to

towards cloud and digital services, as

consolidate all its IT requirements. Cloud

governments work to ramp up cloud ser­

has become a very important goal for the

vices in preparation for a regional pivot


towards a more digital economy. “It’s “In response, governments and agencies


have been aggregating and consolidat­

The Middle East and the rest of the world

ing their requirements on services like

are moving towards increased cloud

Oracle, AWS, Azure, etc. and these

adoption and greater dependence on

projects are starting to come online.

digital services at an unprecedented rate.

a big crisis in the region,” Qadir explains.


235 E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Judith Gardiner Title: VP, Growth and Emerging Markets Company: Equinix

Industry: Internet

Judith Gardiner joined Equinix in 2013 as Director of Sales Strategy and Operations for EMEA, going on to serve as Chief of Staff for EMEA leading multiple high impact projects in the region, including acquisitions and integration programs, before becoming Vice President of EMEA’s Growth and Emerging Markets in 2019. Judith joined Equinix from Polycom, where she held management positions in Finance and Sales Operations in Europe over the span of 10 years. Previously, Judith worked at Peoplesoft (now Oracle) in the Netherlands, after spending five years at Deloitte in Ireland. Judith qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. busi ne ssc h ief . eu




The current crisis has, Gardiner explains, dramatically accelerated the pace of digital transformations around the world. “Before COVID-19, a digital transformation project could be expected to take two years, and now that same transformation has to happen in two months. The conversations we’re having with other countries in the Middle East have been accelerating,” she says. A recent report from Deloitte identified the trend, noting that a global shift towards remote work, and the pandemic rendering on-premises data centres inaccessible has rapidly accelerated cloud migrations around the world. “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital


transformation in two months,” Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella told Deloitte, confirming Gardiner’s assertion. Executing a historic joint venture like the one between Equinix and Omantel is a challenging feat at the best of times. However, Gardiner reflects, the companies’ respective teams rose to the challenge commendably. “Previously, we would have never thought we could achieve something like this without travel,” she says. “While it’s been disappointing not to be able to do a lot of the work in person, it’s also been really rewarding to see the teams join together and integrate successfully, even in the midst of a pandemic.”

“With Omantel in Muscat we’re going to be able to offer 160 milliseconds of latency between Frankfurt and Singapore” — Sohail Qadir, VP, Wholesale Business Unit, Omantel

in Oman. The Sultanate also has another operator, which has another two cables landing in the country. All of these sub­ sea cables now have access into MC1, making for 16 subsea networks in one data centre,” says Qadir, adding that “There is no other place with that level of connectivity in this region. Even in the bigger data centres in Europe, it would be very rare to see something like this.”

The latest findings from the Global

The initial success of MC1 has already

Interconnection Index predicts that

garnered significant interest in the

enterprise consumption of interconnec­

project. Qadir notes that the venture

tion bandwidth will grow at a CAGR of

is currently working on five additional

45% across the EMEA region by 2023.

projects to bring even more connectiv­

Equinix and Omantel’s joint venture is

ity to MC1. “There’s a point-to-point

poised to elevate connectivity in the

link between Perth in Australia and

region to a revolutionary degree.

Oman, which will land in MC1 and go

First opened in early October this

live towards the end of 2021. It is called

year, MC1 is a state-of-the-art IBX,

the Oman Australia Cable (OAC) and

strategically positioned to make use

will be one of the longest direct subsea

of Omantel’s extensive subsea cable

cables in the world. We are also working

network. Omantel currently has invest­

with Google and Telecom Italia Sparkle

ments in more than 20 subsea cable

on a cable system called Blue-Raman,

systems, which connect to five landing

which will also land in MC1, just to name

stations in Oman and one in France,

a few,” says Qadir. “Moreover we are

making Omantel the first GCC telecom

planning to extend the GCCIA cable to

operator to have a subsea landing sta­

MC1, which is an alternative terrestrial

tion in Europe.

path connecting the GCC countries”, he

“Omantel has 14 subsea cables landing

added. Qadir explains that the goal is to busi ne ssc h ief . eu



238 E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Sohail Qadir Title: VP, Wholesale Business Unit Company: Omantel

Industry: Telecommunications

Sohail Qadir is vice president of wholesale business. He is responsible for developing and growing Omantel’s emerging International businesses, like expanding submarine cables, voice transit and national interconnects including MVNO. In addition, as senior management member he is responsible for overseeing the company’s growing business and footprint outside Oman. He has more than 20 years of experience in a broad range of IT & telecom segments with a specific focus on international business. Before joining his current position in August 2010, he served as chief operating officer in Worldcall Telecom Limited. Mr. Qadir holds B.E. in Computer Systems and Masters in Business Administration. DECEMBER 2020

Introduction to Sohail Qadir Vice President of Wholesale at Omantel CLICK TO WATCH



239 create an environment where Omantel

adding that Equinix’s role is then to man­

does not need to build its own subsea

age those intersection points between

cables into MC1, as the facility attracts

cables globally. “With Omantel in Muscat

outside investment from cable and

we’re going to be able to offer 160 mil­

infrastructure companies due to its role

liseconds of latency between Frankfurt

as a regional interconnection point. “Five

and Singapore, and that sort of connec­

years down the line, MC1 will be among

tivity is only going to accelerate adoption

the most highly-connected data centres

and transformation even further.”

globally,” he enthuses. This level of connectivity is going to


be a driving force behind uniting the

The pace of innovation and adoption

digital economies in EMEA with APAC

around digital services is only going to

and beyond. “The subsea cables that

accelerate. The Equinix and Omantel

Omantel is investing in are really going

joint venture is set to keep pace with

to drive connectivity,” says Gardiner,

demand. “We launched MC1 just last busi ne ssc h ief . eu


An insight into the partnership between Equinix & Omentel CLICK TO WATCH





“Before COVID-19, a digital transformation project could be expected to take two years, and now that same transformation has to happen in two months” — Judith Gardiner, VP, Growth and Emerging Markets, Equinix

month and we are already in discussions over possible expansions,” says Qadir. In closing, Gardiner emphasises the fact that continued investment in the Middle East’s digital infrastructure is essential for the region’s success, and that its opportunities, both locally and as a global interconnection point, are sig­ nificant. “We’re very focused on Muscat right now. The interconnection platform is incredibly important. What we’re see­ ing drive our customers isn’t space and power, it’s the interconnection platform we provide, the reliability and service excellence, and fundamentally the access to all the digital ecosystems and partners we can offer,” she says, adding in conclusion that “It’s vital that com­ panies invest in developing the digital infrastructure of the Middle East, or the pace of innovation will quickly outstrip its capabilities, and the region’s promis­ ing growth as a digital hub will stop. But we’re not expecting to see that; if any­ thing, we’re expecting to see it grow and develop even faster than we’ve already seen.”

busi ne ssc h ief . eu







BEN MALTBY busi ne ssc h ief . eu




elena Nimmo joined global software com­ pany Endava as CIO a year and half ago, having been in the technology industry

for 20 years. A native of Finland, she started her career at Finnish technology giant Nokia in the logistics division, before joining Symbian Software 244

and moving to London in 1999. “From there I worked at Fujitsu, then spent a good six or seven years in publishing through both Euromonitor and Thomson Reuters. Working in those different sectors has given me a breadth of understanding that I think has been truly beneficial as I’ve taken on more senior leadership roles.” Endava has operations across the globe, including the Americas, Europe and Asia. Nimmo says the company occupies a specific niche in the industry. “We’re in a sweet spot between your traditional IT providers, the SIs, the digital agencies, which are obviously much smaller and much more nimble, and also the business and technology consultancies. We sit in amongst the nexus of all three of those, so we help businesses define, design, develop, run, and evolve their technology and their products. DECEMBER 2020


busi ne ssc h ief . eu




As an organisation, Endava wants to

a pivot in cybersecurity as we moved

reimagine the interface between people

to home working.” With much of the

and technology and make the digital

estate being software-as-a-service

experience something really positive.”

solutions, that pivot has been made

Nimmo considers herself fortunate

easier, but it brings its own set of chal­

to have inherited an IT estate that

lenges around the digital experience.

was already fairly digital, which greatly

“The challenge is making sure that the

helped the organisation pivot to remote

data connections are there,” she says.

working within 48 hours globally due

“So you’ve got that flow of data between

to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

the various different systems. That will, for

“Making sure that we have got the right

instance, help you if you were to start

types of collaboration tools in place

a new role in an environment where

has been absolutely critical, as well as

you don’t actually get to meet your



Helena Nimmo Title: Chief Information Officer Company: Endava Industry: Information Technology & Services Location: London

colleagues, making onboarding much easier and much slicker.” The company operates on a hybrid of private and public cloud, but Nimmo is clear that the cloud mustn’t be consid­ ered a fix-all. “Cloud-first shouldn’t be interpreted as a cloud-only approach. There will always be certain systems and data in any organisation, depending on what your industry or unique selling point or critical dependency is, that you

Helena joined Endava in May 2019 and has global responsibility for Internal Tech across the Group. Helena has over 20 years of experience in change and organisational design through product development, data management and technology transformation. Prior to joining Endava, Helena has worked in multiple sectors and variety of organisations including Thomson Reuters, Cancer Research UK, Fujitsu and Symbian. She started her technology career with Nokia.

might want to keep on premise. So public cloud-first is an aspiration, but it’s not busi ne ssc h ief . eu




Learn more cisco.com/go/securex


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Paul Maravei @ Cisco

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Year on year growth

£95mn+ Revenue in GB pounds




our blanket approach.” When it comes to making the most of data, “patience” is her watchword. “Data tends to be one of those really knotty problems that you start thinking about and end up putting in the too-hard-to-dealwith-today box. I think it takes a lot of patience to unpick data, because data is what makes technology relevant. If the data isn’t right, the system is not going to matter.” Enabling Endava’s transformation has involved a number of key technol­ ogy partners. Microsoft’s Azure serves as the cloud provider for the Endava IT estate, with their relationship stretching back around 10 years and encompassing a number of Gold and Silver partnerships in various areas. “When working with Azure, we employ the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework, and the Azure Well-Architected Framework. We also busi ne ssc h ief . eu



have partnerships with Google and AWS. Our goal is always to create the most secure, high performing, resilient and efficient cloud infrastructures and applications for our users and for our customers.” says Nimmo. The company also works with the likes of Datadog and Terraform, with Nimmo stressing that “taking the leap into next generation technology with all our partners is something that we pride ourselves on as a business.” Another of her inheritances was a 252

culture of openness, creativity and trust, which Nimmo has sought to nurture and protect. “Technology and transformation, technology


and change, clearly go hand in hand. If you’re introducing new technology, you are changing the way people behave or interact with the system or the data. The way I look at tech­ nology and Endava is that we have a good, strong organisational culture and value system. I’m looking at how to use technology to preserve it, rather than change it.” That strong culture has been espe­ cially important through the pandemic.


Year founded

7,199 Number of employees

“If I look at my own leadership style,

remote working technology. “Working

it’s collaborative and open. I’ve always

from home, working in isolation suits

been of the view that you need to be

some better than others, so it’s impor­

able to challenge me. So I give my team

tant to be better listeners. If you think

members the space to do that if they

about remote collaboration before the

don’t agree with what I’m saying.

pandemic, if you dialled into a meeting

That does prompt a better level of

while others were physically present

conversation, better collaboration

in a meeting room, you were always

and much better results.” The pandemic

a bit of a hanger on. That’s definitely

has created the need for a higher level of

changed. Now, people are given the

sympathy and empathy, which has been

opportunity to talk and encouraged to

necessary to best take advantage of

voice their thoughts and opinions.” busi ne ssc h ief . eu



While she sees benefits stemming from the pandemic in terms of drawing people away from cities and leaving space for local innovation and startups, Nimmo emphasises that the downsides must also be recognised. “If I was just starting in my career, I would struggle to only work from home. You learn so much by observing others, collaborat­ ing and even stopping to have a drink after work. Those are really key paths to becoming a corporate citizen.” Nevertheless, she reports that the


organisation recorded an improvement in productivity since the transition to fully working from home. “I think the key thing that we’re seeing right now is that home working is clearly possible at a scale that nobody believed it would be. More and more organisations are com­ ing out and saying that. We’ve already seen that our productivity has not only stayed stable, but actually improved, which is fantastic. That’s where we’re really reaping the rewards of remote working, by providing the flexibility to blend work and personal lives.” While the pandemic has certainly had an upending effect, Nimmo believes that the traditional stresses on CIOs DECEMBER 2020

Endava Solutions: Digital. Agile. Automation. CLICK TO WATCH



255 are not going away. “Any IT leader will

reputation as a digital organisation.

tell you that we always face the pres­

“We provide our customers with digital

sure to be really creative, innovative

solutions, so I have to make sure that

and cutting edge, while at the same

our technology stack remains relevant.

time, not costing too much money.

Clearly one way of doing that is ensuring

As a business, we have a ‘pass it on’

that we have a seamless user experi­

culture and so I am often asked

ence, whether you’re working from

to share tips and insights. As we all

home or from the office.” That dove­

start to focus on their plans for 2021,

tails with her belief that “technology

I am conscious of the need to be

needs to be a platform for efficiencies,

focused on Digital Necessity over big,

not a platform for complexities.

old-fashioned and expensive transfor­

Because with efficiencies ultimately

mation projects.”

comes savings in cost and time.”

Nimmo is focused on ensuring the solutions in place live up to Endava’s busi ne ssc h ief . eu


KWS: Digital Transformation in Procurement WRITTEN BY





busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Peter Hagenow, Head of Strategic Procurement at KWS, discusses the digital transformation of the procurement function at his organisation


WS is one of the world’s most renowned plant breeding companies. Founded over 160 years ago, KWS focuses on plant

breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, rapeseed, sunflowers and vegetables. Peter Hagenow is the Head of Strategic 258

Procurement at KWS. Having joined the organisa­ tion in November 2018, Hagenow possesses over 15 years of international experience in large and medium sized industries and has held positions in sales, procurement, manufacturing and general management. Upon joining KWS, Hagenow set a roadmap and began to transform the procure­ ment function. “When I joined the company, I was on my own in the global procurement department and it took some weeks before anyone else joined,” he explains. “At the same time, we were starting to develop the global transaction centre which my equal, Maik Mueller, headed up as the team lead. Both of us then began to create our teams and to set up the process landscape. My primary role was to search for category managers both internally



busi ne ssc h ief . eu

Digital Procurement: Lean Processes, Lower Costs, Better Decisions Digitization makes purchasing more efficient across all industries. An online store like Amazon Business helps companies streamline processes, control costs and make better buying decisions. The tail spend purchases outside of negotiated procurement contracts - in particular can be managed in a more cost-effective way. Small product orders account for up to 20 percent of a company’s expenditure but make up 80 percent of suppliers. With digital procurement, managers are contributing to their company’s success by saving costs. Optimizing search, approvals, order processing, and payments have a potential to cut non-material costs significantly in every order. In contracted categories, as e.g. IT accessories, office and MRO supplies, savings can be realized due to lower unit prices, e.g. about 20 percent in IT peripherals according to the recent Deloitte study “COP response to combat Covid-19”.

Another advantage is that employees know Amazon from their private shopping experience and intuitively find their way around Amazon Business. They are enabled to purchase goods themselves - critical product groups can be excluded, and approval processes applied. Amazon Business can be easily integrated into the existing ERP or procurement systems. B2B online stores are a key element of digital procurement. Companies benefit from lean processes, lower process costs, competitive prices, and volume discounts. For purchasing managers, B2B online stores should therefore be a key factor with regard to designing their procurement strategy.


and externally to create a team of true

about 65% of our workforce glob­

experts in procurement. Today, the

ally,” he explains. “The next step is to

teams are close to being completed

stabilise the core and add more stra­

and we’ve started to integrate bots

tegic processes to the digitalisation

on the operational side, while having

agenda. Ultimately, we want to make

a true expert network on the more

purchasing as simple as possible

strategic side.”

and it should be as easy as doing online

Under Hagenow’s leadership, KWS

shopping at the weekend. We want

is connecting all 70 of the countries

that same experience and to make it

it serves through its centralised pro­

as streamlined as possible.

curement function in Berlin. “We’re over

To try and make this happen, we’ve

halfway through and have connected

set up electronic catalogues in our 261

busi ne ssc h ief . eu


262 purchasing system that allows you to

desired goal in a few simple steps.

check out in six clicks only and make

With only a few clicks, the office

it easy for our internal customers.

supplies are ordered in a catalogue

That’s what we’re constantly

system, such as Amazon Business.

striving for.”

Algorithms help us to find even more

Hagenow has observed how

optimal ordering slots. Approvals are

digitalisation has transformed pur­

made on the road by mobile phone.

chasing and recognises the trend of

Contract texts can be evaluated

buying online. “We all buy something

automatically, signatures via computer

almost every day and we love to buy

have become standard. Ordering by

online. Nobody finds this process

voice or chatbot are reality. A number

difficult and we find efficiency is very

of years ago, it was my aim to have

high,” explains Hagenow. “This is

a fully paperless office and I believe

also expected of modern purchasing.

we will make this a reality very soon.”

Digitalisation allows us to reach the

“However, this means that we have


“We must take care of the workforce of today to ensure they’re equipped with everything they need to succeed for tomorrow” — Peter Hagenow, Head of Strategic Procurement, KWS 263 to be able to control the data that

biggest benefits of a centralised

accumulates, i.e. make it available

procurement process is creating one

for evaluation and use. This is a new

unified way of doing things to make

requirement for purchasing. But we

the process more efficient. “With pur­

should not and must not be afraid of

chasing, if you have one unified way

change. I believe that with all the auto­

of doing things then it allows you

mation and optimisation, manpower

to think about automation,” says

will not be lost. It will look different

Hagenow. “During the last two years,

in the future, maybe we will automate

we’ve set up the procurement pro­

purchasing as far as possible. The

cesses in a way where the approval

concepts, the contents and the control

of a purchase is done at the very

of the systems will simply become

beginning. For example, if I want

more important and job descriptions

to buy a type of equipment above

will change accordingly.”

a certain threshold and my manager

Hagenow believes one of the

needs to approve it to ensure we busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“We want to make purchasing as simple as possible and it should be as easy as doing online shopping at the weekend” — Peter Hagenow, Head of Strategic Procurement, KWS have the budget then this can be eas­ ily done. This means that when it’s all 264

approved and the item is delivered, we don’t need to look at the invoice anymore, we can automate the payment. This is

less required to approach the supplier

why it’s important to have a centralised

base with a club on their back, but

procurement process.” Over the past

rather to seek strategic approaches and

two decades, Hagenow believes that the


job profile of the buyer has transformed

With over 160 years of experience

as the world continues to embrace digi­

in the industry, Hagenow acknowledges

talisation at scale. “Digitalisation is the

the added challenge of convincing every

keyword,” he explains. “ERP systems

employee to transform operations and

have been occupying us for some time

the day-to-day process. “Our company

now, the operative buyer has become

has been around for such a long time

less and less a mere typist who some­

that it makes it more challenging to

how transports the order into the ERP,

change the process,” he explains. “We

and is increasingly developing into

constantly get asked: why change

a Content & RPA Manager. At the same

something that works? So, this took

time, strategic purchasers are less and

a little time to get everyone onboard.


265 E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Peter Hagenow Title: Head of Strategic Procurement Company: KWS Industry: Agriculture

Location: Einbeck

Peter Hagenow is KWS’ Head of Strategic Procurement, reporting to the CFO Eva Kienle. Since joining in late 2018, he is responsible for the Procurement Expert Hubs for Direct and Indirect Material and Investment & Technical Procurement. Prior to joining KWS, Peter worked at Akelius Residential where he also built up the central procurement function. Before Akelius, he worked in various industries, each time related to procurement but also to the production environment. Peter earned a Master of Engineering degree in Industrial Engineering from Rostock University. busi ne ssc h ief . eu

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“With purchasing, if you have one unified way of doing things then it allows you to think about automation” — Peter Hagenow, Head of Strategic Procurement, KWS

to try and reassure people when it comes to digitalisation and help make them understand that there is no danger to new technologies.” Having partnered with SAP for a number of years, Hagenow under­ stands the importance of key, strategic collaborations to success. “In the beginning, Maik and I needed

The larger the company, the more com­

to connect to the business so that

plex it gets to drive digitalisation and

we could build the procurement func­

we have to remember that we’re not

tion. Our company has used SAP for

a small company anymore. It’s vital to

decades so we were reaching out to

sell your idea and convince people that

them to search for the right tool for

it’s for the best. I believe it’s important

us,” he says. “One of the best things busi ne ssc h ief . eu




AMAZ ON B U SI NE SS Hagenow believes that his company’s relationship with Amazon Business has been a key component to success. “In terms of COVID-19, it has been very helpful for us that we had partnered up with Amazon Business at an earlier stage of our journey,” he says. “Our requestors were already used to kind of online shop the day to day requirements online since we introduced the Amazon portal. This is a big plus when you’re suddenly connected to your company through the internet.”

“A big advantage in the international context is that we have been able to introduce Amazon business and the possibility of restricting the access to certain product categories. Soon we will be managing the tail end spend through Amazon in 17 countries with a one-creditor approach, but we are also looking to integrate other partners with their pre-negotiated assortment of goods to the portal.”

busi ne ssc h ief . eu




“I believe it’s important to try and reassure people when it comes to digitalisation and help make them understand that there is no danger to new technologies” — Peter Hagenow, Head of Strategic Procurement, KWS DECEMBER 2020

about working with SAP is that when we have a certain development need, they always listen and try to build our requirements into the products over time. They’re a big reason why after our five year transformation journey, we will almost have a fully digitalised purchasing experience.” Looking to the future, Hagenow believes that digitalisation will only become more influential and promi­ nent in the supply chain industry. “I think we will see even more


digitalisation, not just at KWS but also

“We’ve started introducing bots and are

the sector itself,” he affirms. “I believe

looking at our operational purchases of

that strategic procurement will transi­

today and reviewing what their role will

tion from the pure negotiation of finding

be tomorrow,” he explains. “All of our

other added value and move towards

employees in Berlin that are working in

common development with suppliers.

our transaction centre are multilingual

There will be lots

so we’re trying to get connected to all

of new technology implemented that

of our countries. We must take care of

will allow us to manage our day in

the workforce of today to ensure they’re

a quicker and more efficient way and

equipped with everything they need to

the future is bright.” Hagenow adds

succeed for tomorrow.”

that the development of the workforce is essential to long-term success. busi ne ssc h ief . eu







busi ne ssc h ief . eu




an Hruska is a man on a mission. The CTO at O2 Czech Republic is not so much joining the post-pandemic wave of digital

transformation as engineering the technological tide which continues to revolutionise our corporate


and leisure lives. In the space of an hour we cover CRM, cyberse­ curity, apps, TV platforms, employee dynamics, 5G and mobile, and I leave our Zoom call with a sense that we could easily have talked another hour, such is the dynamism of O2’s business, scope of the mobile industry and seemingly endless permuta­ tions which have been presented by the pandemic. To date, the operator has almost 8 million mobile and fixed access subscribers. COVID-19 has impacted us all, and for Hruska, it’s been a case of juggling inherent paradoxes: while economies have slowed, the tech space has accel­ erated, and despite virtual being the new normal, we can’t skirt physical realities. He has had to keep a close eye on all four balls simultaneously.



busi ne ssc h ief . eu

Emeldi Commerce® Omni-channel CRM – a CSP digital transformation key enabler Emeldi provides a state-of-the art suite of Business Support Systems that offer Communications Service Providers (CSPs) the ability to monetize new services, implement new business models and differentiate content; delivering a seamless customer experience across all sales and care channels. We have a proven track record of delivering and supporting E-commerce, Order Management, CPQ, Enterprise Product Catalogue and Omni-channel CRM – all delivered within a modern microservices architecture. This enables CSPs to deliver innovative products and services at lower cost and in less time, with reliability and ease. The platform’s overall cost of ownership is highly competitive vis a vis our competitors and the investment is future-proofed by the architectural design which is “5G -Ready”. Emeldi Commerce® Omni-channel CRM was recently implemented at O2 Czech Republic, providing them with an omni-channel solution across all sales channels and customer facing touch points, fully-integrated with their OSS systems.

Learn the Emeldi way forward

“The trend that can be seen is that the time for delivering changes is shortening, you have a smaller window of opportunity” — Jan Hruska, CTO, Czech Republic

processes finished with a stage that had to be completed physically – but now we are 80% digitised,” he says. “You can combine bundle services in the CRM and everything can be finished online. Normally IT and marketing are separate, but we wanted to create one team that’s focused on the customer experience and are the gatekeepers of the system.” Dusan Bystriansky, Director of Emeldi

“The trend that can be seen is that

Technologies, a leading software pro­

the time for delivering changes is

vider to the telco industry, explains how

shortening, you have a smaller window

its relationship with O2 Czech Republic

of opportunity – and it’s getting even

stretches back to 2001.


shorter with things changing overnight.

Reflecting on O2’s implementation

People are going more online following

of the Emeldi Commerce® Version 5.2,

lockdowns, though many telcos are still

he says: “O2 was really quite brave –

selling through traditional channels.”

they went with a big bang when it came

Fortunately, the bedrock to this con­

to the scope of transformation, not

stant change has been O2’s Customer

just with order management, sales and

Relationship Management (CRM)

customer care but also they combined

system, which chalked up its second

three billing systems into one.

anniversary in October. The success lies in its common inter­

Emeldi provides an ‘omni channel’ CRM for all sales and support chan­

face simplicity which is designed to

nels, which is supported by single

provide the same service and clarity

consolidated customer and product

of information, irrespective of whether

catalogue repositories. The platform’s

you’re a first-time customer or sea­

unified architecture provides digital

soned shop assistant.

commerce and CRM functionality in a

“It wasn’t digitised initially, as most

single application. busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“We have redesigned the architecture and the new app is totally scalable and can meet any scenarios” — Jan Hruska, CTO, Czech Republic

Bystriansky added that it is now work­ ing on a pilot project to decouple front and back end systems, which will likely start early next year, and continue to


‘break up’ elements in future as it imple­ ments the latest 6.0 and 6.1 versions. Emeldi Commerce® version 6.0, imple­ mented in June 2020 is serving O2 customers to support sales of phones


and telecommunication equipment.

With the digital bandwagon in full speed

Next year O2 is planning to implement

across Europe, Hruska acknowledges

version 6.2 to enhance administration

each country is at different stages; he

of enterprise product catalogue, which

cites one of the advantages of the Czech

is the “heart” of the CRM.

Republic is it arrived later to digital and

“Emeldi is a key partner that we picked

is less restricted by legacy systems

because of their flexibility,” says Hruska.

prevalent in many European countries.

“We’re able to influence the product and

Hruska says there is still an internal

get any solution we need. Putting their

IT part to introduce, to make the system

technology in the middle of our CRM

even more efficient. “We originated the

is definitely strengthening our partner­

entire system in 2014 and it’s now time

ship,” he said.

to be modernized – this will be phase 2,



• Contract customers: 3,259 • Mobile registered customers: 5,862 • Mobile prepaid customers: 1,945 • M2M SIMs: 658,000 • Broadband internet customers: 840,000 • Customer base in Slovakia: 2,152

the modernization of the architecture,


and we’re taking advantage of the CRM

Hruska continued: “Seamlessly we

solution that’s been recently developed

are adding “digital onboarding” to

for the continuous integration and con­

our CRM and launching phase two

tinuous deployment, supporting all the

of the transformation.”

modern buzzwords like devops, microservices, and running in containers.”

He is confident it will close the final 20% and be “fully digitised” next year.

Bystriansky added “Our solution ena­

Already a number of significant chan­

bles IT and the Business to work much

ges are being implemented, from digital

more effectively and quickly together.

photocopies for ID registrations to

This overcomes the traditional problems

e-SIMs, which it introduced in February.

of “excess demand” from the business

More recently, it launched a Chatbot

for IT services suffered by many Telcos.

in August, under its Digital Care program, busi ne ssc h ief . eu



280 which takes customer service to a new

technologies, such as microservices and

interactive platform. “This is great for

the cloud.

initial identifications and in some trou­

“The old architecture wasn’t scalable

ble shooting scenarios, we are able

enough. When people moved to digital

to automatically get a description of

heavily at the start of the pandemic,

the issue,” he says. “It means you can

we weren’t able to serve them properly.

offer better service to the customer so

So we have redesigned the architecture

there’s no need to wait in queues.”

and the new app is totally scalable and

Alongside customer benefits, the

can meet any scenarios.”

technology also helps reduce staffing costs and headcount. “Our ambition is


to transfer 60% of call centre and back

The way consumers consume digital

office capacity, ultimately back office

during the pandemic has changed amid

should disappear completely,” he adds.

lockdowns, switches to work from home

Most recently, it rolled out a new

and increased job insecurity. In March

mobile app, based completely on modern

and April, Hruska said it had the best


sales for internet connectivity – but was

commercially as we converted cus­

mindful of cost pressures.

tomers. We had to move fast – it was

Consequently in spring O2 offered unlimited data for all, as people moved from offices to home and started us­ing

developed in four days, and we needed to be agile.” If you are getting the full family bun­

the service in a different way.

dle, it’s a big investment, he concedes.

Laptops and notebooks surged in

“The traditional approach among telcos

popularity and it held promotions

was to do some discounts and subsidies

when students were in lockdown.

in exchange for fixed-term contracts.

“In a normal time we would mon­

Now more customers are refusing this,

etise but we wanted customers to use

they don’t see certainty and don’t want

the free data, and it was successful

to pay fixed terms. The installment




Title: CTO

Company: O2

Industry: Technology

Location: Czech Republic

Jan Hruška has been at the helm of O2’s Technology Division since 2018. The division bears overall responsibility for the operation of the company’s information technologies and networks, technological support of customers as well as product development for both fixed and mobile networks. Since 2004, Jan has held several positions within O2. Until 2018, he acted as Marketing Director for fixed network products and ICT. Prior to that he held, for example, the positions of Director for distribution strategy, planning and reporting, and e-shop manager. Before joining O2, Jan worked as an adviser with Anima Praha from 1997 to 2006. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University, Prague. busi ne ssc h ief . eu



“Companies are now more exposed to cyber risks and we’re seeing double-digit growth in firewall and antivirus services” — Jan Hruska, CTO, Czech Republic

During the pandemic, the business had to pivot as shops were receiving fewer customers. “What we did was to plug in the call centre system, ena­ bling shop floor staff to handle calls during downtimes,” he adds. “Even in summertime when restrictions were released, we decided to stick with it as there are always times of the day when

programme can help, and this is some­

stores aren’t busy. We also reduced

thing we launched in July.”

the size of call centres, and sent staff

Moving forward, if the marketing

there home overnight. We extended

team is proposing some features or

VPN, and are now serving 80% of call

changes, he says its ambition is to

capacity from home, as well as using

implement it in days – not in a tradi­

more part-timers. It’s much more

tional two-month IT cycle. “We must

flexible and efficient, and these are

have capability to do it quickly.”

permanent changes.”


5G OPPORTUNITIES There is much agility – and com­ plexity – in the country’s 5G scene. Infrastructure provider CETIN, O2 Czech Republic and Telenor CEE are all part of PPF Telecom Group (the group holds an 81% stake in O2) and CETIN recently awarded Ericsson


DUSAN BYSTRIANSKY Title: CEO Company: Emeldi Group Industry: Telco

to build 5G radio networks, according to Reuters reports, aiming at ultimately replacing Nokia and Huawei as cur­ rent technology providers. The central European country is starting an auc­ tion for 5G frequencies to attract a fourth operator alongside O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Hruska is upbeat about 5G’s poten­ tial and believes “the next big wave” will be the new iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, which will launch locally in November. “We are a small country and not nor­ mally on the first wave of countries, but I am positive about these models.

Dusan Bystriansky, from the role of Emeldi Group CEO, steers the company’s strategic directions and operations as one of the founders serving with the company since its inception in 1998. He brings to the company over 30 years of IT Telecommunications experience in leading enterprise consulting projects in Canada, USA, Australia, UK and continental Europe, and most importantly a passion to deliver solutions which meet and often exceed customers’ expectations.

Apple appeals to early adopters and I’m sure customers will upgrade.” Initially it is focusing its 5G efforts on Prague and Kolin, to be cost efficient, and has signed up 2,000 customers so far. Emeldi’s Bystriansky added: “The system is also 5G-ready. It supports busi ne ssc h ief . eu



“The IPTV upgrade next year will be cloud-based and mark a ‘step change’” — Jan Hruska, CTO, Czech Republic


all possible scenarios for delivering

ice hockey leagues. He said a pla­

seamlessly innovative 5G products

nned upgrade next year will make a

and services to both businesses and

‘step change’.

consumers; whilst at the same time

“It will be cloud based and more

significantly reducing IT delivery time

resilient in terms of traffic peaks and

and costs through use of DevOps

growth of the customer base,” he says.

and CI/CD.”

“If you want to watch a match, you can buy the package in minutes – it’s fully


digital. The architecture allows us to

One of O2’s most customer-focused

increase the performance and focus

platforms is its IPTV, which enables

on specific components, as well as

it to broadcast Premier League and

anticipate ‘spikes’ – this is unique to us.”

Champions League matches exclu­

Bystriansky amplified the point say­

sively, as well as Czech football and

ing “Our Enterprise E-Commerce suite


is indeed future-proofed, offering CSPs

O2 Czech Republic introduced a

both full cloud native architecture or

smartphone protection system last

SaaS offering. Both options provide

year so if you’re browsing the internet

CSPs with scalability, agility and end-

and something is suspicious, it will

to-end automation of operations.”

flag up whether to block or carry on. “We have around 200,000 users since


the start. Everyone is now in the digital

Hruska notes increased demand for

space and trying to protect themselves.”

cyber­security during the pandemic,

Hruska concludes that “All this is pos­

especially in the B2B segment, as compa­

sible thanks to our CRM system and our

nies are realising their vulnerability.

part­nership with Emeldi Technologies.

“The pandemic is accelerating focus.

Having them in the middle is providing

Companies are now much more

us with flexibility and allowing for fully

exposed to cyber risks and we are

digital customer experience”.


seeing double-digit growth in firewall and anti-DDoS services.”

Be Together and activate our best service package (Czech) CLICK TO WATCH



busi ne ssc h ief . eu








Mavenir Office Buildings, Brno, Czech Republic busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Virtyt Koshi, General Manager for EMEA at Mavenir, talks 5G, network flexibility and the power of OpenRAN to usher in a new era of telecommunication


he evolution of global telecommunications networks from 4G to 5G is proceeding at an unprecedented speed. However, as the

telecom industry embarks on this generational leap, 288

the strategies, business models and infrastructure technology required to support this evolution have yet to be fully realised. 5G offers lower latency, greater throughput, less delay, and a huge increase in the number of con­ nected devices, which places demands on existing network architecture practices that are no longer sustainable. “One of the things we are seeing in the 5G space now is that a lot of people in the industry are talking about 5G networks in terms of architec­ ture that was suitable for 2G and 3G, but is no longer suitable for 5G,” explains Dr Virtyt Koshi, senior vice president and general manager EMEA at Mavenir. “You can’t build high speed 5G networks in the same way that we built voice centric 2G and kbps low speed 3G networks.”



“OpenRAN has really captured the market’s imagination and Mavenir is the leader in that market” — Virtyt Koshi, GM, EMEA, Mavenir

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“OpenRAN allows the flexibility to bring best of breed solutions to market, lower CapEx, OpEX, and grant our customers the ability to decrease time to market”

As the global telecom industry changes and adapts to an increasingly digitalised world, Mavenir is leading a new generation of companies with extensive solution portfolios focused on helping telecom operators automate, cloudify, expand and drive efficiency across their networks on the road to 5G and beyond. The company is also leading the industry charge on the subject of open radio access networks (OpenRAN),

— Virtyt Koshi, GM, EMEA, Mavenir

a revolutionary new approach to mobile networking that allows operators to slot different products from different

Virtyt Koshi GM EMEA at Mavenir CLICK TO WATCH



busi ne ssc h ief . eu




vendors into their network archi­

We sat down with him to discuss

tecture, eliminating the need to buy

the ways in which Mavenir is bringing

locked proprietary systems from

revolutionary degrees of network

a single firm.

flexibility to its customers, allowing

“OpenRAN allows the flexibility to bring best of breed solutions to

them the agility they need to compete in the 5G age.

market, reduce CapEx, lower OpEX, and grant our customers the ability


to decrease time to market with

As a result of using higher frequency

new products and

signals, 5G networks can transmit

services like mobile edge comput­

more information an order of mag­

ing, high throughput 5G and private

nitude faster than 4G and earlier

networks, and advanced consumer

generations of mobile network tech­

communications,” Koshi explains.

nology. However, Koshi notes,




Virtyt Koshi Title: SVP and General Manager, EMEA

Company: Mavenir

Industry: Telecommunications Location: Dallas, Texas Dr Virtyt Koshi is Mavenir’s SVP and GM responsible for Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Virtyt brings new business models to Service Providers in the transition to the next generation of networks. He brings global experience in Leadership, Sales, Operations, and Advisory assignments with Communication Services Providers, Vendors, Regulators, and Investors.

busi ne ssc h ief . eu


in order to practically establish 5G

Europe, the 5G network rollout has

coverage, telecom operators face

been hampered by affordability issues.

serious obstacles from a CapEx and

“In addition to Capex challenges due

regulatory perspective, as well as the

to very expensive traditional equipment,

laws of physics themselves.

the OpEx that is required to build, oper­

“We need to move from macro struc­


ate and maintain a telecom network

tures to smaller cell structures with 5G

becomes enormous because it’s primar­

networks,” he explains, noting that while

ily a real estate driven business, which

it is possible to cover large areas with

drives up expenditure,” Koshi notes.

a 5G network using a single site, econo­

This is where Mavenir comes in. With

mies of scale very quickly render such

a laser focus on intelligent, cloud-based

an approach impractical in areas of

innovation in the telecom space, the

highest demand.

company has been turning its collec­

“The transmitter power has to be large.

tive experience expertise to new ways

For example, CSP’s quote twice as much

of thinking about building a telecom

power is needed for 5G than 4G. This


becomes a big regulatory and safety

“We’re looking at building webscale

constraint, on top of all the logistical and

networks which are, by an order of mag­

spatial (real estate) issues that creates.

nitude, more cost-efficient compared

All that impacts your time to market and

to what’s being offered by the market’s

OpEx,” he adds.

legacy suppliers. Webscale networks

From a practical point of view, Koshi

are cost-effective from a CapEx per­

adds, the size of 5G network infrastruc­

spective and bring huge OpEx savings

ture is also very much dictated by the

to the operator as well,” he explains.

laws of physics. “The industry is moving towards using smaller sites as the basis


for 5G networks, because the higher your

Mavenir’s executive team is made up of

frequency, the faster the signals you’re

some of the most experienced players

sending break down and dissipate.”

in the telecom industry. CEO and

The result is that, particularly in

founder, Pardeep Kohli, who has an


impressive track record in establishing

“A lot of people who work for Mavenir

and leading innovative companies,

now used to work for large operators

among others, served as the CEO

and telecom suppliers, so we’re also

of Ranzure, one of the earliest players

experienced with and focused on what

in the 5G cloud RAN solutions space.

matters to our customers’ customers.”

Stefano Cantarelli, Mavenir’s EVP

He adds that the key criteria for suc­

and CMO, is a veteran of Huawei and

cess at Mavenir is finding the best

Vodafone, etc.

possible ways to meet the needs of its

Koshi himself was an instrumental player in Ericsson’s transformation

customers, and its customers’ customers.

from a legacy vendor to virtualisation

“We ensure that all businesses are

and telco supplier, also working as

being served with the latest solutions

the head of technology strategy at

that add value to their operations, and

Vodafone UK. “Our focus is always

that consumers are being given access

on identifying what matters and is best

to the services that delight them,” he

for our customers,” he elaborates.

says. “To achieve that criteria, we need

Viryt Koshi Explain the importance of the new 5G network CLICK TO WATCH



busi ne ssc h ief . eu





In the modern telecom industry, no company is an island. “Any telecommunication network vendor depends on its supplier ecosystem, whether that’s Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, and so on. No one can exist on their own in this commercial context,” Koshi explains. “For example, we work with the market leaders in antennas, globally, such as Comba Telecom.” Headquartered in Hong Kong, Comba Telecom is one of the world’s leading solutions and services providers for the wireless access and antenna market. Earlier this year, Comba and

Mavenir collaborated on a groundbreaking project with Turkcell, delivering integrated OpenRAN solutions into the Turkish telecom’s network core. “We did a truly innovative project with Comba and Turkcell, implementing fully containerised CU/DU and Open Front-Haul with Split 7.2 in trial deployments,” says Koshi. “That means the radio is completely open to any base band software or other company software. It’s an alternative to the proprietary common private radio interface that you get with a lot of suppliers today, which gives a massive amount of flexibility.”

“You can’t build high speed 5G networks in the same way that we built 2G and 3G networks” — Virtyt Koshi, GM, EMEA, Mavenir


to work backwards from the goal. We

“We’re talking about tens of billions of

need to figure out if we have effective

connected devices, wearables and sen­

and efficient networks to support those

sors that current generation networks

goals and whether we can continue

will not be able to sustain,” Koshi says.

investing in those networks to keep

“When you look at all the requirements

meeting demand.”

of 5G, like latency, throughput, capac­

Koshi explains that, while the indus­

ity, delay and the demands made by 5G

try is inexorably moving towards 5G,

services, it all conspires to make 4G

previous generation networks still

infrastructure non-viable for this next

have a role to play. “Some of the older

generation of products and services.”

networking technologies still serve a function. Even 2G networks can use


their low bandwidth to support IoT

As the demands on mobile networks

devices. Also, 4G has become a very

increase, operators need access to

reliable mobile broadband service for

unprecedented levels of flexibility and

the consumer segment.” The role of

efficiency in order to ensure that their

5G, he continues, lies in connected

architectures are suitable for the

industrial applications, like automated

coming of the 5G age.

production systems, new business models, new virtual services, etc” “It’s going to revolutionise industrialisa­

Traditionally, mobile carriers have only been able to purchase radio net­ work infrastructure from small groups

tion around the world considering the

of legacy suppliers like Huawei,

higher speeds and levels of connectivity

Ericsson and Nokia, which provide

it can deliver.” Use cases like autono­

a proprietary and inflexible package

mous vehicles, remote health-care, and

that might not suit every need. Mavenir,

enhanced broadband applications like

along with other players in the space,

cloud gaming and mixed reality, how­

is looking to change this through the

ever, are also on track to radically alter

rapid expansion of OpenRAN.

both the consumer experience, and

By allowing operators to combine

the demands placed upon telecom net­

hardware and software solutions from

works to provide them.

a wide range of different suppliers, busi ne ssc h ief . eu



OpenRAN allows carriers to more readily embrace cloud-based software solutions and select the best hardware for their unique needs. The result is a world where mobile networks are far more future-proof than in previous generations. “OpenRAN has really captured the market’s imagination and Mavenir is the leader in that market,” says Koshi. “We provide a unique proposition to our cus­ tomers, and have been able to work with Vodafone, Turkcell, O2 UK, Dish (US) 298

and many others on innovative Open RAN projects.”

Viryt Koshi Explain the importance of open RAN CLICK TO WATCH




FROM TELEGRAPHY TO 5G The history of human evolution and society is the history of communica­ tions. Koshi emphasises the fact that, from the invention of telegraphy to the invention of the telephone, to data communications, to mobile and now to 5G, the ability to exchange informa­ tion over great distances has driven society forward. “It’s enabled not only business produc­ tivity but also wide social communication. The world needs to continue investing in telecommunications for the sake of people, businesses and our planet as a whole,” he says, adding that Mavenir is and will continue to play an impor­

“5 G is going to revolutionise industrialisation around the world based on the higher speeds and levels of connectivity it can deliver” — Virtyt Koshi, GM, EMEA, Mavenir

tant role in that process. “Mavenir is one step ahead of the curve in terms of innovation, creativity and bringing new ideas to the market. Going forward, we’re going to deploy and bring this leading edge technology to as many customers as possible, so they can ben­ efit from as early as possible, and reduce their time to market while launching new and exciting projects that have a man­ ageable CapEX and OpEX.”

busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Bayer Italy’s Supply Chain Transformation WRITTEN BY






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Michele Palumbo, Head of Supply Chain Management at Bayer Italy, discusses the challenges of COVID-19 and the way technology is shaping the future of the supply chain


he arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through global supply chains this year, with plant closures and

supply shortages leading to major disruptions. This 302

led many organisations to rethink the way they operate, choosing digital solutions to enable more visible, and easier to manage supply chains. In the case of Bayer Italy, their Head of Supply Chain Management Michele Palumbo explains that COVID-19 led to a digital acceleration that normally would have taken them 10 years, but they instead achieved in little under 10 months. “It sounds crazy to say this is ‘thanks’ to COVID, but I believe there is always something positive to come out of even the most negative of things,” he says. Bayer Italy’s digital transformation actually began in 2010 as they strived to move from soft­ ware to a collaborative ecosystem. “You can have the best algorithm that you could imagine, but no algorithm is able to predict what will happen in the future, so we were dealing with DECEMBER 2020


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“It sounds crazy to say this is ‘thanks’ to COVID, but I believe there is always something positive to come out of even the most negative of things” — Michele Palumbo, Head of Supply Chain Management Italy, Bayer

some business disruption risks related to invoicing software,” says Palumbo. “We took this as an opportunity to think about how we could connect with our partners while integrating them into the legacy system that we had.” To do this, he says they needed to move beyond the concept of an interface. “It was too expensive and too difficult for small companies that were our partners,” he says. “We had to find a solution that could talk every kind of IT language, and at the same


time get information from every kind of data source.”



Michele Palumbo Title: Head of Supply Chain Management Italy Location: Milano, Lombardy, Italy Since 2017 Michele Palumbo has been Head of Supply Chain Management Italy at Bayer S.p.A. He started working for Bayer in 2010 to source logistics and distributive services for the group in Italy and he implemented important strategic and more operational projects in the remit of the life science industry. Summa graduate from Bocconi with a research empirical thesis on circular economy and majored at Polytechnics of Milan in industrial management, he joined the SDA Bocconi faculty where he designed and coordinated managerial logistics training for the technology and production department. After collaborating with some management consulting companies, he took on the role of innovation and logistics manager in the business services department of the pharma-chemical group, Hoechst, in Italy. Then he was responsible for central logistics services in one of the leading pharma wholesalers in Italy, Comifar-Phoenix Group. He is Adjunct Professor in Operations and Supply Chain Management at the Catholic University of Milan and faculty member of Il Sole 24 Ore Business School. “A serial innovator�, as a manager and academic, he offers a multifaceted perspective able to create value in different contexts thanks to technologically advanced, sustainable and efficient solutions. Empathic and altruistic, intellectually curious and a visionary, he has a large family and ever since he has been involved in charitable initiatives. He is a board member of the Italian Food Aid Foundation. busi ne ssc h ief . eu



BAYER’S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY In 2010 Bayer Italy undertook the challenge for a transparent supply chain. The need to change the software for pre-invoicing transport costs offered the opportunity to challenge the scope: to embrace partners and customers in a collaborative ecosystem. The first step was to grant a fully automated Transport Management System (human intervention only for exception) able to calculate costs for 200,000 deliveries per year to about 20,000 customers in a widespread network of 300 wholesalers, over 11,000 pharmacies and parapharmacies, 3,500 hospitals, laboratories and nursing homes, 3,000 retail outlets. Once the first goal was attained, Bayer moved to an extended solution, beyond the concept of interface: a collaborative cloud platform able to dialogue natively with external actors, whatever IT language would have been used. At that time, this was a breakthrough in “track & trace” systems: Bayer moved from paper documents to digital Delivery Documents and Proofs of Deliveries tackling every kind of issue in the between. Cybersecurity was not affected by the adoption of a cloud solution, since the legacy system let in only defined information following a stringent exchange protocol granted by an information security 3rd party.

THE FOUR BENEFIT AREAS We can say Bayer has identified four benefit areas: the first benefit is referred to a full automated transportation costs calculation; with this system 1 person can handle about 20.000 customers and 200.000 deliveries per year, without it about 7 employees would be needed and we’d have however a lower level of accuracy. The second benefit is that, together with the track & trace of deliveries, this system also allows to detect exceptions and to send an automatic alert to the right person. Third benefit: this system is multichannel and multicompany -– Bayer Group has different companies operating in different fields and a wide range of suppliers – and enables collaborative practices through the supply chain. Finally, the fourth benefit is  a business intelligence dashboard to check performances together with the possibility to simulate different distribution scenarios, e.g. moving a warehouse or increasing/reducing the number of warehouses, considering the impact in terms of costs and service level.



Bayer: Who We Are CLICK TO WATCH



308 Working with TesiSquare, the

the possible synergies in coordinat­

answer was to build a cloud-based

ing the goods - like a calendar with

platform where every actor in the

bookable slots - enabled the use of a

process is able to connect in real time

barcode or QR code to grant a free

and provide useful information, issuing

pass to the carriers coming from

alerts only to the owner of the relevant

whichever country.

part of the process, and not sending multiple emails to numerous people. This enabled an ecosystem where real-time connections among the actors activated forms of collabora­

“This prevents huge queues from forming, and you can also plan the resources that are required for receiv­ ing or dispatching goods,” he says. Moreover, the control tower doesn’t

tion previously unimaginable. As an

just offer business intelligence and

example, the collaboration was also

advanced analytics features, but also

extended to the competitors working

allows them to plan how many ware­

in the same LSP warehouses since

houses are needed, and where. Via


€43.5bn Full-year sales


Investment in research & development

103,824 Number of employees



a simulation module, it’s possible to move, close and increase LSP sites, to see what would happen in terms of costs, as well as service levels on the basis of ‘what if?’ analysis based on real data referred to the timeframe. Palumbo believes the supply chain of the future will be PAL - personalised, automated, and local – a view shared by transformation change expert and author Sean Culey. “We want to be able to cope with the service level requirements of the customer of the future. They will have a minimum acceptable level, which is the Amazon one, and if we are deliver­ ing drugs the expectation is to have a

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Valsir does it Greener



From our production plant to your logistic hub, our sustainable pallets are structurally excellent, customisable according to your needs and equipped with tracking technology. Check it out!




“We want to be able to cope with the service level requirements of the customer of the future” — Michele Palumbo, Head of Supply Chain Management Italy, Bayer

“This helps to identify what the pal­ lets are carrying, and they’re also great in terms of the Falsified Medicines

higher service level than if you’re deliv­

Directive (FMD) that will be in place in

ering a pair of shoes (with due respect

Italy from 2025, helping to track goods

to shoes).”

along the supply chain and provide

Their next challenge was to make sure the supply chain was transpar­

visibility in real time to relevant authori­ ties,” says Palumbo.

ent. Palumbo says they had blind 311

spots when it came to proof of deliv­ ery to the customers. “This is crucial for pharmaceutical providers, because we’re dealing with a very long list of things like changes in temperature, humidity, geoloca­ tion, lead times, regulatory and quality compliance, security and sustainability, among others.” Their solution, which they developed with Murata ID Solutions, was to apply disposable RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags on the shipping cartons and embed permanent ones into the pallets – a technology that enables data to be transmitted cheaply and easily. busi ne ssc h ief . eu



On top of that, the pallets used

The idea was simple, he says.

are not the regular ones, and the

Bayer began working with Valsir

company found a way to reduce the

to take the most polluting plastics

number of pallets they were losing

which would normally find their way

along distribution lines. “We realised it

into landfill or the world’s oceans

was possible to create a closed circle

and instead create a granule that

reusing the same pallets for distribu­

can be used to make plastic pallets.

tion,” Palumbo says.

By doing this they are able to operate



with 4,000 reusable pallets made

“The Green Pallets are practically

from recycled plastic, instead of

fireproof, washable, are not affected

75,000 single-use pallets each year

by mold or bacteria, are difficult to

made from wood. As well as saving

break, and easy to repair. If they

money, and reducing waste, they are

do become damaged, the plastic

generating an additional €250,000

can be reused as raw material for a

euros by selling the wooden pallets

new pallet. They’re light and easy to

they no longer need.

dismantle, are stronger than wooden busi ne ssc h ief . eu


pallets, and are stackable,” he says. This particular initiative has won numerous awards from Environment Authorities and Logistics councils. Palumbo says that the whole pro­ cess has been dramatically simplified. “We send the order of dispatching goods to the logistics service provider. They print the labels, arrange transpor­ tation units, and ship the carton boxes on the Green Pallets. If something is missing during the shipping phase, then we can activate an inventory con­ 314

trol that tells us where it is. This works not only because the box isn’t visible, but also because acoustically it emits a different noise with a different fre­ quency and volume depending on how close you are to it.” The advantages of their new system have not just been financial. “There have been benefits in terms of service levels, because from a real time point of view, we are automating a lot of activities which before were manual, so we’re gaining time. Also, service quality – can you imagine the amount of products we were losing because they were missed, misdirected or damaged? Now we have real-time visibility, with greater security.” DECEMBER 2020

“T here have been benefits in terms of service levels, because from a real time point of view, we are automating a lot of activities which before were manual, so we’re gaining time” — Michele Palumbo, Head of Supply Chain Management Italy, Bayer


Even though their journey to go digital began before COVID entered the picture, this new way of working

actors, then people start collaborat­ ing,” he says. “This is a powerful means by which

seems tailor-made for current proto­

you can optimise processes and

cols, as it’s entirely contactless and

leverage synergies that were com­

makes social distancing in the ware­

pletely unknown before because you

houses possible with only one person

didn’t have the broader view of oth­

required on the shop floor.

ers. Together, we can solve problems

Palumbo emphasises how impor­

this way.”

tant working with partners has been to make this possible. “We have a great collaborative approach. If you connect people, and you connect busi ne ssc h ief . eu


COVID-19, Digital Disruption, and Supply Chain Operations: The IMI Perspective WRITTEN BY





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Aidir Parizzi, Director of Global Supply Chain for IMI Critical Engineering, discusses COVID-19 and digital disruption. IMI Critical Engineering is a leading provider of specialised valves for oil, gas, chemical and petrochemical industries, globally. ‘Flow control technologies’ for the sake of conciseness. The company has a myriad of subsidiaries around 318

the world and employs over 4,000 professionals across different regions. Like any ‘big business’, in the looming shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, IMI had to adapt to the new normal while still prioritising their clients’ needs and adapting their own staff setups to remain resilient in trying times. At Supply Chain Digital, we wondered how a multinational company that provides crucial parts to industries across the globe dealt with the challenges presented by the pandemic; how technology influenced them, and what strategies they put in place to ensure their business success. Fortunately, Aidir Parizzi, Director of Global Supply Chain at IMI, took the time to chat with us about maintaining business operations in the face of adversity.



busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“From a business continuity aspect, what gave us the time and resources to focus on PPE, logistics and resourcing needs was the fact that we were well-prepared for an event of this magnitude” — Aidir Parizzi, Director of Global Supply Chain, IMI Critical Engineering 320

“While we kept as many people as possible working from home, the majority of our sites kept operating and serving our customers, following guidelines set by different govern­ ments around the globe. The first concern was regarding personal protection equipment (PPE). We have mobilised Supply Chain teams in Asia, the Americas and Europe to provide our employees with the necessary protection equipment. Around 100 thousand masks were acquired – not medical masks, but here we’re refer­ ring to FFP2 and FFP3, which provide enhanced protection. In addition, we procured thermometers, gloves, thou­ sands of litres of hand sanitiser and thermal imaging devices for each site. We also had to deal with increasing import/export obstacles that came gradually – country restrictions, logistic issues, and licences required, for example. From a business continuity aspect, what gave us the time and resources to focus on PPE, logistics and resourcing needs was the fact that we were well-prepared for an event of this magnitude”.


IMI Corporate Video - 2020 CLICK TO WATCH



321 For IMI Engineering, though COVID19, specifically, wasn’t necessarily expected, “pandemics, like other envi­

data analysis required to react quickly and efficiently to unexpected events.” All of these measures are, of course,

ronmental, geopolitical or commercial

dependent on digitalisation: a con­

disruption, of regional or global mag­

cept that has been sweeping across

nitude, are almost always inevitable,

every industry for decades, now – but

but at the same time highly predict­

in a more driven manner, recently,

able. Our Strategic Sourcing Process

with the adoption of new, futuristic

created three years ago, includes risk

technologies and capabilities. “The

management measures that, in spite

fundamental reason to digitise is

of a significant supplier base reduc­

speed. It’s no longer only about making

tion in the last three years, provided

the right decisions, but about making

us with the diversified dual sources we

them in the shortest possible time.

needed, the strong long-term supplier

We need to understand the impact,

relationship, agreements and reliable

real or potential, of commercial risks busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Salesforce helps you connect channel partners, sales, service, and marketing teams on a single platform. So you can synchronise how, when, and who you engage with, from online channels to the factory floor. Be a relationship maker. Learn more at salesforce.com/MFG. We bring companies and customers together.

The Salesforce Solution: In Conversation with John Kelleher John Kelleher joins Supply Chain Digital to discuss the ongoing partnership between Salesforce and IMI Critical Engineering, and the reasons behind it. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting — albeit virtually — John Kelleher, the Area Vice President of Enterprise Sales UK, at Salesforce. The leading VP took the Supply Chain Digital hot seat and openly discussed Salesforce’s business model, the company’s partnership with IMI Critical Engineering, and the ways that digital transformation has affected global supply chain networks.

now support other areas of capability and are working closely with IMI to extend the relationship further. IMI continues to develop capabilities on the Salesforce platform, and we are working with them on key strategic pillars such as Customer Satisfaction and Commercial excellence to support IMI’s sales and customer services pre-and-post sale.” End-to-end, if you like.

“Back in ‘99, Salesforce was one of the pioneering companies that took cloud-based technologies into businesses. Our initial area of capability was focussed on CRM, Customer Relationship Management, where we supported our customers to establish a customercentric approach to their business models, enabling them to better connect to their customers and visibility across their sales processes. Fast forward twenty years and Salesforce has built a complete 360-degree suite that has extended the capabilities of classic CRM into customer service, marketing, and eCommerce — both B2C and B2B.” More recently Salesforce has made major acquisitions in the areas of integration and analytics with the respective acquisitions of Mulesoft and Tableau. Both maqui brands, they are enabling us to support customers maximise their existing technology investments and optimise cross-functional processes, whilst maintaining customer-centricity.

John added that “The relationship is very much based on traditional Salesforce CRM. The reliability is there, and the partnership continues to grow, which suggests we’re delivering value for IMI and how they manage their processes. Due to COVID-19, reps that were out on the street – as it were – have been brought in-house easily because their front office estate is built on cloud-based capabilities like Salesforce. The company was able to adapt to the new sales environment far quicker than they would have, had they been constrained by more on-premise, in-agile technologies. So it’s a traditional starting point, but with modern technology, we’ve been able to help IMI Critical Engineering adapt quickly in a highly volatile world.”

On Salesforce’s partnership with IMI Critical Engineering, John was willing to share his insight. “[Salesforce has] got a long-standing relationship with IMI. Whilst our initial engagement was around core CRM, we have built a richer 360-degree relationship with them and



and opportunities, faster than our com­

regions, working without colours and

petition and before it cascades to our

stripes, as a single company, and we’ve

customers. An end-to-end Supply Chain

made significant progress in that regard”,

planning also involves all functions and

Aidir stated.


When I asked Aidir about the widely-

was created to evaluate Brexit impact,

spread claim that digital transformation

and then expanded to other events. It

has undergone a ten-year evolution,

helped us immensely to quickly react

courtesy of the pandemic, he suggested

to the effects of the pandemic.”

that it had sped up the process, but IMI

“Beyond Supply Chain, the digital

were already evolving their supply chain

transformation effort had to be accel­

norms long before the global event.

erated to cover all aspects of the

“As a British company, in addition to the

operation, including relationships

pandemic, we have been focused on

with customers and suppliers, remote

potential disruption, delays and cost-

customer assistance, inspections,

related issues related to Brexit. Our

and last but not least, how our prod­

Supply Chain Digital Twin, for example,

ucts must adapt in a digital world. 325


Aidir Parizzi Title: Director Global Supply Chain Industry: Mechanical Or Industrial Engineering Aidir Parizzi has over 25 years of extensive experience in Engineering and Supply Chain Management, with a strong track record of Supply Chain performance improvement in global businesses. He has worked internationally with global leaders in the Automotive and Oil & Gas industries, always focused on building and consolidating Global Procurement & Supply Chain effective teams and processes.

busi ne ssc h ief . eu


That journey is long and full of pivoting points, but our teams have the talent and motivation to get it done. I don’t think there’s a single formula that serves all companies, and the concept of digitalisation itself keeps evolving rapidly. Each company will have to find its own solution,” Aidir added. A lot of companies, after the initial shock of COVID-19, having watched as their global supply chain networks were torn apart, their balance books inked with red figures, and job losses 326

across the board, have openly stated that they wish they could have done things differently. Many would have done things differently on the run-up to the pandemic, had they known what was around the corner. On this, Aidir told me that IMI is “now looking at several measures to better prepare us for these events, but while we didn’t have a crystal ball, we put in place sev­ eral actions in recent years that helped us in this period.” “Having a truly global team with people in all continents creates an invaluable collaboration net­ work, which was crucial for us this year. Two aspects we continue to DECEMBER 2020

“The fundamental reason to digitise is speed. It’s no longer only about making the right decisions, but about making them in the shortest possible time. We need to understand the impact, real or potential, of commercial risks and opportunities, faster than our competition and before it cascades to our customers” — Aidir Parizzi, Director of Global Supply Chain, IMI Critical Engineering improve are reinforcing or empow­ ering our Category Management team and further investment in Cost Engineering tools,” the Global Director added. As supply chain networks continue to expand, just like IMI’s, resiliency is becoming increasingly important. Yet, for such a popular term, it’s prov­ ing itself to be elusive, and difficult to actually grasp – this was a predict­ able problem when you consider that busi ne ssc h ief . eu




“We need to make sure the company continues to grow and innovate, in spite of current adversities. The best way to do it is to work in partnership with customers and suppliers. We’re confident we have the right people, technology and energy to continue delivering breakthrough technology for a better world” — Aidir Parizzi, Director of Global Supply Chain, IMI Critical Engineering



busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“The digital transformation journey is long and full of pivoting points, but our teams have the talent and motivation to get it done. I don’t think there’s a single formula that serves all companies, and the concept of digitalisation itself keeps evolving rapidly. Each company will have to find its own solution” — Aidir Parizzi, Director of Global Supply Chain, IMI Critical Engineering 330


IMI Critical Engineering - Retrofit3D Brand Video CLICK TO WATCH



331 the majority of companies have rigid global, interdependent networks. In response to this idea, Aidir shared that “[IMI Critical Engineering] has ca. 850 direct material suppliers,” down from over 3000 just three years ago, “with virtually no sole sources. Resilience is an integral part of our supplier onboard­ ing process, and we also focus on regional resilience, meaning that we aim to have dual sources within the regions and avoid financial losses in case of disruption. China and India as an example of dual sources.” Aidir warns that, in the pursuit of busi ne ssc h ief . eu



supply chain resilience, many com­

internally only or work on technical

panies who are looking to adopt all

aspects without customer input. It’s

of the latest technologies need to be

something we strive to keep in mind

wary. Regardless of whether you’re

all the time.”

investing in Analytics, Automation,

At the very end of the interview,

Cloud, Cybersecurity, IoT, or any other

I asked Aidir about the future outlook

product, “[the] technology must stay

for IMI Critical Engineering and for the

focused on our top priority, which is

supply chain as a whole, his answer

to make us the supplier of choice to

to which was both a poignant and suc­

our customers. There’s always a risk

cinct answer, “Digitalisation is a key

of losing that focus when you prioritise

aspect, but also flexibility, from a Supply



Chain and operations point of view. We

with customers and suppliers. We’re

need to be able to manufacture and

confident we have the right people,

service our products wherever the

technology and energy to continue

customers are. The answer now is very

delivering breakthrough technology

similar to what it was last year, but the

for a better world.�

speed and motivation to act has been greatly increased. We need to make sure the company continues to grow and innovate, in spite of current adversities. The best way to do it is to work in partnership busi ne ssc h ief . eu






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Kensington Mortgages is the largest independent mortgage lender in the UK and specialises in mortgages for borrow­

ers with more complex income profiles – such as the self-employed or people with multiple sources of income – who find it difficult to get a mortgage 336

from one of the High Street lenders. Vicki Harris is the Chief Commercial Officer at Kensington Mortgages. Having joined the organi­ sation in 2018, Harris is responsible for driving growth and innovation at the firm. Over the past few years, Harris believes her organisation has undergone not just a digital transformation but a business-wide one too. “When I joined, we took a step back and asked the question: what is the purpose of our organisation? We spent quite a lot of time understanding this and defining what makes us different - and from that, we updated our strategy and refreshed our brand and values,” she explains. “We then used that as the driving factor to kick off a range of initiatives across the business including building out our digital capabilities. A lot



“I THINK IT’S A REALLY EXCITING TIME FOR THE SECTOR AND WE’RE ON THE CUSP OF DISRUPTION” — Vicki Harris, Chief Commercial Officer, Kensington Mortgages

busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Kensington Mortgages Home of the Specialist Mortgage CLICK TO WATCH






of it was around how we think about the business, our people and how we can be more agile in our decision-mak­ ing. It was far broader than just digital, although that was a key part of it.” On the digital side, Kensington Mortgages has been working very closely with SOPRA Banking Software to develop a new core platform. Unlike many of the older systems currently in use across the industry, it is built around a modular and flexible archi­ tecture that will allow the company to make changes to products, pricing and processes very rapidly. “It’s been

a massive project that has finally gone

months of bank statements. We now

live over the past few weeks. We are

use APIs a lot more to access third

now working hard to build out a range

party data. And we’re in the process

of new and exciting products and

of rebuilding our website so we can

refine our pricing approach accord­

engage more directly with customers.

ingly.,” explains Harris. “We will gather

I think the mortgage industry more

lots more information as we look to

generally is one of the few areas in

underwrite new borrowing through

retail financial services that hasn’t

things like open banking rather than

been disrupted yet but this is coming

expecting customers to provide

and we need to be ready for it.”


Vicki Harris Title: Chief Commercial Officer

339 Industry: Financial Services

Location: London Vicki joined Kensington in April 2018 and as Chief Commercial Officer is responsible for driving strategy, growth and innovation across the Group. Prior to Kensington, Vicki was Group Head of Strategy and Marketing at Aldermore Bank, one of the original challenger banks post the 2009 financial crisis which successfully IPO’d on the London Stock Exchange in 2015. This followed 3 years as COO of Octopus Investments, one of the fastest growing and most innovative wealth management companies in the UK. She previously spent time across a variety of roles in GE Capital and 4 years as a consultant at McKinsey. busi ne ssc h ief . eu

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Hit the ground running Rapid deployment is essential. We provide you with a core system configured to your requirements, allowing you to run current programmes seamlessly and giving you the capability to launch new products without the need for code changes. Our solution extends into all aspects of the mortgage market, mortgage provision and processing. Sopra’s solution means you hit the ground running from day one.

Expand your end-to-end digital capability The end-to-end processing of mortgage applications takes time because of the number of elements involved. Sopra’s ‘Orchestration Layer’ pulls all of those elements into a single place, simplifying processing and reducing the time it takes to implement. In turn, this improves the application experience of your customers, regardless of what channel or device they use.

Enhance your customer experience We give you access to a range of digital assets and work collaboratively to develop new propositions to innovate across the end-to-end digital journey. Together we create unique, customised journeys for your customers and brokers. Our in house experience design consultants (CX Partners) will guide you through our process of research, prototyping and consumer testing.

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SMARTER, FASTER PERFORMANCE STARTS HERE Our experts are available to discuss how together we can transform your customers’ mortgage experience and also arrange a demo of our latest products and solutions. So, if you want to power up your people, start talking to our people today.



All of Kensington’s mortgages are analysed by VECTOR, which is a pro­ prietary and powerful analytical model that is embedded into all phases of the mortgage lifecycle. “VECTOR has a massive database spanning the last 25 years with over a million data points showing how loans have behaved in different macroeconomic environments,” says Harris. “We have an AI platform that allows us to use VECTOR to help us understand



Kensington Mortgages We look for ways to say YES CLICK TO WATCH



343 how our loans will perform over time

are the one area where it now takes

depending on different economic sce­

longer than it did before.

narios. This also gives us an edge to develop new products.”

“People used to go to their bank branch more often, so back in the 90s

Harris is well aware that mortgages

if you wanted a mortgage you went to

generally are one of the last remaining

see your branch manager, you talked

areas that are yet to be innovated. “I

them through what you needed and

saw a chart recently that showed in

they had the power to make a decision.

1990, it took a week to buy an airline

It happened quite quickly because it

ticket, two weeks to get new house

was done locally, even though it wasn’t

insurance and three weeks to get a

done digitally. However, what has hap­

car loan,” she explains. “But, all those

pened over the past 15/20 years is that

things have moved from weeks to sec­

the bank has taken away that power

onds as you do them online, whereas

from the branches, it’s all centralised

mortgages, which used to take days,

and has been digitised. You go into busi ne ssc h ief . eu


some central process within the bank

years will hold for her organisation

with people that don’t understand

and the industry itself. “I think it’s a

individual circumstances and you

really exciting time for the sector

often end up with a ‘computer says

and we’re on the cusp of disruption,”

no’ approach. Taking out a mortgage

she explains. “Kensington is cur­

is a complex process, much more so

rently growing at 30% year on year

than perhaps getting a car loan. You

and we expect the growth of digital

have to value the property and try to

within the industry to only accelerate

consider whether the person involved

post-COVID. We also anticipate an

can sustain paying a mortgage for the

increasing need for specialist mort­

next 25 years.”

gage lending as people’s financial

As Kensington gears up to celebrate 344

situations become more complex.

its 25th year anniversary in December,

Coming out of COVID, there are

Harris is looking to the future and is

going to be a lot of people that were

optimistic about what the next few

on furlough or had to take a payment

Kensington Mortgages: Using data to write better mortgages CLICK TO WATCH






holiday where it’s going to take more time to underwrite them. I think there will be a much more customer-focused approach and we have a number of new products in the pipeline to allow younger people to get on the housing ladder. Customers are demanding that we do things in different ways and it’s time to start addressing that. The future is bright.”

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Cap DC España, a subsidiary of CAP Ingelec, provides invaluable local knowledge and project management to international clients in Europe and Africa


ccording to the data analysis specialist Arizton, the data centre/colocation market in EMEA was worth around US$14bn in

2019. It’s a burgeoning market, driven by factors like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 348

and rapid adoption of internet-based services among businesses in the Middle East and Africa region. The Cap DC Group, a subsidiary of the leading French Cap Ingelec brings together local engineer­ ing firms in Southern Europe and Africa to build data centres to meet this demand, and has been ranked among the top 15 global data centre engineering firms by Arizton. While its core business is data centre engineering, increasingly it is offering its clients in southern Europe and francophone Africa the option of EPC or turnkey construction contracts, says its Managing Director Antonio Ríos Suanzes. Antonio came on board in 2017 to set up the com­ pany’s headquarters in Madrid. In that time his team has grown to eight, turnover to €5.5m, and revenue is targeted to reach €10m by 2022.



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“Madrid is seeing strong growth in tier

tech giants (GAFA) have no foothold yet

2 of the European data centre market

and very few pan-African colocators

thanks to the increase in subsea cables

are active.

reaching the Iberian peninsula,” he says.

“The market is still mostly driven by

“We foresee huge growth in Madrid and

telcos like Orange, or by the public sec­

Barcelona over the coming years.”

tor,” says Antonio. “For example, we

Cap DC has also begun its expan­

are working for the national data centre

sion into Milan, he adds, and Microsoft

agencies in Senegal and Guinea. The

announced recently that it will build data

size of the data centre market in Africa

centres in Greece, while Cap DC deliv­

is currently far smaller than in Europe,

ered two colocation projects in Turkey

but we consider that with rapid popula­

in 2020.

tion growth and the real innovation

With the southern Europe data centre

capability across the continent, it will

market set fair, he notes that Africa

equal the rate of development in Europe

is a completely different market. The

within five years.”

Madrid company has six offices in Africa

He is encouraged in this view by

from Morocco to Senegal to Ghana and

African leadership in mobile payment

Cameroon. In these markets, it’s all about

and its innovations in e-agriculture and

potential. Apart from South Africa the

e-health business.

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Wherever it is to be built, time to mar­ ket is the most important consideration

cater for the unknown final requirements of the final client.

for data centre operators and this

“In our view, the technical solution for

is where Cap DC derives a distinct

a data centre client is a combination of

advantage from its deep engineering

merging operator requirements (some­

know-how and the resources of

times pre-defined in the best-practice

Cap Ingelec.

policies of the company) with the skill

Flexibility and modularity are its priori­

to adapt these requirements to local

ties. Power usage effectiveness (PUE)

regulations as necessary, and to validate

driven by modern cooling systems such

construction feasibility in a short time­

as direct and indirect free-cooling and

frame,” he says.

choosing the right location are always

The contracting model developed

important, but design flexibility must

by Cap Ingelec and Cap DC has been


a major growth factor since 2015, Antonio feels. “The difference in approach between a general contractor and an engineering specialist is clear. The turnkey contract model we offer our clients focuses on time-to-market. Between our group infrastructure and our local representa­ tives, we can provide full governance of the projects, including licensing, securing power supplies and managing all legal issues: this enables us to commit to a budget and schedule with the client and stick to it. “This model has helped many of our cli­ ents not only to design but to deliver their

“The size of the data centre market in Africa is currently far smaller than in Europe, but we consider that ... it will equal the rate of development in Europe within five years” — Antonio Ríos Suanzes, Managing Director, CAP DC España

data centres on time. We are very grati­ fied that more clients are trusting us with the full design and construction of their projects. It’s convinced us that this is the construction model that fits this market.” For Antonio Ríos Suanzes, the key to an effective turnkey solution in the data centre industry is to have the right collaborators, partners and suppliers in place. A good example is the fire protection system, which needs to be planned at an early phase of the pro­ ject to ensure a system that is fit for busi ne ssc h ief . eu



“We consider that this pandemic has boosted digitalisation more than any new product or marketing campaign” — Antonio Ríos Suanzes, Managing Director, CAP DC España purpose and protects the data cen­ tre through its entire lifecycle. Taking into account every possible detail during the project planning stage 354

means less need to make changes later. Making changes to the routing of the pipe network, for example, could disrupt

are delighted to bring to the client the

operations. Also, fire suppression in

quality and performance of our suppli­

data centres can be challenging due

ers.” Close communication across

to the high airflow and the increased

the entire value chain is his mantra:

power density of servers. The upgraded

“If one partner has a problem, the others

FM Standard 5560 incorporates new

have a problem too.”

fire test protocols for data halls and

Strategic partners are equally impor­

subfloors: long-term Cap DC supplier

tant. Private equity and hedge funds

Marioff provides a high-pressure water

are increasingly interested in data cen­

mist solution, a very reliable fire protec­

tres as an alternative to their logistics

tion system focused on total cost of

investments. The global property group

ownership (TCO) and with OEM sup­

Goodman is setting the standard on this

port 24/7, says Antonio.

shift of emphasis and is a key partner for

“We manage construction but we are not a supplier company, so we DECEMBER 2020

Cap DC. “Goodman has the financial resources



Antonio Rios Suanzes Title: Managing Director

Company: CAP DC España

Industry: Construction

Location: Madrid

Antonio Rios Suanzes is Partner and Managing Director at CAP DC España, responsible for the company development in Spain from its creation in 2017. He holds two master’s degrees in Engineering and Corporate Finance. During his three years at CAP DC España, he has overseen the growth of the company from one to eight employees and seen the turnover increase by € 5.5 million. Over this period of time, Antonio has also grown as a leader and acquired essential managerial skills at the young age of 33. Antonio has broad experience in international projects and reports directly to the group CEO based in France. busi ne ssc h ief . eu


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Your safety is our expertise.

“Goodman has the financial resources and strong local teams in key locations” — Antonio Ríos Suanzes, Managing Director, CAP DC España

357 and strong local teams in key locations

has had to face the challenges posed

such as Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam,

by Covid-19, though the situation has

Milan and Madrid,” says Antonio. “Its

boosted the data centre market.

group strategy is to purchase a plot,

“We consider that this pandemic has

secure the power infrastructure (a

boosted digitalisation more than any

specialised process in a complex and

new product or marketing campaign,”

regulation-fraught environment), and

says Antonio. “We expect growth in

then invite interested parties. Once

digital services that will require more

the data centre operator is on board,

investment in data centres and faster

Goodman will support construction

development of tier 2 cities like Madrid,

and rent it to the operator. This model

Monaco or Bordeaux. Internally, in Cap

speeds up delivery by outsourcing plot

DC we were prepared for a ‘smart work’

selection and power due diligence. In

period and we are very proud of how the

Madrid, we are talking 6-12 months

team has reacted to this situation. The

saved on ready-for-service date.”

technical team has been working from

Throughout 2020, every industry

home and the construction team have busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“The turnkey contract model we offer our clients focuses on time-to-market” — Antonio Ríos Suanzes, Managing Director, CAP DC España



adapted their schedule to keep the busi­ ness running and minimize the impact.” The dramatic uptick in demand will not decline when Covid is finally vanquished, he believes, as business consolidates the efficiencies it has been forced to adopt. In a city like Madrid, securing power supply for new data centre capacity at strategic locations can be a limiting fac­ tor, he notes: “We have identified power supply and infrastructure between sub­ station and data centre as a red flag that was delaying or even withdrawing pro­ jects. To tackle this, since 2018 we have offered a consulting service to deal with the electricity provider, securing power alongside a specific turnkey contract to develop this infrastructure. We are very happy with how this has impacted our business and we have been growing turnover every year.” This success is getting recognised: Cap DC recently received an award as the leading company in Data Center Construction in Spain in 2020 from La Razón newspaper, one of Spain’s most influential.

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Iron Mountain Data Centers’ (IMDC) Alex Sharp & Eric Boonstra discuss IMDC’s services, ambitions, and why sustainability is the heart of its operations


Starting their respective careers in the data center industry in 2005 and 1990, Eric Boonstra, VP and GM in Western

Europe and Alex Sharp, Global Head of Data Center Design and Construction collectively have 45 years of experience in the industry. The two 362

have worked for the likes of Siemens, ABN AMRO, SpendLab, EvoSwitch, Wates, Mace and CBRE. Joining Iron Mountain Data Centers (IMDC) in 2019, Sharp identifies the company as “a leading provider of data center and colocation services. We have a global portfolio which includes hyper­ scale ready facilities, strategic-edge facilities and underground data centers, which are fully powered by 100% renewable energy.” Being sustainable is a fundamental element of IMDC’s strategy: “we try to make sure that every­ thing that we do is as renewable and as sustainable as possible,” comments Sharp. “We believe that we are one of the most sustainable colocation provid­ ers in the world, which is really important to us and at the same time makes us stand out from the com­ petition,” adds Boonstra, who joined IMDC in 2018. DECEMBER 2020

2013 Year founded

$4.26bn+ Corporate company revenue, US dollars

350 Number of employees


busi ne ssc h ief . eu


Alex Sharp @Iron Mountain CLICK TO WATCH





While most organisations have an interest in minimising their impact on the environment, Sharp reflects that, in his career, no company has been more considerate of its impact on the envi­ ronment than IMDC. “Sustainability at Iron Mountain Data Centers is not optional,” he says. “It’s not an aspira­ tion, it’s an absolute requirement. Our CEO Bill Meaney is absolutely pas­ sionate about renewable energy, and energy optimisation processes. He aggressively drives us to try and find new solutions, look at different fuel technologies for instance and push the

envelope in terms of doing things that

we do, and our customers are aware

other organisations haven’t done yet,

of that. We look at designing the most

if we think it’s the right thing to do in

efficient data centers that minimise

order to be sustainable.”

the consumption of electrical energy,”

IMDC’s approach when it comes

says Boonstra.

to sustainability is to lead rather than

One example that highlights these

follow; the company is keen on trying

sustainability ambitions is the fact

new solutions that will increase its

that IMDC helps its customers to

sustainability efforts. “Sustainability

look at the hardware they put into an

is at the forefront of everything that

Iron Mountain data center to drive


Alex Sharp


Title: Vice President, Global Head of Design and Construction Company: Iron Mountain Data Centers Industry: Data Center & Colocation services Alex Sharp joined Iron Mountain Data Centers in 2019 as Global Head of Design & Construction. Prior to joining Iron Mountain Alex was Global Head of Projects and Construction for CBRE DataCenter Solutions as he joined CBRE from Mace Limited where for 8 years he was Senior Managing Director of their data center construction business. Alex is an Electrical & Electronic Engineer and one of Europe’s leading data center builders with the ambition to further develop and grow Iron Mountains Data Centers business by building sustainable data center facilities. Alex is a regular speaker at prominent industry conferences such as Datacenterdynamics and DataCloud Global in various places around the world. busi ne ssc h ief . eu


efficiency and sustainability for their


Going forward, Sharp sees IMDC

racks in any of their data centers glob­

adding cooling technologies, carbon

ally. “We look at technologies where

scrubbing, and trying to get conces­

customers can replace six of their

sions with its customers where it can

legacy racks in a data center with one

run its data centers at slightly higher

that is far more efficient, where the

temperatures, to its focus areas when

energy is being tailored and used at

it comes to sustainability. “Our aim

the appropriate point where it needs to

is to reduce our carbon emissions to

be. It makes it far easier for us to man­

get to a position where we are car­

age the air within the data center. So

bon neutral, initially, before we push

for us, it’s far more than just looking at

for carbon negative where we take

the design of a data center; it’s work­

harmful greenhouse gases out of the

ing with our customers to ensure that

atmosphere. We also want to look into

we’re deploying those energies in an

the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and

efficient way.”

analytics when it comes to the design

Eric Boonstra @Iron Mountain CLICK TO WATCH





“We’re very proud of the Green Power Pass,” says Boonstra. “Iron Mountain Data Centres is the first operator in the industry that has launched this kind of portfolio-wide renewable power solution.” Prior to its Green Power Pass offering, Sharp details that customers with colocation data centers couldn’t use renewable energy that was being consumed there as part of their own sustainability reporting. “We didn’t think that was very fair. So we worked together with industry leading organisations such as Future of Internet Power (FoIP) and the

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) in the US to come to a solution where customers can now claim colocation power consumption from the minute they sign a contract with us. We can do this because we provide a very clear audit trail in terms of where the energy comes from and how it’s deployed within the data centers, as well as an audit letter of attestation at the end of every year to our customers to explain what power they’ve used and where it was sourced from so they can apply it to their own corporate social responsibility reporting.”

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“WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF INVESTMENTS, AND BECOME TWICE AS BIG IN THE LAST TWO YEARS IN EMEA” — Eric Boonstra, Vice President and General Manager Western Europe, Iron Mountain Data Centers

of a data center to compare what it is and what it should be operating at, and ultimately coming up with solutions to make not only new but legacy data centers more efficient and resilient.” In addition to its sustainability efforts, IMDC also has a strong focus on ensuring that its data centers


Eric Boonstra Title: Vice President and General Manager Western Europe


Company: Iron Mountain Data Centers Industry: Data Center & Colocation services Eric joined Iron Mountain Data Centers in 2018 after the acquisition of EvoSwitch and currently serves as the Vice President and General Manager Western Europe. Prior to his role, Eric was the CEO of Evoswitch for 10 years and was instrumental in the company’s M&A activities. With the high ambitions IMDC has set for developing and growing it’s data centre portfolio across the European region, Eric’s main drivers to achieve these ambitions are through customer satisfaction, sustainability initiatives, operational excellence, international growth and industry leadership. His focus on attracting international customers for Iron Mountain has been helped by his multi-sector experience, which includes senior management roles in Siemens, Staples and ABN AMRO Bank. Eric also holds several board positions including the Dutch Data Center Association, and the Amsterdam Economic Board. busi ne ssc h ief . eu


serve as connectivity ecosystems that enable customers to transact their services. “We not only look towards greening the grid with our renewable initiatives such as Green Power Pass but we strive for our customers to transact their services from within the Iron Mountain ecosystem in the most efficient way possible. With our ever growing ecosystem of Carriers,

“OUR AIM IS TO REDUCE OUR CARBON EMISSIONS TO GET TO A POSITION WHERE WE ARE CARBON NEUTRAL” — Alex Sharp, Vice President, Global Head of Design and Construction, Iron Mountain Data Centers

Internet Exchanges and Cloud Service


Providers we enable our customers to

secure, efficient and resilient, while

connect and enhance their business

also providing opportunity and choice

by providing the route of their choice

for our customers,” explains Boonstra.

to any CSP on a global scale. So really

With this in mind, Boonstra reflects

it’s about providing top quality services

that over the last two years, IMDC

within our data centers, that are highly

- which originates from the US - has



Datalec is a design, build and installation company that our customers were continually asking us to use for fit outs. I think typically when you’re asked to use a particular company for any reason, and it’s not someone that you’ve selected, you fear the worst. But that certainly wasn’t the case with Datalec. A lot of our hyperscale customers were asking us if we would use Datalec, which is a very niche business providing worldclass customer fit out and team user solutions.

They show an exception level of attention to detail, where they really do work to understand the brief. Consequently they have come to partner with us as the data center owner and operator and the relationship has grown from there. Now we use them in their own right as an installation company and we’re getting a fantastic service from them. Alex Sharp, Global Head of Design and Construction, Iron Mountain data centers (IMDC)

grown very fast on a global scale next to the EMEA region. “This was exactly our plan,” comments Boonstra. “We have made a lot of investments, and become twice as big in the last two years in EMEA.” Currently Iron Mountain has data centers in Amsterdam - its headquarters for the EMEA region - Frankfurt and London, with plans to further expand in not only the leading countries in the region but the emerging ones, too. busi ne ssc h ief . eu



While these are notable successes for IMDC in the EMEA region, Boonstra adds that “we are currently one of the top 10 global data center providers, and we have strong ambitions to get into a top 5 position.” As a result the company’s ambitions to expand its global operations continue. “We cur­ rently have 15 locations globally with eleven data centers in the US, one in Singapore and three in Europe that we are heavily investing into. But we want to continue to expand our port­ 372

folio and enhance our position to be a global leading data center provider in the future. So that’s why our target markets are retail, enterprise and

construction projects all around the

hyperscale businesses. In the past

world, and while we are still doing okay,

you had providers for each industry,

we have seen a few delays as a result

but I believe that leading providers of

of COVID. We have seen both good

the future will be able to provide their

and bad outcomes due to COVID-19.

services to all of these markets,” com­

One of the things we have all seen is

ments Boonstra.

that there is a lot more traffic going

When it comes to the effects of

through the internet due to people

COVID-19, Sharp adds that “if you

working from home, which is chan­

look at revenues and pipelines there

neled through our data centers. So

is luckily no impact, we are growing

we’ve seen a much bigger increase in

fast despite COVID. But where we

demand for immediate space that our

have seen some impact is in the con­

customers need - particularly cloud

struction projects. Currently we have

service providers. So the demand has



About Iron Mountain Data Centers CLICK TO WATCH



busi ne ssc h ief . eu



“IF YOU LOOK AT REVENUES AND PIPELINES THERE IS LUCKILY NO IMPACT; WE ARE GROWING FAST DESPITE COVID” — Eric Boonstra, Vice President and General Manager Western Europe, Iron Mountain Data Centers DECEMBER 2020

grown significantly through COVID, but with that has come its own challenges, and of course movement of personnel and movement of equipment has been an issue through COVID.” Looking to the future Sharp states that IMDC’s ambitions for 2021 - like 2020 - will be much the same. “To con­ tinue to be a partner of choice for our customers, to deliver high quality ser­ vices, and to expand our offerings in all regions. We actively anticipate expand­ ing into new regions and contributing to those communities that we go into. We will also, as ever, ensure that we con­ tinue to minimise the impact we have on the environment and drive social inclu­ sion in the regions we operate in.” Adding to Sharp’s comments in the future, Boonstra says: “We want to be a top leading data center provider in the world, so we will keep on invest­ ing, conducting M&As and carry out construction projects around the world, despite COVID-19 changing the ways that we work.”

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Vodafone Ghana: Digitalisation at Scale 377 WRITTEN BY



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Shoyinka Shodunke, Director of Technology, Vodafone Ghana and Angela Mensah-Poku, Director of Digital and Commercial Operations at Vodafone Ghana discuss the organisation’s ongoing digital transformation and the challenge of COVID-19


odafone is a leading telecommunications provider in Ghana. The organisation is a total commu­

nications solutions provider - mobile, fixed lines, 378

internet, voice and data - and the telecom firm of choice for many Ghanaians. Shoyinka Shodunke is Director of Technology for Vodafone Ghana. With a wealth of technologi­ cal experience, he previously worked at MTN in various roles across Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda and Cameroon before moving into his current role in March 2020. “We’re a unique telco and are currently going through a transformation with a flavour and unique­ ness of the Ghanaian market,” he explains. Shodunke explains that his firm has established three core, strategic pillars as baseline of opera­ tions as Vodafone Ghana seeks to transform from a traditional telco to a digital organisation. “One of those pillars is culture and how we behave on a daily basis,” says Shodunke. DECEMBER 2020


busi ne ssch ief . eu


“The pandemic has accelerated everyone’s planning to attain that digitalisation and it came at a time where we were ready in terms of the practices we already had in place” — Shoyinka Shodunke, Director of Technology, Vodafone Ghana “Secondly, we have to ensure that 380

to operation, and it came at a time

we’re building platforms that are

when we needed some sound check

transformative. Lastly, we’re driving

or simulation in terms of the practices

differentiation from unique capabili­

we already had in place. Our ability to

ties that are developed in-house and

transform our call centres and a move

engagement of ecosystem partners via

from traditional bricks and mortar

software engineering using platforms.”

customer service was testament to

As a result of the impact that COVID-19 has had on organisations

our digital journey and what we’re try­ ing to do.”

the world over, Shodunke reflects that

Angela Mensah-Poku, Director of

the pandemic has acted as a catalyst

Digital Transformation and Commercial

for digital transformation.

Operations at Vodafone Ghana,

“COVID has been an interesting

believes her organisation’s digital trans­

situation to overcome across all

formation agenda is to deliver the most

industries,” explains Shodunke. “The

engaging customer experience.

pandemic has accelerated everyone’s

“We do this by blending the best of dig­

planning to fully embrace digitalisa­

ital and human interaction in a personal,

tion across all verticals from planning

instant and easy way,” she says.



Shoyinka Shodunke Title: Director of Technology

Industry: Telecoms Location: Ghana

Shoyinka Shodunke is a a dynamic, resourceful and strategic leader with over 20 years of diverse business experience, 10 of which have been at C Suite level. Shoyinka has worked extensively in numerous business verticals including but not limited to Telecoms, Consulting and Oil and Gas across Africa, Middle East and Europe. He has held a number of award recognized leadership positions which have led to significant ground breaking organisational transformation. He possesses significant skills and experience in Operations, Business Change Transformation, Strategic Planning, Risk and Compliance. He is a dynamic and solution-focused professional with a record of achievement and demonstrable success in delivering key initiatives, reliably managing multiple mission-critical programs and portfolios, provision of stability and management of business systems; establishing and building upon key internal and external relationships. He is best described as a ‘change agent’, a confident self-starter experienced in leading, building and maintaining strong organisational growth. He is currently the Director of Technology at Vodafone Ghana.

busi ne ssch ief . eu



382 “Vodafone had already started our

instantaneously and in a personalised

journey of digital customer experi­

way and Mensah-Poku believes its

ence ahead of the pandemic. We were

introduction has been influential.

driving a shift in consumer behaviour

“We made TOBi the constant

before the outbreak. In line with our

across all channels during COVID-19

commitment to building a digital soci­

and this has been invaluable,” says

ety that improves people’s lives, we


employ new technologies such as

“The My Vodafone app is one of the

artificial intelligence (AI) to transform

many ways to excite and interact with

our customers’ experience and the

our customers. This was delivered

efficiency of our operation. We have

by young, talented Ghanaians who

a host of digital-led platforms, which

brought their expertise and creativity

include a machine learning chatbot

to deliver this ‘wow’ experience.”

and self-service app.” Vodafone Ghana introduced its vir­ tual agent, TOBi, to automate contacts DECEMBER 2020

Its unique and elaborate features offer a complete all-in-one solutions platform for our customers. This


Angela Mensah-Poku Title: Director of Digital and Commercial Operations Industry: Telecoms

Location: Ghana

As a Commercial Director and Managing Director with over 15 years of leadership experience in Africa and Europe, she holds a Masters in Information Systems. She is skilled in leading large teams through change and driving for results. Angela’s expertise lies in influencing large-scale internal transformations to capture revenue, profitability, digital experience and efficiency improvements. She currently serves as Director for Digital Transformation and Commercial Operations. Angela leads an organisation of more than 500 employees to advance the company’s digital transformation agenda, mobilise and deliver commercial and customer experience through our customer facing teams and deliver significant commercial results. Prior to this she was the Director of Vodafone Business and Managing Director of Vodafone Wholesale. Angela currently represents Vodafone Ghana on the Data For Good-Big Data Steering Committee a partnership including FlowMinder and Ghana Statistical Service, and is also Non Executive board member of Hacklab Foundation and on the Board of Women In Technology Science Engineering And Mathematics for Ghana. She is also a member of the UK and Ghana Chartered Institute of IT.

busi ne ssch ief . eu


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“In the market that we operate in, your ability to innovate is going to stand out and determine your overall position in the market” — Shoyinka Shodunke, Director of Technology, Vodafone Ghana

unique app allows customers access

you talk about the impact of COVID,

to Vodafone services and is designed

our customers and ourselves had to

with the objective of empowering the

adapt and become more digital in a

customer to do more and manage their

matter of weeks. Fortunately for us,

accounts on the go. The app also inte­

we were already on that journey and

grates TOBi in its interface and so you

being on that journey meant we could

don’t necessarily have to go to a retail

introduce the My Vodafone app to

store for assistance.”

drive conversations and mitigate the

“Tobi is now taking on around 30%

pressure during those critical periods.

of all customer contacts to our experi­

Hopefully when we fast forward to

ence centre and is able to deal with

next year, you will see a very differ­

transactions and information,” adds

ent organisation and customer base


that aren’t afraid to embrace digital

“It runs on machine learning and Big Data and was something the team

because they had no choice.” ‘’We place the customers at the very

were able to implement in-house

heart of all that we do and this is what

that has managed to bring significant

drives our leadership in innovation.

efficiency and take our customers

Enabling our customers to interact

on that self-service journey. When

seamlessly and consistently with us, busi ne ssch ief . eu



“Ecosystems require everyone to contribute to success” — Shoyinka Shodunke, Director of Technology, Vodafone Ghana 386

when and how they want, is a promise and this is what differentiates us.’’

“The key area for us was around security,” he affirms. “When you trans­

Shodunke believes that one of the

form to the digital space, your services

key lessons learnt from the coronavirus

move from the traditional protection

was around ensuring cyber security

received from bricks and mortar, to

was prevalent at all times.

everyone having access whatever


approach with involvement of ecosys­ tem partnerships and believes it’s a key driver to success. “In the market that we operate in, our ability to innovate and self-disrupt is going to stand out and determine your overall position in the market,” explains Shodunke. “Innovation is a critical suc­ cess factor to us. Building platforms requires a deviation from how telcos have approached building products and services to using a nexus of forces to drive new business models and better engagement of our ecosystem to drive a two-direction model partici­ pation. Our three key pillars all come back to our culture of innovation.” The importance of developing key, strategic business relationships is essential to the long-term approach of most companies. Vodafone Ghana has established partnerships with Tech Mahindra, Raycom and Oracle that are particularly influential. platform they need to get the job done.

Shodunke recognises the value in

It’s vital to ensure there is good security

an ecosystem of partners to ensure

in place to avoid data leakage and intru­

everyone can play a key role.

sion to malicious use of your system.” Shodunke acknowledges the importance of adopting an innovative

“Partnerships are important in terms of where we’re driving the busi­ ness now. If you take a deep look at busi ne ssch ief . eu



successful digital initiatives, they are primarily driven by partnerships, new ways in which actors collaborate to bring value. Such ecosystems require everyone to contribute and work to its success and to continuously innovate to keep it so. This model ensures a win-win. Driving innovation, rather than previous transactional models. Such partnerships are more about harnessing the full benefits of an eco­ system so that every partner invests in value creation.” 388

Shodunke points out that for a partnership to be successful, both parties must be working to a common objective. “There must be strategic alignment,” he says. “You must have

“I would consider Vodafone Ghana as the top digital company in Ghana because if you look at our engagement tools, I haven’t seen any of those tools in the market by our competitors” — Shoyinka Shodunke, Director of Technology, Vodafone Ghana

common goals and objectives under­ pinned by solid relationships.” With the future in mind, Shodunke believes his organisation is in a great position to continue to be a top telco of choice in Ghana and to expand in the country. “From a Vodafone standpoint, today

services go far beyond the native

we’re a telco company transitioning to

telco products of voice and services,”

a technology communications com­

explains Shodunke.

pany. We’ve redefined our strategy and objectives. Our products and DECEMBER 2020

I would consider Vodafone Ghana as the top digital company in Ghana.


There is no comparison in terms of cus­

experience whichever channel they

tomer value and experience to our My

use to contact Vodafone Ghana.�

Vodafone app, chatbots or websites. We are introducing more initiatives to ensure that customers get a seamless busi ne ssch ief . eu



Pestana Hotel Group: A Testing Ground for Technology WRITTEN BY



busi ne ssch ief . eu



Gonçalo Marques Oliveira, CIO, discusses how COVID-19 may change hospitality and why Pestana Hotel Group believes in a managed approach to technology


f one was to consider the industries most affected by the COVID-19 pan­ demic, hospitality would probably feature

prominently. The prolonged closure of buildings, the 392

introduction of new ‘spread prevention’ measures, and international travel restrictions have all conspired to make operations much more difficult. Despite this, there remain some prominent examples of compa­ nies that have combined perseverance with a highly innovative mindset to achieve profitable outcomes and positive customer experiences. Pestana Hotel Group (Pestana) is one such company. Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Funchal, Portugal, Pestana is a chain managing 100 hotels across three continents (Europe, South America and Africa), as well as six golf courses, two casinos and more. A proudly Portuguese entity, the company even began a collaboration with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2015 to open a hotel chain under his ‘CR7’ brand - the first of which opened one year later in Madeira Island.



busi ne ssch ief . eu



Year founded

Gonçalo Marques Oliveira, Chief Information Officer, joined Pestana in March 2020, just as the pandemic was escalating to lockdown. “The initial

$450mn+ Revenue in US dollars

7,000 394

Number of employees

impact of COVID-19 on the company was huge,” he recalls. “We closed almost all of our units in 15 coun­ tries between mid-March and April.” However, Oliveira adds that, despite the unanticipated disruption, Pestana was still thinking several moves ahead to ensure a swift resumption of services as soon as they were able. “Everyone acted in a very professional way and in expectation that we would be ready to reopen at any point; we wanted to make sure that the condi­ tions were right.” Oliveira’s career has been diverse but consistently marked by strong business development and ana­ lytical skills, which he has honed at several world-leading organisations. Beginning his first technology-related role in the early 2000s, Oliveira states that he was initially reticent: “My first reaction was to say, ‘I’m not the best guy to do it.’ Fortunately for me, my boss at the time said, ‘No, let’s give it a try,’ and I was subsequently able


Pestana Worldwide CLICK TO WATCH




to specialise myself in a number of technological trends.” When the opportunity to work at Pestana pre­ sented itself, he says that he was “immediately struck” by the chance to combine what he’d learned in a

“The initial impact of COVID-19 on the company was huge” — Gonçalo Marques Oliveira, CIO, Pestana Hotel Group

customer-centric framework that augmented experiences via technol­

initially found himself - made it readily

ogy rather than overwhelming them.

apparent to him that Pestana’s tech

“Because it’s the service industry, peo­

partners are indispensable to the

ple want to see and interact with you:

company. Reaching out to them with

they want to experience your hotels.”

two goals in mind (securing both opera­

The difficulties of lockdown - the

tional and financial support, if needed),

operating milieu in which Oliveira

Oliveira says that the result was largely busi ne ssch ief . eu


Pestana Hotel Group | Overview CLICK TO WATCH



396 a highly positive one that underscored

have a very distributed network

how trust is almost as foundational

of hotels that requires real-time or

as the tech services themselves. “I’m

near real-time communications,” he

proud to say that the majority of our

explains. “Our responsiveness is one

partners supported us both techno­

of Pestana’s trademarks and Altice

logically and financially during the

Portugal has been essential to main­

lockdown period, which is a testament

taining that.”

to the kind of industry where we work;

However, Pestana’s distinctly high

where people understand the value

level of customer service doesn’t

of longer term relations, instead of

come from technology alone. On the

just the immediate benefits of selling

contrary, it is the company’s outstand­

software.” Portugal’s largest telecoms

ing workplace culture that ultimately

provider, Altice Portugal, is one such

drives its success; technology acts

company that Pestana shares an

simply as an enhancer. Operating in

especially close partnership. “We

a ‘reverse pyramid’ structure, Oliveira



Gonçalo Marques Oliveira Title: CIO

Company: Pestana Hotel Group

Industry: Tourism

Location: Lisbon

Gonçalo Marques Oliveira holds a Management Degree from the Portuguese Catholic University and an MBA from INSEAD, in Fontainebleau. Before joining the Pestana Hotel Group, the largest multinational hotel group of Portuguese origin, Gonçalo was the COO/CIO and Executive Board Member of Tranquilidade, an insurance company. Previously Gonçalo had served as CIO at Galp Energia until 2017, which followed his 12 years at Portugal Telecom (PT), where he was, among other, Head of Information Systems and Board Member of PT-SI (the IT branch of Portugal Telecom). In March 2020 he joined the Pestana Hotel Group as member of the Executive Committee and CIO. During his professional career spanning over twenty years, Gonçalo Oliveira had several responsibilities in the fields of Digital Transformation, IT, Operations, Customer Care, Strategy and also in Consulting, having worked at McKinsey & Co. Gonçalo lives in Lisbon with his wife and two young children.

busi ne ssch ief . eu


Innovative solutions for your day to day life We continuously invest in innovation. We develop equipments and solutions f rom which the people can seamlessly benef it every day, in areas such as Medicine, Education, Culture and Sports.

Learn more

“Because it’s the service industry, people want to see and interact with you: they want to experience your hotels” — Gonçalo Marques Oliveira, CIO, Pestana Hotel Group

how important I am, my first job is to listen to those employees and enact changes from their feedback. That kind of leadership underscores what makes Pestana a true leader in the service industry.” The company also utilises review search engines as a resource for quickly determining needed improve­ ments or service additions. In some

states that the opinions of every

sense, Oliveira suggests, the lockdown

employee form a crucial cycle of feed­

period was advantageous for Pestana

back that helps determine Pestana’s

as it allowed the company to implement

future direction. “Our staff are trained

long-term strategic objectives with

and encouraged to be close to our

greater focus, as well as accelerating

thousands of customers. No matter

its digital transformation.

busi ne ssch ief . eu





“The ability to leverage technology is becoming an increasingly distinctive factor for customers” — Gonçalo Marques Oliveira, CIO, Pestana Hotel Group IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) are three key technologies being actively explored in hospitality, and Oliveira states that Pestana is equally interested in explor­ ing their use. “The ability to leverage technology is becoming an increas­ ingly distinctive factor for customers, particularly where you have a number of companies using it extensively,” he notes. AI is particularly applicable to Pestana’s vision of constantly-improv­ ing services, albeit with restrictions on what kind of customer data is collected and how it’s used. COVID19 has also accelerated its interest in experimenting with a number of IoT-based technologies. Pestana’s dedicated app, which launched in July 2020 (available on both Android and busi ne ssch ief . eu



“The hospitality industry is a testing ground for understanding how people interact with technology” — Gonçalo Marques Oliveira, CIO, Pestana Hotel Group

iOS), is its most concentrated effort in this area: empowering customers to make a reservation, check-in, check402

out, and engage with hotels digitally (or not) in the capacity that they are com­ fortable with, the app is important for realising the hospitality sector’s need for tech-enhanced, COVID-secure operations. “We’ll also be investing

ownership by shareholder Dionísio

some money in VR to provide a virtual

Pestana, son of one the original found­

3D tour of our properties instead of

ers Manuel Pestana, which Oliveira

just looking at pictures,” Oliveira adds.

believes adds a sense of ‘trademark’,

If a piece of technology can result

integrity and far-reaching industry

in a greater customer experience,

experience to its daily operations.

Pestana isn’t afraid of investing money

Having an knowledgeable individual

to explore the idea. This willingness,

at the helm could prove crucial for

in addition to its strong finances, are

navigating hospitality’s post-COVID-19

two qualities that Oliveira highlights

landscape, where many are carefully

as putting the company ahead of its

considering what the industry’s

competition. Another factor is its

future might look like. “First of all,



Pestana believes that people will

needs, particularly as travel restric­

continue to enjoy traveling,” Oliveira

tions continue to complicate travel

affirms. “But our view is that the

plans. “Our goal is to give them the

future should enhance conveni­

experience they want,” he states.

ence and provide booking flexibility.

Looking ahead to 2021, Oliveira

Customers should be able to cancel

hopes that the company will resume

a booking without penalties, while

its plans for further expansion in

also being provided with benefits

growth. “Right now, the industry

and advantages, even if they are last

itself is very fragmented. However,

minute bookings.” This demonstrates

I believe that Pestana, because of its

Pestana’s refreshingly understanding

solid operating model, will benefit in

and perceptive analysis of customer

that environment.” While it remains busi ne ssch ief . eu




unclear where and how opportuni­ ties for controlled growth will present themselves, he remains confident that the company’s dedicated commitment to the industry will enable Pestana to broach new geographic regions and create a more balanced global portfo­ lio. Moreover, the Group will continue to explore potentially revolutionary tech-based service enhancements for its customers, maintaining its status as a hotel brand at the cutting edge of digital capabilities. “The hospital­ ity industry is a testing ground for understanding how people interact with technology,” Oliveira concludes. “Everyone at Pestana is thinking in the long-term, and we believe hospitality is a really exciting industry to work in right now.”

busi ne ssch ief . eu


Peace of Mind Through Digital Inspection Solutions 406






busi ne ssch ief . eu


Arungalai Anbarasu, CT&SO, discusses the company’s philosophy on digital transformation and how it’s creating peace of mind for manufacturers post-COVID-19


lthough the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are beyond dispute, one positive aspect has been a renewed

openness to digital transformation and its possibili­ ties. Waygate Technologies is a staunch champion 408

of its effect in the non-destructive testing (NDT) and industrial inspection arena. Originally GE Inspection Technologies, the company eventu­ ally rebranded itself in 2020 but still maintains its rich industry heritage with over 125 years of world-leading excellence - a combination of 1.700 employees operating globally as part of the Baker Hughes corporation. Using cutting-edge data ana­ lytics, Waygate Technologies seeks to augment productivity, boost competitiveness, and provide clients and their customers with the peace of mind they require. Naturally curious and exploratory at a young age, Arungalai Anbarasu, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, says that engineering provided her with the perfect outlet for exploring these




Year founded

1,700 Number of employees

busi ne ssch ief . eu



“We retained the people and the culture, so we rebranded in a way that our customers would still recognise us and our services” — Arungalai Anbarasu, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Waygate Technologies

passions. “My Master’s thesis (at the Georgia Institute of Technology) was actually on non-destructive testing,” she explains. Joining GE in 2005, Anbarasu quickly developed profes­ sionally, “I started to understand why business strategy is so important for a company, which made me take on different roles in the company, from finance strategy to operations, tech­ nology, business management, and finally the role I find myself in today.” When the company became Waygate Technologies, she relates that captur­ ing the brand attention once afforded


to GE was challenging. “GE Inspection

customers would still recognise us

Technologies (GEIT) enjoyed such a

and our services. Ultimately, we pro­

strong presence in the NDT industry.

vide them with a gateway to innovation,

We retained the people and the cul­

so that, I believe, was the reasoning

ture, so we rebranded in a way that our

behind our new name.”


Arungalai Anbarasu Title: Chief Technology & Strategy Officer Company: Waygate Technologies Industry: Industrial Inspection Solutions and Non-Destructive Testing Location: Huerth, Germany


Arungalai Anbarasu is the Chief Technology & Strategy Officer at Waygate Technologies, driving strategy and innovation for the company. In addition to pushing the technology and business models, boundaries on inspection solutions, Aru and her team are also focused on the digital transformation of Waygate Technologies and spearheading Waygate’s evolution into a Digital Inspection Solutions provider, taking customers from inspections to insights and from insights to innovations. Prior to her current role, Aru was the General Manager for Industrial X-ray and CT solutions business at Waygate Technologies. She also spent over a decade in GE in multiple impactful roles in business divisions such as Global Research Centre, Oil & Gas, Power Conversion, Healthcare and Renewables. She is passionate about encouraging Women in STEM fields and continues to pursue avenues to support this topic. Aru currently resides in Hannover with her husband Divyang and daughter Ada. busi ne ssch ief . eu


D H VA N I R E S E A R C H & D E V E L O P M E N T

One of Waygate Technologies’ most important partners is Indian tech hub Dhvani Research & Development. Leveraging IITM, CNDE and ESCON technologies, the company is striving to become a world leader in the research and development of non-invasive diagnostics.


Anbarasu had the following to say about the two companies’ relationship: “We’ve been working with Dhvani for a few years now and count them as a

valued partner in our journey. Dhvani has access to a wide pool of resources, a strong track record in delivering ADR software and associated applications for x-ray and ultrasound, and their customer base includes top global brands. They are incredibly flexible in their working arrangements and truly drive us to succeed on multiple fronts simultaneously; a nice contrast from hardware companies, which are used to more structured and therefore slower shifts.”

In terms of more recent challenges, Anbarasu cannot deny that COVID-19 has presented a significant operational hurdle. However, she caveats this with a sense of optimism regarding the development of tech within NDT. “I almost see this as the beginning of a new digital revolution towards ‘Industry 4.0+’. I think a lot of this will continue beyond COVID too, with legacy customers becoming more DECEMBER 2020

Waygate Technologies | A world leader in non-destructive testing. CLICK TO WATCH



413 accepting generally; they used to pri­

latter allows operators to analyse

oritise face-to-face interactions during

and upload data independently

an inspection, but these days we’ve

from anywhere.

been convincing them to do it virtually.

Having these tools, and many oth­

Although the pandemic has driven

ers, illustrates what gives Waygate

us apart physically, it has brought us

Technologies an advantage over

together virtually.” Furthermore, two of

other companies in the space, “We

Waygate Technologies’ flagship digital

have one of the broadest product

products - InspectionWorks Connect

portfolios available,” Anbarasu states.

and Insight - are geared for meet­

“That world-leading breadth across

ing the core challenges introduced

visual, ultrasound, x-ray, CT, Eddy cur­

by COVID: the former allows users

rent, portables, handhelds and cloud

to connect a handheld borescope

services puts us in a really unique

or ultrasonic testing (UT) device to

position.” Observing that a global shift

remotely located experts, while the

away from single-unit data to larger busi ne ssch ief . eu


ANALYTIC INTELLIGENCE We are industry leaders in the development and deployment of NDE 4.0 related tools and technologies globally. We focus on product and applications development and also offer services in the area to our clients. Our ability to work across software, hardware, IoT, AI while bringing in the cutting edge domain skills offers a signiďŹ cant competitive advantage in the NDE space. Our collaboration with academia and associated industries and the use of blended skills that combine physics with data driven analysis help address some of the challenges faced by industry today. We have skills in developing digital twins for inspection processes and our product portfolio includes simulators that help optimise inspection time and resources. We use both knowledge based and data driven intelligence to generate synthetic data, where required. This is particularly useful in ramping up AI based tools that have an appetite for large volumes of information. We deliver end-to-end integrated solutions to our clients and have the in-house capabilities to work across platform technologies, automation, robotics, text / image analytics, decision sciences and IoT. We have developed visualisation and dashboarding tools that can also deliver enterprise reports. We are actively engaged with clients in the manufacturing, transport, construction, maintenance, energy, infrastructure, electronics, and healthcare sectors. LEARN MORE


“Although the pandemic has driven us apart physically, it has brought us together virtually” — Arungalai Anbarasu, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Waygate Technologies


connected ecosystems of informa­ tion that unlock value exponentially is taking place, she positions the company at the head of this new trend in NDT and industrial inspec­ tion. “We pride ourselves in helping our customers both detect defects and avoid them altogether; detecting is important, but if we can avoid a fault DECEMBER 2020

transformation journey is a desire to move beyond simply selling ‘product solutions’ and instead focus on envision­ ing, creating, building and selling digital inspection solutions. As such, the company has established a four pillar philosophy: 1) Focusing explicitly on developing collaborative partnerships, both with customers and vendors; 2) Shifting away from building products featuring software to true software products; 3) Employing a new com­ mercial presence in the market that will enable the execution of its goals; and 4) Evolving hardware and manu­ facturing rhythms to drive a steady customer expectation of software releases and updates. Leveraging Waygate Technologies’ storied herit­ age and not allowing traditions to stifle innovation will be crucial, particularly from occurring, I think that’s far more

as the company transitions from being

valuable to them.” In a way, Anbarasu

a device-centric to a data-centric

says, our approach is comparable to

inspection company. Clearly, a cultural

the best healthcare: its testing identi­

shift will be integral; “That is a much

fies problems early, before they have

larger challenge, though, because

an opportunity to develop into some­

you’re trying to convert people from

thing more hazardous.

their long-held beliefs. This needs to

However, fundamentally guid­

be achieved through the right capital

ing Waygate Technologies’ digital

investment, training commercial teams busi ne ssch ief . eu



“Waygate Technologies delivers peace of mind with emerging technologies” — Arungalai Anbarasu, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Waygate Technologies



and expanding our digital presence in different geographical regions.” Far from being a strictly internal evolution, though, Anbarasu makes it clear that Waygate Technologies’ digital transformation will have direct benefits for customers. “Consider this: a borescope built by us can enter the combustion chamber of an aircraft engine through an approximately 1cm diameter port, travel to a loca­ tion and capture an image with its own light source and stereo camera, measuring, in 3D, depths of defects down to the several microns. This is then taken to an exponentially higher value for the customer when Waygate Technologies deploys automatic defect recognition algorithms built on the cloud, delivered on the device. This enables the operator using the instru­ ment to make ‘plane-side’ decisions, thus saving millions of dollars lost in downtime. This is truly incredible tech­ nology, and that’s just one example,” she enthuses. “Waygate Technologies delivers peace of mind with emerg­ ing technologies,” Anbarasu adds. “These are truly enabling our custom­ ers to have full confidence in our busi ne ssch ief . eu



solutions’ ability to safeguard them from a quality perspective.” One of the company’s core digital initia­ tives, InspectionWorks|Ecos, offers an integrated, blockchain-powered data management solution, enabling unified inspection insights across a customer’s entire ecosystem and the complete lifecycle of their assets. Already highly anticipated for its perceived high value and market necessity, Waygate Technologies believes that leveraging this new 420

data solution could be transformative for modern industrial inspections. Already serving the aerospace, defense, automotive, electronics and

same time, we will strive to partner with

energy industries, Anbarasu intimates

clients in new technologies like electric

that, although these will remain the

vehicle (EV) batteries, hydrogen and

company’s core markets, Waygate

3D printing.”

Technologies is interested in branch­

Data, Anbarasu states, will be the

ing out further. “Inspection data is

key to this expansion and Waygate

everywhere and in every process; it

Technologies’ broader digital transi­

can be a very powerful tool for custom­

tion. “I don’t think the abundance

ers to drive productivity, quality and

of data is an issue; I think there’s no

safety,” she says. “We will continue to

longer a debate on whether data is

serve these traditional markets and

valuable and whether it feeds digital

also explore growth areas like medical

transformation. However, what’s now

devices, other forms of transportation

critical is the infrastructure around

and the pharmaceutical sector. At the

data: simply digitising all inspections



“Everyone needs to unite, follow the rules, and beat COVID-19” — Arungalai Anbarasu, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Waygate Technologies

to corporate ethics as it does to equip­ ment, viewing Waygate Technologies’ position of social responsibility, par­ ticularly in the post-COVID-19 world, as equally substantial. “We are trying our best to help out where we can, such as inspecting ventilators, and digital transformation can be a force

is only the starting point; it is when this

for good in achieving that goal,” she

data can be tied to the asset being

concludes. “Everyone needs to unite,

inspected and then cross and counter

follow the rules, and beat COVID-19.”

referenced that its value starts rising exponentially”. Further, she indicates that ‘infrastructure’ refers just as much busi ne ssch ief . eu








b u s in e s s c hie f. e u




oining the company in 2011, Momchil Kovachev is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at Inter Cars. “I graduated from

the German Faculty at the Technical University at Sofia, Bulgaria, which means that I have studied in both the Bulgarian and the German education system. For the engineering track, I have a diploma 424

from the Karlsruher Institut fur Technologie [KIT] and an MBA from the TU Braunschweig. Currently I am completing my executive MBA at Sheffield International College,” comments Kovachev. Since joining Inter Cars – an import and distribution organisation of parts, tires, accessories, profes­ sional tools and service equipment for vehicles – Kovachev has held several positions in Bulgaria as well as international positions before taking on the role he has now. When asked about the current trends in the industry, Kovachev explains that “as with so many industries, one of the hot topics at the moment in our sector is data. For the automotive aftermar­ ket industry, the data produced by the vehicle itself, and by the person driving it, is providing



b u s in e s s c hie f. e u



greater insight into how that vehicle is performing. This use of data for preventative maintenance and early diagnosis is a leading topic currently. It allows companies to have the right stock when the vehicle enters the workshop so that it can be repaired as fast as possible, eliminating technical issues for the driver.” However, with the possession of more

Momchil Kovachev, Chief Digital Officer at Inter Cars

data comes the challenge of develop­ ing a legal framework for sharing and processing it. Kovachev reiterates his


belief that “this focus will shape the next


Katalog Online CLICK TO WATCH



427 business models. This is a building block

recipient of the product that we are

for future, digitally enabled Mobility-as-a-

distributing. As a result, we work with

Service concepts.”

our partners and clients to develop

When it comes to driving innovation

business models that provide added

at Inter Cars, Kovachev explains that

value to all actors in the vertical – the

the company differentiates itself from

driver of the vehicle, the wokshop

its competition in the import and distri­

and the distribution partners. We are

bution industry of spare parts through

also experimenting in some markets

its wide portfolio of vehicle products,

with B2C solutions, where our main

fast logistics services, end mile deliv­

goal is to offer a complete service to

ery and good customer service.

the retail client, rather than just pur­

When looking to innovate within the modern era of digitalisation, Kovachev

chase of the parts, therefore we call this approach B2B2C.”

explains that “technology gives us the

“For Inter Cars, the company places

capability to drive more value for the

its focus on helping society maintain b u s in e s s c hie f. e u



the operation of its mobility solutions,

aspects of the company to digitise

providing continued stability of those

and automate its operations. “My role

services. With that in mind, we are con­

of joining the head office team was to

tinuously trying to optimise our hosting

design and deliver the third generation

solutions for our B2B ecommerce

of our fundamental B2B ecommerce

solution, leveraging the advantages

solution. When we were starting the

of a cloud hosting platform. However,

program, we identified several areas

to ensure business continuity, we are

where we needed to improve our

also combining this with hosting this

current operations, so that we could

platform ourselves forming a hybrid

deliver a leading solution. One was

hosting solution aimed at business

how we manage our product data. As

continuity for optimal operations cost.”

part of our operations we manage a

Inter Cars’ digital transformation

large portfolio of products and vehi­

strategy has been applied to several

cles, as well as their linkages, which


can prove challenging. We decided

focused and precise access to data

that if we are to bring to the market a

that clients require.

new generation of ecommerce solu­

“Our B2B ecommerce catalog is

tions that act as a catalog for spare

a fundamental building block in our

parts for a given vehicle, we need to

operations, generating 99% of our

improve the way we manage our prod­

revenue,” comments Kovachev. “It is

uct data,” says Kovachev.

being used by our clients daily who

Inter Cars has also been working

are in need of spare parts so that they

on developing a single solution for its

can repair vehicles that are entering

B2B services and products, as well as

the workshops. On the flip side, that

launching a new program that affects

same platform is being used by our

the way it gives permission to access

sales operators when a mechanic

the B2B solution. This ensures that it

needs support to identify a spare part

meets GDPR regulations by providing

needed for a repair, then agreeing with


Momchil Kovachev Title: Chief Digital Officer Industry: Automotive

Location: Bulgaria

Over the last four years I have been leading the team delivering the largest B2B e-commerce platform in the Independent Automotive Aftermarket in CEE. This project was the flagship in the Digital Transformation program of the company aiming at unifying the business among the 18+ markets and all 10+ product segments. Together with the new integration architecture, new SSO & IAM platform and Product Information Management system upgrade, we laid the foundation for the future enterprise. b u s in e s s c hie f. e u


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owner – by improving the spare parts identification process workshops can provide a more transparent quote.” To successfully achieve its B2B program launches, Kovachev explains that, for the first time in its history, the company decided to build a solution on top of a ready made platform in house from scratch. “To develop the solution, we ran a tender where we invited all the industry leading e-commerce service providers in the world to participate. In the end we selected tools, platforms and soft­

the client the delivery method and the

ware houses to modify the platform

payment method before processing

according to our needs. After the proof

the order.

of concept phase, we selected SAP

“When designing our new e-cata­

Hybrid together with the Polish soft­

logue we conducted research in order

ware houses, e-point. Our colleagues

to optimise the user experience by

from Microsoft came on at a later

designing the processes in the appli­

stage where the platform was already

cation to be more streamlined and

in nine markets in central and Eastern

intuitive. With this new platform we

Europe. We selected their cloud host­

have been able to increase our service

ing solution, which we already used

quality by releasing time for our sales

for our previous version of our B2B

operators to serve those who really

commerce catalogue. Using these

need assistance, as well as providing

solutions we are focusing our cus­

a streamlined method and self service

tomisation efforts into the areas

capabilities. We have also been able to

where we have a competitive advan­

increase transparency for the vehicle

tage, therefore strategic alliances b u s in e s s c hie f. e u






and partnerships with players in the industry are a significant enabler for our digital transformation.” Considering the future use of technology in the automotive indus­ try, Kovachev is keen to see an increase in the use of augmented reality. “From one perspective, the complexity of repairs is increas­ ing continuously, and I believe guided repairs with the support of augmented reality would be a very interesting use case of the technol­ ogy. For example, if a mechanic in a given workshop is receiving a repair for a car that he doesn’t have experience with, in our B2B e-commerce catalog this person could read how to perform the repair. However, I believe the use of augmented reality could bring this information directly to the mechanic while looking at the vehicle, pinpoint­ ing exactly what needs to be done. This would be a very interesting use case of this technology in our indus­ try. Additionally, a topic that is really inspiring me personally is the shared economy. I believe this is something that we as society have to address in b u s in e s s c hie f. e u




Momchil Kovachev, Chief Digital Officer at Inter Cars

order to move forward because of all

businesses have remained open and

the environmental and sustainability

while some of our clients have closed

challenges that we’re facing.”

due to government regulations, many

As an engineer, Kovachev strongly

have also remained open in order to

believes in technology, “for me, it is the

sustain this mobility. In recent months

driver of progress in our society over

we have seen an increase in personal

the last decades. However, technology

transportation compared to using

has to be wisely used.”

public transport which has had a posi­

Reflecting on the current impact of

tive effect on the spare parts industry.

COVID-19, Kovachev says “the situa­

However, in the long term, we can see

tion has touched all industries. Luckily

that investments in new vehicles are

for us, the mobility industry is consid­

going to stagnate and therefore from

ered fundamental so that our society

my perspective vehicle manufacturers

can operate. As a result, many of our

are going to face challenges when it



comes to aging car parts that are not

needed and therefore, personal mobil­

going to be renewed with the same

ity needs to be preserved.”

rhythm that it was a few months ago.”

Towards the end of 2019, Kovachev

When it comes to technology, “I can

explains that Inter Cars’ warehouses

speak of my private experience. Prior to

were quite full, “which helped us to

COVID-19, I flew from Sofia to Warsaw

make it through the disrupted period

at least once a month. However, due to

for supply chains with minimal inter­

the situation over the last three months,

ruptions.” In addition, “due the fact that

this was not the case. We still continue

we operate in 18 markets it is helping

to do business and we still continue to

us to balance between the impact of

collaborate, thanks to video confer­

COVID-19 in different markets.”

ences and collaboration platforms offered by the software companies. Still for me, human interaction will be b u s in e s s c hie f. e u






busi ne ssc h ief . eu



John Coughlan, CEO at TSP Engineering, discusses his firm’s digital transformation journey against the backdrop of COVID-19


SP Engineering is an industrial and electrical engineering manufacturer that provides a range of technical solutions to

solve complex problems. The organisation serves a number of key industries such as nuclear, defence, oil & gas, steel, construction and industrial. 438

John Coughlan has been the CEO at TSP Engineering since 2014. A results-driven, business turnaround leader, Coughlan pos­ sesses a significant record of driving operational improvements through operating with a customercentred approach. He has helped oversee TSP Engineering’s digital transformation journey but believes his company is still in its infancy in terms of its overall digitalisation drive. “It’s been a good journey so far, but we’re still in the initial stages of transformation,” affirms Coughlan. “One of the things that we’re really trying to guard against is allowing anyone access into our business via any new technology we introduce. We’ve had to ensure that we’re cybersecure to protect the data that we have. This is even more important because a lot of



busi ne ssc h ief . eu


“It’s been a good journey so far but we’re still in the initial stages of transformation” — John Coughlan, CEO, TSP Engineering

the knowledge to leverage data more effectively. “It’s one of those


the data that isn’t ours, we’re minding it

things that I learned really early on,”

for our customers and the information

he explains. “You have to provide staff

is for UK eyes only and is classified.

with the tools to interrogate the data

This means it’s even more pivotal that

that will draw out the answer to the

we’re very careful in everything we do.”

problem. It’s important to never just

Talent management is a key pillar to

give away the answer but provide a

Coughlan and he acknowledges the

route to the answer that they need for

importance of equipping staff with

the problem. It’s about how to harness, interrogate and how to interpret the data to provide results because data doesn’t really lie.” With the importance of data growing at an exponential rate to businesses such as TSP Engineering, Coughlan affirms that an agile and flexible approach to operations is key, particularly in a digital transformation. “It’s about harnessing the data to drive our technologies and the changes that we make on a daily basis,” says Coughlan. “The digital era that we’re now in is constantly making us look at our business and how we operate. Only recently, based on what we’re


doing, we’ve decided to take one of our

by other areas of the business.

business departments and set it out

“The data that we hold in-house

into a business unit on its own to allow

is very important to us and because

it to get further ahead on the digital

of the sectors that we work in, such

transformation and not to be held back

as nuclear and defence, security is


John Coughlan Title: CEO

Company: TSP Engineering

Industry: Manufacturing

Location: Workington, UK

John Coughlan joined TSP Engineering in 2014 with overall responsibility for driving strategy, operations and continuous business improvement. John possesses a significant record of delivering operational improvements, efficiencies and customer satisfaction across Europe, ASIA, North America and Mexico, with an ability to quickly understand the mission, vision and values of a customer focused organisation. He’s previously held senior non-executive and executive positions in many organisations including, Aerly Bird Transglogal, UpRight, Celestica, ITW Avery Weightronics, Dianorm Teo as well being appointed to a range of senior committees, enterprise boards and liaison groups. John was named UK Manufacturing Champions Manufacturing Leader in December 2016 and was named one of the most inspiring Manufacturing Leaders in 2018. Last year, John was crowned Best Businessperson of the Year by the in-Cumbria Awards, and this year was a finalist for the prestigious IoD Director of the Year Awards. busi ne ssc h ief . eu



“You have to provide staff with the tools to interrogate the data that will draw out the answer to the problem” — John Coughlan, CEO, TSP Engineering

products that we deliver. We must deliver a lifetime record with our prod­ uct, so they need to be assured about everything in our process.” Coughlan believes that the influence of Advanced Nuclear Reactors (ANRs) will play a prominent part in helping the UK become a more sustainable environment. “The world wants to be a

essential. We must ensure that we’re

greener place in the future and one of

not only protecting the data but that

the ways we try to make that happen

we’re using it correctly, as it has a

is by ensuring that we have economi­

big impact on our customers and the

cally achievable and reachable nuclear



Webinar replay: How to get your business ready to do business with TSP Engineering CLICK TO WATCH




power to help get us to a net-zero

10 years to 18-24 months. This is from

economy and region,” says Coughlan.

the time you place the order, move it to

“To make this happen, you should

site and have your building put in place,

ensure that nuclear power is afford­

because the two can be in parallel.

able because, if you take the existing

This means that it basically becomes

power sources for nuclear, it can take

a plug-in unit when you get it onsite.”

up to 10 years to build and you could

Despite the disruption of the coro­

be talking about over US$20bn to pro­

navirus pandemic, TSP Engineering

duce. But we don’t have the finances

has continued to receive orders and

or time to do that anymore so if we

is emerging post-COVID-19 in a rela­

scale those down in terms of capa­

tively strong position in comparison to

bility of electricity, we can produce

lots of harder-hit industries. However,

those completely in the factory and

Coughlan explains that his organi­

streamline the production time from

sation, like so many others, had to busi ne ssc h ief . eu


transform operations overnight and find a new normal. “COVID has made us think outside the box,” explains Coughlan. “At the end of March, we ceased production and sent people home for their own safety. Once we got an understanding of how we could work more safely, we had a number of people from all areas of the business starting to work from home and get­ ting the IT infrastructure set up. A lot of people found that they were much more productive working from home

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“It’s about harnessing the data to drive our technologies and the changes that we make on a daily basis”

of the factory workers, it’s obviously much more difficult for them to work at home so we introduced staggered times to stop there being too many people in at once.” TSP Engineering works closely with

— John Coughlan, CEO, TSP Engineering

the nuclear AMR advanced manufac­

and we now have a mix of remote

tinued success. “That’s an extremely

working and office working. It was

important relationship to us in terms

important that we checked in with

of our learning and development as

employees because we were well

a business,” he says. “Research and

aware of the mental health aspect and

development has become increasingly

understood that there wasn’t one way

key to us over the past few years

that worked for everyone. In terms

as technology continues to change.

turing centre and Coughlan affirms partnerships like this are vital to con­

busi ne ssc h ief . eu



“The future is what we make it; you can sit back and wait for the future to come or you can try and develop it” — John Coughlan, CEO, TSP Engineering DECEMBER 2020

We also believe in partnering with customers and get great satisfaction when they view us as an extension of their business and part of their busi­ ness. We’re looking beyond them and are trying to see who their customers are, as well as their demands and val­ ues. This will mean that we will be able to more than meet our front facing customers’ needs. We spend a lot of time with companies within our sup­ ply chain who we see as partners and work with them to try and improve quality, to help them understand the requirements of delivering in the nuclear sector, and help get their business up to the level required by the industry.” Coughlan understands the impor­ tance of collaboration to achieving success. “You have to understand that you can’t do everything yourself,” he affirms. “Once you recognise that you need other people, then you have to consider them as an extension of your business. This is what helps you survive and what helps you dif­ ferentiate yourself from competitors. You need a partner that’s open and is going to tell you when things are busi ne ssc h ief . eu




going wrong. Having a partner that is

can sit back and wait for the future

open to change and has flexibility is

to come or you can try and develop

also crucial.”

it,” he says. “We’re going to be very

With the future in mind, Coughlan

involved in developing the future and

is optimistic and believes the next few

new nuclear technologies and more

years are in his organisation’s hands.

involved in research and development.

“The future is what we make it; you

This is a really exciting time for lots



of businesses and we’re certainly no

into the future in terms of getting

different. As a company, we’ve won 14

to the next level we want to reach.”

awards during the past four years and spent £5.5m investing in our people to bring them to the standard where they can grow within the business. The time is now to use that as a springboard busi ne ssc h ief . eu


SIU: harnessing innovative technology to combat corruption combat technology to innovative SIU: harnessing WRITTEN BY






busi ne ssch ief . eu


Tumelo Zwane, Chief Information Officer at South Africa’s Special Investigating Unit (SIU), discusses the organisation’s digital transformation and maintaining cybersecurity during COVID-19


oining the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in 2018, Tumelo Zwane has been the Chief Information Officer for two years.

“The special investigating unit is responsible for investigating acts of corruption, ensuring that public funds are not misused and instill discipline 452

so that everyone is accountable and accounts for how they procure, tender and award contracts, to service providers,” explains Zwane. “The difference between us and other agen­ cies within the department, we are the only ones that are responsible for recovering the funds that are misused, or misappropriated by government officials. We go as far as instituting litigations and civil proceedings via a special tribunal solely put together to deal with SIU investigations.” Late last year, Zwane began crafting a digital strategy for the SIU which looked at three pillars to optimise and stabilise its current environment by upgrading its network. “This stage of the digital strategy we have already done,” comments Zwane, “we have upgraded our network, moving to a more stable DECEMBER 2020


busi ne ssch ief . eu


“The future for SIU will be for us to harness big data, AI and robotics to help us conduct investigations quicker and better”


— Tumelo Zwane, Chief Information Officer, Special Investigating Unit


hardware environment. We have also ensured that we’ve got the necessary tools to conduct faster and better data analytics, cybersecurity and forensic analysis operations. All these different tools will help with our investigations and improve our turnaround times. We have also been looking at how we can ensure business continuity via the right platforms and technology to allow our investigators to work from anywhere at any time - this is the first pillar.” SIU’s second digital strategy pil­ lar looks at how both its value chain

Moment of Clarity: SIU’s Andy Mothibi over 167 Covid-19 corruption cases in Gauteng alone CLICK TO WATCH



455 and current applications can be

investigative capabilities,” states

optimised. “We’ve been in a process

Zwane. “Unfortunately, due to the

of enhancing our current systems

impact of COVID-19, some aspects of

as well as enhancing our tools and

our three-year plan have had to have

the way we do work to ensure that

been put on hold, due to the need to

we achieve the results faster and

meet current demands and situations

quicker,” says Zwane.

within the world and the country.”

The final pillar focuses on creating

Currently within its digital strategy,

a digital business in the near future

SIU has been looking at multiple

where SIU can ensure that, wherever

technologies to continuously

possible, operations are as paperless

improve its operations.

and contactless as possible.

“As well as AI and robotics, we are

“We aim to achieve this by using

also looking at machine learning and

technology like artificial intelligence

big data to enhance our current tools.

(AI) and robotics to enhance our

During this strategy we looked at the busi ne ssch ief . eu


Industry and customer acclaimed cybersecurity technologies – with EDR at the core – empower you to detect and prevent evasive attacks at lightning speed – with no extra effort from your team.


“The Special Investigating Unit is responsible for investigating acts of corruption, ensuring that public funds are not misused” — Tumelo Zwane, Chief Information Officer, Special Investigating Unit likes of Microsoft BI, Ocular from

365, we are looking to host the solu­

Deloitte, as well as partnerships with

tion in a private cloud that ensures

Dell, SAS, Kaspersky and Novell,” com­

that we don’t expose that data,”

ments Zwane. She adds that SIU is

says Zwane. “We also have multiple

harnessing AI for authentication pur­

firewalls and different channels to

poses and will be looking to adopt big

pinpoint potential threats, allowing us

data and analytics capabilities in the

to mitigate the impact.”

next financial year. When it comes to security and


managing potential threats, Zwane

“COVID-19 brought in the challenges

highlights that the SIU’s cybersecurity

of people having to work from home

strategy is designed to ensure that

and ensuring that our data continues

information is stored safely and locally

to be secure,” comments Zwane.

within the country, with plans to move

Because of this, SIU has had to

into a private cloud platform instead of

equip its members with the technol­

their current cloud solution.

ogy and tools in order to conduct its

“You can imagine how critical our data is, so when it comes to Microsoft

transitional methods of face-to-face interviews online. busi ne ssch ief . eu



“The challenges that come with

harness big data, AI and robotics to

this are that not everyone is tech­

help us conduct investigations quicker

nologically inclined. As a result, we

and better, leading to a world beyond

had to bring in an element of change

COVID-19 where corruption will be dealt

management to show that these

with quicker and more decisively due to

technologies can be an enabler to

the benefits of technology and digital

make life easier.”

transformation” says Zwane.

When it comes to the next steps for

Not only does Zwane see corruption

the industry, Zwane believes that the

being dealt with quicker and more deci­

industry will see a shift in the use of

sively, she also sees the industry further

technology and the industry’s reliance

developing preventative methods with

on working from home or offsite.

the adoption of technology to detect if

“The future for SIU will be for us to 458

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there is intention for a corrupt act.

“In the future, we will have risk

“Fortunately for us, because of the

engines robust enough that they will

powers that we were given, we get

be able to help us identify potential

cases from the president who ensures

risks for corruption and give insight to

that we are able to deal with matters

the powers that be,” she says.

decisively. From a technological point

Reflecting on the company as a

of view, the strength we have is being

whole, Zwane claims “one of our

able to leverage different technologies

strengths is the fact that we have a

that are present throughout the world

large workforce of people that have

and try and collaborate with other

extensive training in forensic investi­

agencies with a similar role.”

gations and strong insight on how to navigate a web of activities that lead into corruption. 459

busi ne ssch ief . eu





AUBMC: Undertaking Medical Transformation EDITED BY



busi ne ssch ief . eu


Joe-max Wakim, IT Director, Medical Centre Processes and Systems director, explains how ambitious and trusted leadership assisted in enabling the medical transformation of American University of Beirut Medical Centre



merican University of Beirut Medical Centre (AUBMC) has been a gem in the Lebanese health sector since its founda­

tion in 1902, holding a number of accreditations from bodies such as Magnate JACI and CAP. The facility handles over 360,000 patients annually and, to meet growing demand, is implementing what Joe-max Wakim, IT Director, Medical Centre Processes and Systems Director describes as a clinical transformation. Wakim has been with AUBMC for over 25 years and has seen the company grow exponentially. It was a fine chance that Wakim came to work with AUBMC in 1994, as he was home in Lebanon from his studies in the UK when he was introduced to the head of Biomedical Engineering, who later offered him a job. Wakim initially worked in the medical engineering department on the



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“We believe in sharing back the way we learn from others” — Joe-max Wakim IT Director, Medical Centre Processes and Systems director, American University of Beirut Medical Centre

from scratch: the electrophysiology lab and the stereotactic neuronavi­ gation solution and procedures,” he recalls. “I also helped develop the Memo Organiser, which is the medi­ cal engineering asset management and service management solution, which is something we’ve created inhouse.” Wakim’s move to the Hospital

maintenance and management of the

Information Systems Committee

medical devices at the medical cen­

marked the change in direction that

tre. He became IT Director, Medical

was to bring him to his current position.

Centre Processes and Systems 464

Under a consultant, Joe-Max’s team

Director in 2016. “I worked on a num­

was advised that they were better

ber of solutions which were created

suited to develop in-house, rather than purchase a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. This implementation went underway between 2002 and 2009, segregat­ ing them into a focused repository. In addition to this, a portal was created which simplified access to various applications. It was in 2009 that the medical centre appointed a new Dean, who presented an ambitious vision for the medical centre to become the best medical practice in the region. Wakim and his team began looking for highend medical solutions and developed an RFP in 2013, by which time he had become acting Director of the medical



centre’s processes and systems team.

governance and ensuring that pro­

In 2016, the team moved to sign with

cesses are streamlined between

the Epic Team and began implementa­

different teams. “We’ve created gov­

tion at the end of that year, the same

ernance models where requests are

time that Wakim was made IT Director.

sent to the multidisciplinary stakeholder groups, including physicians, nurses,


administrators and IT analysts. These

The clinical evolution of AUBMC has

requests are reviewed and if approved,

been concurrent with Wakim’s career.

are sent through to project manage­

In his role as IT Director he works with

ment for scheduling and execution,” he

the CMIO, Dr. Ghassan Hamadeh, on

explains. Wakim’s role is to also ensure

IT strategic planning with an executive

that these projects are implemented

team at the medical centre. Wakim’s

as smoothly as possible from a change

responsibilities often focuses on

management perspective. busi ne ssch ief . eu


A key aspect to the clinical transfor­


over 50% of the US population. “The

mation was the implementation of Epic,

Epic team is truly dedicated to ensur­

an electronic health record solution

ing that their customers are improving

comprising a number of modules used

the communities they function within,”

across the medical centre, in order to

commends Wakim. “They’re con­

standardise the provision of care with

stantly pushing us to provide KPIs and

best practices, as well as decision

monitor our performance in order to

making tools. “We’ve got modules

look for opportunities to improve our­

implemented in the lab, pathology,

selves or introduce additional training.”

oncology, in the operating rooms, in

Of course, Wakim and his team

the ambulatory setting and for all

did face some challenges. “There’s

our outpatient clinics,” adding that

no goal, no type of implementation or

“we’re looking at additional modules.”

journey without its own challenges.

According to Epic, its system serves

While Epic only took a couple of years



Year founded

to implement, our journey has taken much longer. We did a lot of prepara­ tion beforehand and spoke with other academic organisations similar to our­

$100mn+ Revenue in US dollars

3,400 Number of employees

selves on the most suitable platforms.” Wakim goes on to say that one of the major challenges was the upscaling of workforce: “We were only a team of 30 and needed to hire 60 people and conduct mass training.” Epic had listed the impending challenges and shared the prerequisites for Beirut Medical Centre before it would begin to imple­ ment the system. “We had to purchase

busi ne ssch ief . eu





“There’s no goal, no type of implementation or journey without its own challenges” — Joe-max Wakim IT Director, Medical Centre Processes and Systems director, American University of Beirut Medical Centre a number of solutions that would assist with taking the platform live. So far, over 3,400 employees have been trained on the use of Epic, with 650 being supertrained within the company to assist with the shift from analogue to paperlight,” Wakim recalls. “In addition to the implementation of Epic, during those 10 years of implementation, we also wrote in a medication dispensing solution, a blood bank solution, a blood donor solu­ tion, a voice recognition solution and a medical device integration solution, which were all implemented entirely by different teams.” Currently, there are over 30 pro­ jects underway which overlap with Epic’s capabilities. Wakim has a par­ ticular interest in the improvement of analytics capabilities. “We are investing busi ne ssch ief . eu



in improving our data governance and data quality in partnership with the Chief Quality and Compliance Officer. We’ve only just started to scratch the surface with regard to our ML capabilities and I am looking forward to exploring more AI and ML solutions.”

LEADING INDUSTRY DISRUPTION When Wakim considers the journey thus far, he affirms that this transfor­ mation would not have been possible without the ambition and vision of the 472

Dean. “We’ve been on an amazing journey over the last decade. So much credit also goes to RCMIO, who have been on this journey with us since the early 2000s when we first set out to automate the process. As Wakim and AUBMC look to the future, he shares that a number of goals have also been set internally: “Over the next two years, we’re focus­ ing on growth for our team members in terms of professional growth and personal growth. We’ve created a tool that helps identify opportunities for them to grow so that the type of work they do changes and hence keeps them motivated to learn more and DECEMBER 2020

“So much credit goes to RCMIO, who have been on this journey with us since the early 2000s” — Joe-max Wakim IT Director, Medical Centre Processes and Systems director, American University of Beirut Medical Centre


grow professionally.” He continues,

to share some of our experiences,

“Internally we will continue our com­

which we gladly do; we’re an academic

mitment to improving the solutions to

institution and we believe in sharing

better serve our clinicians and patients.

back the way we learn from others.”

We will continue on this journey of

Wakim says that this sharing of knowl­

automation until we are completely

edge is slowly having an impact on the

paperless. The success that AUBMC

industry nationally and the American

is achieving is setting the standard in

University of Beirut is paving the way.

Lebanon and it is no secret. “We’ve been asked by a number of institutions busi ne ssch ief . eu

Driving insurers

digital future into a

At Cognizant, we’ve invested in the end-to-end capabilities needed to help insurance organizations not just do digital, but be digital. We partner with our clients to unlock new value and through the power of digital technologies and new ways of working, we help them evolve into more competitive, progressive versions of themselves. Learn more at Cognizant.com

Copyright Š 2019 Cognizant

Profile for Business Chief Europe

Business Chief EMEA Magazine December 2020  

Business Chief EMEA Magazine December 2020