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Executive Symposium 2017 Bright Lights, Big Ideas and You. Uptime Institute Certifies the World’s Digital Foundation for Business.

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HELLO, AND WELCOME to August’s edition of Gigabit. We have a vast spread of features packed into this issue, featuring insight from companies spanning Europe, Asia, America and Africa. First up is Leila Hawkins’ article on women in

STEM industries. Interestingly, countries with poor women’s rights records appear to be offering greater opportunities in STEM subjects. Why is this the case, and how can the likes of the UK and USA reverse a worrying trend? Caroline Dowling, Business Group President of Flex’s Communications & Enterprise Compute division, offers her views. A European focus comes from Fred Olsen’s

IT Director, Damon Impett, who tells us how the company is staying ahead of the cyber security curve, while our top 10 also looks at security, running down the most important cyber security technologies being used to counter the increasingly potent problem. Finally, a nod to our other exclusive company

insights, which include Canada’s Zedi, along with Covestro, iSON Group and NICTD.


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The FinTech effect





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Countries with poor women’s rights records appear to be offering greater opportunities in STEM subjects. Why is this the case, and how can the likes of the UK and USA reverse a worrying trend? IT’S COMMON KNOWLEDGE that there’s a pronounced shortage of women in technology, obvious in both universities and the workforce. But in countries with infamously appalling women’s rights records the number of women studying STEM subjects is far outdoing the west. So why are they falling so far behind? Countless studies have been done to try and figure out the answer. One is a 2009 thesis published in Psychological Bulletin that, perhaps controversially, concludes that women prefer to work with people while men favour working with “things” (Men and Things, Women and People). Another is Professor Margaret Rossiter’s concept that women feel there is less support for them in the male-dominated field of STEM, and they gravitate towards areas that are traditionally believed to be more female-friendly like education and nursing. But when did this problem begin? It turns out that throughout history women have made huge contributions to science with little or no recognition.


August 2017



INSIGHT THROUGH THE YEARS Annie Maunder was the pioneering British astronomer who made many extraordinary discoveries, like taking the first ever photograph of the Sun’s outer layer with a camera she designed herself. She should be as well-known as Patrick Moore, but in the early 20th century women were not permitted to work in science so her trailblazing work was credited to her husband. As a result her contributions have mostly been confined to dusty antiquarian books. Perhaps better known is Ada Lovelace, if only because of the day founded in her name in 2009 - a mere 157 years after she died - to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM. She was the world’s first computer programmer and the first person to come up with the idea that these machines could be used for things other than maths, such as music. The debate rages on as to whether we’d have smartphones synced to iTunes if it wasn’t for her. Later “lady computers” were hired during WWII while men were out at battle, to calculate complex algorithms helping to develop nuclear missiles 10

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for the US government, among other things. But after men returned from the war things changed. The computer boom and then the rise of gaming produced the largely male-centric tech industry we’re familiar with now.

TECH TODAY In 2003 Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian woman to go into space when she flew on the illfated Space Shuttle Columbia. She had faced a battle in the hugely conservative state of Haryana, where women were seen as little more than excess baggage who had to be married off as young as possible. “In India there are very basic human rights challenges,” explains Caroline Dowling, Business Group President of Flex’s Communications & Enterprise Compute division and


a regular speaker on women’s roles in technology. “There are women who have no ID. Imagine not being able to go to a government office for support to sustain your family, and that you’re solely dependent on your husband, your father, or your brother to sustain yourself and your children.” On the flipside, India has more female graduate engineers than anywhere else in the world. A study by Scientific American found that over

30% of all engineering and technology students in India are women. Dowling also cites Saudi Arabia as a country with a very high statistic of women graduates in STEM, despite making frequent headlines for not being allowed to drive a car or interact with men they’re not related to. UNESCO puts the proportion in the Gulf States at an impressive 60%. While these numbers sound exciting to those advocating for 11


equal gender rights, in Saudi for instance women still only account for 13% of the total workforce. Nonetheless, in these patriarchal nations where it’s impossible for women to feel empowered, this is how they are carving out opportunities for themselves.

THE GREAT BIAS By comparison the UK only has 16% of female STEM students and the US 12

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has 18%. The non-profit organisation Girls Who Code has found that in US middle schools 74% of girls show an interest in STEM, yet when choosing degrees as few as 0.4% select it. It’s such a typical occurrence it’s been given a name - the salubrioussounding “leaky pipeline.” This continually happens because there’s a deeply ingrained bias upsetting pretty much every industry and society around the world. This


begins at nursery-age with Disney princesses, caricatures of women on TV, and the culture of videogames being just for boys. All these things have a big impact on forming young minds. Neuroscientists will tell you that the age of maximum plasticity of the brain - in other words, when it absorbs the most information - is between three and five, when stereotypes become hardwired. “We have stereotypes everywhere,” Dowling says. “You see that in Hollywood movies, the casting of male roles versus empowered females, and cartoons with figures in inappropriate dress.” She explains that the key to addressing this is by transforming the educational system. “You’ve got

to go back to basics in the home and all the way to pre-school to change the system, and to teach in a different way so that teenagers and young women can see the value of science. “We have a lot of female doctors because there’s a human side to it that attracts them, we’ve managed to promote this. We’ve not been able to do that around how technology can save lives, and how technology can positively impact your environment. “Once you get women connected to the subject they stay, but you lose them in that middle area” she continues. “You have to have a different way of teaching those subjects. In California that’s what they’re actually challenging right now, to change the educational system. Like everything else it takes time.”

THE TECH WORK ENVIRONMENT Workplace culture also needs overhauling. Firm policies to ensure companies hire a certain percentage of women exist, such as Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act and the European Union’s Article 14 which forbid discrimination based on race, religion or gender. But evidence suggests these are not enough. 13


While many large tech firms offer benefits like flexible working hours, and in the case of Facebook, $4,000 for new mothers and breastfeeding rooms, research by The Atlantic found that it’s quite the opposite at plenty of other companies in Silicon Valley, where men outnumber women by seven to three. Workplaces with fewer female employees are less likely to be generous when it comes to paid leave for maternity or to care for other family members. The US is one of just four countries worldwide where paid maternity leave isn’t a right, and it’s entirely up to the employer whether they want to offer it. This creates another key problem causing the shortage: retaining women. Dowling explains: “In cases of sick family members or aging parents it’s generally the woman in the family rather than the man who takes on the responsibility of being the carer. Healthcare and support in the US are extraordinarily expensive. A lot of families cannot afford full time care and are genuinely forced out of the workforce. That’s got to change for us to be able to keep women in the work environment.” It’s easy to sit back and harbour the notion that the job is done when it comes to equal rights for women, but as these stats show this is far from the case. “When we talk about STEM we still have a lot of work to do in terms of basic human rights,” Dowling says. As we can see, there are practical steps that can make this a reality.


August 2017




The FinTech effect PwCÂ examines both the continued rise and development of new business models and emerging technologies in the financial services sector E d i t e d b y : A N D R E W WO O D S


FINTECH THE PACE OF change in the financial services sector is incredible. This unprecedented level of disruption has forced industry professionals to reconsider virtually everything about the role of finance – from the way that mobile money services have tapped into a demographic that itself could turn into a $3trn opportunity, through to the prevalence of artificial intelligence, transaction and contextual data and more. With its annual report named “Redrawing the Lines: FinTech’s Growing Influence on Financial Services,” PwC set out to examine both the continued rise and development of new business models and emerging technologies in the financial services sector across the globe. The analysis, based on a global survey of 1,308 financial services and FinTech executives, includes a number of impressive insights relating to how we’ve gotten to this point and where we may be headed in the not-too-distant future. 

FinTech and financial services: Partners in the future One of the most interesting findings to come from the report relates 18

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to the evolving role of FinTech in financial services as a whole. Though FinTech may have begun life as a series of start-ups who were looking to disrupt the status quo, modern companies are instead looking for something different - partnerships. In many ways, a partnership creates a mutually-beneficial situation for everyone involved. FinTech start-ups need customers, while financial services professionals will increasingly depend on new approaches to both drive change forwards while delivering innovation to their customers. Feeding the innovation driven by FinTech in areas like e-retailers, social media platforms and similar sources back into financial services seems likely to be an efficient way to accomplish both of those goals. Much of this change is in part due to one of the most important findings of the PwC report - more than 80% of those who responded believe that their entire business is at risk. Some 88% of established financial services professionals are growing increasingly concerned that they are losing revenue to more innovative competitors, while 77% of financial institutions reported that they would


‘Thanks to the rate at which FinTech companies and financial innovation are changing the competitive landscape, the lines of the financial services industry are being redrawn right before our very eyes’


increase their own internal efforts to innovate, this may not actually be enough to get the job done. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that 82% of those who responded said that they actually expect to significantly increase their FinTech partnerships at some point in the next three to five years alone.

Convergence through emerging technologies In many ways, the goals of both FinTech companies and seasoned financial professionals are the same. They want to provide 20

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a renewed experience for their customers. Financial services incumbents, both through the aforementioned partnerships and through a market-driven sense of internal innovation, are therefore in a better position to quickly respond to the ever-changing environment and regulations in order to ultimately provide that better experience their customers both seek and deserve. A large part of this has come about through a refocusing of which technological areas companies will be investing in over the next 12 months. According to the report,


‘The funding of FinTech startups has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 41% over the last four years alone’ these are the most important areas to focus on during this time: • Data analytics • Mobile • Artificial intelligence • Cyber-security • Robotics process automation • Biometrics and identity management • Distributed ledger technologies • Public cloud infrastructure. These priorities illustrate that financial institutions are actually beginning to follow the trends that FinTech companies are setting.

At the same time, financial institutions are focusing on updating their legacy systems with a strong focus on these types of technologies.

The ripple effect of disruption The PwC report also highlights the particular areas of the financial services industry that will see the highest levels of disruption over the next five years. Those seasoned veterans who are able to both embrace change and find the right partnerships with FinTech providers will no doubt be able to adapt and rise to the occasion. Those who aren’t will no doubt run into 21


‘Consumer banking in particular is expected to be the “epicenter of disruption” over the next five years’ trouble in many of the following areas:

Banking. Consumer banking in particular is expected to be the “epicenter of disruption” over the next five years, according to 80% of people who responded to the survey. Many seasoned veterans see personal loans and personal finance as two categories of products that are most 22

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at risk to moving to a FinTech company thanks to a focus on intuitive product design, ease-of-use, 24/7 accessibility and more. However, 63% of those veterans saw the rise of FinTech as an important opportunity to expand their own products and services.

Insurance 52% of people who responded to the survey said that both life and


non-life insurance were the second most likely sector for disruption. 58% of respondents said that they currently make it a priority to monitor FinTech companies on a regular basis in order to respond as competitively as possible. This is a large part of the reason why FinTech partnerships are expected to increase 84% in these areas over the next five years.

Transactions & payment services Though 73% of people said they feared this part of their business was at risk to innovators, this number was actually down from 87% from the 2016 report. This in itself is proof that partnerships can and do work, with 35% of financial professionals partnered with FinTech companies on transactions and payment services recorded last year, increasing to 42% in the most recently available version of the report.  In the end, the PwC report made it clear that mainstream financial institutions have no other choice but to rapidly embrace the disruptive nature of Fintech in any way they can. Forging partnerships with these providers that

FinTech Statistic Funding of FinTech start-ups has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 41% over the last four years

are focused on long-term objectives not only puts both parties in a better position to sharpen operational efficiency, but it also allows them to respond head-on to customer demands for more innovative services sooner rather than later. This is a large part of the reason why, according to data from PwC’s DeNovo platform, the funding of FinTech start-ups has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 41% over the last four years alone. That represents a cumulative investment in excess of $40bn. Thanks to the rate at which FinTech companies and financial innovation are changing the competitive landscape, the lines of the financial services industry are being redrawn right before our very eyes. 23


TOP 10



The inexorable shift to the cloud continues at pace. As organisations move their IT investments and workloads towards IaaS providers, they must shift their security focus there, too. Cloud workload protection platforms aim to provide information security professionals with a holistic way to secure their cloudbased workloads using a simple management interface, whether they’re running on physical or virtual machines, containers, or on a private cloud infrastructure. 26

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Browser-based attacks are by the far the most common form of attack on users, while nearly all attacks start via the public internet. Accepting the inevitability of the threat, security organizations need to minimise the damage caused. Isolating user browser sessions from enterprise endpoints remains the best way to reduce the opportunity for a breach by shifting the risk to server sessions instead, where a clean state can be better maintained.




Add effective endpoint detection and response technology to conventional preventative measures such as antivirus to spot odd behaviour and evidence of malicious intent. Investment in these technologies are ramping fast – Gartner reports it expects up to 80% of large enterprises to have invested in it over the next couple of years.


Confusing an attacker and/or their tools is an increasingly important weapon in a security team’s arsenal. Tricks and decoys nestled behind an organization’s firewall not only delay an attacker’s activities, they also aid in their fast detection and resolution. Good deception technologies will permeate many layers within the stack, from data to endpoint.


TOP 10




An attack which exposes an OS vulnerability could easily compromise all containers, despite they themselves not being inherently insecure. Containers deployed in an insecure manner, without security-team oversight, are a risk and should be mitigated with container security solutions to protect them from creation into production. Most container security solutions will scan code from the outset and monitor them in use. 28

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Once it’s in, an attack normally finds it relatively simple work to spread sideways across systems. Leveraging microsegmentation to lock down system elements within a virtual data centre helps to limit the damage any breach might be able to cause. These days it can be deployed against most communication with the data centre.





Use software-defined perimeters (SDP) to hide and isolate critical environments from attacks. SDPs define a set of participants connected to a network within a secure compound that’s publicly invisible, and only allows access via a trust broker.


Spot nefarious intent using NTA solutions to watch traffic across a traffic. Enterprises looking for a network-based approach to spot advanced attacks that have penetrated perimeter security should consider NTA as a way to help identify, manage and fix these events. 29

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OSS SECURITY SCANNING AND ANALYSIS FOR DEVS Security needs to be embedded as efficiently as possible within the software development process. 30

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Importantly, it needs to be transparent to devs and deployed in a way that doesn’t hold them up. Software composition analysis tools aim to analyse a developer’s source code, modules, frameworks and libraries to spot security vulnerabilities before the application is released.




As cloud and mobile usage ramps up, cloud access security brokers (CASBs) work to plug gaps in security. CASBs

provide a single point of control over multiple cloud services at the same time, for any user or device. The rise of software as a service and burgeoning concerns over security means the urgency has never been greater for control and visibility of cloud services.




Fred. Olsen’s UK Group Head of IT, Damon Impett, tells us how the company is upgrading its internet services and investing to stay ahead of the game when it comes to cyber security


he job of an IT Director is hard enough at the best of times, especially when the organisation is working across a number of locations. But most will at least be able to rely on their points of interest being fixed. Not so at Fred. Olsen, where IT staff have to contend with offices that travel back and forth across the oceans. The organisation has interests in a number of sectors including renewable energy, marine power, and wind technology. But it is with the company’s cruise business – offering travellers holidays at sea, from the snowy wilderness of the Arctic Circle to the white sand beaches of the Caribbean – where Damon Impett, Group Head of IT in the UK, and his team take on some of the toughest challenges. One such example is the demands of cruise guests, who expect the


August 2017

same ultra-fast wifi speeds they enjoy at home to be replicated out at sea – and for free. That demand has seen Fred. Olsen invest in faster speeds on its ships with a view to implementing further improvements in the near future. “Three years ago we were operating on about 800Kbps, covering the guest wifi and corporate productivity,” says Impett. “We recently upgraded to 3Mbps, which included a significant upgrade to our ships. We had to carry out a retrofit to all of our ships to enable fully-pervasive wifi throughout, involving around 56 miles of cabling and hundreds of access points (APs). “While that upgrade was


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F R E D . O L S E N LT D

Speed to create one force To further ensure critical operations around the globe, Speedcast has now unified a leading team of over 1000 experts in 100 countries. Combining our deep expertise, fast reliability and relentless passion, we always look to advance the industries and customers we serve through one defining force. Speedcast. The Critical Communications Company.



August 2017



IT Solutions




cases where there is additional capacity available on the satellites we are using.” The capability of bouncing from one satellite technology to another taking advantage of extra capacity is an example of providers becoming more proactive, says Impett, adding that a number of new satellites are due for launch in 2017, with more to come in the following few years. “I expect the overall cost for bandwidth to come down over Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines the next two or three annual guest turnover substantial, we years,” he comments. have just signed “I think we’re seeing a a contract with trend towards providers Speedcast to update that using their bandwidth more sensibly offering to 10Mbps per ship to offer and effectively than in the past. more - although, as all operators There is also new technology will know, it doesn’t matter how that will help us utilise C-band, much you increase your speeds by, Ku-band and cellular frequencies as customers will always take your automatically, all of which offer their offering to the limit. What we’ve got own advantages. All of this will help to try to be is a little bit smarter about us with the capacity that we need.” how we manage the networks. The organisation has also invested “That 10Mbps is actually in the latest generation of behaviourexpandable to 20Mbps, in based software technology in a bid


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F R E D . O L S E N LT D

“I think we’re seeing a trend towards providers using their bandwidth more sensibly and effectively than in the past�


to keep the ever present danger of cyber-attack at bay. The ‘Bitdefender’ product was chosen from a number of next-generation solutions after a “rigorous evaluation of all of the next-generation products that are available,” Impett reveals. “It’s very easy to alter a piece of virus software to then be slightly different to get through defences, which is why next generational machine learning is key. It looks at a machine and recognises when something is not right or something unexpected happens. Traditional anti-virus technology is based on known viruses that can then be blocked, whereas on ‘Day Zero’, it has never been seen. The idea is that unexpected behaviours can be recognised and blocked until the purpose of that change is known. “There is an inevitability when it comes to attacks; it will happen at some point. What is more important is how you can react and stop the spread across a network or networks. It’s about knowing that you can halt the problem at an end point and ensure it doesn’t spread any further. If you take the recent spate of global cyber-attacks, the problem – apart from the outdated software – was that they struggled to limit the attack, so it spread quickly across the network. It’s also about knowing what has been lost, and how information can be recovered.” The investment adds to the outlay spent on ‘Nexthink’ earlier this year, which allows Impett and his wider team to monitor all end-user machines

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F R E D . O L S E N LT D

across the group, helping to flag up issues in real time. It is, he says, all part of the ongoing effort to keep the organisation’s network and devices as secure as they can possibly be. Impett also oversees a hybrid system where some of Fred. Olsen’s systems, programmes and processes are held in the cloud, while others are on premise, although he believes it is inevitable that more and more organisations will have to migrate


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to the cloud, as the likes of Microsoft price their services at a point where customers have to make the jump. While advancements in technology have brought some challenges, Impett says that developments such as the Internet of Things will be embraced by the business in the years to come. “We are looking at smart cabin capabilities, from being able to switch off lights to controlling the air conditioning. One of the biggest

S U P P LY Damon Impett


UK Group Head of IT challenges with a cruise ship is the fuel we burn, so being able to be more intelligent with utilities, such as air conditioning is a really important issue. If we can look to use software, to connect customers with their rooms and control air conditioning, lighting and other services, that’s going to really help us reduce our footprint. Any ships we go on to invest in will likely have those capabilities.”

Damon Impett was appointed UK Group Head of IT on 1st June 2013. Impett joined Fred Olsen Ltd as the only Computer Projects Manager in 1999 and started to encourage the notion of ‘business solution’ design and development, probably now better recognised as digital transformation. In 2010 promoted to Business Solutions Manager, he managed a small team of solutions development specialists, nurturing growth and innovation through an ‘anything is possible’ approach. Impett is a strong believer in identifying potential talent that fits the role/team, rather than obsessing over qualifications, preferring to focus on cultivating, training and mentoring to get the very best from individuals. From 2013, Impett has overseen a complete overhaul of the UK systems at Fred. Olsen from the network foundation through to the communications backbone and legacy business applications. In the fast-paced world of IT this work is an ever evolving process and is a challenge Impett and the team at Fred. Olsen thrive to excel in. w w w. f re d o l s e n . c o . u k


Passion for polymers Written by: James Henderson Produced by: Charlotte Clarke

Covestro enjoyed a record year in 2016, not least because of the growth of its polycarbonates division which has continued to go Jens Kaatze SVP, Head of Global from strengthProduct Management, to-strength Polycarbonates


hile the picture for many businesses in 2016 was a mixed one, leading polymer manufacturing producer Covestro enjoyed a record year against the backdrop of a successful Initial Public Offering in 2015. Driven by demand for innovative materials used in a myriad of consumer and business products, the group’s core volumes increased by 7.5 percent, amounting to revenues of €11.9 billion. Covestro’s polycarbonates division performed strongly with volumes increasing by 10.3 percent over the course of the year, compared to an overall growth of about four percent in the wider polycarbonate manufacturing market. “These excellent results show that we are increasingly successful at replacing conventional materials with superior plastics with a strong demand for


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Polycarbonates” said Michelle Jou, President of Covestro’s Polycarbonates Business Unit. “In 2017 Q1, we have recorded strong growth of 14.7 percent in core volumes year-on-year, mainly because of greater demand from the automotive and electrical/electronic industries. This is very encouraging” Polycarbonate is a premium lightweight plastic combining a variety of properties such as being durable and freely formable. It is used in various applications including laptops, smartphones, medical devices, automotive parts and stadium roofs. Covestro markets the material in the form of granules, semi-finished products or blends with other plastics. The burgeoning demand for polycarbonates in the Asian market has led Covestro to unveil plans to significantly expand the production capacity of its Shanghai site to 600,000 tons per year, having only recently expanded up to 400,000 tons. This extremely rapid development is bringing the value of Covestro’s investment into this site up to $3 billion, showcasing its commitment to the Chinese market and the organisation’s strong global

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C O V E S T R O ( S H A N G H A I ) M A N A G E M E N T C O . LT D .

footprint. Solid partners like Qi’An Construction are also essential in the implementation of such projects. Thanks to its impressive legacy and global reach, Covestro has production sites and R&D hubs across Europe, Asia and the Americas. All of them use innovative and ecologically compatible technology. To keep pace with the evolving business environment, Covestro works directly with partners and invests continuously in R&D and innovation. The idea is for Covestro to be as cost efficient, flexible and agile as possible, quickly adapting to customers’ needs. For instance,

Covestro works with TP Link, one of the market leaders of Network Solution. Mr. Fan Tianshu, VP of TP-Link, Global sourcing considers Covestro to be “a real strategic partner that we can count on for high and stable quality material but also professional technical support like various tests of products and materials, timely response and even joint production development”. For similar reasons, Covestro has been awarded “Preferred Partner” for its outstanding supply and service in May this year by Flex Mechanical Technology Solutions, the world’s largest contract manufacturers.

“These excellent results show that we are increasingly successful at replacing conventional materials with superior plastics with a strong demand for Polycarbonates” – Michelle Jou, President of Business Unit Polycarbonates 48

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PTT Phenol Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical PLC, is the sole producer of phenol and acetone in Thailand, including Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a raw material and additive used by several industries such as automotive, construction, and performance materials. As a supplier of choice, we are committed to delivering high-quality products with excellent reliability and establishing solid partnerships. For queries, please contact the Product Sales & Marketing Division: Tel. +66 (0) 2265-8230 Head office: 15th Floor, Energy Complex (Building A) 555/1 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900

INTERGARTED HIGH-END LOGISITICS SERVICES Shanghai Huayi Tianyuan Chemical Logistics Co., Ltd.HYTY is a leading company specialized in chemical logistics, which is established in September 2003, attached to Shanghai Huayi Group.

155 HeZhan Road, Caojing, Jinshan Shanghai, 201507 Tel: +86 21 57252555 | Fax: +86 21 57255111 |


15,600 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AT COVESTRO Outlining the importance of the company’s supply chain operations, Jens Kaatze, SVP, Head of Global Product Management, Polycarbonates, says: “Supply chain is hugely important in our business, you need to provide the lowest cost of service to be competitive. Streamlining the supply chain with a reliable global network that we can tap into is crucial. This advantage enables us to serve our customers to the best of our ability wherever they are located while at the same time maintaining cost and carbon footprint as low as possible. “Think of a scenario where a customer of ours releases a phone case in blue but realizes they actually need it a shade darker. We are able to match that request within 24 hours and provide a colour sample to them within three days, which we can then run and produce, if

approved. The fact that Covestro can combine low cost with agility makes it stand out from the rest of its competitors in the market.” Some could say being present everywhere and highly reactive is energy intensive, but Kaatze says that sustainability is one of the central pillars of Covestro. “We have significantly improved our specific carbon footprint, previously setting target to reduce our energy consumption by 25 percent by 2025, which we have actually already achieved. Instead of sitting back and congratulating ourselves on hitting this milestone we set a higher target of 50 percent. Consuming less energy helps both the planet and our profit,” he says. This is consistent with the company’s PPP – people, planet and profit – philosophy, which Covestro adheres to when developing new

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products, practices or procedures. In short, anything that is introduced must be positive for at least two of the PPP elements, and neutral for the third. Kaatze gives a specific example of what this means for the business: “At our plant in Shanghai, we have implemented a strategy to recycle our salt water. It technically helps us save some money but there is also an extra cost associated with the energy recycling process.


August 2017

We found a solution to help the business use the extracted salt for our chlorine production. It is a win win situation: eventually we have a lower amount of salt impacting the environment and we can re-use the salt for our own processes. “When we look at our products, we look at the whole life cycle to evaluate how much energy we are using during the process -the carbon footprint of the production - but also during the product’s entire lifespan.


For instance, if you replace the glass or metal part present in a car by polycarbonate you will significantly reduce the energy it takes to move the vehicle over its life cycle. This energy saving ultimately compensates for the amount of energy used during the production process eventually reducing the total greenhouse gas emission

Michelle Jou

President of Business Unit Polycarbonates

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C O V E S T R O ( S H A N G H A I ) M A N A G E M E N T C O . LT D .

‘The fact that Covestro can combine low cost with agility makes it stand out from the rest of its competitors in the market’


Jiangsu Qi’an Construction Group Co.,Ltd Business involves: Construction, M&E engineering works of general constract and relevant maintenance service.


for this product turning the overall balance to positive.” The challenge for Covestro now consists in following up on a record year, and it is one that Kaatze says it will take on with relish. “To stay on this track to success we continuously focus on innovation and collaboration. It goes back to our core pillars: optimisation and efficiency combined with an offering that provides a broad level of products and services in a cost and time friendly manner. Both require strong and open innovation with our network of partners. Our relationship with Mitsui and Co. in Asia Pacific has been a good example of working closely and effectively with a partner helping us being agile at supply chain level for our customers. This means that when we see an upturn in demand for example, we are

capable of meeting this demand.” “Similarly, as the world’s biggest buyer of phenol, we work consistently with on-site or near-site partners on pipeline supply to ensure that we receive the product as efficiently as possible. Our suppliers in Thailand, PTT, are located in close proximity to our facility so we can benefit from a pipeline which cuts costs and improves efficiency. That might sound simple but a lot of companies haven’t managed to take that step yet.” Following a successful first quarter, Covestro is optimistic for the current year. For 2017, the company anticipates core volume growth in the low-to-mid-singledigit percentage range. It will continue to work closely with its partners to bring their innovative applications to life with the goal to ‘make the world a better place’.

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Evening Eastbound Train departing Miller Station

The South Shore Line railway in Indiana, which connects metropolitan Chicago to small cities that surround Lake Michigan, has survived financial crashes and the surge in popularity of the car. Now its owner NICTD is taking this century-old railway into its next phase Written by: Leila Hawkins Produced by: David Kulowitch


South Shore single level EMU


he South Shore Line railway in Indiana, which connects metropolitan Chicago to small cities that surround Lake Michigan, has survived financial crashes and the surge in popularity of the car. Now its owner NICTD is taking this century-old railway into its next phase. Founded in 1977, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) operates an intercity line with a total of 19 stops, between the Millennium Station in downtown Chicago to South Bend International Airport. This is a key location as the airport carries around 300,000 passengers every year, although the term “international� is a bit of a misnomer, as it only flies within the US to cities including Atlanta, Minneapolis and Las Vegas. However, the train station is incorporated into the airport building, so passengers can make use of all


August 2017


its amenities, including the shops, lounges, and even a meditation room. South Bend itself, near Lake Michigan, is typical of the cities the South Shore Line serves, connecting the similarly sized Gary and Michigan City, as well as smaller towns like Porter which numbers under two thousand residents, to Chicago, the third most populous city in the US. A brief history of the South Shore Line The railway has been in operation since 1908, when it opened with both a commuter line and a separate freight line. It has had a remarkable history - after surviving the Great Depression of the 1930s, it flourished during World War II when workers flocked to Indiana for the local industry. But when households began owning cars the railway entered a period of decline, along with many other train lines at the time. NICTD was founded in 1977 to aid the floundering line, and when it went bankrupt they began operating the passenger service, eventually going on to purchase it in 1989. The

Michael Noland

President of NICTD

line is currently governed by a board of trustees who represent each of the Indiana counties it serves. Meanwhile the freight line is still in operation too, run by a separate entity called the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad.

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Dune Park Station


August 2017


“THE IMPLEMENTATION OF WI-FI HAS IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH OUR EXISTING CUSTOMER BASE, AND IT’S SOMETHING THAT REALLY DOES ATTRACT PEOPLE TO OUR SERVICE” – Boris Matakovic, Chief Information Officer Customer perks On board the trains today passengers can make use of wi-fi, which NICTD implemented in 2016. Boris Matakovic, the company’s Chief Information Officer, explains that this was put in place is so that commuters can be more productive while they travel, by carrying out simple, day-to-day tasks like checking emails and even catching up on work during their trip. This has

Boris Matakovic

Chief Information Officer

proved very beneficial to the company. “It has improved relations with our existing customer base,” Matakovic says, “and it’s something that really does attract people to our service.” It now also has a mobile app which customers can download on to their phones, enabling them to purchase

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Stahl 12-8-11 at Millenium Station new cars await departure

tickets without having to visit the stations. This has helped decrease the amount of resources NICTD uses for tickets and distribution, as well as making transactions easier for the passengers. “People can buy their train tickets right on their smart phones,” Matakovic explains, “because basically everybody owns their own ticket kiosk at that point.”


August 2017

Other perks include people being able to have their travel costs deducted directly from their wages so they can pay less tax, and activityrelated discounts like getting 50 percent off the entrance price for the local Gary SouthShore RailCats’ baseball games when presenting train tickets at the stadiums.


“People can buy their train tickets right on their smart phones, because basically everybody owns their own ticket kiosk at that point” – Boris Matakovic, Chief Information Officer

Trains versus cars These bonuses are all designed to encourage people to use public transport rather than drive, as aside from the obvious benefits to the environment, cars are NICTD’s main competitors. Matakovic explains, “it’s not so much within rail itself, but between us and other forms of transportation, like automobiles,

that’s our competition.” Matakovic says that generally people who live in the areas where the South Shore Line serves are more accustomed to driving rather than taking the train, except for Chicago. “For people who go out to Chicago for their jobs, no. They are very faithful to public transportation. The cost is probably four times more expensive

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to drive your car in Chicago than it is to take public transportation.” There are few problems in terms of finding train drivers as the company boasts a high retention rate. Matakovic says this is down to paying well and having very good benefits for the employees, who are usually recruited locally within the state, specifically within its four-county reach.

Looking ahead There is a vehicle location system currently at the contracting stage, which once implemented, will let customers know ahead of time when trains are approaching or if they can expect delays. While the line is split into single and double track railroads at the moment, the plan is to construct



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August 2017



Morning passengers waiting for approaching South Shore train at East Chicago

a continuous double track, which will increase scheduling flexibility, improve the reliability of the service, and decrease overall travel times. In terms of expanding, there’s a new route in the pipeline to connect cities in Lake County, over on the other side of Lake Michigan, to Chicago. This will boost employment by making

it easier for people to commute to the city for work, as well as lower the cost of travel, increase the value of properties near the stations, and attract more young people and families to the region. Matakovic anticipates these aspects are set to make NICTD’s service even more attractive in the near future.

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AVANT-GARDE model for higher education IN


Written by: Mateo Rafael Tablado Produced by: Lucy Verde Interviewee: José Tam, Digital Transformation CIO for ITESM


Mexico’s ITESM is developing the TEC21 Educational Model, undergoing a Digital Transformation within the University 4.0 concept


he ITESM (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education or “Tec de Monterrey” as it is widely known in Spanishspeaking countries), founded in 1943, is synonymous with excellence. It is also an undisputed authority among Latin American universities. ITESM caters to more than 100,000 students in high school, professional, postgraduate and continuing education levels, enrolled across strategically located campuses in 26 cities all over Mexico.

The institution’s reputation goes beyond its current and former students’ development within Mexico and abroad by also becoming, decades



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Digital Transformation Director José Tam, CFO Bruno Zepeda

ago, Alma Mater for thousands of executives and professionals from every corner of Latin America which have populated ITESM’s classrooms and halls. QS Top Universities’ rankings witness constant ascent from ITESM. After finishing 2016 at 238, globally, ITESM currently ranks 206, and is the only ‘Five Star’ college in Latin America’s top 10. QS’s five-star criteria is a result of the college’s external impact factors, such as graduates’ hireability. In


August 2017

Mexico, only UNAM (the National Autonomous University of Mexico, public university founded in 1910) is listed atop ITESM, which makes the “el Tec” the leader among Mexico’s private universities. Leading the way in being an avantgarde educational institution implies dedicated efforts in updating and upgrading resources and even in teaching methods. Keeping up with such commitments, ITESM is developing the new TEC21 educational model within


the University 4.0 concept. The institution finds itself within a deep Digital Transformation, which ensures operational continuum, as an answer to global interaction necessities and technology developments able to improve information exchanges. The TEC21 model also resulted from a deep, thorough analysis of more than 40 universities worldwide, in order to provide ITESM of reference points to aim to in its journey toward an innovative educational model for the 21st century. ITESM President Salvador Alva defines the university’s Digital Transformation as one of his top five priorities for upcoming years. University 4.0: cornerstone of Digital Transformation

This concept emerges from the necessity to develop entrepreneurs and professionals enabled to perform in the scope of digital business. This environment has been determined by factors such as the Digital Transformation Initiative, launched in 2015 by the World

Economic Forum (along with the report “The Future Of Jobs”), and it is also shaped by ITESM’s productive relationships with companies that share bonds with the university. The “4.0” suffix is related to the current stage of the industrial revolution, a continuation of its preceding eras, highlighted by the increased use of certain resources, such as water and vapor on its first stage, followed by electricity, and the computer, afterwards, until arriving to this day and age of IoT sensors and automation. University 4.0 takes advantage of commonly known (and used) interconnected resources, taking knowledge acquisition levels above the centuries-old traditional model of a writing board, students’ desks and printed media, which still prevailed until five years ago. “Our visionary initiative makes ITESM a pioneering university within the Digital Transformation scope,” says Bruno Zepeda, CFO for ITESM. TEC21 educational model

The TEC21 model is an answer both to global evolution toward

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fully digital schemes, and to its population groups’ needs (pupils, teachers, employees, etc.). The starting point for undergraduate studies within this model offers eight Pathways: • Engineering. • Business. • Communications and Digital Production. • Architecture and Design. • Social studies and Letters. • IT and Electronics. • Bio-engineering and Chemistry. • Medicine and Health Sciences. This innovative model is driven by four main concepts: • Challenge-based learning.


not for being technology in itself, but rather for the possibilities it brings to learning processes - José Tam, Digital Transformation Director for ITESM

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INSTITUTO TECNOLÓGICO Y DE ESTUDIOS SUPERIORES DE MONTERREY (ITESM) Real goals are beyond the traditional in a position in an existing company. grade measurement of the learning Current Rector David Garza has process. Different approaches to led the model’s development for five each challenge are developed, years. This approach transforms a thus developing applicable teacher’s traditional role by adopting knowledge in real life situations. five traits enabling the acquisition • Flexibility. This trait implies of knowledge. The role’s design on and off-campus learning makes a professor become... experiences within an open process 1. A challenge designer, which that allows subject selection plans, evaluates and follows according to every stage the necessary goals to of each pathway. obtain knowledge. • Inspiring 2. An authority in professors. their subject, sharing Faculty staff are theory and practical Annual revenue committed to the knowledge to solve generated by ITESM students’ learning challenges. process, being 3. A tutor, able able to attract and to provide advice retain their attention to each student during and interest supported the learning process. by different atmospheres. 4. A mentor, directing the student • Unique experiences. during his/her time in college. Different activities in global 5. An appraiser with the accurate apprenticeship environments, criteria to certify the acquisition including the enrollment of out-ofof knowledge and skills. town and foreign students, as well “We want the teacher to become as attending a term abroad and/or able to listen, understand, provide in an out-of-town campus, and also study cases, to offer help, to attending a term while fully engaged challenge,” Garza adds.



August 2017


Campus VP Alfonso Pompa, President Salvador Alva, Rector David Garza ITESM’s faculty staff is comprised by known specialists in their field, counting also with certified scientists and professors within every category at the National System of Researchers. Bimodal IT - Two fronts toward Digital Transformation

“We work as a bimodal entity. This concept was developed by Gartner analysts, proposing that IT operations should be comprised of two groups,” says

Digital Transformation Director José Tam, who previously worked as IT Director for ITESM. The first group (Mode 1), led by Managing Director Guillermo Garrido, is in charge of Telecomm and Infrastructure evolution, continual operations and cybersecurity. Mode 2, led by Tam, is in charge of approaching and developing innovation and transformation into a continual process, in constant evolution. Both work groups were created

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INSTITUTO TECNOLÓGICO Y DE ESTUDIOS SUPERIORES DE MONTERREY (ITESM) from the systematic integration of new capabilities since 2014, starting with user experience, focusing efforts into easing student-centered procedures, and for professors, students’ families, and for the institution’s staff and employees. The next task was creating attractive apps to be used by students, which would streamline some of their regular procedures. This basis became the starting point for ITESM to venture into data science, big data, and web analytics, followed

by AR and VR in learning processes, to finally arrive at machine learning and automation, cognitive analytics, AI, toward sensor installation for IoT operations. Next step was splitting the team into Mode 1, in charge of continual operations, and Mode 2, focused on Design Thinking and other concepts able to improve user experience for each population group, into what McKinsey considers the “Two Speed IT”. Interconnectivity among ITESM’s community is a result of an optimal

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Digital Transformation leaders: Standing (left to right): Rogelio Tobías, José Tam, Germán Carmelo. Sitting: Nurya Hernández, Guillermo Farías use of every resource, considering the required handling of individual privacy and personal data. “Going digital implies a different understanding for each study program offered by ITESM and for the program’s contents,” Tam points out. From May 2012 until January 2017, Tam was CIO for ITESM. He is currently in charge of the User Experience Team. Tam, Peruvian, has worked in four different countries during his 27-year experience. He has held executive positions

in charge of system integration for companies such as Sil Data, Softtek, besides being also a TI and business consultant. Tam was Managing Director for KPMG Consulting, BearingPoint, Neoris, and IBM Global Business Services. Since 2013 he’s been a certified mentor for Endeavor, and takes part in conferences and seminars as speaker, focusing in subjects such as business strategy, enterprise architecture, IT, design thinking, digital business and related subjects. Tam earned an MBA from ESAN

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University (Perú), and before that he graduated in Industrial Engineering from the National University of Engineering (in Lima, Peru). Attending the ‘Leading Digital Transformation & Innovation’ postgraduate program at Hasso Plattner Institute (Germany) and Stanford University (USA) has become one of Tam’s key experiences while in


August 2017

charge of ITESM’s digital transformation process. Support infrastructure and profile roles

Each profile in the Digital Transformation department is assigned defined roles which contribute to the entire IT system.


These are the required profiles: • Contact point / digital business partners. Their purpose is getting to know each kind of user’s needs and interactions to digitize them through apps and interfaces. • User experience. This team is in charge of tailoring user groups by identifying their specific needs. A local student may not require

some of the necessities inherent to being an out-of-town or foreign student. The user experience team brings every possible interaction to the table. The team is comprised of communication professionals, psychologists, marketing specialists, anthropologists, and also graphic designers and user experience architects.

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August 2017


• Data science and machine learning. Involves clear appreciation of data and data architecture concepts. The team is made of Predictive Analytics and Cognitive Analytics specialists, familiar with Machine Learning concepts. • Algorithms. Digital and data architecture find a place in this division, also in charge of APIs and integration concepts such as Full Stack, and complex subjects, AR among them. • Digital platforms. ITESM relies on SAP and SalesForce for managerial endeavors. ITESM is currently installing the S4 HANA system, (SAP’s 4th version ERP), which includes the SAP Cloud Platform, and the FIORI framework for mobile apps. These resources allow a seamless integration of administrative data, as well as analytics. On a different front, SalesForce’s HEROKU platform is the go-to resource for installation of the necessary apps to complete CRM processes in charge of relating different user universes within the ITESM system.

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The HR and Company Culture department at ITESM, led by VP Hernán García, is in charge of creating programs and online apprenticeships for different roles within the institution’s population, including a monthly course for transformation leaders. These efforts create a unifying culture for 26 ITESM campuses. While enrolled student figures may vary in some locations (6,000 students in large facilities, midsize locations host between 2,500 and 5,000; and smaller campuses have 1,000 or less students). The only difference between these three modes is the quantity of courses offered, since each location’s infrastructure shares the same kind of furniture, equipment and resources to provide an optimal, collaborative learning environment, along with network connectivity able to support up to six devices per individual and 400MB per device. “Every campus’ infrastructure is able to support our new


August 2017

educational model, one ITESM for all,” Tam stresses. Co-innovation and support for an educational transformation

ITESM has solid partnerships enabling the institution to provide the infrastructure and support for a digital transformation, a disruptive force in teaching and knowledge creation within ideal, adaptable locations. ITESM’s web content is managed with ACQUIA; the system is based on Drupal, supported by INTEL and CISCO connectivity. Learning platforms are supported by the BLACKBOARD system and CANVAS. Intelligent city resources - to create intelligent campuses - are developed


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INSTITUTO TECNOLÓGICO Y DE ESTUDIOS SUPERIORES DE MONTERREY (ITESM) through FIWARE open source platform; these projects also involve IKUSI and PROA Mexico. Being one of Mexico’s leading institutions in the education sector, ITESM is deeply involved in coinnovation projects, concretely in cognitive analytics, IoT and

machine learning along with these four partners: • SAP’s LEONARDO platform, used for management, finance and HR. • IBM, implementing Watson for planning and foresight educational processes.

Digital transformation team


Agosto 2017


• MICROSOFT’s CORTANA platform, for course management, enrolled and non-enrolled student analytics. • AMAZON ALEXA, for intelligent goal and challenge management, according to the TEC21 educational model.

On the way to goal and deadline fulfillment

ITESM’s digital transformation began on January 2012. Efforts from the insititution’s board of directors and involved departments have enriched the Tec21 concept during this time, by placing the model in the best possible place in space and time, according to the global digital agenda. The Pathways program is already on its way, meanwhile pending tasks are underway toward a complete integration of the model by August 2019. A new series of digital services for students and other users will be already in use before the end of this year, as a result of ITESM’s Digital Transformation.

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Persevere and pivot: How an oil and gas technology company can thrive Written by: John O’Hanlon Produced by: David Kulowitch


General Managers at the Peace Bridge in Calgary










Over three decades the Canadian company Zedi has helped oil and gas producers make better business decisions through remote asset management and control. Now it’s reaching out to a range of industries as they leverage the opportunities of digitization, automation and the Industrial Internet of Things


edi celebrates its 30th birthday this year. It’s best known in the oil and gas industry for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) support to the upstream sector and for its Smart-Alek device which offers complete remote flow monitoring via cell or satellite, and works under almost any weather condition. By allowing producers to outsource construction and operation of remote asset monitoring and SCADA infrastructure, saving them the expense of building telecom and IT infrastructure required to monitor or control wells, it soon captured almost the entire Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) market. Today Zedi’s customer base is global and its credentials wellestablished among oil and gas producers, particularly the more entrepreneurial SMEs in that space. Today, even the larger multinationals


August 2017

are finally moving towards SaaS to manage their assets, says James Freeman, who has been with Zedi for the last 10 years. As CTO and President, New Ventures, and as an engineer, he believes that disruptive innovation, in the sense intended when the term was coined by Dr. Clayton Christensen, is really about changing the business model rather than technology per se. The potential of the IIoT has given Zedi a huge opportunity, he says, to leverage its expertise and domain knowledge to support its business outcomes. “A great example of such an opportunity is exactly the managed service that Zedi has provided to O&G companies. You need data and insights to run your business but it does not follow that you therefore need to do the collection of that data, or even a base level of


A Zedi meeting in full flow

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James Freeman CTO and President, New Ventures

James is Chief Technology Officer and President, New Ventures of Zedi Inc, a privately-held Calgary-based services company that has been providing technology solutions to enable the Digital Oilfield for the last 15 years. Zedi’s full-service integrated suite of solutions empowers Oil & Gas producers in Western Canada, and United States and 24 other countries to improve production operations. In his role as CTO, James oversees technical development for the company’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, which collects sensor and controller data from field assets and adds value to that data via cloud-based analytics and visualization tools. Presently, this platform supports 1.35 million sensors, and consumes over 47 million readings per day. As President, New Ventures, James also oversees Zedi’s efforts to expand application of its IIoT platform to attractive growth verticals outside of the Oil & Gas sector, including Clean Tech, Agriculture, and Retail Food Services. 104

August 2017


“I believe the advanced manufacturing

organization of the future will be an ecosystem where partner companies provide specialized expertise that is non-core”

– James Freeman, CTO and President, New Ventures

analytics on that data, yourself. You need the outcome of that effort.” “I believe the advanced manufacturing organization of the future will be an ecosystem where partner companies provide specialized expertise that is non-core, allowing the manufacturer the resources to focus on what is truly IP-building, core domain knowledge required to differentiate itself in the market.” This is already the experience of Zedi’s oil and gas customers, who use Zedi’s underlying IIoT platform to connect their sensors and actuators in the field, manage these devices and gather information about the current state of their remote assets and the production

process these assets support. If something anomalous occurs in the process, real-time configurable analytics alert the customer, so follow-up action can be taken. This allows customers to contain the impact, minimizing down-time and potential loss of production. The other part of the solution gives them the ability to see the results in a coherent form that allows them to make the decisions needed so that the well or associated upstream gathering facilities may be optimized. Zedi AccessTM and Zedi Go are the customer-facing software elements of the platform, developed over the past 15 years in partnership

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Big val of


with world class companies including Dell, ABB, MultiTech and Emerson on the hardware side and Microsoft, Oracle and Tableau for specialized application software, that provide a familiar and simpleto-use customer interface. No other company, says Freeman, can offer Zedi’s level


August 2017

of integration from sensor to the cloud or responsiveness to technology trends and market needs. Neither do they bring the same level of personal support to a robust automated infrastructure. “Customers can come to us to analyze their business problems, engineer solutions, then procure the equipment, install, commission, and operate it.” IIoT is an ecosystem, he emphasizes. It’s about a lot


more than just collecting data and analysing it – all businesses are faced these days with the stark fact that they must digitise or die. The IIoT loop starts with sensors (which convert physical reality into data), runs through a decision process involving people or increasingly, people assisted by analytics, and then potentially returns to the field with actuators (the devices that convert data back into physical reality,

typically through mechanical means). Versatile However, future growth in oil and gas is restricted by a dearth of new wells coming on stream. Zedi’s platform, refined in the most challenging environments met with in the oil and gas sector, is

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perfectly suited for adaptation in a number of other industries. Having proved that its value proposition works, its strategy is to persevere with its existing customer base and at the same time to pivot to face other industries, equally faced with an urgent need to digitise, which would benefit by adopting the same solutions. The food industry is of pressing importance globally, with a value

chain that stretches ‘from field to fork’, Freeman points out. “We have to feed billions off a shrinking land base and farmers have had to adopt technology at a rapid rate – for example, field machinery works almost without human intervention controlled by GPS. With traceability, whether of arable or livestock products an absolute requirement, a huge data lake is built up as they move from producer to


processor to retail to consumer.” Another industry experiencing disruption is energy generation, particularly with the advent of distribution energy resources (DER). The total installed base of operational PV systems, to take just one example, surpassed 300GW globally at the end of 2016. As the solar industry continues to mature, the focus is turning to asset management, a term used in the power industry to describe the financial, commercial, legal and technical management of power plants and other assets. “What these industries have in common with oil and gas is a reliance on underlying distributed assets that support some kind of industrial process, whether it is manufacturing hydrocarbons, food, or electricity,” Freeman explains. “Gaining insight into the health of those assets, and using analytics to both optimize and safeguard process integrity, is common to all manufacturing. But many industries’ assets operate outside, spend much of the time in

“We have to feed billions off a shrinking land base and farmers have had to adopt technology at a rapid rate” – James Freeman, CTO and President, New Ventures darkness, are exposed to weather or environmental hazards, are often off-grid, and require low power wireless technologies for connectivity. All these are problems that Zedi is good at solving.” Trending The company is very good at seeking out trends and innovations, evaluating them, and, where there is advantage, integrating them into its platform. A case in point is low-power widearea network (LPWAN) technology,

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Zedi Our World

d e Z

a it


o to


Robert W. Gordon – General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Christine Barr – Vice President Finance

Clement Gaudet – Chief Operations Officer and President Canadian Operations

Debra Deane – Vice President, People

Grant Exner – Chief Financial Officer

James Freeman – Chief Technology Officer and President New Ventures

Illario (Larry) Spagnolo – Chief Commercial Officer and President US Operations

Matthew Heffernan – Chief Executive Officer


August 2017


“We’re excited to be at the forefront of introducing our technology not only to our customer base in oil and gas, but also into other attractive growth sectors”

– James Freeman, CTO and President, New Ventures which has especial relevance in remote monitoring situations. Before it added support for LPWAN technology to its IIoT gateway fleet, Zedi could only connect devices through wired connections, limiting the number of devices connected and their range. Zedi can now create an LPWAN hotspot, up to 10km in radius, allowing any number of LPWANcapable devices within the hotspot to communicate with the Gateway. And since most devices are not yet LPWAN-capable, Zedi created a small new low-cost, low power hardware product called a Zedi Mote to connect to existing devices,

and make them LPWAN-capable. The speed with which Zedi integrated this technology, combined with its use to pivot Zedi’s solution set into other industry verticals, won it the 2017 Outstanding Product Achievement Award from the Canadian Advanced Technology Association (CATA). As Freeman puts it: “LPWA technology in particular will be a key enabler of the IIoT, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of introducing our technology not only to our customer base in oil and gas, but also into other attractive growth sectors.”

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Making refuelling mobile 4Refuel provides on-site refuelling for ships, construction plants, and railways among many other industries. But what makes it unique is that it was one of the very first refuelling companies to adopt mobile technology for its drivers.

Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by David Kulowitch



provides onsite refuelling for ships, construction plants, and railways among many other industries. But what makes it unique is that it was one of the very first refuelling companies to adopt mobile technology for its drivers. Since it was founded in 1995, 4Refuel has transitioned seamlessly from having drivers deliver fuel using paper tickets to using electronic data. It was one of the first companies in its industry to start doing this. As well as telling drivers the order in which they must deliver fuel, this mobile technology eliminates the need to search for client names as well as human error, such as potentially getting the wrong address. New on-board cellular technology gives real-time monitoring in terms of things like fuel levels and if a driver is running late, which means 4Refuel can be notified immediately to re-route trucks and make up the time difference. While handheld devices have existed for a number of years, up until 2017 drivers had to take them out of their trucks to connect to the network. Advances in mobile technology have made it possible to get information directly from the vehicles. The expectation is that very soon these devices will tell the drivers the best routes to take


August 2017




Larry Rodo President & CEO

Larry Rodo is the President and CEO of 4Refuel. Over the last 32 years Larry has served in many operating and sales positions throughout all modes of transportation, including executive leadership with large global organizations. He has been a lead consultant on Wall Street for cash logistics and travelled the world working on complex supply chains addressing globalism, security, military, high value, currency, precious metals and pharmaceutical.

The biggest thing I’m seeing right now is data coming in, into the hands of the right people on their phones and tablets at the right time – Larry Rodo, President & CEO by analyzing traffic conditions. James Cameron Lee, Chief Information Officer, explains how this has benefited the business massively. “Back in the day people didn’t have any visibility as to where the fuel was going. With the implementation of technology on our trucks we’re able to show whether it be construction equipment or where the fuel is going.” The company does around five million transactions per year, so if a business had to do this manually it wouldn’t be able to function effectively. “It’s just this ability to capture the data in the field via cellular network to our head office.


Mike McGee Chief Financial Officer

Mike McGee is 4Refuel’s Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Mike is responsible for the financial management of the company, and plays a leadership role in developing and executing the company’s growth strategy. Most recently, Mike was CFO of Brookfield Global Relocation Services and Brookfield Residential Property Services, both portfolio companies of the Private Equity group of Brookfield Asset Management. Previously, Mike spent ten years as CFO of Sonoco Plastics (previously Matrix Packaging). Mike started his career with Ernst & Young in the audit and corporate finance practices.


It provides data in a timely fashion. I don’t think any business of any size, if you had to do all that manually, it would just be a barrier because of the sheer number of transactions. “The biggest thing I’m seeing right now is data coming in, into the hands of the right people on their phones and tablets at the right time” he says, “and being powered by mobility, if you have the right data you can do something with it quicker.

Jared Prentiss Vice President – 4Refuel US

Jared joined 4Refuel in January, 2014 and currently holds the role of Vice President, 4Refuel US. Jared supported the launch of 4Refuel in the United States and oversees the strategic, commercial, and organizational structure. Prior to joining 4Refuel, Jared spent 13 years with Penske Truck Leasing in various roles overseeing field operations.


August 2017


“Companies that don’t adopt technology, whether being fuel delivery or any other companies, technology continues to drive business forward. If you’re not an adopter of technology I think you’ll have a tough time making it in the long haul.” New initiatives Lee is currently working on a system to evaluate the work of the drivers. “Historically there has been a view

that drivers, you tell them what to do and they go and do it and finish their day. There’s this idea in my head we’re planning to work on that people actually want to know how they did that day,” he explains. “I’m looking at creating a scorecard system where, based on the days and on how much volume they pumped on the road, were they late for any stops, how productive they were on site


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Lynne Harkness Director, Human Resources

4Refuel believes that the employees are the backbone of the Organization. Lynne leads a team of human resources and payroll professionals who strive to provide first-rate programs and support to all levels of the business, ensuring the most efficient tools are in place for the utmost achievement of success. Lynne currently serves as Chair of the Peel Branch of the Canadian Payroll Association, a position she has held since 2011. Lynne lives her life ensuring personal health and wellness are a non-negotiable priority and enjoys spending time skiing, camping, canoeing, and kayaking.

versus internal targets we set – they get this feedback mechanism daily. “Then a supervisor who may have 10 drivers under them will get the scorecard and see the same info,” he says. “It would be more timely. Whereas in the past, because we were batching it in shifts and running a bunch of slower processes, we weren’t really getting that real feedback, so we’d be telling drivers days later about the next day. It’s all about just being able to get more timely data and being able to have the wherewithal for the technology to automatically email it out to the right people at the right time. “ Lee says this will make things vastly more efficient. “Also understanding issues quicker so we can take corrective actions. If we didn’t have that visibility, new managers and supervisors trying to look for things can be difficult, whereas every morning getting a report about your drivers and how to decipher that report, you make them better managers by giving them the right info in a timely format.”



“The key

is differentiating yourself from being a commodity” – James Lee, Chief Information Officer

James Lee Chief Information Officer

James joined 4Refuel in 2003 and currently holds the role of Chief Information Officer. James has held multiple roles in the organization during his tenure at 4Refuel including VP Operations, VP Strategic Initiatives and VP Systems Development & Integration. Prior to joining 4Refuel James spent eight years in the forestry sector across a variety of disciplines including planning, operations, engineering & silviculture.


August 2017

Hiring the best Ensuring drivers are fully trained in these systems is a top priority. “There are so many things you have to worry about,” Lee explains. “When you’re on a fuel truck and carrying dangerous substances, we want to really make sure the technology is easy to use, so it’s very important that computers are responsive and simplistic.” Just as challenging is driver retention. In December 2016 stricter legislation was enforced for long haul drivers, and it became a requirement for electronic log books to be kept for safety.


Joe Valeriote Chief Commercial Officer

Joe joined 4Refuel in 1997 and is currently Chief Commercial Officer. His primary responsibilities include overseeing sales, marketing and strategic development. Having joined the organization shortly after its foundation in 1995, Joe is one of 4Refuel’s longest-tenured employees and was instrumental in growing the company from a family business to North America’s largest mobile onsite refueller.

Competition 4Refuel operates throughout Canada and in the last few years it’s expanded to Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin. Depending on market conditions there are plans to expand into further US states, but the company has taken the decision to focus operations on Texas for now. It’s a highly competitive industry. “The key is differentiating yourself from being a commodity” Lee says. Competition is usually down to price, but 4Refuel sets itself apart from its rivals by having drivers go out to refuel company’s vehicles in the middle of the night and in all elements when they’re not active, enabling them to maximize their day. “4Refuel does the jobs nobody else will.”

Delivering world class cloud-based solutions Written by: Catherine Sturman Produced by: Stuart Shirra


We speak with Mark Ackerman about how ServiceNow is continuing to develop its services, buying up expertise within a number of sectors


panning 54 global locations, ServiceNow has rapidly expanded its cloud and IT solutions worldwide, delivering a range of services within the business world. The company has grown substantially, and extended its operations into the Middle East, with bases in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. Fully on track globally in terms of revenue growth, ServiceNow continues to develop its IT operations and management services, with the aim to increase its influence within the international market. The company’s customer base within the Middle East has now extended to Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon, highlighting its ever-growing presence within the region. ServiceNow’s Regional Sales Manager for the Middle East Mark Ackerman explains that “ServiceNow has been developing its services around building a product platform, partaking in acquisitions, and is building a thorough platform functionality”. To this end, the company developed its ServiceNow platform, which places a high level of company applications onto a single,


August 2017


“ServiceNow has been developing its services around building a product platform, partaking in acquisitions, and is building a thorough platform functionality” – Mark Ackerman, Regional Sales Director for the Middle East


user-friendly cloud platform. “ServiceNow is a very new organisation, particularly for the territory,” Ackerman adds. “The way we approach service management and end-service management is significantly different to other organisations.” Recent developments Utilising a single platform, rather than an amalgamation of acquisitions, is something relatively new within the


August 2017

Middle East, explains Ackerman. “When we look at a lot of legacy carriers, they consolidate all of the technologies and an all-encompassing solution. That’s probably one of the biggest differentiators for us, the way we deliver our cloud-based services, rather than as part of several different areas.” To this effect, ServiceNow has adopted a single channel architecture, as opposed to a multi-channel architecture, which positively impacts customers and


3,000 The number of staff employed by ServiceNow

caters towards an increased client demand. Addressing the way in which individuals work in the corporate space, ServiceNow’s new platform is able to manage agreements and service delivery across multiple departments, ranging from IT and HR to customer service and marketing, providing a complete consumer-like, user experience. To support this further, ServiceNow’s vested interest in automation and machine learning has led to the company’s acquisition of machine learning startup DXContinuum in an all cash transaction. The purchase will enable ServiceNow to increase workplace productivity through the implementation of intelligent automation, creating efficiencies across

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the board through predictive models and the creation of personalised data sets. “The technology is focused on predictive analytics, machine learning capabilities, automated task assignments and so on,” adds Ackerman. Additionally, ServiceNow’s acquisition of virtual messaging service Qlue has emphasised the company’s interest in chat bot technology, which will become implemented within its customer service and security divisions. Repurposing the technology will enable it to become fully integrated with ServiceNow’s platform, and ensure the company remains focused on building strong relationships with customers and corporations. Further transformations At present, ServiceNow remains one of the only Enterprise Service Management SaaS companies within the Middle East, and the company is achieving increased growth in this area. “We are much larger now and have a much stronger base,” says Ackerman. “This has allowed us to move into

“The way we approach service management and end-service management is significantly different to other organisations” – Mark Ackerman, Regional Sales Director for the Middle East new positions and opportunities that were not available before.” One such position is the development of ServiceNow’s recentlyreleased application, Jakarta, which will bring a number of other acquisitions to market within its platform. Jakarta encompasses seven new application models and functionalities, solely influenced by IT and business sectors, but will also feed into the company’s move towards the security space. Working closely with a number of partners to structure the company’s

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response to cyber-attacks, Jakarta enables users to share any security incidents and also houses software asset management technology. This delivers real-time license compliance information, automated risk management and the delivery of sophisticated workflows, supporting ServiceNow’s growth further. Additionally, Ackerman explains that ServiceNow has also partnered with technology giant GE Digital, which is in the process of rolling out ServiceNow globally. This will enable the company’s applications to function in collaboration


August 2017

with GE’s Predix platform. “This partnership will give customers closer analytics and information around customer interactions and customer service management,” comments Ackerman. “This is one of our big projects at the moment.” Continuous engagement With a twofold approach to engaging with customers, ServiceNow’s commitment to sending out quarterly surveys highlight the company’s positive feedback from customers,


2004 The year that ServiceNow was founded

with scores remaining consistently high, alongside high retention rates to boot. The company also houses a team which, as Ackerman explains, “manages company partners and alleviates a partner level within all of the countries we operate”. “This gives us the ability to have a strong partner base and interact with customers, and supports the growth of the platform. We’re then able to then expand the platform, not just within IT but outside of IT to other business functions,” adds Ackerman. This high-level engagement also extends to the company’s relationships with suppliers. Working with niche partners, such as Unikomm Group, ServiceNow continues to expand its services. Additionally, the company’s partnership with Quintica, which Ackerman explains is similar, focuses more delivering scalable solutions. The development of the ServiceNow platform has enabled the launch of services that have become highly influential amongst increased competition within the Middle East. With a strong support network, a varied range of solutions alongside a seamless delivery of services, ServiceNow continues to drive support throughout the corporate space, meeting the needs of customers throughout its operations for times to come.

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Gigabit - August 2017  
Gigabit - August 2017