Digital Innovation Magazine - July 2018

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July 2018

CIONET Awards Meet the five deserved winners of this year’s accolades

Ahead of theTheGame latest Oculus updates are set to amaze

Nigel Watson


Lumus is partnering with Swedish company Tobii

Visionary Science

The first 3D-printed human corneas

Northumbrian Water’s CIO talks transformation, innovation, and the company’s annual Innovation Festival


July 3-5th, 2018 Cologne, Germany

Europe’s largest invitation-only conference ^^

for early-stage startups, investors and corporate executives. 2


ith summer in full swing, we bring you the July edition of Digital Innovation Magazine. Packed to the rafters with fascinating features to inspire, our cover interview this month features Nigel Watson of Northumbrian Water Group (p14). It was an absolute pleasure to chat to Nigel about all things innovation ahead of the company’s second summer festival (from 9th to 13th July). If you’re looking for a unique event, filled with problem solving and design thinking together with likeminded individuals, it promises to be a great day-out. I was blown away when I read reports about UK scientists creating 3D-printed human corneas for the first time (p62). This is a truly remarkable achievement, and fantastic news for those on the corneal transplant waiting list. Watch this space, I say! In addition, the latest updates announced by the Oculus platform are certain to impress, with virtual reality advancing by leaps and bounds (p30). Just imagine where we will be in another five years… Plus, we present our guide to three of the best European big data companies (p6), and an insight into the new partnership between Lumus and Tobii (p40), whilst also raising a glass to the five well-deserved winners of this year’s CIONET Awards (p50). Enjoy the issue!

Editor Anna McMahon

Managing Director Danielle Harris

Senior Digital Designer Daniel May

Managing Director Tom Barnes

+44 (0) 203 890 1189 All rights reserved. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material published in Digital Innovation Magazine. However, the company cannot accept responsibility for the claims made by advertisers or contributors, or inaccurate material supplied by advertisers. Digital Innovation is a trading name of HBL Europe Ltd. Company Registration Number: 10933897. Company Registered in England and Wales


The latest upda


European big data companies


14 Northumbian Water’s CIO, Nigel Watson 4

Oculus ates CIONET Award winners




3D-printed human corneas

Lumus and Tobii join forces 5




We share our guide to three of the top European companies to work for in the field of analytics, big data, data management, data science and machine learning.




he world’s number one Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, provides cloud-based applications for sales, service, marketing and more. Customers can simply log in and start connecting with more than 150,000 companies currently using the platform to increase employee productivity, team collaboration, customer

loyalty, and most importantly, their sales. Headquartered in London, the company started life in 1999, pioneering the idea of CRM software in the cloud, creating a whole new economy. By managing customer interactions and information on a single platform that’s accessible from anywhere, companies have the opportunity to identify opportunities, solve problems, and understand their customers’ needs.




AS is a leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS (pronounced “sass”) once stood for ‘statistical analysis system’. It began as a project to analyse agricultural research. Demand for such software capabilities began to grow, and

SAS was founded in 1976 to help customers in all sorts of industries, from pharmaceutical companies and banks, to academic and governmental entities, have fresh perspective on their data to identify what’s working, fix what isn’t, and discover new opportunities. SAS has offices worldwide, with sites in all major European cities.

Watch more about SAS



icro Focus is a multinational software and information technology business based in Berkshire, England. It provides software and consultancy, with portfolio depth and breadth to cover challenges across DevOps,

Hybrid IT, Security & Risk, and Predictive Analytics. Founded in 1976, it became the first company to win the coveted Queen’s Award for Industry, purely for developing a software product. The product was CIS COBOL, a standardcompliant COBOL implementation for microcomputers.

Watch more about Micro Focus




f o p o r D A n o i t a n i g a Im We talk to Nigel Watson, CIO at Northumbrian Water, about the company’s transformation programmes, its drive for innovation, and the success of its annual Innovation Festival. Written by Anna McMahon • Produced by Danielle Harris



When you think about digital transformation, a water company might not immediately spring to mind.


ut, the changes in customer expectations that have taken place, driven by their experiences of other service providers, means utility companies such as Northumbrian Water have been forced to run their businesses in a similar way. Nigel Watson, CIO at Northumbrian Water, explains, “We work on the principle that if our customers had a choice, they would choose us. We aim to deliver a service like Amazon or John Lewis, for example, therefore it is necessary for us to transform in order to continue to innovate. There are a number of changes including climate, the aging

population and the need to be more efficient that act as external drivers to what we do.” With 4.5 million customers and £11 billion worth of assets, it was essential for Northumbrian Water to ensure the transformation process would be as smooth as possible. The customer transformation programme, triggered by the need for its archaic technology to be updated, was run as a business transformation programme for this very reason. Nigel said, “The homegrown system we were using could be operated by only a handful of people, and yet it generated around

a m a e d a m “We have n h c e t e g d leading e m a s y s e n e G and


n i t n e m t s e v ajor in e l c a r O m o r nology f � s r e h t o t s g mon Nigel Watson, CIO at Northumbrian Water 17

n i v a h g n i h t e n o l u s o a c t i “It w f i t u b t , c m e e n n o c syst o t y l t m n o e i t c s u c effi e h t , s r e e c m o n t e r e cus f f i d e h t e c i t no


d e t a c i t s i h p o s a ng d e s u e b t ldn’ r u o h t i tw t o n d l u o w s mer


19 +44 (0)20 3808 3999


4.5M customers 90 per cent of our revenue. This was untenable, so a decision was taken, driven by restructuring in the water companies, to make a big investment in modernising architecture, reequipping our workforce, and reskilling the leadership team. This redefined our target operating model and roles within the company. We also invested heavily in emotional intelligence for our customer services team. It was one thing having a sophisticated system, but if it couldn’t be used efficiently to connect with our customers, the customers would not notice the

£11B worth of assets

difference. Emotional intelligence was therefore key to bringing the system to life.” From a tech perspective, the company adopted an Oracle omnichannel utilities-specific CRM billing system, connecting through to a single platform, to ensure its 2.1 million accounts would be billed accordingly. It was no mean feat, with the potential to be extremely disruptive. Nigel explains, “We have made a major investment in leading edge technology from Oracle and Genesys amongst


others. We feel that the Genesys platform will be critical to us, providing a joined-up unrivalled customer experience, as our customers start to utilise lots of different channels to communicate with us.” For the billing migration, Northumbrian Water conducted billing comparison tests to generate bills within a penny of what they were previously generating. They did nine dress rehearsals in total, adopting the Insights Discovery Tool, which is based on the work of Dr Carl Jung, to connect various components within the programme. Insights Discovery is built to help people understand themselves, understand others, and make the most of the relationships that affect them in the workplace. Nigel used a set of coloured bricks to identify different colours relating to people’s strengths. For example, reds are risk takers, yellows are creative, greens are people-orientated, and blues

pay attention to detail. The idea was to promote connections with others working on the programme and solve any conflicts by enabling people to see different perspectives, providing methods and tools for effective communication. Nigel added, “Using the Insights Discovery methodology, we looked at who was working where. The data migration team was largely blue except for one person. We moved that individual into a different team to enable her to flourish.” Prior to going live with the new system, the company detailed nine different components containing around 20 objective measures that needed to be ‘green’ for the move to be a success. Nigel said, “There was no point migrating if there was a flu epidemic in customer services. The go-live would only take place on the basis that one of the components was not ‘red’. This protected us. We were supposed to go live in January, but three of the criteria were red, so we decided to wait until April, after

a g n i k n i h t n g i s “Taking a de d t a d r a h s k r Water also wo r p s n g i s e d f o s e its seri 22

d n a l r e b m u h t approach, Nor h g u o r h t n o i t a v o driving inn � s k c a h n g i s e d rints and 23

“It’s exciting to anticipate what will come from this year’s festival” Nigel Watson, CIO at Northumbrian Water



e r g n e e s y d a e r l a “We’ve l c n i , l a v i t s e f t s r i f the r T s s o M g n i t s u b pollution o l e v e d e h t d n a , e g leaka


f o t u o e m o c s g n i eat th t s r i f ’s d n a l g n E g ludin g n i l k c a t f o s y a w ree, new ” s l l i k s a x e l A f o opment the annual billing in February. It was a great decision, backed by the board. We have the capabilities now, so it is all about knitting them together to create fantastic customer experiences. Personalisation is also important – you can talk to the person you spoke to yesterday. We will be continuing to invest in the customer experience.” Taking a design-thinking approach, Northumberland Water also works hard at driving innovation through its series of design sprints and design hacks. Design sprints, covering everything from ways to redesign the billing experience, improve the diversity of the recruitment process and reduce pollution in the environment, take place at a pace of one per month, with off-site visits.

Nigel explains, “We aim for a diverse crowd, so we recruit different people and have no more than half the room from our company. We inject lightning talks of about 20 minutes by experts on certain topics to encourage participants to think in a different way. On the subject of optimising our mobile workforce, we brought in the fire brigade to talk about how they schedule their team. It is great to have three or four different perspectives on one separate issue.” As part of Northumberland Water’s focus on innovation, it launched its Innovation Festival last year in a bid to showcase its design thinking. A truly unique event in the context of a summer festival, this year’s event will take 12 societal and environmental


“We also like to involve other water companies, sharing what we have done in the last year, and inviting them to do the same� 28

problems, applying design-thinking techniques to try to solve them over five action-packed days, from 9th to 13th July. Nigel said, “We are thrilled to be hosting this event for the second year in the beautiful natural surroundings of Newcastle Racecourse. Last year, we did six sprints, each in a separate tent in the marquee village. We had around 60 data scientists in a data hack on reducing leakage, armed with 10 years of our data, and we took through two or three of their ideas as projects.

We also like to involve other water companies, sharing what we have done in the last year, and inviting them to do the same. We’ve already seen great things come out of the first festival, including England’s first pollutionbusting Moss Tree, new ways of tackling leakage, and the development of Alexa skills. It’s exciting to anticipate what will come from this year’s festival.” For further information on this year’s Innovation Festival, visit the website



The latest Oculus platfo host of new features an spanning Oculu


orm updates include a nd exciting technologies us Go and Rift.


Experimental 5K Video


imp that clari



oday, video decoders are constrained by a number of limitations including display resolution, FOV and compression. In an effort to bring full 360°, 60 fps stereo to immersive video, Oculus CTO, John Carmack, has plemented a new technique for video encoding t can unlock a greater level of quality and visual ity from existing high-quality 360° captures.



Take charge of a federation starship in a tactical co-op adventure in the Star Trek™: Bridge Crew. Choose from four distinct roles – Captain, Helm, Tactical and Engineer – to overcome challenges and complete the Federation’s mission.



Rift Core 2.0 Beta


he latest Rift software release version 1.27 was rolled out last month, bringing with it some exciting new ways to customise your Home. Embedded Dash Panels in Oculus Home As some sleuthy redditors figured out, Oculus recently added the ability to embed Dash panels in the Retro Monitor item available in Home. Based on the positive response, it is also introducing some more items with screens – you’ll be able to see a new

‘Special Items’ category in the Home inventory with computer monitors, TVs and arcade cabinets. Anything you could previously watch with Oculus Desktop, you can now watch in Home. Try playing non-VR games or streaming videos right from the comfort of Home. And keep an eye out for some special rare items with screens, like retro TVs and Vortex arcade cabinets, which you can unlock in reward packs.


Importing Assets to Home Plus Medium Integration


culus has also added support for importing usergenerated content to help decorate your Home. You can drop .glb files (the binary version of the glTF 2.0


file format) into the Oculus Home imports folder in your Documents directory, and then place them in your Home directly. Read the full UGC guide here. What’s more, an upcoming Oculus Medium update will support exporting models directly into your Home inventory. For further information on Oculus,



Lumus is partner company Tobii to smartglasses eye


ring with Swedish o launch its new tracking solution.


Having developed ground-breaking technology for seethrough wearable displays via its patented Light-guide Optical Element (LOE) platform, Lumus is at the forefront of the digital/physical world fusion.


in Stockholm, it was announced that Lumus will integrate the eye tracking technology of Swedenbased Tobii into the Lumus DK50 AR development kit.

At the latest Augmented World Expo, the biggest conference of its kind for people involved in augmented reality, virtual reality and wearable technology, held

Whilst Lumus produces optical engines for augmented reality headset makers, with DAQRI and Atheer among its clients, the company also has a stable of development kits that act as reference designs for original

nabling businesses and individuals to maximise the potential of augmented reality, Lumus’ smart eyewear combines natural-looking form factor, wide field of view, and true see-through optical engines.


“We are extremely proud and excited to introduce the first and only optical display technology that enables smart eyeglasses to deliver a truly believable AR experience� Ben Weinberger, Lumus CEO 43

equipment manufacturers looking to jumpstart their own AR smartglasses products. The DK50 is amongst the most advanced augmented reality optics available to date. It includes the patented LOE, together with


OE50, a reflective waveguide display less than 2mm thick that is capable of 1280 by 720 display resolution at 60fps and a 40-degree field of view. Running on Android Marshmallow 6.0, the device packs a Snapdragon 820 and a pair of synced 4-megapixel cameras,



“This collaboration provides additional evidence for the strong demand we are experiencing to integrate eye tracking technology into both AR and VR devices”

Oscar Werner, the business unit president at Tobii

providing a strikingly immersive and unparalleled AR experience. The virtual image of a transparent, fullcolour projection over the wearer’s surroundings seamlessly blends digital content into the physical world.

Lumus CEO, Ben Weinberger, said, “We are extremely proud and excited to introduce the first and only optical display technology that enables smart eyeglasses to deliver a truly believable AR experience. Lumus technology 45

How does it work?

Micro-display Pod Image is projected into the Lightguide Optical Element (LOE) 46

makes it completely achievable right now to generate a largescale, high-resolution, bright virtual image, with a lightweight wearable eyeglass display. The DK50 represents a significant achievement that combines the finest optical display in the market with the latest industry-leading marker-less AR tracking.� The glasses are equipped with twin stereo cameras and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which allows application developers

Real-time mapping of the environment and complete freedom of movement in all directions Widest fully transparent field of view available (40 degrees) Binocular and high resolution (720p)

Lightguide Optical Element (LOE) Image is expanded & reflected to eye

Onboard Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running the Android mobile operating system SDK and Android application that turns any mobile phone into a remote control, allowing mouse-like interface, smart glasses application launcher, access to settings, and much more


access to real-time mapping and tracking, for the creation of AR applications limited only by the developer’s imagination.

for its eye tracking technology. Since then, Apple acquired SMI, which prompted Lumus to seek out another provider. Innovative methods for user input will be as Eli Glikman, chief product officer integrated to AR headsets and at Lumus, said, “At Lumus, our smartglasses as the mouse was mission is to deliver the world’s for the PC, and the touchscreen best transparent displays for smart was for smartphones. Eye tracking eyewear and head-mounted is one method that hardware displays that transform the way makers will increasingly look people interact with reality. In to integrate alongside hand partnering with Tobii, we can offer tracking in the near future, as more device manufacturers an extremely advanced technologies like brain compelling AR display combination.” control interfaces mature in the background. When Lumus first unveiled the DK50, the company attached Oscar Werner, the business unit SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) president at Tobii, added, “This


collaboration provides additional evidence for the strong demand we are experiencing to integrate eye tracking technology into both AR and VR devices. For the last two years, we have been focusing on partnerships and projects to integrate eye tracking into VR headsets to bring about better VR devices and better user experiences. In parallel, we see a growing interest in AR, where the benefits of eye tracking are even stronger.”

The AR developed by Lumus is already being used by leading consumer electronics and smart eyewear manufacturers. It will be interesting to see how industries such as the military, aviation and logistics can utilise the company’s new eye tracking solutions in their own pioneering AR applications. For further information on Lumus, visit

“It will be interesting to see how industries such as the military, aviation and logistics can utilise the company’s new eye tracking solutions in their own pioneering AR applications”



Congratulations! We’re celebrating the winners of this year’s CIONET Awards.




European Digital Leader of the Year 2018

European Digital Innovator of the Year 2018

European CIO of the Year 2018 (Public Sector)

Ana Cristina Neves

Stefan WĂźrtemberger

Jaime Sanz Garcia


European CIO of the European CIO of the Year 2018 (Regional Year 2018 (Global Responsibility) Responsibility)

Emiliano Sorrenti

Bouke Hoving


European Digital Leader of the Year 2018 Ana Cristina Amoroso das Neves Director of the Department for the Information Society, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)


na is the Director of the Department for the Information Society at the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, responsible for the coordination of Information Society Public Policies in Portugal. She is a specialist on European Union (EU) and International Relations regarding negotiations on public policies in Digital Economy and Science; Government liaison; Internet Governance and multistakeholderism; Policy strategist, namely between public and private sectors. She is currently the PT delegate to the EU High Level Group on Internet Governance, EU Future Internet Forum, the OECD WPMADE, ITU Council Working Groups on WSIS & international Internetrelated public policy issues and to the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) at the ICANN


(Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). She served as member to the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the IGF (Internet Governance Forum) from May 2012 to April 2016, and is also the PT Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). During the PT Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2007, she chaired the Research Working Party (WP), Joint Atomics QuestionsResearch WP, WP on The European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Education Committee (Higher Education) and Telecom/ Information Society WP (INFSO part).

European Digital Innovator of the Year 2018 Stefan WĂźrtemberger Chief Digital Officer, RENZ Service GmbH


tefan has been the Chief Digital Officer at RENZ Service GmbH since April 2018. Before that, he was Head of IT at Erwin Renz Metallwarenfabrik GmbH & Co. for five years. He has a wealth of experience in IT, having headed up the IT department at C+M

Utescheny SpritzgieĂ&#x;technik GmbH before his move to Erwin Renz Metallwarenfabrik GmbH. Stefan attended AKAD University in Stuttgart, gaining a diploma in Business & IT. His expertise lies in the fields of VMWare, Outsourcing and Managed Services.


European CIO of the Year 2018 (Global Responsibility)

Bouke Hoving


Executive VP Networks & IT, KPN

ouke is the Executive Vice President Networks & IT at KPN, the leading telecommunications and ICT service provider in the Netherlands. He is responsible for delivering and operating KPN’s networks, platforms and IT systems. Bouke has won the award of CIO of the Year for his courageous approach to KPN’s digital transformation. Bouke is a strong believer that ICT technology is increasingly making the difference in transforming a company’s customer experience, operating and business model. Prior to his current position, he was KPN’s Chief Information Officer and responsible for KPN’s business transformation programme called Simplification – aimed at a radical simplification of products, processes, IT and


way of working. Under his leadership, the programme made an instrumental contribution to the step change in customer satisfaction and digital customer interaction and delivered savings of more than 500 euros since early 2014. Bouke is a popular national and international key-note speaker on digital transformation and has consulted many companies in and outside the industry on digital transformation through reference visits, strategy sessions and ongoing coaching of international telco colleagues. Previously, Bouke undertook a number of national and international product management, business development and procurement functions with KPN and KPNQwest. He holds a Double Honours degree in Applied Physics and Business Economics from the University of Groningen.


European CIO of the Year 2018 (Public Sector) Jaime Sanz Chief Information Officer, Correos


aime started working with computers in 1983 when his father gave him a ZX81. He first started work in the automation division of ABB Industrial systems as a hardware and software engineer. He worked programming ABB controllers and UNIX systems and became project manager very quickly. In 2000, he joined Hewlett Packard Consulting as project manager to create the mainframe migration office and to manage the open systems consulting practice. He worked for several innovative projects using robots to transform source code from mainframe COBOL-CICS-BD2 platforms into Unix COBOL-TUXEDO-ORACLE platforms. In 2005, he decided to move as CIO of Pelayo group, a Spanish insurance company which was beginning a huge transformation project. Responsible for IT, he managed


a team of more than 70 people who modernised Pelayo’s platforms, created the new contact centre infrastructure (VoIP based), and created new core applications such as home insurance claim management. In 2012, he joined Correos group as Global CIO, leading a team of more than 250 internal people with more than 500 people in outsourcing contracts. As Correos CIO, Jaime is a member of the steering committee of Correos, member of the board of directors of Nexea (a Correos company), and Chairman of the board of directors of Correos Telecom (a Correos company).

European Digital Innovator of the Year 2018 Emiliano Sorrenti Chief Information Officer, Aeroporti di Roma


miliano was born in Rome in 1971 and has been passionate about technology since the early 80s. In that period, he got his first PC, a Commodore VIC20, without any sort of tape or disc memory, so he was forced to re-code from scratch every day. He is a Computer Engineer, starting his career working at Accenture in 1996, and staying there until 2008. In this period, he had the chance to actively live the Internet and Telcom Boom period, working on several start-ups and large

transformation programmes across Europe. Later, he joined Vodafone Italy, at first as Head of Online Technology. Within Vodafone, he held different roles with growing responsibilities. His last role in the Group was CIO of Vodafone Romania, where he led a complex BSS Transformation programme. He is currently Chief Information Officer at Aeroporti di Roma, where he’s involved in the Digital Journey of the Group, aiming to deliver superior quality services to passengers, airlines and stakeholder. 59





The first human corneas have been 3D-printed by scientists at Newcastle University, building hope for people with visual impairments.




sing a simple 3D bio-printer, scientists were able to combine healthy corneal stem cells with collagen and alginate (a type of sugar used in tissue regeneration) to create bio-ink, a printable solution that enabled them to reproduce the shape of the human cornea in just 10 minutes. The stem cells were then shown to culture – or grow.


As the outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea plays a significant role in focusing vision and protecting our eyes from dirt and bacteria. Due to its location, it is highly susceptible to injury, with approximately 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness. In addition, 5 million people suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease.

Dr Steve Swioklo, co-author with Prof Che Connon (right)

Yet there is a shortage of corneas available to transplant. Che Connon, Professor of Tissue Engineering at Newcastle University, who led the work, said, “Many teams across the world have been chasing the ideal bioink to make this process feasible. Our unique gel keeps the stem cells alive whilst producing a material which is stiff enough to

hold its shape, but soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer. This builds upon our previous work in which we kept cells alive for weeks at room temperature within a similar hydrogel. Now we have a readyto-use bio-ink containing stem cells, allowing users to start printing tissues without having to worry about growing the cells separately.�






“OUR 3D-PRINTED CORNE TO UNDERGO FURTHER TE BE SEVERAL YEARS BEFOR THE POSITION WHERE WE FOR TRANSPLANTS” Professor Connon The scientists, including first author and PhD student Abigail Isaacson from the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University, also demonstrated that they could build a cornea to match a patient’s unique specifications. Before printing the corneal replicas, the researchers scanned patients’ eyes to ascertain the necessary dimensions and coordinates to match their shape and size. Whilst it is likely that patients will have to wait before these 3D-printed corneas are available in an official capacity, they still represent


incredible hope for those with more severe corneal-related impairments. Professor Connon added, “Our 3D-printed corneas will now have to undergo further testing and it will be several years before we could be in the position where we are using them for transplants. However, what we have shown is that it is feasible to print corneas using coordinates taken from a patient’s eye, and that this approach has potential to combat the worldwide shortage.”



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