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AUGUST 2019

INSIDE PROCTER & GAMBLE’S E-COMMERCE REVOLUTION How P&G’s beloved baby brand, Pampers, is taking the e-commerce world by storm

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WELCOME

H

ello and welcome to the August edition of Gigabit!

For this month’s exclusive cover story, Gigabit speaks to Procter & Gamble to learn how the firm’s

Elsewhere, Rhonda Vetere – often touted as one of the most powerful women in technology – gives her tips on how to make it big in the technology sector, and Spreadshirt contends

how businesses can compete with ecommerce behemoth Amazon. Gigabit also sits down with Paul Smith, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Salesforce UK, to learn how the firm is revolutionising Antoine Tyan, Procter & Gamble the CRM market.

Pampers brand is blending compelling entertainment with cutting-edge ecommerce. Next, Sophie Chapman travels to Dell Technologies’ sleek office in London to learn how the technology giant is giving the NHS a helping hand as it embarks on a mammoth digital transformation journey.

“We want to transform its whole ethos around the use of technology,” said James Norman, CIO of Healthcare for EMEA region, Dell Technologies. “Technology can really drive new innovations, new opportunities, new ways of actually working with the market.”

Next, Gigabit counts down the top ten computer hardware firms in the world and explores the top technology events you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget to also read our exclusive reports on Huawei, KPMG Canada, Accenture Technology and more. Enjoy the issue! Laura Mullan. laura.mullan@bizclikmedia.com

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CONTENTS

AGILE AND LEAN: A WINNING COMBINATION FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

62 14 Procter & Gamble

32 RHONDA VETERE: THRIVING IN THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR

Competing with the Amazon behemoth

42 A CRM titan

70 TOP 10 COMPUTER HARDWARE COMPANIES

84 EVENTS


88

Ormond Group

118

Al Khaliji Commercial Bank

136 106

OMD APAC

El Al Israel Airlines


172

Dell Technologies

154

Accenture Technology

186

Taco Bar

202

Prysmian Group


238

Gateway First Bank

220

University of Alabama at Birmingham

254

Intel Corporation

272 AVAYA


298

Only About Children

284

Riverstreet Networks

316

Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

330

RSC Mining & Mineral Exploration


348

Huawei Technologies

362

KPMG Canada

376

Polaris Transportation Group

390

SSR Mining Inc.


14

Pampers: Finding data solutions with a snug fit WRITTEN BY

DAN BRIGHTMORE PRODUCED BY

KRISTOFER PALMER

AUGUST 2019


15

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PROCTER & GAMBLE

Pampers is pushing to innovate and join its customers in a digital domain where e-commerce channels are intertwined with entertainment. Digital transformation leads the way

E

-commerce has different stages of maturity in Asia where Pampers, one of Procter & Gamble’s biggest brands,

is seeing the natural evolution towards online ordering of bigger packs. It provides the perfect 16

destination for customers to browse products, utilise reviews and find deals - without having to struggle home from a store with a bulky purchase. Antoine Tyan, Associated Brand Director, Head of Data, Digital Transformation and E-Commerce for Pampers APAC, sees huge diversity across the region. “You have countries such as the Philippines which have a low salience of e-commerce under 5%, and others over 80% like Korea where almost every sale of diapers happens online,” he reveals. “From a solution standpoint, we have to cater for all these different stages of maturity and of the retailers that we play with, so in a country with low salience, our focus will be mainly on commercial offers. In mature markets, we have an increased need for brand building, interactive e-content and social media marketing.” AUGUST 2019


17

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PROCTER & GAMBLE

“Mindset can be the biggest cue. Even at a large company with many years’ experience and proven practices in place, sometimes you have to unlearn to relearn”

18

— Antoine Tyan, Associate Director, Head of Data, Digital Transformation and E-commerce for Pampers APAC, Procter & Gamble

Tyan maintains that e-commerce pages are now showrooms. Inspired by content in the food and beverage sector, Pampers is adopting a sensorial approach with more advanced imagery and video. “We look at the channel and find ways to stand out,” he adds. “The role of branding is often questioned because customers can instantly compare prices and access consumer reviews. However, it becomes even more critical to differentiate from other brands. This is where we step in creating exclusive events to delight our customers with a unique experience. For instance, we worked with Lazada (Southeast Asia’s number one online retailer) to develop an event around baby play by organising a virtual baby marathon that was a perfect fit for that e-commerce platform.”

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WHAT IS GROWTH HACKING AND HOW CAN YOU USE IT IN YOUR LIFE?’ 19 Procter & Gamble boasts a massive

and reapplying is also key and, in

range of household name brands but

e-commerce, is something supported

they can still operate autonomously

through bi-annual Asian summits

to meet specific business challenges.

to share learnings, applications and

“We also synergise our efforts,” adds

use cases.

Tyan. “Strategies happen at global,

Change management is a constant

regional and local level – for the total

challenge for brands that want to excel

corporation as well as for the brand.

in the digital space. Tyan believes

At a macro level we need to make sure

it must be supported by top down

we pull in the same direction. As a group,

leadership from experts in their field.

we share systems such as suppliers,

“At a data focused organisation like

technologies and platforms, along

ours, digital transformation can only

with centres of expertise like IT and

happen if the strategy is clear for

multimedia which flow across brands.”

everyone and leaders can assess and

Tyan believes the mindset of sharing

quantify the added business value w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Procter & Gamble achieve growth by shifting to performance marketing strategies with long-time partner yellowHEAD The consumer product industry is rapidly shifting to a wide range of dispersed channels. This poses a big challenge for CPG companies – pinpointing where their consumers are, how to reach them and how to make an immediate, profound impact on their purchasing decisions. As one of the top CPG companies in the world, Procter & Gamble make it a priority to reach and engage high LTV consumers. To ensure they are scaling in a sustainable way, P&G has trusted yellowHEAD as their performance marketing partner since 2017 to support their UA strategies for a variety of products. yellowHEAD has helped shape Pampers’ digital marketing strategy by focusing on the full user journey (from awareness to conversion), in-depth user segmentation and targeted messaging. They have also transformed the way Pampers analyzes their data and shifted the brand’s creatives from more brand-oriented to performance-oriented. This precision enabled yellowHEAD to significantly contribute to the growth of Pampers sales over the last two years, bringing about successful product launches for several sub-brands. Today, yellowHEAD manages performance activities for all Baby Care sub-brands, among other P&G product brands. Getting everything in your marketing mix to work harmoniously towards the same business goals is a true challenge. yellowHEAD constructed the perfect formula of paid and organic strategies to grow Pampers’ consumer base: driving a high volume of web registrations with SEO, bringing an engaged audience from Social and Search platforms to the Rewards app with paid UA, and gaining optimal app store visibility while boosting conversion with ASO. yellowHEAD’s dedicated team collaborated internally to gather insights on each activity and thereby continually optimize every step of the way.

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Trusted Performance Marketing Experts In this fast-paced industry, companies need a deep understanding into consumer behavior. yellowHEAD experts implement best practices based on profound knowledge gained through years of experience working with industry-leading brands. Committed to flexibility and efficiency, the company applies this experience to build scalable, high-performing campaigns for P&G.

Unified Organic & Paid Solutions To influence consumers’ purchasing decisions, P&G must reach the right audience with the right content. yellowHEAD’s holistic approach allows them to apply cross-platform insights and create personalized, engaging marketing messages for P&G consumers. It also allows for consistent messaging across all channels throughout the funnel.

AI-Driven Creative Studio Creatives play a huge role in campaigns’ success. yellowHEAD’s creative studio delivers creatives that drive action in all types of campaigns, from banners to videos to interactive ads. The company’s creative technology – Alison Art – analyzes and identifies winning elements within the creatives, leading to smart, data-based A/B tests that continuously improve conversion for P&G campaigns.

Let’s talk about the right marketing approach for your business:

Contact Eyal Argon, VP of Strategic Partnerships


PROCTER & GAMBLE

22

of investing in new programmes”

what’s actually possible. This is where

he confirms. “Mindset can be the

technology and data can be massive

biggest cue. Even at a large company

amplifiers and why I feel modern

with many years’ experience and

marketers have the responsibility

proven practices in place, sometimes

to really own that conversation and

you have to unlearn to relearn.”

become more tech savvy.”

Tyan notes the importance of

The necessity of identifying methods

departments partnering on projects

that enhance the ability to meet the

and not simply working blinkered

needs of the market is even more

in silos. “Instead of starting with the

pressing for a brand with an extremely

technology or data solution, we address

narrow audience. “Baby care is a

the business challenge with IT at the

unique category for many reasons,”

outset, to define what’s needed. Then

explains Tyan. “Every three years your

you can have a conversation about

entire base renews so you need the

AUGUST 2019


right strategies to lead customers into

countries, we launched our own app

the Pampers brand and retain them, all

to support and reward moms,” adds

in a very short window.” It’s a very

Tyan. “In others, we adapted to

specific business

customer habits, opting for email

challenge where there

automation or focusing on events

are 50 purchases over

days supported by social media.”

a customer lifespan that

Harvesting data is the key

Pampers aims to win.

to unlocking insights from this

Hence its technology

diverse range of marketing

choices are geared

activity. Tyan reveals that the

towards hyper-personalisa-

Pampers brand is experimenting

tion to communicate product offers

with machine learning to further

with supporting content. “In some

analyse the psychology 23

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Antoine Tyan Having spent more than a decade with Procter & Gamble, Tyan feels like “an all-rounder and a specialist at the same time” who believes passionately in future proofing the Pampers brand with a coherent digital strategy. “I’ve gone from upstream design work, on projects with mad scientists seeking innovation to the logistics of day to day delivery,” says the man responsible for the brand’s approach to data. “I feel like I’ve seen the whole funnel, and that helps me in my strategic thinking, as well as in creating end to end design solutions.” That wealth of experience in a variety of roles across brand management with Pampers has made Tyan a strong marketeer who has kept in step with the digital revolution; a vital key to the future strength of his brand.

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PROCTER & GAMBLE

$66.83bn Approximate revenue

1837

Year founded

95,000

Approximate number of employees 24

AUGUST 2019


25

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PERSONALISED EXPERIENCE, PREDICTIVE RESULTS Show your customers you know them. Aimia’s SmartJourney® methodology predicts, personalises and prioritises unique customer journeys. It’s data-inspired strategy driving 1-to-1 connections, experiences and results. It’s the future of loyalty. Create the personalised journey your customer wants.


“Every three years your entire base renews so you need the right strategies to lead customers into the Pampers brand and retain them, all in a very short window” — Antoine Tyan, Associate Director, Head of Data, Digital Transformation and E-commerce for Pampers APAC, Procter & Gamble

“It’s one thing to observe behaviours, but you need to understand the deeper consumer motives,” stresses Tyan, who is also excited about the possibilities for new forms of customer engagement fueled by personalisation. “We’re going beyond the value of a diaper, and really starting to impact moms’ and babies’ lives and overall experience throughout their journeys together.” Alleviating the impact on the planet is also a key goal for Pampers globally. “At Procter & Gamble we aspire to be a force for good and a force for growth. This was always the case for

of consumer behaviour and

Pampers. We have

ultimately meet their needs.

a history of being

“We’re developing the ability

socially responsible,

to identify and analyse very

working with organisa-

targeted audiences that

tions like UNICEF to

have a high propensity

eliminate neonatal

of engaging with or

tetanus. We also work

buying our product.”

on other areas where

Achieving insights into what drives consumer behaviour has been integral to the success of Procter & Gamble’s brands for nearly 200 years.

we can make a big impact, including driving gender equality internally in the workplace and externally through our brand campaigns and w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

27


PROCTER & GAMBLE

28

AUGUST 2019


advocacy efforts with partners like UN Women,” says Tyan. “We also want to make a positive impact on the planet. I’m really excited about something Pampers is leading globally. We’re piloting diaper recycling technology in Europe where we’re collecting waste in a city like Amsterdam, not only for Pampers, but for all diapers and wipes.” Across APAC, partners like AIMIA (allied with Microsoft and AWS) are key to growing the ecosystem to reach out to customers and personalise their experience with the brand. “As a loyalty program specialist, they have been a long-time partner of our rewards program, the Pampers Club, in charge of overall operations. The premise of the club is to reward moms for their loyalty by offering them points for every purchase that they can redeem for catalog gifts. In Japan they are providing services from data management and analytics, to campaign and marketing automation,” confirms Tyan. “Across media we have strong partnerships with heavy hitters like Google and Facebook, and select partners based on their capabilities in a given country. For example, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

29


PROCTER & GAMBLE

we work with Dentsu in Japan on advanced programmatic solutions.” Pampers also employs the digital marketing talents of yellowHEAD, a performance marketing agency that is a global partner for the brand. “Our work together is primarily to optimise our cost of acquisition to our CRM, notably through fast iteration cycles,” adds Tyan. Tyan stresses that e-commerce is “growing at the speed of light”, supercharged by the linkage from 30

social media. “Consumers are very receptive to key influencers. The link is becoming more prevalent as we

“We’re going beyond the value of a diaper, and really starting to impact moms’ and babies’ lives and overall experience throughout their journeys together” — Antoine Tyan, Associate Director, Head of Data, Digital Transformation and E-commerce for Pampers APAC, Procter & Gamble AUGUST 2019

move towards social commerce. Customisation is another key trend, we all want something that is relevant to us as consumers and ignore generic messages. This leads e-commerce to personalise platforms at a user level, which is a challenge,” he says. “As a brand trying to excel in search, and optimise its virtual shelf, a personalised world means that you don’t have as much control over customer experience. How do you win in such a fast-changing environment? There’s a clear expecta-


31

tion from our customers. We have

experience online is transforming

to step up, adapt to that and to the

consumer habits. “It’s exciting for

new technologies our retailer

Pampers to look at how we continue

partners are putting in place.” E-com-

to innovate, insert ourselves into that

merce as a channel is embracing

environment and provide value.”

disruption and becoming a form of entertainment in its own right. “The malls in Asia are like playgrounds for shoppers, buying becomes an activity in itself, as a family weekend outing. Online malls are popularizing that behavior anytime, anywhere’” notes Tyan of the way the shopping w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


D I G I TA L S T R AT E G Y

32

RHONDA VETERE: THRIVING IN THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR Championed as one of the most powerful women in technology, Rhonda Vetere gives her tips on how to make it big in the fast-moving technology sector WRITTEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN

AUGUST 2019


33

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D I G I TA L S T R AT E G Y

W

hat does it take to be a successful

technology executive? For Rhonda

Vetere, it’s a simple case of grit

and grind. A competitive yet team-focused leader, Vetere has carved a unique path in the technology sphere, working for bigname businesses including Estée Lauder

Companies, Barclays, and JPMorgan Chase. This drive hasn’t gone unnoticed by the technology community either. During her career, Vetere has received numerous accolades and awards. 34

For instance, earlier this year, she was recognised as one of the 50 most powerful women in technology by the US national Diversity Council. “I was humbled and so flattered to be selected; it was quite the honour,” she enthuses. “I believe I was chosen because of the impact I’ve had on transformation organisations, my passion for being a corporate athlete and the impact that I have had as a role model for others looking to get into the industry.” During her time as Chief Technology Officer at Estée Lauder Companies, Vetere showcased her flair for technology and data, leading the technology and operations team across 162 countries. In doing so, Rhonda and her team helped the company generate multi-million-dollar savings annually. But what advice would she give AUGUST 2019


“Do your research. Know your customer and what you are looking to achieve. Communicate openly” — Rhonda Vetere, former Chief Information & Technology Officer, Global Infrastructure Sevrices

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35


D I G I TA L S T R AT E G Y

to a business looking to embark on

36

True digital transformations are

a similar journey? “Do your research.

difficult to pull off. In fact, according

Know your customer and what you

to McKinsey, less than 30% succeed.

are looking to achieve. Communicate

With the experience of managing teams

openly,” she says. “I believe true

of up to 20,0000 people, Vetere knows

innovation comes through strategy,

firsthand the importance of strong

learning, technology, and quality.

leadership and management to any

For any company in any industry, I ask

digital transformation plan. “One

the same questions: How do you make

of the most difficult challenges during

the technology work? What makes

any transformation is being an effective

the business work? Running IT as a

and transparent communicator so that

business, I try to consider the key factors

your team understands exactly what

of measurement, true transparency, and

you are trying to achieve and will be on

trust. My unbending mantra? Metrics are

board,” she says. “People don’t often

king — you can’t manage an environment

like change, so managing the people

if you don’t know your numbers.”

side of change is where it becomes an

“Being a corporate athlete is everything to me. It’s a part of who I am and it’s in my blood” — Rhonda Vetere, Former Chief Information & Technology Officer, Global Infrastructure Sevrices

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘RHONDA VETERE AT THE STEVIE® AWARDS FOR WOMEN’ 37 art.” It’s an art that’s difficult to perfect,

ethics to guide myself and my teams,”

everyone has their own interpretation of

she adds.

what good management looks like.

Female representation is a pressing

Some prefer to be visionary leaders,

issue in the technology sector, with

convincing their team to work hard to

women taking less than 20% of

execute a long-term vision, whereas

technology jobs in the US according

others may prefer a democratic

to research by Evia. It’s a mounting

approach whereby managers let their

challenge, however, Vetere contends

employees participate in the decision

that thoughtful conversations and

-making process. For Vetere, it’s a case

engaged management could also help

of hands-on teamwork with her team.

to bridge the gender divide. “The tech

“I value full-contact management,

industry can promote greater female

hands-dirty collaboration, and thought-

representation by showcasing that

provoking relationships; using

technology is fun and cool,” she says.

emotional intelligence, listening, and

“I often speak to girls and women and w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


D I G I TA L S T R AT E G Y

share my story that I didn’t come from a technology background. I fell into technology because a manager earlier in my career saw some attributes in me and wanted to give me the opportunity.” Looking forward, she hopes to continue with her STEM efforts and inspire more young people to get involved in the fast-moving technology space. A testament to her competitive streak, Vetere has also thrown herself into the world of athletics. Constantly training for and competing in events, 38

she has taken part in 70 so far, including triathlons, half-marathons, marathons, and IRONMAN 70.3mile triathlons. This is not only uplifting for the body and mind; Vetere argues that her athletics also helps keep her focused in the boardroom. “Being a corporate athlete is everything to me,” she says. “It’s a part of who I am and it’s in my blood. AUGUST 2019

I N TERVI EWEE FACT S

• Rhonda Vetere has been recognised for her leadership and influence, notably with a 2019 Most Powerful 50 Women in Technology award by the National Diversity Council and a 2017 Stevie Award for Excellence in Transforming Business (competing with over 1,500 CIOs and CTOs).


Training and athletics keep me grounded and help me with my decision-making. It also gives me an outlet and a cadence for training. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t manage your team effectively.” Reflecting on her career, Vetere says she has a long roster of triumphs that she’s proud of. “Some of my greatest achievements include being a part of over 23 mergers and acquisitions, running 55 miles through the Serengeti and speaking to the local girls there about self-esteem, empowering dozens of team members to take stretch projects and be promoted into new roles, and my overall involvement with STEM and attracting youth to technology as a career.” With drive, tenacity and dynamism in abundance, it’s clear that on the road ahead Vetere will continue to meet challenges head-on in the technology sector.

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39


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CRM

42

A CRM TITAN Gigabit sits down with Paul Smith, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Salesforce UK, to learn how the firm is revolutionising the CRM market WRITTEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN

AUGUST 2019


43

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CRM

S

alesforce is one of the top CRM providers in the industry. What do you think makes Salesforce unique in the

market? What gives it a competitive edge?

Salesforce pioneered the idea of CRM software in the cloud, creating a whole new economy, which has changed the way companies across multiple industries do business. Today, we are focused on enabling companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, the internet 44

of things, and now artificial intelligence—to connect to their customers in a whole new way. The Salesforce Customer Success Platform includes industry-leading services spanning sales, service, marketing, commerce, and across every customer touchpoint. This year, Salesforce will power more than two trillion B2B and B2C transactions for more than 150,000 companies. The real secret to our success is our culture – Salesforce was founded on a core set of values: trust, customer success, innovation, and equality. These values are integral to every aspect of our business, from our customers’ experience to the experiences of our employees. Salesforce was started with a vision to be a different kind of company. Our founders made AUGUST 2019


45

a commitment we call the 1-1-1 model: giving 1% of our time, product and profit back to the community. It’s become a fundamental part of our company DNA and created a culture that attracts people who are passionate about philanthropy. I think it brings out the best in us all. Salesforce has given over three million volunteer hours to date, more than $220mn in grants and there are over 36,000 non-profit organisations using our technology today. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CRM

46

How can businesses ensure that

new technology. Most companies are

their digital transformation strate-

not connected to their customers at

gies enable positive customer

every touchpoint, they deliver a

relationships?

fragmented experience. Over half

Today, we are living in the single most

(56%) of customers feel they are

innovative era in the history of technol-

communicating with different depart-

ogy. It is all about connections. We are

ments, instead of one company.

all connected, not just to each other,

In order to create an exceptional

but to the companies who provide us

experience for customers, companies

with services across every industry.

have to engage in a digital transformation.

To compete effectively, companies

Salesforce helps companies put their

need to focus on creating a seamless,

customers at the centre of everything

connected experience for their

they do by helping them create a single

customers. Two thirds (67%) of

view of their customer across sales,

customers expect companies to

service, marketing, commerce and

create better experiences by using

across every customer touchpoint.

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘INTRODUCING SALESFORCE CUSTOMER 360’ 47

With scandals hitting the headlines about questionable business practices, there seems to be a growing crisis of trust. In your opinion, how can businesses earn customer trust back? We are facing a crisis of trust in nearly all institutions, including the technology industry. Recent events have caused customers to lose trust with the companies and institutions they do business with. In fact, 63% of people are more afraid of their data being compromised than they were two years ago. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


NETWORKING

When a company loses trust in this era of global connectivity, they will have a difficult time growing and innovating. Almost two-thirds (66%) of people believe that trust in companies matters more than it did a year ago, with nearly three-fifths (59%) believing that companies could be more transparent with how they use customer data. At Salesforce, trust is our number one value—nothing is more important than the trust of our customers and all of our stakeholders—employees, 48

partners, communities, the environment. Companies need to hold themselves accountable to our customers, our employees, the environment and our communities. Without this, trust cannot be rebuilt. the department they’re dealing with, Salesforce recently added a new

yet only 50% of companies tailor their

feature called ‘Customer 360’ to its

engagement based on a customer’s

CRM platform? What does this

past interactions.

unified data platform offer and why

The next-generation Customer Data

is it needed today? Has there been

Platform, Customer 360, allows users

any other additions?

to build a 360-degree view of every

The latest Salesforce Connected

customer, unifying customer data

Customer report found that 78% of

throughout the entire organisation so

customers expect consistent interac-

that every engagement can be

tions with a company regardless of

personalised and contextualised.

AUGUST 2019


49

Following Connections 2019 in San Diego, Customer 360 brings customer data platform to the world’s number one CRM platform. From real-time engagement based on demographics, engagement history and all the customer data available, to optimisation based on Einstein insights as to how and when to engage with customers to drive loyalty and improve

“Customers do not settle for fragmented experiences and expect brands to know and care about them” — Paul Smith, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Salesforce UK

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


CRM

“Over the next five years, Salesforce is committed to supporting the growth of Britain as a hub of technology excellence” — Paul Smith, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Salesforce UK 50

AUGUST 2019

What trends or opportunities are you seeing in the global CRM market today? How is Salesforce tapping into these? From a global perspective, 73% of customers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies. Globally, customers’ standards for modern engagement are a far cry from the transactional, one-size-fits-all experiences that were once de-facto. Tailored, contextualised engagement across multiple


touch-points is the benchmark, and

teams with the tools to learn. As

disruptive business models are further

advocates of workforce development

raising the bar.

for all and creators of the free online

The UK business is Salesforce’s #1

learning platform, Trailhead, Salesforce

market in EMEA and we have signifi-

plans to take a leading role in making

cantly grown our presence in recent

digital skills more accessible.

years. Over the next five years, Salesforce is committed to supporting

What advice would you give to

the growth of Britain as a hub of

a business looking to enhance

technology excellence. As the pace

and reinvigorate its customer

of innovation and demand for digital

relationships?

talent increases, UK companies need

Increasingly, customers do not settle

to empower both current and potential

for fragmented experiences and expect brands to know and care about them. Embracing new technologies and utilising AI allows companies to stay a cut above. AI helps companies to understand how and when to engage with customers to drive loyalty through higher-quality experience, leading to improved business performance. Leveraging AI to drive the most relevant mix of product and channel recommendations to optimise channel engagement and customer satisfaction is just one way to enhance and invigorate customer relationships.

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51


AI

52

AGILE AND LEAN: A WINNING COMBINATION FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Agile and Lean methodologies have quickly become the bread and butter of any software development transformation. Gigabit takes a look at some technology powerhouses which owe their success to the principles WRITTEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN

AUGUST 2019


53

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AI

I

f you believe the pundits, it seems we are slowly edging towards a software-driven world. It’s a fair assessment to make: today, consumers use

a range of software applications on a daily basis

without even realising it. Whether they’re ordering a taxi or getting a takeaway delivered straight to their door, it now only takes a few taps and swipes of a mobile app. Elsewhere, software tools such as 54

Microsoft Office Suite or enterprise resource planning (ERP) have become a fundamental building block of any business operation. Yet, as the pendulum swings towards a software-driven world, businesses have not only implemented external software tools, they’ve also scrambled to create their own too. Doing this requires getting the right software developers and engineers on board and, as the war for talent rages on, this is no easy feat. In fact, in the US, the employment of software developers is predicted to grow 24% from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. In order to meet the demands of our software-driven age, businesses must not only attract the right talent, but they also need to work more efficiently and utilise their assets better. This is where methodologies such as Agile and Lean come into play. AUGUST 2019


55

AGILITY IS KEY In the technology industry the rate of innovation has kept up its blistering pace. Therefore, businesses need to be adaptive and responsive to any changes that may come their way. Agile methodology was created with this in mind; it’s a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent market. Essentially, Agile is an iterative development methodology whereby software development is done in bits (known as sprints) with each sprint building on the lessons w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AI

learned from the previous one. It’s also a methodology which values human communication and feedback, allowing businesses to adapt to changes so that they can produce working results. Speaking to FinTech Magazine about Yorkshire Building Society’s digital transformation, Portfolio Delivery

“Act as if you have no money, even if you have money,” he enthuses.“It was that leanness that got you there in the first place”

Manager, Ben Sampson, outlines the importance of forging the right culture for Agile. “For a business to become agile, we need a culture 56

that is transparent, challenging and empowers people to take ownership,” he says. “We don’t want too much structure or hierarchy: we need people to feel they can be innovative and that it’s OK to try something and fail on a small scale.” Agile has proven to be a successful methodology for the building society and its quickly becoming commonplace in the business world. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, more than 70% of organisations have incorporated some Agile approaches whilst more than a quarter of manufacturing firms use Agile exclusively. Yet, Agile isn’t the only approach you can take if you AUGUST 2019

— Amir Nooriala, COO, OakNorth


want to enable a software development transformation.

LEAN AND EFFICIENT In conjunction with Agile, many businesses have been won over by Lean methodology, one of the biggest management ideas of the past 50 years. It’s not a new concept by any means, but its modern application to business means that it’s constantly evolving. First championed by Toyota Production System in the 1950s and 1960s, at its core, Lean emphasises the need to optimise efficiency, minimise waste and continuously improve to meet customers’ needs. In an interview with

FinTech Magazine, OakNorth COO, Amir Nooriala, outlined the bank’s Lean and Agile ethos and offered some sage advice to other fast-growing businesses “Act as if you have no money, even if you have money,” he enthuses. “It was that leanness that got you there in the first place.”

DELIVERING TANGIBLE RESULTS Lean and Agile are a winning combination and together, they are capable of w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

57


AI

“For a business to become agile, we need a culture that is transparent, challenging and empowers people to take ownership” — Ben Sampson, Portfolio Delivery Manager, Yorkshire Building Society 58

AUGUST 2019


delivering real business results. Refining this approach may be an arduous

its enterprises for the first time. But Agile was just the first building

task but the rewards could be plentiful;

block in Nationwide’s transformation;

perhaps nowhere clearer than at Na-

taking this a step further, in 2011, the

tionwide Mutual Insurance Company.

insurer decided to scale its use of Agile

Keeping its finger on the pulse of the

substantially and it employed Lean

latest business strategies, Nationwide

techniques to achieve this. Harking

began its software development trans-

back to the early days of industrialisa-

formation almost a decade ago. It made

tion, Nationwide adopted the idea of a

its first foray into Agile methodology

so-called ‘software development factory’,

in 2009 and, whilst Agile wasn’t new,

complete with development lines that

it was now broadly adopted across all

would complete one step needed to create code. By giving each line a clearly defined role that it could repeat such as – scrum master, tech lead, requirements lead and test lead – this helped to enable rapid development of code as if it were a factory. The insurer also implemented a visual management system, allowing developers to gain information on the shop floor quickly, as well as Gemba Walks – a fundamental Lean management philosophy. This mammoth investment was starting to pay off by 2014, with Nationwide’s software development teams noting better quality and better productivity using industry benchmarks. However, Agile methodology wasn’t entirely widespread, it only covered less than w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

59


AI

“A lot of people have just done Lean, a lot of people have just done Agile, but I think by bringing these four strategies together we’ve done something really unique” — Guru Vasudeva, Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, Nationwide

60

30% of software development at

across all our software development –

Nationwide. Speaking to Gigabit, Guru

that's around US$60mn annually.” With

Vasudeva, Vice President and Chief

this in mind, Nationwide decided to

Information Officer (CIO) of

scale these methods enterprise-wide

Program and Application Services at

and now, the firm has around 200 soft-

Nationwide said: “We conducted a

ware development lines, almost all of

Gartner benchmark that showed that

which have adopted this blend of Agile

our Agile development line was better

and Lean. Zeroing in on quality, pro-

than the industry standard in terms of

ductivity and time to market, Nationwide

productivity, however, overall Nation-

has also streamlined its benchmark

wide was still 7.8% worse in unit cost

metrics, and today it can trace around

compared to the industry. We estimat-

US$60mn of savings on an annual

ed that we could get close to 12%

basis. In its most recent benchmark in

savings by adopting these practices

2017, for instance, Nationwide reported

AUGUST 2019


61

7.8% better unit costs – that’s a 15.6%

methodologies that software teams

increase compared to its previous

can experiment with. The importance

benchmark three years earlier. In more

of software development cannot be

recent, chapters of its software devel-

understated and as businesses deliberate

opment journey, Nationwide has also

on the best course of action, it’s clear

examined methodologies like DevOps

that some of these methodologies, or a

and continuous improvement. “A lot

combination of a few, could prove to be

of people have just done Lean, a lot of

an invaluable blueprint for success.

people have just done Agile, but I think by bringing these four strategies together we’ve done something really unique,” enthused Vasudeva. From Agile and Lean to Six Sigma and DevOps, there’s a myriad of w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CLOUD

62

Competing with the Amazon behemoth Spreadshirt CEO, Philip Rooke, looks at what you should do when the e-commerce giant arrives in your sector WRITTEN BY

AUGUST 2019

PHILIP ROOK E


63

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CLOUD

“To compete against Amazon you need to promote your specialist credentials” — Philip Rooke, CEO, Spreadshirt 64

T

his spring saw the news that

arrived in Europe. We were a startup in

Amazon is pulling back from

Leipzig in 2002, but today Spreadshirt

China. It has struggled against

is a €100m, self-expression, e-com-

the local competition – Alibaba and

merce platform and a big player in

JD.com – which can apparently deliver

Europe. People use us to create

for a fraction of the cost. Whilst we

clothing and accessories with messages

might relish this come down from the

they want the world to see. We then

e-commerce behemoth, we

manage the printing, delivery, local

should still react with a mixture

taxes, commission payments and

of fear and awe if Amazon

fulfilment. In 2017, this equated

appears in our space.

to nearly five million printed t-shirts,

This happened to Spreadshirt in the summer of 2017, when Merch by Amazon AUGUST 2019

hoodies, mugs and all sorts of other clothing and accessories, to over 160 countries.


65

But the arrival of Merch by Amazon was a challenge. I’m old enough to remember the pre-internet world of

established as Alibaba? Here’s what we’ve learnt: it’s all about delivery. This isn’t just about speed and time

28-day delivery schedules. In the

slots. It’s about how your delivery

internet age, Spreadshirt prints and

compares to the rest of your sector

delivers within two days, but elsewhere

and whether you can benchmark it. We

in the industry, it can be as long as two

tested ourselves by selling via Amazon

weeks. Now Amazon has arrived with

and got an insider view of how our

its vision to deliver inside two hours;

operations and delivery work com-

if it can do this, it could take a $1bn

pared to theirs. We discovered that

share of the market in just a few years.

to meet their demanding KPIs we had

So, is it possible to survive if Amazon

to put orders from Amazon customers

arrives in your market? Can you hope

ahead of our own. That was galling,

to compete if you’re not as big and

but it improved our operations. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CLOUD

“Focus on what your business does best. Develop a deeper brand rather than broadening your scope” 66

— Philip Rooke, CEO, Spreadshirt

AUGUST 2019

The likelihood is though, that this only makes you equal to Amazon, not better. This won’t be enough to survive and compete. So, what else? Customers love a specialist. No-one loves Amazon, not really. We go there for things we can’t easily find, or for prompt delivery. It is commodity shopping, not a fan experience. Customers looking for inspiration want a specialist with a clearer choice of goods and expertise. So, to compete against Amazon you need to promote your specialist credentials. You have to make it clear in your branding, range and user experience.


CLICK TO WATCH : FREUDE SCHENKEN MIT SPREADSHIRT. TV SPOT VALENTINSTAG 2016. 67

Only then can you develop customer

Amazon is a machine. We found that

trust in your market that will be stronger

one of the best ways to rage against

than Amazon’s.

that machine and demonstrate

Focus on what your business does

expertise is with real people. As a

best. Develop a deeper brand rather

specialist, you need to have real and

than broadening your scope. Of course,

helpful customer service; perhaps by

diversifying is tempting with its

making an advisory service available

possibility of new revenue streams,

before the purchase. You can also

but that’s no help if you lose your

bring your company alive by including

reputation for expertise and your loyal

your teams in marketing and social

customers. It’s time to be clear and

media; this shows that your company

honest with yourself about what your

is staffed by real people who care and

business does and why your customers

are experts. Specialise and also scale

buy from you.

To survive and compete with Amazon w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CLOUD

5.5m

Products printed

2002

Year founded

750

Approximate number of employees 68 you need to stay in the game. The quality of your revenue is important, and of course, it helps if you are already profitable. But it’s not just about your rate of growth. If a fastergrowing, profitable rival arrives, you’re going to need cash to ride out the storm, work out your response and implement it. One response could be to scale through a merger. This might seem in direct contrast to the need to specialise, but Amazon’s scale gives it the best unit economics and price advantage. You need to counter the AUGUST 2019


“At Spreadshirt, our goal is to remain specialists, improve profitability and stay robust against our strongest competitor yet” — Philip Rooke, CEO, Spreadshirt

10% or 20% off that Amazon can offer. So, you can’t just offer the same thing, hence the need to specialise, but you also need to think about scale, which may come in the form of alliances, acquisitions or a merger. In some industries, it’s possible that several brands may merge or build multi-brand groups with combined operations and supply chains. Creating groups like this makes it possible to generate significant scale and unit economics that could beat Amazon. We are surviving the onslaught of Amazon and managing to compete. Our response has been to take a good look at ourselves and our plan for the future. Competing against Amazon is extremely tough. To succeed, companies will need to offer an excellent, high-service and specialised brand; be brilliant for their customers. At Spreadshirt, our goal is to remain specialists, improve profitability and stay robust against our strongest competitor yet.

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69


T O P 10

70

AUGUST 2019


TOP 10

computer hardware companies Gigabit takes a deeper look at the world’s at top 10 computer hardware companies, according to Forbes’ Global 2000 ranking WRITTEN BY LAURA

MULLAN

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71


T O P 10

72

10

Wistron Corporation Taiwan

Wistron Corporation is a leading original design manufacturer (ODM) that creates everything from desktop computers and handheld devices to servers and motherboards. Founded in 2001, the firm has around 80,000 employees in a range of R&D, manufacturing and after-sales service facilities across North America, Europe and Asia.

AUGUST 2019


73

09

Compal Electronics Taiwan

Manufacturing notebook PCs, LCD products, smart devices and more, Compal Electronics is one of the world’s largest computer hardware firms, according to Forbes. Its clients include Sony, HP, Toshiba, Hitachi, Panasonic and Telefonica. Last year, the Taiwanese firm announced that it would sell its 49% stake in joint venture, Lienpal (Hefei) Ltd. for around $257mn

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T O P 10

74

08

Quanta Computer Taiwan

Founded in 1988, Quanta Computer is one of the world’s leading notebook PC manufacturers, however, in more recent years, it has also diversified its businesses into enterprise network systems, home entertainment, mobile communication, automotive electronics and digital home solutions. Standing as one of the world’s largest ODM manufacturers, one out of every three laptop PCs in the world is manufactured by Quanta.

AUGUST 2019


75

07

Lenovo Group Beijing

With $43bn in revenue, hundreds of millions of customers and four devices sold per second, Lenovo Group is one of the top computer hardware companies in the world according to Forbes. Notably, Lenovo also became the premier technology partner for the Ducati MotoGP team in 2018, meaning its PCs, tablets and high-performance servers are now enabling world champion motorbike racers.

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T O P 10

76

06

Legend Holdings Beijing

Owning the controlling share of Lenovo Group, Legend Holdings has significant sway in the computer hardware market. Liu Chuanzhi, founder of Lenovo Group, is Chairman of the Board of Legend Holdings Corporation. In 2015, Legend Holdings was successfully listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and in 2018, the group reported a revenue of around 358.9bn yuan (US$52.26bn).

AUGUST 2019


77

05

Fujitsu Tokyo

Fujitsu is the fifth largest computer hardware manufacturer in the world, and the biggest in Japan. With more than 156,000 employees worldwide, the firm holds around 78,000 patents worldwide. Notably, Fujitsu is also among the world’s top 10 server providers. In June, the electronics giant announced that it will soon release a wearable device for deaf consumers that allows then to sense sound through light and vibrations.

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T O P 10

78

04

Hewlett Packard Enterprise California

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) was born in 2015 when HP split its operation into two: this created HP Inc, the printer and PC arm of the company, and HPE which deals with enterprise products and services. This year HPE revealed that it will acquire supercomputer maker Cray Inc. in a deal valued at around $1.3bn. In June, HPE announced plans to offer its entire portfolio as a service by 2022. 

AUGUST 2019


79

03

Dell Technologies (server) Texas

When it comes to servers, Dell Technologies is widely considered one of the heavyweights in the field. According to research firm IDC, the business captured more than a 20% share of the server market during the first quarter of 2019. Speaking to Gigabit, Ravi Pendekanti, Senior Vice President of Server Solutions Product Management and Marketing at Dell EMC, said: “We truly believe the servers are the bedrock of the modern data set. We’re thrilled to be number one in the server market but we’re not going to rest easy.”

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T O P 10

02

HP

California

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one of the largest computer hardware firms, according to Forbes. It was founded in 1939 by William

80

Hewlett and David Packard and today is consistently recognised as one of the world’s most sustainable companies in the sector. In June, the firm released its 2018 sustainability report whereby it pledged to increase recycled content plastic in its personal systems and print hardware and supplies to 30% by 2025.

AUGUST 2019


81

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T O P 10

01

Apple

California

Selling around 9.7mn iPads, 46.9mn iPhones, and 5.3mn Macs during the fourth-quarter of 2018, Apple has clinched the top spot as the world’s largest computer

82

hardware firm, according to Forbes. In the 2018 financial year spanning October 2017 to September 2018, Apple said that its revenue came to a total of $265.6bn. In June, Apple confirmed plans to significantly expand its presence in Seattle by bringing 2,000 new jobs to the city over the next five years.Â

AUGUST 2019


83

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

We round up the biggest and best technology events and conferences from around the world… EDITED BY LAURA MULLAN

84

06-11 SEPT 2019 IFA BERLIN

12 SEPT 2019 Tech Leaders Summit

[ BERLIN, GERMANY ]

[ LONDON, UK ]

The IFA (or Internationale Funkausstel-

Promising to be the UK’s largest sum-

lung Berlin) is one of the oldest 

mit for tech leaders, Tech Leaders

industrial exhibitions in Germany. It’s

Summit will bring together over 40

also known as one of the world’s lead-

speakers and 500 senior IT execu-

ing trade shows for consumer elec-

tives. The summit plans to explore

tronics and home appliances. At the

four key streams: Cloud and IT Strat-

event, more than 1,800 exhibitors are

egy; Data and Security; Diversity,

expected to showcase the latest devel-

Recruitment and Staffing; and AI and

opments in consumer electronics and

Technological Innovation. In doing so,

home appliances. Therefore, visitors can

it hopes to offers a 360-degree view

get a close look at some of the latest

of the technologies and trends shak-

devices long before they hit the shelves.

ing up businesses across the globe.

AUGUST 2019


04–08 NOV 2019

09-10 OCT 2019

GITEX Technology Week

SecTor 2019

[ DUBAI, UAE ]

[ TORONTO, CANADA ]

Claiming to be one of the biggest

Held at the Metro Toronto Convention

technology shows in the MENA and

Centre in Toronto, SecTor is a must-

South Asia region, GITEX Technology

attend event for any IT professional.

Week plans to investigate the latest

The event claims to be ‘Canada’s

technology trends, present high calibre

premier cybersecurity conference’

speakers and showcase product

and will help IT professionals strength-

innovations from across the globe.

en their corporate defenses and

Over 111,000 visitors and 4,800

mitigate security threats. The two-day

exhibitors attended the five-day show

event will offer the latest technical

last year, making it a must-attend

research, hands on practical experi-

event for any technology professional.

ence, and more.

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85


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

86

28–31 OCT 2019

04–08 NOV 2019

Cisco Live Cancun

Microsoft Ignite 2019

[ CANCUN, MEXICO ]

[ ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA ]

Cisco’s annual customer and partner

Microsoft Ignite is Microsoft’s annual

conference, Cisco Live, aims to help

meeting created for enterprise

businesses prepare for their digital

professionals, services and products.

transformation journeys. Attendees

Offering everything from deep product

will be able to immerse themselves in

dives to hands-on labs and immersive

five days of sessions, hands-on train-

experiences, Microsoft Ignite will cover

ing and 1:1 meetings. Additionally, at-

a wide range of topics such as deploy-

tendees will be able to learn about

ment, development, architecture security

Cisco’s products, technologies and

as well as operations and management.

services which could help them grow

At last year’s event, the keynote speaker

their business.

was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

AUGUST 2019


04–07 NOV 2019

VMworld 2019 Europe [ BARCELONA, SPAIN ]

87

Touting itself as “the preeminent digital infrastructure event of the year”,

24-27 FEB 2020

VMworld is a global conference for vir-

MWC

tualization and cloud computing hosted

[ BARCELONA, SPAIN ]

by VMware. Attendees will learn from

With thousands set to descend on

top VMware and industry experts about

Barcelona for the event, MWC (formerly

what’s coming next in IT. Additionally,

Mobile World Congress) promises

attendees will be able to network with

to be an unmissable technology

peers, make new connects, get direct

congress. Hosting groundbreaking

experience and training with hands-on

innovations from almost 2,500

labs and discover new product break-

companies and over 100,000 dele-

throughs. Last year, 13,000 attendees

gates, MWC stands as one of the

and 3,500+ companies from across the

largest conferences in the world

globe gathered to attend the event.

centered around mobile technologies.

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88

Transforming the guest experience at Ormond Group’s hotels WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY

KRISTOFER PALMER

AUGUST 2019


89

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ORMOND GROUP

Ormond Group’s CTO Julian Wong guides us through the technological solutions being implemented in the group’s hotels and the benefits that guests are enjoying

I

n recent times, one-size-fits-all hotels are facing competition by locations that can cater to a specific type of customer.

Ormond Group is a Malaysia-based hospitality business which operates 13 hotels under its Tune 90

brand. With locations in Malaysia and the UK, its business model has undergone a change in response to an evolving market, taking it from a no-frills budget hotel chain where most amenities were add-ons to a more inclusive basic hotel model. Accompanying this change in its existing properties, the organisation is launching two new hotel brands in the coming months: MoMo’s, a social hotel brand featuring micro-rooms and fun communal spaces, and Ormond Hotels – its flagship boutique brand for the contemporary traveler looking for simplified luxury. Following the debut of both brands at the end of 2019, The Ormond Hotel will open in Dublin in 2021 while a MoMo’s and Ormond will open on a dual brand site on Flinders Street in Melbourne in 2022. Julian Wong, Chief Technology Officer for Ormond Group, has overseen the digital transformation AUGUST 2019


91

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SABRE HOSPITALITY SOLUTIONS: TECHNOLOGY FUELS EVERYTHING WE DO Ormond Group’s comprehensive digital transformation required the expertise and technology from established solution providers and chose to leverage on Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ industry-leading SynXis platform to propel their brand into the future. Built with evolution in mind, the platform generates a comprehensive overview of the traveler, allowing hoteliers to create a more personalized experience, and enabling revenue optimization at every touchpoint during the guest’s journey. This was exactly what Ormond Group was looking for, making their partnership with Sabre a natural fit.

EMPOWERED BY INNOVATION Migrating towards cloud technology was central to Ormond Group’s strategy, and Sabre’s innovative SynXis Central reservation systems (CRS) provides Ormond Group a single source of cloud-based solutions to put their unique distribution strategy into action. Reaching the broadest points of distribution in the industry, the versatile and scalable CRS now provides Ormond Group with the capability to drive higher direct bookings with SynXis Booking Engine and MetaConnect. A sound technology transformation also requires an optimal distribution strategy. Impressed with Sabre’s unparalleled connectivity with online travel agencies (OTAs), linking them to over 450 online channels across the globe, SynXis provides Ormond Group with a robust and reliable solution to support their operations, and ensure their rooms are available to the world’s leading OTAs. With SynXis CRS, Ormond group is also able to manage rates, inventories and descriptions on the Sabre’s Global Distribution System (GDS), enabling them to sell rooms to travel agencies worldwide.

ONE PLATFORM “Sabre’s SynXis platform is the technology partner hoteliers rely on to optimize distribution

and deliver millions of personalized experiences that maximize revenue with one hospitality platform,” said Frank Trampert, Managing Director & Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, APAC. “To this end, SynXis seamlessly connects with 120 property management systems as well as revenue, content and customer relationship systems. Because of this, data can be shared easily and simply, taking advantage of synergies and reducing costs,” he added.

PROVEN RECORD Serving more than 40,000 hotels, resorts and chains across 174 countries, Sabre Hospitality has pedigree in the hospitality industry. Having facilitated over 130m total annual bookings, driving room revenue of $25.2bn, Sabre Hospitality is trusted by Ormond Group and firms large and small to maximize value and optimize the process of hospitality distribution. Sabre Hospitality’s SynXis is the platform of choice for hospitality properties undergoing a digital transformation. “We partnered with Sabre Hospitality Solutions for their leading SynXis platform,” said Julian Wong, CTO of Ormond Group. “This forms the core of our hotel systems, working hand in hand with PMS and CRM to drive our business strategy – increasing direct bookings, enabling personalization, streamlining our operations and providing a superior guest experience.”

FRANK TRAMPERT

Managing Director & Chief Commercial Officer Sabre Hospitality Solutions


ORMOND GROUP

“As a group, we want to provide what is essential to our guests and look at ways of optimising the human touch, not removing it” — Julian Wong, Group Chief Technology Officer

94

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ORMOND GROUP’ 95 taking place across its current and

Tune is a limited service hotel, focused on

future locations.

the five essentials – a 5-star bed, hot power shower, cleanliness, 24-hour

INFRASTRUCTURE

security and finally high-speed wifi.

For modern hotel guests, technology is

Therefore we really needed to ensure

often the first thing that comes to mind

that our wifi infrastructure could stand

upon their arrival. “We realise that the

up to that promise. After review,

most important priority for any guest is

Ormond Group employed the services

reliable and fast wifi,” says Wong. “That’s

of Ruckus Networks to provide a high

normally the first thing that guests ask for

quality, reliable service to its guests.

when they check into a hotel. ‘What is the

“Ruckus is a proven technology and the

wifi password? How do I log in?’” Owing

support is excellent,” says Wong. “In

to that, one of Wong’s first tasks was

terms of speed, our results show that

ensuring that network infrastructure was

Ruckus is the best option. It gives us

fit for purpose in Ormond’s hotels. “As

peace of mind for the next five, six, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


ORMOND GROUP

96

seven years.” Forming good relationships with

ing our guests’ needs, wants and requirements is key to providing great

guests is vital in the hospitality industry,

service.” To manage its room bookings,

and Wong has implemented customer

Ormond Group partners with Sabre

relationship management (CRM)

Hospitality to leverage its SynXis Central

systems to better understand Ormond

Reservations system. Completing a trio

Group’s guests. “We went through

of core hotel systems is the property

a lengthy evaluation for all our systems,

management system (PMS), vital for

and picked Cendyn CRM,” he explains.

organising things such as maintenance

“One of the most important parts of our

and personnel. For its PMS systems,

data collection is knowing our guests.

Ormond Group relies on Opera by

In the hospitality industry, understand-

Oracle. “Every question that we asked

AUGUST 2019


Oracle with regards to Opera, they responded back very quickly. They even took the trouble to come onsite to do workshops with us to ensure that we utilize fully all of Opera’s features. We’ll continue to work closely with Oracle to ensure Opera’s implementation in our new brand hotels.” Operating in unison, the three systems help to implement the group’s goals, such as increasing direct bookings, better understanding guests and streamlining hotel operations. To complement its food and beverage operations, Ormond Group deploys the Agilysys InfoGenesis point of sale (POS) system across its various hotels,

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Julian Wong Julian joined the hospitality industry when he was hired as IT Manager for the pre-opening of Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. He was promoted to Regional Director of IT for Southeast Asia at hotel chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts, where he had over 45 hotels and resorts under his stewardship. Julian moved on to join Tune Hotels Group, which, as of August 2017, is now known as Ormond Group following completion of the Marriott/Starwood merger.

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interfacing with PMS and allowing

very bold decision was made to not

guests to seamlessly perform a room

include phones in rooms, leading to many

charge directly to their room folios.

of our guests having to go to the front desk for any basic information required.

EXPERIENCE

Now our guests can do so in the comfort

Aside from ensuring the smooth oper-

of their room, via a chatbot. Providing this

ation of its hotels, Ormond Group has

basic information via a chatbot also

found numerous opportunities to trans-

means we will never require manpower

form the experience of guests through

resources to man phones – allowing the

technology. One such initiative has

hotel ro run a lot more cost efficiently. To

resulted in the ongoing trial of an AI

date, on average, we’re getting about

chatbot. “We’ve been trialing the system

30 to 40 chats a day from guests, and

for six months in our airport hotel. As

if an unusual question is asked, staff can

a limited service, short stay hotel, the

take over the conversation in real time. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


ORMOND GROUP

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• Ormond Group has 13 hotels under its Tune brand, with locations in Kuala Lumpur, India and the UK • Ormond Group is launching two new hotel brands in the coming months: MoMo’s and Ormond Hotels

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AUGUST 2019


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103 It helps improve our guest experience.” Wong faced some challenges in

solutions are prohibitively expensive, especially to a company based in

making sure that the benefits of digital

Southeast Asia and at the mercy of

transformation were understood

currency fluctuations. “When it comes

throughout the organisation. “It’s very

to Malaysia, for example, the cost is

hard to show an immediate return on

four times more than it is in America

investment with IT systems – it’s different

once you factor in forex rates. This puts

from selling rooms,” says Wong. “If I sell

some things out of our reach. Based on

a room at $200 and my cost is $100,

the challenges that we have dealing

my ROI is $100. It takes a long time to

with vendors in terms of cost, we have

realise the value of putting, say, $1mn

evaluated the cost of hiring developers

into an IT system.” Wong is clear that

in Asia, developing a system and getting

such investments do bear fruit, even if

it up and running and it would still be

their effect is not immediately obvious.

cheaper than buying from Europe,” he

It can be the case, however, that some

comments. “We would love to look into w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


ORMOND GROUP

104

“In the hospitality industry, understanding our guests’ needs, wants and requirements is key to providing great service” — Julian Wong, Group Chief Technology Officer

AUGUST 2019


any possibilities of developing our own hospitality tech in the near future to overcome the various challenges we have, especially when it comes to cost feasibility.” It is clear that Ormond Group is a company with both ambition and a clear idea of the technological solutions needed to achieve its goals. Under the stewardship of Wong, there is a sense that Ormond Group’s digital transformation journey is far from over. Equally, however, as the company embarks upon the opening of its new brands, it is the pride it takes in the hospitality it provides that is propelling it onwards: “As a group, we want to provide what is essential to our guests and look at ways of optimising the human touch, not removing it,” says Wong. “Our strategy isn’t to invest in hardware that can date quickly, but to stay focused on software that can enhance our guests’ experience rather than distract from them.”

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Data-driven, impactful advertising across APAC

106

WRITTEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

KRISTOFER PALMER

AUGUST 2019


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O M D A PA C

OMD APAC uses data to provide insights on customers and markets for big name clients such as McDonald’s and Unilever. COO Rochelle Chhaya tells us more

“I

n today’s world, it’s hard to get five minutes of the consumer that is completely undivided. You are competing not just with

different brands, but with cute dogs running to their owners when they get home, with children throwing tantrums,” says Rochelle Chhaya, Chief Operating 108

Officer (COO) at OMD APAC. “You’re competing for the consumer to remember you; for share of mind. The only way you can do that is to ensure you know who that customer is and tell them a compelling story.” The media agency, part of Omnicom Media Group (OMG), has excelled by taking on the challenge of marketing its clients’ brands in an increasingly digital age. Working with some of the world’s largest companies operating in Asia, its clients include McDonald’s, Nissan and Pepsi. “OMD is a media agency – but to truly talk about what we do, I would say we are marketing consultants and partners. We work with clients on the business objective they want to achieve,” explains Chhaya, who joined the company in 2007.

AUGUST 2019


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O M D A PA C

“You’re competing for the consumer to remember you; for share of mind” — Rochelle Chhaya, COO, OMD APAC

Initially, Chhaya was brought in to introduce digital for the region, and in over a decade at the company she has led digital services for a range of clients in a variety of markets including Thailand and Singapore. “It was extremely eye opening from a digital and business building perspective, as well as in terms of managing people and cultures effectively. Thailand is one of the few markets in Asia that has never been colonised, so they have a very distinct culture, language and a strong sense of pride, with their own unique

110

way of doing things.” An element of OMD’s ability to help its clients reach their regional business goals involves managing cultural sensitivities and putting this knowledge into practice through SLAs, templates, and digital products. An understanding of the increasing role of technology is vital. “Digital has become part of life. It is a part of a consumer’s journey: we as marketers can’t keep looking at it in silo.” Beyond operating as an advertising agency, OMD provides a truly tailored service by working to understand wider business strategies as well as the AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘OMD APAC – TODAY’S CONSUMER’

market in which a client wishes to

saying ‘here’s what we need to do’

succeed. “Every country is rightly

and us reacting to it.”

unique and at different stages of

Chhaya cites McDonald’s as a key

digital adoption,” says Chhaya. You’re

example of how OMD understands

expected to be ahead of the curve

business objectives and fosters

compared to your clients. Local market

growth through partnership. The key

knowledge and resources are vital,

objective is to sell burgers, of course,

but they may lack that global level

but nowadays this is done offline as

of aptitude, so it’s a challenge to find

well as online through McDelivery.

the right talent and make sure we train,

OMD examines the goals market by

upskill and ensure clients trust our

market: “Sometimes, in a small market

staff’s knowledge and expertise.

like Singapore, we even go store by

We need to make sure we are truly

store,” notes Chhaya. “What are the

driving the client, rather than the client

KPIs, what are the goals they need w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

111


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to achieve in terms of scale?” Through

the product, or change from a competi-

asking the right questions, OMD

tor’s product. That’s our cross section

combines an awareness of the client’s

where we talk about ideation: what are

target audience and desired business

the different things we can do to make

outcomes with its own deep, market-

the change possible? How can we

specific understanding of customers.

drive efficiency in what we’re doing?”

“We put ourselves in the shoes of the

For McDonald’s, the challenge is

consumer and understand who the

to adapt to the local market and thrive

core target audience is. We try to

in an omnichannel arena – fulfilling both

understand the consumer from a

online and offline orders from the same

demography and psychography

kitchen. “At some point, demand will

perspective. We then look at, based

exceed capability to match it with supply,”

on the client’s ambitions, what change

says Chhaya. OMD has developed a

in behaviour they need from the

technology-driven platform which

consumer for them to want to consume

analyses kitchen capacity and uses

AUGUST 2019


an algorithm to show waiting times

media and digital work in tandem to

in each McDonald’s throughout

drive growth. “Where exactly should

Singapore. “The system automatically

they be seen? How exactly should they

starts a media campaign to drive

measure ROI, measure success?” asks

burger sales, or pauses the ad campaign.

Chhaya. The agency partners with

If waiting time is above 10 minutes,

technology giants such as Google and

we can pause all delivery ads for that

Facebook to accrue local insights on

location because we have enough

a global scale so businesses can learn

demand,” Chhaya explains.

how to advertise appropriately and

Clearly, this is more than running an

measure the success of their cam-

ad campaign – it’s understanding how

paigns as well as areas for improve-

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

113

Rochelle Chhaya, COO A marketing and communications specialist with 13 years of experience in both digital and investment capabilities, Rochelle Chhaya has a passion for creating new digital solutions that integrate multiple touchpoints and deliver holistic consumer experiences for brands. As Chief Operating Officer of OMD APAC, Chhaya is tasked with mapping out what the future client-centric, digitally powered and data-led agency model will look like for the network. Formerly the Chief Digital Officer for Omnicom Media Group APAC, Chhaya has comprehensive knowledge and experience to tackle the operational challenges and opportunities that arise when developing an agency model for the future. Chhaya also shares her experience and knowledge with the industry, serving as a Board Member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) SEA & India. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


O M D A PA C

ment. “We speak with Google and Facebook regularly about how we can innovate further for our clients and make sure we really push the envelope for their businesses.” That way, OMD can combine global insights from a plethora of companies and consumers that even a giant like McDonald’s could only dream of on its own. OMD and Google have launched around 200 new technology features in APAC over the past year and many have been expanded across multiple 114

clients. A strong example is TV to online attribution: clients often struggle to gauge the efficacy of TV adverts. “We sat down with Google and, using Bayesian inference, created an

Global Media Agency

1996

Year founded

10,000+

Approximate number of employees

AUGUST 2019


115

“We put ourselves in the shoes of the consumer and understand who the core target audience is” — Rochelle Chhaya, COO, OMD APAC

algorithm and baseline of brand search terms. 20 minutes prior and 20 minutes post the TV advert, we can track spikes in search terms to infer whether the TV campaign had genuinely impacted search trends.” “Everything we do today starts and ends with technology,” says Chhaya. Omnicom is set to continue leveraging digital solutions to provide local insights whilst maintaining best practice through strict guidelines and talent development. “We have an online program, face to face training w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


O M D A PA C

“We work with our clients on the business objective they want to achieve” — Rochelle Chhaya, COO, OMD APAC

116

AUGUST 2019


and a mentoring programme. We also have Omnicom University, which has training courses for the more senior staff. Each market has its own localised training agenda.” Looking to the future, OMD aims to stay ahead of the curve in an evolving industry. “For the next three years our goal is future proofing our business as well as our clients’, making sure we’re all ready for the key trends and technological improvements we see coming up,” says Chhaya. “We will ensure we have the right people in place to be able to lead in the future, the right processes in place to be agile, change and adapt, and the right partners in place so we can constantly develop new products to deliver better solutions to our clients.”

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118

Al Khaliji Commercial Bank P.Q.S.C.: Qatar’s ‘next generation bank’ powered by digital transformation WRITTEN BY

AMBER DONOVAN-STEVENS PRODUCED BY

K ANE WELLER

AUGUST 2019


119

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A L K H A L I J I C O M M E R C I A L B A N K P. Q . S . C

In an exclusive interview with the Head of Information and Communication Technology of Al Khaliji, Saltuk Benderlioglu shares the transformation the commercial bank is undertaking to maintain its digital edge

A

l Khaliji Commercial Bank P.Q.S.C is Qatar’s pioneer ‘next generation bank’, offering a full range of conventional

banking products and services to Premium, 120

Business, Corporate, and International clients in Qatar and France. Though the bank is little over a decade old, it has amassed awards such as Best Corporate Bank for two years consecutively, Best Private Bank in 2019, and Fastest Growing Bank. Saltuk Benderlioglu was part of the establishment of Al Khaliji when it came into operation in 2008. In 2014, he became Head of Information and Communication Technology. “In my role as Head of IT, it is my responsibility to steer our bank through the uncharted territory of unpredictable technology trends,” he explains. “This includes Internet of Things, machine learning, AI, data analytics, blockchain and robot advisers. In this role I need to understand the technological climate to ensure that our bank maintains its competitive edge.” He emphasises that, with the AUGUST 2019


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A L K H A L I J I C O M M E R C I A L B A N K P. Q . S . C

“Security of data is always our first priority” — Saltuk Benderlioglu, Head of Information and Communication Technology

growth of technology, the need for information security only increases, adding that heads of IT have a responsibility to ensure that new and creative solutions are combating cybersecurity challenges. Benderlioglu says that banks take years to establish, and that the company has adjusted its banking strategy over the years to match changes in climate. It has done this by initiating corresponding technology projects, such as core banking replacement. “Technology is driving the business environment, but when

122

devising our business strategy, technology must always follow the business,” says Benderlioglu, emphasising that the most important factor in the company’s current transformation plan is agility. “This ensures that we maintain our competitive edge, and keep ahead as the ‘next generation bank’.”

BECOMING THE ‘NEXT GENERATION BANK’ “To be the ‘next generation bank’ is to be a step ahead of where we are in the financial services market in which we operate. This means remaining technologically advanced.” Benderlioglu warns, however, of the risk that AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘MEET JASSIM AND NOOR’ 123 accompanies this challenge, as

bank is technologically transforming

technological trends have the

to become the ‘next generation bank’.

potential to lead businesses astray

“Al Khaliji is moving towards cloud

from the market or business model.

computing with slow but steady steps,”

It is to this end that Al Khaliji proceeds

says Benderlioglu. “Currently, the

with caution and thorough analytics.

bank is focusing on hybrid options,

“The ‘next generation bank’ is able to

which means being able to run

make educated, high-quality deci-

services both from the cloud and with

sions, on the state of technology in

services on the premises.” In addition

order to remain a leader in financial

to this, Al Khaliji is building upon its

services,” he explains. “The other

AI capabilities. “AI applies first to our

quality of a ‘next generation bank’

analytics. Our IT strategy divides into

is maintaining appeal to younger

two major sections: transactional

generations of customers.”

banking and analytical banking.”

There are many ways in which the

He notes that AI is particularly relevant w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Delivering the Vision: A Technology Journey In 2007 there was real excitement around a bank in the Gulf that wanted to do things differently. Al Khaliji had a powerful vision of developing the next generation of banking services, using the latest innovative technologies to fuel its expansion across the region. Vedas was part of that journey from the early days. It was Al Khaliji’s first local technology partner and remains a key supplier of software and professional services – in fact, the only partner still working with Al Khaliji twelve years later thanks to its deep payments industry expertise and ability to support the bank with continual innovation and digital transformation. Business Development Director Christine Rayes recalls that “Banks in the Gulf were ahead of many of their European counterparts because they were able to invest in new technologies without worrying about legacy infrastructure. What clinched the deal for Vedas was our ability to offer instant issuance for EMV smartcards – something that hadn’t yet been done in Europe, where customers still waited several days for their new debit and credit cards to arrive by mail.” The Al Khaliji infrastructure created a full lifecycle approach to card management, which was extremely unusual at that time. It included EMV card issuing and acquiring, as well as ATM and POS transaction switching and kiosk-based services. Back-office functionality was integrated on the same platform, including settlement, reconciliation and dispute management. Vedas rose to the challenge of helping to build this new transactional banking ecosystem and began its enduring relationship with the bank’s technology team. The age of 24 x 7 payment processing, with improved transaction speeds, enhanced data availability and multi-channel customer interactions had arrived. Al Khaliji was one of the first banks in the region to move towards a flexible and scalable service-oriented infrastructure for card and non-card payments, setting the bar high for competitors to follow. Over the last decade, the world of payments has continually evolved, with increasing need for open architecture and easier integration of new services. Al Khaliji’s original vision means the bank is always ready to adopt new ways of serving its customers as their preferences shift to digital and mobile channels and e-commerce has become increasingly important. Here too, Vedas is recognised as an industry leader, with its unique combination of world-class solutions experience and local knowledge. The company’s Apex suite of software solutions is designed specifically to address the functional and regulatory requirements of banks in the Gulf region and to complement solutions from Vedas’s global technology partners. Since 2011, this suite of capabilities has grown significantly to reflect the ever-changing payments

landscape. “Banks have been increasingly focused on building customer relationships through loyalty, big data management and analytics,” explains Christine Rayes. “At the same time, we have developed extensive tokenization and cybersecurity solutions to help clients address the risks of doing business in the online world.” Vedas has also become one of the region’s most experienced and accredited providers of mobile payments solutions. The evolution of payments continues at a pace which means that there will always be new technology projects to enable change and innovation in customer-facing banking services. What does Vedas see happening in the Gulf market over the coming years? Across the region, banks are facing increased competition in provision of payment services, with new entrants including technology platform providers and FinTech companies. The pace of technology change is faster than ever and there are big opportunities for innovation. Banks need to define new strategies to enable rapid and seamless delivery, focused on building strong relationships with customers and increasing revenue by introducing new services. Reputations will be established on the ability to innovate and willingness to embrace the next generation of new technologies. Security of transactions and customer data will be key to success, along with a focus on omnichannel payments strategies as the differences between payment types and markets become increasingly blurred. In technology terms, this means handling real-time account-to-account transactions, contactless and NFC payments, QR codes, mobile P2P and strong authentication solutions. There are new possibilities presented by blockchain and future-proof payment hubs; but there are also challenges associated with compliance and customer demands in an increasingly global payments market. Through its commitment to deliver innovative solutions in this space, Vedas has expanded its Apex Suite with new and exciting applications covering all the payments solutions made possible by those technological enablers, from blockchain, to instant payments and tokenization. “Vedas is on an exciting journey with Al Khaliji,” concludes Christine Rayes. “We are very proud to have continued this collaborative and trusted relationship with a highly valued client. As payments evolution continues, Vedas looks forward to supporting Al Khaliji’s vision for the next decade.”

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A L K H A L I J I C O M M E R C I A L B A N K P. Q . S . C

126

to the latter, and that the bank is

from the beginning in order to have

working on systems to assist with the

a good analytics framework for your

decision making aspect. This includes

internal decision making.” Al Khaliji

aspects of compliance, which has also

began its implementation of analytics

improved with the implementation of AI.

internally, focusing on regular reporting,

“These areas are where we have our

management information, decision mak-

foot in the AI world, and our starting

ing systems and compliance. Bender-

point before we move to offering direct

lioglu attributes part of this success

AI solutions to our customers.”

to one of the bank’s partners, Tyconz,

Benderlioglu shares that the

which helped establish the founda-

adoption of these new technologies

tions for analytics. “We are now in a

is not without its challenges. “The

position to offer our analytical power

trickiest part of data and analytics is

to our customers, and we are in the

that the foundation needs to be right

process of preparing to offer this to

AUGUST 2019


our corporate clients.” This will allow

Benderlioglu says that the largest

customers to access their own

challenge was managing expecta-

information in the speedy and efficient

tions. Benderlioglu is referring to the

way that is increasingly demanded by

wide variety of associations that can

today’s consumer.

be had with a robot, from basic

One notable innovation from the

automation to the most creative

bank is the creation of humanoid

science-fiction inventions. “We have

robots, Jassim and Noor. “Our

to ensure that the robot is always

humanoid robots are implemented in

presented in the context of banking,”

our sales strategy. As these human-

he elaborates. “This is a customer

oids can move on their own, we

service designed for the banking

present them at customer-based

population.” It is for this reason that

events,” explains Benderlioglu. When

the humanoids act as ‘ambassadors’

asked of the challenges presented

of the bank, and not a direct sales

when creating the humanoids,

point. Despite this, they have the

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Saltuk Benderlioglu Saltuk Benderlioglu is the Head of Information and Communication Technology at Al Khalij Commercial Bank. Mr. Benderlioglu has 20 years of experience in Banking Industry specialising in technology transformation projects. He joined Al Khalij Commercial Bank during the greenfield establishment of the bank in 2007 and implemented a number of technology initiatives since then. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ankara and earned his MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

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potential to act as a ‘lead’ for a

“To comply with GDPR, we have a sepa-

member of the sales team, should

rate storage facility for our European

they interact with a customer with

operations. When information needs

greater requirements.

to be exchanged for compliance, we

With the rise of Big Data, AI and

interact with European and, in particu-

analytics, the need for security is

lar, French regulations.” Benderlioglu

greater than ever. “Security of data is

notes that Al Khaliji’s vast knowledge

always our first priority,” asserts

of regulation also offers potential.

Benderlioglu, “and regulation is

“By understanding these laws across

paramount to a bank that operates in

different countries, it provides us with

multiple countries, as regulation varies

a better understanding of data and the

across regions.” This is particularly

new ways in which it can be utilised

relevant to Al Khaliji, as the bank must

in countries we operate in outside of

take into account compliance with

Europe. This allows us to provide

GDPR in its French subsidiary.

greater security to all of our customers.”

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘NEW TO QATAR’

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A L K H A L I J C O M M E R C I A L B A N K P. Q . S . C

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“Technology is driving the business environment, but when devising our business strategy, technology must always follow the business” — Saltuk Benderlioglu, Head of Information and Communication Technology

technological shift, and this has required effective communication and education both internally to our staff and externally to customers and regulators.” Benderlioglu said that overseeing this process was a challenge, as it is not an easy process, but Al Khaliji has done it exceptionally well. “If you fail to implement change management, you cannot conduct successful, large projects in sequence.” Al Khaliji has two offices within the bank that are responsible with coordinating this process: a small, effective IT office,

This knowledge is highly valued by

and an overall strategy for projects

Al Khaliji’s customers, as the bank

functionality that reports directly to the

communicates with every demographic

CEO. “The CEO office itself has a

of readership through its social media

strategy and project management lead,

platforms and corporate communica-

which works in full coordination with all

tions department. “Our customers are

the stakeholders, but particularly with

demanding,” says Benderlioglu. “They

the project and strategy office in the IT

want to know what is happening with

department. This is required of a fast

their data, and it is our responsibility to

paced bank like us, and this is what

reassure them and keep them abreast

makes us the ‘next generation bank’.”

of our updated security solutions.”

Should the bank need additional help with implementing a strategy, it

CHANGE MANAGEMENT

chooses to approach specialist

“We have implemented the art of change

consultants. “Boston Consulting Group

management,” says Benderlioglu,

assisted us and helped us with

reflecting on the transformation thus

implementing a new strategy a few

far. “We have been through a rapid

years ago,” says Benderlioglu. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

133


A L K H A L I J I C O M M E R C I A L B A N K P. Q . S . C

“To be the ‘next generation bank’ is to be a step ahead of where we are in the financial services market in which we operate. This means remaining technologically advanced” 134

— Saltuk Benderlioglu, Head of Information and Communication Technology

Digital transformation has caused

a company that is right for Al Khaliji

a significant shift in culture, but

because it consistently develops its

Benderlioglu asserts that this has only

solutions with agility.” He notes that

strengthened Al Khaliji’s relationship

a long-term key partner is VEDAS, as

with its vendors. “Al Khaliji seeks a long

it supports Al Khaliji in the payments

term partnership with its vendors,”

sector. “It can be more of a challenge

he says. “We are diligent in finding the

to engage and maintain new technologies

right solution for us and our customers.

when attention is primarily focused on

We have our solutions customised for

the day to day running of the bank, but

us, and seek to fully understand and

VEDAS brings us the latest innovations

build upon each tailored solution.

and informs us of new technological

One excellent example is Temenos,

advancements across the world.”

AUGUST 2019


135

THE FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS

regular discussions take place with

Qatar is a fast moving economy, and

regulators, resulting in a modification

as Al Khaliji looks to the future, its

or introduction of policy. With the

strategy places it in a prime position to

conscientious nature of the bank,

remain at the forefront of technological

and its educated understanding of the

growth across the region. Benderlioglu

movement of the technology market,

notes that, as Al Khaliji presses on

it certainly will continue to establish

through its digital transformation, it will

itself as the ‘next generation bank.’

be pushed to reconsider regulatory boundaries. He adds that technological advancements move ahead of regulations, and so it is imperative that w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


IT'S NOT JUST AN AIRLINE. IT'S ISRAEL

136

EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINE NAVIGATING DIGITAL T TO BECOME A ‘SMART WRITTEN BY

AMBER DONOVAN-STEVENS

AUGUST 2019

PRODUCED BY

K ANE WELLER


137

ES: TRANSFORMATION AIRLINE’ w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES

SHAHAR MARKOVITCH, THE CHIEF DIGITAL AND INFORMATION OFFICER OF EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES, EXPLAINS HOW THE ADOPTION OF AI AND DATA ANALYTICS IS STRENGTHENING EL AL AS THE ‘SMART AIRLINE’ OF THE STARTUP NATION.

E

L AL is Israel’s national airline, boasting close to 6mn customers a year and US$2bn in annual revenue. Before joining

EL AL as the airline’s Chief Digital and Information Officer, Shahar Markovitch was the Chief Digital 138

Officer of Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks. Prior to that, he was a partner of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and as such brings experience of shaping the digital strategy and leading digital and IT transformations of organisations all over the world. A little over a year ago, Markovitch brought this expertise to EL AL to assist in the creation of a new division that combines IT and digital to drive the technological transformation of the company. Markovitch begins by sharing that there are two key disruptions in the airline industry today. The first is “the digital airline, which is a combination of both new business models like the low-cost carrier model with new open sky regulation.” Secondly, he adds that “the customer is becoming more digital”, with access to dozens of options for booking their flight. Yet Markovitch also says that there is a new AUGUST 2019


139

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EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES

revolution hurtling towards the airline

airlines are one of the industries to

industry: the ‘smart airline’ revolution

benefit most from AI and machine

- major disruption fueled by a combina-

learning technologies,” he says.

tion of data and machine learning.

“When we built our strategy for EL AL’s

A key component of a smart airline

technology and digital transformation,

is the ability to leverage AI, machine

we realised that we need to win in these

learning and analytics to deliver a better,

two fronts at the same time. On the one

more personalised customer experi-

hand, we had to fully transition to a

ence, drive revenues and profitability,

‘digital airline’ to remain competitive,

and improve operational efficiency.

on the other hand, we must build capa-

“According to research, due to the

bilities for becoming a smart airline

massive complexity of the business,

in order to remain ahead of the next

140

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES: MILESSTONES’ 141

disruption.” EL AL also realised that one of its main differentiators in the technology space is the fact that it is the airline of

native” capabilities in its day to day life? 3. How do we make EL AL’s “IT factory” a competitive differentiator?

the ‘startup nation,’ being immersed in ecosystems in the world. This gave birth

1. IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY AND ROADMAP FOR THE ‘SMART AIRLINE’

to its vision of becoming the smart airline

EL AL started with defining a clear

of the startup nation.

roadmap on how technology as a

one of the most vibrant tech and startup

To achieve this vision, the company

whole will transform the company.

defined a transformation plan centered

“This is what our business should

around the following questions:

look like in the future across all areas

1. How will technology affect every aspect of our airline operations? 2. How will EL AL infuse “digital

of operation, from front to back – anything from having leading digital websites all the way through having w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Don’t guess how people feel about your business. Let them tell you. Experience Management is here. Understand what your customers are feeling and act on it. sap.com/XM Š 2019 SAP SE or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved.


LET’S MOVE THE WORLD, TOGETHER At SITA we’re co-innovating with customers to give passengers greater control over their travel experiences. Through increased self-service options and more real-time information we’re ensuring they’ll enjoy more seamless journeys through the airport. Because when air travel is simple, it has the power to move passengers emotionally as well as physically. sita.aero


automated back-end operations to

nance of its planes. As components to

dynamic and smart routing and giving

planes are expensive, aircraft are

our employees better smart digital

regularly maintained. Every few

tools,” says Markovitch. Given the

months each plane is taken apart and

importance of operational excellence

reassembled again to inspect all of its

for airlines, a large part of the roadmap

components. To manage this, Marko-

addressed these areas. For example,

vitch explains, EL AL has implemented

one of the areas where EL AL sees

a system designed by Swiss Aviation

huge potential for leveraging technology

called AMOS, which digitised the

to transform operations is the mainte-

end-to-end maintenance process.

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Shahar Markovitch Shahar Markovitch is Chief Digital and Information Officer of EL AL Israel Airlines as of March 2018. Shahar joins El Al from Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, where he served as Chief Digital Officer, responsible for digital strategy and roadmap, customer experience, digital platforms, and all digital related projects. As part of his role there, Shahar launched a number of award winning digital products, including bit, Israel’s largest p2p payment app. Previously he was a partner in McKinsey & Company, focusing on digital, technology, and innovation, and leading digital transformations for the world’s leading organisations. Before McKinsey, Shahar held technology and leadership positions in a number of Israeli high-tech startups and Partner communication. Shahar holds a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction in Computer Science and Math from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Master in Business Administration from MIT in Cambridge, USA with a 5.0/5.0 GPA. He was recognised as Israel top 100 inf luential people in digital for 2017.

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145


EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES

“A KEY COMPONENT OF A SMART AIRLINE IS THE ABILITY TO LEVERAGE AI, MACHINE LEARNING AND ANALYTICS TO IMPROVE THE AIRLINE WITH THE EXTRACTED DATA” 146

— Shahar Markovitch, Chief Digital and Information Officer, El Al Israel

AUGUST 2019


147

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EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES

148

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• One terabyte of data is generated from every flight • EL AL is Israel’s national airline boasting close to 6mn customers a year, and US$2bn in annual revenue

AUGUST 2019


EL AL is also extending this system to create a fully paperless maintenance process where all of the ground technicians will use tablets for maintenance activities. Another example is end-to-end management of finances and process management. “We are working with SAP to digitise, automate and create the technology backbone for our entire finance and procurement operations, including some of our warehouse management activities,” says Markovitch. This allows agreater streamlining of operations, saving time and money.

2. INFUSING “DIGITAL NATIVE” CAPABILITIES IN THE DAY TO DAY LIFE OF THE AIRLINE As part of the transformation, EL AL is focusing on embedding “digital native” capabilities that are a must have for every company operating in the digital age in the areas of customer experience, digital platforms, and data and analytics. “We start with customer experience, and how our plan fits with the end to end customer journey,” Markovitch explains. “It’s about how we leverage methodologies like design thinking to drive the actual value w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

149


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$2.1.bn Approximate revenue (USD)

business makes, and using insights to increase profitability. These capabilities work together to deliver innovative digital products to EL AL’s customers. For example, customer

1948

Year founded

6,000

Approximate number of employees

research showed that one of the issues for customers traveling abroad is the cost of a taxi to the airport. As a response, EL AL developed an innovative digital platform called “Taxi Pool”. This is one of the first services of its kind, designed to facilitate sharing taxis for customers who travel from the airport to the same hotel or hotels in close proximity. The system connects people who are

proposition that we offer our customers

taking the same flight, matching up

as part of our overall transformation

groups who can pool a taxi to save

roadmap.” Then EL AL considers its

money. This service is provided by EL

digital platforms, which includes not

AL to customers all over the world, no

only upgrading its digital channels but

matter what airline they are using.

also transforming the way the company

These capabilities are further

thinks of and develops these channels,

accelerated by implementing startup

moving from “a project view of the world,

technology solutions. One example is

to a product view of the world” with the

a hybrid chatbot EL AL launched to

aspiration of operating like a “native

assist customers, which can be

digital player”. The last value multiplier is

accessed through WhatsApp or

leveraging data and advanced analytics,

Facebook Messenger. The hybrid bot

which Markovitch says is essentially

mixes state of the art AI with human

managing data as an asset, embedding

support. Should the bot be unable to

data-driven tools into every decision the

provide a solution to the customer, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

151


AMOS. AGAIN.

AMOS, the world-class M&E software solution, supports EL AL’s vision to become a paperless company. Swiss-AS recognizes EL AL as one of the early adopters when it comes to digitizing and then later digitalizing all maintenance processes. EL AL is a customer that is investing a lot of effort in fully understanding the potential that lies in AMOS and exploiting it to the maximum.

“ Implementing AMOS in our organization enabled us to have end to end solution with full transparency of M&E processes & costs. We can now better control the work in all our departments, improve our inventory management and establish better automated connections to our customers and suppliers. AMOS enables us to constantly improve our processes to be lean & efficient.” EL AL’s Department Manager SW implementation in M&E

SWISS-AS.COM

member of the support team, without

3. TURNING THE IT FACTORY TO A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

the customer ever needing to be aware

Markovitch highlights that the third pillar

of this shift. Another example of a

of the company’s digital transformation

digital platform that combines data and

is upgrading its technology factory. This

analytics with advanced data analytics

focuses on transforming the entire

is Bid2Fly. This solution uses data

technology stack to enable faster time

analytics to analyse low sale flights

to market and greater flexibility while

and combine that with the buying

ensuring resilience and security in

patterns of a customer. If a customer is

everything EL AL does. Part of this

unlikely to buy a flight, they have the

includes moving towards a more agile

opportunity to save up to 50% on a

way of working and changing the

flight by bidding on it at auction that

software architecture and infrastructure.

may not have sold at all otherwise.

In this activity as well, the focus is on

there is a seamless connection to a

AUGUST 2019


bringing business value and competitive

flexibility the business demands.

advantage through the technology

EL AL has also implemented a Big Data

factory. For example, “How do we

solution based on Cloudera. “The

enable better services for our custom-

queues, the various dates, and the

ers through API and open systems?

analytics we run on the Cloudera

What value can we bring by accelerating

infrastructure are to decide what kind of

our move to the cloud, and how will the

marketing message we should provide,

automation of our IT operation improve

and how to better appeal to each

our customer satisfaction?”

customer,” he explains.

When faced with the goal of creating a

As EL AL looks to the future,

more personalised customer experience

Markovitch says that there is already a

using its Adobe marketing automation

lot in the pipeline. After a recent upgrade

solution, the focus was on finding a

to the mobile app, the company has

solution that could process large

launched a new website, which will

amounts of data but also provide the

improve upon customer engagement and allow customers to access and better understand their frequent traveller miles. Additionally, the airline is acquiring new planes, including the Dreamliner 787, which are being equipped with Wi-Fi. “Overall, we’re going through quite a lot of changes and technology is a vital part of these changes.” With a clear path set, it is without a doubt that EL AL will continue to strengthen its position as the ‘smart airline’ of the startup nation.

IT'S NOT JUST AN AIRLINE. IT'S ISRAEL

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

153


154

SUPPORTING COMMERCIAL STRATEGY WITH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

AUGUST 2019


155

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ACCENTURE TECHNOLOGY

Philippe Chauffard, Managing Director of Accenture’s Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure division, advocates for a multithread cloud evolution, driven by the business case

T

he enterprise is entering a new “post-digital” era, where success will be based on how companies can apply new technol-

ogies in people-centric ways, creating personalised experiences for customers, employees and 156

business partners. As technological innovation continues to accelerate – with new, more powerful solutions coming to market on an almost daily basis – few people could be blamed for feeling like dinosaurs, watching all the other animals board an Ark with ‘cloud’ written on the side of it. However, while the vast majority of companies have begun their digital transformation journeys, such as migration to the public cloud, the collective journey is still very much in its early stages. “75-80% of all enterprises are doing cloud in various shapes or forms, but if you look at how much of their estates they’ve actually migrated or leveraged into cloud, it’s still fairly small,” comments Philippe Chauffard, Managing Director of Accenture’s Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure division. “While everybody is doing it, a lot of people are still in the early stages.” AUGUST 2019


157

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ACCENTURE TECHNOLOGY

“While almost everybody is doing cloud, a lot of people are still in the early stages” — Philippe Chauffard, Managing Director, Accenture Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure

Combining a wealth of experience with specialised skills across more than 40 industries, Accenture is a leading provider of professional services at the intersection of business and technology. Employing over 477,000 professionals, the company has empowered businesses of every size to realise their strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations goals since 1989. Today, in 2019, Accenture’s Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure segment exists on the front lines of a global digital transformation

158

powered by Industry 4.0. Helping guide Accenture’s clients and partners on this multi-thread journey, Chauffard is uniquely positioned to provide insight into both the changing state of the digital transformation game and Accenture’s role in delivering a sustainable, cloud-based future. In a world where the average length of time between an employee switching jobs has shrunk to 3.2 years for workers aged 25-34, Chauffard’s 31 years at Accenture stand in stark contrast to the modern economy. “It’s true that mine is becoming a bit of an unusual career track, but in AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TECH VISION 2019: OVERVIEW’ 159 my time at Accenture I’ve held so many

In the world of technological innova-

different roles across different indus-

tion and digital transformation, change

tries and programmes – Accenture’s

appears constant and blindingly fast.

positioning and strengths have given

Chauffard, however, is in a perfect

me the opportunity to lead programmes

position to observe the slower, more

that would not have been possible with

tectonic transformations occurring

other companies in terms of scale and

beneath the surface. This big picture

complexity,” Chauffard explains. Working

perspective gives him valuable insight

across all five continents, his position

into the key strategic enablers of a suc-

always focused on infrastructure in

cessful cloud migration, and the ways

some form, which he combines with

in which the digital infrastructure indus-

Accenture’s cloud agenda in his current

try is maturing to a point where evolu-

role, taken on in September 2018. “It’s

tion in support of value realization,

been exciting, and as long as it stays ex-

not revolution for technology’s sake,

citing, I’m in the right place,” he enthuses.

is the mantra for progress. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Are you ready to embrace a multi-cloud reality? By Gary Robinson, EMEA Director, Global System Integrators, Commvault When the advertising at train stations or on the side of every other taxi is talking about the importance of cloud computing and its business benefits, trying to decide the best combination of cloud solutions to manage the variety of data sets, critical workloads, applications and emerging technologies, such as AI, Internet of Things or blockchain, can be confusing. According to Gartner, enterprise IT spending for cloud-based offerings will grow faster than traditional (non-cloud) IT offerings through 2022. By 2022, cloud shift across key enterprise IT markets will increase to 28%, up from 19% in 2018 and organisations without a cloud-first strategy where the cloud is primary, prioritised and promoted, will likely fall behind competitors. As well as this groundswell towards the cloud, today’s CIOs are increasingly recognising that single provider cloud solutions are less-and-less fit for purpose when it comes to addressing the data challenges of today, and the demanding business requirements of tomorrow. To put this into context, a recent IDC study found that the volume of data on earth is predicted to increase from 33 Zettabytes (ZB), in 2018 to 175ZB by 2025, half of which will be stored in public cloud storage. It can be challenging enough to manage terabytes of data across multiple environments with one cloud provider, just imagine doing this with zettabytes of disparate data sets, across multiple cloud providers all offering variations of private, public, hybrid environments and different SLAs to boot. People aside, data has become the most important asset for organisations operating in today’s digital economy. The shift to cloud has been an underlying enabler for the digital transformation boom of the last decade, but a bi-product of this (increasingly multi-cloud), shift has been unprecedented challenges to manage, use and secure data.

Data responsibility is one of the central challenges that organisations now face today, but most often, traditional tools simply don’t cut it when it comes to handling workloads across different cloud environments or multiple platforms. While there are plenty of niche solutions that work well enough in specific environments, surely this single-use approach actually encourages vendor lock-in and increases complexity rather than solving it? By minimising the risk of cloud provider lock-in; providing service resiliency and migration opportunities; and offering the benefits of agility, scalability and elasticity along the way, hybrid and multi-cloud approaches are no longer a matter of if, rather a matter of when. And, this in turn has fuelled the need for data management solutions that can ensure data is protected and managed across whatever platform or variety of cloud infrastructure it lives in. In a multi-cloud, hybrid environment, where change is the only true constant, an organisation’s ability to protect data, move it around freely, recover it and have a single view of its data assets is critical to its future success. Whether you’ve yet to begin or have already started your cloud migration roadmap, working with the right partners can accelerate your journey to the cloud and, at the same time, empower your business to stay ahead of the competition. At Commvault, we love what we do. And we love working with Accenture. The Accenture Cloud Innovation Center, coupled with our best-in-class features and functionality, we’ve got all your questions and needs covered when it comes to delivering a data management and cloud strategy fit for the hybrid and multi-cloud world of tomorrow.

LEARN MORE


ACCENTURE TECHNOLOGY

162

“First of all, a key lesson I’ve learned

for new technological adoption is an

from working on many different initia-

increasingly prevalent approach, both

tives with Accenture’s clients is that

as the industry becomes more mature

technology challenges are not the big-

and considered, and also as the power

gest challenges,” Chauffard explains.

of cloud infrastructure is better under-

“At the end of the day, technology is a

stood. “The conversation has shifted,”

means to an end. If you look at the last

Chauffard explains. “In the past, a cloud

two to five years, industry disruptions

roadmap was drawn up with cost reduc-

have all been powered by technology

tion as the focus, and that’s changed.

evolutions. It’s such an exciting space

Yes, you still need to save some costs,

to be in, but technology adoption only

but what I’m really after are ways to

makes sense if it’s business strategy

start leveraging those cloud capabilities

driven.” Chauffard argues that ensur-

and features to drive increased flexibility,

ing there is a strong business case

agility and innovation in my business.”

AUGUST 2019


Chauffard emphasises that agility

and so on. The pressing question is how

and flexibility are essential if compa-

to use cloud to become a central piece

nies wish to survive and thrive within

of your ecosystem, and then use that

their ecosystems. “The idea of the eco-

ecosystem to deliver the most innova-

system is essential to this new cloud

tive possible services to your custom-

economy,” he explains. “Every com-

ers. This is even more strategic and im-

pany is part of an ecosystem between

portant for Accenture. We are a people,

customers, partners, collaborators

services and transformation company,

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Philippe Chauffard Managing Director, Accenture Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure Philippe Chauffard is the Managing Director responsible for Accenture’s Cloud and Infrastructure Services in Europe. Philippe is responsible for both consulting and outsourcing sales, and transformation delivery across cloud and infrastructure. Prior to this role, Philippe led Infrastructure Services for Financial Services for Europe and Latin America. During his 30-year career at Accenture, Philippe has focused on architecting, delivering and operating large-scale infrastructure solutions for multinational clients. He has extensive cloud and infrastructure experience, ranging from strategy to transformation, migration and operations. Philippe has worked across all industries in Europe, with a primary focus on Communications and Financial Services. He has worked for clients in Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Physics from Ecole Polytechnic Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Philippe is based in Accenture’s Sophia Antipolis office in France.

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

163


ACCENTURE AWS BUSINESS GROUP

DRIVING INNOVATION AND BUSINESS VALUE WITH SAP® APPLICATIONS ON AMAZON WEB SERVICES


DRIVING INNOVATION AND BUSINESS VALUE WITH SAP ON AWS Today, everything is moving faster: business, technology…life. Disruption is everywhere, challenging existing business models and creating new ones. Companies that can ride the waves of change have huge opportunities ahead of them. They can collaborate, transact, analyze and predict instantly and proactively. They can fast-track innovation. And they can unlock new value through the emerging digital technologies that underpin the intelligent enterprise. SAP has transformed its solutions to power companies’ digital transformations. SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba – and more – offer a new launchpad for companies to reinvent their core operations and move decisively from disrupted to disruptor. But to harness their full potential, those new solutions need partners that are evolving and innovating just as fast. This is where the Accenture AWS Business Group (AABG) can be a real game-changer. AABG brings together the best of AWS and Accenture to help organizations fast-track their SAP migrations – securely, reliably and at scale. Crucially too, the AABG opens the way to next-generation capabilities. Through the comprehensive AWS infrastructure, companies get early access to a wide range of innovative services – engineered for SAP workloads, including HANA – that encourage and enable experimentation.

With AWS tools that can be rapidly integrated into their operations, companies are already driving new business value from core business functions by, for example, automating supply chain quality control with IoT integrated to SAP or connecting employees directly to SAP via Chatbot’s and virtual assistants. Accenture, a leading global professional services company with a more than 40+ year relationship with SAP and a global leader in SAP application services and cloud services, is helping a growing number of companies across industries to make the most of these innovation opportunities. These companies are ahead of the curve. Over the next five years, we’ll see a mass migration to the cloud by organizations running SAP. Hundreds of SAP enterprise customers have already completed their journeys to AWS. If you’re running critical SAP workloads, migrating to AWS could be your next step too. Wherever you are in your digital journey, we can help you move ahead. Innovation. Intelligence. Scale. To learn more, visit the AABG SAP Content Hub for deeper insight and to get started:

LEARN MORE


ACCENTURE TECHNOLOGY

and therefore it’s vital for us and for our clients that we are at the centre of our ecosystem. This is why we work hand in hand with our strategic partners – whether it’s some of the hyper scale providers like AWS, Azure and Google, or the key platform players like SAP or ServiceNow, or enterprise technology providers like Commvault. Accenture Cloud Innovation Center (ACIC) in Rome is a prime example of co-innovation across the ecosystem.” Chauffard emphasises that com166

panies need to resist the impulse to buy the “shiniest toys” and carefully consider the business use cases. In addition to the more value realization focused approach to IT transformation

They were failing because the operat-

he is advocating for, he also notes that,

ing model and talent transformation

as businesses seek to achieve deeper

had not happened.”

penetration with their digitalisation

Chauffard explains that transforma-

strategies, the pace of transformation

tion of the operational model alongside

needs to slow to avoid corporate whip-

a company’s IT capabilities, described

lash. “Four or so years ago, Gartner

by Accenture as its ‘Run Different’

found that 80% of companies’ cloud

strategy, centres around four key

transformations were failing, or they

capabilities: Cloud Management and

said they didn’t feel as though they

Operations, Cloud Optimisation, Con-

were seeing the benefits,” says Chauf-

sumption and Security. “They are nec-

fard. “Those transformations weren’t

essary to have an underlying platform

failing because of the technology.

from which to innovate technologically,”

AUGUST 2019


$39.6bn Approximate revenue

1989

Year founded

477,000

Approximate number of employees 167

says Chauffard. First, Cloud Manage-

ing everything from weighing the ca-

ment and Operations focuses on the

pabilities of a company’s architecture

ongoing cloud asset management.

against the services the company

“To support cloud, you need a whole

has, to advanced and ongoing optimi-

operating model and the associated

sation techniques. Third is Consump-

talent transformation, and that’s often

tion Management and Consolidation.

one of the biggest issues for our cli-

“We’ve moved to an ongoing consump-

ents,” he explains. Ensuring communi-

tion world, so buying and sourcing

cation and effectively managing talent

becomes an ongoing process,” says

while avoiding silos is crucial to

Chauffard. A company’s capability

a successful reincarnation of a com-

to manage its consumption of cloud

pany’s cloud management strategy.

resources efficiently not only reduces

Second is Cloud Optimisation: ensur-

cost and administrative work, but also w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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“Accenture has given me the opportunity to lead programs that would not have been possible with other companies in terms of scale and complexity” — Philippe Chauffard, Managing Director, Accenture Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure

“We’re not going to see many more ‘big bang’ – 12 months and we’re done for the next 10 years – transformations. People are becoming more thoughtful,” says Chauffard. “It’s going to be much more of an ongoing migration, evolution and modernisation of the application landscape.” The slower, measured, business case driven approach doesn’t do away with everything and build a new cloud-based company from scratch. “It’s a multi-threaded evolution across multiple applications,” Chauffard explains. “Starting from your

provides information to support

existing application landscape, there

the management and optimisation

are going to be some applications that

strategies. Lastly, Chauffard explains,

can just be lifted and shifted to the

is Security. “It’s something that is con-

cloud with minimal work and cost.

tinuously evolving, and therefore you

Some will need more of a remediation,

need to be able to enforce a set

and some applications you’re going

of standard security functions and

to have to rewrite from scratch. Some

services.” All four capabilities can

applications will happily stay forever

be applied via a management plat-

in the legacy system and will eventually

form, and choosing and operating

die away several years later, because

the correct piece of software again

there is no business case to rewrite

relies on Chauffard’s advice: trans-

them or move them or do something

formation, evolution and optimisation

with them.” The important step, and

need to happen, not for their own

what gives Chauffard’s plan its natural,

sakes, but in support of the overall

evolutionary pace, is the firm rule that

business case.

any new applications or technologies w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

169


ACCENTURE TECHNOLOGY

170

“It’s such an exciting space to be in, but technology adoption only makes sense if it’s business strategy driven” — Philippe Chauffard, Managing Director, Accenture Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure AUGUST 2019

are required to be cloud native. This way the progression from legacy to private and public cloud progresses through a stable hybrid approach. “We’re going to be in a hybrid world for many years to come,” Chauffard says. Technological progress is not constant and measured; like evolution it progresses in fits and starts before claiming new ground. Small, incremental replacements of parts of a company’s IT estate, paired with constant optimisation, Accenture and Chauffard


171

believe, is the best method to success-

now and 2022 will be an extremely

fully reconcile the frenetic pace of

exciting time. We’re going to see

technology with the evolving needs

the pace of innovation accelerate,

of the business. “I think the whole

as companies’ evolutions progress

approach to defining your cloud

and the paradigm shifts. I think I’m

strategy, defining your roadmap for

in absolutely the right spot within

your cloud journey, for the prioritisation

Accenture; I have great expectations

and for what you’re going to leverage

for our business in this space.”

from the very wide range of services that are available in the market again needs to be driven by the strategic agenda and the business agenda,” Chauffard concludes. “I think between w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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DELL TECHNOLOGIES

Dell Technologies discusses its partnership with the NHS and how the business is enabling innovation within the healthcare industry

I

n the past, digital transformation used to simply mean getting new PCs, but that’s now been pushed aside,” said

James Norman, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Healthcare of the EMEA region at Dell Technol174

ogies. “People are recognising it’s actually about the culture and how they transform the way they work, and we’re trying to support them on that. We’re focused on building partnerships and helping with the understanding of what the new technologies roadmap is, and demonstrating how they can use technology differently.” One of Dell Technologies’ major customers is the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) – the business currently works with the majority of the NHS’s trusts and hospitals in the UK. Norman notes how the firm’s relationship with the NHS has changed subtly over the years, from responding to tenders or selling servers to reacting to what’s happening within the organisation, and what’s changing in the health industry. “Yes, we still sell computers, software and storage – of course, that’s the business AUGUST 2019


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DELL TECHNOLOGIES

“Technology can really drive new innovations, new opportunities, new ways of actually working with the market” — James Norman, CIO of Healthcare for EMEA region, Dell Technologies

we’re in. However, now there’s a huge focus on what’s right for the customer and coming up with new ways for them to be able to engage with us. That actually reduces the burden on them financially, whilst improving operational efficiency and outcomes,” says Norman. Norman defines digital transformation as stretching across five key areas: workforce, end-use computer, security, applications and backend IT. According to Norman, one of the most important aspects of a digital transformation journey is laying the right

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AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘JAMES NORMAN HEALTHCARE CIO - EMEA AT DELLEMC ON CULTURE CHANGE, TRANSFORMATION AND WORKING WITH THE NHS’ 177 foundations. “You don’t build a house

at the workforce, as it is a company’s

without putting your foundations down

most valuable asset. So how can you

– it’s the same with the NHS. You don’t

support the staff to work differently?

put a new electronic system in until

It’s all very well providing

you know that it’s going to work.

the NHS with a new clinical system

If you put a system in and it goes down,

but, actually, it could be just another

clinical staff will lose faith in you,”

burden on the staff. So how can

he says. He argues that if the appro-

we make that easier?”

priate substructure is not used, the

Dell Technologies is providing

customer will find a way to bypass

the technology infrastructure to

the system and revert to their legacy

support a digital imaging for pathology

services. “What we then do is look at

service which will aim to improve health

how can we actually take advantage

outcomes for up to 3.2 million patients

of the system and modernise services

across the North East and North

and culture,” he adds. “Then we look

Cumbria (NENC). Working with seven w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Helping make the UK a better and safer place to live and work How our partnership with Dell Technologies is helping the NHS to modernise IT


Helping with the needs of today, preparing for the digital opportunities of tomorrow The potential for transformation in the healthcare sector is huge: patients want it, frontline staff want it, and NHS leaders want it. Computacenter recently conducted a survey of more than 100 IT professionals across NHS trusts. The demand for new technology is high, with a wide-ranging wish list: for example 30% of respondents want to implement tablet devices in the next 12 months, providing technology at the point of patient care.

Our role is to be supportive advisor Our engagement with Healthcare leaders and our recent survey, has provided us with great insight. Greater digitalisation will require new skills, new processes, and new policies. Navigating this new landscape will not be easy: as well as highlighting a lack of budget and resources, our survey revealed that some IT system upgrades are not pursued as they are just too complicated.

In our conversations with healthcare leaders, modernisation of IT is still very much a top priority in how they improve staff productivity and patient experience. Modern IT capability and digital technologies help clinicians, carers and consultants to spend more time with patients. Because not only does it allow them to access information relevant to that patient in real time but it also enables them to enter that information and feedback straight into the system so it’s accessible to all again in real time. But implementing and transforming technology needs financial resources.

30%

Many healthcare organisations are claiming that budget constraints are the prime reason for their inability to upgrade ageing IT infrastructure, but we can’t afford to neglect this: to deliver better patient outcomes and value for money, the digital roadmap must be pushed forward. Computacenter is playing its part by working with NHS Digital and individual trusts to accelerate the adoption of new technologies and also maximise benefits realisation.

Our Partnership

of respondents want to implement tablet devices in the next 12 months

The transformation of NHS IT is critical to the future of healthcare delivery and enabling a more preventative approach: modernising IT is the top priority in 2019 for our survey respondents. The government has already recognised the importance of technology and now is the time to step up its commitment. The NHS faces unprecedented financial and operational challenges, and patient care is suffering despite the determined efforts of frontline staff. We want to help the NHS with its needs of today and also prepare it for the digital opportunities of tomorrow.

ACCESS OUR RECENT RESEARCH

We simplify change. We accelerate change. We deliver guaranteed outcomes. With benchmarked skills and knowledge, Computacenter and Dell Technologies work together to deliver and support efficient and reliable solutions that meet all of your data management and people needs. Many of the world’s leading organisations choose us because of our ability to architect and implement Dell Technologies solutions and all other aspects of their IT with an unrivalled level of integration. Together, Computacenter and Dell Technologies are helping customers achieve their digital transformation agenda by: • • • •

Removing cost and complexity from IT management Making better use of resources Better supporting business growth and change Minimising environmental impact

Mark Chandiram, Client Director for Health & Social care talks through how Computacenter is helping the NHS modernise IT


DELL TECHNOLOGIES

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PARTNERS’

180

NHS Foundation Trusts across

within the healthcare system to drive

the region, as part of their ambitious

even better patient care.

integrated care system (ICS),

Dr Graham Evans, Chief Digital

the service will be hosted on behalf

Officer who leads on digital strategy

of NENC and Teesside-based North

for what has become the largest ICS

Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation

in the country comments: “How

Trust. The organisation was awarded

we optimise health services and

a contract funded by the Northern

specifically improve diagnostic

Cancer Alliance in a bid to improve

services for the benefit of the popula-

healthcare through the Digital Care

tion we serve is a key priority.

Programme. The NHS launched its

Our region has become renowned

Long Term Plan for care across

for advances we make within digital

England in January this year, with

technologies and this move will further

a key focus on digital partnership

herald our commitment to the

AUGUST 2019


populations of the North East and North Cumbria.” James Tromans, Sales Director for Dell Technologies explains more: “Effectively their challenge was a scarcity of pathologists. When you have a geography like the North East and North Cumbria, you’re restricting the amount of people with that skillset — that calibre to do the role — so being able to digitise a lot of that process can help. We’re helping improve real-time access and decision

“Customers are looking for a safe pair of hands who can provide the glue, the wrap, the service and the implementation to compliment” — James Tromans, Sales Director, Dell Technologie

making with the Isilon platform. We can

181

improve the outcome of people’s lives and diagnosis by up to 40%. By optimising efficiency and scale

launching for the continuation and

within the NHS, Dell Technologies

improvement of quality healthcare

is committed improving the livelihood

for our regions. We have a strong base

of the nation through its support

to build from and the partnership with

of the healthcare system”.

Dell further enhances our offer

The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System was announced

of the future for those that matter most — our patients”.

by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive

By collaborating with specialist

for the NHS England Improvement

channel partners, Dell Technologies

in June this year. Dr Evans sums up

is able to support vertical industries,

“the ambition and drive for positive

such as the healthcare sector. Com-

change for our ICS has been recog-

putacenter, one of the largest infra-

nised. This digital pathology service

structure service providers in the UK,

is one of many initiatives we are

is a key partner and focuses w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


DELL TECHNOLOGIES

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$90.62bn Approximate revenue

2016

Year founded

157,000

Approximate number of employees 183

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘HOW DELL TECHNOLOGIES ARE HELPING THE NHS USING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ’ w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


DELL TECHNOLOGIES

on technology and managed services for the skills gap. As a business that provides resources and support services for customer engagement, Tromans highlights trust, integrity, capability and commercial advantages as some of Computacenter’s most desirable qualities, as well as its access to frameworks and solutions. “Ultimately, it’s about their presence in the marketplace, the fact that it’s a key part of their revenue and where they’re trying to drive more business. 184 Their capability in the data centre business is second to none. They’re very much a safe pair of hands and they tick all the boxes for joint engagement,” he says. As Dell Technologies continues to work with the NHS, it is aware that culture change within the healthcare industry is part of the evolution. “The culture change has been quite apparent over the last five years. People are recognising that you can’t implement and enforce a new system without bringing the staff along with you. You’ve got to get them involved early on so that they understand changes coming down the line, and AUGUST 2019


are able to have an input into what the system will be, how it’s going to be developed and how it’s going to be used. There is a focus on how the industry is going to change the pathways of care on the back of it,” said Norman. The CIO expresses how the firm is making it easier for its customers to work and engage with Dell Technologies. The company has established a network that will enable the NHS to address the innovations it aims to introduce to its operations. “What I want to see as we move forward is the creation of a network between our customers where we can support all of them and help them to share their ideas, turning them in to reality,” Tromans adds.

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186

Ensuring growth through digital transformation at Taco Bar WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY

MANUEL NAVARRO

AUGUST 2019


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TA C O B A R

Lars Callebro, CEO of Taco Bar, details the ways in which his company’s restaurants are capturing the digital market

D

uring my 20 years in the restaurant business there has never been such rapid change in customers’ habits and demands

as there is right now, which is both interesting and fun to be a part of,” says Lars Callebro, owner and CEO of Sweden’s Taco Bar. Despite this challenging environment, Callebro’s company, which offers Tex 188

Mex cuisine, is growing at a healthy rate. Six new restaurants have opened in the past year, adding to its existing stable of over 40 locations across Sweden. Such growth is actually two-fold, encompassing both the aforementioned physical locations but also the ever-expanding digital market.

PHYSICAL One of the factors enabling Taco Bar’s continuing growth is its implementation of the franchise model. “Franchisees have a five-year deal with us,” explains Callebro. “They pay royalties and marketing fees which gives them access to our menu, our concept and our supply chain.” The system rests on the mutual benefit of franchisor, franchisee and suppliers, and Callebro is clear that growth can never be achieved at the expense of existing franchisees: “Taco Bar’s AUGUST 2019


kr240mn Approximate revenue (SEK)

1983

Year founded

300+

Approximate number of employees

goals for the future are continued growth, opening Taco Bar restaurants in new markets and, most importantly, taking care of the franchisees that we already have within the system. If we do that, we’ll continue to grow.” Taco Bar also credits its culture as vital to its success. “The guest experience is relaxed, casual and informal,” says Callebro. “Taco Bar is a place where everyone is welcome, a place where you and your friends, family or business partners can have an affordable meal and a drink without w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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TA C O B A R

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“If a customer would like to sit in their office or in a park, order food and have it brought to them, the app will be there” — Lars Callebro, CEO and Owner, Taco Bar

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TACO BAR – OM OSS’ 191

needing to book in advance. You can

and their operational procedures,

pop in for 15 minutes or you can be

but it’s also about ensuring everyone in

there for an hour and a half if you would

the Taco Bar family understands what

like.” It might at first seem that a

Taco Bar is about. When it comes to our

consistent culture is at odds with a

restaurants, it’s very much about time

franchise model, but Taco Bar puts

spent on the floor, shoulder to shoulder

the effort in to ensure a welcoming

with our franchisees and partners.”

atmosphere is a constant across

Such attention to detail extends to

its locations. “Spreading the culture

the company’s supply chain, which

is very important and we put a lot

Callebro says is crucial to the company’s

of money and hours into that part of

authentic DNA. “We source our corn

the organisation. We have a strong

nacho chips from a plant in Pennsylvania.

operations department in order to be

They’re made from stone ground fresh

able to fully support our franchisees

corn especially for us. Our tortillas are w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


BRINGING PEOPLE ER TOGETHER FOR A BETTER LD WORLD We’re building a company to last, brewing beer and building brands that will continue to bring people together for the next 100 years and beyond. With centuries of brewing history, we’ve seen countless new friendships, connections and experiences built on a shared love of beer.


We are AB InBev We are the world’s largest brewer with over 500 beer brands globally. We are committed to driving growth and improving the lives of more people in more places. Through brands and experiences that bring people together. Through our dedication to brewing the best beer with the finest, natural ingredients and through our commitment to helping farmers, retailers, entrepreneurs and communities grow.

Beer is the original social network With centuries of brewing history, we have seen countless new friendships, connections and experiences built on a shared love of beer. We connect with consumers through culturally relevant movements and the passion points of music, sports and entertainment. Our portfolio now offers more than 500 brands and eight of the top 10 most valuable beer brands worldwide, according to BrandZ™.

Sustainability is our business Brewing quality beer starts with the best ingredients. Without a healthy and sustainable environment, we would not be able to brew the highest quality beers. That is why we have made global commitments focused on smart agriculture, water stewardship, renewable energy, plastic pollution, circular packaging and climate action, to help contribute to a healthy natural environment and thriving communities, so we can continue to brew beers that bring people together for the next 100+ years.

Honoring the past, building towards the future We are all brewers. By combining over 600 years of brewing heritage with constant innovation, we protect the heritage of our much-loved brands while constantly innovating and creating new and exciting beers and occasions for consumers.

Collaboration with Taco Bar We are a proud strategic partner of Taco Bar. Together we want to deliver the best possible experiences towards the consumers by offering high valuable and premium brands. Throughout our partnership, we want to become more than a beer supplier. Our job is to constantly challenge ourselves to deliver great brand activations, to identify new ways to improve rate of sales and to provide brands that fit to the right audience of Taco Bar. Dreaming big is in our DNA and we like to share our energy with each of our partner. Brewing the world’s most loved beers, building iconic brands (such as Corona, Stella Artois and Budweiser) and creating meaningful experiences are what energize and inspire us. We empower our people to push the boundaries of what is possible. Through hard work and the strength of our teams, we can achieve anything for our consumers, our people and our communities. Christophe Stevens, Area Director Nordics

Connect with us


TA C O B A R

194

bought from a bakery in Atlanta,

ingredients, it also plays into the

Georgia, and our guacamole is made

company’s focus on sustainability.

for us in Uruapan, Mexico. Our pulled

Taco Bar operates on a low waste

beef is made in a special factory here

model, serving its food on china and

in Stockholm, with carefully sourced

drinks in glasses, moving away from

meat from Uruguayan cows that are

plastic to paper, and carefully sorting

grain fed for 120 days. It’s put into an

any waste that is created. Recently,

oven for 22 hours, and barbecued

the company has seen success with

over hickory wood on a BBQ cooker

vegetarian offerings: “We have over

specially bought from the US – that’s

250 different dishes that you can have

what makes Taco Bar’s food special.”

as a vegetarian, and our vegan shake

Not only does this responsible

has been a tremendous success

sourcing ensure the quality of its

on social media.”

AUGUST 2019


195

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Lars Callebro, CEO In 2009, Lars Callebro led a management buyout of the company from Nordic Service Partners, bringing three colleagues with him to become partners in the firm. After the buyout, Taco Bar was re-imagined with a new design, logo, and menu that included alcoholic drinks. Lars was formerly Director of Business Development at Nordic Service Partners, and before that worked in different management positions at Svenska McDonald’s. He began his career in the Swedish army, serving as an officer for 14 years.

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TA C O B A R

“Taco Bar’s goals for the future are continued growth, opening Taco Bar restaurants in new markets and, most importantly, taking care of the franchisees that we already have” — Lars Callebro, CEO and Owner, Taco Bar

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While we measure our negative impact on the environment in terms of a carbon ‘foot’ print, we see ‘hand’ prints as being all the positive things we do to help the environment. To us, hand prints are things like good animal welfare, well considered crop rotations, biogas and solar panels. Right now we are working hard to become Carbon Net Zero. Us Arla farmers will work together with our customers to achieve this. We want our customers, just like Taco Bar Sweden, to feel secure that they have made a sustainable choice by choosing dairy products from Arla.


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘FOR THE LOVE OF VEGO’ 199

“Convenience is very important for the future guests of Taco Bar, so we’ll continue to invest in digital consumerisation” — Lars Callebro, CEO and Owner, Taco Bar

DIGITAL “The biggest challenge right now is the digital transformation happening in the retail sector,” says Callebro. “It’s not the case that today there are 100 people on the street and tomorrow there’ll be 50 people – but it is going from 100 to a figure like 90. We needed to grab a piece of that digital market, and we have done that very successfully.” Part of the company’s continuing efforts in this sector has been the development of an app, in partnership with suppliers and others, that allows Taco Bar customers to order and pay inside the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


TA C O B A R

“The biggest challenge right now is the digital transformation happening in the retail sector” — Lars Callebro, CEO and Owner, Taco Bar

200

restaurant or in advance of their arrival. Callebro sees such conveniences as crucial to the company’s continued success. “If a customer would like to sit in their office or in a park, order food and have it brought to them, the app will be there for them, or they can use it to beat the line and take it away themselves. Convenience is very important for the future guests of Taco Bar, so we’ll continue to invest in digital consumerisation.” Taco Bar leverages its partnerships with a number of innovative technology companies to improve the experience of its customers. Teaming up with delivery companies like UberEats, Hungrig, AUGUST 2019


Delivery Heros and others is another way Taco Bar offers its customers the convenience they desire. “This is a strategically important area for us to grow within the digital space,” says Callebro, also detailing Taco Bar’s partnership with Leeroy on a datadriven, unified point of sale system. “Leeroy is our point of sale partner and we are evaluating them and others regarding our app that we hope to launch within six to 12 months.” It is through the twin considerations of physical and digital that Taco Bar has succeeded in growing throughout Sweden. Its ongoing digital transformation has set the company up to capture the digital market without neglecting its physical locations. Such has been its success within the country that the future holds expansion outside of its borders. “We are constantly evaluating new markets,” says Callebro. “It’s in our long-term business plan to establish Taco Bar outside of the country, so we will continue to search for good partners to expand.”

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202

PRYSMIAN GROUP GOES GLOBAL WITH ITS LATEST ACQUISITION WRITTEN BY

DAN BRIGHTMORE PRODUCED BY

DENITRA PRICE

AUGUST 2019


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PRYSMIAN GROUP

PRYSMIAN GROUP’S SUPPLY CHAIN DIRECTOR, GIANMICHELE ALIVIA, AND CPO, NA BRIAN SCHULTIES, REVEAL HOW ITS MERGER WITH GENERAL CABLE HAS EXPANDED THE COMPANY’S GLOBAL REACH AND OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAXIMISE ITS SYNERGIES

P 204

rysmian Group is now a global force in the energy and telecom cable systems industry. Boasting nearly 140 years’

experience, the company’s wide service offering has driven sales exceeding €11bn via a 29,000-strong workforce operating in over 50 countries across 112 plants worldwide. Since the $3bn acquisition of General Cable in 2018, the group is embracing the complex transformation required to merge company cultures and meet the needs of a global footprint, while managing the synergies between procurement processes, supply chain and operations. Prysmian’s CPO, NA Brian Schulties worked at General Cable, starting in 2006, so he has a unique perspective on the challenges ahead. “While the re-organisation was challenging, it was timely,” he reveals. “We’re merging two cultures into one and it’s not something you do in 30 days…” Senior Supply Chain Director Gianmichele Alivia AUGUST 2019


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Bekaert is a strategic and long-term partner for us on steel wire and cables. Their high quality, focus on research and innovation, new product development and responsiveness enable Prysmian/ General Cable to be successful in serving the market. We truly appreciate the relationship and push to be stronger together for many years to come.” Arvind Parsa, Director of Metals

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PRYSMIAN GROUP AND GENERAL CABLE JOIN FORCES’ 207

agrees: “Setting up the new organisation

less what the legacy Pirelli company

was only a part of the work that had

was doing globally. All of the challenges

to be done. We’re now starting the

are mastered here. Since the acquisition,

discussions about merging the ERP

we’ve been working to bring these two

systems and the tools we need.”

entities together. North America is where

Following its acquisition by Goldman

the bulk of the general cable business

Sachs in 2005, the former Pirelli

was and so this is where the majority

Cables & Systems (where Schulties

of the effort has been placed.” That

also worked prior to General Cable)

effort has included the integration of

was renamed Prysmian. “The company

5,000 staff while managing fixed costs,

has grown tremendously in the past

something that has been key to Prysmi-

year,” explains Alivia. “We generate

an’s success as a lean organisation.

approximately $4.1bn in revenue in North America, which was more or

Schulties admits a $3bn acquisition invites a period of instability. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


PRYSMIAN GROUP

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“Expectations since the merger are high, and we only have two years from start-to-finish to work on the synergies – beyond that it becomes the normal course of business.” He cites the success of the integration of Draka into Prysmian Group in 2011 and notes that CEO Valerio Battista has stated the progress with synergies is ahead of schedule. Alivia adds that the same challenge is being tackled on the supply chain side “The first step was to look at inventory (since the merger inventory locations have dropped from 77 to 70) but now we’re analysing more complex points including the rationalising of our network where inventory is kept, our flows, product location and distribution. We need to ensure we make the right product in the best facility,” he explains. Prysmian is engaged in setting new contracts with carriers and working on their implementation with third-party logistics companies essential for managing the network. “It’s not only the logistics network,” adds Alivia. “We are reviewing every single facility and product to make sure we service the customer from where it makes the most sense; we’re looking at cost of w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

209


When atoms come together, forming stronger cable insulations and jackets, we beneďŹ t from the energy that connects us.

Advancing a world of possibilities.

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“WE ARE GOING STATE-OF THE-ART WITH THE LATEST VERSION OF SAP, WHICH IS IOT (INTERNET OF THINGS) READY. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO BUILD ONTO IT AND LOOK AT THE POTENTIAL FOR PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS, MACHINE LEARNING AND AI” — Brian Schulties, CPO NA, Prysmian Group

production and factory efficiencies, but also the cost of delivery.” Beyond the strategic change triggered by the merger, Alivia notes how Prysmian is always open to dynamic change in the quest for greater efficiencies through the implementation of new technologies. “We’ve run idea pilots with augmented reality in our factories and trialed smart devices, such as sensors, both in our production lines and out in the field.” The group is keen to implement machine learning to help with its logistics network, though Alivia

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Gianmichele Alivia Alivia started his career at Pirelli in Milan with the corporate supply chain team. Since 2006, he has moved back and forth between Italy and the US working mostly on supply chain and managing the company’s B2B website. Alivia spent time at the former US headquarters in South Carolina during the merger with General Cable. At the time, he was in charge of the regional supply chain of Legacy Prysmian, North America, and then, after the acquisition of General Cable, Alivia moved to the current headquarters located in Highland Heights, KY and took a role in the new organisation where he is working on the synergies project following the merger between General Cable and Prysmian Group.

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CARING for our people and communities ACTING responsibly for the planet BUILDING a better future together Learn more at cabotcorp.com/sustainability ©2019 Cabot Corporation

A leading manufacturer of protective materials for high reliability applications since 1946.

Tapes, laminates, sealants and coatings

Wire and Cable tapes and moisture block compounds

www.chasecorp.com AUGUST 2019

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Y T I L I B A N I A T S SU We believe it’s more than a buzzword. It’s a pillar of our business practices.


concedes the cable industry is quite conservative and only implements technology when it can serve a proven purpose. “One of the most interesting things we’re doing is putting tracking devices on our cable drums to be able to monitor where they are at all times and ensure there is a faster turnaround of these assets once the cable on the drums has been used,” he reveals. Meanwhile, Schulties believes there’s potential to harness AI capabilities to reduce the need for remedial tasks.

“EXPECTATIONS SINCE THE MERGER ARE HIGH, AND WE ONLY HAVE TWO YEARS FROM START-TOFINISH TO WORK ON THE SYNERGIES – BEYOND THAT IT BECOMES THE NORMAL COURSE OF BUSINESS” — Brian Schulties, CPO NA, Prysmian Group

Almost a year on from the acquisition, Prysmian Group is preparing the

213

significant step of merging its ERP systems. “It will generate efficiencies

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Brian Schulties Brian Schulties is the head of purchasing for Prysmian Group North America. Schulties has more than 30 years of experience in the procurement field in the automotive, foundry and wire and cable markets. Prior to joining the company, he was the vice president of sourcing for General Cable. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cleary University and has a lifetime C.P.M. certification.

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PRYSMIAN GROUP

with everyone operating the same way on a shared system; obstacles will be removed giving us a better foundation to build for the future,” confirms Alivia. “We are going state-of-the-art with the latest version of SAP, which is IoT (Internet of Things) ready. This will allow us to build onto it and look at the potential for predictive analytics, machine learning and AI.” Beyond the challenges of the merger, innovation remains a high priority for Prysmian with 25 R&D centers across the globe and a 214

commitment to patenting new cable designs. Schulties is keen to act on the voice of the customer and see the company leveraging its supply base, as far as its technology and ability to provide innovation with delivery to market. On that quest, Prysmian works with 3PL, transportation and supplier partners. “We’re in discussion with companies like UPS,” says Alivia. “How do we create more than just a supplier/customer relationship? How do we form a strategic partnership with the extended supply chain team to come up with solutions? We’re having whiteboard discussions to find ways of solving shared problems AUGUST 2019


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PRYSMIAN GROUP

M A R KS THE SP OT Raw Materials, All Over Again Since 1918 At PMR our mission is to reintroduce useful raw materials for the metals and plastics industries, reduce the scrap generator’s waste stream and play a major role in the greening of our environment.

Headquarters 99 East River Drive, East Hartford, CT 06108 • 860 622-7626 Offices & Plants: East Hartford, CT • Orangeburg, SC • Canastota, NY • Miami, FL Willimantic, CT • South Windsor, CT • Wilmington, DE • Hickory, NC AUGUST 2019


across the entire infrastructure of our organisation.” Focusing on shared sustainability goals is also key for a company

€11.bn Approximate revenue

ranked third in its sector by the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). Prysmian is working with procurement to identify ways it can increase the percentage of return of recycled plastic and wood from pallets. Meanwhile, it is engaging with freight providers who invest in new trucks to improve mileage efficiency and reduce emissions. “We’ve also joined

1879

Year founded

29,000

Approximate number of employees 217

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PRYSMIAN GROUP SHOWS ITS ADVANCED VESSELS FLEET’

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PRYSMIAN GROUP

218 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

Prysmian third in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Prysmian works with its partners

sustainability issues; adopting

for a common goal: achieving

inclusion and diversity policies;

sustainability now and for the

implementing a Code of Business

future. It has improved its

Conduct designed to disseminate

ranking due to numerous actions

responsible business practices

completed in the environmental,

along the supply chain; reducing

social and governance fields.

emissions of ozone-depleting

These include, amongst other

substances; extending the KPIs

things: vesting the Board of

adopted in its own Sustainability

Directors’ Compensation and

Report, drawn up according to

Nomination Committee with

the G4 guidelines of the Global

tasks such as: overseeing

Reporting Initiative.

AUGUST 2019


219 the SmartWay,” adds Alivia. “It’s an

tion. The fact that we’ve just made a

EPA (Environmental Protection

big purchase doesn’t mean we’re not

Agency) program whereby companies

analysing the next potential acquisi-

work collectively to reduce emissions

tion two or three years from now.”

and improve efficiency.” SmartWay

The strategy is set: making links in

offers an integrated set of no-cost,

the chain is building a bright future

peer-reviewed sustainability account-

for Prysmian and its customers.

ing and tracking tools to help companies make informed freight transportation choices across their supply chain. Looking ahead, Prysmian’s strategy is to be “consolidators of the market,” says Alivia. “We want to squeeze efficiencies out of the companies we acquire, generate cash, pay the debt and get ready for the future acquisiw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


220

The University of Alabama at Birmingham celebrates its immense digital transformation WRITTEN BY

AMBER DONOVAN-STEVENS PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

AUGUST 2019


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U N I V E R S I T Y O F A L A B A M A AT B I R M I N G H A M

In an exclusive interview with Vice President and CIO, Dr Curt Carver Jr., he shares the hundreds of ‘wins’ achieved in streamlining the university experience

E

mpowering greatness in others is at the heart of every technical solution the University of Alabama at Birmingham

(UAB) has made, and this could not be more evident from the technology transformation that has taken 222

place over the past four years under the leadership of Dr Curt Carver. It is no surprise that the University of Alabama at Birmingham was keen to enlist Carver to spearhead IT operations with his impressive career history and dedication to student and staff wellbeing. Carver previously worked as the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO at the University System of Georgia. Prior to that, during his time at the US Military Academy at West Point, he rose through the academic ranks from instructor to full professor, before becoming Vice Dean, serving as deputy to the Chief Academic Officer. Whilst in this role, Carver also participated as an American Council of Education fellow at George Mason University, visiting 40 other universities across the United States, gaining a holistic view of task management across various universities. AUGUST 2019


$3.4bn Approximate revenue (2018)

1969

Year founded

23,000

Approximate number of employees

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U N I V E R S I T Y O F A L A B A M A AT B I R M I N G H A M

“When I started in 2015, it took us about 800 minutes to close out a phishing attack. Today we do it in 11” 224

— Dr Curtis Carver, Vice President and Chief Information Officer

AUGUST 2019

He has been with UAB since 2015 and, under his leadership, the university has had over 420 ‘wins’. Carver defines a ‘win’ as a concern raised by the community, which is met with solutions that are validated as successful by staff and students, while in line with the strategic plan. Averaging around 100 wins a year, Carver could not begin to list all of the achievements, but shared with us some from the 2017 and 2018 reports. This year marks the university’s 50th anniversary, which has seen the University of Alabama at Birmingham ranked number one amongst young


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘UAB. POWERED BY WILL’ 225 universities (those under 50 years of age) in the United States and 11th in the world. “We are trying to empower greatness in our students, faculty, and researchers and clinicians,” explains Carver. “That means removing obstacles preventing them from accomplishing their research and teaching tasks, and trying to figure out mechanisms to co-author solutions to not only achieve their goals, but to create a competitive advantage for them compared to other universities.” Carver emphasises the need to build strong partnerships with students to create solutions that do not only “comply or w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Be Future Ready. Outpace Change. With student success a top-of-mind issue for the higher education industry, institutions are poised to have their day in the sun—proving not just their academic worth but their strategic value as well. To make good on that promise and thrive in the digital age, institutions must stay ahead of the fast-changing forces that are driving new educational models, a student-minded culture and new ways of working. They must Be Future-Ready and Outpace Change. The focus for many institutions is on improved student outcomes, which means retaining students in any possible way for them to reach their academic goals. But this requires many human resources, engaged faculty and skilled talent. Catering to your students also means that institutions and their workforces have the right insight and data at their fingertips to advise students properly. Answering the many student inquiries— from common to more complex financial aid questions—can be time-consuming, and often ends up being costly to institutions. How do you stay ahead in a world that is changing faster than ever? Human intelligence alone isn’t enough. Innovations in AI, machine learning and digital assistants are analyzing data, providing answers, and suggesting next steps to help students and employees respond in minutes, not weeks or months. Predictive analytics are forecasting multiple scenarios to help institutions be ready for future disruptions. Human resources, finance, and student-focused offices will play a pivotal role in building a future-ready institution that can not only withstand change, but outpace it. Digital transformation is a challenge for any institution. In the past, most have relied on disparate, on-premises solutions designed to serve specific purposes. This meant that processes for core functions like recruiting, talent management,

financial aid management, and financial planning and budgeting were carried out in different systems. With no integration—and no single system of record—processes were disconnected, ease of use was impeded, user experience was diminished, and vital data was left untapped. Many institutions thought they could solve the challenge by simply performing a “lift and shift” of their on-premises solutions to a cloud infrastructure. While this model can reduce costs, it does not help with innovation of student interactions and processes themselves.

Hear how Butler University decided to simplify their financial aid process and how the University of Pittsburgh is modernizing their human capital management,financials, and analytic processes to Be Future-Ready and Outpace Change. Get to know Oracle – we are committed to Higher Education. Built natively for the cloud to support the entire institution and student life-cycle, our solutions include Student Cloud, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Customer Experience (CX) - all working together on a shared cloud platform.

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U N I V E R S I T Y O F A L A B A M A AT B I R M I N G H A M

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satisfy, but delight their expectations.”

of people when devising a business

“These are solutions that they feel that

strategy. “On my first day as CIO,

they are a part of,” he comments.

we created a crowd-sourcing site,

Another motivation of the company’s

and we had some 800 meetings in the

technological transformation is the goal

first 100 days. By creating a voice for

of easing the workload of both staff and

everyone, you can work towards the

students. “Some of the ways in which

best possible solution and provide

we have achieved this is by moving to

each aspect of the university with

unlimited email, creating passwords that

its own competitive edge.” This level

don’t expire, and having unlimited storage,

of communication enabled staff

as well as creating the fastest networks

and students to be receptive to the

and research computers in the state.

technical changes, because they

When you’re working with genomics

were solutions requested by them.

and personalised medicine, these small

For example, one goal was to

factors make a great deal of difference.”

leverage the faculty’s disciplinary

Carver cannot emphasise enough

expertise. “We can’t treat faculty as the

the importance of listening to a variety

most expensive typists on the planet,”

AUGUST 2019


jokes Carver. At the end of each term, staff are tasked with the movement of student records from the learning management system to the student information system. “So if you’re teaching 300 students, that’s about 900 clicks to complete this task, taking hours. And if you make an error, the staff member then has three different permissions and five forms to complete to rectify the mistake,” explains Carver. “So we built a button, and all of the information is transported across 229

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Curtis A. Carver Jr Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., was named Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer in June 2015, following a national search. A senior leader in higher education information technology, Carver came to UAB from his position as Vice Chancellor and CIO for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, having previously held key leadership positions at the US Military Academy at West Point. Carver earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the US Military Academy at West Point and his Master’s Degree and Doctorate in computer science from Texas A&M University. Throughout his career, he has received numerous national and international honors and awards for military, teaching, and research excellence. Carver is a frequent keynote speaker and has published extensively.

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1

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231 systems in about a second, eradicating

and deployed a tool where the students

the previously arduous process.

could input their desired classes,

“If we’re going to change the world,

when they are working or when they

let’s be serious about changing the

would rather not be on campus, and it

world, and that means empowering

automatically builds multiple schedules

people and taking some of these

for them, and they just pick the schedule

bureaucratic tasks off their plate,”

they want.”

Carver continues, with reference to the

Carver notes that part of the success

university’s students. “When students

of the strategy is to be a servant leader,

were scheduling, they would go into

and not a Napoleonic one. “It’s not

the student information system and

about control. It’s about empowerment.”

they would download the schedules

Carver believes that it is important to

into Excel, and they would try to build

hire people smarter than himself, as

a schedule. So we worked with the

it empowers employees, instilling within

registrar and enrollment management

them a sense of responsibility to find w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


U N I V E R S I T Y O F A L A B A M A AT B I R M I N G H A M

“We are trying to empower greatness in our students, faculty, and researchers and clinicians” — Dr Curtis Carver, Vice President and Chief Information Officer

232

AUGUST 2019


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a solution. He commends his team

undergraduate classes into the

of staff, who are particularly committed

learning management system. “This

to the improvement of cybersecurity.

cloud-based solution enabled students

Carver reflects on how cybersecurity

to push one button, and all of their

has improved: “When I started in 2015,

undergraduate classes, all of the

it took us about 800 minutes to close

requirements then transfer into their

out a phishing attack. Today we do it in

mobile device calendar.” This is a

11.” He returns to the topic of passwords,

drastic change from the previous

sharing another solution that was

organisation where staff either handed

deployed. “We gave students and staff

out paper timetables or posted them

a mobile-enabled platform that tracks

on their own websites.

passwords and generates strong unique ones, strengthening security further.”

Looking ahead, Carver notes some of the solutions that the university

Of the many wins, Carver said his

is currently piloting. “We’re working

favorite was the movement of 1,250

on building a navigation system that

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U N I V E R S I T Y O F A L A B A M A AT B I R M I N G H A M

“If we’re going to change the world, let’s be serious about changing the world” — Dr Curtis Carver, Vice President and Chief Information Officer 236

AUGUST 2019


automatically locates free parking space for students.” Carver and his team are working toward a new strategic plan that, in the true spirit of his ethos, is a compilation of stories about those who will benefit from the technology solutions. “This puts customers at the center of the conversation and it focuses on digital moments that delight them. So we’re very excited about the future and what we’re going to be able to do with this kind of customer centric approach.” In a time where technology and AI is considered to be detached if not impersonal, Carver is subverting this with his leadership, and using technology to improve the lives and relationships of staff and students. With any hope, his innovation will spread to other universities, with the University of Alabama at Birmingham leading the way.

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238

Gateway First Bank: from lender to banker WRITTEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

AUGUST 2019


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G AT E W AY F I R S T B A N K

With a goal to grow its accounts and deposits nationwide, Gateway Mortgage Group is preparing in mid-2019 to launch Gateway First Bank, its full-service, direct-toconsumer digital bank

B

uying a home is a pivotal decision for anybody. Much more than a routine commercial transaction, it speaks to that

person’s aspirations, hopes, and family identity. It was with this awareness, and a vision to help 240

families and communities grow stronger through home ownership, that Kevin J Stitt, a career professional in the mortgage industry, started up Gateway Mortgage Group in 2000. By 2017, through some of the most challenging times for the housing market, Stitt had grown Gateway to become one of the largest privately held mortgage origination and servicing companies in America, employing more than 1,200 people at 160 branch offices. In November 2018, Kevin Stitt was elected Governor of the State of Oklahoma, but before he stepped aside from the position as CEO at Gateway he had been able to advance a long-held desire to move beyond the origination and servicing of mortgage loans and turn the company into a fully-fledged bank. Leveraging the expertise of Stephen Curry, a banker specialising in banking AUGUST 2019


241

“Increasingly we turn to technology to reduce the number of touchpoints and enhance the borrower experience” — Stephen Harpe, CIO, Gateway First Bank

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G AT E W AY F I R S T B A N K

“It used to take days, even weeks to get through an application process… but now on the mortgage side of the business we average less 242 than 30 minutes” — Stephen Harpe, CIO, Gateway First Bank

transitions who replaced Stitt as CEO in August 2018, Gateway acquired Farmers Exchange Bank to form Gateway First Bank which, with $1.2bn in assets and five banking centers in Northwest Oklahoma, emerged overnight as one of the largest banks in the State of Oklahoma by asset size, and one of the largest bank mortgage operations in the United States.

THE ENABLING TECHNOLOGY TEAM Growing the technology infrastructure to support the radical and highly-unusual transformation from a mortgage company into a bank is a process that has been ongoing since the appointment of Steven Harpe as CIO in 2013. Harpe had held senior leadership roles in IT for more than 20 years. Back then, there wasn’t really a technology division in the present-day sense, he recalls: tech was seen as a black box, and the relationship with the rest of the business was an adversarial one. “We had to develop a managed services concept within the business,” Harpe explains. Digital enablement is now recognised as essential to all financial services, though the industry as a whole has been slow to acknowledge that.

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE GATEWAY EXPERIENCE’ 243 This is a company built on service,

services too. “Financial services were

and that has been the secret of its

late getting into this space but as we

rapid growth to date. “As we continue

move forward it’s no longer millennial

to take on additional customers we

problems we are trying to solve.

also want to be able to effectively

We are trying to solve problems for

recruit the sales and corporate staff

everybody and the digital platforms

that will serve them. Attracting the best

that we are building and integrating

people means offering them the best

today can do that,” stated Harpe.

products available through a top tier

Over recent years, mobile-friendly

technology platform.” Harpe adds that

technology has penetrated all industries,

it’s a mistake to suppose that millennials

with mortgage lending no exception,

are the only group to embrace digital

Harpe points out. “Increasingly we turn

technology, citing his mother who,

to technology to reduce the number of

at 74, is inseparable from her iPad for

touchpoints and enhance the borrower

communication, shopping and financial

experience by giving them an intuitive w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


G AT E W AY F I R S T B A N K

244

one-touch technology platform.”

backroom mindset and created a very

Fintech has become a commodity,

dynamic, agile and digital forward-

so his strategy has been to outsource

thinking group.”

the principal elements to the partners

The IT organisation Harpe leads

who do it best. “I want to spend our

now has around 40 people, all with

time on applications, enhancing digital

a problem-solving mentality. “When we

experience, and making better use of

hire someone, we look well beyond

data to understand how we can best

IT knowledge and competence,” he

deliver our mortgage and other

comments. “We want people who will

financial services,” Harpe added. “We

take ownership of their ideas, and have

see ourselves as servants to everyone

a sense of urgency about them; people

in this company, and I am proud to be

who are excited to be here and keen

able to say we quickly ditched the old

to solve problems for the business.”

AUGUST 2019


FOUR KEY PLATFORMS

on the mortgage side of the business

On the front line of a lender’s relationship

we average less than 30 minutes,”

with its clients is the point of sale (POS)

stated Harpe. “We can automatically

system. In a competitive environment,

pull W2s, tax records and the like,

the speed and efficiency with which a

ingest these files and use the Blend

loan application can be processed

platform to digest the information and

makes all the difference. The POS

quickly get through the 1003 process.”

system Gateway selected was

The difference this makes to the

provided by Blend, a Silicon Valley

customer experience is immense

software developer that now connects

and it helps Gateway deliver its vision

more than 15,000 banks and financial

to realise the American Dream of

institutions to make routine checks. “It

homeownership. As Blend’s founder

used to take days or even weeks to get

Nima Ghamsari has said, a large

through an application process, which

number of people don’t realise they

was stressful for the applicant, but now

qualify for home ownership until they

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Steven Harpe, CIO Harpe leads customers using a unique combination of business experience coupled with 30 years of technology background in large scale cloud computing operations and engineering management. He has engineered, implemented, and managed some of the world’s largest technology platforms with multifaceted business applications. In addition, he has led initiatives to digitise technologies based on aged architectures, including providing mobile platforms. Harpe is dedicated to enthusiastic and progressive leadership as a means of creating and nurturing a lifelong passion of developing people to achieve their goals. In April 2019 he was appointed to the Oklahoma Board of Corrections. Harpe is a keen drummer in his spare time, having backed a number of rock bands.

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘GATEWAY MORTGAGE GROUP - LINKSTEP’ 247 go through this process. Not surpris-

selecting a new partner in the summer

ingly, customer satisfaction and net

of 2019. Discussions are in hand with

promoter score (NPS) rates have

two industry-leading contenders.

soared. “Everything we’re doing is

As the launch of Gateway First Bank

geared around the customer experience

approached it was clear it should move

and we remove as much friction from

to the most sophisticated core banking

that process as we can,” Harpe

system available. In January 2019, it

emphasises. “Blend is going to be

was announced that this partner would

helping us with direct deposit for new

be FIS, a global leader in financial

deposit account creation as well.”

services technology with a focus on

After approval, the loan application

retail and institutional banking. “FIS is

moves into the loan origination process.

a global company, and it supports

The current loan origination software

many of the leading direct-to-consumer

(LOS) provider Byte has served the

banks in the market around the world,”

company well but Gateway will be

says Harpe. “Its service will be hosted w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


G AT E W AY F I R S T B A N K

on its own private cloud, in which it has invested massively, and it has deep experience and scale in digital banking.” The transition from the current Jack Henry banking system will take place in July 2019. Loan servicing is the ongoing relationship between lender and client, and this relationship will be trusted to Sagent LoanServ, another partner with its own private cloud. Moving infrastructure from the data center into the cloud, whether private or public, has been an ongoing goal of the IT team, 248

and has largely been achieved, with Blend hosted on AWS as well as both contenders for the LOS. “By the end of 2020, we are going to be sitting in a very unique place. We are a mortgage company that became a bank – and that is exciting enough in itself – but by then we will have all of our core technology running our operations in our business wholly on the cloud, on some of the largest fintech platforms.” Such partners were selected because they are highly future-oriented organisations that look at themselves primarily as technology companies. This, says Harpe, drives their behavior and decision making. AUGUST 2019

“Everything we’re doing is geared around the customer experience and we remove as much friction from that process as we can” — Stephen Harpe, CIO, Gateway First Bank


249

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FIS is proud to have Gateway First Bank as a new strategic partner on the Horizon Core Platform. To learn more about FIS leading solutions and client success stories, visit www.fisglobal.com/now.


“When you implement new technology, new skill sets are required and new jobs get created” — Stephen Harpe, CIO, Gateway First Bank

fact, creating scale. When you implement new technology, new skill sets are required and new jobs get created. We are excited about those opportunities, and even more excited about what this is going to provide for our clients. If you are a mortgage or a banking customer (or hopefully both) you are going to be able to consume Gateway First Bank through a common set of digital experiences from a single platform.

PLAYING THE BALL IN FRONT Most of Gateway’s growth up to this

That is where we are headed.” The future of banking is omnichannel,

year’s bank acquisition and merger has

and as such Gateway will try to achieve

been self-generated, so the new bank

a full set of responsive, personalized

will be focusing on safeguarding its

digital services to its customers. For

reputation as Harpe emphasizes. “Over

example, The Digital One Online

the coming years, we will see mainly

Account Origination solution will allow

organic growth mixed with some

customers to open and manage their

acquisitions. But to use a baseball

accounts via mobile and laptop devices.

analogy, we are very much a ‘play the

“This is a foundational time for us,”

ball in front of you’ company – one

enthuses Harpe. We are creating a

thing at a time. The ball in front of us is

brand new foundation so mobile

the bank transition, the transfer of our

banking, credit cards and personal

core systems to FIS and choosing the

finance will all be extendable through

right loan origination partner.”

the APIs and digital services that we

Digitising the operations and leveraging 21st-Century technologies such as machine learning and automation

are building. Our customers will find it easy to find us and do business with us.” Gateway First Bank is a nationwide

will definitely not endanger jobs at

operator that was founded in the

Gateway, Harpe predicts. “We are, in

communities of Oklahoma. Its community w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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G AT E W AY F I R S T B A N K

252

“We are creating a brand new foundation… our customers will find it easy to find us and do business with us” — Stephen Harpe, CIO, Gateway First Bank AUGUST 2019


spirit and commitment are a real differentiator for the company, Harpe insists – home ownership is all about aspiration, the family and a stable society, so the company that Kevin Stitt founded has always looked for ways to reach out. The projects it supports are numerous, but typified by the establishment and continuing support of a Christian school in Nigeria in 2009 as well as the Gateway Youth Ranch in Uganda which enhances the lives of disadvantaged young people in that country. Closer to home, Harpe picks out Pearl’s Hope, a Tulsa-based project and refuge that supports homeless women and their families and helps them get back on their feet. “Oftentimes they find themselves having to run from home without the most basic necessities of life: Gateway provides Pearl’s Hope with some of these essentials.” The compassion he clearly feels chimes in with the company’s ethos of helping hard-working people regardless of their current wealth.

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253


254

Helping enterprises realise the power of digital transformation WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

AUGUST 2019


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I N T E L C O R P O R AT I O N

Lisa Davis,Vice President of Digital Transformation and Scale Solutions, Enterprise and Government, in the Data Center Group at Intel, discusses the company’s digital transformation from PC to data-centric, and the need for digital transformations to be both holistic and customer driven.

U

biquitous digital transformation and mass migration towards the cloud has become the new reality for the world’s corporations,

governments, and educational institutions. As data 256

increasingly becomes the fuel powering the global economy, new methodologies, technologies and philosophies need to be developed in order to remain marketable – even the industry’s largest players are changing their playbooks. Intel, with over half a century at the forefront of semiconductor innovation, has been a catalyst for some of the most significant technology transformations in modern history, helping reinvent the way we work and play and thrive in the digital era. Today, Intel is both helping its diverse ecosystem of customers and partners harness the power of the digital transformation, while simultaneously undergoing its own transformative shift in its business focus. “It’s a data-centric world, and Intel as an organisation is transitioning to harness the value that this data provides,” explains Lisa Davis, AUGUST 2019


“Intel is moving from a PC-centric strategy to a data-centric one” — Lisa Davis, President of Digital Transformation & Scale Solutions, Enterprise & Government, Data Center Group, Intel

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Vice President and General Manager of Digital Transformation & Scale Solutions at Intel. “We fully recognise the importance of being data-centric, to both our business and our customers. Leveraging the latest technologies that help to move, store and process data allows us to serve

“Your company’s 258 ability to keep pace with the competition by leveraging technology to provide the services, capabilities and experiences your customers expect today is paramount” — Lisa Davis, President of Digital Transformation & Scale Solutions, Enterprise & Government, Data Center Group, Intel

AUGUST 2019

our customers’ needs better.” Unlocking the power of Big Data is, Davis recognises, the primary driver of Intel and its customers’ digital transformation. In the modern world, a successful digital transformation is the difference between commercial viability and being consigned to the Wikipedia footnotes of history. “It is extremely difficult to compete in today’s market using the technologies of yesterday,” says Davis. “Your company’s ability to keep pace with the competition by leveraging technology to provide the services, capabilities and experiences your customers expect today is paramount. The companies that don’t do that aren’t likely to survive.” We sat down with Davis to discuss her insights,


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘BEHIND THE SCENES WITH LISA DAVIS: A NEW ERA OF IT’ 259 gained from a career in technology

“I spent 26 years, after graduating from

spanning more than three decades in

Syracuse, working for the US Depart-

the public and private sectors, into the

ment of Defense. I think I may be one

need for ongoing digital transformations

of the few people who started as a high

that are holistic, guided by corporate

school senior, as a GS2 – the very

strategy and ultimately driven by

bottom of the pay scale – and retired

customer demand.

as a Senior Executive Service Member,

Davis’ journey in the public sector

which is equivalent to a US Admiral or

began as a senior in high school,

General.” Throughout her career with

spending her summers throughout

the DoD, Davis held almost every job

college working in a Junior Fellowship

in the IT organisation, rising from

Program at the Lakehurst Naval Air

a computer programmer, to managing

Engineering Center. “They were trying

help desks services, to managing

to recruit engineers to come to work

infrastructure systems, to running

for the US Government,” she recalls.

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“Digital transformation is ultimately about the experiences we create for our customers” — Lisa Davis, President of Digital Transformation & Scale Solutions, Enterprise & Government, Data Center Group, Intel

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a Deputy CIO and eventually CIO for

during her time in government, and

the Counterintelligence Field Activity

soon brought the concept of seamless

in DOD, and then for the US Marshals

internet connectivity to the Georgetown

Service at the Department of Justice.

campus. She served at the college

In 2012, Davis made the decision

for a further three years before making

to leave the public sector and move to

the move to Intel, taking on her current

academia, where she became CIO of

role two years later running the Digital

Georgetown University. “I was intrigued

Transformation and Scale Solutions

by the mission, which was to take an

business, for Enterprise and Government

institution created in 1789 and continue

customers in the Data Center Group

to make it digitally relevant for the

at Intel. “What I love about this role

students of today,” Davis recalls.

is that it allows me, having been a

Guiding digital transformations was

customer for the majority of my career

something Davis has specialised in

as a CIO, to now be in a position to

AUGUST 2019


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Lisa Davis, Vice President, Data Center GroupGeneral Manager, Digital Transformation and Scale Solutions, Enterprise and Government Lisa Davis is responsible for growing the data center business and working alongside enterprise and government CIOs to create IT transformation strategies for their organisations. Davis joined the Data Center Group from the Intel IT Group where she led and developed the IT architecture and integrated technology solutions supporting Intel’s world-class global supply chain, HR, Finance, and M&A IT. Davis is a three-time Chief Information Officer and has led four technology transformations over the course of her 30-year career in technology. Prior to Intel, Davis served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Georgetown University, and held a variety of technology leadership roles in her 26-year career in the Federal Government. As a member of the Senior Executive Service she was the CIO of the U.S. Marshals Service in the Department of Justice, as well as CIO of the Counterintelligence Field Activity in the Department of Defense. Throughout her 30-year career in technology, Davis has been a champion for women in technology and leadership – channeling that passion into leading professional development initiatives for women. She has served on the board of Mirantis, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and a number of non-profit boards. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Syracuse University, and a master’s degree in human resources management from Golden Gate University, and is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

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influence the product roadmap and build solutions with Intel’s diverse ecosystem of partners that help our enterprise customers on their digital transformation journey,” enthuses Davis. Having run the gamut of public and private sector digital transformation roles, Davis recognises that, while there are differences between the “different flavors of government”, academia and the private sector – like speed of adoption, budget constraints and organisational structure – every transformation can be distilled to a few 264

core truths. Firstly: “Digital transformation is ultimately about the experiences we create for our customers, whether those customers are the men and women of the US Marshals Service, or the students, faculty and administration of Georgetown University.” Unlocking the power of digital transformation is, in Davis’ mind, essential to providing Intel and its partners’ customers with the experiences they need. “I manage the global business for hybrid multi-cloud, artificial intelligence, enterprise analytics and cyber security solutions. We’re largely driven by figuring out how we help our customers move from AUGUST 2019


legacy technology environments to leveraging cloud technologies. It’s about right workload in the right place for the right business requirements,” says Davis. “Today, our customers are managing IT environments that are more complex than ever as they manage distributed environments that consist of workloads or applications sitting on-prem and in private clouds, sitting out at public clouds, and now on the intelligent edge and with many different public cloud providers.” The complexity and increasingly interconnected nature of enterprise software and the businesses that software supports is at the heart of Davis’ second core truth: “Digital transformation strategy needs to be holistic, because it’s not just about the technology,” she insists. “One of the first things I ask our customers is what their corporate strategy is. Technology should be leveraged to help drive the overall corporate or government strategy of the company. Corporate strategy and technology need to be connected. Today, every company is a technology company.” In a landscape where technological innovations move from the theoretical w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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I N T E L C O R P O R AT I O N

$70.8bn Approximate revenue

1968

Year founded

107,100

266

Approximate number of employees

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to the commonplace at head-spinning speeds, it is a common mistake for companies to latch onto every new development, implement it quickly, and then try to figure out the business case later. “Don’t digitally transform for the sake of technology,” warns Davis. “I digitally transform businesses to help them compete and remain marketable. When we talk about transformation, it’s about a connection to your corporate strategy. It’s also about a data strategy because ultimately I want to modernise and help transform so I can 268

leverage the data within my company to drive insights for the business.” One new Intel technology that’s playing a key role in harnessing increased amounts of data for more rapid insights is Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory. In development for the past 10 years, Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory represents a re-architecting of the memory storage hierarchy. “We’ve created a new memory pool that is non-volatile, unlike RAM, and delivers more capacity and better TCO,” explains Davis. “A great use case for Optane is in in-memory databases like SAP Hana. SAP has been a key innovative partner in AUGUST 2019


269

“Digital transformation strategy needs to be holistic, because it’s not just about the technology” — Lisa Davis, President of Digital Transformation & Scale Solutions, Enterprise & Government, Data Center Group, Intel

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I N T E L C O R P O R AT I O N

leveraging this new technology, which

committees where people would ask

allows us to put large amounts of data

me when the ‘digital transformation

in memory, next to the CPU, to solve

thing’ was going to be over,” Davis

the toughest business problems for the

laughs. “Digital transformation,

company. That’s the power of this new

certainly in today’s market, doesn’t

technology.” Ultimately, the product will

have a start and an end. If you continue

help Intel and its customers navigate

to evolve and try to keep pace with the

the exponentially growing ocean of data

technology, transformation will always

covering the world, and draw insights

happen.” Much as it took on a pivotal

that will drive customer satisfaction and

role in the democratisation and mass

help determine where the next stage

distribution of the microchip over the

of digital transformation leads.

last 50 years, Intel is positioning itself

“I remember sitting in budget

to be at the heart of a new reality,

270

“Digital transformation strategy needs to be holistic, because it’s not just about the technology” — Lisa Davis, President of Digital Transformation & Scale Solutions, Enterprise & Government, Data Center Group, Intel

AUGUST 2019


constantly shaped and reshaped

being at the forefront of providing the

by digital transformation. Davis is

end-to-end solutions that we can build

confident that, going forward, she will

with our ecosystem of partners to help

be able to help Intel, its partners and,

all of our customers on their digital

most importantly, the end customer,

transformation journeys.”

be prepared to meet the future. “Intel is continuing to make investments and will continue to lead innovation to support our customers and partners. Certainly, in the areas of hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence, enterprise analytics, cybersecurity and even quantum computing, Intel is about 271

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘INTEL OPTANE DC PERSISTENT MEMORY FILLS THE GAP BETWEEN DRAM AND SSDS’

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Providing clients with a unique approach to digital transformation WRITTEN BY

SOPHIE CHAPMAN PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

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AVAYA

As Avaya provides tailored services for its clients, the company’s Senior Director of Client Experience Innovation reveals how digital transformation is changing the telecommunications industry

A

vaya is a software and services organisation that has a long legacy in the telecommunications industry. Headquartered

in California’s Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, the business has evolved alongside the industry. “The evolution really came down to the 274

mobile device – the smart phone becoming the entry point for communications across every platform,” explains Tim Gogal, Senior Director of Client Experience Innovation at Avaya. “Looking at it from a corporate perspective, not only do we have a very strong focus on evolving our customer strategies around the evolution of a multichannel or omnichannel approach to customer service, we also internally create and invent software that ties all those things together.” Gogal’s team has developed its strategy to optimise the transition from legacy telecommunications engineering skill sets to software developments that cater to clients’ needs. “I run a sales organisation that focuses on evolving our clients’ customer service strategies.

AUGUST 2019


“Digital transformation is ultimately defining that there’s a larger imperative at play; it encompasses much more than just technology” — Tim Gogal, Senior Director of Client Experience Innovation, Avaya 275

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AVAYA

“The industry itself uniquely allows Avaya to position itself as an industry expert” — Tim Gogal, Senior Director of Client Experience Innovation, Avaya

We’re moving away from simply focusing on contact centers and looking at a larger digital transformation imperative,” Gogal says. “We’re understanding how customers are communicating with brands and social media using crowd sourcing websites, and we’re addressing the larger understanding that customer service today, in a digital transformation mindset, is completely different than the industry as a whole.” Having previously worked as a contact center agent, Gogal realised there was a better

276

way of doing business if organizations could align technologies with customer service strategies. Through his analysis of the strategy, Gogal earned his place as a global voice architect which led to him selling the technology that can transform businesses. With the proliferation of mobile devices, Avaya ensures it is offering the most advanced services whilst maintaining a tailored approach, enhancing efficiency and desirability in its communications component. “Digital transformation is ultimately defining that there’s a larger imperative at play; it encompasses much more AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘AVAYA THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR EMPLOYEES’ 277 than just technology. It encompasses

has enabled it to adapt to customers’

the importance of understanding

needs. “We have the ability to integrate

who is at the other end of the commu-

very seamlessly with virtually

nication channel – whether it’s a phone

any enterprise application that’s

call, a chat or an SMS – and giving that

available and bring the contextual data

particular individual the opportunity

sets of those back-office applications

to communicate through the channel

into the overall client experience.

that’s most appropriate and most

We are uniquely positioned to provide

effective for them,” comments Gogal.

our clients with a personalized service

“I have a team of software developers

across virtually any media channel

that focus on creating individual,

and that’s a fundamental game

customised and unique experiences

changer for us,” Gogal adds.

on a case by case basis for each and every one of our clients.” Avaya’s omnichannel approach

“Avaya’s business lineage leads us back to the 1-800 patent. Having such a strong legacy in the communications w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


space, along with the customer service

for the client leveraging service design

industry, uniquely allows Avaya to

practices focused on streamlined

position itself as an industry expert,”

business process models. “We start

says Gogal. As a business with a great

the process by understanding explicitly

understanding of the industry surround-

what our end customers want from

ing it, the firm uses its knowledge

the brand from an experience perspec-

to stay on top of vertical trends. Avaya

tive,” he notes. Following the initial

combines trends of the future with

stage, the business will conduct

its end customer experience through

interviews to align with the executive

two key areas — service design

level visions of the company. During

and driving business outcomes.

the consulting process, the team will

Gogal will deploy a team of software

build the business model into

developers and digital transformation

a communication workflow that

strategists to build prototypes

focuses on streamlining the experience.

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Tim Gogal, Senior Director of Client Experience Innovation Tim Gogal built his career in the customer service industry. He’s an Entrepreneurial Leader, Strategic Thinker, Cultural Change Agent, with a passion for Anthropology, Ethnology, and Service Design Strategy with a focus on changing the landscape of business technology in today’s digitally disrupted world. His specialties include: Sales & Consulting, Corporate Management, Telecommunications (Voice) Architecture, Business Analytics, Customer Service Operations Management, Application Development.

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AVAYA

280

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281

ÂŁ3.27bn Approximate revenue in 2017

2000

Year founded

8,100

Approximate number of employees as of 2018 w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AVAYA

282

“We look at whether we have

technologies are in play which can

opportunities for deploying artificial

be leveraged to achieve a digitally

intelligence (AI) via chat bots. We look

transformed experience, with security

at things such as IoT devices and how

in mind, of course.”

we can leverage them to build a better

As an example of the Client Experi-

and more desirable experience.

ence Innovation team’s “Art of the

Are there IoT sensors that can be

Possible” mentality, the group devel-

leveraged in this process depending

oped a prototype last year that

upon each case-by-case basis?

incorporated the customer service

We look at whether or not blockchain

agent and the residential establish-

is applicable as it relates to security

ment – working with technologies such

needs. It is important to understand

as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

where our clients are today and what

To show how the client experience

their end customers want, and what

is evolving, and how uniquely posi-

AUGUST 2019


“It’s a delicate balance of understanding high level trends but also targeting the minutia of customers’ business issues and overall expectations, and how we solve for them” — Tim Gogal, Senior Director of Client Experience Innovation, Avaya

of everything that took place within that AI platform,” Gogal explains. As Avaya continues to target each customer’s individual needs, the company looks forward to facing new and distinctive challenges on a case-by-case basis. “The focus is understanding what the uniqueness of each business process is and layering on the Avaya solutions as the communication fabric for making operations as seamless as possible,” says Gogal. “It’s a delicate balance of understanding high level trends but also targeting the minutia of customers’ business issues

tioned Avaya’s open architecture really

and overall expectations, and how

is, they wanted to show how they

we solve for them.” Whilst streamlin-

can enable its clients to book trips

ing the operations of its customers

via voice command. “The idea is in

by removing human latency, striking

creating that use case of booking a trip,

a parallel between technology

selecting your flight itinerary, your hotel

adoption and personalisation will

capability, and capturing all those

continue to be a top priority to the firm.

attributes through the in-home AI platform. Then, if there’s a need for a conversation, it can be escalated to an agent or a customer service representative in a contact center who receives the appropriate data along with the contextual history w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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RiverStreet Networks: digital disruption to telecoms infrastructure WRITTEN BY

SOPHIE CHAPMAN

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

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RIVERSTREET NETWORKS

As RiverStreet evolves with the changing telecom landscape, RiverStreet Networks’ CTO tells us about the company’s digital transformation journey

R

iverStreet Networks was established in 1951 to create access to telephone services in rural North Carolina.

The Communications Act of 1934 ensured that 286

having access to a telephone is an inalienable right, leading to companies and cooperatives being subsidized to build telephone infrastructure. “Our mission at the time, although we didn’t know it, was to serve the unserved,” says Jody Call, the firm’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Until 2014, the company had around 10,000 customers. This changed when the government began reducing subsidies due to a lack of access lines as a result of the proliferation of mobile devices. “We had a lot of attrition of our access lines and our company was growing as more of a broadband provider. We had overbuilt our entire network in our cooperative footprint of about 10,000 customers with gigabit fiber to the home, and we had pretty much captured the market here – so we started expanding outside of the county,” he adds. AUGUST 2019


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“Our mission at the time, although we didn’t know it, was to serve the un-served” — Jody Call, Chief Technology Officer, RiverStreet Networks w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


RIVERSTREET NETWORKS

“We’ve had to disrupt our own internal processes and ways of thinking and to accommodate and embrace new technologies” 288

— Jody Call, Chief Technology Officer, RiverStreet Networks

Under its expansion strategy, RiverStreet has acquired and merged with other businesses in the state of Wilkes County, North Carolina. The company anticipates that its customer and account rate will reach 35,000 by the end of this year, following the completion of further deals, with 25,000 of those customers connecting to broadband. “The paradigm shift in the industry is to provide broadband in the unserved and under-served areas and to address the digital divide – we’re looking at that through several different ways of infrastructure,” says Call. RiverStreet upgrades fiber to home, DSL networks, RF cables and traditional cable television, and is looking into fixed wireless options. Part of RiverStreet’s continual transformation includes regularly evaluating each incumbent vendor relationship and their respective product roadmaps. These relationships and roadmaps have to be aligned with the firm’s current and future plans as they change – technologies change, customer needs change, and cost is always an underlying factor. Avoiding getting too comfortable in any vendor relationship is paramount in how

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘RIVERSTREET NETWORKS: DRONE COMPILATION’ 289 RiverStreet’s Operations group stays

a single screen to watch OTT, app-

focused on addressing customer

based content. The look and feel of

needs and continuing to serve more

traditional TV are merged with current,

of the unserved popluation. Recently,

app-based, OTT streaming. This

as part of this evolving mindset, the

product is poised to perform well in

company partnered with Sacramento-

RiverStreet’s continued growth across

based MobiTV to complement and

their diverse markets.

eventually replace its existing IPTV

As the business has evolved with

deployment with an OTT (over-the-top)

the environment surrounding it, digital

TV package that closely resembles

disruption has been at the heart of its

RiverStreet’s legacy IPTV offering.

operations. “Typically, a lot of companies

This OTT technology allows the firm’s

in our industry are very rooted or set in

customers the option of watching

one way of doing things. We’ve had to

TV as they previously had in a linear

disrupt our own internal processes and

fashion while adding the option of

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RIVERSTREET NETWORKS

290

and embrace new technologies.”

how we provision customers is digital,

The CTO recalls a change in culture

how we upgrade them – everything

throughout the firm’s evolution, with

is reliant on technology,” he notes.

the business being a more IT-based

When the company began embracing

operation than ever before. Over 50%

digital transformation, it realised fiber

of the company’s staff work in IT, with

was the best connectivity option for

technology underpinning the company’s

the state. “When we embraced fiber to

core functions. “RiverStreet is a

the home technology in 2014, we said,

technology-based company. If it weren’t

‘This is the only way to do a network’.

for digital, as far as what we provide

However, it’s expensive and we had to

to our customers, we would not have a

take the blinders off and realise that there

business case at all. Everything we rely

are other ways to serve the unserved

on is integrated into our digital billing

customers in the rural areas, and that

system. Our mapping system is digital,

could be fixed wireless,” says Call.

AUGUST 2019


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Jody R. Call, Chief Technology Officer Jody R. Call oversees the organisation’s operations while aligning its strategic vision with the customers’ growing and ever-evolving technological needs. Bleeding edge deployments, calculated risks, and industry disruptions in rural communications are a normal day’s work in this role, which requires a growth mindset and the willingness to adapt and change direction with short notice. Call was hired in 2006 as a systems engineer to manage the company’s IPTV roll out. Later that year, he took on the task to design, engineer, and deploy the network topology for the eightyear, $44+ million, fiber-to-the-home project effectively migrating all of Wilkes Communications’ 9,000+ legacy copper / DSL subscribers to an all-active, Gigabit, fiber network; one of the first companies in the United States to do so. During his combined 23+ year career he has simultaneously taught several years at the collegiate and post-secondary level specialising in course concentrations including: networking, cyber security, hardware and software systems concepts, network operating systems, and general IT concepts. Call holds an A.A.S in Electronics Engineering, a B.S. in Human Services, and a M.A. Ed. in Instructional Technology: Information Systems. He has completed post-graduate work in wireless technologies and network engineering and has held or currently holds industry-relevant certifications from Cisco, ITILv3, Apple, Dell, and CompTIA. Call resides in his hometown of Wilkesboro in rural North Carolina, with his wife, daughter, son, five cats, and 10 dogs.

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RIVERSTREET NETWORKS

1951

Year founded

150

Approximate number of employees

292

HQ

Wilkes County, NC

AUGUST 2019


293

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Fixed wireless connectivity can be connected using existing assets such as cellphone towers, state, county or city owned towers, water towers, and grain silos at agricultural locations. “We’ve transformed our mindset to say, ‘It’s okay to offer this’,” he adds. RiverStreet recently entered into a 10 to 20-year partnership with the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC), which governs the 26 cooperatives across the state. “There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about electric coops wanting to

“Our mission at the time, although we didn’t know it, was to serve the un-served” — Jody Call, Chief Technology Officer, RiverStreet Networks

get into the broadband business – they don’t want to do it for a lot of the same w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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RIVERSTREET NETWORKS

“We don’t just want to survive in the industry, we want to be able to thrive” — Jody Call, Chief Technology Officer, RiverStreet Networks

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reasons we don’t want to get into the electric business, because it’s foreign to us. We wanted a partnership in which we share revenue, but we could utlise the NCEMC’s fiber optic infrastructure connected to substations, and in return we could do fixed wireless or fiber to the home for customers in rural areas.” The NCEMC has roughly 1.2mn customers across North Carolina, with about 700,000 being within the 17 counties RiverStreet is targeting. “First, we get customers connected to fixed wireless; that shows us where the interest is. Then we could then build a permanent fiber to the home solution to those pockets. AUGUST 2019


It’s probably the biggest project we have going on,” Call adds. Another aspect of the company’s transformation journey is maintaining a growth mindset, despite a lull in funding. “It is important to continue to grow rather than waiting for someone else to come in and help. We’ve been so reliant on government subsidies, with organisations like the FCC providing settlements based on access lines. But that is slowly going away, and we don’t just want to survive in the industry, we want to be able to thrive.” Growth is driving the firm’s operations, with upgradeability and scalability being top priorities for RiverStreet. “We’re also looking out for our employees and their families, their retirements and the growth of this company. If we’ve grown this much since 2014, we can only imagine how much more we can grow if we look another 10 years into the future,” remarks Call.

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Y

W IL L I A M S

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Embarking on a d e r e w o p digitaltransformation journey MIK E S A DR

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O N LY A B O U T C H I L D R E N

Only About Children (Oac) CIO Andy Luiskandl details Oac’s digital-powered transformation benefitting children, families and team members and highlights the important role IT should play

T

he work of digital transformation is often said to be capable of rejuvenating a business, taking it from stuck-in-its-ways

adulthood to the dynamism of youth. Embodying the youthful side of this equation, Only About 300

Children (Oac) is an early learning and childcare provider with more than 70 campuses across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane catering for 0-6 year olds. Andy Luiskandl is Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the business, guiding Oac’s transformation journey at a time of rapid growth. “The business has grown substantially over the last 12 months, virtually doubling in size,” says Luiskandl. “When I arrived last year, we were halfway through onboarding 25 campuses, and since then another six have joined the group. At each campus we have a Campus Director, educators and team members who educate and care for the children. Oac has more than 11,000 children in its care. With parents and extended family as well, we have close to 100,000 people, give or take, who are engaging with Oac digitally.” AUGUST 2019


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O N LY A B O U T C H I L D R E N

“Everything Oac does is to empower every child to reach their full potential through a passion for learning” — Anna Learmonth, CEO, Only About Children

In line with the breadth of change in the ever growing organisation, two major transformational initiatives went into full gear shortly after Luiskandl joined: the transition of Oac’s ERP system (QikKids) to the Cloud – including the rollout of new customer-facing apps – and the implementation of a Cloud-based workforce management system (Ento), as well as several smaller projects. From the outset it was clear that Oac’s digital transformation – or

302

‘digital-powered transformation’ as Luiskandl prefers to call it – would touch on everything Oac does, and that success would depend on several critical success factors including: 1. Ensuring organisational ownership and leadership across all levels, from the CEO down and from the educators caring for the children up; 2. A robust approach to project and change management, supported with good governance and assurance, and the timely acquisition of skills critical to successful execution; AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE ROLE OF AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR’ 303 3. IT stepping-up to take a broader

tations that Luiskandl also had to deal

role partnering with senior stakeholders

with in previous roles working on tight

and teams to navigate Oac through the

budgets. Overarching all the above

inevitable challenges, something that

was to make sure that the many

Luiskandl terms ‘transformation

changes were ultimately delivering

stewardship’;

on the promise to better scale and transform the ‘Oac Way’ – a set of core

4. Balancing the many demands of digital-powered transformation with the realities of ensuring quality

beliefs and a structured model to deliver inspired, high quality early education. Anna Learmonth, Oac’s CEO,

day-to-day operations and service

explains: “Everything Oac does is

delivery in parallel.

to empower every child to reach their full potential through a passion for

The transformation had to be delivered efficiently, quickly and smoothly, expec-

learning. This also goes beyond education and encompasses the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Agile delivery. Proven outcomes. Genisys is a leading Service Provider with expertise in delivering Secure Hybrid Cloud, Managed Services, Enterprise Connectivity, Data Centre and Disaster Recovery solutions for Australia’s leading organisations in the public and private sectors.

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O N LY A B O U T C H I L D R E N

health and total wellbeing of every child in our care. Our transformation had to deliver on that promise. I am pleased to say that the team has achieved this and the benefits of our transformation are already measurable, and frankly impressive. Our people, programs and partnerships were all key to that.” As Oac’s transformation unfolded, existing and new technology vendor relationships had to scale-up, and fast. For example, to ensure a robust approach to transformation execution

306

and assurance, Oac engaged Quay Consulting to provide project and change management support. “Quay has in many ways been the ‘first amongst equals’ vendor relationship,” says Luiskandl. “The way they engaged with us proved successful.” Internal business improvements gained through transformation are only one side of the coin, and Oac has seized the opportunity to implement measures that improve the experience of children and their families. According to Kathryn Hutchins, Oac’s Customer GM: “An important part of Oac’s transformation was to upgrade our ERP AUGUST 2019


system, QikKids. Whilst the platform

streamlining the process. With Family

didn’t change too much, without down-

Lounge, parents can easily book chil-

playing the complexity transitioning

dren in for unscheduled care. “Families

a heavily-customised and internally-

are able to book what we call ‘casual

hosted ERP system to a more vanilla

days’,” Kathryn explains. “For example,

Cloud one, we used the opportunity

as a parent you may need to enrol

to roll-out new family apps to improve

your child for an extra day. With Family

the customer experience, namely Enrol,

Lounge, if a place is available you can

Family Lounge and Storypark.” With

book it digitally using the app. And with

Enrol, the process to enrol a child at

Storypark, our educators can engage

an Oac campus is facilitated digitally,

in two-way communications with

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Andy Luiskandl, Chief Information Officer Andy Luiskandl has served in CIO roles at several sector-leading Australian commercial and social enterprises that are providing services and care to the community: The Smith Family (a wellknown Australian children’s charity), InvoCare (an ASX 200-listed company that services families to celebrate and memorialise lives), Primary Health Network (a government-funded local health reform enterprise) and Only About Children. His area of expertise is to power the transformation and growth of enterprises with technology. Prior, he worked in the fast-moving consumer goods industry spearheading digital and e-commerce at Coca-Cola and Dairy Farmers (the latter award-winning). Andy also founded and run an award-winning Cloud software business that serviced larger enterprises incl. Unisys, Campbell Arnott’s and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

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308

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AU $175mn Approximate revenue

2002

Year founded

2,000+

Approximate number of employees 309

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O N LY A B O U T C H I L D R E N

“It’s not good enough for just IT or another team to walk that journey or answer for it, everybody needs to” — Andy Luiskandl, CIO, Only About Children

310

families, sharing children’s learning ex-

Genysis, Oac was able to expand

periences and more. The uptake of all

and improve the performance of the

these new capabilities has exceeded

network that connects Oac’s 70 plus

expectations, our educators now have

campuses, including VoIP-based

the tools they need, and we are raising

telecommunications. “Modern digital

the bar.”

networks can be thought of as a

Then there is Microsoft, Telstra

human nervous system,” says

and Genysis that supported Oac

Luiskandl. “We all know how constraining

to scale-up its ‘bread and butter’

it can be if our Internet at home is slow

technology foundations. Working with

or not working at all, and the adverse

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311

impact in an organisational context

foundations. We are now using

is greater of course – especially if

Microsoft’s Office 365 platform to

customers are impacted.” Turning

better collaborate with tools like

to Microsoft, Oac rapidly-scaled the

SharePoint, and we also pushed

availability of Microsoft Office 365

the envelope when it comes to data

from 150 to over 2,000 users, whilst

analysis and visualisation using

Telstra scaled Oac’s mobile network

Microsoft PowerBI.”

and coverage with 4G. “There is more

Finally, there is Ento, a new vendor

to do,” Luiskandl reflects, “but we now

relationship for Oac. Craig Talberg,

have got a better network and stronger

Oac’s Operations GM explains: “Our w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Ento workforce management initiative touches pretty much everything workforce-wise. Rostering and scheduling, time and attendance, workflows such as onboarding and more, all supported with a mobile app on iPads at all campuses and smartphone access for all team members. Ento also supports facial recognition to make things easier and faster for people, also considering how busy work can be at a campus. As well, the use of AI capability is enabling our business to align and operate more closely with the children, so we are better able to provide outstanding education and care. We are on a good journey.� This sense of a journey informs the culture Luiskandl strived to nurture as the transformation unfolded. “Oac has historically been innovative when it comes to technology, and the business will continue to innovate to better deliver on its customer promise and meet stakeholder expectations. As CIOs we are temporary stewards who support people as the digital-powered transformation journey unfolds. Our responsibility is ultimately to those that will take over from us, making sure the business is in the best possible w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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O N LY A B O U T C H I L D R E N

condition – certainly when it comes to technology.” Another plank of the transformation was cybersecurity, maintaining ‘business as usual’ and – last but not least – developing the IT Team. “Cybersecurity-wise we have come a long way, and we are now beating several industry benchmarks. For example, our Microsoft Secure Score has quadrupled and is now double the industry average,” says Luiskandl. “In respect to ‘business as usual’, we 314

have redoubled field servicing to make sure campuses are better looked after IT-wise, with a sixfold increase in user satisfaction (based

“As CIOs we are temporary stewards who support people as the digital-powered transformation journey unfolds” — Andy Luiskandl, CIO, Only About Children

on user feedback). And we are not resting on our laurels.“ As for the IT team, Scott Bennett, Oac’s longestserving IT team member, reflects: “We have never been in a better position than now. The last 12 months were quite a ride, and we have landed in a good place.” In his role as CIO, Luiskandl sees the opportunity to leverage transformation to guide wider improvements across an enterprise, and to raise the bar for people coming together to

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achieve results. “When I was on-boarded

IT or another team to walk that journey

there was an opportunity to better

or answer for it, everybody needs to.”

align the IT Team with the rest of the

Oac’s digital transformation journey

business, and vice versa. The conversa-

gives Luiskandl’s sentiments credence.

tion became: ‘let's work together and

Two major initiatives succeeded in

support each other to make this a

positively touching the experiences

success’.” Ultimately, Luiskandl sees a

of many, capability advanced all

successful transformation as requiring

around and measurable results were

the collaboration of every part of a

delivered smoothly, all within a short

business. “Everybody has to work

timeframe and on a tight budget.

together to succeed. IT can and should play a stewardship role provided the whole organisation walks the journey together. It's not good enough for just w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY

MIKE SADR

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V I C T O R I A N D E PA R T M E N T O F H E A LT H & H U M A N S E R V I C E S

Dr Steve Hodgkinson, CIO of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, details the work he and his team have done to digitally transform project delivery through the Platform+Agile model

O

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is dedicated to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all

Victorians, providing a wide range of services 318

ranging from hospital and ambulance services to child protection and family violence programmes and beyond. The department is increasingly finding that digital solutions can offer communities improved services, whether that’s people with a disability being able to easily register for a companion card using its Companion Card System or those applying for public housing using the Housing Register Online Application system. Steve Hodgkinson is CIO at the department, presiding over an ongoing digital transformation alongside his leadership team. “These days, digital transformation is purely driven by your capacity to execute projects,” says Hodgkinson. “If you can’t execute projects then it’s all just talk. My executive leadership team is at the core of achieving that.” Detailing his team’s AUGUST 2019


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$20.bn Approximate revenue

2015

Year founded

12,000

Approximate number of employees w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


V I C T O R I A N D E PA R T M E N T O F H E A LT H & H U M A N S E R V I C E S

“The pace at which we can deliver digital transformation is now critical to the government’s ability to deliver its reform programs” — Steve Hodgkinson, CIO, The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

successful process, Hodgkinson says that it starts with Fiona Sparks, Assistant Director, Strategy & Design, who is integral to the upfront work required to mobilise and fund a large portfolio of projects. Ray Baird, Assistant Director, Systems Solutions, then leads development of the applications, creating the structure for delivery. Assistant Director, Solutions Engagement, John Henderson manages the project pipeline, liaising with businesses to ensure projects are steadily delivered. David Stephens is Chief Data Officer, responsible not only for data to do with projects but also the

320

broader logic around data collection and information management in a large department, and Liz Hughes, Directorate Manager, provides the support services that keep the branch operating.

PLATFORM+AGILE Alongside his team, Hodgkinson credits the rapid acceleration of the department’s digital transformation efforts to an approach he has pioneered known as Platform+Agile, building out of agile software development methods. “The Platform+Agile model is founded on two main ideas. Firstly, you can’t be agile unless you AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE POWER OF CONTENT WITH STEVE HODGKINSON’ 321 start with a robust, scalable and

of the platform, says Hodgkinson.

sustainable platform. Secondly, public

“Each application is not unique, rather

cloud service platforms are faster,

it’s a variation of things that already

more secure, more affordable and

exist. That enables us to start projects

simply better in all regards than

quickly and cheaply, and then to

anything a government agency could

deliver a minimal viable product much

ever hope to build or own,” says

more rapidly than otherwise possible,

Hodgkinson. Platform+Agile is the

getting feedback from real users and

opposite of the usual government

iterating based on that. That simple

approach which sees each application

process is itself the most important

and system as a unique, one-off event.

accelerant of digital transformation.

“The fundamental mindset of

It is all about increasing the cadence of

Platform+Agile is that each application

project delivery to fuel a compounding

inherits as much as possible of the

organizational learning effect.”

standard and common functionality

By relying on platforms in the way w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


V I C T O R I A N D E PA R T M E N T O F H E A LT H & H U M A N S E R V I C E S

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that DHHS does, it is important that

platforms is Microsoft cloud services

platforms are chosen for their

(Azure, Dynamics and Office365),

versatility and long-term sustainability.

which has the advantage of many

“You have to think of platforms

pre-existing synergies such as a

strategically as things that you invest

government-wide enterprise agreement,

in deeply. When the next use case

Microsoft’s necessary federal

comes along, the question is not how

government security certifications,

to solve this by going out to market

the department’s installed base of

and choosing a new technology and a

Microsoft applications, and skills in

new vendor, the question is how to

Microsoft’s development frameworks.

deliver this use case using our

The department also makes use of

strategic platform and the things we

other platforms for different use

have already built and have available.”

cases: Salesforce for CRM-style

One of the department’s strategic

applications; ServiceNow for service

AUGUST 2019


management; SAP’s SuccessFactors

for each application. Vendors need

for human capital management and

to understand that the game has

Oracle Cloud ERP for finance systems.

fundamentally changed. The Game

Hodgkinson observes that the

of Platforms is a long game based on

Platform+Agile approach is transforming

maintaining positive and deep strategic

the logic of technology procurement

relationships, not a transactional game

in his department. It is now a ‘Game of

based on winning tenders.”

Platforms’ as opposed to a more

To be able to scale-up projects to

traditional ‘Game of Tenders’. “Use

deliver new applications in these

cases are increasingly contested

cloud services platforms, DHHS has

across our platforms to select the

developed a procurement mechanism

best existing platform for a new

known as the Solution Delivery Panel.

application rather than in the past

Key vendors on the panel include

where we would have run a tender to

Terra Firma, Access Testing, CSC

select a new vendor and technology

DXC, Datacom, Dialog, DWS, Infosys,

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Steve Hodgkinson, CIO Steve has been DHHS CIO since 2014. He was previously Chief Analyst Public Sector for research & advisory firm Ovum. In earlier years he founded and sold an e-commerce company and worked in a range of executive and consulting roles in the government and utilities sectors in Europe and Australasia. In his university years he worked as a Search & Rescue mountaineer for Aoraki Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand. He has a doctorate in Management Studies from the University of Oxford and a First Class Honours Degree in Information Systems from the University of Otago.

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Business Change Digital Optimisation Cyber Security Looking beyond.

Delivering key business and technology initiatives that propel organisational performance and elevate our customers’ brand.


“The agility of today’s platforms means the most important thing is to get started, deliver something and iterate upon it” — Steve Hodgkinson, CIO, The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

brought together a very fragmented application process for public housing and put it online in a form that could be used on a smartphone,” says Hodgkinson. “That whole process was a radical re-engineering and simplification of the way that people applied for public housing. The received wisdom was that the form and the process were far too complicated to work on a mobile phone. Using the Microsoft Azure framework that we had and its ability to work via smart-

Landell, Oakton, Plan IT, PM Partners,

phone applications, we launched

RXP, SMS – ASG Group, TDL/CNI and

the service and found that a large

Third Horizon.

percentage of clients thought that it

Streamlining the process for individ-

was much easier to use than the old

ual projects, the panel allows the de-

paper form process and more

partment to maintain strategic relation-

convenient to access on a mobile

ships with partners rather than relying

phone than a computer. This taught

on a project-by-project approach.

us how the functionality native in the platform can actually drive innovation

PROJECTS Hodgkinson and his team have

in citizen-centric service delivery.” Another project saw the creation

delivered and iteratively refined more

of the Client Incident Management

than 30 major new business systems,

System (CIMS), a unified system for

of which he points out a number of

collecting and managing incident

exemplary projects that demonstrate

reports from over 1,700 agencies in

the impact possible with the

fields such as disability, public housing

Platform+Agile approach. “The

and child protection. Again using

Housing Register Online Application

Microsoft Azure, the large number w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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V I C T O R I A N D E PA R T M E N T O F H E A LT H & H U M A N S E R V I C E S

of agencies and sensitive data involved proved the efficacy of the Platform+Agile approach, with the system in seamless operation for some 18 months. The architecture foundations and microservices laid down for that system were later reused, as Hodgkinson explains: “The Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS) has only recently gone live for a cluster of around 50 health services. Previously, a dysfunctional version of that application had been in place for many years and had defied many attempts to replace it. Using the 326

fact that we had already developed a lot of basic functionality and platform features for CIMS, we were able to reuse much of the logic for VHIMS. The project was delivered on time and on budget and has been praised by nurses for reducing significantly the time taken to record incidents. It demonstrates the strength of platform thinking.” A recent development at DHHS is the launch of SafeScript, a new system for real time prescription monitoring between doctors and pharmacies, preventing the over-prescription of controlled drugs. “SafeScript is an example of the power of the Platform+Agile approach to break AUGUST 2019


through a Gordian knot,” says Hodgkinson. “A project had been running for many years to create a national real time prescription monitoring system, but it was stalling because of the complexity of getting all of the different stakeholders in Australia to agree on the requirements and how the project would be implemented. The Platform+Agile approach doesn’t bother with that. It’s about making the best call you can, implementing the solution and then relying on the fact that a solution provided as a public cloud service can easily scale and be consumed by other jurisdictions to become the national solution.” Since going live, the system has been acclaimed and is being picked up by other states to form the basis of a national system. As for future projects, Hodgkinson says: “We are still working through a pipeline of applications that need to be modernised or rebuilt. There’s very little that can be done without a digital solution now. The pace at which we can deliver digital transformation is now critical to the government’s ability to deliver its policy and service delivery reform programs.” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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V I C T O R I A N D E PA R T M E N T O F H E A LT H & H U M A N S E R V I C E S

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• The Client Incident Management System (CIMS) is a unified system for collecting and managing incident reports from over 1,700 agencies in fields such as disability, public housing and child protection

328

• Hodgkinson and his team have delivered and iteratively refined more than 30 major new business systems

AUGUST 2019


It’s clear that DHHS’s digital transformation approach has had a transformative impact on the ways Victorians can interact with the department and draw on its resources. For Hodgkinson, the role of the CIO as it pertains to digital transformation is that of the catalyst. “People have a propensity to want to try and solve the whole of the problem – until they can see a way to solve for the whole then they don’t even get started. The agility that is possible using today’s cloud services platforms means that, as long as you’ve got a sufficient awareness of the big picture and where it can go to, the most important thing is to get started, deliver something and iterate upon it as opposed to agonising forever over trying to solve for the whole integrated solution. I like to say that ‘startegy is usually the best strategy’. Getting started and learning fast is often better than spending too long strategising and failing to actually get around to doing.”

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RSC 330

COMING OUT ON TOP AFTER A LONG INDUSTRY DOWNTURN IN A CROWDED MARKET PLACE WRITTEN BY

DAN BRIGHTMORE PRODUCED BY

RICHARD DEANE

AUGUST 2019


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R S C M I N I N G & M I N E R A L E X P L O R AT I O N

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RSC MINING & MINERAL EXPLORATION HAS DELIVERED GEOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS FOR OVER A DECADE. MANAGING DIRECTOR RENÉ STERK REVEALS HOW THE COMPANY HAS GAINED TRACTION IN A CROWDED MARKET AUGUST 2019


333

W

hen Managing Director René

Sterk. “I had a consulting offer on the

Sterk launched RSC back

table, but it needed a 24-hour decision,

in 2008 it was a one-man

so I designed a logo, registered the

band triggered by his disillusionment

company in New Zealand and headed

with the big-company approach. “I was

out to South Africa to provide technical

looking for more exposure to different

support at a small gold mine in South

projects and different commodities,

Africa.” It was this go-getting attitude

and to be able to have a more direct

and passion for geology that saw the

impact on the bottom line”, recalls

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


R S C M I N I N G & M I N E R A L E X P L O R AT I O N

“WE’RE ONE OF THE VERY FEW GROUPS WORKING IN THE SEABED MINING ENVIRONMENT. OUR BREADTH OF EXPERIENCE IN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, SEABED SAMPLING EXPERTISE, AND ABILITY TO COME UP WITH INNOVATIVE APPROACHES REALLY ADDS VALUE HERE” 334

— René Sterk, Managing Director, RSC

Today, RSC boasts a 72-strong team comprising consultants, project and logistics managers, data management professionals, contract geologists and savvy technical personnel with experience spanning the mining cycle. Based around the world and with offices in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Canada, the company runs projects from early stage exploration through to resource development, feasibility studies, mining operations, project close-out and sustainable environmental remediation. Navigating the challenges of the industry downturn has seen RSC dig deep to succeed by doing things differently. “As consultants and service providers we aim to get our clients on board and to buy in to what we can offer,” says Sterk. “We really want to add value, not just do the job and send the invoice. I have sleepless nights if we’re facing a challenge to deliver on schedule, or if things don’t work out as planned. In this very conventional and crowded mining-service space, that journey, as a point of difference, is important to us. We have a top to bottom structure which is very flat, so

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘KONONGO GOLD MINE – GHANA 3D FLY-THROUGH VIDEO’ 335 we all equally engage with our clients.”

latest machine learning research as

RSC strives to be on the cutting

we aim to offer our clients the total

edge of industry developments, with

package,” he pledges. Sterk notes that

technology part of the success of its

RSC is big on forging alliances in order

offering. “Most of the time people are

to broaden its offering. “For example,

looking for a very conventional product.

we work closely together with Olympus

They simply want our geologists to

which has turned us into one of the

come out to assist with a drilling

major rental outlets of portable XRF

program and we just work within the

analysers – capable of delivering

client’s constraints,” says Sterk.

multi-element geochemical data via

However, he is keen for RSC to be part

X-ray fluorescence – in Australasia,”

of the conversation and to stay relevant

reveals Sterk. “We also have strong

as early adopters. “We’re excited about

alliances with companies who push the

a brand new alliance with our partners

software envelope. Phinar Software,

in the US, giving us access to the very

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R S C M I N I N G & M I N E R A L E X P L O R AT I O N

336

package X-10, are creating functional-

of this is done in international waters.

ity and user experiences that nobody

Our breadth of experience in resource

else out there are offering, at great

development, seabed sampling

value, making our resource estimation

expertise, and ability to come up with

work so much easier, and offering

innovative approaches really adds

a higher-value product to our clients.

value here. We have done high-level

“Alternatively, we provide high-level

work for several large international

consulting advice in unconventional

consortiums and governments with

markets. For instance, we’re one of the

interests in this space,” Sterk adds.

very few groups working in the seabed

RSC is also a strong supporter of

mining environment. It’s a secretive

questing junior explorers. “We get the

space with overlaps with the oil and

biggest kick out of helping small

gas environment, and without public

companies that have dreams but not

reporting requirements because a lot

the teams to develop those dreams,”

AUGUST 2019


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

René Sterk, Managing Director, RSC “I’ve always loved starting new things”, says serial entrepreneur René Sterk. “Confidence is everything: being able to deliver on what you promise, and knowing that you can, is key. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes and learn to identify your own strengths and weaknesses. In order to set up a successful company, you have to hire people who are better at the things you are not good at. I’m only a geologist because I love rocks and have a passion for the outdoors, not because I wanted to find fortune; I would have become a banker instead! From an entrepreneurial point of view, I find the competitive nature of the mining industry really interesting. It’s a very crowded space, but it’s been far easier than I thought at the beginning to start a company and find a niche.” Sterk has delivered resource evaluation, training and geological consulting throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania in a wide variety of geological settings and commodities. He has led numerous exploration and mine geology teams in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Philippines, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Sweden and Mali. He is a Director, Fellow and Chartered Professional with the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, a Member and Registered Professional Geologist with the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, and holds a master’s degree in Structural Geology and Tectonics. He established RSC in 2008, employing up to 75 technical staff around the globe, and specialises in exploration management for gold and base metals, with a strong added skill set in resource modelling, grade control, reconciliation, QA/QC and successful sampling. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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2008

Year founded

65

Approximate number of employees

338

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Sterk. “At the end of the day, as geologists our primary goal is to find deposits and these guys have a really prospective stretch of ground, but on a budget without the arms and legs to undertake the work. We’ve got exploration managers in the field developing programmes getting results and then we’ll advise on how to structure the portfolio. It’s an area where we excel. says Sterk. “They have ambition to

Finding a big deposit is not only great

get into the mining game. They’ve put

for the client’s shareholders, but it

a framework together; they’ve got

makes us look good as well.”

a board and raised some money, but

The challenge for RSC is to remain

they’ve got nobody to help them

flexible and keep resources in place in

execute. We like helping those guys

what Sterk terms “such a competitive

from cradle to grave. It’s the front end;

and crowded market”. Being able to

all the exploration management on

react to demand is vital. “Our planning

the ground, but also the marketing,

and governance is based on quarterly

design, road shows and compliance.”

budgets,” he explains. “That’s how

To that end, one of the various juniors

short-term the demand in the service

RSC is currently working with is

industry is. Resourcing appropriately

Sydney-based Gold Mountain in Papua

and taking on just enough risk to

New Guinea. “It’s a fantastic project,

be ready when demand spikes is key.”

with amazing potential,” enthuses

Sterk maintains that RSC always w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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positions itself to be able to say yes to clients and to consistently deliver the high standards they have come to expect. RSC is agile and well-tuned to react to industry trends. Among those, Sterk highlights the shifting geography of demand that can move from North America to Africa. “Clients aren’t necessarily looking for different solutions, but they do need different structures to how we offer them, so right now we’re doing a lot of campaign 342

work, specifically for mid-tiers and larger companies. The liability of an overfull team of full-time geologists is still fresh in their mind from the previous downturn, so we’re supporting them with turnkey solutions. It’s a way for them to mitigate risk,” reasons Sterk, who sees this development as indicative of a shift in the wider industry. The company has managed several of Barrick’s drilling campaigns and assisted with its exploration and feasibility programmes in Western Australia. Its turnkey AUGUST 2019


CO M PAN Y FACT S

RSC originally analysed listed mining company announcements to support its own marketing efforts. Through its work in the public reporting compliance space, RSC then began offering a free service allowing users to view and download published reports, with the main aim of improving the quality of global public reporting standards. Its most popular product is a weekly list in which all globally announced drilling results are converted to an Au-equivalent result and ranked against each other, producing tables of the top intersections by stock exchange listing in different time periods. Opaxe was formed in March of 2019 to take over the existing operations of RSC’s Mineral Intelligence service and to continue to develop and expand the subscriptionbased service. Its clients include mining professionals, investors and brokers, mining companies and the media

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R S C M I N I N G & M I N E R A L E X P L O R AT I O N

344

AUGUST 2019


“WE GET THE BIGGEST KICK OUT OF HELPING SMALL COMPANIES THAT HAVE DREAMS BUT NOT THE TEAMS TO DEVELOP THOSE DREAMS” — René Sterk, Managing Director, RSC

full-project solutions are in demand, with RSC recently picking up a big project with Evolution Mining which has assets across New South Wales and Western Australia. “Working on great exploration projects like these is a feather in our cap,” adds Sterk. Sterk believes that being a service company is not RSC’s final destination; the organisation is capable of much more. “We’ve developed a number of other products that will ultimately diversify our company,” he confirms. RSC added oil and gas services to its portfolio in 2016, and has picked up soil remediation and other environmental work in New Zealand. “However, diversification for us is also about w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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R S C M I N I N G & M I N E R A L E X P L O R AT I O N

“WE’RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT COMBINING OUR MACHINE LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND RESEARCH WITH BETTER WAYS TO DO DATA ANALYTICS IN A PUBLIC REPORTING SPACE. THAT’S WHERE OPAXE COMES IN” — René Sterk, Managing Director, RSC

346 coming up with novel ideas. One of the things we’ve developed is a resource intelligence product that’s become very popular. We’ve recently spun that off into a daughter company called

Sterk recently took on a Director role

Opaxe, providing mineral intelligence

at the Australian Institute of Minerals

to mining professionals and investors.

and Metallurgy (AusIMM) where he

The data analytics space is where the

hopes to contribute at board level for

industry is looking for new solutions

three years. Why is he so keen to give

with things like big data and machine

back to the community that has

learning. We’re very excited about

supported his business endeavours?

combining our machine learning

“We need to encourage the next

experience and research with better

generation to enter the mining industry,”

ways to do data analytics in a public

he argues. “It’s critical to build a strong

reporting space. That’s where Opaxe

industry and AusIMM allows profes-

comes in.” www.opaxe.com

sionals to come together to find ways

AUGUST 2019


347 to improve it. I’m passionate about getting more young people on education pathways into the industry. I’m eager for the institute to be innovative, think about what the future looks like in 20-30 years’ time, and ask how we position it to provide a place for the millennials and then the Gen Zs.” Energised by finding new ways to make miners mineral dreams come true by helping them realise the value of their assets, Sterk and RSC aren’t ready to pass the torch just yet.

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HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES: BRINGING RURAL CANADIANS CLOSER WITH HIGH-SPEED INTERNET WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN PRODUCED BY

ARRON RAMPLING

AUGUST 2019


349

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H UAW E I T E C H N O LO G I E S

FAMOUS AS A TRAILBLAZER IN THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS AND 5G MARKET, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES IS NOW TURNING ITS ATTENTION TO CANADA’S FAR NORTH IN A BID TO CONNECT REMOTE, RURAL COMMUNITIES

W

hether you want to reconnect with a long lost friend, learn a new language or even order a taxi, the internet has made it

possible with just a click of a button. It’s arguably one of the most disruptive technological innovations 350

of the last century. In fact, in Canada’s Internet Factbook 2018, a whopping 96% of Canadians highlighted how high-quality internet access was important at home, with 59% going as far as to call it ‘critically important’. Yet, whilst the internet may seem like a ubiquitous tool, ready and waiting at our fingertips, for many of Canada’s rural communities, poor or no internet access is a common reality. One firm hoping to remedy this is Huawei Technologies Inc. The Chinese powerhouse has made it big in the consumer electronics market, standing as the second largest phone maker in the world, and it’s also leading the race towards 5G. Chris Pereira, Director of Public Affairs at Huawei Technologies, outlines how Canada has played a vital role in Huawei’s success, standing as a central hub for research and development. “Last year, AUGUST 2019


351

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H UAW E I T E C H N O LO G I E S

“H AVING ACCESS TO HIGH-SPEED INTERNET CAN BE LIFE CHANGING” — Christopher Pereira, Director of Public Affairs, Huawei Technologies Canada

we invested $180mn in research and development in Canada to build our research centre in Ottawa and to accelerate 5G research,” he notes – and now the company wants to give back. Pereira explains that, by committing to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, Huawei is embarking on an ambitious endeavor: to connect all Canadians with high-speed internet by 2030. In addition, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CTRC) universal service objective for fixed Internet access service is that all

352

Canadians have access to at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload, with an option of unlimited data. Likewise, the universal service objective for mobile wireless services is that all Canadians have access to the latest generally deployed mobile wireless technology (currently LTE). According to regulators, mobile services should be accessible in homes, businesses and along major transportation roads. To make its commitments a reality, Huawei has turned its attention to the remote towns and villages across Northern Canada. “That’s the place AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘NORTHERN LIGHTS’ 353 where the connectivity is the weakest,

can be life changing in a few ways,”

so we’re trying to connect people in

observes Pereira. “With high-speed

more remote and smaller communities,”

internet, you can open an online store

Pereira says, noting how he and his

or help your business grow beyond

team recently visited the north-western

your own community, so it’s helping

Canadian town of Inuvik, located 200km

to connect the north to the economy.

inside the Arctic circle. In this region,

Another aspect that’s often overlooked

you can witness a midnight sun or the

is how it can help communities

mesmerising lights of Aurora Borealis

reconnect.” Pereira points out that

– but until recently the internet connection

many Inuit populations were extremely

was exceedingly sluggish. Now, by

isolated before they had high-speed

partnering with Ice Wireless, Huawei

internet, whereas now with the rollout

has been able to deliver high-speed

of 4G, Inuit communities are using the

4G LTE services to the remote town.

internet to sell and trade goods or

“Having access to high-speed internet

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H UAW E I T E C H N O LO G I E S

354

in their own language. “Aboriginal

Pereira. “When you build a network

culture can be maintained and flourish

tower, it can get covered in thick ice

because of the connectivity that the

in the winter so the equipment needs

internet brings,” he says.

to be very tough and durable. You also

In trying to provide Northern Canada

need to power the station; sometimes

– where temperatures can plunge to

these stations are in such remote

-40°C – with high speed internet

places that you don’t have a power

access, Huawei has a mammoth

supply nearby so you need to find an

challenge on its hands. “The biggest

alternative solution, like solar.” To take

challenge is the environment,” admits

on this challenge, Pereira points out

AUGUST 2019


how Huawei relies on the expertise of its team (today the firm has around 1,100 employees in Canada, with around 91% being Canadian citizens) as well as its renowned R&D capabilities. “We have around 193,000 employees around the globe and more than 80,000 of them are involved in R&D. In many ways you could say we’re an R&D company,” Pereira adds. In many ways, the challenges faced in Canada’s north mirror those faced in Africa. Both places are remote, short on funds, and often not very populated. Fortunately, Huawei already has extensive first-hand experience in such environments. In 2017, it launched

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Christopher Pereira Chris Pereira aims to connect people to ideas and opportunities through communication. He is an experienced media communications and branding professional from Canada with 15 years of experience in China.

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H UAW E I T E C H N O LO G I E S

356

“ W ITH HIGH-SPEED INTERNET, YOU CAN OPEN AN ONLINE STORE OR HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW BEYOND YOUR OWN COMMUNITY” — Christopher Pereira, Director of Public Affairs, Huawei Technologies Canada

AUGUST 2019


357

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘AURORA BOREALIS PROJECT: EP1 – BARBARA’

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘RURALSTAR LIGHTS THE WAY TO GREATER GROWTH, HOPE & HEALTH’ 359 RuralStar, an affordable base station to help bring internet connection to villages in Africa. “Similar to Northern Canada, we faced a lot of environmental challenges, though it was the complete opposite in terms of conditions,” explains Pereira. “It was very hot and dry; the equipment needed to be able to operate in 40-50°C weather and deal with dust storms and power issues.” On top of this, Huawei also has equipment at some of the highest points in the world, like the base camp of Mount Everest, so it’s well equipped

“A BORIGINAL CULTURE CAN BE MAINTAINED AND FLOURISH BECAUSE OF THE CONNECTIVITY THAT THE INTERNET BRINGS” — Christopher Pereira, Director of Public Affairs, Huawei Technologies Canada

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H UAW E I T E C H N O LO G I E S

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• Huawei Technologies hopes to help connect all Canadians to high-speed internet by 2030. • Huawei Technologies has over 1,100 employees in Canada, 91% of whom are Canadian citizens. • Huawei Technologies has over 193,000 employees around the globe, with more than 80,000 R&D staff. 360

Huawei’s equipment is sturdy, reliable and well made; it’s no wonder that the firm has dominated the market with its phone offerings like the new P30 smartphone. “We grow by reflection – that’s part of the culture of Huawei,” explains Pereira. “We look at what we’re doing now and we see what we can make better in the next iteration. We’re not afraid to make mistakes, but we are afraid of repeating those mistakes. Huawei is very tireless in its pursuit of innovation.” AUGUST 2019

“W E GROW BY REFLECTION – THAT’S PART OF THE CULTURE OF HUAWEI” — Christopher Pereira, Director of Public Affairs, Huawei Technologies Canada


361

With over 50 contracts already

Canada but, with its latest project,

signed around the world, the company

Huawei is taking care not to leave

is also streaking ahead of its peers

the rural areas of the country behind.

when it comes to 5G. “Huawei is about

“In five years’ time, I hope we’ll be doing

12 months ahead of any other company

this interview over Skype from the

in terms of end-to-end 5G solutions,”

Arctic,” says Pereira. “I hope we will

adds Pereira, highlighting that 5G

have high-speed internet across this

will be at least 10 times faster than its

great country.”

predecessor so you can download a movie in seconds. It will also support driverless cars and other IoT networked devices. The rollout of 5G will undoubtedly be momentous for w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


362

KPMG: PRAGMATIC CYBERSECURITY SOLUTIONS FOR SMEs WRITTEN BY

AMBER DONOVAN-STEVENS PRODUCED BY

JAKE MEGEARY

AUGUST 2019


363

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KPMG CANADA

LEADING CYBER STRATEGY AND TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMS FOR KPMG, DARREN JONES DISCUSSES HIS EXPERIENCE AS BOTH A CLIENT AND CONSULTANT IN THE CYBERSECURITY INDUSTRY, AND HOW THE GLOBAL CONSULTANCY OFFERS PRAGMATIC AND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

364

O

ne is always dealing with several clients at any time, assisting them with the different challenges or opportuni-

ties that they may be dealing with,” says Darren Jones, in leading Cyber Strategy and Transformation programs for KPMG’s clients. One of the key factors that makes Darren Jones such a successful consultant for KPMG’s clients is his desire to empower those around him, combined with an empathetic understanding of a client’s experience. Before taking on the role of Director in the Cybersecurity consulting practice at KPMG, Jones had been a client of the firm. He was pleased with the professionalism and level of service provided by the firm, and now that he is with KPMG he shares that this background can be a surprise to those he works with: “I’ve been the person who’s either been working AUGUST 2019


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KPMG CANADA

“ONE IS ALWAYS DEALING WITH SEVERAL CLIENTS AT ANY TIME, ASSISTING THEM WITH THE DIFFERENT CHALLENGES OR OPPORTUNITIES THAT THEY MAY BE DEALING WITH 366

— Darren Jones Director, Cyber Security Services, KPMG Canada

together with consultants at implementing a solution, and occasionally the one accountable for the budget that the different consulting teams are working within.” He continues: “Having been ‘on the other side’ as a client of consulting services, I am wary of recommending or implementing solutions that don’t have a pragmatic, lasting value for the client.” This experience helps enable Jones and KPMG to deliver a focused and cost effective solution for all organisations, but especially SMEs. Jones’s 20-plus years of work within consultancy allows him to draw upon previous experiences to create new cybersecurity solutions for his clients, as well as using his broad existing network to widen KPMG’s clientele. For Jones, much of his personal sense of achievement has derived from supporting his clients in their technological journeys. He references working relationships that span decades with some of the most innovative creators and thought leaders in cybersecurity the world over. “That degree of intellectual engagement has always been an

AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘KPMG CANADA: LET’S DO THIS’ 367 exciting aspect of working in this field,”

targets a larger scale organisation like

he remarks.

a bank or a government department that’s had access to millions of dollars

BECOMING CYBER AWARE

to build their cybersecurity, there are

When it comes to cyber awareness,

instant response protocols typically

unfortunately some of Jones’s clients

in place. For SMEs and NPOs, how-

have come to him only after they have

ever, security management can be

encountered a threat. “One particularly

either minimal or non-existent in some

worrying detail in the uptick in instanc-

cases.” These themes around cyber-

es of ransomware in recent months,”

security readiness were also borne

says Jones, “is the focus toward mid-

out in KPMG’s recently published

sized and small municipalities, mid-

CEO Outlook Survey. To help encour-

sized and even small hospitals, and

age preventative measures in place

some not-for-profit organisations such

of reactive ones, Jones shares that

as charities. When ransomware

KPMG consultants offer a 15-point tip w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


KPMG CANADA

368

and question sheet to SME clients to

the cyber strategy needs to be comm-

help to get them started on the journey.

unicated across all levels of a company.

With the rise of attention that

As an example, Jones recently delivered

cybersecurity receives, the demands

an awareness talk entitled ‘Cybersecu-

on Jones’s team have only grown. Yet

rity: How You Can Help’ which was pre-

he notes that there has also been a

sented to staff at one of KPMG’s long

growing feeling of “cyber fatigue” from

term municipality clients.

the constant fear mongering from

Discussing his experience working

companies and media over the last

with clients on change management,

decade. For this reason, Jones says,

which is vital in introducing any new

KPMG has focused on promoting prag-

strategy, Jones comments: “It’s impor-

matism in cybersecurity and cost

tant to build structures and measures

effective, sustainable solutions. To

to ensure the implementation will

ensure that a solution is sustainable,

proceed with proper acknowledge-

AUGUST 2019


ment of governance; to ensure the

feels positive about the future result-

ongoing vitality of measuring success;

ing from the solution: “It’s using that

and to have a whole strategy wrapped

frame as a way of helping the client

around that implementation.” He notes

to not only see a positive future, but

that putting these elements in place is

visualise what’s positive about the

key to helping to ensure dialogue with

future for them.” This is particularly

clients moves beyond empathy into the

important, he says, as KPMG does

practical implementation of solutions.

not operate solutions for its clients,

Jones emphasises the importance of

so it is imperative that they are

not only creating solutions that are

pleased with and are ready to take

cost effective, but also ensuring a client

ownership of the result.

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Darren Jones Darren is an accomplished IT leader with over 25 years of experience both in industry and as a consultant. With demonstrated abilities in motivating and leading technical personnel, project managers and consultants, Darren has worked in a diversity of roles — as Director of the CIO Solutions consulting function at a large consulting firm, a senior executive and investor in fintech start-ups, leading the Security & Critical Infrastructure Solutions function at a major stock exchange, the VP of Information Security Solutions for one of the world’s first integrated managed solutions providers, and as the Senior Manager and lead for eSecurity Architecture Solutions practice area at a big 4 firm. This breadth and depth of experience provides Darren’s clients with a perspective that is at once strategic and pragmatic.

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KPMG CANADA

370

“KPMG AS A FIRM CERTAINLY RECOGNISES THAT IT WILL HAVE SUBSTANTIAL NEEDS FOR TECHNOLOGY AND AI-DRIVEN SOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND BUILD SMART CITIES.” — Darren Jones Director, Cyber Security Services, KPMG Canada

AUGUST 2019


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yorku.ca/continue


“HERE WITHIN KPMG WE ARE DEVELOPING A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR CYBERSECURITY IN MUNICIPALITIES” — Darren Jones Director, Cyber Security Services, KPMG Canada

focused on cybersecurity fundamentals, and the other on offering an advanced certificate in cybersecurity.” Four years on from the program’s conceptualisation, Jones shares that KPMG has hired one graduate who has come through the program, Frances MacTaggart, who affirms the benefits of the course: “I couldn’t more strongly recommend the combination of certificates (Fundamentals and Advanced) to those who are new to the field,

EDUCATING ON CYBERSECURITY

wishing to make a career change or

To encourage this approach to cyber-

those who are wanting to further

security in consultants and to sustain

prepare for the CISSP designation.

knowledge development in the industry,

York University’s Cybersecurity

Darren has been working with York

Certificates are an outstanding way

University to provide mentorship to

to increase your knowledge and depth

students and graduates. Jones started

of understanding.”

working as a curriculum advisor to York University at the beginning of his tenure

LOOKING AHEAD

with KPMG. “This certificate program

A well implemented cybersecurity

is offered to undergraduate students

solution ensures that a company can

who wish to augment their existing

look forward with confidence at

studies by pursuing the specific

opportunities to innovate, instead of

certificates being offered, and it was

focusing on previous errors. As KPMG

also being introduced as something

looks ahead to the future, Jones

for postgraduate or working profession-

shares that the firm will assist in the

als to participate in. We have divided

creation of the security foundations of

our curriculum into two segments: one

smart cities. “KPMG as a firm certainly w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

373


KPMG CANADA

CA$1.5mn Approximate revenue in 2018

1869

Year founded

6,500

374

Approximate number of employees

AUGUST 2019


recognises that it will have substantial needs for technology and AI-driven solutions to support the local community and build smart cities.” Jones urges that, as larger cities enlist private and public sector partnerships to build and operate smart city solutions, they be cognizant of the risks. While they will have their own specific concerns regarding cybersecurity as individual organisations, they need to be aligned by a single, overall strategy that can manage the public’s expectations and ensure citizen engagement and trust. “Here within KPMG in Canada, we are developing a centre of excellence for cybersecurity in municipalities,” says Jones, and with KPMG’s impressive collection of awards and its pragmatic focus, the firm is set to cement itself as a cornerstone in implementing these cybersecurity strategies.

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POLARIS TRANSPORT: SCALABLE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF CORE LOGISTICS PROCESSES WRITTEN BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE PRODUCED BY

JAMES BERRY

AUGUST 2019


377

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P O L A R I S T R A N S P O R TAT I O N G R O U P

CTO DAVE BRAJKOVICH DISCUSSES HOW POLARIS TRANSPORT, VIA DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION UNIT NORTHSTAR DIGITAL SOLUTIONS, IS DRIVING LOGISTICS INNOVATION

C

anada’s Polaris Transportation Group, renowned for its cross-border less than load (LTL) service, is at the cutting edge

of technological innovation in the supply chain 378

sector. In January 2019, the company launched NorthStar Digital Solutions (NDS), both an in-house digital laboratory and separate business entity, to drive the advancement of its technology platforms, intelligent document processing, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) capabilities, among others. Dave Brajkovich, CTO at Polaris and NDS, says the new company offers Polaris, as both a customer and an owner, a level of innovative dedication that is demonstrably lost by internal and integral IT teams attempting to steer a digital transformation. “It’s not uncommon that, under one IT wing, things can quickly become disjointed – IT begins to manage network, infrastructure, application, and helpdesk AUGUST 2019


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P O L A R I S T R A N S P O R TAT I O N G R O U P

“WE’VE PROVEN THAT WE CAN TAKE A COMPANY THAT FROM A VERY SEGREGATED, SILOED SYSTEM TO A COMPANY THAT IS LEAN, EFFICIENT AND TECHNOLOGICALLY SCALABLE” — Dave Brajkovich, CTO, Polaris Transport

which distracts from a focused transformation,” he explains. “We saw an opportunity to drive technology and optimisation as a separate entity, and become a profit center that can take the solutions we’re providing to Polaris and package them up as Software-asa-Service (SaaS) solutions for transportation and customs brokerage clients, and beyond.” The close relationship between Polaris and NDS enables a flexible and practical testbed for innovation, with newly developed solutions being piloted, tested and production hardened at Polaris before

380

AUGUST 2019


being sold on to external companies.

touchpoints of handling paperwork.

“We end up learning a lot from these

The process of moving paper is highly

programs and enhancing the technol-

inefficient and labor intensive for all

ogy to fit and solve business needs

players involved, including the Client,

rather than creating technology and

Carrier, Customs Broker and Border

finding a problem to solve.”

Agencies. “By implementing our RPA

A main staple for Polaris is customs

and ML platform (a powerful WorkFusion

document processing for clearing

enterprise grade automation engine

freight to cross the US and Canadian

with the NDS IP workflow solution),

borders, and this offers a perfect

to manage Straight Through Processing

example of the company’s successful

(STP) for our intelligent document

transformation efforts. As this can carry

processing, our turnaround time and

myriad complexities and duplication

error rates were significantly reduced

in work efforts, Polaris needed to

to levels beyond our expectations,”

streamline the task and reduce the

says Brajkovich. “It also added capacity

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P O L A R I S T R A N S P O R TAT I O N G R O U P

382

for our staff to focus on exception

more about blockchain,” says Brajkovich.

management rather than clerical admin-

Following an event that illuminated the

istration. We can now run this operation

tech’s qualities, Cox began to see a

24/7 and scale to the business order

potential use case for it within Polaris.

demands, and we’re proud to state that

The firm subsequently partnered with

we are now driving 80% of our customs

IBM to generate various DLT-based

paperwork processing through fully

solutions applicable to their operations,

automated workflow.”

with significant success. “One of our

Of the aforementioned technologies,

use cases for a minimal viable product

Polaris’s DLT platform is perhaps the

was an outcome to achieve consolida-

most emblematic of the firm’s ability

tion and reconciliation for the interline

to bring complex concepts through to

invoicing process,” says Brajkovich.

fruition quickly and effectively. “Our

“We found that the process was lagging,

CEO, Dave Cox, had an inkling to learn

though not in terms of digitising the data

AUGUST 2019


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Dave Brajkovich, CTO Brajkovich’s technology career spans 30 years and has mainly been focused on engineering, designing and building core transactional systems for some of the world’s leading fortune 500 companies. With key strengths in leadership and management of multi-talented teams he has excelled in moving the needle continuously by ensuring practical deployments of technology with a direct impact on improving operational workf lows along with providing an enhanced client experience as the ROI. Brajkovich has been an inf luential change agent for technological improvements, such as advanced planning and scheduling, manufacturing, distribution/supply chain and financial applications. With exposure to multi diverse markets, engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, financial investment management and transportation has given Brajkovich a rounded edge to be a key player and contributor for advanced technology offerings and helping business understand and adopt enablers for future growth and advancements. Brajkovich’s focus is to strengthen and maintain a robust technical ecosystem for the enterprise group and its affiliated companies, making it a uniquely different provider of freight services and lifecycle management with enhanced digital product capabilities. Emphasis will be placed on bleeding edge technologies such as Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, AI, and Blockchain. Recent positions held include Executive Director roles with Sun Life Canada, Air Liquide and Dynacare Labs where his focus was on IT technology foundations and business application synergies. Brajkovich lives in Hockley Valley, Ontario with his wife and two daughters. His additional interests include assembly and operation of drone helicopters and he is an avid motorcyclist.

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“WHAT WE’VE CREATED IS A UNIVERSAL SYSTEM WHERE WE CAN GUARANTEE THAT MY A IS THEIR A” — Dave Brajkovich, CTO, Polaris Transport

created is a universal system where we can guarantee that my A is their A,” says Brajkovich, highlighting DLT’s ability to serve as a single, current source of truth. “Everything is tracked and traced: it’s immutable, it’s not going to change, but it can be revised. As the information flows from one system to another, we know exactly where that data flow is.” Not only does the solution provide this reliability and traceability, but it massively increases the speed with which parties can

because it moves through electronic

access the relevant information.

data interchange (EDI) transformations

“Once the transaction is completed,

anyway. The challenge is that EDI is

we have a full audit trail,” summarises

not dynamic – it’s very static, it comes

Brajkovich. He adds that the process

in batches and waves – and so the

minimises paper wastage, maximises

freight can be received by points of

accuracy and eradicates data-based

delivery where we may not get the

disputes, as well as having the

data back into our systems accurately

flexibility for additional partner

or in a timely fashion.”

channels to be added as necessary.

This problem causes both delays and

NDS is currently developing additional

a labor-intensive process of collating

IoT-driven solutions to augment with

documents to confirm payments, with

this process, offering real-time tracking

those documents changing hands

data without necessitating additional

repeatedly. The solution is a DLT-based

human input. “Our claim to fame here is

smart contract platform that runs

that we’re very strong integrators,” says

those transactions through Polaris’s

Brajkovich as he explains the foundation

hyperledger cloud and relays the data

of the firm’s IoT success. “We have

to all relevant parties. “What we’ve

talent that understands not only the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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operations and processes involved with the transportation and LTL freight movement, but we have a very strong enterprise service technology layer that enables us to connect multiple technologies and platforms through APIs (application programming interfaces).” With IoT naturally creating numerous endpoints at the edge of the network, this knack for integration significantly accelerates NDS’s and Polaris’s time to market for additional IoT capabilities. “Currently, we are active through an IoT process for our 386

electronic logging devices (ELDs), used for truck driver mandates and tractor data logging. We capture data from the ELDs, as well as from Blackberry devices tracking our trailers’ capacity, volume and location. We have between 160 and 180 trailers, and they’re all tracked.” The data is routed back through the company’s legacy API system, exemplifying the company’s ability to integrate technological solutions successfully. Looking forward, Brajkovich says NDS’s IoT ambitions are yet to be satisfied, and plenty of exciting new innovations are on the way. The firm is piloting a new product that tracks drivers’ locations through their AUGUST 2019


mobile devices, enabling visibility of delivery routes, delivery cycles, and access to various timeframes for cycle completion. “It’s quite revolutionary in commercial freight movements,” says Brajkovich. “Most clients don’t get that kind of visibility. They have to call customer services, who themselves have to track those trucks and have more room for inaccuracy. This way, it’ll be a holistic view of where our trucks are.” In addition to this novel approach to visibility for clients, NDS is developing a brand new form of IoT technology. “We’re working with a couple of GPS manufacturers to develop a disposable

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Year founded

200

Approximate number of employees

GPS tracking device that we could directly tag to the freight, as well as working with telco companies that could provide us with low-cost cell coverage at a palatable price point that clients can absorb,” enthuses Brajkovich. “In return, they would get active tracking at the freight level.” He notes that perhaps the most vitally innovative element of this research and development is the proposed disposability.

HQ

Mississauga, Ontario Canada

“When it is received at the last mile, the GPS will simply turn off as its battery expires and can then be easily disposed of,” he says. Enabling visibility in such w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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“THE ABILITY FOR US TO BE ABLE TO LOOK INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY, AND REALLY PRIORITISE THE MOST VITAL PROJECTS MEANS WE CAN LEAP INSTEAD OF BABY-STEP EVERYTHING THROUGH” — Dave Brajkovich, CTO, Polaris Transport AUGUST 2019

a dynamic, seamless fashion would stand to differentiate the firm’s prowess even further from the competition. Ultimately, Brajkovich credits NDS and the strength of its partnerships with the success of Polaris’s technological innovations. “NDS, powered by strong partners like WorkFusion, Softchoice, Stratiform, Simnet and Fiorano has enabled us to launch some really dynamic offerings using tools that might not be at the bleeding edge,


389

but certainly within the cutting edge,”

upon a holy grail of digital transforma-

he says. “We’ve proven that we can

tion: agility, scalability, and a time to

take a company from a very segregated,

market that brings core innovations to

siloed system that’s hard to integrate

the fore, benefitting both the company

and communicate within, to a company

and its all-important clients.

that is lean, efficient and technologically scalable. The ability for us to be able to look internally and externally, and really prioritise the most vital projects means we can leap instead of baby-step everything through.” Polaris Transport, in that regard, has landed w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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SSR MINING: LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY AMIDST TRANSFORMATION IN THE MINING SPACE WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE PRODUCED BY

JAMES BERRY

AUGUST 2019


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SSR MINING INC.

DAVID THOMAS, DIRECTOR OF IT AT SSR MINING, DISCUSSES HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS BECOME AN INFLUENTIAL COMPONENT TO OPERATIONS SINCE FIRST BEING EMBRACED IN 2013

A

s a firm that has undergone significant transformation over the past few years, SSR Mining knows first hand the impor-

tance of embracing the latest trends in order to stay ahead of competitors. With the increasing influence technology has had on industries the world over, 392

SSR Mining has come a long way since it first began to leverage new software and processes in 2013. David Thomas, Director of IT at SSR Mining, believes that, due to its smaller stature in comparison to bigger companies in the region, his firm has utilised this to its advantage. “The key benefit of how we operate is that we’re smaller. Leveraging infrastructure, such as cloud services that we don’t have to invest large capital in, makes us nimbler,” he says. “This means that a few years later, if we want to change and do something that’s slightly different because of new technology, we have the capabilities to do that. If you compare that to bigger companies, a lot of them have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in capital to build infrastructure, however, then they’re locked in. The landscape has changed for us smaller companies as we can get in AUGUST 2019


393

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SSR MINING INC.

“THE KEY BENEFIT OF HOW WE OPERATE IS THAT WE’RE SMALLER” — David Thomas, Director of IT, SSR Mining

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AUGUST 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘MARIGOLD MINE’ 395 there and do what we want and move

205,000 ounces of gold in 2018.

with the times – I think it means we’re

The Seabee Gold Operation produced

really lucky and in a really great place.”

over 95,000 ounces of gold in 2018,

Based in Vancouver, Canada, the

and Puna Operations achieved

mining firm focuses on the operation,

commercial production in December

acquisition, exploration and development

2018 and produces silver.

of precious metal resource properties

Thomas points to SSR Mining’s

in the Americans and oversees three

ability to combine a proactive and

producing mines: Marigold in Nevada;

reactive approach that differentiates

Seabee Gold Operation in Saskatch-

his company from its rivals. “We’re

ewan; and the 75% owned and

quite fortunate because we can be

operated Puna Operations joint

followers and leaders,” explains

venture in Jujuy Province, Argentina.

Thomas. “In 2013, we invested a little

Since its launch in 1989, the Marigold

bit of money into the cloud despite our

mine achieved production of over

size and the fact we were operating w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


SSR MINING INC.

396

just one mine at the time. Our move

we saw back then was the fact that we

towards the cloud gave us the opportu-

could seize the opportunity to move

nity to move around our technology

into the cloud. When we acquired our

for various projects, such as predictive

second mine operation, Marigold, we

analytics or general artificial intelli-

were positioned to start moving that

gence (AI) and machine learning (ML)

operation’s IT into the cloud straight

type projects.” With mining often

away. During the acquisition, we began

considered as one of the slower

to transition from the previous owners’

industries to adopt new technology,

technology to the cloud. As Amazon

it wasn’t until 2013 when SSR Mining

and Azure introduced new things, we

really put its foot down towards

were able to take advantage of some

digitalisation. “Back then, we had no

of those new tools and features in our

tech. We had an email system and

other operation too.”

that’s pretty much it. But, one thing AUGUST 2019

Looking back to how operations


were previously conducted prior to new technology being introduced, Thomas acknowledges the challenges he’s faced over the years. “Previously, we didn’t have an Operational Excellence team like we do today,” he says. “Making that connection with the business was a big challenge because we’ve got IT-orientated people and then at the other end of the scale are mining-focused people, too. For us, we had to bring those teams on the extreme ends together and talk about the challenges. For example, our Marigold mine has a dispatch system,

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

David Thomas, Director of IT After six years of civil engineering and running a high-rise building computer design department in the mid 90s, Thomas graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney with an Engineering Degree and a Masters Degree in Engineering Management. After graduation he quickly moved into the information technology field in Melbourne Australia, working in the bill payment and consulting industries, before moving to Canada in 2005 where he led numerous IT departments and IT consulting teams in mining, shipping, forestry and finance. With a deep background and education in both engineering and information technology, Thomas provides both IT leadership and strategic IT transformation for SSR Mining Inc.

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SSR MINING INC.

$400mn+ Approximate revenue

1946

Year founded

14,000+

398

Approximate number of employees

AUGUST 2019


399

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Manage, Solve, and Deliver I.T. We take pride in putting our customer service front and foremost by creating simple solutions for complex connections. Discover your solution


similar to a taxi that tracks the destination of where you’re going. It’s important that we implement the right software that will enable us to improve. We had to have a much more conducive approach, and being able to do that gave us the ability to enhance our processes and automate emergency systems so that, if there’s a problem out on site, they can press a button and get support.” Having partnered with tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Thomas believes what

“L EVERAGING INFRASTRUCTURE, SUCH AS CLOUD SERVICES THAT WE DON’T HAVE TO INVEST LARGE CAPITAL IN, MAKES US NIMBLER” — David Thomas, Director of IT, SSR Mining

makes a successful partnership is the 401

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SSR MINING INC.

ability to understand what the other

and it offers us a much larger vendor

expects. “A good partnership will

footprint, too. With AWS, we would get

involve mutual communication at all

involved with the cyber types when

times and a joint ability to deliver

it comes to industrial.”

something that works well together.

With a determination to not rest

I know when it comes to some of these

on its previous successes, Thomas

smaller AWS or Azure partners, we

affirms SSR Mining isn’t at the finish

would choose a vendor that has the

line yet and he still considers it a small

skills and abilities internally to do the

and medium-sized enterprise (SME),

job, but that can also align with our

despite revenues of over $400mn in

nimbleness,” he explains. “A lot of our

2018. “In mining terms, our revenue is

infrastructure dovetails into Microsoft

relatively small. I think once you get

and AWS. Amazon can give us a nice

into the $2-4bn range of market

little angle in terms of IoT endpoints

capitalisation, that’s when you can be

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AUGUST 2019


considered a big company. In terms

workforce is a key aspect for success,”

of market capitalisation, we’re currently

he notes. “It’s about ensuring strategic

around $2bn so we’re not quite there

objectives are aligned with the

yet. I almost consider us like a shopping

operation base and being able to work

advert – we do more for less.” Looking

closely with the teams that we have

to the future, Thomas has clear ideas

recently developed in the last two to

about how his organisation can

three years, such as the Operational

continue to thrive in the mining space

Excellence team. We need to evolve

over the next few years and beyond.

as well as help with sustainability in the

“I’m sure the gold industry will drive

next couple of years.”

the success of the company through mergers and acquisitions; however, in terms of our operations, I believe our workforce and the safety of our 403

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Profile for Gigabit

Gigabit Magazine – August 2019  

Gigabit Magazine – August 2019