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November 2016 Business magazine for IT-professionals |

Vision “My motto: in life you have problems, challenges and opportunities. They are all three the same thing. Only the mindset is different.� Erwin Verstraelen, CIO at AVEVE

In search of the new IT profile Dossier

Staffing in IT

How companies recruit and train employees with the right profile and keep their skills up to date. Are employees ready for the new way of working and to innovate, to understand the business world and able to adapt to every change in the IT world?

Hear, Share, See. Simply. Turn your huddle rooms into collaboration hubs.

Make team meetings more productive when you make any space a meeting space, with Polycom® RealPresence Trio™. Discover the world’s first smart hub for group collaboration.


The search for the right IT profiles Technology is evolving at lightning speed. Consequently, the way companies work together is changing fast. Equally, all sorts of invisible walls within your company are coming down. Business and IT are no longer simply ‘customer’ and ‘supplier’. They are evolving towards a close, dynamic partnership. For your staff, agility is the keyword in this fast-changing context. As a company, you offer them the right training and support but, at the same time, you expect staff to show initiative and entrepreneurship. Here too, the availability of new technologies plays a key role. Digital learning is an essential part of every educational process these days. Staff learn a lot in digital communities, too, where they make contact with colleagues from other departments, exchange experiences, and so on. Recruiting young staff creates new dynamics in your organization. A candidate’s technical knowledge may not instantly settle the matter as regards their selection, but you also look at their soft skills, at their potential and sense of initiative. The time when a

company had its own in-house experts for every specialist field is firmly in the past. Things are changing too quickly for that. What can you do, yourself, to attract the right IT profiles for your company? And in which areas can we help you with our expertise? Read all about it in this issue of One magazine. Happy reading!

– Bart Van Den Meersche, Chief Enterprise Market Officer Enterprise Business Unit, Proximus


External storage use will include flash By 2019, 75% of external storage budget will include flash. The use of hard disks will be reduced by the growing economic benefits of flash. Newer technologies like TLC 3D NAND will provide more cost-effective opportunities to use flash to host secondary storage environments.

IT assets will be offsite By 2018, 65% of firms’ IT assets will be offsite in colocation, hosting, and cloud datacenters, while one-third of IT staff will be those of third-party service providers. The role of IT department will shift from procurement to administration. Internal datacenter-based IT assets will become software defined.

The impact of cloudbased UCaaS Cloud-based UC&C solutions will account for 60% of UC implementations by 2017. Infrastructure vendors are being forced to expand their go-to-market strategies by the cloud; The barriers to entry into the UCaaS market are relatively low. Enterprises will start investing in cloud UC&C as they seek to simplify their solutions.



SPOTTED | ‘Morgan’

Watson creates ‘Morgan’ trailer The very first film trailer made using artificial intelligence IBM has had a film trailer made by a computer for the first time ever. Using machine learning and Watson APIs, it analyzed the trailers of 100 different horror films. Each scene was examined separately, both visually and audio-visually. On the basis of this analysis, IBM Watson screened the film ‘Morgan’ and selected the most usable scenes for the trailer. Of course, an IBM film maker was present to take care of the ‘creative edit’. But a process that usually takes weeks was reduced to just a few hours.


November 2016

In this issue TALKING HEADS


06  Q+A

12 “The CIO needs to spend most of his or her time on organization, not on IT.” Erwin Verstraelen, CIO at AVEVE and team leader of 80 staff



Tommy Van Roye, IT Manager Infrastructure at Vlerick Business School 12  Vision Erwin Verstraelen, CIO at AVEVE 30  In team Herman De Prins, CIO at UCB 33  Interview Pieter Ballon on smart cities 34  Q+A Alex Janssens, CIO at Mazda Motor Logistics Europe NV SOLUTION the consequences of new legislation 11 No increase in cyber attacks thanks to CSIRS 15  Reduced roaming rates for lower mobile phone bills 28  Huddle room heralds a new form of videoconferencing 32 H adoop Processing big data 35 Fiber Why it’s essential for your business 07  GDPR,


30 Herman De Prins, CIO of the Year 2016 and CIO at UCB “The hierarchy is there, but I do try to be in tune with my people.”

Staffing in IT

Head of IT planning & Delivery at AXA Bank and lecturer at EHSAL, Wim Ravijts discusses the recruitment process, 6 managers on the difficulties of hiring new staff and Frieder De Borger explains how employees at Proximus keep on developing.

IN PRACTICE Municipality of Wevelgem, where network access for everyone goes without saying 26  Carrefour All sites in Belgium connected 08

SCOOP 10  Read

for you ‘Smart Cities’ by Pieter Ballon 16  Devices in the spotlight iPhone 7 and Sony Xperia E5 29  Useful apps and IoT Push-to-Talk, Workflow A publication of Proximus public limited company of Belgian Public Law / Year 10 / Number 28 / Q4 2016 Publisher: Bart Van Den Meersche, Koning Albert II-laan 27, 1030 Brussels Coordination: Charline Briot, Robbin Sacré, Jean-Marie Stas. Contributors: Andrew Beavis, Klaar De Groote, Robert Doran, Davy Goris, Isabelle Latour, Frederic Petitjean, Anneke Stoffels, Dries Van Damme, Frank Van den Branden, Johan Van Droogenbroeck, Filip Van Loock, Cis Van Peer. Concept and realization: Propaganda nv, Imperiastraat 16, 1930 Zaventem, For more information, contact: Robbin Sacré Nederlandstalige versie: Mail naar om een exemplaar van dit magazine in het Nederlands te ontvangen. Version français: mail à afin d’obtenir un exemplaire de ce magazine en français. The technical specifications are indicative only. Proximus reserves the right to make changes without prior notification. Like to know who your Proximus account manager is? Surf to

ALSO INTERESTING News  Be-Mobile launches m-ticket, Office on Wheels as an alternative to commuting, Cybersecurity Convention, Digitalent: IT training and fiber in Brussels 38  Trigger Digital transformations through the ages 36  Proximus


TALKING HEADS | 6 questions for Tommy Van Roye, IT Manager Infrastructure at Vlerick Business School

“I stay true to Nutella. For other purchases, all the components have to be just right.” Tommy Van Roye IT Manager Infrastructure at Vlerick Business School

What is your greatest professional achievement? That was, without doubt, the international standardization project at Picanol, the textile machine group from Ypres. I was abroad almost constantly for two years for that, from 2006 to 2008. I led a virtual team of five people each in the US and China. At the same time, a new plant was set up in China and, for that, we took on an IT manager. My job was to head up the entire IT management structure. After the many acquisitions and all the catching up, of course everything had to be perfectly integrated.

Who would you like to sit next to in an aeroplane and what would you ask them?

Personal Van Roye does not like being pinned down to a management style. The attitude he adopts depends on the environment, the situation and the team members. The job has to be successfully completed – for him, that’s the most important thing. To relax, he has recently taken up tennis again. Career He gained a degree in electronics, option IT, from the Catholic college in Sint-Lieven. In 2004, he joined the Ypresbased textile machine group Picanol as a system engineer. A few years later, as IT Manager Infrastructure, Tommy led the group’s worldwide IT activities. From 2011 to 2013, he offered his services to the logistics group DSV. Since 2013, he has been IT Manager Infrastructure at the Vlerick Business School. In 2015, he set up a company that focuses on Wi-Fi: wifiadvies. Company  The Vlerick Business School was established in 1953. The 450 master’s and MBA students from 27 countries and over 3,500 business leaders are taught by internationally renowned lecturers on campuses in Brussels, Ghent, Leuven and St. Petersburg. About 250 people work there. The school cooperates closely with the universities of Ghent and Leuven as well as with 40 international business schools, including Beijing University in China and the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa.


Next to Stephen Hawking. I’d like to know how a genius like him sees life. I want to ask him what impact future developments will have on people and their behavior. What does he think the world will look like in five to ten years’ time?

What brand are you always faithful to? At first I thought I wasn’t faithful to any brand, but that’s not entirely true. I’m always faithful to Nutella. For other purchases, I’ll look at everything critically first. All the components have to be just right.

How would you describe your job? As a job for which you have to keep on training all the time. You really have to learn something new every day to keep up with the high-speed developments.

Which person or event gave your career an important turn? That was Jurgen Couvreur, CFO at Picanol in 2005. I still remember very clearly how I felt when I asked Jurgen and the chief accountant to release a budget of €1 million to start the international standardization project. The second most important person, in my career, would be IT Manager Bernard Pauwels.

What would you invent to make your daily life easier? Teleportation. For me, the worst thing about traveling is the traveling itself, because of the time we waste going from one location to another. November 2016

SOLUTION | GDPR, the new European regulation on personal data

Are you ready for the

new regulation?

It’s a done deal: the new European regulation on customer data has been approved by the European Parliament. Why did Europe think this law was so important? And above all, what are the consequences for your company?

New times, new laws In April this year, the European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Every company now has just under two years in which to take the necessary measures before this legislation comes into force on 25 May 2018. The fact that this is a real regulation means that the law will take effect immediately in every European member state. It covers all companies or organizations that deal with cus­ tomer data from European citizens. Anyone who infringes the law risks fines that may amount to 4% of their global annual turnover or €20 million.

What does the new law require of your company? Genetic, social, cultural, mental and economic details are now also considered personal data. Basically, this means that if you keep anything about your customers on file, you will fall under this regulation. So even an accountant or the baker on the corner will be subject to these rules. As of 25 May 2018, all companies that process personal data will have to appoint a data protection officer and carry out data protection impact assessments for projects with high privacy risks. Data leaks will have to be reported within 72 hours. Data processors can be held directly responsible for the security of personal data. This has sizable consequences in terms of both infrastructure and organization. Customers can ask a company what data are stored. The company has to disclose this transparently. Sealing and investigating the leak Companies that work together and exchange data about European citizens will both have to comply with this regulation. In addition, every company not only has to be able to detect data leaks and security incidents itself, but respond correctly to them immediately: the leak must be sealed, an investigation must be launched and legal proof must be ­collected. You also have to prove that you have taken minimum protective measures for your customer data. All customer data from before the incident has to be stored and must be retrievable.

Services for data protection As finding suitable data security candidates is already a complex undertaking, and as this new law will make the search even more difficult, you can opt for a Proximus data protection officer. What is more, with our experienced Cyber Security Incident Response Team we are able to manage your security ser­vices from a distance, fully in line with the new legislation. Company information can be accessed from any smartphone. This is why Proximus offers you several solutions to keep your data safe. These are some of the services that we can offer you in order to comply with the new legislation.

What do you have to take into account? • A ppoint a data protection officer • Report data leaks within 72 hours and start an investigation immediately • Ensure transparency on the storage of customer data

More info Contact your account manager or send an e-mail to


About Wevelgem

Wevelgem lies on the River Lys, between Kortrijk and Menen. This WestFlanders municipality has a population of about 31,000, spread over the residential areas of Wevelgem, Gullegem and Moorsele, and is known internationally as the arrival point of the Ghent-Wevelgem spring classic cycling race.

Valentijn Verbeke

ICT coordinator at the Wevelgem local authority

Each target group gets

the right network 8

November 2016

IN PRACTICE | Municipality of Wevelgem combines fiber, PubliLink and VDSL

A robust network connection is essential for every public authority, not only for its own staff, but also for the public. With Proximus as its partner, Wevelgem opted for the winning combination of fiber, PubliLink and VDSL. The municipality also installed the necessary Wi-Fi hotspots.


pread across almost 40 km2, there are a lot of buildings in Wevelgem that fall under the jurisdiction of the local authority. “We’ve had a fiber connection for the local authority services for ages,” says ICT coordinator Valentijn Verbeke. “But, until recently, the so-called outside locations – such as sports facilities and library branches – had an ADSL connection.” Wevelgem wanted a faster solution. At the same time, the municipality issued an invitation to tender for the Internet connection.

More service, lower costs “The Proximus solution offered the best value for money,” says Verbeke. “We now not only have a central fiber connection with a capacity of 50 Mbit up and down, but also VDSL for the outside locations and secure access to all government applications – think, for example, of the National Register and Social Security. That access is possible thanks to PubliLink Explore – a fast and secure private network that connects all of our services and gives our employees access to the necessary information. What’s more, the costs are lower than before.”

Youth and culture It was important for the municipality that Proximus offers a strong SLA – service level agreement – with guaranteed high network availability and short response times should anything go wrong – although hopefully it won’t. The network connection is essential to local authority staff who use all kinds of administrative applications every day. Various services – including youth and culture – need an Internet connection because they communicate with the target public mainly via social media.

“Network access goes without saying these days, not only for our staff but by extension – via the Wi-Fi hotspots – for all members of the public.” Optimal use of bandwidth Wevelgem has offered Wi-Fi in various locations for some time, not just for local authority staff, but for visitors too. “All the Internet connections used to use the same line,” Verbeke explains. “The new solution spreads the needs better over the available bandwidth.” Local authority staff go onto the Internet via the fiber connection. Visitors who use the public Wi-Fi hotspots surf via the VDSL connection. “The Internet computers in the library are connected to this too. Students often use these PCs, for instance when they are working on a joint task. We offer Internet access via these

computers to people who don’t have a computer, tablet or smartphone at home, as well. It’s a way of trying to bridge the digital divide.”

Wi-Fi hotspots Use of the public Wi-Fi hotspots is still rising fast. At the moment, the municipality has about 25 operational hotspots. By the end of this year, that figure will double. “Everyone relies on the availability of free Wi-Fi these days,” Verbeke continues, “preferably with perfect ­coverage.” The availability of a network connection also increases the efficiency of certain activities, such as hiring playing fields or meeting rooms. “We use a secure system of access control with badges that is also connected to the network. People who hire a room are given a badge that is operational temporarily.”

Business benefits • Central administration has high-speed fiber connection of 50 Mbit up and down with a large capacity • Secure environment for data exchanges, e.g. with the National Register and the Social Security department • Outside locations and Wi-Fi hotspots are connected via Proximus VDSL • Network needs are spread over the available bandwidth • High availability and short response times, thanks to the Proximus SLA

More info Contact your account manager. Would you like to read more customer testimonials or appear in One? Go to


SCOOP | Read for you

Why should you read this? The smart city revolution is coming. But this book does not just give three cheers. Pieter Ballon not only sets out the benefits that smart cities bring, but also considers all the dangers and pitfalls.

What’s it about? Since 2008, most of the world’s population has lived in cities. This number is only going to increase. Mobility, security, energy and waste are becoming major challenges. The solution is obvious: making the city smart will keep the quality of life of its people up to standard, says Pieter Ballon. A lot of thought is being put into this in Belgium, too.

Smart Cities

How technology makes our cities more livable and smarter Why our cities need to become ‘smart’.

About the author

About the book

Pieter Ballon has a master’s degree in contemporary history and a doctorate in communication sciences. He is linked to the VUB (free Flemish University of Brussels), leads the media, market and innovation research group at IBBT-SMIT and is head of IBBT-iLab.o – the lab for open innovation in IT. At iMinds, the Flemish government’s digital research center, he is the smart cities expert.

‘Smart Cities’ describes how technology is radically altering our view of the city, something that is essential if we want to ensure that the ever-growing cities on our planet remain livable and manageable.

Read the interview with Pieter Ballon on page 33. 10

 allon looks at how, thanks to increasingly powerful IT, city dwellers can B remain mobile. How we can improve security and energy supplies and how the overall perception of the city can progress.  nd yet technology alone cannot solve all our problems. For instance, A how do you maintain the right balance between security and privacy? In response, the author has put together ‘five recipes for success for a smart city’.  allon also devotes a great deal of attention to Belgian and Dutch smart B city initiatives.

November 2016

SOLUTION | CSIRS counters cyber threats

Better prepared for CIOs who are expecting a cyber attack in the next 90 days

security problems



37% The Netherlands 42% Europe


47% of Belgian CIOs think that cyber attacks are evolving faster than the levels of system protection

Source: Survey conducted by VMWare among 100 Belgian CIOs and 200 employees, 2016

Over the past 12 months, between 74% and 90% of organizations have had to deal with data security problems. With the introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the impact will be even greater. Companies can then be punished if they fail to comply with certain rules or, even worse, they may be hacked. Proximus has been investing for years in the development of all the knowledge and resources needed to cope with the growing cyber threat. This recently resulted in a range of Cyber Security Incident Response Services (CSIRS).

Make sure your company is prepared for a cyber attack. Via CSIRS of Proximus, you gain access to the extensive and up-to-date expertise of a whole team of security specialists. The services cover three aspects: cyber security incident response readiness, breach investigation and network traffic forensics. Detecting incidents Is your organization prepared to detect, analyze and mitigate a security incident? The Proximus Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) helps you check whether you have the necessary people, processes and technologies. This can reduce the response time, costs and impact of incidents. In addition, Proximus advises you on how to collect and store data on incidents.

Analyzing incidents If your company is the victim of a cyber attack, the CSIRT is on standby 24/7 to deal with the problem and limit the damage on site or from a distance. They track down the problem, determine the priorities, collect data to be able to analyze the incident afterwards and help you resolve the situation. The team of experienced analysts and security specialists is up to date with the security aspects of networks and systems and with malware analysis. Checking security Many organizations suspect or fear that they are the target of a cyber attack, but they do not always have the possibility of checking whether or not there is actually a leak in their data protection. The Proximus Network Traffic Forensics service helps you to detect suspected and possible malicious events. Only when you know what is going on you can take the appropriate measures. Close cooperation The CSIRT works closely with the Proximus CSOC (Cyber Security

Operation Center). This provides additional advantages for customers of the Managed Security Services: a Proximus MSS customer can easily ask the CSIRT to investigate an incident detected by the CSOC.

Business benefits • Access to extensive, up-to-date expertise • Helps you fulfill the 72-hour duty of notification of data leaks required by the European GDPR • Back in business fast after an incident • Take steps to prevent a recurrence

More info Contact your account manager or send an e-mail to


VISION | Erwin Verstraelen, CIO at AVEVE

“Every budget is an IT budget”


he roots of AVEVE date back to 1901, when the business began as a buying and selling com­ pany – AVV – for agricultural cooperatives. Today, AVEVE has developed into a group of companies in the agriculture and horticulture sector, engaged in activities such as receiving and process­ ing cereals, trading in fertilizers, crop pro­ tection solu­tions, etc., as well as activities relating to the production and distribution of cattle fodder. Among the general pub­ lic, AVEVE is mainly known for its 250 retail stores, where the firm applies its exper­ tise for consumers. AVEVE has also devel­ oped activities in France, Germany and the Netherlands. The group has 1,800 employ­ ees and records a turnover of €1.3 billion.

Transformation Since 2010, a sweeping IT transformation process has been underway at AVEVE. “The group took its first steps in the field of IT as early as the 1960s,” says Verstraelen. “Over the years – among other things following successive acquisitions – a very heteroge­ neous environment developed, with num­ erous different platforms.” This fragmenta­ tion no longer offered the ideal response to the current market, where complexity and volatility are two major factors. “Old struc­ tures are disappearing and globalization is upsetting existing balances. Digitization has the potential to alter the business model. That is why we decided to adapt


As the sector and the companies within it evolve, the role and impact of IT change too. AVEVE reorganized its IT department at group level five years ago. CIO Erwin Verstraelen is now aligning IT more closely with the core of the organization. The IT department focuses more on architecture and project management these days and less on purely operational matters.

the organizational structure. This is a fun­ damental issue for a group that has grown over the past decades as an entity made up of independent SMEs.”

Credibility and trust AVEVE sees IT as the function that offers direct support for the achievement of the corporate strategy objectives. “The entire transformation is built around four main IT programs which together account for a good 40 projects. That’s a huge challenge, particularly in combination with the daily operational tasks. Good cooperation with strategic IT partners is very important in this context.” Verstraelen sees IT, by and large, as an enabler here. “At the same time, we use IT to stand out,” he explains. “The pro­ duction of customized cattle fodder, with short lead times and continuous recalcu­ lation of the composition, is only possible thanks to the use of technology.” Stability and calm IT also makes the group stand out in terms of consumer service, in particular with the development of an omnichannel approach. “IT provides insight into who our customers are, what enables us to position our range better, depending on the specific require­ ments of these customers.” By analyzing big data, IT can help detect new opportunities. At the same time, however, IT has to ensure stability and calm. “Credibility and trust are essential,” says Verstraelen. “These two

November 2016

Erwin Verstraelen

studied applied economics at Antwerp University. He began his career as an organization consultant at KBC. Later on he worked as an architect at EMD and as a management consultant on strategy and transformation at IBM. In 2011, he took up the position of CIO at AVEVE. Erwin heads a team of about 80 people there. He has been president of CIOforum since 2015.


VISION | Erwin Verstraelen, CIO at AVEVE

aspects make the IT department a trusted business advisor for the organization. Only on this basis can you bring change and innovation into the company with IT.”

Every project is an IT project When the central IT department was set up in 2011, AVEVE thought carefully about the competencies that the company wanted to have in-house. “The emphasis here is on the guiding and architectural facets of IT, and less on the operational aspect. For instance, we have outsourced our datacenters to an external partner. IT, we feel, is set to become increasingly important in the coming years. Every project is an IT project,” says Verstraelen. “Every budget is an IT budget.”

“My motto: in life you have problems, challenges and opportunities. They are all three the same thing. Only the mindset is different.”

Less need of standard IT profiles New developments – such as the cloud, mobile, big data and the Internet of Things – lower the t­ hreshold to interweave technology more and more with all aspects of business management. This also impacts on the demand for specific IT profiles. “Because we, as a department, are moving more towards the core of the organization, today we have less need of standard IT profiles. We are looking, in particular, for project managers and architects, so we can recruit more broadly. The mindset, motivation and basic background knowledge of the candidate are particularly important here. The rest will follow from internal growth and active coaching,” says Erwin Verstraelen.

4 tips for the CIO


More coach than manager

“As CIO, you are on a constant voyage of discovery. You know where and why you leave, but are never sure precisely where the journey will take you. The company, the market, the general context… all these factors change during the trip. That’s why it is important that you cooperate with all the staff involved. So, as CIO, it is better to be more a coach than a manager. It’s up to the staff to create the necessary added value depending on the mission and the objectives.”



Create space for development

“Don’t direct too much, particularly not at the micro level. The CIO is the sounding board. Build a team that understands the division of roles and you can work wonders. The team has a clear assignment, but fleshes out the solution itself. Staff get an appetite for freedom and the burden of responsibility. Most of the CIO’s time needs to go on the organization of the work, not on IT itself. Operational exercises are not part of the CIO’s job responsibilities. Concentrate on strategy and vision.”


Put yourself in perspective

“The CIO is not omniscient. He, too, has question marks against his name. But with a positive mindset you can achieve a lot. Don’t look at things as ‘a problem’, but rather as ‘a challenge’ or ‘an opportunity’. If things go wrong, you have to stay calm. First and foremost, the CIO has to radiate composure. Keep the long-term aims in view.”


Don’t stare blindly at technology

“IT is evolving rapidly. What seems like science fiction today may perhaps be something that no one even notices tomorrow. But never lose sight of the human factor. People need time to assimilate new technology. For that matter, it’s not technology that defines our future. We do that ourselves.”

November 2016

SOLUTION | Reduced roaming rates in 72 countries

In April, Proximus drastically slashed its roaming rates for calls in Europe. Another 40 countries are now being added where these reduced rates will apply. For people who call using a company mobile, there is an attractive new feature: a prepaid roaming option for when they are abroad.

Unlimited prepaid roaming options for professional subscriptions


ill shock – no, it’s not a rock’n’roll singer from the 1950s. It’s a phenomenon where people choke on their coffee when they see their mobile phone bill after a stay abroad. It’s not a pleasant experience, admits Frédéric Van Robays, EBU Marketing Specialist Mobile Business at Proximus. “We want to do away with this bill shock,” he says. “People need to dare to use their mobiles on holiday without being afraid of running up bills. That’s why we reduced all our European roaming rates by 70% in April. Now we are extending the same rates to an extra 40 countries, including the US, Canada, Turkey, Morocco and Indonesia: the 72 top destinations, we call them. These are countries that over 80% of our customers travel to. The complete list is on our website, of course.”

Even better: a package deal Despite the sharp drop in the rates and the increase in the number of countries where they apply, for most customers it

is still more advantageous to activate an optional package before they go abroad, Van Robays stresses. “Take Travel Passport, for instance. For barely €12, you can call for 200 minutes, send 200 texts and use 200 MB of data in these 72 countries. That’s hardly anything at all, given the peace of mind you get. And for those who want more, then of course there are bigger packages, as well.”

Employees with a company mobile Another major new feature that Proximus is introducing is Travel Passport Credit. “This option is i­ntended especially for employees who are given a mobile phone by their employer,” Van Robays explains. “Very often, these mobiles are frozen abroad, because the employer doesn’t want to bear the costs. But that means the employee cannot use his device when he is on holiday.” To resolve this imbalance, employers can set up a prepaid account for their employees for private use abroad. Van Robays: “It can just be done on MyProximus. Via this account, the employee can put a certain

amount on the phone using his credit card or via PayPal. This amount can be used as a roaming budget. Only the employer, himself, can give permission for activation of the roaming prepaid account.”

Business benefits • Sharply reduced roaming rates • Valid in 72 countries worldwide • Roaming costs in prepaid formula or packages • Use of company mobile phone abroad at own expense

More info Contact your account manager or go to


SCOOP | Devices in the spotlight iPhone 7

It was already great – now it’s better! The new iPhone 7 is the same size as the previous model (that’s true of the larger Plus version, too), but the metal casing is now available in black, jet black, silver, gold and rose gold. However, the standard 3.5 mm headset connection has gone. Instead, wireless earphones are available, compatible with the Lightning connection, or an adapter to keep your current headset. Apple supplies the new iPhone with 32, 128 or 256 GB of storage space. The new A10 Fusion processor is substantially faster and the device works on the latest iOS 10. The home button has been updated and an extra loudspeaker provides better stereo sound. Apple’s newest arrival also has two cameras, with a dual optical zoom (iPhone 7 Plus). The device is also fully dust- and waterproof in line with the IP67 standard. Processor: Quad-core A10 Fusion Operating system: iOS 10 Memory: 2 GB RAM; 32, 128 or 256 GB of storage space

Screen type: 4.7” IPS LCD Screen resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels Dimensions: 138 x 67 x 7 mm Weight: 138 g Connection: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac dualband, NFC

Bluetooth: 4.2 Camera: 12 MP with autofocus, 2x optical zoom (iPhone 7 Plus), LED flash, 4K video recordings, optical stabilization Extra: IP67 water- and dustproof, extra camera with telephoto lens function (iPhone 7 Plus), stereo loudspeakers.

The new – watertight – iPhone is equipped with a faster processor and a new operating system. On the outside, the dual cameras (iPhone 7 Plus) and extra loudspeaker are worth noting in particular. Sony Xperia E5

A competitive, mid-range device The Xperia E5 is a mid-range device that you can pick up in black or white. To stay competitive in this keen market, however, Sony has included a host of features in this smartphone that runs on Android 6. The 2700 mAh battery, for instance, is powerful enough to last two days and the touchscreen supports multitouch with four fingers. The most striking feature is the 13-megapixel camera, which takes very clear photos. You don’t automatically expect a camera like this in this price category. What’s more, the selfie camera is good for 5 MP, too. The telephone supports microSD cards up to 256 GB, so you can carry on filming and keep your entire music collection with you all the time, without any problem.

Processor: Quad-core Cortex 1.3 GHz Operating system: Android 6.0.1 Memory: 1.5 GB RAM; 16 GB of storage space, microSD slot (up to 256 GB) Screen type: 5” IPS

Screen resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels Dimensions: 144 x 69 x 8 mm Weight: 140 g Connection: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11n, NFC Bluetooth: 4.1

Camera: 13 MP with autofocus, LED flash Extra: Scratch-resistant glass, SAR value class B.

The main features of the Sony Xperia are the great battery and the powerful 13 MP camera.

Visit or go along to a Proximus Center to choose your new mobile device. 16

November 2016


Staffing in IT Over to the expert

Wim Ravijts, Head of IT Planning & Delivery at AXA Bank and lecturer in project risk management at EHSAL Management School: “IT people not only have to be able to work well with internal colleagues, but with external partners too.”

18 In a strained labor market, it is difficult to find all the qualities you need in one person … 90 minutes

About the search for the right IT staff.

20 … highly developed technical skills are giving way these days to insight, cooperation and innovation. Interview

Frieder De Borger, Director Talent & Development Center at Proximus, on how Proximus trains its employees.



DOSSIER | O  ver to the expert: Wim Ravijts, Head of IT Planning & Delivery at AXA Bank, lecturer in project risk management at EHSAL Management School

“Solid IT knowledge is not the first selection criterion” The way in which business and IT work together has evolved greatly over the past few years. This is prompting a change in how we view IT – and the ideal profile of IT specialists. They are no longer technical nerds, but people with social skills and a sense of initiative.


f a company wants to change its emphases, then one of the first ways it can do so is by recruiting new staff. Many of today’s IT people went to school in the 1980s and 1990s. They come from a time when business and IT existed side by side, without any contact worthy of mention. They are staff who have gone through a whole evolution. From IT as an island towards the constant interaction we see today, where business and IT work together in the true sense of the word.”

Efficient project management “Co-creation is the reality now. As a result, IT people have to have very different skills than they did about 20 years ago. What is more, there are so many specialized fields these days that it’s impossible for a company to have its own in-house experts for each of these fields. So IT people not only have to be able to work well with their colleagues from the business side, but also with various external parties. Guiding and managing external experts properly is crucial here. The importance of efficient project management is increasing.” 18

Customer-oriented approach “Now more than ever, the IT department has to evolve in line with the wishes of the end user. It’s a matter of correctly assessing demands, requirements and expectations. IT has evolved a great deal: from a product-oriented approach with an internal focus to a customeroriented approach with an external focus. This, too, calls for a different set of capabilities, with a greater need than ever for welldeveloped soft skills. Today we expect IT people to have the necessary sense of business. As far as I am concerned, IT people can take the initiative more themselves. As a company, you want nothing more than for your staff to put all their talent into their work. As a company, you can bring the human capital even more to the fore.” Fitting into the corporate culture “In the past, companies worked on a very hierarchical basis. Young people are no longer familiar with this approach. That’s not a bad thing; they shouldn’t feel held back by it, either. So new staff members are being given a new role. They are the catalyst for change. They are the factor that sets something in motion. I really am convinced that you can trigger this new process by attracting the right young people on a very targeted basis. Of course, education can make a contribution here, too. University and college courses still put too much emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge. But is knowledge what companies are seeking in a new staff

member? If I look at what happens in practice at AXA Bank, I see that, first and foremost, we search for people who have an affinity with the financial world. We recruit economists and commercial engineers, but also communication specialists. Solid IT knowledge is not the first thing we consider, but rather social skills, whether someone fits into our corporate culture and whether they display entrepreneurship.”

Soft skills “In the past you made a concrete study choice. You followed your course of study and then you were ready to enter a specific profession. That idea does not really stand up any more. Employers look further than the diploma. And – which is at least just as important – students, too, need to realize that the diploma alone is no longer enough these days. That realization is there. Education is responding to this, as well, for instance by focusing more on the development of soft skills, such as through group work.” Versatility “Although pure IT skills may not be the first thing a company looks for, they are, of course, still important. Employers want staff who tick all the boxes, with both IT knowledge and social skills. Versatility is very important here: proactive staff who can contribute something to the company today and tomorrow, whatever direction it may take. These are people in whom a company is pleased to invest.”

November 2016

“IT has evolved from a product-oriented approach with an internal focus to a customer-oriented approach.”

Wim Ravijts is Head of

IT Planning & Delivery at AXA Bank. He also teaches project risk management at the EHSAL Management School.


DOSSIER | 6 managers round the table

In search of

new IT talent These are fascinating times for the IT department. On the one hand, they have to keep abreast of the latest technologies and, on the other, they have to keep up with the demand from business for new solutions. How does a company ensure that it has the right staff for the job? Where do you find them and who trains them?


November 2016


One Magazine invited 6 managers from the Belgian business and public sector to discuss staffing.

Robert De Maere

Telecom Manager at Havenbedrijf Antwerpen “ In the 1980s, an IT course focused purely on technology. There was no talk of soft skills. But these days, the market wants both.”

Jeroen Franssen

Expert Talent & Labor Office HR Force at Agoria “ Every company is facing a challenge: which IT skills does it already have, which can it develop internally and which does it have to look for on the market?”

Sandra Schuerewegen

CEO at Brunel Belgium “ Perhaps it’s a good idea to bring various fields closer together in education so that students learn to work in interdisciplinary teams.”

Francis Vos

IT department head at PXL College in Hasselt “ It’s important for educational institutions and companies to adopt an integrated approach to IT training together.”

Hilde Boschmans

Chief HR Officer at Esas “ For specific IT vacancies, technical knowledge remains the top requirement. That’s why it is important for IT people to constantly keep this knowledge up to date.”

Wim Ravijts

Head of IT Planning & Delivery at AXA Bank and lecturer in project risk management at the EHSAL Management School “ T he business world is going through a transformation, driven by IT. In this context, first of all you need people who can inspire, who have creative ideas.”


DOSSIER | 6 managers round the table

“It is important to bring education and the business world together on actual projects so the students become familiar with the role of a professional.” – Francis Vos, IT department head at PXL College Hasselt


o put it simply, these days companies want IT people to be able to do everything. “There is a clear demand for highly technical IT profiles,” says Sandra Schuerewegen, CEO of the temporary employment agency Brunel. “But, at the same time, companies expect IT people to have well-developed soft skills as well.” IT people have to have a customer-friendly attitude and be able to cooperate well with one another. “So it’s not just about the employee’s IQ. It’s also about the EQ,” according to Robert De Maere, Telecom Manager at Havenbedrijf Antwerpen. “Consequently as an employer, first of all, the main thing you want to know is what an applicant really has to offer.” And that is not necessarily what it says on a diploma or a CV.

Further development It is a trend that is causing a big shift on the recruitment market. “Companies need specialists to deal with current issues, such as big data and the Internet of Things,” says Jeroen Franssen, Expert Talent & Labor Officer HR Force at Agoria. “Relying exclusively on recruiting on the basis of a specific profile is not a good idea these days. It works better to get an honest picture of a candidate and his potential and then give him/her the comfort of being able to develop further him/herself.” When the company invests in the training and development of its IT people, this is a way of standing out from the competition.

Your opinion matters! Would you like to respond to this round-table discussion? Go to or tweet @proximusEnt


Education and business: closer together The organization of work is evolving more and more towards dynamic roles, rather than the fixed jobs of the past. “That is why it is important to bring education and the business world as close together as possible,” says Francis Vos, IT department head at the PXL College in Hasselt. “We do this by offering education

on the basis of a community concept, in which client-companies are involved. For instance, we have a large project area on the Corda Campus, where students and companies work together on actual projects. So the students become familiar with the role of a professional at close quarters.” Interaction is important, so that companies pick up new technologies or trends as well. “We continue along this line within the client-company,” says Wim Ravijts, Head of IT Planning & Delivery at AXA Bank and lecturer in project risk management at the EHSAL Management School. “Using reverse monitoring, we let young employees share their experience of new technologies with the somewhat older IT people.” Apart from the role of education, however, client-companies also have to keep on investing in training for their staff. “Anticipating what employees expect of the company is very important here,” says Jeroen Franssen. “People looking for prospects who want to develop their skills further, have to be given the space to do so.”

Investing themselves But is that the right starting point? Do we have to accept that education accounts for roughly 70% of a job profile and that the company itself invests to give the employee the remaining 30%? “I’m not totally convinced of that,” says Wim Ravijts. “As far as education is concerned, Belgium always ranks among the best. When it comes to knowledge, we are well placed. But companies want staff to be creative and entrepreneurial, too. Perhaps education could pay more attention to that.” After all, creative staff provide solutions not just today, but later on, as well. We notice in various projects that school-leavers do not have the right knowledge to get down to work autonomously. In these cases, we outline a training path to help them make good the disparity with technical courses and November 2016

on-the-job coaching. We ­invariably use an IBO program,” says Hilde Boschmans, Chief HR Officer at IT service provider Esas. “When recruiting, the decisive aspect is mainly the candidate’s attitude. If necessary, you can fill gaps in IT ­knowledge later on,” Boschmans adds. “And even afterwards, it’s still important for employees to keep on honing their knowledge.”

Thinking together This attitude means that the image of IT people is changing radically. In the past they were often given in-depth technical training. Now they have to be close to the customer, have a thorough insight into the needs of the business and put forward innovative solutions to meet these needs. But in a strained labor market, it’s not exactly easy to find all these qualities in one person. The solution lies in cooperation. “The people on the business side don’t always have much feeling for the possibilities offered by new technology,” says Robert De Maere. “So we organize regular workshops to which we invite staff from other departments – from finance, maintenance, the legal department, etc. – to come and talk about topics like IoT or blockchain. This way, we think about these issues together in an open atmosphere and this contact between business and IT produces new ideas.” Encouraging young people Agoria calculated that there are at least 9,000 unfilled IT vacancies in Belgium at the moment. Companies are constantly investing in IT and computerization. This suggests that the number of vacancies is only going to grow. Since 2012, the number of IT students in higher education has risen sharply, but not enough to meet the demand in the business world. “Perhaps companies should take the initiative more to explain to young children all the things they can do with IT,” says Sandra Schuerewegen. “We have

to encourage young people, show them that they can do a lot of creative work with IT.” By bringing more young people into IT education, companies might find the necessary skills on the labor market more easily later on. “We also stress the importance of the human factor in our course,” says Francis Vos. “The updated technological and scientific courses turn out people who can resolve problems and bring about modernization with technology as the enabler.” Because, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not technology that is changing the world, but the people who use this technology.

Conclusion There is no point in seeking to achieve the impossible, or in demanding that IT people know all there is to know about all technologies and have outstanding social skills as well. Education and the business world are already making an effort to bring supply and demand closer together. The IT world of the future consists of various people in various roles, who find a solution together.


DOSSIER | Interview with Frieder De Borger, Director, Talent & Development Center at Proximus

Ongoing learning

promotes internal mobility Companies are constantly facing new challenges. In the world of technology, changes occur at lightning speed. We are evolving from the cloud and big data towards connected cars and smart cities. As a company, how best do you respond to this? Frieder De Borger, Director, Talent & Development Center at Proximus explains.

Frieder De Borger is Director, Talent

& Development Center at Proximus. He studied organizational psychology at KU Leuven. Over the past 10 years he has held various HR-related positions at Proximus, including head of Recruitment & Mobility and head of Learning & Development.

“As an organization, you have to show appreciation for the efforts that the staff make to constantly go on learning.” 24

How can you prepare the culture of a company for this? “At Proximus, cooperation, business agility and responsibility are the core values of our ‘Good to Gold’ culture. We also do an enormous amount to create space to venture, to try out new things and to learn from them. At Proximus we do that by ensuring that there is a strong learning environment. We put the staff in charge. They are responsible for the route they take. It’s about learning accountability. We encourage staff to keep on developing. A positive learning climate is important. As an organization, you have to show appreciation for the efforts that the staff make to constantly go on learning.” How does the organization support the learning path? “We are seeing exponential growth in digital learning. The average staff member prefers a mixed path, part digital, part traditional education. We note that the learning culture is evolving quickly. We are constantly extending our learning portal with new digital content. Among other things, we see a lot of potential in the use of MOOCs (massive open online courses): online education via video colleges, article and blogs, etc. The big advantage is that staff can assimilate the course material at their own pace. All these forms of digital learning are a crucial lever to help shape the digital DNA of the organization.” Is digital learning mainly an individual method or can it be done in groups, too? “Group dynamics are very important. Our starting point is the inherent strength of community learning. Proximus’ role is to make it easy for staff to share knowledge. This is why we are actively working to develop topic communities within the organization. We offer virtual platforms – such as November 2016

SharePoint and various teaching apps – where staff can share their knowledge and experience. As a staff member, you can join various communities. That is precisely the strength of this approach, certainly within a large organization like Proximus. We also arrange ‘discovery tours’, when we take staff to towns and cities or regions that are heavily involved in innovation. These initiatives provide new insight into the way in which companies can respond to the fast pace of technological development.”

What is the result of all this learning in your working environment? “This finds expression in a high level of internal mobility. We fill around 70% of the job vacancies with internal candidates. Over 40% of the internal mobility takes place between different divisions. When recruiting, we pay particular attention to a growth mentality, attitude, potential and an eagerness to learn. If these things are right, then a candidate just has to meet 60 to 80% of the required profile. You can adjust the rest through individual courses and training.” How does Proximus approach the recruitment of new staff? “We bring in about 400 new staff members every year. To do that, we are developing a strong employer brand, which resonates positively both internally and externally. Ultimately, an organization’s own staff are its main brand ambassadors. As an employer, we tell the story via our staff. It’s the staff who bring in most of the potential job applicants. And we are very proud of that. Other candidates apply via the website or we find them through LinkedIn. We also focus on cooperation with universities and colleges, for instance by offering internships.”

IT specialists 52% of companies are hampered by a lack of IT knowledge

4.4% Just 4.4% of working people in Belgium are IT specialists



22.3% of the turnover posted by Belgian companies comes from e-commerce

IT specialists In 2014, there were 199,700 active IT specialists in Belgium, 4.4% of all working people. Seven out of 10 IT specialists have a diploma of higher education and one in three is aged under 35. Companies In 2015, 22.3% of the turnover posted by Belgian companies came from e-commerce. 43.1% also actually make

purchases using electronic channels. Forty-six percent of the companies that recruited IT staff had difficulty filling vacancies. Sixty-eight percent of big companies organized training courses for their IT specialists and 75% organized courses for their staff to improve their IT skills. Source: ‘Information society barometer (2016)’ produced by the Federal Public Service for the Economy, SMEs, the Self-Employed and Energy.

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IN PRACTICE | Proximus connects all Carrefour sites in Belgium

All Carrefour stores and warehouses in Belgium are in permanent contact with the head office in Brussels. They rely on the stability and availability of the Proximus network for this. The most business-critical sites are connected via fiber.

Importance of connection keeps on growing


ean-Marc Vanhove has seen the importance of the network at Carrefour evolve rapidly over the past 15 years. “For a long time, an ISDN connection was enough for batch data processing,” he says. “In the year 2000, we were one of the first companies to switch to MPLS and have round-the-clock contact with the head office.” Over the years, the importance of an available, highperformance network connection has increased steadily. “New needs have emerged,” Vanhove explains. “The warehouses and sales outlets now depend heavily on the connection with the head office. What is more, in the stores we sell a lot via online platforms, such as the National Lottery products and telephone cards.” The need for more bandwidth in general increased constantly, including for voice, video, hotspots for customers, Wi-Fi for the staff, etc.

Ownership Proximus examined the Carrefour specifications and put forward a proposal based on fiber, DSL and mobile connections. “A number of different elements eventually led us to opt in favor of Proximus,” says Vanhove. “Proximus not only provides the services, but also actually owns the networks itself. In addition, the scope of the company was important. We were looking for a partner who could take care of the roll-out without any problems.” Finally, the operational conditions proved to be important, too. “Proximus offered us more service and a better SLA, at a price that was lower than the previous network solution.” The heart of the company In practical terms, all Carrefour Hypermarkets, warehouses and the head office are connected to the Proximus fiber network, with a copper connection as a back-up. The Markets and Express stores are


connected via VDSL or ADSL, with 3G or 4G as a back-up. “Proximus takes service seriously,” says Vanhove. “They really allocated the necessary resources to the migration, dealing with 60 installations per week.” The process was thoroughly prepared. “Everything happened in close consultation and following a detailed schedule.” That was absolutely essential, because the project affected the very heart of the company. “The connection between the head office, the stores and the warehouses is particularly critical for the business. Virtually everything goes via the network: cash till data, e-mail, price information, orders, video surveillance, to name but a few.”

More bandwidth, more applications By switching to fiber, at a stroke Carrefour has far more bandwidth. “That opens the way for more applications,” says Vanhove. “Much of the telephone system may come onto the network. That goes for digital TV and solutions for digital signage in the stores, too.” In the old environment, Carrefour soon came up against the limits of the network. “Now fiber gives you guaranteed bandwidth at the most business-critical sites. The network is particularly stable and reliable and it has the capacity for us to add a host of other services, too, in the future.”

About Carrefour

With 11,500 employees and 750 stores, Carrefour is one of the biggest retailers in Belgium. The company serves 650,000 customers every day here. Threequarters of Belgian families go shopping at Carrefour at least once a week.

November 2016

“The connection between the head office, the stores and the warehouses is particularly business critical. The stores operate virtually entirely via the network.”

Jean-Marc Vanhove started

his career with Gecotec, at the time the IT service company of the GIB Group. Later on, he was Network & PC Unit Manager at GB. Since 2004, Jean-Marc Vanhove has been LAN & Telecom Domain Manager at Carrefour Belgium.

Business benefits • Network connections with high availability, stability and reliability • Fiber offers guaranteed bandwidth for the most business-critical sites • Future-oriented solution: highperformance network environment for new applications

More info Contact your account manager. Would you like to read more customer testimonials or appear in One? Go to


SOLUTION | Videoconferencing via budget-friendly huddle rooms

Pleasant and productive cooperation message has been properly understood. These are the reasons why the NCI Agency (the NATO Communications and Information Agency, an internal NATO body), for instance, is focusing fully on videoconferencing for its staff.

A small, creative meeting room where you can gather in surroundings that offer exceptionally high quality. That is a huddle room. These little rooms are often also equipped with communication technology to organize videoconferences with (inter)national colleagues or partners. The use of video­ conferencing is set to increase by 400% in the period up to 2019.


o huddle or gather together in a close-knit group to discuss something: this perfectly describes what huddle rooms are intended for. More and more companies are using small meeting rooms for four or five people fitted out with videoconferencing equipment so they can communicate easily with one another from a distance. In the past year, the number of huddle rooms with permanent videoconferencing facilities has doubled from 10 to 20%.

Budget-friendly Do not confuse a huddle room with the traditional, large meeting room equipped with an audiovisual installation. A huddle room is far smaller and more budget friendly. Motorized shutters, roll-down screens, expensive sound systems or automated systems have no place in a huddle room. What is more, these rooms are used far more for videoconferencing than for web conferencing. And this is more than a semantic nuance. Web conferencing 28

involves cooperating on the same project and enables you to share documents and files among participants easily, for instance. With videoconferencing, the emphasis is on very high video quality, for an experience that is as realistic as possible and an intimate work environment, ideal for meeting efficiently and possibly sharing documents.

Body language In a huddle room, the discussions take place among just a handful of people, which boosts productivity. In addition, huddle rooms also offer all the other advantages of virtual meetings: you can establish contacts with people very quickly without having to travel, which is a lot more advantageous in terms of the budget and puts less of a burden on the environment. Highquality videoconferencing also helps with communication between people of different nationalities. Only thanks to very high video quality is it possible to read the body language of the participants and assess whether the

Hybrid solution Proximus senses the increased demand for huddle rooms, as well. As regards the connection (connectivity), a huddle room does not differ greatly from a conventional video meeting room. Either the video connection is established via the company’s internal network (for example, to a foreign site) or it is all done over the Net (when meetings are held with a client or a supplier). Of course, a hybrid solution is also possible: a private company network, which a client can dial in to via the Internet. Accessible The use of huddle rooms makes videoconferencing more accessible to several staff members. Videoconferencing is not only available to the m anagement. The entire staff can make use of it.

Business benefits • Small-scale meetings with high video quality on a limited budget • Smooth, economical communication from a distance • Increased productivity and involvement • Optimal visual communication via body language

More info Contact your account manager, go to or read the customer testimonial of NCI Agency at

November 2016

SCOOP | Useful apps and IoT Proximus Push-to-Talk (PTT)

Walkie-talkie for smartphones With the Push-to-Talk app, Proximus is launching a modern alternative to the walkie-talkie that is still widely used in construction companies, logistics warehouses and taxi firms. A conversation can be started instantaneously and be followed by several receivers. The Proximus PTT app requires a modern iPhone or Android smartphone – possibly an enhanced model – with a Proximus data subscription. The communication takes place not over the radio network but over the 3G/4G network or Wi-Fi. This makes it possible, for example, to make a call to several building sites at the same time that could not be reached using a standard walkie-talkie. Consequently, there is no longer any need to set up signal-strengthening antennae on building sites. Calls are free within the data limit. If the system is used intensively for at least eight hours a day, 200 MB per month is sufficient. Push-to-Talk is available as a basic version or a professional version. With the latter, communication groups can be managed centrally and users can be located on a map. Supervisors can even take control of a conversation.

With Proximus Push-to-Talk several receivers can follow a conversation.


Build powerful processes simply Workflow is a handy iOS app that can be used to automate all sorts of day-to-day actions. For example, you can automatically upload every new photo to Dropbox, send voice memos to Evernote or convert a webpage to PDF. Compared with IFTTT (if this then that), Workflow is far more powerful: it supports up to 20 steps per process and works with 150 apps. What is more, the tool contains a handy library of examples that show how other people deal with certain tasks. You can give self-made workflows their own color and icon and save them on the start screen for a fast, easy launch. In addition, Workflow has an iWatch app to start processes on your iPhone or iPad in an instant and display the result.

Automate everything in a useful way with Workflow.


IN TEAM | Herman De Prins, CIO of the Year 2016 and CIO at UCB

“In this company, everyone works with technology” Researchers in white coats who stand stirring things in Erlenmeyer flasks? That may still be the case to some extent. But when it comes to developing new medicines, these days it’s just as likely to involve an array of IT equipment and technology. Brand new CIO of the Year 2016 Herman De Prins of pharmaceutical company UCB explains.

About UCB

UCB ( is a worldwide biopharmaceutical company that focuses on discovering and developing innovative drugs and solutions to transform the lives of people with serious illnesses in immunology and neurology. The company has over 7,500 employees in around 40 countries. In 2014, its income amounted to €3.9 billion. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels.



rom accounts and marketing to the divisions where new medicines are developed, there’s no one here now who doesn’t work with technology,” says Herman De Prins. “In our labs, every experiment is captured electronically these days. This is the only way we can extract as much information as possible from the data. It involves a substantial amount of big data and data analytics. We also run hundreds of scientific applications, for computer aided drug design, for instance. With apps like this, the cloud and high-performance computing play a major role, as well.” Over the past few years, the use of technology has progressed even further. “In clinical studies, we now introduce sensors and wearables with accompanying apps for patients. That way, for instance, we can generate additional data which either come from the sensor or are entered by the patient. This gives us a better picture of how the patient is dealing with the illness.”

Is there a computer in the room? Developments in e-health are happening at lightning speed. Will we ever leave diagnoses to computers? “The doctor will always have the final word, but computers will be trusted more and more. Look, how does a doctor reach a diagnosis at the moment? His judgment is formed by his training, additional training that he follows and his practical experience. A system of artificial intelligence in combination with access to clinical data can generate insights based on data from millions of patients. It would be crazy not to do anything with that.” The IT department at UCB now has a team of about 240 people. “There is a very wide range of profiles,” said De Prins. “Infrastructure specialists, SAP architects, but also more and more digital specialists and data scientists. They are still rare, but we can attract them fairly well. UCB’s good reputation has a lot to do with that.” Putting out feelers De Prins describes his own management style as one of healthy delegation. “The hierarchy is there, but I do try to be in tune with my people. I try to delegate as much as possible in projects. For me, a project stops once the budget has been approved. After that, I just get to deal with escalations. It would be impossible for me to follow up every project in detail. I do set aside a lot of time for putting out feelers and going out on the road myself. For instance, a trip to Silicon Valley is planned soon. We’re going to look at how startups approach things and anticipate our own future. It’s good to find out how different clocks tick.” November 2016

“The doctor will always have the final word, but for diagnoses computers will be trusted more and more.”

Herman De Prins has been CIO

of UCB since October 2009. Before that, he was Vice-President IT at Medtronic and IT Director at Guidant and Abbott Vascular. He spends much of his free time cycling. He was elected CIO of the Year 2016 by datanews.


HOW DOES PROXIMUS DO THAT? | Knowing and predicting customer behavior

Processing big data with

Hadoop More and more companies are working with vast amounts of customer data collected by their systems. “Proximus uses Hadoop for this, an open-source framework with which companies can process and analyze big data,” explains Marc Matthys, Domain Manager in IT at Proximus.


e use Hadoop to analyze certain types of customer data. The aim is to get to know our customers better and be able to predict what they expect and what they need. That way, we can raise our service provision to a higher level and improve customer satisfaction still further. Hadoop contains a whole ecosystem with datawarehousing and all sorts of tools to collect, load and analyze data. It’s far more than just business intelligence.”

What can you do with Hadoop? “The main reason for working with Hadoop is that you want to a ­ ssemble large volumes of data,” says Marc Matthys. “Volumes that would cost you a lot of money if you were to keep them in conventional databases or data warehouses. And, with Hadoop, you can bring together complex data sources such as social media, sound and video, sensors in the Internet of Things, etc. to analyze them. Other reasons for using Hadoop are the data migration from conventional databases/ data warehouses or, quite simply, the cheap archiving of information that’s always within easy reach.” What do you need as a company to start with Hadoop? “First and foremost, experienced system engineers and big data experts. Of course, you also need a number of 32

Marc Matthys, Domain Manager in IT at Proximus

servers that you allow to cooperate with Hadoop as a cluster. This combines the strength of all the individual clusters. In principle, any server can be used for this, but it is best to work with similar systems that are called nodes in Hadoop. Alternatively, you could install Hadoop on a PC to start with, to get to know the technology.”

What difficulties might you encounter and how do you deal with them? “The difficulties depend on the configuration you have chosen and how you want to integrate the rest of your IT installations,” said Matthys. “The main way to resolve problems is to have experienced IT people backed up by your Hadoop provider, or you find solutions yourself in the open-source communities.” How is Hadoop implemented? “It basically involves five stages: 1. A Hadoop project starts by choosing a channel of distribution: commercial or the open-source version. 2. T  hen you decide on your hardware configuration depending on your

objective(s). Do you want one large cluster with which you will support a number of different projects or applications? Or would you prefer several clusters? Both scenarios have their advantages and disadvantages. 3. Once the OS has been installed (usually Linux), Hadoop is installed and configured. 4. A  fter that, the software developers can get down to work with the various components in the ecosystem. 5. F  inally, you determine how your users will work with the information that you provide. Lots of tools are available to the data scientists, but they are fairly complex. In addition, there are countless commercial solutions with user-friendly interfaces. The conventional IT providers are also integrating their solutions with Hadoop so as not to miss the boat.”

Why did Proximus go for a commercial version of Hadoop? “Hadoop is an open-source technology: it evolves thanks to contributions from universities, individuals and companies across the world. But, as a company, you need to be able to rely on a stable version that has undergone the necessary tests on the most common IT infrastructure. A handful of companies offer a version like this plus online support at a price that depends on the size of your work environment. Proximus chose Hortonworks,” Matthys concludes. November 2016

TALKING HEADS | Interview with Pieter Ballon, author of ‘Smart Cities’

T Recipes for success for a smart city According to the UN, upwards of 54% of the world’s population already lives in a city. In 1950, the figure was 30%. By 2050 it will be 66%. In his book ‘Smart Cities’, Pieter Ballon proposes five measures to ensure the successful introduction of the smart city.

he smart city is attracting a great deal of attention at the moment. The word ‘hype’ is perhaps an exaggeration, but still. And we have to beware of this, says Professor Ballon. “We cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that the smart city is not a matter of the city alone. All the stakeholders, businesses and citizens have to be involved. In this way, cities can increase their internal power and capabilities without this knowledge becoming too fragmented.”

Living lab It is often said that Belgium is lagging hopelessly behind in the smart-city story. Professor Ballon makes five concrete recommendations for catching up quickly. “My first recommendation is that a permanent ‘living lab’ should be installed asap, a sort of experimental plot or platform for innovation where researchers can test new things quickly. This doesn’t have to be in the whole city, just a district or even a street. Something like this is fairly easy to introduce.” Realistic and measurable The second recommendation concerns the goals that we have to set ourselves. These are often still far too vague, according to the professor. “Cities often say: ‘We are going to become a smart city.’ I advocate starting with a few measurable goals: ‘We are going to reduce the number of minutes in traffic jams by so much.’ Or: ‘The number of start-ups in the city must increase by so many percent.’ That is far more concrete and realistic.” Digital master builder Cities that want to start working on this have to appoint someone to be in charge, Ballon believes. “This must be someone who understands the technological side of things, but who can also apply it in strategic and organizational terms. There is no point in turning the existing structures completely upside down. You have to have a leader, a sort of digital master builder, who can get the job done with a decent budget.” Open and standardized Fourthly, this digital master builder must maintain an overall view and not focus too much on individual services. “This is the only way you can guarantee interoperability and openness,” says Ballon. “And only then do you achieve standardization. Ultimately not only in the city, but throughout Belgium and even Europe. There can’t be any silos between the different cities and services.”

Read the book review on page 10.

Smart Regions The last recommendation takes up this point. “You have to see the expression ‘smart city’ at a higher level,” Ballon says. “It has to become Smart Flanders or even Smart Europe. The six biggest cities in Finland have already understood that. No single city there can set up an individual smart city project now. At least two or three cities have to work together. That’s what we need to aim for, as well.” 33

TALKING HEADS | 6  questions for Alex Janssens, CIO, Director Information Technologies, Parts Supply & Logistics Mazda Motor Logistics Europe NV

“The speed at which it is all happening is unprecedented, so it’s about using the new developments well.” Alex Janssens CIO, Director Information Technologies, Parts Supply & Logistics Mazda Motor Logistics Europe NV

Who would you like to sit next to in an aeroplane and what would you ask him or her? Between Jacques Rogge and Halle Berry. Above all, I’d like to know how Jacques Rogge – the sportsman, doctor and director – approached the task of pushing through his vision as president of the International Olympic Committee (2001 – 2013). With the lovely Halle Berry, I’d like to talk about racism in Hollywood. She was the first actress of Afro-American descent to win an Oscar (‘Monster’s Ball’, 2002). What don’t your staff know about you? They don’t know much, because I deliberately keep my professional life and my private life separate. But they know how I think and how I want to lead and direct the department. If anyone wants to get to know me a little better, I can reveal that I’m not a handyman. You shouldn’t come to me to get chores done. But if you’re looking for someone to cook, then I’m ready and willing.

Personal Alex Janssens gives his staff the freedom they need to decide themselves how they want to achieve the goals set. He doesn’t have a great deal of free time, but at the weekend he likes to be in the kitchen preparing delicious, healthy family meals. He also enjoys watching football matches when his son is called in as referee. Career He studied commercial sciences at the European College in Brussels. Just after that, he became a controller at Mazda and in 1998 he was given a major promotion in the accounts department. From 2002 until April 2006, he got to know more about logistics and from 2006 to 2013 he headed the European Financial Services department. Since March 2013, he has been CIO. When Jorgen Olesen retired in March, Alex took over Jorgen’s tasks for Parts Supply & Logistics as well. Company  Motor Logistics Europe (MLE), is the logistics hub for Mazda in Europe. MLE supplies parts to 2,300 Mazda dealers in Europe via 22 national sales organizations. These national sales organizations also count on MLE in Willebroek for IT and financial services. Employees  Over 400 people from 16 countries work at MLE. The 60 staff in the finance department take care of finance analyses, bookkeeping, purchasing, pricing, vehicle ordering, billing and treasury. The team of 60 in the IT department in Willebroek lend online support throughout Europe.


How would you describe your job? As a member of the European management team, I have to make sure that the goals and strategy of the two departments I lead are aligned with overall policy. It’s not just a question of drawing up a plan of implementation. I also have to translate the vision so that the plans can be carried out by the teams. Guidance is key. Both top-down and bottom-up. My job is mainly to provide support. Creating the right team spirit is very important here. Which person or event gave your career an important turn? The current CFO at Mazda Corporation, Akira Koga. He helped me when I was promoted in the accounts department in 1998. Akira taught me how to manage a financial department and that giving up is not an option. What do you think will be the next trend in the world of technology and IT? It’s difficult to single out just one trend. It’s mainly the speed at which it is all happening that is unprecedented. It’s about creating the right mindset and using the new developments as well as possible. You can choose: your staff can work from home or be with you in the office. I prefer a flexible working system wherever possible. Our managers arrange that as they wish. There must be room to meet and work at the office, but also for concentrated work in the most suitable location. November 2016

SOLUTION | Why fiber is a boost for your business


more data as from 2020

For some time now, Proximus has been busy rolling out fiber connections to companies and industrial sites. What could this mean for your business and what can you expect from it? Tania Defraine and Nicolas Viane from Proximus’ Enterprise Business Unit discuss the advantages.


ccording to Tania Defraine, the advantages of fiber are easily summed up. “The bandwidth via fiber is many times what is possible with copper wire. In the future, that is sure to be important: at the moment, data usage in Belgium doubles about every year. From 2020, usage will increase eightfold every year. The number of devices connected is rising sharply, too. Fiber is the only solution to meet these bandwidth needs.” With fiber, all Internet, telephone and videoconferencing applications can easily use the same connection – the bandwidth is there, after all. “One of the big advantages of this is that the latency is far lower. Data are sent though virtually without any delay. With telephone calls and videoconferencing, that means very stable connections and great image and sound quality.”

Opening a tap Fiber makes it possible to adapt the bandwidth in line with the customer’s wishes. “Our offer ranges from 2 megabits to as much as 10 gigabits per second. A business can start with 10 megabits, but switch to about 100 megabits if need be. For us, it’s simply a question of opening the tap wider.” Now that more and more companies are discovering the advantages of the cloud, it is important for them to be able to establish a fast connection with this infrastructure. Fiber can do that, too. Tania Defraine: “Fiber provides

for symmetrical up- and downloading speeds, so that uploading is as fast as downloading. That makes the cloud experience a lot better.”

Tania Defraine

Head of Enterprise Fixed Data at Proximus

Safe cloud “That applies just as much for the Proximus Secure Hybrid Cloud application,” Nicolas Viane chips in. “Hybrid cloud forms the bridge between the infrastructure on the company’s own network (private cloud) and public cloud environments. A typical example is disaster recovery: if something major happens and the site is no longer operational, our infrastructure takes over everything and the users are transferred to our cloud.” With Secure Hybrid Cloud, the distribution between the cloud and the company’s own infrastructure is always optimal, too. Capacity is simply added as needed. Of course, the whole platform is thoroughly protected. “The digital transformation is completely changing the way we think about teleworking or cloud applications,” says Viane. “Employees quite simply expect their employers to keep up.” Case by case Proximus fiber is now available at about 5,500 sites. Over the next five years, the rollout will be substantially speeded up. “Companies established outside these sites can already request fiber, too,” stresses Defraine. “We look at what is possible case by case and make ­customized proposals.”

Nicolas Viane

Head of Enterprise Cloud at Proximus

Business benefits • Very high bandwidth, both up and down • Very low latency • Bandwidth scalability • Symmetric or asymmetric connections possible

More info Contact your account manager or go to



Since 19 September this year, De Lijn passengers have been able to pay for their journey using the Be-Mobile 4411 app. With the m-ticket Be-Mobile aims to make cashless mobility purchases easier. The m-ticket is a first for the Belgian public transport system and at € 1.80, it is € 1.20 cheaper than a standard ticket. With the m-ticket, Be-Mobile is preparing a follow-up to the successful De Lijn text ticket and text parking. “As well as bus or tram journeys, the app can also be used to pay for parking or to charge an electric car. So you can pay for various means of transport without a care,” says Stéphane Jacobs, Director, Business Unit Mobility Payment at Be-Mobile. > Go to

Be-Mobile launches m-ticket for De Lijn

Cyber Security Convention The fourth Proximus Cyber Security Convention took place on Thursday, 20 October. A number of strategic security partners gathered in the Proximus Lounge in Evere to exchange cybersecurity experiences, an important topic, particularly now that companies can be punished if they fail to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). See pages 11 and 36 for more information on cybersecurity and GDPR. > Go to


Juni 2016

‘Office on Wheels’ is a lasting alternative to commuting Digitalent: one-year IT course Over the past 12 months, 90 young people aged 18 to 25 have followed a course in information and communication technology via the Digitalent project. The Proximus Foundation launched its Digitalent project on 5 October 2015. This comprised a series of workshops to introduce young, semi- and unskilled job seekers to the world of information and communication technology. The young people were given the course in six Belgian cities: Brussels, Liège, Charleroi, Antwerp, Hasselt and Ghent. The initiative is a public- and privatesector partnership involving VDAB, Actiris, Bruxelles Formation, Altran, 3KD, Technobel and YouthStart. Twelve of the 59 participants in the first five training cycles have since found work. > Want to know more about Digitalent? Go to

No more stress due to traffic jams. From now on Colruyt Group staff can start work while still stuck in traffic thanks to ‘Office on Wheels’. During this six-month project, 100 staff members will commute to and from their place of work between Ghent and Halle with an office bus. Everything is provided so that the commuters can work digitally and flexibly. The Professional Association of Bus and Coach Operators and the Flemish Institute for Mobility want to look at whether the office bus is a sustainable alternative to commuting. Proximus is proud to be a partner and is supporting this project by converting a powerful, high-capacity 4G connection into separate, secure Wi-Fi networks for each user group. > For more information, go to

Brussels traffic-free zone soon a fiber highway Proximus is carrying out a test project in the Anspach district of Brussels where fiber is being rolled out to people’s homes. This is a first, which will offer everyone in the pedestrian zone and the surrounding streets a chance to connect to this fiber ‘network of the future’ free of charge, even if they are not Proximus customers. Since 2015, Proximus has proactively rolled out fiber to 80% of

the industrial zones in Belgium, offering a great many companies access to fiber (Fiber to the Business). Proximus is also bringing fiber into homes (Fiber to the Home) in new residential districts across Belgium. With around 21,000 km of cabling, Proximus is offering fiber to over 90% of the population. > For more info go to


TRIGGER | Digital transformations through the ages

4 generations, 4 different worlds

“Who rings a telephone anymore?”


y father is almost 90 and so not as mobile as he was. No matter, he has remote controls. For the radio, the television, the set-top box, the satellite receiver, the light, the fan. He has a cordless telephone in every room. They are all connected to the same line. The television is on half the day. He doesn’t use e-mail, but he does go and look in the letterbox every day. Telephone conversations are invariably short, because, in his eyes, minutes cost. I’m almost 60 and I have a landline and a mobile. I have a few remote controls for audio and video devices and some apps to manage the odd thing or two. I have radio and TV on my tablet, too. From time to time, my partner and I watch a program that we’ve recorded on the set-top box. Otherwise, we just watch programs when they are broadcast. We use e-mail a lot and the post from time to time. Telephone conversations with the family sometimes last an hour. My daughter Sarah is almost 30. She doesn’t have a landline any more, just a smartphone. She has a Netflix subscription. Some days, she watches several episodes of the same series. She doesn’t watch the news. She finds out what is happening from the Internet, social media and YouTube. Facebook and Whatsapp are the perfect tools to communicate with her friends. She rarely answers the phone straight away when 38

we call. Her social life takes place mainly online and, at the weekend, she often makes arrangements with her friends via social media. Sarah is expecting her first child (a daughter). What will she use? The light will come on automatically when she enters a room. She will say something – hop – and the music will come on. She won’t need a telephone or a smartphone, because telephony will be built in everywhere. Telephone conversations will follow her from room to room. A car? No need: she’ll rent a car for each journey. As a matter of fact, the car will become her public transport. She won’t have to go to the shops anymore. They’ll bring washing powder automatically, when hers has all gone. And there will be cameras and screens everywhere, so that she can communicate with her friends online. And I thought I was modern when I bought my first VHS recorder, DVD player or digital camera. My future granddaughter will laugh at me when I use a computer mouse or look something up in a book. But I won’t laugh when she cries, when she’s hungry or crossed in love, just like the generations before me. No matter how the technology evolves from generation to generation, social contact with families, friends, colleagues and customers will always be the most important thing. Including in business.

November 2016

Rethink what a phone can do

Streamlined Design

Brighter in Low-light


IP 68

Expendable memory

Water & Dust Resistant

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Profile for Proximus

Proximus One November 2016  

Business magazine for top ICT professionals

Proximus One November 2016  

Business magazine for top ICT professionals