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WHAT IS DRIVING THE WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE? www.gigabitmagazine.com

MARCH 2019

A data-driven digital transformation

The insurance giant’s Move to the Cloud

SIEMENS SAUDI ARABIA DIGITAL DISRUPTION TOWARD VISION 2030

CTO Rainer Speh on how the company is driving Industrie 4.0 with its IoT platform, MindSphere

TOP 10

MOST VALUABLE TELCOS


WELCOME

H

ello and welcome to the March

with Verizon Connect’s Sergio Barata

edition of Gigabit.

to discuss how, in an age where tech

Our cover star this month is tech-

disruptors reign supreme, fleet

nology giant Siemens. With Saudi

management is more important

Arabia gearing up for its Vision 2030

than ever.

strategy, CTO of Siemens Saudi

Elsewhere, HARMAN International

Arabia Rainer Speh reveals

talks about how the firm is

how the firm’s cloud-based

reshaping the audio

IoT operating system,

landscape and Toshiba

MindSphere, is helping to

describes how digital

make this vision a reality.

transformation will

“MindSphere isn’t just a platform; it’s about co-creation,” explains

Rainer Speh, CTO, Siemens Saudi Arabia

Speh. “Together, we discover their pain points and then

revolutionise the workforce of tomorrow. For our top 10 ranking this month, we discover the

most valuable telecommunication

co-create solutions that perfectly fit

companies in the world and we

their needs.”

also round up this month’s must-

Elsewhere in the magazine, Satish

attend events.

H.C., EVP and Head of Data Analytics

Don’t forget to also read our

at Infosys, highlights how data analytics

exclusive digital reports on AXA,

may offer endless opportunities –

Uniper, Air Malta, Travelex and more.

but challenges like the skills gap might stand in our way. On top of this, we also sit down

Enjoy the issue! Laura Mullan. laura.mullan@bizclikmedia.com

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

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50

CONTENTS

12

How Verizon Connect is helping customers run a smarter fleet

62 JOINTLY DRIVING DIGITAL TR ANSFORMATION FOR SAUDI AR ABIA’S VISION 2030

28

The workforce of the future:

What is driving it and where is it going?

72

86 EVENTS

TOP 10 MOST VALUABLE TELCOS

38

90 RESHAPING THE AUDIO LANDSCAPE

Uniper


108

156

126

174

144

194

Air Malta

Croda

IBS Software

AXA

Singapore Life

Caravel Group

212 MLC Life Insurance


226

272

238

290

Paidy

National Heart Foundation of Australia

Wyndham Destinations

Traffix

256

University of Western Australia

306

Calgary Drop-in Center


324

PBL Insurance

356

The Infor OS Platform

370

Choice Financial

338

384 Boise State University

Dimension Data


Covering every angle in the digital age The Business Chief platforms offer insight on the trends influencing C and V-level executives, telling the stories that matter

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MARCH 2019


EUROPE

JOINTLY DRIVING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR SAUDI ARABIA’S VISION 2030 WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN PRODUCED BY

JAMES PEPPER

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

13


SIEMENS

CTO at Siemens Saudi Arabia, Rainer Speh, explains how the firm is gearing up for Vision 2030 with its IoT platform, MindSphere

O

ur lives are more connected than ever before. In fact, Gartner reports that consumers own on average four Internet of Things (IoT) devices

which communicate with the cloud whilst, globally, an 14

estimated 127 new devices connect to the internet every second. This cutting-edge technology is not exclusive to consumer goods; it is also upending industries across the globe. In sectors such as aviation, energy and manufacturing, connected IoT devices have quickly become the norm. But with reams of data and information at our fingertips, are we truly getting value from this information? This is where Siemens has entered the fray with its latest innovative solution. Recognising that only a tiny fraction of industrial data is used and intelligently analysed, the technology giant has created MindSphere – a cloud-based, open IoT operating system which it likens to a ‘swiss army knife’ for IoT. It allows businesses to connect products, plants, systems and machines, equipping firms with the concrete application data that they can analyse and draw insights from.

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

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SIEMENS

“M INDSPHERE ISN’T JUST A PLATFORM, IT’S ABOUT CO-CREATION” — Rainer Speh, CTO at Siemens Saudi Arabia

As the first CTO of Siemens Saudi Arabia, Prof. Dr Rainer Speh says that MindSphere is much more than a system, it is a new way of thinking. “MindSphere isn’t just a platform, it’s about co-creation. With our MindSphere Application Centre, we work alongside our customers to address their specific operational needs and improve their processes,” he explains. “Together, we discover their pain points and co-create solutions that fit their needs.” Today, Siemens

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MARCH 2019


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WHAT IS MINDSPHERE?’ 17 has 20 MindSphere Application

one roof, Speh believes that the firm

Centres serving 50 locations in 17

is driving the co-creation of digital

countries. These centres employ

solutions together with customers.

around 900 data specialists and

With Industrie 4.0 being a reality,

engineers and focus on the specific

many businesses see digitalisation as

needs of a sector. In the Saudi capital

an opportunity to drive productivity,

of Riyadh, Siemens’ MindSphere

efficiency, speed and quality in their

Application Centre is able to offer

operations. Siemens and its network of

digital solutions spanning several areas

partners are co-creating tailor-made

including ‘Industrie 4.0’, smart infra-

applications to suit industrial custom-

structure, smart cities, agriculture

ers. “When you’re getting information

including vertical farming, energy,

in real time, it’s important to have the

hydrocarbon industries and cyberse-

right tools to analyse and interpret this

curity. By bringing digital experts,

data,” Speh explains. “This is where

domain experts and customers under

data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


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EUROPE

and machine learning adds tremendous value. At the end of the day, it’s about drawing conclusions from this data. By using this data, we can monitor a whole plant or do predictive maintenance down to a single device. This is where we need to combine Siemens’ expertise with that of the client.” Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a visionary transformation. With its eyes set on Vision 2030, the Kingdom is aiming to diversify its economy away

“TOGETHER, WE DISCOVER THEIR PAIN POINTS AND THEN CO-CREATE SOLUTIONS THAT PERFECTLY FIT THEIR NEEDS” — Rainer Speh, CTO at Siemens Saudi Arabia

19 E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Prof Dr. Rainer M. Speh has been Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Siemens Ltd. headquartered in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1 February, 2015. Before that he worked in the Infrastructure & Cities Sector as well as in the Business Unit Power Plant Controls of Siemens as their CTO for more than 15 years. From 1985 to 1999, he held several technical positions in the industry in Germany. He received his Professorship from the Technical University Kaiserslautern, Germany, in 2014 and has lectured since 1996. He earned his PhD from the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1985, where he also studied Electrical Power Engineering from 1975 — 1980. Prof. Speh is the current Past President of the Power Engineering Society (ETG) within the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE) of Germany. w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


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EUROPE

Rainer Speh welcomes MoMRA Minister to Siemens booth @KSASmartCities Conference 2017

21 from oil and establish globally competi-

economic and social development of

tive industries in fields such as renew-

Saudi Arabia for nearly 100 years, with

able energy, manufacturing, healthcare

offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam,

and smart cities. Speh believes that

Al-Khobar, Yanbu and Jubail. With this

Siemens is playing a key role in this

local expertise combined with its

Vision. “As part of Vision 2030, the

innovative MindSphere platform, Speh

Kingdom aims to diversify and establish

believes the firm is set to take this

new industries. It’s not just about

one step further.

diversifying local industry; it’s about

Just as digitalisation has turned

becoming a major exporter too,” says

books into e-books and music into

Speh. “There is no way around this

mp3 files, it has also allowed us to

without Industrie 4.0. This is what the

create digital copies of physical

Kingdom hopes to achieve, and this is

industrial assets. Known as ‘digital

what Siemens can deliver.” Indeed,

twins’, many companies are looking

Siemens has contributed to the

to keep pace with Industrie 4.0 by w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m


SIEMENS

22

creating a real-time replica of their assets. This can help firms identify defects or show how they could improve operations and drive revenue. “If you design a new operation you can simulate it and optimise it with the help of IT,� adds Speh, noting how Siemens not only has MindSphere to offer but that it is also a market leader in areas such as automation and product lifecycle management (PLM). With this range of industrial expertise and its cutting-edge MindSphere platform, Speh believes the opportuniMARCH 2019


EUROPE

ties for Saudi industry are limitless. Take the energy market, for example. According to Vision 2030, the country’s energy consumption will increase drastically by 2030. The National Renewable Energy Program aims to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix, targeting the generation of 27.3 GW of renewable energy by 2023 and 58.7 GW by 2030. To meet this growing demand, Siemens offers a range of renewable energy solutions, from wind turbines to lithium

SIDF, MCIT, MAC Workshop 2018

ion battery storage. Additionally, Speh highlights how the MindSphere IoT system monitors, analyses and optimises grids for grid operators and utilities. “Vision 2030 is also about energy efficiency, another area where Siemens has strong IoT capabilities,” Speh says. “We can also offer digital and practical solutions like more efficient electrical motors. Additionally, whether you want to remotely monitor your power plant, chemical plant, food and beverage industry, you name it – this is where MindSphere can come into play.” Renewable energy is just one of the main sectors found in the Kingdom’s blueprint for 2030. “The country also aims to have three Saudi cities w w w. g i g a b i t m a g a z i n e . c o m

23


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recognised in the top-ranked 100 cities

transform urban life and infrastructure.

in the world,” explains Speh. Saudi

“We are building air quality measure-

Arabia is already an urban nation with

ment tools, but we’re also addressing

82% of its citizens living in cities and so

traffic jams and implementing variable

it will have to tackle issues such as

speed controls.” A transportation

transportation, energy use, air quality

system is the lifeblood of any city and

and more. Indeed, the UN forecasts

it’s certainly been a key area of focus

that 70% of the world’s population will

for Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has seen its

be living in cities by 2050, so in order to

population double to more than

have healthier, more liveable and

6 million inhabitants since 1990, and to

relaxed lives, those cities will have to

address traffic congestion, it is working

become more efficient – and smarter.

on the world’s largest metro project

Siemens is well-versed in Smart City

with a total route length of 175km.

development and it believes that IoT,

Siemens has played a leading role in

and indeed MindSphere, could help to

the metro project, equipping two of the

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ANALYTICS ON MINDSPHERE’ 25 six lines with 67 Inspiro metro trains, an electrification system, and signaling and communication equipment for fully

1847 Year founded

automated, driverless operation. Running on either public or private clouds, Speh also points to how the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is “easy to deploy” and “less effort to maintain” because of its cloud-based nature. Nevertheless, at the MindSphere Application Centre, it’s clear that it’s not about state-of-the-art technology as much as it is about state-of-the-art thinking. Recognising that business leaders know their organisations’ blind

372,000 Number of Siemens employees globally

+ 200 Countries / regions

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


SIEMENS

COMPAN Y FAC TS

• Siemens has 20 MindSphere Application Centres spanning 17 countries. • By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to generate almost 60GW of renewable energy.

26

• By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to have three cities recognised in the top-ranked 100 cities in the world.

spots, bottlenecks and headaches best, “collaboration” and “co-creation” are words that best encapsulate the ethos behind the centre. “We sit down with clients and identify their pain

performance, maximise energy

points. They’re always different, and

efficiency and, ultimately, contribute to

there is always a potential to improve,”

Vision 2030. “It’s really about fostering

observes Speh. “Time-wise, effort-wise,

strong relationships,” adds Speh,

you name it – we’re offering change

“We have an ecosystem of around 200

management and helping them

companies now supporting us.”

become digital companies.” Through

It seems that Vision 2030 has offered

its centres, Siemens offers a space

Saudi businesses a fresh slate to

to co-design applications which aim

reshape their operations and sharpen

to optimise processes, speed up

their digital capabilities. This has

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

World’s largest gas turbine First “Made in KSA” at Siemens Dammam Energy Hub

27

encouraged companies to embark on digital transformation journeys, promote localisation, and nurture a more diversified economy. It’s an ambitious roadmap ahead, but with its MindSphere Application Centre, Siemens wants to co-create a better future with the Kingdom.

Riyadh Metro – the world’s largest metro project being executed

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


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

&

Data the art of the possible

28

Satish H.C., Executive Vice President and Head of Data Analytics at Infosys, discusses how data analytics offers endless opportunities but hurdles such as a widening skills gap may stand in our way WRITTEN BY

MARCH 2019

L AUR A MULL AN


29

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

‘A

re you ready for the era of Big Data?’: it may be a daunting question for many businesses but it’s a necessary one.

Reams of data are now at our fingertips,

with 2.5quintillion bytes of the stuff being created every day, according to Forbes. It’s an exhaustible resource which can help to deliver incredible customer experiences, new revenues streams and more. So, whilst you may be unprepared for this new age, it’s likely that the competition isn’t. Infosys is just one company that is helping businesses transition into savvy data-native 30

enterprises, offering technology services, consulting, and other services. Rather than blindly helping to execute digital transformation strategies, Infosys felt it really needed to understand how companies plan to use data analytics today and tomorrow. To tackle this, the firm conducted an in-depth study which offers a 360-degree look at how data analytics is set to reshape the business world. In a recent study entitled ‘Endless Opportunities with Data’, Infosys spoke to over 1,000 senior executives whose organisations generated over US$1bn in revenue every year. Whether they were located in the US, EU, Australia or New Zealand, these leaders echoed the same sentiment: the possibilities with data are limitless. They highlighted how MARCH 2019


“In today’s world, the paradigm has completely changed. Now, if you don’t know programming you can’t be very successful in data analysis” — Satish HC, Executive Vice President and Head of Data Analytics

31

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

data analytics could offer a helping hand with risk mitigation, experience enhancement, the creation of new business models as well as revenue and profitability maximation. Yet, whilst many participants had meticulous roadmaps and strategies underway, executing them was another matter. A seasoned professional in the data analytics space, Satish H.C., Executive Vice President and Head of Data Analytics, highlights that data analytics is a mounting challenge because businesses “aren’t just dealing with more data within the enterprise, they’re

32

also dealing with data coming from outside the business.” In fact, the survey found that some of the biggest challenges facing companies stemmed from integrating multiple datasets from a variety of sources, according to 44% of overall respondents. However, this is merely one of a handful of challenges facing businesses as they prepare for today’s digital age: many executives also pointed out that they were overwhelmed with the number of tools and technologies on the market and admitted that they felt their current systems architecture and technologies weren’t mature enough. MARCH 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘INFOSYS DATA AND ANALYTICS’ 33 Interestingly, but perhaps unsurpris-

(whereby if you’re good with technology

ingly, one of the biggest takeaways

packages and if you knew the business,

from the report underlined the widen-

you would be successful), “today’s new

ing skills gap. Businesses admitted that

wave of skilled professionals will need

they struggled to make the most of

much stronger knowledge of program-

the opportunities presented by data

ming and underlying platforms”. On top

analytics because of this, with two-

of this, the type of work that data analysts

fifths (40%) of leaders identifying a

are doing is changing rapidly. “What

lack of analytics skills in their organisa-

this means is that the composition of

tion. “In today’s world, the paradigm

skills that we need is changing; we need

has completely changed,” observes

a larger proportion of people who

H.C. “Now, if you don’t know program-

are programming- savvy and we need

ming you can’t be very successful in

analytical skills more than ever,” he

data analysis.” He explains that unlike

explains. “Apart from this, we’re also just

older perceptions of data analytics

dealing with greater and greater amounts w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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

34

of data which poses challenges.”

heavily to create these skills from within

The ever-growing skills gap is well

through training. More and more of our

documented. For instance, in a recent

clients are asking us to train their existing

report, McKinsey estimated that the U.S.

workforce.” For instance, the firm has

will soon face a shortage of approximate-

developed a corporate learning solution

ly 175,000 data scientists. So, what can

called Wingspan which facilitates

be done to address it? With over two

learning, offering a voice-enabled

decades of experience at Infosys, H.C.

‘learning assistant’ for guidance. Infosys

believes the firm is well equipped to

is also working shoulder to shoulder

take on the challenge. “To address this

with academic institutions to further

for our clients, we have invested very

learning and it’s also experimenting

MARCH 2019


35

with the idea of creating an AI Centre

effectively used for functions like

of Excellence for its clients.

financing and accounting, marketing

Through its research, Infosys spoke

and operations, and it’s become

to senior leaders from a variety of

increasingly more interconnected with

industries including energy, retail,

other technologies both at the core

logistics, healthcare, among others.

and at the edge. Indeed, it’s no surprise

However, despite this range in per-

that when asked to pick the digital

spectives, the sentiment remained

technology with the greatest impact

the same: data analytics is firmly top

on data outcomes, respondents cited

of the agenda when it comes to digital

several innovations including artificial

transformation. It’s already being

intelligence (37%), Internet of Things w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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

(19%), cloud technologies (16%) and big data (12%). With a market valuation of US$41.6bn, Infosys has put its technological heft firmly behind data analytics, creating cutting-edge solutions such as a data analytics workbench. “This automates the data science lifecycle end-to-end so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on data ranking and creating semantic layers. Instead, you spend more time on building a model and generating insights,” explains H.C. 36

During the current analytics lifecycle, around 80% of the time is spent on data acquisition and preparation whereas only 20% is actually spent on analytics. This platform reverses this equation and aims to empower self-service analytics. Infosys hopes to apply this same way of thinking to AI by working on a new AI workbench too. Looking at the future of data analytics, H.C. sees three key trends emerging on the horizon. First, more businesses are seeking to become more analyticsdriven and the sector is also seeing a greater converge of data and digital ware. Finally, Satish says that “as the

MARCH 2019

“As the digital economy grows, it will lead to a new economy — the data economy, which is powered by AI” — Satish HC, Executive Vice President and Head of Data Analytics


digital economy grows, it will lead to a new economy – the data economy, which is powered by AI.” He forecasts that this will “have a more disproportionate impact on the overall economy of the world”. Indeed, it’s clear that the data analytics boom is here to stay and, not one to rest on its laurels, Infosys has no plans to slow down its momentum when it comes to investment in the field. “Unless we are proactive, unless we have the ability to be there every step of the way on their journey, we will not be relevant,” concludes H.C. “At Infosys, we’re competitive because we’re investing in digital transformation all the time. We have created this value network to enhance human capital or innovation capital. We’re helping to solve the big problems facing our clients.”

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37


CONNECTED DEVICES

RESHAPING THE AUDIO LANDSCAPE

38

MARCH 2019


From connected car technologies to trailblazing audio systems, HARMAN International is riding the tailwinds of the latest audio boom. We sit down with Michael Mauser, Executive Vice President and President of the Lifestyle Audio Division, to find out more about the illustrious brand‌ WRITTEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN

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39


CONNECTED DEVICES

In your eyes, what makes HARMAN unique in the market? What gives the firm a competitive edge? HARMAN is a truly unique company. It has an incredible heritage that goes back 70 years and a ‘house of brands’ that includes some of biggest names in audio such as JBL, AKG and, of course, Harman Kardon. Our relationship with music uniquely spans the whole process; from AKG microphones and Studer recording equipment found in some of the world’s most iconic recording studios and used by legendary artists, 40

right through the audio systems at some of the biggest concert venues or even inside your smartphone, laptop or car. And that’s just the audio side. Alongside this, we have our connect-

can be found in cars, shops, hospitals,

Our interview comes shortly after the CES Show in Las Vegas. Did HARMAN make any interesting announcements at the event?

schools and on-the-go. Factor in over

Yes. One of the key themes we presented

50mn cars on the road using HARMAN

is the vehicle’s role in amplifying our

technology, it’s very likely that you have

connected lives. By bringing together

experienced HARMAN at some point

HARMAN’s expertise in connected car,

today. Add the power of Samsung and

audio and connected services technol-

the access it provides to technologies,

ogies, we showed how we can enable

such as displays and chip sets, and

smarter interactions, and improve safety

HARMAN’s case is compelling.

and security in the car. It’s a very exciting

ed car technologies like a sophisticated and scalable Digital Cockpit and 5G connectivity. Our connected services

MARCH 2019


41

time when the car is expected to change

conversations inside the car between

more in the next five years than it has in

passengers, with voice assistants or

the last fifty. There were a number of

on the phone – it combines microphones,

key innovations from HARMAN at CES

voice processing and in-vehicle acousti-

but one of the most interesting was our

cal signal processing to create an ideal

Premium Communications technology.

environment for conversation within

With voice commands emerging as the

the car cabin, enhancing the sounds

norm for managing in-car experiences,

you want to hear, and reducing those

clear in-vehicle communication is more

you don’t.  

important than ever before. Our new

In our Connected Car and Connected

Premium Communications technology

Services divisions, we introduced a suite

will allow you to have frustration-free

of technologies to enhance the driving w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CONNECTED DEVICES

“Over the next decade we envisage that the in-car telematics landscape will change dramatically” 42

— Michael Mauser, Executive Vice President and President of the Lifestyle Audio Division

experience and the safety of the vehicle and driver, including facial recognition, biometric monitoring, augmented reality for the E-mirror, voice activation through multiple AIs, contextual navigation and much, much more. Our focus is on developing technologies that deliver the highest experience per mile.

HARMAN was acquired by Samsung around two years ago. How has this relationship supported the business? The acquisition has been extremely positive for both companies. From a strategic point of view, Samsung committed that HARMAN would operate as a standalone company, ensuring we remain agile and build on the track record that has delivered significant growth for our customers and partners. At HARMAN, we have increased our innovation speed through scale, resources and competencies thanks to Samsung’s support. For example, Samsung’s 5G antennas enable our Connected Car technologies. For Samsung, HARMAN brings the expertise in automotive that is helping it to build even closer links with some of biggest car brands. At

MARCH 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘DIGITAL COCKPIT SOLUTIONS – HARMAN CES 2018’ 43 CES we saw the most recent develop-

quality audio, not merely for conveni-

ments of the two businesses’ collabo-

ence. Whether that’s in the car, in the

ration delivering on our target to bring

home or on the go, HARMAN and its

two powerhouses together.

brands have the products and technologies to provide a brilliant experi-

HARMAN is best known for making audio systems under its brands such as JBL and Harman Kardon. In your opinion, how has the audio market evolved in recent years? Is it a promising market to be in?

ence, wherever you are. HARMAN owns seven consumerfacing audio brands including JBL, AKG, Mark Levinson, Harman Kardon, Infinity, Revel and Lexicon. We have

This a great time for the audio market.

expanded our portfolio in the car audio

First, we have seen the proliferation

space by licensing other brands such

of devices and access to media on

as Bowers & Wilkins in the car, and

a huge scale. Now, we are seeing those

we purchased the automotive side of

consumers are looking for higher

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CONNECTED DEVICES

FACTS

confirm that this strategy works and

• Research by FutureSource Consulting predicts devices using voice assistants will grow by 541% in volume by 2022; from 24mn units to more than 154mn units. • Around 60% of owners in the US consider their speaker to be a necessity and nearly 50% of owners in the UK feel that using a voice-controlled speaker has given them a better quality of life at home. 44

• More than 50mn automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems.

provides a good synergy for carmakers to add value to their products.

What trends and opportunities are you seeing in the audio market looking forward? What will the audio market look like in the future and what are HARMAN’s key areas of focus? Audio is becoming ever more important in a connected lifestyle. If we look at the car sector, the industry lies at the convergence of several megatrends. These include shared mobility, electric vehicles, connectivity, autonomous driving, and AI. Across all of these, we believe that personalisation is going to be increasingly important to consumers. For music lovers, we have just presented a concept called Personi-Fi, enabling

identity and positioning in the market-

consumers to have a personalised audio

place. That requires investment and care

experience wherever they are. Personi-

to ensure that each brand is true to its

Fi uses a dedicated app (or it can be

values, but it also means the brands are

embedded in a head unit or other device)

credible and build an affinity with an

to capture the user’s personal sound

audience. It also helps us when we talk

preferences: how they listen, what

to car manufacturers about which is

and where they like to listen to. These

the best fit for a car brand and we’re

preferences are then stored in the cloud.

able to match brands. Our longstand-

Personi-Fi creates immersive sound

ing relationships with the carmakers

environments, even 3D sound, which can

MARCH 2019


45

“We can’t wait for change; we have to lead and drive innovation.With our global structure,collaborations and support from Samsung,we are in great shape to benefit from the‘new normal’” — Michael Mauser, Executive Vice President and President of the Lifestyle Audio Division

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CONNECTED DEVICES

46

also be personalised to the user’s device

by 2022; from 24mn units to more

and environment, even if it is in the car.

than 154mn units. Our own research has shown that

How is the rise of voice activation tools impacting the sector? Is it just a fad or do you think this trend is here to stay?

and use it even more. Around 60%

Voice is the way of the future because

of owners in the US consider their

it provides a much more natural way

speaker to be a necessity and nearly

for us to interact with our devices.

50% of owners in the UK feel that

Research by FutureSource Consulting

using a voice-controlled speaker has

predicts that devices using voice

given them a better quality of life at

assistants will grow by 541% in volume

home. The research also shows 70%

MARCH 2019

once consumers start to use these devices, they find more applications


47

expected their use to increase over

change dramatically. Now, many cars

the next 12 months, so it’s a technology

operate as stand-alone machines with

that is set to develop further. That level

limited connectivity to a wider eco-

of acceptance, within such a short time

system. As hardware and connectivity

frame, is staggering.

advances, there will be a shift whereby cars will sit in and operate in a much

Consumers are increasingly expecting greater connectivity between their homes, cars and offices, for example. How does HARMAN tackle this challenge?

larger management system; becoming a component in a wider connectivity machine. The car of tomorrow will be able to connect to your home, portable

Over the next decade we envisage that

devices and office. Our ‘Excited

the in-car telematics landscape will

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CONNECTED DEVICES

how a personal assistant in the car could manage tasks and automatically assign them to other devices. So, if you needed to order a new laptop, it would go to Alexa and if you want to turn on the heating or lights at home, it would send that message to Google Home. With Samsung, we have also shown how you can connect to your refrigerator, so you could see, from your car, if you need to collect something for a meal or get your voice assistant to order a particular ingredient. This is in fact a big benefit to work so closely with 48

Samsung on a multi-device ecosystem.

What is the biggest challenge the company has faced recently? How are you trying to overcome this? Looking at some of the challenges we face, one of the most difficult is the perpetual battle for talent. It’s a global market and that means we are competing against some of the largest and best-known brands in the tech space. Our people shape our business and they are at the heart of our organisation and future.  Our growth and quest for speed of innovation is higher than ever and we have goals to disrupt ourselves before being disrupted. MARCH 2019


49

What are your aspirations for HARMAN in the next 5-10 years? What’s your vision for the future of the company? I believe that the technology around us is genuinely changing our lives more rapidly than at any time in the past 150 years. We can’t wait for change; we have to lead and drive innovation. With our global structure, collaborations and support from Samsung, we are in great shape to benefit from the ‘new normal’.

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FLEET MANAGEMENT

50

How Verizon Connect is helping customers run a smarter fleet FROM GPS FLEET TRACKING TO DRIVER EDUCATION TOOLS, VERIZON CONNECT IS BRINGING GREATER VISIBILITY TO FLEET MANAGEMENT

WRITTEN BY

MARCH 2019

L AUR A MULL AN


51

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FLEET MANAGEMENT

A

re my assets working to their best capacity? Are my employees acting safely? Is there any way the

business can operate more efficiently or

cost-effectively?’ These are just a few of the daunting questions looming over today’s fast-scaling businesses. As the competition ramps up, senior business professionals need to keep a vigilant eye on any opportunities or worse, any pitfalls, that could sway their operations. But what if the bustling venture you’re overseeing includes a fleet of mobile workers and vehicles? How can you 52

carefully monitor tens or even hundreds of mobile workers as they hurry to different ends of the country or even the world? Managing a mobile workforce can seem a near-impossible task for even the most s easoned logistics professional which can mean missed opportunities, poor productivity or unnecessary costs. This is where new technologies can offer a helping hand. From advanced GPS fleet tracking software to driver education tools, technology now means you can immediately improve the productivity and efficiency of your fleet. During its short history, Verizon Connect (a subsidiary of telecommunications giant Verizon Communications) has made a name for itself in this field. One of the most popular MARCH 2019


products in its arsenal is its mobile resource management service (MRM). The next logical step for telematics, MRM combines traditional telematics and GPS tracking, with route optimisation and work order management. Essentially, this means businesses can monitor the exact whereabouts of their fleet vehicles with a near real-time GPS tracker. This, in turn, allows companies to offer an estimated time of arrivals (ETA), ensures that drivers don’t take unauthorised detours and can even help to re-route mobile workers to new jobs as they emerge. With over a decade’s worth of expertise clocked up at the firm, Sergio Barata, General Manager for EMEA, highlights that, in an age where tech disruptors reign supreme, fleet management is more important than ever. “With MRM, customers are looking for the ability to control, inform and manage their field resources more effectively,” he says. “They’re an extension of the business but there’s a high level of expectation from customers receiving field services, specifically because of new benchmarks set by companies like Uber and Amazon. Whether you’re competing or

— Sergio Barata General Manager for EMEA, Verizon Connect

not, people are measuring their experience against the experience they receive from these disruptive w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

53


FLEET MANAGEMENT

providers.” Operational decision

field service management (70%),

makers seem to agree that mobile

operations (65%) and fleets/assets

resource management is a key

(62%) elements of their organisation’s

challenge that simply can’t be ignored

mobile workforce.

any longer. In fact, in recent research,

MRM can take different forms

Verizon Connect found that over three

depending on the customer: some

quarters (79%) of senior operational

businesses may want to start with

decision makers believed their

telematics (a combination of telecom-

organisations had to find a better way

munications and informatics that

of managing their mobile workforce

makes GPS tracking possible) whilst

operation. On top of this, the majority

others may already have some

of respondents admitted a degree of

technology in place but are just looking

difficulty when it came to managing the

to streamline last-mile delivery. By

54

“With MRM, customers are looking for the ability to control, inform and manage their field resources more effectively” — Sergio Barata General Manager for EMEA, Verizon Connect

MARCH 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLEET TELEMATICS’ 55

offering cloud-based, software-as-

see fit. “Whether they’re looking for

a-service (SaaS) platforms, Barata

a SaaS-based scheduling tool or job

contends that the real benefit of

visibility and workforce management

Verizon Connect is that it allows

solutions, we can help them generate

businesses to scale when and how

additional value without a serious IT

they want to. “A lot of traditional

and capital commitment,” he says.

scheduling and routing platforms are

“Because we’ve built a platform, we

very capital heavy and IT-centric,”

have technologies that can stand

highlights Barata, pointing out how

alone. They can integrate with them-

many firms don’t get a fair return on

selves, or they can actually integrate

investment. In contrast, SaaS and

with third-party solutions as well

cloud-based solutions offer significant

— that’s critical for our customers.”

cost savings and give businesses the

Cloud computing has long been

power to scale up and down as they

synonymous with agility and it’s a w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


FLEET MANAGEMENT

“Because we’ve built a platform, we have technologies that can stand alone. They can integrate with themselves, or they can actually integrate with third-party solutions as well – that’s critical for our customers 56

— Sergio Barata General Manager for EMEA, Verizon Connect

similar story at Verizon Connect. For

software companies — Telogis,

instance, with the right login details

Fleetmatics and Verizon Telematics —

a worker — whether that’s regular

under one unified brand. It is the

employees, contractors or even

culmination of more than $5bn in

seasonal or casual workers —can

investments but, for Barata, it’s true

access the same cloud platform easily.

competitive edge lies in the fact that it

Barata argues that this gives firms the

can offer end-to-end solutions. This

ability to “scale depending on the

means that, regardless of what fleet

needs of the business very easily”.

management tools a customer may

Founded in 2018, Verizon Connect

need, Verizon Connect is essentially

combines three distinctive fleet and

a one-stop shop. “If you asked 1,000

mobile workforce management

telematics companies what’s unique

MARCH 2019


57

about them, they’d probably say similar

vehicles can also provide useful data

stuff: that they’re ‘best in breed’ or

sets and benchmarks which can drive

‘world-class’,” observes Barata. “I think

further business outcomes. “Custom-

our advantage is our focus on provid-

ers can get greater operational visibility

ing a holistic solution, not just across

in terms of job execution where they

the vehicle-centric part of the business,

can change behaviours, implement

but also the operations and the people

management and escalate issues but

part of the business.”

they can also get operational visibility

From driving fuel efficiency and

in terms of data. Using valuable data

safety to reducing fleet expenses, the

resources, you could see which

opportunities for fleet management

geographies are better at certain

are endless. Analysis of customers’

functions than others, for example.” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


FLEET MANAGEMENT

In fact, in its Data Driven Fleet Report, Verizon Connect found that reports on driver behaviour helped to substantially reduce speeding, idling and harsh driving. Carrying out about 70,000 deliveries a week, Dixons Carphone – owner of Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse – is just one such market leader that has reaped the rewards of this technology. Implementing a full telematics solution, Dixons Carphone’s managers were able to easily track their fleet from a single dashboard – allowing them to stay abreast of vehicle location and drive 58

behaviour so that they could better respond to customer queries and complaints. In doing so, the firm says it has been able to improve its road risk management and efficiency with Chris Georgious, Head of Compliance UK&I Supply Chain & Operations, noting: “There is plenty of reason to be excited about the Verizon Connect system in terms of future accident reduction, better driver education and how we can present information to our drivers.” Used by large retail giants and small customercentric businesses alike, it seems that fleet management and telematics are here to stay. As such, Barata remains optimistic MARCH 2019


“There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the Verizon Connect system in terms of future accident reduction, better driver education and how we can present information to our drivers” — Chris Georgious Head of Compliance UK & Supply Chain Operations for Dixons Carphone

about the firm’s future. “I believe that it doesn’t really matter the size of the business – those fundamental needs still exist,” he says. “I think Verizon Connect has got the right innovative solutions and the platforms to be successful in all those segments.”

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59


W O R K F O R C E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

The workforce of the future:

62

What is driving it and where is it going? Digital transformation is upending industries across the globe but how will it impact the workforce? Nick Offin, Head of Sales, Marketing and Operations at Toshiba Northern Europe, investigates‌ WRITTEN BY

MO AN RC TH 2019

NICK OFFIN


63

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W O R K F O R C E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

A

n increasingly rapid pace of innovation is driving forward technological advances in the enterprise at an unprecedented rate,

meaning that workforce dynamics are set to change drastically in the coming years. Perhaps the most noticeable and tangible example of this so far is the realisation of mobile working on a global scale, with the workplace often no longer just one set location. When we talk about the workplace of the future, it is mobility which will continue to dominate and alter the ways in which organisations and their employees function. But what are the catalysts behind this new era of mobility, and where will it take our businesses? 64

A NEW ERA OF MOBILITY According to IDC, cloud now accounts for almost half of worldwide IT infrastructure spending. The continued adoption of cloud computing is a core driving factor behind enterprise mobility, with organisations turning to both public and private clouds in order to enhance organisational productivity and connectivity in the age of broadband and 4G. Yet the arrival of 5G is set to fuel mobility further, not only increasing cellular network speed, but also capacity, which will enable more workers to go mobile with unhindered speed and connectivity. Workforces will benefit from faster download and upload speeds, lower latency, and the ability to run greater capacity applications simultaneously – meaning they can perform more heavy-duty tasks MARCH 2019


“It is mobility which will continue to dominate and alter the ways in which organisations and employees function” — Nick Offin Head of Sales, Marketing and Operations, Toshiba

65

remotely. As a result of this, Qualcomm predicts the 5G value chain will generate up to £2.7 trillion by global revenue in 2035. Of course, a subsequent impact of 5G – and where many organisations expect to see its true value – will be in its ability to serve as the foundations for greater Internet of Things (IoT) adoption in the enterprise. Although in its fledgling stages, combined IoT markets are set to grow to a worth of £395 billion globally by 2021 with the advantages offered by the technology w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


W O R K F O R C E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

too alluring to be ignored. As the trend accelerates, so too will the quantity of data produced. To manage this, businesses will increasingly rely on trends such as mobile edge computing to assist in data management from both an efficiency and security perspective. Acting as a first port of call for the data produced by IoT devices, mobile edge computing processes information on location for real-time insight while filtering mission-critical data to the cloud for deeper analysis without overwhelming IT infrastructures. Devices which possess the ability to

66

process data on the edge will become an increasingly central part of the workforce of the future as companies look to reduce strain on their cloud services, while at the same time ensure productivity and security across an extended IT perimeter.

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS OF IOT Of course, such IoT solutions themselves will also shape the workforce of the future in transforming the ways in which they perform their jobs – particularly within industries reliant on fieldbased and frontline workers. This MARCH 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TOSHIBA DYNAEDGE’ 67

year has already seen the arrival of

glasses to access and overlay highly-

business-targeted IoT devices such as

detailed specifications or instructions

Assisted Reality (AR) smart glasses

in real-time, ensuring greater manufac-

which – by running on Windows – are

turing precision, reduced errors, and

easily integrated into existing IT

a more efficient overall process.

infrastructures and provide handsfree working capabilities to employ-

SECURING THE FUTURE

ees. For sectors ranging from engi-

With the rise of IoT, and resulting data

neering and logistics to healthcare and

proliferation, the workforce of the

security, these solutions not only

future will also have to be more secure

enable greater mobility, but also create

than ever before. This, more than

new and more efficient activities for

anything, is the key concern for IT

staff. Take, for example, workers on the

leaders who need to create a secure

manufacturing line, who can use smart

network perimeter across an everw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


W O R K F O R C E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

68

MARCH 2019


C OM PA N Y FACT S

• According to IDC, cloud now accounts for almost half of worldwide IT infrastructure spending. • Qualcomm predicts the 5G value chain will generate up to £2.7 trillion by global revenue in 2035. • 62% of Europe’s IT decision makers regard data security as a key IT investment priority over the next 12 months, according to Toshiba

their future workforce is better educated about IT protocols and regulation, while also equipping them with solutions which offer robust protection from the increasing guile of cyber criminals – from laptops with built-in biometric and encryption tools, to solutions like mobile edge computing which can identify and isolate threats before they reach the network core. We’re now entering a professional landscape in which workforces will be able to accumulate, analyse and act on data – itself collected in more diverse and convenient locations – and use that to create further competitive advantages and revenue streams. Within such an environment, the future work-

increasing surface area, and in the face

force must continue to prioritise security

of a constantly developing cyber-crime

above all else, while at the same time

threat. SonicWall research revealed

learn to embrace new skills and capabili-

a 275% annual increase in the number

ties delivered by IoT solutions which can

of encrypted threats, as well as a 101.2%

drive new levels of digital transformation

rise in the number of ransomware

across all industries.

variants in 2017 – to give just a couple of examples. As such, it’s no surprise that 62% of Europe’s IT decision makers regard data security as a key IT investment priority over the next 12 months, according to Toshiba. This means that organisations must ensure w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

69


10 & 11 April RDS Dublin

#DTS19 dublintechsummit.com


CASSIE KOZYRKOV Chief Decision Scientist, Google

DTS19 SPEAKERS

MARTHA LANE FOX Founder, lastminute.com

DOUGLAS TERRIER NASA CTO

JEETENDR SEDHEV New York Times Bestselling Author

MIHAI ALISIE Co-founder, Ethereum


T O P 10

72

MARCH 2019


TOP 10 Most valuable

telecommunication companies in the world According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, the global telecommunications services market is set to reach a whopping value of US$1.4bn by 2025. Using data from Forbes, we investigate the top ten telecommunication companies in the world by market value in 2018 WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN

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T O P 10

10

74

Orange With a market value of $48bn in 2018, Orange has earned its stripes as the dominant telecommunications company in France and the third largest in Europe. The firm’s operations make for impressive reading: it has 450,000km of undersea cables (enough to go around the earth 10 times), 6,498 patents in its portfolio as well as 150,000 employees across the world. Additionally, Orange also claims to have 53mn 4G customers worldwide and 261mn customers across the globe. In an annual survey by ARCEP, Orange was voted the top mobile network in France for the eighth time in a row.

www.orange.com/en/home

MARCH 2019


09

75

China Telecom Corporation Boasting a market value of $39bn in 2018, China Telecom Corporation is a major player in the telecommunications industry. As of the end of 2017, the company says it had around 250mn mobile subscribers, 134mn wireline broadband subscribers and around 122mn access lines in service. Yang Jie has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of China Telecom since 2015.

www.chinatelecom-h.com

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T O P 10

08

76

KDDI Corporation Headquartered in the Garden Air Tower in Iidabashi, Tokyo, KDDI Corporation is Japan’s second largest mobile operator with a market value of $66bn according to Forbes. In 2014, KDDI unveiled that it was teaming up with five other global companies including Google to build a new trans-Pacific cable system linking the west coast of the United States with Japan. The cable has been in operation since 2016. www.kddi.com

MARCH 2019


07

77

Telefonica Telefonica is the number one Spanish multinational by market capitalisation and one of the largest private telecommunication companies in the world. Telefonica’s brands include the eponymous Telefonica, Movistar, O2 and Vivo. Forbes reports that the business had a market value of $81bn in 2018, generating around $60bn in sales. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Madrid, Spain.

www.telefonica.com

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T O P 10

06

78

Deutsche Telekom Not only is Germany’s Deutsche Telekom the largest telecommunications company in Europe, it’s also the 6th most valuable in the world with a market valuation of $81bn. The business boasts around 168mn mobile customers, 28mn fixed-network lines as well as 19mn broadband lines. It has a presence in more than 50 countries with some 216,000 employees throughout the world. Forbes notes that the business generated $85bn in sales and $4bn in profit in 2018.

www.telekom.com/en

MARCH 2019


05 Photo Š Wikimedia Commons - shibainu 79

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, commonly referred to as NTT, is the fifth most valuable telecommunications company according to Forbes, with a market value of $96bn. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the business generated $105bn in sales and $8bn in profit last year. While Nippon Telegraph and Telephone is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, New York, and London stock exchanges, the Japanese government still owns roughly one-third of the company’s shares.

www.ntt.co.jp

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04

80

SoftBank

Headed up by CEO Masayoshi Son, Japanese holding conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. is one of the most valuable telecommunication companies in the world. Forbes reports that the firm recorded $83bn in sales and $9bn in profit in 2018. Meanwhile, its assets were valued at $293bn. Softbank is currently the majority owner of American telecom Sprint, but following merger discussions with T-Mobile’s parent Deutsche Telekom, the pair have reached an agreement for a Sprint and T-Mobile merger which will see Softbank’s ownership fall from over 80% to around just 27% of the combined entity. If the deal goes ahead as planned, it is expected to close in the first half of the year. Forbes recorded that the company had a market value of $85bn in 2018.

www.softbank.jp/en/ MARCH 2019

Photo © Wikimedia Commons – Itoshin87

T O P 10


03

81

China Mobile

Boasting a market valuation of around $193bn, China Mobile is one of the most valuable telecommunication firms in Asia. In November 2018, the company reported that it had around 933mn customers in total, with 705mn 4G customers as well as 154mn wireline broadband customers. Through its day-to-day operations the group provides full communications services in all 31 provinces, autonomous regions and directly-administered municipalities throughout Mainland China and Hong Kong.

www.chinamobileltd.com

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T O P 10

02

Verizon Communications

Claiming the second spot on the leader board,

Verizon Communications stands as one of the most valuable telecommunication companies in the world with a valuation of around $201bn. Forbes reports that the American business generated $128bn in sales and $31bn in profit 82

respectively in 2018. Verizon Communications was first founded in 2000 by Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp., in what was one of the largest mergers in US business history at the time. The New-York based company completed its $4.5bn acquisition of Yahoo in June 2017. It then combined these newly acquired internet assets with its AOL brands to form a new subsidiary called Oath.

www.verizon.com

MARCH 2019


83

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T O P 10

01 AT&T

Topping the ranking with a market valuation of around $198bn, AT&T is one of the most valuable telecommunications players in the world. Headquartered in Texas, USA, AT&T has racked up 34 consecutive years of quarterly dividend growth and today it stands as a Fortune 10 company. The firm recently completed acquisition of Time Warner – now known as WarnerMedia – 84

bringing brands such as Warner Bros., HBO and Turner under its umbrella. According to Forbes, the American telecommunications company generated around $159bn in sales in 2018, making a profit of $31bn.

www.att.com

MARCH 2019


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

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

04–08 MARCH 2019

RSA Conference 2019 [ SAN FRANCISCO, USA ] RSA Conference is one of the biggest IT security conferences in the world, with 2019’s main event taking place in San Francisco. Attendees can expect to 86

03–06 MARCH 2019

Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2019

learn about the latest cybersecurity developments in expert-led sessions, inspiring keynotes and in-depth semi-

[ LONDON, UK ]

nars. They can also demo innovative

The Gartner Data & Analytics Summit

products and solutions, network with

2019 aims to share new strategies,

insiders and peers, and help move the

guidance and best practices to help

industry forward as part of an engaged

companies excel in today’s digital

and empowered global community.

economy. Gartner says that it aims to

This year’s theme is ‘Better’. According to

help attendees “realise their future –

the RSA Conference, this means ‘work-

a future based on data you can trust,

ing hard to find better solutions. Making

agile analytics you can rely on, and

better connections with peers from

the clarity needed to empower you.”

around the world. And keeping the digital

Click to visit website

world safe so everyone can get on with making the real world a better place’.

Click to visit website

MARCH 2019


25–26 APRIL 2019

AI and Big Data Conference 2019

09–10 MAY 2019

[ OLYMPIA, LONDON,MUK ]

TECHSPO Technology Expo 2019

The AI and Big Data Conference 2019

[ NEW YORK, USA ]

is a showcase of next-generation tech-

TECHSPO Technology Expo show-

nologies and strategies from the world

cases the next generation of

of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.

technology and innovation, covering

Taking place at the Olympia Grand,

topics such as augmented reality, vir-

London, the event provides the oppor-

tual reality, IoT, wearables, mobile,

tunity for attendees to explore and

internet, 3D printing and emerging

discover the practical and successful

technology. Exhibitors have the oppor-

implementation of AI and Big Data. The

tunity to show off their companies to

conference will feature four co-located

consumers, investors, hordes of press,

events, 21 conference tracks, 12,000

the most sought-after talent, and the

attendees, more than 500 speakers

greatest pool of tech enthusiasts look-

and 350 exhibitions.

ing to celebrate emerging ventures.

Click to visit website

Click to visit website

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87


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

29–31 MAY 2019

13–16 MAY 2019

Internet of Things World 88

Augmented World Expo USA [ SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA, USA ]

[ SANTA CLARA CONVENTION CENTRE, CALIFORNIA, USA ]

The Augmented World Expo (AWE)

Bringing together around 12,5000

and expo on augmented reality in the

leaders and innovators, Internet of

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90

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AT UNIPER: A KEY PLAYER IN THE ENERGY FIELD BECOMING DATA DRIVEN WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

LE WIS VAUGHAN

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

91

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UNIPER

Embarking on a root-andbranch digital transformation, energy behemoth Uniper is showcasing the true power of data

W

ith about 36GW of generating capacity, Uniper has earned its stripes as one of the world’s largest global power genera-

tors. The Düsseldorf-headquartered firm was founded in 2016 after it carved out its own path 92

from E.ON and since then, it has grown to become a global powerhouse in the energy space, expanding its operations across 40 countries and attracting 12,000 employees to its doors. Technology has obviously played a vital role in this rapid ascension and, more specifically, Uniper’s data analytics plan has been a real tour de force. When it first hashed out its digital roadmap Uniper set itself an impressive goal: to become a more data driven company. This may seem like a straightforward task – that is, if you don’t take into account the scale of Uniper’s operations. The company not only generates power, but it also procures, stores, transports and supplies commodities such as natural gas, LNG and coal, as well as energy-related products. With this in mind, Uniper has reams and reams of data at MARCH 2019


EUROPE

8.2 bcm Gas storage capacity

2016

Year founded

12,000 Approximate number of employees

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UNIPER

its disposal – but how to draw real value from this was another challenge it needed to tackle. The problem with data analytics, particularly at this magnitude, is that it’s often isolated and difficult to utilise enterprise wide. “Whether it’s power plants or gas storage, these sorts of assets are actually quite digitised already,” muses Dr. Stephan van Aaken, VP responsible for Digital Transformation of the Asset Business at Uniper. “Nowadays you can hardly run a power plant without sensors or the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) but none of

94

these are perfectly utilised. Often information is siloed and organised in different places which means the whole organisation can’t reach its optimum capability.” There are many forward-thinking questions facing today’s utility and power giants. How much coal or gas do they E X ECU T I VE P RO FI LE

Dr. Stephan van Aaken Dr. Stephan van Aaken is Vice President of Asset IT, Architecture & Optimisation. His previous roles include Head of Asset Information and Head of Asset Power Market Risk. He graduated with an Engineering Degree from the RWTH Aachen.

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘UNIPER: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON ENERGY’ 95 need to produce today and in the future? Is the market going to pivot in a completely different direction? How can they maximise profit? These queries are daunting yet necessary, and by offering evidenced-based predictions data holds some of the answers. Yet, before you can draw any insights from data, it has to be organised. As such, Uniper sought to standardise the way it collected and organised data, which van Aaken aptly likens to “cleaning up the kitchen before you can actually start to cook your meal”.

“Employees really bought into the technology because they could see it was really making their lives easier” — Dr. Stephan van Aaken, VP responsible for the Asset Digitalisation program w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


UNIPER

96

Wanting to break down its data silos, the firm set about the mammoth task of reshaping its architecture. “We started to think about how we can drive value and money from our data at an enterprise scale,” explains Rene Greiner, VP of Data Integration. “From the first moment, it became clear we needed one fundamental thing: a ‘single point of truth’ whereby we can let data flow from one domain to the other.” To this end, Uniper worked closely with an intricate ecosystem of partners to create a cutting-edge data analytics MARCH 2019


EUROPE

platform. Over the past several years,

succeed,” Greiner affirms. Similarly,

the energy giant teamed up with

he praises Tableau’s “best in class

Tableau and Talend to integrate more

visual analytics capabilities” noting that

than 120 internal and external sources

it “perfectly supports Uniper’s digitisa-

into a Snowflake central data lake in

tion journey.”

the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Greiner

Embarking on a root-and-branch

speaks warmly of the strong partner-

transformation is no easy feat, but

ships Uniper has formed with Snow-

developing strong industry ties has

flake and Talend, highlighting how “it’s

helped Uniper sidestep any pitfalls.

different than a traditional partnership”.

This has not only applied to the way

“We’re very close to their network

the firm has overhauled its software

and in terms of knowledge sharing I’d

but can be seen in the hardware side

say we’ve created a very open-minded

of things too. “DXC Technology is

culture,” he says. “If we have a problem

really our backbone from an infra-

or a question, we can immediately get

structure point of view,” explains

in touch with them to solve it.” It’s this

Greiner. “We have a cloud first stra-

same ability to go the extra mile that

tegy but some parts you can’t put

led Uniper to adopt OSIsoft’s PI System

in the cloud and that’s where DXC

software. “They don’t want to just close

Technology comes in. They’re not

a deal and run off – they want to see us

just providing us with technology

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Rene Greiner Rene Greiner is Vice President Data Integration at Uniper. Prior to this, he had worked as Vice President Head of Information Management, Head of End of Day Reporting & Transformation Programme Manager and Head of Energy Economic Planning & Transformation Programme Manager.

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Uniper’s Digital Journey When did the collaboration between DXC Technology and Uniper start? The collaboration started eight years ago in the context of one of the largest IT outsourcing deals at that time — E.ON and HP. Since then we’ve established a trustful collaboration. After the separation from E.ON three years ago, Uniper continued to work with DXC Technology (DXC) to establish an IT landscape independent from E.ON and to enhance Uniper’s digital strategy. How did DXC help Uniper shape their digital journey? Uniper’s market environment faces a lot of disruption — for example, decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization. To stay competitive and secure its position as a market leader, the company decided to focus on the digital transformation and manage the change. Uniper saw the benefit of collaborating with a key partner like DXC, to use our professional knowledge about what “digital” means and to get guidance on their digital journey. How did this collaboration evolve? DXC’s performance in ENVISION workshops with the Uniper leadership team played a key role in getting started. The ENVISION team looked at how the company was adapting to the new era of digitalization. Together they analyzed their current technologies, operating model and culture. This served as a basis for defining strategic options, developing a digital blueprint and helping to navigate the change process. DXC also ran deep-dive meetings with Uniper and Leading Edge Forum. DXC’s Leading Edge Forum is a global research and thought leadership program dedicated to helping clients reimagine their organizations and leadership for a tech-driven future. It serves as a strategic touchpoint to challenge CXO teams and help them win in the 21st century.

A very important milestone was our Silicon Valley tour. This was organized and conducted by DXC to help Uniper’s leadership better understand the value of partnerships, ecosystems and outside-in thinking. DXC introduced Uniper to several startups and the corporate innovation platform Plug and Play. This contact turned out to be a starting point for a fruitful cooperation between Uniper and Plug and Play Energy Hub. What are the benefits of DXC’s approach? As business and IT become inseparable, virtually every aspect of work and the modern firm will need to be reimagined. This creates exciting new opportunities, as “digital” is a business-led transformation. DXC’s industry-leading strategic partner ecosystem and forward-thinking approach result in a precise roadmap — connecting business with IT. This opens up business innovation for securing a leading market position. How has DXC helped Uniper to enable its digital transformation, and what is the outlook? Uniper has used DXC’s Digital Transformation Center to develop and implement key solutions. Uniper established its own Digital Lab based on DXC’s digital development framework and agile principles. The DXC team has deployed Uniper’s new Digital Workplace, which is designed to enable enhanced collaboration and new ways of working for Uniper. DXC’s Security experts also helped Uniper embrace cloud technologies and implement DevOps capabilities. The experts have helped set up new identity and access management services that enable Uniper to manage identity across the enterprise from a digital perspective. Uniper is also using platforms like ServiceNow to enhance the end-user experience. With the help of DXC, Uniper is deploying digital solutions that will lead to new business models and new ways of working in the future.


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EUROPE

“Our partners don’t want to just close a deal and run off – they want to see us succeed” — Rene Greiner, VP of Data Integration 101

though; they’re also supporting us as

highlights how the platform is empow-

a technology advisor.”

ering the workforce by giving them

Working with these industry leaders,

more input and control. “We’ve seen

Uniper is already reaping the fruits of

that this platform is bringing the data

its labour. Thanks to its data analytics

and people closer together,” he says.

platform, the company can supply data

“In the past, when you wanted to analyse

10 times faster and 10 times cheaper.

data you were kind of stuck. You needed

“In almost every process use case, we

to talk to IT professionals, set up a big

can also ‘free up’ people from data

project and then maybe six months

collection and processing,” Greiner

later you had the data you needed. This

says. “Because the platform is supp-

platform turned this around. It’s changed

orted by cloud technology, we can

our way of working significantly.” Speed

even reduce the cost of storing and

is another key advantage underlined by

preparing our data.” Van Aaken also

the pair. “In the past when we wanted w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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EUROPE

to integrate data it was an intensive, long and expensive process,” Greiner adds. “Today, we are able to do it within days if not hours. This drives value as you have more time to dig into the data and gain insight.” Demand in the utility and power market fluctuates daily. As you can imagine, a colder winter season will see more people turning on their heating for longer spells, whilst a heatwave could see a spike in air conditioning use. By using predictive data analytics, Uniper plans to use its portfolio, safely, to its utmost capability. “A major driver of the profit-

“A major driver of the profitability of your portfolio is, of course, how you manage your assets” — Dr. Stephan van Aaken, VP responsible for the Asset Digitalisation program Combining data about how a com-

ability of your portfolio is, of course,

ponent was run with predictions about

how you manage your assets,” explains

the future energy market, Uniper can

van Aaken, noting that when the firm is

now forecast how power plants will run

planning to invest and maintain its assets,

in the future and when they will need to

it is doing so on a portfolio basis rather

undergo maintenance. Van Aaken likens

than looking at individual power plant

this to maintaining a car, noting: “You

sites. “We have a strategy for our power

could change the tyres of a car every

plant portfolio and the maintenance of

two years and you would probably be

our components,” he continues. “These

safe, but what if half of the time the car

components are stressed differently

is parked and you’re only driving short

according to how you operate your

distances within the city? Changing the

power plant, and that obviously depends

tyres every two years would be a waste

on the market and the strategy of the

and you wouldn’t be using up the life-

traders. Now, for each component, we

time of the components.” On the other

can collect data about how it is operating

hand, he adds: “What if the car suddenly

through our digitisation strategy.”

needs to drive longer distances the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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UNIPER

104

MARCH 2019


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next year? Then you’d have to change the tyres more frequently. In power plants you have a similar system – you need to ensure that it’s well maintained.” By being able to see how changes in the market will impact its portfolio, this resourceful strategy is helping Uniper keep a close eye on its maintenance budget and capital expenditure. This digital transformation journey has no finish line, and van Aaken and Greiner are proud of what Uniper has achieved so far. For the business, it’s not just about technical advancements: Van Aaken points out how a vital piece of this transformation involved creating a culture shift and enabling the workforce. “In the end, one of the biggest challenges involved is around enabling the people,” he says. “In my lifetime, technology has developed more quickly than people can follow – it’s a game changer. It also means that technology changes quicker than people’s mindsets. We have to take care to ensure that people are ready to take on this journey because the people have the actual knowledge. If you lose them, then even your greatest product won’t help you.” This is perhaps best exemplified by Uniper’s hydro business, where workers now use mobile devices (which are linked to SAP Plant Maintenance) for daily maintenance operations. Working across different power stations, these w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

105


UNIPER

workers often used pen and paper

the development of the app,” says van

when conducting surveys. However,

Aaken. “They really bought into the

this caused problems: it was laborious,

technology because they could see it

susceptible to human error, and ineffi-

was really making their life easier. This

cient. To change this, Uniper developed

strategy also focuses on the benefits

a seemingly simple app, where emplo-

for the people.”

yees could send their notes directly

When it comes to digital disruption,

to the SAP PM tool. “It’s interesting

Uniper is keen not to slow momentum.

because we included the workers in

The world of technology is unpredict-

106

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

able but over the coming years, one

one knows what is set to come in the

thing is certain: Uniper will work hard

future, but by preparing our teams and

to ensure that it maintains its position

our organisation, we’re well equipped

as a digitally savvy energy leader. “We

to take it on.”

want to carry on with this journey,” adds Greiner. “We need to make digital part of our DNA. We need to take our digitised legacy and move towards becoming a more digital business. No

107

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108

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY IN THE AVIATION SECTOR AT AIR MALTA SE AN GA LE A-PACE WRIT TEN BY

PRODUCED BY

LE WIS VAUGHAN

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

109

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A I R M A LTA

Alan Talbot, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Air Malta, discusses how his company is embracing technology amid its digital transformation

T

he importance of adapting to the latest digital trends is fundamental to the sustained success of compa-

nies worldwide. With technology having an increased influence on the way firms conduct their operations, it’s vital to continued growth that companies acclimatise and respond. 110

Alan Talbot, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Air Malta, is responsible for overseeing a large-scale change in operation amid his company’s digital transformation. Since joining Air Malta in December 2014 originally as Head of ICT, Talbot transitioned to becoming Deputy Chief Information Officer in September 2015 before moving into the role as CIO just over a year later in 2016. “I’ve been in technology for the past 21 years. I come predominantly from the financial services, where I spent around 15 years occupying different posts,” says Talbot. “I can say that my career spans across a number of different sectors sitting on either side of the table, both as a customer and as a solution or service provider. That has MARCH 2019


EUROPE

€220mn Approximate revenue

1974

Year founded

1,000+

Approximate number of employees

45th

Anniversary in April 2019

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A I R M A LTA

112

helped me in my current position

order to thrive in a competitive in-

to have a diverse and more holistic

dustry, it’s vital that companies adapt

view towards what is required in

to the latest trends to continue to

managing a department, technology

achieve success. Talbot believes that

and people.”

the aviation industry is transforming

Air Malta operates a modern fleet

on an ongoing basis. “The industry is

of aircraft and operates to various

fantastic, and somewhat unique –

destinations in Europe, North Africa

glamorous, dynamic and ever so de-

and the Eastern Mediterranean. In

manding – it never offers respite

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

113

and constantly demands the best out of you. It’s not similar to the financial services where there is a bit more brand loyalty and legacy in terms of relationship; it makes things a bit more challenging when it isn’t the case. Due to the issues and challenges you face; it’s important to be on your toes. You have to look for any oppor-

“The industry is fantastic, and somewhat unique – glamorous, dynamic and ever so demanding – it never offers respite and constantly demands the best out of you” — Alan Talbot, Chief Information Officer, Air Malta w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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EUROPE

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘AIR MALTA’ 115 tunities that might come along while, at the same time, keeping operations running as well.”

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY In order to thrive, companies must find unique ways to innovate or risk allowing competitors to take the initiative. Talbot believes innovation and technology are regarded as key areas at Air Malta and defines the way they operate. “If we don’t innovate then we’re out of business. We have to constantly change in order to challenge the status quo. Innovation is the only way to survive. I believe we

“If we don’t innovate then we’re out of business. We have to constantly change in order to challenge the status quo. Innovation is the only way to survive” — Alan Talbot, Chief Information Officer, Air Malta w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


A I R M A LTA

Lufthansa Systems One of the world‘s leading providers of IT services in the airline industry and your partner for the digital transformation of all airline business processes. We draw our unique strengths from an ability to combine profound industry know-how with technological expertise and many years of project experience. Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | info@lhsystems.com | www.lhsystems.com

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Ricston is a boutique MuleSoft and Salesforce partner with 13 years of experience. We specialise exclusively in enterprise integration solutions and API-led connectivity. On a par with thought leadership, we provide full cycle delivery services which enables Clients to modernise, connect and scale across the enterprise in order to execute on Digital Transformation strategies and key business initiatives. MARCH 2019

...


EUROPE

117

were very slow a few years ago and were

an API led economy. Air Malta has im-

lacking innovation,” says Talbot. “Only

plemented MuleSoft, an API and integ-

through change can we actually survive;

ration platform provided by a leading

we can’t afford to stand still and remain

application network company, in a bid

as we are. Technology has helped to

to create integration between all tech-

become the ultimate enabler in which

nical points and partners, ultimately to

we can drive and create change. The

position itself at the center of the entire

results speak for themselves.”

ecosystem. “MuleSoft had one of the

With the firm undergoing a signifi-

most holistic and enabling platforms

cant digital transformation, Talbot has

whereby even the most non-technical

overseen a complete overhaul of the

personnel could create connectivity

company’s IT infrastructure, insourced

and develop integration,” he explains.

services previously outsourced for

“We have partnered with Ricston, a

increased agility and has embarked on

local implementation partner for the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


A I R M A LTA

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MARCH 2019


EUROPE

“In order to achieve sustainability, we must never underestimate our position and size within the market. We need to be realistic about our capabilities and never be afraid to dream and try” — Alan Talbot, Chief Information Officer, Air Malta

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A I R MMAALTA LTA

successful design and deployment of

momentum. This was something that

our Hybrid Integration Platform, and

we were seriously looking at as we

we are still collaborating till this day in

wanted to start capitalizing on the

delivering high quality integration

investment we did and maximize the

projects by utilising this technology.

opportunities that come around on

The fact that we could rely on a local

a commercial basis.�

partner to support us in this delicate

To help achieve its success, Air Malta

part of our strategy was essential in

has partnered with Lufthansa Systems

gaining stability and building up the

to help with the implementation of the

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MARCH 2019


TECHE N UORL O P GE Y

company’s leading solutions. “We have

sever integration abilities, so our

significant synergies with Lufthansa

partnerships have been very impor-

Systems when it comes to defining

tant to us.”

certain operational and commercial

The company has also formed a close

related technology,” says Talbot. “They

relationship with Salesforce; a leader

provide one of the best flight planning

in CRM solutions for customer profiling

solutions on the market and this was

and customer data retention. “It has

something that we couldn’t possibly

become extremely essential for our

achieve in the past because we lacked

processing and handling anything that

121

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A I R M A LTA

“Technology has helped to become the ultimate enabler in which we can drive and create change. The results speak for themselves” 122

— Alan Talbot, Chief Information Officer, Air Malta

is related to customer-oriented services. We use it for social media listening, marketing and managing our sales pipeline as well. It has become part of Air Malta and we consider it as part of our core.”

REMAINING SUSTAINABLE With a population of approximately 460,000 people (2017), running a successful business in Malta is challenging due to the small size of the country. However, Talbot believes Air Malta is well-placed in its position in the field. “We consider ourselves to be a hybrid airline because we aren’t legacy or low cost. But we do offer services at either end of the spectrum as well as being a company that is publicly owned, having a social and corporate responsibility,” explains Talbot. “Being an island, having our own national airline is not only a measure of pride, but also of survivability. For us Maltese it is the only publicly owned means of transport or connectivity to the rest of the world. However, at the same time, you need to be sustainable because you can’t rely on public funds in order to survive and operate.”

MARCH 2019


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124

In order to remain sustainable, it’s important that companies aren’t content to stand still. Talbot believes that by harbouring aspirations of achieving sustainability, Air Malta must continue to push the boundaries of its capabilities to enhance its position as a leading airline in Malta, and beyond. “Sustainability is extremely difficult to achieve, especially in an organisation of our size. During the last year financial year we’ve managed to achieve profitability MARCH 2019


EUROPE

after a number of years, during which we grew in capacity and capability. We need to ensure that this isn’t a oneoff situation and that we have actually found the right formula for achieving continued financial sustainability,” explains Talbot. “In order to achieve sustainability, we must never underestimate our position and size within the market. We need to be realistic of our capabilities and never be afraid to dream and try. These are values that this airline needs to endorse and embrace because if we have a vision and are capable of sustaining change as we have done in recent years, then we can all work together for something that has the potential to be much bigger.”

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Improving both customer and employee experience through digital transformation WRIT TEN BY

M ARCUS L AWRENCE PRODUCED BY

LE WIS VAUGHAN

MARCH 2019


ASIA

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CRODA

Croda International’s Chief Digital Officer Dave Cook discusses how digital transformation is driving the chemical manufacturer’s position as an industry leader

E 128

stablished in 1925, Croda is the name behind high performance ingredients and technologies in some of

the world’s biggest and most successful brands: creating, making and selling speciality chemicals that are relied on by industries and consumers everywhere. Croda has a network of over 4,500 passionate and committed employees, working together as one global team across manufacturing sites and offices in 38 countries. A FTSE100 company with a flexible structure, the business has focused on developing and delivering innovative, sustainable ingredients that their customers can build on in: Personal Care, Health Care, Crop Care, Polymer Additives, Lubricants, Coatings & Polymers, Geo Tech, Home Care and Industrial Specialties. Named among Management Today’s top three most admired companies in the UK, MARCH 2019


ASIA

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CRODA

“We’ve put more emphasis on digital and there’s a certain positivity about the fact we’re on the journey” — Dave Cook, Chief Digital Officer, Croda International 130

MARCH 2019

Chief Digital Officer Dave Cook says this success in the public eye has been facilitated by a deeply ingrained ethos of customer centricity. “Croda prides itself on its customer focus: customer intimacy, innovating with customers, having the right products, and providing the right services,” he explains. This drive to improve the customer experience in all its forms is the basis for the firm’s commitment to digital transformation. Cook joined Croda in January 2018 and has since led the company’s digital strategy through this


ASIA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘INTRODUCTION TO CRODA’ 131 exciting time. “One of our goals is to become a digital leader within the industry,” he says. While remaining customer centric, Croda also places considerable importance on the employee experience, and its positive culture surrounding digital transformation exemplifies this focus. “Over the last 12 months, we’ve put more emphasis on digital and there’s a certain positivity about the fact we’re on the journey. Having the buy-in of the employees comes from that commitment to improving their experience alongside the customer experience,” he explains. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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STRATEGIC PARTNERS

website, driven by the manufacturer’s

Croda’s approach to IT vendor man-

strategic partnership with Sitecore.

agement positions vendors as strategic

“There’s been a general revamp of our

business partners, fostering relation-

web presence through the Sitecore

ships that maximise value. SAP has

Experience Platform,” Cook notes,

been fundamental to this approach

adding that Qlik’s analytical capabili-

ever since SAP ERP became its core

ties are augmented by Sitecore.

platform nearly 20 years ago. One of

“Sitecore comes with its own analytics

its first extensions was Qlik’s data

which, along with Google Analytics,

visualisation solution sitting on top of

enables us to understand what our

SAP Business Warehouse, which has

customers are doing in the digital realm

provided insights into daily operations

and how that influences their behaviour

and raised data literacy across the org-

further in the buying cycle.”

anisation significantly. However, more

The benefits of this tactile and well-

recently, the company’s focus has

presented web presence are bound-

shifted to marketing and sales. Perhaps the most outwardly

less and began presenting themselves straight away. “We had an immediate

striking result of Croda’s digital

uplift in traffic,” Cook says. “The classic

transformation is its elegant,

KPIs you look for in web engagement

informative and easily navigable

all increased as the sites went live.”

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Dave Cook Dave Cook is Chief Digital Officer at Croda International Plc. He has over 10 years’ experience in leading a variety of digital transformation initiatives across several industries and organisations including the likes of Time Out and Auto Trader. Dave has an MBA and a first-class degree in Astrophysics from the University of Leicester.

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Despite this success, the drive to take full advantage of Sitecore’s benefits to the business is no less potent. “The real opportunity is how you take it to the next level. We are still working with Sitecore on the next phase of leveraging their experience platform,” he says. Croda’s interest in this area is particularly focused on the burgeoning concept of B2B personalisation. The concept, which has long been a core aspect of the B2C space, is now beginning to drive B2B actions to improve customer experience through tailored relationships. While Sitecore has reimagined Croda’s online identity, Croda’s strategic part-

“Having the buy-in of the employees comes from that commitment to improving their experience alongside the customer experience” — Dave Cook, Chief Digital Officer, Croda International

nership with Hootsuite facilitates its advanced social media presence in a landscape where this is increasingly necessary. “Customers are starting to move away from traditional marketing routes. The live event space, with traditional stands, still happens, but customers are increasingly either visiting the website or interacting with our content on social media. With social media we wanted to work with a company like Hootsuite who could bring that strategic partnership element to the table,” Cook explains. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

135


CRODA

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• Croda has a network of over 4,500 passionate and committed employees in 38 countries • A FTSE100 company, Croda is named among Management Today’s top three most admired companies in the UK

136

• Placing considerable importance on the employee experience, Croda’s positive culture exemplifies this • Croda is focused on the concept of B2B personalisation, which will improve the customer experience through tailored relationships

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CRODA

138

“We were keen to think not only in

felt that Hootsuite were the best

terms of their product range but also

partner for that.”

the services they offer that could help

SAP’s C4C CRM platform is also

to define the strategy we’re going to

part of the mix. “We were looking for

employ, to more effectively measure

a solution that would easily integrate

the impact of our social media pre-

with the rest of the estate and C4C

sence, and to enable employee

was an obvious choice. The links

advocacy. There were a series of

between Sitecore, SAP C4C and SAP

components that we wanted to

ERP are fundamental to a broader

integrate into our approach, and we

agenda,” he adds.

MARCH 2019


ASIA

£1.4bn Approximate revenue (2017)

1925

Year founded

4,500

Approximate number of employees

Cook is also mindful of the compa-

consider the people in the business,

ny’s supporting functions and Croda’s

particularly in terms of learning and

implementation of the Cornerstone

development. We asked ‘how do we

talent management platform is indicative

provide the right environment to help

of an attention to detail that extends

people on this digital journey and help

behind the scenes, ensuring that the

them to acquire new digital skills in the

supporting functions of the business

process?’” Cook is quick to reaffirm

benefit from the application of digital

the importance of this approach to the

transformation technologies. “Bringing

firm’s wider success with digital trans-

Cornerstone in is about how we

formation. “It’s one of those examples w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

139


CRODA

140

where it’s not necessarily front of mind but, without that enabler, it’s very hard to achieve your bigger objectives. You need to have the skilled people in place to make the journey successful.”

GROWTH THROUGH ACQUISITION Cook is confident in Croda’s ability to source the best partners to help solve business challenges and drive innovative processes, adding: “Where we MARCH 2019


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don’t have a skill set, we’re very confident that we can find the right partners and bring those skills into the organisation.” This ethos extends to Croda’s acquisition strategy, with an example being the addition of an inhouse team of machine learning specialists through the company’s 2015 purchase of Incotec. At Incotec, the team developed a machine learning solution that can autonomously assess the quality of seeds and their likelihood of germination, boosting yield through this intelligent seed selection. This expertise in development of sophisticated technologies is now being applied to Croda’s other manufacturing processes with a view to drive efficiency and boost production rates. It is clear Croda’s digital strategy is positively influenced by the company’s open-mindedness to the digital operations of the firms it acquires. The companies that Croda acquires are frequently leaders in their own fields, which offers an intriguing prospect for locating complementary technologies for its digitisation strategy. “Because they tend to be forward thinking, they may have some interesting examples of where they’ve used technology that w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

141


CRODA

142

“Where we don’t have a skillset, we’re confident that we can find the right partners and bring those skills into the organisation” — Dave Cook, Chief Digital Officer, Croda International

MARCH 2019


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maybe Croda hasn’t adopted yet,” Cook says. Croda is certainly in an extremely strong position as it continues its digital transformation journey, with a culture of excitement coupled with positive change management and measured flexibility that ensures the selected digital solutions are the right ones to drive the company forward. All of this is compounded by an unerring commitment to customers and ensuring that the firm’s focus is on being the best in the industry. “I think we are incredibly positive about how we can use digital to improve our organisation in order to deliver a better service to our customers,” Cook adds. “We’re very pleased with how far we’ve come, but there’s still a lot to do, and we’re very focused on achieving the outcomes that we’re after.”

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144

How IBS Software is helping airlines with their digital transformation WRIT TEN BY

SOPHIE CHAPM AN PRODUCED BY

M ANUEL NAVARRO

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

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I B S S O F T WA R E

Leading airlines and travel providers are partnering with IBS Software for transforming their business operations and Daniel Stecher,IBS’ Vice President of Airline Operations, tells us why...

I

BS Software is a leading provider of software products and services for mission critical and key business operations for the global travel,

transportation and logistics industry. The firm powers some of the world’s best airlines, busiest airports, leading cruise lines, major hotels, travel distributors, and top oil 146

and gas companies. Established in 1997 in India, the company has since established a global presence with 10 offices across the Asia-Pacific (including Japan), the Middle East, Europe, and North America, with its global headquarters in Singapore. “As our chairman, V K Mathews puts it, the key word that is core to our story is ‘focus’. Domain focus has been key to our success within travel, transportation and logistics. We are also technology-focused – as we choose only to work with modern technology and are determined to take the industry out of the clutches of legacy systems,” reveals Daniel Stecher, Vice President, Airline Operations at IBS. The company’s products and services are designed to leverage modern technologies to enable its customers to benefit from evolving technology trends such as mobility, big data, blockchain, analytics and cloud computing. “Our vision is centered around building next generation MARCH 2019


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147

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I B S S O F T WA R E

“Our vision is centered around building next generation platforms and products to help our customers on their business transformation journeys”

148

— Daniel Stecher Vice President of Airline Operation, IBS Software

platforms and products to help our customers on their business transformation journeys. Our core values help us translate that vision into reality,” says Stecher. The core values of precision, passion, commitment, integrity and respect for the individual are guiding principles for the organisation. For an industry that has been resistant to incorporating evolving technology, travel and tourism is ripe for disruption that will touch on every phase of the customer experience. With significant digital disruptions in the market place, consumer behaviour is changing and new business models are evolving. Digital trends that simplify decision making in travel like big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning can help personalise travel services. IBS claims the desire for unique experiences has been the most crucial customer demand this year. “To address the shifting industry landscape, digital business strategies are what travel service providers are looking at. Over time, the value of their enterprise is going to shift more towards digital assets than physical. Travel companies are becoming increasingly

MARCH 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘IBS SOFTWARE - SHOWCASE’ 149 aware of the need to build their digital

do we facilitate ‘Collaborative Disrup-

capabilities and to fulfil these require-

tion Management’ and help airlines

ments, they will want digital ready

avoid burning money? The key to

infrastructure. IBS is well positioned to

digital transformation lies in answering

help our customers on this journey and

such questions”.

serve them as digital enterprises,”

IBS’ core technology strategies are

Stecher reveals. “In operations control,

based on robust technology selection,

for example, when it comes to digital

scalable and flexible product architec-

Operation Control Centres we like to

ture, and reusable components, with

ask our customers how concepts like

solutions for the travel marketplace, air

big data, IoT, predictive analytics, and

cargo operations, upstream oil and gas

the cloud translate to real value in

logistics, airline passenger services,

airline operations? How do we effec-

loyalty management, and flight and

tively conduct the evolution of the

airport operations. The firm also offers

digital OCC from legacy systems? How

services featuring industry-specific, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


I B S S O F T WA R E

“With iFlight NEO, we enable carriers to better work on disruptions, as the system makes use of real time data for proactive disruption management” — Daniel Stecher Vice President of Airline Operation, IBS Software 150

specialized information technology.

to extract the multidimensional value of

“We have adopted a unique collabora-

cloud services: “The benefit is that you

tive approach to developing a product

can really harmonise data much easier

roadmap wherein we gather insights

if you have everything in the cloud. Of

into the future direction and next

course, security plays an important

generation technology needs of the

role, especially considering GDPR and

sectors. Our differentiated approach to

as a digital company we consider data

product development allows us to

protection and personal privacy,” adds

deepen our industry knowledge, align

Stecher. The company’s products are

our software products to our custom-

delivered as Software as a Service

er’s evolving business needs and

(SaaS) which is made possible through

identify early adopters for our new

global custom data centres being

software products,” Stecher notes.

equipped with the necessary informa-

IBS has been pursuing strategies MARCH 2019

tion technology infrastructure to


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ensure high levels of security, redun-

through these high maintenance

dancy and uptime. With minimal

legacy mainframe systems not only

investment in technology infrastruc-

becomes difficult for airlines, but also

ture, airline companies and travel

poses an intolerably high level of risk

service providers are able to make use

for the business. In effect, we are not

of volume-based expenditure control.

only replacing this one system; we are

The company is currently working

replacing four others,” Stecher notes.

with a number of the leading airlines in

Overcoming the heavy cost implica-

Europe. According to Stecher, some of

tions of migrating away from legacy

these airlines use decades old legacy

systems begins with looking at a cloud-

systems. “IBS is currently working with

based approach. The company’s new

these airlines on huge digitalisation

digital platforms are not only cloud

projects, because they have been

native, but are also cloud agnostic. The

using the same systems for 3 or 4

recently launched iFlight NEO system

decades. Sustaining operations

is an integrated digital platform, which

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Daniel Stecher As Vice President and Head of Global Sales for Airline Operations Daniel is responsible for global sales and business development of the brand new airline operations digital platform “iFlight NEO”. He created the OPS 2020 industry event which brings together global airlines and is dedicated to the global Airline Operations and Crew Management Community. He has more than 20 years of experience spanning over the logistics industry and has been traveling more than one and a half million miles, in order to meet with industry experts and customers from the air cargo industry and airline business IT solutions industry.

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Technology everywhere. Innovation anywhere. We believe everyone should have the freedom to reshape industries and achieve their dreams. Our solutions are trusted by over 98% of Fortune 500 companies across 180 countries.* So no matter where you’re ready to go, you can trust we’re ready to help you get there. Know More at DellEMC.com/in/ITTransformation

*Based on Dell internal analysis, February 2019. *Important Dell Details. Dell's terms and conditions: All sales subject to Dell's terms and conditions, see Dell.co.in/tnc. Goods by delivery only. Mistakes: While all efforts are made to check pricing and other errors, inadvertent errors do occur from time to time and Dell reserves the right to decline orders arising from such errors. More Information: Go to Dell.co.in/details. Copyright © 2019 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Dell Technologies, Dell, EMC, Dell EMC and other trademarks are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be trademarks of their respective owners. For more information on how we use and protect your data please visit Dell’s Privacy Statement Dell.com/learn/in/en/incorp1/policies-privacy If you no longer wish to receive our marketing communications, please visit Dell’s unsubscribe Page Dell.com/Preferences/ListRemoval/. For more details, please visit DellEMC.com.


EUROPE

“We look at DELL as a strategic supplier, because for us, the first priority for our enterprise requirements is the quality of aftersales support we receive” — Daniel Stecher Vice President of Airline Operation, IBS Software

being an important factor of airlines giving us data to store in the cloud, we rely on Dell to supply us with hardware that will perform well. There is a train of trust – as we trust Dell, this trust is pushed further into the market as we offer our solutions to customers,” says Stecher. More importantly, the firm also provides Chassis and Blade servers and virtualisation technology for IBS’ private cloud. Its EMC VNX, Unity, and SC series meet IBS’ storage requirement for their SaaS DCs and internal private cloud. “We look at DELL as a strategic supplier, because for us,

enable carriers to manage their

the first priority for our enterprise

operations, including fleet, hub and

requirements is the quality of after-

crew. The operations control and core

sales support we receive. Their techni-

management system aims to utilise the

cal know-how and customer service of

firms’ resources and incorporate the

DELL support engineers are best in

latest technologies. “With iFlight NEO,

class and makes all the difference. The

we enable carriers to better work on

DELL-EMC-VMW Technology alliance

disruptions, as the system makes use

also comes to our advantage since DELL

of real time data for proactive disrup-

is able to act as a single point of contact

tion management,” says Stecher.

during any technical issues or failures.”

As the company progresses, IBS

As IBS continues to expand its

turns to DELL as a strategic partner for

services and partners, Stecher reveals

its hardware needs. DELL supplies IBS’

the biggest obstacles the company will

employees’ Enterprise class desktops,

have going forward. He cites the

such as the DELL OptiPlex series, and

largest challenge as the objection to

DELL Latitude laptops. “With liability

change within the airline industry, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

153


I B S S O F T WA R E

“Very often we have to offer explanations to initiate change. That’s the biggest obstacle to building trust with people when they begin to think about necessity of change.”

154

— Daniel Stecher Vice President of Airline Operation, IBS Software

MARCH 2019


EUROPE

which he says is “very risk averse”. “It’s a very safety and regulation-oriented industry and will never compromise on safety. Technology has not always provided absolute safety, so very often we have to offer explanations to initiate change. That’s the biggest obstacle with building trust with people when they begin to think about necessity of change.” Despite these obstacles, Stecher and the IBS team will move forward introducing new technologies to aging systems in order to make a real difference to the airline industry and beyond.

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MARCH 2019


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AXA’s Move to the Cloud:

a customer-driven technology transformation WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE

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AXA

Ash Shah, AXA Group’s Global Program Director for the insurance giant’s Move to the Cloud, discusses the technology transformation as part of AXA’s ambition to become a customer-driven, tech-led organisation

W

hen we undertake a transformation, we do it on a truly global scale with technology at the forefront as one of the enablers,”

comments Ash Shah, Global Program Director of leading insurer AXA’s Move to the Cloud initiative. 158

This is no mean feat, with the insurer serving 105mn clients across a vast footprint of 62 countries. To aid its technology transformation, AXA has undergone a significant company-wide IT restructure. “We have an ambition to be an innovative, customer-driven, tech led company and we’ve enhanced and modified our IT organisation to support and drive that ambition,” Shah explains. “Technology has become more intrinsic in our business and it’s no longer just a support function – it’s the key enabler for us to continue to innovate and move forward as an organisation.”

‘INNOVATIVE, CUSTOMER DRIVEN, TECH LED’ As a composite insurer, AXA covers many lines of business including health, life, property and casualty insurance. The French multinational currently spans a mix of growth areas and established markets, MARCH 2019


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From Inspiration

to Innovation


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CLICK TO WATCH : AXA GLOBAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR ASH SHAH ON TRANSFORMATION ACROSS GEOGRAPHIES 161

and has a significant legacy of looking

standing – all aimed at promoting

after customers at those times when

innovation and collaboration and

they need it most. Shah, who assumed

showing, through colourful posters

his current role just six months ago, is

and games areas, that insurance is far

already a familiar face in Paris where

from an old-fashioned career choice.

AXA is headquartered. Counted among

AXA’s staff are adapting well to

its numerous locations is the spectacu-

the new working environment which so

lar new Java building which offers a

much investment and thought has gone

true reflection of AXA’s ambition to

into. Colleagues do not have a strict

modernise a business often seen as

dress code – with some stating this

traditional. The office itself boasts

makes them feel more valued for their

open space, natural light, and flexible

skills and output than their appearance

options allowing colleagues to work

– and have plenty of opportunities to

independently or as a group, sitting or

socialise by playing pool or enjoying w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Building an ecosystem? Connect the dots. “Your journey to cloud must navigate pitfalls and opportunities that are unique to your business. We support you in imagining and delivering your cloud journey and making it run�. Eric Meistermann, Deloitte Partner in charge of AXA Group


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“We foster a strong change management process where we make sure we communicate, evangelise and onboard our colleagues in all parts of the organisation” — Ash Shah, Global Program Director – Move to the Cloud, AXA coffee together. Shah joins us at this new

We measure compliance, performance

Paris office having spent three days with

and KPIs at both a centralised level and

AXA’s Dubai Gulf business discussing

a local entity and business level,” says

the company’s transformation across

Shah. “It’s also important to understand

that region. “It’s pushing all parts of our

the various cultures AXA operates in

organisation into that journey and bring-

and the pace and size at which they can

ing them onboard. It takes time and effort

make changes.” For example, AXA’s

and engagement – but once you do that,

companies in growth markets will focus

you can see the end results. We’re moni-

on establishing a presence while

toring, and can see we’re making good

well–established entities might focus

progress now,” he enthuses.

on innovation to remain competitive.

In its ambition to become tech led, sectors and geographies with both

A GLOBAL, CUSTOMER-CENTRIC TRANSFORMATION

a strong global vision and local knowl-

Currently, one of AXA’s key areas of

edge. “Usually, we have a central team

development – and the element for

but we listen to the requirements and

which Shah is responsible – is its ‘Move

needs of our different business units and

to the Cloud’, whereby the business will

make sure they are a part of that journey.

come away from legacy technology

AXA is pushing technology across all

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163


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CLICK TO WATCH : GLOBAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR ASH SHAH TALKS THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERS AT AXA 165

and store and manage data on private

allows an organisation to innovate. “It

and public clouds. This is a key strategic

gives us business agility, flexibility and

initiative which AXA is taking on for two

speed to market which is much harder

key reasons. “One is that we want to

in traditional IT methods. In addition,

modernise and update our technology

the cloud enables the collaboration

infrastructure,” says Shah. “The second

that is so key to a global business. As

is that we really want to exploit new

we deploy something in one country,

technology innovation – such as artificial

we can replicate that quickly in multiple

intelligence (AI), chatbots and image

countries,” Shah explains. “We therefore

recognition – which we wouldn’t be

end up with a consistent product which

able to do with our existing systems

we can enhance and change – and those

and processes.”

changes can be rolled out across numer-

For Shah, and for AXA, a key feature of cloud technology is the speed at which it

ous entities and organisations far more quickly than in the past.” w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AXA

“The relationship we build with our suppliers – and I would call them partners rather than suppliers — is very important to us” — Ash Shah, Global Program Director – Move to the Cloud, AXA

166

Why is AXA undertaking such a significant investment? “Firstly, it’s for

to be able to respond to this change in a customer-centric manner.”

customer experience. We deal with

Every technology investment AXA

customers through an omnichannel

makes involves extensive thought into

process: they need to have consistent

how it will impact the customer. “We

experience.” For example, customers

make sure there’s really a business

may wish to deal with a claim over the

driver and value for what we’re investing

phone and then switch to live chat.

and innovating in. We then start with

“We need to be able to receive data and

a proof of concept, idea and trial before

respond to it in all manners, shapes and

we really push something.” AXA’s cloud

forms. Customers today are expecting

program is a prime example of this. “We

a different experience of working with

have to build new features, new products

a global insurer,” Shah adds, citing

and new ideas onto the platforms.

omnichannel as a key driver. “We need

There we have the voice of the customer

MARCH 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : GLOBAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR ASH SHAH – HOW AXA MOVED TO THE CLOUD 167

to drive the demand and the prioritisa-

“We foster a strong change management

tion process. Then their voice is heard.

process where we make sure we

They drive the change agenda.”

communicate, evangelise and onboard our colleagues in all parts of the organi-

A TEAM EFFORT

sation,” says Shah. “That’s one of our

With the agenda driven by customers, it’s

key success factors in implementing

important that each and every member

a lasting change.”

of AXA’s 160,000-strong colleague base

This is not always easy given that AXA

is on board in order to promote the best

is dealing with new technologies and

service to every customer. Managing

working across a plethora of different

a significant change, and the shift in

locations, but Shah maintains that it’s

culture it brings, across such a mam-

possible with a combination of training

moth organisation is vital to make things

and open communication. This is not

work all the way to the end customer.

just looked at in terms of individual jobs, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


AXA

but in terms of the key part each employee plays in AXA’s journey as a global organisation. The transformation so far has not just been successful in terms of IT, but far beyond this, including the people and culture at the company. “We have an extensive change training program for all of our colleagues where we’re working extensively to make sure they are all aware of what the cloud journey is, what AXA is undertaking, and why. It’s also important the program has the sponsorship of our management committee, and it is discussed and agreed – which then helps cascade the information and messages 168

around our program.” AXA’s move to the cloud involves not just thousands of employees, but a network of strong partners too – and all must be aware of the company’s long-term vision. “We are not technical experts in all domains and areas we’re undertaking as part of our move to the

“The cloud gives us business agility, flexibility and speed to market which is much harder in traditional IT methods” — Ash Shah, Global Program Director – Move to the Cloud, AXA MARCH 2019


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169

cloud journey,” Shah admits. “So the

Other important delivery and consult-

relationship we build with our suppliers

ing partners include Capgemini and

– and I would call them partners rather

Deloitte who are also supporting AXA

than suppliers – is very important to

on this journey.

us.” AXA has worked with some of

Shah makes it very clear that AXA

the biggest names in tech as part of

isn’t just buying off-the-shelf solutions

maintaining a secure yet efficient cloud

but is growing alongside each of its

transformation – from IBM with its

key partners in a sustainable relation-

private cloud provider to AWS and

ship. “We’re undertaking a multiyear

Microsoft Azure for its public cloud

commitment. They’re on this journey

journey. Innovation projects have also

with us.” Another element the above

been supported by Google Cloud.

names have in common is famously w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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MARCH 2019


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secure service – something which is paramount for any organisation, but especially within the insurance industry. “A few years ago, the reason people didn’t move to the cloud was security. Now, organisations are actually moving to the cloud due to the security provided by the likes of IBM and Microsoft Azure. They have some of the best security experts out there. Their business is built on secure, trustable platforms – they would be out of business if their platforms were not secure.” Handling the kind of sensitive data AXA deals with on a daily basis means security is something Shah and his team don’t take lightly. “We need to ensure we have robust processes on our side. We are selective with what we put into the cloud, especially from a compliance and regulatory purpose. Cybersecurity is one of the key drivers of this program,” Shah explains, adding that the global insurance behemoth has a strong legacy to maintain. “Our brand value is particularly important – when you’re buying insurance, you’re also buying a trusted brand.”

A FUTURE IN THE CLOUD Following AXA’s success on its journey to the cloud thus far, Shah believes that other organisations will follow suit – or risk being left in the dust. “Cloud technology is going to w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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AXA

AXA GROUP

€98.5bn Approximate revenue

1982

Year founded

166,000 172

The approximate number of AXA employees

significantly disrupt the insurance

sations, such as AXA, concerned

sector, and the insurance value chain,”

about the rise of fintech and in-

he predicts. “Cloud technologies and

surtech startups – but Shah believes

Insuretech partners will look at

these shouldn’t be perceived as

different parts of the value chain and

a threat. “Parts of our value chain will

come up with innovative ideas about

continue to be disrupted by cloud

how they can accelerate a certain

partners, innovators or insurtech

process – such as claim notification

companies who will come in with

or risk modelling.”

solutions and ideas which don’t have

Across the finance and insurance

the resistance to change that larger

spheres, the rise of technology

organisations have to deal with,”

leaves many more traditional organi-

he comments.

MARCH 2019


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gies through our AXA Next organisation.” Along Shah’s journey to cloud transformation across the globe, the change will need to be continuously driven at all levels. “Hopefully we’re getting to a point where this communication and buy-in is becoming one of our key success factors. We measure that through KPIs. We’re at the point where we’re starting to become successful in promoting our program and moving forward with the migration– but we still have a long way to go.” Indeed, Shah cites the pace at which his team has accelerated buy-in across AXA. “In the last three of four months, we’ve seen more momentum than we saw in 15 months. That in itself is quite rewarding. However, an insurer like AXA which

We’ve seen the adoption and deploy-

is prepared to innovate and stay at the

ment of lots of our applications on the

forefront of new technologies can only

cloud. Momentum is building and it

stand to benefit. “We need to embrace

will just get better and better.”

this as an organisation, look at our value chain, and see where we can utilise insurtech organisations to streamline, to be more efficient, more innovative, faster, and to deliver the change our customers are looking for. We work with and invest in startups where we can leverage their technolow w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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Disrupting insurance with flexible technology architecture WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


SINGAPORE LIFE

Singapore Life disaggregates insurance products through flexible and efficient digital architecture

I

n 2014, insurance company Singapore Life was built on a simple belief: that the world needed a better life insurer which used technology to

provide a superior experience for the customer. In the years since, Singapore Life has grown significantly. Through the company’s acquisition of Zurich Life Singapore’s expansive insurance business portfolio in 176

2018, Singapore Life continues to push the boundaries of technology in financial services. As it navigates the digital revolution in financial services, through sound investment and technological innovation, the company has built an architecture that enables greater flexibility and technology implementation while keeping the customer at the heart of its operations. “We are not a fintech that creates intellectual property purely through technology,” says James Shanahan, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Singapore Life. “Instead we put that technology to use in a way which brings a unique business model to life.” That business model, something that truly separates Singapore Life from other leading financial institutions worldwide, is centred on “disaggregating the traditional product in order to bring greater flexibility and ultimately a better buying experience and pricing for the customer”. As technology continues to disrupt the traditional and MARCH 2019


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SINGAPORE LIFE

“What we see are business models built on big systems and platforms that are very inflexible and typically reflect a cost-driven approach and this translates into a rigid, fixed sales approach and impersonal market offerings” — James Shanahan Chief Operating Officer, Singapore Life

now archaic means of buying and selling financial products, Shanahan believes that this has shone a light on what is a fundamentally broken market. “What’s broken isn’t the uptake of technology, it’s actually the attitude towards technology and the flexibility in how you sell financial services,” he says. “What we see are business models built on big systems and platforms that are very inflexible and typically reflect a cost-driven approach and this translates into a rigid, fixed sales approach and impersonal market offerings.” Singapore Life disaggregates the product MARCH 2019


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and breaks them down into multiple levels: product configuration, service orchestration and market offering. At the product configuration level, Singapore Life’s back end functionality allows the company to build products as wide-reaching as possible in terms of defining or limiting parameters. This takes into consideration as wide a number of possibilities as possible, such as different currencies or interest rates. “Why should there be market specific limits at the back end? “, asks Shanahan. The middle layer, service orchestration, is key to facilitating Singapore Life’s market offering. “This model allows for much lower costs and breaks down some of the complexities of the process,” says Shanahan. “Once a product is set up and the service configured, the offering can then serve multiple markets. It makes the front end very flexible because what can be offered is orchestrated in that middle layer.” Given various different mediums which customers use to access financial services, such as mobile applications, online portals or third-party platforms, Singapore Life’s back end functionality allows the front end delivery model to operate almost unconstrained. “None of the front end changes the back end product configuration. It’s all about the customer journey and their experience at the front end,” he says. “We’re able to produce or work with w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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— Walter De Oude, Founder & CEO of SingLife, and happy customer & friend of Contemi since 2014


Contemi was founded in 2001 to design, build and robustly scale the complete IT systems for a start-up insurer in Scandinavia. From the initial mock-up and proof-of-concepts, to building the insurers own scalable core, accounting and claims systems, and managing the IT platform as the insurer grew leaps and bounds. Ever since then, Contemi have worked successfully with many start-up insurance operations in Scandinavia and Asia. Both stand-alone entrepreneurial pursuits as well as new business setups for

larger, mature insurers. For most we have built and managed their respective IT platforms and acted as key IT partner over the years, as they have gone “from zero to hero”. It is a Contemi specialty. We started working with Walter de Oude and his team at the SingLife design and proof-of-concept stage in 2014, and today still work with SingLife on delivering key pieces of the IT platform. We enjoy thoroughly working with SingLife and hope to do so for many years to come as SingLife’s success continues.

If you are looking to start something new in insurance – could be a new business line, a new partnership, a new distribution channel, a new claims process, a new eco-system integration and customer engagement model, etc – and you are now thinking about the underpinning IT solution - please do give us call on +65 8695 4219 and let’s talk about it. No promises, but let’s see if we can’t help put a bit of thunder into the IT part of your project.

www.contemi.com


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C O N T E M I — A S T R AT E G I C PA R T N E R S H I P

Contemi, a global leader in next generation IT solutions and supporting customers through digitialisation journeys, has been a key strategic partner of Singapore Life since the beginning. For Shanahan, the relationship between the two represents the way in which Singapore Life truly values its partners. “There are several aspects that we deeply value with Contemi,” he says. “First, their proactive and deeply supportive culture, which lies at the heart of all our key relationships. Secondly, they understand our business and they add value to our thinking and our solutioning and our designs constantly. Thirdly, the technical skills and knowledge and, increasingly, experience, arising from Contemi’s home in Vietnam.” It is this third part in particular that highlights Contemi’s role in the growth of Singapore Life. Shanahan notes that the education system, culture, work ethic and competitive landscape in Vietnam is rapidly transforming, giving rise to what Singapore Life believes is a “powerful new force in technology, particularly in software development”. Contemi is integral to the company’s architectural, design, development, testing and rollout capabilities, participating and collaborating in the

entire product lifecycle. “Sustainability in any friendship arises from mutual contribution to the relationship,” says Shanahan. “For SingLife, we work hard to contribute to all our friendships. For Contemi we experience their contribution continuously and proactively and we benefit from their insights and experiences.” Contemi has taken the lead role in developing Singapore Life’s direct and advised portals. Every customer of Singapore Life engages with the company through these portals, as do its advisors, and so Contemi allows the company to innovate and to improve both the portals and the customer and advisor relationships. “Our policy serving is accessed via our portals in the first instance, meaning that an increased portion of customers’ needs are performed directly by customers and advisors in their portals,” says Shanahan. “We are continuously expanding the capabilities of the portals so that the experience is maintained at a worldclass level and so that customers and advisors access the most efficient solutions for their needs. We very much look forward to Contemi continuing in this role as we expand into new business lines and geographically.”

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SINGAPORE LIFE

“Singapore Life’s architecture is designed in a way that removes the restrictions that are inherently built into the traditional ‘fully integrated’ sales process” 184

— James Shanahan Chief Operating Officer, Singapore Life an unlimited variety of front ends that

what it believes has been missing from

connect to the orchestration, in order

the financial services landscape, which

to service multiple markets, regardless

is the flexibility to adapt to the custom-

of medium, language, geography, buying

er’s needs rapidly, to offer services

customs or other channel characteris-

which reflect contemporary pricing and

tics. Singapore Life’s architecture is

crafting experiences that delight their

designed in a way that removes the

customers, ultimately resulting in better

restrictions that are inherently built

financial outcomes for all stakeholders.

into the traditional ‘fully integrated’

“We are not so arrogant as to expect

sales process.”

people will only buy product X through

Removing the historical rigidity of

an app, or through partner X’s site or in

developing and selling financial services

only one way,” says Shanahan. “We

allows Singapore Life to reconceive its

want to allow all our partners, our own

business operating model and to deliver

teams and others in our ecosystem to

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185

invent new sales experiences, channels

operating model leverages the concept

and mediums and be able to interact

of its emerging platform economy and

with us via an API layer at the orchestra-

the network effects which are becom-

tion level. We don’t profess to have the

ing evident amongst Singapore Life’s

definitive answer as to the best way to

customers and its ecosystem.

sell financial services; instead, we

“We have constructed a platform that

strive to enable as much flexibility as

it is incredibly flexible and operates

possible and to allow exploration and

at a cost which is at least an order of

discovery to lead us to better outcomes,

magnitude lower than prior solutions. In

all the while building a capability which

previous generations it was not possible

compounds the speed of that discov-

to enjoy tiny incremental cost of distribu-

ery over time.”

tion while deploying high flexibility and

The financial strategy underpinning Singapore Life’s unique business

rapid iteration,” says Shanahan. “Our operating model delivers this and further w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


THERE’S A NEW

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ASIA

CLICK TO WATCH : SINGAPORE LIFE WELCOMES ZURICH LIFE SINGAPORE 187 allows us to consider multiple low cost,

importance. As Shanahan notes, the

high volume back ends which expand the

technology platform cannot operate in

scope of services our customers enjoy,

isolation and so Singapore Life invests

while new geographies and partnerships

in its operating model by bringing in

can be explored rapidly and without

partners to create further flexibility,

architectural complexity via front ends.”

managing the operating model via

Ultimately the platform economics

a governance approach which fully

bring about an increasing productivity gain over time, delivering on and

leverages its open ecosystem. He describes Singapore Life as the

continuously strengthening Singapore

‘architects’ that oversee the design, the

Life’s unique business model promise.

funding and allocation of capital, and

Technology is key to achieving

the company’s roadmaps, the distribut-

increased productivity throughout the

ing 100% of its development and back

company and its ecosystem, but the

office operations to create an ecosys-

operating model is perhaps of greater

tem of the likeminded. “The idea is that w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


SINGAPORE LIFE

we don’t want ‘vendors’ or someone who’s just trying to sell us something,” he says. “We also don’t want partners, which simply implies a level of seniority. What we really want are friends.” Shanahan continues: “When we say, ‘open ecosystem,’ it’s an ecosystem of people who are like minded when it comes to achieving our vision, who’ve got each other’s back, who are simpatico in their understanding, and whose incentives, both emotional and professional, are aligned to the same goals.” In bringing this open ecosystem to life, Singapore Life can drive robust and rapid changes in both the organisation and the 188

industry. To this end, Singapore Life works closely with local and international partners such as Amazon, GrowthOps, Ranosys, Sapiens and LogiGear to develop, test and implement leading-edge software solutions to accelerate the company’s growth. “The most important thing for Singapore Life is working with companies that can enable an extreme level of flexibility, to bring in new and different resources as well as different types of skillsets,” says Shanahan. “We then end up with organisations that we’ve effectively grown with – people that believe in our philosophy, our vision,where we’re trying to get to.” GrowthOps in particular has been a key driver of growth for Singapore Life, having worked with the company since April 2017. MARCH 2019

“With our architecture powering growth, it’s now time for Singapore Life to come of age and step into adulthood in terms of our standing as a regional champion” — James Shanahan Chief Operating Officer, Singapore Life


ASIA

Singapore Life engaged GrowthOps as a technology advisory partner to improve its infrastructure, cloud security, compliance and business continuity. In Oct 2017, Singapore Life officially went live with its client portal and high net worth online offerings. Since then, GrowthOps has been working in partnership with the company in five areas: cost optimisation, security, reliability, performance and operational excellence. “Singapore Life engaged us to develop a robust technology infrastructure that could be leveraged to provide financial solutions directly to its clients,” says Jason Morrissey, Partner, GrowthOps. “GrowthOps is excited to be involved in the expansion story of a digitallyfocused financial services company, and our teams look forward to further developing our relationship in 2019 and beyond.” At the very heart of every decision that Singapore Life takes, be it operations, finance or technology, is the customer. In the financial services space, the customer can take on many forms and in order for Singapore Life to deliver the very best for them it needs to understand how the contemporary customer behaves. In Singapore, the modern customer is time-poor and this has seen companies look to tap into this market by creating mobile applications in order to bring them insurance and other financial products. Singapore Life w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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SINGAPORE LIFE

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SINGAPORE LIFE

192

recognises that while this can bring

Singapore Life is an incredibly

success, it’s not representative of the

ambitious company. By early 2019

customer experience that Singapore

the company was valued at over

Life seeks to provide. “The key for us is

US$200mn and had achieved profit-

observing that time-poor state and

ability in its first full year of operation,

thinking how we can build a smooth,

making it Singapore’s fastest growing

compelling and attractive experience

life insurer. With a wholly flexible and

for that customer,” says Shanahan.

incredibly unique architecture in place,

“There are so many apps in the market

the sky is well and truly the limit. As

now I couldn’t possibly tell you which one

‘the next generation’ financial services

is going to ‘win’. We want to experiment,

company, what does the future hold

use our flexibility and other capabilities

for Singapore Life? The company has

to discover what works for customers

outlined its ambitions to expand into

in real life.”

the ASEAN market, to significantly

MARCH 2019


ASIA

its strong business plans and push to enter new markets and rollout additional lines of business. From the outset GrowthOps has worked with Singapore Life to ensure the technologies are in place to support the company’s goal of becoming a preferred Singaporean financial services company.” For Singapore Life, this goal will be achieved by keeping the customer at the heart of its operations. “Our intention is to fill the more holistic financial services needs of individuals and to continue to work with our ecosystem to bring new and wonderful things to our expanding markets,” says Shanahan. “With our architecture powering growth, it’s now broaden its insurance portfolio and

time for Singapore Life to come of age

to expand to other financial services,

and step into adulthood in terms of our

using its operating model, licence and

standing as a regional champion.”

rapidly expanding capital base to renovate and reinvigorate financial services. It will achieve this with the help of those key partners. “GrowthOps works closely with Singapore Life’s management team and is supporting the company’s digital expansion in Southeast Asia,” says Morrissey. “Moreover, GrowthOps is further enhancing Singapore Life’s technology infrastructure to support w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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A TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION SPANNING THE CONTINENT WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

MIK E SADR

MARCH 2019


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C A R AV E L G R O U P

Chief Operating Officer, Angad Banga discusses how digitisation has disrupted the shipping industry

M

aritime transport remains a significant linchpin in the world’s economy. With more than 90% of goods and services travelling

via this route, global sea trade remains a significant driver in the delivery of high-quality products and services. Headquartered in Hong Kong, The Caravel Group, taking its name from 15th century trading vessel, ‘the caravel’, has played a key role in the 196

facilitation of global seaborne trade, with strategic locations situated in China, Cyprus, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. While the group is no stranger to increasing competition across the shipping industry, changes in requirements from industry participants, increasing and changing regulatory regimes and pricing pressures have created a seismic shift in expectations from the industry, with digitisation expected to be the driver of change. “What makes us unique is our range of qualities: from our agility and spirit, our entrepreneurial drive, integrity and transparency in our operations, as well as our diverse set of business operations across the value chain, which allows us to provide integrated solutions. We are a large company, with the energy MARCH 2019


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197

of a start-up,” comments Chief Operating Officer, Angad Banga. “It is critical for the organisation to drive change, using the business initiatives we create and build over time.” Guaranteeing value-added services will be the main differentiator for any business and Banga is keen to embrace and implement new IT and operational technologies (OT) which will demonstrate excellence, each and every time. As an example, The Caravel Group’s Ship Management division, Fleet Management Limited, which is one of w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


The Caravel Group partners with Symantec to defend cyber threats

Businesses are increasing annual spend on cyber security more than ever before. As threats become more advanced, The Caravel Group (TCG) has introduced multiple layers of threat protection across its operations. Supporting organisations, governments and people to secure their most important data, TCG partnered with leading cyber security provider, Symantec.

CONTACT US DL-OD-Hongkong@symantec.com

A market leader in the field, the business delivers integrated solutions across all endpoints, and has strengthened TCG’s cloud and infrastructure capabilities, deploying effective, scalable solutions.


Symantec has a wide range of security products. They are the market leader to provide integrated Cyber Defence solutions and rapid delivery to the cloud.” - Angad Banga, Chief Operating Officer, The Caravel Group

A strategic partnership

A secure solution

By partnering with Symantec, TCG has accelerated their journey to the cloud with flexible endpoint detection and response (EDR) technology. The results are significant: Incident responders now quickly search, identify, and contain impacted endpoints, both on premises and in the cloud, then integrate all incident data and actions into existing SOC infrastructures and Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) environments.

Optimising assets and lowering operational costs were the biggest sellers for TCG, where Symantec’s technologies were deployed in minutes, with no impact on the end-user experience. “Security solutions from Symantec have changed the way we deal with threats." says Banga. "We are now also implementing Symantec IT AssetManagement to centralise all our resources.”

By successfully onboarding Symantec email cloud security products to eradicate the threat of spam, malware, and trojans, its Target Attack Analytics (TAA) and Dynamic Adversary Intelligence has seen the implementation of cloud-based artificial intelligence algorithms and machine learning, allowing TCG to adapt to new attack techniques automatically and gain greater insight into attacker and technique. Not only that – by increasing visibility, Symantec also delivers great automated playback capabilities to TCG, bringing the skills and best practices of its most experienced security analysts to the table, lowering costs at every opportunity, existing SOC infrastructures and Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) environments.

Symantec IT Management Suite integrates with SEP Cloud, extending the visibility of endpoints to include modern devices and operating systems. Reducing the cost of managing servers, desktops, laptops and thin clients from a centralised location, the solution reduced end-user downtime and maximised IT efficiency. Additionally, by ensuring real-time compliance across TCG’s IT assets and overall operations, Symantec’s IT management suites centralises and simplifies patch management. Symantec’s Cloud-enabled management functionality in IT Management Suite puts the security of Windows and Mac users firmly at the forefront, even when they are disconnected from the corporate network. In-depth reports also offer smarter, faster decisions which ensure endpoints are protected.

For additional information, please visit www.symantec.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Copyright ©2018 Symantec Corporation. All rights reserved. Symantec, the Symantec Logo, and the Checkmark Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


C A R AV E L G R O U P

the largest and preeminent third-party ship management firms with over 500 vessels under management, has been a key division which has embraced new digital tools. Catering to cargo ship owners worldwide, including bulk carriers, oil, gas and cargo carriers, chemical tankers and more, Fleet Management’s longstanding expertise in technical and management services has been enhanced with innovative software to drive operational efficiency in delivering exceptional end-to-end, 200

value-added solutions to its clients. Banga notes that its ship management system has the ability to provide close to real-time data to clients, something which was previously unavailable. “The maritime industry is one of the oldest modes of transport, and has gone

“Organisations will need to understand the value of technology, how to use it and to actually innovate, using technology as a driver” — Angad Banga, Chief Operating Officer, Caravel Group MARCH 2019


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201

through several stages of technological

which helps us begin the process of

revolution throughout history. We

digitisation. It means certain applica-

expect to see another impressive shift

tions and certain tasks can be com-

in the near-future. The industry is not

pleted on ships without the network

necessarily considered innovative,

problems we previously encountered.

but is actually hugely complex. Each

Over time, this should hopefully lead

vessel requires a high level of technical

to a higher degree of automation – at

expertise to able to manage it – not just

sea, but also within the offices.”

the engineering and crew itself but also

In the trading of industrial dry bulk

the IT systems and OT systems which

commodities, the group’s Resources

we provide,” he explains. “More and

division has become a key staple for

more ships are getting connectivity,

the steel and energy sectors. Its three w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


World-Leading Cyber AI


The Caravel Group Case Study Industry

Maritime

Business Background

Resources

Asset Management

Headquartered in Hong Kong, the Caravel Group is a diversified global conglomerate that provides maritime services, strategic asset management, and trading solutions across the industrial dry bulk value chain.

Challenges Detecting never-before-seen threats at an early stage

Containing fast-moving attacks before they do damage

Gaining complete visibility across complex digital systems

Autonomous response to in-progress threats

100% visibility via the Darktrace Threat Visualizer

Results Real-time detection of novel attacks and subtle insiders

Challenge

Solution

Benefits

As cyber-threats gain in speed and severity, the Caravel Group recognized the importance of cultivating an adaptive and resilient security posture that can keep pace with a rapidly evolving threat landscape. In particular, the business was determined to deploy a cyber AI solution that can autonomously detect and respond to novel threats at an early stage, before they have time to disrupt critical operations, or exfiltrate sensitive data.

To address these concerns, the security team deployed Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System, which installed in under an hour and immediately started learning the normal ‘pattern of life’ for every user and device in the business. By continuously learning and adapting its understanding of ‘normal’ in light of new evidence, Darktrace’s cyber AI can detect never-before-seen threats that would otherwise go unnoticed.

With Darktrace AI deployed across its entire digital enterprise, the Caravel Group now has 24/7 autonomous protection against advanced cyberthreats. Through Darktrace’s Threat Visualizer, the security team has complete visibility of every user and device and can investigate emerging threats in real time.

With Antigena defending our network around the clock, we can finally prioritize strategically important activities while Darktrace’s AI works in the background to contain the threats that get through. Angad Banga, Chief Operating Officer

“The Enterprise Immune System immediately notified us of cyberthreats that our other tools missed,” commented Banga. “Darktrace’s AI has enabled us to rapidly investigate threats before they have time to escalate into a crisis.” The Caravel Group subsequently deployed Darktrace Antigena, Darktrace’s autonomous response solution. By enforcing the normal ‘pattern of life’ for a given user or device, Antigena works by taking surgical, measured action to contain in-progress threats, limiting damage and stopping their spread in real time. “With Antigena defending our network around the clock, we can finally prioritize strategically important activities while Darktrace’s AI works in the background to contain the threats that get through,” commented Banga.

“Darktrace provides us with actionable intelligence in a few clicks and can identify legitimate threats amid the noise of our complex digital business,” remarked Banga. “With Darktrace, our security team and executives can be confident that cyber-threats that get past the perimeter will be identified and contained before they do damage.”

Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System is the only solution on the market that can detect and respond to neverbefore-seen threats in real time. Angad Banga, Chief Operating Officer

w


C A R AV E L G R O U P

“More and more ships are getting connectivity, which helps us move into the digital space. Certain 204 applications and tasks can be completed without the network problems we previously encountered” — Angad Banga, Chief Operating Officer, Caravel Group

main subsidiaries – metallurgical, carbons, and ores and alloys – are safely transported as a result of the group’s robust supply chain and logistics capabilities. Nonetheless, as the need for global shipping services continues to escalate, technology has seen a steady rise in demand – something which Caravel has been keen to tap into by taking a greater look at the high volumes of data accumulated across the group, in order to drive greater value and access further opportunities. “Much of the data is not captured at source in a systematic manner. When the data is collected, it’s not being effectively utilised, which leads to the question of ‘is the business intelligence there?’ ‘Is there a sufficient level of resourcing?’ There are some companies doing it but I think it’s at an early stage. This is a key area of focus for The Caravel Group. We will be using several tools to enhance data visualisation and modelling through machine learning,” adds Banga. “We already have some of these initiatives underway, and hopefully, these will be a foundation for enabling future generations of tools that are developed to service our clients. Organi-

MARCH 2019


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205 sations will need to understand the

stores, the new app has led seafarers

value of technology, how to use it and

to join the business quicker and make

to actually innovate.”

an immediate difference, boosting

Although technology has grown “in leaps and bounds” and accelerated the transformation of businesses globally,

engagement and seafarer retention levels in the process. “We can scan a seafarer’s passport

he adds the group’s integrated, pas-

which is then sent back promptly,”

sionate workforce and client-led focus

Banga says. “Previously, it was a fully

is its biggest asset. Blending technol-

manual process, so this has reduced

ogy, creativity and training has therefore

delays in the process. Through the

seen the business build a new applica-

app, users can submit their application,

tion which has fully digitised the seafarer

which provides two options: a quick

experience across their 500 vessels,

application and a full application.

even before they have joined. Acces-

The quick application is where you

sible through Android and Apple

can apply straight away with minimal w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


C A R AV E L G R O U P

C OMPA N Y FA C T S

• The Caravel Group takes its name from 15th century trading vessel, ‘the caravel’ • Catering towards bulk carriers, oil, gas and cargo carriers, chemical tankers and more, the group’s longstanding expertise has been enhanced with innovative software to drive operational efficiency 206

• Caravel has sought to look at the high volumes of data accumulated, in order to drive greater value and access further opportunities • Blending technology, creativity and training has seen the business build a new application which has fully digitised the employee experience • With the number of security breaches rising each year and expected to hit US$6trn annually by 2021, security has therefore become a key driver for the group

requirements, and we can actually start conversations with seafarers looking to apply to us. The full application is a more detailed application where you put all your certifications and take photos of your details, and this information is then uploaded to our proprietary crew management database allowing our on-boarding teams to reduce their manual processes and focus on the value-add aspect to hiring high quality seafarers. It supports those who are interested in joining, and we have received positive feedback both from

MARCH 2019


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207

the community and the industry,” he

2021, according to Symantec, security

adds. Following its success, the group

has become a key driver for the group.

is now rolling out similar technologies

“While the industry continues to

to transform its quality management

shift, it is essential for us build a digital

systems, utilising tools such as iPads

fingerprint in the industry, but to also

to fully mobilise its inspection and

build the IT foundation needed to

audit processes.

have a good security in place,” he adds

For Banga, implementing such

thoughtfully. “We have a number of

technology has proved highly benefi-

partners on board to support us in the

cial, yet he is cautious not to introduce

delivery of end-point protection. Tech-

new technologies “just for technology’s

nology enables us to further this vision.”

sake”. With the number of security

Symantec has been one such partner

breaches rising each year and damage

which has been instrumental in the

projected to hit US$6trn annually by

transformation of the group’s digital w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


C A R AV E L G R O U P

£2bn Approximate revenue

1,000 Approximate number of on-shore staff

208

20,000 Approximate number of off-shore staff

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C A R AV E L G R O U P

“I think Symantec’s strength is their ability to be able to operate without needing continual updates every time” 210

— Angad Banga, Chief Operating Officer, Caravel Group

security from an IT perspective. “Our relationship with Symantec

robust email protection. Previously, the group received a high volume of

started with advancing our digital

malware, which has been reduced

protection, where we explored a

significantly since we implemented

number of products in the security

Symantec’s solution.

space which would help us protect

“I think the biggest strength is their

our end-points. We had limited defense,

ability to be able to operate without

but by expanding our partnership

needing continual updates every time.

further, we have embedded a strong

In some scenarios we need to have a

level of protection,” he explains.

managed anti-virus product that doesn’t

“By implementing tools from Symantec, we can now guarantee MARCH 2019

just simply scan for viruses, but really protects the end-point device from


ASIA

211

external effects. Other products do

dynamic, world-class service to clients

similar things, but Symantec was very

worldwide. With its ewntrepreneurial

satisfactory from a result perspective.

spirit, its diverse portfolio and strong

Following the implementation of the

relationships with clients, partners and

Symantec solution, the number of spam

its stakeholders, the business will

emails stopped in a month was up to

remain agile and responsive to various

15% of total emails received.�

market trends as the shipping industry

As the group continues to pioneer

endures and thrives.

new markets and trade routes, it will look towards the use of new digital tools and partnerships in order to remain a key player in the market and deliver w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


212

MARCH 2019


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MLC LIFE INSURANCE Undergoing a digital transformation in the insurance sector WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE PRODUCED BY

ALEX PAGE

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MLC LIFE INSURANCE

Sarv Girn, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer of MLC Life Insurance, discusses how his company is embracing technology amid a digital transformation in the insurance industry

W

ith digital transformation having an increased impact across all industries, it’s become paramount that companies

continuously monitor their operations to ensure 214

they are providing the best possible service to their customers. For Sarv Girn, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer of MLC Life Insurance, the experience of the customer is considered key. With a 133-year history and considered the oldest start-up in Australia, MLC Life Insurance has substantial experience in the insurance sector. Having transitioned from NAB ownership to joining the Nippon Life Group of Companies, Girn believes that the change in ownership has allowed MLC Life Insurance to progress its customer experience significantly. “It actually ploughs investments back into the customer offering. The ethos within MLC Life Insurance is that we ensure we put the customer first and investments aim to create platforms for advisers, group funds and end policy holders that are truly customer centric,” says Girn. “That MARCH 2019


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215

makes us quite unique given Nippon’s background, because with the investment in new technologies it’s clear we are really serious about our customers. I believe that is what gives us an edge and it shouldn’t be underestimated.”

UTILISING TECHNOLOGY As customer demands continue to change, it is important that companies respond and adapt to the latest digital trends in order to stay competitive with industry rivals. From first-hand experience, Girn believes he has an w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


MLC LIFE INSURANCE

“We’ve introduced LifeView for our group customers which is a platform we offer to superannuation funds and it’s been very important to us” 216

— Sarv Girn, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer

MARCH 2019

effective understanding of what customers expect from a life insurer. “The demands of the customer have changed because customers expect everything to be done online now. Three years ago, I had a nasty fall where I broke my ankle and ended up in hospital,” explains Girn. “At the time, I was part of another life insurance company and having to make a claim wasn’t easy. I couldn’t really load all the documents up online and I had to physically go around to a GP, surgeon, and the hospital to get documented proof that I’d been injured, which on


ASIA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘LIFE UNCHANGING — BROOKE WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING’ 217 crutches is no easy task. What

insurance needs online and, should

customers are really expecting is to

they need to make a claim, to be able

log on to a portal, load up all the informa-

to track its progress,” says Girn. “This

tion about their claim electronically,

has been great for members because

track it and get paid automatically.”

claims can go straight through for

With customer requirements in mind,

assessment without the need for lots

MLC Life Insurance has implemented

of manual paperwork. The portal also

a new platform called LifeView, which

offers an integrated experience for

will make the insurance and claims

trustees and administrators, providing

experience easier for members of

superannuation funds with transparent

superannuation funds. The platform is

view of the claims process.”

designed to help improve member engagement, automating processes

TRANSITIONING TO THE CLOUD

and decreasing response times.

Having moved to the cloud under two

“It allows members to manage their

years ago, MLC Life Insurance has w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


MLC LIFE INSURANCE

220

“It’s extremely important to innovate because our customers are tech-savvy and expect to be able to conduct their business online. However, we do leverage the broader Nippon Group and look at what are other life insurers in the group are doing” — Sarv Girn, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer

MARCH 2019


ASIA

migrated its services and transformed

philosophy, Girn believes that it’s vital

its infrastructure to ensure it produces

to innovate and utilise partners to

the best possible service. Girn affirms

achieve results. “It’s extremely

that any such transformation is difficult

important to innovate because our

to achieve. “Any migration to the cloud

customers are tech-savvy and expect

or to a new system is complex. It takes

to be able to conduct key elements of

careful planning and because we didn’t

their business online. However, we do

actually have a previous system: we

leverage the broader Nippon Group

had to start off from scratch. Every use

and look at what other life insurers in

of cloud needs to be managed from

the group are doing,” he says. “It’s also

a risk perspective, so it’s important

vital to keep in touch with our custom-

that we make sure we understand the

ers in order to gain a better under-

operational aspects of that outsourcing

standing of what issues they have. I’m

and look at how we’re managing and

a firm believer that it doesn’t really

monitoring it.”

matter who you work for, it matters

With innovation considered a key component of MLC Life Insurance’s

who you work with – so for us, having partners out there where you can pick

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Sarv Girn Following the acquisition of MLC Life by Nippon Life from Japan, Sarv is responsible for leading the business transformation to re-establish MLC Life as Australia’s leading and most trusted life insurance company. This includes delivering the most advanced digital and process infrastructure in the insurance sector so as to create great customer experience across the group and retail insurance channels.

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MLC LIFE INSURANCE

1886

Year founded

1,650

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Melbourne Australia

222

up a phone and say ‘we want to try this

objectives and there’s a win-win for both

experiment, can you help here?’ is the

sides. If you have a partner that is

key to innovation.”

always trying to sell you something you

In order to ensure that MLC’s

don’t need, then it isn’t really a partner-

success is sustained, Girn points to the

ship,” he explains. “The trick is to find

development of key partnerships with

joint objectives because if you’ve got

Indian multinational IT provider Tech

a partner who’s doing a great job

Mahindra as well as Salesforce, TCS,

implementing your platform and it’s

Infosys, Microsoft and Oracle and

truly strategic, then you can help them

affirms that effective partnerships have

grow in another part of the company.

been an important component to the

It’s primarily about understanding the

transformation. “I think a partnership

objectives of each other, because if the

works well when you’ve got joint

objectives aren’t aligned, it’s never

MARCH 2019


ASIA

223

going to be successful, no matter how

around for a long time. Our purpose is

hard you try.”

‘a promise for life’, and considering we’ve been in operation since 1886, we

FUTURE PLANS

want to stay around for a long time to

With sustainability at the forefront of

come. It’s sustainability in a financial

MLC Life Insurance’s strategy, Girn

sense, but it’s also vital for us to stay

believes it’s important to stay relevant

relevant to the community. We’re trying

to customers and respond to their

to become more sustainable in offering

demands on a consistent basis. “We

propositions like health and wellbeing

have to ensure we’re not just effective

when customers are considering life

when dealing with customers, but

insurance,” explains Girn. “If my life

efficient internally as well because we

insurer can tell me that I’m eating the

need to make sure we’re going to be

wrong things or not exercising enough, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


1

3 2

4

5

Uncomplicate with TCS BaNCS for Insurance True digital transformation for insurers today means facilitating easy and simple transactions for end customers, intermediaries and service providers though self--service channels on any device, anywhere. TCS BaNCS for Insurance can help you turn digital disruption into an advantage, with its highly configurable and scalable solutions, powered by APIs and delivered on the cloud. Spanning life, annuity, pensions, property & casualty, reinsurance and health insurance, the solution’s rich functionality supports every event in the lifecycle of a policy. By driving digital channel adoption in the retirement business in UK, achieving 99.9% Straight--Through--Processing for 6.4 MN members, it has helped redefine end--customer experience. The solution has also transformed a large life insurance group in UK, integrating 6 business lines, 1,100 products, 13 platforms, 7 MN policies and 6 MN customers onto a single instance. A leading non-life insurer in India consolidated 2,000+ disparate branch systems and 17 lines of businesses onto the TCS BaNCS solution, with 5,500 concurrent users issuing 75,000 policies on an average, per day. Resting on a digital core, TCS BaNCS for Insurance solutions---be it conversational AI to guide and advise your customers, or our distributed ledger--based blockchain solution, Quartz from TCS---can help you expand your business, collaborate, connect and leverage the power of newer and richer ecosystems. When you select TCS BaNCS for Insurance, you are adopting our Digital First, Cloud First philosophy ensuring that your organization is agile and future ready. So, are you ready to Uncomplicate? To find out how TCS BaNCS can uncomplicate your business, visit https://www.tcs.com/bancs


ASIA

“We have to ensure we’re not just effective when dealing with customers, but efficient internally as well” — Sarv Girn, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer

225

and refer me to a gym or a physio, then

mation. We also want to look at some

I’m going to be more likely to stay fit.

really advanced analytics to better

If they keep me healthy and fitter, then

understand our customers’ require-

I’m going to like them and they’re going

ments,” he says. “We’re now entering

to become more sustainable. I believe

a period where we can use machine

that helps to re-define life insurance,

learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to

because a life insurer is primarily a health

analyse customer behaviour and data

and well-being company.”

with their consent and offer a proposi-

Looking to the future, Girn aims to

tion that meets their needs.”

continue to prioritise customers in order to thrive in the life insurance market. “We’re extending our platform even further to our advisers and Group customers to enable further transforw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Using technology to grow in Japan

226

WRIT TEN BY

SOPHIE CHAPM AN PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE

MARCH 2019


ASIA

227

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PA I D Y

As Paidy builds its status in Japan, the payment company’s CTO talks to Business Chief about ITS digital disruption journey

T

he Japanese startup was founded in 2008, but despite having been present in the nation’s fintech industry for over 10 years,

Paidy’s expansion became most prominent in the past few years. “Definitely over the last three years we have seen tremendous growth – consumer growth, merchant network growth, and growth in 228

our consumer spaces, such as active users on the platform,” reveals Houston Ross, Chief Technology Officer at Paidy. Since 2017, the company has expanded by more than 200%, and is now currently one of the largest online payment businesses in Japan. The firm offers cardless payments using only an email address and phone number – the accessible, frictionless payment method does not require a credit card nor application. “To summarise, we take the risk out of online transactions. The Japanese use the term “mendokusai” which means troublesome. So, we remove the mendokusai in terms of facilitating payments online,” states Houston. As well as being a technology-driven business, Paidy’s values centre around its workforce. “Paidy’s main core values are discovery, diversity and inclusion,” Houston says. The firm employs around MARCH 2019


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229

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PA I D Y

230

“The government has said that by 2020, 40% of all transactions should be online. Now that’s an opportunity to acknowledge” — Houston Ross Chief Technology Officer, Paidy

MARCH 2019

120 members of staff of 28 different nationalities. “So, diversity is really important to us, in terms of how we operate in trying to collectivise that diversity and then funnel it into the innovation that we use to power our company. I think that’s one of our core values,” Ross continues. With its diverse workforce, the company is able to introduce a range of new ideas and cutting-edge concepts. The business claims to be at the pinnacle of technology-adoption, which allows it to simplify


ASIA

CLICK TO WATCH : INSTANT YOU (PAIDY INC.) 231

Japan’s payment options. In order to

to encapsulate an experience right now

remove complexities and mendokusai

focused on the payments. And of

from purchasing, the payment network

course, the technology that we utilize

has adopted artificial intelligence (AI)

underpins that.” As the company’s CTO,

and machine learning. “I think at the

Houston is ensuring Paidy’s relation-

core of what we’re doing, we’re talking

ship with technology continues to

about financial risk management. So,

develop. “I’m responsible for engineer-

our ability to process that data and

ing, products, Infosec and operations,”

analyze it daily at the transactional level

notes Houston. When joining the

is key to our business,” says Houston.

company last year, having previously

“For us, digital transformation is the

worked at Nationale Nederlanden and

engine that underpins our ability to

AXA Life Insurance, the CTO decided

remove that mendokusai. We’re trying

to isolate his firm’s security function. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Make Every Customer Interaction Count Create innovative & delightful customer experiences with programmable communications. www.nexmo.com | sales@nexmo.com |


ASIA

“When I arrived at Paidy, security was

factor to our technology operations as

a part of our engineering operations.

well our consumers and invoices. We

One of the first things I did was pull it

run our business in the cloud on AWS

away from engineering and set it on

Stack, and there are other services like

its own course,” claims Houston.

Circle-CI that we’re leveraging as well

There are several risks to consider within the fintech industry, with the P2P platform addressing operational risk,

because they’re on our continuous integration.” The network is becoming increasingly

cyber risk, and risks within underlying

popular in Japan as it is revolutionising

technology. As the business grows,

the industry and targeting both the mass

Paidy is adopting partnerships with

market and business. “The relationship

companies such as Nexmo and AWS.

between users and merchants is critical

“We work with partners like Nexmo,

to every interaction, and everyone

which targets SMS messaging – a key

involved is having to build trust.In that

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Houston Ross Houston Ross recently joined Paidy as the firm’s Chief Technology Officer. Prior to October last year, Houston was positioned as the Chief Operations Officer for Czech Republic and Slovakia at Nationale Nederlanden, as well as being a Board Member. The innovation-focused executive has also worked for NN’s Life Insurance Company as the Vice President, Chief Operations Officer, and Chief Information Officer, as well as AXA Life Insurance Japan as the Chief Technology Officer. Houston graduated from Barrington University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science and the University of Liverpool in 2007 with a Master of Business Administration degree.

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233


PA I D Y

2008

Year founded

100+

Approximate number of employees

234

MARCH 2019


ASIA

235

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PA I D Y

“Diversity is really important to us, in terms of how we operate in trying to collectivise that diversity and then funnel it into the innovation that we use to power our company” 236

— Houston Ross Chief Technology Officer, Paidy

CLICK TO WATCH : PAIDY, HOW TO VIDEO (JAPANESE LANGUAGE)

MARCH 2019


ASIA

we want to introduce additional new products for our company,” Houston says. With opportunities on the horizon, such as the Olympics being held in Japan in 2020, Paidy aims to take advantage of its surroundings. “The government has said that by 2020, 40% of all transactions should be online. Now that’s an opportunity to acknowledge,” continues Houston. The biggest challenge for Houston within his role is enabling the business’s growth: “With the scaling on a vertical side and the scaling on a horizontal side, on one hand you’re trying to build a foundation where you can grow, and space, Paidy says ‘look, we take the

the other is adding additional revenue

risk.’ The merchant is assured they will

and value streams to that ecosystem.

be paid by the consumer, as we accept

My personal challenge is how do you do

the consumer risk and trust that they

both at the same time whilst continuing

pay us,” explains Houston. “Then we

to expand.”

make it a whole lot more seamless, we make it frictionless, and we remove mendokusai for the merchant as well as for the consumer.” “Our primary goal is around growth, from both a vertical and horizontal perspective. The vertical perspective is to expand from 2mn Paidy consumers to 5mn in 2019. As for horizontal growth, w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

237


238

National Heart Foundation of Australia:

an agile Australia transformation WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

MIK E SADR

MARCH 2019


AUSTRALIA

239

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H E A R T F O U N D AT I O N O F A U S T R A L I A

CIO Shane Riddle explains how bringing in an agile approach and developing a single view of the customer will drive the charity’s vital operations forward

W 240

ith heart disease the biggest single killer of Australians, the National Heart Foundation of Australia is leading the

charge to change this frightening statistic – from fundraising and research to providing vital awareness and information about preventative health, the 60-year-old charity won’t be stopping any time soon. In fact, it is undergoing a significant Australia transformation to enable its 250+ strong team to serve customers and the Australian public even more effectively. Sharing the organisation’s vision of an Australia free of heart disease is Shane Riddle – a CIO named among the top 50 in Australia – who joined on a temporary basis but decided to stay at the inspiring non-profit. “I got in very quickly and hit the ground running,” he recalls. His main objective as leader of the company’s IT operations was to help the National Heart Foundation deliver on its key objectives. While the previous team had been MARCH 2019


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241

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H E A R T F O U N D AT I O N O F A U S T R A L I A

“You’re working with people who want to make a difference, and we try to do everything for everyone” 242

Shane Riddle CIO, National Heart Foundation of Australia

MARCH 2019

focused on “keeping the lights on,” Riddle’s role evolved in the same way the CIO remit has across all industries: to create an organisation enabled by IT. With traditional elements such as the service desk and security functions outsourced, Riddle and his team now focus on ensuring the entire business meets its yearly objectives – through Australia. Moving Australia to a strategic function within the Heart Foundation meant the IT team to undergo a reorganisation which reflected what was going on within the business as a whole. The


AUSTRALIA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘LIGHTHOUSE HOSPITAL PROJECT - DAMA’ 243 foundation operated in a federated model

Drive, then moved to 365, SharePoint,

across Australia with business functions

Microsoft Teams, and eventually the

in each state, but Australia has

full range of Microsoft Productivity tools.

assisted in bringing the organisation

Riddle mentions managing teams in

together to promote collaboration and

a charity can be very challenging,

efficiency. One example of this was the

where people are particularly passion-

organisation’s move to the cloud, which

ate about their end goals. “You’re work-

Riddle took control of upon joining the

ing with people who want to make

organisation. “They were getting

a difference, and we try to do every-

bogged down,” he comments.

thing for everyone – which sometimes

“I assumed the role of project manager

dilutes what we’re trying to do,” he

working with our vendor to ensure

comments. “Our One Heart Strategy

everything was done in a timely manner,

is all about placing focus on areas that

from testing to getting us on the cloud.”

have the greatest impact.” Moving to

First, the foundation migrated to One-

the cloud was key to unifying the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


H E A R T F O U N D AT I O N O F A U S T R A L I A

244

foundation’s business process and the

every aspect of the business. It was

way it engaged with customers. “The

also important not to view Australia as

previous work practices, the way we

isolated from the people at the heart of

collaborated, the way we engaged with

the charity. “Technology was one

customers and stored our data all

component, but there was also the

represented our old business model –

organisational process and culture.”

it was disjointed, to survive as an

Conducting a high-level analysis,

organisation in a very competitivity

Riddle concluded that developing

environment, we needed to change.”

a project to provide a “single view of

Riddle therefore had to think

the customer” was the best way

carefully about whether any one

forward in this newly tech-enabled

Australia would actually solve the

company. In a charity sense, custom-

organisation’s problems before installing

ers are usually donors to the organisa-

it, and made evaluations based on

tion, but Riddle stresses that there are

MARCH 2019


AUSTRALIA

actually 52 different types of customer

point in their lifetime in order to deliver

served by the National Heart Founda-

something at the appropriate time with

tion – and it was important to under-

the appropriate message, material,

stand all of these, from various internal

product or service – whatever that may

perspectives. Initially, he recalls, “We

be.” Riddle’s development of this vital

had a very short view of what we call

platform took five stages, the first of

a customer typically using only a financial

which was a discover stage. This

lens – the lifetime of a donor averaged

involved creating a “roadmap” of how

about seven years. That’s great from

information and data was obtained, why it

a point of view of understanding

was collected, as well as how it moved

donor patterns, but donors are only

across the organisation and used.

one of those 52 definitions,” he explains.

The second phase involved understanding who the customer was. “Why

“I wanted to create a platform where we engaged with our customer at every

do they choose to engage with the Heart Foundation? What is our point of

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Shane Riddle Shane Riddle became CIO of the National Heart Foundation of Australia in February 2017, having come onboard the previous year as National ICT Manager. Prior to joining NHF, Riddle held roles at IBM, The Warranty Group and BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia. Riddle holds a Master’s in Business Administration and Management as well as qualifications in Human Resource Management. He specializes in IT Management, Business Transformation and Program Management, and was named among Australia’s CIO50 in 2017.

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We are proud to partner with the National Heart Foundation of Australia and other nonprofits around the world

Get nonprofit offers from Microsoft Microsoft.com/nonprofits


AUSTRALIA

“I wanted to create a platform where we engaged with our customer at every point in their lifetime”

involved examining business processes to find a product that would deliver on all the needs that had been uncovered so far. “A lot of that informed the business case and our request for proposal (RFP) for various vendors,” he explains. “We had a closed selection where we identified key vendors across the industry that we felt would be able to deliver, or had insight to deliver, what

Shane Riddle CIO, National Heart Foundation of Australia

we were trying to create.” Of 15 nominat-

difference? What are they looking for

three that were then challenged to

when they come to us?” This involved

create prototypes. This lengthy process

deep analysis, understanding what the

outlines Riddle’s approach to vendors.

business did, and examining its customer

“I’m fairly tough in trying to negotiate

base until those 52 different definitions

something that works for us,” he says,

were formulated. “When creating a single

qualifying: “I understand the business

view of the customer, it’s important to

they’re in as well, so it has to be fair.

understand the context of the customer

I think when you’re truthful with your

for internal users,” says Riddle,

business partners, and you say ‘we want

“because when we create something

this, but this is what we can afford or are

and then introduce it, we need to

capable of at this point in time, but we

represent what they see as their

want to bring you on the journey and

customer. That is important.”

we can see the growth aspect,’ partners

ed vendors, 10 put forward a proposal which were narrowed down to a final

The third stage – at which point

buy into that and it’s mutually beneficial.”

Riddle had to gain approval at board

To complete this undertaking, the

level to move past – was “very much

National Heart Foundation needed the

getting down into the weeds.” This

support of key partners to the business w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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BRENNAN IT

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www.brennanit.com.au


AUSTRALIA

251 to assist with this transformation.

allowing us to focus on what the

Microsoft for the company’s cloud

business needs,” Riddle adds. “They

migration, as well as Microsoft Azure

look after the back office operating our

has been utilised for the development

service desk and offer additional support

of the Single View of the Customer

as needed across our infrastructure,”

platform. Riddle outlines its scalability

he explains, reiterating the way his

and access to Azure Services which

team’s role has gone from “keeping the

allowed prototyping, working towards

lights on” to thinking about how Australia

a full solution, growing the environment

can truly drive change across the

and services as needed. As this has

organisation. Another vendor which

grown, the organisation has also been

was an integral part of forming the

utilising Data#3 as a Microsoft

Single View of the Customer platform

Preferred Partner to navigate the

is Tealium – perhaps the best example

intricacies that come with building out

of the vendor management strategy

a complex environment. “Brennan IT

embraced by Riddle. “We were

also play a very big part in actually

impressed by their buy-in because not w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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252

“You need bottom-up buy-in because you’re looking at people’s processes, and change management is a key component of this” Shane Riddle CIO, National Heart Foundation of Australia

MARCH 2019


AUSTRALIA

only did we interview them, but they interviewed us to see if their business was suitable to what we were trying to achieve. I got a lot of comfort out of that,” he comments. “We were entering a new space when we engaged with Tealium so they were fantastic taking us on that journey as well – their implementation and the support they offer us as we go through that learning curve has been fantastic.” With vendors and products selected, the fourth phase NHF went though was development and implementation, bringing in BAs, developers, data scientist, testers and even an Agile coach to ensure the Australia transformation ran smoothly among staff, too. This laid the path for the currently ongoing final stage – “taking all those learnings we went through in phase four and actually doing something about that.” For Riddle, getting passionate people on board with the changes the organisation was experiencing – in terms of bringing customers to a single point as well as unifying the organisation itself – was key in managing the significant culture shift involved in any Australia transformation. “You need bottom-up buy-in because you’re looking at people’s processes, and change management is a key component of this. You’ve got to be aware of how it impacts them and how they are involved in the whole process,” he explains. “I try and understand the emotional life cycle people go through with change,” Riddle adds. “Another aspect is when you communicate with w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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H E A R T F O U N D AT I O N O F A U S T R A L I A

people, people like different mediums – some like written word, others like face to face. Some like to be in a group and sit back and listen, others like it to be more intimate or a one-on-one discussion. I try to build all those aspects in and communicate on a level people actually want to receive so they take in what I talk about.” At the foundation’s Melbourne office, the IT team is located in the centre of the building, which Riddle believes symbolises its place at the heart of the business as well as 254

encouraging people to ask questions and understand what they do. For Riddle’s team, communication

“We’ve built a new platform with which we can totally engage the customer, and start measuring how they’re choosing to engage with us” Shane Riddle CIO, National Heart Foundation of Australia MARCH 2019

involves gathering together every morning for a few minutes, a part of the Agile philosophy he’s brought in. “People talk about what they did yesterday, what they didn’t get through and what they’re going to do today. That gets communication working across the team – people can chime in if they hear of a roadblock and offer suggestions. Other groups have now started to pick up on that as well and for me that was encouraging as I didn’t want to push


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255

Agile. It was more about introducing it

start dynamically understanding their

to staff, showing how it’s used so peo-

behaviour, and dynamically changing

ple get serious about it and want to try.”

the way we approach that through

Across the whole country, as a newly

the variety of media and information

unified and tech led organisation, the

we supply, tailoring it back to what their

foundation is all set to relaunch with

need is at any particular time.”

what Riddle calls a “revitalised” brand. “With single view of customer, we’ve built a new platform with which we can totally engage the customer, and start measuring how they’re choosing to engage with us,” he explains. “Ultimately, we want to have an individual conversation with those people, so we can w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Transforming the student experience through digital innovation WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

MIK E SADR


AUSTRALIA

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UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

One of the most renowned academic institutions for research and development innovation, The University of Western Australia has invested in new digital tools to transform the student experience

T

echnology has opened up new opportunities across the education sector. Students are no longer

content with traditional ways of working, but are looking for learning tools which seamlessly blend Australia and creativity to 258

promote engagement and deliver new ways of thinking. Projections show the e-learning market worldwide is forecast to surpass US$243bn by 2022, leading institutions to turn towards innovative education models and develop student-focused solutions which work to provide personalised support wherever possible. Situated on the outskirts of Perth, with a second campus in Albany, The University of Western Australia (UWA) is the oldest educational institution in the region. The university houses competitive spirit founded on collaboration, with many illustrious alumni to its name. Former Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke, former CEO of British

MARCH 2019


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259

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UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

“I decided to enter higher education, which I feel is an opportunity to provide something to the community. It also helps to shape the way that future leaders will come into the world” — Warwick Calkin, Chief Digital & Information Officer

Airways, Sir Roderick Ian Eddington, as well as Noble Prize winners have all studied here and gained international acclaim. “A bunch of people from the university have made a difference to the world, not just to their local community,” reflects UWA’s Chief Digital & Information Officer, Warwick Calkin. “The indigenous people that lived in this part of Australia, the Noongar people, came to this area for learning. They bought people to this part of the world and taught them here, so it was actually a university way

260

before it was a university, so to speak. However, the education sector has changed significantly. The days of having someone stand at the front, and ‘chalk and talk’ no longer appeals. Students are used to having something far more dynamic, far more interactive, and want tools that give them the ability to exchange ideas. “A lot of students don’t necessarily come to the lectures in person and just look at the lectures online and the bits which are most important to them. Technology has enabled students to actually receive education in a different way and not necessarily on campus.” MARCH 2019


AUSTRALIA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PROFESSOR DAWN FRESHWATER – NEW UWA VICE-CHANCELLOR’ 261 Working in a number of industry

students from China, India, Singapore

verticals, from telco’s, utilities, finance

and Malaysia in particular, he found

and mining, moving into the education

that even locating the application form

space would seem a surprise move, but

on its website to be a frustrating process.

Calkin, wanted to build a career which

Not only that, prospective students

he felt would hold greater purpose.

then had to print off the 15-page PDF

“I decided to enter higher education,

form which was solely accessible in

which I feel is an opportunity to provide

English. Once completed, the required

something to the community. It also helps

forms had to be sent via the mail, placing

to shape the way that future leaders will

further delays. Those who completed

come into the world.”

the form incorrectly, or if supplied

Calkin has often sought to ‘walk in the shoes’ of the students, even from the very start of the application process. With high numbers of international

images were blurry, had to redo the process all over again. “By the time they eventually got an offer from us, which was sent via w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• UWA has sought to implement cloud software to protect up to six petabytes (PB) of research data, which previously sat in a outsource data centre

262

• UWA’s new digital support mechanism allows students to designate family members or friends to be alerted if they miss a tutorial or assignment, or if they haven’t been on campus for a period of time • The University of Western Australia (UWA) is the oldest educational institution in the region • The university houses competitive spirit founded on collaboration, with many illustrious alumni to its name

snail-mail, there’s a good chance that they had an offer from another university,” he laments. By identifying key pain points, Calkin has worked to digitise the application process. The time taken to complete the required forms has been reduced to 20 minutes, where applicants can now also receive an electronic offer within five working days. Additionally, applicants can now pay online via credit card. “We’re the first of all the highest ranking (GO8) universities in Australia that issue an electronic letter. Everyone

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AUSTRALIA

else still does it with a paper offer,”

an experience where they value me,

says Calkin. “You start looking at the

they respect me and they’re going to

things which you just expect to be

treat me as a customer.”

there and work, and yet these people,

Recognising that students demand

who are our customers, we weren’t

technologies promoting convenience

treating them with the same respect.

and accessibility, Calkin has worked

We were saying, ‘Well, if you want to

alongside the students themselves. He

come here, you’ll work it out. You’ve

received support from the Student

got to be smart enough to work it out

Guild to build digital tools, such as the

to come here in the first place.’

ability for students to locate friends on

As a consumer, if it’s that hard to

campus, receiving reminders around

consume something, you start thinking,

key events and information regarding

‘is this the experience that I want to put

assignments. Partnering with Involvio

myself through? I should go and have

has also seen students gain access to

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Warwick Calkin was appointed Chief Digital & Information Officer for the UWA in 2017. Warwick has over 30 years’ experience in IT. Prior to working in the Higher Education sector, Warwick worked in Senior IT leadership roles in a number of industry verticals such as Mining, (CIO of South32, CIO of BHP Potash, CIO of BHP Diamonds) Telecommunications (General Manager of Platform Services for Telstra), as well as roles in Utilities, Software Development, and Wagering & Gaming. Warwick has worked in more than 20 other countries around the world including New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands and Canada. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Non-Executive Director of a Not-for-Profit organisation, Carers WA.

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263


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AUSTRALIA

“We are working with Pure Storage, who have provided a platform that is used partially for the research side. All the files that were previously on disks and servers are now sitting on that platform, which enables some incredible performance and analytics” — Warwick Calkin, Chief Digital & Information Officer

some friends on campus at this time who you can meet for lunch’. It’s pretty intuitive,” notes Calkin. “A QR code is also built into it, so if students forget to bring their student ID, they can still buy lunch at the cafeteria. It’s all these practical things which we’re trying to make as easy as possible. One thing a student will never lose is their mobile phone.” Even the safety of its students has been considered. UWA’s new digital support mechanism allows students to designate family members or friends to be alerted if they miss a tutorial or assignment, or if they haven’t been on

a platform which provides real-time

campus for a period of time. If there

information via their phone or laptop,

was a serious incident, students can

such as the classes a student has that

also be sent a push notification.

day, including a map and directions if

Despite such innovations, it is easy

required, all in a bid to deliver a student

to disregard the fact that large volumes

experience which is personalised,

of personalised data are routinely

highly mobile and digitally connected.

stored on a daily basis. Protecting this

“The Australia will prompt students

data has become a critical area for

with things like, ‘You’ve got one subject

Calkin, but with a digitally savvy

this morning and another this after-

student-base, he has developed an

noon with a gap of three hours in the

essential way for students to guaran-

middle, so here are some events that

tee that their data can be stored and

are on campus that you may be

shared through an ‘opt in’ feature, which

interested in attending’, or ‘you have

the students themselves must enable. w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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THE UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

“The feature on the mobile application, Transparent Mode, is defaulted to be off, so students have to switch this on. Once they opt in, we can track where they’re going and what they’re doing,” he says. “The reason to turn it off is, to protect their right to privacy. If they say they want to know where their friends are, they can then do so. The data is associated with Involvio’s base in the cloud which has tight security around it. Approximately 60 universities in the US are also using this Australia.” 266

Even travelling to and from the university is set to be revolutionised, with autonomous vehicles being deployed to support students’ travel across campus, which would work to protect them from the harsh

looking at the community that supports

40-degree heat in the summertime.

us and to engage more effectively, and

“We trialled this autonomous vehicle

in some areas, partner up to deliver

to look at how can we can transport

innovations which everyone can benefit

people around campus, but also looked

from,” observes Calkin.

at the broader context of incorporating

Throughout its expansive digital

this into the public system. We’re

investment, from student focused

working with the Department of

technologies to its extensive research

Transport to try and work out how to

capabilities, UWA has sought to

take this forward. There’s a lot of

implement cloud software to protect

things we are looking at more broadly

up to six petabytes (PB) of research

than just the university itself – we’re

data, which previously sat in an

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267

outsourced data centre. Bringing the

used partially for the research side.

data back on site, situated in two data

All the files that were previously on

centres on campus, the university is

disks and servers are now sitting on

set to undertake a 12-month project

that platform, which enables some

to work alongside librarians and sift

incredible performance and analytics,�

through large volumes of data, identify

depicts Calkin.

ownership, and decide whether it should

Technology has reshaped the way

be retained or archived, with the aim to

we interact, engage and communicate,

house a complete catalogue of relevant,

yet UWA has taken this a step further.

high quality data.

Home to one of the largest indigenous

“We are working with Pure Storage, who have provided a platform that is

art collections in the southern hemisphere, the university is exploring the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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AUSTRALIA

269

use of augmented reality (AR) and

the Year, implementing a trading room

virtual reality (VR) to offer a cultural

which would replicate becoming a trad-

experience quite like no other. While

er on the floor, dealing with situations

UWA is looking to build a school of

in real-time. Receiving feeds from the

indigenous studies to celebrate this

market, students could initiate and pull

work, strict guidelines regarding where

trades and see the results.

such work can be shown remain. VR

With facilities dotted everywhere,

will therefore enable this work to be

Calkin has recently undertaken

displayed, where students can gain

a study with UWA’s Director of Campus

a greater understanding of Australia’s

Management to develop a campus

rich history.

master plan, looking at the university

Catering towards its business

from both a digital and physical

students, in 2018 the university was

perspective to ensure it remains one

awarded the Education Project of

of the most advanced educational w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

institutions in the world. The first focal point is being urban, which UWA has achieved through its location, just outside of Perth. Second is green space, which the university has been committed to maintaining throughout its inception. Thirdly is history, which UWA has in spades. “The last one is density and Oxford and Cambridge University were faced with similar challenges,” he explains. “While Cambridge elected to carry on sprawling, Oxford elected to consoli270

“The education sector has changed significantly. The days of having someone stand at the front, and ‘chalk and talk’ no longer appeals. Students are used to having something far more dynamic, which gives them the ability to exchange ideas” — Warwick Calkin, Chief Digital & Information Officer

MARCH 2019

date with a smaller footprint but with a higher density. We’re looking at going down this route and create an environment which is more collaborative. The notion of teaching in a box is disappearing, and has become a lot more experiential.” Long-term, Calkin believes that new technologies, such as blockchain, will even lead to the introduction of bespoke degrees, where students will build their own degrees, and complete modules at various universities


AUSTRALIA

271

worldwide. New technologies will

one you know recommends you. “It’s not

be able to then authenticate a user’s

just about saying that we’re good. I want

credentials across a number of

them to be able to walk away from here

different universities. For UWA,

and feel like they had the best experience

however, what is its long-term aim?

they possibly could, which we are

“That’s easy,” Calkin concludes,

committed to consistently achieve.”

without missing a beat. “Success is that our students leave here and they say it was an awesome experience. What’s the best form of advertising? It’s word of mouth. It is the strongest and most powerful form of reinforcing that something is good, where somew w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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Technology transformation to personalise the guest experience WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

MIK E SADR

MARCH 2019


AUSTRALIA

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W Y N D H A M D E S T I N AT I O N S A S I A PA C I F I C

Providing exceptional experiences across the travel and tourism sector. Director of IT Clive Hawkins discusses how Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific continues to ‘put the world on vacation’ through digital innovation

N

o longer a luxury for the few, the travel and tourism sector has become fiercely competitive. With so many options on

offer, shared vacation and timeshare models are 274

growing in popularity. Renowned as the largest vacation ownership and exchange company worldwide, Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific has sought to streamline its services and provide an experience like no other. Having experienced steady growth across the Asia Pacific region, the business is set to open a new office in Clark, the Philippines, where up to 160 staff will move to its new premises in mid-2019. Harnessing a corporate and global mission to ‘put the world on vacation’, Wyndham’s extensive footprint now spans the entirety of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and southeast Asia, encompassing close to 60,000 owner families. To support its continued growth, increase its accessibility, convenience and ongoing appeal, its digital infrastructure has been significantly transformed. MARCH 2019


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W Y N D H A M D E S T I N AT I O N S A S I A PA C I F I C

Senior Director of IT, Clive Hawkins, explains that it has been essential for Wyndham to make its services not only practical, but intuitive to engage its diverse audience and remain a leading player in the market. “If you look at Amazon’s shopping cart system, it’s not an attractive site but is very efficient and easy to use. I think that people put far too much investment into the aesthetics of a site rather than functionality, which is key. However, personalisation is now very 276

important. You’re not going to get very

MARCH 2019

“I think voice is really going to take off. You’ve got the Amazon Echo, Google Home, Cortana with Microsoft and Siri with Apple. If you don’t adapt to innovation then you get left behind” — Clive Hawkins, Senior Director of IT


AUSTRALIA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WYNDHAM DESTINATIONS OUR WORLD IS YOUR DESTINATION’ 277 far with marketing campaigns which

redundancies and manage applica-

are purely shotgun approach. You

tions without having to pay increased

need to tailor that message and

maintenance costs.

understand who your target audience really is,” he says candidly. Taking a deep dive into Wyndham’s

“We invested in Salesforce and built a fairly large marketing tool with them. This went live last year and since then

digital capabilities, Hawkins has

we’ve been gathering speed and

developed key partnerships with

moving more and more systems into

Australia leaders in order to transform

Salesforce,” says Hawkins. “It’s an

its service offerings. Building on its

effectual tool and has been very

longstanding relationship with

beneficial from a speed perspective

Salesforce, the company has deployed

because we’re not redesigning and

its Platform as a Service (PaaS)

building security platforms and menu

technologies, enabling Wyndham to

structures because everything is

centralise its services, remove any

already there. We’re using our centralw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


W Y N D H A M D E S T I N AT I O N S A S I A PA C I F I C

ised database as a repository, where we’ve got prospects, owners, staff and suppliers all stored there.” The partnership has led to an improvement of “at least 66% in overall efficiency,” where everyone “can now see the benefits.” Following its success, Wyndham is now undertaking user acceptance testing (UAT) for a campaign management engine, which will enable the business to ‘slice and dice’ its leads within the database. “We have roughly nine million leads who we 278

contact, but this will allow us to segment them based on different criteria, which we have also built in Salesforce,” adds Hawkins. “One of our biggest challenges was

comprehensive data, which can be manipulated to make it work for us.”

that our lead database comes from various different sources and often a

SEAMLESS CONNECTIVITY

lead for us may be a phone number

Hawkins is not only seeking to overhaul

and a first name. We then might have

Wyndham’s service offerings, but

another record that is for T. Smith and

onboard new technologies to ensure

a different phone number, but then we

operational efficiency and gain an

could have another record for Tom

edge over the competition. Taking a

Smith and an email address, with no

closer look at its back-end services

way to link those people and under-

and IT service desk, robotic process

stand it is the same person. Then a

automation (RPA) is being explored as

fourth record may come in that links

a means to boost quality assurance

the previous three and we can gain

rates, particularly in areas which house

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279

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Clive Hawkins | Senior Director of IT After a successful career as a Developer building a variety of solutions (including a sports package for the Mediterranean Games 1991), Clive moved into project management in 1992. Clive joined Wyndham in September 2006, and has managed the IT Team for the past 10 years. Currently responsible for the Asia Pacific region. Major successes of the IT team during this time include: Seamless head office relocation, introducing Salesforce as a development platform, design and implantation of DNC solution, implementation of an online sales system, expansion of offices into China, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, maintaining a strong security stance, introducing a digitalized automated loan decisioning solution.

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“Agiles Australia with OurMate AI is proud to be a Strategic technology partner for Wyndham Destinations for their AI Voice and Software needs. We are privileged to add value to Wyndham’s Time share and Resorts AI initiatives through phases of development and implementation”.

Agiles Australia is a Young Queensland based Software Consulting and Technology house transforming its client’s business with Innovative AI products and best-in-class IT Solutions.

ourmateai.com | www.agiles.com.au OurMate@Agiles.com.au | Info@Agiles.com.au


T EACUHSNTORLAOLGI A Y

“Agiles is a small start-up company and have been very easy to work with. They’re an exciting bunch and they’ve got other ideas that they’re trying to get off the ground” — Clive Hawkins, Director of IT

system to one supplied by Canadian telecoms giant Mitel will also bring a multitude of advantages. Set to complete in March this year, the multifaceted project presently covers up to 650 staff, tackling relatively complex interactive voice response (IVR) systems per department, multiple HUNT groups (used to enable the distribution of phone calls from a single telephone number to a group of several

a number of repetitive tasks with

phone lines), integration with diallers

multiple touchpoints. Expanding its Cit-

and much more.

rix platform and replacing desktops

“Having a new phone system will

with thin clients (or lightweight

bring new tools, such as linking mobile

computers) will also promote accessi-

and desk phones. Staff can answer via

bility and reduce ongoing maintenance

desk or mobile, and transfer the call

costs across the business.

from one to the other. It’s a nice feature

Understanding that end-users are

for management teams who move

demanding seamless connectivity

around. We will also be able to offer the

across its hotels and resorts, Wynd-

callback facility to callers,” says

ham has also partnered with Australia’s

Hawkins.

largest telecommunications operator, Telstra, in order to install fibre connec-

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

tions at multiple sites across the

From mobile apps to wearables,

country, as well as backup 4G technol-

Australia continues to disrupt tradition-

ogies. This has greatly improved the

al industries and ways of working and

corporate network connectivity as well

has led to a significant shift in consum-

as the guest experience in resorts.

er expectations. Making the decision

Furthermore, upgrading its phone

to fully digitise the processing of sales w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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W Y N D H A M D E S T I N AT I O N S A S I A PA C I F I C

$5bn+ Approximate revenue

2000

Year founded

2000+

Approximate number of employees

Aesthetically it’s an attractive system and is used by the sales team so had to be somewhat intuitive so that they would enjoy using it. A sales rep or consultant will also be on hand to provide support.” Believing voice control Australia to be part of the ongoing evolution of traditional keyboard and touch screens, Wyndham has collaborated with Agiles Australia in the development of its first voice chatbot. This will very shortly be accessible through the Wyndham app, end users can gain information regarding their Club, where its

contracts, Wyndham has sought to

capabilities will become further

provide ultimate flexibility and acces-

personalised as it becomes increas-

sibility to its end users. “Invariably, if

ingly utilised. “Agiles is a small young

someone buys a timeshare ownership

startup company and have been very

from us, 50% will also borrow money

easy to work with. They’re an exciting

from us as well. The sales contract is

bunch and they’ve got other ideas that

therefore not just a deed of sale, but an

they’re trying to get off the ground in

application for a loan, which is incred-

the Australian market place,” adds

ibly detailed,” explains Hawkins.

Hawkins.

“We have not only digitised the

“I think voice is really going to take off.

contract but have automated the loan

You’ve got the Amazon Echo, Google

decision process. Through the use of

Home, Cortana with Microsoft and Siri

tablets, we use DocuSign to digitally

with Apple, and they’ve all become

capture the signature for the contract

stronger and stronger. If you don’t

as well, which is quite a slick beast.

adapt to innovation then you get left

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283

behind and if you follow the curve and

which houses fairly simple questions

you’re at the back end of the curve your

and answers regarding Wyndham’s

investment is going to be very similar,

service offering. However, phase two

but people will think, ‘Well about time’

(set to go live in Q3) will enable the

or, ‘You’ve finally caught up.’ Whereas,

Australia to provide more granular data,

if you don’t want to be on the bleeding

such as an owner’s available credit,

edge, but want to be somewhere near

loan balances and monthly payment

the front, if you can be one of the first

amounts. Lastly, phase three will focus

people to deploy innovation in your

solely on providing exceptional

particular vertical then people are

hospitality.

impressed and view the company not only as progressive but vibrant.” Set to go live imminently, Wyndham will launch phase one of its voice box,

“You’ll be able to say, ‘I need another pillow’ and the voice box will say ‘Have you tried looking in the cupboard above the bed?’ If not, we’ll be able to send w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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284

C O M PA N Y FACT S

• Wyndham Destinations has sought to streamline its services and provide an experience like no other

a message to housekeeping and say, ‘guest in room 123 needs another pillow,’

• Witnessing steady growth across the Asia Pacific region, the business is set to open a new office in Clark, the Philippines in early 2019

and we can tell them that a pillow will

• Wyndham’s extensive footprint now spans the entirety of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and South East Asia, encompassing close to 60,000 owner families

and so forth,” explains Hawkins.

be bought to their room shortly. We’re also hoping to interface it with the internet so guests can ask questions, such as the best places to eat nearby

EXPERIENCES LIKE NO OTHER Another area being worked on, and will hopefully be live before the end of 2019, is beacon Australia. When a timeshare owner arrives at a club hotel

MARCH 2019


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says Hawkins. Looking towards the growth in Chinese tourism both inside and outside of the Asia Pacific region, Wyndham has also embraced digital payment options, such as Alipay and WeChat pay, as digital and mobile wallets are becoming the leading payment methods in the region.

INSPIRING INNOVATION While the business has embraced new technologies, securing such services has become the single biggest risk across Wyndham’s digital infrastructure. Housing a global or resort, Bluetooth beacons will be

security platform, the business is

able to sync with their mobile phone

continually looking to ensure all data

and alert the front desk staff. Once the

remains protected. Hawkins uses

Australia recognises the owner,

Marriott Hotel and Resorts’ recent

bespoke information can be provided,

news as a prime example to explain

such as cultural landmarks, places to

that “you can never be fully secure,

visit and much more.

but to always look at ways to remain

“It’s increasing the owner experience, is a great opportunity and increases

ahead of the curve.” “Because they’re in the same vertical,

efficiency. The same happens when

it’s a wakeup call if we needed it,” he

they walk through reception, where

says thoughtfully. “We’re always fighting

we know who they are, which room

with end users because everybody

they are staying and so can be greeted

wants to use the latest app, share data

accordingly throughout their stay,”

and be on social media, and all of w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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W Y N D H A M D E S T I N AT I O N S A S I A PA C I F I C

these things are risk vectors that. From an IT perspective, we’ve got to be mindful. They say that the average penetration takes at least 12 months to spot. It took Marriott four years, but it’s not unusual and is in fact very, very common. You then have other things to worry about, such as shadow IT, where people in the business – for all the right reasons, are not necessarily doing the right things and placing vulnerabilities out there which need to be eradicated.” This has no doubt fed into Wyndham’s consistent commitment to develop its 286

employees and equip them with the necessary tools to not only inspire innovation, but take the business to new heights. Recently recognised as one of the Best Employers for Diversity by Forbes, the business has looked to support local communities on a global scale. Hawkins has recently explored a possible partnership with Griffiths University in southeast Queensland in a bid to provide project-based internships to local students as a key example. “We’ve previously held internships where people have worked here for 12 weeks, but these project-based internships will last as long as the project. We would propose some interesting ones which would be ‘nice to have’, but if they are unsuccessful it’s not MARCH 2019


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“Personalisation is now very important. You need to tailor that message and understand who your target audience really is” — Clive Hawkins, Director of IT

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something that we would have otherwise invested in,” he says. Building such partnerships with educational institutions would enable students to gain significant experience and an understanding of the industry, and the controls and project practices Wyndham has in place, providing advantages for all. “I was hoping that we could run also series of projects with the same interns. The longer that someone’s with us the more they have to offer,” 288

adds Hawkins. “They’re able to understand the business, and if they are working on multiple projects, they can see how they cross correlate. From a university perspective, it’s a good feature which they can advertise. From the student perspective they get real life experience and some of them may get a job at the end. Even if we don’t have an opening, we can give a good reference for a job somewhere else. The benefit to Wyndham as a company is that students can work on ideas, which otherwise may not come into fruition.” Such is the success of Wyndham’s IT transformation, Hawkins was officially MARCH 2019


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recognised as Senior Employee of the Year at the end of 2018, alongside Employee of the Year and infrastructure manager, Brad Byrne. A prestigious award within the Wyndham Destination Asia Pacific company, such acknowledgement reflects Hawkins’ continued desire to remain at the top of his game, while adopting best prac-

“Increasing the owner experience, is a great opportunity and increases efficiency” — Clive Hawkins, Director of IT

tices and building a culture that thrives on innovation. Wyndham will remain focused on providing personalised vacations, with numbers steadily increasing each year. Strengthened through collaboration and bringing new ideas to the table, Wyndham will soon be on its next phase of growth, where Australia will fully underpin further possibilities to fully ‘put the world on vacation.’

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A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WITH KEY PARTNERS AT THE CORE MARCH 2019


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WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

JA MES BERRY

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TRAFFIX

CARLOS TRIVINO, DIRECTOR OF IT, EXPLORES HOW PARTNERS AND PEOPLE PROVE KEY AMIDST TRAFFIX’S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

F

or more than 40 years, Traffix has provided comprehensive third-party logistics and transportation solutions to

customers across North America and established itself as a true market leader. Key to the company’s continued success had been a strong vision that 292

places its customers, carriers and internal teams at the forefront of everything it does. The company describes itself as ‘the transportation people’ and this in particular continues to be a true competitive advantage at a time where technology has completely redefined the industry over the last decade. Carlos Trivino joined Traffix back in 2014 as Director of IT for the company, bringing with him an extensive history of experience in transportation, logistics and technology implementation. He joined the company with a simple mission of looking at how Traffix could increasingly utilize technology to better serve its customer base and he admits that joining Traffix was almost a no-brainer. “I had done some consulting with Traffix and after a while I just felt that it was a great company,” he says. “It’s a privately held company and has some key partners MARCH 2019


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E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Carlos Trivino With 28 years’ experience in various disciplines in the transportation industry, Carlos’ career has encompassed a number of roles from dock floor right through to management. With a passion for systems and technology, he took on the role of System Operator and his career path changed. As Information Technology Manager, Trivino was tasked with supporting the growth, design and development of new functionality within an in-house FMS (Freight Management System).

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CANADA

“IT’S A PRIVATELY HELD COMPANY AND HAS SOME KEY PARTNERS WITHIN THE COMPANY THAT KNOW THE BUSINESS VERY WELL AND HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL” — Carlos Trivino, Director of IT, Traffix

extreme pressure on the company as its existing technology architecture was only capable of handling the original number of users. This prompted the company to invest and embark on a digital transformation which would see Traffix respond to this growth spurt and be ready to experience further growth in the future. “We had to make a quick decision as to what type of technology we wanted and needed and what we were going to leverage to achieve our goal, which is to be one of the top logistics companies in Canada,” says Trivino. Key to this growth plan, and to Trivino’s own remit, was striking strategic partnerships with technology vendors

within the company that know the busi-

which could accelerate Traffix’s growth

ness very well and have been extreme-

–this is where the company turned to

ly successful. Over time, as Traffix has

Gibraltar Solutions and Trimble Transpor-

grown and evolved, my role now looks at

tation and Logistics (TMW). As a leading

the technology partnerships, ensuring

Canadian technology provider, Gibraltar

that software and hardware partners

Solutions recommended Nutanix

are vetted and align to what we want

hyperconverged cloud infrastructure.

to achieve as a company.”

Nutanix will allow Traffix to leverage

In 2018, Traffix experienced signifi-

cloud-based technology to effectively

cant growth as its existing user base

monitor and manage a 24/7 operation

of 60-70 users skyrocketed to close to

across its entire footprint. It also allows

300 users at any given time. This placed

Trivino and his IT team to “focus more on w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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TRAFFIX

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transforms TECHNOLOGY THAT

TRANSFORMING THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS


CANADA

297 the user experience and performance,

information and visibility and accurate

rather than worrying about the technol-

data within their systems. “They want

ogy and troubleshooting X or Y”, notes

to be able to do more analytics on their

Trivino. “We focus on the things that

side so that they can realize greater

really matter and that allows us to drive

cost savings and performance,” he says.

true value across the organization.”

“The information would historically be

Traffix also leverages Citrix’s digital

accessed by a server or a PC but now

workspace to deliver applications, which

it’s about remote desktops and hyper

allows the company to have greater

converged technology, which is where

access to and understanding of data

Citrix comes into play. The technology

flow. Trivino recognizes this as a key

through Citrix makes the data flow faster

trend across the industry. He notes that

and more efficient than ever before, not

companies and users were satisfied

only for end users to be able to access

with “minimal” information, but in recent

but for us to be able to produce that

years customers are demanding more

information.” In addition to Citrix Workw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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“WE FOCUS ON THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER AND THAT ALLOWS US TO DRIVE TRUE VALUE ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION” 298

— Carlos Trivino, Director of IT, Traffix

This is where TMW, through its TruckMate solution, has been instrumental. “Trimble Transportation is pleased to be a critical part of the technology and application backbone helping to fuel Traffix’s explosive growth,” says Harald Fritz, Vice President, TruckMate. “Traffix’s collaboration and partnership drive continuous improvement within the TruckMate TMS including Command Center, CRM, Agent Mobile Solution and several complimentary, 3rd party software solutions. Embedded business intelligence (BI) capabilities and KPIs provide critical data into the entire decision continuum, from Sales through

space, Traffix, with Gibraltar’s assistance,

execution to billing and the company’s

also deployed Citrix SD-WAN, a next

accounting and financials. Traffix is one

generation WAN edge platform that

of the most innovative brokerage and

provides high performance and consist-

logistics providers always challenging

ent application delivery to its branch

themselves and us to capitalize on

offices. Within the branch, Citrix SD-WAN

new opportunities.”

also consolidated expensive routing and

When it comes to scalability, the

security hardware, simplifying network

Nutanix platform holds the key to Traffix’s

management and reducing costs.

technology transformation, as it enables

In order to monitor and understand this

the company to stack and grow without

information flow it requires a comprehen-

“ripping everything out and buying a new

sive and proven multi-modal dispatch,

Storage Area Network (SAN)”. Through

operations and accounting system that

Nutanix, Citrix, Gibraltar Solutions and

truly enables efficiency and scalability.

of course TMW, Traffix can invest and

MARCH 2019


CANADA

299

put more resources into its infrastruc-

is investing heavily in cloud solutions and

ture as the business continues its rapid

automated technology, but how does

growth with a significantly lower up-front

it ensure that this data is being stored

cost. For Trivino, it represents the value

securely and that customers can trust

both he and the company place in the

the company with sensitive information?

relationships Traffix looks to strike on

Traffix has a wide number of monitoring

its continuous growth journey. “We look

systems that look closely at system

to partner with people that want to

behavior. Should the system behavior

grow together with us. If we succeed,

seem out of turn or erratic, then it creates

the partner succeeds and so over time

an email response to the personal and

they become strategy partners with us.�

alerts them to it. Citrix also plays a key

With vast amounts of data and great-

role in the security of data, securing

er access to that data, the conversation

laptops and servers when out of use

inevitably turns towards security. Traffix

to mitigate the risk of data leaks. Trivino w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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“WE ALWAYS LIKE TO LEVERAGE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN WITH THE BUSINESS A LONG TIME. SOME HAVE BEEN HERE MANY YEARS, OTHERS ARE NEW. EACH AND EVERY PERSON BRINGS A LOT OF VALUE TO THE COMPANY” — Carlos Trivino, Director of IT, Traffix

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TRAFFIX

notes that restructuring the technology

1979

Year founded

300

Approximate number of employees

architecture of the company provided him with an opportunity to look a little closer at how Traffix could better monitor the security of its data and effectively build in a new level of threat protection. As the company continues to explore the possibilities of technology, the very core of the business remains the same. Part of the very reason Trivino joined the company was the way it invests in its people, and while Traffix introduces more new technology, such as automation, to its operations,

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these people will always remain key.

“We can strategically place them some-

“We always like to leverage the people

where where we can use their years of

that have been with the business a long

experience in another area, and they

time. Some have been here many years;

can focus more on the company itself.”

others are new. Each and every person

Trivino points to an example where the

brings a lot of value to the company,” he

business would place an employee

says. “In the artificial intelligence (AI)

in a Team Lead role and support new

space, we are looking at the repetitive

people coming in, helping them get to

nature of capturing information and

grips with the technology and overall

removing the person from that and

Traffix operations. “They are teaching

moving them into a role that will bring

the new employees and helping them

a different but more important value

understand that this is how we operate,

to the business.”

this is how we do things, and basically 303

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“EACH PARTNER HAS DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOFTWARE THAT WE CAN LEVERAGE FROM AND SO WE WILL LOOK MORE AT GETTING THAT DATA INTO OUR SYSTEM, AND VICE VERSA, TO BE ABLE TO GIVE OUR END CUSTOMER THE INFORMATION THAT THEY NEED A LOT QUICKER” — Carlos Trivino, Director of IT, Traffix MARCH 2019


CANADA

overseeing that department and letting go of that repetitive task that is very mundane,” he adds. Traffix’s digital transformation journey shows no signs of slowing down. In line with the company’s growth ambitions, Traffix will continue to invest and adopt innovative technologies in order to continue to achieve rapid growth and process information. 2018 proved a pivotal year for achieving this as the company focused on investing in its network infrastructure, laying down the foundation for the company’s digital future. “What we’re focusing on now is the user facing and customer facing technology, so more software development and more integration between key partners,” says Trivino. “Each partner has different types of software that we can leverage from and so we will look more at getting that data into our system, and vice versa, to be able to give our end customer the information that they need a lot quicker.”

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FROM E-MAIL ROLLOUTS TO BIOMETRIC SCANNERS:

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TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION AT THE CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE We talk to Helen Knight, Director of IT, and Paul Twigg of Sierra Systems/NTT DATA Services, exploring their technological transformation of the Calgary Drop-In Centre to better the lives of its staff, volunteers and the city’s homeless community WRIT TEN BY

HARRY MENE AR PRODUCED BY

ARRON R A MPLING

MARCH 2019


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CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE

H

elen Wetherley Knight, Director of Information Technology (IT) at the Calgary Drop-In Centre (The DI), has

always been excited by computers. “My parents met through computer dating,” she mentions, “so I’m the product of that technology from the early 70’s. I started programming when I was nine and I was very interested in technology, however, in high school, I learned that ‘tech was for boys’, so I backed away for a few years. Now, I am a pretty loud advocate for keeping women engaged in technology.” Knight has worked in IT for over 20 years, spending 12 of those years at Suncor 308

Energy while also running her own consulting business, Helen Knight Consulting Inc. During that time, she was also a regular volunteer at the Calgary Drop-In Centre in the city’s downtown. Serving over 10,000 people a year, the DI provides essential care, health services, employment training and housing support to those in need. In 2018, the DI provided Calgary’s homeless population with over 100,000 pieces of clothing, served over 400,000 meals in its dining hall, and provided 420,000 individual nights of shelter. When, in 2016, the DI began searching for a new IT Director, Knight’s volunteering record put her at the top of the list. “There was a focus on having someone with non-profit experience. I was lucky to be considered because I had been a volunteer.” She explains: “That speaks to one of MARCH 2019


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310

the opportunities at non-profits: there’s

profits, her current and future plans to

so much emphasis placed on non-profit

use cutting-edge biometric technology

expertise, and there are so few people

to increase efficiency and security, as

that have technical backgrounds with

well as putting confidential personal

non-profit experience, that the

data back into the hands of Calgary’s

technical needs of non-profits have

homeless population. In addition, Paul

gone underserved for years.”

Twigg, VP of Technology at Sierra

With the support of the DI Board,

Systems, an NTT DATA Services

Knight is effecting a four-year complete

company, serves as the centre’s

technology transformation at the

strategic partner and plays a large

Calgary Drop-In. She was keen to

role in helping Knight implement her

discuss how her team is approaching

ambitious technology transformation.

organizational change management

“I’m lucky that I walked in with years

across one of Calgary’s largest non-

of experience and a Master’s Degree in

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CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE

312

IT strategy, because there was a lot of

they liked and trusted.”

low hanging fruit,” explains Knight,

Knight admits: “I had a lot to learn

acknowledging that in the non-profit

about appropriately engaging this

sector, technology is difficult to invest

compassionate, service-focused

in without donor support. When she

audience with technology.” However, the

arrived at the DI only 70 of 270 staff

first steps of her technology transfor-

had email addresses, so the first task

mation quickly yielded fruit. By

was to roll out Office365 across the

calculating the opportunity cost of

organization. She notes, “I made a mis-

wasted time due to the DI using

take by just sending out videos on how

multiple free and donated tools and

to use the new tools – it took me about

databases, Knight was able to prove a

four months to realize that I would be

return on investment of US$1.5mn per

more successful supporting this user

year, and return 20 hours per week

group in a room with a human being

per person that could be spent manag-

MARCH 2019


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“IT’S A LABOR OF LOVE, BECAUSE I BELIEVE THESE TOOLS WILL EFFECTIVELY IMPROVE EVERY ASPECT OF THE STAFF’S LIVES” — Helen Knight CIO/Director of Technology Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre

ing relationships. “We went from our volunteer and donor department using five different calendars, answering the phone full-time and carrying the burden of disparate systems, to having a push system where the donors and volunteers engage directly by registering on a website, being onboarded by a system, and signing up for the shifts that they wanted, so the staff were able to focus on relationship building,” she recounts. “There was significant change management and it was a really careful process, but it’s a labor

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Helen Wetherley Knight, MBA Fighting poverty with technology, Helen is the Director of IT for the Calgary Drop-In Centre, the most effective Homeless Shelter in Canada. Leading an IT Transformation that will deliver annual savings of $1.5 Million USD, Helen is driving meaningful change for vulnerable Calgarians. Helen is also a passionate advocate for increasing gender diversity in IT, serves on two non-profit boards and was a Canadian CIO of the year finalist for 2018.

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Rooted in Community

We are proud to support The Calgary Drop-In Centre with innovative technology solutions that help make a positive emotional impact in the community, and in people’s lives.

sierrasystems.com

of love,” Knight insists, “because I

thing to do,” she reflects. “I fully accept

believe that all of these tools will

that my skill-set ends at the technology,

effectively improve the staff’s lives.”

and that the front-line workers are the

Knight stresses that the essence of her technological transformation at the

experts in client care” Twigg, who has been working along-

Drop-In is the empowerment of its staff

side Knight and her team to bring

and volunteers. “I’m not here to replace

Sierra Systems’ expertise to bear on

anybody,” she insists. “I’m here to take

the challenges of technological trans-

away busy work and pain. I think tech-

formation at the Drop-In, agrees. “It’s

nologists get into a lot of trouble when

not about cool tech. It’s about giving

they feel so confident that they reach

a person experiencing homelessness

past their level of expertise and start

a bed, a sandwich, a laundry service

making policy decisions, or feel that

and everything else that comes with it,”

just because they can prove something

he emphasizes. “All non-profits require

with data, that it’s the right and humane

technology. They just haven’t been


CANADA

“IT’S NOT ABOUT COOL TECH. IT’S ABOUT GIVING A HOMELESS PERSON A BED, A SANDWICH, A LAUNDRY SERVICE AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT COMES WITH IT” — Paul Twigg VP of Technology, Sierra Systems /NTT DATA Services

able to invest in it because the charity funding model makes it difficult to put money into technology even though it will save money down the line.”: Sierra Systems, an NTT DATA Services company, specializes in IT consulting in order to provide its clients with innovative, forward-thinking solutions. The process of choosing a strategic partner was fairly unconventional. “We spent six months figuring out what the exact problems were that we wanted to solve instead of running to a bunch 315

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Paul Twigg Paul Twigg is the National VP of Technology for Sierra Systems an NTT DATA Services Company. He is an award winning IT business leader with executive and hands-on experience in delivering leading edge cloud, data and innovation services. He is a recognized speaker and thought leader in the technology field driving innovation and digital transformation ideas. Paul is security cleared (Canadian Secret Level) and has vast experience creating technology strategy to develop creative and innovative data centric services tailored towards increasing efficiencies and reducing costs within an organization. He is a motivational leader who enjoys building successful and productive teams.


CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE

of vendors and doing multiple demonstrations,” Knight explains. “It’s the opposite of how teams engage vendors normally.” This approach helped Knight choose a company that would offer a complete service. “We were really looking at solving the entire problem,” she says. “The finance, the HR, the IT, the client relationship, the client service; the entire problem, instead of discrete solutions.” This is where Sierra Systems, a company already involved in donating and 316

volunteering at the DI, came into play. After identifying Microsoft Dynamics as a customer relationship management system that could cater to the Drop-In’s needs, Knight considered two companies. “One brought me standard pricing, and Sierra, with evidence of being donors and volunteers, brought me their proposal at half price,” says Knight. “I knew they were in it with us. Sierra had the imagination that we needed.” Since then, the relationship has evolved from client-vendor to much more. In addition to back office initiatives to improve efficiency and foster digital engagement within the DI’s staff, Twigg MARCH 2019


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1.2mn Meals served in total

100,000+ Items of clothing distributed

420,000+ Individual nights of shelter provided

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CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE

and his team have worked with Knight to bring one of their more cutting-edge initiatives towards maturity. For 10 years, the Calgary Drop-In has used fingerprint scanners in order to identify and admit its clients. “It took anywhere from about seven to 30 seconds to let an individual in,” says Twigg. “Considering that, since 2 February, it’s been about -30ºF every day here in Calgary, when you’ve got several hundred

“GLOBALLY, ONE BILLION PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT ID, INCLUDING PEOPLE WHO NEED EMERGENCY SERVICES” — Helen Knight, CIO/Director of Technology Calgary Drop-in & Rehab Centre

people coming and going every day, upgrading the intake systems will make 318

entering the facility much more efficient.” To solve this problem, Knight is turning

unique needs.” At the heart of the new

to more modern forms of biometric

biometric identification system the DI is

technology with higher accuracy rates,

trialing is the desire to not only improve

reducing admission times to around

the quality of patient care, but also to

three seconds.

“put the client in charge of their data”.

In addition, the nature of the DI’s

“There are 43 conflicting legislations

work requires it to keep client records.

and ethical agreements governing

“One billion people in the world don’t

client data,” Knight explains. “I’m

have ID, including people who need

a co-chair of a collaborative work group

emergency services, are victims of

trying to improve communication

crime, have been evicted, are human

between homeless-serving agencies

trafficking victims - maybe they’re

in the City of Calgary, and when we

using drugs or have mental health

tried to create a decision guide to

issues. Regardless of the client’s

navigate them, there was no way to

history, we need to know who they are

figure it out; they all conflict and there’s

so we can ensure we are meeting their

no way to prioritize the disparate

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319 agreements.” By putting the decision

a solution. “We are designing an arch-

to share personal data back into the

itecture that implements blockchain to

hands of Calgary’s homeless popula-

allow a client’s health information to

tion, Twigg and Knight believe that

remain encrypted and afford the client

agencies serving vulnerable people

the ability to share that information as

across the city can improve communi-

they move between agencies, or

cation and build a shared database to

decide what can and can’t be shared.”

better serve their community.

In addition, the biometric data record-

Ensuring the potential for privacy

ed by the DI’s new systems, Knight

and control remains in the hands of the

explains, is anonymous by design.

client, however, is a top priority for the

Another place where Knight wants to

venture. “There’s a lot of personal

deploy biometrics down the line is in

identifiable information that can’t be

the way clients at the shelter supply

shared between agencies,” says Twigg,

personal information, as well as book

whose team has been collaborating

medical and other appointments. “I’m

with Knight and the working group on

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CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE

“THE CLIENT OWNS THE KEY, AND THE DATA IS ANONYMOUS WITHOUT THEM BEING THERE” 320

— Helen Knight CIO/Director of Technology Calgary Drop-in and Rehab Centre

a system than a person,” she admits. “On 3 January, we put a client selfserve kiosk in the dining hall of the Calgary Drop-In Centre. The feedback from the clients has been very positive. Wedesigned this kiosk with our wood shop, where our clients learn woodworking skills, added a touchscreen monitor, and a donated PC. We built it so that you could use a wheelchair or a chair, so we didn’t have to move the screens around to account for height differences. All it does right now is two things: it plays a video on data sharing, why we want your data, and that it is safe and secure; and it presents a form where you can tell us what your barriers are to finding housing.” The form asks questions used to identify the client’s barriers to housing: “For example, are you comfortable talking to a landlord?” says Knight. “Some people can be afraid of authority and may not be comfortable speaking to a landlord. If we identify that is a barrier, we’ll go with them.” Knight notes that a client’s mistrust for human authority may result in a reluctance to reveal the information that would result in them receiving help – but the kiosk

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ROOTED IN COMMUNITY, SUPPORTED IN THE CLOUD - CALGARY DROP-IN CENTER AND SIERRA SYSTEMS’ 321

has built in anonymity and lacks a human

biometrics in the kiosks, so clients can

element. “Through a touchscreen com-

choose to opt in and receive personal-

puter, we’re reaching a vulnerable

ized services: book things like laundry

clientele and are serving them in a new

and medical appointments, find out

way,” she says. Knight has now ordered

when they’re meeting a landlord - they

two more kiosks based on this success.

would have a portal to their lives.”

“We are fulfilling an unmet need for some

Clients would also be able to opt out of

clients and finding new ways to build

the biometric customization. “We put in

relationships,” she adds.

this fabric flap,” she says, “so clients

Knight and Sierra Systems’ plan to

know for a fact that they’re not being

use biometric identification in the DI

recorded, and still have access to

also extends to the kiosks. “Once we

helpful information, opening hours,

finish a comprehensive privacy impact

times and maps.”

assessment,” Knight says, “we can put

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CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE

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The Calgary Drop-In Centre (the DI) is more than an emergency shelter. They provide essential care as well as health services, employment training, and housing supports to people who need help. Their programs and services connect people to permanent housing that meets their individual needs. To donate to support this project please visit calgarydropin.ca/tech

sive and ambitious, but she and Twigg are eager, excited and optimistic. Knight is working with the University of Calgary and the University of Taiwan to test biometrics with the potential to detect sepsis and necrotic wounds, as well as planning on using the proposed transformation of the DI’s HR system, in conjunction with weather and environmental data, to predict workload. “Helen’s a fantastic advocate, not just for the Calgary Drop-In Centre, but for the homeless community across MARCH 2019


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323

Canada,” says Twigg. “It would be our

over other agencies in Canada. “Non-

dream if Helen was at the Calgary DI

profit, especially the homeless-serving

for the next 10 years, because we

sector, is ripe for disruption, transfor-

believe we could solve amazing

mation and return-on-investment,” she

problems together. She understands

says. “I see nothing but opportunity.”

how to solve big problems, and we believe we can match those ideas with the technology and the thought leaders that we have at Sierra Systems and NTT DATA Services.” Knight makes it clear that the technology transformation she’s bringing to the DI isn’t about giving the DI ‘competitive advantage’ w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


TM

INSURANCE LIMITED

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NORTH AMERICA

Rewriting the rule book for Canada’s insurance brokers WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

GLEN WHITE

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PBL INSURANCE LIMITED

Delivering one-to-one insurance services with cutting-edge technologies, PBL Insurance is reshaping the way Canadian insurance brokers do business

D

igitization is shaking up industries across the globe and it seems the insurance sector is no exception.

For PBL Insurance, which has provided risk and insurance services to Canadians for almost a century, there was no doubt that digitization would be a central pillar of its 326

strategic plan. The firm’s Director of Technology, Joey Faraone, says that by undertaking a root-and-branch digital transformation and overhauling its legacy systems, PBL Insurance is “re-writing the way insurance companies do business in Canada”. “I would say that technology is playing a very big role in driving PBL’s transformation,” he explains. “We went from having some very old technology pieces running our network to understanding that now is the time to invest and prepare the company for the next 20 years of the technology curve.” Previously, Faraone says that PBL Insurance didn’t have a focused internal MARCH 2019


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technology direction and so the Canadian firm decided to bring its digital strategy in-house. “The company wanted to get a better grasp on today’s technology and look at where technology will take the insurance industry in the future,” he says. “I was brought in to lead the development and management of new technologies and ensure that they align with the company’s business strategy.” Becoming a digital broker is no easy feat, but this transformation was firmly at the top of PBL’s agenda. Starting from the ground up, the

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Ontario-based company set up brand new back-end infrastructure, including new fiber circuits, routers and switches. E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Joey Faraone is a dedicated, dynamic and enthusiastic certified IT professional who specializes in project managing innovative data solutions to improve system stability, functionality and efficiency. Faraone is quick to familiarize himself with the latest technologies and industry developments while demonstrating a logical and analytical approach to solving complex problems and issues. Faraone is the Director of Technology at PBL Insurance where he possesses excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to develop and maintain positive internal and external relationships.

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PBL INSURANCE LIMITED

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“We’re wiping the slate clean and

away from the confines of traditional

redesigning everything. We’re rolling

insurance technology software. In

out new technologies to help us

using a cloud-based, analytics-driven

minimize the equipment footprint but

system, Faraone says it’s reducing

not sacrifice the service to our

administrative burdens while simulta-

clients,” says Faraone.

neously enhancing the visibility of

One of the company’s most cogent uses of technological innovation has

its operations. “We are the first Canadian company

been how it has selected a new

to move to the TechCanary platform,”

cutting-edge broker management

notes Faraone. “You could say

system. By adopting TechCanary,

there’s a lot of eyes on us to see how

a solution based on Salesforce’s

the solution is being rolled out in the

platform, PBL Insurance is breaking

Canadian market.” With such a wide

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“We have a one-on-one direct relationship with our clients. Our brokers, our account executives and our staff treat our clients and customers as one of their own” — Joey Faraone, Director of Technology

331

range of clientele and data, Faraone

ability to leverage efficiencies and

believes that the platform will help the

create a more reliable network. It also

company meet its customers’ needs

gives the broker the option to use data

and see what else it can do for them

optimization and analytics while

as an organization. “It means that

leveraging a breakthrough in routing

we don’t have a one-way path for our

efficiencies, enhancing performance

clients, we can have a four-lane

and reliability with the flexibility and

highway,” he notes.

affordability of a cloud service.

Shifting away from costly, hardware-

“With our new network being rolled

defined private networking solutions,

out, we’ve also put a lot of new contracts

PBL Insurance has also implanted

in place and we’ve implemented a new

a new software-defined wide-area

managed service provider (MSP),”

network (SD-WAN). This gives PBL the

Faraone says. “This is helping us roll w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


PBL INSURANCE LIMITED

out our network and enhance our user

“We are moving towards the cloud

experience internally. The experience

more and more every day,” Faraone

that our internal staff has been used to

says. “There’s no downtime and there’s

versus where they are today has been

no lag, so efficiency is huge with this

a complete 180-degree turnaround.”

roll out. It’s ensuring that slow technol-

Cloud technology has been a major trend in the insurance industry. Aside

Our new broker management system

from its ability to lower costs and boost

also uses cloud technology which

productivity through mobile working,

means our Account Executives can log

it also offers a business continuity plan

into our system from anywhere and do

and security. Not one to stay in the

business right on the spot.

shadows, PBL Insurance is embracing

332

ogy isn’t being used as a scapegoat.

“We also have a very good system

cloud technology through its new

where we back up everything on our

broker management system and

network nightly and then we move it to

colocation site.

a colocation site which has its own

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TECHCANARY OVERVIEW’ 333

“We are the first Canadian company to move to a TechCanary platform. You could say there’s a lot of eyes on us to see how TechCanary is being rolled out in the Canadian market” — Joey Faraone, Director of Technology

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PBL INSURANCE LIMITED

back-up there. Then we move it to the cloud,” he continues. “It may sound like there’s a back-up of a back-up, but it’s very important to make sure that we know where all of our data is and that it’s accessible to us at a drop of a hat. “It’s promoting efficiency and productivity, but it will also change the customer experience,” he continues. “By using cloud technologies like TechCanary, our customer will be able to get faster quotes and faster service while we tie everything together.” With cutting-edge technologies 334

being rolled out every day, technology partnerships have become critical to any digital transformation. Faraone believes that the company’s alliance with technology innovators like MicroAge is helping to drive new ways of thinking. “MicroAge is a global company which provides insights with network engineers,” Faraone explains. “We collaborate to work on developing and understanding the latest technologies to see how we can implement them here at PBL Insurance. We have continuous improvement sessions on how we can cut a little here, add a little there. This ensures that we run in a very lean but efficient way.” MARCH 2019


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Behind any successful transformation is the right team and a culture that fosters innovation. With this in mind, PBL Insurance strives to engage staff by asking for opinions on the direction they’d like to see the company go. “When we decided to change broker management systems there were a lot of discussions, not just at the top but among all users about who is going be impacted by it. It’s changing the complete way our staff do work on a day-to-day basis,” comments Faraone. “The system was received very well. I think the fact that we are evolving our technology and our way of doing business is helping to attract top talent to the company because they want to be part of this journey.” With over 200 employees and 10 offices spread throughout the province, PBL prides itself on being uniquely Ontario based. Driving efficiency and productivity with its new digital tools, Faraone says that this transformation is not just reducing costs and administrative burden, it’s also freeing up more time so that it can give its clients the personable and responsive service they expect. “We have a one-on-one direct w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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PBL INSURANCE LIMITED

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“We’re wiping the slate clean and redesigning everything. We’re rolling out new technologies to enable us to minimize the equipment but not sacrifice the service to our clients” — Joey Faraone, Director of Technology

MARCH 2019


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relationship with our clients,” notes Faraone. “I think that’s where we differ from other brokers. With 10 strategic office locations throughout the province, we have the ability to service our clients locally, and we take pride in servicing communities big and small in Ontario. Our brokers, our Account Executives and our staff treat our clients and customers as if they are one of their own.” Technology and customer service go hand in hand at PBL Insurance, and as the industry shifts under the influence of the technological revolution it seems the company is ready for any dynamic changes that may come its way. “In five or 10 years, I expect PBL Insurance will be the top broker in Ontario, building partnerships yearly with other brokerages in the industry,” predicts Faraone. “I believe we will be a leader in innovation and that we will be an example to other brokerages on how they can leverage the latest technology to their advantage. It’s not always about spending the most money and getting the latest and greatest, it’s about understanding and fine-tuning technology to your company’s needs.”

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CA M PU S -W I D E TEC H N O LO GY TR A N S FO R M ATI O N WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

MARCH 2019


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B O I S E S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

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BRIAN BOLT, DEPUT Y CIO OF BOISE STATE U N I V E R S I T Y, D I S C U S S E S T H E U N I Q U E CHALLENGES OF EFFECTING T E C H N O LO G I CA L T R A N S FO R M AT I O N I N A N E N T E R P R I S E - S CA L E E D U CAT I O N A L I N ST I T U T I O N

F

or the most part, the days

in 1997, and then as a full-time employ-

when an employee would

ee in 1999. After leaving for a couple

graduate school or college,

years, Bolt returned and has been with

secure a job, work for 30 years and

the University’s IT organization ever

collect a commemorative watch have

since. He earned his MBA from Boise

gone the way of the stegosaurus, the

State in 2006 and became Deputy

French Monarchy and Betamax. The

Chief Information Officer in 2015. His

US Bureau of Labor found that, in 2018,

long career in higher-ed IT allows for

the median number of years wage and

an increasingly unique perspective as

salary workers spent in a single job

an innovator and solutioner.

was just 4.2. Brian Bolt began working at Boise State as a student employee MARCH 2019

“I came to Boise to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree. I built on my fondness for


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computers and joined a pilot program learning something that doesn’t exist anymore called Novell NetWare,” he reminisces. “It was basically a file and print service. And that’s where I got my start that led to a student employment job on campus.” Bolt’s career with Boise State has long outlived Novell NetWare, which released its final update in 2009. Over the course of his 20-year IT career he has been at the heart of major changes to the campus’ w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


Protect your cloud, network, endpoints and campus through automation, analytics and integration. Get consistent security across clouds, networks and endpoints. paloaltonetworks.com


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IT governance. We sat down with Bolt to find out about the challenges of effecting technological transformation and change management across an enterprise-scale higher learning institution, and about Boise State’s current plans to implement a campus-wide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) approach to use data analysis to improve and maintain Boise’s university-student relationships. Located in the West of Idaho, Boise State University was founded in 1932 by the Episcopal Church, becoming an w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


B O I S E S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

independent junior college two years later. In 2019, wwwwit has over 24,000 attendees and was reclassified in 2015 as a Carnegie doctoral research university, as well as placing 45th on the US News and World Report’s 2019 list of Most Innovative Universities. This year is also on track to have the institution’s largest first-year class in the university’s history. To manage the ever-growing student body, Bolt and the rest of the Boise State’s IT department are working 344

to begin the implementation of their campus-wide CRM over the next year, with incremental rollouts expected to begin in late 2019. “We don’t yet have a CRM for students that are in the K-12 environment. They’re our future

important part.” Managing IT govern-

pipeline if you’re looking at it from

ance strategy at an enterprise-scale

a strictly sales point of view. And at the

educational institution presents its own

other end of the spectrum, we have

unique difficulties, particularly when

programs at the university that cater to

implementing campus-wide technol-

the retirement community and ongoing

ogy transformation. Bolt reflects on

education. The lifespan of a customer

the challenges to be faced in order to

for us could be 60 years long,” explains

successfully roll out the CRM: “There’s

Bolt. “But right now, we only have a

managing technology change in a very

CRM for the bookends of our lifecycle:

disparate environment, learning how

applicants and alumni. We have noth-

to manage change rollouts, and also

ing in between that manages the most

being accepting of the fact that some

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345

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Brian Bolt Brian began his academic studies at Boise State in 1996 and started his IT career the following year. After learning about the higher-ed environment as a departmental Network Administrator, he moved to the central IT office as a Systems Engineer. From there, he progressed into management roles within technical operations until founding the Project Management Office in 2011. He currently serves as Deputy CIO.

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B O I S E S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

“ T H E L I F E S PA N O F A C U STO M E R FO R U S COULD BE 60 YEARS LO N G , B U T R I G H T N OW W E O N LY H AV E A CRM FOR THE B O O K E N D S O F T H AT L I F E CYC L E : A P P L I C ANTS AND ALUMNI” — Brian Bolt, Deputy Chief Information Office, Boise State University

of the technologies we have may have reached the end of their lifecycle.” Over the course of his career at Boise, Bolt has faced each of these challenges and more. Though his career at Boise State began working with the Novell NetWare operating system, by 2007 Bolt could see that transformation and transition were long overdue. “At one point in time, universities were looked to as leaders with regard to technology and its adoption,” he says, “but I think in the 90s the corporate world started to get

346

ahead.” Technology, Bolt points out, became more entrenched and slower moving in academia. “So, we held onto our Novell infrastructure for a lot longer than the corporate world ever did. Which is fine. It’s just kind of the way that universities work, and there’s a reason why universities have been around for a long time. They’re typically deliberate about their decision-making process.” Boise’s relationship with Novell came to an end as a result of reduced reliability due to vendors not being able to invest as much money in maintenance updates. “We were probably one of the last schools running MARCH 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘MILLION DOLLAR SCHOLARS’ 347 Novell’s technology,” he says. “It was

the idea to management and IT “and

a dying technology that wasn’t being

that was the first domino of remov-

maintained as well as it could be.”

ing Novell from our environment.” He

Bolt reflects that the transition that

laughs before admitting that “it was

followed Boise leaving Novell behind

kind of the Wild West of IT govern-

was one of the “big breaks” of his

ance back then. We kind of inflicted

career. “I received an invitation to the

change on campus, and the first year

Googleplex to learn about Google

afterwards was pretty rocky. We had

Apps for Education. This was 2007,

some people that were very satisfied

remember,” he notes, “the early days.”

and some people that were really not.

Bolt attended the Googleplex in 2007

We had rocked their world by taking

to learn about the work being done

away their email client and calendaring

to bring Google apps to educational

system they’d been using for ten years.”

institutions. Excited by the possibili-

The fallout from the implementation of

ties, Bolt returned to Boise and pitched

Google Apps taught Bolt valuable lesw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


B O I S E S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

24,000+

Approximate number of students

200+

Programs of study

348

1,135

Full time staff

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B O I S E S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

sons about the benefits of staggered rollouts and pilot programs. “I learned a lot about what happens after a project goes live in a large, disparate organization such as a higher-ed institution,” he says. “If you’re afforded the opportunity to start small and rollout incrementally, that’s a good path to take.” Bolt has worked with Boise State’s current Chief Information Officer, Max Davis-Johnson, since he joined the university from Arizona State in 2010. “Max was a game changer in terms 350

of how the university viewed technology as more of a strategic partner rather than just a cost center,” says Bolt. Davis-Johnson was responsible for implementing the university’s Roadmap series of transformational projects across campus. Excitedly, Bolt says, “As a result of that, we got a data warehouse off the ground, and we implemented our first student and faculty portal.” Then, he explains, the IT department used these large projects as a base on which to build up its governance structure. With either large-scale projects or gradual transformation of IT governance strategies, Bolt reasserts the MARCH 2019


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fact that technological transformation across universities is about managing the expectations and response of diverse user groups. “Thankfully we’re in 2019 now, and not in 2008,” he says, reflecting on the overall level of technological literacy. “Our faculty and staff have become more adept at using technology. I think ten years has made a lot of difference.” On the other hand, the expectations of students have changed, influenced by a generation of social media users and online consumers. “Some of our applications and systems had more of a legacy look and feel,” didn’t provoke positive responses from the student body. “They want to see the stuff that provides convenience more than anything else,” explains Bolt. “And that takes us into the current generation of thinking, which uses data to provide that,” which is at the heart of Boise’s new CRM. “Right now, we have a task force in place. We have a charge that’s been given to us by three of the University’s six Vice Presidents,” says Bolt. The task force is exploring a unique approach to the process, which took shape during the department’s exploration of the w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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B O I S E S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

solutions offered by Amazon Web Services. “We decided to go down the AWS route,” says Bolt, reflecting that it took a year-and-a-half to unite the IT, purchasing and legal departments in support of “buying a commodity as a service, not a capital investment.” He laughs, “no kidding. So after eighteen months, we had a signed contract with AWS, which provided us a suite of tools to use for new projects.” Once the department had access to AWS, their governance strategy took a note from 352

“ T H E R E ’S A R E A S O N WHY UNIVERSITIES H AV E B E E N A R O U N D FO R A LO N G T I M E . T H E Y ’ R E T Y P I CA L LY D E L I B E R AT E A B O U T THEIR DECISIONM A K I N G P R O C E S S” — Brian Bolt, Deputy Chief Information Office, Boise State University

the academia playbook: “we work a lot with faculty members that seek out grant opportunities. Granting agencies, such as National Institute of Health,

wanted to be our project manager was

will put out a call for proposals along

actually our solutions architect, so he

the lines of ‘we have a need. Write your

really decided to stretch his skills.” He

response, and we may or may not give

reflects that, “one of the reasons why

you money to do the research’. We

this worked is that we had the business

decided to do something similar within

unit say they wanted to be part of it as

our own organization and call it a ‘call

well. They actually brought the problem

for participation’.” The team drafted up

to us. They wanted to forecast demand

a call for participation, asking for appli-

for the Summer sessions so that they

cations and solutions for AWS machine

would know how many classes to

learning and data lake storage. “The re-

schedule and how many adjunct pro-

sponse was interesting,” chuckles Bolt.

fessors to hire.” Regardless of the level

“We have seven participants from our

of success the project achieves, Bolt is

technology office, and the person who

excited to both broaden the horizons

MARCH 2019


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353

and skillsets of the participants, and

a campus-wide CRM are just two of

to use it as a springboard for the next

the many projects on Bolt’s desk. He

initiative: exploring applications for

reflects that, “one of the biggest things

Amazon Alexa. “It’s going to be done

I’ve been involved with the past year

by our Director of Development,” Bolt

has been restarting our IT govern-

says. “He wants to invest in Alexa skills

ance structure. There’s not necessar-

and figure out where those fit in our

ily a command and control model in

environment, because smart speakers

the university. So, when it comes to a

are everywhere in our personal lives.

finite resource such as IT, we have a

Trying to figure out where they best

lot of demands placed on us to deliver

fit in an educational environment is

x, y and z, and without structure as

definitely an interest.”

to which large projects we should be

Of course, finding applications for AWS and planning the rollout of

working on and where we’re going, the gap in stakeholder support creates a w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


B O I S E S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

fair amount of chaos.” To solve this, over the past year Bolt and his committee co-chair, Boise’s Dean of Extended Studies, have put together a list of large development projects. The system has added structure, Bolt explains that “getting that framework put into place has been a good thing. It’s been a year-long process to get that set up and I think we’ll benefit from that. So will the university. Because we’re working on their goals. Not necessarily our goals. And that’s hugely beneficial to 354

all parties.” “It’s great that we have a scope for what we want to deliver, an area we want to deliver to, and a partner in a particular school on campus that’s willing to work with us,” he says. Bolt’s team is currently in the procurement phase. Hoping to learn from their experiences with AWS, Bolt estimates “we’ll shorten that process from 18 months down to a four-or-five-month process. We’ve learned a lot, and I think we’ve learned how to partner better with areas on campus to expedite things like this. So, we’re hoping to have a technology and a path chosen by early summer. MARCH 2019


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355

“This has a chance of being a trans-

tory of an institution he knows like the

formational project for us because it

back of his hand. “Our challenges and

essentially creates a CRM with a very

successes over the past ten years

long lifecycle.” The Boise State CRM

have put us in a spot where we can be

will manage student data, allowing the

successful with something as large as

university to “know how to best advise

a campus-wide CRM.”

its students by pulling information from its systems of record. That can really help us understand the entire makeup of the individual,” says Bolt. Looking back on a career of large technological changes, incremental progress and unique challenges, Bolt looks forward to another exciting chapter in the hisw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


INFOR, USA

The Infor OS Platform: Leveraging an API gateway and data to unlock human potential

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WRIT TEN BY

HARRY MENE AR PRODUCED BY

CR AIG DANIEL S

MARCH 2019


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357

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INFOR, USA

We sit down with Joseph Pascaretta and Massimo Capoccia of Infor, USA to talk about Infor OS, Infor ION,Birst Analytics,Coleman AI and Infor Data Lake

I

was actually a customer of Infor before I joined the organization,” remembers Joseph Pascaretta, Vice President & General

Manager Infor OS at Infor, USA. “I liked it as an organization so much that I joined the company. It feels like a large start-up.” Massimo Capoccia, 358

Senior Vice President Infor OS, Technology confirms: “I have a career where I’ve had the opportunity to build a platform from scratch, from the beginning. That has been an amazing journey.” Between them, Pascaretta and Capoccia have over 16 years’ experience at Infor. Headquartered in New York and with 168 offices globally, as well as over 15,000 employees serving 68,000 customers, Infor is a global leader in business cloud software products for companies in industry specific markets. “We believe that data is really at the center of unleashing human potential,” says Pascaretta. “We have an Intelligent Cloud Digital Gateway: a way to be able to bring all of that data together, but then allow organizations to innovate effectively and quickly, leveraging real tools and assets all delivered in the Cloud.” MARCH 2019


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INFOR, USA

“I was actually a customer of Infor. I liked it so much that I joined the organization” — Joseph Pascaretta, Vice President & General Manager, Infor

360

From the Infor OS API gateway and

the major differentiator”. He adds:

integration of third-party applications,

“No other enterprise software organi-

to its own Coleman Artificial Intelligence

zation is doing what we’re doing. They’re

(AI), to an infinitely scalable Data Lake,

doing elements of it in pockets and silos,

Infor understands the necessity for

but not all together as one integrated

powerful machine learning systems

platform solution delivered fully in

to handle the vast quantities of data

the Cloud.”

inherent to Industry 4.0. Infor is applying

“Thinking about data as the critical

machine learning to Big Data and

asset is really the foundation of all this,”

scaling it infinitely using the power

says Pascaretta. Traditionally, compa-

of cloud computing. Pascaretta notes

nies store data in data warehouses

that the integration of data, AI and

which filter all incoming data that has

cloud scalability is “the huge value

already been processed for specific

proposition of what we’re doing and

purposes. “The first mistake that

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enterprise organizations make when you want to have data storage for multiple person consumption is that they think that the data warehouse is the place to be,” notes Capoccia. “But that’s actually what people were doing five or 10 years ago.” With the everincreasing quantities of data enterprises are presented with, the necessary approach Infor recognises is to pair Big Data with AI applications. “If you want to use the same data that has been filtered for analytics for an AI application, you’re going to miss a lot of other types of data,” Massimo explains. E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Joseph Pascaretta

Joseph is Vice President & General Manager for the Infor OS business unit where he is responsible for global growth, business development and strategic partnerships. During his career, Joseph has held a number of business development, business strategy, engineering, sales and marketing roles in software and technology fields and has been recognized as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Product Solutions. Joseph specializes in building businesses and launching innovative new products and solutions.

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INFOR, USA

362

E XECU T I VE PRO FI LE

Massimo Capoccia

An experienced and impassioned technology executive, Massimo Capoccia specializes in technology, software architectures, and enterprise software strategy. He has built three architectures and platforms from the ground-up and understands the life-cycle management of a software product. In his current role as Senior Vice President Infor OS, Technology, he invests his time meeting with customers and prospects, discussing strategic value of software, and supervising architecture development projects.

MARCH 2019


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“We really believe in offering complete solutions, both on the platform and on the application.So if a functionality is not really our core,we partner with a third party” — Massimo Capoccia, Senior Vice President Infor OS, Technology

363

“If you want to do an enterprise search,

market data, all the documents, all the

you’re going to miss other types of

IoT readings”. “Everything you think of

data as well. So, a data warehouse is not

when you think about data – it can go

complete, per se. You need a different

there,” he adds. “From the Infor Data

type of storage that allows you to store

Lake, we will integrate automatically

structured and unstructured data all

with a data warehouse. We have an

together in a very cheap way.”

elastic search as well as an index, so

This is where Infor’s Data Lake comes

you can search the data warehouse

into play. “The Data Lake stays on

even built for indexing data like you

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Ama-

would do with a Google search.”

zonS3 technology, which is available all

Infor ensures the security of its Data

the time and is very cheap and scalable,”

Lake using its proprietary security

Capoccia explains, adding that the Data

platform. “We have a huge investment

Lake stores “all the transactions, all the

in security,” says Massimo. “We provide w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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CLICK TO WATCH : MASSIMO CAPOCCIA, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT INFOR OS, TECHNOLOGY - INTRODUCTION TO INFOR OS

a single sign-on, user management, and permission management platforms.” Traditionally, there is a danger of gaps in security appearing between a core platform and third-party software, but Infor prides itself on the degree to which its OS integrates with third-party applications. “Even if you would build an application on top of Infor, maybe an AOI platform, it would still respect the security,” Capoccia notes. Once Infor has gathered a customer’s data, its AI and analytics services come into play. “Being able to consume

“You need a different type of storage that allows you to store structured and unstructured data all together in a very cheap way” — Massimo Capoccia, Senior Vice President Infor OS, Technology

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INFOR, USA

C O M PA N Y FACT S

•●19 of the top 20 aerospace companies •●9 of the top 10 high tech companies ● •●18 of the 25 largest US healthcare delivery networks •●18 of the 20 largest US cities

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•●19 of the top 20 automotive suppliers •●17 of the top 20 industrial distributors •●15 of the top 20 global retailers •●4 of the top 5 brewers •●17 of the top 20 global banks •●9 of the 10 largest global hotel brands •●8 of the top 10 global luxury brands

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and leverage analytics and business intelligence across all of an enterprise’s back-end systems is definitely key,” says Pascaretta. “So we leverage our Infor Birst Analytics platform that is designed to optimize complex business processes. The idea is that it’s faster time to value and it’s deployed in the cloud. So once you have that data together, being able to see into the data and leverage analytics and business intelligence around it is definitely critical.” Named after the inspiring physicist and mathematician Katherine Coleman Johnson, whose trail-blazing work helped NASA land on the moon, Infor’s Coleman AI platform represents a giant leap for artificial intelligence at scale. This platform allows users to retrieve, analyse and leverage data into business decisions such as preventative maintenance, inventory optimization and inventory predictions. The Infor Coleman AI platform also recognizes patterns in behavior to help businesses automate processes like purchasing. “Every time multiple users ask a question, we’ll apply machine learning to optimize the answers back to the users,” Capocw w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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INFOR, USA

INFOR, USA

$3.1bn+ Approximate revenue

2002

Year founded

15,000+

368

Approximate number of employees

cia explains. Coleman’s automation

“We really believe in offering complete

services also extend to ordering and

solutions, both on the platform and on

invoicing. To transfer paper invoices to

the application. So if a functionality is

a digital format for Coleman, Infor has

not really our core, we partner with a

partnered with Ephesoft for its ocular

third party,” says Capoccia.

character recognition (OCR) needs. With such a strong focus on propri-

“HCL Technologies is another one of our great strategic partners, not only

etary software, Infor draws a sharp

from an implementation side but also

divide between high investment, high

for next generation digital transforma-

focus in-house products and the use of

tion engineering and delivery,” Pas-

trusted third-party partners also

caretta adds. He explains that HCL

working on the cutting edge of tech.

provides customer-specific engineer-

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369

ing expertise when a client wants “to

external users. “Once you have data,

take their technology to the next level”.

being able to unleash and innovate -

The two companies first partnered in

that’s a key thing to what we’re

2015, with HCL dedicating hundreds of

providing,” Pascaretta concludes.

employees to support Infor. 2019 will be an exciting year for Infor, Pascaretta and Capoccia agree. The Infor Data Lake will have a global compliance platform built on top of its existing security systems, and new features on Coleman AI are set to launch, as well as Infor OS support for w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


370 WRIT TEN BY

ANDRE W WOODS PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

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CHOICE FINANCIAL

We speak to CIO Tim Heilman at Choice Financial regarding its recent technological innovations that place people front and center

T

here is a certain tale that typifies Choice Bank, according to its Chief Brand and Innovation Officer, Tim

Heilman. “We had a customer call one of our locations, simply needing to run to the bank to do a deposit; I believe the account was overdrawn,” Heilman explains. “However, this 372

customer had run out of gas on his way to the bank and so he was simply calling the bank to say: ‘You’re not going to believe this but I am on my way to see you, and now my car’s out of gas.’ I think the typical response from a bank would be something like, ‘Oh, we apologize, that’s too bad. Just run that check in whenever you can.’ However, the employee said, ‘Where are you at? I will be right there.’ The employee went straight to the customer, took receipt of his check, and actually delivered some gas to get his car started, so he could go about his day. People first, banking second,” he summarizes. People First is an enduring mantra for the North American community bank. Headquartered in North Dakota, Choice is a financial MARCH 2019


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CHOICE FINANCIAL

“This isn’t banking first: it’s whatever you’re shopping for, or whatever you’re doing, that initiates a desire or a need for banking” — Tim Heilman, Chief Brand and Innovation Officer, Choice Bank

institution that prides itself on a communal responsibility and personal touch. Heilman often describes the company has having a family feel – and the loyalty this engenders has kept him at the company for the past 15 years, where he has seen the bank grow immensely since its founding in 2001. Choice is the result of a merger involving four local banks: Citizens State Bank GraftonPetersburg (with locations in Grafton and Petersburg), First Capital Bank of North Dakota (with locations in West Fargo and Goodrich), First State Bank Langdon and Walhalla State Bank.

374

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Each local bank was known for its strong community banking culture and it’s clear that Choice Bank has kept this up as a sum of those parts.

PEOPLE FIRST Heilman is in charge of the bank’s technological solutions and his enthusiasm is infectious. “I am in charge of the overall brand for the organization. Choice is a community bank and forwardthinking in the technological sense so we blended that together in People First. We truly put people before banking. We w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CHOICE FINANCIAL

376

have created an atmosphere of empowering employees to do things that go above and beyond what a typical banking experience would be. That is our focus.” Heilman has been involved in a lot of technological changes at Choice since he took on the role. The North Dakota native has overseen and directly led numerous IT operations, with his role evolving to include brand marketing and innovation. “My role allows me to really focus in on communication,” he explains. “Externally, we are building MARCH 2019


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some great community involvement

more banking locations in a specific

pieces where we take a truly philan-

community, we might partner with

thropic approach, when it comes to

a handful of other community leaders

giving back to our community. Obvi-

to help build something that the com-

ously, that’s a responsibility of a commu-

munities can actually use. We’d rather

nity bank, but we really like to show in

do that than have a lavish facility; it just

big ways how we can make those diff-

isn’t that important to us. We’d rather

erences to people’s lives in the comm-

give back to our communities.”

unities we serve. I want to have genuine,

Choice has recently reinvigorated an

authentic relationships and be able to

initiative to get children interested in

serve customers with value-add services

personal finance and savings called

that are not expected or typically deliv-

Adventure Club, which incentivizes kids

ered by a bank. Part of what we’re doing

to save. “If you empower your children

internally is the initiative I call ‘being

to make their own decisions, they might

philanthropic’. Instead of adding five

actually impress you with what they

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Tim Heilman Tim Heilman joined Choice Financial in 2004 where he started as a single IT department. Through the years, Tim’s role has expanded into executive leadership and currently serves as EVP, Chief Brand and Innovation Officer. Tim’s leadership has guided Choice to be a leading edge innovator in community banking technologies, and an early adopter of IP technology and online account opening. He has successfully guided Choice through multiple software and system conversions and several other organizational initiatives. Tim believes in the concept of high tech and high touch, and above all else the importance of great culture and great service.

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CHOICE FINANCIAL

EMPOWERING

the Financial World

At FIS, we provide the technology and solutions to allow financial institutions of all sizes to empower their customers, their transactions, and their business. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW FIS CAN EMPOWER YOU, VISIT www.fisglobal.com

decide to do with their money,” Heil-

savings accounts) in what has been

man explains. “The solution has an app

a two-year relationship.” Every one of

that the child and parents both share

Choice’s fintech partners has to be

on their own devices. You can create

a cultural fit, first, offering a product the

goals, objectives, rewards; it could be

bank firmly believes in.

anything that the parent and children agree on. Once those goals and rewards

INTERNAL OPERATIONS

are set and achieved, then the money

2009 represented a seismic shift at

slides from the parent account to the

Choice when its internal communica-

child, which is instantaneous within the

tions became audio-visual. “It’s been

app. Apple Pay is tied to it, and it has

a 10-year transition,” Heilman explains.

real time notifications of what the child

“In fact, before that, in 2006 we switched

is spending their money on. We also

everything to full-on voice-over IP.

have a company working out of San

I think the biggest shift for us, and the

Francisco that does HSAs (health

biggest opportunity we have taken

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379

“Again, we’re using a lot of Cisco equipment but we do have other vendors in the back that are helping us monitor the network very closely” — Tim Heilman, Chief Brand and Innovation Officer, Choice Bank

advantage of, with technology, involves the ability to communicate. Geographically, we are quite spread out across two states, and people that work with others on a daily basis now have the ability to see who they’re talking to at any given time. There’s nothing better than a face-to-face, in-person discussion.” A new employee receives a video phone on day one so they can start building relationships with other team members. “This has made an organization with close to 400 employees feel like a small, intimate and authentic w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CHOICE FINANCIAL

organization,” Heilman explains. “I’ve been really proud of how it’s brought people closer together.” Choice’s vendor of choice is Cisco which takes care of all of the network, infrastructure and security at the bank. “We’re using a lot of Cisco equipment but we do have other vendors in the back that are helping us monitor the network very closely.” Video communication, they like to call video collaboration, has allowed the bank to build greater bonds after a number of acquisitions. Choice is committed to keeping people in jobs 380

during acquisitions, a time when typically 30% of staff can be laid off right out of the gate. “Our goal, commensurate with our culture, is to not lay anybody off, and we’ve now done three acquisitions,” says Heilman. “Plus, the cultural shift (following an acquisition) can take three to five years to sync up when you bring two organizations together and video collaborations really help to reduce that timeframe.” Choice views its fintech vendors, such as Cisco, with the same value as its customers and they work together through those situations that need to be fixed, or tricky installations that require collaboration. “Collaboration MARCH 2019


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381

gets results,” says Heilman. “So, I think maintaining the relationships and constantly seeing if there’s some reciprocating value that we can give back and forth always goes a long way.”

FINTECH Regarding the fintech side of Choice’s operations Heilman is proud to be building Banking-as-a-Service. “For about two years now, we’ve gotten into what we like to call Banking as a Service. If you have a really good idea that can improve banking, or you have a way to w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


CHOICE FINANCIAL

“PeopleFirst is what makes our organization come together. We have true purpose in defining why we do what we do, and not just what we do” 382

— Tim Heilman, Chief Brand and Innovation Officer, Choice Bank

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reinvent banking and the experience that surrounds it, then we’d love to talk to you. We started that process a couple of years back.” Heilman enthuses about frictionless banking, which he sees as shaping the very future of fintech. “This isn’t banking first: it’s whatever you’re shopping for, or whatever you’re doing, that initiates a desire or a need for banking. It’s where we kind of come along for the ride,” he explains. “That’s currently being built into an existing system that’s already successful to provide a service that way. It’s another area that I see banking, as an industry, expanding into. As far as growth strategies, and what’s over the horizon, that’s typically what I’m seeing. We’re also going to work with a company in Sydney, Australia, which is getting a product developed that incorporates AI into mobile banking. It’s almost a personal finance coach and that’s where I see things going.” And It’s this rich combination of technology, fintech and people that will see Choice Bank continuing to grow across the everchanging financial landscape.

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384

Protecting companies on their digital transformation journeys WRITTEN BY

SOPHIE CHAPMAN PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

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D I M E N S I O N D ATA

As a supplier to Fortune 100 firms, Dimension Data continues to expand its digital offerings to a variety of industries

G

lobal system integrator – Dimension Data’s operations span across 47 markets on five continents. The company employs

more than 28,000 people and serves over 8,000 386

clients, and as a member of Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Group, services 70% of Fortune 100 and 60% of Fortune 500 businesses. Dimension Data was established in the South African capital city, Johannesburg, in 1983. The company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange four years later, with international expansion beginning in 1993 into the firm’s first international market, Botswana. In the following years the business reached the Asia Pacific region, followed by the northern hemisphere. At the turn of the century, Dimension Data listed on the London Stock Exchange, raising raised US$1.25bn. As the company continued to grow it won over 100 client, vendor, and industry awards in 2015, and over 50 in the first half of the following year.

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D I M E N S I O N D ATA

‘We are one of their largest global partners with a shared heritage spanning more than 25 years – and we have Gold Partner status in every region in which we jointly operate’

the agreement, the company provides

— Dimension Data

The firm aims to use technology to

Microsoft in 21 countries and Titanium Partner status with Dell EMC. US firms such as NetApp, McAfee, and Oracle have also partnered with the IT services provider. In 2015, the company also partnered with the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), agreeing to a five-year deal to be the technology partner of for cycling events. As part of telemetrics for the sports. accelerate the business of its clients, targeting four key areas within its

388 The company currently operates in

services: digital infrastructure, hybrid,

29 cities across 15 states in the US,

cloud, workspaces of tomorrow, and

and partners with the some of the

cybersecurity. Dimension Data noticed

largest global companies based in the

the growth of IT-as-a-service across

country, such as Cisco. “Cisco is the

these four sectors, allowing the

worldwide leader in networking for the

business to cover a range of offerings

Internet since 1984, and today, more

from cloud advisory services to

than 85% of all Internet traffic travels

on-premise cloud solutions. Due to its

across Cisco’s systems,” Dimension

work with both public and private cloud

Data states. “We are one of their

computing, the company’s operations

largest global partners with a shared

are defined as hybrid cloud services.

heritage spanning more than 25 years

The company has a holistic approach

– and we have Gold Partner status

towards its clients – from consulting

in every region in which we jointly

engagement to the management of IT

operate.” Dimension Data has also

operations. Dimension Data also offers

established Gold Partner status with

what it dubs “omnichannel customer

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WHO’S DIMENSION DATA?’ 389

experience”, covering mobile, digital,

have been designed for a variety of

physical, Internet of Things (IoT),

industries – education, financial

automation, bots, virtual agents, video

services, healthcare, manufacturing,

and artificial intelligence (AI). “It’s

media and communications, pharma-

this frictionless switching between

ceutical, retail and sport, stating: “We

channels that defines the omnichannel

offer broad technology expertise in

experience… Our Omnichannel CX

a range of verticals. Combined with

works with you to get measurable

our strategic partnerships and robust

results in terms of winning new custom-

services portfolio, we can help you

ers, retaining existing customers,

achieve your digital transformation

improving productivity, and reducing

objectives … Whether you’re an

cost to serve.”

educational institution, a manufacturer,

As well as its wide range of offerings, the company’s technology solutions

or a healthcare provider, we can ensure your IT platforms and services w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com


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‘The company’s technology solutions have been designed for a variety of industries – education, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, media and communications, pharmaceutical, retail and sport’

391

Team Dimension Data sponsors a professional cycling team partnered with Qhubeka, a charity programme in South Africa that aims to fund 5000 bicycles each year to help children attend schools and adults to attend work. The team boasts Mark Cavendish in its ranks, a former World Champion and winner of an incredible 30 stages of the Tour de France.

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D I M E N S I O N D ATA

392

‘Security is enabling digitization. If you look at fintech or technology businesses, they are leading this charge’ — Dimension data

are fit for purpose and future proof.” For Dimension Data, cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly profitable business. “Cyber-attacks abound in the digital age. Digital transformation and hybrid IT are pushing security perimeters off premises, into the cloud, and into the workplace. As a result, enforcing cybersecurity policies is more complex than ever,” states the

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1983

Year founded

28,000+

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Johannesburg, South Africa

what cybersecurity is doing to the world. Security is enabling digitisation. If you look at fintech or technology businesses, they are leading this charge. Many of these businesses are asset light, whilst ensuring secure transactions, so we think that security expands beyond the physical perimeter into the cloud environment.” Dimension Data promises to enable clients to keep up-to-date with new technologies, tackling cybersecurity, data and the cloud, and infrastructure. “We deliver wherever you are, at every stage of your technology journey,” the company promises. “We invest heavily in innovation to bring together the world’s best technologies, from consulting, technical and support services to a fully managed service, to our global

company. The firm’s moto of “risk less,

client base.”

achieve more” allows customers to continue to embrace ongoing developments and ensure their operations are secure. The company offers a range of solutions, including formulated policies, predictive protection, and assessments and responses. “Security is and always will be big business. Big dollar figures are quoted in terms of w w w.gi ga bi t ma ga z in e. com

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Gigabit Magazine – March 2019  

Gigabit Magazine – March 2019