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FEBRUARY 2019

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SPEARHEADING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR TELECOMS Duncan Macdonald discusses how technologies like AI are fueling digital disruption in the telco space

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WELCOME

H

ello and welcome to the February edition of Gigabit.

Our cover star this month is Liberty Global, the telecom giant behind brands such as Virgin Media, Telenet and UPC. As the industry undergoes mammoth changes, Duncan Macdonald, Vice President of Consumer Solutions and Digital Transformation at Liberty Global, discusses how technologies like AI are fueling digital disruption in the telecom space. “I know people say it’s overhyped but I think in the next two or three years AI will be absolutely key to personalisation,” says Macdonald. Elsewhere in the magazine, leading executives from Dell EMC and McLaren Group discuss how there are four strands to any successful digital transformation – IT transformation, digital transformation, security transformation and workforce transformation. “We’re now in a generation where customer-facing

technology and the customer experience is vital,” says Dell EMC’s Claire Vyvyan. “Whether it’s cloud-native applications or mobile applications – that’s where the true differentiation lies.” On top of this, we also sit down with Fujitsu’s Yves de Beauregard to discuss how digital transformation isn’t just about technological flair, it’s about delivering business results. For our top 10 ranking this month, we discover the world’s richest technology billionaires and investigate how they made their fortunes. Don’t forget to also read our exclusive digital reports on INEA, Nationwide, Aligned Energy and more. We hope you enjoy this month’s bumper issue and, as ever, you can find us across social media @GigabitMag Enjoy the issue! Laura Mullan. Laura.mullan@bizclikmedia.com

w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

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CONTENTS

10

66 A BIG DATA TRAILBLAZER Q&A WITH SNAPLOGIC

80 STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE THROUGH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

40

90

104 EVENTS

DELL The ideal custodian for your digital transformation journey

54 Fujitsu: How to become a digital transformation guru and achieve real business results

TOP 10 RICHEST TECHNOLOGY BILLIONAIRES

108 SAP


126

198

144

216

158

232

180

250

AMAN

INEA

La Vie en Rose

City of Mississauga

Creation Technologies

Aligned Energy

LSC Communications

Nationwide


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268

City of Hallandale Beach

282

American Public University System

356 OSM

294

400

308

426

University of Akron

BUPA

Generali

322

AXA Singapore

University of technology Sydney

338 Marsh

450

Liberty Group

378

Airservices Australia


10

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

11

WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

JA MES PEPPER

w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LIBERT Y GLOBAL

Across a large, dynamic portfolio, Liberty Global is using key technologies like AI in its digital transformation journey as the telco industry undergoes rapid change –- we caught up with Duncan Macdonald to find out more 12

W

ith a strong portfolio of brands across 10 countries, Liberty Global is the group behind the likes of

Virgin Media, Telenet and UPC. As such, the telecommunications giant brings customers across Europe closer together through broadband, television, mobile and most importantly, their favourite content. Liberty Global boasts fibre-based networks connecting 21mn customers, as well as 6.4mn mobile subscribers and 12mn WiFi access points. With content investments from ITV to Lionsgate, it’s unlikely that your favourite brand of entertainment hasn’t been touched by Liberty Global in some way, and the modern telco giant continues to invest in technology across a changing industry landscape with increasing consumer demands. FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

13

Behind the significant transformation involved in developing digital across Liberty’s unique, constantly shifting profile is Duncan Macdonald, Vice President of Consumer Solutions and Digital Transformation. For the past four months, Macdonald has enjoyed a dual role at the company. “My core role is running Consumer IT for Liberty Global across 10 countries – that covers online, digital, back end… Everything that impacts the consumer w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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LIBERT Y GLOBAL

“The partners I work with now are very open, mature and energetic – they want to go on a journey”

16

— Duncan Macdonald, VP Consumer Solutions and Digital Transformation at Liberty Global

within IT.” More recently, Macdonald has been given the role of CIO for UPC Switzerland, a key company under the Liberty umbrella, where he will partner on the company’s digital transformation – “a three-year journey in which we hope to transform the customer experience”, he enthuses.

A SHIFTING INDUSTRY Macdonald firmly believes digital transformation is “absolutely vital” to Liberty Global and to the telcos it represents as they strive to deliver a range of digital services that are all-encompassing. “The telecom industry as a whole

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Duncan Macdonald Duncan Macdonald is currently Vice President of Consumer Solutions and Digital Transformation at Liberty Global, as well as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of UPC Switzerland, a key brand under the Liberty Global umbrella. Prior to working with Liberty Global, he was a Senior Manager at Accenture. Currently, he is responsible for the creation and implementation of a five-year digital transformation strategy to evolve Liberty Global from a telecoms provider to a digital service provider.

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘VP CONSUMER SOLUTIONS AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AT LIBERTY GLOBAL ON PARTNER RELATIONSHIP’ 17 continues to transform,” he says.

changed the way we consume content

““Liberty is currently updating its TV,

and shifted customer expectation,

broadband and mobile products which

creating fierce competition for the

are driving a high customer NPS (net

traditional telco. “Everyone is on a similar

promoter score) and are being very

journey at the moment – and a key

well received by customers. Now that

aspect is digital,” says Macdonald

our products are driving excellent

Macdonald’s closest affiliate, UPC

customer experience around access-

Switzerland, is currently undergoing

ing and using our products, we want

a three-year digital transformation jour-

to drive the same high quality and

ney. “We’re going to change the way

personalized customer experience

the business is structured, putting in

across all channels and communica-

brand new capabilities to drive a more

tions that interact with our customers.”

personalised experience,” he explains.

Indeed, on-demand offerings from the

Along with safety and security, on-

likes of Netflix and Amazon have

demand and personalisation are the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


INFOSYS & LIBERTY GLOBAL

Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company, leverages technology to make communication products and services more fluid, flexible, and fast. Liberty Global has become the world’s largest international cable provider, operating across Europe including 10 countries including a key market operating under the UPC brand in Switzerland. Anand Swaminathan, global leader of Communications, Media and Technology, Infosys spoke with Duncan Macdonald, CIO, UPC Switzerland to explore his current experiences and thinking around the next steps for digital transformation in UPC Switzerland.


An innovation partner for the digital world How would you describe the UPC Switzerland and Infosys digital partnership? Duncan: Liberty Global and Infosys have been collaborating for over six years now and have really started to increase our collaboration in Switzerland in the last year. We are engaged in an exciting new piece of work around digitizing Switzerland and for this, Infosys has developed an Adobe-based online experience layer and are now working on a customer care layer to drive continuous improvement in the customer experience. It’s great to be working in partnership with Infosys (and Brilliant Basics, a global design and innovation studio of Infosys), alongside our IT and business teams to transform the way we imagine our customers’ journeys. How has this digital transformation helped UPC Switzerland customers? Duncan: From a business perspective, our partnership is improving customer engagement through personalised Omni

Channel customer-centric journeys. This will drive the customer experience, reduce unnecessary contact and increase in first call resolution, increase in online sales, increased average revenue per user (ARPU), and faster time-to-market for pricing or proposition offers – which we can see directly through revenue or through KPIs such as improved Net Promoter Score™ (NPS). What’s the future on customer and digital journey going forward? Duncan: UPC Switzerland is always looking to engage more deeply with customers – personalization with appropriate Big Data and Analytics is going to be a real focus. So, together with Infosys, we are harnessing the latest technologies and solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as part of the data analytics. We see Infosys as a reliable partner guiding us in our digital journey, while also adapting to the needs of business, in our journey towards a true digital ecosystem.


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘DUNCAN MACDONALD FROM LIBERTY GLOBAL TALKS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION ACROSS PORTFOLIOS’

order of the day when catering to the

Telcos are at the centre of this trans-

needs of the 21st century customer,

itional period in industry. “There’s a need

and Macdonald argues this isn’t just

to move quickly when getting new

an issue for telcos. “The lines between

services to market,” Macdonald warns.

industries are becoming blurred,” he

“Digital is the only answer to this – but

explains, outlining that transformation

we need to be very careful on how we

must be viewed in layers across the

use data too. Security and privacy are

business and wider industry, as opposed

our number one priority and we must

to transforming an isolated department

tread carefully.”

or sector. “When you speak to a lot of

On this issue, Liberty isn’t resting

companies they’re only digitising across

on its laurels. “We have relationships

certain layers – primarily online layers

of trust with our customers and strong

and apps, but they’re not properly

brands in the form of Virgin Media,

digitising the company.”

UPC and Telenet. So natural trust w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

21


LIBERT Y GLOBAL

“In the future, the whole point of digital is sharing. It’s an ecosystem. People want to talk to you through their user interfaces like Facebook or Google, so you have to integrate” — Duncan Macdonald, VP Consumer Solutions and Digital Transformation at Liberty Global 22 exists and relationships have been

architecture, where LG does not directly

there for a long period of time and it’s

provide the user interface but still fulfils

absolutely crucial that we continue in

the interaction, whichever user interface

this vein,” Macdonald explains. “In the

(UI) the customer wants to connect to

future, the success of digital will be

the company; e.g. Facebook or Siri.

seamlessly integrating our services

This will mean companies can reach

and channels into the way our custom-

end users through their choice of

ers live and work. It’s an ecosystem.

platform while maintaining quality, trust

People want to talk to you through their

and security as a constant. “We need

user interfaces like Facebook or Google,

to ensure we have very, very safe inter-

so you have to integrate with those

faces built into them, being very con-

third parties – and you have to be very

trolled and careful with what we share.”

careful how you do that; it must be

To achieve all of this, strict data govern-

secure. In the future, I think having your

ance, availability of realtime data, com-

own app or website will be less impor-

prehensive identity management and

tant,” he adds, explaining that a ‘headless’

secure APIs are an absolute necessity.

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

TRANSFORMING ACROSS A VAST PORTFOLIO

across all 10 affiliates – but now as we

How, then, does Liberty Global manage

how to implement those in the right

to make digital work across a plethora

way for each market. There was a lot

of brands and platforms, with each of

of research involved here, foremost

its markets all demanding different

around ‘what is digital?’ I believe ‘digital’

things? “There’s a healthy tension,”

is all about personalisation,” Macdon-

Macdonald laughs, “but there’s one

ald argues. “It depends on the individu-

thing nobody disagrees on: the impor-

al customer and may not be about tech-

tance of delivering a great customer

nology at all – a customer may still want

experience.”

a piece of paper. “If people are just

“We took a very brave step centralising all the technology strategy and delivery – ensuring an alignment around architectures successfully

become more mature we must consider

‘doing digital’ to save costs, they’re not ‘doing digital’ – they’re ‘doing’ cost efficiency. The correct order to do things is understand the data

w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

23


Proud to be part of Liberty Global’s digital transformation Amdocs is a leading software and services provider to communications and media companies of all sizes, accelerating the industry’s dynamic and continuous digital transformation.

With a rich set of innovative solutions, including recently acquired UXP Systems, and long-term business relationships with over 350 communications and media providers, Amdocs delivers business improvements to drive growth.

www.amdocs.com


EUROPE

25

defining the customer context; understand the needs of the customer segment; understand market conditions; and then really understand the journeys to give a customer what they want within the best possible experience. If people do want a personal touch, if they want to speak to someone, that is part of the digital journey.” As digital not only transforms the world around it, but also transforms itself, meaning companies within Liberty Group’s portfolio need to think with agility about what they’ll need to be w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LIBERT Y GLOBAL

26

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

“I know people say it’s overhyped but I think in the next two or three years AI will be absolutely key to personalisation” — Duncan Macdonald, VP Consumer Solutions and Digital Transformation at Liberty Global

w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

27


Let’s put customers first. Together. Netcracker partners with the world’s leading operators to ensure they have access to the tools, skills and resources they need to successfully transform into next-generation, digital service providers. Find out more at netcracker.com.


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘DUCAN MACDONALD, VP CONSUMER SOLUTIONS & DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, LIBERTY GLOBAL ON THE POWER OF AI’ 29 ready to embrace in the future. “It’s

transformations, it is important to note

important to make sure we don’t close

they cannot be led by technology

any avenues or create barriers to future

alone, but must be driven by the business

markets. So when we started creating

itself and how it can be transformed.

our enterprise solution, we did this in

Citing advice from Severina Pascu,

a way that was ultimately flexible. We

CEO of UPC Switzerland, Macdonald

didn’t force businesses to make deci-

explains the layout of a successful

sions or close doors, we just said ‘we’re

transformation: “It starts with defining

going to work with you on this journey’

what the company wants to become,

– so once a business figured out where

the culture it wants – you really have to

it wanted to go next, it could move at

focus on the culture, the vision, and the

speed to implement it.”

values you want to drive before you go

Although the journeys Virgin Media,

any further. Once you define all that,

UPC and other brands have embarked

you then move down to technology,

on are underpinned by technology

capability and organisation.” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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EUROPE

31

COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP

tried to get vendors for a fixed price to

To move along the Digital Transforma-

deliver a piece of work we specified,

tion journey at speed, collaboration

which was stressful. The future is

with software providers, platforms,

a partner that sits side-by-side with

vendors and partners will be key to the

you, owns the problem and is willing

success of any company – and Liberty

to flex on a daily basis.”

Global is certainly no exception.

Rather than trying to buy off the shelf

Macdonald is keenly aware of this and

or develop a one-size-fits all solution,

argues that the relationship must be

Liberty Global prefers to work with its

fluid and flexible. “Vendors have to go

partners toward a particular KPI, which

on a journey as well,” he explains. “It’s

Macdonald says “empowers people

key to find vendors that have to change

massively”. Owning a KPI and develop-

the way they work – in the past, we’ve

ing trust requires flexibility. “I want w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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partners that are here for the journey.

involved with Virgin Media to help develop

We’re not going to define our require-

real-time services as part of a three-

ments or deliveries, but we will figure it

year journey. “If you make a change, you

out as we go.”

want it to happen right now,” Macdonald

This is a challenge, but a fresh per-

explains. “Sigma has been core in deve-

spective builds healthier relationships

loping that. It’s taking traditional telco

and more successful, tailored solutions

provisioning and changing it into a real-

which benefit the end user, the company

time digital platform.” Currently, Liberty

and the vendor too. “I don’t believe

is looking at how it can work alongside

anyone in the industry is happy with the

Sigma to develop other platforms to try

way things work. The partners I work

to answer the questions. “How do you

with now are very open, mature and ener-

support any digital service you want in

getic – they want to go on a journey.”

the future?”

One such partner is software company Sigma, which has been particularly FEBRUARY 2019

Another key partnership was built out of a relationship with digital identity


EUROPE

“Liberty has an interesting combination of being a massive global company but also a place where you can get things done. There’s energy, ability and drive” — Duncan Macdonald, VP Consumer Solutions and Digital Transformation at Liberty Global

33

company UXP systems, which earlier

goes hand in hand with a rapidly chan-

this year was bought out by Amdocs.

ging portfolio across an M&A landscape.

Now, Amdocs is a key partner in fulfilling identity management needs in line with

AI AND THE USER EXPERIENCE

Liberty’s philosophy of working on

Will one technology in particular be

entire layers rather than silos. Heavily

vital to that stage? “I’m getting abso-

involved in the Telenet digital transfor-

lutely obsessed with artificial intelli-

mation has been BSS (business support

gence (AI) at the moment,” says Mac-

systems) provider Netcracker, with the

donald. “But it all comes down to what

Netcracker 12 platform being instru-

you define as AI – I don’t think there’s

mental in replacing legacy stacks and

any one platform for all the tasks you

adding digital layers – something which

need. The understanding layer is at the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LIBERT Y GLOBAL

top – do I understand speech and free text? – that’s one value, and the other is self-learning. In the future there will be convergence, but you’ve got to find the right AI for the right circumstance. It’s key that we don’t get tied into the wrong AI.” This is where the layers Macdonald talks about come in to build a digital enterprise. “You have to be able to put in and remove building blocks of digital capability as they develop, and you achieve this by being disciplined in the way you store data 34

and knowledge. I think AI is going to be massive,” he adds. “I know people say it’s over-hyped but I think in the next two or three years it will be absolutely key to detailed personalisation.” In this area, a particularly productive relationship has been with Afiniti, which worked alongside Liberty to improve

the ability to run the data science on

Virgin Media’s contact centres. Afiniti

that is a key need in every market.

utilises AI to allow a customer to be

“Shouldn’t everything be a conver-

assigned with the correct profile of

sation? You can solve anything through

agent so the optimum conversation

a conversation,” says Macdonald. “If

can take place for both consumer and

I have a question or a need, I just want

business. Afiniti has an interesting

to ask someone for the answer and

offering beyond just care calls: they

the whole journey can be led through

have a powerful data science capability.

a conversation. It’s much easier for

In a digital world, data is everything but

everyone.” In this way, Macdonald is

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

2005

Year founded

10,000+

Approximate number of employees

35

convinced AI will be instrumental in

Accenture is another company

the digital transformation of the

Macdonald has a history with, as the

customer experience away from ‘click

global consultancy is one of the main

and search’. Another partner, Live

system integrator he works with.

Person, is being used here primarily

“They’ve done a lot of work across

in customer care – but Macdonald is

Europe, partnering with early digital

keen to explore other avenues with

work and helping us figure out our archi-

the AI element. “If we get the right AI

tecture and our layers.” Another globally

behind that channel, it’s going to be

recognised name in the software space

very powerful.”

is Infosys, which has been involved in w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LIBERT Y GLOBAL

36

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

the development of Telenet’s online space and app development.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE “I think all big companies that have been around for 20+ years are going to have the same journey with the same challenges,” Macdonald continues. “People are going to have to be really brave in every industry. There will be a delicate balance of maintaining the quality roadmap on existing products and services while digitally transforming at speed to improve customer service.” This change, even in the way industries are viewed as a more homogenous layer of digital transformation, will mean people have to adapt. “The skill sets we have valued won’t go away, but people will have to change their way of working,” Macdonald adds. “Digital is a massive industry right now, and Liberty has an interesting combination of having the reach of a global company but also a place where you can get things done. There’s energy, ability and drive. You’ve just got to do your thinking: where is the market going? How do we support our customers on this journey? There’s a lot of good energy. Good stress. And that drives creativity and innovation!”

w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

37


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LEADERSHIP

40

The ideal custodian fo digital transformation Digital transformation may be new terrain for many but, with a breadth of experience and technologies, Dell Technologies is making the journey simple WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN

FEBRUARY 2019


41

or your n journey

w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LEADERSHIP

W

ith over 1,200 business leaders in attendance,

the 2018 Dell Tech Forum was truly a testament to the power of technology. As people bustled from exhibition rooms to keynote talks, glimpses of their lanyards showed how business leaders from all sectors gathered in London with one item on the agenda: digital transformation. It’s a phrase that’s often talked about in a nebulous or convoluted way but Dell Technologies believes it doesn’t have to be. Aongus

42

Hegarty, President for Dell EMC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, says that, more than anything, it’s about business enablement. “From the largest to the smallest companies that we’re working with, they’re saying ‘I’d like to work with a partner who can implement technology and solutions but with a focus on my business,” he says. “It’s about recognising their business objectives and designing an IT strategy around those needs. Because Dell Technologies is a global company, we not only have the breadth of technology from a solution point of view, but we've also the experience.” Dell Technologies is well-versed in FEBRUARY 2019


“Data’s the fuel and software’s the magic but neither of these can run without hardware” — Claire Vyvyan, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland Commercial Business, Dell EMC

digital transformation. In fact, its own success is proof of its ability to reinvent itself time and time again. In its founding years, Dell Technologies was better known for its PC and end-user devices. Since then it has entered new markets, acquired innovative market capabilities, and created what it calls a ‘family’ of digitisation solutions. When Dell and EMC joined forces in 2016, it represented the largest technology merger in history. Now the firm has united with several more technology leaders — Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream and VMware — to power digital transformation and achieve business results. There are four strands to any digital transformation, according to Dell – IT transformation, digital transformation, security transformation and workforce transformation – each as important as the last. To start though, Hegarty says that any digitally savvy company needs to forge the right foundation or IT structure, whether that’s through data centres, edge or cloud computing. “I would say the first step for any company is IT modernisation and transforming the infrastructure,” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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LEADERSHIP

he explains. “If you don’t do that and you try to add more applications or further business, you won’t be able to build it on a scalable foundation.” Claire Vyvyan, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland Commercial Business at Dell EMC, is in agreement. Whilst infrastructure isn’t one of the most exciting aspects of any digital transformation, its critical if you want to keep the cogs whirring. “Data’s the fuel and software’s the magic but neither of these can run without hardware,” says Vyvyan. “The hardware has to be super 44

reliable, super secure and very easy to manage. “We call it essential infrastructure,” she laughs. “It may be the plumbing of the industry, but boy when the plumbing breaks is it annoying.” Many companies have already made these first tentative steps on their digital transformation journeys, implementing basic ERP systems, HR systems, and finance systems and more. Whilst modern infrastructure is the foundation of any digital transformation, the next step is what really gives businesses a competitive edge. With creative software development and the creation of apps, in particular, Vyvyan says the FEBRUARY 2019


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LEADERSHIP

opportunities are endless. “We're now

force transformation as a vital consid-

in a generation where customer-facing

eration for any digital disruption. This

technology and the customer experi-

isn’t just something that Dell Technolo-

ence is vital,” she says. “Whether its

gies is helping its clients with, it’s also

cloud-native applications or mobile

embarked on this journey itself. In recent

applications – that's where the true

years, the tech giant has undergone

differentiation lies.”

a process which Vyvyan describes as

Yet, any CIO will tell you that digital

“reverse engineering”. By pairing more

transformation isn’t just about new

seasoned employees with new

gadgets and technologies, it’s also

graduates, Dell Technologies believes

about the people. Therefore, Dell

it creates the perfect blend of experi-

Technologies has singled out work-

ence and creative ingenuity.

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FEBRUARY 2019


“I think it’s been a huge learning curve

more flexibility and a better work-life

for us,” adds Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice

balance, Dell Technologies has also

President of Dell EMC’s Enterprise Sales

explored the use of communication

Division. “We paired legacy employees

tools which allow its employees to

with millennials and this helps to breaks

work remotely. “For us, low-tech tools

down the paradigms you develop over

like Skype and WhatsApp are the

decades of business. It makes the

lifeblood of business tools,” Turbitt adds.

business open to new ideas, it fosters

“They offer agility and mobility yet they

a new culture of innovation. We’ve done

are still incredibly robust and secure.”

some amazing things in the past year and

Thanks in part to collaboration tools,

it’s down to this speed of innovation.”

the way we work is changing. Companies

Recognising that employees want

no longer need to stringently adhere to a strict 9-5 working day and remote

“For us, workforce transformation isn’t just about implementing new tools, it’s also about the security needed to realise that” — Aongus Hegarty, President for Dell EMC in Europe, Middle East and Africa

working isn’t as cumbersome as it once was. But it also means that security has become a greater issue. “For us, workforce transformation isn't just about implementing new tools, it's also about the security needed to realise that,” notes Hegarty. “Not every employee will be coming to work at a desk with a system that you can keep secure within the building. They're going to be working from home, they're going to be working remotely, and you need that flexibility. But you need to know that they're secure in accessing remotely.” As such, Dell Technologies believes that a security transformation is the final piece of the puzzle. The Dell family has worked on creating products like w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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LEADERSHIP

AirWatch, a service that offers better security for devices, as well as Workspace ONE which allows IT administrators to centrally control end users’ devices and cloud-hosted desktops. With a notorious legacy in the technology space and a broad spectrum of companies under its wing, the Dell Technologies family is helping firms navigate through their digital transformation journeys. It’s also recently conducted its annual The Dell Tech48

nologies Index to give businesses the low-down on the latest digital transformation insights. Acting as a litmus test, the report analyses whether technology

“Speed for us is table stakes. For example, we’re developing a part of a Formula 1 car every 12 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for nine months of the year” — Aongus Hegarty, President for Dell EMC in Europe, Middle East and Africa

FEBRUARY 2019


professionals are ready for the next wave of digitisation. In the UK, for instance, the report pointed out that over a third of UK businesses expect to digitally disrupt their market. Meanwhile, a quarter of respondents noted that they will struggle to meet changing consumer demands within five years, with one in four (20%) admitting that they fear their organisation will be left behind. Keeping its ear to the ground, Dell Technologies has been able to offer sage advice to its clients, not least one of its more prominent businesses, McLaren Group. Whilst it may be better known for its Formula 1 escapades, McLaren Group has two other aggressively growing business ventures: it’s burgeoning road and supercar business as well as its applied technologies business. The British firm has been utilising data and digital technologies for decades — “It’s like oxygen for us” claims CMO John Allert — but by working shoulder to shoulder with Dell Technologies, Allert says the partnership isn’t just about implementing new technologies, it’s about a complete culture shift. Perhaps more than anything w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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LEADERSHIP

though, it’s about helping McLaren keep pace with the competition as it embarks on its own individual digital transformation journey. “Speed for us is table stakes,” Allert says candidly. “The rate of innovation you need to keep pace in Formula 1, for instance, is phenomenal. For example, we're developing a part of a Formula 1 car, every 12 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 9 months of the year.” “For us, the next revolution isn’t just about the software and the platforms 50

you're putting in, it’s what people are doing with them and I think that holds true for any industry,” he adds. “Dell Technologies is enabling us across all these areas.” Like it or not, digitisation is a path that almost every business will have to take but having tread that journey before, Dell Technologies seems well-equipped to offer a helping hand.

FEBRUARY 2019


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TECHNOLOGY

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Fujitsu: How to become a digital transformation guru and achieve real business results Although Fujitsu may be leading the pack with its latest foray into quantum computing, Yves de Beauregard, EMEIA Head of Digital Business Solutions, talks about how digital transformation isn’t just about technological flair, it’s about delivering business results WRITTEN BY

FEBRUARY 2019

LAURA MULLAN


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TECHNOLOGY

W

hen you have to juggle new

largest IT services provider as well as

tools like artificial intelligence

the top IT services provider in Japan –

(AI), data analytics, block-

and the firm shows no signs of slowing

chain or robotic process automation

down its winning streak. The technol-

(RPA), creating a custom-tailored

ogy heavyweight has already dipped

technology strategy is enough to

its toe into the realm of quantum com-

make anyone’s head spin. However,

puting, launching a quantum-inspired

one Japanese firm is working particu-

computing digital annealer cloud ser-

larly hard to decrypt this challenge

vice earlier this year. This has already

for its clients.

been adopted by leading manufac-

Fujitsu has truly earned its stripes in the tech sector – it’s the world’s 7th

56

FEBRUARY 2019

turers like Volkswagen, allowing it to answer complex problems which were


previously unsolvable with linear tech-

ness Solutions, this should be front

nology upgrades. In this instance, it

and centre when a firm is embarking

allowed the German automotive maker

on a digital transformation journey.

to reduce its sound emissions and

“The real question is: what added

improve driving comfort. Drawing upon

value can this technology bring with

quantum phenomena, this technol-

the addition of AI or analytics?” poses

ogy could stand as a stopgap between

Beauregard. “Over the past years,

today’s computing methods and the

we’ve seen that we have the physi-

practicalities of quantum computing.

cal world and the digital world. Only

More importantly, though, it’s enabling

companies which really embrace both

true business value. For Yves de Beau-

can be winners in the market.” By using

regard, EMEIA Head of Digital Busi-

emerging technologies, Fujitsu Digital

57

“We really encourage our customers to forget about the technology for once and to tell us what would be the one thing that would completely disrupt their market” — Yves de Beauregard, EMEIA Head of Digital Business Solutions

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TECHNOLOGY

Business Solutions not only aims to help their clients enter the digital world, but it also wants to help them achieve tangible business goals. “It’s about adding technology to create purpose solutions in the market,” reiterates Beauregard. “I wouldn’t say it’s a CIOs call alone because when it comes to the transformation you want the entire business to operate better than you currently do.” Digital transformation is 58

a mammoth task, and to cement its position in the market Fujitsu has developed four key goals to keep it laser focused. Staff leadership is important, Beauregard says: “we need to really understand the technology, what makes it compelling and how we can support next-generation technology.” Secondly, the firm needs to keep its ear to the ground and manage innovation ecosystems. “There’s a number of startups and innovation centres which we have very good cooperation with,” explains Beauregard. Another mission is described as the ‘additional application of knowledge’. In layman’s FEBRUARY 2019

“Over the past years, we’ve seen that we have the physical world and the digital world. Only companies which really embrace both can be winners in the market” — Yves de Beauregard, EMEIA Head of Digital Business Solutions


terms, this means that Fujitsu plans to circulate knowledge across its global EMEIA footprint, rather than having this information concentrated at its Centres of Excellence (CoE). Finally, comes perhaps the most exciting part: the development of the solutions. “There are some solutions that are driven by the market vertical,” says Beauregard, citing the company’s use of blockchain and RPA in the transport industry. This allowed its clients to deliver seamless payments to customers with little to no human interaction and it could also be applied to other sectors. “The way we look at it though, we want to build solutions that can act as building blocks and which can be applied in different markets,” adds Beauregard. As part of his day-to-day responsibilities, Beauregard oversees Fujitsu’s Centres of Excellence (CoE). Dotted across the region, these centres hope to act as beacons of knowledge, offering strong leadership, best practices, research and support on key trends like RPA, AI, data analytics and blockchain. Just as a teacher needs to know their subject inside and out, by deeply understanding these technological w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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TECHNOLOGY

trends, Fujitsu hopes to make it easier to relay digital solutions to its clients. Yet, Fujitsu doesn’t just help firms implement fundamental technologies, it can also help digitally-savvy firms become even more technologically mature. Take the automotive industry, for example. Many car manufacturers are not new to the world of robotics. Since the 1960s, many automotive firms have pioneered the use of industrial robots such as welding robots and cobots. This has helped improve quality, 60

relieve bottlenecks and protect workers from difficult and dangerous jobs. Now, Fujitsu believes it can take this one step further. “One of the critical tasks for car manufacturers today is that they need to find the optimal path for the robots’ rails so that they can move along the production line,” observes Beauregard. “One of the reasons why this is complex is that you may have hundreds of robots which you need to be able to move and work at the same time. The true question is: how do you make sure that they can operate at the same time, as fast as they can, without crashing and creating an incident?” This is FEBRUARY 2019


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TECHNOLOGY

crucial as “every second you can win is what gives you a competitive edge,” says Beauregard, highlighting that if you can produce 10 more cars in the same amount of time, you’ll get a better return on your assets. Traditionally, the best path for a robot was identified using statistical measures but by using quantum-inspired computing, Beauregard says you could “multiply the productivity of a robot by two or three digits”. “If you look at the entire plant, this could potentially save the manufacturer having to build or expand 62

a factory in order to produce more cars because you would be better optimising the space,” he says. Digital transformation is a phrase which has dominated the headlines, and for many CIOs, it can be difficult to know where to begin. For some, digital transformation is about putting customer interactions online, and for others it may be about re-inventing the business model. What advice would Beauregard give a firm looking to take their first step on this journey? “Striking the right balance between physical and digital is really a key step,” he answers. “If you have a strong physical presence but you don’t have a sufficient digital FEBRUARY 2019


“Every second you can win is what gives you a competitive edge” — Yves de Beauregard, EMEIA Head of Digital Business Solutions

footprint, it’s going to be tough and you’re going to have a hard time.” He also points out how firms should be inspired by competition. “The ones that are taking risks and bringing technology to the market first are the ones that will really make an impact on the market,” he notes. Finally, CIOs should focus less on new gadgets and technologies and more on the business case and processes behind them. “If you just look at technology, you’ll only embrace one part of the answer,” Beauregard says, “the smartest digital transformations bring a combination of solutions and ideas. “We really encourage our customers to forget about the technology for once and to tell us what would be the one thing that would completely disrupt their market,” he adds. “Going forward, it’s our job to make the building blocks of a real digital solution.” In the future, the top item on Fujitsu’s agenda is positioning itself as a key partner for its customers. As the industry shifts towards a new age of computing, Fujitsu’s quantum computing capability will undoubtedly give it an edge but perhaps, the firm’s most important asset is its business acumen, combined with its digital-savvy approach. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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Q&A

66

A BIG DATA TRAILBLAZER Q&A WITH SNAPLOGIC With customers such as Adobe,Verizon and Wendy’s, SnapLogic has established itself as a firm contender in Big Data. Craig Stewart,SVP of Product at SnapLogic, analyses what the future holds for the burgeoning market WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN

FEBRUARY 2019


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Q&A

Can you please tell me a bit about your role at SnapLogic? I’m SnapLogic’s SVP of Product and in this role, I oversee product management and product marketing. SnapLogic is a provider of self-service application and data integration software, and it’s my responsibility to make sure that the strategy, development priorities, and future roadmap that we’re employing for our platform aligns with the needs of the business and, most importantly, our customers. 68

Longer term, it’s my job to read the future of the digital ecosystem, and to think about how we can continue to innovate and build new capabilities into the SnapLogic platform which will ensure our customers stay ahead of the ever-changing IT landscape.

What sort of problems do businesses face when it comes to managing Big Data? The sheer volume of data and the myriad of complex data types, brings new levels of complexity. More data is generated now than ever before. As a result, a common barrier businesses face when moving big data to the cloud is the cost and complexity of moving FEBRUARY 2019

“A common barrier businesses face when moving Big Data to the cloud is the cost and complexity of moving such vast amounts of data” — Craig Stewart, SVP of Product at SnapLogic


such vast amounts of data. The ‘lift and shift’ approach is a temporary fix but just isn’t a cost-effective long-term solution; it underscores the limitations of legacy systems. Instead, data should be flowing directly to the cloud, where it is better placed to take full advantage of the all the benefits the cloud provides. Another problem is that a great deal of the data being generated is complex and of many types: structured, semistructured, unstructured. Yet many of the systems that manipulate big data are still row-and-column orientated. Therefore, you have this mismatch between data in the format that it was generated in versus the format it needs to be in so that the systems can actually process it, which results in a big challenge for businesses.

Is there still a place for handling Big Data on-premise? If so, why would you? As much as I’d like to say that the cloud currently has all the answers, I think it’d be dishonest of me to say that on-premise is completely redundant. For some highly regulated industries, on-premise infrastructure is still incredibly important to meet specific security w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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Q&A

“What many businesses forget to focus on when implementing new technologies, is leading from the top and getting buy-in from the workforce” — Craig Stewart, SVP of Product at SnapLogic

70

and compliance requirements. I do

money in building their on-premises

think this will change over time, as the

IT landscape. They’re not just going to

cloud continues to mature, but we’re

just throw that away and start anew,

not there yet. Today, the best option for

particularly if the short-term return on

most large enterprises remains a blend

investment (ROI) isn’t clear. There’s

of both on-premise and cloud platforms,

some element of ‘wait and see’ with the

with a plan to move more and more to

cloud, and also ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t

the cloud in the years ahead.

fix it’ about on-premise. Some of this also comes down to the organisational

Moving Big Data to the cloud isn’t particularly new, so why do you think businesses are only starting to do so now?

appetite for risk and change, which

For many organisations, they’ve in-

of actually moving big data to the cloud.

vested a ton of time, resources and

Connecting on-premises data lakes

FEBRUARY 2019

requires courage and can be hard. There’s also the technical challenge


71

to cloud-based big data environments

For a long time, security was used as

with diverse data sources, creating

a reason to distrust cloud comput-

Apache Spark pipelines to transform

ing. But in recent years cloud vendors,

that data, it’s typically a big project that

such as Amazon Web Services (AWS)

requires technical know-how from data

and Microsoft Azure, have taken sig-

engineers. So, it’s no surprise that busi-

nificant steps to provide a range of

nesses have been reluctant to embark

solid security capabilities within their

on this journey until the technology

platforms. When choosing which cloud

is proven and the benefits are better

platform to use it’s critical that busi-

spelt out.

nesses choose one which offers a range of capabilities ensuring that

In making this move to the cloud, how do businesses ensure that their data is secure and compliant?

any data that resides there is secure. Beyond having a secure cloud platform, organisations also need to ensure w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Q&A

that their data is secure during the migration process. At SnapLogic, the protection of data is, of course, essential to our service. The security behind our platform is a combination of policy, procedure, and technology spanning physical and virtual platforms, network and data, ensuring that the data being transferred through the platforms is always secure. This means that we don’t observe, store or directly interact with any sensitive data as customers move it through the platform. 72

As customers connect their data to our platform, our ‘Snaps’ leverage the endpoint security of whatever they’re connected to, such as an application, database, file, etc. If the endpoint supports data encryption, our Snaps can be configured to send and receive encrypted data.

How does SnapLogic improve the overall use of data in businesses through the company’s own artificial intelligence (AI) engine – Iris? Iris is an AI-powered recommendation engine which uses advanced algorithms to learn from metadata elements and data flows through our FEBRUARY 2019


73

Intelligent Integration Platform. In doing this, it provides step-by-step guidance for data technicians and is enabling our customers to improve the quality and speed of integrations across their data, applications, and business processes. This same technology that we use to build Iris is now available to customers to accelerate their own machine learning projects. When building Iris, we left that experience with one big takeaway: machine learning shouldn’t involve so much code-heavy, redundant work; in fact, it needs the kind of self-service w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Q&A

capabilities for which SnapLogic is well known. This is why we recently built SnapLogic Data Science. SnapLogic Data Science makes end-to-end machine learning accessible to enterprises of all sizes for the first time. It enables you to build, train, validate, and deploy high-performing models faster than ever before. Now, organisations can pursue machine learning initiatives with confidence, enabling them to derive real value from their data. 74

What is the best strategy when it comes to adopting cloud-based systems?

“Every second you can win is what gives you a competitive edge” — Craig Stewart, SVP of Product at SnapLogic

I think it’s difficult to identify a ‘best strategy’ for all, as the needs and goals of individual businesses are so unique

innovation. It’s not just about implement-

and idiosyncratic. What does hold true

ing the technology but applying a data-

across all businesses though, and what

driven thought process to look for new

many businesses forget to focus on

opportunities that the data will offer.

when implementing new technologies,

investing in new technology, cloud-

What are the advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using different cloud platforms for different applications (like a multi-cloud strategy)?

based or otherwise, developing a data

I think the clear advantage of multi-

culture is vital to make sure everyone is

cloud is avoiding vendor lock-in by

on-board and committed to continuous

having your data stuck in one provider’s

is leading from the top and getting buyin from the workforce. As businesses innovate and start

FEBRUARY 2019


risk of developing lots of cloud-based data siloes. With unified app and data platforms like ours, it’s possible to connect all these data siloes, enabling the data to move seamlessly and securely across the cloud ecosystem. In doing so, you’re able to remove the complexity that comes with individual data siloes, make the data accessible for use by the whole business, and ensure the organisation is working from a single version of truth.

What kind of trends are you seeing generally around data and the cloud? It’s well accepted that people are moving to the cloud, but it’s the things that people can do within that that are cloud infrastructure. Technology is still

moving very quickly. For example, the

moving very quickly, and having a multi-

underlying infrastructure for cloud

cloud strategy in place means you are

processing has matured at pace so

not only avoiding the lock in, it also

it’s now the added value piece on top

enables you to take advantage of new

of that infrastructure, like machine

opportunities from the technological

learning and data science capabilities.

strengths each cloud supplier brings.

Different vendors are offering these

However, the disadvantage if you’re

capabilities as a service which is

not prepared for it is around complex-

starting to prove popular. Businesses

ity. As different cloud platforms are

are no longer just seeing cloud as

used for different purposes by differ-

a cost-effective solution, it’s all about

ent departments, organisations run the

experimenting with how the cloud w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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Q&A

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘SNAPLOGIC DATA SCIENCE: DATA COLLECTION AND DATA PREPARATION DEMO’ 76

FEBRUARY 2019


can actually deliver new value to the business.

What do you see as the future developments in interaction between Big Data and the Cloud? I think the big thing for the future is new technologies that will enable businesses to get more value from their data. Machine learning, AI and data science are all technologies that enable this. These technologies are already here of course, but we’ve barely scratched the surface. Using AI and machine learning to automatically pull-in, classify and organise all of a company’s data sources within the cloud, which data scientists can then use immediately to inform new models and projects, is already here. This interaction between data, cloud and ML is already shifting how data science teams, data engineers, DevOps, and IT teams are working together to capitalise on new opportunities presented by data, which is very exciting.

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77


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D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

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STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE THROUGH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PGi CTO, Pat Harper, discusses the technologies he is incorporating into the collaborative communication firm’s digital transformation strategy

WRITTEN BY

FEBRUARY 2019

M ARCUS L AWRENCE


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D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

P

Gi is one of the world’s largest firms specialising exclusively in collaborative technologies.

Transforming over the years from a calling cards and audio conference services firm into

the collaboration giant that it is today, PGi has become a global brand collaboration leader with a presence in 25 countries, providing services to 330mn people across 45,000 different companies each year. Of these, PGi’s flagship product, Global Meet, hosts or manages 75mn meetings amounting to 3bn audio minutes on audio devices alone.

Amongst its wealth of clients, PGi’s platform can be found at 75 of the Fortune 100 companies. 82

Since its foundation in 1991, PGi has had to adapt to remain at the cutting edge of collaborative technology. With the increasing trust in, as well as reliance on, public cloud solutions, an immediacy and simplicity demanded by users, and the advent of disruptive technologies and concepts such as AI, 5G, advanced messaging and gamification, digital transformation offers both challenges and opportunities to each and every tech firm. Leading PGi’s charge through the Fourth Industrial Revolution is industry veteran Patrick Harper, Chief Technology Officer, who is responsible for the entirety of the firm’s technological strategies as well as overseeing product management and development, architecture design, quality control, infrastructure management, operations, security, and more besides. FEBRUARY 2019


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D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

This responsibility is encapsulated by PGi’s core product, GlobalMeet – itself originally a blend of the firm’s audio and web conferencing services, which has since become the parent software for all of PGi’s products. “The platform is extensible. It offers audio, video, data sharing, file management, calendaring functions, and it facilitates the concept of both structured and unstructured meetings,” says Harper. “We will extend that next 84

year into unified communications, adding enterprise voice, advanced messaging to mobile

“We intend to take advantage of advanced messaging within our product so that you can not only message people that are on the same platform, but you can message a mobile device that has absolutely no relation to a PGi software platform or account” — Pat Harper Chief Technology Officer (CTO), PGi

devices, presence awareness, and contact management.” Upgrading flagship software, however, is not where PGi’s innovative ethos ends.Cloud technology has, of course, become increasingly prevalent in recent years, with initial security concerns for the most part giving way to the promise of scalability, flexibility, virtualisation and agility that sweeps the rigidity of traditional data centre infrastructures into history. “We stood up, developed, and maintained a lot of our core legacy infrastructure prior to the prevalence of public cloud,” Harper says. “Public cloud is FEBRUARY 2019


one of those big disruptors that allows you to develop applications and update your business processes in a way that you did not have the capabilities of doing before.” For Harper, this move to the cloud represents one of the biggest changes in infrastructure he has encountered in his career. “Everything that we’ve developed in the past two years has been completely public cloud based,” he explains. Harper says PGi’s data load is currently split 60/40 between traditional stood-up infrastructure and public cloud respectively, with the entirety of its software-driven products and services having been fully migrated to the cloud. “Public cloud does a lot for us in terms of speed, rapidity, time-to-market, iteration of features and cost-effectiveness, as wel as global ubiquity in a way that had not been the case prior to when I joined the organisation,” he continues. PGi’s success with cloud adoption has been the result of Harper’s significant focus on establishing a methodology that enables the firm to leverage the benefits of public cloud technologies to the fullest. Where others may fall short in direct transfers from traditional infrastructures to the cloud, failing to remodel that infrastructure to become cloud-specific, PGi ensures its software is optimised for the new platform. w w w.g i ga bi tma g a zine.com

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D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

“You’ve got to be able to auto-scale, to virtualise, to iterate on it, and you have got to change your management methodologies to adapt to those kinds of capabilities,” says Harper. “You can’t stick to a waterfall development methodology and really get the gains you want. You’ve got go to an agile methodology, a scrum methodology, or even Kanban methodology that takes advantage of the ability for you to iterate and deploy very quickly, rather than doing three to six month releases which are more legacy in their approach.” Harper’s forward-thinking attitude to

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embracing emergent technologies does not end with the cloud, with his attention having been piqued by a range of concepts and solutions that stand to revolutionise collaborative communications. One concept that has captured his imagination is gamification and the influence its application could have on productivity. Gamification augments everyday work tasks with game-like features to trigger reward mechanisms in the brain, thereby increasing focus and productivity. “There are some companies that are dabbling it,” Harper says. “I’ve seen small applications here and here, FEBRUARY 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ALLOW GLOBALMEET TO REINTRODUCE ITSELF’ 87 particularly in places like call centres where you can take an analytic like customer satisfaction and award badges or trophies for strong performance.” Gamification in this instance would drive improved customer service through an innate desire on the employee’s part to strive for the digital recognition and sense of progress that such awards imply. Besides technologies that aim to get the most out of employees, work remains for optimisation and automation of the processes those employees

“Public cloud does a lot for us in terms of speed, rapidity, time-to-market, iteration of features and cost-effectiveness, as well as global ubiquity in a way that had not been the case prior to when I joined the organisation” — Pat Harper Chief Technology Officer (CTO), PGi

use. Of the wealth of transformative w w w.g i ga bi tma g a zine.com


D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

“Mobile is the future, we intend to take advantage of that” — Pat Harper Chief Technology Officer (CTO), PGi

solutions on the horizon, Harper earmarks advanced messaging, 88

5G and AI as cause for particular excitement at PGi. In a similar vein to the IM centralisation of iMessage for iOS users, advanced messaging promises to offer this unification of messaging across a far broader

absolutely no relation to a PGi software

spectrum, irrespective of carrier.

platform or account,” says Harper. This

“We have a lot of carrier partners, and

concept of streamlining messaging

we do a lot of business with organisa-

services into a ubiquitous chat platform

tions that develop into the carrier

draws on the increased demand from

community and embed themselves

consumers for immediacy and simplicity.

into this IMS ecosystem. We intend

This demand is also set to be catered

to take advantage of advanced

to by 5G and AI, which promise to not

messages within our product so that

only revolutionise the capabilities of

you can not only message people that

mobile technologies but also stand to

are on the same platform, but you can

accelerate the everyday workings of

message a mobile device that has

a range of applications. AI, Harper says,

FEBRUARY 2019


89

could enhance collaborative commu-

2016 with 38% of our participant

nication platforms with automatic

community accessing our services

transcription, intelligent filing and

from a mobile platform. When we exited

indexing of content within audio files,

2017, it was at 44%. By 2020, we expect

and a far more user-friendly means of

it to be 60%. Because of that trend, we

connecting to web and audio confer-

are designing our products, our interac-

ences that does not sacrifice security.

tion and our feature sets to be mobile

As an umbrella for the application of these new technologies, Harper says

first. Mobile is the future; we intend to take advantage of that.�

that collaborative communication technology is trending towards mobile at an ever-increasing rate. “We exited w w w.g i ga bi tma g a zine.com


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TOP 10

Richest technology billionaires It’s been a lucrative year for the world’s technology tycoons. According to Forbes’ list of The World’s Billionaires, there are now a record 206 technology billionaires – that’s an increase of around 12.6% since last year. Using this exhaustive ranking, we round up the world’s richest technology billionaires in 2018 and investigate how they made it big… Written By

LAURA MULLAN

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10 Michael Dell With a net worth of around US$22.7bn, Michael Dell has earned his spot as one of the richest technology billionaires in 2018. He has been the CEO of Dell Corporation since 1992 and is also the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, one of the world’s largest technology infrastructure companies. Dell Technologies was formed in 2016 after Dell merged with computer storage behemoth EMC, which is often cited as one of the industry’s largest technology acquisitions.

www.dell.com

FEBRUARY 2019


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09 Steve Ballmer Leading Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, Steve Ballmer has established himself as one of the world’s richest technology billionaires. The former CEO of Microsoft remains one of the largest individual shareholders of the company today. The same year he retired from Microsoft, Ballmer bought the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for $2bn.

www.microsoft.com

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08 Jack Ma At the helm of one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses, Forbes estimates that Jack Ma has a net worth of around $39bn. The Chinese business leader is the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group. In September 2018, Ma announced he would step down as executive chairman in a year’s time and that he would be succeeded by Daniel Zhang. Alibaba made history with its 2014 IPO – it set a record for the world’s biggest public stock offering, raising $25bn.

www.alibaba.com

FEBRUARY 2019


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07 Ma Huateng Chinese business magnate Ma Huateng (also known as Pony Ma) has also made the leaderboard as one of the top 10 richest technology billionaires, with a net worth of $45.3bn, according to Forbes. Huateng is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Tencent, one of Asia’s most valuable companies. Tencent operates WeChat, a popular social messaging app in Asia which has more than 1bn users, and according to a 2017 filing, Tencent has also acquired a 12% stake in Snapchat-parent firm Snap. www.tencent.com

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06 Sergey Brin Alongside Larry Page, Sergey Brin made his wealth by co-founding Google. Today, Forbes estimates that Brin has a net worth of around $47.5bn. Brin and Page met whilst studying for advanced degrees in computer science at Stanford University. Today, Brin is president of Alphabet Inc., the parent firm of Google, but before that he previously ran its research division, Google X.

www.google.com

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05 Larry Page American computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur, Larry Page, made his fortune after he co-founded search engine giant Google with Sergey Brin. Today, he sits at the helm of Alphabet – the parent company behind Google – Google’s healthcare subsidiary Calico, smart home appliance division Nest and more. Data from Forbes’ list of The World’s Billionaires suggests Page’s net worth is around $48.8bn, making him the fifth richest technology billionaire in the world.

www.google.com

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04 Larry Ellison Larry Ellison who has a net worth of around $58.5bn is best known for being the former CEO and co-founder of Oracle Corporation. He founded the firm in 1977 to cater for the growing need for customer relationship management databases. Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 but he still serves as chairman of the board and is the company’s chief technology officer. In 2012, Ellison bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

www.oracle.com

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03 Mark Zuckerberg At age 19, Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook alongside bis college roommate and fellow Harvard University student Eduardo Saverin. Zuckerberg first became a billionaire at age 23, making him one of the youngest self-made billionaires at the time. Fast forward to today and the Facebook boss has a net worth of around $71bn, making him the third richest technology billionaire in the world. Zuckerberg took Facebook public in 2012 and today he owns nearly 17% of its stock.

www.facebook.com

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02 Bill Gates Bill Gates is a mainstay in world’s rich lists, and in 2018, Forbes estimated that the Microsoft founder had a net worth of $90bn, making him the second richest technology billionaire in 2018. Today, Gates owns just 1% of the technology firm, having sold or given away much of his stake in the company. He focuses predominantly on its philanthropic work. With this wife Melinda, he chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation, which works to save lives and improve global health. www.microsoft.com

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01 Jeff Bezos With a whopping net worth of around $112bn, Jeff Bezos has not only earned his stripes as the world’s richest tech billionaire – he has also leapfrogged his rivals to stand as the richest person on Earth. The former hedge fund manager turned online bookseller first founded Amazon in his garage in Seattle in 1994. As CEO of e-commerce juggernaut Amazon, Bezos still owns around 16% of the firm. Bezos has also invested heavily in space technology, founding aerospace company Blue Origin, and he also owns the Washington Post newspaper. www.amazon.co.uk

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EVENTS & A S S O C I AT I O N S

The biggest industry events and conferences EDITED BY LAURA MULLAN from around the world

25–28 FEBRUARY 2019

MWC Barcelona [ BARCELONA, SPAIN ]

MWC Barcelona is the world’s largest 104

12–15 FEBRUARY 2019

Think 2019

exhibition for the mobile industry, incorporating a thought-leadership

[ SAN FRANCISCO, USA ]

conference that features prominent

Giving unbridled access to experts,

executives representing mobile opera-

customer, partners and IBM executives

tors, device manufacturers, technology

from around the globe, Think 2019 is

providers, vendors and content owners

a key event for any technology profes-

from across the world.

sional’s calendar. The event will be the

Mobile World Congress 2019 will once

second annual Think conference and it

again take place at its traditional Fira

aims to cover the breadth and depth of

Gran Via venue in Barcelona and next

technology and business topics includ-

year will be built around eight core

ing cloud, artificial intelligence, data

topics: Connectivity, AI, Industry 4.0,

analytics, infrastructure and much more.

Immersive Content, Disruptive Inno-

Click to visit website

vation, Digital Wellness, Digital Trust and The Future.

Click to visit website

FEBRUARY 2019


04-08 MARCH 2019

RSA Conference 2019 [ SAN FRANCISCO, USA ] RSA Conference is one of the biggest IT security conferences in the world, with 2019’s main event taking place in San Francisco. Attendees can expect to learn about the latest cybersecurity developments in expert-led sessions, inspiring

03-06 MARCH 2019

keynotes and in-depth seminars. They

Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2019

can also demo innovative products and

[ LONDON, UK ]

peers, and help move the industry

The Gartner Data & Analytics Summit

forward as part of an engaged and

2019 aims to share new strategies,

empowered global community. This

guidance and best practices to help

year’s theme is ‘Better’. According to

companies excel in today’s digital

the RSA Conference, this means ‘work-

economy. Gartner says that it aims

ing hard to find better solutions. Making

to help attendees “realise their future

better connections with peers from

– a future based on data you can trust,

around the world. And keeping the digital

agile analytics you can rely on, and the

world safe so everyone can get on with

clarity needed to empower you.”

making the real world a better place’.

Click to visit website

Click to visit website

solutions, network with insiders and

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EVENTS & A S S O C I AT I O N S

The biggest industry events and conferences EDITED BY LAURA MULLAN from around the world

25 APRIL 2019

AI and Big Data Conference 2019 106

09–10 MAY 2019

[ OLYMPIA, LONDON, UK ]

TECHSPO Technology Expo 2019

The AI and Big Data Conference 2019

[ NEW YORK, USA ]

is a showcase of next-generation tech-

TECHSPO Technology Expo show-

nologies and strategies from the world

cases the next generation of

of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.

technology and innovation, covering

Taking place on 25-26th April 2019 at

topics such as augmented reality, vir-

the Olympia Grand, London, the event

tual reality, IoT, wearables, mobile,

provides the opportunity for attendees

internet, 3D printing and emerging

to explore and discover the practical

technology. Exhibitors have the oppor-

and successful implementation of AI and

tunity to show off their companies to

Big Data. The conference will feature

consumers, the highest calibre inves-

four co-located events, 21 conference

tors, hordes of press, the most

tracks, 12,000 attendees, more than

sought-after talent, and the greatest

500 speakers and 350 exhibitions.

pool of tech enthusiasts looking to

Click to visit website

celebrate emerging venture.

Click to visit website

FEBRUARY 2019


13-16 MAY 2019

25–26 JUNE 2019

Internet of Things World

Women of Silicon Roundabout

[ CALIFORNIA, USA ] Bringing together

[ EXCEL LONDON ]

around 12,5000 lead-

Through inspirational

ers and innovators,

keynotes, panel discus-

Internet of Things World

sions, technical classes

is one of the largest IoT events, creating the ideal opportunity for networking and building partnerships. The comprehensive event boasts

25–26 JUNE 2019

MoneyLIVE Digital Banking 2019 [ LONDON, UK ]

and more, the Women of Silicon Roundabout aims to promote gender diversity and inclusion in the technology sector. In 2018, the event saw

150 sessions covering

MoneyLIVE Digital Bank-

speakers from companies

topics like smart home,

ing is the leading digital

like Google, Groupon,

smart cities, security,

banking conference for

SAP, and eBay take the

edge computing AI,

innovators across the

stage, attracting more

healthcare and more.

industry. With over 11

than 6,000 attendees.

Over 400 speakers are

hours of content from

Spanning two days, the

expected to take the

more than 40 speakers,

event hopes to inspire

stage and more than

2018s event tackled the

tech leaders and help

300 exhibitors and start-

most pressing questions

them supercharge their

ups will showcase at the

facing the banking

careers.

event.

industry today.

Click to visit website

Click to visit website

Click to visit website

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SAP & INTEL: 108

A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP TO ENABLE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

LE WIS VAUGHAN

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

109

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SAP

Jesper Schleimann, Digital Transformation Officer, EMEA North at SAP and Joachim Aertebjerg, CTO/Direct Technical Solution Sales at Intel discuss digital transformation through strategic partnership

T

echnology continues to transform business across all industries and in response, businesses the world

over have changed their entire perspective and approach to the value of tech. From some of the leading industry players right down to 110

SMEs, digital transformation continues to define the conversation. Embarking on and navigating these digital transformation journeys is no small feat and so companies look to strike key strategic partnerships in order to collaborate, innovate and unlock the potential of digitisation. Jesper Schleimann, Digital Transformation Officer, EMEA North at SAP, believes that digital transformation is not a new phenomenon and that it serves to highlight that shift in perspective as to what technology actually means to a business. “As an IT professional, of course I can say it’s nothing new because it’s been a part of my whole career,” he says. “However, IT has moved from something that supports the strategy to becoming the strategy in itself. It has created a dilemma for businessFEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

111

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SAP

“Most companies are now recognising that whatever got them to where they are today isn’t going to get them to where they need to be tomorrow” — Jesper Schleimann, Digital Transformation Officer, EMEA North at SAP 114 es because some are not realising the tectonic shift that’s happening. IT is inevitably tied to the future of both business and the human race and we are not fully treating it as such in our organisations yet.” This is a feeling shared by Joachim Aertebjerg, CTO and Firector of Technical Solution Sales at technology giant Intel, who notes that IT is now an integrated component in a line of business and no longer perceived as just a support function. “An airline cannot survive without IT for the booking of flights,” he says, “just as the giants of FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THINKX WRAP UP’ 115 fast-moving consumer goods cannot

examples of businesses only looking

function without their databases. With

at incremental innovation. “Organisa-

digital transformation, businesses are

tions are now looking at disruptive inno-

taking advantage of new technology

vation, but there are many that are still

to enhance their operations, and right

looking at doing the same things but

now a key driver of all transformation

‘smarter’,” he says. “However, I think most

is data. Information exposed through

companies are now recognising that

data analytics can be a matter of life

whatever got them to where they are

or death for any organisation.”

today isn’t going to get them to where

Transformation breeds challenge, and Schleimann is the first to stress

they need to be tomorrow.” Schleimann feels this is what is driving

that a common challenge that is faced

organisational change, opening compa-

across the industry is one of agility. As

nies’ eyes to what he describes as ‘organ-

businesses look to invest in technology,

isational debts.’ Illustrating the term,

Schleimann points to a number of

he explains: “There are HR offices and w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


SAP

1972

Year founded

10,000+

Approximate number of employees

116

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

finance offices but where is the office

and realises better revenue streams,

for the future innovation ensuring the

efficiencies and a new way of working.

company stays relevant?” he says. “It’s

Aertebjerg notes that while this may

common for most companies to have

be true, at a high level there have only

big cost structures that don’t have the

really been small changes in the business

agility to change quickly enough. That’s

model. For him, it is the rapid transfor-

one of the biggest organisational debts

mation and increase of customer require-

but it is changing.”

ments that has driven the most change.

Key to removing this organisational

“With that comes a need to redefine

debt is the introduction of new business

the business model or at the very least

models and investing in people. Chang-

a part of it,” he adds.

ing or introducing a new business model

Investing in people is something both

can sound daunting and challenging in

Schleimann and Aertebjerg are firm

its own right but is a proven practice

believers in. Having spent their entire

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Jesper Schleimann As Digital Transformation Officer for SAP EMEA North, Jesper Schleimann is responsible for driving and scaling purposeful Innovation across the region through strategic programs which span across business and market units. In his role as Digital Transformation Officer, Jesper’s mission is to help customers unlock their business potential by simplifying their digital transformation enabled by the SAP Intelligent Enterprise Platform. By helping clients navigate the journey to the digital economy and bridging the gap from their existing landscapes to their desired strategy he seeks to add a business value focus to the digital discussion and strengthen the alignment with the overall strategy of the enterprise.

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117


SAP

118

“We have a responsibility as an organisation to help educate people around the opportunities that technology brings” — Jesper Schleimann, Digital Transformation Officer, EMEA North at SAP

FEBRUARY 2019


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SAP

120

careers in the technology space, both

to ‘build skills for digital futures’, while

can agree that technology improves

the EDX Leadership programme is an

the lives of everyone and it starts from

open leadership forum with an ambition

within their respective companies. To

to increase the exponential thinking

this end, SAP has made two initiatives

and innovative mindset for business

to accelerate this change: a purpose-

leaders so they can explore and use

driven innovation university and commu-

exponential thinking to bring their comp-

nity for the Digital ecosystem, called

any to the future. “We have a responsi-

SAP NextGen and a Leadership forum

bility as an organisation to help educate

jointly with Intel and partners called

people around the opportunities that

Executive Digital Exchange. The Next-

technology brings,” says Schleimann.

Gen program is designed to enable

“We’re working across that ecosystem

companies, partners and the university

to turn thinking into doing; to challenge

to connect and innovate collaboratively

people and their critical-problem

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

solving skills and insight into what can be achieved through technology.” “Ultimately the aim of these programmes are to provide people with tangible skills to take into the world. We then have more people who want to do – and can do – more things. That’s going to inevitably move us towards a better world.” Data and digital transformation form a key part of the strategic relationship between SAP and Intel. Having collaborated for over two decades, the two companies are working closely together on the introduction of a new server

“With digital transformation, businesses are taking advantage of new technology to enhance their operations” — Joachim Aertebjerg, CTO/Director of Technical Solution Sales, Intel

platform with an innovative memory

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121


SAP

122

solution. This technology, called the

holds the data even when the server is

‘Intel Optane DC Persistent memory’

switched off. As Aertebjerg notes, the

will define the memory hierarchy within

benefits to databases and business

a server and allow customers to improve

analytics are enormous.

the time it takes for a device to be ready

The Intel Optane DC Persistent

to operate after the power has been

memory technology represents what

turned on, as well as enabling faster

Schleimann describes as the ‘centre’

processing and a memory type that

of the digital transformation story: data

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

123

and the agility of companies to process

the persistent memory we are creating

and that data. “Being able to process

a quantum leap in our ability to push

the data is the most crucial part, as we

decisions, to capture business insights

are seeing business become increas-

and to push agility to the very edge.”

ingly ubiquitous,” he explains. “You

The digital transformation story is

need processing that’s on the edge.

one that, much like technology, will

Together with Intel, we are pushing

continue to grow at an increasing rate.

processing power further and with

The digitisation of industry shows no w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


SAP

“Information exposed through data analytics can be a matter of life or death for any organisation” 124

— Joachim Aertebjerg, CTO/Director of Technical Solution Sales, Intel

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

signs of slowing down and both SAP and Intel are finely positioned to be able to navigate this constantly shifting landscape. As part of the relationship between the two companies, SAP and Intel will continue to collaborate and build digital futures together. The future remains one of tremendous opportunity where both Schleimann and Aertbjerg can look forward to driving a ‘digital renaissance’. “I’m excited to see where data technology can go from here,” says Aertbjerg. “The collaboration with SAP will stand out as something that thousands of customers can take advantage of to help them make smart decisions based on all the data they have.” Schleimann concludes: “More technology change is coming and we hope that we can open organisational eyes to a bigger vision and become more purpose driven. SAP could hopefully have a small role to play in launching that wave and help drive this digital renaissance.”

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126

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UNDERGOING A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY WRIT TEN BY

SE AN GA LE A-PACE PRODUCED BY

LE WIS VAUGHAN

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127


AMAN

Group IT Director of Aman, Archie Natividad, discusses Aman’s approach to technology amid the company’s digital transformation

W

ith technology transforming the way companies operate and conduct their business, it has encouraged firms

worldwide to embrace technological change in order to provide an improved service to customers. 128

Although it is considered to be a destination that prides itself on offering a place to escape from modern life, Aman has undergone a digital transformation to deliver a luxury hotel stay where cutting-edge technology doesn’t compromise guests’ experiences. However, Group IT Director of Aman, Archie Natividad, believes that it’s important to offer guests the freedom of choice depending on the experience they seek. “Not all Aman have TVs. They’re hidden in cabinets, behind a cupboard or a sliding door. Aman means peace and that’s very much the essence when you arrive,” explains Natividad. “It’s important that we try and introduce the right technology. It’s always a challenge but we don’t want gimmicks. Each hotel has a different style of design that is unique to each property and they all offer different experiences.” FEBRUARY 2019


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The next generation of hotel Technology is not just for the guests Over the last few years, there has been a significant focus on technologies that can enhance the guest experience. In-room Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and guest interaction features are all aimed at providing a smooth and stress-free experience throughout their stay. Much of the hotel technology investment has been focused in this area. But what about the hotel owners and operators themselves? What advances are available that they can benefit from?

How we helped Aman

Let us help You


Innovating IT Solutions For Greater Success With a myriad of information now available for hotel operations, from guest bookings, VIP preferences, to agent trends and more, there is a tendency to concentrate only on revenue generation items. But what about the day-to-day business? How can technology support the changing nature of business work ethics? TRG has over 25 years of delivering solutions ‌in the Hospitality market place. This is the reason why hotel operators like Aman are engaging with TRG to deliver the next generation of business solutions. TRG, as an Infor gold level channel partner, deploys a suite of back of house applications covering financial planning, procurement, asset management & consolidation, for both onpremise and cloud solutions. They manage all data within the solutions, and as a result, provide a connected, intelligent network that can fully automate data processes, enable anticipation & predictions of trends and inform all stakeholders. TRG/Infor solutions are designed to be beautiful The TRG / Infor solution sets offer users the ability to interface with information on

the move, by receiving current updates, processing workflow on data, managing approvals, or seeing alerts and more. In addition, the TRG / Infor solutions are beautifully designed, for excellent usability, and very high user acceptance. Customisable screens separate work tasks from information & alerts, allowing users to prioritise as they see fit. As a result, the organisation enjoys a fully integrated solution with full workflow and processes, letting managers receive information pertinent to all roles through the workflow. The operating services manage the data interfaces and processing, while users are able to access the applications in environments familiar to them for their day-to-day IT experience. To ease downtime issues, applications can be changed, upgraded or rebuilt whilst still retaining the overall process controls & real-time usage. Our upgrades cause no downtime, and the inherent business logic and data flows are retained, so finance can move to a continuous closing process and keep the books current. TRG / Infor solutions deliver on the main goal of all hotels. Guests remain happy and so do owners, operators and staff!

About TRG International

Rick Yvanovich Founder & Ceo of TRG International

24 years of experience in delivering excellent IT solutions to more than 1000 clients in over 80 countries, ranging from budget hotels to 6-star luxury resorts, TRG International is a successful case study about excellent service and deep knowledge in the Hospitality industry


AMAN

1988

Year founded

5,200

Approximate number of employees

132

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘AMANYARA SEA TURTLE INITIATIVE – TURKS & CAICOS – LUXURY ISLAND RESORT’ 133 With 33 hotels in 21 countries, Aman

ience we’re giving to our guests. When

has expanded heavily by offering resorts

they come to Aman, they’re not only

in a diverse range of countries such as

coming because it’s a nice room, they’re

China, Morocco and Sri Lanka among

coming because they want to re-ener-

others. Each resort provides a different

gise. Guests want that mind, body and

experience and offers a different level

spirit experience. The opportunity for

of technology based on its location.

us lies in exploring technology that com-

Natividad affirms that while some of his

plements the experience instead of

companies’ guests are keen to embrace

distracting from it,” says Natividad. “The

technology, he under-stands that there

technology transformation approach is

is a proportion of guests that want to

on a case-by-case basis for each hotel.

immerse themselves in nature. “At Aman,

In Aman Tokyo, we have technology

we’re really looking at the environment

that allows our guest access to an in-

and trying to set that harmony between

room control for the management of

the design of the property and the exper-

lighting, blinds, and climate. However, if w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AMAN

“Aman means peace and that’s very much the essence when you arrive” — Archie Natividad, Group IT Director, AMAN

134

FEBRUARY 2019


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AMAN

136

you’re somewhere like Amankora in

allows artificial intelligence (AI) to help

Bhutan where our lodges are spread

guests perform menial tasks such as

across 5 unique properties in breath

turning lights on and off, through its

taking natural landscape and each

collaborations with companies such

take up to half a day to get to; it’s more

as DigiValet and TRG International.

about the journey. As you can imagine,

Due to Aman establishing these key

this environment technology has less

partnerships, Natividad believes that

an importance to this type of Aman

it has allowed the firm to accelerate

experience.”

its technology offering further. “Through our work with DigiValet,

FORMING KEY PARTNERSHIPS

we’re allowing our guests to uncover

In order to help achieve its success,

and understand the essence of the

Aman will introduce technology which

Aman experience in the guest room.

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E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Archie Natividad Archie Natividad is Group IT Director at Aman where he leads the IT function for the luxury hospitality group consisting of 33 resorts, hotels and private residences in 21 countries. Archie has over 20 years’ experience within the IT and Hospitality industry, having worked internationally in key IT leadership roles. A strong program and project management professional with extensive experience in leading and motivating high performing teams driving business change and IT strategies. Prior to Aman, Archie was at Marriott Vacations Worldwide for over 17 years where his last position was as Senior IT Director EMEA. He holds a BA in Information System and Business Management from the University of Greenwich, London.Â

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AMAN

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FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

“At Aman,we’re really looking at the environment and trying to set that harmony between the design of the property and the experience we’re giving to our guests.When they come to Aman,they’re not coming because it’s a nice room,they’re coming because they want to re-energise” — Archie Natividad, Group IT Director, AMAN

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AMAN

This could come through creating

cate with the front desk, spa and even

personalised lighting and temperature

make bookings at the restaurants. Of

ambience in the room, creating one’s

course, the user interface on the iPad

own itinerary during the stay or even

is multilingual which allows the guest

just relaxing in one’s own room watch-

to choose the language of choice and

ing Netflix and ordering in room din-

the best part is that it can still get

ing. DigiValet allows guests to switch

communicated to the hotel colleagues

off all lights with one touch, set an

in a language they understand - leav-

alarm and wake up to soothing music

ing no scope for misunderstanding.

along with refreshing lighting,” says

This will allow all our employees to

Natividad. “While in the room, the guest

focus on delivering the service at the

can get all the hotel information at the

highest levels. I believe we’re definitely

touch of a button and also communi-

moving in the right direction to create

140

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

that fine balance between technology

ments to capture. TRG provide us with

and service.”

high level support and industry know-

Aman’s partnership with TRG Inter-

ledge and experience” he says. “There

national has provided the firm with

are challenges and roadblocks but it’s

a significant support system that enables

certainly a collaboration and a partner-

Aman to meet challenges head-on.

ship that will see us be successful at

Natividad believes the collaboration

the end.”

has been vital to his company’s success.

The importance of building partner-

“With TRG, we’re undertaking a huge

ships is considered a key area for

investment in our accounting system

Aman. With additional partners such

as they understand the many workflow

as Oracle, Samsotech ID, Arcserve,

processes when operating in different

Sophos, Softcat, Infor and HRS Interna-

regions that have tax and fiscal ele-

tional confirmed as working with Aman, 141

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AMAN

Natividad points to what makes a successful collaboration work. “What really makes a great partner is their ability to take time to understand your business. You get many partners who are just looking at their bottom line and once they’ve hooked you, their entire customer service or approach is very different,” he explains. “I tend to find the companies that work really well for us are the ones where they take time to understand us. We’re not your cookie cutter kind of hotel and we’re a leading ultra142

luxury brand. When they get to work with us and understand how we operate, it becomes very mutually beneficial for both of us.”

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

FUTURE PLANS In order to remain sustainable, Aman plans to explore new markets worldwide to gain a firmer presence in a wider variety of countries. “We’ve got 33 hotels today and for us, to remain sustainable it’s important to grow and expand the brand. We’re opening new markets globally,” says Natividad. “We have a strong presence in Asia, and we have plans for growth in the Americas, Europe and in the Middle East. The launch of Aman New York will further strengthen the Aman brand in the region and the development into businesses such as Aman Retail and Aman Spa & Wellness will also complement the Aman brand well.”

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144

INEA Utilising technology in the telecoms sector WRIT TEN BY

SE AN GA LE A-PACE PRODUCED BY

JA MES PEPPER

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

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INEA

Management Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of INEA, Michał Bartkowiak, discusses how his company is utilising technology amid digital transformation in the industry.

146

A

s the fastest broadband and Wi-Fi provider in Poland in 2018, INEA has achieved significant success during the last year.

Michał Bartkowiak, Management Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of INEA, believes innovation and the company’s willingness to embrace technology has been key reasons to INEA’s achievements. “We are definitely an innovative company. As a provider of retail services, we deliver the fastest broadband in the world with our flagship offering of the symmetric internet with Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) technology at a speed of 10Gb/s,” affirms Bartkowiak. “As an infrastructure operator, we are one of the only operators in Europe that actively opens the network we use as a services provider to other telecommunications operators.” Through providing broadband, internet, television, mobile and fixed-line telephony services, as well FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

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TECHNOLOGY

CLICK TO WATCH : #INEAGOBIG 10 GB/S

as professional services for business

that we differ from many companies

and public sector, Bartkowiak believes

because of our way of thinking. We

that INEA has become successful due

are a technological leader in the region

the company’s ability to diversify.

with a state-of-the-art infrastructure

“One of the great features of the world that surrounds us is diversity.

that we aren’t afraid to use.” With more than 250,000 customers,

Attitudes and business models of

INEA value their investments in rural

companies from the TMT sector

areas having introduced the last mile

differ from one another and a result,

network which covers over 70,000

a specific market space has been

households in rural areas within the

created for each of us, where we can

Greater Poland region. The implemen-

operate and experiment,” he explains.

tation of the network has allowed

“If we look at the telecommunications

INEA to collect data in order to better

market in Europe, it becomes evident

understand the needs of residents in w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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INEA

the region. “The last mile network in rural areas enabled us to collect valuable experience, both in terms of the construction of a network in such area and the service sales potential. Now, we have a better understanding of the needs of the residents and we’re ready to expand such networks in Poland.”

MAKING SUBSTANTIAL INVESTMENTS As a leading firm in the field of fibreoptic infrastructure in the Greater 150

Poland region, INEA has invested more than $266mn in the infrastructure during the past six years. “These were investments implemented in two areas, such as construction of fibre-optic networks in the FTTH standard and reconstruction of the existing infrastructure to this standard,” says Bartkowiak. “The main projects involved the construction of a broad-band backbone network in Wielkopolska in 2013, the construction of last mile networks and the reconstruction of the infrastructure in towns and cities from Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) to FTTH standard.”

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

“We are continuously searching for new areas to grow. Sometimes, we joke that on the day when we announce the launch of a new product, we are already working on another one. That was precisely the case with the 10 Gb/s service we started this year. It’s vital we act quickly because of the way the market is changing” — Michał Bartkowiak, Management Board Member and COO of INEA

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During the past two years, INEA

have to examine how our expectations

took part in a competition under the

to the products or services that we

Operating Programme Digital Poland,

are using is changing. It’s important to

conducted by the Ministry of Digitali-

observe the entire spectrum of

sation in Poland and won in more

innovations taking place in the world,”

than 20 regions. In order to remain

he explains. “We can’t afford to wait

a leader in the industry, INEA has made

for another market challenger in the

strategic decisions in order to adapt

industry who will force us into action.

to changes in the industry. Bartkowiak

We need to make decisions on our

affirms how vital it is to embrace the

own and try to be the leaders by

latest technology or risk being over-

assuming the risk of wrong decisions.

taken by its rivals.

Technology becomes devalued very

“It’s of key importance to observe the

quickly, so we need to fully maximise

changes happening by using technol-

its potential. I believe that passive

ogy in different aspects of our lives. We

waiting is the worst thing one can do.”

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

153

FORMING KEY PARTNERSHIPS During the last two years, INEA and Orange Poland signed agreements on the wholesale access to its infrastructure in the LLU and BSA model. And this is just the beginning of INEA’s open network strategy. Bartkowiak believes the contract with Orange has been one of the company’s biggest achievements. “From the perspective of the open network model development, the contract with Orange Poland was a significant achievement. We provided the company with our infrastructure for the sale of retail services. From the

“As an infrastructure operator, we are one of the only operators in Europe that actively opens the network we use as a services provider to other telecommunications operators” — Michał Bartkowiak, Management Board Member and COO of INEA

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INEA

€100mn Approximate revenue

1994

Year founded

820

154

Approximate number of employees

perspective of the Polish market, it was

however, Bartkowiak points out what

the first contract of its type and has

INEA requires from its business

become an inspiration for others to

relationships. “You meet good partners,

follow. From our point of view, this

just like friends, in difficult situations.

collaboration confirmed the validity of

Similar to everyone in our industry, we

the previously selected direction for

are working with numerous partners

the development of our company.”

in the market. Starting from suppliers

In order to stand a greater chance of

of equipment and materials, through

success, the majority of companies opt

developers of business solutions

to form partnerships to drive profit,

or software, to our closest partners,

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

155

The part of the team (from left): Krzysztof Kwiatkowski – responsible for network construction and maintenance, Marta Myszkowska – responsible for customer care quality, Tomasz Zmyślny – Head of Marketing & PR, Alicja Kakała-Szadkowska - Procurement Manager, Maciej Piechociński – Head of Sales, Krystyna Sawczuk – Head of HR and Krzysztof Marciniak – Head of IT

technical and commercial partners, who

work on the continuous improvement

work in the field. Without their knowl-

of this co-operation.”

edge, experience, dynamic operations,

In February 2018, Macquarie Euro-

development or innovation, it would be

pean Infrastructure Fund 5 acquired

impossible,” he says. “These types of

a majority stake in INEA which will

relations are very precious and they

support continued development and

require mutual trust, understanding

growth. “Growth in telecommunication

and good communication. It’s difficult

requires significant capital expenditure.

to sustain such relations; however, we

You can have most wonderful ideas but

don’t surrender and we endeavor to

without relevant financial back-up, their w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


INEA

156

“It’s of key importance to observe the changes happening by using technology in different aspects of our lives. We have to examine how our expectations of the products or services that we are using is changing. It’s important to observe the entire spectrum of innovations taking place in the world” — Michał Bartkowiak, Management Board Member and COO of INEA

FEBRUARY 2019

implementation will be impossible,” affirms Bartkowiak. “We are glad that it is Macquarie that we have the opportunity to work with. Due to the fact that we share the same vision of INEA development, I am convinced that the combination of these two elements guarantees development and growth.”

FUTURE PLANS With INEA demonstrating an ambition to continue to grow despite a changing


EUROPE

believes that INEA remains determined to build on its success through the implementation of new projects to enhance the firm’s existing telecommunication infrastructure. “We remain focused on the construction of an open optic-fibre infrastructure. Having won over 20 competitions under the Operating Programme Digital Poland, we are also implementing projects consisting of the expansion of the existing telecommunication infrastructure and reconstruction of the existing one to FTTH standard,” he says. “As a result of those projects, we will reach about 700,000 more households located in rural areas with our network. All the schools located on the territory of planned investments will be connected market, Bartkowiak affirms how key it

to the network and these are areas that

is that the company expands on an

are digitally excluded, where broadband

ongoing basis. “We are continuously

services are unavailable today. The

searching for new areas to grow.

residents of those areas will have access

Sometimes, we joke that on the day

to modern digital services. The method

when we announce the launch of a new

of teaching, handling affairs with

product, we are already working on

authorities or benefiting from entertain-

another one. That was precisely the

ment will change and this will completely

case with 10 Gb/s service started this

transform the image of those towns.”

year. It’s vital we act quickly because of the way the market is changing.” Looking to the future, Bartkowiak w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

157


158

FEBRUARY 2019


TECHNOLOGY

Greater IT collaboration enabled through digital transformation WRITTEN BY

DALE BENTON PRODUCED BY

JAMES BERRY

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LA VIE EN ROSE

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FEBRUARY 2019


TECHNOLOGY

E R I C C H A M PAG N E , C H I E F I N FO R M ATI O N O FFI C E R AT L A V I E E N R O S E , E X P LO R E S H OW T H E C O M PA N Y ’ S D I G ITA L T R A N S FO R M ATI O N B R I N G S G R E AT E R IT C O LL A B O R ATI O N

I

n 2004, one of Canada’s largest and most successful lingerie and swimwear retailer embarked on a global expansion plan. Fast

forward to today and Boutique La Vie en Rose Inc. is well and truly a global company, operating in more than 14 countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Georgia and Morocco to name a few. While the company has plans to expand further, it still represents a true Canadian success story and has more than 245 stores nationwide operating under two distinct banners, la Vie en Rose and Bikini Village. The first caters to women aged 25 to 45 looking for quality

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161


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TECHNOLOGY

163

intimate apparel, lingerie, loungewear and sleepwear as well as swimwear and beachwear at affordable prices. The second is the premier destination for the best selection of brand-name swimwear, beachwear, and accessories for both men and women. In order for the company to successfully operate across such a footprint it needs to have an efficient and seamless IT infrastructure in place to be able to meet the demands of both the business, but also of the customer. With technology

“ M Y O B J EC T I V E I S T H AT A LL B U S I N E S S U N IT S S E E IT AS A PA R T N E R , H E LP I N G T H E M LO O K AT N E W S O LU T I O N S AS W E A I M TO B EC O M E M O R E E FFI C I E N T AS A C O M PA N Y ” — Eric Champagne, Chief Information Officer, La Vie en Rose

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TECHNOLOGY

at an ever-increasing rate, the challenges and pressures placed on the IT function become progressively more difficult to overcome. If the company wishes to succeed and to grow further, getting this balance right is fundamental. This is the challenge that faces Éric Champagne, Chief Information Officer at La Vie en Rose. For him, IT first and foremost has one true goal. “Our true mission is to support our teams effectively. Innovation is a mean, but not the goal,” he says. “If we don’t support them with their basic IT needs, it’s less likely they

165

will ask us to assist them in their projects. My objective is that all business units see IT as a partner, helping them look at new solutions as we aim to become more efficient as a company.” This is key for Champagne. Acting as a partner to the business allows greater collaboration and in turn, greater solutions to the challenges that an ever-changing demand can place on the company. Through regular engagement and strategy meetings, IT has a seat at the table and can better understand the business’s needs, avoid surprises and align to unified goals. Champagne is currently spearheading w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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TECHNOLOGY

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘LA VIE EN ROSE X FASHION & DESIGN FESTIVAL 2018’ 167 a five-year digital transformation

difficult to manage,” he says. “In order

program, one that will see the company

to better support the teams, we must

implement new POS and ERP

ensure the business units understand

systems and truly transform its entire

our current infrastructure and our

IT infrastructure to better support the

ecosystem limitations as well as our

business. The key driver of this

capability to respond or to implement

transformation was a legacy system

new solutions.”

in place that, as a result of technology

The first step in this transformation

and innovation, could no longer meet

was a request for proposal (RFP)

La Vie en Rose’s and Bikini Village’s

process, ensuring that the customer

current operational demands. “Our

remained central to any implementa-

current systems are not capable of

tion. La Vie en Rose created a 2,000+

supporting the changing requirements

requirement list and ran this process

from the consumers and in turn our

through all 12 of the company’s business

business units. It is getting increasingly

units in order to identify each business w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LA VIE EN ROSE

requirement and ultimately the systems that could create a seamless and efficient operation. This is where Champagne was able to identify the changes that needed to be made, replacing the complete ERP and POS systems, adding a product lifecycle management system and adding merchandise financial planning systems. This is where the company called upon the services of Cegid, provider of SaaS business management solutions and CGS for its BlueCherry 168

Enterprise Software. With Cegid and CGS respectively, La Vie en Rose will be able to implement the new systems and integrate between them. “This integration then makes the customer journey inside the system completely seamless. An easy journey translates to a better customer experience. If you start complicating the journey and the data flow surrounding it, it just creates a lousy customer experience, which creates a poor conversation with the consumers risking them to simply stop communicating with our brands. It is therefore mandatory to ensure that the data flows well and the communication is flawless.� There is a larger challenge with technology transformation that centres around following FEBRUARY 2019


TECHNOLOGY

169

“ O N LY BY H AV I N G T H E SYST E M S U S E D W I LL W E B E A B LE TO C O N FI R M T H AT T H E Y A R E WO R K I N G E FFEC T I V E LY A N D I N R E T U R N E N A B LE T H E B U S I N E S S U N IT S TO I M P R OV E T H E C U STO M E R EXPERIENCE, WHICH IN THE END IS THE U LT I M AT E G OA L FO R T H E C O M PA N Y. A LL T H I S I S FO R T H E C U STO M E R ” — Eric Champagne, Chief Information Officer, La Vie en Rose

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TECHNOLOGY

technology trends without fully under-

to find a solution that didn’t make us

standing and identifying the use cases.

dependent on a specific development

Champagne is aware of this challenge

or proprietary database and language.

but understands that the company can

We didn’t want to be attached to one

call upon its partnerships with Cegid

vendor alone. This will allow us to

and CGS as well as working across its

implement a new vendor’s solution in

vendor network to understand not only

a modern language recognized by our

what’s happening in the marketplace

other systems. Thus, permitting us to

but how it could add value La Vie en

benefit from the changing technology

Rose. “Currently our ERP, merchandise

landscape in the market, as and when,

financial planning and product cycle

with ease.”

management as well as our POS system

A key example as to how La Vie en

are core elements of our retail opera-

Rose will benefit from this approach

tion,” he says. “It was important to us

is the company’s plan to embrace

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LA VIE EN ROSE

cloud-based technology in the near future. The current strategy will lay the foundation for an entirely cloud-based infrastructure, and while Champagne admits that there is a little trepidation in placing all major systems within a single cloud solution, he is proud of how diligent the company has been in the way it is approaching this transition. La Vie en Rose has worked closely with Amazon and Microsoft and is investing in this cloud journey incrementally, rather than isolating money into a full project. This he feels makes it easier for the company from 172

a financial perspective but it also opens the door to the innovative technologies that are

FEBRUARY 2019


TECHNOLOGY

173

dis- rupting the landscape. “We’ll have the base. Artificial Intelligence, Virtual

support these demands.” Another major challenge that comes

Reality, even Augmented Reality, these

with technology transformation is

are the buzzwords that all retailers are

a change in culture. La Vie en Rose has

discussing at the moment,” says

more than 30 years of successful

Champagne. “Right now, we are

operation and to try and redefine the

focusing on having the systems in place

entire operational process through

to support our customers, so whatever

technology requires a cultural shift.

buzzword comes back or whatever the

The goal of this is more a shift in

color of day, we will have the system to

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TECHNOLOGY

business units, without changing the culture that made La Vie en Rose successful and this is where the challenge resides. Champagne admits that, almost in spite of its success, IT has operated almost separately to the business and this acted as a

“ IT G AV E U S T H E O P P O R T U N IT Y TO G AT H E R I N FO R M AT I O N , TO FI N D S O LU T I O N S O R AC Q U I R E K N OW LE D G E . IT FAVO U R E D T H E D E V E LO P M E N T O F M O R E I D E AS A N D AT T H E E N D O F T H E DAY, IT D E FI N E D E V E N M O R E WHERE WE’RE GOING” — Eric Champagne, Chief Information Officer, La Vie en Rose

barrier to unlocking the value of technology. “Due to the age and the

we’re creating an IT ambassador inside

complexities of our existent systems,

each business unit so that all units can

IT was often assigned to execute basic

become more self-sufficient with their

tasks that we shouldn’t be doing,” he

IT demands and focus more on the

says. “Changing a culture is always

basic tasks they need to accomplish.”

a challenge. To drive ours to evolve,

Champagne can already point to w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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LA VIE EN ROSE

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TECHNOLOGY

177 a better and improved relationship between IT and the other business units and he feels that a key part of this is because of the RFP process because it created a way forward for the company built on a unanimous, collaborative decision. This approach extends into the way in which the company chooses partners. Champagne has been working in IT for almost 30 years and he believes that its crucial to create an ecosystem of collaboration. “I created this ecosystem between the company, the business units and the partners so that we all understand where we need to go,� he says. “It gave us the opportunity to gather information, to find solutions or acquire knowledge. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LA VIE EN ROSE

“ R I G H T N OW, W E A R E FO C U S I N G O N H AV I N G T H E SYST E M S I N P L AC E TO S U P P O R T O U R C U STO M E R S , S O W H AT E V E R B UZ Z WO R D C O M E S BAC K O R W H AT E V E R T H E C O LO R O F DAY, W E W I LL H AV E T H E SYST E M TO S U P P O R T T H E S E D E M A N D S ” — Eric Champagne, Chief Information Officer, La Vie en Rose 178

FEBRUARY 2019


TECHNOLOGY

It favoured the development of more ideas and at the end of the day, it defined even more where we’re going.” Two years into this five-year journey and La Vie en Rose has already begun to see the fruits of its labor. As an organization, there will be strategic KPIs and measures of success, but for Champagne he will value the success of this transformation with a simple metric: are users utilizing the ecosystem to its full potential. “No one wants to spend time and money buying and implementing systems that won’t be used by the business units,” he says. “Only by having the systems used will we be able to confirm that they are working effectively and in return enable the business units to improve the customer experience. Which in the end is the ultimate goal for the company. All this is for the customer.”

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CANADA

181

CITY OF MISSISSAUGA: A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WRIT TEN BY

SOPHIE CHAPM AN PRODUCED BY

ARRON R A MPLING


CITY OF MISSISSAUGA

182

AS THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA CONTINUES TO INTEGRATE TECHNOLOGY, CIO SHAWN SLACK REVEALS HOW THE CITY BECAME SMART

W

elcome to the City of Missis-

pillars focused on addressing the

sauga, the sixth largest City

priorities for the 21st century. These

in Canada and a great place

priorities included: developing a transit-

to live, work and play.’ The City has been

oriented city; ensuring youth, older

undergoing a massive digital transfor-

adults and new immigrants thrive;

mation and according to Shawn Slack,

completing neighborhoods; cultivating

the Director of Information Technology

creative and innovative businesses;

and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for

and living green.

the City, “has been improving services

With the recent announcement of the

through the use of technology for many

Federal Government of Canada’s Smart

years – and is seen as a Smart City

Cities Challenge, the City of Missis-

leader globally as a result”.

sauga decided to submit a proposal

The City’s Strategic Plan was adopted by its Council in 2009 with five strategic FEBRUARY 2019

to the challenge in May 2018. The City also developed a Smart City Master


CANADA

183

Plan that provided a framework and

Opportunity Equation’ which identified

vision for the future as the City continues

a noticeable increase in low income

to enable Smart City technologies.

families since 1970 and a similar de-

The submission focused on social and

crease in middle income families across

economic resilience based on the input

the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Being

of residents and business through

better informed of the challenges in

a series of public and online engage-

a community is essential to the planning

ment sessions.

for services and the report really

The City confirmed early on in the

emphasized the importance of digital

engagement process that a Smart City

inclusion and working with local

is for everyone and a fundamental goal of

agencies like the United Way to provide

social and economic resilience emerged

opportunity to those at risk. “The ability

through a review of a study completed

to connect, adapt and succeed in our

by local agency United Way titled ‘The

communities were key goals of the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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As Canada becomes increasingly urbanized—in 2017, 81.35 percent of the total population lived in cities*— our municipalities must take a visionary approach to their planning and development. They need to learn to harness the power of advanced, connected technologies that will help them build smarter cities. This includes embracing the possibilities that the Internet of Things (IoT) offers to improve the efficiency of services, the sustainability of industries and the wellbeing of communities. Charlie Wade, Rogers Senior Vice President, Enterprise Product and Solutions, gives his perspective on how IoT solutions are making smarter cities possible.

Q: IoT is a hot topic currently. How are IoT solutions helping to build better cities? IoT solutions connect devices and things that weren’t traditionally connected to the Internet, and equip them with sensors and software so they capture data for tracking, monitoring, transacting and real-time decision making. The adoption of IoT solutions powered by wireless networks is creating amazing opportunities for municipalities and the people they serve. It’s helping them achieve environmental goals, create opportunities for economic growth and improve services for their citizens.

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Q: What IoT solutions are municipalities implementing with success? There are many ways cities are capturing the power of IoT today. Public transit tracking solutions allow riders to get real-time updates on vehicle arrival times. Bike and car-sharing apps are connecting people to their nearest available rides. Drivers can also find the nearest available parking spot, pay for it and add time—all on a mobile app. In the public safety realm, cities “With LTE-M, you can use have implemented video surveillance and gunshot detection solutions that provide the police with critical real-time data. simple, less expensive Cities are also automating their streetlights, so they switch on at IoT devices that use less dusk and off at daylight, and dim at times when there are fewer power, which means device vehicles on the road. batteries can be much

Q: What sets Rogers apart in its approach to IoT?

smaller and last for years.” Charlie Wade, Rogers Senior VP,

At Rogers, we believe that cities need to approach IoT strategically Enterprise Product and Solutions and see all the opportunities to connect multiple systems and realize the greatest return on their investment. Smart cities need smart partners to help them solve for their needs. With our 20 years of experience implementing IoT solutions, we empower municipalities with industry-leading partner solutions, proven expertise and the network they need to realize all the benefits of IoT. We’re committed to delivering IoT experiences that help organizations make more possible. *Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/271208/urbanization-in-canada/


CANADA

Smart City submission with a focus on

hosted and managed service. The City

youth, those at risk and our entrepre-

has also been a leader in the public

neurs, schools and the startup commu-

sector through its adoption of Open

nity,” states Slack.

Data, bring your own device (BYOD)

Enabling City services through

and social media. The City is currently

the use of technology has been at the

going through another major digital

heart of the organization’s operations.

transformation of its website by migrating

Technology is integrated into strategic

to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and

and business planning processes, with

open source software such as Word-

technology roadmaps for each municipal

Press in an effort to modernize the digital

service defined in business plans and

experience. The City also moved to

budgets. The City was an early adopter

Micro Services architecture for software

of the cloud in 2002, moving its website

development. This digital transition puts

and online services to the cloud as a

the focus on user experience, usability

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Shawn Slack is the Director of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer for the City of Mississauga. Early in his career with the City of Mississauga, he led the vision and plan to provide all City services online. He also oversaw the implementation of the City’s first Customer Service Strategy which transformed customer service across all channels including internet, phone and counters as well as the implementation of 311. Currently, Shawn is engaged in many great initiatives and projects guided by a new IT Master Plan endorsed by Council in 2015 which focusses on Fostering Open and Accessible Government, Enabling Decisions through Research & Analytics, Creating a Connected & Engaged Workplace and Improving Services through Innovation & Partnerships.

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CITY OF MISSISSAUGA

and find-ability ensuring that the

adoption of cloud. The introduction of

customer and the customer experi-

cloud technologies such as Software

ence meets today’s digital standards.

as a Service (SaaS) has enabled and

In 2015, City IT staff initiated a review

advanced the City’s mobile workforce

of cloud services to better understand

providing real time access to information

the various applications of cloud

in the field resulting in a more efficient

technologies, related operational

and informed workforce.

impacts, security, privacy, and finally

As cloud and other data driven

cost implications. Test environments

technologies are introduced it is

were established for Amazon Web

extremely important to assess the

Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and

purpose and intent behind the data

Google. On conclusion of the review,

collection, while respecting privacy

City staff were better informed on

and transparency to ensure that

Between letting good times roll and keeping good times safe

If there’s one thing New Orleans knows how to do, it’s have a good time. That’s why 18 million people flock here every year. To make sure everyone is safe, the NOLA Police Department relies on Cisco to network the city’s security cameras to provide real-time data analytics. Ensuring the city remains welcoming, while easing the workload of its officers. If you can imagine it, we will build the bridge to get you there. cisco.com/ca/bridge

there’s a bridge.


CANADA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘CITY OF MISSISSAUGA’S NEW BRAND’ 189 sensitive data is managed and secure.

Adopting mobile and cloud technolo-

“It is a risk to get caught up in the

gies has allowed the City of Mississauga

excitement of digital and forget our

to champion being a paperless operation,

role as government leaders; we have

starting with the City Leadership Team

really got to pay attention to our role.

who have used secure cloud storage

This is why privacy and transparency

and mobile technology to enable

are so important. We are encouraged

paperless meetings and collaboration

by some examples we have seen in

through video conferencing to attend

other cities where open engagement

meetings and share presentation mate-

on the adoption of technology and the

rials. This has significantly reduced the

collection of data has built trust with

use of paper and the need to drive to

residents. By engaging with communi-

meetings; a small but important environ-

ties, it becomes easier to implement,

mental statement. Cloud technologies

adopt, or even experiment with these

and mobile access to applications have

types of technologies,” states Slack.

also created access to digital resources w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CITY OF MISSISSAUGA

for staff in the City who previously would have not been able to reach such materials. “The cloud allowed us to quickly and effectively provide access to operational data and employee information to a very large portion of our workforce that typically does not have a computer such as transit operators and works operations staff, and that’s been very well received,” notes Slack. Slack is proud to illustrate how the City has become connected and engaged Smart City. “We have always invested 190

in technology to improve services, and with Smart City becoming a global phenomenon, we have been able to benchmark and learn from other great cities around the world.” As defined by the British Standards Institute, a smart city is “the effective integration of physical, digital and human systems

City Master Plan which is engaging

in the built environment to deliver a

industry and the public in a conversation

sustainable, prosperous and inclusive

about technology and the community

future”, and the City of Mississauga

so that the City can align Smart City

highlights this in its commitment to

technologies with the Strategic Plan

digital transformation.

initiatives and input through this engage-

However, the significant journey is not

ment. An important aspect of Smart City

over yet and despite reaching Smart

is paying attention to new and emerging

City status, Mississauga will continue

technologies, and assessing them early

to evolve. “The City is completing a Smart

on to understand if the technology is

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“WE ARE ENABLING A CONNECTED AND ENGAGED CITY” — Shawn Slack, CIO, City of Mississauga

mature enough to apply to City services

the team must look ahead for future

and equally important to understand if

trends, technologies and opportunities.

we are ready for the adoption of the new

For Slack, digital transformation – some-

technology,” Slack continues.

thing at the core of developing a Smart

The concept of exploration can be an

City – is about foresight. “It is about

effective way to try new technologies,

assessing which capabilities are

such as artificial intelligence (AI) or

maturing and ready for implementation.

augmented reality (AR), and understand

For us, the transformation of services is

the capabilities, risks and how they can

important, to improve customer out-

be applied to services. In order to evolve,

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Another important dynamic is collaboration and partnerships focusing on shared innovation and exploration of new technologies, which will help in understanding the implications of new technology and also build stronger relationships with industry and community agencies,� claims Slack. Collaboration and co-creation are key to Smart City development, according to the CIO. For example, working with cellular provider Rogers, the City been able to connect its fleet of vehicles and mobile workforce, thus enabling real time data and decision support 192

opportunities. “Today we have connected over 600 buses that are collecting information

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regarding the bus operations and route information making real time bus location a service directly available to the public. Information on the bus operation informs the timing of maintenance, warranty and mileage routines so that buses can be taken out of service at optimal times and minimizes service interruption. We are able to have real-time bus information, none of which would be possible without the cellular infrastructure provided by Rogers.� In addition to connected buses the City has also connected 700 city vehicles comprised of fire trucks, works and parks operations vehicles, snow operations vehicles and facility maintenance vehicles providing real time location-based information. The connected snow fleet provides real time snow plow information for the public along with the expected level of service for snow clearing. The onboard sensors also track when the snow blades are active, when and where salt or sand is applied, and the rate at which it is applied. This information is invaluable to the operations of a large and complex service during a snow storm. The City recently implemented an Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) which required the connection of over 700 traffic intersections. While the City was able to connect two thirds w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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of the intersections on the City’s fiber and Wi-Fi network the remaining intersections were connected by the Rogers cellular network providing reliable real time data to the ATMS. Rogers is also working with the City on exploring 5G technologies and planning a pilot project focused on how 5G will work within the built form to provide a higher quality of connectivity for residents and businesses, while also considering how the technology will look within the streetscape. Cellular network and mobile technology are also enabling a mobile strategy for the City’s office space. An initiative called Our Future 194

Corporation (OFC) is transforming the way of work, the use of technology, space, and collaboration. A pilot project was initiated on the fifth floor at City Hall transforming the space into individual workspaces and collaboration units so that staff had a choice as to where to sit and work. Over 90% of the staff on the floor are mobile, having no defined desk or desk phone, and the necessary mobile technology to be connected anywhere, anytime. All the staff are equipped with mobile technology that automatically connects through a secure VPN connection on the wireless infrastructure. “If I’m not near the wireless infrastructure, then it connects to my Rogers cellular hotspot on my phone. It is so seamless; you never have to think about it,” Slack explains. FEBRUARY 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TECH AND THE CITY’ 195 The City of Mississauga has had the foresight to design and build its own high-speed fiber network, known as the Public Sector Network (PSN), in partnership with three other municipalities. This has resulted in the largest publically owned and operated fiber network in Canada. The investment, which started over 20 years ago, enables a city-wide fiber network and Wi-Fi network that supports all voice and data needs for the City and provides wireless connectivity to the public for many City services. This fiber infrastructure connects all of the buildings for all City Services, becoming the foundation for the City’s IoT network of connected sensors. Through a partnership w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CITY OF MISSISSAUGA

with Cisco Canada the City has been able to build out an extensive Wi-Fi network in all City libraries, community centers, arenas, marinas and many outdoor locations such parks, Celebration Square, and four small business areas where district Wi-Fi has been provided. Being a connected and engaged City is an important objective and in 2018 over 8mn hours of free public Wi-Fi was used across the City. Providing this access in so many locations across the City is one way of tackling the digital divide and providing opportunity for those who might not otherwise have had this access. 196

In May of 2017, the City of Mississauga was the first City in Canada to become a virtual campus. The City partnered with CANARIE and Eduroam to provide a gateway to over 70,000 postsecondary institutions from around the world for visiting students and exchange students who access its Wi-Fi network. In the first year there were over 1mn international students using the service, with over half of them from Europe. “There’s a term out there that Wi-Fi is the new oxygen. This really demonstrates that providing connectivity is a city service. So, the digital divide is something that we really pay attention to,” states Slack. Mississauga has certainly demonstrated that it is a Smart City leader in Canada and beyond, but the journey is not over yet; in fact, FEBRUARY 2019

“T HE CLOUD ALLOWED US TO QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY PROVIDE ACCESS TO OPERATIONAL DATA AND EMPLOYEE INFORMATION” — Shawn Slack, CIO, City of Mississauga


CANADA

there is a great deal more to do. The Smart City Master Plan will provide a framework and vision for the future. Having a Smart City lens integrated into its planning process will inform how the City’s services can effectively adopt new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and major shifts in industry that affect the built environment like autonomous vehicles, drones and 5G networks. Collaboration and partnerships will continue to be important in the future as exploration and experimentation of new technologies de-risk the adoption of emerging technologies while creating unique opportunities to engage the community in an open way. A Smart City is one that inspires possibilities and the City of Mississauga has established a strong commitment through its Strategic Plan, Master Plans and Smart City initiatives. “I am excited for the future,” says Slack. “We are enabling a connected and engaged City. We are actively addressing the digital divide and providing opportunity in a City with a renowned welcoming world culture!”

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199

WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

ARRON R A MPLING

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C R E AT I O N T E C H N O L O G I E S

Creation Technologies has digitally overhauled its supply chain capabilities and sought to upskill its talented workforce to become future supply chain leaders

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lobalization and digitization are fully disupting the supply chain industry, where connectivity and demands for rapid, efficient

solutions are driving continuous change. From utilizing predictive analytics to unlock greater value from 200

large volumes of data, to the implementation of automation, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, the industry is undergoing a seismic shift. In order to garner further insights in remaining agile and to guarantee customer trust, industry leaders have sought to reshape traditional supply chain models. Providing exceptional end-to-end solutions for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide, Creation Technologies is no stranger in delivering bespoke solutions for those who in need of a responsive design and manufacturing partner. Amidst an evolving technology landscape, the company has partnered with more than 200 OEMs worldwide since its inception, accelerating time-to-market, reducing customer operating costs, while sharing innovative ideas FEBRUARY 2019


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Know sooner. Act faster. Eliminating volatility in your supply chain is impossible. Managing it doesn’t have to be. Kinaxis® helps the world’s top brands keep customer promises by solving complex supply chain problems with simple, innovative and measurable solutions people love to use. Plan for any future. Monitor threats and opportunities. Respond in real-time. It’s all possible with Kinaxis. www.kinaxis.com


Keep customer commitments in an unpredictable world Delivering fast, accurate response with Kinaxis RapidResponse

In today’s non-stop high-stakes world of complex global commerce, companies thrive or fail by the responsiveness of their supply chains. Commitments must be met, margins maintained and market share fiercely protected. Responding to customers with the correct answer at the right time can be a big challenge when shifting trade regulations, devastating events and unexpected market demands threaten supply chain stability. Creation Technologies, a global provider of transformative end-to-end solutions for OEMs, understands how critical fast and accurate responses are for customers. It’s why the company chose the Kinaxis® RapidResponse® platform. Leveraging RapidResponse’s supply chain planning applications, concurrent planning technique and what-if scenarios, Creation Technologies is highly responsive and agile in the face of any supply chain challenges that arise. Concurrent planning delivers a supply chain that’s completely connected and synchronized. The company also has increased visibility and flexibility to yield supply chain opportunities, and is able to leverage economies of scale in procurement while reducing landed cost. “With RapidResponse, we can predict, monitor and respond to supply chain challenges proactively from a single concurrent point of view,” said Ana Cantu, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain, Creation Technologies. “This enables us to mitigate risk, control volatility, shave cost and increase value for our customers every day. And that’s what we’re all about – building tangible value for our OEM customers.”

Making the right planning decisions with confidence From demand planning to capacity planning to supply balancing and more – all powered by empirical data and predictive analytics – RapidResponse’s cross-functional collaborative applications help Creation Technologies enhance process planning, minimize constraints and enhance supply chain performance.

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C R E AT I O N T E C H N O L O G I E S

“One of our biggest challenges is the complexity of our business. We serve higher mix, low to mid-volume markets, which drives very high mix in our supply chain” — Ana Cantu, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain

204

which can ultimately lead to increased annual revenue. Leading the company’s USD 500mn+ global supply chain function across Canada, Mexico, China and the United States, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain, Ana Cantu admits that she remains fiercely passionate about “not only adding value to the businesses, but to the individuals that are the heart of the partnerships between Creation Technologies and its customers.” Stepping into her first leadership FEBRUARY 2019


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205

role aged 25, Cantu has been a sign-

steady price increases previously

ificant force in driving the digital

unheard of.

transformation of Creation’s supply

With nine manufacturing facilities,

chain, where over the last few years,

two design centers, a rapid prototyping

high growth market segments, such

center and a global materials sourcing

as automotive, medical and Internet-

group at the business, Cantu has sought

of-Things (IoT) products have caused

to overhaul its end-to-end product

a number of supply constraints across

supply and demand planning capabilities,

all markets. This, combined with supplier

as well as its distribution and logistics

consolidation in several component

divisions for all business units. Taking

markets such as ceramic capacitors,

a deep dive into its business model and

has created a complex dynamic, where

the number of suppliers at the business,

such constrained supply has led to

Creation has retained the suppliers w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


C R E AT I O N T E C H N O L O G I E S

with which it can develop vital synergies and build an open dialogue and environment to bring forth an innovative business approach which is not only mutually supportive, but more effective in meeting customer needs. “One of our biggest challenges is the complexity of our business. We serve higher mix, low to mid-volume markets, which drives very high mix in our supply chain,” she explains. We have nearly 100,000 active component part numbers and ship over 15,000 finished goods 206

from all nine sites. Developing tools and processes that standardize practices and consolidate activities where synergies can be realized are a critical piece of our supply chain transformation journey.” Building a deep understanding of its customers’ needs and providing highly responsive tailored solutions, Creation is the optimal partner for the high complexity, low to mid volume products of mid-sized and smaller OEMs with well-established market positions. B2B data interfaces with suppliers and customers are increasingly common for Creation, where it has looked to unlock the opportuniFEBRUARY 2019


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207 ties available across an increasingly agile supply chain. “During 2018, Creation saw growth with customers across all market sectors. Technologies, such as IoT are driving growth, along with a strong economy. Creation is particularly strong in the medical and industrial market, which are both experiencing strong growth,� she adds. Nonetheless, as global competition continues to rise, it is clear that technology alone cannot be the sole area of investment to ensure success across the supply chain. Faced with opportunities to collaborate with w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


C R E AT I O N T E C H N O L O G I E S

C OMPA N Y FA C T S

• The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that jobs in logistics in particular are estimated to grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020 • Globalization and digitisation are fully disrupting the supply chain industry, where connectivity and demands for rapid, efficient solutions are driving continuous change • Amidst an evolving technology landscape, the company has collaborated with more than 200 OEMs worldwide

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• Cantu has sought to overhaul its end-to-end product supply and demand planning capabilities, as well as its distribution and logistics divisions for all business units • Creation has therefore turned its attentions towards high complexity, low to mid volume products for mid-sized and smaller OEM’s with well-established market positions

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C R E AT I O N T E C H N O L O G I E S

“Technologies, such as IoT, are driving growth. Creation is particularly strong in the medical and industrial market, which are both experiencing strong growth” — Ana Cantu, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain

other market leaders in order to build on its competitive edge, Creation has 210

partnered with Kinaxis and deployed the company’s Rapid Response software to improve its responsiveness and ability to remain nimble as consumer demands evolve. “Rapid Response is a best-in-class and well-established tool for this purpose. After reviewing several options, Rapid Response was the clear choice for Creation,” explains Cantu. “More than anything, Rapid Response allows us to be much more responsive. Analysis that used to take days now takes minutes. We can quickly evaluate changes in demand and associated constraints, allowing us to make decisions much faster.” FEBRUARY 2019


CANADA

Presently in its implementation phase, three out of Creation’s nine business units have utilized the software and witnessed significant improvements in responding to customer demands, as well as identifying supplier constraints. This has also filtered into its ability to share essential findings with customers and propose new solutions which would best fit the specific business situation. Further, Creation’s supplier portal increasingly allows the firm to consolidate all its procurement activities across nine sites into a single location, leading to complete end-to-end visibility and strong operational efficiency. “Communication with our suppliers is now automated, eliminating the need for our procurement team to manually generate material requirements planning (MRP) signals to our suppliers,” adds

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Cantu. “We are in the early stages of

Creation will continue to stay on the

implementing the software, but the

leading edge of these developments.”

signs are good and we expect to achi-

212

Although supply chain management

eve the savings outlined in our original

remains a vital component to any

business plan. The capabilities of B2B

successful organisation, global supply

tools will also continue to expand, allo-

chain labor shortages will continue to

wing supplier and customer ERP sys-

feed into increased demands for talent

tems to interface directly, with fewer

worldwide. The US Bureau of Labor

layers of human interpretation and action.

Statistics has reported that jobs in logis-

“Rapid Response allows us to be much more responsive. We can quickly evaluate changes in demand and associated constraints, allowing us to make decisions much faster” — Ana Cantu, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain

FEBRUARY 2019


CANADA

tics in particular are estimated to grow

skillset as a result of increased digitiza-

by 26% between 2010 and 2020.

tion and strategic thinking.

A report by DHL, ‘The Supply Chain

“The ideal employee has both tactical/

Talent Shortage: From Gap to Crisis’ has

operational expertise and professional

also found that demand for supply chain

competencies such as analytical skills,

professionals exceeds supply by a ratio

but 58% of companies say this combi-

of six to one. Not only are increased

nation is hard to find. Additionally,

numbers retiring from the workforce,

tomorrow’s talent must excel at leader-

workers are now asked to have a varied

ship, strategic thinking, innovation and high-level analytic and technological capabilities,” the report explains. Passionate about upskilling the workforce to counteract these challenges, Creation Technologies succeeds in attracting and developing its workforce, due to its vision of making its employees their customers trusted partner and investing in its team members, moulding them into professional supply chain leaders of the future. “We are a growing company with great opportunities for our people. We have a strong purpose, which is to enrich lives by sustaining strong profitable growth in an enjoyable and caring culture. I enjoy our fast-paced environment with its many challenges and the opportunity to constantly learning new things,” notes Cantu. “However, what I enjoy most is being able to spend time with my team to develop w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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“The capabilities of B2B tools will also continue to expand, allowing supplier and customer ERP systems to interface directly, with fewer layers of human interpretation and action” — Ana Cantu, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain

FEBRUARY 2019


CANADA

and coach them, as well as spending time with customers, consulting them on their needs. Ultimately, I suppose I enjoy helping those around me to succeed.� Creation partners with OEMs to deliver and scale the results that matter most to them – across the entire product lifecycle. To achieve such impact, Creation promotes technology leadership, cross-functional collaboration, and a responsive supply chain network founded on a robust digital infrastructure. Working hand in hand with its customers Creation provides tailored supply chain solutions to bolster their market competitiveness. Creation will continue to invest in its workforce and deploy innovative digital tools; continue to grow, continue to lead, and deliver the high level of performance demanded by the evolving needs of its clients.

w w w.b u sines s chief. co m

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LOGO HERE

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The rise of the adaptive data center WRIT TEN BY

SE AN GA LE A-PACE PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

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ALIGNED ENERGY

Chief Executive Officer of Aligned Energy, Andrew Schaap, discusses the importance of remaining adaptable, scalable and sustainable in the industry amid technological change

W

ith companies worldwide understanding the importance of embracing technology in order to stay ahead

of their competitors, it has become increasingly significant for firms to undergo a digital 218

transformation in order to achieve and sustain success. For leading data center provider, Aligned Energy, the mission of innovation and the launch of new facilities has become vital to the company’s progression.

ESTABLISHING CORE PRINCIPLES After 20 years of complex transactional experience and multi-disciplinary senior leadership, Chief Executive Officer of Aligned Energy, Andrew Schaap, understands how key it was to form and maintain core principles when he first joined the company in 2017. “One of the first things I did when I came on board was to try and focus the organization on what our core mission and vision actually were. I felt there had been some great FEBRUARY 2019


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Aligned Salt Lake City w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


USA

innovation before I arrived, providing a

and focus that we were going to pursue

solid foundation for growth and further

moving forward. As a result of this, we’ve

performance improvements,” explains

enjoyed some significant success in the

Schaap. “As a rule of thumb, I believe

last 18 months, growing the company

that if you have more than three tasks

by more than 1000%.”

per day, then you usually fail at them. The

Such success has been achieved with

human brain works just like a computer

the company paying close attention to

because you’re always switching to

how it conducts its business on the

different tasks. I made sure that when

infrastructure side, as well as choosing

I joined that I really focused the entire

to operate in an alternative way to its

organization on a key vision, mission,

competitors in a bid to stay ahead. “We

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

221

Andrew Schaap A data center, IT, private equity and real estate executive with over 20 years of complex transactional experience and multidisciplinary senior leadership, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Schaap, is dedicated to accelerating the development of Aligned Energy’s business objectives as demand for its adaptive data center approach continues to exceed expectations. Andrew is responsible for business growth and promoting the availability of Aligned Energy’s data center and build-to-scale solutions to cloud, telecom, enterprise and managed service providers. With a thorough understanding of the evolving data center market, Andrew is responsible for cultivating an ecosystem of innovation that advances Aligned Energy’s commitment to reducing the social, economic and environmental impact of the digital era.

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FOUNDED ON INTEGRITY POWERED BY EXPERIENCE

• Power Cool Engineers, PC (PCE) is a Mechanical and Electrical consulting engineering firm located in Bristol Tennessee. • Originally founded in 1994 as MECA Engineering and after a merger and an acquisition, became PCE in 2012. • We are known for our broad experience in the mechanical and electrical engineering fields, our responsiveness and our ability to provide engineering services on large scale projects in a timely manner. • We have extensive experience in Mission Critical / Business Critical facilities including Colocation Data Centers, Legacy Data Centers, Telecommunication Hubs, Network Operation centers and Disaster Recovery and Emergency Operation Centers in a 24/7/365 environment. • We pride ourselves with the relationships we obtain quickly and keep with our clients and facilities’ staff.

321 Maple Ln. Suite 101 Blountville, TN 37617 POWERCOOLENG.COM (423) 279-7840

VISIT OUR SITE

CONTACT US


USA

Aligned Ashburn Site Render Entrance

223

really looked at what we were doing on

very important to us in delivering against

the infrastructure side, and fine-tuned

the exacting expectations of our clients.”

our supply chain to enable us to work with our partners,” says Schaap. “We’ve

LAUNCHING NEW FACILITIES

adapted some of the best practices

Through the unveiling of a new 180-meg-

that some of the giants use, such as GE,

awatt data center campus in Ashburn,

to ensure that our partners can help us

Virginia in September 2018, Aligned

to stay nimble and ahead of the curve.

Energy has demonstrated a determina-

We’re doing something in our supply

tion to expand its data campuses in order

chain that’s completely different. We’ve

to address the needs of cloud providers

spent a lot of time and energy choos-

and hyperscalers that demand a highly

ing the right partners and honing our

dynamic, scalable and future-proof data

logistics model. Timely and fiscally

center solution. The 26-acre master-

responsible inventory management is

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USA

approximately 880,000 square feet of expandable space, drawing power from two on-site substations, as well as access to over 50 carriers in the immediate area. Schaap believes the new facility has allowed his company to be different. “We have the ability to connect with multiple carriers and diverse routes, as well as a power silo connecting to multiple hub stations upstream of us into Dominion Energy,” says Schaap. “What makes us different is our innovative cooling technology, which allows us to sense when we should use water or when we should switch to lower or zero water utilization based on what’s actually happening with the weather in real time. I believe we’re the only ones that have that unique technology.” With Aligned Energy’s clients firmly

“On the innovation side, our focus is on removing any potential concerns that our customers may have in five or 10 years from now. No one else can really do that apart from Aligned” — Andrew Schaap, Chief Executive Officer, Aligned Energy

in mind, Schaap’s the decision to choose Virginia was primarily based on its location central to the biggest networks. “We decided on our particular location in Virginia because it’s in proximity to one of the highest networked pathways in the nation. We’re in the middle of all the biggest networks,” says Schaap. “It’s been fantastic for us because our w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

225


USA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ALIGNED ENERGY ­— DELTA CUBE’ 227 existing clients can’t wait for us to get

dictable usage and growth models

there and we’re already active with lots

that are becoming table stakes in

of discussions that are quite advanced

today’s deployments.

on our first chunk of capacity. We expect

Technologies such as cloud, IoT,

the site to be live, with active customers

AI/ML, blockchain, and more are

late in summer 2019.”

generating exponentially more heat in the same cubic area. This is why

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to accommodate exponential platform

With the importance of remaining

growth are becoming increasingly

sustainable a key priority for Aligned

important. ​Schaap believes that

Energy, the company’s data center

implementing technology that is

platform and dynamic infrastructure

adaptable, efficient and dynamic

have been designed with the future in

allows the company to give its clients

mind in order to address the unpre-

peace of mind about the future ahead.

access to green energy and the ability

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USA

229

Aligned Dallas Entrance “If you’re in a climate like Virginia,

about what lies around the corner in

water shouldn’t really be a problem.

two years, five years, 10 years, even

However, these assets are long-term,

15 years from now. Clients want

and no one has any idea if in 10 years’

stability, predictability and a partner

time Virginia may go into a drought

that provides them with a path to the

season. We actually have the ability

future as well as peace of mind. Our

to turn off our water usage and still

continued growth and solid capital

run a dry solution. There are no other

foundation have enabled us to be that

companies that we know of that have

stable partner for our customers.

anything like that,” he affirms. “I believe

On the innovation side, our focus is

it’s very innovative and clients love it

on removing any potential concerns

because they don’t ever want to move

that our customers may have in five

out of a data center. They can literally

or 10 years from now. No one else can

come in today and not have to worry

really do that apart from Aligned.” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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FEBRUARY 2019


USA

FUTURE PLANS With the future in mind, Schaap affirms Aligned Energy remains on the lookout for potential expansion opportunities outside of its existing U.S. locations in Dallas, TX, Phoenix, AZ, and Salt Lake City, UT, as well as abroad. “We’re actively looking for the next opportunity all the time and we’re really interested in what our clients are doing so we ensure we spend a lot of time talking to them directly,” says Schaap. “We will also use our great capital and infrastructure to go a little bit further and be more

“The team here is so important. We’re attracting and retaining great talent and the culture is focused on innovation, inclusion and customercentric support” — Andrew Schaap, Chief Executive Officer, Aligned Energy

responsive to our core elements. I believe you’ll see us continue to grow and continue to land into new markets.

that they did right by the clients,” explains

As we move forward, expanding

Schaap. “We empower teams to execute

internationally is absolutely on our radar

and perform on behalf of the clients.

and we’re ensuring that we pay close

You don’t have to ask for permission

attention to the latest trends worldwide.”

or forgiveness as long as you’re taking

Schaap believes that the company’s

care of the customer. Through our

success is largely due to the great

empowerment program, we’ve embold-

teamwork and drive within Aligned

ened a lot of our operations and site

Energy, which have enabled customers’

teams to make sure that they’re serving

needs to be met. “The team here is

the clients’ needs immediately.”

so important. We’re attracting and retaining great talent and the culture is focused on innovation, inclusion and customer-centric support. Everybody wants to go to sleep at night knowing w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

231


232

THE FLOW OF INFORMATION: LSC’S SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSFORMATION WRIT TEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON PRODUCED BY

GLEN WHITE


USA

233


L S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

LSC COMMUNICATIONS IS A VITAL PARTNER TO PUBLISHERS, PRODUCING THEIR PRINTED MATERIALS AND ALSO MANAGING AND DISTRIBUTING THEM THROUGH INNOVATIVE SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS AND EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

234

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

I

n its present incarnation, LSC Communications is just over two years old having been created out

of the book, magazine, catalogue and office products printing businesses of RR Donnelley. That business was founded in 1864 and became recognized as the founder of the American high quality, high volume book printing industry. Its sought-after Lakeside Classics imprint is now maintained by LSC and is a benchmark for the impeccable attention to product excellence and design that epitomizes the company. Not so long ago, printing was thought to be a dying industry as electronic means of delivering content, whether educational or general, made inroads. Certainly, some impact was felt, however in the last year or two book sales have rallied and LSC’s President of Book Division, Dave McCree, is insistent that the fundamentals of the print market are healthy – a sound basis on which to build the many added value services the company is now able to offer. “Someone suggested to me the other day that we are a 155-year-old startup – I love that! We are a smaller, leaner and more agile organization focused on specific markets.”

w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

235


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L S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

“WE ARE BUILDING THE SERVICES SIDE OF OUR BUSINESS TO COMPLEMENT THE MANUFACTURING SIDE” — Dave McCree, President, Book and Directory Division, LSC Comminications

238

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

AN EVOLVING MARKETPLACE

The traditional core business model

Traditionally, most publishers have

of printers like LSC was to work with

tended to outsource the printing of their

publishers to help them find ways to

books or educational materials but have

reduce costs. Printing was regarded

kept marketing, distribution, warehousing,

as a production cost, to be pared down

order fulfillment and customer relations

wherever possible on the principle

in-house. Some, especially academic

of lean manufacturing. In those days,

presses, even printed their own books.

LSC won business through competitive

This mindset has been slow to change,

pricing, dependable quality and above

but increasingly the household names

all service – now, McCree insists that

in publishing are coming to appreciate

the same attention to the client is being

the advantage of outsourcing more of

extended right through to the supply

their non-core work – and LSC is keen to

chain. Responsibility no longer ends

seize this opportunity. “We have moved

with the finished product but goes right

from an old-style print manufacturer to

through marketing and sales, distribution

what you might call ‘Print Plus’. We are

and cash collection. “We help publishers

to complement the manufacturing side.”

sell more books as well as driving the

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Dave McCree is the President of the Book & Directory Group at LSC Communications and is responsible for Sales Leadership and strategic relationships within both platforms. Dave has been in the printing industry for close to 30 years with a rich background in leading the print sales and manufacturing divisions. Dave’s focus has been on expanding LSC’s innovative solutions and supply chain management services as well as supporting and promoting the evolving publishing industry.

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239


L S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

cost of their production down. That is

clients include educational giants like

really the focus of our strategy: saving

McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Houghton

cost and creating efficiency along the

Mifflin Harcourt, new edtech players

supply chain at the sales and market-

like Amplify, general publishers such

ing end also helps them to sell more

as Random House and HarperCollins

products. It’s a double winner for the

as well as niche players like Workman

client enabling them to sell more product

Publishing and Abrams. It is also a

while producing it faster through our

major printer of bibles and religious

proven print capability.”

books. “These are all very different

The conversation is no longer about

240

businesses, but they all need both

traditional offset versus digital printing

product and services,” says McCree.

– LSC can handle any volumes in either

“We set out to be more intimate than the

format – but more about e-services,

average large printing organization by

warehousing and fulfillment as well

making sure we are meeting the needs

as supply chain management. LSC’s

of each one of those clients wherever

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Michael Shea — Senior Vice President, Book Division, LSC Communications — ­ is a seasoned printing and publishing executive with over 20 years of pioneering ventures in content management, custom publishing and book manufacturing. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the vision and drive to capture high-growth opportunities in the rapidly changing publishing and printing industries. His early successes with technology-driven print solutions led to more comprehensive solutions spanning the entire spectrum of book manufacturing including content management, physical and digital production, distribution and inventory management. His most recent focus has been working with industry supply chain participants to combat book piracy.

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘XFROM FILE TO FINAL DESTINATION’ 241 that need might be. They knew we could

that despite the success of e-books,

manufacture a book for them; now we

the case bound books segment grew

are managing their warehousing as

by 6% while e-books declined by 4%.

well, distributing their product from our

While this trend sustains the core printing

warehouses across the USA, and even

capability of LSC, the biggest potential

handling the back-end collection and

lies in innovation: specifically, the

cash applications within their business.”

provision of value-added services that enable publishers to offload the purely

EXPLORING NEW PUBLISHING LANDSCAPES

administrative aspects of book delivery.

Surprisingly perhaps, confirms Books

constrained by a traditional mindset

Division SVP Michael Shea, the fastest-

but today, the benefits of consolidating

growing book sector last year was in

warehousing and order fulfillment are

hardbacks. In 2018, the American

driving change, no doubt stimulated by

Association of Publishers (AAP) reported

the Amazon model. LSC has expanded

Publishers may have previously been

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L S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

“WE ARE COMMITTED TO HELP PROTECT OUR CLIENTS’ INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND TO SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION WITHIN THE SUPPLY CHAIN” — Mike Shea, Senior Vice President, Book and Directory Division, LSC Comminications

242

its warehousing capacity to meet this demand and now has a spread of

the world’s leading publishing houses. Educational technology, or edtech, is

facilities over the Midwest and East

a fast-expanding and very fluid area of

Coast. The LSC book fulfillment

content delivery, explains Shea. “There

footprint now totals more than 3.7 million

are hundreds of new and disruptive

sq. ft. of operating space, serving clients

startups, attracting billions of dollars

in all of its market sectors. Most recently,

in investment, challenging established

LSC has acquired Elsevier’s warehous-

players like Amazon, Apple, Google

ing and distribution facility in Missouri

and Microsoft.” These companies are

to strengthen its full range of supply

seizing on technologies like virtual

chain services for publishers of both

reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and

printed and electronic books. It’s a great

audio-visual (AV) tools delivered using

demonstration of the new service model,

cloud technology – but while this has

says McCree, in partnership with one of

disrupted print, it hasn’t replaced it.

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

243

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Brittyne Lewis — Product Development Director, LSC Publisher Services, LSC Communications — has worked directly with global publishers in various capacities at LSC Communications over the past 10 years. She has a diverse background in managing software and relationships with major retailers and publishers. In her role as Director of Product Development, Brittyne drives the development and strategy of new products and solutions to meet publishers’ needs by anticipating market requirements, working directly with publishers, and monitoring the industry trends. Apart from work, Brittyne enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, reading books to her children, and eating tacos and BBQ in Austin, Texas. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


L S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

“We found there wasn’t the network infrastructure to support all this digital delivery. There was an ongoing request and requirement for printed material – as the digital curriculum develops it is supplemented with print, and the print component has continued to grow pretty dramatically. We are working with the most advanced clients and publishers in that space, at the school and college level, including the providers of open educational resource (OER) material such as California State University’s MERLOT project, which publish low-cost printed books to 244

supplement online content,” Shea adds. OpenStax, a nonprofit edtech initiative based at Rice University makes textbooks available in free digital formats and at a low cost in print. LSC prints a significant number of these core textbooks, mostly at the freshman and sophomore level, which sell at a fraction of the cost of the mainstream equivalents. “OpenStax has really changed the economics of making printed material available to students,” he explains. All of these initiatives benefit from LSC’s unrivaled digital print capacity. Even more importantly though, the very complexity and immediacy they have brought to the University Press underlines the need for the comprehensive service platform the company

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

has developed to manage the logistics and fulfillment aspects of the entire supply chain.

PARTNERSHIP IN TECHNOLOGY Brittyne Lewis, who looks after side of the business that deals with metadata, audio, artificial intelligence, retail data tracking, and digital technologies, was keen to explain the ways in which technology has disrupted the information market. “Every year something new comes up whether it’s from publishers’ prospectuses, how Amazon, Google and Apple are operating or new data being available,” says Lewis. “Data presents a big challenge. The retail industry, for example, has been able to capture a lot of customer data, but in the publishing space that hasn’t really happened to the same extent – yet. So I’d say we aim to help publishers to navigate the digital landscape.” To make this possible LSC is exploring and growing every opportunity. In the summer of 2018, it took the first step and investing in an AI tech start-up focused on the publishing and media industry, with an eye towards providing target audience data to drive marketing strategies. LSC has also developed a publisherfacing platform called HarvestView designed to increase book discoverability and help

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245


L S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

optimize books for sale online. This is key to publishers’ success both on Amazon and other e-tailers given the multitude of brick-and-mortar closures over the years. It will strengthen LSC’s leadership position in content logistics, distribution and monetization across all formats, channels and platforms. LSC has morphed into a solutions provider, Lewis continues. No longer simply the output partner for a printed book, it now provides tools that enable strategy formulation and efficiencies in 246

the supply chain. A good example would be the multi-year supply chain services agreement it signed in December 2018 with the United Church of Canada, under

delivering a platform for verifying

which it will provide a range of distribu-

textbook authenticity through the

tion services from LSC’s Newmarket,

scanning of secure unique identifier

Ontario location.

codes. The platform uses HP’s tried and tested Link Technology for

NIMBLE, AGILE – AND DEPENDABLE

product authentication to help protect

Michael Shea is determined that LSC

intellectual property and fight counter-

will continue to leverage best-of-breed

feiting throughout the entire supply

technology solutions to serve its clients.

chain. Publishers can apply an

To address the age-old problem of

IntercepTag serialized mark, a unique

piracy in global textbook publishing,

anti-piracy identifier code, on each book

the company worked with a long-stand-

at the time of production via a label or

ing partner in print and in July 2017

digitally printed cover. “It’s a tangible

LSC launched its IntercepTag solution,

demonstration of our robust Supply

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

$3.6bn Approximate revenue (2017)

2016

Year founded

23,000

Approximate number of employees 247

Chain as a Service (SCaaS) offering,”

as a printer. I don’t want to under-empha-

emphasizes McCree. “We are committed

size that. It is an important aspect of

to helping protect our clients’ intellec-

who we are and it is a critically important

tual property and to support technology

business that is growing strongly again

innovation within the supply chain.

after a flat period. That said, we are

As we look to roll out Phase II of our

looking at an incredibly exciting time over

IntercepTag solution, we will now be

the coming years. By capturing more

looking to help our clients link directly

and more of the supply chain services,

with their end customers, the consumers.”

fulfillment, distribution and warehous-

He summarizes his position with

ing side of our clients’ businesses, they

a powerful statement of the strategy that

can focus on their core business of

will define LSC in the digital age. “When

content creation, editorial and sales that

people think of LSC, and specifically

will only create more opportunities for

the LSC book business, they think of us

us to work in partnership with them as w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


L S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

“WE AIM TO HELP PUBLISHERS TO NAVIGATE THE DIGITAL LANDSCAPE” — Brittyne Lewis, Technology Executive, Book and Directory Division, LSC Comminications

248

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

they attempt to utilize Amazon and other e-marketplaces. “The new entrants to publishing and the technology marketplace that we have been talking about only add to that excitement. Printing has certainly changed, and we are leading that change. There’s a significant change, with a move from long runs and putting stock into a warehouse to more dynamic, agile digital print. We see it as an inventory-on-demand scenario, which is a really good fit with our business. After all, we already have one of the largest digital print capability in the marketplace.� Thus, LSC retains its commanding position in the market as a dependable printer that anyone with a printed product needs to be talking to, while evolving into a very significant service partner, helping publishers around the world with whatever they need to get their product to market and into the hands of the end customer.

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249


AGILE, LEAN AND DEVOPS:

250

Learning from Nationwide’s digital disruption WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

251

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N AT I O N W I D E

By tapping into trailblazing new practices and methodologies, Nationwide has put its weight behind a mammoth transformation. We spoke to Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, to find out more

252

n the American insurance and

lines and financial services, this diversity

financial services markets,

has allowed Nationwide to carve a unique

Nationwide ranks amongst the

path as a one-stop shop for insurance.

best. Today, the Fortune 100 company

Though, as Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice

stands as the number one company for

President and Chief Information Officer

total small business insurance, the

(CIO) of Program and Application

number one underwriter of farms and

Services, points out, the insurer’s

ranches, as well as the nation’s leading

competitive edge undoubtedly lies in its

pet insurer. But its list of accomplish-

customer-centric ethos. “Nationwide is

ments doesn’t stop there: it’s also the

a mutual company, which means our

8th largest provider of defined contribu-

customers own us,” Vasudeva explains.

tion plans, number 1 in 457 plans, the

“As the organization evolves, we are

8th largest life insurer and much more.

really focused on doing what is good

Spanning personal lines, commercial

for our customers, our employees and

I

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

Agile

Lean 253

the communities where we operate.”

DevOps

Digitization is shaking up industries across the globe, and it seems the insurance and financial services sectors are no exception. Recognizing that its business is information-centric and reliant on IT, Nationwide has embarked

Continuous learning

on a root-and-branch digital transformation to ensure it can continue to deliver

turing arm of any financial services and

a world-class customer experience for

insurance company. Our Board and our

years to come. “The products that we

senior leadership recognized this a long

create are all information-based; they’re

time ago and, ever since, we have been

not products that you can touch and feel,”

on a journey to build a globally competi-

observes Vasudeva. “IT is the manufac-

tive IT capability inside Nationwide.” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Lean and Agile Partnership Journey with Nationwide TCS' Business 4.0 thought leadership framework, centered on agile methodologies, has helped clients like Nationwide Insurance to retain their leading position in their respective industries. Accelerated adoption of agile at Nationwide under the able leadership of Guru Vasudeva has been a great journey and we are proud of our role in delivering best-in-class thought leadership to Nationwide. Anupam Singhal Senior Vice President and Business Head, BFSI, TCS

The key value t enable state-of comprising dec measures. The for critical trans enabling with g upon the distri significant effic

As Nationwide Insurance Co Nationwide in their strategic Nationwide to scale up agile in-class talent and mature en of the distributed agile prog program delivery.

TCS is proud to have partnered with Nationwide in t work with the right partner. With its focus on the Bu the globe have chosen to partner with TCS to transf


TCS has set an enthusiastic vision of achieving Enterprise Agile by 2020 – a firstof-a-kind in terms of sheer scale and size. TCS’ Agile vision is founded on four pillars: workforce, workplace, service delivery partnership, and internal processes. In line with this vision, TCS has mobilized several small Agile teams for large transformations and delivered valuable outcomes at lightning speed besides helping over 2,000 clients to transition from project-only Agile to portfolio Agile and beyond. In addition, TCS has built the largest agile workforce in the world and created a world class agile coaching program to help bring about a mindset change across organizations. By codifying its experience of working with bluechip clients such as Nationwide Insurance Company, TCS has created a repository of compelling point of view articles on enterprise agile, location-independent agile, and agile contracting models. TCS’ success in helping organizations in their Agile transformation has been enabled by some key elements: § 100% agile workforce § TCSLivingAgile for mindset change § Visual radiators to replicate client agile environment § Collaboration tools to work in virtual co-located environments § Strong network of over 600 agile coaches § Empowered distributed teams – matching the right talent with the right role

that TCS brings to the agile journey of clients involves customizing agile practices and processes to f-the-art location independent agile delivery. This involves establishing a common delivery platform centralized team models, streamlined demand management, lean team structures and fact-based merger of agile practices enhances the certainty quotient needed to deliver time-to-market objectives sformation programs. With the increasing success of the distributed Agile delivery approach, TCS is global clients to transition from traditional time and material model to mature delivery models built ibuted Agile methodology. This has helped transform the way clients do business by delivering ciencies of scale and accelerating timelines to enable quicker time-to-market.

ompany’s strategic partner providing IT services for the past eight years, TCS has partnered with c enterprise agile journey under the leadership of Guru Vasudeva. As part of this journey, TCS helped e delivery by adapting to distributed agile delivery model, leveraging efficient delivery practices, bestngagement models. In this agile transformation journey, The ’One Team’ mindset, which was at the core gram, played a key role in making 16*5 business and IT delivery a reality thus leading to accelerated

this inspiring journey. TCS firmly believes that organizations can be successful in this journey if they usiness 4.0 framework with agile, automation, cloud and artificial intelligence at its core, clients across form into 'future ready' organizations.


N AT I O N W I D E

“A lot of people have just done Lean or Agile, but I think by bringing these four strategies together we’ve done something unique” 256

— Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, Nationwide

Nationwide has put its weight behind

itself an ambitious goal to transform

this digital disruption since 2009. The

the way in which it develops software

company spends more than US$1.3bn

by blending four trailblazing strategies:

on IT every year, of which around

Agile, Lean, DevOps and continuous

$500mn is allocated to technology-

learning. This is no easy feat, and the

enabled transformation programs.

journey is far from over. But Guru is

It has also invested a huge amount of

certain that it will be a recipe for success.

software development, with around

“A lot of people have just done Lean or

5,000 to 6,000 full-time employees

Agile, but I think by bringing these four

and contractors writing complex

strategies together, we’ve done some-

code on a daily basis. To improve this

thing unique,” he notes. By releasing

mammoth process, Nationwide set

software faster and at a higher quality

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E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Guru Vasudeva is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program & Application Services at Nationwide, a $27 bn revenue financial services and insurance company. In this role, Vasudeva manages a shared services organization that provides program and project management, application development, and requirements and testing for the enterprise. He is also responsible for the delivery of large and complex programs, and Lean and Agile transformation of application development and maintenance functions across Nationwide.

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N AT I O N W I D E

for a lower cost, he says this plan hopes to not only help Nationwide achieve its business goals, but it will also reimagine the customer journey.

AN AGILE POWERHOUSE Keeping its finger on the pulse of the latest business strategies, Nationwide began its software development transformation a decade ago. In 2009, the firm centralized its IT function, sharing areas such as its data centers, infrastructure, security platforms and more. In fact, it also realized it could centralize and 258

optimize the methodology and practices used in software development – the same year, Nationwide made its first foray into Agile methodology. Whilst Agile wasn’t new, it was now broadly adopted across all its enterprises for the first time. For Guru, the next step was to see if Agile could work for large transformation programs. “Our experimentation with Agile goes back a long time ago when we had small teams experimenting with this methodology,” Vasudeva recalls. “But we wanted to see if we could scale Agile at an enterprise level. In other words, could we start using it for almost all software development?” “We brought these Agile teams together and asked them if they could harmonize the methodology. That’s because we believed FEBRUARY 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PAYING BILLS ONLINE’ 259 that if you had a fine-tuned process then we could create a shared capability in which you could reuse the repeatable processes, methods and tools. It was really hard because people in these fields are very focused on their own version of Agile. But, in the end, it was very successful, and we began to slowly build our Agile development center.”

LEAN PROWESS But Agile was just the first building block in Nationwide’s transformation. Wanting to take this a step further, the insurer and financial services provider decided to scale w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


N AT I O N W I D E

its use of Agile substantially in 2011, so it employed Lean techniques to achieve this. Harking back to the early days of industrialization, Nationwide adopted the idea of a so-called “software development factory” complete with development teams that would finish one step needed to create code. Establishing clearly defined key roles for each development team (such as scrum master, tech lead, requirements lead and test lead) enabled the replication of best practices across the enterprise, as if it 260

were a factory. The insurer also implemented a visual management system, allowing developers to gain information on the shop floor quickly, as well as

$28bn in operating revenue

1926

Year founded

32,000

Approximate number of employees

Gemba Walks – a fundamental Lean management philosophy. “Gemba Walks enables leaders to visit the shop floor

could be used not only for computer

and to see first-hand the issues teams

programming languages like Java

are facing,” notes Vasudeva. “It allows

but could also be applied to Cobol,

information to flow from frontline teams

Packages and ETL code.

to senior management in real time.

This mammoth investment, Vasudeva

Leaders also become more enmeshed

says, was starting to pay off. By 2014,

within the workings of the factory instead

Nationwide’s Agile development teams

of managing it in a spreadsheet or a

had proven better quality and better

dashboard.” Wanting to scale this even

productivity using industry benchmarks,

further, Nationwide also showed that

and it had also created up to 50 develop-

these cutting-edge methodologies

ment teams. However, Agile methodol-

FEBRUARY 2019


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261

ogy wasn’t entirely widespread, it only

these practices across all our soft-

covered less than 30% of software

ware development – that’s around

development at Nationwide. “We

US$60mn annually.” With this in mind,

conducted a Gartner benchmark that

Nationwide’s decision to scale these

showed that our Agile development line

methods enterprise-wide was an easy

was better than the industry standard

one to make. Today, the firm has

in terms of productivity, however

around 200 software development

Nationwide as a whole was still 7.8%

teams, almost all of which have adopted

worse in unit cost compared to the

this blend of Agile and Lean. Zeroing in

industry. We estimated that we could

on quality, productivity and time to

get close to 12% savings by adopting

market, Nationwide has also streamw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


N AT I O N W I D E

lined its benchmark metrics, and today it can trace around US$60mn of savings on an annual basis. In its most recent benchmark in 2017, for instance, Nationwide reported 7.8% better unit costs – that’s a 15.6% increase compared to its benchmark from three years earlier.

DEVOPS MASTERY Not wanting to rest on its laurels, Nationwide decided to push its transformation further by tapping into DevOps. Emphasizing a shift in mindset, better 262

collaboration and tighter integration between software development and IT

FEBRUARY 2019

“Our customers have also benefited from this transformation by receiving better quality software faster and for a lower cost” — Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, Nationwide


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operations, DevOps hopes to help build, test and release software faster and more reliably. “It builds on top of Lean and Agile, but it combines a significant amount of automation and brings development and infrastructure teams together,” says Vasudeva. “It requires a completely new way of thinking. We conducted a book study on Gene Kim’s DevOps Handbook so that we can really understand this methodology.” Today, the Fortune 100 company is on track to get top quartile productivity across all 200 development lines. By automating and enhancing the software development pipeline, Vasudeva adds that this proves that DevOps is “raising Nationwide’s game to a whole new level”. Yet, this journey is far from over. Keen to impart a culture of continuous learning, Nationwide founded “Teaching Thursdays” whereby the firm sets aside two hours twice per month to allow employees to teach topics in classrooms to their peers. “It’s teaching by peers for peers,” Vasudeva explains. “It’s a grassroots project: We encourage people to attend and encourage people to teach. Some of the topics include how to do test automation, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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N AT I O N W I D E

264

how to use the newest version of

in making all of this journey possible,”

Angular J or sometimes it might include

Vasudeva adds. In conjunction with this,

a topic like yoga or meditation. We have

Nationwide has developed TechCon,

found this to be an incredible approach.”

its very own conference and a series of

It seems the workforce agrees. On a

code camps. “Around 2,000 of our

cumulative basis more than 10,000

associates attend TechCon, during

people participated in Teaching Thurs-

which more than 200 classes are taught.

days last year. It’s also helped to promote

It’s our own technology conference for

best practices and allowed natural

our own technology people,” he says.

leaders to shine through. “It’s been an

“We also have code camps, whereby

incredible low-cost approach, critical

we pick topics that we want to excel in

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“IT is the manufacturing arm of any financial services and insurance company” — Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, Nationwide

like machine learning, for instance, and

a leading employer – it has gained

invite a couple of people to study that

recognition as one of the Best Compa-

topic and to teach other members

nies to Work For by Fortune 100.

of the team. It’s helped us create a

Vasudeva is keen to point out that the

clearly defined roadmap of how our

talents of his team have been crucial

employees can go from a novice to

in making this software development

an expert in a topic. It’s helping to

strategy a reality. “It could not have

create a path to craftsmanship.”

been possible without the partnership of my peers in IT leadership,” he says.

CRUCIAL COLLABORATION

So far, Nationwide’s software-develop-

Nationwide has earned its stripes as

ment strategy has been a roaring w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

265


N AT I O N W I D E

success. “We can prove that we are delivering faster software at a higher quality for reduced costs,” highlights Vasudeva. “This has allowed us to transform our IT function. We’ve also replaced legacy systems with modern packages, and we can provide better mobile capabilities for our consumers and agents. It has really allowed us to enable our business goals. Our customers have also benefited from this transformation by receiving better quality 266

FEBRUARY 2019


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software faster and for a lower cost.” Nationwide has made significant strides to enhance its software development process, but the transformation is far from over. “We still have a long way to go,” notes Vasudeva. “We aren’t finished with DevOps just yet as we plan to extend DevOps practices across all 200 Nationwide software development teams. We are also experimenting with taking and applying Agile into the wider business. Then, last but not least, we’re focusing on Test Engineering and Automation (TEA). We are really making a big push to significantly automate the way we test our software.” Software engineering is undoubtedly in the throes of its own digital transformation. For businesses today, the stakes of getting this right are high, but it seems Nationwide has concocted the perfect recipe for software development transformation.

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WITH THE CUSTOMER AT HEART DA LE BENTON WRIT TEN BY

PRODUCED BY

CR AIG DANIEL S


CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

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GREG CHAVARRIA, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER AND CIO AT THE CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH, EXPLORES HOW THE ORGANIZATION CONTINUES TO EXCEED CUSTOMER DEMANDS THROUGH DIGITAL DISRUPTION

FEBRUARY 2019


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A

s the modern world continues to be engulfed by technology and innovation, industry sectors are

transforming more and more. Businesses and organizations are redefining their operations in order to continue to succeed and lead the way, and avoid playing catch up to competitors. For Greg Chavarria, Assistant City Manager and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the City of Hallandale Beach, regardless of how much technology continues to change, what is and will forever remain the most important part of working in IT is understanding the customer. “When you’re in IT, it’s important to not be rigid, be flexible and have a good ear for the customer,” he says. “You need to understand your customer and their needs, and this challenges you as an IT professional to bring solutions that may not be evident right away. Perhaps it requires more research, or partnering with top-of the-line experts in order to better understand and realize these technologies.” Chavarria points to the Florida-based organization’s recent partnership with Fujitsu in order to improve the city’s Storage Area Network (SAN). Residents require access to their data and the City of Hallandale was still relying on antiquated technology that no longer met growing demands. With a limited w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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Devices, software and services for any environment. Learn more at toughbook.com

Š2018 Panasonic Corporation of North America. All rights reserved.


USA

budget, technology that failed to meet

able to bring that project in on time and

the required standard and a growing

under budget.”

desperate need to serve its customers

Chavarria recognizes that there was

and people, Chavarria knew that

an element of risk involved, with Fujitsu

something had to be done. “We had old

not having a major market in North

technology that was failing on

America, but there were also risks

a month-to-month basis. The customer

surrounding the major transformation

was putting large amounts of volume

in order to continue to meet customer

into the SAN and we just needed a more

demands. “You have to be flexible and

reliable and faster way of getting the

be willing to take the risk in order to

data out,” he says. “We had an open

satisfy the customer needs and then

mind, we researched and we part-

ensure you’re paying attention to the

nered with Fujitsu. In having an open

customers. We reached a point where,

mind about the challenge, we were

through our SAN, that was no longer

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Greg Chavarria is a proven digital transformation leader with strong focus on smart cities technology, customer centric agility and sustainability strategies across the public sector space. As an innovator with deep grasp of technology, change management and project management abilities, Greg has brought forth smart city and sustainability solutions that have improved public safety, process management and improved accountability. He currently serves dual role of Assistant City Manager and Chief Information Officer for the City of Hallandale Beach. Some of the notable smart city projects Greg has led include the implementation of smart surveillance detection systems, smart lighting systems within public facilities, mobile apps to increase public engagement and smart metering for water utilities.

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CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

“W ITH THE CONSUMERISATION OF TECHNOLOGY, CUSTOMERS EXPECT THAT FROM US. THEY EXPECT THE AMAZON-LIKE EXPERIENCE AND THEY EXPECT PROMPT TURNAROUND” — Greg Chavarria Assistant City Manager and CIO at the City of Hallandale Beach

274

true, so we benchmark and survey and

dale Beach? “The customers of today

keep our fingers on the pulse with our

are smarter – and by smarter I mean

customers.”

they understand smart technology,”

As the City of Hallandale Beach

says Chavarria. “With the consumeriza-

centers its technology investments

tion of technology, customers expect

around the satisfaction of its customer

the Amazon-like experience and they

base, it is important to understand that

expect prompt turnaround.”

as technology continues to change, so

That changing customer brings

too does the customer. But what does

challenge but it also presents Chavarria

the modern-day customer demand of

and the City of Hallandale Beach with

an organization like the City of Hallan-

an opportunity to better understand

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275

not only the customer demands, but

To this end, the City of Hallandale

how to implement technology in order

Beach has embraced a worldwide

to continue to succeed. “The drive of

shift in the IT space that has seen

the ‘smart’ customer sets the path and

businesses centralize their IT and

the pace as to how technology must be

technology functions to become key

delivered and that is in an agile and

drivers. Chavarria describes the

nimble manner,” he says. “It can’t be so

move as “allowing technologists to

clunky, it can’t take so long. It has to be

come to the front of the line”. He

short spurts of progress that together,

points to his own role as a key example

progressively deliver transformation

of this shift: working as both Assistant

throughout time.”

City Manager and CIO of the organiza-

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CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

tion, he can help join the two worlds

customer and drive results. So as CIO,

together in order to embrace a more

I need to understand challenges

technology enabled future. “My joint

dynamically, because if I don’t, then we

role allows greater governance, if you

fall behind and in this modern world it’s

will, across the department so that it

incredibly hard to catch up.”

can ensure stronger collaboration,

276

Technology is at the very core of

so that we don’t work in separate silos,

what Chavarria does, and so it is hugely

so that processes use or consume

important as he navigates that dual

technology better and at greater

role that he is able to communicate

lengths,” he says. “It even allows better

across the departments effectively.

return of investment because it opens

Chavarria describes the role of IT as

us up to greater executive sponsorship.

the Innovation Technology Department

They see the need to be quicker, to

and with that comes the constant need

integrate faster and to respond to the

and desire to improve. As a depart-

FEBRUARY 2019


USA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘HALLANDALE HAPPENINGS’ 277 ment, Chavarria and his team regularly meet with various departments throughout the organization and look at how they can be better supported through technology. “Our philosophical focus is ‘how can we get better?’ We look at the Help Desk tickets and examine how we can avoid getting those Help Desk tickets,” he says. “It’s a constant push, it’s constant research. It’s constant training, and just finding ways to reinvent ourselves throughout the organization.” Key challenges with technology include understanding trends and w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

“IF YOU THINK DIFFERENT, YOU’LL SEE DIFFERENT. THAT’S GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT TO BRING IN CHANGE” — Greg Chavarria Assistant City Manager and CIO at the City of Hallandale Beach

278

FEBRUARY 2019

recognizing use cases, and Chavarria seeks to avoid adopting technology as a means of keeping up with others, rather than adding true value. In the public sector, the technology conversation often centers around cybersecurity and the City of Hallandale Beach utilizes cloud solutions to better store


USA

its data. This in turn allows Chavarria

Amazon-like experience for our constitu-

to explore business intelligence and

ents and we can achieve this through

understanding how to ‘do more’ with

business intelligence. We can predict,

the data. “Business intelligence is ripe

adapt, and develop a better variety of

for more and we can certainly use it

city services for our constituents.”

to predict better and understand the

The success of the technology lies

panorama of opportunities that may

at the hands of the customer and the

exist,” he says. “My goal is to give that

constituent. In order to be able to say

279

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CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

that the City of Hallandale Beach is succeeding with its technology implementation, Chavarria points back the one key component in all of the organization’s operations. In 2018, the City of Hallandale Beach’s communications department became part of its technology department and this has only strengthened the relationship the organization has with its constituents. “We are far more engaged with our community,” says Chavarria. “Through phone, social media and our mobile 280

app, we are constantly communicating with our customers.” Through surveys, social media liaisons and almost 24/7 communication, the City of Hallandale Beach has a greater understanding of customer needs, their concerns and how it can continue to add value to their experiences. Technology will continue to redefine the modern world, the modern customer and the modern business. Chavarria will continue to push the City of Hallandale Beach to be more innovative agile and flexible and to provide that coveted ‘Amazon-like’ experience. Ultimately for him, the key to this is simple. “If you think different, FEBRUARY 2019


USA

281

you’ll see different,” he says. “That’s going to be very important to bring in change. We have to stop every day and ask, what can be different about what we are doing that can add value to the organization? That’s what I’m trying to do here and that philosophy will drive us forward.”

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282

An adaptive and immersive technology transformation WRIT TEN BY

HARRY MENE AR PRODUCED BY

CR AIG DANIEL S


USA

283


AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM

284

We sit down with Dr. Karen Vendouern-Srba, Vice President of Academic and Instructional Technology at American Public University System to find out how its adaptive e-learning platform AI capability is transforming adult online education

D

r. Karen Srba has served as

find out how APUS is using interactive

vice president of academic

learning tools and an adaptive digital

& instructional technology

learning platform with AI capability, in

at American Public University System

conjunction with the deep expertise of its

(APUS) since 2013. During her tenure,

diverse faculty scholar-practitioners to

she has been at the heart of the institu-

offer a pioneering e-learning experience.

tion’s digital transformation in learning

Founded in 1991 by retired United

modalities. We sat down with her to FEBRUARY 2019

States Marine Corps officer James P.


USA

285

Etter as American Military University

subsidiary of American Public Education,

(AMU) to cater to the unique needs of

Inc, is headquartered in Charles Town,

military learners, APUS has since grown

West Virginia.

into one of the largest providers of online

Srba collaborates and engages

higher education worldwide. The addition

with all departments of the university,

of American Public University to APUS

including Student Affairs, IT, Finance,

in 2002 extended programs with the

Financial Aid, Scheduling, Registrar

same academic quality, affordability

and the deans of six schools to digitally

and flexibility to civilian learners primarily

transform APUS’s approach to instruc-

in public service. APUS, a wholly-owned

tional design and delivery. “I’ve been w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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USA

working on it for over four years,” she

machine learning to create a student

says. “I assumed leadership of Academic

centered experience that is both rigorous

and Instructional Technology in August

and engaging. “We have gone with an

2013 and that’s when we started asking

adaptive engine that allows us to scaffold

ourselves: what are the main important

the student and their education,” she

problems?” Srba worked to radically

says. APUS’s system applies machine

disrupt the ways in which APUS delivers

learning to a student’s performance

its e-learning programs, first develop-

to evaluate their strengths and weak-

ing a strategy to leverage APUS’s deep

nesses. As a result, it “is able to serve

data insights to fully understand and

up that information to you just in time.

prioritize the initiative.

Just at that moment that you need it.

“We’ve taken a different approach over the past four years. We’ve been

Nothing more. Nothing less. It gives [them] a chance to be successful and

looking at technology that can aid

287

online students in terms of retention and success,” explains Srba. “Students, especially as they’re becoming younger and younger and taking online courses, require a digital experience.” Under her team’s direction, APUS has turned to interactive adaptive technology with

“Students, especially as they’re becoming younger and younger and taking online courses, require a digital experience” — Dr Karen Srba, VP Academic & Instructional Technology, APUS w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM

remember or learn a particular skill

RealizeIt came in as the adaptive engine,

needed to complete the lesson”.

but they also help us scale our e-learn-

The scaffolding is personalized.

ing. They were actually able to ingest

To help accomplish its objectives, her

our Microsoft Word documents with

development team partnered with

our macros and our cascading style

adaptive e-learning platform designer

sheets for HTML5. They adjusted it so

Realizeit to design its framework. “The

that we could make this a very simple

biggest thing is that, because we’re

process and our instructional design-

such a large organization, we have a lot

ers could simply design, ingest it, and

of different programs,” Srba says. “We

then our multimedia team could just go

have over 1,600 courses that we have

in there and tweak some of the HTML5

to manage and to which we have to

to get a final product.”

apply these different frameworks. 288

FEBRUARY 2019

Srba notes that Realizeit’s ingestion


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engine accelerated the process of

personalized experience has seen

launching a course dramatically.

student success increase dramatically.

“Normally it would take us about three

“The data shows that there’s been

months per course. Since we started

a significant increase in the number of

using Realizeit’s ingestion engine in the

As, Bs and Cs, and significantly fewer

adaptive format, it now takes us probably

Ds, Fs and people withdrawing from

six weeks at the most,” she says. Thanks

courses,” says Srba.

to the collaboration between Srba’s

Reducing the number of student

team and Realizeit, “every student that

withdrawals is a key element of Srba’s

goes through this system might have

mission at the institution. She acknowl-

a different pathway.” She notes that

edges that a hurdle for some students

“this way, the student is able to succeed

is the absence of discipline inherent to

no matter what.” The application of this

a physical classroom. “In an online 289

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Dr. Karen Vendouern-Srba is the Vice President of Academic & Instructional Technology for American Public University System (APUS). With over 28 years of experience in systems integration, information security, project management and education. She heads a team of eLearning professionals who design digital, interactive learning content and 3D immersive applications for education. Srba is an accomplished speaker and researcher and has created several scholarly papers and presentations on adaptive learning, pedagogy, immersive technology (3D and VR/AR), and experiential learning for online adult students. Dr. Srba has created several learning technology frameworks that will transform the way higher education delivers adult student programs, degrees, courses, micro-credentials and certificates.

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AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM

class there’s no faculty member saying ‘Hey, you didn’t turn in your homework.’ To overcome that, one of the things that we’re doing is trying to make the courses more active and engaging.” Using Unity and HTML5, APUS has increased the interactivity of its classes with the creation of ‘experience-of-learning activities’ in a format similar to a digital magazine. Students can “click on a picture or photo or infographic and it might have hotspots on it,” Srba explains. “It might have things that I can see and read, and captions 290

to explain the material.” The courses are organized with, on average, a 50/50 balance between traditional reading material and APUS’ new interactive media offerings. “You still might have course material that you have to read, but this interactive e-learning lesson digests a lot of that for you,” says Srba. “According to the student feedback, this e-learning, which is more interactive, has actually increased their satisfaction,” she says. “It’s definitely kept the students more engaged and we find that the more engaged the students are with these interactive pieces, the greater their chances of success.” In addition to the increase in immersive and personalized adaptive offerings, Srba and APUS have been working to reshape the FEBRUARY 2019


USA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘READY WHEN YOU ARE ­— AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY (APU)’ 291 role of the faculty within its e-learning format, in order to further personalize the student experience and increase success and retention. Securing faculty adoption of the new platform was, Srba admits, one of the most challenging aspects of APUS’ digital transformation. She stresses: “If you don’t have buy- in from the faculty member teaching that course, it can be a disaster.” Srba’s change management strategy centered around the most innovative members of her faculty. “We converted their courses first,” she explains. “We have a Center for Teaching and Learning, where we worked to help them understand how to use the adaptive software and the new formats and w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM

frameworks to their advantage.” Reflecting on the process, she notes that while “training was very big for the faculty, finding those champions was essential to change management process. Going for the more innovative, more open-minded faculty who were willing to make a change and saw the value of that scaffolding - they said ‘Wow,

33

Average age of APUS students

2,000

Approximate Global Faculty

this makes my job easier, not harder.’” Srba’s team has presided over a dramatic transformation of the ways in which APUS’s primarily adult learners experience online 292

education. Looking to the future, she professes

125

Undergraduate Degree & Certificate Programs Offered

“Every student that goes through this system might have a different pathway” — Dr Karen Srba, VP Academic & Instructional Technology, APUS FEBRUARY 2019


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293

that their work is far from over. “APUS

and courses within a customized

is already planning for 2020 and beyond,”

program of study. “There still aren’t

she says. “The idea is to use the adaptive

a lot of universities doing this,” Srba

engine and take it one step further into

emphasizes. “APUS is truly one of

a lifelong learning framework, which I just

the pioneers.”

developed. This would allow a student not only that personalization within the course, but personalization for any course, degree or micro-credentials they want to take.” Students in the future will be able to combine complementary skills w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


294

Embracing technology in the education sector amid a digital transformation WRIT TEN BY

SE AN GA LE A-PACE PRODUCED BY

CR AIG DANIEL S

FEBRUARY 2019


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THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

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Jean Hower Taber Student Union FEBRUARY 2019


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JOHN CORBY, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON, DISCUSSES HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS HELPED THE UNIVERSITY TO COMPLETELY RESTRUCTURE ITS NETWORK SYSTEM AMID THE ORGANIZATION’S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

W

ith organizations world-

Overseeing the upgrade of

wide embracing technol-

the digital enhancements at The

ogy to make day-to-day

University of Akron is John Corby,

operations easier, it has become

Chief Information Officer (CIO),

vital to adapt to the latest digital

who has worked in a variety of

trends in order to stay current.

different roles such as Project

In the midst of a significant digital

Management Officer and Senior

transformation in the United States

Director of Enterprise Applications

(US), The University of Akron has

and Business Intelligence, since

put a substantial emphasis on

arriving in 2005. Now CIO, Corby

technology as the organization

believes the university has evolved

looks to restructure its entire

considerably in comparison to

network system.

when he first joined due to the

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THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

Zippy, the marsupial mascot

Driven to Deliver

ÂŽ

Blue Chip Consulting Group is an IT consulting firm that leverages Microsoft products and services to help companies realize an agile infrastructure, predictable cost model and secure enterprise. From cloud adoption to digital transformation, we’re driven to deliver results through the Blue Chip Experience.

Cloud

Modern Workplace

www.bluechip-IIc.com

Operations as a Service


USA

1870

Year founded

218

Acres of campus

20,500

ever-increasing influence technology

Approximate number of students

has had on operations. “When I first came here, technology had a very limited role and was primarily transactional in

from large-scale initiatives to a continu-

nature and was benignly accepted by

ously reoccurring process. The process

those who used it. Today, it’s complete-

to provide new client-based equipment

ly embedded into everything students,

for faculty and staff and the replacement

faculty or staff do and is now an expect-

of our network and server technology

ation. No one comes to the campus

has all shifted from large-scale and

without being touched by technology.

costly implementations to a cost of

It does mean that change management,

doing business. Technology isn’t going

training and communications are critical

away and we need to do a better and

as we continue to introduce technol-

more cost-effective job in supporting,

ogy and change,” explains Corby. “The

replacing and expanding the technol-

management of technology has shifted

ogy we offer.” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY As one of the first universities in the US to go wireless, The University of Akron is currently halfway through a complete upgrade to replace its network technology at the university. The organization is also undergoing a major security upgrade, both physically and digitally, to expand the security-related

“IT WAS A COMPLETE TECHNOLOGY SWITCH FOR US MIGRATING FROM A WELL-ESTABLISHED SOLUTION TO ONE THAT WAS COMPLETELY NEW TO THE UNIVERSITY AND THE NETWORK STAFF WHO IMPLEMENTED AND MAINTAINED IT”

infrastructure at the university. “Digitally we have moved forward 300

with the implementation of advanced security features with

— John Corby Chief Information Officer (CIO), The University of Akron

our Office 365 products. We’re also moving forward with multifactor authentication and eventually with a new identity management system. It has been a challenge to balance the need to protect our systems without making it too onerous or complicated for our students, faculty and staff to get access to the systems and technology they need,” says Corby. “With physical safety being a key consideration for our campus, we are in the midst of an upgrade and expansion of the infrastructure that supports this. We’re in the early stages of an upgrade and expansion of our video surveillance infrastructure and recently FEBRUARY 2019

Cybersecurity class


USA

converted our radio technology. The jump from analog to digital technology has been a great improvement in the sophistication and efficiency of our support for these operations.” With the university halfway through upgrading the entire network system, Corby believes the process has been more seamless than expected. “The process has gone along much smoother than I anticipated. It was a complete technology switch for us migrating from a well-established solution to one that was completely new to the university and the network staff who implemented and maintained it,” he says. “We’re almost done with our wired network upgrade which presented challenges in supporting the old network infrastructure while implementing the new infrastructure alongside it without impacting the network access provided to our campus. E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

John Corby John’s role provides oversight, leadership and vision to enable the use of technology supporting the institution’s goals and mission. He is responsible for providing and supporting a cost-effective, strategic and innovative technology environment to the university.

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THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

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“IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE SUSTAIN THE EFFORTS TO ENHANCE OUR NETWORK, PROVIDE ACCESS TO OUR DIGITAL ASSETS AND ENSURE THE SAFETY OF OUR DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL RESOURCES. WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT THERE ARE NO BARRIERS TO OUR SUCCESS AND WE MUST CONTINUE TO UTILIZE DATA TO MAKE MORE INFORMED AND IMPACTFUL DECISIONS” — John Corby Chief Information Officer (CIO), The University of Akron

FEBRUARY 2019


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Amphitheater looking at Buchtel Hall

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THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

Interestingly, we used some student employees who were taking some network-related classes to help with the implementation of the wireless technology. This provided some real-life “labwork” for the students and helped us rapidly deploy our new technology.”

FORMING KEY RELATIONSHIPS In order to help achieve its success, The University of Akron has formed a key technology partnership with Oracle to push the organization’s digital output. The university utilizes Oracle technologies for its ERP, data 304

warehouse, enterprise databases, storage and has recently started using Analytics Cloud (OAC) services to move forward with the organization’s business intelligence and analytics initiatives. With the help of Oracle, the university has migrated to Oracle Database Appliances (ODA) along with RAC and Active Dataguard for sustainability allowing access to systems and servers 24/7. “The ODA has provided the resiliency and business continuity that we did not have before these were put in place. They have been invaluable in regards to providing a reliable and uninterrupted user experience for our students, faculty and staff,” explains Corby. “This technology has really helped to reduce the amount of time and effort to maintain our enterprise FEBRUARY 2019


USA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON: WHERE YOUR STORY BEGINS’ 305 databases which has been critical given the reduction in staff that has occurred. For example, clones of our databases are completed in just a few hours where it had previously taken days to complete.” The university has also established technology partnerships with Dell and Blue Chip Consulting and Corby believes these key relationships have been pivotal to the expansion of the technology that the organization has implemented. “Dell has been another key technology partner for the University and helps to supply much of our infrastructure needs including servers, storage and our wired network,” he says. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

“WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE, TECHNOLOGY HAD A VERY LIMITED ROLE AND WAS PRIMARILY TRANSACTIONAL IN NATURE. TODAY, IT’S COMPLETELY EMBEDDED INTO EVERYTHING STUDENTS, FACULTY OR STAFF DO AND IS NOW AN EXPECTATION” — John Corby Chief Information Officer (CIO), The University of Akron

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William Honors College FEBRUARY 2019


USA

“We recently leveraged a state agreement to use Dell as our reseller for Microsoft products. In addition, Blue Chip Consulting is a local firm but one who has really helped us expand the use of technologies we weren’t able to leverage before. We’ve used them recently to help us with the implementation of advanced security functionality provided with our Office 365 product.” Looking to the future, Corby affirms it remains of high importance that the university continues to sustain its success by continuing to make progress digitally. “It’s important that we sustain the efforts to enhance our network, provide reliable access to our digital assets and ensure the safety of our digital and physical resources. We need to ensure that there are no barriers to our success and we must continue to utilize data to make more informed and impactful decisions.”

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Generali: 308

A customer-centric insurance provider fuelled by digital disruption WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

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GENERALI

Generali has made a name for itself as one of largest global insurance providers. Now, it’s taking on one of its biggest digital transformations yet to sustain its customer-centric reputation

310

W

orldwide, it seems the insurance sector is on the cusp of momentous change and nowhere can this be seen better than at

Assicurazioni Generali. Offering everything from corporate insurance to life and health insurance, Generali has quickly become a household name, often cited as being Europe’s third-largest insurer, the leading insurer in Italy and the second largest in Germany. Now, it’s earning its stripes for another key facet of the business: the further innovation and digital transformation process, as stated in the new Group Strategy. At its Global Corporate & Commercial division, a specialised unit within the company, Generali provides services such as property and casualty insurance to complex multinationals and large domestic commercial entities alike. Hayden Seach, Head of Global Corporate & Commercial Asia, is convinced that this digital transformation is not only FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

311

helping the company better manage its portfolio and relationships, but it’s also helping it deliver more informed risk management to its clients. Historically, insurance has been associated with a product or contract between a customer and their insurance company covering risk. In stark contrast, Generali believes it offers services beyond this, going the extra mile to deliver a service-orientated experience for its customers. “We focus on providing service-led propositions,” Seach explains, “therefore we position w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


GENERALI

“At Generali, our focus is on being agile, flexible and adaptable so we can meet the needs of our clients” Hayden Seach, Head of Generali Global Corporate & Commercial Asia

312

FEBRUARY 2019

ourselves as a company that responds to customers’ needs as a partner, rather than selling them an insurance policy or product.” Technology has undoubtedly been a key part of this strategy, and so Generali has devised a careful digital transformation plan to ensure its customers get the top-class service they deserve every time. “At Generali, our focus is on being agile,


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE EMERGING RISK – GENERALI GROUP’ 313 flexible and adaptable so we can meet

a global level. Generali is also using

the needs of our clients in a timely

a customer relationship management

manner,” adds Seach.

(CRM) tool from Microsoft Dynamics

At GC&C, digital tools involve data

which allows it to manage and maintain

consolidation, business enablement,

customer relationships, track engage-

customer service and business

ments and sales, and deliver actionable

management. When it came to data,

data. Because Generali also provides

Seach says that the company “recog-

loss prevention and risk engineering

nised it had an enormous amount of

services to its customers, it has also

data available to it” as a multinational

utilised Maximo by IBM to make the

insurer but that it wasn’t effectively

related reports, actions and results

“leveraging this to its full potential”.

electronically available.

To promote data consolidation and

But data consolidation is only the

portfolio analytics, the business rolled

start. With its digitally-savvy mindset,

out a Corporate Data Warehouse at

Generali also plans to enable the w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


Trusted Digital Advisor We help insurers connect the dots across the globe and region – becoming customer-led, operationally smart Connected Enterprises

Anticipate tomorrow. Deliver today. kpmg.com/cn

Š 2019 KPMG Advisory (Hong Kong) Limited, a Hong Kong limited liability company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Printed in Hong Kong.


ASIA

business further with a home-grown

Underwriting Workbench which

system called Gen-e-risk, short for

supports the full underwriting process,

Generali eRisk system. “Providing

from request for quotation to the

multinational insurance solutions is

binding stage. In turn, Seach says this

a very complex process,” observes

will allow the firm to “deliver technical

Seach. “This system enables us

pricing, risk assessment and portfolio

to provide multinational insurance

management as well as offer geoloca-

solutions to large and complex

tion and tracking information”.

customers, across multiple territories,

Today, insurance businesses face

compliantly.” As part of its digital

a new hurdle: how to become more

transformation journey, Generali has

customer-centric. However, this seems

developed a new system called

to be a challenge which Generali is 315

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Hayden Seach I current hold the position of Head of Asia; for Generali Global Corporate and Commercial. I am also a member of the Board of Future Generali (India) Insurance Company Limited. I have worked in the Insurance Industry for 25 years, holding various global and country leadership positions. Other board memberships I’ve held include: Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Oman) SAOC. ( June 2010 — March 2011), Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Middle East) Limited EC (alt) (February 2009 — March 2011), Glencairn Group (South Africa) (August 2005 — December 2007).

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tackling with ease. “We take the data-

and premiums status. Additionally, the

driven insights that we have from the

business is launching an Electronic

Corporate Data Warehouse and we

Policy Insurance service. Aligned with

present it back to the customer, allowing

its green strategy, this roll-out also

them to view the performance of their

aims to “promote better policy

business,” notes Seach. “This enables

documentation management for the

them to create better risk management

customer”, according to Seach.

of their own business.” “We are also just about to launch

The fourth component of Generali’s digital transformation journey lies in

a Client & Broker web portal,” he adds,

business management. By consolidat-

highlighting how the service will offer

ing its data, Seach says it helped to

a documentary repository and will also

bring “full transparency” to the busi-

provide details on service delivery

ness, allowing it to better manage and

FEBRUARY 2019


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“We position ourselves as a company that responds to customers’ needs, rather than selling them an insurance policy or a product” Hayden Seach, Head of Generali Global Corporate & Commercial Asia

track the performance of areas of the business like production, underwriting and finance. “Internally it provided us with a much better portfolio management capability,” he says. “The transparency of our portfolio has really enabled us to focus on profitability and portfolio performance. We’ve got a whole customer view, which has enabled us to deliver better results for our shareholders.” “I think another thing that I’m really proud that we’ve managed to deliver w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


GENERALI

is a more informed risk management to our customers,” he adds. “Our customers are able to get the claims data analytics that we provide.” This has had real-life, tangible impacts for customers, he asserts, citing a major multinational hotel chain as one key beneficiary. “We were able to analyse and present to them incidents which were happening within their hotels around the world. So, for example, one hotel had a slip-and-fall problem at one of their buffet lines. Using data 318

analytics, we were able to isolate the cause of the problem and help them design a risk management control.” In this instance, it meant implementing a service attendant rather than having a self-service model to prevent spillages. Indeed, Generali Global Corporate & Commercial has taken a forwardthinking approach to innovation, tapping into some of the latest technology trends shaking up the market. However, when the pace of innovation progresses at a rate of knots, how does the company keep up? “At GC&C Asia we’ve leveraged partners like KPMG who have been a fantastic supporter to us throughout our FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

journey,” Seach observes. “I think leveraging partnerships have really helped us drive our agenda as fast and effectively as the market requires.” But this isn’t the only challenge facing the company. Seach points out how his division also had to contend with legacy systems, the scale of change and the challenge of implementing this strategy worldwide. “It really requires a strong leadership focus to cascade this approach to the relevant teams within each of our businesses,” he says. It’s this strong guidance which will help the company it navigates a realm of new emerging technologies and strategies. “Leveraging robotics and other

“We’ve leveraged partners like KPMG who have been a fantastic supporter to us throughout our journey” Hayden Seach, Head of Generali Global Corporate & Commercial Asia

emerging technology is the next phase,” notes Seach. “Our value proposition requires a lot of analytics and feedback to our customers and we can’t underestimate the amount of work that goes into that. This technology will reduce the turnaround and customers will be able to receive more live-time data feedback on incidents so they can manage their own risks and exposures more effectively.” In the world of insurance, compliance is paramount and whilst Generali is already using w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

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GENERALI

160

Countries completed insurance solutions 320

71,000 Employees

1831

Year founded

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

tools like its CRM system and constant reviews to safeguard this, Seach highlights how the company is also exploring the use of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) for the future. Change is underfoot at Generali: the company is investigating the use of trailblazing new technologies and is working hard to nurture the right culture necessary for change but ultimately, for Seach and his team, the most important thing is to remain laser-focused on its service-led customer experience. “Our service beyond policy approach is something that we’re really proud of within Global Corporate & Commercial,” Seach reflects. “Looking forward, if we can continue to be the best deliverer of corporate insurance to our customer that would be something that I would be delighted with.” In order to do this, technology is set to be a vital part of Generali’s future strategy, but when the end-goal is customer-centricity, it’s by no means a silver bullet. Seach affirms that whilst technology is a “clear enabler” which can help make the company more customer-centric, it won’t ever “replace the face-to-face environments that we’ve prided ourselves on here at Generali”.

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AXA Singapore: a customer centric digital transformation WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE


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AXA SINGAPORE

We spoke with AXA Singapore’s Chief Operating Officer, Eric Lelyon on developing customer centric products and services for its digitally savvy consumers

T

he Singaporean market is witnessing significant demand for life and health insurance products. Gaining double digit

growth across all product types, the life insurance market paid out more than S$5bn to policyholders and beneficiaries in 2017, with health insurance premiums also totalling S$374mn for YTD Q42017. 324

Singaporeans are now living to over 80 years of age, where longer lifespans, rising healthcare costs and an increased demand for new digital tools have placed increased pressures on existing insurance incumbents As part of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s efforts to attract foreign investment to further ignite its economy, insurtech startups have brought new business models to the table, as well as new digital technologies, such as chatbots and mobile apps, helping insurance giants to step up to the challenge and remain competitive. Transforming its service delivery across an entire gamut of insurance services, from Life & Savings, to Health and Property & Casualty, AXA Group has invested in overhauling its outdated processes and adopting a new digital approach in order to cater towards this growing demand. FEBRUARY 2019


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AXA SINGAPORE

“We are very proud of our digital transformation projects, where we have up to 90% adoption rate on our sales too” — Eric Lelyon, Chief Operating Officer

326

“Every one of our competitors is

well as its IT and transformation

utilising self-service tools. At AXA

projects, Lelyon has also sought to

Singapore, we deal with all lines of

protect customer data as part of his

business,” explains Eric Lelyon, Chief

role as Data Privacy Officer. As the

Operating Officer, AXA Singapore.

customer’s need for personalised,

“We have competitors within life

digital services continue to grow at

insurance and general insurance, such

scale, it will remain imperative for AXA

as motor, travel, home and health, but

to adopt customer-centric engage-

all of them are trying to sell directly to

ment strategies to win and retain the

the consumer or tying up with partners

trust of its customers, and embed a

to create a digital ecosystem.”

blended approach in delivering person-

Responsible for insurance policy, AXA’s local customer call centre, as FEBRUARY 2019

alised products and services at a corporate and individual level.


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CLICK TO WATCH : AXA IN REAL LIFE REPORT 327

“In Singapore, our life insurance

choices and convenience for custom-

segment has been auto-equipped

ers. We are equipping our sales force

with Digital technologies across sales,

with innovative digital tools to engage

services and marketing. We are very

and close a case with customers in

proud of our digital transformation

minutes,� he says.

projects, where we have up to 90%

In order to reduce paperwork and

adoption rate on our sales tool. Our

enable faster policy issuance turna-

agents are selling most of our prod-

round, the business has therefore

ucts online, which will bring significant

worked to overhaul its backend

advantages. The next step for us will

capabilities and upgraded its outdated

be an offline version, which we will be

systems to provide not only cost-effi-

launching shortly, enabling agents to

ciency, but to minimise human error

sell faster, better and offer more

and deliver exceptional support to w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


121 System

An award-winning Point-of-Sale platform used by leading insurers to complete their end-to-end sales and service journeys

Financial Needs Analysis

Product Recommendation & Quotation

Product Comparison

Application & Submission

Underwriting

Policy Issuance

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Simple and intuitive user experience & interface

Paperless Straight Through Processing (STP)

Fast insurance product configuration & launch

Ensure regulatory compliance

End-to-end sales processes

Cross platform iOS/ Android/Web

sales@eabsystems.com +852 2576 6000 www.eabsystems.com


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329

its digital savvy customers. “There was a lot of transformation

customers. By taking an in-depth look at its distribution models, it has overhauled

in the backend because we didn’t need

a number of its processes, leveraging

anyone to do the processing anymore,

new technologies along the way.

but we did need to factor in regulatory

“With our life insurance, our agents

checks. However, we are now looking

make up more than two thirds of the

to change our back-end system as

business. We also sell insurance to the

well, for a system more flexible and

post offices, for example, as well as

cheaper to implement a new product,”

financial advisors (FA). We are also

states Lelyon.

exploring the increased value of APIs

Reducing its dependence on legacy

through an Insurance as a Service

systems and bringing a complete

proposition. We can do much more

omnichannel experience to the table,

on the General Insurance side, selling

AXA has sought to fully empower its

direct to the customer through the w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


AXA SINGAPORE

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FEBRUARY 2019


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AXA GROUP

€98.5bn Approximate revenue

1985 Year founded 160,000 The approximate number of AXA employees

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Power your onboarding processes. Empower your customers. Create a remarkable onboarding experience for your customers that offers realtime mobile engagement, the flexibility of anytime, anywhere self-service and omnichannel digital interactions. Combining capture, process management, e-signature and verification abilities, you create enduring customer loyalty and a competitive edge—all while ensuring compliance and automating due diligence.

Ready to take the next step?

www.kofax.com

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how to Employ onboarding best practices to win and wow customers


ASIA

“With our life insurance, our agents make up more than two thirds of the business. We also sell insurance to the post offices, for example, as well as financial advisors (FA)” — Eric Lelyon, Chief Operating Officer

333

phone or through digital means, but the

ties of consumer data. Investing in

intermediary must always remain. We

the development of a new security

are investing in checking-up on the cus-

protocols to safeguard all data under

tomer, ascertaining their needs before

its portfolio, AXA has partnered with

moving to a business process,” he says.

KPMG, undertaking a number of

Investing in new technologies and

assessments to ensure its effective-

business processes, the growing

ness, as well as implemented cloud

number of cyber-attacks is an area of

technology to further secure all

focus which has remained firmly on top

customer-related information.

of the agenda for AXA. High-profile

However, such change is not without

breaches have led to increased fears

its challenges. Transforming its organi-

on an international scale, particularly

sational structure and processes has

for businesses which hold vast quanti-

no doubt led to a cultural seachange w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


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A X A S ING A P OR E

334

Gaining double digit growth across all product types, the life insurance market in Singapore paid out more than S$5bn to policyholders and beneficiaries in 2017

AXA has sought to fully empower its customers. By taking an indepth look at its distribution models, it has overhauled its processes, leveraging new technologies along the way.

Singaporeans are now living to over 80 years of age, where longer lifespans, rising healthcare costs and an increased demand for new digital tools have placed increased pressures on traditional insurance companies

Two years ago, we rolled out an ambitious initiative locally for our front to back office transformation. We chose EAB Systems, HK as our lead system implementation partner and moved to the cloud for increased agility

AXA Group has invested in overhauling its outdated processes and adopting a new digital approach in order to cater towards this growing demand

We are utilising technologies from Kofax, Couchbase and Red Hat, choosing local software to complement our cloud-based solution

In order to reduce paperwork and enable faster claims turnaround, the business has worked to overhaul its backend capabilities to provide not only cost-efficiency, but to deliver exceptional support to its digital savvy customers

FEBRUARY 2019

We have onboarded about 1200 agents across different channels and launched all of AXA’s key products (21 in number) within an astounding one year time frame. We are now rolling this out across FA channel and this is the 1st time that AXA is opening STP solution for this group of distributors.


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at AXA, where the move towards digital

areas where we have the new operat-

integration has created a ripple effect

ing model and the old operating model

across its operations.

working next together, it is not efficient

“We are using this fantastic new tool to allow straight-forward process where there is a lot of change at the

with regards to cost efficiency,” explains Lelyon. “I am working with two hands – one

organisation and the people who are

is to be definitive to the lives of our

working for us. At the same time that

customers and to go faster to enable

we are launching this new tool we need

a positive customer experience. The

to decommission the legacy. We are

second is to do with cost control, where

eradicating all the old tools one by one

I am looking at this further. The work

which will make us more agile. None-

will show it really has been the teams

theless, because we’ve got so many

of people in our company that are

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“With an emphasis on innovation, AXA will continually make insurance personal and simple at every touch point, utilising omnichannel data and solutions to better address the current and future needs of its customers” — Eric Lelyon, Chief Operating Officer

337

really understanding this and where

more services to the customer, particu-

we are moving to.”

larly on the health side where we are

With an emphasis on innovation,

exploring a growing interest in health

AXA will continually make insurance

and wellness solutions. We are really

personal and simple at every touch

excited about transforming our IT

point, utilising omnichannel data and

ecosystem, build stronger relation-

solutions to better address the current

ships with our customers where we

and future needs of its customers,

can take care of them.”

moving from a payer to a partner. “What AXA is trying to move to is more servicing. We want to become a partner of the customer, rather than a payer,” notes Lelyon. “We want to offer w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


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G V NA I A

THE RIS DIGITAL TRAN WITH M

FEBRUARY 2019


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T A I NG

SKS OF NSFORMATION MARSH WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE

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MARSH

340

AS THE FIRM UNVEILS ITS LATEST CMT RISK STUDY, WE SPEAK TO MARSH’S CMT PRACTICE LEADERS TO LEARN ABOUT THE RISKS BEHIND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND HOW THESE CAN BE MANAGED

L

ast year, the speed of innova-

success, this transformation doesn’t

tion kept up its blistering pace

come without its risks.

– and we can expect nothing

This is where Marsh offers a helping

less in 2019. This rings true in particular

hand with its latest CMT Risk Study.

for the communications, media and

Surveying 200 of its CMT clients

technology (CMT) sector, where the

globally, the insurance heavyweight

adoption of technologies from artificial

has identified some of the risks which

intelligence (AI) to the Internet of Things

are hindering CMT companies in their

(IoT) is quickly becoming the norm.

transformation journeys. Alexander

Yet, whilst technology is increasingly

Chao, Asia Communications, Media

heralded as the key to business

& Technology Practice Leader, believes

FEBRUARY 2019


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341

that one of the biggest hurdles revolves

to the back of the pack, making R&D

around R&D and financing. “The recent

mission critical. “They need to invest

market downturn, as well as the trade

heavily in R&D in order to find the most

war between the US and China, poses

advanced technology that will help

a great risk,” he observes. “Many

them survive in the CMT industry,” Chao

manufacturers, especially in Asia, have

adds. “If they make a wrong investment,

slowed down their capital expenditure

it will potentially cost a fortune and

because they don’t have a clear picture

generate a series of problems for the

of what the future holds.” Because the

CMT company.” Other issues like patent

sector is so innovation-driven, CMT

infringement or security could also

companies must keep up or risk dropping

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“T hey need to invest heavily in R&D in order to find the most advanced technology to help them survive in the CMT industry” 342

— Alexander Chao, Asia Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader

The worries don’t end there: looking

hand, because CMT companies are

at the results for the 2019 CMT Risk

technology providers, they have liability

Survey, Thomas Quigley, US Comm-

if their technology fails to perform.

unications, Media & Technology

Whether it fails to ensure security or

Practice Leader, points out that the

simply doesn’t work as designed, it’s

top three risks identified by Marsh’s

a top liability risk.” Even if it is designed

clients are: data security and privacy;

well and is secure, there are still many

technology errors and omissions; and

ways technology can disappoint.

IT resiliency. “This shows why it’s so

“Maybe there’s an electronic interruption,

important to do a study specifically

maybe my backups didn’t work – there

for CMT companies,” he explains.

are several ways that technology can

“If you look across all industries, most

fail to work as intended,” notes Quigley.

respondents only talk about cyberattacks and data privacy. On the other FEBRUARY 2019

While some technology failures may seem minor, the ramifications of an


ASIA

increase in the types of errors can be devastating. As technology becomes ubiquitous, Quigley says that “the severity of technology failures gets greater and greater every day”. Whether the technology is being used to protect personal records or to improve the efficiency of manufacturing operations, a failure of any kind can stop a business in its tracks. “If the fintech which supports my trading platform goes down for 30 minutes, that could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses,” he says. “The more we depend upon technology, the larger the loss could be.” E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Alexander Chao joined Marsh Taiwan in 1998, and has almost 30 years of comprehensive experience in general insurance. Over the past 21 years, he has been servicing large clients in the high tech sector, offering advice in insurance program design, technical review, strategic risk review, and market relationship management. In 2016, Chao was appointed as the Regional Communications, Media and Technology Practice Leader for Asia, leveraging his deep expertise to spearhead business development initiatives throughout the region. Prior to joining Marsh, Chao started his career with MSIG Taiwan as the Head of Property Underwriting.

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As the lines between the digital and physical become blurred, the consequences of technology failure are no longer just monetary: they could also be fatal. “We can also see bodily injury and property damage from technology failure,” highlights Quigley, citing autonomous vehicles as a relevant example. In previous years, if there was a car incident it was usually the driver’s fault but nowadays, this is quickly changing. “In autonomous vehicles, there are thousands of chips and millions of lines of code. As 344

autonomous mobility becomes more

“A s autonomous mobility becomes more popular and as technology becomes commonplace in cars, it’s likely that liability will lie with the manufacturer” — Thomas Quigley, US Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Thomas Quigley leads Marsh’s Communications, Media, and Technology (CMT) Practice in the United States. He ensures Marsh delivers to its clients a deep understanding of the forces driving opportunity and disruption for CMT companies, and the innovative solutions required to address their rapidly evolving risk profiles. Quigley provides seniorlevel oversight and client service direction to our team of 600+ CMT colleagues. Quigley’s focus includes a broad range of sectors and emerging ecosystems including communications, broadcasting, publishing, digital media, social media, information services, hosting, software, IT services, financial technologies, mobile payments, sharing economy, autonomous mobility, personal electronics, hardware, and electronic components. FEBRUARY 2019


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345

popular and as technology becomes

edged sword is IoT. Communications

commonplace in cars, it’s likely that

giant Ericsson forecasts that there will

liability will lie with the manufacturer.”

be around 29bn connected devices by

As a result, survey respondents reported

2022, of which 18mn will be IoT-driven.

that they are increasingly being asked

From industrial IoT to connected cars

to take on more liability if an accident

and wearable technology, the

happens and can be traced back to their

possibilities for this innovation are

product or component.

endless – but so are the risks. Industrial

In last year’s edition of the CMT Risk

IoT is creating impressive efficiencies

Study, two-thirds of respondents said

in manufacturing operations but with

they believed that emerging tech-

unlimited connections, comes unlimited

nologies will increase risk complexity

ways to fail. “The biggest challenge, in

in the next three to five years. One

my opinion, is that IoT is unbounded:

disruptive technology set to be a double-

it’s limitless in terms of the number of w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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“If you look across all industries, most respondents only talk about cyber-attacks and data privacy. On the other hand, because CMT companies are technology providers, they have liability if their technology fails to perform” — Thomas Quigley, US Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader FEBRUARY 2019


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347

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things that can be connected,” Quigley explains. “With lots of devices comes greater vulnerabilities because many of the firms exploring IoT aren’t truly focusing on the security.” This is where risk enters the frame: as more devices are connected, it creates more and more opportunity for one of the devices to fail, causing the system to go down. “For IoT to work you also need a stable and secure connection under the 5G environment,” adds Chao. “CMT companies need to invest a lot in R&D in order to keep up.” Some of the risks involved with IoT we may not even

348

be aware of yet. “I think we have to be

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

ready for surprises,” says Quigley

should be treated with risk insurance

candidly. “We haven’t experienced all

and risk transfer afterwards or

the different loss events that could

whether they should be treated with

happen yet.”

risk assessment and risk prevention

With these risks and uncertainties

at the beginning, a large majority of

taken into account, it isn’t all doom and

our clients agree that for over 75%

gloom. In a consumer-centric market,

of the risks the focus should be on

IoT has the opportunity to generate

upfront assessment and prevention,”

a unique customer experience and, with

highlights Quigley.

the right risk management strategy,

Chao echoes this, highlighting how

firms can sidestep the common pitfalls.

any problem which occurs could

Marsh, and indeed its survey

tarnish a firm’s brand integrity. “Once

respondents, believe that the secret to

a harmful cyber event happens, it can

tackling cybersecurity could lie in

destroy the company’s entire operation

both acting pre-emptively as well as

if they don’t have a contingency plan

reactively. “When asked whether risks

in place,” he says. “Risk assessment

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MARSH

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FEBRUARY 2019


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“Risk assessment and prevention analysis need to happen as frequently as possible. You need to recognise where the next risks are going to be. You don’t want to slow R&D down; you want to enable innovation by making sure you can do as much as you can to address risks before they happen” — Alexander Chao, Asia Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader

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“It’s about making sure that your IT is resilient and that broad industry events like the WannaCry attack don’t disrupt your operations. It’s also about protecting your intellectual property and protecting customer data” — Thomas Quigley, US Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

and prevention analysis need to happen as frequently as possible. You need to recognise where the next risks are going to be. You don’t want to slow R&D down; you want to enable innovation by making sure you can do as much as you can to address risks before they happen.” To tackle this, the pair believe that CMT companies should take a lesson from traditional firms and understand how the end customer is impacted when technology fails. Traditional, non-technology orientated firms could take a leaf out of their book too, recognising that, when it comes to cybersecurity, they shouldn’t just focus on data privacy but also need to talk about IT resiliency and other aspects of digital transformation. “Cybersecurity is such a broad term,” admits Quigley. “It’s about making sure that your IT is resilient and that broad industry events like the WannaCry attack don’t disrupt your operations. It’s also about protecting your intellectual property and protecting customer data.” Cybersecurity investment is a “never-ending story”, adds Chao, as hackers will always migrate and evolve. Risk management may seem a daunting task but Marsh believes it doesn’t have to be. To tackle this challenge, Quigley says that the industry w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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MARSH

needs to “take risk data from multiple sources and use that to inform and quantify new risks”. On top of this, companies should go back to basics. “We find that just by getting people in a room with a clean whiteboard you can talk about new products and potential loss scenarios – it’s critical to the process,” he says. Marsh can help firms navigate this tricky terrain. As the world’s largest insurance broker and one of the largest brokers specifically 354

for CMT companies, it has a wealth of experience and insights that it can share with its clients. “We work

$6bn

Approximate revenue

1871

Year founded

30,000 Approximate number of employees

with thousands of other companies and industries across the globe,” highlights Quigley. “With all client confidentiality maintained, we can

As well as having the analytical

take learnings and insights from those

strength to aid risk management,

companies and apply those to CMT

Chao believes that Marsh’s talented

companies. We can help them think

team also gives the global broker an

about what the loss impact could be

edge. “For risk consulting, we have

if their technology fails to perform.

qualified risk engineers,” he says. “The

Thanks to this experience, we have

majority of our engineers come from

innumerable data points which we

the industry and so they have the know-

can use not only to brainstorm but to

how to craft the business contingency

model, quantify and develop solutions

plan for the client.” With annual revenues

for a whole set of emerging risks.”

of over US$6bn and more than 30,000

FEBRUARY 2019


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355

colleagues worldwide, it seems many

understanding technology is critical,

have put their faith in Marsh to help

understanding digital solutions is

them navigate the realm of risk

critical and understanding risk

management. Combining leading

assessment and quantification is

expertise, experience and innovative

critical. We’ve aggressively built up

solutions, Quigley and Chao believe

this capability over the past few

that, for any firm, putting trust in Marsh

years to meet our clients’ demands.”

is a safe bet. “As a broker, our history is defined by helping clients secure the insurance solutions they need,” reflects Quigley. “But we also recognise that w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Competitive advantage through digital transformation WRIT TEN BY

HARRY MENE AR PRODUCED BY

MIK E SADR

FEBRUARY 2019


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OSM MARITIME GROUP

We sit down with OSM Maritime CTO Chakib Abi-Saab to find out how the company is using AI, machine learning, IoT, drones, augmented reality, blockchain and automation to empower its 11,000-strong workforce

F

ounded in 1989, OSM Maritime has grown from a single crew-management contract to a fleet of over 500

vessels managed from 26 offices around the 358

globe. Business Chief sat down with OSM’s Chief Technology Officer, Chakib Abi-Saab to find out how one of the world’s largest maritime management companies is using breakthrough technologies to empower and unite its 11,000 employees. “Technology is not the solution to everything,” says Abi-Saab, “but it is a very important toolset that enables us to provide better and more reliable services, and facilitate greater transparency with our clients.” He explains that “as a whole, the industry has not adopted technology on a large scale. I think at OSM we have been very aggressive. We believe that business gains, transparencies and improvements in relationships, and efficiencies that we gain from technology FEBRUARY 2019


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Empowering tomorrow’s digital winners

Simplifai is your in-house automation partner, through the use of Artificial Intelligence we automate routine tasks in offices such as customer service, accounting and HR.

Find out more here www.simplifai.ai | Email: sales@simplifai.ai Phone: +65 9044 4716 (Asia) +47 4150 3263 (Europe)


ASIA

equal a competitive advantage”. At the

access to correlations that we, as

heart of the company’s technological

humans, might not be able to see. We’re

transformation is its Maritime Opera-

expecting to move to the next level with

tions Centre, located in Singapore.

machine learning, so that we can perform

Abi-Saab presided over the Centre’s

predictive analytics and predictive main-

creation in 2018 and will oversee the

tenance which will become a cost

construction of a second facility in

savings to us and to our customers.”

Arendal, Norway in 2020. The Centre

As Chief Technology Officer, Abi-

enables OSM to monitor and manage

Saab is currently overseeing the adop-

the company’s global fleet 24 hours

tion of several new technologies to

a day. Abi-Saab explains that, with the

further enable OSM’s technical manag-

Centre in operation, “We not only have

ers to perform their roles. At the core

information that used to take weeks to

of each new technology, he empha-

gather, but the computer also gives us

sises, is the ethos that “technology is

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Chakib Abi-Saab Chakib is a business leader and technologist with 20+ years of experience aligning technology with operational goals. Chakib has led significant global projects in multinational environments and has played several key roles in global organizations like Baker Hughes Inc. and Bumi Armada Berhad. Chakib is now the Chief Technology Officer of OSM Maritime Group. Chakib’s main focus is always on the utilization of technology as a driver to optimize costs, improve productivity, increase returns, reduce risks, and create new revenue streams. His technology expertise is in connected assets, analytics, automation, and predictive environments. He is also experienced leading complex multinational digital transformations.

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OSM MARITIME GROUP

a way to give people the right informa-

best possible people to manage our

tion so that they can make decisions

ships. But the reality is that you cannot

based on what’s happening at that

have experts for everything on every

particular time, operationally and fin-

ship.” This is where one of OSM’s latest

ancially”. New initiatives that OSM is

pieces of technology comes into play:

aggressively testing or already using

augmented reality goggles. Allowing

include machine learning and AI, edge

on-ship staff to display in real time the

computing, augmented reality, drones

repair process enables OSM to “take

and blockchain.

advantage of the 11,000 people in the

“Imagine you are managing a ship

company for expertise that can walk

and one part of the engine breaks,”

our engineers through the solution,

says Abi-Saab. “Well, we in OSM do

because we can see what they see

the best possible job we can to hire the

and we can send diagrams that they

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘#TRENDSPOTTING WITH OSM & OUR AMAZING PARTNERS’ 363 see through the augmentative reality goggles,” explains Abi-Saab. “We expect that having these augmentative reality goggles on our ships will mean that challenges that could, today, disable a ship would be dramatically reduced. We will have people with the right expertise helping us resolve those problems. So, the efficiency gains will be dramatic.” OSM also operates a number of offshore oil & gas facilities. In the past, an operational event that required an underwater inspection would result in halted production for prolonged periods of time, while trained divers w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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“Simplifai has proven to have deep understanding of processes combined with RPA, among other skills” — Chakib Abi-Saab, CTO OSM Maritime

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OSM MARITIME GROUP

 







FEBRUARY 2019

     




ASIA

“We believe that IoT is going to be the key to preventive maintenance” — Chakib Abi-Saab, CTO OSM Maritime 367

would be deployed for surveillance and

“Part of the immediate efforts to build

repairs. Now, Abi-Saab says, that

efficiencies through digitalization

could change. “When you stop a rig

includes working very closely with our

operation, you’re talking about hun-

partners of Simplifai to completely

dreds of thousands of dollars lost on

evaluate and re-engineer processes

an hourly basis. If you have a drone in

with the objective of then using Robotics

the water that can do the same job, you

Process Automation (RPA) to speed

do not have to stop the operations.

up the execution of repetitive tasks and

So, it not only increases safety but it

reduce manual intervention,” adds

increases profitability.” OSM is consid-

Abi-Saab. Simplifai is a holistic artificial

ering the adoption of drones for both

intelligence solutions company head-

underwater and aerial inspections in

quartered in Oslo, Norway. By using

combination with video analytics on its

Simplifai’s technology to automate

rigs and ships under management.

routine tasks, Abi-Saab estimates OSM w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


OSM MARITIME GROUP

C OMPA N Y FA C T S

• OSM: 11,000 employees, 25 office locations, a fleet of 500 vessels, and a 90% customer retention rate • Simplifai: OSM’s new partner, experts in AI solutions, particularly Robotics Process Automation

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will be able to increase efficiency in

of machine learning, AI, IoT and edge

those areas by up to 50%. The adoption

computing to record the most relevant

of RPA will also bring scalability and

information from its fleet and parse it for

improved data quality due to the error

insights into operational solutions. “We

reductions inherent to automation.

believe that IoT is going to be the key to

“We are now an organization that takes

preventive maintenance,” Abi-Saab

advantage of data and business

says. “But we need to approach it very

intelligence to make better decisions,

smartly. You can find sensors for every-

and having error-free data means better

thing, but not everything that can be

decisions, and having only one version

measured should be measured and not

of the truth,” says Abi-Saab, adding

everything that should be measured

that “Simplifai has proven to have deep

can be measured. So we’re currently

understanding of processes combined

working to identify what are those areas

with RPA, among other skills.”

that, if we measure, would give us the

As well as tools for gathering and

efficiency gains that we are looking for.”

redistributing knowledge and raw data,

Uniting information from every indi-

OSM is dedicating itself to the adoption

vidual system OSM has in operation

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OSM MARITIME GROUP

within a centralised database, the

functions as a single harmonious

Operations Centre helps to prevent

ecosystem. “Having all the information

the company’s solutions from becom-

in a centralized database will give us

ing siloed. “We have experienced the

several advantages,” notes Abi-Saab.

same challenges as everybody else

“First is the ability to properly monitor

in the industry,” admits Abi-Saab. “Part

security. Second is the ability to properly

of the creation of the Operation Center

back up our data and restore it in the

comes in a second phase where we

event of an emergency or disaster so

will create a fully centralized database,

that we have proper business continu-

which holds information from every

ity. And third, it will give us the ability

system we have in the organization,”

to have smart algorithms of artificial

helping to ensure company’s tech

intelligence from our machine learning

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371

software going through the data, so

edge computing, and machine learning

that we can get correlations that would

as part of a centralised database will,

possibly not be imagined by humans‌

Abi-Saab believes, lead to significant

Similarly, we are looking at edge comp-

efficiencies for OSM, as the company

uting technology so that, not only

gains insights into preventative main-

will we have analytics onshore in the

tenance strategies. “Imagine that you

operation center, but the people who

have a fleet of ships around the world.

manage the ships also have access

Normally, the way maritime companies

to real-time analytics so they can

work is you have Vessel Managers

make better decisions.�

onshore and you have the Captains in

Identifying trends in ship maintenance using this combination of IoT,

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“Pursuing technology solutions will help us create technical ability, security, reliance and efficiency gains in everything we do” — Chakib Abi-Saab, CTO OSM Maritime

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if a ship breaks in Brazil and then another breaks in Africa and another stops working in Europe, under normal circumstances each incident might be seen as an isolated case. But, if you have all the information in one centralized database, artificial intelligence can detect a trend, ships that are similar, or parts that are similar that are breaking. Then it starts telling you, based on the past history of Ships A, B and C that we should change a particular part of this type of ship because it’s about to break. That’s when you truly create value.” 374

OSM Maritime’s exploration and adoption of digitally transformative technologies is comprehensive and happening at speed. A large part of Abi-Saab’s role is to ensure the company’s slogan, “It’s all about people,” is respected and adhered to. “We believe that technology, without the support and knowledge of the people, would not be as efficient and would not give you the value that you need,” he explains. “We are focusing on aggressive change management plans that not only choose the proper technologies but also communicate to everyone in the organization that will be affected what is happening, why that is happening, and how that will affect them. Because the better people understand FEBRUARY 2019


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375

the positive impact the adoption of technologies has on their job, the more their resistance to it is reduced.” For example, OSM is currently examining the possibility of a partnership with a company specialising in blockchain technology. The digital ledger technology would address a challenge faced by OSM crew members: paper certificates and documentation. “If those certificates are lost, it’s going to take them weeks, potentially months, depw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


OSM MARITIME GROUP

$100mn Approximate revenue

1989

Year founded

11,000+

376

Approximate number of employees

FEBRUARY 2019


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ending on where in the world they are, to get them back. Without those certificates, they cannot board a ship,” explains Abi-Saab. “If we have a blockchain solution that enables them to produce real time information about their training and certificates to ship owners anywhere in the world, then it would become quite an interesting solution.” 2019 and 2020 promise to be exciting years for OSM Maritime. Abi-Saab predicts that the next year will see a tipping point for the company, where “pursuing technology solutions will help us create technical ability, security, reliance and efficiency gains in everything we do today, with the aim to become a highly-predictive analytical, artificial intelligence and machinelearning-based organization in 2020.”

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AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA – A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION 378

AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA’S VISION IS TO BE VALUED AND RECOGNISED AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER IN THE PROVISION OF SAFE AND INNOVATIVE SERVICES TO THE AIR TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY. ITS CIO, CHRIS SELLER, TELLS NIKI WALDEGRAVE HOW ITS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS DOING JUST THAT WRIT TEN BY

NIKI WA LDEGR AVE PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

FEBRUARY 2019


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AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA

A

irservices Australia is the country’s air navigator provider, managing 11% of the

world’s airspace while providing air traffic control, aviation rescue and firefighting services. Owned by the Australian Government and governed by a board of directors appointed by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Airservices Australia manages domestic and international air traffic operations for more than 154mn passengers on more than four million flights annually. The industry and workforce have faced increasing 380

disruptions over recent years, driven by new airspace entrants, continual growth in commercial aviation, new business models and digital technologies. As a result, Airservices – which has a $1.08bn turnover and owns and operates a number of systems and services that are connected both internally and externally – reintroduced the role of chief information officer in May 2016. Chris Seller, who has more than 30 years of experience in the IT industry in some of Australia’s largest organisations including Westpac, Qantas and Jetstar, got the role, and established the Information Management and Data Services group in 2016. “This was a key message to customers, stakeholders and staff of Airservices’ commitment to move towards to customer-centric information service delivery,” Seller, who leads a 400-strong FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

“AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA’S VISION IS TO BE VALUED AND RECOGNISED AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER IN THE PROVISION OF SAFE AND INNOVATIVE SERVICES TO THE AIR TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY” — Chris Seller, CIO, Airservices Australia

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POWERING YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Find out more


ASG GROUP’S GROUND-BREAKING PARTNERSHIP WITH AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA “The largest move to the cloud in Australian Government history” will be completed at the end of 2018 thanks to ASG Group’s five year contract with Airservices Australia. The positive project update is a result of the engagement with ASG Group as its IAAS partner to deliver its corporate information technology services as a managed service. It provides these services via Vault Cloud, a platform certified by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). “The first stage of the technology overhaul has been to migrate the support for all the technical infrastructure that runs the business side – email, the agency’s systems of record, the desktop environment etc to an ‘as a service’ model,” says Chris Seller, Airservices Australia’s chief information officer. “ASG Group was awarded this infrastructure as a service contract and partnered with an Australian cloud services company – Vault Cloud. The migration to Vault’s secure private cloud environment has occurred over the last six months resulting in one of the largest and most successful cloud migrations undertaken by an Australian Federal Government agency to date.” The migration, which includes around 88 servers and 130 applications including SAP core ERP systems is largely complete, with all systems serving around 3500 staff relocated from Airservices’ Canberra offices to both the Canberra Data Centre and the Vault Cloud platform. ASG has demonstrated capability at managing large scale, mission critical and highly sensitive tasks for government customers, including providing Victoria’s Department of Justice & Regulation (DJR) with a secure platform for the cloud hosting of selected applications. By partnering with ASG, the move to cloud has delivered significant performance improvements for Airservices, and ASG’s Chief Operating Officer, Dean Langenbach, says, “As we have proven in the past, and once again through our work with Airservices, ASG is the genuine alternative to Australia’s traditional Tier 1 providers. “We have brought to Airservices our trade mark commercial model, which has agility and flexibility at its core. And, with that, our proven capability in cloud transition and business transformation.” “We’re local, we have the expertise, and we are invested personally in every project. Our parent company NRI – one of the world’s largest business consultancy and technology solution firms – has made enormous financial and resources commitments to ASG’s mission. We are more enabled and ready than ever before.” - Dean Langenbach, ASG COO

BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATION FOR THE FUTURE Along with its cloud migration, the transition to a managed services delivery model provides Airservices with a number of benefits, including improving service quality and availability, reducing overall information technology operating costs, enhanced information security and increasing service flexibility. ASG’s five-year contract includes the delivery of a solution encompassing several key components: •Cloud Services Provision of ASD certified cloud computing capability (provided by Vault Systems) with industry best practice security, redundancy, and failover capabilities. ASG’s cloud services will also deliver both public and private capability allowing for segregation of secure and protected workloads. •Consumption of services ASG provides with a range of services on a consumption basis with monthly service costs based on Airservices’ actual consumption of key services. •Transformation A significant component of the journey to cloud capability is the transformation of ICT Services from on-premise to cloud, upgrade of end user computing, rationalisation of server infrastructure, and optimisation of the server and data layer for application performance improvement. •Innovation and Continuous Improvement As a strategic partner, ASG has been engaged to assist Airservices to identify and execute initiatives to improve business efficiency and agility, while seeking to drive down operational costs. Supported by a jointly managed Innovation Fund, ASG and Airservices fund key initiatives across the business.


AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA

“WE ARE MODERNISING AND SIMPLIFYING OUR ENTIRE TECHNOLOGY ENVIRONMENT. BASED ON EMERGING AVIATION INDUSTRY TRENDS, IT IS CLEAR THAT WE WILL NEED TO PLAY A BROADER ROLE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF ALL AIRSPACE FOR POTENTIAL USERS” — Chris Seller, CIO, Airservices Australia

team, says. “We are modernising and streamlining our entire technology environment. Based on emerging aviation industry trends, it is clear that information driven services will need to play a broader role in the management of all airspace for all current and future users.” He insists key programs to refresh the organisation’s telecommunications network, cybersecurity capabilities, technology infrastructure, corporate and business support systems are critical enablers to support its business agility ambitions. “Our strategy has focused on driving new and innovative technology outcomes, both

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internally and by working with industry partners to enable new operational efficiencies and customer services,” he adds. Airservices Australia’s partners include NEC, Nokia, Telstra, Optus and SITA for telecommunications, Vault Cloud and ASG Group for technology infrastructure, SAP for business systems, and organisations like Saab, Frequentis, Metron, Ingegneria Dei Sistemi (IDS) and Thales Group for its air traffic management (ATM) systems. Airservices is fundamentally transforming its information and technology services by integrating its Operational (Engineering) and Enterprise (ICT) capabilities to ensure it capitalises on the significant engineering and FEBRUARY 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘24 HOURS IN AUSTRALIA’S AIRSPACE’ 385 safety-critical design capabilities within

performance-based operations –

the organisation, while introducing more

delivered through system and informa-

contemporary ICT skills and techniques.

tion integration based on a modern,

Five strategic imperatives have been defined that will shape the development of Airservices Australia’s information and technology roadmap: 1. Customer focused Information

scalable, and standardised enterprise architecture. 3. Automation and digitisation – designed to enable business agility and improve information capture,

Management – secure real-time

processing and human-to-system

information exchange across customer

interactions.

and stakeholder groups through the

4. Modernised, secure and agile

implementation of contemporary

ICT services – that support evolving

information management, analytics

business needs through the implemen-

and reporting practices.

tation of modular, scalable, commod-

2. Modernised ATM capabilities for

itised technology infrastructure and w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA

C OMPA N Y FA C T S

Airservices Australia: • Has a $1.08 billion turnover • Is the county’s air navigation provider • Is owned by the Australian Government and governed by a board of directors appointed by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

388

• Manages domestic and international air traffic operations for over 154mn passengers on more than four million flights in a region covering 11% of the world’s service • Provides air traffic control, navigation and aviation rescue, aeronautical data and firefighting services • Reintroduced the CIO role and established the Information Management and Data Services group in 2016

FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

“O UR STRATEGY HAS FOCUSED ON DRIVING NEW AND INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY OUTCOMES, BOTH INTERNALLY AND BY WORKING WITH INDUSTRY PARTNERS TO ENABLE NEW OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES AND CUSTOMER SERVICES” — Chris Seller, CIO, Airservices Australia

telecommunications with isolation for protection of regulated safety critical components. 5. Cyber Security enhancements

a digital organisation, with a focus on information management and more contemporary technology to support a more efficient, agile business. “One of the biggest things that we did, was to sit down and map out what our priorities are,” he says. “How do we take an organisation, which is one of the most highly respected, and arguably one of the best air navigation providers in the world, to actually build on that capability, to make it better, and take it beyond the capability that we’d already achieved?” That work spawned an ambitious 5-year technology roadmap. “This roadmap sets out a digital transformation strategy essential for us

– to detect, prevent, protect, resolve

to achieve our ambition. The first thing

and respond, enabling strict compli-

that was clear, was that when you’re

ance requirements for critical national

coming from a very asset centric

infrastructure while ensuring future

engineering organisation, you need to

developments can occur at a pace with

start looking at the culture, and move

confidence and trust in the integrity,

away from being an owner/operator,

confidentiality and availability of our

someone who builds things and oper-

information and systems assets.

ates them, to somebody who can

Seller claims one of the biggest

identify how to source fit-for-purpose

changes to the organisation has been

solutions, whether they be internal or

the shift in the thinking from being an

externally provided, and integrate them

engineering organisation, focused

to solve business problems.”

on asset management, to becoming

The first stage of the technology w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

389


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ANZ

overhaul has been to migrate the support

The next stage of the infrastructure

for all the technical infrastructure that

transformation will be to modernise the

runs the business side – email, the

agency’s complex telecommunications

agency’s systems of record, the desktop

infrastructure.

environment, etc. to an ‘as a service’

“Our operations are highly dependent

model. ASG Group was awarded this

on reliable and resilient telecommuni-

infrastructure as a service contract

cations. Our network covers much of

and partnered with an Australian cloud

the Australian continent and has grown

services company — Vault Cloud.

organically over many years to meet

“The migration to Vault’s secure private

the needs of our air traffic operations

cloud environment has occurred over

and business systems. We have recently

the past six months resulting in one of

done a full review of our future telecom-

the largest and most successful cloud

munications needs and how future

migrations undertaken by an Australian

space-based services will integrate

Federal Government agency to date.”

with our terrestrial services. We have

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Chris Seller has over 30 years experience in the IT industry and his career has included senior executive level roles with accountability for technology strategy and transformation, infrastructure and operations, enterprise architecture, strategic sourcing, organisational change management, program management, and applications development with industry experience extending across financial services, aviation, commercial software development, and cartography. Chris’ role as CIO for Airservices is ensure the right technology systems and organisational structures are in place to prepare for the changes occurring in the global air navigation services industry. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA

“O UR MAJOR POSTURE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT WE’RE A VERY SAFETY-ORIENTATED ORGANISATION, AND WE ARGUE THAT WE ARE ONE OF THE MOST SAFETY CONSCIOUS ORGANISATIONS IN THE COUNTRY” — Chris Seller, CIO, Airservices Australia 392 begun the work on this modernisation program which will take about 2 years to complete.” Another big driver for the digital strategy is the ambitious Digital Information Program, which will deliver enhanced information management capabilities and a broader information driven strategic direction through to the end of the next decade and beyond. “That’s our ability to aggregate the data from a myriad of sources across our operational world, and our back office, into a standardised platform that then allows us to securely and efficiently process and distribute that FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

information, both internally and externally,” Seller explains. “Previously, we hadn’t thought about how we might apply analytics beyond our basic operational needs but we believe we have the capability and know-how to add value way beyond what we have traditionally done. Much of the data that we manage in our environment, if we apply the right analytics, and the right transformation processes, becomes valuable – helping our customers and partners work smarter and perform better.” DIG I TA L S T R AT E G Y

The five strategic imperatives defined to shape the development of Airservices Australia’s roadmap and portfolio of initiatives are: 1. Customer focused Information Management — this requires secure real-time information exchange across customer groups and the development of master data management, analytics and reporting processes.

“This platform, and the transformation in our information management capabilities, are two really big priorities that we’re working on at the moment. The organisation is very keen for us to drive those initiatives as fast as we can.” When modernising such an environment with more contemporary capability, security threats are a real issue. As a consequence, Airservices Australia is undertaking a major cyber security programme. “Our posture has always been that we’re a very safety orientated organisation, and we argue that we are one of the most safety conscious organisations in the country,” he says. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

393


Commitment beyond technology.

The height of air traffic management.

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ANZ

“But we’ve started to introduce the concept that, ‘can we really be sure it’s safe if it’s not secure?’ If we’re going to aggregate this data and distribute it, people will want to know that that is being done securely.” “That gives us the best chance of delivering secure industry and customer outcomes more flexibly and faster than we’ve been able to do in the past.” he says. Another major initiative that builds on the capabilities being delivered by the digital platform is the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) program. “Airservices has been an industry leader in the Collaborative Decision-Making concept, where Airservices, Aircraft Operators and Airports work together through the

“W E THINK THAT THE SUPPLIER AND THE MANUFACTURER OF THESE SYSTEMS IS OFTEN BETTER PLACED TO DO THE LEVEL TWO AND THREE MAINTENANCE” — Chris Seller, CIO, Airservices Australia

exchange of real time information to optimise air traffic network operations.

international flights into its demand

Significant benefits for the industry

and capacity program that manages

and travelling public can be achieved

traffic flow efficiency at all of the major

through implementing A-CDM which is

aerodromes across the country.

aimed at taxi time and air traffic flow management delay reductions.” Airservices Air Traffic Flow Manage-

“This is another example of an information based collaborative decision-making system”,” he explains.

ment program will be another world

“We have a system that looks at the

first, using software built by Metron, the

runway demand, weather and other

company will soon be able to integrate

operational constraints to calculate how w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

395


www.frequentis.com

Rethinking ATC towers Frequentis is actively driving the evolution of digital towers

Frequentis customers benefit from more than seventy years

across the world through involvement in major research

of experience in mission-critical air traffic control solutions.

programs such as SESAR, and by driving standardisation

The desire to innovate and develop technologies that solve

through working groups like EUROCAE, to enable safe

safety, capacity and efficiency demands is at the core of what

operations.

we do.

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many aircraft can land safely at any

to integrate international flights into the

particular time at a particular aerodrome.”

same programme. This will allow us to

“This morning, with very heavy fog in

provide real time network information to

Sydney we would have had to signifi-

the airlines so they can make trajectory

cantly reduce arrivals or departures

adjustments during the most efficient

for a period of time. What we do is run

part of their flight to best fit in with the

a demand simulation that sets the safe

domestic operations at their destination

movement numbers and we work with

aerodrome.”

the airlines to assist them to figure out

Another exciting development is

the impacts across the network and

the investment in Digital Aerodrome

what options they have if they can’t land

Services. The opportunity is to use

in Sydney. Do they cancel? Do they

multiple high definition camera arrays

delay? What are the operational and

to provide a digital view of operations

customer impacts across the day etc?”

at an aerodrome. This means air traffic

“We’re currently building the capability FEBRUARY 2019

controllers will be watching real time


ANZ

“TO SUCCEED, WE NEED TO CONTINUE OUR FUNDAMENTAL CULTURAL CHANGE” — Chris Seller, CIO, Airservices Australia

high-quality video images – reducing emphasis on the traditional 360-degree view from a cabin high above a central point at the aerodrome. “This technology is in its early stages of its evolution and we see huge benefits in the near future as new capabilities like machine learning and pattern recognition are integrated to augment the services provided by controllers.” All these initiatives are also aimed at supporting Airservices Australia’s ambitious Air Navigation Modernisation Program, OneSKY, which is delivering the new joint civilian and military air traffic system (CMATS). “This is the first time in the world that

397 DIG I TA L S T R AT E G Y

2. Modernised ATM capabilities for performancebased operations — delivered through data and information integration based on a modern, scalable, standardised enterprise architecture. 3. Automation and digitisation — designed to enable business agility and improve information capture, processing and human-tosystem interactions.

this has been done at this scale, and w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA

DIG I TA L S T R AT E G Y with these many partners, anywhere, so there’s a lot of focus on that,” he explains. “And that will drive the predictability of passengers’ journeys.” Part of that program is already live and the core system that the air traffic controllers use will come online around 2024, cementing the technology as the most modern and up to date air traffic control system globally. With all of this technology transformation Airservices is exploring how to use its partners more efficiently without 398

having to become the technical experts for every system used in their operations. “We think that the suppliers and the manufacturers of these systems are often better placed to support us when

“WE HAVE SOME EXCELLENT FOUNDATIONS IN PLACE TODAY AND WE NEED TO BUILD ON THESE TO POSITION FOR THE FUTURE. STRONG CUSTOMER SERVICE FOCUS AND DEEP ATM EXPERTISE MATCHED WITH THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGIES AND PARTNERS ARE THE KEYS TO HARNESSING INFORMATION” — Chris Seller, CIO, Airservices Australia FEBRUARY 2019

4. Modernised, scalable, secure and agile ICT services — that support evolving business needs through the development of modular, scalable, commoditised network infrastructure with isolation for protection of regulated safety critical components. 5. Cyber Security enhancements — to detect, prevent, protect, respond and resolve security incidents to meet the strict compliance requirement for critical national infrastructure while enabling future developments to occur at a pace with confidence and trust in the integrity, confidentiality and availability of our information and system assets.

it comes to detail design and maintenance activities, our role should be to ensure we are getting the best solutions and services required to maintain our operations to the highest standards.” he explains. “We must also embed agility and speed


ANZ

$1.08bn Approximate revenue

1995

Year founded

3,500

Approximate number of employees

into our delivery. To succeed, we need

a strong service delivery focus and

to continue our fundamental cultural

deep ATM expertise. Their collective

change. Supporting this are technology

efforts over the past couple of years

services, solutions and business

have been outstanding. As we look to

partnerships that focus on innovation,

the future, we will need to embrace

automation and digitalisation – ruthlessly

change to ensure we balance these

driving standardisation as well as

foundations with the right blend of

creating new value outcomes.”

technologies and new capabilities to

“We are really proud of the team we

meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

have in place – we are building from solid foundation, with teams that have w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

399


400

Technology transformation at Bupa is improving lives in Australia and New Zealand WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

MIK E SADR

FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

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w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

Sami Yalavac, CIO at Bupa Australia and New Zealand, explains how technology can be used to improve health and lifestyle alongside operational efficiency

M

ore than just a health insurer, Bupa cares for its clients’ health and wellbeing across many aspects, from dental

and lifestyle to aged care, and most importantly providing funding at vital moments. The company maintains a strong commitment to connecting 402

customers with affordable and accessible care, not least across the ANZ region which makes up almost half of the company’s global business. This commitment rings true with Sami Yalavac, CIO at Bupa Australia & New Zealand, who drives the organisation’s technology transformation journey with a noble goal in mind. “It’s a great organisation with a great purpose – a day at work means you are helping people live longer, healthier and happier lives,” he enthuses, adding that the people involved in this mission make Bupa what it is. “There’s a really friendly, collaborative, supportive culture from the top down.” Indeed, of the 78,000 staff employed globally by Bupa, around 22,000 are based in ANZ. Despite making up approximately 45% of the company’s revenue, Bupa only entered the FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

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w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


WHAT CLOUD-BASED IDENTITY MEANS FOR AUSTRALIAN HEALTHCARE

Australia: +61 283104484 www.okta.com


Healthcare in Australia has traditionally lagged behind most other industries in terms of technology adoption. Many hospitals, GP practices and other organisations still rely on paper records, handwritten notes, siloed data stores and IT systems, and even film-based radiology images. Information sharing across providers can be inefficient and data portability is rare. It’s not unusual to see patients in hospitals clutching paper cards with their personal treatment details, while communication, collaboration and coordination of care processes are all challenging. However, things are beginning to change for the better and digital transformation is increasingly at the centre of government efforts to cut costs and boost efficiencies while improving the delivery of key services. My Health Record, for example, is a crucial first step in centralising and digitising patient records, to ensure a better service across healthcare providers. Better use of technology in Australian healthcare would not only give patients more control over their health and well-being, but could also reduce the administrative burden for care professionals, as well as support the research and development of new medicines and treatments.

HEALTHCARE GOES DIGITAL In the rush to streamline processes and empower patients by migrating to cloud and app-based systems, identity and access management (IAM) has become vitally important. Gartner Research VP and industry expert, Barry Runyon, believes the growing infrastructure, system and support requirements of healthcare organisations (HCOs), alongside increasingly tight budgets and staffing challenges, are driving them towards greater cloud adoption. Cloud services are already being used in some cases to support content management, medical record systems, portals and clinical collaboration. Gartner’s Forecast Overview: Healthcare Provider Market, Worldwide, 2018 predicts this shift to the cloud, stating that “healthcare systems have been sceptical about the adoption of cloud, but cost pressures and the need to reduce capital expenditure have been changing that mindset. After enduring several high-profile breaches and realizing the maturity of various cloud providers (both in expertise and scalability), healthcare systems are finally less sceptical than they used to be about the cloud. Growth of as-a-service solutions will continue rapidly in several areas, such as hosting, storage, security, networking and disaster recovery.”*

patient data and IT systems. Data released this year by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) revealed that the healthcare sector was the most targeted by hackers, with nearly a sixth of all data breaches affecting a healthcare business. Identity as a Service (IDaaS) is the most reliable choice to ensure HCOs can leverage the transformative benefits of new digital platforms whilst staying safe, secure and compliant.

ENTER CLOUD-BASED IDENTITY Australia’s HCOs need a way to accelerate access to patient data while minimising password management problems. They need strong, multi-factor authentication (MFA) to negate the risk of phishing and password stealing/ cracking/guessing attacks. And they need to do all of this to stay compliant with current regulations. Doing so in a userfriendly way and with a dwindling budget is increasingly challenging. This is where single sign-on (SSO) can help, but organizations should be aware that legacy IAM tools are fast becoming obsolete. The truth is that on-premises IAM tools are a poor fit for the kind of modern, cloud and app-based systems HCOs are increasingly adopting. They’re costly, time consuming to integrate and are inflexible, requiring significant ongoing maintenance and upgrade work every time a new app is added. To manage an environment as complex as typical hospital, for example, you need to outsource IAM to the experts. IDaaS is the answer: securing access at the cloud app layer rather than the perimeter and providing granular visibility into all apps, users and devices from a single interface. It’s also highly scalable — new apps and users can be added and managed with ease — it’s reliable, easy to set-up, and there’s no unnecessary downtime. Cloud-based SSO enables approved doctors, nurses and others to access any cloud services with just one username, one password and one session. This helps improve productivity by reducing the time spent logging into each application; reduces costly helpdesk password reset requests; and improves account security as users are less inclined to use the same simple password for all apps. It becomes even more powerful when backed with MFA for extra account security, which means attackers can’t guess, steal or crack log-ins in any meaningful way. For HCOs currently exploring modernisation projects, IDaaS can provide a foundation for a secure transition.

However, HCOs are a major target for hackers, and even mistakes by employees can expose highly sensitive

FIND OUT MORE


B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE’ 406 Australian market around 16 years

Dental, and eventually won some

ago having partnered with HBA, which

government tenders,” adds Yalavac.

Yalavac describes as “a really success-

Throughout this growth and

ful business with a successful leadership

development, technology has moved

team”. A healthy national economy and

to the fore as a key driver and is now

a relatively young population open to

central to the business, with Yalavac

new developments assisted Bupa’s

citing that 90% of funding and internal

entrance into the Australian market,

investment within the business goes

with the organisation having gone from

toward technology transformation

strength to strength over the last 12

programs. “It’s an additional enabler

years From health insurance, new

for business survival and business

business areas were explored

growth,” says Yalavac, as customers

including health coaching and

increasingly look to access services

telehealth. “We then entered the Aged

via digital platforms. In addition, the

Care market, moving on to Optical,

fragmented nature of healthcare in

FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

Australia (with separate services across dental, optical, aged care and other areas) makes technology vital. “Technology is the glue that holds pieces together, making it easy to access information, get guidance and do transactions.”

DATA ACROSS SECTORS Across the many elements of Bupa’s business and healthcare in Australia and New Zealand more widely, Yalavac is keen to emphasise that data is key. From providing funding to introducing technology into people’s lives to monitor

“Technology is the glue that holds pieces together, making it easy to access information, get guidance and do transactions” — Sami Yalavac, CIO, Bupa ANZ

their health and lifestyle, capturing real-time data can be vital in providing the insights Bupa and its clients need. “Through their demographics and real-time abilities, we can provide health coaching and advice,” he explains. “As data collection increases, we can even detect some of the events happening in the body to proactively warn people to see a specialist or access a test. Data is your fuel,” he adds. “You might have a brilliant car with a great engine, but without fuel you can’t go anywhere.” As well as using data to improve the health and wellbeing of Bupa customers, Yalavac is also using data and insights to improve the colleague w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

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Digital transformation: Do you have the right strategy? For many organisations, digital innovation is focused on the customer experience. Most companies understand that to become future-ready, to gain competitive advantage, they need to build trust and loyalty through experiences that delight their customers. Omnichannel strategies, hyper-personalisation and innovative products and services are all part of this new customer experience. But that’s only part of the equation. At its core, digital transformation is business transformation, and that makes it a people and organisational issue. Transforming the employee experience is just as important as transforming the customer experience. A stellar employee experience attracts talent and boosts workforce engagement, productivity and retention — which directly improves a company’s financial performance. Such companies out perform the S&P 500 by 122% and are 21% more profitable than companies with poor employee engagement. It’s all about the human impact. Fortunately, companies don’t have to start from scratch with employee experience. They already have a valuable tool at their disposal: the playbook they’ve used to enhance customer experience. By applying purpose driven, human-centred and customer-centric principles to the employee experience and internal business processes, companies create sustainable business value through increased cost efficiency, productivity and growth.

Ultimately, employee experience drives customer experience. For example, Bupa, one of the world’s leading health companies, recognised that it needed a transformation to achieve dual business outcomes: be an effective champion for customers, and enable and inspire its people. Avanade Advisory supported Bupa’s transformation across multiple domains to accelerate its journey toward a more digital business. Avanade supported Bupa’s customer experience and personalisation program to deliver the right message to the right members at the right time through the right channel. Avanade also helped Bupa set future-ready enterprise architectures and define key digital building blocks including cloud foundations, integration fabric and modern engineering disciplines. In partnership with Avanade Advisory, Bupa also transformed its information services operating model and ways of working to better-equip its people to be effective champions for customers, embrace agile disciplines and collaborate seamlessly across the business through cross-functional teams. Digital transformation requires a careful balance of investment in customer- and employee-focused innovations. Avanade Advisory can help you develop practical strategies to make your digital transformation easier and accelerate business outcomes. LEARN MORE


B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

AVA N A DE

Partnering for transformation

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Avanade has been a key partner throughout Bupa’s technology transformation. Bupa’s goal to be an effective champion for its customers and provide outstanding experiences is strongly supported by Avanade. Bupa engaged the consulting and services company to help develop a strategy that would deliver personalised customer experiences, ensuring high-quality clinical outcomes and value for money. As Bupa continues to focus on customer experience, this is driven by providing employees with that same positive experience. As such, Avanade has enabled Bupa to transform its workplace, enabling and inspiring its staff to best serve end users. Yalavac’s strong vision to develop Bupa’s business model involves bringing disciplines like marketing, sales, service and production closer to customers – and a digital innovation partner like Avanade is instrumental in this transformation. FEBRUARY 2019

experience of the IT function. Over his three years as CIO the colleague NPS (Net Promoter Score) has improved from -16 to +30 in one year, reaching +20 in the second year and now standing at +30. As technology disrupts every industry and the lines between sectors become increasingly blurred, Yalavac has improved the customer experience with the clear understanding it’s not his


ANZ

411

own sector he is competing with. “Customers are not comparing us

lessly and efficiently, most often driven by tech. “The customer looks for

with our competitors as they aren’t

whatever the best experience is in the

usually with another health fund or

market, regardless of industry, and

insurer at the same time,” he explains.

expects Bupa to do the same thing.”

“Instead, they compare us with banks and travel agencies and likes of

EFFICIENCY ACROSS A BROAD MARKET

Amazon and Airbnb.” Customers

Technology drives growth at Bupa

compare their experience with Bupa to

not only through customer satisfaction

their experience accessing any other

in creating a seamless user experience,

facility, and this must be done seam-

but also in improving operational w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


The customer experience is always right. Make experience your business.


For customers, great experiences are great differentiators. And there’s only one company that’s a leader in everything you need to deliver them. That’s why market leaders choose Adobe to help them understand their customers, manage their campaigns, and deliver great experiences that keep their customers coming back. But you don’t need to hear it from us, see what analysts and our customers think.

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B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

efficiency within a business that spans a broad and somewhat disparate landscape. As CIO, Yalavac is responsible for an IT team of over 600 people across 7 locations, and he credits technology as essential to helping people work together while maintaining that it can also bring significant culture shifts that must be managed across teams. The secret? “Communicate the vision and purpose really well, so everyone understands what we need to achieve and why,” he explains. “You then keep communicat414

ing back the progress: where you are, what’s left to do, success stories and lessons learned.” Effective communication is vital to assuring IT professionals of their position within the organisation in relation to its overall mission and goals. “The role of CIO is of course being responsible for technology, but we should also see our job as a business leader and part of the executive team. The CIO is a trusted consultant and partner and if you don’t play that role you will miss opportunities because in the future, more and more business growth will rely on technology.” Yalavac has taken steps to ensure the IT professionals he manages are viewed, FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Sami Yalavac As Chief Information Officer, Sami Yalavac is responsible for delivering high-quality, reliable and performance-enhancing technology services across Bupa. Having joined Bupa more than 12 years ago, Yalavac has held a number of technical and senior leadership roles across various Information Services teams, where he has driven significant performance and service improvements for the business, our customers and our people. Since becoming CIO in February 2016, Yalavac has led the transformation of Information Services to become more customer-focused, agile, collaborative and efficient, which has improved the colleague and customer experience as ref lected by significant improvements in employee and colleague Net Promoter Scores. Yalavac was recently recognised externally for his track record as a transformational leader making a significant business impact, when he was placed in the Top 3CIOs in Australia, as judged by CIO50. In addition to more than 30 years of information technology experience at a variety of industries spanning multiple continents, Sami’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Computer Engineering, a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Quality Management.

w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

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ANZ

“The role of CIO is of course being responsible for technology, but we should also see our job as a business leader and part of the executive team” — Sami Yalavac, CIO, Bupa ANZ

the teams really close to the business and close to the customers – ‘What’s happening over there? What are the exact pain points?’ – and then we start thinking about how technology can solve those. Without that mindset, you never efficiently deliver results. You’ll have a huge data warehouse but no idea what to do with it.” Aside from focusing on customer needs and business growth, Yalavac also maintains that creating an environment people enjoy working in and can grow and develop in is paramount. “A positive environment attracts and retains talent, keeping everyone

and view themselves, as members of

connected to business outcomes,

the business’ overall teams – they are

customer expectations and strategic

not just referred to as the technology

partnerships” he says. Engaging his

team, but some members might be

people and developing a collaborative,

referred to as the ‘claims’ team, for

agile culture has been a huge focus for

example. “IT departments are part of

Yalavac since he became CIO. He has

the business – there shouldn’t be a

invested in building a high performing

separation of business and IT. We all

leadership group and giving his leaders

have the same responsibility to make

the skills to coach their teams through

sure this organisation delivers the best

change. In November 2017, he also

service for the customers. We’re here

launched the Tech-A-Gender program

to deliver the company’s purpose, not

to attract, inspire and develop female

deliver the technology.

talent into technology roles at Bupa

“In our IT department, we try and get

and the team have a vibrant program to w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

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D ATA M AT IC S

A strategic partnership

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An important partner in Bupa’s digital transformation, and an example of a relationship Bupa hopes to carry on, is Datamatics ­— a global provider of consulting, IT, data management and business process management. In what has grown to a 16-year partnership, Datamatics has been instrumental in setting up a delivery centre for Bupa. The relationship has been mutually beneficial with Datamatics leveraging Bupa’s knowledge about insurance business processes and Bupa enhancing operational effici– encies while significantly reducing cost of maintenance and support, with support offered 24/7 on core business operations.

celebrate and support cultural diversity. Indeed, this focus has yielded significant results: since Yalavac began transforming the department the employee NPS in the IT team has grown from +2 to +48, the highest in the organisation which averages at +16. Overall operational efficiency has seen exponential benefits from technology transformation done the right way and in turn serves to motivate staff toward the wider Bupa mission.

FEBRUARY 2019


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“We’re using RPA to make processes and transactions much quicker, cheaper and higher quality so we can utilise out people for more advanced, knowledge-based activities rather than just repeating boring tasks. We’re redefining our workplace strategy with technology as a key enabler.” For example, Bupa has implemented collaboration tools like Office 365, cloudbased solutions, video conferencing

“IT departments are part of the business – there shouldn’t be a separation of business and IT” — Sami Yalavac, CIO, Bupa ANZ

and webcasting. “It’s really a digital w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


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space where it’s easy to collaborate and gives you flexibility and agility.”

STRATEGIC PARTNERS Implementing so many new digital solutions cannot be done alone, and as such Bupa must work to maintain partnerships with key vendors as part of its transformation journey, with global names ranging from Microsoft, Fujitsu, Oracle and Infosys to ServiceNow. Yalavac is clear on how this must

“A positive environment attracts and retains talent, keeping everyone connected to business outcomes, customer expectations and strategic partnership” — Sami Yalavac, CIO, Bupa ANZ

take place: “Our approach is to try and create long-term strategic partnerships w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


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Does industry collision shatter or shape our future thinking?


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rather than just buying services from these organisations. We keep sharing our changes, inviting them to meetings and when we organise innovation days we include our vendors so they can understand our problems and join in.” For example, customer experience technology giant Genesys has been involved in transforming Bupa’s contact centres through artificial intelligence. “We share the challenges we have with them and develop solutions for our contact centres, such as speech-to-

“Our approach is to try and create long-term strategic partnerships rather than just buying services from these organisations” — Sami Yalavac, CIO, Bupa ANZ

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“We have the responsibility to address and reduce the cost of health and improve access and quality of health provisions” — Sami Yalavac, CIO, Bupa ANZ

FEBRUARY 2019

text, or using AI to try and understand a customer’s emotions and what they need.” Another such collaborative partner is software giant Adobe, whose marketing platforms and tools are utilised by Bupa. “The platform allows you to understand your customer and manage campaigns, but also has a decision hub based on the information you log,” Yalavac outlines. “These solutions all form an ecosystem supporting one another and the only way to achieve this is through long-term


ANZ

£9.8bn Approximate revenue (2014)

2002

Year founded in ANZ

78,000

Approximate number of employees 425

relationships with organisations.

government budgeting or funding

Everyone can access these compa-

challenges. We’re seeing affordability

nies but now every organisation can

issues in the market: customers are

utilise them well.”

less and less able to buy insurance

These vendors will be part of Bupa’s

products, or simple dental check-

ecosystem as the company contin-

ups for example. We have a respon-

ues to grow, and Yalavac outlines that

sibility to address and reduce the

Bupa will also look to startups to

cost of health and improve access

find new solutions across a changing

and quality of health provisions.”

landscape. “We keep working with startups, technology organisations, government, hospitals, even competitors, to address customer problems, w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


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GLOBAL IMPACT ENABLED BY DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

FEBRUARY 2019


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WRIT TEN BY NIKI WA LDEGR AVE PRODUCED BY MIK E SADR

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UNIVERSIT Y OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS)

THE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS) FOSTERS CONNECTION, COLLABORATION AND CREATIVITY. ITS CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER TELLS NIKI WALDEGRAVE HOW UTS’ DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS SHAPING ITS TOMORROW

428

R

Ranked Australia’s top young university and ranked 10th globally in the QS Top 50 Under 50 in 2019, the University of

Technology Sydney (UTS) is a leading public technology university, with 45,000 students and 3,800 staff. UTS is known for its emphasis on real-world research, as well as its unique approach to learning and cutting-edge facilities. Since its inception UTS has been founded on strong industry links, and the exchange of resources and expertise with its industry partners continues to be a core part of its identity today. This is seen in research partnerships with industry and a strong practice of students completing industry internships, in line with UTS’s model of practice-oriented learning. This all translates into a complex set of requirements for IT support. “The technology environment at a modern university is complex” says UTS Chief Information FEBRUARY 2019


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Officer, Christine Burns. “On one hand we are running a significant business

ting edge audio-visual technology.” The smart application of these var-

and, like large organisations in other

ied technologies has been integral to

industries, we face challenges such

the continued growth and success of

as how to automate and streamline

UTS. On many levels the university has

processes, improve staff experience,

undergone a vast amount of change

and get the most from marketing tech-

in recent years, and the digital trans-

nologies. On the other hand, we have

formation led by Burns, supported by

research-specific challenges such as

Deputy CIOs Peter Gale and David

supporting extremely large and diverse

O’Connor, has played a crucial part.

data sets (and having these large data

In 2008, the university began its

sets move around our network), and

decade-long, $1bn-plus “City Campus

learning-specific challenges such as

Master Plan” - a significant enhance-

a growing campus filled with cut-

ment of the university’s physical cam-

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Christine Burns Chrissy has worked closely with senior leaders across the university to develop an IT transformation strategy and is responsible for its implementation. Chrissy has operational responsibility for a team of more than 250 people across IT, Printing Services and Audio Visual Services functions. In line with the university’s vision, Chrissy oversees a large portfolio of IT capital projects to support teaching, research and engagement and maintain the university’s technology footprint.

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UNIVERSIT Y OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS)

pus. This has resulted in a range of

Faculty of Science that includes a vast

new and upgraded buildings and open

‘Superlab,’ which can host a range

spaces to support both research and

of simultaneous teaching sessions

the way the organization approaches

across different subjects. Determin-

learning. This includes a technology-

ing how to enable this posed a range of

rich building to house the Faculty of

technical challenges for the IT team to

Engineering and IT. In addition to the

solve. Perhaps the best known build-

innovative collaborative teaching and

ing to date has been the iconic Dr Chau

student spaces, the building itself

Chak Wing Building which houses the

incorporates a vast array of sensors

UTS Business School, designed by

that are used in UTS research. It has

Frank Gehry, the architect responsible

also included a new building for the

for the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. Like the other buildings this includes an array

432

of innovative learning spaces – such

“THE TECH LAB IS A REALLY IMPORTANT FACILITY FOR ENABLING OUR ACADEMICS TO COME TOGETHER AND INNOVATE WITH INDUSTRY, AND THAT’S PART OF THE VISION FOR WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THAT SPACE” — Christine Burns, CIO, UTS

FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

CLICK TO WATCH : UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS)

as 360 degree collaborative classrooms. In 2018, the university launched its new UTS Tech Lab, where engineering and IT researchers from diverse fields work in close partnership with industry and government to develop new innovative technologies. This facility is the size of several aircraft hangers. “The University has a really strong background in industry partnering and partnerships,” explains Burns. “The Tech Lab is a really important facility for enabling our academics to come together and innovate with industry, and that’s part of the vision w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

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ANZ

for what will happen in that space.” UTS’s research footprint has ex-

number of ground-breaking initiatives. One of the most recent is “Provisioner”,

panded rapidly over the past decade

a framework for research data man-

– both in volume and global impact.

agement and curation of research data.

That expansion has led to enormous

Provisioner provides UTS research-

demands on the IT team for software,

ers with storage in an automated and

compute, storage and data manage-

managed way. The initial implementa-

ment support. UTS has been lever-

tion of Provisioner links into a curation

aging cloud technologies since 2012

platform for microbial imaging called

to simplify its infrastructure and gain

OMERO that can generate several ter-

access to capabilities that are increas-

abytes of data a day from microscopes.

ingly difficult to obtain on-premises. The IT team has fostered a number of

“One of our key strategies is that we want to do research that is re-

innovations to support the university’s

producible, so that when research is

researchers. UTS has rolled out a

done, it’s not based on somebody’s

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

David O’Connor As Deputy Chief Information Office, with specific responsibility for strategic planning and enterprise architecture, David’s teams help drive the university’s strategies though the smart and innovative use of technology. He has recently led a significant business transformation delivering a new ‘product line’ based technology investment and delivery framework, which also incorporates a shift to agile delivery methodologies and various enhancements to the IT operating model.

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FEBRUARY 2019


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“THE TECHNOLOGY IS REALLY TRANSFORMING THE WAY THAT RESEARCH IS DONE. THIS IS MUCH BROADER THAN JUST MAKING IT EASIER TO STORE, AND PERFORM CALCULATIONS ON RESEARCH DATA” — Christine Burns, CIO, UTS

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437


Get the report


ANZ

subjective click on a particular but-

gree visualisation of data, is also used

ton, but we can reproduce the results

by those same researchers to look

from the data,” explains Gale. “Or,

at bacteria under a microscope in

if new data becomes available, we

a highly-visual way,” he explains.

can provide the exact same com-

The intention of Provisioner is to be

putational environment to that data

a framework that supports a multi-

set. Provisioner facilitates that”

tude of different technologies and use

Gale says another reason this

cases. “We are actively working with

capability is important is because

other research disciplines so that they

it allows UTS researchers to use

can plug directly into Provisioner.”

a variety of technology tools to access

Leveraging data as an asset can be

the same data. “Our immersive Data

instructive in a completely different

Arena, which is a purpose-built

research discipline, and Gale gives an

physical space allowing the 360-de-

interesting analogy of iceberg obser-

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Peter Gale Peter joined UTS in 1991. He has over 20 years experience in the Australian Tertiary Education sector leading the delivery of IT technical services at UTS. He has managed IT operations in the Faculty of Information Technology, developed an eResearch computing and support capability, and managed all IT Technical Services for the University. He is currently Deputy CIO, IT Infrastructure and Operations, responsible for the development and delivery of data centre services, cloud services, voice and data networks and eResearch computing and storage platforms.

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UNIVERSIT Y OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS)

UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY

• More than 150 companies partner with UTS • It has more than 45,000 students and more than 3,800 staff • In 2008, the university made a $1.2 billion investment to fundamentally change the way it delivers research, teaching and learning through its decade-long UTS City Campus Master Plan 440

• UTS has been moving apps to the cloud since 2012 • Its Data Arena allows the 360-degree visualisation of data • In April 2018, UTS launched Tech Lab • Office365 was deployed in 2017 • There are 2,200 wireless access points across its campus • The UTS chat bot can answer 130 common questions students would ask • Amazon Redshift-based data analytics platform is being used for a range of solutions


ANZ

“THE UPTAKE INTERNALLY IS ACCELERATING AND WE’VE NOW GOT HUNDREDS OF RESEARCHERS USING THE STASH PLATFORM” — Peter Gale, Deputy CIO, UTS

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UNIVERSIT Y OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS)

442

vations made by 19th Century whal-

explains that data visualisation enables

ers as an example. “In the past, they

researchers to ask fundamentally

would just keep logs to show the ship’s

different questions than they would

journey,” he says. “Now, it is possible

have been able to do it in the past.

to use 19th century whaling ship logs

“So, the technology is really transform-

to map the recession of the Ice Shelf

ing the way that research is done in

in Antarctica over time. So, you get

more ways than just making it easier

information from one particular dis-

to store, and perform calculations on

cipline, and then later if you maintain

it.”

it well, you can use it in a completely different discipline to inform research.” The Date Arena Gale mentions is

Some of the technology in the Data Arena is world first, including the ‘Data Arena Virtual Machine’ – a virtual

a completely immersive, three-dimen-

machine on a USB stick that research-

sional visualisation space. Burns

ers can plug into their laptop, to utilise

FEBRUARY 2019


ANZ

“WE ARE A PUBLICALLY FUNDED INSTITUTION, WE DON’T HAVE MILLIONS TO INVEST IN UNDERLYING TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITY THAT MIGHT NOT PRODUCE RESULTS FOR SEVERAL YEARS, WE NEED TO BE MORE NIMBLE AND EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES OF CLOUD TECHNOLOGIES WHEN IT MAKES SENSE” — David O’Connor, Deputy CIO, UTS 443

the entire functionality of a data arena

the researchers because ultimately

on their laptop. “This basically enables

it needs to make their job easier.

us to replicate the data arena for

Wherever there are opportunities for

development as widely as we want,”

automation, for example in the creation

adds Burns.

of data management plans, we take

UTS values cross-university collabo-

them. One of our goals is to remove

ration, and has teamed up with other

as much administrative overhead as

institutions to develop a research data

we can from our researchers, it’s an

catalogue, “Stash”, which is already on

ongoing process”. “This is just one

its third iteration. “The uptake internally

example of our broader evolution from

is accelerating and we’ve now got

project-thinking to product-thinking”

hundreds of researchers using the

says O’Connor, “In the modern IT world,

Stash platform,” says Gale. “We design

very little is launched and finished.”

and develop in close consultation with

The team has also needed to be w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


an

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445

flexible and creative in response to learning and teaching needs at the

as PhD research opportunities. In order to deliver all these chang-

university. For example, Burns and

es Burns’ team has been through a

her team were required to act fast to

process of transformation. Burns

implement cutting-edge technology

identifies two key factors which have

to enable the rapid set up of the UTS

supported development of the agility

Animal Logic Academy – a unique

required to deliver against the fast

collaboration between UTS and digital

moving demands of the university.

animation and visual effects produc-

The first is that the team has invested

tion studio Animal Logic. In a world

considerable effort in its IT architec-

first, this award winning educational vfx

ture and the second is that it has

studio launched in 2017 and offers an

worked hard on developing a user

industry-led and first-of-its-kind Master

centric approach to every aspect of

of Animation and Visualisation as well

its operations. w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


UNIVERSIT Y OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS)

446

One foundation of the team’s IT

drivers, one being financial, because to

architecture is the platform strategy

invest in the type of on-premises data

developed by O’Connor. For example,

infrastructure to do the innovative work

Amazon Redshift was selected as the

we had in mind would have cost a small

university’s core data platform. UTS

fortune. We are a publicly-funded insti-

was one of the first organisations in

tution, we don’t have millions to invest

Australia to use the Amazon Redshift

in underlying technology capability that

data platform for a range of solutions,

might not produce results for several

including providing lecturers with key

years, we need to be more nimble and

information that enables them to bet-

embrace the opportunities of cloud

ter tailor their approach. “It was a bold

technologies when it makes sense.”

move at the time, but a good move,” reveals O’Connor. “There were several FEBRUARY 2019

In its quest to develop a UX capability, the team drew on existing expertise


ANZ

£1.5bn Approximate revenue

2002

Year founded

1,800 Approximate number of employees

within the university’s Faculty of Engi-

IT team have done with Dr Tuck Wah

neering and IT. “There are some unique

Leong, a UTS researcher who special-

and exciting aspects to being an IT

ises in human-centred approaches of

team within a university of technology”

inquiry and technology design. “Work-

says O’Connor. “Certainly having so

ing with Dr Leong has been absolutely

many experts in the room can have its

fantastic” says Burns. “We have used

moments” he quips, “however there

his insight to guide many of our pro-

are some really nice intersections of

jects, every year we put a selection

academic and professional skills and

of IT staff through one of his subjects,

experience that we have been able to

and we have also leveraged the exper-

harness which would be impossible

tise and drive of his PHD students”.

in any other industry”. One example of this in action is the work that the

Looking forward, the trio are excited about the part that technology has to w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

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UNIVERSIT Y OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY (UTS)

play in the university’s future. UTS has just released its new long term strategy “UTS 2027”. Staying true to its collegial and collaborative culture, UTS took a unique approach to the development of its new strategy, ensuring that the strategy was informed not by the ideas of a few, but instead by the ideas of its huge community of staff, students, alumni and industry partners. Through workshops, advisory boards and an ideation technology platform (which was a huge success), com448

plex themes and ideas were shaped and moulded into the final strategy. The IT team has played an important role in the development of the strategy. “We are moving to a world where technology really is at the heart of business strategy,” says Burns. “It’s exciting that the IT team has been able to show some thought leadership in the strategy development process.” While the UTS IT team is through its first phase of technology transformation, further change is required to support the required digital enablement for the university’s new strategy. Burns likens the next stage to a ‘Mission to Mars,’ saying they are now looking at FEBRUARY 2019

“THERE ARE SOME REALLY NICE INTERSECTIONS OF ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE THAT WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HARNESS WHICH WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE IN ANY OTHER INDUSTRY” — David O’Connor, Deputy CIO, UTS


ANZ

than ‘business requirements.’ This enables us to make reasonably solid bestbets without having 100% of the information, which is no longer possible.” O’Connor reveals there’s enormous goodwill across the IT team towards the university’s mission, and says the team’s culture is supportive of the need for ongoing change. “That has really enabled the journey of developing, learning new skills,” he concludes. “It does a take a constant vigilance, to see the new side and not let the wagon wheels run in the old rut all the time. But I think we’re getting there.” Burns adds that “what is critical is that every member of the team has a mindset which is about constantly learning, developing, and re-skilling. We’re committed to developing that mindset and our focus is on bringing everyone along. We’ve invested a lot of where the university needs to head,

effort in cascading down workshops,

and which skills and technology are

investing in the team, and getting

needed for this. Planning for the fu-

feedback into what we do. These are

ture is always difficult, says O’Connor,

big challenges, but we have proven

particularly as the pace of business

again and again that we have a team

change continues to increase. “We

that is ready to take the next step.”

tend to think in terms of underlying capabilities that will be required, rather w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

449


450

LIBERTY SHORT-TERM INSURANCE: Shaking up South Africa’s insurance sector with digital disruption WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

JUS TIN BR AND

FEBRUARY 2019


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LIBERTY GROUP

Liberty Group and Standard Bank have joined forces to create Liberty Short-Term Centre of Excellence, an innovative hub where digitally disruptive tools are being brought to the fore.

S

implicity, transparency and flexibility: this is a well-versed mantra at Liberty Group and it was also the shrewd

thinking behind its latest business venture. The South African business used to solely focus on life insurance but, more recently, the company 452

has made its first foray into the short-term insurance market, offering a quick and easy way to get car and household insurance through its brand-new unit, Liberty Short Term Centre of Excellence. Championing cutting-edge technologies, this business group is not only driving benefits for Liberty Group and its majority stakeholder Standard Bank, it’s also helping to deliver a customer experience quite like no other. Deepesh Thomas helped to build the shortterm insurance business from scratch. Now Chief Executive Officer at the unit, he says that the Centre of Excellence was initially conceived as a “technology firm which would build the insurance and technology capabilities that didn’t already exist in the group”. It would also provide greater portfolio differentiation, allowing both Liberty Group and FEBRUARY 2019


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453

Standard Bank to offer a wide range of solutions to its existing customers. Owning 54% of the firm, Standard Bank is not just a majority owner of the unit, it has also entered into a bancassurance agreement with the Centre of Excellence, allowing both entities to deliver complete financial services solutions to their respective clients. It’s been a vital relationship according to Leon Vermaak, Standard Bank Group Head of Insurance, who points out that, because the business is “unencumbered by legacy strategies and infrastructure” it is able to develop “future proof technologies”. He adds: “Keeping w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LIBERTY GROUP

the innovation unit separate from

within minutes. “The product itself is

the mainstream business truly builds

significantly differentiated,” explains

confidence in its ability to pursue

Thomas, claiming that it was actually

innovation.”

“the first short-term insurance chatbot

One such technology which made

release in South Africa that allows for

the headlines was the Centre of

end-to-end performance”. Essentially

Excellence’s chatbot. The culmination

this means that the customer can go

of over two years’ worth of research,

and buy a short-term insurance product

the speedy bot allows customers to

through the chatbot in a matter of

access short-term insurance services

minutes. “At that time, it was the only

at their fingertips 24/7. There’s no

product on the market where you

endless paperwork or red tape. In fact,

could buy short-term insurance within

customers can secure insurance

eight minutes from end-to-end without

454

“Being a new business entity, we were afforded the luxury of building from scratch” — Deepesh Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at the Liberty Short-Term Centre of Excellence

FEBRUARY 2019


AFRICA

CLICK TO WATCH : LIBERTY SHORT-TERM INSURANCE

having to talk to a call centre agent,” he

whatever way they prefer, whether

elaborates, highlighting how the usual

that’s through the mobile app or web

call centre process could take over half

interface. It’s a significant differentia-

an hour and is only available during office

tor, Thomas argues, because it’s truly

hours. With a personable demeanour

disrupting the customer experience

and easy-to-understand language, the

and giving them greater control. “For

chatbot is also available 24/7. As such

example, if a customer is using the

Vermaak argues that “it aligns itself with

chatbot or a digital channel and they

the needs of the online world” where

want to resume the enquiry at a later

clients “want insurers to be proactive,

date on a different channel then they

convenient and always available”.

can do that on the digital channel or

Not only is the chatbot a click

they can also switch and decide to talk

away, it’s also omnichannel, meaning

to an agent whenever they want”.

that customers can interact with it

Another key advantage of the chatbot w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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“It was the only product on the market where you could buy short-term insurance within eight minutes from end-to-end without having to talk to a call centre agent” — Deepesh Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at the Liberty Short-Term Centre of Excellence

FEBRUARY 2019


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458

that Thomas details lies in the technol-

APIs and services easily, for instance.”

ogy underpinning it: it’s fully built in the

Collaboration and the sharing of ideas

cloud, specifically Microsoft Azure.

is often touted as a key driver of success

“Being a new business entity, we were

in the technology market and it’s one

afforded the luxury of building from

which Vermaak echoes. “The insurtech

scratch,” Thomas explains. “The

world is by necessity one based on

biggest challenge that most financial

partnerships. Success is determined

services companies in South Africa

by bringing together unique capabili-

face is that they’ve built systems from

ties in a seamless manner, rather than

the 1960s onwards and lots of ineffi-

trying to build and own the ecosystem,”

ciencies have crept in. It also limits your

he observes, citing Microsoft’s cloud

flexibility if you want to roll out a new

platform as a critical asset. “We found

product. On the other hand, a cloud

Microsoft particularly supportive. We

platform allows you to integrate new

gained ‘early adopter’ status, which

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E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Deepesh Thomas Deepesh Thomas is a qualified Chartered Accountant and MBA graduate from the University of Cape Town. He started his career in Audit, later moving to Management Consulting and finally specializing in Insurance where he was part of the core team that founded the Liberty Short-Term business. His passion lies in applying bleeding edge technology to complex business challenges and customer pain points. Outside of work, Deepesh can be found visiting new travel destinations in the hope of eventually checking-off every country in the world.

w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


HARNESS THE POWER FIND OUT MORE HERE

3012 William Nicol Drive | Bryanston | Johannesburg | 2191 | PO Box 5817 | Rivonia | 2128

Switchboard (Not for Technical Support): +27 11 361 9000 | Microsoft Customer Care Center: 0860 2255 67


EMPOWER EVERY PERSON AND EVERY ORGANIZATION ON THE PLANET TO ACHIEVE MORE

Microsoft South Africa’s mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. The breadth and depth of our mission unlocks unprecedented opportunity as technology transforms every industry and has the power to make a difference in the lives of everyone. Our mission is grounded in both the world in which we live and the future we strive to create and speaks to our worldview, which is rooted in the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud. The intelligent edge is the interface between the cloud and the real world. It is the layer of devices we use to access the data in the cloud, speeding up the processing power of the internet of things, helping this new world to react faster to changing conditions, and become more efficient. In this new world our clients are looking to digitally transform their businesses and to drive empowered experiences for the employees and customers. Microsoft exists to help them realise this through the solutions we build. Our Business applications, Applications and Infrastructure, and Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, are designed to help accomplish effective digital transformation, by empowering employees, engaging customers, optimising operations and transforming products. Through gaming, Modern life, and Modern workplace we are driving quality engagement to create empowered experiences. Microsoft is democratising technology so that every business can truly harness the power of this digital era. We are leaders in Artificial Intelligence (AI), embedding intelligence everywhere, and enabling every individual and organisation to leverage the power of AI affordably, efficiently and effectively. The power of this emerging technology presents a huge opportunity, but it also comes with a huge responsibility. Our approach is built around trust,

inclusion and ethical AI. We work hard to ensure compliance with key privacy enactments, such as GDPR and POPI. In the cybersecurity space we have led cross-industry initiatives, like the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, and have called on governments to do more, through initiatives such as a Digital Geneva Convention. We are also working to ensure we translate our industry-leading research in AI into broadly implementable tools and guidance that everyone can leverage ethically and responsibly.

Microsoft believes that to empower every person and organisation on the planet we must enable the communities in which we work. In the past year Microsoft has invested more than US$ 2.8 million in education and skills development often as part of public-private partnerships. In Gauteng we have partnered with the Provincial Government to develop online mass learning system Thint’iMillion and nationally we have partnered with the Department of Education to train 8000 teachers enabling them to leverage technology and drive STEM as career opportunity for learners.

Over the past three years, Microsoft has invested more than US$25-million in more than 2,300 NGOs across South Africa. Our latest investments include equipping 100 Youth Employment Services community hubs with Office 365, partnering with the Sun Flower Fund to improve targeted donor recruitment through bone marrow mapping and AI and working with the Peace Parks Foundation to use AI to fight poaching. Microsoft partners with organisations to develop internet connectivity in underserved communities. We are currently driving two key projects, in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, that leverage TV White Space technology to provide broadband Internet access.


LIBERTY GROUP

“Success is determined by bringing together unique capabilities in a seamless manner, rather than trying to build and own the ecosystem. We found Microsoft particularly supportive” — Leon Vermaak, 462 Standard Bank Group Head of Insurance

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Leon Vermaak Leon Vermaak is a seasoned insurance executive, having served as CEO of Santam, Sanlam and Telesure. He has a keen interest in Fintech and Insurtech and is guiding the digitisation of Standard Bank Group’s Insurance operations. Vermaak holds a B.Comm degree and MBA from the University of Pretoria as well as a PhD in Innovation Management from City University in London. When he’s not dabbling in insurance, he can be found climbing a mountain in some exotic, remote location.

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ensured deep technical support

transparency. With its intuitive

and knowledge transfer,” he says.

chatbot, it sounds like Liberty Short-

This chatbot could be seen as indicative of a wider shift in the insurance and insurtech markets.

Term Insurance is going the extra mile to make this a reality. But the company’s chatbot is just

Customer expectations are changing

the beginning: it has taken its innova-

too; through Liberty’s research,

tive approach one step further by also

one of the pervading messages that

introducing telematics to its mobile

emerged was that customers disliked

app. This will allow customers to

applying for insurance as they found

complete a two-week driving test that

the process cumbersome and difficult

will help the insurer calculate a fair pre-

to understand. They were looking

mium quote. For good drivers, it could

for more affordable and efficient

even result in savings. Named ‘Drivers

insurance services with greater

Test’, it measures how aggressively w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


LIBERTY GROUP

464

“In South Africa, safety’s a big concern to a lot of our customers, so we’ve built in a button on our mobile app, that when clicked can dispatch medical emergency assistance to you” — Deepesh Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at the Liberty Short-Term Centre of Excellence

FEBRUARY 2019


AFRICA

customers drive or how distracted they tend to be whilst on the road. “We price you based on traditional insurance parameters but we also measure how you drive and adjust your premium downwards if you are a good driver,” describes Thomas. Telematics may not be a new innovation for the South African market, but Liberty Short-Term Insurance is putting a new spin on the traditional model. First of all, unlike typical insurers which ask you to install a cumbersome physical device, Liberty’s solution is mobile-based. Additionally, the insurer has also scrapped the idea of daily monitoring in favour of shorter trips which build up an accurate profile of a customer. “From the research we’ve conducted, we found that a customer’s average driving behaviour doesn’t deviate significantly throughout the year,” says Thomas. “Therefore, we can collect data from just 300km or 25 trips and understand who you are as a driver.” One other startling difference that Thomas underlines is the fact that many insurance companies offer loyalty or reward points following these tests which make it difficult for redemption. In contrast, Liberty offers a simple cash reduction on their premium. Once the Driving Test has been completw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

465


LIBERTY GROUP

ed, the customer doesn’t have to have their driving habits tracked. However, on an opt-in basis, Thomas points out how they can choose to share more of their driving data with the firm in exchange for Uber credit for every 500km of driving information shared. In a world where ‘cash is king’, it’s proven to be a successful model. Safety is increasingly becoming a top talking point in the insurtech sector and it’s one which hasn’t gone amiss at the Liberty Short-Term Centre of Excellence. “In 466

South Africa, safety’s a big concern to a lot of our customers, so we’ve built in a button on our mobile app, that when clicked can dispatch medical emergency assistance to you. It can also dispatch roadside assistance, based

“We are obsessed with ‘one-clickinsurance’ and we are also seeking to derive unique customer insights, enabled by access to various data sources, machine learning, as well as image recognition, and the Internet of Things (IoT)” — Leon Vermaak, Standard Bank Group Head of Insurance

on your live location that’s on your phone or it will dispatch home services,

implemented a lean and agile method-

such as a plumber or electrician.”

ology to drive efficiencies in software

With its digital transformation in full

development. It also strives to work

swing, innovation has become a key

with only the best software developers,

talking point at both Liberty Group and

relying on what Thomas describes as

Standard Bank. This is not only visible

a “fundamental relationship” with

through Liberty’s outward products

Retro Rabbit.

and services but it can also be seen

Looking forward, the firm has plenty

internally. For instance, the Liberty

of exciting innovations up its sleeve.

Short-Term Centre of Excellence has

“We are obsessed with ‘one-click- in-

FEBRUARY 2019


AFRICA

467

surance’ and we are also seeking

pursue next, Thomas feels that the

to derive unique customer insights,

business will remain laser-focused on

enabled by access to various data

three key values — simplicity, transpar-

sources, machine learning, as well as

ency and flexibility — which he believes

image recognition, and the Internet

is critical for insurtech success.

of Things (IoT)” says Vermaak. Meanwhile, Thomas highlights key trends like computer vision as an enticing technology for the future. Yet, regardless of what innovation it will w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Profile for Technology Magazine

Gigabit Magazine – February 2019  

Gigabit Magazine – February 2019  

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