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Nove mb e r 2017

How IoT is only just beginning TOP 10: PHARMA COMPANIES IN EUROPE



Interconnection bandwidth could outpace the public internet by 2020


Making societies more productive by helping our customers run their businesses. Birlasoft, one of the Global Leaders in IT service delivery, is proud to be associated with Close Brothers for last three years in its journey to become a leading Modern Merchant Bank. Birlasoft is a strategic partner of Close Brothers and supports its mission critical core banking application and Management Information System which puts it in a unique position to create value for next generation business transformations. Birlasoft has successfully implemented: A Fraud Detection Solution which has saved Close Brothers a million pounds since inception. It has been awarded

‘Best vertical solution of year 2014’ by IT Europa - European IT and Software Excellence Award. Close Brothers Premium Finance IT team has successfully delivered a very large Customer Service Program (CSP) by transforming the Banking Application for which Birlasoft was the partner of choice.

Founded in 1995, Birlasoft is a Global IT Services provider and part of 150 year old, multi-billion dollar CK Birla Group. Birlasoft deploys a host of innovative solutions and service architectures across the globe in Banking, Financial, Insurance Services and Manufacturing industries. Our core values lie in being a dependable service provider, with years of experience in managing mission critical systems for our esteemed customers. We achieve our mutual goals by engaging and integrating human capital across our people, customers and partners. Our expertise makes us unique as we challenge the status quo and strive for excellence. Birlasoft (UK) Ltd. 53-54 Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 3HU | Tel: + 44-207-319 5700 | Fax: +44-208-711 5103

“Birlasoft have had a strong delivery track record for Close Brothers; what separates them from other vendors I’ve worked with is the level of partnership and flexibility the y consistently display” Chris Loake, CIO – Close Brothers Premium Finance

FOREWORD HI THERE, AND welcome to November’s edition of Business Review Europe. Our feature interview this month is with Eric Schwartz, EMEA President for leading connectivity and cloud provider Equinix. Across a wide-ranging discussion, Schwartz covers the company’s expansion in Spain and Portugal, its most recent innovations and the challenges its facing as it looks to grow. Secondly, Dan Brightmore speaks to Vodafone’s CEO of Global Enterprises, Erik Brenneis, to learn about how the telco giant is implementing IoT for the benefit of its business customers. This month’s top 10 looks at the biggest pharmaceutical companies on the continent by revenue, with the likes of AstraZeneca and Sanofi profiled on the list. Finally, our exclusive digital reports feature interviews with Avaya, Avis Budget Group, Charles Tyrwhitt, Clarion Housing Group, FCR Media, Grupa Hotelowa Orbis, WSP and Zinnovate – all involving in-depth discussions with top executives and industry experts. Enjoy the magazine, and join the conversation on Twitter: @BizReviewEurope

Enjoy the issue!








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November 2017

26 TOP 10





Avis Budget Group TECHNOLOGY

FCR Media


Charles Tyrwhitt





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Clarion Housing Group SUPPLY CHAIN



100 124




Grupa Hotelowa Orbis



YOUR FUTU IS HERE. Experience tomorrow’s world of data centres at Data Centre World 2017.



BIG DATA WORLD 15-16 March 2017 ExCeL, London















Cloud Exchange Interconnection bandwidth could outpace the public internet by 2020 Writ ten by LE I L A H AW K I N S

Business Review Europe speaks to Eric Schwartz, EMEA President, about Equinix’s recent acquisition of Iberian data centre and cloud solutions provider Itconic, and the rise in secure communications online


INTERVIEW EQUINIX CONNECTS SOME of the world’s leading businesses to customers, partners and employees from within its data centres. Providing connectivity and cloud solutions, it is one of the top colocation data centre providers in the world. Equinix is also one of the largest, and with its recent acquisition on the Iberian Peninsula, it’s about to become even bigger.

BIGGER, MORE CONNECTED The organisation invests heavily in innovation, going beyond technical operations like designing electrical infrastructure. Equinix’s Cloud Exchange is a technology platform that allows customers to connect to various cloud service providers in a private and secure way without using the internet. To measure and forecast this traffic, called the Interconnection Bandwidth, Equinix developed the Global Interconnection Index. According to Eric Schwartz, the organisation’s President of EMEA: “It captures the activity of people connecting directly to each other without going through the internet. That’s an area that hasn’t had much attention historically, yet the analysis we’ve done says it’s growing faster 10

November 2017


than the internet, and may ultimately exceed it in capacity which is pretty formidable.” In fact, the Index predicts that Interconnection Bandwidth will outpace the public internet by 2020. This interconnection is an essential part of the digital economy. Another innovation is the InterconnectionOriented Architecture (IOA), a knowledge base to help companies map out how to move to more flexible architectures when working with carriers and security companies. Schwartz says: “That’s another example of the investments we’re making in helping corporates understand how they’re navigating this entire digital transformation space that everybody’s in the thick of.” With an increasing number of sites, Schwartz states that Equinix is by far the leading global player: “Companies will come to us and expect us to know and talk about the data centre industry, how their industry will be impacted by technology and how we can help,” he says. “That’s a very clear position we’ve built for ourselves that I don’t see anybody else in the industry competing any time soon.”

EQUINIX was founded in 1998. The company will then total over 6,450 employees. EQUINIX reported 2016 revenues of $3.61bn. EQUINIX has operations in 48 cities across 24 countries. The addition of ITCONIC will see EQUINIX gain more than 250 employees in its European team IBERIA AND BEYOND – ACQUIRING ITCONIC Indeed, Equinix is rapidly increasing its reach to all corners of the globe. Adding to its existing data centres in the Americas, Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, in 2017 alone it opened five new facilities in Sao Paulo, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Washington DC, and Silicon Valley. Its latest move is purchasing Itconic along with subsidiary CloudMas, a leading data centre, connectivity and cloud infrastructure provider operating in Spain and Portugal with sites in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Lisbon. 11

INTERVIEW This will mean Equinix has operations in 48 cities across 24 countries. The acquisition is a strategic move to better serve customers requiring access to the Spanish and Portuguese markets. As Schwartz explains, Equinix’s closest locations for these clients had previously been France, Switzerland and Italy, and the company requires local services, whether digital media companies or cloud providers. “For us, it expands the potential and we see a big opportunity in going to our customer bases around the world and offering them the opportunity to extend their deployments with us into Spain and Portugal,” he explains. Another key element of this expansion is developing submarine cable systems to grow traffic between Europe, Latin America and Africa. There are already connections in place, such as the African Coast to Europe (ACE) route that links to Itconic’s Lisbon data centre, but, for example, with Equinix’s existing presence in Sao Paulo and Rio, it will be able to establish a cable running from Brazil all the way to Portugal. Subsea cables are becoming essential to the industry. In the last few years, major internet players like 12

November 2017

Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been investing substantially in their construction due to the need for fast, efficient connectivity to all their sites around the world. Over 400 new customers from very diverse industries will be served by Equinix as a result of the acquisition, including L’Oréal, Repsol, Real Madrid and Bank of America. Its customer base has always been varied, while at the same time it has always had a keen eye on targeting particular sectors like telecoms providers, internet e-commerce players, financial services and electronic trading. “We’ve always had customers ranging from Walmart to General Electric using us to integrate their IT infrastructure,” says Schwartz. “With the growth of cloud computing, we’re seeing more and more of that, where the large corporate is our fastest growing segment.”

THE CHALLENGE OF GROWING Schwartz explains that one of the challenges involved in an acquisition of this scale is ensuring Equinix delivers the services its customers require. However, with the organisation’s worldwide expansion over the

Equinix now has bases in 48 cities 13



last few years, it has gained enough experience to predict the needs of different markets. “We can estimate with pretty good accuracy what our existing customer base will want to buy in these new locations,” he says, “and are able to do that in such a way that they get consistent service and standards of quality, globally.” The addition of Itconic will see Equinix gain more than 250 employees in its European team. With the 14

November 2017

organisation’s staff already spread out over so many different countries across the globe, this presents a test in itself. “We have to find ways for people to feel connected even though they’re not necessarily going to meet or know each other. That’s the reason we invest so much in culture, and why we generally do very well in surveys and external benchmarks around people’s level of engagement. “When we undertake an acquisition like Itconic, we spend a lot of time on

Equinix provides services to some of the world’s biggest companies the very technical things like how to get the accounting systems to work and the branding. But we actually put a lot of energy into building connections between the culture of the company we’re acquiring and Equinix, so that people are brought in and feel connected. That makes a tremendous difference over time.” Staff satisfaction is crucial because it leads directly to the satisfaction of the customers. Given that clients are using Equinix for the most critical parts

of their technology infrastructure, they have extremely high expectations. Schwartz explains the need to be responsive 24/7 with minimal downtime. Its reliability he says, is around 99.9999%. “To achieve those levels is very much dependent on the quality and capability of the staff. The strength of our reputation depends on our ability to continue meeting those very high expectations. We’re certainly very good at that, and we’re continually striving to be better,” he adds. 15

Higher intelligence: IOT IS ONLY JUST BEGINNING

Is your company embracing the future with the Internet of Things (IoT) and harnessing the potential for renewed efficiency and growth? We spoke with Erik Brenneis, Vodafone Global Enterprise’s CEO, about the solutions it provides Written by DAN BRIGHTMORE


TECHNOLOGY THE INTERNET OF Things (IoT) is revolutionising business and British telco giant Vodafone has been pioneering the implementation of IoT systems for its business customers across all sectors since 2011. This year, Vodafone became the first global provider of IoT to reach the milestone of 50mn connections – driven by around one million new connections each month. Following the recent publication of Vodafone’s fifth annual IoT Barometer Report, Erik Brenneis, Vodafone Global Enterprise’s CEO, outlined the range of benefits users are getting from IoT and the pathways to implementation to achieve the greater business insights, reduced VODAFONE IOT Vodafone IoT Barometer 2017/18

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rely on it Two-thirds of adopters say IoT is already mission-critical




more big users

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The proportion of companies with over 50,000 devices has doubled

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November 2017

costs and enhanced employee productivity reported by users globally. “We wanted to share our data with the world via the Barometer Report to offer qualitative analysis about underlying trends in the market to stimulate and inspire others to push IoT forward,” says Brenneis. The 2017 edition shows (from its sample of 1,278 companies across 13 countries) the percentage of those with more than 50,000 connected devices has doubled in the last 12 months and that 84% of adopters saw their use of IoT grow during the period. Crucially, 51% of IoT users say the technology is increasing revenues or opening up new revenue streams while 66% of companies agree that digital transformation is impossible without IoT. IoT connects objects, turning them into intelligent assets able to communicate with people, applications and each other. So, what is driving growth in the number of companies using this tech on a massive scale and what does it mean for globally focused businesses? “Recently, many companies implemented IoT with just one of their products at the luxury end of the scale,” explains

“When a utility project like smart metering reaches full roll out, after a couple of years you start to hit large numbers of devices then, as the IoT market matures, more and more companies connect their complete portfolio” ERIK BRENNEIS CEO, Vodafone Global Enterprise

Brenneis. “For example, only expensive cars were connected at first and then manufacturers moved to a wider mass-market roll out. For instance, every Vauxhall that rolls off the production plant now has wifi powered by Vodafone as standard. “There are two things driving the increased number of larger IoT projects,” Brenneis explains. “When a utility project like smart metering reaches full roll out, after a couple of years you start to hit large numbers of devices then, as the IoT market matures, more and more companies connect their complete portfolio, not just their premium products, so it drives them towards being large customers.” Transport and logistics is leading the drive of growth in IoT due in part because the car industry is so large. However, Brenneis notes that its actual penetration hasn’t been particularly high – even in a mature market like the EU only 15-20% of cars currently on the road are connected, so there’s still huge potential for growth. On the logistics side, fleet management and container tracking through the use of new telematics products harnesses the insights of IoT to monitor a shifting payload of 19


high value assets. “You can put a sensor into a shipping container and measure temperature to be more informed about how you’re delivering fruit or dry goods and improve your wastage,” offers Brenneis.

Return on investment

The Barometer Report also found a direct correlation between scale of adoption and ROI (Return On Investment) with positive returns for sectors across the board. “Once companies start connecting they have more information on how a supply chain is working or a process plant is operating, allowing them to become more 20

November 2017

informed about other parts of their business,” explains Brenneis. “As the information starts to flow out, an IoT project grows into more parts of the business, becoming integral to core ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems and customer records so it’s no longer just a standalone way of measuring isolated areas of a business, but an opportunity to use plentiful data to make educated improvements in the business model.”

Connecting for success

Brenneis believes that in order to leverage the full potential of IoT, businesses need to find the right partners to deliver or manage

their IoT solutions. Multinationals may already have the know-how at their disposal to select the right telecoms partner and integrate suitable hardware, but the smaller you get as a company, the more specialised your IoT needs may be. This is where Vodafone comes in with its ability to collaborate, bringing new partners into the equation to ensure they develop the right ecosystem for each customer. “It’s what we do working with small and medium enterprises,” maintains Brenneis. “A company may come to us for advice on how to connect its coffee machines and we could help implement business processes

and – with an IBM or Accenture – hardware solutions through our partners, such as Gemalto or Sierra Wireless who steward the development of their IoT solution. Ultimately, our approach is not to define business processes for the customer, but to provide communications expertise and security features to bring all the pieces of the ecosystem together.” Security is at the core of Vodafone’s offering as a telecoms operator. Adhering to strict rules on data privacy, the company is preparing for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules which will be in force in the EU from next year. “An overall IoT system needs to be designed in a secure way 21

TECHNOLOGY “Ultimately, our approach is not to define business processes for the customer, but to provide communications expertise and security features to bring all the pieces of the ecosystem together� ERIK BRENNEIS CEO, Vodafone Global Enterprise


November 2017

from the outset,” advises Brenneis. “It’s the customer’s responsibility or that of the system integrator. On our side, when we supply IoT connectivity we need to ensure the SIM card, data connection and the system – our service delivery platform – are secure and not vulnerable to hacking. We use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for the connection between a central station and our global sim card and we also have encryption and authentication mechanisms built into our SIM and the VPN. We actively monitor both our communication channels and our data centres, so with these hurdles in place, we deter hackers and keep our networks safe.” The traditional choices for IoT connectivity have been wifi, cellular and fixed line, but what technological breakthroughs can companies harness or securely embrace digital transformation with IoT? “In our opinion, NB-IoT (NarrowBand-IoT – a Low Power Wide Area Network radio technology developed to enable a wide range of devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunications bands) fills a void in the market some proprietary technologies like Sigfox tried to fill,”

says Brenneis. “But these were not standardised to make it easy to buy the hardware from suppliers with the help of several network operators for systems support. That void, where you have relatively low data volumes, but with the need for a robust and reliable system, required a low-cost solution with long battery life. Typical application examples would be water and gas meters where there is no power line. That’s why Vodafone took the lead in the industry to help define this new standard and to roll out these networks, enabling the highest bandwidth with low latency. It’s a great example of technology enabling efficiency and completely new business models where, for example, you can have connected fire sensors on a cost-effective budget.”

Revenues from IoT

Efficiency may be the most common reason IoT is embraced but what are the other key benefits? “Ten years ago, when IoT emerged, it was called M2M (Machine to Machine) and fleet management was a very dominant application. Now, there are also more IoT solutions for customers allowing them to open new revenue 23

TECHNOLOGY streams,” explains Brenneis. “Car manufacturers don’t just sell the car’s connectivity, but can collect a monthly service fee from the customer for the connected features. At the start of the decade TomTom created HD Traffic, which was the first system to measure traffic accurately on smaller streets as well as major highways opening up a new market for them. Amazon created an e-reader with an embedded SIM card that was completely invisible to the customer to download books and helped to drive sales. These are the big trends and there are also new service models for customer contracts for remote monitoring and control of an asset like a home’s heating system, lessening reliance on service technicians.” Vodafone worked with Analysys Mason to deliver the Barometer Report. The agency predicts by 2022 the adoption of IoT solutions will be much more widespread than the current 29% identified in the survey, driven by unexpected developments as IoT becomes more mass market. They expect it will become simpler, faster and cheaper to build IoT products when the current standards battles have been played out. 24

November 2017

IoT has gone from niche to mainstream in just five years and Brenneis believes it will continue to grow the world over, noting that the number of skilled software engineers and hardware integrators present in a region will determine the scale of its development there. “We’ve only seen the beginning of the positive impact IoT can have,” he adds. “In retail, the customer experience can be streamlined with more accurate real-time, location-specific delivery services that bring the purchase to you.” The self-ordering fridge may not have made a lasting impression, but Brenneis expects that eventually you’ll be able to walk in to a supermarket take what you want and walk out as your purchases will identify themselves via connection with your phone and you’ll be billed automatically. Meanwhile, in the transport arena, he predicts traffic flow will be massively improved through new solutions like automated driving and parking space management. “We’ll see a positive impact on the world because all this stuff that costs us a lot of time will be made simpler and more effective,” he enthuses.

“We’ve only seen the beginning of the positive impact IoT can have. In retail, the customer experience can be streamlined with more accurate real-time, location-specific delivery services that bring the purchase to you” ERIK BRENNEIS CEO, Vodafone Global Enterprise 25

TOP 10


Writ ten by O livia Min nock

TOP 10

TOP 10

10. Accord Healthcare (formerly Actavis) WEB:

Actavis, previously known as Watson Pharmaceuticals, was acquired by Accord Healthcare in 2017. The group is now one of the fastest growing companies in the UK and Ireland, and Actavis Generics’ current revenue recorded for 2016 is $13.06bn, with its operating income just over $1bn. The company currently employs over 21,600 people and is based in Dublin and Parsippany. It has 40 manufacturing facilities and 27 other units focused on marketing, sales, global research and development. Founded by two doctors, Allen Chao and David Hsai, in March of 1984, the parent company is Teva Pharmaceuticals, a European outfit that also made our top ten.


November 2017

09. Novo Nordisk WEB:

With offices in 75 countries, Novo Nordisk is headquartered in Bagsværd, Denmark. The company focuses on medications for diabetes, haemostasis management, hormone replacement and hormone growth therapy. $18.33bn in revenue helps to employ over 41,000 people around the world. Fortune magazine has ranked Novo Nordisk as one of the top 100 companies to work for around the world and it has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies on the planet by Corporate Knights.


TOP 10

08. Boehringer Ingelheim WEB:

Boehringer Ingelheim takes its name from its founder and founding city: the company was founded by Albert Boehringer in Ingleheim am Rhein, Germany, where it remains headquartered today. Since 1885, the organisation has been one of the 20 leading pharmaceutical businesses in the world. With $19.1bn in revenue and $3.49bn in operating assets, Boehringer Ingelheim should not be moving off of the top 10 list for quite some time. The company focuses the majority of its efforts in oncology, metabolism, immunology, respiratory disease and central nervous system diseases. Its history of successful acquisitions continues to help grow the brand while expanding its reach into new areas of research and development.


November 2017

07. AstraZeneca WEB:

Before it moved its headquarters to Cambridge in 2013, AstraZeneca operated out of its native Sweden. Just under $21.7bn in revenue puts the company squarely in the middle of the top 10 European pharmaceutical businesses, even with a comparatively youthful age of 18 years - a line of successful acquisitions has helped to grow the company. These acquisitions include Definiens, MedImmune, Spirogen and Cambridge Antibody Technology. The company’s primary stock listing is in London.


TOP 10

06. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries WEB:

The parent company of Actavis is one of the leading manufacturers in generic drugs in the world, although it has proprietary pharmaceuticals under its massive umbrella of services as well. $21.9bn in revenue helps to employ over 43,000 people around the world, and an operating income of just under $4bn ensures the longevity of the company. The latest acquisitions of Teva include Ratiopharm, a $5bn deal that significantly increased the reach of Teva into remote parts of Europe. In terms of proprietary pharmaceuticals, Teva recently purchased Cephalon for just under $7bn.


November 2017

05. GlaxoSmithKline WEB:

Brentford, London serves as the headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharmaceutical company that is a product of the merger between SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome. The company also made headlines by appointing its first female CEO, Emma Walmsley, in March of 2017. She currently stands at the helm of a $36.8bn revenue stream and a $3.4bn operating income.


TOP 10

04. Sanofi WEB:

Sanofi is the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in the world in terms of prescription sales. The company has around $40.72bn in revenue and $7.9bn in operating income. Sanofi currently employs 110,000 people and has many subsidiaries under its umbrella, including Genzyme, Chattem, Zentiva, Medley, Nichi-Iko and Sanofi Pasteur. Sanofi Pasteur holds the distinction of being the world’s number one producer of vaccines. Overall, Sanofi focuses on seven major areas: vaccines, oncology, thrombosis, internal medicine, diabetes, and the central nervous and cardiovascular systems.


November 2017

03. Novartis WEB:

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis focuses on OTC drugs, contact lenses, animal health and diagnostics, among many other pharmaceutical disciplines. Novartis generated $48.518bn in revenue in 2016 and worked from $8.268bn of operating income. As of 2015, the company employed 118,700 people around the world. Its subsidiaries include the Chiron Corporation, Ciba Vision and Sandoz. Novartis was also ranked seventh on the Access to Medicine Index, which is a measure of how effectively pharmaceutical companies make their solutions available to the poorest people around the world. Counting the histories of its parent companies Ciba Geigy and Sandoz Labs, the lifespan of Novartis is more than 250 years.


TOP 10

02. Roche WEB:

Roche is the stylised and shortened name for F. Hoffman-La Roche AG, the worldwide pharmaceutical company with two huge divisions: Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals. Together, the Roche subsidiaries generated over $53.48bn in revenue in 2016, with $14.878bn in operating income. A few of the biggest subsidiaries under the Roche umbrella include Genentech, Chugai Pharmaceuticals and Ventana. Descendants of the founding families still own over half of the bearer shares. Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical on this list, owns approximately 5% of Roche shares. Roche has increased its dividend for 30 years running.


November 2017

01. Bayer WEB:

Bayer is also known as Bayer AG. The company focuses on high value polymers, agricultural chemicals, biotech products, veterinary pharmaceuticals and consumer health care products. Bayer controlled $56.3bn in revenues in 2016 and worked from $8.48bn in operating income. Bayer actually holds the trademark to the name ‘heroin’ although it no longer markets diacetylmorphine as a cough suppressant as it did in 1898. Today, Bayer is focused on the products of its recent acquisitions, including Dr. Scholl’s, Coppertone and Claritin. Through its BayerCropscience subsidiary, Bayer also develops pesticides and genetically-modified crops as well as polycarbonates and polyurethanes.


publisher of

Transforming for the customer Written by Nell Walker Produced by Danielle Harris


FCR Media Belgium has undergone an epic transformation in recent years in a bid to increase customer satisfaction


CR Media has enjoyed unprecedented growth for such a young digital media business, but an impressive timeline has seen it develop a presence in 12 countries with 35 offices and over 1,200 staff. One of its most notable moves, in 2016, was the takeover of Truvo – Belgium’s answer to the UK’s Yellow Pages. Formerly CIO of Truvo, Allan Farrell transitioned comfortably into the same role at FCR Belgium, and began working on the business’s digital transformation almost immediately. Birgit Peeters, MD at FCR Media, says: “It was important to ensure the transformation programme was not a technology initiative but a business transformation. The whole driver really was for us to move away from being a product-driven company to a customer-centric company, all about people, process, and technology. Allan Farrell delivered the transformation succesfully.”


November 2017

Farrell and other members of the Truvo family were able to bring to FCR Media focused, agile teams to take products to the market; FCR needed that sense of agility, and for it to flow through every layer of the business. Farrell also had experience in driving culture change during his 16 years with Dell, building teams from scratch and delivering significant value through project delivery. At Dell, Truvo, and now FCR Media, Farrell has maintained a focus on customer experience because, ultimately, the customer is at the receiving end of everything he – and his team – does. CUSTOMER FOCUS FCR’s main objective is to grow its customers’ own businesses. It takes great pains to understand the needs of customers and tailor-make a solution in order to deliver the best value. Ingrid Sluis, Marketing Director explains: “FCR’s main objective


“It was important to ensure the transformation programme was not a technology initiative but a business transformation. The whole driver really was for us to move away from being a productdriven company to a customer-centric company� BIRGIT PEETERS MD AT FCR MEDIA

w w w. b u s i n e s s re v i e w e u ro p e . e u


Speed, agility and building early:

Deloitte Digital’s approach to digital transformation success Business transformation in a digital world is shaking things up like never before. In a good way. And even though digital transformation is difficult to define, it continues to dominate the agenda of many companies. So, what is it really? Deloitte Digital likes to keep it simple. For them, it’s transforming business in a world where there is a lot of digital technology to make it happen.

“The real impact is getting an eco-system of organisations like Salesforce, Hybris and Adobe working with smaller niche players and putting these different partners and offerings together in a unique way.”

Paul Thompson, Deloitte Digital Lead EMEA

With this new age of hyper-change and with things moving faster than ever, digital technology is bringing unparalleled opportunities and breath. The rate at which useful things can reach maturity and be deployed is happening at unprecedented speeds. For example, in the past five to 10 years, the smart phone has become part of our everyday lives, analytics is now able to give us insight into large volumes of data like never before and cloud-based technologies allow organisations to build, scale and deploy solutions globally practically overnight. Think differently The pace of technology has changed the way we think about everything, and consequently, how we behave and collaborate. The question we must ask ourselves is ‘how can I move as fast as the world is moving?’ Deloitte embraces rapid change by being agile and building, testing and prototyping quickly and often. Like any project in the past, they start with a strategy but recognise that progress happens in short bursts with lots of little steps and dotted with change and learning along the way. Long gone are the days where there is a lengthy roadmap or an established and linear process. “We get a different set of people – marketers, creatives, engineers, IT specialists and the like -- with a broad set of skills around the table so we can see what works and what doesn’t early in the process,” explains Paul Thompson, Deloitte Digital Lead EMEA.

Given that it’s hard to keep up with this ever-evolving environment for new technology lovers, non-techies are often left in the dark. Organisations can overcome the fear of being left behind by demystifying disruptive innovation for ‘digital-is-notfor-me’ types. For starters, one should adopt a ‘fall in love with the problem instead of the solution’ approach to any strategy, and this inherently requires a broader set of skills than traditionally needed. Keeping this in mind when any business has a problem, Deloitte looks at possible technologies to drive the solution. How does this play out in the real world? For example, if a company has a supply chain problem, Deloitte will use a blend of sensors, analytics and IoT to get an overview of the conditions and reveal where wastage and oversupply is occurring. But the conversation always starts from the business issue perspective so input from the supply chain expert, who may fear being alienated, is invaluable. Real value lies in efficiency and cost savings “Even though it may not be as sexy, a large part of the value of digital transformation lies in enhancing operations as well as enhancing brand and experiences. In fact, for every euro spent on customer-interfacing, four euros is spent on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of processes,” says Paul Thompson. That’s why the possibilities of technology to innovate and its revolutionary impact on business is

relevant to all industries in the public and private sector. While some sectors such as retail, hospitality and tourism are mature, Deloitte sees the potential to transform manufacturing with IoT, robotics and automation. But today, every organisation wants to reduce cost and increase efficiency so it’s reason enough to welcome this new reality and make the most of digital technology. Wider networks, broader skills, larger perspectives Inspired by the possibilities technology presents to benefit any organisation, Deloitte believes one characteristic of being truly successful is to include a wider network. “Doing it yourself or working with a small number of partners is limiting,” notes Paul Thompson, “The real impact is getting an eco-system of organisations like Salesforce, Hybris and Adobe working with smaller niche players and putting these different partners and offerings together in a unique way..” Here’s where Deloitte steps in. Through software demonstrations, they reveal

experiential aspects of what this ecosystem looks like so people can smell, touch, taste and talk about it. For instance, they built a physical digital store and embedded aspects together like lighting sensors which can tell if an individual is a returning customer and can link it to the changing room so lighting changes depending on what a person is trying on and it also can recommend alternate clothes options to the customer. What’s more, these same sensors can inform the manager on best sellers, as well as reorder when stock is low. “The combination of letting people experience what’s possible and then looking at their business problem with this expanded view is what pushes boundaries to come up with solutions never thought possible,” adds Paul Thompson. Case-in-point, Deloitte recently worked with a shipping company that wanted to run their ships more efficiently. Using digital technology to get an overview of conditions like cargo, timing, customers and processes, they were able to build models quickly to explore efficiency savings and

see where wastages occurred. The best part was that executives and Board members could tangibly see what it would look like which went far in increasing confidence in the strategy. This is just one example of digital transformation success. Digital technology is connecting things that were never connected before. The key to innovating for better business is that all connections are consistent and support everything else. Since the quality of these connections affects the quality of the customer experience, if you get it wrong the brand is at risk. “It’s the overall experience that counts. Digital technology has infinite possibilities and reinforces the brand in new ways but it must be aligned to the physical experience.”


“FCR’s main objective is to grow its customers’ own businesses. It takes great pains to understand the needs of customers and tailor-make a solution in order to deliver the best value” INGRID SLUIS MARKETING DIRECTOR

is to grow its customers’ own businesses. It takes great pains to understand the needs of customers and tailor-make a solution in order to deliver the best value. FCR therefore defined different customer personas and outlined the customer journey with all its touchpoints to ensure a consistent customer experience can be delivered at all times.” Advancements in technology make it more accessible, whereas in the past, delivering customer and user experiences required a lot of IT developers and marketers to deliver great content and create experiences,” Farrell explains. “Now you can almost get it right out of the box.” For example, one ongoing


CASEComposer: STUDY | ABIOMED Conga 10 Years on AppExchange #1 Paid for App

When FCR Media started on their digital transformation project, they wanted solutions to improve their customer satisfaction and increase the efficiency of their quoting process. This is when they discovered Conga, a cloud-based solution that would transform their document management and integrate seamlessly with their Salesforce instance. FCR Media’s Challenges •

Transparency & consistency: FCR Media prize transparency and consistency in communicating with their customers. But sometimes they fell short of consistent communication on solutions and services provided on the road—from quote to invoice to actual output. Achieving greater consistency in the customer experience was critical to higher customer satisfaction and to better overall order accuracy.

Integrating seamlessly into FCR’s Salesforce, Conga Composer enabled the sales team to create great looking sales documents that clearly show products and services purchased and that keep information consistent from quote to invoice.

Order speed: The organisation also wanted to speed up the quoting process, another area where customer satisfaction could be improved.

1. Satisfaction: There has been a 50% improvement in FCR Media customer satisfaction scores due to improved speed, consistency and transparency.

Composer has been on the Salesforce AppExchange for 10 years and is the #1 paid for application for Salesforce.


Conga’s Solution

Customer and team satisfaction have skyrocketed since FCR Media adopted Conga Composer:

2. Time saved: Sales reps can now create new quotes in minutes instead of hours and the integration between Salesforce CPQ and Conga mean that sales productivity has soared. 3. Consistent branding & easy updates: The marketing team can now easily ensure that all documents generated abide by brand guidelines. The integration with Salesforce makes it easy to make changes instantly to documents across multiple platforms, as all content lives in one central system of record.

Online: | Twitter: @getconga Online: | Twitter: @getconga


implementation that launches at the end of this year is that of Adobe Experience Manager, which delivers customer experiences through FCR’s customer portal, and works ‘right out of the box’. In Farrell’s Dell days, working with Adobe meant needing entire development teams in different countries. When technology is simple to use as well as implement, customers feel closer to FCR, and so many more choices are made available to them. “One thing we’re able to do is work with global partners like Google, Facebook, Adobe, Salesforce, Harman, Deloitte Digital and Capgemini and bring them into the local market at a very “We’re a one-stop shop, affordable price. So, whether because 70-80% of our it’s about collating those experiences through our own customers are SMEs with platforms, or delivering less than 10 employees, so them on behalf of our they don’t have their own IT customers for their own or marketing departments” customers, it has a big impact on everyone.” ALLAN FARRELL, CIO “The value is in making sure they can be found by their customers in the digital world,” says Farrell. “Our whole subscription model is based on a flexible approach where if a customer

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says they want to have a marketing campaign for just a few months because their business is seasonal, we can deliver that. We’re a one-stop shop, because 70-80% of our customers are SMEs with less than 10 employees, so they don’t have their own IT or marketing departments. That’s how we engage and maintain that whole customer-centric approach.” SMEs are, in Farrell’s words, “the lifeblood of any economy,” and with FCR’s expertise, world-class digital solutions can be brought to those companies, thus creating an incredible influence on Belgium and beyond. Nobody in the country has the reach that FCR Media does, or the scope to bring new innovations to the market quickly and at scale. PARTNERSHIPS One major achievement for FCR during the past year has been its lightningspeed implementation of Salesforce. Thanks to his previous experiences in digital transformation, Farrell was perfectly placed to know exactly how to successfully approach this change. “One key thing in any transformation


November 2017

VIDEO: Digital Transformation is selecting a great partner,” he explains. “We didn’t have all the skills we needed when FCR took over, so we found Deloitte Digital and made sure it fitted in with our culture. We knew that we wanted a partner that could tell us what to do, not do as they were told. We want our partners to bring their experience with other customers to us, and to be honest with us if they think we’re not doing things in the best way.” FCR’s digital strategy has a clear set of principles around cloud-first strategy, and prefers to use partners’


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platforms rather than build its own. This adds to that sense of ‘out of the box’ ease; 98% of the Salesforce implementation could be configured with almost no effort, meaning time to market is exceptionally quick. Again, this feeds into FCR’s desire to put the customer first, something continually complemented by their partner, Deloitte Digital. “Customer experience being everything, we mapped out the customer journey as it existed and as we wanted it to be before we went into designing any software or processes,” says Farrell. “We spent quite some time with Deloitte Digital creating that journey and those customer experiences. Then we designed our processes and our new ways of working, so that we were confident in the end that the system would work and deliver the right customer experience. That goes back to making sure it’s not an IT project, but about starting with your end-point in mind.” The business, still in the infancy of its sure-to-be enormous growth, will continue to bring new innovations

FCR MEDIA FACTS Customer satisfaction has increased by 50% since May 2017 FCR MEDIA’S current footprint • 12 countries • 35 offices • 1,200 staff to the market. Farrell expects that, in following market trends, artificial intelligence will become increasingly important, along with predictive solutions to help the business sell the right products to the right customers. “Robotics and automation will enable us to be more consistent, and analytics will improve the customer experience and allow us and our customers greater insight,” explains Farrell. “We’ll want to leverage our relationships with our customers and do some co-creation too. “We want to bring the best evolutions we can to the market for the benefit

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The FCR Media Customer Personas of our customers. We have a 40,000strong customer base and there are more than 500,000 Belgian businesses in our target market for us to tackle, so the evolution of tech and customer relationships will become very important in the future.”

“With all of our capabilities, I think we have made – and will continue to make – a significant contribution to Belgium” ALLAN FARRELL, CIO


November 2017

THE IMPACT OF FCR FCR is preparing to launch a PR campaign drawing attention to its recent changes, and thanks to regular customer satisfaction surveys and feedback, the business has already found that customer satisfaction results have increased by more than 50% since May. This is an incredible result for a business still in the very early stages of its transformation, but it is no surprise – significant improvement has been seen across the board, with both solutions and interactions having increased in quality. FCR’s people-centric focus extends to staff, who need to be well-supported in an environment


which is constantly evolving. With a dynamic industry in constant flux, the FCR team has to work together in a similarly dynamic way, and the company made the decision to ensure it is not a hierarchical place, strengthening the sense of teamwork. “Everybody works with everybody, there are no silos, and we’re in constant contact with our partners,” says Farrell. “Everyone is accessible, whether it’s the CEO, or any management team member, or myself. People who work here get a real sense of the way things are moving, changing, and growing, and they have the opportunity to work with the latest tech and innovations, our great partners, and learn and

grow their own careers. We have a very low attrition rate as a result, and people are attracted to working at FCR because of our journey.” Nobody in Belgium has the reach that FCR Media does, or the scope to bring new innovations to the market so quickly and at scale; it is no wonder that staff, customers, and partners stay with it during this journey. “With all of our capabilities, I think we have made – and will continue to make – a significant contribution to Belgium,” Farrell concludes.

publisher of

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Digitally driving improvement Written by James Henderson Produced by Andrew Lloyd


Avis Budget Group is in the midst of a significant digital transformation programme that is helping staff and customers alike. Neal Sunners, CIO (International Markets) and Senior VP of Innovation, picks up the story...



he model of mobility for the last 100 years had been “pay to own” – people owned a car and they drove it when and where they wanted. It was a defining possession. However, the mobility landscape is evolving, thanks in part to millennials as well as an overall change in behavior across generations as technology has ushered in an era of on-demand access. Consumer attitudes are influencing a shift into a pay-to-use world; people are increasingly consuming transportation like they consume data on a cell phone. All are opting for flexibility and control over the kind of transportation solution they are looking for, at the time they are looking for it. And how will this happen? Neal Sunners, Senior Vice president of Innovation at Avis Budget Group, a leading global provider of mobility solutions, has been hard at work overseeing a large-scale digital transformation programme to achieve optimal levels of customer satisfaction. In fact, he states: “We are always looking up the road at our company, investing and

managing for tomorrow as we work to delight our customers today.” In order to do this, it meant listening to, and working with, customers as never before, to understand the how’s, why’s and when’s of their ground transportation needs, and then evolving the Company’s offerings to best serve those needs. Avis Budget Group’s acquisition of Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing network, with more than one million members, was an early outcome of that process. The next step in the process after listening closely was and continues to be ‘creating together’. This includes enlisting customers deeply in the process of designing the very products and services they will consume and experience. To that effect, the company launched new websites for both Avis Car Rental and Budget Car Rental and a new Avis Car Rental mobile application that enhances the customer experience by giving them control of the entire rental experience from the palm of their hand. This collaborative mentality also led the company to invest in other areas of technology.

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For example, Avis Budget Group rolled out tools to further empower its employees at rental locations so as to better serve Avis and Budget Car Rental customers. Pronto, one of these solutions, provides employees with tablets so that they can assist customers when they are on shuttle buses or waiting in line at rental locations at peak times, for example, in an effort to expedite the rental pickup process. Another tool is the company’s Maintenance and Damage Management System (MDMS), a quicker and easier way to manage maintenance and damage. “The smartphone app developed for our team provides a simple, single integrated process to capture damage images, customer signature and vehicle exchanges,” said Sunners. The company’s commitment to innovation is also driving its business relationships and is curating new partnerships around the world. For example, the company has formed a strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing, the world’s largest mobile transportation platform. Avis Budget Group provides Didi Chuxing’s over 300 million registered users with access to Avis Car Rental and Budget Car Rental vehicles when traveling outbound from China with easy

“We are always looking up the road at our company, investing and managing for tomorrow as we work to delight our customers today” NEAL SUNNERS, SVP Innovation and CIO International 60

November 2017


Neal Sunners - Senior Vice President Innovation and Chief Information Officer - International Neal is a member of the Executive Team for International Markets, responsible for the performance and delivery of all applications, infrastructure, and technology services in International Markets.  As a member of our Global Technology Leadership Team he works on Strategy, Performance and Delivery of our Global Solutions. Additionally Neal is a member of our Global Senior Leadership team for Innovation with responsibility for key strategic initiatives such as Connected Car, Chauffeur Drive, our evolving Mobility Services platforms and is our Executive lead for our Accelerator programmes such as Rocketspace.  Neal has a successful career at board level (roles such as CIO, COO and Managing Director) across a variety of industries from start-ups (Rubicon, Travelnet, Aerotech) to established global organisations (AT&T, Capita, Travelport). He is highly experienced in shaping and delivering major business and technology-driven change programmes within the ecommerce sector, specialising in both b2b and b2c. Neal has led global and pan-European programmes encompassing: mergers and acquisitions, application development, technical operations, data centre management, product management, product strategy, product development, business operations and customer service operations, all incorporating both captive and outsourced delivery mechanisms.

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‘With Avis Budget Group’s acquisition of Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing network, it has teamed up with Uber. Uber’s driver partners in Boston, and those who want to make money driving with Uber, are supplied with cars through Zipcar’


and convenient car rental service up with Waymo to provide fleet — right from Didi Chuxing’s mobile support and maintenance services application. Registered users can for their vehicles. This partnership book Avis and Budget rentals paves the way for Avis Budget to use at airports and neighborhood its existing services and expertise to locations around the globe. expand into serving the nascent selfIt has also partnered with driving car industry. “By working with RocketSpace, a leading technology Waymo, we will gain important insights campus for start-ups and and hands-on experience corporate innovators, in servicing self-driving to identify market cars and developing opportunities best practices,” and fuel crosssays Sunners. industry innovation, He adds: “In terms while investing in of fleet management, The number of AVIS artificial intelligence there are very few BUDGET GROUP employees capabilities. In North companies in the America, Avis Car Rental world that can manage is now integrated with Amazon mega fleets – and we are Alexa and Google Home so that one of them. With approximately travelers have another easy and 580,000 vehicles in our fleet, we convenient way to reserve a car. are a premier provider of fleet In addition, it has teamed up support and supply chain services. with Uber. Avis Budget Group is We know how to purchase cars, supplying Uber’s driver partners register them, maintain them, and in Boston, and those who want to ultimately sell them – all this at scale. make money driving with Uber, “We move our fleet to accommodate with cars through Zipcar. demand – business and leisure, Avis Budget Group has also teamed on-airport and off-airport – so, whether


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November 2017


“In terms of fleet management, there are very few companies in the world that can manage mega fleets – and we are one of them” NEAL SUNNERS, SVP Innovation and CIO International

it’s for a business meeting, trade show or conference, peak summer travel, disaster-relief recovery efforts, etc., we know how to get the right cars in the right places. “We have unparalleled mobility capabilities, in terms of the customers’ journey and in the supply chain. And with Avis, Budget and Zipcar, three household name brands known the world over, we are well-positioned for this future and are already addressing the fullrange of consumer needs, including that of the evolving millennial market and beyond. “By implementing the latest in technology, having access to reliable ground transportation means simply tapping an app. The future of mobility puts the power in one’s pocket… and the experience is only enhanced by the opportunities made available with connected and autonomous cars.”

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BUILDING UP THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY Written by Catherine Sturman Produced by Danielle Harris


We speak with Managing Director of Avaya, Patrik Spoerri, for Switzerland and Austria surrounding the company’s three new software products


n the last five years, the need for companies to digitise their services in order to diversify their product portfolios and cater towards changing customer demands, has grown exponentially. Established nearly 20 years ago, Avaya has become well-versed in the development of key technologies, and has been behind a number of smart, business-led omnichannel solutions to support corporate users anytime, anywhere. Gaining longstanding expertise in the markets in which it is situated, Avaya adopts a global presence, and works to bring people together by focusing on developing technologies to support team engagement and collaboration. This has allowed the company to improve efficiencies in production, and deliver exceptional customer service across all its operations. Its three new business products, Avaya Equinox Suite, Avaya Oceana and Avaya Breeze have seen


November 2017

Avaya has become well-versed in the development of key technologies

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the company deliver solutions Managing Director Patrik Spoerri. which are flexible, personable “Users will be able to communicate and tailored to each individual in teams, drag and drop users into or business. The products have meetings, or extend or shrink the also been built to become highly number of people in the chain, making scalable, and are accessible through the technology highly flexible.” public, hybrid and private cloud technologies, an attractive feat Supporting the customer journey for any growing business. The use of sophisticated analytics will Avaya’s Equinox Suite has enable Avaya to better understand become its most advanced user needs and develop future communication tool. solutions. “Avaya’s Oceana Centralising all allows you to optimise, services through transform and one software digitise. More than platform; from just that, it gets voice messaging detailed information Avaya annual and group video, to on how people work, revenue emails, calendars and enabling sophisticated workflows – users can gain statistics to be drawn out of access to information anytime, the system,” explains Spoerri. anywhere. In a world where corporate The platform provides exceptional users are continually on the move, such support, fully tracking a user’s journey. technology ensures that users remain A useful tool to track staff training productive and engaged. The software needs, for example, Avaya Oceana is also accessible through mobile, and captures all interactive data, delivering is operational without VPN connectivity. key insights in real time. Such reporting “All servers and applications running capabilities can also highlight trends can be combined, which means a and guarantee optimal performance more efficient solution,” explains and reduce potential risks.



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“Avaya’s Oceana allows you to optimise, transform and digitise. More than just that, it gets detailed information on how people work, enabling sophisticated statistics to be drawn out of the system” PATRIK SPOERRI, Managing Director of Avaya Avaya’s third developed product, Avaya Breeze, works to strengthen the capabilities of Avaya Oceana. “Users can build or integrate apps, add, decline or cancel them on this platform,” says Spoerri. “It can be used for special functionalities, so Breeze is a similar solution which gives users the rights to customer information, connect to servers, applications, databases, to CRM and URPE systems, and use the data if the customer allows, to react to the information supplied. “For example, if you have pieces of equipment which are sold out, users can send out a push mail to tell the responsible person to order more stock. We used to do this in the hospitals in Switzerland. As soon as equipment leaves the hospital, the service is tracked.” Breeze is therefore also able to integrate and support ongoing workflows through its visual,


November 2017

Avaya has experts located in almost 30 countries

2000 The year that Avaya was founded

workflow building tool, fully connecting users and reducing time for tasks to be completed, delivering significant cost savings for businesses. Customer care With experts situated in nearly 30 countries, Avaya’s solutions have been built to provide exceptional business performance, where users

can gain an immediate level of support 24-7. Chat or video services have been built to fully support the user, something which has become one of the Avaya’s key strengths, leading to higher levels of team productivity. However, going forward, Spoerri adds that security will become a key focus across all areas of its services. “It will be vital for customers to understand

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“We want to help customers to understand how they can implement our solution in their business processes, how we can help them make more money with their organisations” PATRIK SPOERRI Managing Director of Avaya

what the solutions are and how such information can be protected through Avaya’s IT infrastructure,” he says. “Consulting is an important step where we want to go. We want to help customers to understand how they can implement our solution in their business processes, how we can help them make more money with their organisations, and how they can optimise things, and so on. “This can start at the very low end of the dollar, it’s not always a huge project.” This framework will see Avaya increasingly work with users to ensure that there are no interruptions in their business operations and thus minimising money wastage. Long term investments Avaya will also invest heavily on the recruitment side as business grows, sourcing local talent to lead the way in developing new solutions, and possibly bring in external companies to support building new pieces of software. “It’s not only technology – it’s really process-orientated thinking and


November 2017

Avaya also places heavy emphasis on talent acquisition engineering, as well as understanding the business,” explains Spoerri. “How our technologies can be optimised with how customers work, and how they can use this technology in combination with their people much more efficiently, in order to gain easy access to solutions and essential information. “We are really the first company to build up the customer journey, and are able to deliver this framework with a really open connectivity. “We can, through the access of all the different IT solutions, bring

a diverse number of solutions to customers and provide the real-time information to bring people together. “We are a small company, but we deliver a powerful solution to the market. This is what makes Avaya successful,” Spoerri concludes.

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Dressed for

SUCCESS Written by Fran Roberts Produced by Richard Durrant

Having celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, Charles Tyrwhitt (CT) is recognised as the UK’s largest purveyor of fine shirts. Founded as a mail order company in 1986 by Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler while he was a student at the University of Bristol, the business now boasts a substantial footprint both online and across its stores


harles Tyrwhitt has a clearly defined purpose: “Making it easy for men to dress well” – and that is helping to drive expansion. “The business is growing and we are on a very clear growth path. It’s one of our core values – growth matters,” reveals Pete Lemon, Director of Distribution. “It’s our plan to open a number of stores before Christmas, taking us to over 30 stores in the UK and the US, with one in Paris. Our core territories were the UK, USA, Germany and Australia but we’ve recently launched websites in France and in Canada and our Euro website in Ireland, launched a couple of years ago, has developed a very successful market there too.” During the seven years with the company Lemon has, with his small team of managers, developed the DC operations at the 130,000 sq ft warehouse in Milton Keynes, where they moved four years


November 2017


CT’s purpose built 130,000 sq ft capacity warehouse in Milton Keynes w w w. b u s i n e s s re v i e w e u ro p e . e u


OCS DELIVERS ADVANTAGE With 60 years experience, OCS expertly provides a range of fast, predictable and accountable international ecommerce distribution services. The seasoned matrix of airline partners, network terminals and lastmile distributors has created a strong, efficient logistics mechanism uncomplicated by regional consolidators or intermediaries. Enterprising, consultative and independent.

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Accountable International Delivery OCS has been an international distribution partner to Charles Tyrwhitt for almost fifteen years and is proud to have played a part in their dynamic growth. Established in the United Kingdom in 1958, OCS has always specialised in the provision of precise and accountable International Distribution. Initially handling the timecritical delivery of news and media through the 1960’s, services expanded to include business-to-business courier in the 80’s and 90’s. By the early 00’s OCS became a mature global network, expert in reaching both private and business addresses in every country – a perfect platform for the burgeoning ecommerce market. We spoke to OCS Managing Director, Tim Jones, about what characterises the relationship between Charles Tyrwhitt and OCS: “Charles Tyrwhitt sets itself apart by providing a great buying experience as well as great products. Buying is easy and there is total accountability as demonstrated by their no-quibble guarantee. These values are very-much part of the OCS ethos and this common spirit has led to consistent innovation and mutual growth. What makes OCS different? OCS comes from a background of direct international hand delivery and parcel distribution rather than as a provider of untracked postal solutions. Our culture is one of service and accountability. As ecommerce volumes have grown so has the OCS network ensuring connections with the best last-mile partners for smooth and flexible residential delivery.

The OCS backbone remains strong, with direct airline relationships, strategic global hubs, and efficient cross-border processes at destination. Broad IT competence moves data in parallel to parcels smoothly and securely. Compliance with regulatory authorities, and facilitating flexible delivery, are aspects which require accountable and protected data handling. How about the actual delivery – why OCS? We are fast and efficient. We collect seven days a week and despatch orders 24/7. Parcels collected in the evening, even on a Sunday, fly the following morning – connecting sameday to last-mile partners in markets such as the US where the time-difference is favourable. Contracts with the delivery agents are direct with long-standing relationships with Australia Post, New Zealand Post, Austria Post and many others. Indeed, OCS was the very first US Postal Service Global Direct Entry (GDE) partner appointed back in 2012. Ecommerce peaks during the runup to Christmas - how do you ensure consistent delivery allowing retailers to take advantage of more of those critical selling days before cut-off? OCS enjoys a very long-standing relationship with many airlines and is an IATA air cargo agent. Capacity is planned carefully and contracted for peak usually by September. OCS commits to minimum projected volumes which are pre-allocated to a specific flight schedule on all major routes. We also increase the number of gateways into each destination country and increase the number of flights within the schedule. Peak is a busy time but retailers can ship with confidence right up to the deadlines.


ago, into a highly efficient and cost-effective facility servicing the company’s online orders worldwide and replenishing stock to all UK stores. He explains that key to its success has been to have plans of what it will look like in 10 years’ time and then build towards that, refining to meet changing business needs. “We’d only been open in Milton Keynes for a year when a business change meant we needed to build a 30,000 sq ft racking structure to increase our stock holding capacity. Apex

are also based in Milton Keynes and were able to design, manufacture and install the entire system in three months, working with other trades to deliver on time and budget. It was a tricky build as the operation had to be able to carry on in a safe environment whilst the construction was completed in two stages.” CT has built a network of reliable partners and suppliers, like Apex, to help the company not only expand its global footprint and provide the highest standards

The 30,000 sq ft racking structure that was built to handle the increase in the stock holding capacity for Charles Tyrwhitt


November 2017


The CT warehouse located in Milton Keynes

of service to customers, but also enable it to create efficiencies within its operations. Robust design Such partnerships are key to the running of CT and have enabled the company to achieve recognition from some of the most prestigious sources – the firm won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2016. Another such supplier is Knapp; “I prefer the term mechanisation to automation and Knapp understood what we wanted and needed.


Cha rl e Ty rwh s it A nnua t l Revenu e

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They came up with a really simple, robust design – not automation for automation’s sake. These are really sensibly designed, well-engineered solutions and they absolutely meet our needs,” states Lemon. The Knapp-designed conveyor systems have also improved efficiency within the operations at CT. “Our dispatch department four years ago had no mechanisation,” Lemon

to its valued customers. “Seko has been our freight forwarding partner for a number of years,” explains Lemon. “They were recently awarded the contract to run our third party US distribution centre giving them responsibility for the management of our retail stock holding and replenishment into our US stores. Seko are a company who will adapt and modify what they do to best

“In a typical non-peak day we sort 7,500 orders and that used to take seven or eight people. Now it’s just two, which shows the benefit that you can accrue by just getting the design right” Pete Lemon, Director of Distribution continues. “In a typical non-peak day we sort 7,500 orders and that used to take seven or eight people. Now it’s just two, which shows the benefit that you can accrue by just getting the design right.” It’s not just in CT’s distribution warehouse that the company has entered partnerships to become more efficient and deliver a better service


November 2017

suit the needs of Charles Tyrwhitt. “Another key partner is OCS Worldwide, a parcel consolidator shipping goods all over the world. We’ve known and worked with them for many years. This relationship is mutually beneficial as OCS has grown with us, taken on other clients on the back of our business and so the services, costs and value for all of us

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Hermes is a dedicated service partner, providing an onsite liason team to assist with any potential issues during the dispatch process

can be maximised. They now carry all of our parcels to the United States, our biggest growth market, Australia and many of our ROW orders, leveraging their relationships with other shipping companies like Royal Mail where they can get the maximum discounts available. A great company led by great people,” Lemon adds. Domestically, CT has partnered with Hermes to ensure delivery of its products to customer in the UK. “The service level that Hermes provide is extremely good value for money. We have one of the Hermes team onsite

every day in Milton Keynes to follow up any delivery issues that arise and hold monthly service reviews with our account manager. The relationship has developed, we’ve been working with them now for four years as our primary UK carrier, and they have now taken on the majority of or UK next day service parcels too. At peak times, they react well to what we need, and are developing their business too, offering the same services, such as in-flight options, as some of the more expensive carriers.” Of course, an important part of

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logistics automation

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CT’s relationships with its suppliers is trust. “You have to pick the right ones and you have to trust them to do their job and I think that’s true of all of those,” remarks Lemon. “Specify the service and let them do their job, and when they let you down you have to have the relationship with them that means that you can pick up the phone and have the frank conversation: ‘You’ve let our customer down, now let’s fix this’.”


November 2017

The staff turnover at CT is less than 3% per annum

1,000 Number of staff at Charles Tyrwhitt

Employee engagement A little over 1,000 people work across the business at CT and a fifth of those work within Lemon’s operations. “I would think that probably 50% of my time is spent dealing with people matters and those are not negative things,” explains Lemon. “I’m actually dealing with things that are looking to engage with people in the right way and to encourage people to enjoy working here, to want

to work here and that’s absolutely key. It’s about recruiting the right people in the first place and then retaining them through positive engagement, personal development and reward. Our turnover is less than 3% per annum, which is great.” Indeed, people form one of the four core values at CT. “The first one of those is Quality with Value Matters and that applies to everything about our product,” Lemon advises.

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“The second one is that Customers Matter. We’re nothing without our customers so they have to be right up there. People Matter is next, and that’s about treating our colleagues with respect and dignity, and our final value is Growth Matters. “We’re not in business to stagnate and whilst all businesses go through ups and downs we are very much on an up – we’ll go that extra mile, we’ll set realistic goals and take pride in beating them.”


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Quirky and fun Alongside the core values, CT also has four supporting behaviours. “We are Simple and Straightforward for our customers and internally, trying to avoid bureaucracy wherever we can. We’re Cost Conscious and Modest. We’re not a very ostentatious company, we’re not extravagant, we print in black and white, not in colour. It’s simple things like that, because why be frivolous and spend money on things that don’t add value to the


business or indeed make it easy for men to dress well?” Lemon remarks. “We Believe in Teamwork – not operating in silos, working across departments. Finally, we are Quirky and Fun. We have a book that describes these values and each one is depicted as a dog dressed in Charles Tyrwhitt clothing in a very fun and quirky way, and we do that in the way we communicate internally, the way we present things and the way we engage with our customers too.” Of course, all of this is underpinned by the drive to make it easy for men to dress well. “The great thing about that phrase is that it doesn’t matter where you work in this business. If you think ‘Is what I am doing making it easy for men to dress well?’, whether that be from designing the product in the first place, to the care you take in making sure it’s exactly the right garment going out and that it arrives on time when the customer expects it, that’s all about making it easier for men to dress well,” Lemon observes. “You

“We’re not in business to stagnate and whilst all businesses go through ups and downs we are very much on an up – we’ll go that extra mile, we’ll set realistic goals and take pride in beating them” Pete Lemon, Director of Distribution

can apply it anywhere in the business, so that is definitely something that underpins the company.” With such measures in place to ensure quality throughout the operations at CT, the company seems well-suited to its current growth trajectory.

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Realising the potential of procurement Written by Laura Mullan Produced by Richard Durrant


As one of the largest housing associations in the UK, procurement is a crucial part of the day-to-day business at Clarion Housing Group. With a CIPS accreditation under its belt and top industry expertise, it is overcoming industry-wide challenges with only the best of procurement standards


he slogan for Clarion Housing Group is ‘Building Homes. Developing Futures’. It’s a bold concept which perfectly encapsulates the company’s vision: to develop largescale housing projects whilst creating a meaningful impact on residents’ lives. Today, the company has set itself the immense challenge of building 50,000 high-quality homes over the next 10 years. For Head of Procurement, Kirsty Bower, this is not only an impressive feat from a procurement point of view – “we’re expecting to procure over a million windows over the next 10 years,” she says - but it also demonstrates the company’s social purpose, as the Group will offer two thirds of these homes as affordable housing. “Ultimately, we want to provide


November 2017

homes and improve our residents’ lives so that they can put down roots,” says Bower. “At Clarion, we see ourselves as a business with a social purpose. We have the ability to be very commercial but at the same time we’re not doing that to deliver profits into shareholders pockets; we’re doing that to see a bigger benefit in terms of social value and social impact.” Shining a light on procurement

The largest housing association in the UK, Clarion Housing Group was created in 2016 following a merger between Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing Group. Bower has held the position of Head of Procurement for over nine years, remaining loyal to the company throughout the


The ribbon is cut on a new development merger. Throughout her time, she has seen a significant change in perspective towards procurement. “Procurement can often be undervalued by companies,” reflects Bower. “When I first entered the sector, procurement only came on the radar because housing associations were being caught out by EU procurement regulations. “At Clarion Housing Group we believe that procurement isn’t

just about regulation; it’s about how can we drive value out of the money that we are spending. “I think the message that procurement is vital to business has always been present at the company because of the level it has been able to influence at, for instance, my role reports directly into the Group Executive Director for Governance and Compliance, something that wasn’t often seen in the sector when I joined.”

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Kirsty Bower and the Clarion Housing Group team recieving the CIPS Corporate Accreditation

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At Clarion Housing Group we believe that procurement isn’t just about regulation; it’s about how can we drive value out of the money that we are spending KIRSTY BOWER Head of Procurement


Raising professional standards

By observing the highest procurement standards, Clarion Housing Group was one of the first housing associations to achieve the CIPS Corporate Accreditation. Bower says that this demonstrates the company’s commitment to maintaining the highest level of processes and professionalism. “I think CIPS helped us to benchmark what we were doing and re-inforce that there are always new things that you can learn. It was a real eye-opener in terms of where we were doing really well and areas where we needed to do more work. I think the other benefit was that it demonstrated the value of procurement and my team internally to the company and externally to our supplier base. It also helped the junior members of staff feel more valued. It doesn’t matter how much you tell someone they’re doing a good job if they see themselves that they helped to achieve the CIPS certification - that is really empowering.” Procurement is interwoven into all aspects of business life at Clarion Housing Group and not only does it help the company, it

also benefits the supply chain. “If we want people to bid so that we can get the best contracts, we’ve got to have the best processes, we’ve got to be professional, and we’ve got to be transparent. I think the CIPS accreditation demonstrates that and that’s really important from a procurement perspective, because the more diverse your supply chain the more value you can derive from it.” A team effort

Since its creation, Clarion Housing Group has achieved great things; last year it built 1,340 homes, engaged with over 10,000 young people and provided £130,000 of grants to help communities. However, for Bower, these achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and expertise of the company’s staff. “I really want to stress that the success of procurement and the success of getting the CIPS accreditation is down to the team,” Bower says. “It’s an enjoyable organisation to work in; it’s not hierarchal, it is innovationbased and the staff really drive the

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Clarion partakes in many community projects company towards the end-goal of improving residents’ lives.” Overcoming challenges

The housing industry faces pressing challenges, as skill shortages and tightening budgets adversely impact the sector. However, Clarion Housing Group aims to mitigate such challenges by pre-emptively enhancing its supply chain, which is the cornerstone of its successes. “Not only do we want a diverse supply chain, we also want to ensure that it’s resilient and can


November 2017

mitigate industry challenges such as skills shortages,” Bower says. “To tackle this challenge, we are in the process of setting up a supply chain management programme to help develop SME’s and look into how we can develop the market and can help them access our supply chains.” Clarion Housing Group is also preparing for industry challenges through technological prowess and continuous innovation. In what is described as “a huge project” for the company, Clarion Housing Group is implementing an ERP


system through which every area of the company will be connected. “I think the opportunities that this is going to afford us are going to be immense,” says Bower. “It’s a really exciting project, it’s huge, and I think that will help revolutionise our services going forward.” A new perspective

I think the CIPS accreditation demonstrates that and that’s really important from a procurement perspective, because the more diverse your supply chain the more value you can derive from it

With a heritage spanning over 100 years, Clarion Housing Group has established itself as a major player in the housing market, tackling bold largescale projects whilst still maintaining a social purpose. The housing market may face uncertainty, but Clarion Housing Group is well prepared for any challenges that may come its way. ”The merger gave us the opportunity to take a step back momentarily and take a look at the wider picture of the industry and how we can move forward. We now have had time to review the landscape and chart where we want the company to go.”

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with honesty Written by Nell Walker Produced by Richard Durrant


The tiny giant that is Zinnovate just keeps growing, consistently beating global competitors to become a leading IT consultancy. CEO Håkan Nilsson explains how


he last time I spoke with Håkan Nilsson, CEO of Swedish IT consultancy Zinnovate, his tiny but immensely talented fiveperson team was already defying the odds by beating huge, worldfamous competitors in acquiring a network of global customers. Eighteen months later, that same five-person team has just taken on a global logistics leader – one previously let down by a technological giant with over 500 consultants – as a client, its revenue has skyrocketed, and Nilsson himself has received a CEO of the year award (Best CEO Management/Logistics) from European CEO magazine. “While we have kept the team as small as it was a year ago, our influence and power is at


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quite a different level thanks to the global network we have built,” Nilsson explains. Revenue numbers in Zinnovate’s first year were around €140,000 per employee; four years later, it’s closer to €1mn per employee. While this is certainly impressive, not to mention thrilling for any small business, Zinnovate has no profit targets – it just has customer targets – and ROI is replaced by ROC (return on competence). While the global reach has dramatically changed, Zinnovate’s approach to customers remains the same. “It shows that the philosophy we had from the get-go at Zinnovate is the right one,” says Nilsson. “I started Zinnovate on the premise



“You can throw around fancy words like ‘cultural alignment’, but in the end it’s about people: people working together, and people making business” Håkan Nilsson, CEO


XWARE develop and market a stable, high-tech integration platform that functions as a technological hub for both military and civilian applications. |


November 2017


that we admit to everything. We dare obsession of WiseTech Global and to admit that we have some unique the freight excellence of Greencarrier skills, and we will do our utmost – help Zinnovate grow through to leverage those unique skills to combined synergetic strengths, deliver value – but we will also admit and synergy is driven through what that we have some weaknesses. We delivers value to customers. recognise those too and will “We don’t enter into any partnerships unless there be brutally honest about is a mutual personal them, teaming up with chemistry,” says others that are better Nilsson. “You can in those areas.” throw around Using this fancy words like system of simple ‘cultural alignment’, honesty, Zinnovate Annual but in the end has expanded its revenue it’s about people: customer network people working to Spain, Italy, France, together, and people making Germany, Denmark, Sweden, business. That’s the driver.” and the US, leveraging a partnership Zinnovate’s expertise is leveraged network from around 15 countries further by Nilsson himself, who spent to build project teams and address 23 years on the other side of the table global challenges. The partnerships as a CIO for global freight forwarding – notably including the intense companies. This has afforded him a integration product development unique perspective into the mind of focus of Xware, productivity

4 Million euros


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Zinnovate aims to position customers one step ahead

the customer, and he believes that actions are far more important than the type of disingenuous strategy presentations he endured as a client. “Many companies are guilty of creating a mission statement, and then a few years down the line they can say they achieved it and pat themselves on the back,” he says. “Rather than set up from the beginning, we try to learn as we go,


November 2017

which allows us to make the whole more than the sum of the parts. “We do that in three distinct areas: one is helping companies to transform to global optimisation, with the whole being more than the sum being systems, processes, and organisation. “The second area is team performance, which we’re getting better at all the time.


“The third area is system integration, because when I articulated the vision statement of Zinnovate from the start, it was for us to help companies in freight forwarding to realise the full potential of their IT portfolio. Even if you have great systems, they may not be well aligned between operations, finance, and customers.” Zinnovate keeps proving itself to the industry thanks to this winning combination, making it irrefutable that the business gets results. Reputation, as Nilsson is more than aware, is incredibly important. “As much as I would like to think that I’m perfectly logical and make all decisions based on strong, logical rationale, I know that I – like everyone else – am an emotional creature and perception makes a difference,” he says. “There is of course real value in what we can deliver, but our ability to get the chance to prove that is largely dependent on the perception of people. We are almost

“There is of course real value in what we can deliver, but our ability to get the chance to prove that is largely dependent on the perception of people” Håkan Nilsson, CEO religious about reputation, and I would rather walk away from a great opportunity that I know we cannot deliver, than fail and have that failure spill over into everything else.” Nilsson’s CEO award will undoubtedly contribute to this reputation as news of it ripples through the industry, and the business will continue to inspire other small companies that don’t necessarily feel brave enough to compete with the bigger

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Hükan Nilsson - CEO Nilsson’s unique IT expertise stems from more than three decades of IT focus with senior management roles in three different industries: Manufacturing, Finance and for the last 26 years, Transport & Logistics. He is devoted to building and delivering Customer Value and Shareholder Value through Innovation and Optimization of processes and system solutions. Nilsson is instrumental in creating a world-leading global operator in the freight forwarding industry through mergers and acquisitions, and by delivering cutting edge IT solutions and processes. He introduced and led the global deployment of an industry-changing global freight forwarding system based on single-file concept and end-to-end network process. This has resulted in impressive productivity improvements whilst replacing a myriad of legacy systems. Nilsson is a renowned and sought-after speaker at international conferences on the subjects of IT, Processes, Change and Logistics.


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players. It takes courage to be a disruptor, Nilsson says. “If you’re a disruptor, you’re doing something different, rather than just doing more or less of something. Of course, we believe we are doing things better and faster and with more value, but I think there is some truth in the disruptor label in that we’re a different player. We look at both the hard technical and analytical stuff as well as the behavioural stuff to do with organisation, systems, and team dynamics. Often, 98% of the focus is on the hard tech, but the 2% of fluff is what makes or breaks a project.” Nilsson continues: “Sometimes I’m a bit surprised that a lot of companies want to be world class and unique, yet they turn to the same consultancy firms everyone else is using. When somebody like Zinnovate comes in and says ‘I won’t give you that impressive hundred-slide PowerPoint, but

I would advise you to do things differently,’ that gets their attention.” What is most important to Zinnovate is wanting the customer to be successful. Nilsson is in a position where he enjoys seeing the success of others more than anything since achieving his own success, and when he and his team get behind a project, it is destined to succeed. “I know whether a project is going to be successful or not,” says Nilsson. “I’m very privileged to not only have extremely skillful people – teammates and people – around me, but also there is this dual heartfelt thing where we really want the other person to be successful, and that truly makes the difference.”

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Written by Dale Benton Produced by Lewis Vaughan



Karl Luck, Director, Head of Power Systems at WSP


Through an innovative cooling system, WSP looks to firmly establish itself as a data centre player of choice


s a leader in data centre design, WSP has an impressive portfolio, one that encompasses government departments, public sector organisations, financial institutions and commercial corporations. The data centre industry is booming, and WSP is strategically positioned to capitalise on this rapidly expanding market. “There is a major increase in the interest in data centres and data centre designs, and that’s a direct result of people understanding more and more about them,� says Karl Luck, Director, Head of Power Systems at WSP. Luck believes that this greater understanding of not only data centres, but the data centre market itself, can be attributed to the role of major players like HP, Microsoft and even Google turning their attentions towards data centres. KEEPING IT COOL One of the greatest challenges that comes with data centres is power and heat. As data centres process

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Cooling + Humidity Control + Energy Saving: Is there one solution? Guidelines now allow a wider tolerance of both temperature and humidity and consequently the need to humidify has decreased in several contexts and in some applications is no longer a necessity. As occurred with temperature however, there are only certain system layouts that push the conditions to the limit, following the ASHRAE guidelines. All data centres, particularly colocation centres that do not host their own ICT equipment, need to guarantee a high service level and find it difficult to adopt these requirements due to the related risks, such as electrical discharges and consequently opt for traditional designs and approaches to humidification and cooling. Many operators feel a sense of uncertainty, torn between the new design criteria with the related risks, and the need to save energy, but can these seemingly opposing needs be reconciled? One of the most effective humidification and cooling solutions involves the use of adiabatic high pressure spray systems, such as the CAREL humiFog. This technology entails adding moisture to an air stream, in such a way that evaporation absorbs some of the heat contained in the air, effectively resulting in a simultaneous increase in humidity and significant decrease in temperature. This effect is exploited for the purpose of providing cooling with very low energy consumption, and is referred to as evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling is increasingly used in new generation data centres in which the design conditions are close to the limits suggested within the guidelines, for example by ASHRAE. This is made possible by the layout of hot aisles and cold aisles, with careful design of air flows and good separation between the air entering the racks and the exhaust air. The higher operating temperature and humidity allow the use of outside air (free cooling) via air handling units when the outdoor temperature is favourable (for example, below 25°C), whilst when the outside air is hotter and drier,

evaporative cooling can be adopted, increasing humidity up to and above 60% and reducing the temperature down to acceptable values, simply through the evaporation of water. The effectiveness of such systems depends significantly on local temperature-humidity conditions, nonetheless in much of continental Europe both free cooling and evaporative cooling can be exploited for most of the year, some data centres are designed to use mechanical cooling as an emergency backup system only. The increasing popularity of the humiFog system demonstrates how humidification in winter can be provided by simply adopting the same evaporative cooling system used in summer, thus reconciling humidity control with energy saving, with provision of modulating operation and temperature and humidity control to manage air recirculation. The use of a matrix of nozzles and high pressure pumps to create minute droplets of water ensures optimum absorption. The inverter control and modulated atomised water production responds efficiently to varying load conditions with serial communication allowing working set point adjustment to suit different environmental conditions. The choice of the system depends on numerous factors, ranging from available space to required efficiency and the need for modulation. In general, the solution needs to be evaluated in terms of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) throughout the system’s working life, also taking into consideration its resilience in terms of continuous operation as well as water consumption, which in many areas may be a critical factor. Indeed, many data centres, together with the classic PUE for energy consumption also monitor WUE as regards water consumption. In conclusion, the increasingly frequent adoption of adiabatic systems can help overcome the dilemma between humidity control and cost reductions, thanks to new, increasingly reliable technologies and reduced energy consumption. Fundamental for system optimisation is the CAREL integration with control open protocol systems.


“There were a lot of new cooling systems coming into play. But there was a flaw. They had fixed set points that required a set temperature and system. This didn’t allow for any versatility of agility regarding external environmental factors” Karl Luck, Director, Head of Power Systems, WSP huge volumes of data, this generates a lot of heat in the server and a large proportion of a data centre’s energy usage comes from trying to cool the servers and mitigate the heat. It is a challenge that the industry continues to try and overcome, with those major players investing significantly into new, innovative and, most importantly, cost effective cooling systems.


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“Over recent years there’s been a drive away from direct cooling systems because they are energy inefficient,” says Luck. “Most of the electricity that goes into a data centre comes out as heat and companies are spending more and more on trying to get that heat out.” Traditionally, data centre designs have incorporated a standardised direct cooling system. But as

WSP has an extensive portfolio comprising major clients all over the world Luck explains, for every 1KWh entering the data centre, it would require 600w to remove the heat. This saw an industry wide move away from this system, experimenting in water cooling and air cooling systems to bring consumption down and realise significant cost savings in the process. “There were a lot of new cooling systems coming into play,” says

Luck. “But there was a flaw. They had fixed set points that required a set temperature and system. This didn’t allow for any versatility of agility regarding external environmental factors.” This is where WSP, through Luck and his Power Systems team, has developed what he feels to be a unique cooling solution, one that utilises fresh air cooling

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The right solution

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and floating set point controls. “It optimises the energy efficiency by adjusting the amount of direct fresh air and humidity in the system, all the while factoring in external factors such as the weather,” he says. “It’s the first time it has been done and has been in operation now for around six months, delivering a PUI of 1.1 which is a significant energy saving.” INDUSTRY PROWESS In order to develop an innovative solution and continue to be the

manufacturer of choice in the data centre space, Luck needed a team of engineers that possessed the skills but also the knowledge to push the boundaries of data centre design and engineering. WSP has always had people in the business focused on the mission critical electrical engineering and data centre space, but Luck worked to centralise this team and harness the experience of more than 17 years in the business. “We’ve got guys who have been here for a long time and bring strong WSP utilises the knowledge of its in-house engineers to push the boundaries of data centre and engineering


November 2017


WSP focuses on attracting and retaining the most experienced mechanical engineers in the industry

“We have to keep an eye on developments in the market, because we don’t want to fall behind... our new cooling system is a testament to staying ahead” Karl Luck, Director, Head of Power Systems, WSP

experience into the Power Systems team,” he says. “We have had to hire externally as well, so mechanical engineers who have worked for some of the major players in the market and worked as contractors. It’s about bringing all that experience together and making something special.” As a market that is exploding and growing at a rapid rate, Luck is all too aware of the changing landscapes in the data centre sector. Technology and innovations

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As a market that is exploding and growing at a rapid rate, Luck and his team are leading in the changing landscape of data centre design continue to disrupt the data centre industry and that stretches beyond cooling systems. Even as market leaders, WSP must keep an eye on the other players in the space. “We have to keep an eye on developments in the market, because we don’t want to fall behind,” he says. “If we don’t, we risk falling behind and offering inefficient technologies, and our new cooling system is a


November 2017

testament to staying ahead.” WSP has an extensive portfolio comprising major clients all over the world, but the company must continue to deliver something new to differentiate itself from other players in the market. “You need a different approach with a unique offering in terms of energy savings or technology and I firmly believe that we do,” says Luck.


solution that can be modulated, adapted, in order to enable future savings and efficiencies.”

But Luck also sees the value in going beyond offering a new technology solution. “You ned to look at ways you can improve your offering, seek out issues and fix them, you can’t just turn up, do your thing and then leave,” says Luck. “There’s an educational aspect to it from day one. With a data centre, you need to establish a user’s take-up in order to deliver a sustainable

A CENTRE OF GROWTH WSP does not make data centres. Luck and his team design data centres and data centre solutions. The key element for Luck is the suppliers the company works with. “Without the manufacturers, nothing comes alive,” he says. “Our cooling system would remain as an idea on a piece of paper. Our suppliers bought into our ideas and processes from day one and allowed us to realise our idea and enable key savings for our end users.” As the data centre space continues to grow, WSP will grow along with it. WSP has a goal to be the company of choice and Luck believes that through his team, the company has the capacity to continue pushing the boundaries and firmly establish its capabilities in the market.

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ORBIS HOTEL GROUP in pole position Written by Fran Roberts Produced by Richard Durrant


Rooted around four words: professionalism, mobility, diversity and respect, the human resources policy of the Orbis Hotel Group is an integral part of the strategy and development of the Group. CEO Gilles Clavie explains how the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expansion is being driven by a new generation of staff


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he Orbis Hotel Group is the leading organisation of its kind in Poland and in Eastern Europe, and the Polish travel agency Polskie Biuro Podróży Orbis was founded in 1920. Its founders wanted to establish a travel agency rendering services of an international standard – an institution representing a “window on the world” for the citizens of a new, reborn Poland. Over the decades, Orbis moved from being a travel agency to become a key player in the hospitality sector, working with AccorHotels as a strategic partner. “This company was a travel bureau at the beginning, created almost 100 years ago and more recently in the 1970s it started to become a hospitality player,” remarks current CEO Gilles Clavie. “Orbis at that time already had Novotel franchise contracts from AccorHotels. From that contract, we’ve retained four key hotels that we’re still running today – some of them are the best hotels of the company today. There’s a long history between Orbis and AccorHotels.”

Partnering prowess Following the initial franchise in 1973 for six Novotel hotels, more AccorHotels brands entered the Polish market after the reintroduction of democracy and a market economy. In 1991, the state-owned enterprise Orbis was transformed into a company wholly owned by the State Treasury and 1993 saw the first Mercure in Warsaw and the first Ibis in Krakow. A few years later, in 1997, Orbis became a private company, joining the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE). “This company was privatised and put on the market in 1997 with an IPO and a few years after, in 2000, AccorHotels started progressively to hand over the capital for it,” Clavie comments. “There was a partnership between AccorHotels and Orbis. The aim of the partnership was that each time Orbis developed or renovated an hotel, then Orbis should consider turning that hotel into an AccorHotels brand.” Such an arrangement remained for over a decade, during which Orbis divested of the rest of its travel, transport and casino

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portfolio to become solely a hotel player, and was still in place when Clavie took over as CEO in 2014. “After six months of negotiation with AccorHotels we bought from them the AccorHotels network for all of Eastern Europe, which includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and all the other Balkan countries,” Clavie notes. “We signed a master license agreement in January 2015, whereby Orbis became the sole representative with full exclusivity of AccorHotels in this region. On the one hand, we have to animate and develop the AccorHotels network for those


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4,000 Number of employees at Grupa Hotel Orbis


16 countries. On the other hand, AccorHotels cannot do anything in this region except ask Orbis to make it happen within a defined AccorHotels brands portfolio.” Profit, portfolio and people With two hotels recently opened in new markets – Mercure Belgrade Excelsior in Serbia and Novotel Sarajevo in Bosnia and Hercegovina – and another six new hotel openings in the upcoming months and 40 development projects in the pipeline, Orbis is accelerating the network expansion in Eastern Europe. In order to achieve this, the company is focusing on the three core tenets of its masterplan. “We have three pillars in our strategy, which are the three Ps – profit, portfolio and people. The idea is to be in line with the guest’s expectations, then as soon as you get the guest’s expectations, you get the turnover, and the results are coming in naturally,” reveals Clavie. “To serve all these people we need to invest in our staff, especially in this region where we have a rate of

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employment that is so low that we have to be the best employer if we want to retain and attract talent. It’s all about this challenge for us as we are expanding this company. The third P is the financial, which is my former background. We have the capital employed and we have to check the profitability of that capital employed. Anytime an asset isn’t delivering the profit we would expect, either we have a plan to make it better or we sell it and use the cash to allocate to a better-performing project.”


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Potential leaders People – both staff and guests – are key to the success of Orbis. “I cannot disconnect between the staff and what we are aiming to do with the guests. The biggest increase in guests coming in are from the younger generation,” Clavie continues. “We have shifted from a commodity, where you were just looking for a clean room with a clean bathroom, a nice bed and TV, to an experience for the guest today.” In response to the growing number of millennials staying at Orbis and


“We have three pillars in our strategy, which are the three Ps – profit, portfolio and people” Gilles Clavie, CEO Orbis Hotel Group

AccorHotels, the company has worked hard to diversify its workforce. “Suddenly the staff weren’t looking like our guests anymore, so we were not able to even understand that they were expecting something different,” notes Clavie. “Many people from this new generation came on board. By listening to our staff, we were able to start to anticipate the guests’ expectations.” As such, Orbis has changed the way it recruits staff. “We used to recruit people according to their professional skills or experience in hospitality and we have totally shifted. We are looking for personality, soft skills, interpersonal skills and then we are able to provide them with all they need to know for the profession of hospitality, which is the

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easier approach,” explains Clavie. “We have in Krakow a Mercure and in Gdansk an Ibis hotel – both were opened one year ago and we have launched a recruitment process which was totally different – it was more a kind of casting than a recruitment process. We were going through different exercises and we were selecting people who could be a nice personality to support the atmosphere, the ambiance and the wellbeing we’re working to push for the guests. “For those people we needed, we trained them on hospitality skills, and one year after there are some targets we have reached and we are really happy with it. The only people who left the hotel, and there are only two, have left the hotel because we asked them to come into another hotel or the head office because we identified them as potential leaders.” As Orbis adopts this approach throughout its growing network, more leaders will be identified internally, aiding the company’s expansion in Eastern Europe.


November 2017

$400 MILLION The annual revenue of Grupa Hotel Orbis


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78 NOVEMBER 2017


Heading for a collaborative & digital supply chain


20-23 MARCH 2018


International Week of Transport and Logistics


20-23 MARCH 2018


Materials handling exhibition for industry and distribution


Business Review Europe - November 2017  
Business Review Europe - November 2017