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SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS AT POLAND’S OLDEST CHOCOLATIER www.gigabitmagazine.com

JANUARY 2020

Driving digital transformation in the fintech industry

TRANSFORMING TRUST INTO VALUE How NTT DATA’s knowledge and expertise has made it a marketplace leader

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SMART CITIES


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WELCOME

W

elcome to the January issue

out from its founder and CEO about

of Gigabit magazine!

the company’s anticipated trajectory

Appearing on our cover this month

is NTT DATA. We spoke to Sharath

into building human-machine interfaces. Don’t miss our special report in

Burla, CEO of NTT DATA Business

which Harry Menear explores the past,

Solutions APAC, and Geuko Bosker,

present and future of smart cities and

senior advisor to the CTO of NTT

the increasing demand for data centre

DATA Corporation, about how the

capacity that they’re driving.

company adds new value to customers’ businesses.

In our Top 10, smart cities once again draw our attention as we count

It’s NTT DATA’s experience that

down the European and Asian conur-

draws customers to its services. “Our

bations which dominate the world’s

tagline is ‘we transform trust into

smart city rankings.

value’,” explains Burla. “Our proven

Don’t forget to read our other

knowledge and expertise, along with

feature interviews with AXA Gulf,

our onsite, offsite, and offshore meth-

Al-Yaqout Group, Aster Hospitals

odologies and execution processes

UAE, T2 Tea, LOTTE Wedel, COR-

have made us a marketplace leader.

ESTATE Capital Group and GOIKO.

Success requires agility and vision to act decisively.”

Enjoy the issue!

Elsewhere, we tested out Medtech unicorn MindMaze’s suite of neurore-

William Smith

habilitation technologies, and found

william.smith@bizclikmedia.com

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

03


innovation in practice Sprint and Amdocs have been key partners for over two decades, delivering together innovative solutions to make Sprint the success it is today. Our joint accomplishments include modernizing billing support systems, introducing a groundbreaking customer care system, providing cost-effective payments processing and the optimization of current and future network capabilities. This strong Sprint-Amdocs partnership has won widespread industry recognition, including the 2017 Global Telecoms Business Award for Consumer Service Innovation. Visit www.amdocs.com to learn more about how you can partner with Amdocs to innovate successfully.

www.amdocs.com Š 2019 Amdocs. All rights reserved.


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PRESIDENT & CEO

GLEN WHITE PUBLISHED BY

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CONTENTS

36

Business Solutions: leveraging SAP expertise into customer value

46 12

56

72 EVENTS

26

TOP 10 Smart Cities


76

AXA Gulf

90

Al-Yaqout Group

104

Aster Hospitals UAE


132 LOTTE Wedel

118 T2 Tea

148

CORESTATE Capital Group

162 GOIKO


12

JANUARY 2020


Business Solutions: leveraging SAP expertise into customer value WRITTEN BY

SHANNON LEWIS PRODUCED BY

KRIS PALMER

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13


N T T D ATA B U S I N E S S S O L U T I O N S A PA C

Sharath Burla, CEO of NTT Data Business Solutions APAC, and Geuko Bosker, senior advisor to the CTO of NTT Data Corporation, discuss the importance of helping customers add new value to their business

O

riginally a part of the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation, NTT DATA has been an independent business

since 1988, focused on creating new paradigms 14

and value by transforming technology into meaningful innovation for its clients, helping people build newer, smarter societies around the globe. In 2005, the corporation set its sights on becoming a global IT innovator, embarking on a series of expansions, mergers, and acquisitions; in 2009, it acquired itelligence AG and Extend Technologies Pty Ltd, combining them to form NTT DATA Business Solutions. The past ten years, have seen the Business Solutions group grow to more than 8500 employees in 26 countries, focused specifically on helping enterprises of all sizes gain deeper insights and better outcomes through SAP services and solutions spanning applications, infrastructure, security, and communications. Sharath Burla, CEO of NTT DATA Business Solutions APAC, explains, “the way the company JANUARY 2020


1988

Year founded

$1bn+ Revenue in US dollars

125,000 Number of employees

15

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N T T D ATA B U S I N E S S S O L U T I O N S A PA C

“The way the company has grown is through value creation, through a history of selftransformations” — Sharath Burla, CEO, NTT Data Business Solutions APAC

has grown is through value creation and a rich history of self-transformations.” NTT DATA is in its 29th year of revenue growth. Since acquiring itelligence in 2009, NTT DATA has grown phenomenally, from 32,000 employees and 80% of business practice being based in Japan to more than 125,000 employees and over 65% of business based outside of Japan. With a strong focus on key client-first, foresight, and teamwork values, NTT DATA embraces its Japanese heritage as a trusted global

16

innovator. As a Platinum SAP partner, Business Solutions is a market leader, delivering S/4 HANA Implementation and Transformation projects globally. “We work closely with SAP not only to deliver SAP solutions, but we also invest significantly more money into R&D and Innovation than any other professional service group.” he adds. Adding value is extremely important to the corporation. Burla brings with him 12 years’ experience in tech, with a focus on growing companies, while Geuko Bosker worked at itelligence for 16 years before entering his current role as senior advisor as the CTO of JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TRUSTED GLOBAL INNOVATOR “NTT DATA”’ 17 NTT DATA Corporation. “Our tagline is

knowledge is a highly valuable cur-

‘we transform trust into value’,” states

rency at Business Solutions. It aids the

Burla, “Our proven knowledge and

knowledge acquisition path by imple-

expertise, along with our onsite, off-

menting high-end training, tools, and

site, and offshore methodologies and

customer engagement programmes.

execution processes have made us a

“Gone are the days when we pushed

marketplace leader. Success requires

our solutions and products,” says

agility and vision to act decisively.”

Burla. “Now, it’s about taking a step

This is especially important in a world

back, understanding what the client is

driven by digital transformation. “The

going through, their challenges, their

customer drives the change. They rely

desired outcomes and then looking

on our thought leadership to help them

at what added value we can bring. We

define themselves,” explains Burla.

know that every organisation is at a

With customers more informed about

different stage on its digital journey.

their tech needs now more than ever,

When navigating the ever-shifting path w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Sharath Burla Sharath Burla is Executive Vice President and CEO of Asia Pacific NTT Data Business Solutions and is based in Singapore. In this role, Sharath is responsible for driving NTT Data Business Solutions APAC market and business growth, creating value for customers, employees and stakeholders while coordinating and leading business activities in the region. Sharath has more than 25 years of business experience including over 18 years of management experience in information technology, business transformations, sales leadership, ERP, CRM, supply chain management and program management. Prior to joining NTT DBS APAC, Sharath held multiple senior management positions in sales, practice and strategy at DXC Technology (HPE). In his last role at DXC, Sharath was responsible for Enterprise Cloud Applications Business P/L across the region. Prior to DXC, Sharath held partner and leadership positions at start-ups and fortune 500 companies. Sharath holds a bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University, a master’s in business administration from California State University and a masters in Sales Transformation from London. In addition, Sharath holds multiple industry and professional certifications including PMP from PMI, CSCP from APICS, SAP, Siebel, ITSM, Six Sigma and others.

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N T T D ATA B U S I N E S S S O L U T I O N S A PA C

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• NTT Data has grown from 32,000 employees and 80% of business practice being based in Japan in 2009, to over 125,000 employees with over 65% of business based outside of Japan today • NTT Data is in its 29th year of revenue growth

20

toward a digital enterprise, you need a

to have a project manager focussed

trusted partner to help you make sense

on a specific budget and deadline,”

of everything. We help our clients stay

says Bosker, “Now, we’re looking into

ahead of what’s coming next to avoid

continuous programme management

the minefield of new challenges that

with smaller Agile sprints rather than

emerging technologies unearth.”

project-based management.” Tech

Digital transformation has forced

plays a role as well. NTT DATA’s

Business Solutions to re-evaluate inter-

DevOps platform, Altemista, and its

nal processes. Projects that previously

low-code, no-code solution CAD (com-

took two years from blueprint to imple-

puter-aided design) helps developers

mentation are being broken up into

execute projects efficiently. Meanwhile,

smaller pieces through design thinking

its research and development (R&D)

and Agile methodology. “We used

team is looking into increasing both

JANUARY 2020


21

workflow efficiency and customer

up to speed, despite all of our invest-

experience through Digital Managed

ments, continues to be a challenge.”

Service solutions. Business practices

Burla says, “It’s not easy to form that

are constantly updated in line with

cohesive, collaborative, innovative,

customer expectation. “People are

high-performing team we are looking

important. Across the group, we have

for.” To combat this, Business Solutions

over 15,000 SAP consultants in 35

provides methodologies, guidelines,

countries. They cement the binding of

and training that are mandatory across

what we want to do moving forward,”

the board. Currently, NTT DATA is

affirms Burla. Establishing governance

also rolling out NTT DATA Knowler, a

in the face of global expansion is one

knowledge platform based around

of the most difficult tasks for a multi-

ontologies, neuro-linguistic program-

national company. “Bringing everyone

ming (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI). w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Connecting All Parts of Your Business to

The Best Run Automation and AI are an important

our own processes and enhance our

tech avenue for the company. “People

workforce to ensure we actually have

are still looking for the right angles

enough resources to keep up with the

in the pursuit of AI,” says Bosker. “You

work our growth is developing. This

need to either train people or actu-

guarantees we can create the highest

ally find the right talent to implement

value for our customers, ensuring on-

it successfully.” Bosker sees this as

demand support for every single one

an opportunity. As a global company,

of them in the future.”

NTT DATA can attract a talent pool

According to Bosker, digital trans-

that most of its customers can’t. “Some

formation has encouraged companies

of the R&D assets we are currently

to reconsider employee relationships.

focusing on are to be deployed inter-

The focus, he says, is on finding the

nally first,” states Bosker. “Although

right employees and keeping them

we intend to sell these solutions in

in-house. Business Solutions uses a

the future, it’s important to digitalize

design-thinking model to be able to

JANUARY 2020


deliver on customer demands. The

R&D level as well, from virtual reality

implementation of this model is aided

meeting rooms that have real-time

both by cross-training employees

language translation capabilities to

across the company and through its

the worldwide implementation of

leadership choices. “This is what we

SuccessFactors, which supports HRM

call a digital workplace,” says Bosker.

processes around employee retention

“It’s about making all the knowledge

and long-life learning concepts.

we have available to our people and

Looking to the future, NTT DATA

ensuring everyone can collaborate

Business Solutions continues to expe-

and communicate with each other,

rience significant growth in the APAC

anytime, anywhere.” This is something

region, having completed acquisitions

NTT DATA is embarking on from an

in Indonesia and Thailand as part of 23

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Geuko Bosker Geuko Bosker is senior specialist in Technology and Innovation General HQ of NTT Data in Tokyo and acting as senior advisor to the CTO of NTT Data Corporation. His primary focus is global technology & innovation management and Strategy. As part of his role, he is co-leading the SAP innovations team in NTT Data globally and is a member of the digital focus area leadership team for Internet of Things. Before he came to Tokyo he was director for managed services and innovations at itelligence Benelux, leading a team that was focused on combining the strength of long term customer relationships with introducing and implementing the latest innovations and technologies of the SAP product portfolio.

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N T T D ATA B U S I N E S S S O L U T I O N S A PA C

24

“It’s about taking a step back, understanding what the client is going through, their challenges, their desired outcomes and then looking at our solutions to determine what added value we can bring” — Sharath Burla, CEO, NTT Data Business Solutions APAC JANUARY 2020

AMLAD, the digital archive service developed by NTT DATA to preserve priceless cultural records for the Vatican Apostolic Library


its plan to scale into the Indochina market. By industrialising its industry templates, best practices, and repeatable solutions, the company minimises the risk traditionally associated with transformative processes. Business Solutions’ five focal points are customer experience and intelligence, employee experience and intelligence, financial intelligence, business intelligence, and systems intelligence. Its 2020 global plan outlines goals to help it expand its marketplace footprint. One of these is increasing workplace diversity and inclusion, ensuring the world within the company looks like the world without and championing female leaders. “We want to cross-pollinate our systems, our leadership and our talent,” affirms Burla. As a market leader in utilising SAP portfolios to help customers achieve intelligent enterprise, Business Solutions’ sights are firmly set on achieving continuous growth over the next few years, both for itself and for its customers.

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25


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

26

HARNESSING THE BRAIN’S POTENTIAL Gigabit experiences MindMaze’s neurorehabilitation technology and speaks to Tej Tadi, founder and CEO, about the future of human-machine interfaces WRITTEN BY

JANUARY 2020

WILLIA M SMITH


27

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

M

indMaze has always had one mission and that’s to understand the brain,” says Tej Tadi, founder and CEO of brain technology company

MindMaze. “To decode it and to connect it to the world.

It’s not about building brain-computer interfaces, but building human-machine interfaces.” In 2016, that mission was aided by significant investment from the Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group, leader of a US$100mn funding round, which saw the company becomes Switzerland’s first ever tech unicorn. MindMaze’s UK Market Development Director, Salim Ghoussayni, showed us two of MindMaze’s products 28

in use: the MindMotion Go and the MindMotion Pro. The FDA-cleared products are virtual reality devices intended for use with patients who have sustained a neurological injury, such as that caused by a stroke. We started with the Pro. Intended for use in a more hospital-like setting, the Pro is most effective when introduced to a patient early in the recovery cycle – indeed, introduction within days of the original incident is optimal. “The Pro is supposed to be a platform for more intensive training,” says Tadi. “When someone suffers an injury or a stroke, the Pro can be by their bedside, in the intensive care unit.” Its most obvious elements are a screen and a motion tracking sensor. Depending on the severity of impairment, the method of tracking might involve light up markers attached to the arms or, when patients have a larger range of motion, markerless tracking. JANUARY 2020


29

“THE BRAIN’S EVERYDAY INTEGRATION OF MULTIPLE SENSES IS SOMETHING THAT WE WANT TO REPLICATE” — Tej Tadi, Founder and CEO, MindMaze

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

“MINDMAZE HAS ALWAYS HAD ONE MISSION AND THAT’S TO UNDERSTAND THE BRAIN” — Tej Tadi, Founder and CEO, MindMaze

One activity showed an onscreen representation of the user’s arms, challenging them to move their hands to a target along a predefined path, measuring their accuracy. Another showed a representation of the user’s body, with the challenge being to cut fruit with a virtually wielded samurai sword. A medical professional is intended to be on hand to both interpret the results and provide a programme of activities for the patient, and the intent is to stimulate healing. “It’s about training the brain early on to

30

JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘MINDMOTION GO’

capitalise on neuroplasticity and the capability of the brain to heal itself.” The MindMotion Go is a longer term

31

The Go tracks the user’s body without the need for markers, leaving them to move more freely and interact

solution for a clinical setting. It utilises

by using their entire body. A broad

consumer technology, in this case

suite of activities is available to target

Microsoft’s motion sensing Kinect

different parts of the body, with each

camera, once again paired with

having a more deliberately video

a screen. “We still customise from

game-like aesthetic.

a software perspective by putting in a

“The Go is a portable device that

lot of improved filtering and tracking

comes a bit later down the line, targeting

algorithms,” says Tadi. “But the Go

specific skill sets that might need fine

shows the capability of off-the-shelf

tuning,” explains Tadi. “There’s also

hardware to showcase just what our

much more of a gamification focus.”

content can do.”

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

32

of collectibles to aim for to increase

exercises that are the meat and

your score, and successive levels of

potatoes of rehabilitation.

difficulty within each activity. As you

That, however, is not Tadi’s preferred

might imagine, considering the

term for what MindMaze is doing. “It’s

different capabilities of patients, the

not just neurorehabilitation,” he says.

range of motion necessary to control

“I call it neurorestoration, because

what is happening can be tweaked,

what we’re able to do with our

just as with the Pro.

platform is to accelerate the ability of

There’s an intentional symmetry

the brain to learn and recover.” That

to the setting of the activities and the

philosophy bleeds into MindMaze’s

ways in which they are controlled.

future plans. “Both injured brains

You might be tasked with piloting a

and healthy brains share similar

plane by stretching out your arms

mechanisms. By understanding the

and bending at the hips, or controlling

injured brain, we can do a lot for

an animal as it crosses a road by

the healthy brain too.” MindMotion

stepping in place. The effect is to

products have helped in extraordinary

distract you from the repetitive

recoveries, such as that of Andy Ibbot

JANUARY 2020


“BY UNDERSTANDING THE INJURED BRAIN, WE CAN DO A LOT FOR THE HEALTHY BRAIN TOO” — Tej Tadi, Founder and CEO, MindMaze

the brain to better coordinate input from sensors. “The brain’s everyday integration of multiple senses is something that we want to replicate. That’s the cognitive platform. It’s going to be able to get data from cameras, from inertial sensors, from brain sensors, and the CogniChip will do the work that your brain does for you to put it together. There are applications in transport, aviation, automotive, gaming, communications, pretty much everything that we do.”

who successfully completed the

As MindMaze goes into the future,

marathon he had been training for

Tadi sees continuing expansion in the

before suffering a stroke.

medical arena, but also harbours the

Such successes have left Tadi to

broader ambitions inherent to the

ponder future applications. “What

CogniChip. “One aim is to consolidate

we’d love is for them to come back to

the digital therapy vision for healthcare.

more than what they were originally

The other axis is heading towards

capable of. Can we bring someone

partnership with multiple industries.

back to 100%? It’s still to be seen.

We’ve already been involved in the

They’re obviously much better off

motor sport business, in racing and

than where they would be without

safety, the gaming industry and virtual

MindMaze, but what we’d love to see

reality. We’re looking both ways.”

is an enhancement of their skill set.” The ambition of harnessing the brain’s potential lies behind the firm’s long gestating CogniChip, which seeks to apply lessons learnt from w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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D I G I TA L D I S R U P T I O N

In this special report, Gigabit explores the changing face of smart cities and how edge computing is key to meeting the data centre demands of an increasingly urbanised future WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENE AR

36

SMART CITY DATA CENTRES HEADING FOR THE EDGE

JANUARY 2020


37

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D I G I TA L D I S R U P T I O N

H

uman history has, you could argue, been one long, sustained gravitation towards the city in the search for power, work,

safety, culture, opportunity, fame, fortune, companionship and – increasingly – a better cup of coffee. The city’s presence in the collective human consciousness is monolithic and colossal. From

the stark skyscrapers and sleek monorails of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to the dancing neon and searchlights that criss-cross the sky in Katsuhiro Otomo’s vision of Neo Tokyo, the city has forever been a 38

cumulative expression of humanity’s greatest achievements and deepest subconscious identity. In 1950, just over 751mn people lived in cities. Today, that figure has grown to exceed 4.2bn. More than half of the world’s population live in cities, a figure that the United Nations predicts will reach as high as 68% by 2050, adding a further 2.5bn people to urban environments around the globe. Our cities are getting bigger, more crowded and more numerous. Right now, more than 120 new cities are under construction in over 40 countries. Urban environments that grew organically to accommodate the movements of the horse and cart now contend with the movements of millions of cars every day. Congestion is far from the only challenge that the swelling ranks of urban humans face: pollution, longer food supply chains, crime, climate change, JANUARY 2020


39

“AT THE HEART OF ALL SMART CITIES ARE THE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES THAT OFFER IMPORTANT POTENTIAL FOR TRANSFORMATION” — Daniel Valle, EMEA Chief Technologist, WWT

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D I G I TA L D I S R U P T I O N

40

“THE ULTIMATE GOAL FOR SMART CITIES SHOULD BE TO UTILISE THE INSIGHTS THAT WILL ALLOW FOR THE IMPROVEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD AROUND US” — Wael Elrifai, VP of Big Data, IOT & AI, Hitachi Vantara

income inequality, siloed and unwieldy government bureaucracy, corruption, lack of access to healthcare, housing and education - all these factors and more contribute to make meeting the challenges of the modern city a daunting task. This doesn’t mean it’s not a task worth rising to. The midday sun beats down over Dubai, sparkling against the glass tower of the Burj Khalifa and the waters of the Persian Gulf. A dozen rotors disturb the boiling air as an autonomous, electric passenger drone lowers itself through the sky and onto a docking station, ready to carry a young family in the direction of downtown. In the 3,500 person city of Kalasatama – which is being built on the outskirts of Helsinki, Finland – an elderly man drops a bag of refuse into a vacuum tube that carries it away to an underground disposal centre. He doesn’t have to brave the sharp winter air and he hasn’t been stuck behind a garbage truck since he moved here. Adding up the time reclaimed by anticongestion measures and other town planning, Kalasatama’s developers say that living there gives every resident,

JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘VOLOCOPTER – DUBAI PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION FLIGHT’ 41 on average, an hour of their day back

All around the world, cities are

that the rest of the world spends in

using technology to make their

traffic or in line for goods and services.

streets safer and less congested,

Thought to trace its roots back more

their air more breathable, and to pro-

than 10,000 years, Matera in southern

vide more complete and convenient

Italy is – after Jericho and Aleppo –

experiences to the people that live

thought to be the third-oldest city in

in them. However, networks of

the world. Today, at the end of a long

autonomous vehicles, augmented

and often troubled past, the ancient

reality experiences, and AI-powered

stones of the cliffside city are soon

digital displays - along with traffic

to be covered by one of the first 5G

monitoring systems, facial recognition

networks in Europe. Old meets new, as

technology, machine learning enabled

tourists to Matera can experience the

garbage collection and virtually every

city using extensive augmented reality

other smart city solution – requires

(AR) and virtual reality (VR) offerings.

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D I G I TA L D I S R U P T I O N

“The ultimate goal for smart cities should be to utilise the insights that will allow for the improvement and development of the physical world around us,” says Wael Elrifai, VP of Big Data, IOT and AI at Hitachi Vantara. “Unlocking today’s data centre capabilities will be a game changer for this success.” For smart cities to function successfully, cutting edge data infrastructure is a necessity. “It’s no secret that in order for smart cities to become fully integrated they need a data-centric 42

solution that will remove the strain

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WEJO – SMARTER JOURNEYS FOR ALL’

JANUARY 2020


consumers of energy in a modern city, their construction is highly controlled in markets like Europe, where cities like Amsterdam – the region’s largest data centre hub – are starting to put the kibosh on any new builds at all. However, this creates an issue. Smart cities – particularly those investing heavily in IoT – are finding themselves generating actionable insights from their data more quickly and efficiently. “In the event of a serious car accident, edge computing can process the vehicle data and alert local services,” adds Ciaran Dynes, from the existing data infrastructure.

SVP of Talend. “Another example of

Data centres will play a pivotal role

how smart cities are harnessing edge

here in building the cities of the future

computing is with traffic management.

as IoT and smart applications require

With the help of connected car start-

improved connectivity, data storage and

ups like wejo, relevant organisations

computing power,” Elrifai continues.

across the city can get better real-time

The modern data centre landscape

predictions and accuracy on routings.

has seen dual trends take hold of it in

This can help reduce congestion by re-

the last few years. First, the maxim that

routing away from high-traffic routes.

“bigger is better” has seen global adop-

This data can also be used to help

tion of hyperscale facilities reach new

urban planners design roads and cities

heights. A large driver behind the con-

based on movement.”

struction of these large, centralised

Ankur Singla, founder and CEO of

facilities is market regulation. Because

Volterra notes that “these projects

a data centre is one of the biggest

generate huge amounts of data; so w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

43


D I G I TA L D I S R U P T I O N

much that it can’t all be sent back to

the volume of deployed devices and

the cloud in order to be processed

the need for edge computing solutions.

or stored securely. Even though 5G

Hosting edge computing nodes closer

will bring real-world bandwidth im-

to the network edge where the data is

provements of around four to six

generated will be a huge focus for car-

times, the economics still don’t work.

riers and digital urban planners alike.

It just doesn’t make financial sense to

Network traffic which does not need to

send this amount of data to the cloud

flow through a core before being deliv-

for analytics”.

ered back to the device leads to faster

In such a climate, though it’s easier for enterprises to obtain permission for a single hyperscale facility than for a 44

response times and more efficient citizen services.” Going forward, citizen-centric smart

dozen edge facilities, the economics of

cities like Barcelona - which have

bandwidth are demanding a new solu-

seen sweeping initiatives improve the

tion. Which brings us to trend number two: the rise of the Edge. The exponential explosion of data ignited by a smart city, supporting everything from self-driving trash cans to citywide facial recognition technology, creates a problem that modern networks and hyperscale data centres alike are ill equipped to cope with. For Daniel Valle, EMEA Chief Technologist at World Wide Technology (WWT), the problem is simple. “As demand for connected services increases, so too does the congestion across the network,” he explains. “Therefore, there is a direct correlation between JANUARY 2020

“EVEN THOUGH 5G WILL BRING REAL-WORLD BANDWIDTH IMPROVEMENTS OF AROUND FOUR TO SIX TIMES, IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE FINANCIAL SENSE TO SEND THIS AMOUNT OF DATA TO THE CLOUD FOR ANALYTICS” — Ciaran Dynes, SVP, Talend


quality of every service from water

edge computing presents a new

management to transportation - will

decentralised way of seizing the

be, the experts believe, driven more

opportunities and tackling the haz-

than anything by the migration of data

ards brought about by urban transi-

centre infrastructure to the edge.

tion. Edge computing allows large

“At the heart of all smart cities are the

amounts of complex data to be

digital technologies that offer impor-

processed and analysed instantane-

tant potential for transformation.

ously at the devices themselves. This

In recent years, edge computing has

has been recognised as essential

one of these digital technologies

in removing barriers and fulfilling vi-

creating a buzz within the smart cities

sions like autonomous driving. Moving

space due to the many IoT-based use

forward cities all over the world will

cases it enables,” concludes Valle.

be looking for ways to include edge

“Unlike the centralised vision before it,

computing into their architecture.”

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘BARCELONA – A SMART CITY’

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45


CLOUD

AS COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS – OR ‘COBOTS’ – INCREASINGLY FIND THEIR WAY INTO THE WORKPLACE, GIGABIT TAKES A LOOK AT SOME OF THE COMPANIES PUSHING THE INDUSTRY TOWARDS AN ADOPTION TIPPING POINT

46

WRITTEN BY

JANUARY 2020

HARRY MENE AR


47

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CLOUD

48

C

ollaborative robots - ‘cobots’ –

coupled with what Harvey Lewis,

are nothing new. Invented in

an Associate Partner at EY, calls

1996 by J Edward Colgate and

the “transition from occupations to

Michael Peshkin, two professors at

task-based work,” wherein division

Northwestern University, cobots are

of labour and increasingly specialised

robots designed to function alongside

job roles create more and more

a human in a shared workspace, and

specialised requirements, may be

are usually built with strict safety

pushing the technology towards

measures to ensure the safety of their

a mass adoption tipping point.

human coworkers. While cobot technology has been

Today, cobots are the fastest growing segment of industrial

around for over twenty years, recent

automation, and a report on a BMW

improvements in the software that

assembly plant published in the MIT

supports automated workers,

technology review found that, when

JANUARY 2020


49

humans and robots worked side by

period, engine and filtration system

side, there was an 85% reduction in

manufacturer Cummins announced

workers’ idle time when they collabo-

that it would more than double the

rated with robots. When interviewed

number of cobots active in its plants by

about the addition of cobots to the

the end of the year. Currently, cobots

BMW manufacturing plant in Spartan-

and cobot manufacturers present

burg, the VP of Assembly noted that

roughly two functional solutions: the

the German automaker believes there

arm and the platform.

is no foreseeable day when robots will

As cobots begin to take on larger

replace humans entirely on the factory

and larger roles, particularly in the

floor. “Ideas come from people, and a

manufacturing and logistics sectors,

robot is never going to replace that,�

Gigabit Magazine takes a look at a few

he told the MIT Technology Review.

of the companies leading the transfor-

In the lead up to the Christmas

mation of our workforce. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CLOUD

“CURRENTLY, COBOTS AND COBOT MANUFACTURERS PRESENT ROUGHLY TWO FUNCTIONAL SOLUTIONS: THE ARM AND THE PLATFORM”

UNIVERSAL ROBOTS – THE COBOT KING With 27,000 more units sold than the next-largest manufacturer of cobots, Danish manufacturer Universal Robots is a clear leader in the industry. The BMW plant at Spartanburg and Cummins, among many more leading manufacturers, currently use the company’s collaborative robotic solutions. Universal Robots attributes its success to the fact its robotic arms are designed with an emphasis on being lightweight and, more importantly, very

50

JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH CLICK: TO ‘UNIVERSAL WATCH : ‘XXXXXXXXXXX ROBOTS – THE XXXXXXXXX NEW UR16E COLLABORATIVE XXXXXXXXX’ ROBOT’ 51 simple to programme and reprogramme

offices for each company, hosts a joint

by people who are not necessarily

showroom where the latest technol-

robotics experts. According to the

ogy and applications for cobots will

company, “This enables the possibilities

be demonstrated.

for small and medium sized companies

At the launch, Jürgen von Hollen,

to implement robots into the production,

President of Universal Robots said:

even though they do not possess the

“We have chosen Barcelona because it

robot expertise inside the company.”

gives us access to qualified resources,

In November, Universal Robots and

ability to attract talent from around the

fellow Danish cobot manufacturer

world, a vibrant business activity and

Mobile Industrial Robotics (MIR)

good infrastructure.”

celebrated the opening of a new (appropriately) collaborative automation centre in Barcelona. The facility covers 1,500 sqm and, in addition to w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CLOUD

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘LOCUS ROBOTICS –DHL CASE STUDY’

52

LOCUS ROBOTICS CORPS – PICKING UP THE SLACK The holidays are the peak months for the logistics industry. In the US, companies like XPO Logistics often bring on as many as 20,000 seasonal workers in order to handle the Christmas rush. As the scope of ecommerce’s impact on the global logistics sector expands, coupled with lower employment levels across the country, distributors are struggling to handle the constant growth in demand for labour. The solution, companies like logistics JANUARY 2020

“SPOT UNITS COULD SERVE AS EVERYTHING FROM A METHANE DETECTOR IN A MINE FAR UNDERGROUND TO A WORKSHOP ASSISTANT OR EVEN AS A LOCATION SCOUT FOR MOVIES”


firm Geodis believe, is to bump up the

lasers, cameras, and other sensors to

number of cobots in their distribution

aid their human co-workers. They can

centres. According to a Wall Street

direct their human counterparts to the

Journal report, the French company

proper aisles and shelves, or carry bins

boosted its robotic workforce by 75%

of items between workstations. Locus

to cope with a dramatic uptick in fast

claims that a deployment of its fleet

fashion orders over the holidays.

can increase picking efficiency by as

Supplying more than 500 of these robots to an array of logistics firms

much as 300% and increase accuracy to nearly 100%.

this holiday season is Locus Robotics, a five-year-old company based in Virginia. Locus’s robots are designed to work alongside humans, deploying 53

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CLOUD

54

BOSTON DYNAMICS – AN ARM AND SOME LEGS

four-legged, semi-autonomous robot

(In)famous for its attention-grabbing

The unit’s top speed is 3mph, it can

videos of bipedal and quadrupedal

carry up to 14kg and its battery lasts

robots crossing assault courses, doing

about 90 minutes. Boston Dynamics

parkour and even opening doors,

has started renting Spot units to indus-

Boston Dynamics has been pushing

try partners for roughly the cost of

the envelope when it comes to robotics

renting a car. The general consensus

for more than a decade. However, the

is that, having created something

Massachusetts-based company had

undeniably cool, the company is trying

been slow to produce a robot that it

to figure out whether or not it’s created

can take to market, until September

something useful.

2019 when it launched Spot. Standing roughly three feet tall and weighing in at about 70lbs, Spot is a JANUARY 2020

with exceptional balance and agility.

At first glance, it’s not explicitly clear whether or not Spot is a true cobot or a robot designed to replace human


labour, rather than complement it.

although Boston Dynamics has

The answer to that question will

emphatically stated it will not sell or

undoubtedly lie in the two ports on

lease Spot to any organisation that

Spot’s back. These points allow for

would use it for harmful purposes, so

modular attachments to be added to

a small weapons platform looks to be

a Spot, like the articulated arm that

out of the question, for now. Also,

allows it to open doors. The added

Spot units fulfil the other main criteria

functionality of these attachments

for a robot to have potential as a cobot:

– which users can add to the units

harmlessness. The units are cute,

themselves - means that Spot units

yellow, and about the size of a labrador.

could serve as everything from a

And they dance.

methane detector in a mine far underground to a workshop assistant, or even a location scout for movies -–

55

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘BOSTON DYNAMICS – SPOT LAUNCH’

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56

JANUARY 2020


Smart Cities 57

Gigabit counts down the world’s Top 10 smart cities, with reference to the IMD Smart City Index 2019 WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

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T O P 10

1.54mn POPULATION (2016)

$96bn+ GDP (2016)

58

10

DĂźsseldorf GERMANY

Only the seventh-largest German city, DĂźsseldorf nevertheless exceeds its peers thanks to a focus on smart mobility and transportation. This has been achieved in part via collaboration with private enterprise. In partnership with Deutsche Telekom, the airport has been instrumented to examine fatigue. With Siemens, meanwhile, the city has constructed a testing track for intelligent traffic technologies, anticipating the future rise of autonomous vehicles.

JANUARY 2020


09

Bilbao SPAIN

Bilbao is located in the northern Spanish province of Biscay. Its smart city efforts go hand in hand with its sustainability objectives, which include a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2005 and promotion of cycling. Bilbao is also a member of the EU’s e-government programme WeLive, targeting the axes of: strategic vision, smart management, city ecosystem development, infrastructure development and social cohesion.

59

1.04mn POPULATION (2016)

$40bn+ GDP (2015)

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1.47mn POPULATION (2016)

$72bn+ GDP (2015) 61

08

Helsinki FINLAND

Helsinki explicitly expands the concept of a smart city to encompass the surrounding countryside, often neglected in such plans. The Helsinki Smart Region involves projects such as sustainable textile manufacture and on-demand public transport. The district of Kalasatama is held up as a specific example of smart city transformation. Previously something of a wasteland, the area is being redeveloped with in-built smart city initiatives such as waste management and smart parking.

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T O P 10

7.09mn POPULATION (2014)

$327bn+ GDP (2014)

62

07

Taipei TAIWAN

Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, runs a governmental project management office to support the creation of ‘Smart Taipei’. Projects include smart parking sensors, wireless charging points and smart trash cans that notify authorities when full. The city also hosts the Smart City Summit and Expo, which in 2019 attracted over 40,000 visitors with almost 400 speakers. The 2020 event is focusing on AIoT, or the application of AI to IoT to power the next generation of smart cities.

JANUARY 2020


06

Auckland NEW ZEALAND

Auckland, in common with many of the cities on this list, is renowned for both its quality of life, and the cost of such living. Such a combination is fertile ground for the implementation of smart city initiatives, as the city’s vision demonstrates. With the aim of becoming the world’s most liveable city, New Zealand’s most populous conurbation is implementing environmental monitoring and connecting its citizens through technologies such as 5G, which can be used to make street lamps smart.

63

1.66mn POPULATION (2017)

$68bn+ GDP (2018)

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How AWS is helping create a future-ready Australia We are at a fascinating point in the history and evolution of Australian organisations, where they are using technology to transform and enhance the experiences they bring to their customers.Transformation touches everyone, from government agencies including the ATO, Australia Post, and ABC, digital natives like Atlassian and Xero, start-ups like Baraja and Whooshkaa, to established players like Qantas, Woodside Energy, NAB, Linfox, and Fonterra. Having the right skills in place to drive digital transformation is critically important, as is a willingness to embrace change and shift to a more agile, collaborative culture.AWS help organisations of all shapes and sizes with their most critical issues and opportunities. Together, we create enduring change and results. Let AWS help create enduring change and strategies for you.

NAB’s Cloud Guild drives new tech skills NAB is watching a new approach to learning develop inside of the bank as it approaches the first anniversary of an ambitious program to train its workforce in the ways of cloud. The program, called the NAB Cloud Guild, was intended to enable “more than 2000” NAB employees to acquire or build cloud skills in support of the bank’s $1.5 billion “digital-first” transformation.Inside of the first year, the Cloud Guild is already tracking well ahead of that goal.“The results of the NAB Cloud Guild have been outstanding,” NAB’s Manager Engineer and Cloud Guild Founder Paul Silver said. “Within the first 10 months, we’ve had about 4000 people who’ve gone through the program so far in a one or three day course. “When we started, we had seven people in the whole organisation who were certified in AWS cloud. There are now over 400 people who are certified”.Silver can already see change as a result of the program. “What we’ve found after people have done the three-day associate courses is they’re becoming self-learners, which is fantastic,” he said. “AWS has great digital content we can consume and use inside our organisation. After people get their first certification, they’re actually going off and selflearning this content with the outcome of getting more certifications, in-turn leading to better outcomes for NAB.” The learning culture is expected to have a strong impact on NAB’s project, which includes a target of moving 35 percent of its 2500 IT applications into the cloud within the next three-tofive years. “With AWS’ help we’ve been able to drive outcomes incredibly fast. This is helping us meet our customer expectations a lot faster than we have been able to in the past,”

Silver said. NAB’s Chief Technology & Operations Officer Patrick Wright said the battle for technology talent in Australia is “fierce”. Wright sees the NAB Cloud Guild not only as a way to create opportunities for employees to learn new skills and grow their career in technology, but also as a means “to attract top talent in the industry.” “We’re embarking on a transformation that we think is fundamentally changing our ompany, fundamentally changing the way we work, and launching us into a new era,” Wright said. “If you want to build a company of builders, you have to have technology career pathways.” NAB is also taking some cues on best practices from AWS as it continues on its digital transformation journey. The bank recently tackled the AWS 50 in 50 program, which involves getting 50 applications into the cloud in just 50 days. It was a clear signal of the speed and agility that NAB now wants to operate. “AWS’s passion for customers aligns well with what we are doing at NAB and we’re also learning from them along the way as well,” Silver said. “It’s been a really good partnership to work with them.”

How AWS is helping create a future-ready Australia

Woodside Energy leveraging data to seize growth opportunities Woodside Energy is the pioneer of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry in Australia, and the largest Australian natural gas producer. Woodside’s producing LNG assets in Australia’s north-west Pilbara region are among the world’s best facilities, renowned for their safety, reliability and efficiency. Now, Woodside is seeking to create an integrated LNG production centre – the Burrup Hub - that would see new Scarborough and Browse gas resources processed through the Woodsideoperated Pluto LNG and Karratha Gas Plant. To help realise this vision, Woodside is leveraging gains from its data science and intelligent asset work programs over weeks and days, instead of months and years, allowing the company to make decisions sooner, using richer data. Innovation has always been part of Woodside’s DNA. Applying cloud technology is helping Woodside accelerate the traditional oil and gas project innovation cycle from years, down to months. Woodside uses AWS cloud as the foundation for optimising production in real time, by running high -speed algorithms to uncover new insights and opportunities to deliver extra value. Woodside can run 10,000 algorithms per hour, taking data from over 200,000 sensors attached to its Pluto LNG plant. The company remains focused on reaching all Woodside employees with this work. Digital at Woodside is not just about ‘gear’; it’s honing and changing the way people work, with collaborative partnerships playing a key role.

Learn more

Visit awsinsight.com.au to find out more how AWS is able to help you thrive in today’s digital economy.


2.05mn POPULATION (2016)

$111bn+ GDP (2016)

65

05

Copenhagen DENMARK

Copenhagen is pursuing its smart city initiative with gusto, targeting achievements in the short term such as becoming 100% carbon neutral by 2025. Other initiatives include the likes of improving access to data, long term planning to protect the environment and partnerships between the private and public sector. On that last point, the city says that its efforts have a clear economic imperative. Some 250 companies are involved in smart city activities, with two thirds of those being “small� companies.

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T O P 10

04

Geneva SWITZERLAND

The first of two Swiss cities on this list, demonstrating the country’s focus in this area, Geneva’s smart city ambitions act as a model for the rest of the world, not least because of its diplomatic clout as the HQ of UN organisations such as the World Health Organisation. One initiative saw the installation of sensors throughout the city to provide information, such as free parking spaces, and measure traffic noise. The city is partnering with companies such as SIG to transition to sustainable local energy sources. 66

585,400 POPULATION (2016)

$35bn+ GDP (2015)

JANUARY 2020


1.34mn POPULATION (2016)

$90bn+ GDP (2016)

67

03

Oslo NORWAY

Norway’s capital’s Smart Oslo project has the stated aim of making the city smarter and greener as well as more inclusive and creative. It offers a large suite of apps for citizens, allowing such diverse activities as payments for parking, access to statistics and reporting of local issues. The city is testing initiatives such as electric buses and the retrofitting of old buildings with greener energy systems, while also ensuring construction sites reduce their carbon footprints thanks to zero-emissions tenders.

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T O P 10

68

02

Zurich Switzerland

Switzerland’s largest city has a reputation for smartness matching the one it has for liveability. Specific projects undertaken at the city include centralised access to all of the city’s online services, a citywide Internet of Things network known as LoRaWAN, and a plan to electrify most public transport by 2030. Zurich’s programme also has an explicitly green focus, pondering the issue of emissions from intra-city transportation. Efforts are also being made to not lose sight of citizens as new technology comes in.

JANUARY 2020


1.34mn POPULATION (2016)

$84bn+ GDP (2015)

69

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘SMART CITIES – FIA IN ZURICH 2018’

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T O P 10

5.7mn POPULATION (2019)

$364bn+ GDP (2018)

70

JANUARY 2020


01

Singapore SINGAPORE

The city-state of Singapore is a hub for finance and logistics, allowing it to punch above its weight to achieve an estimated GDP of $372.8bn in 2019. Singapore is investing serious funds into its Smart Nation Initiative, the smart city project launched in 2014. In 2017, the city-state’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that $2.4bn would be invested in digitalisation over the ensuing four years. Pillars of the programme include digitalisation of the economy, the government and society at large.

71

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘SMART CITIES: SINGAPORE’

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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 HARRY MENEAR

16-17 JAN 2020

Microsoft Ignite [ LONDON ] Microsoft Ignite, the tech giant’s indus-

07-10 JAN 2020

72

CES 2020

try-leading conference aimed at bringing together the best and brightest

[ LAS VEGAS ]

in the cloud sector for talks, networking

As it does every year, global tech industry

events and demonstrations, is on tour.

is kicking off 2020 with an annual rite

With the MEA leg beginning in Paris on

that verges on a religious pilgrimage for

13 November, 2019, and ending in

anyone passionate about AR/VR, IoT,

Stockholm on 6 May 2020, the multi-

AI, ML and any other number of tech

city series of conferences is the best

initials you care to name. The Consumer

opportunity for SMEs and corporations

Electronics Show takes place at the tart

alike to learn, connect and explore

of each year in the Las Vegas Convention

cloud-based opportunities for their

Centre and attracts more than 175,000

business. At the London event, which is

people every year. From sports tech

being held at the ExCel, demonstrations

and robotics to advertising and smart

and keynote speeches are going to be

homes, the future of tech will be on

interspersed with frequent networking

display at CES.

opportunities.

JANUARY 2020


20-21 JAN 2020

European Blockchain Convention [ BARCELONA ] The European Blockchain Convention (which alternates between Barcelona

73

and Copenhagen) is one of the defining events for all things crypto and powered by digital ledger. This year’s

24-27 FEB 2020

event is expected to play host to more

MWC

than 600 tech leaders, regulators,

[ BARCELONA ]

investors, corporations, developers

With thousands set to descend on

and entrepreneurs from the industry.

Barcelona for the event, MWC (formerly

Its talks, seminars and events are

Mobile World Congress) promises to

expected to focus on real-world appli-

be an unmissable technology congress.

cations for blockchain and digital

Hosting groundbreaking innovations

ledger technology across multiple

from almost 2,500 companies and over

industries, including energy, finance,

100,000 delegates, MWC stands as one

supply chain, government, insurance,

of the largest conferences in the world

healthcare, retail and mobility.

centred around mobile technologies.

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

74

24-26 MAR 2020

Money 20/20 Asia [ SINGAPORE ] Asia’s famously grandiose technology

“Complacency is the enemy,” warn

and fintech conference focuses

the organisers. Money 20/20

on helping entrepreneurs and large

carefully curates its content each

enterprises maintain the pace of

year in order to present the very lead-

innovation and network with like-mind-

ing edge in business and financial

ed individuals and thought leaders.

strategy to its host of attendees.

JANUARY 2020


13-15 MAY

ITB China [ SHANGHAI ]

02-04 JUNE 2020

business travel trade fair that focuses

DataCloud World Congress

exclusively on the Chinese travel indus-

[ MONACO ]

try. As the largest B2B-exclusive travel

Next year, Monaco will be home to the

trade show in China, ITB China brings

17th annual DataCloud World Congress,

together top and hand selected buyers

bringing together a variety of experts in

with industry professionals from all over

the cloud, data centre and IT infrastructure

the world, and provides various net-

markets. Touting itself as “the premier

working events and a unique state of

leadership summit for critical IT infra-

the art matchmaking system to

structure”, the event promises to cover

enhance networking and maximize

everything from cloud challenges to

business opportunities. ITB China 2020

edge evolution. Speakers at last years’

will take place from Wednesday to Fri-

event included: Michel Fraisse, VP,

day, 13 to 15 May, at the Shanghai World

Europe, Huawei, Jeffrey Ferry, Director,

Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre

Goldman Sachs and Glenn Fitzgerald,

in Hall 1. The ITB China Conference will

Chief Technology Officer, Product

take place parallel with the show.

Business, Fujitsu EMEIA.

ITB China is a three-day business to

75

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76

Driving digital transformation in the fintech industry WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE PRODUCED BY

JORDAN HUBBARD

JANUARY 2020


77

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AXA GULF

AXA Gulf ’s Siddhaarth Iyer, Head of Digital, and Yannick Janssen, Head of Technology and Innovation, discuss their company’s digital transformation journey

T

ransformation. It’s a word that has become synonymous with the financial services industry in recent years. The

influence of new technology has shaken up the 78

fintech world and encouraged companies worldwide to seek fresh ways to differentiate their offerings and stand out from rivals. As one of the leading insurers globally, AXA is used to embracing change. A major force in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), having been in the region for over 68 years, AXA in the Gulf covers the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar markets. AXA’s strategic ambition is to be a true partner to its customers throughout every stage of their life journey and empower them to live better lives. Siddhaarth Iyer, Head of Digital, and Yannick Janssen, Head of Technology and Innovation, are both key components of AXA Gulf’s digital journey and believe in operating with a collaborative approach. “People from every line of our business come together to voice their opinions of the digital path we should JANUARY 2020


79

take,” explains Iyer. “It’s important we work together to figure out what is changing the digital world and how we can leverage that to grow AXA Gulf.” With change a consistent theme in both men’s mantra, Janssen adds that establishing a mindset to drive transformation is vital. “It’s important that we lead by example,” he affirms. “We should always be looking for new ways to drive change.” With customer-centricity a key pillar of AXA’s transformation, the company w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Growing your business through automation

We focus on delivering solutions on Cloud, Mobility, DevOps and Big Data. Speed, Innovation, and Excellence are the underlying tenets that drives our culture. www.keplerworx.com


Partnership Leading Towards Digital Future Global IT firm with operations in the Middle East,

TTM (time to market) hence powering the digital

AXA Gulf, a worldwide leader in Insurance and Asset

of IT-enabled change that is aligned with business

Europe and USA, KeplerWorx has partnered with

Management,as the key strategic partner in their Digital transformation process to serve the firm’s long-term interests.

Consolidating data centers, minimizing costly

infrastructure sprawl and modernizing legacy

applications to maximize revenue over time along with increased workforce productivity has fueled the need for companies to migrate to cloud.

KeplerWorx, as the key strategic partner, is supporting AXA Gulf to make the move and re-imagining their

mission by upgrading to cloud hosted technologies that drive digital transformation. KeplerWorx will kick-

start the project by creating a proprietary framework that is an alternative to a traditional ‘lift & shift’

migration, building a series of CI/CD Pipelines leveraging the modern tools and technologies including

containerization of legacy applications, that natively integrates with AWS Services and will be delivered through the Enterprise Delivery Framework.

This modernization process reveals cost reduction

opportunities and facilitates growth. The demand for cloud IT is driven by mandates to gain greater

availability of secure cloud solutions and faster data

transformation. Digital transformation is an outcome objectives and driven by a well-planned strategy.

KeplerWorx, a strong reputation in providing IT services and solutions with expertise in Financial Services Industry (FSI) including compliance and security

requirements. The team is committed to developing

custom, streamlined solutions for customers to achieve their business objectives. When asked what made

KeplerWorx the strategic partner of choice, Mr. Yannick Janssen, Head of Technology and Innovation at AXA Gulf responded, “We conducted a review of AWS

Cloud certified partners, KeplerWorx differentiated themselves in terms of strategic approach, strong

technical capabilities, without forgetting an extensive experience in Financial Services. The best partner you can have is the one able to get the best of

yourself and, with KeplerWorkx, the AXA Gulf Tech-

nology Acceleration team is innovating with a strong blended team.”

KeplerWorx helps clients grow their business through automation by consulting them on Cloud, Big data

and DevOps. To learn more about our client-driven approach, and how strong partnership can yield transformational solutions, visit KeplerWorx.com

with its affiliated insights.

This partnership will enable AXA Gulf, in leveraging

cloud migration, to innovate, stay agile and reduce

Learn more


AXA GULF

E X ECU T I VE P RO FI LE

Yannick Janssen

82

Raised in a ‘tech family’, I lit my passion for technology with my first Apple II, programming games at night for my little brother. From ancient technologies, through to cutting-edge innovation, I am all in with technology - as my wife tells me: “you’re a geek”. I graduated from the prestigious Thunderbird and ESSEC Business Schools and started my career in strategy and business intelligence. As an entrepreneur, I launched and invested in cloud companies. I gained deeper experience in leading fortune 500 transformation programmes, rejuvenating their application, infrastructure, innovation and operation landscape. I am lucky now to share my knowledge and vision for the future of technology during public speaking events and always enjoy mentoring startups in their path to success. I have enjoyed travelling the world thanks to my professional experiences, crossing the destiny of leading companies in their distinct industry (Dell, Air France, ArcelorMittal, Accenture, Bank of Ireland, Etisalat…), working on e-government strategy (Ras Al Khaimah emirate), or preparing iconic events like Expo 2020. As Head of Technology Acceleration, I am now responsible for the technology and innovation roadmaps of AXA Gulf Insurance in UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar, and determined to go beyond our transformation in the new. Passionate about excellence, I have been blessed with a National Champion title in Powerlifting.

JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘AXA – FUTURE RISKS : CYBERSECURITY’ 83

has created a mobile-first approach. “With the number of devices constantly increasing, there’s a clear shift in the amount of people using our application,” adds Iyer. “There’s currently a 60/40 split in traffic with 60% using our services from a mobile device and 40% from a desktop. In the future, I believe that we’ll eventually just focus on mobile because

“We should always be looking for new ways to drive change” — Yannick Janssen, Head of Technology and Innovation, AXA Gulf

people won’t want to access applications from anywhere else. The aim is to become an omnichannel player and in order to achieve w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


that, you need to be available both

Iyer believes that the use of data is

online and offline. But, it is important

even more influential. “I believe that

to be aware of how all of our audience

the way in which data is consumed is

engages with us and ensure we’re

going to transform people’s approach

there for everyone.”

to systems,” he explains. “The biggest

With a mobile-first approach con-

disruptor in the market is going to be

sidered by some in the fintech space

data and how we use it. It will define

as the largest disrupter in the industry,

our mobile-first approach.” Janssen

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Siddhaarth Iyer I am a startup guy turned corporate with broad experience in creating amazing digital journeys for customers across industries like insurance, agriculture, healthcare, government and procurement tech. I have been a digital-tech guy throughout my career, with a keen focus on customer/user experience and business innovation. I hold three approved US innovation patents in the utility and tech space. In my short 12-year career, products built by me have reached and are used by more than three million users across multiple countries. Being from the startup community, I support and mentor many startups in the region, and back in India. I enjoy my evenings and weekends with my wife helping her in the kitchen. My wife and I have a mandatory late night drive everyday where we catch up on what happened through the day. Having built a music e-commerce startup I love to discover latest music trends and keep an eye for new artists. I read and listen to podcasts, learning from others’ experiences. I follow inf luencers like Guy Kawasaki, Tony Robbins and Simon Sinek.

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85


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W: www.theconnectit.com l E: hr@theconnectit.com


“Whether you succeed or fail, you’ll learn along the way” — Siddhaarth Iyer, Head of Digital, AXA Gulf

87 affirms that extracting more ways to

“The way they have embraced digitali-

harness data is the key. “We must

sation has been amazing. We call them

look at how to get more data than the

digital champions because they’re the

customer gives you,” says Janssen.

ones who will drive change throughout

“How do you track customer behaviour

the organisation,” he affirms. “All of our

and provide them with a value-added

employees are onboard and eager to

service that they really want? It’s this

adapt their way of working to become

behaviour and analysis which is going

more efficient. I believe it’s important

to make all the difference.”

to be challenged from a digital stand-

At the heart of AXA Gulf’s transfor-

point and I’ve seen that cultural shift

mation drive is its employees, which

and drive to embrace technology. It’s

Iyer refers to as ‘digital champions’. Iyer

extremely important to us.”

believes their mentality and willingness

In a bid to accelerate operations,

to embrace change has been a major

AXA Gulf believes in forming strategic

factor behind his company’s success.

and sustainable partnerships to assist w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AXA GULF

in its transformation drive. “As a large company, we’re dependant on our partners to help deliver high quality solutions for us. We can’t do it ourselves,” says Iyer. “A good partner must have speed, agility and be adaptable. These three core values are essential and contribute to long-term success.” Janssen adds that forming the right partnerships is essential to success. “I believe that the next step is to ensure that all our partners recognise that AXA is centered around technology,” adds Janssen. “I want to ensure 88

we’re developing the right technology partnerships to help us drive this transformation.”

“The biggest disruptor in the market is going to be data and how we use it. It will define our mobilefirst approach” — Siddhaarth Iyer, Head of Digital, AXA Gulf

As AXA Gulf’s transformation journey continues to gather momentum, Iyer recognises that although his company’s shift to digitalisation has been challenging at times, it has been a significant learning curve and he instructs other leaders in the industry to take the ‘leap of faith’. “There’s never a right time to do it. Whether you succeed or fail, you’ll learn along the way,” he explains. “We’ve had our own set of failures and learnt lessons. It’s important that you always question

JANUARY 2020


1816

Year AXA founded

800

Approximate number of employees

89

why you’re implementing something.

be focused around finding new ways

And if you’ve always answered that

to increase sales - that’s the ultimate

question, then you always have the

aim,” says Iyer. “It’s important to see

justification to do it.”

how we can generate more value and

“Change is led by individuals. I believe

offer other services to the customers

that in order to succeed, it’s important

we already have. If we have a customer

to have an open mindset to lead that

signed up to motor insurance, then

change,” affirms Janssen. “You need

they might be interested in our health

to be the best you can be to drive a

segment. It’s up to us to ensure our

transformation journey such as this.”

solutions are streamlined and simple to

Looking to the future, Iyer and Janssen

use for our customers.”

both have a clear vision for AXA Gulf over the next few years. “We have to w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


90

The dynamic digital transformation at Al-Yaqout Group WRITTEN BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE PRODUCED BY

MICHAEL BANYARD

JANUARY 2020


91

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A L-YA Q O U T G R O U P

DR ANIS MATTUR, GROUP INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR, DISCUSSES THE STRATEGIES AND DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES HE HAS LEVERAGED TO OVERHAUL OPERATIONS AT AL-YAQOUT GROUP

A 92

l-Yaqout Group, founded in 1954 by Adbullah Omar Al-Yaqout, has grown to become one of Kuwait’s most dynamic

companies. This dynamism has in recent years been reflected by the development of fresh business units within the group, and its portfolio is now comprised of an eclectic array of operations across a myriad of industries. A business environment as complex as this has necessitated the realisation of a digital infrastructure capable of managing it. Anis Mattur, Group Information Technology Director, joined the company in 2016 and has since enacted the extensive digital transformation required for both the expansion’s scope and for future growth of the business. “Al-Yaqout was expanding in diverse sectors, opening new businesses in the food and manufacturing sectors, retail, electronics, and ecommerce — all businesses that were not there before,” he explains. “The group started to have multiple colocations and stores which, without JANUARY 2020


93

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A L-YA Q O U T G R O U P

“AL-YAQOUT WAS EXPANDING IN DIVERSE SECTORS, OPENING NEW BUSINESSES IN THE FOOD AND MANUFACTURING SECTORS, RETAIL, ELECTRONICS, AND ECOMMERCE — ALL BUSINESSES THAT WERE NOT THERE BEFORE” — Dr. Anis Mattur, Group Information Technology Director, Al-Yaqout Group

a digital system, created an environment that was impossible to manage. On a daily basis, stakeholders need to know sales information, raw materials consumption, which purchase orders (POs) to issue, their current cashflow, what issues they have in business, and stock management. Achieving all of this without a proper ERP system in place is very difficult.” The right solution for these issues needed to be flexible, customisable, cost effective and robust: enter Microsoft Dynamics AX. Offering the

94

much needed visibility for the aforementioned factors, the ERP system affords Al-Yaqout with a powerful reporting tool that encompasses its group-wide operations. Armed with up-to-date information on cashflow, stock levels, raw materials, POs, sales performance and much more, business decisions can be made swiftly and with the weight of information behind them. In order to maximise Dynamic AX’s efficacy across its various business units, extensive functional requirement documents were drawn up for each entity detailing KPIs, internal workflows and JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE STORE “Q” BY AL YAQOUT – INAUGURATION’ 95 levels of automation. “We took these,

group-wide operations, the company

we studied them, and we enhanced

enlisted consultancy firm Mazaya to

the workflows according to the ITIL

make the necessary configurations.

(Information Technology Infrastructure

Mazaya has been crucial to the ERP

Library) and ISO standards,” says

solution’s implementation, Mattur

Mattur. “Through this, we created the

explains. “As a Microsoft partner,

final functional requirement document

Mazaya delivered the licences for us

for each business and implemented

– they sat with us, evaluated the num-

the system accordingly. Under the

ber of licences needed, the number

centralised AX server, we have 10

of users, the types of users, and the

subsidiaries. Each of them has its own

relevant modules that would need to

workflows, and so we implemented

be activated for each company in the

different modules for each of them.”

group,” he says. Along with guiding

To facilitate the smooth integration of Dynamics AX into Al-Yaqout’s

Al-Yaqout through the state of each sector and their standard practices, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


               Â? Â? Â?Â?   ­€ ‚ƒÂ? „Â? Â? Â…Â? €‚ƒ  †    ‚Â?‡­ˆ Â?  Â?       Â? 

‚ƒÂ? Â…Â?€  Â? ‚Â?‰Â? Mazaya Integrated Company W.L.L Kuwait - Hawalli - Tunis Street - Alkhair complex - Floor 7 Phone: +96522656006 E-mail: customerservice@mazaya.com.kw https://www.mazaya.com.kw


MAZAYA IINTEGRATED Company is an End-To-End Information Technology Business Solutions and consulting company, headquartered in Kuwait with operations in UAE, Jordan and extending to Qatar and Oman We have experience in 19 industry verticals, in many countries across 3 continents, with about 60 customer installations We are Microsoft partners in business solutions and have successfully delivered many similar ERP AX, GP, CRM and RMS implementations in different organizations; therefore MAZAYA consultants are familiar with the complications involved in the successful deployments By choosing MAZAYA, our customers will be mitigating the risks involved in undertaking such a project because of MAZAYA’s best practices and approach, implementation methodology and knowledgebase drawn from earlier engagements We have developed unique solutions on top of Microsoft Dynamics for various industries




A L-YA Q O U T G R O U P

98

the partnership has also been crucial

Al-Yaqout with the help of the internal

for bridging the gaps in Al-Yaqout’s

development team, infusing it with

digital capabilities. “Mazaya helps us to

a knowledge base for sales repre-

identify third-party solutions needed

sentatives to refer to during customer

for integration into Dynamics AX in

interactions. “It gives them a full insight

order to fulfil the full business cycle,”

for each item,” explains Mattur, “along

says Mattur. “It has also provided us

with differences between items A and

with a mobile IT custom portal that

B such as price and specification, and

handles deliveries, orders and transfer

images of each product.” The POS has

orders between branches and the

a mobile app function that provides

main warehouse, creating a workflow

sales people with the opportunity to

document with email notifications.”

show customers such information

The firm also developed a custom-

directly from tablets and smartphones,

ised point of sale (POS) system for

as well as filling a virtual basket to show

JANUARY 2020


customers the value of their transac-

provides that very solution, and its

tions before they reach the cashier.

integration also affords employees a

“This has made the customer journey

portal through which they can request

easy, fast and flexible,” enthuses

leave and salary slips along with other

Mattur. Mazaya’s role extends to inte-

HR functions.

grating MenaITech HR functionality

In addition to the aforementioned

into Dynamics AX, enabling it to serve

boons, Dynamics AX also provides

Kuwait’s particular payroll regulations.

Al-Yaqout with a strong foundation for

Where Dynamics AX comes with US

paperless operations. Microsoft’s col-

and Canadian payroll capabilities,

laborative document sharing platform

Kuwaiti workers do not pay tax on their

SharePoint, along with intra-company

earnings and this necessitates a solu-

communication software Teams, the

tion that can manage the intricacies

ubiquitous software suite Office 365

of Kuwait’s tax system. MenaITech

and cloud-enabled OneDrive, each

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Anis Mattur Dr Anis Mattur has around 16 years’ experience in different IT areas, having held several different positions starting from being a System Engineer, Developer, System Architect, Consultant and Management. He has a PhD in Software Engineering, a Master’s in Computer Science and a Bachelor’s in IT plus many Microsoft certifications in different IT sectors. He also worked as a business consultant and an automation specialist, having vast knowledge in management accounting, planning, budgeting, financial analysis and internal auditing.

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A L-YA Q O U T G R O U P

“THE STRATEGY INCLUDES THE IMPLEMENTATION” OF A WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (WMS) MODULE FOR DYNAMICS AX TO HANDLE WAREHOUSE OPERATIONS, STOCK MANAGEMENT, BOOKING DELIVERIES IN AND RETURNING PRODUCTS – ALL IN-AND-OUT TRANSACTIONS IN OUR “WAREHOUSES AND INVENTORIES” — Dr. Anis Mattur, Group Information Technology Director, Al-Yaqout Group

100

JANUARY 2020


compliment the new ERP system with an array of technologies that relegate paper to Al-Yaqout’s history. “There is now no need to have hard copies stored at your desk – everything is scanned and stored on Office 365 OneDrive,” says Mattur. “The result is an almost 90% reduction in hard copies.” To transfer existing documents to the new system, the document scanning element has been handled by OpenText, a software solution that leverages AI and analytics to read paper copies and automatically index them based on their content. Mattur’s ambitions for automation at Al-Yaqout do not end there, however. Upon his arrival at the company, Al-Yaqout had implemented next to no automation technology, offering a blank canvas for Mattur to deploy his vision for a fully automated system capable of managing end-to-end business cycles. “The system needed to implement workflows, plays and approvals, because we have policies and procedures here and a centralised top management,” he says. “Anything that happens in any of our subsidiaries has to be approved, and for that they w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

101


A L-YA Q O U T G R O U P

must go through an approval cycle to top management.” With that in mind, Al-Yaqout implemented the automation system through the Dynamics AX ERP to leverage its approval systemready workflow capabilities. “The strategy includes the implementation of a warehouse management system

1954

Year founded

$7.6mn Revenue in US dollars

(WMS) module for Dynamics AX to handle warehouse operations, stock management, booking deliveries in and returning products – all in-and-out transactions in our warehouses and 102

inventories,” elaborates Mattur. Along

200

Number of employees

with that, cashflow processes have also been automated, delivering full transparency and control over every

“BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION IS NUMBER ONE, THIS IS MY BELIEF. IF YOU DO NOT MOVE TOWARDS TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN OPERATIONS, YOU’LL BE OUT OF THE MARKET SOON” — Dr. Anis Mattur, Group Information Technology Director, Al-Yaqout Group

business cycle within the group. “The systems have played a major role in cutting costs and highlighting weaknesses in the system where returns on investment are low,” says Mattur, noting that this allows for strategic changes to maximise the efficacy of investments and processes. The depth of the digital transformation at Al-Yaqout is astounding. On top of the factors already mentioned, an order fulfilment system has been

JANUARY 2020


103

integrated within Dynamics AX that

coming months and years, Mattur is

provides customers with flexibility,

keen for this radical and powerful

visibility and control over various ele-

transformation strategy to continue to

ments of delivery processes, as well

reap dividends. “Business transforma-

as the ability to raise disputes through

tion is number one,” he concludes, “this

the same platform. Mattur is proud

is my belief. If you do not move towards

to say that the multifarious quali-

technology-driven operations, you’ll be

ties of Dynamics AX have delivered

out of the market soon.”

considerable returns, with the order fulfilment system alone returning a sales increase of 25% and a leap in customer satisfaction of 50%. In the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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JANUARY 2020


DIGITALLY TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

MICHAEL BANYARD

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A S T E R H O S P I TA L S U A E

Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, CEO, Aster Hospitals UAE discusses its digital transformation journey to improve the healthcare industry

P 106

racticing anaesthesiologist and CEO of Aster Hospital Group, Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, manages the

group’s hospitals in the UAE and Oman. Dr. Bichu has been a part of Aster Hospitals UAE since 2014. “I joined as a junior anaesthesiologist, and climbed the ladder,” he says. “My role as CEO started at one hospital, then further progressed to CEO of the group.” When asked about the healthcare industry, Dr. Bichu comments that it “has taken a complete U-turn. Right now, it is not healthcare that is practiced, it is sickcare. People come to the hospital when they are sick, rather than to keep themselves healthy.” However, with the rise of healthcare technology such as wearables and teleconsultation, Dr. Bichu sees this changing and the continuity of care increasing, “something which is lacking currently.” JANUARY 2020


107

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A S T E R H O S P I TA L S U A E

“Innovation is very easy in the UAE. If you want to develop machine learning, artificial intelligence or robotics, this region is the best place to be” — Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, CEO, Aster Hospitals UAE

BECOMING A SMART HOSPITAL “If you look at the countries around the world, I would say the UAE is one country where, compared to any other country, the government runs five years ahead of the private sector in

108

terms of technology,” says Dr. Bichu. “Innovation is very easy in the UAE. If you want to develop machine learning, artificial intelligence or robotics, this region is a place to be.” As a hospital in the UAE the group is working very closely with Dubai Quality Group and Dubai Health Authority to process service innovations, implement changes and make the UAE the best and safest medical tourism destination. When asked about the group’s vision Dr. Bichu comments that, “the group has a global outlook to drive an ecosystem of healthcare, which JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ASTER, WE’LL TREAT YOU WELL’ 109 only technology can help us achieve.

Dr. Bichu emphasises that “the

Otherwise we risk facing extinction.”

world is growing, but if you look at

With this mission driving its operations,

technology usage in healthcare, it is

the group has established its four

further behind compared to bank-

pillars of digital transformation, with

ing and other industries. “In order to

patient care at the forefront.

catch up we need to empower our

“It’s mainly about empowering our

employees by fostering collabora-

employees by fostering collaboration

tion and innovation, in addition to

and innovation,” notes Dr. Bichu. “We

looking to other industries to learn

believe that innovation happens from

and tailor solutions to the healthcare

the ground up, with our staff being

industry.” An example of the group

the best innovators we can think of.

applying this method is its adoption

We have monthly innovation meeting

of barcoding. “We have barcoded

where people can put forward their

medical administration and barcoded

ideas for processes and technology.”

blood transfusion to increase patient w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


A S T E R H O S P I TA L S U A E

“If you ask me what our strength is, it is our people and their innovative way of thinking” — Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, CEO, Aster Hospitals UAE 110

JANUARY 2020


111

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A S T E R H O S P I TA L S U A E

112

safety,” says Dr. Bichu. “As a result,

our employees the importance of

we were the first to have a completely

innovation. We have sessions where

closed loop medication administration

we teach them how to think in an innova-

and specimen collection. We know

tive way.” In particular Dr. Bichu sees

exactly what medicine has been given

automation as the future of healthcare.

to which patient and what time it was

“We have looked at our processes

administered. In addition to increased

with our employees and came to the

safety, this method reduces time spent

conclusion that, whatever can be

on documentation, shifting more time

repeated, can be automated.”

for patient care.” The group as a whole has a pas-

Current innovations the group has made, includes

sion for innovation which has been

adoption of Microsoft Azure

ingrained into the DNA of its employ-

cloud. “We were one of the

ees. “Right from induction, we inform

first healthcare providers in

JANUARY 2020


the Middle East to host our business-

Azure, data mining has become sig-

critical applications, including the

nificantly easier for the group, which

electronic medical record (EMR),

allows the group to feed data into

hospital management systems, picture

machine learning technology to drive

archiving and communication systems,

robotic process automation (RPA)

with Microsoft Azure cloud UAE Data

innovation. Other innovations the

Centre. With our recent move to

group is looking into includes the use

cloud computing, we are improv-

of artificial Intelligence. “We have

ing our services and processes,

recently brought diabetic retinopathy

mainly to increase patient safety and

screening that operates with artificial

continuity.� Since adopting Microsoft

intelligence (AI) in the backend. Now

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

113

Dr. Sherbaz Bichu Dr. Bichu is Chief Executive Officer and Specialist in Anaesthesia at Aster Hospitals, UAE. Having worked in the field of Anaesthesia as well as Hospital administration, Dr. Sherbaz Bichu is well versed with the medical as well as the administrative aspects of hospital operations. On the administrative spectrum, he was actively involved in the development and implementation of hospital information systems, process re-engineering, talent acquisition, hospital operations, quality administration, materials and procurement, as well as other functions related to the delivery of patient care. As Specialist in Anaesthesia, he managed anaesthetic cases in general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatric surgery, head and neck surgery, neurosurgery, urology, and gastroenterology. He managed intensive care of postoperative patients, head injury patients, polytrauma patients. Bringing together his expertise from India at Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, he is a core member of the founding team at Aster Hospital.

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A S T E R H O S P I TA L S U A E

EMPOWERING YOUR PERFORMANCE EDGE Zebra is at the forefront of innovating the latest technology solutions in healthcare, from patient identity to mobile healthcare and real-time intelligence. We empower front line staff with a performance edge to deliver the best patient care where in Techsys Technology LLC, a Zebra Premium Partner, is the technology partner in helping clients to implement Zebra solutions.

EMPOWER YOUR EDGE

contact.emea@zebra.com


115

“We constantly focus on technology and innovation, but the company can only grow if our people grow too” — Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, CEO, Aster Hospitals UAE

believes that “5G will be the best opportunity for connected health at

we are also exploring to collaborate

Aster Hospital Group. 5G would trans-

with major players such as Fuji to start

form us into pioneers in telemedicine

cancer screening centres for occult

and connected health for the region.”

blood stool testing, mammograms and

Dr. Bichu acknowledges that new

endoscopies, using AI alongside doc-

innovations entail risks, in particular

tors to enhance diagnosis.”

cyber threats, and highlights that the

Futuristically, Dr. Bichu strongly

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A S T E R H O S P I TA L S U A E

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JANUARY 2020


technology to shield the group from external threats and ensure patient data security. “Our technology partners include Cisco, Alcatel, Dell and SonicWall. With the help of our partners, we periodically carry out penetration tests to identify potential security flaws.” The group has also made recent infrastructure upgrades to make its environment secure and is continuously driven to educate its workforce. Reflecting on the group, Dr. Bichu believes that its biggest strengths

2015

Year founded

are its employees, and the innovative approach they have. To ensure continued growth Dr. Bichu highlights that the group makes sure all its people are being encouraged to pro-

18,700+ Number of employees

gress to the next level so that they scale up along with the group. “We constantly focus on technology and innovation, but the company can only grow if our people grow too.”

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117


118

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY

STUART IRVING

JANUARY 2020


Digitally transforming the customer experience at T2 Tea

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119


T2 TEA

T2 Tea’s Global Head of Technology details the digital initiatives underway at the tea retailer pioneering new methods of customer engagement

T2

Tea is one of the world’s premium tea companies, operating in tea retail, wholesale and tea wares. Started in Melbourne

in 1995, in 2013 the company was purchased by 120

consumer goods giant Unilever. T2 nevertheless retains its Melburnian identity, while expanding in international markets, particularly the UK. Rohan Penman is the company’s Global Head of Technology, overseeing a systematic digital transformation as part of his role. “Anything that involves IT, I am accountable for,” he states. “That’s all the way from retail through to ensuring business to business connection capability, as well as having a website that is running efficiently, responsively and is always available.” Penman admits that there “had been a number of years where significant spend hadn’t occurred”. Consequently, since joining, Penman has overseen a comprehensive update of T2’s systems. “There was a lot of change, to say the least,” he notes. “To start with, the warehouse JANUARY 2020


121

management system had become ‘end of life’. So HighJump Advantage was installed to replace what was effectively an obsolete warehousing product.” Another system that received some TLC was point of sales (POS). “Our point of sale was end of life and very hard to support in the Asia Pacific region. So that was replaced with Triquestra’s Infinity product. Then we needed a new way of approaching communications. Luckily, we were using Microsoft 365, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


T2 TEA

so we were able to take advantage of the upgrade path for SharePoint,

“We’re giving back and showing a moral commitment to the planet”

instigate SharePoint Modern and rebuild our intranet. With that, we were also able to install Microsoft Teams and put in a fairly basic software VoIP system for anyone that needed a phone system.” Systems change reached a new level of urgency owing to the recent headquarters move, which was both an opportunity and a chal-

122

Rohan Penman, Global Head of Technology, T2 Tea

JANUARY 2020

lenge. “From the get-go of starting at T2, we were aware that a move


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘T2 EVERYDAY – HOW TO MAKE MATCHA 3 WAYS’ 123 was required,” says Penman. That

such as Freshworks. “We started off

effectively gave me 18 months to

using Freshworks servers so that we

begin planning. We had priorities in

had an ITIL framework for incidents

the business, such as the warehouse

and problems,” says Penman. “The

management system and the new

Freshworks service desk was so

POS system. It allowed us to do risk

good that we then moved to using

management and an assessment of

the project management product

what infrastructure we were running

called Freshrelease, which is effec-

to make sure that effectively any-

tively a Kanban solution that allows

thing on premise could be turned off

you to run agile scrum methodol-

for quite a long time and the business

ogy.” Private infrastructure was also

wouldn’t notice it.”

moved to the Rackspace Intensive

Following that assessment, ser-

hosting environment. “Rackspace

vices which had to remain available

Intensive allows us to have a gold

were migrated to cloud offerings

standard of support, with business w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


T2 TEA

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JANUARY 2020


trading 24/7, which we require as global retailers. Rackspace Intensive hosting offers that high level of management and service for all the applications that are hosted on their physical hardware.” The systems the company is implementing are ultimately a component of providing the best possible level of ecommerce experience. One such example is the capabilities of the newly introduced POS. “Infinity POS is actively updated,” says Penman. “It’s a platform you can happily build on, and it’s a very big enabler for us from a retail and digital point of view. It allows a unified strategy integrating the digital world and the physical store. It’s also let us engage with alternative payment methods. We’ve started to do a lot of work with providers like Afterpay and Clearpay, which

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125


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has definitely started to make a dent in the UK and the US.” The advanced approach to ecommerce opens up new avenues and new levels of customer interaction, as Penman explains. “To give customers the best experience, a modern retailer needs to have con-

“To give customers the best experience, a modern retailer needs to have consistent offerings and messaging digitally and in store”

sistent offerings and messaging, both digitally and in store. That’s the crux of the approach. That includes people being able to interact in store and online and have their details and transactions synchronised so that

Rohan Penman, Global Head of Technology, T2 Tea

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T2 TEA

1995

Year founded

$1.8mn Revenue in US dollars

100% Sustainably sourced tea

128

2013

Acquired by Unilever

JANUARY 2020


129

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T2 TEA

130

“There was a lot of change, to say the least”

they have a history of what they’ve done, so they can access that however and whenever they wish. It also allows the customer to shop where, how and when they want. “Ecommerce also allows us to present the premium product that is T2 as a lifestyle. Looking on the website, customers can see that T2 is a brand

Rohan Penman, Global Head of Technology, T2 Tea JANUARY 2020

that is trying to wear its heart on its sleeve, do good and give back.”


131

That sense of giving back is

wastage is a huge focus for the busi-

reflected in sustainability initiatives

ness, and has been for a couple of

undertaken by T2 and its parent,

years. We’re giving back and showing

Unilever. While Unilever has pledged

a moral commitment to the planet.”

to halve its use of new plastic by

As T2 balances internal change with

2025, T2 itself is focused on such

new methods of external engage-

initiatives as removing polyplastics

ment, this ethos remains at the fore.

from its packaging. “There’s a lot of people in the business that are passionate about sustainability,” says Penman. “Packaging and reduced w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


132

Driving innovation for a sustainable business WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

MANUEL NAVARRO

JANUARY 2020


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LOTTE WEDEL

Poland’s oldest chocolatier shares its innovation journey, focused on ensuring a sustainable business model

S

upply chain is a challenging role; complexity constantly grows to reflect business needs, products, developing technol-

ogy, optimisation and efficiency,” says Sławomir Kluszczyński, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at LOTTE Wedel. For a business that has a vast 134

amount of history and tradition, it is important to balance innovation with a legacy that has seen it win the hearts of chocolate lovers worldwide since 1851. “Our industry is continuously changing,” notes Kluszczyński, “in particular our consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of not having a sustainable business. The industry is not waiting, it is doing everything it can to support sustainability, and so is Wedel. It is a core part of our company values, a lot of our activities are focused on our impact on the environment,” he continues. When it comes to those company values, Wedel underwent a cultural transformation this year: “We have recently undertaken a number of activities in this area: we have redefined the mission and vision of Wedel and we have redefined organisational values. We began to build employee awareness in JANUARY 2020


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LOTTE WEDEL

136

this area, both at the level of the entire

business include, water and energy

organisation (culture research) and at

saving solutions, zero-waste activities

the individual level. The next steps are

and reduced plastic and paper usage.

to support employees with the tools

“We have a zero-waste policy, sensors

and systems that will help us to oper-

that limit the use of both water and

ate in accordance with the the new

electricity have been implemented

organisational culture. All of this is to

throughout the business. In addition, we

develop the competencies that will pro-

use mobile solutions and applications

vide Wedel with an innovative view, and

to reduce the need for paper printing,

quick solutions that will help achieve

as well as streamlining the amount

the goals set in our long-term strategy,”

of printing machines available,” says

Kluszczyński explains.

Kluszczyński. “When it comes to plas-

Current ways in which Wedel is

tic waste, we have eliminated it from

driving sustainability throughout its

our canteens, replacing plastics with

JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WEDEL CORPORATE VIDEO’ 137

“We value our people at Wedel, our Wedel family’s dedication to ‘Kaizen’ is what drives our success” — Sławomir Kluszczyński Chief Operating Officer LOTTE Wedel

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LOTTE WEDEL

“Wedel is very proud to partner with big international and local networks and suppliers” — Sławomir Kluszczyński Chief Operating Officer LOTTE Wedel

Wedel’s workers help in building educational farm

138

biodegradable substitutes. Where we

developing its CSR strategy, which will

still need to use it, we reuse as much as

incorporate a long-term sustainability

possible in order to reduce our impact

plan. It is expected to be announced in

on the environment.”

early 2020.

However, it is not only company

Besides that, Wedel already under-

implementations that are driving

takes many social responsible activities.

Wedel’s sustainability focus. “We work

For example, the company cooperates

with suppliers and partners in logistics,

with NGO’s, partners and institutions:

that share our environmental goals

“We are very close with Praga-Południe,

as well as educate our employees on

where our factory has been located

environmental best practices, includ-

since 1930. As a result, we are involved

ing workshops detailing correct waste

in many local activities: we support

segregation,” explains Kluszczyński.

our neighbour, The Praga Museum of

Wedel is currently in the process of

Warsaw; we participate as a strategic

JANUARY 2020


partner in Polish-German Gardens, which works to revitalise the park near our factory; and we are titular sponsor of ‘Wedel’s Run’, which has run for 15 years,” Kluszczyński says. “We appreciate long-term cooperation. An example of this type of work and partner is Stowarzyszenie Serduszko dla Dzieci (Heart for Children Association), with which we’ve already done many interesting projects,” he continues. “For example,

Bee hives on the Wedel factory rooftop

the foundation’s proteges take care of hives located on Wedel’s factory

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Sławomir Kluszczynski Sławomir is a manufacturing and supply chain professional with 20+ years of experience and focused on continuous improvement, operational excellence and effective leadership. He graduated from the Warsaw University of Technology, Mechanics of Energetics and Aviation faculty. He has also obtained an MBA degree from the Warsaw University/ University of Antwerp. He has gained his professional experience in companies such as: Master Foods, L’Oreal, GlaxoSmithKline, Avon and Cadbury Wedel, getting wide manufacturing and supply chain expertise. Currently, Sławomir holds the position of Chief Operating Officer at LOTTE Wedel

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139


rooftop while learning the basics of

Wedel, this way of thinking is ingrained

entrepreneurship and sensitising to

in the mindset of our people. We call

environmental issues. We also support

this process ‘Kaizen’ – to change for the

the construction of a city farm in Wawer

better. Wedel is in the early stages of

(Warsaw’s district), which will be a

its industry 4.0 development strategy,”

friendly educational space enabling chil-

Kluszczyński continues. In the last cou-

dren and adults to enjoy the benefits of

ple of years the company has begun to

nature as part of gardening and farming

develop and implement innovative tech-

workshops. Our employees are involved

nology to transform its operations.

in gardening and construction works,

To compete with increasing quantity

including those related to the construc-

demands of its ‘Ptasie Mleczko®’ prod-

tion of the playground.”

ucts, Wedel has developed innovative

When it comes to having a sustainable

industrial-sized technology to allow a

business for long-term growth, “innova-

faster decorative process. In addition, it

tion is needed to bring increased value

utilises sophisticated machinery to per-

to changing customer demand and

fect its packaging process to remove

industry trends,” says Kluszczyński. “At

preservatives: “We have developed a w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

141


LOTTE WEDEL

“Innovation is needed to bring increased value to changing customer demand and industry trends” — Sławomir Kluszczyński Chief Operating Officer LOTTE Wedel 142

JANUARY 2020


tray with a unique foil that prolongs the freshness of the product inside,” says Kluszczyński. The company has also been utilising iTRAK, the Intelligent Track System by Rockwell – the most innovative motion solution on the market today – to standardise its product cartoning process by implementing magnetic drives. When it comes to digital transformation of its systems, Wedel is working on a scheduling tool to strengthen the company’s production line. “We are currently in the last development stage to digitally transform our scheduling system used for inventory management. With this new technology – which we have begun to use some aspects of – we will be able to optimise our processes to reduce cost and achieve a more efficient production line. To develop this system we have been utilising IBM’s sophisticated algorithms,” Kluszczyński notes. For Wedel, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, is still conceptual, with discussions for using automation in its packaging processes underway. However, Wedel has begun gathering data to build the foundations for rolling w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

143


LOTTE WEDEL

out these innovative technologies. In addition, it is utilising 3D printing for its products. “We currently use the technology for sample products and the manufacturing of spare parts for some equipment,” highlights Kluszczyński. We use advanced technologies during consumer research in order to get to know our present and future clients’ needs in the best way. By analysing the micro-expressions of the face, or the brain’s areas of activity, we are able to understand the types of emotions and 144

reactions that our products awaken. Knowledge acquired in this way has been used to redesign of Ptasie Mleczko® packages, for example,” explains Kluszczyński. Other key areas the company is focused on include factory expansions and exporting products. Currently, export makes up 10% of the company’s turnover and Wedel’s products can be found in over 60 countries. The company also looks to other directions, for example, Russia. “We are spending a lot of resources and efforts to achieve our investments,” says Kluszczyński. “Our factory expansions have included new products, JANUARY 2020


1851

Year founded

HQ

Warszawa, Poland

hybrid warehousing, IT systems and production machinery; this expansion is scheduled to be complete in 2021. In addition, we are continuing to work on exporting to Russia. Today the economic climate is much better now, both in terms of currency rate, custom duties and increased acceptance of foreign products.â&#x20AC;? When it comes to partners, Wedelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s key long-term partnership is with its owner LOTTE. For both LOTTE and Wedel this partnership is mutually beneficial in that it provides further market access and helps to develop innovative products and business operations. At the same time, cooperation between Wedel and LOTTE is based on w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

145


LOTTE WEDEL

partnership. Wedel is autonomous and is locally managed: “The reason for this is that LOTTE trusts us and knows that we have the best knowledge of the Polish confectionery market and the most experience in running a legendary chocolate company. People create Wedel. This is why they continue to have the greatest impact on our organisation, our products, our communication and our relationship with the environment. The company’s long-term strategy is being 146

developed and enforced in Poland,” explains Kluszczyński. He also emphasises that “Wedel is very proud to partner with big international and local networks and suppliers. We collaborate with pride, achieving sophisticated solutions and tailor-made offers for customised products. In return we are present in a wide network and benefits from long-term sustainable business partners.” Reflecting on the company’s transformation to date, Kluszczyński believes Wedel’s biggest success is its ability to maintain its heritage products while continuing to innovate and transform in order to keep up with changing JANUARY 2020


147

industry trends. This is reflected in the

quality and the best taste. At this point,

company’s mission: “We are constantly

I would like to mention our other value:

changing to make us and our clients

‘I provide quality’. However, Wedel

happy’. Kluszczyński attributes the

wants to continue to strive towards a

company’s overall ability to achieve

more sophisticated factory that has

this to its people, explaining that “we

the capacity to harness innovative

value our people at Wedel. Our Wedel

technology. As a result we will have

family’s dedication to ‘Kaizen’ is what

the ability to keep up with customer

drives our success. Also, continuous

demand and changing trends, to fur-

improvement is inscribed in one of our

ther drive a sustainable business both

organisational values ​​- I question the

environmentally and operationally,”

status quo.”

concludes Kluszczyński.

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148

CORESTATE CAPITAL: OPTIMISATION AND AUTHENTIC ESG INTEGRATION WRITTEN BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE PRODUCED BY

BEN MALTBY

JANUARY 2020


149

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C O R E S TAT E C A P I TA L G R O U P

Justus Wiedemann, Group Sustainability Officer at Corestate Capital, discusses the Environmental, Social, Governance practices that are being infused into the firm’s core functions as it delivers value through data-driven optimisation

A

s a leading independent investment manager for real estate in Europe, Corestate Capital

has experienced substantial growth in recent years. Since 2016, Corestate 150

has brought the total value of its assets under management (AUM) to €26bn, translating to a compound annual growth rate of 110%. This growth is matched by the scale of its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ambitions. Intending to integrate its ESG framework into its operations, Corestate appointed Justus Wiedemann to lead the charge as Group Sustainability Officer. The reasons for Corestate’s ESG ambitions are clear. “Investors are increasingly keen to invest in progressive opportunities, particularly as the European Union (EU Green Deal) and United Nations (PRI) have laid out ambitious but vital frameworks for the development

JANUARY 2020


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C O R E S TAT E C A P I TA L G R O U P

“Value creation and trust are getting more and more important for our clients and the wider stakeholder group of employees, politicians and society as a whole” — Justus Wiedemann, Group Sustainability Officer, Corestate Capital 152

of sustainable societies, supply chains and economies,” says Wiedemann. ”From a market potential point of view, there is an apparent demand for authentic sustainable products.” Moreover, ESG criteria are becoming increasingly important for employees. Deloitte’s 2019 Global Millennial Survey found that 74% of those born between 1983 and 1994 would leave their company in the next five years if they hadn’t committed to environmental and social stewardship practices; an attitude reflected by wider consumer attitudes to sustainability in business. Wiedemann began his time at Corestate in the post-merger integration department. “When we started with ESG, it was part of our wider institutionalisation plan, which also includes reporting standards, compliance and governance on a group level,” he says. Until then, the company had strategically acquired along the value chain. “Corestate started as an asset and investment management firm, and has acquired property management firms such as CRM Students, which is a leading provider of student housing in the UK, a mezzanine financing firm, HFS which is the market leader in Germany,

JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘CORESTATE CAPITAL MARKETS DAY 2019 – Q AND A SESSION CLIENTS’ 153 Austria and Switzerland, and a large

how we have optimised real estate

institutional asset manager, Hannover

assets along with reductions in utility

Leasing,” he explains. As a result,

consumption and carbon emissions.

Corestate now offers the whole invest-

In the end, we can manage on the

ment management chain for real estate,

ground each and every part of the

including financing, structuring, asset

investment value chain according to

management and property management.

our ESG strategy.”

“Out of our holistic view comes

As data forms the backbone of the

the strength of our ESG integration

company’s strategy, Wiedemann’s

approach,” says Wiedemann. “We are

background in project management

operatively capable of reflecting what

and data science is proving instru-

the EU wants in their Green Deal and

mental in the rollout of ESG principles

Action Plan on Financing Sustainable

across the company’s operations.

Growth, conforming ESG with sustain-

Particular emphasis is placed on

able investments to transparently show

buildings management. “Looking at w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


C O R E S TAT E C A P I TA L G R O U P

154 overall carbon dioxide emissions in the

By acting on the insights that data

EU, the highest polluting factor is real

provides, Corestate is able to amortise

estate buildings. 36% of CO2 emissions,

a part of the cost of building optimisa-

within the EU, come out of real estate,”

tion with funds saved through reduced

Wiedemann highlights. By comparison,

energy consumption. A key partner

manufacturing accounts for 25% of

for Corestate’s transformation is ESG

emissions. “We should all have a clear

software leader Measurabl. On this

focus on optimising buildings. We see

platform, with around 45,000 assets

enormous potential in that field because

from a global bank of asset managers,

we find so many opportunities that we

a digital twin of each of Corestate’s

gain through our data-driven approach.

property asset is created. Then

However, data is always just a vehicle

the platform is fed with utilities

that’s not an end in itself.” It does, how-

and emissions data from myriad

ever, enable operational optimisation

sources to maximise its capacity

on a scale not previously seen.

for buildings optimisation.

JANUARY 2020


It then enables Corestate to bench-

world. As these cost drivers are gen-

mark its buildings’ performance

erally a result of utility management,

against their peer group of similar

addressing them with an approach

structures. By establishing benchmark

geared towards efficiency simultane-

scores through such means, Corestate

ously creates value and minimises

circumvents the traditional limits of

the environmental impact of each

depth imposed by the labour-intensive

building. Combining Measurabl’s

nature of data collection.

data with its own utilities and energy

The result, Wiedemann says, is the

consumption information, driven by

revelation of hidden cost drivers

the proliferation of data points such

across the Corestate portfolio, ena-

as smart meters, offers Corestate a

bling cost cutting and value creation

powerful capacity to enact changes

that would have been far more chal-

that empower both its financial bot-

lenging to realise in a pre-data driven

tom line and the environment.

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Justus Wiedemann Justus Wiedemann is Group Sustainability Officer at Corestate. He is responsible for the overall ESG framework as well as the operational integration of ESG criteria at corporate, product and asset levels. Prior to joining Corestate, Justus was a consultant in a digital and banking unit and an executive consultant within the automotive supplier industry. Justus earned a BA in International Business and Finance from DHBW Stuttgart, a BA in International Accounting from the University of South Wales and an MSc in Management and Economics from Zeppelin University, where he wrote his master’s thesis on machine learning in conjunction with WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management.

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C O R E S TAT E C A P I TA L G R O U P


157 Wiedemann adds that the increased digitalisation of energy data collection in Germany also offers an opportunity for improved vendor management. “We have started a group-wide process with major German operational cost advisory Westbridge to tender out our complete energy consumption of all of our managed assets,” he says. “We will then be left with a very consolidated vendor market, making it much easier to go ahead with smart metering at scale. If you have 33 fragmented energy vendors, you end up with 33 dif-

“Looking at overall carbon dioxide emissions in the EU, the highest polluting factor is real estate buildings. 36% of carbon dioxide emissions, within the EU, come out of real estate. We should all have a very clear focus on optimising buildings” — Justus Wiedemann, Group Sustainability Officer, Corestate Capital

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C O R E S TAT E C A P I TA L G R O U P

158

JANUARY 2020


“Data is always just a vehicle that’s not an end in itself” — Justus Wiedemann, Group Sustainability Officer, Corestate Capital

In a consolidated market with fewer vendors to consider, the amount of data noise is reduced significantly, offering higher quality data that elucidates multifaceted opportunities for optimisation. “Seeing what’s happening in each of our buildings on such a granular level is an immense advantage because we’re not in the dark about possible energy waste anymore,” enthuses Wiedemann. Outside Corestate’s focus on the environment, it is also fostering social change. One broader issue in this area that Wiedemann highlights is the lacking representation of women in management across Germany. Corestate is therefore committed to expanding the representation of women in top-level management, a figure which, according to Wiedemann, stands at only 14.7% in German DAX 30 w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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C O R E S TAT E C A P I TA L G R O U P

“ESG is an imminent component of investing which creates value; it’s a holistic and brighter view that is more fitting for today’s and tomorrow’s world” — Justus Wiedemann, Group Sustainability Officer, Corestate Capital

companies. “Our goal is to attract, retain and develop talented women. As one of the first measures, we have become a sponsoring member of the Fondsfrauen association — a German initiative with over 2,000 female members — the majority of whom hold senior-level positions in the finance industry.” Fondsfrauen offers a mentoring programme which Corestate Women can leverage, providing the opportunity for training, networking and growth, and equipping female


2006

Year founded

€204.4mn Revenue in (2018) euros

730

Number of employees

employees with the tools to progress

becoming more and more important

within the organisation.

for our clients and the wider stake-

Wiedemann’s passion for these

holder group of employees and

strategies, and indeed those beyond

society as a whole,” he says. “ESG is

the scope of this profile, is glaringly

an imminent component of investing

evident. It is important, he says, for

which creates value; it’s a holistic and

businesses not only to adopt envi-

brighter view that is more fitting for

ronmentally and socially progressive

today’s and tomorrow’s world.”

initiatives but to do so authentically, as it cannot be a simple box-ticking exercise done to reflect the sociopolitical climate of the modern day. “Value creation and trust are w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

161


162

JANUARY 2020


SIGNIFICANT, SUSTAINABLE GROWTH WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR PRODUCED BY

LEWIS VAUGHAN

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GOIKO

JOSÉ RAFAEL BARRETO IBARRA, CIO OF GOIKO, EXPLORES HOW THE GOURMET BURGER BRAND IS USING INTELLIGENTLYSELECTED, TECHNOLOGYDRIVEN CHANGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT RAPID AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

I

n the 21st century, every company is a technology company. A global digital transformation is sweeping across the

business landscape, prompting radical change 164

as companies reevaluate best practices and embrace cutting edge solutions to create value. Nevertheless, a digital transformation for digital transformation’s sake is more likely to hurt your company than help it. As many as 70% of largescale digital transformation efforts end in failure, so how can companies ensure that their move towards Industry 4.0 is a successful one? “Nothing is more dangerous than a repetitive and hectic task with little purpose. If people get stuck doing these manual things, then they’re being prevented from living up to their full potential,” explains José Rafael Barreto Ibarra, CIO of GOIKO. “Technology grants you the superpower of giving you more time to come up with ways to delight the customer. You spend less time keeping the business running and more time designing, creating and JANUARY 2020


165

2013

Year founded

â&#x201A;¬66.2mn Revenue in euros

1,200+ Number of employees

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GOIKO

“TECHNOLOGY MEANS YOU CAN SPEND MORE TIME COMING UP WITH NEW WAYS TO DELIGHT THE CUSTOMER”

analysing.” For Barreto and GOIKO, ensuring that technological adoption is aligned with the company’s goals and values is essential, especially as it enters a period of dramatic growth driven by those values. “Basically, since 2017, we’ve been growing at a rate of 2.5 new locations every month,” he says. “Now, we have almost 80. It’s been crazy and quite fun.” We sat down with Barreto to discuss how

José Rafael Barreto Ibarra, CIO, Goiko

GOIKO is using intelligently-selected, technology-driven change management strategies to support rapid and

166

sustainable growth. The GOIKO story starts in 2013, when Andoni Goicoechea, a doctor from Venezuela working in Hospital La Paz in Madrid, decided to deliver a gourmet burger restaurant concept in Madrid (Goiko Grill) with the financial support of his father. Its current menu is influenced heavily by both Spanish and Venezuelan cuisine, and the company is dedicated to ensuring its burgers are of the highest quality. “Our quality hasn’t decreased since the day we opened, and it never will,” claims Andoni, who serves as GOIKO’s CEO. “We’re only as good as the latest burger coming off our grill.” JANUARY 2020


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘MADE IN GOIKO’ 167 Andoni and Barreto have known

already grown from its original single-

each other since school. Their pro-

room, 30-seat restaurant in Madrid to

fessional relationship began back in

nine locations managed from a central

Venezuela, where Barreto ran a small

office with a staff of fewer than five and,

boutique hotel business. “It was 2011,

even though Andoni is a self professed

when marketers were just starting to

tech geek, the company was without

recognise the potential of Instagram.

a dedicated technology expert. “I

We wanted to use it to showcase our

remember the call,” laughs Barreto.

beach hotel in Caruao” recalls Barreto.

“He said, ‘the original store has an issue

“We ended up hiring Andoni and his sister

with the router. Can you fix it?’ and the

Daniela – who then became CMO in

rest is history. My friends used to joke

GOIKO – to be our community manag-

about it because, from day one, I was

ers. Fast forward five years and we

made CIO of a company and I was

meet again in Madrid, where I get a call

basically the IT consultant, the wiring

from Andoni.” At that time, GOIKO had

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GOIKO

168

and the CIO. That, along with shifts

burger buns, to the Aita burger, filled

and dealing directly with customers,

with Idiazábal cheese and piquillo

was key to live and understand the

peppers, GOIKO takes great pride in

whole thing.”

the fact that its menu is fresh, made

Barreto attributes GOIKO’s success

in-house from locally-sourced ingredi-

since that time to a marriage of technology

ents and always cooked to order.

and the company’s core values: quality,

“We take great care of the details of

efficiency, disruption, growth, good vibes,

every process, product and service,

family, integrity and Mucho Kevin.

so we can be sure that we’ve exceeded expectations every single time,” says

QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY

Barreto. “Then we have efficiency.

From teques, Venezuelan style moz-

We always make sure we’re comparing

zarella fingers, and artisanally made

and evaluating our performance

JANUARY 2020


to achieve efficiency and sustainability.” In order to help ensure that efficient

DISRUPTION AND GROWTH “We’re never finished; we’re always

operations are supporting the delivery

aiming for better,” says Barreto. “The

of a top quality product, GOIKO is

ability to grasp huge amounts of infor-

using an intelligent integration of third-

mation that technology provides is

party solutions that enable point of

allowing us to constantly get better

sale (POS) support, online ordering

and better.” To ensure that the benefits

and, perhaps most importantly, stock

of digital transformation are being felt

control. “These pieces of software

across the company, Barreto is taking

work together in the background to

great care to democratise and make

automatically give us great visibility

information-based insights accessible

of our stock levels, which supports

to a wider range of GOIKO employees.

smart ordering so that we don’t order

“I’m not a huge fan of terms like Big Data,

too much or too little,” says Barreto.

data science, KPIs and the like

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

José Rafael Barreto Barreto has been GOIKO’s CIO since May 2016. He graduated from Universidad Metropolitana (VE) in 2007, obtaining a Degree in Systems Engineering. He also has an MBA by IESA. Barreto’s career started in Accenture, where he worked for almost three years as SAP Business Consultant, being involved in salesforce transformation projects. Then, he co-founded Sitioswao.com, a collection of small boutique hotels and convention center in Venezuela, and was Managing Director for seven years until 2016, when he joined GOIKO.

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GOIKO

Deliverect “We have invested deeply in making the customer journey online smoother and with as few clicks as possible,” says Ibarra. “We are working with a third party called Deliverect to handle our takeaway orders.” Founded in 2018, the Belgian startup bridges the gap between a Point

of Sale (PoS) system and a delivery provider. By integrating into Goiko’s existing PoS and ordering system, Deliverect is allowing the company to automate ordering processes, saving time, money and giving a better, smoother experience to its valued customers.

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171 because I believe they create an instant barrier between ‘tech people’ and the waiters, chefs and managers in our locations,” Barreto explains. One way in which he’s worked to demystify the process of drawing actionable insights is through a change of delivery method. “We’ve shifted over to using word clouds and very simple

“IT’S NOT LIKE THE OLD DAYS WHEN THE MANAGER WOULD GET A PDF OR A SPREADSHEET EMAILED TO THEM EVERY TWO WEEKS”

graphs in order to make customer feedback trends understandable,” he says. “We take customer feedback and

José Rafael Barreto Ibarra, CIO, Goiko

use machine learning to put it through our platform in a way that is easy for anyone to access at any time. It’s not w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


GOIKO

“IF WE’RE GOING TO RELEASE AN APP, IT’S GOING TO BE CRAZY” José Rafael Barreto Ibarra, CIO, Goiko

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JANUARY 2020


like the old days when the manager would get a PDF of a spreadsheet emailed to them every two weeks.” This dedication to enabling every member of the GOIKO family to use technology quickly and intuitively is present in every technological decision that Barreto makes, and he considers it to be a central element of the role of any CIO. “You’ve got to sell people on usability. We’ve seen a lot of systems, software and solutions that are like science fiction rocket ships. There are really complex algorithms that will do this and that, but when you get to the nitty gritty things, like you are sitting in front of it and you’re going to use it, you need to pay serious attention to usability,” he says. “You need to think of a waiter with 30 people in line. There are kids crying in the dining room. The restaurant is completely packed. Can you use this software easily on a day-today basis or in an emergency? That’s basically the final deciding factor. If it’s not intuitive, then what’s the point? UX is so important, because you can have amazing functionality, but it doesn’t matter if it’s behind a poor interface.”

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GOIKO

GOOD VIBES, FAMILY AND INTEGRITY This attentiveness to the needs of real people in the GOIKO family is at the heart of the company’s entire ethos.

3.2mn

Customers served (2018)

“We treat people with respect, and cultivate joy, patience and enthusiasm,” says Barreto. “That was the key ingredient I detected on day one, so taking the job was a no brainer. I think a lot of our growth has to do with the type of

4.4mn Burgers sold (2018)

people that are serving the food and how we treat customers.” 174

MUCHO KEVIN “This one is a little more ethereal than good vibes, but we try and embrace the idea of Mucho Kevin,” Barreto explains.

trend,” says Barreto. If GOIKO makes an

“The Kevin Bacon Burger is our number

app, Barreto is certain that it has to be

one product and the value that we

Mucho Kevin. “If we’re going to release

associate with it is that we’re not afraid

an app, it’s going to be crazy,” he

of doing things a little differently. We’re

enthuses. “We’re really thinking out of

not afraid of a little weirdness.”

the box and want to create something

This readiness to step away from

really special and cool – that obviously

the herd and embrace kooky, different

lets you order food as well of course.”

ideas is one of the reasons why, until now, GOIKO hasn’t released its own app.

THE FUTURE IS FRESH

“A lot of chains offer you an app with the

Looking towards 2020, the develop-

classical functions like ordering, loyalty

ment of an app is a key area of focus

programmes, and so on. We didn’t want

for Barreto and his team (he confirms

to walk that road just to be a part of the

that he’s no longer spending his days

JANUARY 2020


175

fixing printers and debugging the wifi)

the boring bits”. More than anything,

as the company continues to expand

however, Barreto and Goiko will con-

at lightning speed. With more than two

tinue to deliver on the core values that

new GOIKO opening their doors every

have made the company a genuine

month, embracing employee-centric,

success story.

intuitive technology that supports the automation of processes and lets the company’s employees focus on delighting every customer is going to be essential. Barreto will keep exploring new ways of making GOIKO’s dashboards more friendly and making the information more digestible, as well as finding new ways to “apply RPA to w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Profile for Gigabit

Gigabit Magazine – January 2020  

Gigabit Magazine – January 2020