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July 2017



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HELLO, AND WELCOME to July’s edition of Gigabit. This month, we kick off with Tom

Wadlow’s exploration of the partnership between BAE Systems and Cyber London, and how such a large organisation has collaborated successfully with an SME to effectively deal with cybercrime. In addition to this, Scott Allison,

President of the Life Sciences & Healthcare arm of DHL, discusses the ways in which technology is transforming the life sciences and healthcare supply chain, including regulatory challenges. With Fintech a prominent theme in the

technology sector of late, this month’s list is our pick of the top 10 Fintech startups. On top of all of this, we have exclusive

and in-depth profiles on Japan Tobacco International, Telefónica Germany, Eskom, Plusnet, and more. Enjoy your read, and tweet us your feedback @GigabitMag



TOP 10 >

global fintech start-ups








JTI Plusnet Telefรณnica Germany Acceleris Dataplex SA


PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk



34 JTI


Eskom Global Broadband Solutions


4Refuel Allscripts


Rackspace Women in STEM



PROFILE “THIS IS A global problem that isn’t going to go away,” remarks Alex von Someren, co-founder of Cyber London (CyLon), when asked if it is possible to win the battle against cyber crime. While von Someren admits it is difficult to win the battle, CyLon is actively supporting start-ups who offer cutting edge, innovative solutions to help companies to address the weak points in their cyber security defences, to train staff to be ‘cyber-savvy’ and to limit the damage done if an attack is successful. In exchange for £15,000, CyLon takes a three percent equity stake and provisions a 13-week accelerator programme designed to offer support on all the critical issues start-ups face. This varies from helping the founders find product market fit, messaging, route to market, pricing models, scalability and investment. CyLon also arranges for industry experts to meet with the entrepreneurs on a weekly basis, and introduces the start-ups to potential customers. One such industry expert partner is BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, whose Director of New Ventures 8

July 2017

“The scale of the cyber security issue is so great that there is no one company who can solve all the problems” and Innovation, Richard Wilding, sits on CyLon’s advisory board. “The scale of the cyber security issue is so great that there is no one company who can solve all the problems,” he explains. “In fact, our recent global research into cyber security shows that almost three quarters of ITDM respondents expect the number and severity of cyberattacks to increase in the year ahead. Therefore, you can see that with stats


like this, we need to be encouraging these cyber start-up companies. They can help us to help our clients.” Two years in Cyber London’s network already comprises 40 alumni companies and more than 200 mentors from the likes of BAE Systems and other partners. Whichever way you look at it, the programme appears to be highly successful.

“There are many ways to measure success,” says von Someren. “In recent weeks, two of our teams announced funding rounds of over $2m each from top-tier investors, while another two CyLon companies won awards in the Securing the Nation competition at an event at the iconic BT Tower. “Two of our alumni won awards over start-ups who’d raised a combined $120m from Valley 9

Alex von Someren - Founding CyLon

I left school to join Acorn Computers in the 1980s, where I was extensively involved in the BBC Microcomputer project. Subsequently I co-founded ANT Ltd in 1990 to produce networking products, including Web Browser software licensed to the Oracle Corporation. Following on from that I co-founded nCipher to develop internet security products using advanced cryptography. The company became a world leader in IT security, counting major banks, finance companies and governments among its customers. nCipher plc was sold to Thales SA in 2008. Currently I’m the Managing Partner for Early Stage investing at venture firm Amadeus Capital Partners, where we have supported and funded over 120 companies over the past 20 years. In 2015, together with Grace Cassy, Jonathan Luff and Poppy Wood, we founded Cyber London, Europe’s first cyber security accelerator. We each recognised the importance of innovation within this sector, but there was very little support tailored to the needs of cyber security entrepreneurs. We decided to set up Cyber London and haven’t looked back since.


based venture funds, another pretty impressive feat. One of our start-ups, Sphere Secure, has already been acquired by OneLogin.” Little and large The relationship struck up by BAE and CyLon has undoubtedly been of mutual benefit. As a global company, BAE Systems is behind some of the world’s most advanced security solutions and sharing their experiences will help companies that are just starting out in this sector to build connections across the industry. “Experts from all areas of BAE Systems come in to mentor the teams, helping with both business challenges, such as marketing strategies or product development, and technical knowledge, such as threat intelligence,” continues von Someren. “Many of our alumni are still in talks with BAE Systems and its ongoing support and interaction has proven instrumental is some of our start-ups successes. Richard Wilding sits on CyLon’s advisory board and is a great support and advocate for CyLon.” Likewise, there are always things that large, established organisations

can learn from working with fledgling companies who are bringing new ways of thinking and disruptive ideas to keep businesses and consumers safe from cyber threats. “First and foremost, it is essential that start-ups companies are not seen as competition to larger organisations already in the industry,” explains Wilding. “Whilst these start-ups might offer a similar service, tool or solution, they equally bring an opportunity for partnership on specific problems. Start-ups are a very different beast to larger organisations, they have different assets and weaknesses than ours. “This is particularly useful today when there is deep innovation happening with the existing products that we have around cyber and other domains. Where I believe start-ups help in the market is through innovation and how start-ups deliver and construct their business models. Because of their nature, start-ups are in a better position to come up with new ways to solve universal problems.” The collaborative age More generally, in an age of ever 11


complex cyber security and sophisticated cyber criminal activity, it is vitally important that collaboration between businesses thrives in order to prevent and mitigate the impact. Wilding passionately states the case not only for cyber security to be front of mind for boardrooms around the world, but for businesses of all sizes to do more collectively. “BAE Systems’ relationship with CyLon allows us to collaborate with start-ups and foster relationships to benefit the entire cyber industry, as well as the businesses that rely on its products and services,” he adds. Indeed, BAE Systems has signed up to at least another three years of collaboration with CyLon, which has another eight participants making up its fifth cohort of companies. For Wilding, this partnership is just one of many programmes with smaller businesses, and more is to come. “I can see us scaling our collaboration both in terms of geography and domain,” he says. “Innovation happens everywhere, and we need to get as broad a view as possible.” 12

July 2017






ife er L , m t o t n de Cus i s L re , P r, D H n iso ecto l l A e S tt o c car n S h t by eal vatio n H e itt es & Inno r W enc s & i n c o i S lut So


OL O T O O VU L GO G HO O O N H L E T E G G L E E O N M G L N R HL P I C O R Y?H A H NP I N O MR Y EV E RAT OE SC I ST E C E L E R CT O S L N GO W G Y HO V L A G E OG U ILSYL E HO L O T OE E G UL E N O W WAG N I N G M YR A L HO L O G O ETCOEHL P C OO R C?H N N I R H O E GT M P S T E C C L E E A V R Y E O H L S T G T E I R O H U A N V ? O L G E Y G S O W T R L E U G N E L O E G G HA IS HO L ORTEOEL L W O G A C W GY O N M H H N L I Y H O C O P ON G RN C C O O HO L TT EE E L E R T O H ? S I O H G E P A C V C NP I N O M Y O U L T L G E R E T E N R H C S E L E R T O S ?E G L L I O V L A G E RH AO W G Y E G UL E N VU L A G S W O O N L H I C R L T O G L L EW Y A E O O H G H L CR Y N O G AH OL O GTCOH NP I NC O M N L I ? E H E O O R O E G P T S T C E C NP I N O M L H E R A V E Y S T T L E G I R O H C A U L E R T O SG V N ? L Y G E W O L G U E N E AH OL O T OE G L E L VU L A G R S W L N I R E H O O G L L EW CYH N I N G M H A O H L Y O C P R AH OL O G O C C G O L ? E O R N T E N T S T E I E H O O H E P A V C C NP I N GO MO L L G E R Y E U T N T E H E S G L E R CT ORRS A I Y O VU L N G ? L E L W V A E A PHARMACEUTICAL AND MEDICAL device manufacturers are facing a variety of challenges, perhaps the greatest of which is compliance. Since 2013 and the European Commission’s introduction of good distribution practice (GDP) rules, companies have upped prioritisation of compliance in order to meet increasingly rigorous life sciences and healthcare standards. In particular, companies must now ensure temperature-controlled shipment for a broader range of products than before, including specialty drugs and biotechnological products. Technology has a vital role to play here. While regulations have a tendency to suppress technology uptake in many life sciences and healthcare activities – for example, it will still take some time before industry rules allow the 3D printing of skin and body parts using biological matter – they are speeding technology adoption in logistics, transportation and the supply chain. Here are three key ways in which regulations are accelerating technology transformation in the industry.





To meet ever-increasing regulatory requirements, many life sciences and healthcare organisations are deploying high-tech solutions. These maintain and monitor the end-to-end cold chain for highly sensitive life sciences and healthcare products on their journey through specialist warehouses and distribution centers, and during air, ocean, road, and rail transportation. These solutions employ artificial intelligence and sensors including DHL’s SmartSensor solution which uses GPS and RFID technology for real-time shipment tracking. To effectively manage a temperature-controlled supply chain, the logistics service provider needs specialised expertise and very close collaboration with not just the customer but also all other parties in the supply chain. Many variables can affect the integrity of a product from the moment it leaves the manufacturing plant until receipt at final destination. For example, even the slightest of temperature excursions between levels at origin, transfer, and destination can cause disaster, as well as unforeseen and unavoidable journey delays. 19



For this reason, more and more pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are also opting for technology-based risk management solutions. With these, they can assess worst-case scenarios and other ‘what-ifs’, ensuring robust contingency plans are in place. Any deviation from Plan A can be proactively answered with the best possible Plan B. Some risk management solutions, such as DHL Resilience360, also include sophisticated data analytics to define various risk levels within the supply chain and therefore optimise decision-making about routes, packaging, carriers and more.




Big data analytics enable companies to predict not just what can go wrong but also what needs to go right. Logistics service providers can track and generate data on any parameter in the pharma and medical device cold chain – temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, energy consumption, and even an event such as a door opening or closing. And of course the fact that this data can be transmitted via mobile devices means that key processes can be monitored in real time from anywhere in the world. Now, using rich analytics algorithms, life sciences and healthcare companies can turn raw data such as this into predictive data, creating not just actionable warnings but also actionable insights and recommendations. These improve storage and handover processes, and prevent cold chain failure before it occurs. They also provide valuable competitive advantage. What this means in a very practical sense is that new technologies are not only enabling auditable compliance with regulatory requirements but also helping life sciences and healthcare organisations to ensure alignment of logistics and transportation processes with business objectives.

Effective analytics enables each company to identify new ways to grow the enterprise with better methods of storing and transporting pharmaceuticals and medical devices, predicting demand and improving inventory management, and getting closer to customers and patients. Digital transformation is progressing rapidly in logistics, transportation and the supply chain, and DHL has the knowledge, experience and infrastructure to support life sciences and healthcare customers through these changes. Since 2010, we have completed over one million DHL SmartSensor shipments and contributed over 160 million temperature measurements in the supply chain. We have 4,900 life sciences and healthcare-dedicated staff, 150+ pharmacists, and 90+ life sciences-certified stations. In addition, we have 150+ life sciencesgraded warehouses, 15+ GMP (good manufacturing practice)-certified sites, and 20+ clinical trial depots. And we continue to make substantial investment in the development and deployment of technology innovations so that we successfully deliver healthcare to the world. 23

TOP 10

Top 10 global fintech start-ups From creative cryptocurrency use to banking the unbanked, these dynamic new businesses have unique offerings for the financial technology world Written by : Staff Writer

TOP 10

1 Increased interest in alternative and digital currency makes Ethereum a startup to watch. With alt currencies like Bitcoin making (positive and negative) headlines every day, the ability to create your own cryptocurrency is a timely idea. Ethereum’s platform features smart contracts, blockchain and the ability to negotiate and enforce those contracts from within the site itself, making it user-friendly and accessible. With a market capitalisation of over $4 billion, Ethereum is one of the largest fintech start-ups on our list.


July 2017

2 What barriers prevent people from investing? For many, the amount of capital required can be overwhelming. Stash allows people to begin investing and supports more than 30 electronic fund transfers (EFTs) as of May 2017. Users can start with as little as $5, making the trading environment more accessible than ever before. Stash provides information about EFTs, including expense to predict, past performance and risk profile, thus making it easy for anyone to invest.

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

3 Billing itself as “the bank of the future”, Monzo is paired with MasterCard and allows users to bank from anywhere in the world. Since it accepts cryptocurrency and allows users to make transactions without start-up capital, Monzo is truly a bank without borders or branches. Monzo has a UK full banking license and is the first bank of its kind to be officially licensed. So far, the company has a capitalisation of over $85 million USD ($65 million pounds)

4 How is that student loan repayment coming along? If you’re still reeling years after graduation, you’re not alone. Commonbond aims to help address the growing problem of student loan debt by refinancing loans and saving borrowers money. A refi company is nothing new, but Commonbond has raised over $1 billion and its technology, which drastically speeds up and simplifies the process makes it appealing for investors.


TOP 10

5 InterPlanetaryFileSystem (IPFS) makes it easy to store and share files via a peer-to-peer system. IPFS aims to be free, open and easy to access for all. IPFS aims to improve on traditional P2P file sharing by storing content at unique addresses, instead of on specific hosts or servers. Since information is distributed amongst peers, DDoS attacks are rendered invalid. The IPFS team hopes that their protocol will eventually rival HTTPS and change the way we use the Internet to access information.


July 2017

6 This San Francisco based startup offers car owners and drivers an alternative way to insure their vehicle – allowing them to pay by the mile instead of charging a flat rate. MetroMile allows those who own cars but don’t drive them far or often the opportunity to save money each month. With rates starting at $35 per month plus 5 cents per mile, CEO Dan Preston hopes to attract the 65 percent of US drivers who only put a minimal number of miles on a vehicle each month. In September 2016, MetroMile recently got a $192 million infusion.

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

7 An easy to use, innovative decentralised management platform, Aragon’s main selling point is its coverage. Aragon excels at allowing business owners and managers to find and manage a team anywhere in the world. With an overall capitalisation of $46 million and a record $25 million raised in the first 15 minutes, Aragon can boast of being the most rapid ICO in the fintech industry.

8 Lending, borrowing and connecting people without a lot of red tape – that’s the aim of WeTrust, whose slogan is “For the People, By the People”. This self-regulating lending community is powered by blockchain and allows users to leverage social capital and trust, reducing the need for a third party at all. WeTrust aims to offer lower fees and to keep more capital in the hands of participants instead of a “trusted third party”. WeTrust has capitalisation of over $15 million and brings a personal, social touch to the world of lending. 29

TOP 10


Clip offers the best of mobile banking for Mexico and Latin America. Users can accept credit card payments right from a smartphone, making it easy to run a small business or even borrow from a friend in an instant. Clip aims to empower Latin American small business owners and level the playing field for microbusiness and individual entrepreneurs.


July 2017


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



This banking app wants to be the official bank of the third world - -and uses cryptocurrency and a variety of biometric technologies to keep users secure. By banking via mobile app and using biometrics as identification, the billion plus unbanked people of the world will be able to enjoy banking services and participate in the international marketplace.


Modernising the tobacco industry Written by Nell Walker Produced by Andrew Lloyd 33

Diego De Coen, CIO of JTI, describes the ways in which the business has flown in the face of tobacco industry critics with high-level IT and a people-centred approach


s Chief Information Officer of JTI (Japan Tobacco International), Diego De Coen is extremely keen to achieve the perfect balance between technology and people. With his wealth of experience in the sector, he knows that one cannot be sacrificed for the other, and this approach is certainly paying off in a sector known for being, at times, challenging to attract top talent into. Having previously led the company’s Centre of Excellence for seven years, De Coen has since been responsible for JTI’s entire IT function for eight more, heading up a team of nearly 800 across the globe. His role has obviously changed with the times, but remains focussed on


July 2017

the two aforementioned themes. “My role is about delivering high quality added-value solutions for the company at an optimised cost, of course,” De Coen explains, “but I’m also what we call the Guardian of Talent. Part of my job is also as a relationship-builder, bridging together different segments of IT and their counterparts such as corporate functions, markets, and factories. We are a real people-caring company, so talent management has always been very important to us, but even more so now that we’re embarking on this digital adventure.” In an age where technology is becoming smarter and people are increasingly seen as surplus, De Coen values staff and what


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JTI JTI chose Orange to unify its global collaboration tools, to enhance unified communications experience for 23,000 end users and reduce costs To ensure the success of this major initiative, we selected Orange because of their expertise and knowledge about the existing environment to create a long-term strategy and associated roadmap. Their global capabilities support our geographical footprint, and they have the ability to deliver end-toend services, from transformation to operation, including management of all underlying service blocks.


Guilain Rogg Global Technical Center VP JTI





JTI is a leading international tobacco manufacturer with over 26,000 employees operating in 120 countries There was an urgent need to streamline communications by moving to a unified strategy and solution, reduce costs and enhance service to end users Orange established a managed Unified Communications service in 40 countries on Microsoft Lync 2013 that includes IM, presence, web, video and audio conferencing across a mix of desktops and mobile devices Mobile workers now enjoy the same high-quality UC experience on any device at any location, and the unified workspace enables easy collaboration between employees, partners and customers – all with lower costs and improved security


Global flagship brands

26,000 Employees


Offices worldwide

Issues and challenges JTI is a leading international tobacco manufacturer with about 26,000 employees operating in over 120 countries worldwide. The company has nine global flagship brands - Winston, Mevius, Camel, Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Sobranie, Glamour, LD and Natural American Spirit. In such a large, highly-distributed organization, international collaboration is a major challenge. JTI had identified that communication was suffering due to legacy technology silos and a historic fragmented approach to collaboration tools. There was an urgent need to streamline operations by moving to a unified strategy and solution and, in the process, reduce costs and enhance the service to end users.

The objective

The Orange Business Services solution n

n n




Improve JTI’s global communication capabilities to increase collaboration among employees, partners and customers and lower operating costs.

The benefits The Orange Unified Communications solution has enabled JTI to increase global collaboration. n



Mobile workers enjoy the same high-quality UC experience on any device at any location

Orange managed Unified Communications service in 40 countries on Microsoft Lync 2013 hosted in Orange data centers and migration to Skype for Business 20,000 users: IM, presence, Web Conference 12,000 users: Lync Enterprise Voice, desktop video services and videoconferencing 3,000 users: Lync-enabled mobile devices, tablets and smartphones Dedicated Lync audio conferencing service, including Call Collect network in 51 countries Orange Managed Contact Center solution based on Genesys technology

The results n

Reduced costs


Simplified management via single global provider


Increased security

Unified workspace enables easy collaboration between employees, partners and customers Unified communications supports better and faster decision making

Digital transformation is key for us. Our trusted partner Orange Business Services understands our needs and helps us to stay competitive. We believe in their expertise and knowledge.

For more information about Orange Business Services, visit For more information about JTI, visit

Copyright Š Orange Business Services 2016. All rights reserved. Orange Business Services is a trading name of the Orange Group and is a trademark of Orange Brand Services Limited. Product information, including specifications, is subject to change without prior notice. 1216/CCS-JTI-075(1)


they add to business: “IT is very demanding, and currently full of buzzwords: the cloud, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), software as a service – what differentiates us is business knowledge and good oldfashioned IT skills. You don’t need to mimic best practices; they’re already built into the cloud solution so you don’t need to develop that application yourself. You just need to understand the business and activate the right functionalities within that already-implemented solution.”


July 2017

“We are a real people-caring company, so talent management has always been very important to us, but even more so now that we’re embarking on this digital adventure”


Insourcing knowledge In the early 2000s, JTI set about creating two programmes which embraced the two big application pillars of that age: an ERP system based on SAP technology, and a frontoffice CRM application for sales and analytics, based on Oracle technology which refreshed the entire company’s basic application environment. Once they were complete, JTI found itself with a lot of technology and business experts that were then split into dual factions: Business Technology Services, which contains three smaller

teams within itself and deals with every element of the business side of IT, and the IT Factory, which is filled with the infrastructure, development, systems management and data centre experts. “So over the years, these departments have evolved and become kind of a business consulting arm of IT, while the other ones are still there to develop solutions,” De Coen explains. “Between them, the teams keep the lights on. As a company, when it comes to our IT functions that work directly with the business, we have decided to keep this within

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5 DATA-DRIVEN TECH TRENDS Shaping CuStomer experienCe in 2017

By 2018, more than 50% of companies will shift their investments to customer experience innovations.1 But, which technology trends should you pay most attention to?




What starts as a micro-moment of ten leads to l arger Brand engagement, if the Brand gets it right.


today, the information you’re aBle to collect aBout a customer over their entire Buyer journe y is more valuaBle than the actual sale.


of smartphone users consult their phones while they’re standing in a store deciding which product to buy 2

52% 2

of customers are less likely to engage with brands after a bad mobile experience 3

ai has superhuman poWer that makes sense of millions of customer data points, getting smarter each time neW data is fed to it.


Only of all of the data in the world has been analyzed, or used 4


50 billion




of new information will be created every second by 2020 4


the aBility to parse questions for actual meaning + intent is a very poWerful tool to deliver smarter experiences.


of customers believe a business needs to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 5


of customers will manage their relationship with a brand without human interaction by 2020 6

connected devices will be in the world by 20207


of devices will be set up to automatically request customer service support by 2020 8



providers of cloud suites Will outperform providers of fragmented, “plug-and-play” technology.


of senior-level executives say it’s critical to create a cohesive customer journey 9


Of all buyers, believe companies need to provide more consistent experiences10


1) 2) 3) 4) bernardmarr/2015/09/30/big-data-20-mind-boggling-facts-everyone-must-read/#404018c66c1d 5) 6) infographics/customer-experience-statistics-know-infographic-01499626#ilB6CcpP3Q6e4Bte.97 7) info. 8) 9) 10) Copyright © 2017, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Oracle cOnsumer GOOds custOmer experience

perfect stOre, every stOre

Bill Deakin, Oracle Vice President and Consumer Goods Customer Experience Evangelist, and Xavier Chabanne, Customer Experience Sales Director EMEA Region, discuss the emergence of Perfect Store for consumer goods and the need for consumer-centric business transformation.

Bill Deakin Vice President, Consumer Goods Customer Experience Evangelist

Xavier Chabanne Customer Experience Sales Director, EMEA Region

We are living in a fast-changing World, What are the most disruptive global forces? how, when and why consumers shop and buy is dramatically changing across the globe. as a result, both consumer goods companies and retailers are rapidly evolving their business models to meet the modern consumer where he or she is and deliver a personalized, seamless consumer journey across all of the brand’s owned and influenced touchpoints. What does that mean When you go to market through retailers? at oracle, we believe that the point of sale is now at the moment of inspiration, well beyond the physical locations of traditional retail. this means brands and retailers have a bigger customer experience (cX) challenge than ever before, but it also provides unique opportunity for brands to be more involved in their consumer’s journey by being more aware and more prepared to engage and serve the consumer as they move through their day at home, online, and in-store. the challenge goes beyond engaging directly with the consumer, though. true and impactful consumer reach occurs at the intersection of digital and physical; which means that we need a simultaneous transformation in traditionally business-to-business oriented processes. We’re seeing leaders in this space orient these changes around the concept of “perfect store”: planning consumer-centrically to drive the right assortment and programs for the shoppers of the given stores, bringing forward the right insights to help drive the business at a store-level, and targeting sales resources wisely to deliver and respond to those insights. hoW do you maXimize retailer engagement in regulated markets? We see increasing your value as a partner – providing better insights, more accurate planning, more effective execution – as the key to maximizing retailer engagement in all cases. this is most especially true in regulated markets, where your customer is the primary face to your consumers and your own consumer interactions are by necessity limited. Oracle’s Perfect Store model focuses on flexibility to meet the driving needs of different channels, product categories, and markets. crafting these goals collaboratively with the retailer enhances commitment on both sides to achieve them. self-service is another key tool to increasing value, especially with smaller retailers. they’re often working round-the-clock, and need place orders, grab digital content, and approve promotions when they have the time – not when your sales representative is in front of them. We can help consumer goods companies provide these core services, as well as key insights and even customer loyalty awards and incentives to improve their standing as a valuable (and valued) business partner.

100 of the Top 100 Consumer Goods Companies Run Oracle

What innovations Will create the most value going forWard? We’re delighted to have worked with the industry’s leading companies for decades, across a wide variety of critical industry issues, and we expect that continued partnership in innovation will be the fuel for sustainable success. it is no surprise that improved data and insights innovations are driving significant change in the industry. More interesting is that we see it driving not just unctional change but true business process change and significant business value: the evolution of consumercentric planning, the drive to connect digital and physical, the introduction of rich collaborative platforms, and the everincreasing targeting and intelligence of in-store execution actions. ultimately, this new age of consumer-centricity is only possible due to a vital pair of innovations: 1) the maturation of data aggregation and mining to harness the wealth of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data available to consumer goods companies plus 2) the new capabilities of machine learning to render meaning from massive data crunching. together these two innovations power oracle’s adaptive intelligence solutions, applying our massive computing power and rich intellectual capital to simply bring back to each user the right insights to drive optimal decision making. What is oracle’s “secret sauce” in all this? enabling a “perfect store” standard in every store is a key innovation we are driving for consumer goods. driving real-time and adaptive insights in the hands of those that are in the best position to use them to their best advantage is a singular innovation that unlocks value for brands and their retailers. oracle cX for consumer goods transforms the end to end journeys for both customer and consumer. the breadth and depth of our cX offering is unmatched, and we’ve combined that portfolio with our deep industry expertise to deliver optimized process solutions specific to Consumer Goods. the future is still unfolding, and both technological and human innovations will continue to change its shape in ways we can’t even imagine today. building our industry solutions on our rich oracle cX cloud platform reduces it complexity while providing our customers with full flexibility to accelerate their own innovation into tomorrow. We continue to heavily invest in and create thought leading technologies to aid in their evolutions as well as our own - innovations like iot, big data, virtual assistance, and ai. and of course, we are looking at all of this through the lens of industry - industry needs, industry process, industry solutions. ultimately, there are many pieces and parts to each consumer goods company’s journey. the magic is in not just understanding the elements, but bringing them together to support that ultimate goal of perfect store at scale – perfect store, every store. for further information please visit



IT. Some companies have these distributed inconsistently across their business functions, but this can create an ineffective delivery model. I believe our IT model is the most optimised to provide the best value and the tools and solutions for the business.” He adds: “One of the basics of my IT strategy is to insource knowledge and outsource commodity. Over the years we’ve really focussed on that.” The effort JTI puts in placing its staff in the best positions is reflected in its status as a Global Top Employer, which the company has been awarded for the past three years. Only 10 businesses have received this award worldwide. JTI takes part in employer certifications with the view to raise awareness as a business which cares about people, knowing full well that the tobacco industry could be a contentious issue for some. “This is a wonderful place to work, with many opportunities for staff to develop and grow, but in this industry it’s sometimes more difficult to entice new employees,” says De Coen. “As such we must make more effort to get skilled people – the best

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©2017 SAP SE or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved.

GROWTH IS LIVE. SAP S/4HANA® gives your company constant control over your business. Live and in the moment. On premise or in the cloud. So you can make the right decision – right now.

IMMEDIATE, INTELLIGENT, INTEGRATED – SAP S/4HANA HELPS CUSTOMER CREATE A TRULY LIVE BUSINESS Transforming your digital business is a journey that requires strategic planning and solid, forward-looking innovative insight. Taking the next steps to grow your company can be a tedious game of hit or miss, but with the right solution partner, you can take control and start your journey with confidence today. Japan Tobacco International (JTI), a leading tobacco manufacturer based in Switzerland, with operations in more than 120 countries and 26’000 employees worldwide, has chosen to implement SAP S/4HANA to help streamline and accelerate their digital business transformation strategy on one single platform. The innovative power of S/4 HANA gives customers control over their business data to make informed

choices based on all available data – whether historical or extrapolated, predictive trends. After all, companies that are still running lastcentury IT have no hope of keeping pace now that transactions and analytics are ideally expected to run in real time. As a modern digital core, SAP S/4HANA enables organizations of all sizes and industries to benefit from an intelligent and connected IT landscape, so they can act in the moment on a global scale, enabling embedded analytical and machine learning capabilities. Available in the cloud, on premise, or for hybrid scenarios, SAP S/4HANA unravels organizational complexity empowering companies to create new business models and users to simplify their

day-to-day tasks through the award-winning SAP Fiori user experience. It is designed to integrate with and utilize IoT, Big Data, Mobile, Business Networks, third party systems, and more. SAP S/4HANA helps customers create a truly Live Business: It is immediate – empowering business users with insights to act in the moment It is intelligent – beyond automation to predictive suggestion It is integrated – not only between your departments, but connected to the world Let SAP be your digital compass. Always make the right business decisions. Any time. Any place. Choose the right direction now. Choose SAP and watch your business grow.

For more information please contact SAP Switzerland:

SAP AWARD FOR THE HIGHEST GROWTH IN TOTAL NEW LICENSE VOLUME IN 2016 Since 2001 undertaking international projects for information technology (IT) for business management, specializing in SAP and in line with the main market trends: HANA, Cloud, Mobility, Social Business, Internet of Things, etc


26,000 Number of employees at JT International

in class – to join our ranks. We focus on investing in employee development and helping them grow their careers, as well as offering good compensation and benefits. Not only do we then give them a positive working environment and care for them, but we gain a reputation as an employer of choice, and we see in the staff surveys that our employees are really happy.” In De Coen’s words, “Above and beyond the working conditions we

offer, the values we stand by are key for our customers, suppliers, and current and prospective employees alike. This is notably reflected in our engagement with communities where we are established. In close collaboration with partners, JTI regularly supports a wide range of initiatives across the world, from working with farmers and their communities in order to tackle child labour, to planting trees in tobacco

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growing areas where deforestation is a challenge. In addition, the JTI Foundation, a charitable organisation endowed by JTI, brings its support to less privileged people and victims of natural or man-made disasters through partnerships with reputable organisations. Outsourcing commodity While JTI’s entire digital scope has changed a great deal in recent years, one of the biggest, most dramatic changes has been adopting IoT. JTI is a traditional company in many ways – producing high-quality tobacco products in a cost-effective way – which used to require a simpler business model. However, due to the highly-regulated nature of the industry restricting how it could reach out to consumers, JTI had to expand its technological capabilities and modernise to implement something new. “Our traditional model has changed since we entered the market of emerging products, or e-cigarettes,” says De Coen. “Suddenly we have the ability to trade in some markets


July 2017

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with our consumers via e-commerce platforms. We are allowed to perform digital marketing and connect with social sites. It’s an environment that did not exist before because regulations dictated that we cannot sell tobacco products online.” JTI is also utilising IoT on the shop floor, enabling it to gather and process data in a much more streamlined fashion. For example, predictive maintenance for continuously monitoring machinery is vital for any manufacturing company, because something can happen to the component being worked on at any moment. IoT is helping JTI to diminish any issues and remove downtime of the machines, easing the way for the business to become ever-more digital. Partnerships These advances in technology have been made possible by the businesses with which JTI has aligned itself, and part of De Coen’s strategy is to keep partnerships minimal and strong. “The fewer strategic partners you have the better it is for the company,” he says. “If you have

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too many, the word ‘strategic’ becomes meaningless.” Thus, JTI concentrates on a select few, including Orange Business Services (OBS), SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, Accenture, blue-infinity, SCL-consulting and HCL. For example, the entire spectrum of communications is outsourced to OBS, which is JTI’s longest-serving partner; amazingly; they have worked together since the mid-90s. The other partners all contribute additional – and vital – elements to the business and are encouraged to work as equals with JTI. “It’s not only about them providing a service and us paying a certain amount of money for that service,” De Coen explains. “I want these partners to understand our business inside and out, and when they do that, they’re able and encouraged to come up with new ideas and solutions with added value for the company in a proactive way, so that we don’t always have to run after them and ask if they can do this or what. They can come up with ideas themselves.” These stable and trusted


July 2017

Diego De Coen CIO

Diego De Coen is an experienced manager whose management experience covers several business functions as well as different industries. He managed complete business entities as well as large service organizations including support desks, competence centers, pre- and post-sales consultancy structures and training departments. Today, De Coen is the Chief Information Officer at JTI and is based at the Company’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He joined JTI from Deloitte Consulting in 2002, and was ‘on deck’ for Partner/Director at the time of his move. Prior to joining Deloitte Consulting, De Coen was Managing Director of Cubic (member of the Exact Group), the market leader for ERP software in Belgium, focussing on small and medium sized companies. Before this, he was Technical Director at Selligent, a Belgium CRM (Customer Relationship Management) company. Six years prior to joining Selligent, he worked in several EMEA wide management positions at EDS (Electronic Data Systems). De Coen has a degree in Psychology and several military degrees.



partnerships are more important than ever at a time when JTI is entering emerging markets, which bring several new challenges including, at times, less reliable IT infrastructures. The close relationships between businesses are vital for ensuring the agility and flexibility JTI strives towards when so much change and expansion is occurring.


July 2017

“The company is moving so fast. We enter between three and five markets each year,” De Coen states. “Recently we’ve entered the Philippines, Indonesia, Dominican Republic and Colombia. In these emerging regions, we’re constantly moving. When you enter a new market, it’s only investment, there’s no return – you don’t make money


“One of the basics of my IT strategy is to insource knowledge and outsource commodity. Over the years we’ve really focused on that” on day one. But thanks to our CRM and ERP solutions, which we’ve created lighter versions of, we have a toolset that we can use immediately in a new market and start doing business at a very low cost. Then, we bring in our partners.” JTI’s insistence on the best adoption of technology and its passion for people has cemented its relevance within a traditional industry, and will enable its alreadysignificant footprint to grow and grow.

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Keeping the customer close to the heart Written by Dale Benton Produced by Danielle Harris




lusnet has a simple goal: to think and act differently from other communications providers, to save customers money and to provide unrivalled customer service. It’s unsurprising then that the company brand promise of “We’ll do you proud” is at the forefront of its business strategy. Coming off the back of an extremely successful 2016, including an impressive 21 award wins and the launch of Plusnet Mobile which firmly established the provider as a quadplay contender, David Leather, Chief Operating Officer at Plusnet, is keen for the company to continue momentum. “The last year has been really strong for Plusnet and the launch of Plusnet Mobile was a particular highlight for the whole company,” he says. “I’m eager that we continue to push ahead and achieve even more this year.” For Leather and Plusnet, the


July 2017

company must continue to scale and develop its offering in order to continue to meet and exceed the demands of its customers.

Astronomical change The challenge for Leather lies in that development. “Customer expectations have changed astronomically with regards to product performance, the usage of those products and what customers expect in relation to the money they are spending,” he says. “As an industry, we have a long way to go to match those expectations, and I think the danger for us is that that is where the benchmark is.” Leather believes that the needs of the customer should form the basis of any improvements the company makes and is part of the company’s strategy for scaling its services and capabilities. “Being a smaller company


Plusnet is headquartered in Sheffield, UK w w w. p l u s . n e t


FROM STRATEGY TO EXECUTION: DRIVING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION WITH PLUSNET It’s really important that we build strong partnerships with our suppliers who are as passionate about customer experience as we are. Working with Virtusa we have a partner who thinks the same way, starting with the customer intent and working back from that point” David Leather COO, Plusnet

Our business relationship with Plusnet goes back 10 years. Since then, we have worked on significant programmes of work to streamline operations and optimise costs in areas such as Network Assurance and White Labelling Platforms. Our expertise in working with our customers to create streamlined platforms with reduced complexity and cost of operations has been a cornerstone of our work together.

In 2015, our Pegasystems practice started working with Plusnet to transform the way billing systems were operating. That work focussed on providing a superior user experience for both customers and customer services agents. Since then, our teams have worked on automating provisioning and building a world class model for helping Plusnet customers when they have a service problem. Using the Pegasystems platform, we created a seamless multi-channel journey where customers would, by responding to questions about their problem, trigger sophisticated diagnostic tooling at BT Wholesale in real time to rapidly resolve faults. Meeting the business need to manage and change both the digital assets and the diagnostic journey without IT support was also straight forward using the Pega platform. More recently, our teams have engaged on strategic innovation projects such as the end to end customer experience re-design and a simplified CRM system to enable customer services teams to focus on customer engagement, providing even better service more quickly. At the heart of the working relationship between the two companies is the recognition that competency already exists in Plusnet to carry out many improvement projects. Those skills and competencies need support and growth during business improvement initiatives and so teams are frequently formed from Virtusa, blended with core business and technology functions at Plusnet.   There is an uncompromising and determined culture at Plusnet to do the very best for all their customers and to embrace contact, that culture is shared and visible right from the top of the organisation. We are all proud to work with a multi award winning brand to relentlessly deliver the best possible customer service.

Learn how Virtusa can help transform your business at:


Keeping customers happy means being proactive. Pega empowers you to transform the customer experience – reducing churn, increasing lifetime value and maximising satisfaction every step of the way.

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makes you think differently in order to compete with big corporate businesses,” he adds.

Customer centric Despite its successes, totalling 21 awards throughout 2016, Plusnet is very much undergoing a journey about understanding and continuing to put the customer at the forefront of everything it does. In order to grow in line with customer demand, the company invests heavily in research insights, sentiment analysis and customer feedback. Leather wants to understand what the customer is actually saying about the company. “In my view, customer experience is a feeling. It’s hard to measure and not just a number,” he says. Plusnet is on a mission to redefine its customer service and ask one simple question: is that in the best interest of the customer? “Contact is not a bad thing. It’s an opportunity for us to fix things and better serve our customers,” he says. “If they want to contact us, then let’s make it as easy as possible for them. Why make it harder?” It is through this approach that Plusnet works to three main principles of customer management.

The need to get personal In order to better serve customers, Plusnet must understand who they are, what products they have and what events are happening within their lifecycle with the company.

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“There’s a balance to be had in keeping customer validation both secure yet simple. People don’t want to jump through hoop after hoop in order for us to help understand their problem however we also need to keep our customer data protected as an absolute priority,” adds Leather. Technology will play a major role in this situation, with Plusnet using information and technology to make

information to video self-help information. Mobile and the customer is a transformation that will only continue to get bigger,” he comments.

On your time A major challenge with customer service has been the inability to separate a customer in need of immediate support from a customer who is just making an

“Mobile and the customer is a transformation that will only continue to get bigger” decisions quickly and to provide better support to the customer.

On the move The second principle is the response to the proliferation of mobile and smart phones. Leather admits that Plusnet must recognise that the way to get through to this generation of customer is through mobile. “It could be everything from rendering web pages, simplified


July 2017

enquiry. Ultimately, both customer types will need to queue for the same amount of time. “This isn’t consistent with the way we operate in everyday life. We require information on the move, so why should we make people pause everything to obtain the information they need?” he says. The three principles of customer management represent the customerfirst nature of Plusnet. It all serves to

With the power of true partnership, Capita helps Plusnet brings its customer promise to life. Phil Hoggarth, Director of Divisional Trading Capita Customer Management

Capita Customer Management has had a strong presence in the telecoms customer service market for more than four decades, and so our growing relationship with Plusnet could be seen as relatively young. But what began in 2015 as a short-term contract to help deliver customer service agents at a time of growth for Plusnet has rapidly evolved into a true transformational partnership. Growing to around 100 insourced customer service agents, Capita’s focus has been to help enhance and transform Plusnet’s customer experience and the results have been speaking for themselves. In fact, the team at Capita have been continuously exceeding benchmark targets set by Plusnet by 15-30%. This ‘champion challenger’ model has proved hugely successful in unifying staff and ensuring customers are getting an enhanced service. Crucially, we aim for real integration with our clients’ teams, so there is no operational difference between a Capita agent and their Plusnet colleagues. All the agents work to the same targets and KPIs – set by Plusnet – and we use the same communications, incentivisation and management across all contact centre staff. There can often be a worry that insourcing can result in a ‘them and us’ culture among staff – Capita works hard with all its customers to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

“Collaboration and communication are key to Capita’s partnership with Plusnet. We are not reinventing the wheel, but getting more of the basics right, and we are always talking with the client to ensure the insourced team is an extension of their own team”, says Capita’s Director of Divisional Trading – Phil Hoggarth. “We have placed a great deal of value on engagement at all levels of the partnership, from the agents up, and we regularly share feedback and best practice across all aspects of the transformation,” “Not only are we now in a position where Plusnet trusts Capita with their customers, we are working with Plusnet to leverage Capita’s extensive experience and depth of capabilities in customer management solutions to drive better customer interactions.” “We do this by bringing our best practice to the partnership on how best to design and build and deploy optimal digital communications channels including mobile applications, social media, and webchat amongst others.” Plusnet will undoubtedly continue to build on the growth it has experienced over the past 12 months and Capita is excited to be working handin-hand with our client to ensure that together, we deliver best-in-class service for both new and existing customers.

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one single philosophy; how can the company make it easier for the customer to get the service they need?

Plusnet Mobile With the launch of Plusnet Mobile in November 2016, the company made the move into becoming a full-service quad-play provider. Plusnet Mobile has built on the company’s ongoing commitment to offer customers great value deals without compromising on the excellent service the brand is famous for. The Plusnet Mobile network offers a range of tariffs, combining generous data, minutes and text bundles at great prices. “Customers have responded incredibly well to our latest offering proving that there is definitely an appetite for it,” Leather expanded.

Future foundations Over the last 12 months, Plusnet has gone from strength to strength and while Leather admits that there is still a large amount of work ahead for the company, he fully believes that Plusnet stands in the perfect position to continue to deliver market leading service to its customers. “Right now, I feel Plusnet stands at the forefront of innovatively thinking as to how we support customers. We are very much focused around customer expectation and customer need,” he says. “I hope we will continue to be recognised as number one in our industry for customer experience and service, but also recognised on a wider industry forum for our offering.” w w w. p l u s . n e t


Ready for a data growth Written by John O’Hanlon Produced by Danielle Harris



Telefónica Deutschland, having outsourced its day to day network management, is taking steps to outstrip its rivals through proactive customer service. The company will know if there’s a problem, and will come up with a fix or an explanation before the network user even knows about it


ince it entered the German market in 2005 with the acquisition of the O2, Telefónica has become one of the three leading integrated telecommunications providers in Germany. In the mobile segment alone, Telefónica Deutschland is the market leader. In 2014 Telefónica Deutschland acquired E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH. Now the company is working on a simplified management structure across Telefónica Deutschland’s entire mobile access, core and fixed network operations. Quality monitoring and surveillance this extensive network has been the responsibility of Marcus Thurand, VP of Network Operations since 2013, but his job has evolved almost out of recognition. The networks not only have to be reliable; they have to be smart enough to cope with a new era of communications. As the CEO Markus Haas pointed out in March at CeBIT,


July 2017

Marcus Thurand VP of Network Operations

building a better connected world Huawei Technologies is one of the world’s leading providers of information technology and telecommunication solutions. More than a third of the world’s population and more than half of the German population use Huawei technology directly or indirectly. Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, the company has 180,000 employees and operates in 170 countries with its three business units, Carrier Network, Enterprise Business and Consumer Business. Huawei employs 79,000 people in research and development, and operates 16 research and development clusters worldwide, as well as 28 partnerships with partners. Huawei has been operating in Germany since 2001 and employs over 2000 people at 18 locations. The headquarters of the European Research Center of Huawei is located in Munich.


Hannover: “Due to the continuous progress of network technology, I have unlimited possibilities of using digital means to make life easier. Regarding the internet of things, we will see an enormous growth in connecting devices via Narrowband IoT. For instance electricity and water meters. Also with applications for consumer the internet of things will open entirely new dimensions in core areas such as mobility and health. This can only be beneficial for all of us.


July 2017

In order to meet all the increasing requirements the network has to be very resilient. Thurand and his team look after the 24-hour surveillance of the entire network, as well as configuration and integration and all new hardware and software affecting it, and providing network support to large business customers. His department’s emphasis has radically shifted with the setting up of a new Service Operations Centre. The company brought in Accenture to help define the shape of the


innovative network organisation and the process of transitioning from the former model to the new SOC organisation. Launched on April 16 2017, the Munich-based centre has its own premises and staff. Its very existence shows how significant both perspectives are. The customer engagement is as much important as the inwardlooking network management, he says. “These days we’re looking at the network not only from a technical point of view but stronger

from the user experience by trying to understand what the customers are really doing with our services.” The Service Operations Centre uses custom built software. The system technology is mainly made available by long-time Telefónica partner Huawei. “Using this software we are able to look into the customer experience from interactions on the network and assess whether it was good or not,” says Thurand. We all know that checking out a YouTube clip, for example, can be a

“These days we’re looking at the network not so much from a technical point of view as trying to understand what the customers are really doing with our services”

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Munich The regional HQ of Telefonica Germany

very different experience. Sometimes it’s perfect, sometimes it stalls or distorts. We are unlikely to know why, but now Telefónica can tell us. “We aggregate anonymous user experiences to see whether certain services in a certain region are behaving well or poorly and deduce whether we can do something about that and help the customer have a better experience,” Thurand explains. This is just a starting point. The next step is to use the information to interact with the customer. “Perhaps a customer had a bad experience from our data service for example, and wants to complain,” Thurand continues. “We can provide information up-front to customer service, tell them the performance in an application was not as it should be and there really was something at fault in the network. In that case we can work out with customer service any incentives we can give the customer in compensation. Going further we can be even more proactive because we already know about the issue. If the customer complains, we can tell them we’re

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“Using Huawei’s software we are able to look into the customer experience from interactions on the network and assess whether it was good or not”

Telefonica Puts Customers First Via Datameer “IP networks and services create major challenges to measuring the true customer experience. Datameer broke down the data and analytic barriers, letting us find insights faster to ensure we deliver the utmost experience and best services for our customers.” Marcus Thurand, VP Network Operations, Telefonica Germany

At Telefonica, creating a “customer first” atmosphere required a cultural change of fostering new ideas through data. This required a nimble analytics platform that could bridge customer and network data, and democratize that data across the company for rapid data discovery. Telefonica partnered with Datameer to create an analytics environment that broke down silos of information for

Results Improved customer experience based on data-driven insights

customer and operational insights. Through Datameer, Telefonica generates new ideas to continuously deliver better networks and services for their customers.

Over 20 use cases discovered and acted on

About Datameer Datameer’s big data analytics platform turns complex data into actionable insights through agile data preparation and analytics. Using Datameer, organizations like Telefonica deliver insights in hours instead of months and operationalize them rapidly, increasing business agility and market responsiveness.

Analytics That Drive Action

Single view of customer and network data achieved


aware the service was not good on run applications on systems with that occasion and suggest what thousands of commodity hardware we can do to make it better.” nodes, and to handle thousands of The new organisation shifts terabytes of data, means it can not Telefónica’s focus away from only manage the requirements of the purely technical, bringing Telefónica’s existing network but customers into the discussion potentially the exponential increase from the standpoint of what they that will result for the growth of IoT as are really doing foreseen by Mr Haas. with the network Currently Marcus and experiencing Thurand and his it. No out-ofteam are engaged in the-box software analysing anonymous could do what was customers’ activity needed, so over a such as browsing, 12 month period a file downloading new platform was and uploading and The year Telefónica developed with popular applications Germany was Huawei. It’s so much like WhatsApp founded more than a matter and YouTube. “We of simply trawling for started in April and information. A key part of the mix is we need to see what applications advanced analytics that will extract our customers are using, and trying more information from the big data. to bring new applications such The Huawei software is built around as mytaxi which are very German a Hadoop cluster, a framework market specific. The idea is to that supports the processing and measure whether the app is working storage of extremely large data well for customer groups, provide sets in a distributed computing feedback to these groups and offer environment. Hadoop’s ability to help if we detect a problem.”


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Once the system has been trialled for a reasonable period, he would like to collaborate with the companies that make the apps people access on the network. “In the future I’d like to have service level agreements (SLAs) with these companies and agree on certain key performance indicators (KPIs). After all we must surely collaborate to give the best service to our mutual customers. When we find a problem then we could call them, or they us, and say there is an issue.” Perhaps surprisingly, this sort of cooperation is rare between network service providers and large software developers such as Google. “But why not start now?” Thurand says. Telefónica Deutschland is the first group company to roll out this software. By correlating customer behaviour, customer complaints and customer churn it can help identify regional anomalies like poor data throughput, cut the numbers switching away and encouraging more to switch to Telefónica. “But we don’t just want them to stay,” says Thurand, “we want to get new customers on board and let them


July 2017

see the value we can give to them. It started with my organisation at network operations but we are going to involve customer service, marketing, communications, and other departments. We want to roll it out into different areas of the company so we can all use this information we are now getting about our customer’s real-world experience.” It’s been a busy year for Marcus Thurand and his team, who have had to expand their centre of attention from the system to its users. “We are investing a lot in the change management and training so employees have a better understanding of their future role,” he continues. “It has also been a challenge to set up the software, which for every single interaction on the network has to analyse and put an evaluation marker on it – assessing it, noting any problems and their severity and where they originate.” Customers will quickly see the benefits in the form of fast responses to problems, even ones they may not


Customer Experience Assurance Empirix is the recognized leader in delivering solutions to optimize customer experiences. Using technologies for monitoring and analytics, Empirix empowers organizations to overcome challenges and promote informed decision making. We help clients around the world redefine their mobile business by accelerating new business models, improving customer loyalty, reducing operational costs, increasing revenues, and providing a holistic view of subscribers and devices.

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July 2017


have been aware of. In a business with so many employees it can be harder to spot problems. The SLAs Telefónica has with customers may be comfortably achieved, yet small groups, senior executives or frequently travelling salespeople for example, may still have problems. “With the new tools, we can quickly break down the macro information and see where problems lurk. That gives us the opportunity to revisit the SLAs and provide these customers with a better level of service.” Thurand remains confident that the system will yield benefits in customer satisfaction, retention and acquisition as well as fitting Telefónica’s network for the exponential data growth that will come when everyone’s refrigerator is jostling for bandwidth.

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The sky’s the limit Acceleris & certified cloud solutions Wr i t te n by D a l e B e n t o n Pro d u c e d by D a n i e l l e H a r r i s


Acceleris has evolved from a small-scale reseller of microsystems to an ISO certified cloud service solutions provider. With plans to continue to push the boundaries of its offering, the sky really is the limit for Acceleris


n the modern world of technology, IT and ICT systems software play a crucial part in almost every industry across the world. The task for companies is how to leverage their IT software to generate greater efficiencies and more importantly, lower operating costs. The technology in IT is transforming, with Big Data, IoT and cloud based software taking over, realising the cost benefits from innovation can prove a tricky business. This is where Acceleris comes in to play. An industry leader, providing ISO certified IT service solutions in Switzerland, Acceleris stands tall as ‘the’ go-to solutions provider, promising high and consistent quality solutions. But life at the company did not always revolve around cloud based solutions.


July 2017

Head in the clouds Acceleris was founded in 2003 by Pascal Stürchler as a reseller of Sun microsystems, and through a difficult period of searching for partnerships that would enable the company to grow into a systems integrator and further down the line a cloud service provider, Stürchler refocused the company through two major partners in Red Hat and Oracle. “We really moved from being a classical IT reseller who was just selling hardware and software and became a service provider for cloud solutions,” says Stürchler. Today, the company focuses on the delivery of cloud services and infrastructure. “We help the customers run really largescale infrastructure and help them operate said infrastructure properly, with high efficiency and


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Keeping business competitive and IT eco Cloud computing at a tipping point Cloud delivered computing is a reality. It has been around in one form or another for a decade but only recently has it been considered viable for a complete IT environment. The tipping point has been reached largely due to the availability of a broad range of IT services at a price point that cannot be ignored by business managers.Cloud offers business organizations a high degree of flexibility in determining how they enable their business, providing time or usage defined services which can be extended or contracted to meet the timely requirements of the business. Equally services can be acquired without large investment in software, hardware and the expertise required to run it. Specific services such as IOT based processes or big data management capabilities can be acquired for a fraction of the cost of a few years ago. This means that firms of all sizes can now afford what once were considered sophisticated IT services to support new business models. For example, customer engagement processes supported by SaaS apps in combination with chat bots, adaptive learning, information capture and management on Hadoop, NO-Sql or conventional RDBMS is paid via operating expenses. Subscriptionbased services provide scale flexibility, lowering up-front investments and lead times to realise business support. The security offered by large IT suppliers is typically far superior to that provided by internal services. Cloud

services providers are a viable alternative corporate IT. However, the cloud service provider is no substitute for in house IT which ensures the tactical and strategic support of the business via various suppliers. Adopting cloud computing The benefits of public / private cloud are apparent for most companies the transition to cloud is in some ways fraught with challenges • Need for a governance model to manage cloud service providers • Understanding how to integrate on premise and cloud systems • Local / national restrictions on data provenance • Adapting internal compliance policies and systems for security in a heterogeneous environment • Determining the cost of services. Little experience with subscription models Enterprises in regulated industries maybe constrained but it is not always abundantly clear where the limits are to be drawn. Before the adoption of cloud services risk, reward assessments are often a prerequisite. Oracle’s cloud offering Oracle has addressed obstacles to the adoption of public cloud services in 2 ways. 1. With introducing the “Cloud at Customer” cloud service delivery model 2. The launch of a Managed Service Provider programme

onomics in balance 1. Within the “Cloud at Customer” service delivery model the Oracle Cloud Machine (OCM), first offered in 2016, provides clients with a physical machine, configured to their specifications, behind their fire wall and on premise. This offers identical Oracle Public Cloud services at subscription on fully managed Oracle machines in the clients data centre. These services include • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) incorporating compute, storage, network • Platform as a service (PaaS) including • Oracle Java Cloud Service • Oracle Integration Cloud Service • Oracle Database Cloud Service The range of building blocks in “Cloud at Customer” cloud service delivery model includes today, apart of OCM, additionally Exadata Cloud Machine (ExaCM) and Big Data Cloud Machine. The ExaCM is delivered with full database licensing and flexible configuration and offers bursting capability which can radically alter the sizing requirements and consequently the economics of acquiring and operating a server. The big data cloud machine provides Hadoop services. Additional “Cloud at Customer” units are expected in the next months. 2. The Oracle Cloud Managed Service Provider (MSP) program identifies and recognizes partners who have skills, tools and processes to build, deploy,

run, and manage Oracle and non-Oracle workloads on Oracle Cloud Platform. With the Oracle Cloud Managed Service Provider Program, partners reap the benefits of building their services on a world-class cloud infrastructure, and customers receive the complete solution they need to optimize their cloud initiatives – reducing risk, cost, and complexity. If required the solution can be delivered on premise against the “Cloud at Customer” model. This provides companies with a trusted local management of Oracle’s cloud services. Capitalising on Oracle’s Cloud offering Oracle’s “Cloud at Customer” offerings are cost effective infrastructure building blocks. If desired Oracle’s clients can select from the MSP Partners to manage customers’ cloud infrastructure, and/or end-user systems, and provide services including cloud advisory, service migration, DevOps, provisioning and orchestration, monitoring, 24x7 monitoring, incidence and change management, and cloud optimization, among many others. Upon qualification, Oracle Cloud Managed Service Providers can purchase Oracle Cloud Platform products for customers, package their MSP services, and provide a complete solution to the customer. This model shifts responsibility for all maintenance and support to the MSP Partner allowing clients to take full benefit of the cloud services. Pricing of the MSP is consistent with the equivalent service available in Oracle Public Cloud.


all within a secure environment.” This transformation towards a cloud service solutions provider has taken place over the last four years and following the decision to move into this direction, the company sought out ISO certifications to cement its position in the market. But as with any transformation, the decision was not made without reason. One major factor in this was the role of the customer, with Stürchler noting that customers are switching from capital expenditure to operating expense. “Customers don’t want to invest in hardware, they just want to consume IT,” he says. More and more small to medium sized companies are switching operating models to become more like e-commerce businesses. This in turn means these companies are seeking ICT operations that can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This presents a major problem for these companies – operating costs. “The costs for this kind of operation is too high, so companies are turning towards infrastructure partners and cloud services. This allows them


July 2017

to have a guaranteed service-level agreement and they can be safe in the knowledge that their e-commerce business is operating to those 24/7 requirements,” Stürchler says.

Leading the pack Acceleris defines itself on its cloud infrastructure NUBIQ, going as far as calling it as one of the most up to date cloud infrastructures in Switzerland. This is due to the fact that it is fully software defined. This means that Acceleris has software defined storage, network and compute power in an “open spec and open defined” open stack infrastructure. To put that into context, there are currently three open stack infrastructures across Switzerland and Acceleris is one of them. “With open spec and open defined infrastructure, we are able to provide cloud infrastructure on an incredibly large scale,” says Stürchler. An advantage of such an infrastructure over say, Amazon or Azure, is that it allows Acceleris to provide services, backup / restore, security and, if necessary,


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“Customers don’t want to invest in hardware, they just want to consume IT”

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Acceleris can run the whole server leader in cloud infrastructure through managed services. services is the company’s ISO “We can really work in a hybrid certifications - the holy grail of the service level agreement. That ICT service solution provider space. is unlike no other company in To date, Acceleris has obtained five Switzerland,” Stürchler adds. ISO certifications and is one of the Acceleris is a company that in only companies to have done so. The essence is defined by its customers. most recent certification, and arguably Through the company’s base the most important with regards to in Switzerland, it provides an handling customer data in the cloud opportunity for space, is ISO 27018. customer engagement This certification is that is unrivalled. a code of practice “The response from for the protection of customers has really personally identifiable been amazing,” he says. information and “They really like the it provides a key The year Acceleris advantage for fact that we are based was founded in Switzerland and can Acceleris in a market have direct engagement that is ever growing. with our engineers. This allows a level “It shows that we have proper of service that can tailor to specific processes in place and it guarantees requirements and needs through the customers that we have a high one to one meetings. Customers are standard of security,” says Stürchler. really taking to the truly support role “It guarantees to them that each our engineers can have for them.” employee knows how exactly those safety processes are working. Certification for success It guarantees high quality.” Of course, one of the major factors The employee and the employee’s in Acceleris becoming a market knowledge of the company’s data


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July 2017


processes is crucial to the business, and this is an area that has historically provided the biggest challenge to the business. With every new software defined technology comes increased complexity and this is something that Stürchler is all too aware of. “We must train our engineers and educate them continuously. Acceleris has invested heavily into this area over the last four years and we will continue to do so,” he says. Security threats and the way in which Acceleris approaches the issue of cyber security is a fundamental issue that the company values extremely highly in the world of data handling. “We check our processes on a half-year basis and we check our risk management,” he says. Part of the way Acceleris invests in the security of its processes is through the use of third parties and “controlled” hacks. This is where Acceleris allows a trusted third party to hack into their infrastructure in a controlled environment to identify potential security threats and open doors that could cause further problems. It is through this approach that

Acceleris was able to avoid the threat of the global RansomWare cyber-attack earlier this year. “We were really prepared on that front and our system was not, and is not, at risk as a direct result of our preparedness,” says Stürchler.

Powered by partners The cycle for new releases of the latest technologies is becoming increasingly shorter and customers are increasingly demanding these technologies. Thus, Stürchler has been able to call upon the support from its major partners, Oracle and Red Hat. “Reliable partnerships are the basis for our business success. In order to be able to concentrate on our core competencies, we therefore rely on strong and long-term partners,” says the company website, and this is certainly a feeling shared by Stürchler. Acceleris sits on the board of both Oracle and Red Hat as well as having the highest certification as partners. This allows Red Hat and Oracle to work together with Acceleris on the training and educating of its employees to be able to provide the latest state

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of the art knowledge and state of the art services to customers. Through these reliable partnerships, Acceleris will also gain new business as both Oracle and Red Hat will point customers into the direction of the company when looking for the “right partner”. “Acceleris is held in high regard from these big companies as a service solution provider with an extremely high level of service and knowledge,” says Stürchler.

Reach for the sky For Stürchler, the past four years with Acceleris has been a period of tremendous growth and there is a clear strategy in place to continue to grow and be recognised as a partner of choice when it comes to cloud infrastructure solutions. The cloud service solutions market is continuously evolving, with a major trend seeing customers seeking out


July 2017

more private cloud infrastructure and Acceleris is already on the ball in this regard, with plans to run private cloud offerings as early as fall 2017. Looking a little further ahead into the future, Stürchler sees the company expanding its offering to match the demand for technologies such as IoT, Big Data and analytics. But there will also be a growth from an internal perspective. “We are moving away from the traditional hierarchy organisation into a modern, more agile and project oriented organisation where the people are having more responsibility,” Stürchler says. “For the future, it’s about the agility and the time to market. It means we need a new kind of organisation. We want an agile organisation that can react to the demands of the customers, the market as well as our internal stuff.”


“We are moving away from the traditional hierarchy organisation into a modern, more agile and project oriented organisation where the people are having more responsibility�

DATAPLEX IRELAND THE DIGITAL LANDLORD Written by Nell Walker Produced by Lewis Vaughan

> Dataplex Ireland’s CEO, Eddie Kilbane, describes the ways in which the business overcame adversity to become a recognised choice for global giants, with simplified IT and strong partnerships



ataplex Ireland is a newcomer to the data centre world and is already making itself known, having acquired worldleading businesses as clients and becoming the greenest data centre company in Ireland. Eddie Kilbane is the CEO and co-founder of the company, and has watched Dataplex flourish since 2009; the business signed its first client in 2012, in the B10 Data Centre in North west Dublin. Among other things, this signing allowed it to showcase its Green Energy cooling solution, a deployment that was years in advance of any other data centre in Europe. A turning point for the visibility of the business came when Dataplex won a contract in 2015 with a large global operator. “Having somebody on board with an internationally recognisable brand name gave it the validation through the global operator’s due diligence which we were struggling to get elsewhere,” says Kilbane. “The global operator’s data centre team was extremely tough and thorough in terms of their processes, so by winning that contract, we had an

example to show other customers.” Kilbane has a long history in the construction industry, as part of a management team on large projects at Chelsea Harbour, Canary Wharf, and the Channel Tunnel, among others. Whilst developing vast amounts of construction and communication network experience and gaining contacts, Kilbane saw the deregulation of the telecommunications market in Ireland as an opportunity to establish a company that would provide a turnkey solution of design, wayleave, construction and commission for the new telecomunications carriers. More companies would be moving to the country to build a new cable and telecoms industry, and in 1998, he moved his family there from the UK to become a part of it. While the inclusion of a global operator as a client did provide Dataplex with much-needed weight in the industry, it is elements of the company from within that have created the rising star it is today. For example, thanks to the temperate climate in Ireland, Dataplex maintains and operates the greenest data

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“We’ve rolled back what our technology does, switching to a simpler method. We’ve got to make sure our clients can’t get touched, and that they know there’s no chance of someone hacking in and shutting us down” centre business in the country. “We’re using a system to bring the cold air into the server room to cool it,” Kilbane explains. “In the middle of June it’s still 14 to 19 degrees outside, and these are not temperatures you’re going to see in many other parts of Europe. We’re lucky to have this weather for our business.” Sustainability is an ever-present issue and a factor that can make or break a choice for a customer, and Dataplex’s green status certainly allows it a competitive edge, “but ultimately it’s a combination,” Kilbane says. “Certainly, green capabilities are important to hyperscale companies who are looking at Ireland because the power availability and climate mean they don’t have to run very large cooling solutions. So it’s


July 2017

definitely a factor, but it’s no one thing that brings companies to Ireland. They make a huge difference to our economy by providing resources, and they become a catalyst for other companies to move closer to the source of these data centres.” “We’ve seen a rise in technology companies coming in and clustering around data centres. In this business park, we have PayPal, Xerox and Vertis, amongst others: all very good, strong breeds of companies who then feed off having this data centre local to them.” Simplified technology Another huge aspect of what makes Dataplex an attractive choice is its stripped-back approach to technology. In Kilbane’s words, “we’ve made our systems dumb,”

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meaning that the business offers a solid and reliable ‘vanilla’ service. “My business is purely to support the real technology, which is the client’s business,” he continues. “We are a technical landlord – as data centre operators, we don’t operate any data.” Dataplex simply offers the infrastructure which allows the data to flow. Its data centres sit in a silo; no information can be broadcast, ensuring a safe haven for customers. In the event of a malware attack, Dataplex doesn’t have to worry


July 2017

about vulnerability because its building systems and servers are not connected to the internet. “If we don’t connect to the internet, the internet can’t talk to us,” says Kilbane. “We’ve got to make sure our clients can’t get touched, and that they know there’s no chance of someone hacking in and shutting us down. We’ve rolled back what our technology does, switching to a simpler method. This is one aspect of the business clients don’t have to worry about, so they can


concentrate on their own data.” To allay any concerns regarding this process, Dataplex even allowed its larger customers to send their security teams to validate the security process put in place by Dataplex. As an extra level of support, Dataplex offers resilient N+1 specification, meaning that for every single plug a client requires, a second plug that matches it is independently cabled and wired back the main power. Everything becomes dual-powered, and that service is enabled at all times, even during a service, meaning no downtime. Dataplex’s youth as a company is among the reasons it has thrived so well even after a slow beginning. With the lack of the ball-andchain of legacy systems behind it, Dataplex can be especially flexible. “We’re not carrying any baggage, so we’re able to be a bit more daring,” says Kilbane. “We have to be different and push small buttons – enough that attractive companies come to us.” In some ways, Dataplex has already proven itself to have industrychanging potential. In terms of the

Dublin The location of Dataplex Ireland HQ

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July 2017


cool air technology the company uses to save energy, “there was nobody doing that in 2012 when we started off, so we were quite ‘out there’, and we’ve continued to stay out there in terms of innovation with our suppliers. As a small company, that’s one of the differentiators we have in the market that attracted clients like the global operators to our front door, as opposed to our competition which may be more traditionalist.” Concrete partnerships None of this would have been possible without Dataplex’s trusted internal partners. Dornan Engineering enables the business to build what it needs to precise, well-negotiated specifications, allowing the best possible flexibility and speed to market. “Dornan even represented us at meetings early on, pitching business and working with our customers,”

Kilbane says. “They’re very much a partner rather than a contractor, and clients can be assured that they don’t have to wait 3-6 months for us to find a contractor – we already have one on board. It creates a very strong partnership.” Anord is Dataplex’s panel manufacturer and has also been working with the business since the start, ensuring deliveries are simple and smooth. EDPAC is the cooling partner creating bespoke solutions to a consistent quality, Schneider provides UPS’s and goes the extra mile for Dataplex regardless of its size as a company, and Ethos Engineering is a solid, trusted partner for design, pre and post-contract. This combination of reliable partnerships, high levels of innovation, and stable, simplified service will undoubtedly serve Dataplex well to create a bright future for Kilbane and his team.

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PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk

ALOLEK ATAT MOKLET NATUJNALREBEK ytilibaniatsuS mokleT ecnanrevoG



NAGN latn

PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk or TelkomGroup, is working to become a fully digital telecommunications service provider, and has a masterplan to be a major player in the global market by 2020


elkomGroup’s new stateof-the-art headquarters in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta epitomises everything which the company is evolving into – and helps to reinforce its goal of being the “king of digital in the region”. And according to Telkom Indonesia’s Chief Technology Officer, Abdus Somad Arief, it is well on course to achieve that aim. He reckons the company is almost where it wants to be in terms of ‘digitising’ itself but that is by no means the only goal for the group. “Our target is that we expect to be in the top ten for telecommunications company in the region, in terms of market capitalisation,” he says. “We have two main areas in which to develop, the first is the legacy business. We are building an international backbone, from Europe to the United States, as well as a domestic backbone – and one


July 2017

of our long term goal is to be the international hub between those two continents and this region. “By hub, we mean that in two main senses: traffic, as in voice traffic and so on; and the network itself. So we will provide networks from Europe and around the world, and will also be monetising or bringing networks to Indonesia, to ensure that this will be our global hub,” Abdus continues. “We have a roadmap to see that dream through, and we are now on the way to getting there, step-by-step. “Firstly, we want to become one of the top ten tier network providers in the world, and we believe it will be achieved by 2020. “And secondly, through the network development, which should be finished by next year,” Abdus explains. Essentially, TelkomGroup is transforming into a completely digital telecommunications


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company. Hence, the company is restructuring its operations to focus on its end-to-end digital business portfolio. That process of change will involve a revamp of both infrastructure and infostructure as the company looks to grow. The infrastructure improvements will focus on increasing the network capacity to deal by supplementing the existing network with additions to what the company refer to as the “backbone network infrastructure”. The group’s latest figures show it has built more than 106,000 kilometres’ worth of fibre-optic backbone network, domestically and internationally. In the domestic sector, the network can serve the needs of people all over Indonesia, and in the international sector, the group is working with 19 other global operators. Notably, the company recently succeeded in completing the installation of high-capacity cable under the sea, all the way from the French city of Marseille in Western Europe back to Dumai in Indonesia, ensuring a strong connection between the continents.

23,876 Number of employees at Telkom Indonesia The infrastructure improvements, meanwhile, are focused on core system modernisation and a restructuring of the company’s IT provision to ensure it can cope with the network growth. But even more important than any of that, is the culture the company is trying to ingrain as it goes through this process of growth and ‘digitisation’. “Now we are changing a lot,” says Abdus. “How are we looking to do that? Well firstly by bringing in new blood.

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“Our vision is that our programme will be the international telecommunication hub between Europe, the United States and this region” Starting off last year, we replaced retiring employees with mostly people from the new generation who are empowered to go to the next level. “Our staff are the main engine of what we’re trying to do. Since they have come in, these new employees have been pushed to work hard and to bring new thinking, in terms of the business and in terms of the process. “We give them freedom to explore their ideas and then share them with existing employees,” Abdus continues. “And it’s worked until now because


July 2017

we’ve provided them with the environment to think outside the box. “Secondly, a change has happened in terms of the culture itself. In all of the working environments, the business processes and the tools that we have, we are going digital every step of the way. “Internally, we are digitising ourselves, including all of our technicians in the field, which

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are also already speeding up in that regard. Externally, we are empowering our customers, so that they can be more efficient. “There is less need for use of our contact centres and that kind of thing and this how we are digitising both people and the process and we are probably 80-85% towards being fully digitised.” And the group’s new Jakarta HQ, which the company invested around $125 million (US) in, is a prime example of that new approach. “It’s a fully digital building,” explains Abdus. “So, the whole environment and the atmosphere is fully digital, from the design of the colour and layout, to the apps which are used in the building. Everything is fully automated and we also build connectivity every day by using apps. “By having this facility and by bringing in new blood with a digital perspective into the company, we are sure that we can quickly achieve our goals.” And the latest set of annual company results would certainly

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seem to back up that assertion. For the financial year of 2016, Telkom’s revenue successfully increased 13.5 percent year on year, means that profits increased by nearly the same amount and the company added 21 million new customers into the bargain. “We are optimistic because we achieved very good results in 2016,” says Abdus. “It’s the first time since 2009 that we’ve achieved more than 10 percent growth for the company’s revenue, EBITDA


July 2017

Digitalization is everyone’s business Today, both new and more traditional players are under pressure to innovate faster, more flexibly and with fewer resources. People want new and innovative services with a great user experience. And they want them to be available at any time –on any device. Right now there’s a new generation of disruptive and digitally-driven businesses out there showing the world how it’s done. They are agile and adaptable , and their success is fueled not only by software and technology but by the fact that they do first, fail fast and learn fast. These digitally native companies are going horizontal in industries that have traditionally been vertical. And they’re changing everyone’s business. For Nokia, at its core this digital evolution is about expanding the human possibilities of technology. The Cloud with a silver lining Digitalization, the Internet of Things and soon 5G are enabling a whole world of new services. The possibilities are endless, but they require new ways of thinking and doing. The successful transition to digital business requires not only new ways of thinking but new kinds of platforms and applications, cloudbased platforms and applications. Cloud allows businesses to focus on their core business faster and with lower up-front investments. The Nokia cloud portfolio builds platforms that connect people, businesses and a world of new devices. From mobile and any type of fixed network to the service platforms, it’s the only cloud portfolio to truly deliver end to- end solutions. And it’s helping businesses, enterprises and governments change how they operate with agile services made possible by cloud technology. End-to-end is only the beginning Today’s networks were designed to handle personal communication and content like voice, video, and web browsing on computers and handheld devices. The Internet of Things is already here, and both the opportunities and challenges it brings will continue to grow with the introduction of 5G and the massive traffic

volumes it will bring. For over a generation Nokia has been leading the industry as the prime provider of secure, high-quality and scalable carriergrade networks. For us, endto-end includes our AirFrame data center solution, networking with our SDN and transport portfolios, a comprehensive portfolio of application software, lean operations and management through our OSS and CloudBand MANO solutions, and a comprehensive suite of cloud services. Increased operational excellence Technology is evolving at breakneck speed. But what’s even more important is that so, too, are the ways in which services and networks are built and operated. Cloud, NFV and SDN take operability to a whole new level with common platforms, programmability and automation. Applications and services will be continuously delivered without long planning and development cycles. And cloud also allows for real-time responsiveness to feedback and changing needs. With the Nokia cloud portfolio, customers can upgrade and grow existing solutions and deploy new revenue -generating services in days, not months, as it is with traditional systems. The automation and elasticity provided,for example, by our AirFrame data center solution, CloudBand and Nuage SDN portfolios enable networks to respond faster, deliver more consumer value and become morecompetitive compared to today’s systems. The Revolution into Digital Business Nokia’s end-to-end cloud portfolio and services are ready for production right now. And right now Nokia is helping customers in all sectors to grow revenue by creating new models for old services, enabling new revenue generating applications and by literally changing how they do business. Nokia is the partner for the digital transformation. It’s the partner for moving business to the cloud. And together with its partners, clients and end users, Nokia is building the foundation for 5G and beyond.

and net income in a single year. “The changing technological landscape affected that in the intervening time, but in 2016 we achieved all of our targets and our financial results were above the market average in Indonesia.” He clearly believes the future is bright, and after almost three decades of service to TelkomGroup, it doesn’t seem like Abdus is going to be looking for a new challenge anytime soon. “Of course we are all very proud to represent Telkom Indonesia,” he adds. “Myself and my

Service provider networks are at the epicenter of digitization. You need to be faster, more efficient, grow through new services and security obsessed. Here are some suggestions for how to do it. Cisco Open Network Architecture provides an optimal solution to the challenges which service providers need to address the requirements of digital business.

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July 2017

Š2017 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

Delivering a New & Improved Digital World


colleagues have a very tight emotional relationship with the company. “Although we’ve brought in some new blood to replace retiring employees, the general turnover of employees is very low and most of us have a long history with this company, such as myself, having worked here 27 years. “Almost all of the executive team have a long history with the company, and are changing together with

the business. “In the last five years, we are very proud of what we’ve achieved and also have a very positive view about the company’s business in the future.”

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Driving technological innovation within building and design Written by Catherine Rowell Produced by Craig Daniels


We speak with Change and IT Director Sean Dewhurst about SSH’s rapid business growth, achieved whilst collaborating with key leaders in the technology sphere


rom a small, local company, to one which has grown to five times its original size within five years is no easy feat for any business. With significant revenue growth and an aggressive transformation strategy, SSH has implemented cloud services and embedded innovative technologies, with an aim to continually expand its presence within the Middle East. “You need to build efficiency into everything,” explains Change and IT Director Sean Dewhurst. Upon joining the company in 2015, SSH was in need of a complete overhaul of its IT operations and processes. The company is keeping up with upcoming trends and keeping an eye on what will prove advantageous within construction and design. Through utilising cloud services, SSH has built effective strategies to cater to clients and operations, and continues to evaluate more and more options, such as Microsoft’s Azure Rendering for 3D modelling. SSH continually looks at how virtual, augmented and mixed reality will provide


July 2017


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Shaping the future of building the Middle East with SSH International Consultants

Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you’ve ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you’ve experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything.

“As one of the early adopters of collaboration technologies like Collaboration for Revit and BIM360 Team, SSH is seamlessly connecting our various offices in the region.

As a proud supplier of technology to forward-thinking and progressive organizations like SSH, Autodesk is able to empower them as a leader in shaping the built environment and infrastructure of the modern Middle East, a region that demands exceptionally high standards of both quality and value. Through the conceptualization, design, construction and delivery phases, Autodesk software plays a vital role in helping SSH to raise their international and regional profile through innovation and proficient delivery of landmark projects.

We continue to work with Autodesk to explore even more ways to make SSH competitive in the markets we are operating in by researching disruptive technologies like augmented and virtual reality, computational design...among others.” Sean Dewhurst, Change and IT Director, SSH

Kuwait Children’s Hospital The SSH design team on this project called on specialized teams from across the globe, using Autodesk REVIT and A360 applications to empower international team collaboration and manage the vast amount of information and modelling required to deliver the world’s largest children’s hospital.

Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre Complex geometric forms inspired by Islamic architecture were used to create the textured outer skin of each building. Autodesk 3D Studio Max and REVIT were used to map out the eventual geometric forms, the Islamic-inspired patterning that covers them, as well as to compute the calculations needed to make such a structure work in the real world.

Al Salam Palace, Kuwait

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Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre


Autodesk and the Autodesk logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.


“We try to pick up the innovations that are out there and bring them together to bring advantages to what we do. That’s where we have to be, especially in the technology space” SEAN DEWHURST Change and IT Director

a multitude of benefits, enabling the company to collaborate with prospective clients to develop built models and concepts. “We haven’t found the sweet spot yet for us, so we’re still exploring all of them. It’s a very interesting space at the moment,” adds Dewhurst. Increased Collaboration With Microsoft providing SSH’s main platform, SSH also work


July 2017

with local partner Diyar, who have become instrumental to the company’s delivery and development of the company’s Microsoft Azure capabilities. This has been augmented with cloud-managed solutions like Cisco Meraki which has provided greater visibility and simpler, consistent configuration across offices in all geographies. SSH’s main ERP platform (Deltek Vision) and HR platforms are being moved, so


that they will be based on Software as a Service (SaaS), rather than maintained as applications in SSH’s own technical domain. “We’re moving all the things that don’t really provide competitive advantage but can take up a lot of time, energy and money to manage and maintain, and then buy them back as services,” explains Dewhurst. “The economies of scale of the service provider outweigh the benefit of retaining them in house.”

In order to stay abreast of technological innovations, SSH has created a number of internal strategic groups to discuss new ideas to increasingly drive the business. Externally, the company uses any channel available to stay abreast of new products and services that might be of interest. “A lot of technologies emerge in in the consumer market, there aren’t many apart from augmented reality or mixed reality

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Bentley is Advancing Infrastructure

Bentley is Advancing Infrastruc Advancing infrastructure is now a world priority. We need high performance infrastructure that can meet the demands of a global population while preserving a vital and healthy environment for generations to come. Bentley’s mission is to provide innovative software and services for the enterprises and professionals who design, build and operate the world’s infrastructure — advancing the global economy and environment, for improved quality of life.

Advancing infrastructure is now a world priority. We need high performance infrastructure that can meet the demands of a global population while preserving a vital and healthy environment for generations to come.

Find out more at:

Bentley’s mission is to provide innovative software and services for the enterprises and professionals who design, build and operate the world’s infrastructure — advancing the global economy and environment, for improved quality of life.

Find out more at: © 2017 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley and the “B” Bentley logo are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Going Digital for Infrastructure Bentley Systems has helped firms accelerate project delivery and improve asset performance by supporting projects with innovative software and services for over 30 years. As engineering firms seek a digital strategy, the term “going digital” is being realized as infrastructure professionals take advantage of digital engineering models that contain inherent data about how an asset was designed, which can then be shared, consumed, and analysed by other software and processes. Leveraging a cloud computing platform enables a connected data environment that digitally connects and converges people, processes, data, and technology to yield significant results.


Another exciting aspect of going digital is the technology and the proliferation of reality modeling, which fills the gap of not having a digital engineering model in the first place. Capturing existing site conditions with the use of digital photographs or point-cloud data – across infrastructure project delivery and asset performance is now widely adopted by infrastructure professionals. Reality modeling describes the potentially continuous capture of infrastructure assets’ as-operated conditions for processing into engineering-ready reality meshes, and their “enlivening” for immersive interaction. These models can now be referenced throughout the full lifecycle of an infrastructure asset, improving performance, safety, and sustainability. For many years, through reality modeling digital photos have been processed into 3D models, but its capabilities have evolved to offer available point clouds from laser scanning that can be combined with available photos, as “hybrid inputs,” for reconstruction into a reality mesh.

This enables the capture of assets in a digital format, further converging the virtual with the physical and offering new potential. A reality mesh can also be seamlessly used within engineering CAD environments, enhancing BIM methodology as digital engineering models can improve the context of reality capture with greater understanding of 3D collaborative software as the necessity for engineering design gains value. Going Digital for CAPEX For capital projects, a digital workflow can take advantage of better decision making with immersive design and collaboration in construction. For engineers, going digital can mean some new activities, such as conceptioneering – the process of creating various iterations of a design discipline with engineering content, at the beginning of a project, to constructioneering - the process of bringing engineering data directly to the field to drive construction workflows and construction equipment, during construction while leveraged in operations. It can also mean inspectioneering – the process of bringing as-operated and continuously surveyed, engineering reality meshes into digital engineering environments, enabling engineers to inspect and evaluate infrastructure assets from any location. And, lastly, to optioneering, which is the process of creating multiple iterations of a detailed infrastructure model and/or its subsystems in such a way to enable “what-if” scenarios and evaluate design trade-offs with the aim of producing an optimal engineering strategy. In these cases, we use the digital model to make better operations and maintenance decisions. These are all examples of going digital, and Bentley is providing the solutions for our users to get there.

PROVEN, CONNECTED, AGILE, FUTURE-PROOF Deltek is the trusted Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) partner of SSH and over 12,000 other leading engineering services firms. Streamline your key business processes including business development, project and resource planning, financial management and reconciliation. Deltek’s integrated project-based ERP software seamlessly connects people, processes, and information. Discover more >

Deltek is SSH’s ERP of choice


1,500 The total number of SSH employees

that aren’t really in the consumer market yet, and are only in the enterprise space,” comments Dewhurst. “We try to pick up the innovations that are out there and bring them together to bring advantages to what we do. That’s where we have to be, especially in the technology space.” To further increase collaboration, SSH is specific about calling vendors partners, especially as the company increasingly works with them to innovate. For example, the company works collaboratively on the technology design for all its offices with BIOSME who provide quality technology infrastructure management, to high standards and strong service levels agreed prior to an outsourcing agreement which both parties signed in December last year. SSH has also developed its partnership with Autodesk, which was historically a transactional relationship, in order to increase collaboration and find potential uses of augmented, mixed and virtual reality technologies and other areas of innovation that Autodesk are bringing to the market. Explaining that transactional relationships no longer hold any real value, Dewhurst adds that there are mutual benefits to explore different technologies and work together on practical applications. “We’re not one of the big players in the industry globally, but nonetheless we are trying to work with them at the leading edge. We try to work with all our vendors more strategically, who then become

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partners. I think it’s very important and the industry understands that these value-add relationships are far superior for both parties.” Continual Challenges Whilst SSH is perhaps less likely to be subject to a cyber-attack than some, it is always something the company keeps in mind. Upon joining SSH in 2015, Dewhurst immediately appointed an Information Security Manager, and has been behind the


July 2017

significant investment the company has undertaken in placing essential controls to mitigate potential risks. Dewhurst explains: “We continually evaluate risks and controls to try and strike the right balance. You can spend millions of dollars on cyber security and still get it wrong – nothing is ever totally secure – but you have to invest, and invest wisely.” The intellectual property the company has also does not hold the same attraction to cyber criminals as

How SSH achieved IT as a Service In the olden days….. It used to be that SSH bought its technology. They went through basically the same motions as every other company. They would go through the tried and tested motions for procurement that most companies follow in the Middle East. Check out the products and providers on offer, construct an RFP, vet the vendors, negotiate the contracts, implement the solution, train the staff and guess what? “Sometimes SSH got all the value it wanted and sometimes it just got a taste of it”. The majority of services ran from its HQ based in Kuwait. “Sometimes it had downtime sometimes it didn’t”. A few years ago SSH’s business began to really take off. The company started winning engineering contracts not just in Kuwait but across the Middle East; it opened engineering offices in Africa and rapidly expanded from 200 to almost 1000 users. The business had basically become a high growth dynamic business that had outgrown ‘the old way of doing IT’. For SSH, like for most businesses, the allure of a technology was the business outcome it produced, not the headaches and complexity that came along with that journey. SSH had two fundamental wishes from IT: • They wanted to get straight to the value • They wants that value to increase over time With this in mind SSH’s Technology leadership decided to embrace a new model of consuming IT, IT-a-a-Service, a stunningly simple model that

centers on the following value propositions: • Technology benefits with minimum IT involvement • Accelerated technology solution implementation • Variable, lower risk OpEx purchasing models • Supplier managed or optimized technology BIOS Middle East and CloudHPT, which has been building its business around providing ITa-a-Service for many years now, were able to provide SSH with an approach to consuming digital services using a hybrid cloud infrastructure allowing it to run every workload in its optimal place — at optimal cost and business performance. The solution consisted of moving some services like email and active directory to Microsoft Azure. However, SSH needed to run some applications on a cloud that was low latency for the Middle East, so these were positioned on CloudHPT (a BIOS Middle East cloud company based out of the UAE). In addition some of SSH offices required huge engineering files to be local, so a modern managed storage solution from NetApp was positioned for the branch offices. The above hybrid cloud solution, a cloud consisting of private cloud on premise, regional cloud from CloudHPT and Global Cloud from Azure needed to be managed. This was provided by BIOS Assured, a managed service provided by BIOS out of their NOC and SOC in Dubai. BIOS Assured provided daily operational support, infrastructures managed services and application services like SCCM. The entire IT-a-a-Service model was positioned with a fixed monthly cost against a set of SLA’s.

Office 1603, Boulevard Plaza Tower 1, Downtown Dubai, UAE T : +971 4 3789000 | F : +971 4 3789001 | | Toll Free 800 BIOSME


“We try to work with all our vendors more strategically, who then become partners. I think it’s very important and the industry understands that these value-add relationships are far superior for both parties” SEAN DEWHURST Change and IT Director

PARTNERS IN TECHNOLOGY Diyar is a leading regional System Integrator and Gold Microsoft Partner who Provides high-businessvalue solutions, Managed and Security services by embracing selected people, processes and partners.


July 2017


other corporations, such as banks, but the company remains aware that it would have significant issues with delivering on its commitments to clients if an attack occurred. Transforming into a regionalised company has not been without its challenges. US products, such as Autodesk’s and Microsoft’s have been built with a western environment in mind, which have quick, easy and scalable access to the internet, incorporating big pipes and low latency. “Simple things like

latency, and the fact these products aren’t designed for low latency, alongside increasing bandwidth requirements means that they are not optimised for us in the Middle East,” explains Dewhurst. “One of the things that’s going to hold us back in this part of the world is the internet connectivity. It’s just not as good and it’s more expensive in comparison to the US and Europe and it introduces an extra challenge.” Disruptive technologies have also become an increased focus.

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Dewhurst discusses the creeping rise of 3D printing and modulisation, where these technologies will ultimately transform the entire industry. However, he notes that “on the creative side with concepts and design, this still requires human creativity to drive, although computing technology can enhance it. The computer is doing the heavy lifting on generating options on the parameters given, but it’s not driving the creativity yet.” Moving Forward The move to cloud has enabled SSH to undergo a cost-effective transformation, outsourcing operations to increase value and provide high quality services to clients. Aligned with the company’s cloud strategy, operations will become simpler and easier and collaborative partner relationships will enable SSH to become a leader in the Middle East. This will allow the company to further explore new and innovative technologies which will shape the future of construction and design.

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How is South Africa’s largest energy company surging forward to turn the country into a technological hub?


skom enjoys a captive market in South Africa, generating and supplying 95 percent of the electricity across the country and 45 percent in the entire African continent. Technology is the most vital component of the business, and as such, IT and its evolution is a huge focus; Sean Maritz, Chief Information Officer of Eskom, explains how and why in greater detail. “From a CIO point of view, at Eskom we’re responsible for the delivery of the IT systems, including the


July 2017

technology and the infrastructure,” he says. “In the past we had many different roles and different verticals within IT, but now it’s one streamlined organisation. We actually have a seat at the table, so we’re all directly influencing the business direction.” Being CIO of a utilities business comes with its own unique set of differentiators and challenges. One such focus of the energy sector has to be corporate responsibility, and balancing that with the necessary


development of Eskom’s economic growth. As such a large company, it takes its duties seriously. “For a company like us, we have to manage the energy mix that we supply to ensure that we are creating a valuable planet for the future, so that’s a responsibility on our side,” Maritz states. “We have a continuously evolving business model and we are currently focussed on ethics and the environment. We look at the way we use power at data centres, how we use water at power stations, and whether we can reduce coal burning emissions, as well as smaller things like capturing endangered snakes on-site and releasing them in the wild. We want to be a responsible organisation.” Technology and the economy Keeping up with technological innovations is a challenge in all countries and every sector, so for Maritz and his team, a key priority is consultation with the rest of the industry. Being involved in every part of the business – not just the portion any one worker is a part of – is paramount, to ensure that


Number of staff working for Eskom

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Our Mission: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more Microsoft South Africa is a subsidiary of the world’s largest independent productivity and platform company. As a proudly South African company with a Level 2 B-BBEE rating, Microsoft SA strives to providing services, solutions and devices that assist governmental organisations, people and local businesses in getting more done in less time by using technology.


“What makes us unique is the full value chain we offer, right from generating the energy to delivering it to the customer” SEAN MARITZ CIO of Eskom

everybody is equipped with the ability to understand the landscape around them. Eskom has an advantage as such a pervasive presence in Africa, “but the fact is that carries a lot of responsibility to ensure the right value of the product that we deliver to people,” Maritz says. “Eskom has been a sound organisation for so many years because of our strong engineering capability. This company uses a mix of coal, hydro, and nuclear energy, and not a lot of companies can say that. This is why we’re one of the top 10 utilities in the world. “Of course we have strong knowledge content, but we should not sit back and relax because we have to grow the economy in Africa. We have a big influence on it, and we aim to rectify some problems of the past. We are trying to play a huge role in changing the economy of South Africa by improving things and creating jobs – things that have made Eskom what it is today.” All of this effort is slowly being funnelled towards the ultimate goal of making Eskom a key player in a South African equivalent of Silicon Valley. The main focus for Maritz is on peoples’ skills and their ability to innovate, as this is what will push the company ever closer to being able to compete technologically on a global scale. “The challenge lies in creating the capabilities

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of people,” he explains. “We can overcome challenges by using what we have. We need to think outside the box and be a little more innovative, create innovation maps and hone our industry. This really is just the start for Eskom. We are creating IT technologists and industry experts to take the work forward, and there’s no reason our people can’t continue to innovate. They just need confidence and we need to give that to them.” To work its way towards the advancements required for Eskom to make a sizeable impact, the business needs to adopt cloud “at a speed of knots,” in Maritz’s words. “Our big focus this year is the IT organisation, and by next year we want to turn our landscape into an infrastructure service landscape. That means lots of cloud adoption for us, and a lot of organisational initiatives that the business is undergoing and driving. For now, in the early stages, we must deliver a lot of foundational components soon for use in the future.” Beyond the competition This dedication to being as strong


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a force as possible is part of what differentiates Eskom from competitors. It extends beyond a desire to simply be the biggest, as it strives to prove itself as a positive force within South Africa. “We need to keep on saying to our customers that we are dedicated to the country and its economy first of all,” Maritz states. “Whatever we do is actually to deliver value to the citizens of South Africa.” Eskom works hard to prove this via its campaigns and initiatives in the market, and aims to create the kind of talent in its people that will further enrich the nation. This brings further value to South Africa, and the more innovative the business can be, the more savings it can offer to customers. The more money customers save, the more confidence they will have in Eskom.

1923 The year that Eskom was founded


“What makes us unique is the full value chain we offer, right from generating the energy to delivering it to the customer,” concludes Maritz. “Unlike a lot of utilities companies who need to keep things cheap, we have the ability to innovate. We are in a country that is still developing, but we can do great things because we have a captive market. “We’re currently thinking about electric vehicles, on energy storage,

and looking at what the competition is doing. We have such a lot of knowledge and expertise, and we will provide services worldwide if we can get it right. Africa is going to experience a lot of changes in the future, and that too will open a lot of opportunities for Eskom. We can always make a change, because we have great partners, and they will help us to deliver these things. In two or three years, it will be a different picture for Eskom and for Africa.”

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FIBER IS THE FUTURE for global telecommunications company GBS Written by Jackie Cosh Produced by Richard Deane


Global telecommunications company GBS is seeing advances in technology that mean internet access in the Congo is now becoming more reliable


n the modern world everyone needs the internet. Increasingly it is no longer the luxury for the few, and African businesses, rural and in the cities, are looking for faster and more reliable connections. For Zubeir Mohamed, Director of Operations at Global Broadband Solution (GBS), this is good news, and has resulted in a steady growth in business over the past four to five years. Operating out of local bases in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Matadi and Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, the company specializes in the design and delivery of global communication solutions, particularly in IP solutions, allowing companies to connect anywhere in Africa via Satellite, WiMAX and Optical Fiber.


July 2017

The ability to interconnect a series of sites and create a local intranet means companies can create their own company’s private network, allowing different offices to exchange telephone calls, emails and data, as well as performing CCTV monitoring across the sites. GBS’s engineers and technicians are permanently located on site to run the installations and to provide the necessary help and support after installation. Staff in Brussels take care of the management, design, logistics and interaction between the various parts of the company;’ Zubeir was studying in Canada when, in 2004, he had the chance of a placement with GBS. Four years later and the opportunity arose for him to work fulltime with the company. He says: “Bashir Mohamed, is




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July 2017


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one of the three partners who began the company. He has always been interested in the technology industry. Before GBS started he was one of the first people to bring the internet to the Congo in the late 90s. In the 2002 they sold that company and then later started GBS as he wanted to get back into the internet business.” With insufficient funds to start a company, Bashir looked to Daniel Vanderstraete and Hassan Yahfoufi for help. They provided the capital and so the GBS partnership began. With Hassan as CEO, Daniel as Managing Partner from Brussels and Bashir on the ground in Kinshasa, they have built a company that has developed wireless and fiber Local Loops in most major cities as well as installed thousands of satellites for both residential and corporate clients, bringing the internet many parts of the Congo’s for the first time. GBS works across a very large area, where up until now there has been very little technological development. As Zubeir explains, the last couple of years has seen major changes in

150200 The number of Global Broadband Solution staff how internet service is provided. He says: “Today how we provide internet is either via satellite or via fiber, depending on where in the country the customer is. Up until two years ago it was all satellite, but increasingly fiber is becoming more essential.” “In the major cities our business is 60 percent corporate, 40 percent residential. But we also do a lot of projects for the government, for private institutions and for banking institutions. We have put up a private network for the Central Bank of Congo as well as for private banks and oil companies. These companies are often located in remote areas where there is no infrastructure around, so we are able to provide a secure a reliable way to transfer data back to their HQ’s in the capital city Kinshasa.” The introduction of fiber has brought its own challenges, as

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customers are obviously keen to have the latest development. Fiber is not reliable so the company has to purchase both satellite and fiber and absorb the costs. The company has a number of satellite providers that they work with - Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) being their most strategic partner. Fiber comes from the local national operator owned by the government - Société Congolaise des Postes et Télécommunications (SCPT). The state monopoly ensures that each ISP


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must purchase fiber capacity from the government owned operator. Despite being one of the top three ISPs in Congo, the market can still at times be tough. “So far 2017 hasn’t been that great” recalls Zubeir. “The political situation in the country is tense due to the uncertainty around the elections which were supposed to happen last year but didn’t and there is still the question of whether they are going to happen this year. This has prevented people from investing in the country which has


the economy suffering. Hopefully the rest of 2017 will be more positive.” The future, however is bright and GBS has been selected as a preferred partner by Konnect Africa. We aim to become the leading player in providing state-of-the-art satellite broadband solutions to customers throughout the Congo’s. Konnect Africa uses the High-Throughput Satellites (HTS) technology, offering dozens of times more capacity than provided by conventional satellites. We will aim to start service at the end of 2017.

Looking back over the past 13 years, Zubeir is happy with the progress of the company, and the role it plays in Congo. “I would say it has been a gradual growth but in the last four or five years we have really grown and especially when we started using the fiber. Prices have been going down and the population has increased. Everyone needs the internet. Nobody can live without it nowadays. It is an essential service for everybody.”

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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


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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.


July 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.


July 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.”

HELPING CANADA LEAD THE CHANGE TO SMARTER HEALTHCARE Written by Stuart Hodge Produced by Quiyonni Borja


Jennifer MacGregor, Allscripts Managing Director for Canada, talks to us about the company’s Canadian heritage, what lies at the root of Allscripts’ success and what innovations the future holds


t the heart of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions’ core mission lies a commitment to revolutionizing the way that digital healthcare is delivered, not just in Canada but beyond our borders as well. That may sound like a very grandiose dream; but, since it was founded in 1986, the company has been building an infrastructure to empower health professionals to provide ‘proactive’ rather than ‘reactive’ care through an open, connected community of health. Allscripts’ Sunrise™, an enterprise-wide digital healthcare platform, is widely used throughout Canada, the United States and around the globe as a premier provider of electronic health records, population health management and operational solutions. The company’s network connects 2,500 hospitals and 45,000 medical practices. Allscripts Managing Director for Canada, Jennifer MacGregor, spoke to Business Review Canada about how Allscripts uses that network to help healthcare providers deliver superior care to every single citizen. And the key distinction therein, is that MacGregor w w w. a l l s c r i p t s . c o m



talks of ‘citizens’ rather than ‘patients’. She explains: “We are focused on establishing an open and integrated solution across the care continuum and being able to provide the level of insight required to our providers, our clinicians, our citizens – we call them citizens for a reason, because we do not want our people to be ill – and our program administrators, whether it be jurisdiction, governmental or hospital administrators. “We want to provide them with the right information so that they can make the best decisions about the way that they are deploying care from a program perspective. We also want to provide them with the knowledge base to know how they’re generating value out of their investments and how they’re ensuring that they’re providing the best level of service to their patient and population catchment areas across the continuum. “It means we need to have active and dynamic care plans that will enable transition through care, postacute and out into the community – and also establishing a network in the community so that we can provide


July 2017

the types of services and access to ensure people get proactive care, not getting ill to the point where they’re needing high-cost services. “That way it’s well people, and not sick patients – that is very important. I would say one of the greatest assets we have is the passion that every Allscripts associate believes in the mission of ensuring that our providers and our clients are looking after well people and not sick patients. That is what permits us to do what we do every day.” It’s all very well and good saying that – but how exactly does that work on a day-to-day basis? MacGregor says: “Okay, let’s look at it in terms of someone who is being looked after in a jurisdiction with access to all of our solutions. Say, perhaps, that the individual may have been identified as potentially having a chronic disease and may not be following appropriate guidelines to take good care of themselves. “What often happens in this situation, is that patients degrade in that situation to such an extent that



THE RIGHT INFORMATION” – Jennifer MacGregor, Managing Director - Canada

Managing Director - Canada

Before joining Allscripts 12 years ago, Jennifer studied for a genetics degree and some of her early roles saw her working in medical clinics, implementing billing and scheduling systems, whilst at university.

they have to come into the emergency room needing immediate help. But with our solution, not only are we able to identify that patient on the premise of potential lab results or diagnoses in our system, but we can see early on that there is an individual in our citizen portal who is engaging with our care providers. “All of these providers have one view of this patient’s health record and their condition and through our interaction with that patient, we can also evaluate that they may not be

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Jennifer MacGregor


During her first six years with Allscripts, she was very focused on implementation, working across several sites in California, Texas and other parts of the U.S. Her areas of expertise were benefits realization, clinician and physician adoption and computer provider order entry and workflow redesign. She then joined the international business unit just over 4 years ago, dealing with Allscripts’ global business. That role was focused on the company’s professional services and ensuring that solutions were delivered and clients’ expectations and performance targets were being achieved. Then finally, at the beginning of 2014, she was asked to become the company’s MD for Canada, expanding her purview so that she now has responsibility for not just implementation but also sales and operations across the country.


exercising or achieving the goals that we have agreed upon in the care plan, which is also viewable on the citizen portal, and that they may even be missing follow-up appointments. “With our solutions, we can proactively contact somebody in the care team to reach out to that patient and intervene, preventing a potential decline and them having to come into the emergency room or the hospital. “It changes the paradigm, from waiting to deal with the concerns and issues of the patient in a reactive way, to proactively identifying individuals


July 2017

who need earlier intervention to ensure a better health outcome.” In order to do that, there has to be a strong infrastructure in place and the backbone of Allscripts offering is the Sunrise platform. MacGregor describes this as the company’s “flagship solution” and also revealed that it was invented here in Canada. She adds: “Sunrise was actually developed in British Columbia and the first market it was used in was Canada. It came out of a


history of previous development programs that go all the way back into the 1970s in British Columbia. “It’s through that evolution and innovation coming out of British Columbia that we’ve been able to grow and provide a solution base which services hundreds of clients across 15 countries.”


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One of the hospitals which uses the Sunrise platform is St Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, a teaching facility in the west of the city which treats more than 20,000 patients a year. The hospital’s Deputy CIO Purvi Desai told us that Allscripts is one of their biggest IT vendors, and that the relationship remains strong due to the company’s flexibility and responsiveness. She comments: “As we take on major initiatives in any clinical area,


July 2017

Allscripts is a key resource to help us understand the capabilities in the application and to provide us with options in terms of how we leverage functionality in the system. “For my team, they help us with how to configure and manage the application for the end users. Then, once functionality is operational, they are our tier-two level of support. My team would do preliminary troubleshooting and if it was something that wasn’t with the realm of our understanding we


would escalate over to Allscripts so that they could assist us with our troubleshooting. “Sometimes they need a bit more information in terms of how it’s impacting our end users but we articulate the priority of the need, so if it’s something front-facing, impacting clinicians and patients, they certainly understand the important of providing a resolution as quickly as possible. “As we’re exploring opportunities or new projects within our clinical programs we reach out to Allscripts to find out what solutions will be available to us and to help us strategize if we have a business problem in front of us – how do we best tackle it for our end users? There’s a constant dialogue in

terms of planning, implementation and execution and then ongoing support and maintenance. Those are the key areas where we work together.” But it’s not just Sunrise that is at the root of Allscripts’ success. The company has four key areas of focus which allow them to offer such a comprehensive infrastructure for health providers and patients to benefit from. The third “pillar”, as MacGregor likes to refer to them, is Allscripts’ CareInMotion™ population health platform where data is aggregated from across various systems, harmonized and then served up to a clinicians within their workflow. She says that’s “a significant

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from waiting to deal with the concerns and issues of the patient in a reactive way, to proactively identifying individuals who need earlier intervention to ensure a better health outcome – Jennifer MacGregor, Managing Director - Canada

differentiator” for clinicians, because they’re not going to have to go anywhere else to find the information, it comes to them. CareInMotion is where the ‘citizen portal’ that MacGregor mentioned earlier is used, and the backbone of it is a platform called dbMotion™, which is in use across the province of Manitoba and Fraser Health Authority (the second largest health region in Canada). But the fourth area of focus is the one that sounds particularly exciting, the company’s precision medicine platform. MacGregor’s background is in genetics, so you

can understand why she speaks with genuine excitement about the company’s work in this field. She says: “Allscripts’ wholly owned subsidiary 2bPrecise is about being able to incorporate genomic information into clinical practice, so building the last mile from medical research to clinical practice at the point of care. We’re just at the forefront and it’s not just going to be Allscripts, as you can imagine. “As we’re looking down the path of using sequencing information to guide treatment decisions and ensuring an understanding what it

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“We reach out to Allscripts to find out what solutions will be available to us and to help us strategize if we have a business problem in front of us” – Purvi Desai


Senior Vice President and General Manager of Allscripts Acute, Rich Berner, visiting St. Joe’s Hospital

means to practicing clinicians. For example, from a pharmacogenetics perspective if a different drug will be more effective for a patient because of a biovariant we can identify that and provide guidance to the provider. We are at the precipice of being able to incorporate that information into clinical decisions whilst our clinicians are seeing patients, very exciting.� The 2bPrecise platform became

generally available earlier this year and the company have partnered with the National Institute of Health. It will be exciting to see the further strides that the company makes with the platform in the years to come, and it also serves to explain why MacGregor is just as excited about her work now, if not a great deal more so, than when she first joined Allscripts some 12 years ago.

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FANATICAL about the cloud

Managed cloud provider Rackspace prides itself on its customer service, known as “Fanatical Support”, available 24-7, 365 days a year. The company’s commitment to providing expertise and support to customers is so strong that team members are called “Rackspace fanatics” Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Tom Venturo



ackspace is a leading managed cloud company that helps businesses tap the power of hosting and cloud computing without the pain, complexity and cost of doing it themselves. The company provides results-obsessed customer services, known as “Fanatical Support” to customers of all sizes in over 150 countries, from city guide websites to large finance and healthcare companies, including more than half of the world’s Fortune 100 companies. Across all these locations and sectors, Rackspace’s work is standardized to very fine detail thanks to the company’s extensive bench of technology experts. Each team meets every two weeks to review processes and policies, taking into account feedback from impacted customers, stakeholders and fellow Rackers. This feedback could be a request for a RAM upgrade, or replacing a top of rack (ToR) switch. The details of these tasks are then worked through and the technical experts determine the most effective method to solve the problem. This method is then rolled out across the entire company so that, regardless of the location, customers will receive the same experience and level of service. LONDON CRAWLEY DATA CENTER (LON 5) Since it was founded in Texas in 1998, Rackspace has established itself as a global leader in the data center industry. It has over 5,500 employees in 16 offices globally and operates 11 data centers serving regions across the globe including Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Northern Virginia, London, Sydney and Hong Kong.


July 2017


Jim Hawkins Vice President, Global Data Center Operations & Engineering

Jim Hawkins is the vice president of global data center operations and engineering at Rackspace, where he oversees the company’s worldwide network of data centers and other critical infrastructure and operations. Jim joined Rackspace in 2008, initially serving as director of operational excellence. Since then, he has held several positions, including director of U.S. data centers and senior director of global data center operations.

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Rackspace’s 12th data center is set to open in Frankfurt in July. In mid 2015, Rackspace opened a new, purpose-built data center facility in London, called LON 5. LON 5 was built from scratch, giving Rackspace the opportunity to shape it from start to finish. Located in Crawley, West Sussex, an area of west London within handy reach of Heathrow airport that’s long been a hub for engineering and industry, the impressive 130,000 square foot data center dominates the surrounding landscape. The Rackspace Crawley data center was designed to be benchmarksetting in terms of energy efficiency. During the design process it was ensured the building would meet the

highest standards in the industry - its Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) is designed to be 1.15 leveraging indirect air cooling to take advantage of the cool British climate and hot aisle containment. The cement floors were smoothed to tight tolerances to eliminate the use of raised floor tiles. The plan was to apply this design model to further expansions. The visual appeal of the data center is intended to convey visually the world-class nature of our operations. The common areas and meeting rooms are impressive, with viewing galleries that have floorto-ceiling glass walls throughout allowing plenty of natural light in. Jim Hawkins, Vice President, Global

“Our customers are giving us the crown jewels of their companies” – Jim Hawkins, Vice President, Global Data Center Operations & Engineering

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Jeff Cotten

Graham Weston CoFounder

President Interim CEO

Data Center Operations & Engineering at the company, explains why this aesthetic is essential: “Due to the high security of our data centers and the sensitive nature of customer data, our customers aren’t able to see many of the details that make the data center great so the visual design helps to convey that same World-Class approach throughout the data center.”


July 2017

John Engates CTO

The Magic Quadrant This year the company was positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, Worldwide. This assessment evaluates providers based on the completeness of their vision and their ability to execute. This recognition is hugely important


Company Kickoff

for the industry as it provides an unbiased view of managed service providers in the space, outlining their strengths and weaknesses. “Our customers are giving us the crown jewels of their companies,” Hawkins says. “They’re saying here’s my IT stuff, this is my business as it runs, I need to do what I do and I need you, Rackspace, to make sure that my data is always available so that my company and my employees can continue to drive our business success.”

Clients and partners In order to deliver end-to-end Fanatical Support on the technologies and services that it supports, Rackspace has strategic partnerships with organizations across the globe – from hardware providers, to connectivity providers, to other cloud providers to solution providers. In late 2016 Rackspace partnered with United States company Megaport to establish the dedicated RackConnect Global circuits to data centers throughout the US, vastly expanding its capacity.

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With the rise in enterprises’ “multicloud” strategies in recent years, Rackspace has taken the approach of partnering with the big public and private cloud providers to manage their platforms for customers who want to add support rather than compete with them. “Customers can deploy workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or on Microsoft and soon on Google’s cloud,” Hawkins adds, “and Rackspace will support them on the technical capabilities that many companies are really lacking. As fast as these technologies

are changing, companies need experts and Rackspace is filled with those experts.” Within the industry More and more companies that previously had their own data centers are finding that they’re too expensive or difficult to run. As Hawkins explains, this can happen to a company regardless of its size, as it’s down to the proliferation of software as a service. “When this happens the data center footprint from an IT perspective begins to shrink,” he

Number of employees at Rackspace


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“OUR VISION as a company is

to be recognized as one of the world’s greatest service companies”

– Jim Hawkins, Vice President, Global Data Center Operations & Engineering


July 2017


Year founded

1999 says, “aided by technology changes like the virtualization of servers, which allows them to compress their IT hardware even further. Pretty soon they have a data center that’s only 20 percent utilized. It becomes a big financial and technical burden.” This takes away the reason to have their own data centers so they seek partners they can trust to put their business into. This is where Rackspace steps in. “There are a number of operating mechanisms that Rackspace has implemented to provide a reliable

service for our customers. These operating mechanisms include global standardization programs, the rigor of our change management, the meticulous way we deploy and interact with our infrastructure and our response to issues.” Hawkins continues: “There will always be things that go wrong in a data center hosting environment. What makes Rackspace unique is how we respond to those issues. The combination of Fanatical Support and a very mature Root Cause Analysis (RCA) methodology certainly sets

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us apart from others and eliminates the recurrence of issues.” Fanatical about service The customer service team members are called “Rackers”. Hawkins explains that this culture is one of the elements that sets Rackspace apart from other data center providers. “Our vision as a company is to be recognized as one of the world’s greatest service companies regardless of the industry. We certainly saw early in our history how terrible support generally is in the IT industry. We saw an opportunity to not just provide better support, but to provide Fanatical Support that’s far and beyond what anybody else provides. That’s really been the catalyst for our growth over the years since 1999, and we’ve expanded that support to be on top of not only our infrastructure, but also on top of other leading cloud providers.”

Rackspace experts are available 24-7, every day of the year, and the company prides itself on the fact that customers will never hear a recorded message. “It’s about the level of ownership that we take when customers have issues,” he says. “Our Rackers are there to solve their problems. They can chat with us any time of day, we’re always available.” The cloud industry is growing extremely quickly, but Rackspace is tackling all the challenges this may present. One of those is the consolidation of clouds that are available. “There were once public and private clouds all over the place and that’s beginning to really consolidate down to companies like AWS, Microsoft and Google being the leading clouds in the space,” Hawkins concludes. Whatever the challenge, Rackspace will be there to provide the answer.

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the next generation

of women in tech

Four female executives tell us their stories, their experiences as professional women, and share wellearned life advice to inspire the next generation of technologically-minded girls in following their passions

Written by Nell Walker Produced by Tom Venturo

Michelle Forbes Gina Gardner Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Cloud Services at QTS

Ali Greenwood Vice President – Data Center Solutions at JLL

Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & ManagedCloud Services at QTS


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he rise of women in higher management, in digital technology business roles, and in STEM is an ongoing discussion that is still only making baby steps towards an equal balance. However, successful female professionals are growing in number and using their positions to speak about their experiences, serving to prove that women are able to enter and thrive in all manner of jobs and should be encouraged to do so. Ali Greenwood, Vice President – Data Center Solutions at JLL; Gina Gardner, Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Cloud Services at QTS; Michelle Forbes, who is also a Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Managed/ Cloud Services at QTS; and Sarah Keller, Senior Manager, Technical Sourcing and Supply Chain at Uber, are all women playing vital roles in the large businesses they represent. All of them were excited by the concept of data centers, and all of them had

to learn the industry from scratch to become the experts they are today. Greenwood began her career at a small real estate investment and development organization, before the company she worked for was drafted in to assist in securing capital for a new data center. She swiftly had to learn all about this new world including all costs involved, and was fascinated by it. “I started working at Digital Realty a couple of months later,” she says. “It was such a great way to learn the data center business. Truly focusing on the data center itself, the required investment, ongoing operating expenses, leasing, and how it all affects the ultimate return to stockholders is an incredibly valuable approach to understanding the data center business. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.” Greenwood felt, however, that she should be working more closely with people, using her skills as an articulate and engaging person to translate the potentially complicated world of


“Technology is growing like crazy, and all the technologies we constantly utilize touch a server in a data center somewhere. There’s no reason women shouldn’t participate in that growth” – Ali Greenwood, Vice President – Data Center Solutions at JLL

data into something more palatable. “I knew after sitting in the corner of sales pitches and tours to end-users that I could explain why our company, and this particular facility, was a great choice. Now at JLL, I’m instilling in clients the confidence that I can help them through a process that will result in a successful data center project.” The data center industry is growing apace, and as it does so, more opportunities are opened up for a broader range of people. Greenwood sees this as an opportunity for more women to join the fray of STEM, and she is better served than most to watch the evolution of the industry. “It’s certainly an underserved area,” she admits. “Technology isn’t going anywhere, it’s growing like crazy, and


July 2017

all the technologies we constantly utilize touch a server in a data center somewhere. There’s no reason women shouldn’t participate in that growth.” Keller, Gardner, and Forbes – the latter two being childhood friends and now colleagues – are equally passionate about the inclusion of more female professionals in the data center world. “Women in leadership has been a hot topic for a while now and there are so many more organizations dedicated to the advancement of women in business, technology, and engineering,” says Gardner. “It is no longer uncommon to be in meetings or events and see quite a few women representing all sides of the business. I have had the great opportunity to work with and meet some incredible

women in this sector who are rising and making notable contributions.” “It’s refreshing how many more women are in the industry today than when I started,” adds Forbes. “Over the past 10 years it has been exciting to see more women selling wholesale space, working as brokers, and what I especially love to see is many more women in IT and engineering roles. There are some incredible smart females that are changing the way

we are perceived, and I love that.” “I find the lack of diversity – not just a lack of women – to be a real challenge,” Keller admits. “We are in an industry that is going to need to respond to ever-growing demands as IoT and Cloud infrastructure require that the underlying technology become more efficient, scalable and stable. We need diverse experience and backgrounds tackling these issues.”

JLL Data Center Solutions: What’s all the buzz about “the cloud”?


“Over the past 10 years it has been exciting to see more women selling wholesale space, working as brokers, and what I especially love to see is many more women in IT and engineering roles” – Michelle Forbes, SDirector of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Managed/Cloud Services at QTS

Gardner, Forbes, and Keller, like Greenwood, were all excited enough by the concept of data centers to enter the industry at the soonest opportunity. Gardner was enticed by the looming presence of the World Wide Web in 1995, and entered into a job selling web hosting and colocation services. The company she joined – Best Internet – launched one of the first ever ecommerce sites and sold eBay its first data center colocation cage. Gardner introduced Forbes to the carrier-neutral colocation world in the late 90s, and she has been selling data center space ever since.


July 2017

“I knew it was an exciting time and the internet was here to stay,” Forbes says, “and with that, data centers were an essential part. Today it’s incredible to think about how almost everything we use is likely running out of a data center, and maybe even one I lease them space for.” After the dot com crash in 2003, Gardner took a break to get married and have children, before she wanted to get back into the data center industry. Thanks to her enthusiasm for returning to the game and a swiftly-reviving industry, she found a comfortable role once again. “As I look back over the past


“We are in an industry that is going to need to respond to ever-growing demands. We need diverse experience and backgrounds tackling these issues” – Sarah Keller, Senior Manager, Technical Sourcing and Supply Chain at Uber

two decades through all the data centers I’ve toured, the change and evolution, the real excitement has always been meeting with people at growing companies, discussing their visions and innovations, and coming together through solutions and partnerships. That continues to motivate and move me to work hard and continue this journey.” In 2004, Forbes was introduced to the business that spawned the


July 2017

concept of wholesale data center space: “I took the leap as I could see the environment changing and customers were asking for more flexibility with their growing footprint,” she says. “I chose sales because I love working with people, building real relationships, finding the right solutions, and ultimately becoming a trusted partner. My advice to anyone would be to find your strength and stick with it, and

you will excel. Also, find a company culture that you fit in with – it changes everything. There’s nothing worse than the wrong work environment.” Keller was drawn more to the underlying technology that made data centers more efficient: “Starting out in the International Standards bodies, I was able to participate in early industry efforts to standardize grid and datacenter technologies. Those efforts really prepared me when for future roles I would take at Facebook, Workday, and Uber.” She saw first-hand some groundbreaking technologies that have shaped the world today, and she is able to utilize her experience in her current role at Uber. “I never planned to end up in this career,” she admits, “but I’m grateful I found something that I’m genuinely happy to do every day. I think that some of the most awesome challenges are coming to the data center industry, and you need people that are willing to step up to those challenges.” These four women have not only grasped the opportunities they worked to achieve, but have flourished

within them and managed to create a structure which encompasses family and career in the most comfortable way possible. “The key is realizing that balance and perfection is not realistic,” says Gardner. “Being okay with the fact that life and work are always in flux is when it all comes together. I love my job, and I enjoy working hard, but I rejoice in spending time with my family and the people I love. I’m pretty sure this is why women are such strong multi-taskers; it’s our way of life.” “As a mother of three children and working at one of the fastest-growing start-ups in the world, I’m always looking for ways to keep this balance in place,” Keller adds. “Every day is an exercise to ruthlessly prioritize, and you need to measure on a daily basis what is important to you, to your family, and to your work.” “Today with technology and our ability to connect virtually in so many ways, it has made it even easier,” says Forbes. “Women are great at multitasking, and finding the right work-life balance provided for me the right way to work smarter and harder, while still

Ali Greenwood with her son


July 2017

“I have had the great opportunity to work with and meet some incredible women in this sector who are rising and making notable contributions” Gina Gardner, Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Cloud Services at QTS

being able to have time for my family.” “Happier chaos I think is the key,” Greenwood states. “I love my job, I love working hard; it’s a huge part of my life, and honestly, who I am. Juggling it all is crazy, and single working moms – bless you. Something I always try to remind myself is at the end of the day it is not the years in my life, but the life in my years that will define me. It truly is all about spending time with those you love.” Life is full of challenges and opportunities, and the working world has the capacity to be a minefield for women. Greenwood, Gardner, Keller, and Forbes are living proof of the brilliance and adaptability of female technical professionals, and they possess an enviable

aptitude for a balance that ensures the highest possible satisfaction. Greenwood concludes: “Those of us in the industry could probably do a better job of speaking up and making women of all ages aware of a great and growing opportunity. Endeavour to always find your niche, your passion, your stride, and find your value proposition as soon as possible. If you do not feel that you’re insanely invaluable, then you should promptly change paths. “As the famous Zig Ziglar said: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” If you can’t define how you can help people get what they want, push reset and figure it out. Then get back in the game.”


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Gigabit - July 2017  

Gigabit - July 2017