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DEVELOPING TRULY GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS

www.technologymagazine.com

Special report:

IOT THE TRANSFORMATIVE IMPACT OF IOT

THE PUSH TOWARDS DIGITAL EVOLUTION

MAY 2020


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WELCOME

W

elcome to the May issue of Technology magazine!

The pace of global digital disruption

For any of the companies in this edition, including BCX, Transdev Australia, Vocus Group and the Mircom Group of

continues to quicken. Every industry,

Companies, a strong understanding of

every enterprise and every business

how best to implement those new

leader is adapting to a world driven by

technologies is essential.

innovative technologies such as AI and

Our special report on the transfor-

machine learning, IoT, Big Data and –

mation of IoT reveals how the

underpinning them all – the cloud.

technology is transforming every

For some businesses, such as NTT

aspect of business, from product

Ltd, global technology partnerships

development and manufacture

are proving crucial. In this issue we

through to customer interaction –

speak with Global Senior Vice Presi-

it is essential reading. We also take a

dent, Talent Transformation and

closer look at those consulting compa-

Innovation, Anthony Shaw, who

nies at the forefront of technology

discusses the impact that new

innovation and reveal our top 10 tech

technologies have had on the busi-

startups - a list that hosts some of the

ness and its customers. He tells us:

hottest names in digital disruption.

“We have a policy of collaboration across the company so if we work on

To have your say, or to be featured in the publication, please get in touch.

a solution for a client, then knowledge and IP is shared and reused across

Matt High

the organisation.”

matthew.high@bizclikmedia.com

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03


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Click the menu (top right) to return to contents page at anytime EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

William Smith EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

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PRESIDENT & CEO

Glen White PUBLISHED BY

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CONTENTS

34

Hybrid Cloud: the key to digital transformation?

10 Global NTT: developing truly global partnerships

44

Enhancing data analytics with machine learning and AI

56

Digital transformation with the top 20 tech consultants

24 The transformative impact of IoT

66

Technology startups


84 BCX

100

Transdev Australasia

118

NTT Ltd.

134

Vocus Group


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152

166

180

194

Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital

Star2Star

Mircom Group of Companies

Indosat Ooredoo


NTT Ltd.: developing truly global partnerships

10

WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE PRODUCED BY

STUART IRVING

M AY 2 0 2 0


11

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NTT

Anthony Shaw, Global Senior Vice President, Talent Transformation and Innovation at NTT Ltd., discusses the introduction of new technology and the effect it has had on his organisation and its clients

N 12

TT Ltd. is a global technology services company that brings together the expertise of leaders in the field. The

organisation partners with leading businesses worldwide to achieve success through intelligent technology solutions. To NTT Ltd., intelligent means data driven, connected, digital and secure. Anthony Shaw is the Global Senior Vice President, Talent Transformation and Innovation at NTT Ltd. Having been with the company since 2012, Shaw has enjoyed a career centred around cloud. “In university, I began my career in technology by working in the field of data centres and then worked for several cloud companies,” he explains. “I then joined Dimension Data (an NTT Group company) as a product development specialist and worked primarily on cloud technologies. Three years ago, I switched my career path to look at our transformation internally and build expertise in the company to generate more value for our clients.” M AY 2 0 2 0


13

2019

Year founded

$11bn Revenue in US dollars

40,000 Number of employees

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Learning as it should be

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NTT

“Automation and DevOps is a fine balance between risk and agility” — Anthony Shaw, Global Senior Vice President, Talent Transformation and Innovation, NTT

With a large number of its clients being large enterprises, and government agencies, Shaw believes it’s essential for NTT Ltd. to leverage its expertise of operating in large environments in order to meet the requirements of major organisations. “Automation and DevOps is a fine balance between risk and agility,” says Shaw. “Aside from using our experience of operating in large environments, we also have the technical expertise to automate things. Over the

16

past few years, we’ve been increasing

M AY 2 0 2 0


NTT SCL: OAM Multiplexing Technology for TerabitClass Wireless Transmission CLICK TO WATCH

|

4:37

17 our interest in DevOps, not just at NTT Ltd., but also for our clients as well. “We have also invested a significant amount in research and development (R&D) globally,” he continues. “Every year, NTT Group Invests US$3.5bn in R&D to innovate with technology that enables a sustainable future. We have a policy of collaboration across the company so if we work on a solution for a client, then knowledge and IP is shared and reused across the organisation.” With the introduction of new technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data becoming increasingly w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


NTT

18

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“We have a policy of collaboration across the company so if we work on a solution for a client, then knowledge and IP is shared and reused across the organisation” — Anthony Shaw, Global Senior Vice President, Talent Transformation and Innovation, NTT

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19


NTT

20 influential, NTT Ltd. has begun to scale

to understand data privacy regulation,”

it in order to increase efficiency. “We have

says Shaw. “We’ve built a team that

an example of two teams that

does data privacy research of technolo-

are primarily using AI in analytics; the

gies. When we look at adopting cloud

financial and HR teams,” says Shaw.

technologies, we’ve built processes for

“It is mainly used for predictive studies

assessing the impact on our data pri-

around profitability and control, as well

vacy obligations. It’s important that we

as for analysing trends in the market.

consider how we can still meet our data

On the HR side, it’s important that we

and regulatory requirements, as well as

use it to better understand the market

reflect how we’re responsible for the

to help determine where we should be.”

data that we have.”

Shaw points to data privacy and affirms

NTT Ltd. has Global Delivery Centres

it is one of NTT Ltd.’s biggest challenges.

in India, the Czech Republic and

“It’s not only for big enterprises that

Malaysia to allow for standardisation

data privacy has become important.

across the organisation. “We’re getting

I believe that all online businesses need

more efficient and effective by improving

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the processes and those delivery centres, as well as introducing automation,” says Shaw. “It’s far easier to introduce automation with centralised teams.” When seeking to introduce new technologies and processes, NTT Ltd. has an architecture review board in place which determines the value of any potential innovations considered. “If we’re looking to implement new technologies then we have a set of standards that we adhere to from the 21

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Anthony Shaw Anthony Shaw is a globally recognized technology leader with 12 years industry experience in software, cloud and talent management. Anthony graduated from the University of Reading in the UK in 2007 with a Bachelors’ degree in Computer Science & Cybernetics and kickstarted his career in tech as a product manager focusing on cloud-based platforms. In 2013, he joined Dimension Data (an NTT Group company) to manage and grow the software engineering team while also introducing automated testing and other best practices. Since Dimension Data was integrated to form NTT Ltd., Anthony has been leading the innovation and talent development team, where he’s overseeing the talent strategy and talent acquisition, as well as managing the Learning and Development functions.

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NTT

“It’s far easier to introduce automation with centralised teams” — Anthony Shaw, Global Senior Vice President, Talent Transformation and Innovation, NTT 22

vendor architecture or the platforms that we’re looking to introduce,” says Shaw. “We are constantly seeking technology which is fully cloud-enabled and can run in different regions. The architectural review board researches and works with any vendors that we would bring in or any technologies that we would adopt. It would then score those technologies against that standard and once it’s been approved, we would then make a decision based on that investment criteria.” M AY 2 0 2 0


Over the next couple of years, Shaw expects demand on global network capacity to drive new innovation in IP communications. “We’re developing new technologies to dramatically increase the capacity of the global networks, such as multi-core, multi-mode fiber optic that allows high-capacity transmission with a transmission rate on a single optical fiber that exceeds the current rate by a factor of 100 to 1,000. We’re also making advances in wireless networking, we succeeded in wireless transmission rates of 100 Gb/ sec by using a method devised by NTT combining a principle called “OAM Multiplexing” with MIMO technology. This generates multiple radio waves of different frequencies so that they can transmit simultaneously without interfering with each other.

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

Special report:

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25

WR

SMIT H M A I L L I W IT T E N B Y

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

THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) IS REVOLUTIONISING BUSINESSES, FROM THE WAYS THEY INTERACT WITH CUSTOMERS TO THE FACTORY FLOOR. WE EXPLORE THE ROLE OF IOT FROM MANUFACTURING TO CUSTOMER SERVICE TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS

26

T

he internet of things (IoT) represents the intersection of the physical and the digital, hence its enormous usefulness to businesses looking to get concrete results out of digital transformation. Defined by Gartner as “the

network of physical objects that contain embedded

technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment”, it’s obvious that the technology can enable a broad range of possibilities across different industries. Here, we dive deeper into just a few such applications. Increased capacity for communication between devices using the internet of things has enabled collaborative robots to work alongside humans in a factory setting. Data collected form IoT-enabled devices can also be analysed to make improvements or construct digital twins of real world spaces for yet more insights. Industrial conglomerate Honeywell is one of many players in the space. It says the industrial internet of things has the capacity to improve performance, availability, reliability, safety and security by connecting people with processes and assets.

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“THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) REPRESENTS THE INTERSECTION OF THE PHYSICAL AND THE DIGITAL” w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


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It’s not just the factory floor that is

“Studies have shown that the use of

experiencing an IoT revolution, with

self-ordering kiosks results in increased

even the way we interact with

spending,” says Mangeot. “Kiosks do

companies being transformed. IoT is

a great job at upselling products and

shifting responsibility from companies

provide the customer with detailed

to consumers in areas such as ordering

information which positively affects

food at a restaurant or buying tickets

their purchasing decision. A great

at a cinema, thanks to IoT-enable

example of this can be found in a study

self-service machines. We spoke to

conducted by McDonalds, one of our

Jacques Mangeot, the CEO of Acrelec,

most well-known clients. The research

a manufacturer of digital signage and

showed that the average order size

pay stations, whose customers include

using a kiosk is as much as a dollar

McDonalds, Starbucks and Burger

higher, while 20% of customers who

King, and which recently raised over

didn’t initially order a drink bought one

US$220mn in funding.

when it was offered.”

Honeywell Sensing & IoT: Sensing and Internet of Things Vision CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:02

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

“IOT, THEN, IS MAKING HEADWAY ACROSS A BROAD RANGE OF INDUSTRIES, AND OFFERING TRANSFORMATIVE NEW APPROACHES TO OLD PROBLEMS”

30

Acrelec: Ingenious partner! CLICK TO WATCH

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1:25


The company’s approach has been validated by the installation of 40,000 of its devices across 70 countries, facilitating two billion transactions per year. “Apart from increasing sales, speeding up the checkout process and improving consumer engagement, our kiosks are driven by real customer insight and offer invaluable data and analytics to further improve the consumer journey,” says Mangeot. “ The use of self-service kiosks also means that businesses can save resources, particularly staff time. Processing orders can be extremely time-consuming, but with self-checkouts the queue size is automatically reduced, giving staff more time to prepare orders and keep things running smoothly at peak times. Acrelec simply makes the Smart Restaurant a reality.” It’s worth also considering the role of the telecommunications industry in enabling the rapid expansion of IoT. An evolution of standards has enabled the easier connectivity of devices, with the likes of NB-IoT and LTE-M being low power, wide area technologies specifically designed for the needs of IoT devices. The coming of 5G and the associated increase in w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

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

32

“DATA COLLECTED FROM IOT-ENABLED DEVICES CAN ALSO BE ANALYSED TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS OR CONSTRUCT DIGITAL TWINS OF REAL WORLD SPACES FOR YET MORE INSIGHTS”

speeds will make IoT devices smarter,

future enabling key IoT applications

while also generating huge amounts of

such as smart metering to help reduce

data and potential security risks.

energy consumption, smart logistics

Telecommunications industry body

to enhance distribution efficiency and

GSMA produced a white paper on the

smart environmental monitoring to

subject, in collaboration with Ericsson

reduce city pollution.”

and others, detailing the potential

IoT, then, is making headway across a

benefits to IoT provided by the next

broad range of industries, and offering

generation of communications

transformative new approaches to old

technology: “Mobile IoT delivers

problems. Gartner predicts that the

connectivity on a massive scale today

enterprise and automotive IoT market

and will continue to do so in the 5G

alone will feature 5.8 billion endpoints

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Forecasting even further into the future, IDC predicts that IoT devices will generate 79.4 zettabytes of data in 2025, from 41.6 billion IoT devices. In a press release, Carrie MacGillivray, group vice president, IoT, 5G and Mobility at IDC, said: “As the market continues to mature, IoT increasingly becomes the fabric enabling the exchange of information from ‘things’, people, and processes. Data becomes the common denominator – as it is captured, processed, and used from the nearest and farthest edges of the network to create value for industries, governments, and individuals’ lives. Understanding the amount of data in 2020, with utilities being the

created from the myriad of

standout adopter. “Electricity smart

connected devices allows

metering, both residential and

organizations and vendors to build

commercial will boost the adoption

solutions that can scale in this

of IoT among utilities,” said Peter

accelerating data-driven IoT market.”

Middleton, senior research director

IoT-enabled smart devices are

at Gartner, in a press release.

becoming an ever more present part

“Physical security, where building

of our lives, whether that’s the smart

intruder detection and indoor

speakers in our homes or the many

surveillance use cases will drive

more unseen ways IoT is impacting

volume, will be the second largest

the products we buy and the ways

user of IoT endpoints in 2020.”

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CLOUD & CYBER

34

: D U O L C D I H YB R L A T I G I D O T Y E THE K ? N O I T A M R O F TR ANS W RI TT EN BY

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W IL L G IR L IN G


35

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CLOUD & CYBER

d e d i v o r p s t h g insi y r t s u d n i h t i t W a d i n fi n I f o O n , CT w o r B n a r E y b e n i z a g a M y g o l EMEA, Techno ty and rising tili u e h t s e r o l p x e ud o l c d i r b y h f o p o p u l a r it y

I

t can sometimes be easy to understate the importance of cloud computing and its role in changing the tech landscape. Whilst other aspects of the digital transformation triumvirate (cloud,

IoT and AI & analytics) are arguably more tangible in

36

their effect, the scale for connectivity and optimisation across an enterprise is severely restricted without an integrated infrastructure wherein data can be stored and accessed. Hybrid cloud takes this revolutionary technology one step further by allowing companies to synthesize aspects of multiple cloud offerings (both private and public) and create a bespoke solution which addresses their specific needs. With fewer companies choosing to maintain their own expensive data centres, the wide availability of public cloud offerings – such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS, amongst others – means that most businesses will be able to secure a package that meets their basic storage needs. Although the lists of features for each provider can stretch into the hundreds, corporations are able to select a cloud

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37

eed n l l i w s e i n a p “Com e n i l c i g e t a r t s to draw a n e h w d n a w o between h te a v i r p d n a c i l b they use pu e” g a r o t s a t a d r cloud fo — Eran Brown, EA CTO, Infinidat EM

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which has specialised industry

Eran Brown, CTO of Infinidat EMEA,

applications (IBM Cloud’s Watson for

believes that businesses looking to

IoT) or a general spread of functions.

pursue hybrid cloud should do so via

However, if a company’s data require-

careful evaluation of the agility, flexibility,

ments necessitate more than what one

speed-to-market and cost efficiency

provider can accommodate, hybrid

offered by each option. “Companies will

cloud becomes a very attractive

need to draw a strategic line between

possibility. Investing in the on-premises

how and when they use public and

development of a private cloud can

private cloud for data storage. It will be

be advantageous for those with the

impacted by the quantity of ‘legacy’

resources to make it happen. If this

data to be stored, as well as what data

is a possibility, companies need only

companies want to ‘own’ or store locally;

have a sufficient WAN (wide area

not all data is suitable for storage in

network) connection in order to join

public clouds.” What is required, then,

their selected private and public clouds.

is a frank technological assessment

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud

CLICK TO WATCH

|

3:27

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39


CLOUD & CYBER

of what benefits they are hoping to extract from hybrid cloud, a defined plan for where and why certain data will be stored and an understanding of the financial ramifications. “Choosing between on-premises and public clouds should not be driven by hype,” Brown enthuses, “but rather what will enable units at a cost that is acceptable for the long-term viability of the business.” The economics of data storage, particularly public cloud offerings, 40

can be complicated and it’s imperative that consumers educate themselves on the short-term and long-term benefits of each cloud’s payment plan.

growth continues unabated, larger

Storage company Wasabi’s survey of

organisations will be under increased

Azure, Google Cloud and AWS found

pressure to more clearly understand

that customers would pay approxi-

the ‘cost vs benefit’ for different

mately $0.46, $0.26 and $0.23 per

storage models as the volume of data

GB per month respectively (note: these

expands exponentially,” explains

prices don’t take into account regional

Brown. If the solution is combining

variances or added costs).

public cloud with a company’s own

Whilst no reliable data on the average

private infrastructure, what are the

consumption of businesses generally,

costs of doing so? Cloudian has

industries utilising high-quality video,

compiled a report estimating that its

photographs, long-form documents or

on-premises data storage hardware

other caches of extensive records

will cost 65% less than public cloud.

could soon run up high costs. “As data

Assuming that such savings can be

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s and e u s s i y it v a r g “Data ay m n io t a s li a it dig sed a e r c n i n i lt u s re ud lo c i lt u m n i t s intere are h c i h w s n io t solu te e p m o c o t le b better a bility la i a v a , e c i r p on ” and resiliency — Eran Brown, EA CTO, Infinidat EM

broadly achieved, companies may be

public cloud offers a convenient

drawn to private cloud as an alternative

‘off-the-peg’ solution for those wanting

to public cloud storage which is too

to consolidate their data, private cloud

expensive to maintain. “The cloud has

allows for transformational control of

proven not to be as cheap as business-

the entire framework. However, for the

es were, perhaps, expecting it to be,

sake of efficiency, businesses should

but what’s the trade-off?” Brown asks.

save themselves reinventing the wheel

“Is converting ‘time-to-market’ faster

and simply augment a public cloud with

more of a business focus than bottom-

the added features necessary to make

line operating costs are?”

it representative for their operations.

The balance of flexibility, accessibil-

The compatibility of the resulting hybrid

ity and cost-efficiency offered by

will be determined by careful selection

hybrid cloud might account for recent

of the private cloud’s basepoint and

widespread interest in it. Although

the public package chosen. w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

41


CLOUD & CYBER

42

ility, b i x e fl f o e c n cy “ The bala n e i c ffi e t s o dc n a y t i l i b i s s e c ac t h g i m d u o l c b r id y h y b d e r e f f o ea d r p s e d i w t n e c account for re interest in it ”

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In addition to hybrid is a growing trend towards ‘multi-cloud’, a strategic and often complex layering of public, private and hybrid clouds, distributing data across multiple platforms and ensuring that no one cloud asset is overly relied on. “Data gravity issues and digitalisation may result in increased interest in multicloud solutions which are better able to compete on price, availability and resiliency,” says Brown. Presenting far lower risk of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, a much more personalised infrastructure, greater reliability and optimised cost efficiency, multi-cloud is the logical next step for those who have already begun exploring the possibilities of hybrid. “Hybrid cloud models will continue to provide the most commercially resilient solution, especially for those companies that want to take a ‘cloud-first’ approach,” Brown concludes. “A subset of defining a cloud strategy is also to consider that, inadvertently, you are defining what doesn’t go across to the cloud.”

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A I & D ATA A N A LY T I C S

44

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WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WIL SON

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A I & D ATA A N A LY T I C S

How are some of the world’s largest data analytics providers utilising machine learning to enhance their offerings?

R

ecent research has shown that companies which use analytics for decision making are 6% more profitable than those that don’t. Harnessing

analytics within business operations can benefit companies in a number of ways, including the capacity

to be proactive and anticipate needs, mitigate risks, increase product quality and personalisation and 46

optimise the customer experience. As a result of these benefits, the technology industry has seen giants such as Microsoft, Amazon and IBM ramp up their investments in Big Data with the sector expected to reach over US$273mn in value by 2023.

WHAT IS MACHINE LEARNING AND HOW CAN IT BE APPLIED TO DATA ANALYTICS? IBM describes machine learning as a form of artificial intelligence that enables a system to learn from data rather than through explicit programming. “As the algorithms ingest training data, it is then possible to produce more precise models based on that data. A machine-learning model is the output generated when you train your machine-learning algorithm with data. After training, when you provide a model with an input, you will be given an output. M AY 2 0 2 0


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“Research has shown that companies which use analytics for decision making are 6% more profitable than those that don’t” — SAS

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SAS Machine Learning and AI CLICK TO WATCH

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2:35

49 For example, a predictive algorithm will

understanding of how the data set

create a predictive model. Then, when

is classified. Supervised learning

you provide the predictive model with

finds patterns in data which can then

data, you will receive a prediction based

be applied to an analytics process.

on the data that trained the model,� explains IBM. This technology is used to improve

2. Unsupervised learning This approach is used when a

the accuracy of predictive models.

problem requires a mass amount

Depending on the business problem,

of unlabeled data. Understanding

there are four approaches to harness

the meaning of this data requires

machine learning alongside data.

algorithms to classify the data based on patterns or clusters it finds.

1. Supervised learning

This form of learning is conducted

Supervised learning typically starts

without human intervention.

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A I & D ATA A N A LY T I C S

3. Reinforcement learning Reinforcement learning is a behavioural learning approach. By receiving feedback from the data analysis, this algorithm guides users to the best outcomes. However, reinforcement learning is different from other types of learning due to the system not being trained with a sample data set, instead the system learns through trial and error. 4. Deep learning 50

A deep learning approach incorporates neural networks in successive

Introduction to Data, Analytics, and Machine Learning CLICK TO WATCH

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4:58


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“Machine learning offers potential value to companies trying to leverage big data and helps them better understand subtle changes in behavior, preferences or customer satisfaction” — IBM

layers to learn from data in an iterative way. This form of machine learning is particularly useful to learn patterns from unstructured data. Deep learning’s complex neural networks are designed to emulate how the human brain works. “Machine learning offers potential value to companies trying to leverage big data and helps them better understand subtle changes in behavior, preferences or customer satisfaction. Business leaders are beginning to appreciate that many things happenw w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


A I & D ATA A N A LY T I C S

“More machine learning happens on AWS than anywhere else” — AWS

52

ing within their organisations and

Modernise

industries can’t be understood

To accelerate innovation within any

through a query. It isn’t the questions

organisation, IBM offers IBM Cloud Pak

that you know; it’s the hidden patterns

for Data and IBM Cloud Pak for Data

and anomalies buried in the data that

System V1.0. The two offerings provide

can help or hurt you,” comments IBM.

a secure environment for its users to collect, organise and analyse data.

LEADING TECHNOLOGY AND DATA ANALYTICS COMPANIES AND HOW THEY ARE UTILISING MACHINE LEARNING AND AI TO ENHANCE THEIR DATA ANALYTICS OFFERINGS

Within these environments, users can harness machine learning capabilities to drive increased value from data with the ability to run in-database machinelearning models, using tools and advanced algorithms.

IBM

“Make your data ready for AI” — IBM

IBM’s offerings for data analytics can be broken down into five key areas:

Collect

modernise, collect, organise, analyse

Built for robust performance, IBM

and infuse. Its portfolio of services

Db2 on Cloud is designed to provide

can help organisations accelerate

a high-availability option with a

its digital transformation journey

99.99% uptime service-level

with the adoption of AI and machine

agreement (SLA). This solution

learning technology.

harnesses an array of innovative

M AY 2 0 2 0


Introduction to Amazon Machine Learning Predictive Analytics on AWS CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:49

53 technology, but specifically harness-

IBM Watson uses machine learning

es machine learning for the simplifi-

to curate and shape analytical assets

cation of AI development.

as well as drive productive use of their

“Make your data simple and accessible in an AI-driven, multi-

data quicker. “Create a business-ready analytics

cloud world” — IBM

foundation” — IBM

Organise

Analyse

With IBM Watson’s Knowledge

Ranked by Forrester as a leader in

Catalog, organisations can activate

predictive analytics and machine

data for AI and analytics via intelli-

learning, Watson Studio builds and

gent and collaborative cataloging.

trains analytics models at scale

This technology is backed by

collaboratively and easily.

dynamic data-access policies and enforcement.

“Scale AI everywhere with trust and transparency” — IBM w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


A I & D ATA A N A LY T I C S

C O U N T D OWN

Infuse

Top 10 best practices for next gen analytics

Finally, IBM Watson Explorer, provides

1. Realise there is no silver bullet, but don’t do nothing

analyse structured and unstructured,

2. Consider new infrastructure technology 3. Consider more advanced analytics 4. Start with a proof of concept 5. Utilise disparate data 54

6. Take training seriously 7. Put controls in place 8. Act on your data

its users with the ability to explore and interal, external and public content to discover trends and patterns to improve decision-making, customer service and return on investment (ROI). “Operationalize AI throughout the business” — IBM

MICROSOFT AZURE As part of its multitude of analytics offerings, Microsoft Azure has a dedicated service for enterprise-grade, machine learning service for building

9. Build a center of excellence

and deploying models faster. With its offerings, Microsoft Azure

10. Remember to monitor your analysis

strives to “accelerate the end-to-end

Source: SAS

analytics, by empowering developers

machine learning life cycle” for data and data scientists with a wide range of products to build, train and deploy

IBM©

machine learning models faster. Microsoft Azure boasts its ability to accelerate time to market and to foster team collaboration with industry leading MLOps and DevOps, in order to innovate on a secure and trusted platform specifically designed for AI.

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Get Started with Azure Machine Learning CLICK TO WATCH

|

9:58

55

AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS)

tions to run multiple analytic models.

One of the biggest giants in the

There are several key parts to a data

technology space, Amazon Web

lake one of which is machine learning,

Services (AWS) offers an array of

where models are designed to

machine learning capabilities. In order

forecast outcomes and provide

to be successful when adopting

recommended actions to make better

machine learning technology, AWS

business decisions.

stresses the importance of the right

“More machine learning happens

security, data store and analytics

on AWS than anywhere else, with

services working together.

over 10,000 customers using Amazon’s machine learning services�

AWS Data Lakes

comments AWS.

A data lake is a central repository for storing structured and unstructured data at any scale, allowing organisaw w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


IT PROCUREMENT

56

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DIGITAL TRANS FORMATION WITH THE TOP 20 TECH CONSULTANTS WRITTEN BY

WILLIA M SMITH

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57


IT PROCUREMENT

We take a look at the world’s 20 largest technology consulting companies and examine the services they offer companies during digital transformation

D

igital transformation is an inescapable imperative

for modern businesses. But embarking on a programme of digital transformation without expertise is foolhardy, considering the many

potential pitfalls along the way, whether that’s dead-end

technology or improperly implemented systems. Enter 58

the role of the technology consultant, a trusted partner which might bring with them expertise in cybersecurity or cloud computing, to name a few. For the more venerable professional services firms, technology consulting is a relatively recent string to their bows, yet its becoming an increasingly important element of their offering – both for themselves and clients. Here, with reference to consultancy.uk, we take a look at the world’s 20 largest technology consulting companies by number of employees, and examine the services they offer companies during digital transformation.

20. KEARNEY – 10,000 STAFF Chicago-based management consultants, Kearney spurns the buzzwords and points to its nearly 100 years of history as proving its resistance to implementing simply the latest trends. M AY 2 0 2 0


59

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19. BAIN – 11,000 STAFF

17. AVANADE – 11,000 STAFF

Big three management consultant Bain

Accenture subsidiary Avanade

& Company offers a “digital delivery

was founded as a joint venture with

platform” known as Vector, which helps

Microsoft – subsequently specialis-

companies to innovate and progress

ing in Microsoft technology such

down the road of digital transformation.

as the Azure cloud platform.

18. GARTNER 11,000 STAFF

16. CAPGEMINI – 13,000 STAFF

Gartner is a research and advisory firm

Paris-based consulting multinational

known for market analysis in the for

Capgemini publishes a Digital Transfor-

m of its Magic Quadrant reports. Its

mation Review, now on its 12th edition,

glossary states that the term ‘digital

which details the changing face of digital

transformation’ has been devalued

transformation – the latest version focus-

to mean simply digitisation.

ing on the concept of digital mastery.

jumio.com

What is Cloud Computing? CLICK TO WATCH

|

3:11

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IT PROCUREMENT

15. NTT DATA – 14,000 STAFF

13. GRANT THORNTON 17,000 STAFF

NTT Data is Japan’s largest IT servic-

Accountancy network Grant Thornton

es firm and offers its consultancy

identifies industries such as financial

services globally. It approaches digital

services and online retail as being

transformation with a so-called “5-R

leaders in digital transformation,

Methodology”: recognise, rethink,

and offers assistance from setting

render, reorganise and realise.

digital goals to identifying the necessary technology.

14. ATKINS GLOBAL – 16,000 STAFF

62

The subsidiary of Canada’s SNC-Lava-

12. BCG – 19,000 STAFF

lin offers consultancy services in

Boston Consulting Group is a firm of

a specific engineering setting. Conse-

management consultants based in

quently, it highlights the role technolo-

the city from which its name is derived.

gies such as virtual reality and building

The company identifies four pillars

information modelling have to play

to digital transformation, including

in digital transformation.

digitising customer relationships and harnessing data.

11. DELOITTE (CONSULTING & DIGITAL DIVISIONS) – 20,000 STAFF Big Four professional services firm Deloitte talks of digital transformation enabling “digital maturity”, which consists of more than just technology, having organisational, operational and behavioural components as well.

10. MCKINSEY – 25,000 STAFF Management consultants McKinsey, identifies five key factors to a successM AY 2 0 2 0


63 ful digital transformation: digital-savvy

mation consulting efforts recommend

leaders; building a workforce of the

analysis of the companies “born

future; empowering new ways of

digital”, and the adoption of a “digital

working; upgrading day-to-day tools;

first” mindset.

and communicating frequently.

7. PWC CONSULTING – 167,000 STAFF 9. DXC – 59,000 STAFF

Professional services network PwC

US-based IT services firm DXC

says it helps its customers to achieve

technology says that its provision

“durable” growth via a digital transfor-

of an enterprise technology stack

mation programme consisting not just

can help companies to become

of technology, but agility and adoption.

“21st century” businesses.

6. INFOSYS – 196,000 STAFF 8. KPMG – 64,000 STAFF

Indian business and IT consultant

One of the Big Four accounting

Infosys emphasises the short shelf

companies, KPMG’s digital transfor-

life of previously unassailable heavyw w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


IT PROCUREMENT

weights like Sears and Blockbuster to drive home the fact that without digital transformation, companies become stuck on technology islands 64

of their own making.

5. COGNIZANT – 211,000 STAFF Multinational IT services firm Cognizant has put out a paper called “How to win the digital transformation game”, emphasising its belief that failing to digitally transform risks companies falling behind.

4. EY – 241,000 STAFF London-based professional services multinational EY articulates its approach to digital transformation as being intended to “unlock human potential” by developing “new and better ways of working”. M AY 2 0 2 0


3. TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES (TCS) – 367,000 STAFF A subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata group, Tata Consultancy Services is the world’s largest dedicated IT services provider. As well as implementing the solutions of other providers, it actively researches and invests in its own tools, with internal rewards for innovation.

2. ACCENTURE – 442,000 STAFF Dedicated professional services firm Accenture divides the possibilities of digital strategies into three parts: engaging with digital customers; becoming a digital enterprise; and developing new business models.

1. IBM GLOBAL BUSINESS SERVICES – 517,000 STAFF American technology giant IBM’s professional services arm, IBM Global Business Services, partners with companies to help them become “cognitive enterprises” making use of emerging technologies such as cloud.

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65


Technology startups

66

We take a look at 10 of the most innovative technology startups, ordered by total funds raised WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

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T O P 10

10

Drift

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS [$107MN]

Drift calls itself a ‘conversational marketing platform’ for demand generation. The company’s chatbots can be constructed without the use of code, and collect relevant sales information before being put through to a human contact. Customers include the likes of GitHub, Grubhub, Symantec and Snowflake. Over three funding rounds, it has raised over $100mn.

68

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10


09 09

69

Confluent

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA [$205.9MN]

Confluent turns data into real-time streams, thanks to its use of Apache Kafka, an open source streaming technology created by the founders. To date, the company has raised over $200mn from investors such as Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures. Use cases include collecting user activity and application metrics, with the technology turning high volumes of data into more digestible streams useful in industries ranging from retail to logistics to media.

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08

C3.ai

08

REDWOOD CITY, CALIFORNIA [$228.5MN]

Enterprise AI software provider C3.ai is a specialist in assisting companies with digital transformation. Its C3 AI Suite allows for the construction of AI applications specifically built for enterprise. In-built AI applications include the likes of predictive maintenance, fraud detection, sensor network health, supply network optimisation, energy management, anti-money laundering and customer engagement, all of which are applicable across multiple industries. The company has raised almost $230mn across six funding rounds.

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T O P 10

Ripple: Faster cross-border payments shouldn’t require a boarding pass CLICK TO WATCH

|

1:14

72

07

Ripple

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA [$293.8MN]

Blockchain company Ripple provides a payment protocol supporting fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodities and other units of value. The organisation enables global, secure, quick and cheap transactions of any size. Over 300 financial institutions use the platform, including Santander, Standard Chartered and American Express. Founded in San Francisco in 2012, the company has raised $293.8mn over 13 funding rounds.

M AY 2 0 2 0


06

Plaid

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA [$309MN]

San Francisco-based financial services startup, Plaid, operates a technology platform that allows users to connect their bank accounts to apps. Although having only raised the relatively small sum of $309mn from investors such as Goldman Sachs and Index Ventures, at the start of the year, the company was acquired by financial services giant Visa for a princely sum of $5.3bn.

73

06

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The Coinbase Mission, Vision & Strategy CLICK TO WATCH

|

16:59

75

05

Coinbase

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA [$547.3MN]

Coinbase operates a cryptocurrency exchange for the buying, selling and storage of cryptocurrencies. It caters for a large variety of currencies such as Ethereum and Litecoin, with Bitcoin being the most popular owing to its dominance. With over 30 million users to date, the company has facilitated trades of over $150bn. Since its founding in 2012, the company has raised almost $550mn.

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T O P 10

04

Bird

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA [$623MN]

Bird is a micromobility technology unicorn that provides electric scooters and bicycles to over 100 cities worldwide. The company recently announced it was diversifying into payments, repurposing its app, which is used to unlock scooters, to also act as a payment option at select local businesses in Los Angeles. In 2018, the company was deemed the fastest startup to ever be valued at $1bn, having only been founded the year before. To date, it has raised $623mn.

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04 M AY 2 0 2 0


The Databricks Unified Data Analytics Platform CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:02

77

03

Databricks

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA [$897MN]

Databricks is a data analytics cloud platform allowing for both data engineering and data science. Customers include the likes of HP, Shell and Cisco. The company was founded in 2013 by the creators of Apache Spark, a well known unified data engine now run by an open source foundation. To date, the company has raised some $897mn from six funding rounds, with Silicon Valley venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz repeat investors.

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COMING SOON


FIND OUT MORE


T O P 10

80

02 Nuro

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA [$1BN] Autonomous delivery robotics firm, Nuro, derived almost all of its $1bn in total funds raised from the SoftBank Vision Fund, the Japanese conglomerate’s famous technology investing vehicle which has otherwise invested in the likes of Uber and WeWork. Founded in 2016 by two alumni of Google’s selfdriving vehicle team, the Silicon Valley-based firm develops driverless vans that both pick up and drop off groceries.

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0


02

81

Nuro: Our Very First Customers CLICK TO WATCH

|

1:58

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T O P 10

82

01 Snowflake Inc.: Promoted to the C-Suite CLICK TO WATCH

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2:31


01 Snowflake

83

SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA [$1.4BN] Data warehousing firm Snowflake recently topped LinkedIn’s annual list of top US startups. Founded be French ex-Oracle employees Benoit Dageville and Thierry Cruanes in 2012, the company offers data warehousing and analytics. Operating on a data-as-a-service model, the service competes with giants such as Microsoft and Amazon. That hasn’t put off investors, with a total $1.4bn of funding raised so far.

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84

BCX: the push towards digital evolution WRITTEN BY

SHANNON LEWIS PRODUCED BY

JAMES BERRY

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85

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BCX

We speak to Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive at BCX, about how companies can evolve their digital landscape to engage with contemporary concerns

A

digital transformation enabler, BCX has the largest, most technologically advanced, data centre footprint in Africa,

powered at its core by CISCO’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software defined (SDN) network fabric capability. With its headquarters in South 86

Africa, BCX has a pedigree of enterprise customers across every single industry in both the private and public sector, including finance, mining, oil, gas, retail, manufacturing, commerce, and health. “The essence of what we strive to do is “re-invent the customer experience”, explains Mervyn Goliath, managing executive for telecommunications data networks, at BCX. Goliath has spent his career working across almost every facet of ICT, starting in the telecommunications arena during the bygone era of packet switching networks and videotext services, and has been on a career path riding on the crest of the wave of technology evolution in subsequent tenures in the internet service provider arena, digital banking, mobile messaging, service delivery, and wholesale enterprise network services. Technology transformation is part of who M AY 2 0 2 0


2015

Year founded

$1.3bn Revenue in US dollars

6,300 Number of employees

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87


BCX

“The essence of what we strive to do is re-invent the customer experience” — Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive, Data Networks, BCX 88

he is and he has certainly had his fair share of it – always ready to change and take on the next big challenge. He has finally come full circle to spearhead one of the biggest data centre network platform transformation programs on the continent, a program which will provide the foundation for real digital transformation, a key technology investment program for BCX, and one which underpins a number its big bets for 2021 and beyond. “Today, more than at any other time, customers have choices. The key to our success is to provide our customers with an engaging, intuitive customer experience that not only meets their expectations, but enhances it through a clearly defined value proposition” – says Goliath as he echoes a purpose and sentiment regularly articulated by Jonas Bogoshi, CEO at BCX. “The African market, by its very nature, is not an easy territory to operate in. The barrier, not only to entry, but to actually succeed, is high – not just from a technology, service and connectivity perspective, but especially so in the area of skills availability,” Goliath continues. At BCX we take great care

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BCX: One Cloud CLICK TO WATCH

|

3:33

89 to develop a deep understanding of

our greatest strengths is being able to

the territories we operate in, and we

leverage and carefully apply our vast

are equally careful to leverage partner-

experience in serving a highly diverse

ships to complement and complete

customer base across every single key

our value proposition in a manner that

industry sector, without exception.”

is sustainable and effective – and of

Goliath, who is a big proponent of

course sensible. This is a strategy we

agile methodology practice, explains

employ across the five continents

that BCX is by default highly adept at

where we presently serve customers.

delivering projects at pace. Employing

“We follow our customers,” he says,

an agile approach and mind-set, is

“and we make sure we understand

not simply for the sake of “ticking the

their needs rather intimately to develop

agile box”, but is in fact an approach

services, which are fit for purpose, and

that sets BCX apart, explains Goliath.

appropriate, for where and how we

While it is important to deliver on

serve them, across the globe. One of

clearly defined milestones together w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


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BCX

92

with customers, it is equally important

you are changing within the scope of

to seek out value adding innovation at

any given project, but also in preparing

every step of the process – and it has

the organisation – the whole organisa-

to be done through an equally agile

tion - for the increased pace. I like to

change management mind-set. “If

think of the whole organisation as one

you’re using an agile approach, you’re

single engine, purring along, powered

going to be doing things a lot quicker

by a unified change mind-set where

than usual,” Goliath says. “Without

everyone is on-board, and collaborat-

the right controls, employed in the

ing well, and ready to move in complete

right way, the sheer pace of delivery

synchrony. Our teams have come to

and change could be impacting and

adopt this manner of thinking and it’s

intrusive on the business. Change

deeply embedded in our culture and

management is therefore important

way of work – it’s a mind-set, not a

not just around the technical things

methodology”, concludes Goliath.

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Goliath says that people often

our customers to transform for a digi-

ask, “who is BCX’s most important

tal future. This approach works well

customer?” He is quick to answer “at

regardless of the industry sector a cus-

BCX the most important customer is

tomer operates in. While it is critically

the customer of our customer. Part of

important to understand the chal-

how we make this a reality is through

lenges faced by our customers in the

our operating model that ensures laser

way they operate today, the approach

sharp focus on telecommunications

we use to partner with our customers

and IT services as two distinct func-

on their journey to digital transforma-

tional capabilities. This allows us to

tion is key. It is this laser sharp focus

create concentrated value and capabil-

on telecommunications and IT ser-

ity in our overall value proposition to

vices, respectively, which I refer to,

all our customers, without exception.

and the manner in which we bring it

This is especially important in helping

all together, to help customers solve

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Mervyn Goliath Pr.CIO (IITPSA) Mervyn has over 30 years of experience in both Telecommunications and Information Technology. Before joining BCX, he held roles in Telkom Telematics and MWEB (Naspers). He served as Managing Executive at Openserve, responsible for the implementation of process transformation and “next generation” enablement programs. He served as CTO and CIO at MWEB and interim CTO at Naspers owned SportsCN in Shanghai, China, as COO at ABSA Retail Bank : Digital Channels, and as the Engineering and Operations Executive Vice President for Clickatell. He is currently Managing Executive at BCX.

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93


BCX

problems, whether moving to the cloud or developing a customised software application, or architecting and running a software defined network solution, that creates the magic,� he says. “When we bring it all together, our customers are able to take advantage of our wide range of services, to leverage data and analytics, protect their systems with the latest in security solutions, replace or maintain devices, or adopt multiple connectivity options, including our leading edge software

M AY 2 0 2 0


95 defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solutions. The work I am doing with my team, assisted by CISCO international advanced services and niche and nimble network partners like BGP, a local specialist networking company, provides what I refer to as the bedrock for digital transformation, for BCX, for our existing customers and for new prospective customers who understand the value of having a partner like BCX who provides an end to end digital transformation strategy, backed up with agile execution and a proven

“The African market, by its very nature, is not an easy territory to operate in” — Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive, Data Networks, BCX

managed services value proposition – customers partner with us and we will w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


BCX

build and run their digital landscape and the enablement they need to underpin their business – not just for the here and now – but to ensure that in a world where technology evolution is inevitable, the risk of being dis-intermediated is lowered – or eliminated.” “There are customers who think they can’t afford to take this journey – our answer to this is, come speak to us and let us help you extract cost out of your existing environment and figure out how to re-invest the savings in a man96

aged digital transformation program. We have strategic partnerships with all the leading OEM’s – rather than mention them here – you might want to take a look at our website to see the breadth and depth of our capability. The word partner implies that each of the parties will be giving a little – no, actually a lot more, than just providing service with a mark-up,” he notes. “I think we have managed to get this partnership recipe right.” When BCX looks towards digital transformation, its focus is on evolution, and on enabling enterprises to take the correct next steps towards the next stage of their development, rather than M AY 2 0 2 0


integrating technology for the sake of it. “We like to say that our solutions are purposeful,” Goliath continues. “They obviously need to be developed in line with the customer’s needs, but our edge comes from adding that extra level of innovation – and dare I say, passion.” BCX works with its customers to help them gain an understanding of potential avenues for digital transformation, and how that can be integrated into an appropriate cost structure. “I always say to customers, you have to be careful when you’re thinking about transformation,” says Goliath. “It’s a lot more than just a simple upgrade. The capability available today is much broader than a single solution you may think you need to have in place.” Take for example Big Data - the elements of volume, variety, and velocity at which data is generated and available today (the well known “three V’s of data”) means companies that want to benefit from data insight need to develop strategies around analytics, machine learning, and deep learning. We have developed a very strong capability not only in this area, but in all the vital layers of digital transformation, including cloud based technologies, w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

97


BCX

98

“You have to always be an enterprise that thinks ahead” — Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive, Data Networks, BCX

containerisation, connectivity and the move to SDWAN, cyber-security, mobility, application development, and artificial intelligence and automation – of course all underpinned by a world class software defined network available across the broadest geographical data centre footprint on the African continent, and our high speed on-ramps into Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure – for blisteringly fast and exceptionally well managed local and global connectivity,” says Goliath.

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99

“In recent times, in this new digital

to confront this, both in the short and

world, everyone has had a taste of

long-term. “You have to always be

working virtually. The global coronavi-

an enterprise that thinks ahead. It is

rus pandemic has certainly forced us

important now more than ever for

to take a closer look at that,” Goliath

organisations to look ahead and think

affirms. As the working landscape

about how they need to evolve their

of the world shifts, BCX and other

own enterprise, rather than just trying

companies turn inwards to develop

to match competitors,” he concludes.

their capabilities for virtual interaction. Social distancing has brought to the fore the importance of engagement. Thanks to its underlying network capability, BCX is in a strong position w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


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Transdev: data-enabled mobility WRITTEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON

PRODUCED BY

STUART IRVING

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TRANSDEV AUSTRALASIA

Transdev Australasia’s CIO Peter Orlowski on transforming the company’s IT to deliver Mobility as a Service (MaaS), transport on demand (ToD), and introducing automated vehicles (AVs)

W

hen the French companies Veolia and Transdev merged in 2011, rebranding all operations as Transdev two years later,

the new entity set about consolidating its position as 102

a global transportation provider. Today, it has operations in more than 20 countries. It has been growing its presence in Australia and New Zealand since 2013, though in fact, Veolia has been present there since 1998. Today, it has 13 divisions in the region, providing bus, rail, tram, ferry and school transport services to Australia’s major cities from Perth in the west to Brisbane in the East. In all it operates multiple modes of transport with New Mobility solutions deployments such as ARDi, the first automated on-demand shuttle, Transport on Demand services.

PERSONALISED, AUTONOMOUS, CONNECTED AND ELECTRIC (P.A.C.E.) Transdev is strongly advocating the MaaS concept across Australasia. M AY 2 0 2 0


103

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TRANSDEV AUSTRALASIA

“We are building an ecosystem of partner companies to ensure the best service at the best cost” — Thierry Mallet, Chairman, Transdev 104

Innovations like this light up the eyes of Peter Orlowski, CIO of Transdev Australia since August 2019. He is also Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, and his vision is very much in line with that of Transdev’s Chairman Thierry Mallet, who announced recently: “We are building an ecosystem of partner companies to ensure the best service at the best cost,” tagging Transdev as The Mobility Company to reflect its more personalised, more autonomous, connected and sustainable approach. However, innovation should be built in an entrepreneurial and sustainable environment. By its very nature, Transdev has grown as a collection of services differentiated by location, mode and history. “When you take over a contract, it comes with all the legacy. Don’t misunderstand me; all our operations are highly efficient, professional and customer-focused. Transdev recognises that transport is becoming predominantly data-driven. We are going through a huge transformation globally to embrace concepts like Mobility as a Service (MaaS), which relies on data platforms that allow you to integrate many providers.”

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105 Customers, Orlowski says, expect

need rather than strategic result-

to commute with ease and not have

ing with islands of excellence and

to worry about who is operating that

of infrastructure where platforms

part of the network, or how they are

need to be replaced or put in place to

going to pay, because the payments

provide real-time data feeds from the

are largely automated. Though this

company’s systems and integrating

seamless experience is already

these with those of the public trans-

happening in some places, ANZ is

port authorities (PTAs) that make up

catching up quite rapidly, he has found,

the client base. “Of course, the PTAs

not least helped by the experience and

themselves differ in their level of IT

knowledge that already exists within

maturity and capabilities but they do

Transdev and its partner network.

share our ultimate vision and the new

Orlowski also observed that the

tenders coming out reflect that. MaaS

past investments into IT were tactical

will become reality only if we all focus

coming from immediate operational

on data driven customer convenience.” w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


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G E T A DE M O


“We are going through a huge transformation globally to embrace concepts like Mobility as a Service (MaaS), which relies on data platforms that allow you to integrate many providers” — Peter Orlowski, CIO, Transdev

Transnet group.” Though this meant that many of the companies were using common platforms, these have been adopted at different times using different consultancies, making it difficult to transfer staff; even though they may have been using familiar platforms they may not understand later iterations. To counteract this, he has set up ‘communities of competence’ with a core team of experts linked to key users in the various businesses and modes. The communities can then look at standardising processes and integrating these centrally. “It’s about getting professionals under one roof to set a vision and

COMMUNITIES OF COMPETENCE DRIVING STRATEGY

that vision forward. I have found the

He has defined a strategy for his

community approach works better than

organisation with three main pillars.

centres of excellence locked in an office

Sound governance around IT, security,

with very little connection with the field.”

project and product management;

grow trust within the business to drive

The primary tool these communities

capabilities around people and tool-

use is Hastus for network optimisation

sets; and foundations. Out of that

and improvement. Orlowski states that

strategy, his team identifies 60 major

“if we can optimise the network the

transformation initiatives.

customers will be happy because the

Reviewing existing platforms, Orlowski

buses will not run empty, passengers

found much off-the-shelf technology,

will be happy because they will be

noting that “we only have a couple

picked up by a more frequent service,

of core systems developed within the

and the drivers will be happy because w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

107


TRANSDEV AUSTRALASIA

108

they will have less congested routes

driver for the new vision, and while

to negotiate.”

Orlowski is keen to develop as much

This phase is more about competency

internal expertise as possible, his team

and vision than about IT, but it’s vital

are working with partners to tap into the

to the digital journey to new levels of

newest solutions. “We are always better

automation. “Transdev has two main

together. For example, in the enterprise

focuses - operating and maintaining its

asset management space we have

assets - and we have to be master of

chosen Infor as our strategic partner.

both,” says Orlowski. “People in the IT

Infor’s global presence and experience

organisation and in the field can learn

in working with a broad spectrum of

from each other. You can only do so

fleet, equipment or machinery asset

much digitally – I am a big proponent of

companies is proven and their position

getting IT people out of the office if they

as a Leader in Gartner’s magic quadrant

are trying to create solutions just so they

further enhances our confidence.

can understand the real-world problem.”

“Infor EAM is also used by our global HQ in France and this partner-

STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS

ship continues to help us optimise

If that seems self-deprecatory com-

our asset management processes at

ing from a CIO think again. Data is the

Transdev. Infor’s ability to align with our

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E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Peter Orlowski Peter Orlowski is an influential, energetic, and performance-oriented natural leader driving information technologies, innovation and transformation to increase competitiveness and profitability. He has senior executive leadership experience in all aspects of IT, delivering meaningful outcomes across multiple industries. Orlowski is recognised for setting IT strategy, delivering digital solutions, embedding agility, managing risk and information security, and is a decisive leader known for making effective strategic and tactical data-driven choices. He has delivered outstanding results and innovative capabilities through proactive and effective development of business models, organisations and strategies for IT services and digital products, and is a passionate advocate of excellence in customer experience.A motivational team builder with exceptional interpersonal, communication and collaborative skills, he is used to working effectively in diverse environments, and promoting collaboration through teamwork, governance frameworks and stakeholder relations. Orlowski is authentic and transparent, and capable of achieving high levels of organisational and customer engagement. He is committed to continual improvement, team development and client satisfaction. In his current role Orlowski is Transdev’s Executive CIO, leading IT, digital technology, network optimisation and innovations across all modes of transport in Australia and New Zealand. Actively promoting fully digital New Mobility solutions such as Mobility as a Service (Maas), Transport on Demand (ToD) and autonomous vehicles (AV) to reduce carbon impact and increase convenience and passenger satisfaction.

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TRANSDEV AUSTRALASIA

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2011

Year founded

5,800 Number of employees

111

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requirements and offer a robust cloud

modes resulting in more convenience

and mobile-first asset management

and choice for clients.

solution is something that is exciting for

The IT team at Orlowski’s disposal

us and our data-driven approach. We’re

is not huge at some 40 people serving

able to find new innovative ways to cap-

a large dispersed user base, but by

ture operational data and augment it with

involving external partners that capac-

data we collect from assets. That data

ity is multiplied. A robust telecoms

turns into information; that information

infrastructure is vital to connect the

into actionable insights that is accessible

communities together. “Thus far,

across management dashboards. We

Telstra has been a great partner, taking

can leverage data science to predict

over 90% of the data traffic involved,”

future scenarios, prevent unexpected

explains Orlowski. “However, it’s an

downtime and plan ahead to deliver

aggressively competitive telecom envi-

in line with our expected service levels.”

ronment and Transdev is open to any

Applying that paradigm across all

innovation such as 5G roll outs, LiFi or

functions and modes will enable and

alike inviting companies to be creative.”

enhance the vision of MaaS, on-demand transport and the eventual introduction

TOWARDS A CLOUD-BASED FUTURE

of autonomous vehicles (AVs) to all

Most of the operations cover the regional areas around the principal cities,

“Transdev has two main focuses — operating and maintaining its assets — and we have to be master of both” — Peter Orlowski, CIO, Transdev

he adds. They will always look for what works best in any particular location whether it’s telecoms or another technology. “To realise MaaS aspirations our assets all have to be telco enabled as we have IoT devices that collect a lot of data as they move about. We need that capability and also the ability to be able to plug into the different devices like people counters, door sensors, TV cameras, w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

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TRANSDEV AUSTRALASIA

114

“Our assets all have to be telco enabled” — Peter Orlowski, CIO, Transdev

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audio sensors to provide real-time data feeds so that people can, for example, plan their route using Google.� The ability to optimise routes, pay for tickets by card or phone and all the conveniences that travellers now look for all comes from IoT. Close cooperation with Orion Network, our partner for IoT innovation, digital two-way radio coverage and data analytics is fundamental in our journey towards digitisation. Moving from traditional twoway radios to modern digital communication supported by operational platform to the latest Motorola digital communication supported by operational platform and analytics Orion has enhanced its digital capabilities. Working together on leading edge technology projects allow us to achieve benefits from data, for example ensuring better asset health via predictive analytical models. Transdev is thus a data-rich environment in both ‘static’ data that can be w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

115


TRANSDEV AUSTRALASIA

“We are now connecting our infrastructure to the cloud in a way that allows us to work seamlessly with our on-premise platforms” — Peter Orlowski, CIO, Transdev

Join the Industrial Network Revolution. Business Critical Voice & Data Communications. The Orion Network is the proven Industrial Network for the Transport & Logistics, Aviation, Utilities, Facilities, Government & Contruction Industries delivering operational and business outcomes to customers. Learn More


states in Australia legislate that data should be resident and processed within the state. Clearly it will take time and phased investment to realise Thierry Mallet’s ‘mobility of tomorrow’ across the multi-modal and geographically dispersed networks of Australia and New Zealand, Orlowski concludes. But he is in no doubt that his team has a central responsibility to deliver that vision. As a footnote, it’s interesting to note Orlowski’s reaction to the coronavirus outbreak just beginning to affect life in Sydney. Yes, it will disrupt things, but it interrogated and ‘streaming’ data well

will break many old patterns. “Working

supported by cloud that can be analysed

from home, having to use collaboration

on the go. “Transforming IT infrastruc-

technology and finding smart ways to

ture is a key foundational prerequisite

overcome the restrictions and chal-

for digital transformation. The legacy

lenges will be the new order, but after

technology is not geared up to help me

the crisis has passed, you wouldn’t

solve that equation. Now I am at the start

simply revert to the status quo ante

of the journey. Many of our vendors are

bellum. Ideally the crisis will stimulate

already in the cloud so they can add real

new efficiencies and accelerate inno-

value through their services. We are con-

vation in every sector.”

necting our infrastructure to the cloud in a way that allows us to work seamlessly with our on-premise platforms and by the end of this year we will be all hooked up.” There are restrictions to consider. Some w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

117


118

NTT Ltd’s journey to digital transformation WRITTEN BY

LEILA HAWKINS

M AY 2 0 2 0

PRODUCED BY

SCOTT GEORGE


119

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NTT

NTT Ltd., the global leader in technology and communications, is going through an exciting digital transformation, as John Lombard, CEO of Asia Pacific, explains

I

n July 2019, NTT formed a new company following the merger of 31 brands, including hybrid IT consultants Dimension Data,

NTT Security and NTT Communications. The 120

merger took place with the long-term goal of, among other things, streamlining operations for their clients to move applications to the cloud; little did they know how crucial this would become for workplaces all around the world. “Globally we’ve brought together 31 different companies under the NTT Ltd. brand, and here in Asia Pacific we’ve brought together six companies to create this new organisation,” says John Lombard, CEO of NTT Ltd. in Asia Pacific. “My strategy is to make sure that we’re effectively operating across all of those organisations as a single unified team, ensuring that as we do that we’re bringing in the services that our clients are looking for.” Lombard has more than 30 years’ experience of working in the IT industry, and was CEO of Dimension Data Asia Pacific for four years M AY 2 0 2 0


121

2019

Year founded

40,000 Number of employees

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before moving into his current role.

To do this the company is deploying

He describes how the company has

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

adapted to address the impact of the

across back end systems to streamline

COVID-19 crisis. “There’s an immedi-

areas like finance, HR and procurement.

ate digital requirement that we need to

It is also consolidating its back-office

implement on behalf of our clients to

ERP with the SAP HANA database,

support this short-term pain that eve-

and is making sure systems across

ryone’s going through. The short-term

the organisation are streamlined. “Our

goal is to make sure everyone’s safe

call centres and help centres are fully

and healthy, and working effectively

integrated, so if you’re contacting NTT

from home. But the long-term goal

anywhere in the world, we’re using

doesn’t change, and we’re making sure

the same system to capture all of the

that we bring all of our services together

clients’ requests, and all of that connec-

in a unified fashion to our clients.”

tivity comes through a single portal.”

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123


NTT

NTT Ltd’s robust R&D department

open source techniques to arrive at

invests over US$3bn a year in comput-

new solutions internally. “We’ve got

ing, connectivity, cyber security, AI,

lots of teams around the world building

and ML, as well as investing in startups

these new solutions, and inner sourcing

through their NTT Ventures branch.

is a way of making sure that we tap into

“NTT Ventures is a special purpose

the collective brain power of our com-

vehicle that allows us to take strategic

pany and our organisation,” Lombard

stakes in organisations and startups,

explains. “A good example of where

giving us early access to some of that

we’ve done this really effectively is the

content. It’s really important that we’re

Tour de France. We’re the competition’s

constantly looking at new ideas.”

technology partner and we also have a

The organisation uses the concept of “inner sourcing”, a term created in 124

2000 to describe the practice of using

cycling team – NTT Pro Cycling.” In partnership with Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), the company

NTT Ltd. and Dell Technologies: Transform your IT for the digital age CLICK TO WATCH

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3:37


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

John Lombard John Lombard was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific of NTT Ltd. on 1 July 2019. As CEO, John manages the end-to-end go-to-market, sales, delivery, operations, and profitability for Asia Pacific. NTT Ltd was incorporated on 1 July 2019 to bring together 31 brands, including Dimension Data, NTT Communications and NTT Security, into a single global technology services company John joined Dimension Data Asia Pacific as the CEO in May 2016, with over 30 years of leadership and management consulting experience. Prior to Dimension Data, John worked for SAP as Head of Services for Asia Pacific Japan, as well as the CEO and Managing Director of Crowe Howarth. During his time at SAP, he was responsible for services and support across 14 countries in the Asia Pacific Japan region and was central to driving the company’s Cloud Services, Consulting, Custom Development and Education portfolio. John is also the co-founder of #HeforShe for LeanIn Asia, which helps create an environment that enables women to #LeanIn to their careers and passions. He also serves on the board of directors of Very Special Arts Singapore. John holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

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HYBRID MULTICLOUD: THE KEY TO ENABLING ENTERPRISE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS BY SANJAY ROHATGI SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER FOR ASIA PACIFIC

Given the rise of the digital economy and empowered consumers, organizations are ramping up their digital transformation efforts. IDC predicts that more than US$7.4 trillion will be spent on digital transformation technologies globally, from 2020 till 2023. For digital transformation technologies to deliver value, they need to be supported by a hybrid multicloud environment that allows IT resources to be deployed whenever and wherever they are required. This, in turn, enables organizations to use data to improve the efficiency of their existing operations, gain business agility to quickly adapt to changes, and drive new sources of competitive differentiation. However, hybrid multicloud can come with some management challenges. If the different environments (i.e., on-premise, private cloud, or public cloud) aren’t well integrated, organizations will find it challenging to have visibility, control, or use their data to achieve business objectives. Recognizing this issue, NTT and NetApp are jointly empowering organizations to seamlessly and securely liberate, integrate, and unleash the full potential of their data across the hybrid multicloud environment. Since the partnership combines NTT’s in-depth industry knowledge and technological expertise with NetApp’s integrated hybrid multicloud portfolio, NTT can now deliver a unified and cohesive cloud strategy that is tailored to each client’s business transformation efforts. By using a consulting-led approach, NTT ensures that its clients’ hybrid multicloud allows their data, workload, and applications to be portable and scalable as well as delivers local customizations to meet their needs in every market they are in. This helps clients to become

data-driven, agile, and deliver good user/ end-customer experiences -- ultimately enabling them to achieve their business goals. Since there is no single right path for digital or business transformation, organizations are increasingly looking at trusted advisors such as NTT for guidance in their digital transformation efforts and measuring the resulting business outcomes. To date, NTT and NetApp has jointly helped organizations across industries – including automotive, financial services, manufacturing, logistics, and transportation – in Asia and across the globe to turn their data into a strategic asset to capture opportunities presented by trends such as Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, and Artificial Intelligence. Together, we will continue to co-invest in R&D and co-create solutions that are relevant to client’s needs today and tomorrow, so that they are always prepared for change and can continue fueling growth using data.

Learn More


behind some of the world’s most

likelihood of the peloton catching the

prestigious sporting events, NTT Ltd.

breakaway team during each stage

built a live-tracking system connecting

of the tour. Compared to professional

tracking devices on each bike to the

pundits we’ve been more accurate.”

cloud, providing real time data to broad-

More recently NTT Ltd. announced

casters. In 2017, it began using AI and

the construction of a subsea cable that

ML to make predictions on who would

will run between Singapore, Myanmar

win each stage of the race. By captur-

and India. This will have the largest cable

ing live data such as temperature and

capacity in the region, at 240Tbps.

weather conditions and combining this

These innovations are possible partly

with historical data from previous races

because of how efficient operations

such as past winners, it has been able

are now they’re digitised. “We want

to build algorithms that have achieved

to ensure that all the products and

71% accuracy in its top five predictions

services we’re taking to our clients are

each day. “We can also predict the

built on a standard framework so we’re not giving them different solutions,”

“Inner sourcing is a way of making sure that we tap into the collective brain power of our company and our organisation” — John Lombard, CEO, Asia Pacific, NTT Ltd.

says Lombard. “It allows us to have a seamless relationship with our clients. It just brings a lot more efficiency to the way that we take our services to market. It provides a more consistent client experience, and makes sure they get access to all of the best practice that we have within our organisation.” In March 2020, NTT was in the highest ranking of the Gartner Critical Capabilities for Network Services report, and named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Services. “I believe this is a direct w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

127


What is good (and bad) customer service in 2019? Asia Pacific Consumer Research Report

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result of us coming together as a sin-

also about bringing teams of people

gle organisation,” explains Lombard.

together to work on specific problems.”

“We’re recognised as having one of the

Before launching the newly merged

world’s leading managed securities

organisation, they set up “joint pursuit

services capability.”

teams” to do just that, completing a

This is not an insignificant feat. He

“dry run of the new organisation before

explains that communication, starting

we launched it, so we could get our

from the top is key. “The Asia Pacific

new culture working”.

leadership team is very visible. We’ve

Another important factor is ensuring

got to make sure we’re communicat-

cybersecurity measures are consist-

ing to our employees, but also to our

ent both internally and for their clients.

clients and to our partners, to make

This is achieved by creating services

it really clear what we’re about as an

that are secure by design, and having

organisation. That communication

company policies and procedures that

has to be confident and frequent. It’s

ensure their infrastructure is secure.

NTT Ltd.: Right to learn, our mission to empowering 840 girls in India by helping them stay in school CLICK TO WATCH

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129


NTT

“All the services we take to market,

NTT has numerous partnerships

whether that’s networking capability,

that have been integral to its digital

our global data centres, hybrid infra-

transformation. Lombard cites Cisco,

structure, applications, collaboration,

Google Cloud, Microsoft and SAP

customer experience, everything that

as being very important, as well as

we have is secured by design. Internally,

Genesys, which is a leader in call

it’s one thing to have the right anti-virus

centre technology, both in the cloud

and all the other technology mecha-

and on premise. “They provide an

nisms, but you also need to make sure

omnichannel experience for their cli-

that people are trained to understand

ent base, and that’s something we very

their role in securing an organisation,

much believe in. We work well together

having the right culture around security,

because we’re both recognised as

and also having the right technology.”

global market leaders.”


131 Another long-term partner is NetApp, a hybrid cloud data services and data management company. “They’re all about allowing organisations to really unleash the full potential of data across a multi-cloud environment,” says Lombard. “NetApp also has a consulting-led approach to making data and applications portable and scalable, and that’s important for us as well.” Additionally, NTT and Dell EMC partner to serve clients through leading technology supporting outcome-based solutions and disruptive innovation. Together they offer clients a robust set

“We want to ensure that all the products and services we’re taking to our clients are built on a standard framework so we’re not giving them different solutions” — John Lombard, CEO, Asia Pacific, NTT Ltd.

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NTT

of integrated capabilities, leveraging NTT’s global service breadth and Dell EMC’s technology solutions. Lombard is a co-founder of the #HeForShe campaign for LeanIn Asia, a network derived from the nonprofit organisation of the same name founded by Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg in 2013. “We’re a group of executives across Asia who want to help women achieve their ambitions,” he explains. “We’re trying to remove both the unconscious and the con132

scious bias that unfortunately exist in the workplace.” This sees the group hosting workshops that bring together

“Here in Asia Pacific we’ve got such great diversity in our teams, with people representing the business across all parts of the region, getting exposed to the different cultures” — John Lombard, CEO, Asia Pacific, NTT Ltd.

men and women to discuss different workplace scenarios and how to deal with them, with the aim of creating a more equal playing field for women in the workplace.” He’s also involved with Very Special Arts, a Singapore-based charity that supports people with disabilities to develop a career in visual or performing arts. “It’s something I’m really proud and excited to be involved in, and something that NTT Ltd. plays an important sponsorship role in as well.”

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133 Lombard sees a bright future for NTT

involved in a large integration project,

Ltd. “I’ve got some really bold ambitions

being able to lead such a fantastic

here in Asia Pacific to make sure we

organisation. To bring together all

remain the leading systems integration

these different organisations with these

company across this region, and we’re

incredible client relationships is one of

well placed to be able to achieve that

the greatest opportunities. Here in Asia

goal. For us leading is not just about

Pacific we’ve got such great diversity

being number one in terms of size and

in our teams, with people representing

scale, it’s operating across all of the

the business across all parts of the

different markets and being the geo-

region, getting exposed to the different

graphical market leader.”

cultures. Being able to drive this digital

On a personal note, he says he feels

journey with those clients is so exciting.”

“blessed” to be in his role. “There’s only a handful of times in your career when you get the opportunity to be w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


134

Vocus Group: brilliantly simple networks WRITTEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON PRODUCED BY

STUART IRVING

M AY 2 0 2 0


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VOCUS GROUP

Pushing the envelope hard, Vocus Group is creating the Future State of network infrastructure in Australia

V

ocus’s mission is most certainly a critical one. So much of the efficient working of government, infrastructure, business and

communities across Australia and New Zealand depends on the reliable operation of the networks that manage them internally and connect them externally, and Vocus Group is the leading provider 136

of these networks in the region. Its mantra is ‘brilliant made simple’; its aim is to give its clients a network that is reliable and simple while leaving them in control of their operations. Founded in 2008, Vocus floated on the ASX since 2010, where it has grown organically and by acquisition, into a AUD$1.9bn company. We have frequently considered the vital strategic role played by technology in the telecoms industry today, and Vocus is no exception. CTO Vic McClelland joined the group in September 2018 at the invitation of Kevin Russell, current CEO of Vocus. His role is to define the technology strategy including how to combine Vocus acquisitions into the best fibre network in Australia and New Zealand – and with numerous large-scale

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137

“We had one of everything, just about, and we don’t need that!” — Vic McClelland, CTO, Vocus Group

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VOCUS GROUP

“The Future State Network involves technology, people, processes and culture” — Vic McClelland, CTO, Vocus Group

acquisitions over the last five years he found plenty of legacy networks and systems to integrate. With more than 30 years’ experience and having held senior executive positions in Australia and Silicon Valley with major players including Vodafone, Hutchison, Ericsson and Telstra, Russell knew he had the right person. “Vocus now has a very extensive fibre network across Australia, between and within the capital cities,” McClelland explains. “And we’ve also

138

invested in building the Australian Singapore Network, a submarine cable that gives us international submarine capacity out of Australia, up into Asia, and into other countries such as the USA via swaps.” Acquisition at the time of mass consolidation driven by creation of the National Broadband Network some four years ago have given Vocus some amazing Fibre and Network assets. As expected, acquisition comes with complexity. “We had around six separate Layer 2 and 3 networks with eight Business Support System (BSS) stacks, ll with separate vendors. At that level of complexity and juggling M AY 2 0 2 0


Vocus - Brilliant made simple CLICK TO WATCH

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1:09

139 multiple separate contracts it is dif-

initiative to finally consolidate and mod-

ficult and costly to grow capacity,

ernise legacy systems. “This involves

difficult to innovate and build new

technology, people, processes and

products and takes more people to

culture,” he explains. “On the technol-

provision customer services. We had

ogy side, we plan to build a brand new

one of everything, just about and we

L2/3 network at the edge and points of

don’t need that!”

interconnect and then migrate custom-

Keeping things simple being part

ers off our legacy Layer 2/3 networks

of the company mantra, Vocus has

to this new network. Our new network

been rationalising where possible,

will be supplied by our chosen supplier

migrating customers and shutting

Arista Networks. Doing it this way we

down some redundant systems. This

have new inventory records to deal with

saved some resources, however in

rather than having to sort out historic

late 2019, he and his team initiated the

records from each legacy system,

Future State Network, a three-year

which would be a huge task.” w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


Nokia and Vocus are taking light to the limit A strategic partnership that brings optical and IP networking innovations on one of the largest fibre networks in Oceania

Learn More

www.nokia.com


Six months into the programme,

so that the customers experience

the team have built the platforms and

is a true digital experience – for new

are creating a digital programmable

orders as well as for assurance, all

network from end to end including

dynamic and delivered to the custom-

integrating to Digital Portals and

ers in real time.”

creating products in the new stack.

The Future State program is

“In some cases digital transformation

delivered in three steps. McClelland

projects digitise only the front end but

already has the capability to provision

leave the back end with manual pro-

basic services within seconds. “Just

cesses. For the Vocus Future State

now we’re stitching together all of the

program we are making sure that we

capability around the offer and the

are automating as much as possible

digital experience before we launch

end-to-end through the entire stack

our first dynamic provisioning product 141

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Victa McClelland Victa is currently Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Vocus Group, based in Sydney Australia where he is responsible for Technology Strategy, Architecture and Security functions.Previously he held roles in Technology Operations, Product Management, Engineering and Strategy in major Telecom Service Providers in Australia including Director of Strategy and Architecture in the CTO Office at Telstra, Director of Networks (CTO) at SingTel Optus, CTO at Hutchison (3 Mobiles), roles at several start-up companies such as Time Telekom Malaysia, Commander Australia, Collinear Networks in Silicon Valley and held a role at a network supplier as Head of Software Services Strategy at Ericsson in Silicon Valley. Victa has a Degree in Electronics from Ballarat University.

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VOCUS GROUP

142

“If you can program services with intent, then you can reprogram them with intent when something breaks” — Vic McClelland, CTO, Vocus Group

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VOCUS GROUP

144

for our customers . When this phase

Future State platform in a similar way

is delivered customers will deal with

that Vocus connectivity products are

us via a digital portal or APIs, enter

provided using standard API’s. “For

their requirements, get a quote, then

example, if a customer requests a vir-

if accepted click to accept that and it

tual security function from a particular

will activate within seconds. Just like

supplier along with their connectivity

ordering something from Amazon!”

then we will be able to offer that to

Step two he calls the partner eco-

the customer and they will be able

system, this step gives Vocus the

to order it. We can then dynamically

ability to implement partner products

connect it for them via our partner

and services into the new Vocus

ecosystem capability, regionally or

product catalogue. Partner solutions

globally. International network provid-

will be offered to complete customer

ers will be able to provision capacity

solution needs, orchestrated via the

on our network in Australia and we’ll

M AY 2 0 2 0


be able to provision capacity on their network overseas dynamically via this capability as well.” The third step is self-healing delivered through closed loop automation. This step will implement dynamic resolution of faults in the network or infrastructure by re-provisioning

“Nokia is a key partner of ours on our intercapital transmission network” — Vic McClelland, CTO, Vocus Group

services then those faults occur. “If you can provision new services with

“Once we implement this step the

intent, then you can reprogram those

Future State Platform can redesign

services with intent when a fault

the customers solution on the fly to

condition occurs, a little like what

meet customers requested SLAs

happens today inside Data Centres

and automatically fix problems,”

when a server fault occurs, there the

McClelland continues. “To truly

system automatically redesigns all of

deliver fundamental changes in

the workloads without the customers

customer experience, telcos like us

application knowing.

need to implement digitalization endto-end through the stack. So, that’s what we’ll be doing. We’ll be moving from a digital front end with manual steps in the back-end to a fully automated end-to-end digital stack.” “We have selected DGIT Systems to provide our Future State Ordering, Product Catalogue and Billing systems and Ciena Blue Planet orchestration platform to perform our infrastructure orchestration capability.” w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

145


VOCUS GROUP

146

Telecom Networks in Australia are

bushfires. “Delivering the Future

seeing demand for flexing connec-

State Network is a priority as it will

tivity due to moves to hybrid-cloud

improve Vocus capability to provide

connectivity, driven by the rapid

resilient and flexible solutions to our

growth of IoT and industrial automa-

customers,” he says.

tion, unforeseeable events such

Future State will also help with

as the COVID-19 emergency caus-

putting data at the centre of decision

ing huge segments of business to

making. “Today we have traditional

move to home working, and recent

data warehouses that provide

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147

“Legacy is a limiting factor and we are working through a lot of data cleansing to create a single source of truth” — Vic McClelland, CTO, Vocus Group

reporting on things like churn management, financial analysis, sales opportunity management, and the like,” explains McClelland. “As we implement Future State we will implement AI capabilities that leverage data and analytics capabilities to provide a better experience to our customers.” w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


VOCUS GROUP

Software Driven Cloud Networking Arista Networks has been appointed as the sole supplier of Vocus’s Layer 2 and Layer 3 Networking Equipment. Arista is a leader in building scalable, high-performance and ultra-low latency cloud networks with low power consumption and a small footprint for data centre and campus environments. Arista has a prestigious set of global customers and is committed to open standards across private, public and hybrid cloud networks.

Learn more

Contact us


149 Australia has never placed more demands on its networks than today, following the recent bushfires and the current COVID-19 pandemic. The latter causes massive spikes in traffic as everyone who can works from home and even more data is electronically shared than before. At this time, says McClelland, he is really appreciative of the partners that support Vocus in normal times but really step up when things are tough. “Nokia is a key partner of ours on our inter-capital transmission network. We’ve relied on

2008

Year founded

AU$1.9bn Revenue in Australian dollars

5,000+

Organisations have made the switch to Vocus

Nokia for many years and they have w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


VOCUS GROUP

150

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delivered through the good times and equally through tough times. We’re currently going through a situation where we’re working closely with Nokia on the supply chain issues that they’ve got because of COVID-19 in Europe and they’re just fantastic. They’ve been doing a great job for us and they will continue to be a key partner for us.” Cisco is also another dependable partner for Vocus providing our core network equipment. For the Future State program Vocus has chosen that are not traditional telecom equipment suppliers. “We deliberately chose partners that were able to work with us in a flexible way and that shared challenger vision.” You don’t make progress without taking risks, insists McClelland. Vocus under the leadership of Kevin Russell is happy to be a challenger: the ideal environment for its energetic CTO.

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152

Leading the way: Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital drives digital health transformation in Saudi Arabia WRITTEN BY

RACHAEL DAVIS PRODUCED BY

MICHAEL BANYARD

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D R . S O L I M A N F A K E E H H O S P I TA L

A visionary approach to medical technology has improved clinical results, boosted patient satisfaction and reformed healthcare at Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, Saudi Arabia. CIO Dr Nitin Verma shares his journey to success

“ 154

L

eading, not following” is the reason Saudi Arabia’s Fakeeh Care is distinguished in the Middle East, according to CIO Dr. Nitin Verma.

Through refined processes and implementation of the best technologies, Fakeeh Care is paving the way for medical facilities across the region to create a more efficient, harmonious and satisfactory experience for patients, families and medical professionals alike. Over the last six months, Dr Verma has transformed the groups’ attitudes towards high technology. His clinical background enables a perceptive understanding of the practical applications of technology, and for the past two decades he has been helping develop technology within the medical sector – from a time when very few clinicians had a hand in IT. Now, under Dr Verma’s direction as Chief Information Officer, Fakeeh Care is “leading the healthcare digital transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” M AY 2 0 2 0


155

1978

Year founded

3,500+ Number of employees

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D R . S O L I M A N F A K E E H H O S P I TA L

“Our preference is always to work with vendors who can work as a partner in our digital transformation” 156

— Dr Nitin Verma, CIO, Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital

Creating a user-friendly, multifaceted mobile application for its patients, available in both English and Arabic, was a major breakthrough for Fakeeh Care. While other hospitals in Saudi Arabia have also developed apps to help their customers with their treatment journey, Fakeeh Care mobile application stands out with its awardwinning design. The mobile app incorporates features such as a ChatBot to handle queries, a platform for patients to access lab results, radiology results, medication prescriptions, and a sophisticated online billing platform which eases queueing times and stress for patients after treatment. As Fakeeh Care sees anywhere between 5,000 and 8,000 outpatients every day, with over a quarter travelling hundreds of kilometres to the hospital, a revolutionary component of the app is an online consultation platform. A virtual follow-up consultation for outpatients who have had tests at the healthcare facilities saves time, stress and money, as they can receive the required aftercare without having to return to the hospital.

M AY 2 0 2 0


Fakeeh Care: Virtual Consultation CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:20

157 Alongside medication prescription

through an AI solution which highlights

details being available within the app,

the second section of the image,”

Fakeeh Care has also developed a fea-

Dr Verma says. “The AI enables a

ture which sets reminders for patients

deeper insight into what is wrong with

to take their medication. “This has

the image, and therefore what could

enhanced compliance with the medi-

be wrong with the patient.”

cation, resulting in an improved clinical outcome,” says Dr. Verma. In a clinical setting, AI and robotics

As a result of AI assistance, the total time taken to report on a radiology image at Fakeeh Care has

are being utilised by departments

been reduced by 75%. This not only

within the hospital to improve accuracy,

improves operational efficiency in

negate human error, and enhance

radiology, but empowers radiologists

operational efficiency.

to delve deeper into the abnormal-

“Any radiology imaging which radiologists have to report on can be put

ity identified by the AI and enhance patient care. w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


Philips: Driving digital healthcare transformation More than ever before, the hospital CIO’s role has become dynamic and transformational because today’s healthcare ecosystem faces many challenges. Cancers and cardiovascular diseases are increasing, with many people requiring treatment for multiple conditions. The response can be hampered by a lack of expert resources and limited access to care - exacerbated by demand for alternative payment models requiring better outcomes at lower costs. CIOs know that smart use of data can help manage these challenges, but digital strategies are subject to many factors - including the unprecedented growth of unstructured data, standardization of IT platforms and cyber-attacks. Consider the sheer volume of healthcare data that a hospital collects every day: diagnostic tests, imaging results, ECGs, blood tests and more. The data is typically stored in silos, limiting interoperability and increasing workloads. CIOs can harness this data to drive efficiency and improve patient outcomes. They are now able to manage data by connecting devices, systems and software, to deliver a 360° view of any patient’s health. Clinicians can therefore make faster, more informed decisions, while streamlining workflows and improving efficiency. Philips partners with global stakeholders to solve these challenges. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, they teamed up with the Ministry of Health to launch Taji, the region’s first nationwide virtual cardiology network linking multiple facilities across the country. Patient medical information will be available on demand at the point of care in each one of the connected hospitals to help improves quality access to cardiology care managed by a network of specialists Similarly, Philips has helped many health systems implement eICU - a transformational critical care tele-health program that has been shown to

decrease the length of stay in the ICU by 13% and decrease the mortality rate by 23%. This solution combines audio-visual technology, predictive analytics, data visualization and advanced reporting to remotely monitor large groups of ICU patients and deliver specialist care from any location. Solutions like these show how we can overcome the challenges facing today’s healthcare systems. IT strategies that offer enterprise-wide interoperability can provide insight-rich data, enabling CIOs to positively influence care delivery and help care teams make meaningful decisions that transform healthcare for everyone. To learn more about how CIOs and Philips are transforming healthcare, visit www.philips.ae/ healthcare/nobounds/phoenix-childrenshealthcare-cybersecurity

Learn More


With any digital transformation, the

“Our preference is always to work

right vendor and supply chain relation-

with vendors who can work as a part-

ships are important – but Fakeeh Care

ner in our transformation, and we are

recognises the extra responsibility

working with multiple strategic vendors

demanded of it as a medical care pro-

to realise our vision. There are very few

vider. “Fakeeh Care has a policy that

which I could call ‘strategy partners’,

we work with our strategic vendor in a

but Siemens is one such key partner

partnership, not in a client-vendor rela-

in our digital health transformation,”

tionship,” says Dr. Verma.

Dr. Verma says.

One such partner of Fakeeh Care

Leading such a vast change in a

is Siemens. Siemens’ solution is used

matter of months, Dr Verma has been

extensively in the hospital’s radiology

acutely aware of the importance of a

department, which is seeing a vast

comprehensive change management

digital transformation.

strategy. His approach is to lead a new

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Dr. Nitin Verma Dr. Verma is a medical graduate of the University of Delhi, India and has an MS in pharmaceutical sciences from the US. He has over 27 years of global experience across a broad range of ITES/Healthcare Technology and Healthcare Operation Management. As the Chief Information Officer at Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, he is redefining the healthcare strategy, roadmap and approach for the group to further strengthen its leadership in the provider landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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159


D R . S O L I M A N F A K E E H H O S P I TA L

160

“The end goal is helping patients, clinicians and the hospital to bring more efficiency to medicine” — Dr Nitin Verma, CIO, Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital

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161

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We enable healthcare providers to leverage their clinical and operational decision support along the patient pathway Siemens digital health solutions help healthcare providers applying Artificial Intelligence in healthcare, operationalizing the value of big data and Connecting care teams and patients

Learn More


culture from the top, starting with the

of making the learning curve for staff

hospital’s CEO. It is equally important

as short and accessible as possible.

to the change management strategy

At Fakeeh Care, the change man-

that change is also led from the bottom,

agement strategy combines a rational

engaging employees at every level

and emotional approach. “The leader-

early on in the process.

ship team will often make the case for

“With a committee and a well-aligned

the major change on the sole basis of

group of executives strongly supported

a strategic business objective,” says

by the top management, alongside

Dr. Verma, “but these reasonings rarely

engagement with employees at lower

reach the people in the middle and bot-

levels, you can ensure the strategy is

tom staff layers emotionally.

led cohesively,” Dr. Verma says.

“If you can combine your rational

On the ‘front line’, group staff who

approach with an emotional approach,

will be hands-on with the new tech-

you can reach every layer of the organi-

nology are given comprehensive but

sation. Human beings respond to the

concise training. This training includes

call to action that engages their heart

instructional videos to reduce the need

as well as their mind, and it makes

for manually requesting IT help for

them feel as if they are part of some-

minor issues, among other methods

thing great, something consequential.”

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163


D R . S O L I M A N F A K E E H H O S P I TA L

The last part of the change management strategy, Dr. Verma says, is to “engage, engage, engage.” Giving staff what they need to start using the applications, following up with them every 48-72 hours, and creating a manual or automated tool to see the practical utilisation of the technology increases uptake and satisfaction amongst all staff. Digital transformation at DSFH is accelerated by the “visionary” leadership and “tech-savvy” CEO. The hospital’s founder and namesake, Dr 164

Soliman Fakeeh, established the hospital in 1978 with advanced solutions and technology at its core. It was the first hospital in Saudi Arabia to have a CT scanner - revolutionary even mere decades ago. The current President and Chairman of the Board, Dr Mazen S. Fakeeh, has enabled a corporate strategy which “never shies away from an investment in technology,” Dr. Verma says. “When I present him the digital health strategy, his curiosity means he is open to any new technology as long as it meets the end goal: helping patients, clinicians and the group to bring more efficiency to medicine.” M AY 2 0 2 0


Taking the group to the “next level” is at the core of Dr Verma’s digital health strategy, and IT was one of the key factors behind its journey to becoming “one of the most prestigious healthcare groups in Saudi Arabia today.” Embracing the latest technological innovation not only from the Middle East, but from Europe, America and the rest of the world, and bringing them to the group at the earliest opportunity, means it is “not a follower in digital health transformation, but a leader in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The company’s president concludes: “Fakeeh Care strongly believes that digital transformation-enabled healthcare delivery is the way to move forward. Digital transformation has created a bridge between us and our patients enabling them to be engaged in their own care resulting in improved compliance and a better clinical outcome”.

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166

MIRCOM GROUP’S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF REAL ESTATE WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

M AY 2 0 2 0

PRODUCED BY

ARRON RAMPLING


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MIRCOM

JASON FALBO, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, MIRCOM GROUP, DISCUSSES HOW THE COMPANY USES TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE BUILDINGS SMART FOR THE BENEFIT OF TENANTS AND OCCUPANTS

“W 168

e work hard every day to modernize the real estate industry, which from a technology standpoint hasn’t changed as much

as other industries in the last 50 to 100 years,” says Jason Falbo, Chief Technology Officer at Mircom Group, a Canadian leader in the smart building space. “Our goal is to make buildings safer, smarter, and more livable.” Tracing its origins back to the 1960s with founder Tony Falbo’s involvement in predecessor company Mirtone, today Mircom remains a family business that nevertheless competes with the largest corporations. “We’ve seen great consolidation amongst the competitors in the market and we now find ourselves one of only a handful of global players in the fire and life-safety industry. Our competitors are behemoth companies, all multi-billion-dollar, multinational firms. Fire is a very small part of their business, whereas, it’s our primary focus and the biggest part of what we do on a daily basis.” M AY 2 0 2 0


169

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MIRCOM

Mircom offers a broad range of products and solutions for the modern smart building. From a long-established core of fire detection sensors and alarms, to security solutions such as perimeter protection, intercoms and access control, the company rounds out its offering with building automation products covering heating, ventilation and cooling, lighting and power metering. Since 2010, it has also offered its flagship OpenGN building intelligence product, based on a prediction 170

that building control systems were only going to become more integrated in the future. “We developed award-winning 3D facility management software called OpenGN, which ties

“ W E SEE OURSELVES of hardwired or wireless building sensors in a way that’s simply beautiful and easy AS THE DIGITAL to navigate,” says Falbo. “It’s a software CONSULTANT FOR THE package that is scalable for the modern smart building and supports both PEOPLE PUTTING UP Mircom and third-party products through interfaces and open standards such as BUILDINGS TODAY” together the monitoring and visualization

Modbus. Recently, we’ve been prototyping the next generation OpenGN, which

will be cloud hosted and available as a subscription software offering” M AY 2 0 2 0

— Jason Falbo, Chief Technology Officer, Mircom Group


That level of flexibility is important when considering the different vintages of technology employed by its customers, as Falbo explains. “It’s very important for us to maintain legacy wiring and communication options for many of our products, in addition to offering IP and POE solutions, because we understand not all of our users are cloud ready today. Although it’s becoming increasingly popular, we have to be able to migrate along timelines that are comfortable for them.” Nevertheless, Mircom’s cloud offering is robust and comprehensive, from mobile apps to a

Mircom: Corporate Video CLICK TO WATCH

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3:55

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171


MIRCOM

172

service known as the Unified Building

connected service bus that pulls data

Solution (UBS). “We partner with sev-

from different edge devices covering

eral companies to deliver this service

the domains of fire, security and auto-

to our end users in the real estate and

mation within buildings and campuses.

property management market,” says

The previously siloed system data is

Falbo. “Microsoft, Dell, and Arrow

then pushed to tools like OpenGN for

Electronics are all considered key part-

enterprise monitoring manifested as

ners and they’re helping us to deliver

visually stunning dashboards.”

on our smart buildings as a service

Data is the lifeblood of smart

model. We’ve modified, enhanced

buildings, with the data produced

or adapted existing products and

by sensors being fed back into the

solutions that we’ve been offering for

building to drive efficiencies and

almost 30 years now. We’ve developed

optimization. Consequently, the data

an enterprise solution that uses a

Mircom collects runs across all the

M AY 2 0 2 0


areas its products cover. “We collect environmental data, especially on the fire and life-safety side, looking for things like smoke, heat and gas levels that might create a hazardous issue for building occupants. On the security side, we’re collecting data that tells us who is in the building, where access has been granted or denied, who let the visitors in, at what time, which doors are open, which doors are locked, whether there’s an intrusion alarm going off in the building. Then there’s general building performance

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Jason Falbo Jason is the Chief Technology Officer at Mircom, Canada’s most successful intelligent building solutions provider. Jason is a software engineering graduate from Western University in Ontario, Canada, and has obtained his MBA at a joint program offered by “Bocconi University” in Milan, Italy and “UCLA” in Los Angeles, USA. Jason has led the design and development of multiple successful products in the domains of fire, security, and automation. Mircom designs, manufactures and distributes smart building products to over 100 countries around the world in addition to a branch network for sales and service across North America.

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“EMPLOYEES SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE TO DEAL WITH THE CHALLENGES OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION” — Jason Falbo, Chief Technology Officer, Mircom Group

data. Things like the temperature of different zones, the humidity levels, power consumption, light levels. All of those pieces of information can be used to optimize building comfort for the occupants and to keep the operating costs down for the management companies.” Gathering this data typically involves a hybrid cloud architecture wherein edge devices act as gateways, promoting data to the cloud for monitoring systems. Securing that data, meanwhile, are bestin-class Microsoft cloud services, with all data written to Azure Storage being encrypted and access tightly controlled.

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MIRCOM

With such a volume of data, there are many opportunities to use AI to gain insights into a building’s performance. “AI plays a really important role for our end users,” says Falbo. “The building data that we collect allows operators to lower the total cost of ownership of their properties. AI can support the implementation of energy strategies based on consumption data, with predictive analytics to tell you, for instance, the best time to turn off the lights automatically.” 176

Aside from the technology it offers to customers, Mircom has experienced its own digital transformation, with cloud-based technology at the core of its systems. “We have a number of servers that were previously deployed on-prem that are now moved entirely to the cloud. Things like an active directory for our account credentials management, our email server, which is now completely on the Office365 platform, a corporate intranet site for data storage and sharing. We use SharePoint as well, which is also hosted on the cloud. Then we also have several areas where we’ve leveraged cloud, not necessarily for primary M AY 2 0 2 0


177

“OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE BUILDINGS SAFER, SMARTER, AND MORE LIVABLE” — Jason Falbo, Chief Technology Officer, Mircom Group

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MIRCOM

178

application delivery, but for either scalability or backup purposes.” Alongside the introduction of new technology, Falbo emphasizes the intertwined consideration of culture. “Our opinion is that employees should not be left alone to deal with the challenges of digital transformation. Executive leadership should be involved from the CEO’s office to the front line. Digital transformation is more of a business strategy than an IT strategy these days. As a smaller player in the industry, we recognize the need to be nimble and M AY 2 0 2 0

1991

Year founded

$100mn+ Revenue in US dollars

500+ Number of employees


179

quick to help our people adapt to new

considerations you should have, not

business models and tools. That’s one

only for providing application specific

of our advantages we have versus our

solutions, but also ensuring those

bigger, more bureaucratic competition.”

solutions form a cohesive, integrated

Due to such an approach, Mircom has positioned itself as a go-to part-

environment for the needs of your occupants and tenants.”

ner for the real estate industry. “We see ourselves as the digital consultant for people putting up buildings today,” says Falbo. “If you’re looking for financial advice, you find a financial advisor. If you’re looking for building advice, we’re the people that you can count on to guide you through the w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


180

INNOVATION IN COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY WRITTEN BY

WILL GIRLING PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

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S TA R 2 S TA R

Michelle Accardi, President and CRO, explains why Star2Star’s industry-recognised communications solutions are so popular and why remote working is the company’s 2020 focus

W

ith the new paradigm of remote working suddenly becoming a necessity for many businesses stemming from the COVID-19

(coronavirus) pandemic, having a solid communications network with the latest technology has taken on global importance. It is arguable that few companies are poised to remedy the situation quite like Star2Star. 182

Having recently enhanced its remote work solutions with extended features and capabilities, the company understands the current challenges that businesses face when transitioning to a remote environment. Star2Star’s bespoke communications solutions factor in the size, operational scope and technical requirements for businesses of various operational models and industry backgrounds. Relatively unique in the industry, all of Star2Star’s enterprise solutions are developed in-house, meaning they are seamlessly compatible with each other and able to be scaled up or down depending on the customer’s requirement. It was this aspect of the company which attracted Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer, to join Star2Star in 2013. Having previously worked in a range of different roles at companies such as M AY 2 0 2 0


183

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S TA R 2 S TA R

“I can relate to the challenges of my partners and my customers because as a business leader myself I now fully understand what they are facing”

184

This expertise also helps Accardi

— Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer, Star2Star

focus on how to direct Star2Star’s

CA Technologies, Accardi states

When the subject of her being recog-

that these experiences have created

nised by CRN as a Channel Chief – an

her holistic approach to working at

endorsement of an individual’s effec-

Star2Star. “I’ve been in all areas of

tive management and high standing

the technology and communications

in the business community – for the

business, whether that’s develop-

sixth year consecutively is mentioned,

ment, operations, marketing or sales.

Accardi is modest and states that

I can relate to the challenges of my

she is simply happy to play a part in

partners and my customers because

Star2Star’s mission. “It means a lot and

as a business leader myself I now fully

to be recognised for building a busi-

understand what they are facing.”

ness that enables other companies

M AY 2 0 2 0

efforts in developing solutions that meet and answer a market need.


Star2Star — A New Perspective CLICK TO WATCH

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1:30

185 to be successful,” she explains. “Being

communications system. Possessing

recognised as a Channel Chief means

a portfolio that includes solutions

that you’re truly impacting a greater

for voice, video, instant messaging,

ecosystem of people and reaching

mobile, fax, collaboration, integration

more customers. So, I think it’s quite

and communications management

an honour.”

tools, Star2Star’s comprehensive

The breadth of Star2Star’s expertise and the crafted integration of

solution set is designed to meet every business need.

its platform are, for Accardi, vital. Its

When asked what trends she sees

cloud-based business phone and

as important, Accardi has a simple and

communications facilities, includ-

prescient answer: the cloud. “There

ing VoIP (voice over IP) services and

are still some companies that aren’t in

its enterprise solutions platform

the cloud and that is something which

deliver the reliability, flexibility and

will either drive transformation, or, if

integrity required of a corporate

they don’t adapt, could result in them w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


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DESK PHONES

CONFERENCE

MOBILITY


S TA R 2 S TA R

188

“It means a lot and to be recognised for building a business that enables other companies to be successful” of a ‘complete cloud communications’ — Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer, Star2Star

platform.” The importance of the cloud for Star2Star cannot be overemphasised, as it is the environment from which the company’s vision of a com-

going out of business.” She goes on

plete integrated platform sprang; it was

to address Star2Star’s new position-

by leveraging the inherent potential of

ing, saying, “We’re changing how we

the cloud that the company is able to

talk about our platform. We previ-

offer its scalable and seamlessly inter-

ously called it a full spectrum solution

woven solutions.

because it offers end-to-end applica-

For Accardi, it is the company’s in-

tions, but now I’m envisioning it as more

house development capabilities which

M AY 2 0 2 0


Michelle Accardi

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

As President and Chief Revenue Officer, Michelle’s mission is to inspire and maintain growth for the company and its partners and ensure that customers get significant value from Star2Star’s products and services. Michelle works with the executive leadership team of Star2Star to define long-term vision and operational strategy to assure that growth and market potential are achieved. In pursuit of this goal, Michelle sees as a primary function of her role to engage and listen to employees, partners, and customers to gather information needed to keep Star2Star on the optimal strategic path. In this way, customer success is assured as employees and partners are inspired to deliver an excellent product and experience with every interaction. In her previous position as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Michelle used these same methods to develop new processes and systems to streamline business interactions. She grew departmental leadership and expanded Star2Star’s support capabilities to better serve customer and partner needs. Michelle is also regarded a technical thought leader on next-generation marketing and communications strategies. Her book, Agile Marketing, chronicles her experiences applying agile methodology to the marketing process for better results and faster time to value. She brought her substantial executive-level and tech industry experience with her to Star2Star, having driven innovative, agile, revenue-producing field and channel marketing programs for one of the world’s most relied upon technology companies, Computer Associates. In 2016, Michelle was named to the CRN 2016 Power 100 – an elite subset of CRN’s prestigious annual Women of the Channel list – for the second year in a row. In 2015, she was named a CRN Channel Chief, an annual list representing select leaders in the IT channel who hold direct responsibility for driving growth and revenue through the reseller channel. In 2014, Michelle was honored to be named Businesswoman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Michelle holds an MBA from American Intercontinental University and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida.

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189


S TA R 2 S TA R

Tour de Star

190

CLICK TO WATCH

M AY 2 0 2 0

|

2:42


2006

Year founded

99.4%

Customer retention rate

250+ Number of employees

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191


S TA R 2 S TA R

192

“Our mission this year is to help other companies that are going to struggle” — Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer, Star2Star

M AY 2 0 2 0

distinguish it from its competitors. “The technology we’ve built ourselves enables really great call quality and capabilities for a good price, whereas other companies, because they’re dependent on third-party products, whether it’s video or contact centre, it drives their costs up,” she states. “Because our competitors only have the ability to work with third-party products, they don’t have something that’s built specifically for their network


With the need for reliable communication networks growing rapidly as more workforces settle into working from home, Accardi views remote working and business continuity as paramount to the company’s vision for the rest of 2020. “Thankfully, Star2Star is a very financially healthy organisation. Our mission this year is to help other companies that are going to struggle,” she says. Identifying the assistance of other businesses and organisations is characteristic of Accardi’s approach and representative of Star2Star overall. Its flexibility, diversity and tech expertise packaged with a highly customer-oriented approach has already earned it acclaim and is sure to to ensure call quality.” This end-to-end

build a strong reputation in the North

development forms the crux of what

American communications sector. “We

makes Star2Star so valuable in today’s

have solutions for every business, big

market: it’s a company that wants to

and small,” Accardi concludes. “We

provide great value to its customers by

believe what we offer is far better than

bundling services together and scaling

what customers could get piecemeal or

the product to suit their business needs.

even in bundles from other competitors.

And its approach seems to be working:

We’re focused on doing everything we

Star2Star has an impressive 99.4%

can to help companies as they deal with

customer retention rate amongst its

the new challenges of remote working.”

thousands of clients, a sure indicator of the perceived quality of its services. w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

193


194

Indosat Ooredoo: modernising legacy infrastructure WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

M AY 2 0 2 0


195

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I N D O S AT O O R E D O O

Farizul Ahsan, Vice President, Network Programs and Solutions, VP (A) Network CME Infrastructure for Access and Data Centres, discusses his organisation’s challenges in the industry

I

ndosat Ooredoo (IO) is a leading telecommunications company in Indonesia with around 60 million subscribers. IO

is the largest operation of Ooredoo Group and 196

operates in 10 countries. With a focus on human growth, IO strives to improve the quality of life through the digital world. Helping to achieve that is Farizul Ahsan, Vice President, Network Programs & Solutions as well as Acting Vice President of Network CME (Civil, Mechanical & Electrical) Infrastructure for Access Sites and Data Centres. Upon arriving full-time at the organisation in 2016, Farizul helped oversee the deployment of Indonesia’s first state-of-the-art high density (13 kW per rack) data centre and Ooredoo Group’s first data centre using DRUPS (Digital Rotary Uninterrupted Power System) technology. IO subsequently built two more new data centres, all of which successfully passed the Uptime Tier III Design and Built certifications. M AY 2 0 2 0


197

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I N D O S AT O O R E D O O

“There is a real focus on uplifting and modernising many dozens of our legacy data centres that can support the new generation high density equipment” 198

— Farizul Ahsan, Vice President, Network Programs and Solutions, VP (A) Network CME Infrastructure for Access and Data Centres, Indosat Ooredoo

IO not only possesses modern data centres but also has legacy data centres across many regions of Indonesia. “The company was established in 1967 and has subsequently owned the current infrastructure for a considerable length of time,” Farizul says. He has an ambitious drive to modernise IO’s legacy data centres infrastructures but understands the challenges of doing this while still operating legacy systems and processes. “Currently, there is a real focus on uplifting and modernising dozens of our legacy data centres that can also support the new generation high density ICT equipment,” he adds.

M AY 2 0 2 0


Compro INDOSAT OOREDOO SUB ENGLISH 1 CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:07

199 Farizul understands the importance of treating each location separately and catering to individual

and -48VDC power and distribution infrastructure.” In the past, most telecommuni-

requirements. He points to several

cation equipment were based on

key challenges that IO faces. “We

-48VDC equipment, however IO has

assess our needs and validate which

now ensured that all telco nodes

data centre location can support and

are transitioning to a cloud-based

which can’t. It’s about re-engineering

infrastructure and use 380/230

available capacity while coping with

VAC equipment generally. “We have

network growth. Generally, we are

decided to phase out the -48VDC

agile enough to upgrade. However,

power and distribution infrastructure

it’s not always possible if the utility

which will contribute to dramatic cost

company has limitations in some

reduction as well,” explains Farizul.

areas. There are also challenges

“Cable infrastructure is another chal-

to maintain both 380/230 VAC

lenge that we face. To combat this, w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


I N D O S AT O O R E D O O

200

M AY 2 0 2 0


“If we’re building a new data centre or upgrading existing ones, we take input from our subsidiaries and we all have our own part to manage” — Farizul Ahsan, Vice President, Network Programs and Solutions, VP (A) Network CME Infrastructure for Access and Data Centres, Indosat Ooredoo

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201


Learn More

LEARN MORE


we’ve introduced a backstop which

to have a strong foothold in a host-

will allow us to expand in steps. We

ing/colocation business utilising

also now design the upstream and

existing data centers. Lintasarta has

downstream at optimum capacity

been receiving international awards

and therefore no longer need to

and accolades such as “best data

change the cables every time we

centre provider” due to its vast certi-

need to upgrade.”

fied personnel, who are adhering to

IO is not only one of the largest telecommunication providers but also a provider of a full range of digital

the highest level of operation and maintenance standards. One of IO’s modern data centres is

services including satellite commu-

located right at the heart of Jakarta’s

nication along with its subsidiaries,

commercial and financial business

Indosat Mega Media (IM2) and

district, attracting banks and other

Lintasarta, which have enabled IO

large entities. “We have strong

Farizul Ahsan

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Farizul has been working in Telecommunication industry for over 15 years in various technical and management roles. He is a subject matter expert for Cellular site and Data Center infrastructure solutions. He is one of the key members among all the Ooredoo Group Operations to transform to high density mission critical facility infrastructure strategy. He is very passionate in finding ways to introduce innovative solutions to drive down the total cost ownership while improving resiliency. Farizul holds Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree from Texas Tech University, USA. He received various professional certifications for Data Center facility infrastructures from UK as well. Prior to Telco industry, Farizul acquired experiences in custom circuit design for automotive, avionics and communication technology. w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

203


I N D O S AT O O R E D O O

1967

Year founded

29.8tr+

Rp 

Revenue in rupiah

204

M AY 2 0 2 0


synergy despite working in different areas within the business,” explains Farizul. “For example, if we’re building a new data centre or upgrading existing ones, we take input from our subsidiaries and we all have our own part to manage. Collaborations such as this are very important.” IO spends millions of dollars every month on its energy bill due to its vast number of cellular sites and data centers. “There is a strong drive to reduce energy spending, not only for cellular sites but also for data centres without compromising resiliency and agility to grow quickly to meet the business needs. We are laser focused now to improve PUE (Power

“There is a strong drive to reduce energy spending, not only for cellular sites but also for data centres without compromising resiliency and agility” — Farizul Ahsan, Vice President, Network Programs and Solutions, VP (A) Network CME Infrastructure for Access and Data Centres, Indosat Ooredoo w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com

205


I N D O S AT O O R E D O O

ALL-IN-ONE CONTAINERIZED DATA CENTER SOLUTIONS Quick deployment for edge computing in the IoT world Learn more


207 Usage Effectiveness) for all legacy

partnered with these big players in

data centres,” says Farizul.

power and environmental infrastruc-

To build new and upgrade exist-

ture because they possess sound

ing cellular and data centre sites, IO

technical competencies with an ade-

entered into strategic partnerships

quate product portfolio and required

with Huawei, Delta/Eltek and Vertiv.

implementation capacity to support

Huawei has built our first 2 state-of-

group wide strategy with agility.”

the-art high density data centres in record time. Farizul believes a solid partnership is extremely essential to have a successful outcome. “That’s why these partners had undergone competitive assessments by Ooredoo Group and its operating companies,” explains Farizul. “We’ve w w w.te c hno l o gyma ga z in e. com


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Technology Magazine – May 2020  

Technology Magazine – May 2020  

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