Business Chief USA September 2019

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HHH USA

EDITION

SEPTEMBER 2019

www.businesschief.com

LOOKING TOWARDS

A DIGITAL FUTURE

Solving business

problems through

technology

TRANSFORMING THE

PARTNER EXPERIENCE

IBM’s Mike Fino discusses the solutions

driving enhanced sales operations

for its business partners

Sustainable

Cities

City Focus

PHILADELPHIA

A major hub of industry

and commerce


“We need to

make the world

more how we

want to see it.”

- Scott Saunders,

CEO & Founder, Happy Money

Happy Money & Alliant Credit Union

proudly celebrate 2 years of partnership,

changing the way people think about

and use money.


FOREWORD

W

elcome to the September issue

of Business Chief USA.

This month’s cover story features

technology and innovation giant IBM. The

company needs little introduction, but in

this issue, we take a closer look at the

transformative business partner

experience it has created.

with a renewed thrust for transforming

the way in which it provides its

services, and professional services

firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The latter is seeing an increased

demand for services related to

cybersecurity and cloud computing,

reflecting the global appetite

for digital transformation.

03

Mike Fino, COO for

Global Business

Partners, tells us that

IBM’s Partner Ecosystem

– which has been driven by

innovative tools and close

engagement – has fostered an

exciting “growth mindset environment”.

Innovation remains at the forefront of

this edition, as we take a look at the

work of some of the leading

businesses across a host of sectors.

This includes electronics manufacturer

KEMET Electronics, which is

celebrating a century of operations

Mike Fino,

IBM Partner Ecosystem

In our City Focus we

take in Philadelphia, an

urban environment that

is rapidly becoming a

major hub of industry and

commerce. In a similar vein,

we take a closer look at the top 10

sustainable cities in the USA, including

the likes of Seattle, Washington and

Honolulu, Hawaii.

If you have a story to tell, please email

harry.menear@bizclikmedia.com

Enjoy the issue!

Harry Menear

www.businesschief.com


MEET OUR SPEAKERS

Inderpal Bhandari

Global Chief Data Officer,

IBM

September 22-24, 2019

W Atlanta-Midtown, Atlanta, GA

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USA

EDITION

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

HARRY MENEAR

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05


CONTENTS

Transforming the

partner experience

with innovative tools

and ongoing feedback

14

28

40

New order

in

Automation for

a new era of smart

manufacturing


48

MIR IMRAN

Serial entrepreneur,

CEO of Rani Therapeutics

and inventor of the

robotic pill

58

68

City Focus

PHILADELPHIA

EXCITING

SUSTAINABLE

CITY INNOVATIONS

AROUND THE WORLD

Sustainable

cities in the USA

78


CONTENTS

92

KEMET

Electronics

Corporation

110

Arizona State

University


150

PwC

132

Prime Healthcare

164

Four Winds

Interactive


CONTENTS

178

Corning

Incorporated

192

PepsiCo


206

Soorty

Enterprises

220

Cologix

240

Canadian Blood

Service

254

St. John

Ambulance

Canada

266

Nova Scotia

Power


14

IBM: transforming the

partner experience

with innovative tools

and ongoing feedback

WRITTEN BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

15


IBM

Mike Fino, Vice President & COO,

IBM Partner Ecosystem, discusses

the solutions driving enhanced sales

operations for its business partners

and the potency of client feedback

16

I

BM’s illustrious and prolific history has

made the company synonymous with

both technology and innovation. However,

Mike Fino, COO for Global Business Partners at

IBM, says that IBM’s pedigree is never a foregone

conclusion. “Our business partners have many

choices, and we want them to feel that partnering

with IBM gives them access to the best technologies,

the most effective experience, and the most

efficient way for them to take care of their clients,”

he explains. “While we are well on the transformation

journey we began with our partners in 2017, there is

never a point in time when we’ll say that we’re done

improving, evolving our processes, or making tools

better. The IBM Partner Ecosystem is a growth

mindset environment.”

Over the past year and a half, IBM’s Partner

Ecosystem team has transformed its tooling and

overhauled partner engagement. They implemented

a Global NPS (Net Promoter Score) solution that

has since been propagated across IBM’s Global

Partner Ecosystem, and the insights gleaned from

the resulting client and partner feedback have been

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

17


IBM

18

“We want our partners

to feel that partnering

with IBM gives them

access to the best

technologies, the most

effective experience,

and the most efficient

way for them to take

care of their clients”


Mike Fino,

COO for Global Business Partners, IBM

instrumental in improving the partner

experience. “We use the feedback

to help us set our priorities for transformation

investment. Then, as we

transform, we continue to use ongoing

NPS feedback to ensure that we’re

moving in the right direction,” says Fino.

Once a partner provides feedback,

IBM responds within 24 hours to

quickly establish a line of communication.

“We may not have all the answers in 24

hours,” adds Fino. . “But within that time

we let them know that we heard them

and we are working on a response.”

Extensive, systematic audits are

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘IBM PARTNERWORLD – COMPTA EMERGING BUSINESS

OUTSMARTS WILDFIRES AND PROTECTS LIVES WITH IBM WATSON’

19

conducted on the returned engagements

themselves to ensure they are

of a certain quality, and that responses

address specific raised concerns.

“This is where the power of NPS

becomes apparent,” enthuses Fino.

“Making client feedback a way of life

is really what moves the needle, and

we’ve seen that over the past year

and a half for the ecosystem.”

Engagement with this feedback has

enabled IBM to hone its partner

platform in such a way that partners

are not only able to access vital

information whenever they need it,

but they can also connect with other

partners with whom they can share

complementary skills. From a single

sign-on, IBM’s partners can leverage a

trio of powerful tools in the IBM Partner

Ecosystem that each enable them to

maximize their sales potential: Partner-

World, Seismic, and Skills Gateway.

While each solution is powerful on its

own, they provide exponential potential

when used together. They are designed

to be interoperable, enabling seamless

interaction between the three. Skills

Gateway provides sales training,

courses and tests; Seismic offers the

www.businesschief.com


IBM

20

platform for client engagement

as well as supportive sales collateral

(kits, plays and assets) that is designed

to enable partners to progress sales

opportunities; and PartnerWorld serves

as an onboarding and enablement tool

that links with the cutting-edge,

AI-driven Business Partner (BP)

Connect solution, which facilitates

collaboration among partners. “BP

Connect is where the scope really

becomes exponential,” says Fino.

“You’ve got your skills, your sales

collateral, and now you want to find an

IBM Business Partner with adjacent or

ancillary skills that can fill gaps in your

“It’s a mantra for

how we live in

support of the

IBM ecosystem:

a burning desire

to never be done,

to always want

to be better”


Mike Fino,

COO for Global Business Partners, IBM

SEPTEMBER 2019


own expertise. By collaborating with

another IBM partner, you can quickly

and efficiently bring a solution together

for a client without necessarily having to

become an expert in all things yourself.”

Powered by IBM’s proprietary

Watson artificial intelligence (AI)

solution, BP Connect intelligently banks

and cross-references partners’ skills to

provide matches to the most appropriate

and complementary partner for

their own needs. Through Skills

Gateway, partners can broaden and

Mike Fino

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Mike Fino is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,

IBM Partner Ecosystem, where he has overall

responsibility for transformation and operations across

IBM’s dynamic global ecosystem of business partners.

Mike leads agile teams that deliver measurable results,

which are validated using client engagement tools,

such as Net Promoter Score (NPS). Mike has 25 years’

experience leading key functional areas of integrated

operations at IBM. Prior to his current role, he led

enterprise transformation, sales operations and

strategy for the channel. Before starting his position

with the partner ecosystem, Mike served in leadership

roles within supply chain management operations.

21

www.businesschief.com


IBM

22

“Our competition

is moving quickly,

which means

we need to

move even

more quickly”


Mike Fino,

COO for Global Business Partners, IBM

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

23


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“By partnering with

another IBM partner,

you can quickly and

efficiently bring a

solution together for

the client without

necessarily having to

become an expert in

all things yourself”


Mike Fino,

COO for Global Business Partners, IBM

deepen their skillsets; their completed

training is recorded by BP Connect and

makes them a more attractive prospect

for others looking to collaborate on a

project. “If you’ve advanced your skills

from one discipline to four disciplines,

you become that much more appealing

– in terms of the different body of work

or knowledge that you have – for other

partners who may be seeking that

expertise,” says Fino.

IBM has also infused additional AI

capabilities into the ecosystem. The

company uses AI to match its business

partners with business leads that are

25

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY WITH WATSON MARKETING’

www.businesschief.com


IBM

26

“We’ve built a system

called SCORE which

continually learns

based on feedback,

win-rates, and which

partners are excelling

at particular skills

and capabilities”


Mike Fino,

COO for Global Business Partners, IBM

appropriate for their skills and their

historic performance with similar

opportunities. “We’ve built a system

called SCORE which continually learns

based on feedback, win-rates, and

which partners are excelling at particular

skills and capabilities. It then considers

all that information in near real-time and

uses it to select and pass a lead to the

partner that is best positioned to win or

advance that opportunity.”

In sum, these components comprise

a deeply powerful sales ecosystem

that is designed to enable partners to

SEPTEMBER 2019


27

make the most of every lead, develop

their skills, and build up a network of

partners with whom they can develop

symbiotic sales relationships. The

powerful combination of these tools

gives IBM a unique competitive

differentiator, proving to be an exceptional

asset in the marketplace. “Our

competition is moving quickly, which

means we need to move even more

quickly,” concludes Fino. “Our partners

always have choices. It’s about

continuing to be relevant in the minds

of our partners. If they see the value we

bring to the table each and every day,

that helps to ensure that, when choices

get made, the partners and clients

prefer our business model over

everybody else’s. It’s a mantra for how

we live in support of the IBM ecosystem:

a burning desire to never be done,

to always want to be better.”

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

New order

in

28

WRITTEN BY HARRY MENEAR

Alexei Miller, Managing Director at DataArt,

discusses digital transformation and the

ways technological and cultural change has

transformed the way business is conducted

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

29


LEADERSHIP

30

Perhaps the most seemingly-inevitable change

occurring now is the digital transformation

of the global enterprise landscape. Business

models are being rewritten, entire industries grow

from a single startup in a matter of months, and

those who are unwilling to adapt are disrupted

into the Wikipedia subheadings of history. Digital

transformation is an avalanche. The impact of a

single snowflake on the top of a mountain prompts

calamitous chain reactions that propel millions

of tons of snow towards the world below.

Alexei Miller, co-founder and Managing Director

of professional IT services firm DataArt, is

someone with the capacity and experience to see

the avalanche with clarity. “Life used to be simple.

There was business and there was IT. Business

was kind of clueless, but they had the money,

and IT had the expertise but none of the money,”

he explains. The resentment-fuelled dichotomy

was, Miller recalls, at least predictable. “Business

hated IT, because they were always late or

expensive or buggy; and IT always hated business

because it saw business as clueless - unable

to appreciate or take advantage of the miracles

of technology, or something to that effect,”

he shrugs. “Whatever.” And so this modern fable

continued for many years, with “everybody happily

hating each other.”

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

31


LEADERSHIP

32

“Now you can

create new

worlds; things are

so messy that you

can shape new

opportunities

for yourself”


Alexei Miller,

Managing Director, DataArt

Now, in mid-avalanche, Miller

laughs, everything is “so much worse.

Everything is messier, because the

technology changes so fast, it is

impossible for a CTO – no matter how

smart or qualified he or she is – to keep

up.” At the same time, he explains,

those traditional ‘business side’

people have become increasingly

technologically adept. “They didn’t

learn to use a computer in their 40s,

like their parents’ generation,” Miller

says. “Sometimes they know more

about cloud, AI and so on, than their

technology counterparts.” This world

turned upside down by dramatic

forces of entropy is, Miller insists,

chaotic and messy, but ripe with

opportunity. “It’s no longer clear

who you’re selling to, what you’re

selling or who’s making what,” he

shrugs again. “You can choose to

get depressed about it, because your

life is more difficult now, or you can

choose to see the fantastic

opportunity. Now you can create new

worlds; it’s so messy that you can shape

opportunities for yourself.”

Miller approaches the future

with a realist’s eye, both for

technology and business

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION IN FINANCIAL INDUSTRY.

ALEXEI MILLER, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT DATAART’

33

strategy. Founded in 1997, DataArt has

spent more than 20 years designing,

developing and supporting unique,

custom software solutions for enterprise

clients ranging from the Nasdaq to Apple

Leisure. As someone with over two

decades of experience enabling

companies to survive and thrive in

response to avalanches of change,

Miller is a judicious embracer of these

reconfigurations of the status quo.

“If you’ll allow me to be a little

philosophical for a moment, people

are seeking experiences instead of

things these days, right? We see

manifestations of that in many walks

of life. I think, similarly, people seek

certain opportunities to create and

experiment,” he posits. This has

changed the values of the workplace

as well, Miller suggests. “It’s not

just a place to make a bit of money.

I’ve been very lucky that DataArt has

given me that opportunity to create,

experiment and generate experiences,

not just money.”

The Greek philosopher Aristotle was

an astounding polymath – an expert

in and font of the leading philosophical,

rhetorical, scientific, medical and

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

34

astronomical wisdom of his time.

So expansive was his knowledge and

ability that he is frequently described

as ‘knowing everything’ about the

time in which he lived. Obviously,

mankind’s body of knowledge has

come a long way since then. Whatever

the probability of there once being a

person who contained the combined

sum of knowledge in the world, those

days have been swept away by the

fractalizing complexities of an

advancing human race.

Looking at the current business

landscape, Miller notes that this is a

realization that may not be as obvious

to some as it should. “I kind of protest

against this notion of a business

leader who is all-knowing, all powerful

and the idea that everyone around is

just helping him or her. This cult-like

thinking is a little bit too prevalent in

American business culture these days.

I revolt against that,” he explains.

“Those leaders are the beneficiaries

of gifts they’ve been given by people

around them who are better than

them in many ways. There are lots of

people who are better, smarter, faster

and prettier than me. I can be envious

of their good fortune and try to

SEPTEMBER 2019


“I kind of protest

against this notion

of a business leader

who is all-knowing,

all powerful and

the idea that

everyone around

is just helping

him or her”


Alexei Miller,

Managing Director, DataArt

control or take advantage of that fact,

or I enjoy their company. If you’re able

to build this structure where they work

with you, but not for you, everyone gets

to enjoy the process a little bit better.”

The pace of digital transformation is

such that no one individual can hold

even a single discipline entirely in their

own head. Collaboration and

deference to genius are the keys to

finding a new form of order in an

avalanche of chaos. As John Donne

put it, “No man is an island entire of

itself; every man is a piece of the

continent, a part of the main.”

To Miller, another success

characteristic is the ability for

companies to differentiate themselves,

but approach the process with, again,

a realist’s eyes. “Inevitably in this day

and age, in order to be and stay unique,

you need technology to support you.

And therefore, if you do things that are

unusual, then these unique or special

processes can’t be supported with

cookie cutter products,” he says. “You

cannot base your unique processes on

something that lots of other firms can

easily buy or subscribe to. You can

hardly claim that you have unique

CRM processes if you plainly use

35

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

36

standard Salesforce software, like

many thousands of other firms do.”

This is where DataArt’s expertise

comes into play: not only working

with its clients to create custom

solutions, but also helping digest

the newly-ongoing nature of digital

transformations strategies. “Creating

and sustaining unique technology is

not for the faint of heart. The projects

are never short, never cheap and never

easy.” Miller notes that, while these

projects can be immensely rewarding,

they need to be undertaken by a firm

“You cannot base

your unique

processes on

something that

lots of other firms

can easily buy

or subscribe to”


Alexei Miller,

Managing Director, DataArt

SEPTEMBER 2019


that is knowledgeable of and willing to

accept the inherent risks. The timeline

for these digital transformation projects,

Miller explains, has also radically

changed. “It leads to uncomfortable

answers to questions that previously

seemed very straightforward,” he admits.

“For example: the simplest question an

executive can ask is ‘how much is this

going to cost and how long is it going

to take?’” he chuckles. “When you

have a finite object, you can ask these

questions. In this brave new world, the

honest answer to these questions is,

‘well, if it is successful, then it will take

an infinite amount of time and an

endless amount of money’.” The

modern IT solution is sold, not once,

but continually with its upkeep and

ongoing development sold as a

service. This is the new world that

Miller sees as filled with opportunity.

Going forward, Miller intends to

continue building and developing

a company to which he feels “a sort

of parental attachment”. Exhibiting

between 20-30% growth each year,

DataArt is continuing to penetrate

further into the US and European

markets. “In any professional services

business, your reputation in the

marketplace and the trust you have

with specific individuals, is pretty

much the only current that you have,”

he says. In addition to building up the

currency of reputable trust, Miller and

his teams will continue to “preach the

gospel of digital transformation,” as

well as focusing on the company’s

internal and ongoing journey.

37

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TECHNOLOGY

AUTOMATION

FOR A NEW

ERA OF SMART

40

MANUFACTURING

We take a look at the possibilities

and potential pitfalls of automation,

examining a few of the companies

heralding a smarter, more efficient and

sustainable approach to manufacturing

WRITTEN BY WILLIAM SMITH

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

41


TECHNOLOGY

42

The drive for automation is showing no signs

of abating, with new manufacturing centres

increasingly requiring automation technologies

to be built in. ‘Smart’ manufacturing has become

the watchword for companies in the industry.

The Siemens Smart Manufacturing Innovation

Centre in Chengdu, China, for instance, opened on

21 May this year. Ericsson, meanwhile, is planning

to open an automated smart factory in the United

States in 2020.

In a manufacturing context, automation takes

many forms. Whether that’s 3D printers removing

human error from the equation, quality control

software increasing throughput or robots able to

assemble parts with unrivalled speed and precision.

In recent years, this activity has been supercharged

by the maturation of technologies such

as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Enabling the ‘smart’ manufacturing of the future,

such advancements help to imbue automated solutions

with qualities of human workers. A ‘dumb’

3D printer will continue to print even if there has

been a failure in the process, wasting resources.

A ‘smart’ solution employing AI and machine

learning, however, could recognise failure and

take measures to abort or restart the process.

SEPTEMBER 2019


“A TOTALLY AUTOMATED OR

‘LIGHTS OUT’ FACTORY HAS

THE ATTENDANT BENEFIT OF

NOT REQUIRING SYSTEMS

NECESSARY FOR HUMAN

WORKERS, SUCH AS LIGHTING

AND HEATING, THUS REDUCING

ENERGY CONSUMPTION” 43

www.businesschief.com


TECHNOLOGY

44

The business case for increasing

automation is obvious, but anxieties

persist about the impact such technologies

will have. Research by Oxford

Economics has suggested that, by

2030, 20 million manufacturing jobs

will have been lost to robots, with

those losses disproportionately affecting

lower-skilled workers and those in

poorer countries. Such an outlook is

tempered, however, by the expected

creation of as yet unknown industries

made possible by robots.

A 30% rise in robot installations

worldwide, for instance, was estimated

to create an additional $5tn

in global GDP. The world is well on

its way to meeting such targets,

with the number of robots used in

manufacturing tripling in the last 20

years. A totally automated or ‘lights

out’ factory has the attendant benefit

of not requiring systems necessary

for human workers, such as lighting

and heating, thus reducing energy

consumption.

“IT IS CLEAR THAT WE

ARE CURRENTLY AT THE

BEGINNING OF A NEW

ERA OF AUTOMATION”

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘FANUC: YOUR BUSINESS DESERVES PERFECTION’

45

FANUC

To fulfil this demand, numerous

companies are rising to the challenge

across automation sectors old and

new. The world’s largest industrial

robot manufacturer is Fanuc.

According to Robotics and Automation

News, the company has installed

some 400,000 of its robots in factories

worldwide. Originating as part of

Japanese giant Fujitsu, the company

became independent in 1972. It is

most active in the field of numerical

control systems, i.e. programmable

machines which might be capable of

milling, punching or otherwise manipulating

items dependent on the needs

of their owner. Indeed, the company’s

name is an initialism of Fuji Automatic

Numerical Control. With revenue

reaching some $4.79bn in FY17, the

company is headquartered in the small

Japanese village of Oshino.

EMERSON ELECTRIC

It is, of course, necessary to act with

intentionality when implementing

automated solutions, and consequently,

www.businesschief.com


TECHNOLOGY

46

the services of automation experts are

often required. Multinational Emerson

Electric dedicates one of the two sides

of its business to providing automation

solutions, and in FY17 the company’s

revenue reached $15.26bn. Providing

automation services to industry,

Emerson tailors its offerings to specific

clients, saying on its website that

its expertise moves away from standard

approaches developed in decades

past. As part of this, one of the company’s

focuses is on implementing the

Internet of Things (IoT) in industry.

Its Plantweb ecosystem integrates

products in the areas of production,

reliability, safety and energy management.

Emerson’s expertise extends

across a broad swathe of different

industries, including automotive, food

and beverage, oil and gas, packaging

and mining.

WANDELBOTS

As well as the work of established

giants such as Fanuc and Emerson,

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘EMERSON: AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS’

SEPTEMBER 2019


the future of automation will require

the input of newcomers. Wandelbots is

a German startup with a focus on what

the company calls a ‘human-centered’

approach to robot programming.

Having raised €6mn ($6.73mn) in

series A funding, Wandelbots hopes to

explode and disrupt the existing system

of robot programming, which differs

between companies and systems,

by introducing demonstration-based

machine teaching. Wearing a sensor

filled jacket, users can perform actions

which are then replicated by robots,

drastically reducing the time taken and

cost of programming. “We are providing

a universal language to teach those

robots in the same way, independent

of the technology stack,” says CEO

Christian Piechnick in TechCrunch.

Though automation, as we envisage

it today, has existed since at least the

1940s and the advent of numerical

control, it is clear that we are currently

at the beginning of a new era

of automation. With AI, machine learning,

drones and other technologies all driving

new developments in automation,

manufacturing as we know it is being

transformed, bringing new levels of

efficiency and entirely new possibilities

to industry.

47

www.businesschief.com


PEOPLE

MIR IMRAN

48

Serial entrepreneur,

CEO of Rani Therapeutics

and inventor of the

robotic pill

Mir Imran, inventor, founder and

CEO of Rani Therapeutics, shares

his story and discusses how his

latest business is driven by the

desire to innovate, create and solve

one of the most pressing problems

in modern medicine

WRITTEN BY HARRY MENEAR

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

49


PEOPLE

50

As a serial entrepreneur, what

would you say are the key qualities

of a successful startup?

A successful startup is willing to take risks

and fail frequently. Taking big risks, learning

from every failure, and making an effort to

fully understand every facet of a problem

before pursuing a solution are important tenants

to help create a culture that embraces

innovation.

Choosing the right problems to address,

too, is essential. If you are merely iterating

on other people’s ideas, you aren’t inventing.

Look at the big unsolved problems. Break

them down. Understand them. Find solutions

that no one had ever thought possible. I focus

on big, unsolved problems and that has led

to the creation of a number of disruptive

innovations.

There can be big rewards that come from

innovations like Rani Therapeutics, but there

are also countless risks along the way. I

have been fortunate to have had many successes

in my career, but I also have had my

fair share of failed concepts or lacklustre

results. Before I had success with the first

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD),

I had two failed companies. I never let those

failures bring me down; rather I saw them as

SEPTEMBER 2019


“I focus on big, unsolved

problems and that has

led to the creation of

a number of disruptive

innovations”


Mir Imran,

Inventor, founder, and CEO

of Rani Therapeutics

51

opportunities to learn and evolve. Each

experience gave me further clarity, led

to deeper insights, and helped inform

future decisions. If I had given up after

my early failures, life would have turned

out very differently for me.

As someone with over 500 patents

to their name, which technological

development have you been most

proud of so far?

I’m driven by identifying unsolved or

poorly addressed problems in medicine.

Over the past four decades, I’ve

www.businesschief.com


PEOPLE

52

built a number of companies that have

addressed multiple problems, from

lockboxes used by real estate agents

to full-body airport scanners used

across the country and the world,

and radically improved treatments

for chronic pain.

While I’m proud of all my inventions,

today I’m on a mission to solve one of

the biggest challenges in medicine:

replacing painful injections with a pill

to treat hundreds of millions of patients

with chronic disease. When I learned

that pharma companies have tried and

failed for more than 50 years to convert

biologic injections into pills, I saw

that as a juicy problem to solve. The

main challenge is that the gut hosts

enzymes designed to break down

proteins. If ingested, biologic drugs

are degraded before they can be

absorbed. That’s why you haven’t

seen oral insulin or oral Humira yet.

At Rani Therapeutics, we think we

have solved the riddle with the

RaniPill capsule.

Could you tell me a little about Rani

Therapeutics and your new robotic

pill? What advantages does the pill

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘RANI THERAPEUTICS’

53

have over traditional subcutaneous

injections?

There are millions of people around the

world living with chronic conditions that

can only be treated with painful daily

self-injections. Yet even when such

medicines are readily available, patient

compliance is very low. Patients don’t

want to inject themselves and avoid the

treatment even if it affects their health.

Achieving oral delivery of biologics is

considered the holy grail of drug delivery,

and we think we have come up with

the solution with the RaniPill capsule.

The RaniPill capsule appears to the

patient to be an ordinary pill, but inside

is a “mini auto-injector” that delivers

the drug directly into the intestinal wall.

Our robotic indigestible capsule has a

special coating which gets it through

the acidic environment of the stomach.

When it reaches the intestinal

wall, the RaniPill then transforms,

revealing the mechanism inside. The

RaniPill aligns itself to inject a drug

into the intestinal wall, where it is

picked up quickly and circulated in the

bloodstream. The patient doesn’t feel

anything because the intestines have

no sharp pain receptors.

www.businesschief.com


PEOPLE

54

While other organisations have followed

our lead and are now pursuing

similar concepts, Rani’s early start in

the pursuit of a pill to replace painful

injections has secured our position

as a pioneer of robotic pills. We have

conducted more than 100 preclinical

studies proving that our technology

works – and delivers the same amount

of drug as a subcutaneous injection.

We have also begun testing in humans

— specifically testing the safety and

tolerability of the RaniPill capsule

without the drug. Those studies were

successful, demonstrating that the

RaniPill capsule deployed with no

feeling or perception by the subjects

and the remnants passed out of the

body. We are moving towards human

testing with the RaniPill capsule

loaded with a drug (Octreotide, a drug

used for the treatment of acromegaly)

this year.

Given your experience as a leader

of business units and enterprises,

how do you ensure that you attract,

utilise and retain top talent?

It is our intent to attract and retain

innovative thinkers to help us build

SEPTEMBER 2019


the future of biologic drug delivery,

and we believe our culture has

helped us tremendously in that

regard. I’m proud that today Rani’s

workforce is more than 50% women,

and that 20% are over 50 years old.

Our employees are ethnically diverse

as well, drawn from more than 10

countries. For me, building a wellrounded,

holistically representative

workforce means finding the best

talent regardless of a person’s age,

gender, or ethnicity.

A criticism that’s often levelled at

pharmaceutical and tech companies

is that they’re increasingly driven by

the business case as opposed to the

desire to innovate and improve people’s

lives. How do you ensure that

Rani Therapeutics doesn’t lose sight

of the goal of helping humanity?

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Mir Imran

Mir Imran is the Chairman and CEO of Rani Therapeutics, an

exciting company that has developed a unique approach for the

oral delivery of large drug molecules including peptides, proteins,

and antibodies. Imran is also the Chairman & CEO of InCube Labs,

a life sciences R&D lab focused on developing and commercialising

breakthrough medical innovations. Rani spun out of InCube in

2012. After attending medical school, Imran began his life as

a healthcare entrepreneur in the late 1970s and has founded

more than 20 life sciences companies since those early

days, more than half of which have been acquired.

Imran’s passion is creating novel technologies that have

the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of

patients and has become one of the leading inventors and

entrepreneurs in the field. Imran holds more than 500

issued and pending patents and is perhaps most wellknown

for his pioneering contributions to the

first FDA-approved Automatic Implantable

Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).

55

www.businesschief.com


PEOPLE

“We have a truly multidisciplinary

team and

that plays a critical

role in understanding

and framing problems,

and ultimately devising

solutions”


Mir Imran,

Inventor, founder, and CEO

of Rani Therapeutics

56

We believe the best business case —

a sustainable business case – can only

be achieved when your products truly

improve people’s lives. Our singleminded

focus is always trying to understand

problems, faced by patients and

to try to alleviate some of those problems

through innovation.

When it comes to building innovative

products, it is critical to start with

understanding the problem and do this

from all facets. Once you truly understand

the problem, the solution will

reveal itself. Earlier in my career, I was

quick to try to “solve” the problems.

I would spend time dreaming up the

solution to a problem that I did not fully

understand. I soon learned that you

must take the time to understand and

appreciate the problem, look at it from

all angles, listen to other opinions, and

see what has been done before. If you

pursue solutions too quickly without

that complete understanding of the

problem, you might miss the opportunity

for a breakthrough.

SEPTEMBER 2019


In the case of Rani, where we are

working to improve the lives of millions

of people, I had to look at all of the ways

that previous approaches have failed

in order to come up with a radically different

way to solve the problem. Rather

than try to change the drug to make it

viable orally, which had been tried many

times before by other companies, I

decided we needed to take a very different

approach and instead change how

the drug is delivered. Out of that concept,

the RaniPill capsule was born.

What’s on the horizon for you, and

for Rani Therapeutics? Where do you

see your roadmap taking you in 2020

and beyond?

It’s an exciting time for Rani Therapeutics.

We’ve done hundreds of preclinical

studies by delivering more than 1,000

capsules. We’ve tested nine drugs,

including insulin, GLP-1 [for diabetes]

and Humira [for arthritis] and we’ve

demonstrated that the RaniPill capsule

delivery is equivalent to subcutaneous

injection. Later this year, we’ll

be testing a drug called Octreotide

which treats patients suffering from

acromegaly, a condition resulting from

the body’s pituitary gland producing an

excessive amount of growth hormone.

Next year, we’ll be testing several other

drugs in Phase 1 studies. We are getting

closer to bringing the RaniPill capsule

to patients and improving the lives

of millions. It’s an enormous challenge

that keeps us focused and motivated

every day.

57

www.businesschief.com


SUSTAINABILITY

58

SEPTEMBER 2019

Chicago, USA


EXCITING

SUSTAINABLE

CITY

INNOVATIONS

AROUND THE

59

WORLD

Marga Hoek is a global thought-leader

on sustainable business, international

speaker and the author of The Trillion

Dollar Shift, a new book revealing the

business opportunities provided by the

UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

WRITTEN BY MARGA HOEK

www.businesschief.com


SUSTAINABILITY

60

Cities are at the heart of national

and global growth. In an

increasingly urbanised world,

cities are both the source and the

solution of many global problems.

Not only do urban areas account for

over half of the world’s population,

but they also generate around 80% of

global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Cities, however, are confronted and

challenged to become inclusive, safe,

sustainable and: smart. And because

of its impact, one could say that the

battle for sustainability will be lost or

won in cities. Cities play a major role in

achieving Sustainable Development

Goals (SDGs). They clearly play a

role in SDG 11 – sustainable cities and

communities – but cities also impact

many other SDGs.

We have a long way to go and little

time: cities are becoming more sustainable

yet to reach our goals, cities

much embrace more and also more

radical innovations. Those radical

innovations mean moving away

from the conventional way of thinking

and designing.

SEPTEMBER 2019


Cambridge, US

Zwolle. the Netherlands

61

ZWOLLE, THE NETHERLANDS

Across the globe, we can encounter

many inspiring examples of how to

redesign our cities, simply by taking

this other perspective. Let’s start in the

country I was born, the Netherlands,

and zoom into the small city of Zwolle.

Here, for instance, the plastic road was

invented and created. A new modular

bicycle path made from recycled plastics.

It matches up to the equivalent of

218,000 plastic cups. So you cycle on

waste! The road has higher longevity

than conventional surfaces, can with-

“CITIES ARE BECOMING

MORE SUSTAINABLE

YET, TO REACH OUR

GOALS, CITIES MUST

EMBRACE MORE, AND

ALSO MORE RADICAL,

INNOVATIONS”


Marga Hoek,

Non Executive Director and author

of The Trillion Dollar Shift

www.businesschief.com


SUSTAINABILITY

stand extreme temperatures and it can

be applied to parking lots too. No virgin

materials are needed and we have lots

of (plastic) waste we need to dispose of.

LIMA, PERU

Hygiene and water are huge challenges

in low-income cities, mostly in developing

countries. So let us move to Lima,

the capital of Peru. An interesting innovation,

X-runner, brings an appealing

waterless sanitation solution for

those who lack access to conventional

toilets. With a simple subscription to

a pick-up plan, households receive a

waterless, resource-separating toilet

combined with a weekly service that

collects waste directly from the home.

Imagine the impact on health in poor

slums where people suffer tremendously

from diseases due to lack of

water, sanitation and hygiene.

62

Mexico’s Torre de

Especialidades Medicas

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘CAMBRIDGE LEADS THE CHARGE FOR

CLEAN ENERGY IN MASSACHUSETTS’

63

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

Smog and air pollution is a huge problem

in many cities like Mexico. The

Torre de las Especialidades found a

solution by creating a ‘smog-eating’

front for its hospital, absorbing the

pollution from the air. The new hospital

building in Mexico City is designed to

transform air pollutants into harmless

chemicals. The building has a facade

made up of a new type of tile called

“proSolve370e” which, according to its

inventor Elegant Embellishments, can

neutralise the chemicals produced by

8,750 cars every day.

“DESIGNED TO

TRANSFORM AIR

POLLUTANTS

INTO HARMLESS

CHEMICALS”


Marga Hoek,

Non Executive Director and author

of The Trillion Dollar Shift

www.businesschief.com


SUSTAINABILITY

“MODULAR SENSOR

BOXES THAT WILL BE

INSTALLED AROUND

CHICAGO TO COLLECT

REAL-TIME DATA ON THE

CITY’S ENVIRONMENT”


Marga Hoek,

Non Executive Director and author

of The Trillion Dollar Shift

64

CAMBRIDGE, US

The city of the future will combine sustainable

initiatives with the use of ICT

and advanced technologies. Around

the 1990s, as the digital revolution

came up to speed, it was often assumed

digitalisation would mean the

death of cities but the opposite is the

case. Smart, intelligent cities, that have

sustainability at the heart of development,

are considered to be a great

place to live. Digital innovations can

thrive, although they still have too little

scale around the world. A great example

is to be found in Cambridge, Massachusetts,

which we can describe

as an internet of pipes. A team of MIT

researchers have developed a system

Chicago’s Cloud Gate

SEPTEMBER 2019


to collect and analyse biochemical

information from sewage water, which

could be thought of as a ‘smart sewage

platform’. The project is called Underworlds

and it is being tested at this time.

CHICAGO, US

The line of thinking about smart,

sustainable cities is to use everything

there is in a city in a smart and

multifunctional way. This also implies

to ‘simples poles’. The Array of Things

(AoT) is an urban sensing project, a

network of interactive, modular sensor

boxes that will be installed around

Chicago to collect real-time data on

the city’s environment, infrastructure,

and activity for research and public

use. AoT will be measuring factors that

impact liveability in Chicago such as

climate, air quality and noise.

Everywhere around the world we

can find pertinent examples like these.

Since the world by now has become

a global village; we can share all these

examples and the knowledge behind

them to transform cities into the best

sustainable, smart cities they can be.

65

www.businesschief.com


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CITY FOCUS

City Focus

PHILAD

68

Business Chief explores Philadelphia,

a city famed for its historic role in the

American revolution, its art and its culture.

‘The City of Brotherly Love’ is also a major

hub of industry and commerce

WRITTEN BY HARRY MENEAR

SEPTEMBER 2019


ELPHIA

69

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | CHICAGO

PHILADELPHIA

70

T

he sixth-largest city in the United States,

Philadelphia is the capital of the State of

Pennsylvania and steeped in the history

of the American Revolution. Founded in 1682 by

an English Quaker, Philadelphia played host to the

signing of the Declaration of Independence in

1776 by the country’s founding fathers and is the

home of many American firsts. The so-called ‘City

of Brotherly Love’ is home to the United States’

first library, medical school, hospital, stock

exchange and business school. By the 19th century,

the city had become a major hub of industry and

the nation’s railroads.

Today, the city remains a center for commerce

in the state, with its collective gross metropolitan

product (GMP) being estimated at $490bn in

2018. While industries like communications and

tourism continue to play leading roles in the Philadelphia

economy – an estimated 42mn domestic

tourists visited in 2016, contributing approximately

$11bn to the economy of the city and

surrounding area – the area is also emerging as

a national hub for biotech investment. According

to the Philadelphia Business Journal, as of September

2018, the city had seen almost $775mn

in venture capital investment in the previous 18

months. Currently, Philadelphia biotech firm Spark

Therapeutics is undergoing a $4.3bn merger with

SEPTEMBER 2019


71

Swiss company Roche, which is

expected to be completed in 2020.

In addition to its tourism and biotech

scenes, Philadelphia’s surrounding area

is home to 15 companies on the 2019

Fortune 500 list. Of those companies,

two of them have their homes in the city

proper: telecommunications colossus

Comcast, and food industry services

provider Aramark. Business Chief takes

a look at the two biggest companies

from the home of the Liberty Bell,

the Eagles and Benjamin Franklin.

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

72

ARAMARK

Headquartered in the heart of downtown

Philadelphia, Aramark Corporation

has operated as a food service, facilities,

and uniform services provider to

the education, healthcare, business,

corrections and leisure industries

since its original founding in 1936. The

company employs more than 227,000

people worldwide and has been a part

of the Fortune 500 list for 25 years.

Committed to not only supporting

its Philadelphia workforce, but all of

its workers across the US, Aramark

announced in July 2019 that going

forward, it will provide the opportunity

“Our mission to

Enrich and Nourish

Lives means we have

a responsibility to

help our employees

achieve their full

potential and lead

fulfilling lives”


Eric J. Foss,

Chairman, President and CEO, Aramark

for eligible hourly employees to receive

full tuition coverage for college

degrees. The new program has been

designed specifically to help industryleading

companies to connect and

build relationships with universities.

The Aramark Frontline Education Program

is part of a $90mn investment the

company made in its employees earlier

this year that also includes

targeted wage and benefit increases,

as well as additional training and development,

according to the company.

“Our mission to Enrich and Nourish

Lives means we have a responsibility

to help our employees achieve their

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘ARAMARK: TAKING ON FOOD WASTE’

73

full potential and lead fulfilling lives,”

said Eric J. Foss, Aramark’s Chairman,

President and CEO. “Education is key

to making that happen and we are

proud to provide this learning pathway

to our dedicated frontline team

members who want to advance their

education and grow their careers.”

The application process for Aramark

employees will begin in October, with

the first batch of students scheduled

to start in Spring 2020.

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

74

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘INSIDE PHILADELPHIA’S TALLEST SKYSCRAPER:

THE COMCAST TECHNOLOGY CENTER’

COMCAST

Telecommunications conglomerate

Comcast is one of the largest owners

and operators of broadcasting and

television assets in the world, the largest

provider of internet services in the

US and a leading home telephone service

provider. The company is based

in the City Center West area of Philadelphia

and operates out of its own

dedicated campus. Its three primary

business units are Comcast Cable,

NBCUniversal and Sky.

According to Fortune, Comcast

completed its $39bn bid for British

broadcaster Sky in October, meaning

it now owns 75% of the European pay-

TV giant, dramatically expanding the

firm’s global footprint.

This expansion and diversification

is a key strategic goal for Comcast,

as cable subscriptions across the US

continue to decline, replaced by

streaming services like Netflix, Hule

and Amazon Prime. While its NBCUniversal

division is set to launch its own

streaming service in 2020, the media

giant is also taking steps to explore

SEPTEMBER 2019


“The LIFT Labs

program will

provide these

11 startups with

support and

access to Comcast

NBCUniversal

new innovative revenue options in its

home town of Philadelphia.

This year marks the start of the

second round of the Comcast NBCUniversal

LIFT Labs program.

“Spanning the entire fourth floor of

the new Comcast Technology Center,

LIFT Labs PHL is a unique place

where startups can elevate their companies

with support from mentors,

experts, seasoned entrepreneurs —

and one another,” writes the company.

This year, Comcast has selected 11

startups from around the world to

participate in the incubator program.

The companies, which range in scope

from artificial intelligence (AI) to

fitness apps, will spend the year

participating in custom workshops,

training sessions, and business meetings

unique to the company and its

LIFT Labs program throughout the

course of the accelerator. Comcast

is also promoting diversity in its selection

of companies, with one third of

the startups having a female founder.

“We are incredibly excited by the

leadership”

passion, drive, and foresight of the 75

founders of these companies,” said

Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development

Officer, Comcast, in a press

release. “The program will provide

them with support and access to

Comcast NBCUniversal leadership,

and help them push their boundaries

in new ways to produce more competitive

and successful businesses.

At the same time, we will learn from

some of the best new entrepreneurs

in technology.”

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

Comcast LIFT Labs accelerator

The 2019 class includes:

Diana AI

SanFrancisco, CA

Diana AI is a conversational business

intelligence and analytics tool

that enables non-technical users to

access enterprise data and analyze

it easily, using natural language

via voice or text.

Founders: Geeta Banda (CEO)

& Teja Nanduri

Edisn.ai

Bangalore, India

Edisn.ai delivers interactive and personalized

content to sports fans by

applying its AI-powered player recognition

engine to live video streams

in real-time.

Founders: Ashok Karanth (CEO)

& Akshay Chandrasekhar

stats and odds into simple prediction

games for the everyday fan.

Founder: Matt Bailey (CEO)

Messy.fm

Los Angeles, CA

Messy.fm is the all-in-one podcasting

solution for businesses, brands, and

individuals to record, edit, and publish

unlimited episodes for free.

Founder: Molly Beck (CEO)

NICKL

Brooklyn, NY

NICKL enables individuals and

organizations to personalize and

manage their digital content subscriptions

in one place.

Founder: Sumorwuo Zaza (CEO)

GameOn

Brooklyn, NY

GameOn increases live sports

engagement by turning complicated

Pivan Interactive

Boulder, CO

Pivan provides advanced training

and analytics for competitive gaming

SEPTEMBER 2019


athletes, powered by computer

vision and AI.

Founders: David Sturgeon (CEO)

& Constantine Tsang

Respeecher

Kiev, Ukraine

Respeecher uses AI technology to

transform voices, allowing one person

to speak in the voice of another.

Founders: Oleksandr Serdiuk

(CEO), Grant Reaber, & Dmytro

Bielievtsov

music-inspired fitness instructors

choreograph and deliver classes.

Founder: Amira Polack (CEO)

TakeShape

Brooklyn, NY

TakeShape enables one-click

integrations that allow developers

to easily combine data from the

JAMstack without having to write

new code.

Founders: Mark Catalano (CEO)

& Andrew Sprouse

77

Sporttrade

Philadelphia, PA

Sporttrade is a peer-to-peer sports

betting marketplace.

Founders: Alexander Kane (CEO),

Greg Scott, & Henry Fuz

Struct Club

Los Angeles, CA

Struct Club elevates how

The GIST

Toronto, Canada

The GIST provides sports content,

experiences, and community for

women.

Founders: Roslyn McLarty,

Jacie deHoop, & Ellen Hyslop

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

78

SEPTEMBER 2019


Sustainable

cities

79

Business Chief investigates the 10

most sustainable cities in the US,

based on WalletHub’s rankings

of 26 different ‘green indicators’,

which range from CO2 emissions to

legislative support for smart energy

policies and green industry jobs

WRITTEN BY HARRY MENEAR

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

80

Portland

Oregon

The largest city in Oregon, Portland is a modern cultural mecca,

which translates into city planning initiatives that support its environmentally

conscious populace. Known for its high number of cycle

lanes and footpaths, the city boasts extensive public transportation

investment and over 92,000 acres of green space. According to

the Green City Times, the city generates a significant portion of its

electricity from renewable energy (mostly hydroelectric), and is

on track to reach 100% renewable sources by 2035.

SEPTEMBER 2019


81

09 Sacramento,

California

As the seat of legislative power in California, Sacramento’s government

has a strong hand in the sustainability of the city. The city has been

working on its Climate Action Plan since 2012, pushing initiatives that

encourage walking and biking, use of public transit, green building

practices, use of solar energy systems, architectural design to reduce

heat gain, recycled construction materials, and water conservation.

Californian lawmakers are particularly concerned with climate

impact, as the state has seen severe drought and devastating

wildfires ravage the landscape in recent years.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

82

Seattle

Washington

One of the nation’s largest technology hubs, Seattle is home to megalithic

corporations like Microsoft and Amazon. As such, industry-driven

smart planning forms a large part of the city’s sustainability initiatives.

Microsoft, for example, recently announced that it will be investing

$500mn to solve the city’s housing crisis – counteracting the rising house

prices brought on by the tech boom. Nicknamed ‘the Emerald City’,

Seattle ranks in the top 10 cities worldwide for tree cover, and the city

has also reached a 90% mix of renewable power in the last few years.

SEPTEMBER 2019


83

Fremont

California

Located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay, Fremont is

a relatively small city that is dedicated to the concept of supporting

“the ability of the current generation to meet its needs without

compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

The city’s Carbon Neutrality resolution has laid out a roadmap

to achieve a 55% greenhouse gas emissions reduction from 2005

levels by 2030, and aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

The portion of the bay around Fremont is also set aside as a national

wildlife refuge, which provides shelter to populations of migrating birds.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

84

Honolulu

Hawaii

As an island city, Honolulu’s government, commercial sector and

populace are all dedicated to maintaining a sustainable approach to

urban planning. Current initiatives from the city’s 2019 sustainability

report include: transitioning the city’s public transportation fleet

to 100% renewable energy by 2035, making all island ground transportation

100% renewable by 2045, and achieving 100% carbon

neutrality for the island of Oahu by 2045. The city administration

has also introduced a 70% waste reduction goal by 2030.

SEPTEMBER 2019


85

San Jose

California

Located just south of Fremont on the San Francisco Bay, San Jose sits

near the heart of California’s technology industry. “Cities across the globe

are stepping up to confront climate change and other environmental

challenges with the kind of pragmatic, innovative leadership too often

missing in the national and international dialogue,” said City Mayor Sam

Liccardo. “Here in San José, we appreciate the grave cost of inaction and

continue to embrace the opportunity to build a more sustainable community.”

In 2018, the city launched its Clean Energy program that allows

residents to opt into purchasing 100% renewable energy from the city.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

86

Irvine

California

Situated to the south of the famously polluted Los Angeles, Irvine is

a master-planned city in Orange County with a population of over 277,000

people. Built in the 1960s by the Irvine Company, the town is home to

several large corporations and universities, including the prestigious UC

Irvine. In 2018, the college was recognized as the nation’s number one

sustainable campus by the Sierra Club, with the most energy-efficient

campus and over 90% efficiency with regard to water usage.

SEPTEMBER 2019


87

Washington

DC

Ranked highest in the nation by WalletHub for lifestyle, Washington DC

frequently ranks highly in polls for both smart and sustainable city

initiatives. The next stage of the city’s Sustainable DC plan involves over

200 actions and goals, including increasing renewable energy to make

up 50% of the District’s energy supply, dedicating 20 additional acres

to the cultivation of food, and reducing racial disparities in life expectancy

by 50% by 2032. With the DC population expected to grow and change

dramatically by 2032, the city is undergoing radical social experience

change aimed at benefiting current and future generations.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

San Francisco

California

88

A cultural, commercial and financial center, San Francisco

has undergone a rapid reimagining over the past

decade as the city has experienced a massive boom

in technology jobs. Like in Seattle, this has created

tensions in other areas, with house prices and homelessness

creating new challenges for the sustainable city

planners of today to overcome. The city sends less trash

to landfills than any other major US city, according to

a CNBC report, and has made significant investments

in solar power for municipal buildings – including 60,000

sq. ft of solar paneling on the roof of the San Francisco

Convention Center.

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

89


TOP 10

90

SEPTEMBER 2019


91

San Diego

California

Home to more than 1.4 million people, San Diego is the second most-populous

city in California. The city is a multicultural hub of business, finance

and scientific research. San Diego is committed to lowering its climate

impact while remaining an economic powerhouse. In the city’s 2018

annual Climate Action report, it was revealed that, since 2010, San Diego’s

GDP grew by 35%, while greenhouse gas emissions fell by 21%. A major

investor in clean technology, investment in green jobs in 2017 rose by

27% in the transportation sector, 19% in zero waste, and 15% in energy

and water-efficient buildings.

www.businesschief.com


92

KEMET ELECTRONICS:

WORKING WITH

PARTNERS TOWARDS

A DIGITAL FUTURE

WRITTEN BY

SOPHIE CHAPMAN

PRODUCED BY

MIKE SADR

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

93


KEMET ELECTRONICS

CHRIS HALL, VICE PRESIDENT OF

GLOBAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

AT KEMET ELECTRONICS, EXPLAINS

HOW THE COMPANY’S WORK WITH

PARTNERS HAS IMPROVED ITS

EFFICIENCY, AGILITY AND FLEXIBILITY

94

K

EMET Electronics is a leading manufacturer

of capacitors, inductors, magnetics and

various other passive components critical

to circuit board assembly,” explains Chris Hall,

the company’s Vice President of Global Information

Technology. The company operates more than

23 manufacturing facilities and 33 sales offices

worldwide, predominantly in Asia and North

America. In the last fiscal year ending in March

2019, the company shipped an estimated 54bn

components to 188 countries and approximately

180,000 customers. KEMET components meet

the needs of fast-moving market sectors including the

Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and the electrification

of the powertrain and other systems in automotive.

As the company is celebrating its 100-year

anniversary, Hall reflects on how far the business

has come. “KEMET is very proud of its lineage of

innovation and pushing the market and our industry

into the next realm of innovation. In light of that, one

thing we really try to be innovative about is how we

use technology, which will drive our position going

SEPTEMBER 2019


95

$1.4.bn

Approximate

revenue (FY2019)

1919

Year founded

15,000

Approximate number

of employees

www.businesschief.com


KEMET ELECTRONICS

96

“THE COMPANY IS VERY

PROUD OF ITS LINEAGE

OF INNOVATION AND

PUSHING THE MARKET

AND OUR INDUSTRY

INTO THE NEXT REALM

OF THINGS”


Chris Hall,

Vice President of Global Information

Technology, KEMET Electronics

forward and make us the vendor with

whom everyone wants to do business

with because of our ability to deliver.

We want to be the emotional favorite

of our customers; even if we’re not the

lowest price. This mindset is reflected

by KEMET’s mantras: ‘Easy to Design

In’ and ‘Easy to Buy From’, the foundation

of the company’s strategy.”

Hall joined KEMET in December

2017 to drive the technical transformation

required to ensure the company

comes out on top as the ‘emotional

favorite’ of its customers. He made a

point to say it was his role to insure IT

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘THE KEMET STORY’

97

was aligned with and supporting the

overall business strategy. In order to

meet this goal, technologies have been

introduced to improve efficiency,

productivity, flexibility and quality to

support the business into the future.

“Digital transformation is bringing us

into the 21st century and enabling us

to not only catch up with digital change,

but leapfrog into the future and take

the lead,” Hall explains. “We’ve become

more agile, and this has allowed us to

respond to and complete projects in

hours or days rather than weeks and

months. We’re able to delight the

business with technical capabilities;

IT is becoming easier to buy from.”

The company has also seen the benefit

of mitigated costs as a result of its

digital transformation strategy. “The

goal is to utilize technology’s ability to

help manage capacity and make it more

visible in real-time. This will enable the

company to be more productive and

improve quality.”

KEMET is also working to ensure

it better harnesses its data: “It’s no

secret that, in order to be a digital

company, you’ve got to be able to

capture, harness and analyze data and

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Helping clients achieve brighter

business outcomes

IT Strategy

Security

Business Innovation

Cloud & Managed Solutions

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KEMET ELECTRONICS

100

use it to make decisions as near

real-time as possible.” Concurrently,

KEMET is researching ways to use

data to drive a lot of its projects;

striving to find ways to operationalize

broad, enterprise-wide artificial

intelligence (AI) and machine learning

(ML) projects.

“As KEMET looks to the future, we

know that secure, pervasive mobility

and IoT technologies will be key to

maintaining our position as the

preferred global supplier of electronic

component solutions for customers

demanding the highest standards of

quality, delivery and service,” reveals

Hall. “The new smart, stable and

secure wireless infrastructure from

Aruba, which we’re deploying in more

than 50 locations globally, will allow us

to leverage gigabit wireless connectivity

to streamline operations, support

enhanced collaboration and innovations

in customer service as well as being

prepared for technological advances.”

By utilizing Aruba Central and Clear-

Pass Policy Manager, KEMET can unify

network operations and assure a

security platform that simplifies the

deployment, management and service

SEPTEMBER 2019


assurance of its wired and wireless

environments through a single pane

of glass. Similar to Aruba enabling its

LAN for the future, the company’s

partnership with Open Systems is

revolutionizing its ability to ensure QoS

throughout its WAN and provide the

needed performance levels users

expect of the cloud. These partnerships

in KEMET’s new infrastructure will

allow the company to build upon its

100-year tradition of enabling some

of the most significant technological

advances in history and continue

101

Chris Hall

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Chris Hall has spent 19 years in the after-market services and

electronics manufacturing industries. Rising through the ranks

at JABIL, Chris developed a strong understanding of supply chain

management, lean manufacturing, and cross-functional leadership

principles. After 14 years at Jabil, Chris was part of the iQor

acquisition of JABIL’s After-Market Services division and was

promoted to Vice President of IT Solutions for the newly

combined IT department. He spent three years developing new

technology to support iQor’s joint ventures and general corporate

strategy to become a Digital Enterprise. For the past 18 months,

Chris has led KEMET Electronics Corporation’s IT transformation

as VP of Global IT, where he oversees all aspects of IT strategy

including infrastructure, systems architecture, and development.

www.businesschief.com


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KEMET and

Open Systems—

True Partners

in Digital

Transformation

Driven by a rich history of innovation,

and an unwavering commitment to

excellence, KEMET manufactures the

electronic components that power our

world. Under the leadership of Chris Hall,

Vice President, Global IT, KEMET is

executing the cloud-first strategy that

provides a true strategic advantage.

Together, KEMET and Open Systems are

architecting a digital transformation—

working collaboratively to design a

managed SD-WAN infrastructure that

provides the capacity, speed, and

visibility needed to best support

current and future network demands.

The Open Systems platform provides

KEMET’s 15,000 employees better

access to global data and intelligence

and delivers secure cloud-based

apps to the entire organization.

“Open Systems gives us visibility

to network traffic and the ability to

control quality of service into various

clouds in our environment,” said Chris

Hall. He continued, “In working with

Open Systems, we’ve been able to

experience the significant cost savings

and reduced IT capital expenditures

that SD-WAN in general promises,

but a lot of companies aren’t able

to realize.”

As the company considers the

“smart” technologies of the future

like blockchain and the Internet of

Things (IoT), KEMET’s newly optimized

infrastructure is poised to deliver a

connected workplace for years to come.

Hall continued, “Open Systems has

enabled us to expand our perimeter.

As we deliver more applications to

the cloud, we look forward to working

with them as true partners in our

digital transformation.”


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘KEMET – DRIVING INTO THE FUTURE’

105

“FOR A CENTURY,

KEMET HAS

REDEFINED THE

POSSIBILITIES OF

ELECTRONICS AND

WE WILL CONTINUE

TO DO SO FOR OUR

NEXT 100 YEARS”


Chris Hall,

Vice President of Global Information

Technology, KEMET Electronics

driving toward our goal of being the

reliable partner our business needs.

KEMET has also worked with Sirius

to help with local area networks (LAN)

upgrades in order to transport data

from individual test devices to clients’

machines. The company must certify

the data is appropriately monitored

and traffic is segregated, enabling

quality performance of services that

are necessary to drive enterprisegrade

IoT projects. “It’s very important

that we get the infrastructure foundation

of our digital transformation correct,”

www.businesschief.com


KEMET ELECTRONICS

106

SEPTEMBER 2019


“IT’S NO SECRET THAT,

IN ORDER TO BE A DIGITAL

COMPANY, YOU’VE

GOT TO BE ABLE TO

CAPTURE, HARNESS

AND ANALYZE DATA

AND USE IT TO MAKE

DECISIONS AS NEAR

REAL-TIME AS POSSIBLE”


Chris Hall,

Vice President of Global Information

Technology, KEMET Electronics

107

says Hall. “However, as well as

infrastructure, we must also address

how we actually move data and make

it available to disparate applications,

including AI. This is where Software

AG comes in – the company is the

information highway through which all

that data integration is going to happen.

Whether it’s collecting data from our

shop floor, pulling in data from our ERP

systems, or being able to utilize data

coming in from customers and vendors,

it must be reliable. Software AG’s

Webmethods platform gives us the

ability to work in real-time.”

www.businesschief.com


KEMET ELECTRONICS

108

“WITH THE EXPLOSION OF

DEVICES, OUR PRODUCTS

AND SOLUTIONS WILL

FUEL THE TECHNOLOGIES

AND INDUSTRIES

OF TOMORROW”


Chris Hall,

Vice President of Global Information

Technology, KEMET Electronics

As the company continues towards

its digital future, Hall reveals what to

expect: “For a century, KEMET has

redefined the possibilities of electronics

and we will continue to do so for our

next 100 years. With the explosion

of devices, our products and ​solutions

will fuel the technologies and industries

of tomorrow.” As one of the world’s

most trusted partners for innovative

component solutions, KEMET will be

at the forefront of the manufacturing

SEPTEMBER 2019


109

industry’s digital revolution. “Leading

into the future and the next five years,

we have a continued focus on our

mission in making the world a better,

safer and more connected place to

live,” he adds. “This will be achieved

through our technologies and materials

science – these will be critical in

redefining industries, such as the

electrification of automotive, Industrial

Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial

Automation, AI and alternative energy

technologies. I’m privileged to be part of

KEMET, and excited to lead the digital

transformation that’s being prioritized

to make this vision possible.”

www.businesschief.com


110

Driving innovation

and inclusivity

through digital

transformation

WRITTEN BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE

PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

111


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Dr Jess Evans, Chief Operating

and Digital Transformation Officer

at Arizona State University (ASU)’s

University Technology Office (UTO),

discusses the tech and strategies

that have defined ASU’s modern,

inclusive and prestigious reputation

112

A

rizona State University (ASU) has enjoyed

a remarkable uptick in reputation in

recent years, and its success comes

down to the efficacy of its digital transformation.

“Over the past several years, specifically the last

six, the university has grown exponentially in

terms of improving both its academic presence

and innovation schedule,” says Dr Jess Evans,

Chief Operating and Digital Transformation Officer

at ASU’s University Technology Office (UTO).

“Case in point: over the last four years, US News and

World Report has rated ASU as the most innovative

university in the country, ahead of giants like

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and

Stanford.” Evans credits this meteoric shift to the

vision of ASU President, Michael Crow. “He has

set forth a strategy to truly transform the entire

university, both in the way we do business and how

higher education works,” she says. “The vision

looks to change the model of institutions fundamentally

grounding themselves in exclusivity.

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

113


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

114

“At ASU, we are

proud of who we

include. We are

looking to give

every student an

opportunity”


Dr Jess Evans,

Chief Operating and Digital

Transformation Officer, ASU UTO

At ASU, we are proud of not who

we exclude, but who we include.

We are looking to give every student

an opportunity.”

This strategy – which has involved

the introduction of new course

program structures, remote study

options and partnerships with

companies such as Starbucks and

Uber – has led to a surge in the

university’s student headcount.

“We’re now climbing above 40,000

online students, and this puts the

entire ASU student count at above

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘EMPOWER – HIGHLIGHTS OF ASU IT

PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY DAY’

115

111,000 in total,” says Evans. This

growth would not have been sustainable

with the university’s traditional

infrastructure, and tackling this

challenge is the crux of Evans’s work

at the UTO. “We need creative and

innovative ways to address this

demand, deliver excellent customer

service and keep a mindful eye toward

fiscal responsibilities.” To meet the

computational demands of such

a large student body, ASU is in the

process of transferring most of its

on-premise infrastructure to cloud

solutions. Evans stresses that this

is not a simple ‘lift and shift’, noting

that the transition has involved the

establishment of a DevSecOps

methodology, the use of automationbased

tech and a people-oriented

focus on reskilling existing staff

to make the most of the changes.

“We have 300 code-based robots

transitioning many of our on-prem

resources to the cloud without the

need for human intervention, and this

frees up our staff to start developing

new skills.”

Realigning existing staff with new

processes is vital to the wider change

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We can put you on a path to success.

DIGITAL

TRANSFORMATION

CYBERSECURITY

DATA CENTER


“Bringing our teams

together and

having them vested

in this transition

has been as crucial

as some of the

technical projects

we have delivered”


Dr Jess Evans,

Chief Operating and Digital

Transformation Officer, ASU UTO

management strategy, which Evans

earmarks as the keystone of the

digital transformation. To that end,

ASU Chief Culture Officer, Christine

Whitney Sanchez, has collaborated

with her throughout their transformative

efforts. “She and I have partnered to

align our strategic goals and objectives,

as well as give the organization a

vehicle of empowerment,” says Evans.

“Bringing our teams together and

having them vested in this transition

has been as crucial as some of the

technical projects we have delivered,

if not more so. Through this cultural

117

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Dr Jess Evans

Dr Jess Evans leads the Operations and Digital Transformation

(ODT) team within the University Technology Office (UTO) at

ASU. Through a transparent and collaborative approach to

servant leadership, Jess works with her team to advance the

mission of the university. The ODT portfolio spans multiple

UTO departments that includes; network, server, storage, data

center, public and private cloud services, identity and access

management, enterprise architecture, enterprise systems,

project and portfolio management, experience center (help

center), desk-side services, customer engagement teams,

training and event services, classroom support, new

construction design, all budget and HR within UTO,

and UTO service management systems.

www.businesschief.com


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

118

transformation, we’ve given multiple

teams a voice and empowered them

to assist with shaping how they work

in a truly agile way. We are iterating,

we are learning, and we’re doing it

together as a group.” Evans says that

the effectiveness of ASU’s digital

transformation hinges on the strength

of its cultural transformation. Any

organization seeking to leapfrog a

potent change management strategy

must address culture or they will only

be enabling short-term success.

“Sustainable success comes from

working on culture, being credible,

and leading in an intentional way.

We, the UTO executive leadership

team, have made great strides

in transforming how we operate,

and we’re seeing the results permeate

throughout the organization.”

Part of the challenge of effective

change management at ASU is

reflected in a significant technological

SEPTEMBER 2019


119

opportunity: the vastness of the

university’s network. In Arizona,

ASU’s core footprint is comprised

of four major campuses in the greater

Phoenix metro area with an expanding

campus in Lake Havasu. In addition

to this state-based presence, the

organization has a range of small

satellite academic areas in Washington

DC and California, with a another one

due in Hawaii soon. This geographic

range, coupled with the demand of

an ever-expanding student body and

the Internet of Things (IoT) devices

comprising a growing smart campus

infrastructure, has necessitated the

advent of ASU’s NextGen Network.

Evans inherited an environment

whereby network operations were

wholly outsourced to a service

provider, and bringing that network

into direct control offers myriad

benefits. “With the goal of having a

hybrid model, ASU will have traditional

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strategy,

technology,

transformation.

At Slalom, personal

connection meets global

scale. Our consultants

across the U.S., U.K.,

and Canada move fast

and share insights to

deliver high-impact

business results.


121

engineers back on the table to lead

architecture and design while

collaborating with multiple partners

to hone our strategies and ensure our

larger portfolio of services is enabled.

The unique difference of this collaborative

structure contractually requires

all parties (external and internal to

ASU) to hold each other accountable

for SLAs and performance metrics.”

By bringing the network under

the UTO’s influence, tailoring the

functions of the network to manage

the workload of the university’s

smart campus ambitions becomes

significantly easier. “FY2019 was a

busy year for the network operations

teams,” Evans elaborates. “ASU

embarked on a very aggressive and

innovative approach to soliciting

vendors through the RFP process.

The creative restructuring of how we

ask vendors to collaborate with other

competing vendors to package the

www.businesschief.com


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

£500.mn+

Total research

expenditures 2018

1885

Year founded

122

17,000+

Approximate number

of employees

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

123


connecting and protecting

hyetechnetworks.com


“Our goal is to

have a completely

infrastructure-free

network in the long

term, and that

is truly radical”


Dr Jess Evans,

Chief Operating and Digital

Transformation Officer, ASU UTO

ultimate solution was a first for the

procurement and technology disciplines.

Through meticulous rigor, ASU

selected the top solution and transitioned

to new service providers within

one fiscal year. A monumental amount

of proposal reviews, contract negotiations

and transition planning occurred

through a large team of ASU members,

along with many team members from

our new partners. New service providers

took control on 28 June 2019.”

125

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ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

126

The vision of the NextGen Network

doesn’t end there, however. “If your

network isn’t designed to handle

that influx of traffic, you’ll come to

a crashing halt, so we are going to

design a software-defined network

(SDN),” says Evans. “We’re holding

a proof of concept ‘bake off’ between

vendors to see who has the best SDN

solution in the market, and we intend

to elect a provider and put the first

instance into production by January

2020,” she explains. In the long-term,

Evans says that the aim is to achieve

something that no other known higher

education establishment in the world

has yet managed: a fully-fledged,

serverless architecture. “Our goal is

to have a predominantly infrastructure

free footprint in the long-term, and

that is truly radical: we will leverage

our code and developer power to

provision hardware both in the cloud

and within strategic local physical

locations. These goals are reliant on

a well-designed and robust network

that will handle the influx of large

data traversing over the network.

We plan to hire engineers to help

us develop and build these NextGen

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

127


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technologies in partnership with

whichever SDN partner we select.

Through this, we will become the first

full-fledged higher education SDN

on the planet. This transformation

is truly cutting-edge.”

The breadth of ASU’s smart campus

achievements and ambitions will grow

exponentially with the establishment

of the robust NextGen Network, but

thus far they are well encapsulated

in the organization’s smart stadium.

Anyone attending games at the

stadium must have ASU’s mobile app,

“We will become

the first full-fledged

higher education

SDN on the planet.

This transformation

is truly cutting-edge”


Dr Jess Evans,

Chief Operating and Digital

Transformation Officer, ASU UTO

129

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘INSPIRING FUTURE EXPLORERS AT ASU’

www.businesschief.com


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

130

powered through a partnership with

Ticketmaster, for ticketing purposes.

This monumental relationship saw

Ticketmaster open its API to ASU,

revolutionizing the ticketing operations

at the stadium and entirely removing

paper tickets from the process. More

widely, the app has been integrated

with Canvas, ASU’s learning management

system, to offer students quick

access to their schedules, campus

maps, information regarding financial

aid and more. Under the leadership

of Chris Richardson, Deputy CIO

for Development, Mobility and Smart

Cities, the app has been a resounding

success: it has thus far enjoyed over

80,000 downloads from students, with

an expanding focus to include faculty

and staff features in the coming year.

Not only that, but preliminary IoT

solutions have been prototyped in

select suites at the stadium to monitor

trash volume, stadium footfall and the

frequency of guests sitting and standing.

Looking forward, this breed of

intelligence and data gathering will be

expanded in earnest across ASU’s

locations. “The development team will

help us with more IoT capabilities,”

says Evans. “They have built a facial

recognition program that will, in the

SEPTEMBER 2019

“You need to transform

your culture, your

people, your back office

processes. You need

to be creative, and

those changes must

be made as a group”


Dr Jess Evans,

Chief Operating and Digital

Transformation Officer, ASU UTO


long-term, be combined with IoT

programs to improve safety and

security on campus.” A greater

degree of smart lighting, vehicle traffic

and parking monitoring and more are

also in the works, and each piece of

tech is set to upgrade the campus

experience in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, this quality applies to

ASU’s digital transformation across

the board. “Digital transformation is

not just transforming your digital

services,” concludes Evans. “You

need to transform your culture, your

people and your back office processes.

You need to be creative, and those

changes must be made as a group –

a holistic end-to-end approach –

in order to be sustainable.”

131

www.businesschief.com


Saving

hospitals

132

Saving

jobs

Saving

lives

SEPTEMBER 2019


Prime Healthcare’s

digital transformation

WRITTEN BY

AMBER DONOVAN-STEVENS

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

133

www.businesschief.com


PRIME HEALTHCARE

Will Conaway is the Chief

Information Officer and Vice

President of Technology at

Prime Healthcare. Here, he

shares with us how Prime

Healthcare saves hospitals

through digital disruption

134

“I

’ve been fortunate to work with several

large organizations and with many

remarkable people,” opens Will Conaway,

Prime Healthcare’s Chief Information Officer and

Vice President of Technology. “Prime Healthcare’s

hospitals have received hundreds of awards for

clinical excellence, including more than 200 in the

last year alone. Prime’s hospitals have ranked

among the “100 Top Hospitals” 47 times, according

to IBM Watson Health. This is a reflection of the

commitment and dedication that our hospitals

and clinicians make to our patients every day.”

In addition, Prime Healthcare has more Patient Safety

Excellence Award recipients for four consecutive

years (2016-2019) than any other health system

in the country, according to Healthgrades.

Before his move to Prime Healthcare, Conaway

worked with several more of the largest healthcare

systems in the United States. “A little over a year

and a half ago, I decided to join Prime Healthcare

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

135


PRIME HEALTHCARE

136

“To say the

sky’s the limit

for healthcare

technology

would be

limiting”


Will Conaway,

Chief Information Officer and

Vice President of Technology

because it was a good fit both professionally

and culturally,” he says. “I had

a plan to become CIO of a large and

distinguished healthcare organization,

and I’m delighted to be part of Prime

Healthcare.” Since Conaway arrived

at Prime Healthcare, he has overseen

significant growth of the IT department:

“There is a renewed positive

attitude, an increased vigor, a desire

to be a celebrated department.

The entire IT leadership team has

internalized the goal of becoming

a world class IT department.”

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘PRIME HEALTHCARE - WE’LL BE BY YOUR SIDE’

137

THE TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY THAT

SAVES HOSPITALS

Conaway states that Prime Healthcare

is adept at saving hospitals, and that

expertise is at the center of IT and the

organization as a whole. “When you

consider that Prime Healthcare has

gone from one hospital in 2001 to 45

in 2019, you can clearly see this is part

of the organization’s culture and DNA,”

he explains. Though Conaway is

unsure when the next acquisition will

be, he says that IT is integral to this

decision-making process. He strongly

feels that technology should be

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“We are very fortunate

from a corporate level

to have CMOs who are

very interested and

active in technology”


Will Conaway,

Chief Information Officer and

Vice President of Technology

considered a part of all strategies,

as do his fellow C-level executives.

“We are very fortunate to have corporate

CMOs who are very interested

and active in technology, along with

divisional Presidents and CEOs who

are engaged.” He goes on: “IT strategies

only work when IT and other

executive leaders communicate well

with each other and establish agreedupon

goals and objectives lucidly.”

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Will Conaway

Will Conaway is the CIO and Vice President at Prime

Healthcare. Having held two long-term positions with

Providence Health and Services and Dignity Health,

he has extensive experience working with executive

leaders across the country to identify and tackle

current and future industry trends and challenges.

Concurrent with his executive roles in healthcare,

Conaway is an adjunct professor at Cornell

University’s ILR School, working with masters-level

students in leadership, psychology, and negotiations.

He also serves on the Forbes Technology Council

as well as an extensive number of boards across

the Industry, and has participated in

several Forbes Healthcare Summits.

139

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Healthcare

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solutions that improve data integration and access, secure patient

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EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER CARE

Conaway says that IT has internal

and external customers: the patients

and their families, and the providers.

“Compared to 2001, Prime Healthcare’s

customers have nearly unlimited access

to information, and they are much more

informed about their healthcare needs

and expectations,” he says. “Patients

today tend to be more active in their

healthcare. As with any industry, the

needs of the customer will drive

changes, but at times IT in healthcare

can’t deliver to meet those expectations

as quickly as would be desired due to

many external forces.” He emphasizes

that consumers in the healthcare

industry often become customers out

of necessity, and can be apprehensive

and anxious about interactions.

When it comes to technology and

improving customer satisfaction,

Conaway says that the Internet of

Things (IoT) has provided a new level

of personalization and convenience.

Yet, despite healthcare’s position as a

hot market for technology, a business

needs to wait for trending products

to reach a reasonable price before

deciding to adopt. One innovation

141

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PRIME HEALTHCARE

142

“Many experts

see virtual

reality as

a US$4bn

business by

the end

of 2020”


Will Conaway,

Chief Information Officer and

Vice President of Technology

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

143


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CLICK TO WATCH: ‘SAVING HOSPITALS, SAVING JOBS, SAVING LIVES’

145

reaching this point is virtual reality (VR)

headsets, which Conaway has been

evaluating for potential use in pediatrics.

“There is promising evidence with this

technology in pain management, and

many experts see VR as a US$4bn

business by the end of 2020,” he says.

“It’s exhilarating that healthcare IT

allows non-providers to improve

outcomes, and empowers providers

with opportunities to not only help

their patients, but all patients and even

future patients with the insights

gleaned from IT.”

IN-HOUSE INNOVATION

Prime Healthcare develops its innovations

in-house. “You don’t see this

often in a healthcare system setting,”

Conaway says. He is proud to confirm

that there are currently 30 proprietary

applications being used daily, and

several more being rolled out across

the company’s sites. “These include

applications such as KryptosText

secure texting, a project management

intake tool, a physician rounding tool,

and an infection prevention and control

application.” The organization also

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has more applications that will

improve the patient experience,

as well as a budgeting tool. “We have

an entire department dedicated to

innovation, and we have recently

launched our Innovative Design

Enhancement Approval (IDEA) Portal

that allows cross-team, cross-continent,

and cross-level pollination,

along with direct access to Senior

Leadership approval for new initiatives.

We are anticipating great things for

this innovation.”

PRIME HEALTHCARE

• Prime Healthcare has been

awarded the Top 100

Hospitals in the nation

47 times, including in 2019.

• Prime Healthcare has gone

from one hospital in 2001

to 45 in 2019.

• Every two days the world

creates as much data as it did

from the beginning of time

until 2003.

147

www.businesschief.com


PRIME HEALTHCARE

2001

Year founded

40,000

Approximate number

of employees

HQ

Ontario, California

A PROMISING FUTURE

Looking ahead, Prime Healthcare will

build upon its strong foundations in

the US. “To say the sky’s the limit for

healthcare technology would be

limiting.” Conaway says. He affirms that

this is driven by the collective belief

of employees across the company

and reflected in its mission statement:

‘to save and improve hospitals so that

they can deliver compassionate, quality

care to patients and better healthcare

for communities.’ It’s a vision that he

148

SEPTEMBER 2019


describes as “truly peerless in the

healthcare industry,” and one that has

“created a family feel at Prime Healthcare

that unites all employees.”

On a personal level, Conaway has big

plans for his department: “For Prime

Healthcare’s IT department, I will

also focus on volatility, uncertainty,

complexity and ambiguity (VUCA).

The ability to be prepared and run

scenarios will help us stay relevant.

Experience has taught me that there

will be problems, and those who turn

obstacles into opportunities succeed.”

With the commitment to empathetic

customer service, and building upon

the technical excellence of its IT

department, Prime Healthcare will

continue to revolutionize the healthcare

industry.

149

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150

The existential

business of digital

transformation

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

151


PWC

PwC’s Sub Mahapatra guides us

through the existential nature

of digital transformation,

offering his advisory expertise

on matters of cloud computing

and cybersecurity

152

C

ompanies who fail to digitize are quickly

left behind, but it is not always clear how

a digital transformation is best achieved.

Enter professional services firm, Pricewaterhouse-

Coopers (PwC), who are seeing an increasing

demand for its expertise in areas such as cybersecurity

and cloud computing. Management Consultant

Sub Mahapatra has been with PwC’s New York

network for more than six years.

A director at the company, he specializes in digital,

cloud and cybersecurity transformations for the

global consultancy’s clients. “I started my career

as a software developer,” says Mahapatra. “I’m still

a coder by heart; I love building things. And that’s

basically what we do – internally as well as externally.

We help resolve complex issues and identify

opportunities across various industries.

In this day and age, we are solving our clients’

business problems with technology.”

SEPTEMBER 2019


$41.3.bn+

Approximate

revenue

1998

Year founded

250,000+

Approximate number

of employees

153

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PWC

154

“Data is

everything

these days”


Sub Mahapatra,

Director, PWC

ADVISING

No two of PwC’s client engagements

are the same. In cases where the

company has a pre-existing relationship

with the client it can begin with

a simple conversation. “If we have

an existing relationship in place, then

we’re way ahead in the curve,” says

Mahapatra. “They pull us in to talk

about what problems they are facing,

and how we can help them. If you don’t

have that relationship in place, we have

various ways to approach. For example,

our BXT – business, experience and

technology – sessions for discovering

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘PWC GLOBAL EXPERIENCE CENTERS’

155

and exploring the right solutions for

their complex problems. We work with

our clients to clearly understand the

problem we are trying to solve. Do they

just want to get into the digital world,

or do they want to solve a business

problem – increase their revenue, or

expand their customer base? We work

with them to understand exactly what

problems we are trying to solve by

brainstorming with the right stakeholders

in the room. Then, we lay out a plan for

them: this is what we think you need to

do, and this is where we can help.”

This help can take many different

forms, with engagements varying in

size based upon exactly what PwC has

been brought in to achieve across the

spectrum of cloud, AI, data analytics

and cybersecurity. The constant is

PwC’s commitment to continued

support. “We have a very broad

offering from an advisory perspective,

but we don’t just strategize and then

go away. We are there to help the client

realize the value we are trying to

envision for them.” Mahapatra provides

a case study referencing a recent

engagement with a large telecom

company, which is rolling out 5G.

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PWC

156

Aside from the technical and logistical

aspects of achieving the rollout as

quickly as possible, Mahapatra and his

team are also ensuring the introduction

of all the associated technology suites

contained within a modern product

launch. “Similar to various industry

players, most of the telecom companies

are now changing their business

models to be technology companies,”

says Mahapatra. “Whatever data they

gather via 5G, they want to leverage to

do more – and because they want to

secure the network, they want to use

cryptography and blockchain. Additionally,

they want to provide smart city

solutions as a part of their 5G offering.

Going forward there is the opportunity

to bring a whole suite of products for

all the different areas.” It is PwC’s role,

therefore, to help clients build efficient,

interconnected solutions that enable

them to take their offering as a whole

to the market, as well as adhering to

data privacy regulations and protecting

an individual’s personal data.

SEPTEMBER 2019


DATA AND THE CLOUD

Mahapatra details the holistic outlook

companies now require in the area of

cloud solutions, where previously they

may have focused on a single platform.

Only by having access to services

across the spectrum can the strengths

of each be harnessed. “We have

various different public cloud vendor

partners, primarily AWS, Azure and

GCP, which is now Anthos. Initially,

we trained our people for a specific

platform. However, these days clients

are looking for multi-cloud solutions,

or a hybrid solution architecture. A lot of

our Fortune 100 clients are saying, ‘can

you provide us a perspective to aid us

157

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Sub Mahapatra

Sub is a Director in PwC’s advisory unit where

he focuses primarily on the technology,

infocommunications, entertainment, media

and communications sectors.

His focus areas include IT process reengineering,

finance transformation, product development,

program portfolio management, project

management, change management, mobile

services and process reengineering.

www.businesschief.com


“All the telecom

companies are

now changing

their business

models to be

technology

companies”


Sub Mahapatra,

Director, PWC

in cherry picking services from all of

these different vendors?’, as they all

have pros and cons.”

Ease of data processing comes

hand in hand with cloud computing,

integrating disparate data sources in

a central location. These sources can

include proprietary PwC software as

well as focus groups, interviews and

surveys. “Data is everything these

days,” says Mahapatra. “On top of that,

analytics is an essential competency.

We have our own homegrown tools

for data analysis with AI models on top

of that. Based on the client situation,

we use our internal data analytics tool

to make sense of data through AI and

machine learning.”

One of the main benefits of PwC’s

cloud offerings is the associated

reduction in cost. By moving away from

hardware, expenditure moves from

a capital to an operating cost – but

Mahapatra points out that it is worth

planning for an orderly transition, for

a number of reasons. “A lot of clients

are taking small steps, and going from

hybrid cloud to multi-cloud, or maybe a

specific cloud vendor. Mostly, however,

they are more efficiently deciding what

exactly they want to migrate, and what

kind of things they want to keep in the

cloud versus what they want to keep

on their own premises. We are helping

our clients not only migrate to the

cloud in a phased manner but also to

choose the right cloud native functionalities

in the areas of AI, ML, IoT, etc.

so that they can reap the benefits of

the cloud without putting their data at

risk. That’s where our expertise comes

into the picture.”

159

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PWC

160

CYBERSECURITY

The presence of data in cloud storage

makes PwC’s cybersecurity offerings

even more crucial. “These days, no one

is safe even after having a proper

cybersecurity governance and risk

management solution in place. There

could be hackers in your enterprise

systems, and you don’t know.”

Mahapatra points to a number of

solutions, starting with the cybersecurity

and privacy specifications built into the

cloud vendors utilized by PwC, which

PwC integrates into its clients’ existing

cybersecurity environment. PwC is

also always on the lookout for the next

generation of cybersecurity technologies.

Currently, the company is

looking into employing Exabeam’s

security information and event

management software. “We have seen

their demos, and we may want to

explore leveraging them for our User

Behavior Analytics initiative. They have

a great UI and analytics platform, and

we would like to explore it further to

see if they’re open to developing their

tools in different areas, as well as

having some kind of structure in place

that would allow PwC and Exabeam

go to market together.”

SEPTEMBER 2019


Beyond that, Mahapatra details

PwC’s concept of ‘Crown Jewels’.

“We find what kind of data our clients

want to keep to themselves, and the

extra security they want to have. We

work with them to find out where that

data is residing, if that data is at risk,

or if it is in transit, and we create a

whole data protection layer alongside

it.” Such prized data requires the most

robust solutions, such as encryption,

but Mahapatra warns that there cannot

be a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Encryption always creates several

business problems. The most important

are impacts to performance. In

cases of large data volumes we usually

talk about pseudonymization instead.

That is where we put security at a field

or column level; a more dynamic,

data-centric approach. Obviously, we

also find out if there is any PII data to

ensure we recommend the right data

governance framework to our clients.”

This is one of many areas where

PwC’s specialization comes into play,

ensuring that data is matched with the

correct cybersecurity techniques.

This in turn contributes to PwC’s

growing business in the sector. “Our

cybersecurity practice is growing by

161

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PWC

162

20% at least, year over year,” says

Mahapatra. “Clients look for our help

because they want to understand what

kind of benchmark data we have;

where the market is going and what

necessary steps they need to take to

avoid disruption and obtain a competitive

advantage. They also want to

validate the particular strategy which

they have in mind, and we can advise

them if it is the right area to invest in, as

we have been providing end-to-end

solutions for a lot of different customers

in this area.”

No matter the technical prowess,

technological solutions cannot be

instituted and maintained without

“It’s not about

shiny objects.

Tinkering is

insufficient”


Sub Mahapatra,

Director, PWC

internal support, and Mahapatra

emphasizes the need for dialogue

within all levels of an organization.

“Ten years ago, it was just the CIO who

was discussing digital transformation.

Today, we engage with the CEO and

sometimes the board as well. The first

thing you need to get is senior

executive buy-in, then put the strategy

in place, and finally have a plan to

execute that strategy.” Such is the

demand for, and necessity of, designing

and developing digital transformation

SEPTEMBER 2019


163

solutions that one of Mahapatra’s

biggest challenges is in hiring and

retaining the highly specialized talent

required to drive digital transformations.

Ultimately, for Mahapatra and PwC,

digital transformation is not about small

efficiency optimizations. It is about

survival. “It’s not about shiny objects,”

says Mahapatra. “Tinkering is insufficient.

CIOs should be talking about it all

the time with their boards and C-suite,

mobilizing the entire company, because

tech is existential. I’m trying to help

them understand that it’s increasingly

clear that we are entering into a highly

disruptive extinction event. Enterprises

that don’t transform themselves will

disappear completely.”

www.businesschief.com


164

Vision of excellence:

when innovation

meets enterprisegrade

digital signage

WRITTEN BY

MATT HIGH

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

165


FOUR WINDS INTERACTIVE

Sebastian Gnagnarella, Chief

Technology Officer at Four Winds

Interactive, explains how the

innovative digital signage disruptor

is transforming multiple industries

166

L

ook around you. Regardless of location,

there’s every chance that in the last 24

hours, you have received information from

visual communications technology. Today, digital

signage makes an impact wherever people work,

shop, travel and learn – the technology, from highimpact

video walls to innovative wayfinding touchscreens,

is at the forefront of the digital-first world.

Few companies are as pioneering in their

respective fields as Four Winds Interactive (FWI),

the world’s leading software provider for enterprise-grade

digital signage networks. The organization’s

cloud-based software platform, recognized

as the most advanced and flexible digital signage

solution available on the market, powers hundreds

of thousands of screens worldwide. FWI’s digital

signage platform powers the majority of the hotels

on the Las Vegas strip; they are behind every deal

screen used by Visa and the digital communications

on Royal Caribbean Cruise ships; and, last

but not least, they are being used to drive the

digital workplace transformation of leading

businesses worldwide.

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

167


FOUR WINDS INTERACTIVE

168

“We have the

most powerful

digital signage

platform

available”


Sebastian Gnagnarella,

Chief Technology Officer,

Four Winds Interactive

“We have the most powerful digital

signage platform available,” says

Sebastian Gnagnarella, Chief Technology

Officer of FWI. Having joined the

business a little over a year ago,

Gnagnarella has overseen its growth

as part of his wider focus on FWI’s

overall technology and design strategy.

Since development of the company’s

cloud platform began in 2012,

Gnagnarella states, “Our focus is on

‘pure cloud’. We use the latest cloud

technology to help us scale and to

ensure that we offer the very best

customer user experience, taking

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘WELCOME TO FOUR WINDS INTERACTIVE’

169

digital signage to the next level. The

way in which we use technology really

is a huge differentiator in the sector –

there’s no other company that’s

innovating in the same way.”

FWI Cloud is a collaborative data

management solution providing a

multi-channel interface, displaying any

type of content on any screen within

a customer’s digital signage network.

It is, says the company, “Built with an

obsession for the user experience and

an unyielding passion to make content

contribution and management easy”.

For Gnagnarella, this is the overriding

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FOUR WINDS INTERACTIVE

170

factor in every decision. “Our UX and

product teams are deeply involved

with our customers, looking at how

they engage with and use software,

analyzing trends in digital signage,

understanding their feedback and

working on several iterations of new

features just to be sure they are the

very best they can be. In addition, our

professional services team is adept

at really understanding what the

customer needs. And all of that

combined gives us a platform that

absolutely delivers for our customers,

and for our customers’ customers.”

“The way in which

we use technology

really is a huge

differentiator in

the sector – there’s

no other company

that’s innovating

in the same way”


Sebastian Gnagnarella,

Chief Technology Officer,

Four Winds Interactive

SEPTEMBER 2019


Unlike many competitors, which

tailor bespoke solutions to specific

customer needs, FWI provides all

customers with every feature of its

software. It is, says Gnagnarella,

a testament to FWI Cloud. “It’s the

difference between offering a product

and a platform. I believe we have the

most powerful digital signage authoring

tool available, which allows us to use

the same software to build a specific

application for a cruise ship, a flight

information board, a wayfinder or an

employee engagement sign. A quick

search on Google will bring up plenty of

companies that say they provide digital

signage, but there are only a few, if any,

that offer a platform like ours that can

be scaled as easily across application

types as it is across locations.”

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Sebastian Gnagnarella

Sebastian is responsible for developing and implementing Four

Winds Interactive’s overall technology and design vision and

strategy, overseeing Product and Platform Development as well

as Sales Engineering and Digital Experience. His mission is to

develop world-class technology through the implementation of

state-of-the-art best practices and methodologies, with a clear

focus on building applications that drive the business. Sebastian

has been passionate about software development since the age

of six and has more than 15 years of experience in consulting

for Fortune 500 companies, designing and executing

complex technology projects as well as leading

multi-talented teams. Mr. Gnagnarella also holds

positions in Advisory Boards for companies like

Salesforce and ViaWest. Prior to joining FWI, he was

Inspirato’s Senior Vice President of Technology and

IT leading Technology, Product and IT, and he held a

variety of technical and management roles at TeleTech

Holdings including Chief Architect, Director of

Technology and Senior Manager of Client Solutions.

171

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FOUR WINDS INTERACTIVE

172

SEPTEMBER 2019


2005

Year founded

450

Approximate number

of employees

173

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As part of his role, Gnagnarella has

overseen the growth of FWI’s development

team, which has doubled from

around 40 to 80 under his leadership.

This team takes on everything in house,

he says, working across engineering,

product and UX work. Development is

ongoing, with new features “that every

customer will benefit from,” released

as often as every two weeks. Alongside

this, come larger updates and

launches every quarter.

A recent area of focus for the

business is workplace digital transformation,

which involves the use of digital

signage to better engage employees,

increase productivity and decrease

common workplace challenges.

Gnagnarella explains that the company

is particularly strong in these areas,

with three solutions available to the

market. These include FWI® ENGAGE,

a suite of solutions aimed at employee

engagement, digital meeting room

management solution FWI® BOOKED,

and FWI® DIRECT, which offers a

flexible wayfinding and directory

solution. “When a workforce is

engaged, companies are more

profitable, people are happier and

175

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘FWI ENGAGE’

www.businesschief.com


FOUR WINDS INTERACTIVE

176

“We have a platform

that has been tried

and tested over

14 years and that

absolutely delivers

for our customers,

and for our customers’

customers”


Sebastian Gnagnarella,

Chief Technology Officer,

Four Winds Interactive

work is carried out more effectively,”

he explains. And FWI practices what it

preaches, too. A project commenced

in 2010 to create an internal visual

communications network for FWI’s

employees led to an employee

engagement rate 133% higher than

the national average.

A further mark of the company’s

success was its addition to Vista Equity

Partners’ portfolio in early 2019. FWI

is the only digital signage provider in

the portfolio, which hosts more than 60

of the world’s leading SaaS companies.

Vista only focuses on high-growth,

SEPTEMBER 2019


177

market leading companies and

Gnagnarella describes the investment

as a great differentiator for the

business that will allow it to “invest

even more in our technology development,

but also to continue our upward

trajectory of market domination in the

fields in which we wish to lead.”

To achieve this, Gnagnarella says

that the key aim for the coming years

is to continue developing the FWI

Cloud platform, while simultaneously

creating tools that are intuitive to use,

breaking down barriers for collaboration

on enterprise-wide digital signage

networks and “evolving with the

technology ecosystem” that already

exists. “New technologies such as

AI and machine learning are being

considered for future development,”

he adds. “However, in the meantime,

we will continue to ensure that every

feature we add to the platform goes

towards ensuring we remain the

strongest in the market.”

www.businesschief.com


178

CORNING INCORPORATED

leveraging supply chain

collaboration and

procurement consortiums for

a successful supply chain

WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE

PRODUCED BY

CHARLOTTE CLARKE

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

179


CORNING INCORPORATED

Tom Kruse, Global Head, Supply Chain

Collaboration & Consortiums, Global

Supply Chain Management at Corning

Incorporated, discusses the importance

of supply chain collaboration

amidst its transformation journey in

the manufacturing industry

180

A

s one of the leading innovators in

materials science worldwide, Corning

Incorporated is used to being in the

ascendency. Established in 1851, Corning

has become a major heavyweight in the glass

manufacturing space, with its products used

in applications including smartphones, automotive

interiors, large-size televisions and

displays, and even pharmaceutical packaging.

Tom Kruse, Global Head, Supply Chain

Collaboration & Consortiums of Corning,

understands the importance of procurement

to his firm’s operations and believes it is considered

a vital priority. “As a manufacturing

company, supply chain and procurement are

front and center of everything that we do,” says

Kruse. “It’s an old adage, but every dollar that

we save contributes directly to the bottom

line of the company and reduces our adjusted

manufacturing costs.”

SEPTEMBER 2019


181

“As a materials science and

technology manufacturing

company, supply chain

and procurement is front

and center to everything

that we do”


Tom Kruse,

Global Head, Supply Chain

Collaboration & Consortiums,

Corning Incorporated

www.businesschief.com


CORNING INCORPORATED

182

Corning has a range of business

lines including products that serve and

enable the latest trends in the optical

communications, mobile consumer

electronics, life sciences vessels, automotive,

and display markets. “Overall,

we manufacture a really mixed product

line with our clients, customers and

other multinational companies in mind,”

Kruse explains.

He stresses that the key to success is

a clear procurement strategy. “There’s

only so many times you can keep going

to the well and reducing costs from

the suppliers via e-auctions and negotiations,”

he says. “You can do value

engineering, optimize and manufacture

products more effectively, but what

we’ve found is the next threshold is

really to work with other like-minded

organizations and highlight the importance

of supply chain collaboration

and to leverage procurement consortiums

where applicable. We can look

at it from two ways in our collaboration:

either combine our volumes if

our products align and go to market

together or approach it from a suppli-

SEPTEMBER 2019


183

Tom Kruse

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Mr. Tom Kruse is currently based in Singapore where

he is the Global Head of Supply Chain Collaboration

& Consortiums within the Global Supply Management

organization at Corning. Mr. Kruse has over 20 years of

strategic procurement and supply chain management

experience in high-tech, manufacturing and service

environments. He has lived and worked in three

geographies, has established new

Procurement organizations and developed

and implemented Procurement

transformation strategies.

www.businesschief.com


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CLICK TO WATCH: WHERE IS CORNING?

185

er’s perspective and say: ‘We’re buying

these 10 cubes of packaging from the

same suppliers that you’re buying from,

it’s just that you’re buying different

products – but by combining our spend

together, we’re making it more attractive

to the suppliers’.”

Corning has overseen a rapid transformation

in the number of consortia it

has become involved in over the past

few years. Having participated in just

one consortium two and a half years

ago, the company has experienced a

major surge, with the figure increasing

to 11 in a short space of time. “We’re

seeking out new consortiums or Group

Purchasing Organizations (GPO’s), in

different markets to understand what

they’re doing and how we can benefit

by joining them,” explains Kruse.

“Ultimately,we measure the savings by

evaluating the contribution to operating

margins (COMs) and decide how

we can make them perform. Other than

savings we need to ask ourselves: what

other value can we gain from them? For

example, we’re pursuing market intelligence,

understanding best practices

and working with other organizations

to exchange information.” Some of

www.businesschief.com


CORNING INCORPORATED

186

1851

Year founded

$11.4bn+

Approximate

revenue

50,000

Approximate number

of employees

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

187


CORNING INCORPORATED

Intelligent | Connected | Predictive

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Corning’s key supply chain collaboration

partners include Chain IQ, who

is a leading global Sourcing Service

Provider (SSP) and OMNIA Partners,

the largest GPO in the US. “Both

organizations have proven to be vitally

important in our collaboration journey

and we work closely with them to

seek out new opportunities across

different markets and categories,”

Kruse explains.

With the introduction of Industry 4.0

and the Industrial Internet of Things

(IIoT) over the past few years becoming

increasingly prevalent in the

manufacturing sector, companies must

adopt and embrace new technologies

in order to remain a leader in the field.

Kruse affirms how crucial digital transformation

is to Corning’s decisionmaking

processes moving forward.

“We have different internet platforms

where we exchange information

externally with collaboration partners,

suppliers, like-minded organizations

and customers,” he explains. “We’re

working on this with a great sense of

urgency because we recognize that

digitalization and digital transformation

are becoming vitally important to

SEPTEMBER 2019


us.” Whilst the implementation of new

technology can often seem like a good

idea, there is no value in introducing

new systems that do not enhance the

current processes already utilized by

companies. Kruse affirms that the only

way to achieve his company’s goals

is by learning from mistakes. “You’re

never going to

“You have to make

technology useful

for you in order to

shape the direction

you want it to go in”


Tom Kruse,

Global Head, Supply Chain

Collaboration & Consortiums,

Corning Incorporated

189

be consistently successful with all of

the different technological and supply

chain collaboration elements,” he says.

“It’s not a given that the new technology

you’re introducing is going to be better

than the current one

you already have – you just have

to use trial and error. You have to

seek this new technology, try it, incubate

it and keep what works for you

as well as understanding how you can

improve it to enable better practices.”

With sustainability in mind, Kruse recognizes

how important recruitment

is to ensuring long-term success at

Corning. “In my particular area, it all

www.businesschief.com


CORNING INCORPORATED

Breakthrough

Innovations

1879: Light Bulb Glass

Corning developed the glass

encasement for Thomas Edison’s

lightbulb and a mass-production

process that made them more

widely available.

190

1947: Cathode Ray Tubes

Corning revolutionized the

television industry by inventing

a process to mass-produce TV

picture tubes.

1970: Optical Fiber

Corning developed the very

first opticle fiber capable of

maintaining laser light signals

over significant distances,

paving the way for fiber optics

in telecommunication.

2007: Corning ® Gorilla® Glass

Corning developed a revolutionary

glass that’s thin, light, and damage

resistant, making it an ideal

cover material for consumer

electronics.

SEPTEMBER 2019


oils down to people. I have to

constantly find the right people

in my organization to help

drive our collaboration and

consortium interests forward,”

he says. “I will then help to find

and shape a successor who will

continue to drive this forward, adapt

to change and modify when required

to be changed.” Looking to the future,

Kruse harbors clear goals of where

he wants his supply chain and

collaboration function

to be over the next

few years. “I think we just need to constantly

seek out new innovations and

understand them as much as we can in

order to help embed them into Corning

and make them work for us,” Kruse

concludes. “You have to make technology

useful for you in order to shape the

direction you want it to go in.”

191

www.businesschief.com


192

PEPSICO LATAM:

DRIVING INNOVATIVE

SUPPLY CHAIN

OPERATIONS IN A

HIGH PERFORMANCE

MARKET

WRITTEN

BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE

PRODUCED BY

DENITRA PRICE

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

193


PEPSICO

PEPSICO LATAM HAS BEEN

UNDERGOING A SIGNIFICANT SUPPLY

CHAIN TRANSFORMATION AS THE

COMPANY AT LARGE CONTINUES

TO STREAMLINE AND OPTIMIZE THE

EFFICIENCY OF ITS OPERATIONS

194

P

epsiCo’s portfolio of evocative household

names has a foothold in every major

market around the world, and delivering

those products to consumers in the most effective

manner possible has become a company-wide

strategic imperative. For PepsiCo’s operations

in Latin America (LATAM), the centralization of

procurement has been an ongoing endeavor for

the past several years and the transformation is

reaping dividends. As a key region for PepsiCo’s

wider balance sheet, optimization of procurement

and logistics in the region stands to have a significant

impact on success at large. The procurement

function is, in effect, essential to the company’s

wider growth strategy. When new CEO, Ramon

Laguarta, came in last year, there was a refinement

in the company’s vision focused on how PepsiCo

can become the leader in convenience food and

beverages by winning with purpose rather than

just performing – and this mentality is central to

the company’s supply chain transformation.

SEPTEMBER 2019


$64.6bn

Approximate

revenue

1898

Year founded

250,000+

Number of employees

worldwide

195

www.businesschief.com


PEPSICO

196

“THE FIRM’S STRONG

PARTNERSHIP

MANAGEMENT

IS TIED INTO THE

SUCCESS OF

ITS NEW FLEET

MANAGEMENT

CAPABILITIES”

With its LATAM operations accounting

for around 11% of PepsiCo’s global

revenues, optimizing supply chain and

procurement operations in the region

is essential for continued growth at

both a national and global level.

Leveraging relationships with suppliers

worldwide is key, along with the

capacity to negotiate on a global scale

whilst simultaneously servicing and

supporting local markets. In 2012,

previous CEO Indra Nooyi set a goal

of securing $1.5bn in cost savings

through streamlining and incrementally

upgrading the company’s productivity,

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘PEPSICO SUPPORTS RECYCLING IN LATIN AMERICA

WITH INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS’

197

citing the firm’s positive performance

in the five volatile preceding years

for world economies. “Our goal is to

continue on that earnings trajectory

over the next five to 10 years, fully

recognizing that we need to make

changes to the way we operate to

address the challenges identified in the

review process,” said Nooyi in a press

statement at the time. “2012 will be

a transition year, in which we will be

taking the appropriate steps to build

a stronger, more successful company

going forward.” Latin America, as a

region, has been vital to the realization

of this ambitious goal. By combining

procurement and operations, both

delivering more cost-effective ways

of purchasing and enabling the supply

chain with new technologies – such

as the new fleet management system

– quarterly productivity has been

enhanced significantly both on a local

and wider level.

Partnerships have been particularly

crucial to the cost-saving strategy, as

more effective relationships can yield

higher quality solutions at cheaper

rates. Not only that, but the complex

nature of Latin America’s established

www.businesschief.com


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About Volkswagen Commercial

Vehicles:

As an independent brand within the Volkswagen Group,

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (based in Hanover, Germany)

is responsible for the Group’s worldwide activities in the

area of light commercial vehicles, people carriers and camper

vans. This includes the systematic further development, the

production and the sale of the successful Transporter, Caddy,

Crafter and Amarok model ranges (almost 500,000 sold units

in 2018) as well as the development of new vehicle types, (digital)

services and (electric) mobility solutions.

By doing so, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles focuses on the

individual transport and mobility needs of its commercial and

private customers and contributes decisively to their economic

success by offering added value for their work, their business

models and their everyday lives.

Beyond that, the brand is responsible and will set the pace for

the strategic future field of autonomous driving for the entire

Volkswagen Group, aiming to become the leading company for

individual mobility and interconnectedness by 2025.

Mission: we transport success.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is fully concentrating its

activities on the fundamental changes taking place in the industry

and to the changing customer requirements. Therefore, we

pursue a clear strategy for our future business – called GRIP 2025+

(Growth, Responsibility, Innovation, People) – allowing us to

design the necessary transformation, to stay competitive and to

secure the long-term success of our brand.

For all our products and mobility solutions, we aspire to minimize

environmental impact along the entire life cycle – from raw

material extraction until end-of-life disposal – in order to keep

ecosystems intact and to create positive impacts on society.

Compliance with environmental regulations, standards and

voluntary commitments is a basic prerequisite of our actions.

Facing the task of shaping mobility in a cleaner, safer and

more efficient way with our vehicles and services, Volkswagen

Commercial Vehicles, too, just like the other brands of the

Volkswagen Group, is committed to the target of the Paris Summit

on Climate Protection, which aims to restrict global warming

and to target a fully CO 2-neutral balance by 2050, for example.

The opinion and feedback of our customers is very important to

us. That is why we always work closely together with them

when developing new products. In addition, a huge capital employment

enables us to consistently push the transformation

towards zero-emission mobility. With the all-elec tric e-Crafter,

ABT e-Caddy and ABT e-Transporter (the last two de veloped

together with our strategic partner ABT), our portfolio contains

solutions for urban traffic that are already sustainable now.

Expected in 2022, the fully electric ID. BUZZ, which has entirely

developed anew, will be one of our most important products for

the future and is our technology carrier for autonomous driving.

In the end, working together responsibly in all areas of the

organization, developing and involving enthusiastic and talented

employees, and working together as one team with the best

partners of the industry are the crucial things that enable us to

live up to our promise: we transport success.

For more info on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle’s Fleet solutions, visit:

www.volkswagen-nutzfahrzeuge.de/de/geschaeftskunden/grosskunden/kontakt-international.html


PEPSICO

200

and varied markets necessitates

a high degree of expertise on the

business side to initiate and maintain

such relationships. Every country

has its particularities, so having the

necessary talent and capability

to connect with the correct partners,

provide the right efficiencies and

scale relative to different countries

is essential for PepsiCo’s delivery

of its supply chain objectives.

PepsiCo proactively and regularly

assesses its partners and ensures it

is leveraging the most cost-effective

source locations. The aforementioned

regional and intra-regional quirks are

similarly vital to consider when it

comes to both partner selection and

the application of innovative technological

solutions. Driverless vehicles,

for example, are not currently viable in

places like Sao Paolo and Lima due to

both infrastructural and technological

limitations. However, these limitations

have not prevented the company from

establishing a new fleet management

solution in the region replete with

benefits to productivity, efficiency,

SEPTEMBER 2019


201

logistics, sustainability, driver safety

and more. Focusing on safety and

making sure hard braking, hard

cornering, inefficient acceleration

and so forth are reduced has reaped

myriad benefits, improving the

employee experience along with wider

ranging results. Beyond safety, the new

fleet management system has a much

broader reach: the platform pilot is

seeing a reduction of 10% in both

idling and travel distance, significantly

reducing fuel consumption and

greenhouse gas emissions. The

implications for enhanced sustainability

are a particular boon as consumers

around the globe become more

conscious of the environmental

impacts of the products they buy.

The firm’s strong partnership

management is tied into the success of

its new fleet management capabilities,

too. Leveraging key relationships with

expert fleet managers to augment its

ability to build and deploy customized

systems has enabled PepsiCo to boost

efficiency, automatic dispatching,

roadside assistance, and more.

www.businesschief.com


PEPSICO

“IT’S CLEAR THAT THE

POTENT INTEGRATION

OF TECHNOLOGIES AND

BLENDING OF THEIR

CAPABILITIES HAS

202

BEEN KEY TO PEPSICO

LATAM’S SUCCESS”

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

203


PEPSICO

204

“PEPSICO PROACTIVELY AND

REGULARLY ASSESSES ITS

PARTNERS AND ENSURES IT IS

LEVERAGING THE MOST COST-

EFFECTIVE SOURCE LOCATION”

SEPTEMBER 2019


These efforts have resulted in a 90%

reduction in associated administrative

work, enabling employees to focus on

more fulfilling value-added activities. No

single technological solution or platform

is responsible for or capable of securing

such successes, however, it’s clear that

the potent integration of technologies

and blending of their capabilities has

been key to PepsiCo LATAM’s success.

The transport management system

is tied into the telematics system, the

last mile system, the route planning

systems and so on, enabling the best

qualities of each solution to

be available in the same place.

Taking a broader view of business

operations, growth of the company

at a global level, and the focus on a

clear strategic vision are collectively

bringing PepsiCo ever further forward

as an example of procurement and

supply chain operations done right.

205

www.businesschief.com


206

GROWTH THROUGH

SUSTAINABILITY

TRANSFORMATION

WRITTEN BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE

PRODUCED BY

NATHAN HOLMES

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

207


SOORTY ENTERPRISES

SOORTY ENTERPRISES IS CONDUCTING

AN ARRAY OF INNOVATIVE

SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES AND

TECHNOLOGIES, ALONG WITH A

ROBUST CSR PROGRAMME, TO

ESTABLISH ITSELF AS THE LEADING

SUSTAINABLE DENIM MANUFACTURER

208

T

he denim industry is a notoriously

inefficient user of natural resources,

but few are more aware, concerned or

proactive about this fact than Soorty Enterprises.

While its global operations span Bangladesh,

Turkey, the Netherlands and the US, the firm’s

deepest roots remain in its home country of

Pakistan, a region being disproportionately

impacted by climate change relative to its emissions.

In 2015, a heatwave in Karachi claimed 2,000

lives and Asad Soorty, Director of Operations

at the company, laments that such disasters will

only become more frequent. “This coastal city,

once with pleasant temperatures and a nice sea

breeze, is almost perpetually parched,” he says.

“About 60% of the country’s population is food

insecure, and almost 45% of kids are experiencing

stunted growth. All of this is now; and we haven’t

yet moved into the era where Pakistan will be the

eighth most climate change-affected country.”

He stresses, however, that this exposure to the

realities of climate change has not focused the

company’s sustainability ambitions on Pakistan,

SEPTEMBER 2019


209

Soorty Denim Mill is equipped with the latest Infrastructure

www.businesschief.com


SOORTY ENTERPRISES

210

“WE EXIST ON MANY

PARTS OF THE VALUE

CHAIN, HELPING OUR

CUSTOMERS TO

IDENTIFY THE LATEST

FASHION TRENDS

AND THE WHITE

SPACES IN THEIR

MERCHANDISE

OFFERINGS”


Asad Soorty,

Director of Operations,

Soorty Enterprises

alone. “This is a prime example of

a country that needs to utilise its arable

land more effectively: rather than

growing cotton, we should be growing

food crops. We want to be a part of this

change, and we are working hard to

disrupt the industry. But we don’t see

it as a Pakistan-centric issue. Climate

change isn’t a problem bound by

borders; unfortunately, its solutions

are.” He adds that, as a textile company,

Soorty stands to make a significant

impact: the textiles industry, by some

estimates, produces more CO2 than

the aeronautical and maritime industries

combined, as well as being

responsible for around 20% of

industrial wastewater, globally.

Soorty’s efforts to curb its environmental

impact represent some of the

most practical and innovative strategies

in the industry, and they are driven

by adherence to William McDonough

and Dr Michael Braungart’s internationally-recognised

Cradle to Cradle

(C2C) standards. “We want to have

a symbiotic relationship with the

environment,” explains Mr Soorty.

“We think that the C2C design philosophy

is the way to go for the entire

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘THE SOORTY REVOLUTION’

211

fashion sector, and it’s a philosophy

we subscribe to wholeheartedly.” C2C

product certification is awarded to

products following a rigorous assessment

procedure across five sustainability

categories: material health,

material reuse, renewable energy and

carbon management, water stewardship,

and social fairness. Soorty’s

proprietary Zero Waste Water dyeing

process has been used in a range of

denim fabrics that have been certified

Gold against these metrics. The

complexities of the next-gen solutions

are explained by Sarfraz Cheema,

Head of Sustainability of the garment

division, who is responsible for driving

Soorty’s manufacturing processes

towards fully sustainable solutions:

“We have adopted the Tonello UP denim

washing technology, enabling us to

process the garments with a liquor

ratio of 1:2 and thereby process 1kg

of fabric using just two litres of water.

In the conventional process, the ratio

is as high as 1:8, so we have reduced

water usage in this process by 75%.”

The company is also using nebuliser

technology that dyes the garments

through a water-chemical cloud, itself

www.businesschief.com


SOORTY ENTERPRISES

Laser Technology for jeans dry processing

is now a commodity in Soorty Enterprises

212

saving 95% of the water used conventionally.

The bleaching process is

perhaps the most impactful, as it uses

no water at all, Cheema explains.

“To bleach, mercerise and decolour

the garments, we use ozone, which

is a very aggressive gas,” he says.

“Ozone makes it possible to complete

these processes without any chemicals

or water. It is reduced to Oxygen

after being used.” Any wastewater is

collected and treated at the company’s

Effluent Treatment and part of it goes

through the reverse osmosis plants

for reuse in the manufacturing cycle.

Soorty has its own jeans recycling

facility, where it collects leftover

6.5mn m 2

fabric capacity

per month

1983

Year founded

1830 tons

yarn capacity

per month

SEPTEMBER 2019


denims and creates recycled cotton

from it. This is blended with virgin

cotton to minimise the need for fresh

cotton to be grown and processed.

Along with its work towards sustainable

manufacturing, Soorty is also

engaged in myriad corporate social

responsibility (CSR) projects as a

means to benefit society, alongside

mitigating its environmental impact.

When asked about the company’s

successes in this area, Mobeen

Chughtai, Manager of Corporate

Communications and CSR for Social

Sustainability and Community Relations,

replies, “I think it depends what

you mean by ‘success’ – we don’t view

our CSR as separate from the business,

because it isn’t. If we don’t exist

to have a positive effect on society,

there will be no society for us to exist

in. If we can do that then yes, we will

be successful.” Whatever your definition

of success, it cannot be denied that

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Asad Soorty

A graduate of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, is an Director

at Soorty Enterprises. Asad worked in consulting for a short period of

time before realizing that his interests lay elsewhere. He joined

his family company in 2015 with a vision to create

succession, and thus sustain the company’s inclusive

growth. Asad began with a 6-month training program

where he rotated between the different departments and

divisions of the company. This was followed by a 6-month

stint as Manager Process Excellence at one of Soorty’s

production units. These grassroots perspectives, coupled with

his strong academic background, has allowed him to settle well

into the company and begin taking charge. In his free

time, Asad enjoys playing football and volunteering.

His passion for volunteering has led him to the Robin

Hood Army, where he is an active volunteer and

member of the core team of the Pakistan chapter.

213

www.businesschief.com


THE ERA OF CONVENTIONAL

STONE-WASH IS OVER

TAB WASH IS THE FUTURE

OF JEANS WASH

Proud partner of Soorty for the

Chemical Innovations

Soorty has conducted a series

of impactful CSR programmes and

initiatives across Pakistan, including

those in education, health and social

welfare, but its CSR program is evolving

beyond conventional interventions.

“In the last few months, we have focused

our efforts on two primary issues:

mitigating climate change and empowering

women,” continues Chughtai.

“Female empowerment is of special

significance in the developing world,

where women find it much harder to

secure their God-given rights or

access to basic services, such as

healthcare, education and justice.

In August of this year, we launched

a unique project in Pakistan: the Soorty

Enhancing Women Service (SEWS)

project. It will enable and encourage

the employability and empowerment

of women from low-income backgrounds

– the first such UN SDG-compliant,

multi-partner venture launched

by a for-profit entity in Pakistan, to help

underprivileged families.” Chughtai

stresses that climate change, however,

is the core existential crisis of our times,

and Soorty is leveraging innovative

technologies outside of its manufacturing

processes to address the challenge

head-on. “We are in Phase 2 of our

SEPTEMBER 2019


“WE DON’T VIEW OUR

CSR AS SEPARATE

FROM THE BUSINESS,

BECAUSE IT ISN’T. IF WE

DON’T EXIST TO HAVE

A POSITIVE EFFECT ON

SOCIETY, THERE WILL

BE NO SOCIETY FOR

US TO EXIST IN”


Mobeen Chughtai,

Manager of Corporate Communications

and Corporate Social Responsibility,

Soorty Enterprises

Ozone Gas is being used to replace

conventional bleaching, saving lots of water 215

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Sarfraz Cheema

As the Chief Operating Officer at Soorty Enterprises, Sarfraz

Cheema oversees the production of over a million garments

per month. He also serves as the Head of Sustainability

for the garments division and strives hard to reduce

the overall carbon foot print and set bench marks for

the rest of the industry to follow. Sarfraz has been a

part of Soorty Enterprises since 2005. Being a

chemical engineer, by training gives him an edge in

understanding fast moving fashion and the associated

wet garment processing. He is considered a

pioneering expert in the field, having spent

over two decades in the Textiles sector.

www.businesschief.com


SOORTY ENTERPRISES

216

Forest Rescue Initiative, designed to

reclaim arable land from the Thar

desert,” says Chughtai. “For our tree

planting strategy, we have partnered

with Forests4All, a plantation network

from the Netherlands, along with

Danish botanical innovator Groasis

to use its patented Waterboxx®

technology.” Waterboxx® circumvents

the difficulties of limited rainfall and

a deep water table by passively

watering saplings over the course

of a year. “In the two or three months

required for a seedling’s roots to reach

the groundwater, you must water them.

A vast majority of planted saplings

simply die off because one: there is

no water to give them; and two: there

is nobody to water them. With Waterboxx®,

you only need to add water

once each year,” Chughtai enthuses.

“Under this initiative, we also plan on

gifting an Urban Forest to Karachi City.”

As the company moves to expand

its operations in the US, Mr Soorty is

confident that the company has a value

proposition that will keenly differentiate

it in the highly competitive market.

“Our company is a global concern,

from our multiple country of production

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SEPTEMBER 2019


“SEWS WILL ENABLE

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THE EMPLOYABILITY

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Mobeen Chughtai,

Manager of Corporate Communications

and Corporate Social Responsibility,

Soorty Enterprises

217

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Mobeen Chughtai

Mobeen is a Communications and CSR Specialist with over 13

years of experience in the trade after finishing his training at the

prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

in Pakistan. He has experience handling both ends of the

communications chain, having worked as the business

reporting lead for Punjab at numerous media outlets and

has served as a consultant to the Punjab Government on

development communications. Having also served as the

lead business developer for his alma mater, he currently

heads the Corporate Communications and CSR

portfolios at Soorty Enterprises – Pakistan’s

largest vertically integrated denim

manufacturer and exporter.

www.businesschief.com


SOORTY ENTERPRISES

218

“TO BLEACH, MERCERISE AND DECOLOUR

THE GARMENTS, WE USE OZONE, WHICH

IS A VERY AGGRESSIVE GAS. OZONE

MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO COMPLETE

THESE PROCESSES WITHOUT ANY

CHEMICALS OR WATER. IT IS REDUCED

TO OXYGEN AFTER BEING USED”


Sarfraz Cheema,

Chief Operating Officer and

Head of Sustainability, Soorty Enterprises

SEPTEMBER 2019


219

model in Bangladesh and Pakistan

to our design studios in Manhattan,

Amsterdam, Karachi and more,”

he explains. “Soorty provides more

than just manufacturing. We exist on

many parts of the value chain, helping

our customers to identify the latest

fashion trends and the white spaces

in their merchandise offerings. Our

strong R&D allows them to have

innovative and high-performance

denim, while our responsible manufacturing

methods offer fully transparent

factories that go beyond simple

compliance.” It is a testament to the

depth and brilliance of Soorty’s CSR

and sustainability strategies that they

could not all be condensed into the

scope of this profile, although it is

abundantly apparent that the established

brands in the US are set for

some fierce new competition in a

world where the conscious consumer

is rapidly becoming king.

www.businesschief.com


Inside Cologix’s

220

ongoing data

centre expansion

WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR

PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

221


COLOGIX CANADA

Sean Maskell, President and

General Manager at Cologix

Canada discusses the ongoing

data centre revolution and

how the company is remaining

flexible and interconnected

at the hyperscale level

222

T

he planet is awash with information. Every

day, humans generate 2.5 quintillion bytes

of data – reports, selfies, text messages,

high definition videos, infographics – in an (almost

equally) staggering number of ways. One of the

most remarkable things about this ocean of bits

and bytes is that 90% of it was created in the past

three years. Our ability to move, scan, parse and

store this data is fast becoming essential for the

maintenance of a functioning digital society. At the

core of this is the data centre, essentially a high-tech

storage facility for servers that allow vast quantities

of data to be remotely processed, stored and

distributed. The data centre industry, predicted to

achieve annual market values of around $174bn per

year by 2023, according to MarketWatch, has undergone

a radical evolution in the past decade, and

the pace of change is showing no signs of slowing.

Having worked in the data centre space since

2004, Sean Maskell, President and General Manager

of the Canadian arm of Cologix, Inc, has witnessed

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

223


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COLOGIX CANADA

226

“When I started

in the industry,

these were, I

would say, not

so cool places.

That’s evolved

and continues

to evolve”


Sean Maskell

General Manager Canada

Cologix Inc.

this transformation first hand. “When

I started in the industry, these were,

I would say, not so cool places,” he

recalls. “These were spaces overrun

by massive amounts of copper cables,

DS3 mux’s, DSX Panels and crusty old

Telecom technicians – that’s certainly

evolved over the years and continues

to evolve even faster. We’re now witnessing

sizeable growth in the industry,

lead particularly by the hyperscale and

Cloud Service providers. Enterprises

are heading down the path towards

digital transformation in a big way, as

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘COLOGIX LAKELAND / TAMPA DATA CENTER’

227

they continue to move workloads to

the cloud, and their consumers expect

always-on connections with low latency

to the internet of things (IoT). To

make this happen, our clients require

robust interconnection and cloud onramp

locations that push this consumable

data closer to the edge, meaning

closer to the users that are demanding

that information.” The major trend that

Maskell identifies is the industry’s shift

away from the traditional conception of

a single large data centre in a technology

hub like Los Angeles or Chicago, towards

capacity in tier two markets that

are closer to the end user. This trend

aligns tightly with the new methodology,

which involves multiple interconnected

facilities built around central

carrier and cloud hubs, like spokes

on a wheel.

“That’s really pushed the providers

in Canadian and US markets to ensure

sites are strategic for carrier and cloud

interconnection, which is something

that we’re very conscious of when we

build or expand our facilities to include

hyperscale capacity,” Maskell explains.

“Our facilities are strategically located

interconnection hubs, that allow our

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customers extensive carrier and cloud

choice within close proximity to their

consumers.” With over 28 interconnection

hubs and 5 hyperscale capacity

data centres across the US and Canada,

Cologix is one of the leading technology

agnostic colocation service

providers in the region. We sat down

with Maskell to discuss Cologix’s four

impressive new data centre projects

across Canada and the US, as well as

the strategies and trends at the heart

of the company’s vision for success.

Cologix’s identity as an interconnection,

cloud on-ramp and colocation

services organization sees it work with

some of the largest technology companies

in the world. “Our client base

is one of the best,” Maskell enthuses.

“The five top technology companies

in the world are in our facilities.” To attract

and maintain relationships with

that calibre of customer, Cologix has

become a preeminent source of expertise

when providing space, power and

cooling in locations that give clients the

maximized opportunities for interconnection.

As an agnostic data service 229

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Sean Maskell

Sean Maskell is President of Cologix Canada and a veteran

within the Canadian telecommunications industry.

During his 20+ years, Sean has founded and developed

two start-up organizations within the ITC industry and

merged the Telehouse Canada business with Cologix

in 2012. Sean has a broad range of core competencies

including; leadership, sales, business development, data

centre design, and operation. He has focused and

specialized in legacy data centre retrofitting,

and innovative future proof designs. Sean

has a remarkable history and remains

passionate about the Canadian data

centre landscape.

www.businesschief.com


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231

provider, Cologix has reinforced to

Maskell the importance of accommodating

customer needs as they evolve.

“One of the biggest lessons I have learned

is to remain agile – that covers agility

from executive management, and

sales, but more importantly it’s agility in

terms of operations, construction and

design,” he says. “Our industry is altering

rapidly: deployments are modernizing,

business plans are being reshaped

by emerging technologies and new

innovative ways of delivering services

are continually being rolled out.

Facilities now have to scale to meet

those challenges and demands in order

to allow the client’s business to succeed

over three, five or even 10 years. I do not

have a crystal ball that can predict what

those changes and demands might be,

but our facilities need to be designed,

constructed and operated in a way that

allows us to quickly add, remove and

change the capacity for power, cooling,

interconnection and so on.”

Embracing the industry-wide

movement towards a dispersed and

interconnected data centre model that

www.businesschief.com


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improves client experience and success

is central to Cologix’s competitive

advantage. “Each core data center in

the markets Cologix operates encompasses

an important and strategic

interconnection site – that’s our focus,”

Maskell explains. “But, as these interconnection

facilities begin to fill up, we

need additional capacity to stay ahead

of our clients’ demand. To accomplish

this, we construct that additional capacity

outside of those interconnection

hotels and connect the expansion

facility by high-count fibre. This allows

our clients seamless, low latency connections,

while enabling them to have

the carrier and cloud choice that’s critical

to our business.”

This is the methodology and mindset

with which Cologix is building and

upgrading new facilities in Vancouver,

Toronto, Montreal and Ashburn,

Virginia. “Cologix is within weeks of

releasing an impressive and largest

of its kind 40,000sqft, and 5MW of

power in Vancouver (VAN3). Then, in

Toronto we’ve just brought on-line an

additional floor at our 905 King Street

West facility (TOR2) – that encompasses

20,000sqft with 4MW of total

“Our industry is

changing rapidly:

deployments are

changing, business

plans are being

reshaped within

18 months by new

technologies

and new ways of

delivering services”


Sean Maskell

General Manager Canada

Cologix Inc.

233

www.businesschief.com


COLOGIX CANADA

“Our facilities are

strategically located

interconnection

hubs, that allow our

customers extensive

carrier and cloud

choice within close

proximity to their

consumers”


Sean Maskell

234

General Manager Canada

Cologix Inc.

power.” In Montreal, the city where

Cologix’s footprint is the largest (10

facilities) following its 2018 acquisition

of Colo-D, the company continues to

grow its offerings in one of the most

favorable data centre climates in

Canada. “When you look at our growth

in the Montreal market, it in part comes

down to a greener power delivery

system and ideal weather conditions.

The cost of power, which is the lowest

in the Canadian market, also helps.

This enables Cologix to pass along

those savings to our customers,”

SEPTEMBER 2019


Maskell explains. “We’ve just added 15

MW ready for service at our MTL10-H

Longueil campus, and acquired an

adjacent building to this campus to

respond quickly to strong customer

demand in the market. Additionally, we

began engineering the utility for our

MTL8-H Technoparc campus, which

will offer 36MW.”

The Ashburn project, which will be

built on a plot of land at the core of

Data Center Alley, will be something

of a special project for Cologix. “We’re

looking to build a 100MW hyperscale

data centre,” says Maskell. Currently,

for most companies that aren’t Google

or Amazon Web Services, a 100MW

data centre is a rare thing. Maskell

sees the project as an embodiment of

Cologix’s ongoing growth strategy. “It

not only strengthens our commitment

to the hyperscale market and the business

that’s out there, but I think it’s a

sign of demand for space that’s growing

with it,” he says.

Looking to the future, Maskell doesn’t

see the pace of data centre evolution

slowing any time soon, and is confident

Cologix has the right mixture of infrastructure

and flexibility in order to re-

235

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SEPTEMBER 2019


“The biggest

lesson I’ve

learned is

flexibility”


Sean Maskell

General Manager Canada

Cologix Inc.

spond. “I think one of the biggest shifts

I’m seeing is the physical connection

between the carrier or cloud provider

and customer. This shift has evolved

into a software defined network platform

(Cologix Access Market Place),

where the customer is in control. Clients

have access to a robust network

of providers and can initiate almost

real time changes to their circuits and

workloads as they see fit,” he says. As

237

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239

hyperscale growth continues to accelerate,

Maskell believes that the need

for increased interconnectedness will

only grow with it. “It’s fantastic to have

a massive state-of-the-art facility with

an endless supply of power and cooling,

but can it be interconnected? Is

there a way for data to move in or out?”

he asks. “It would be similar to building

a beautiful five-star resort on a remote

island without a ferry service. Regardless

of how nice it is, no one’s going

to come!” By continuing to expand its

capacity and ensuring that capacity

is interconnected, Cologix intends to

maintain its commanding position in

the market. “We’ve got one of the best

balance sheets in the industry,” enthuses

Maskell. “We’re the number one

data centre provider in Canada and

we’re going to continue to protect and

strengthen that position.”

www.businesschief.com


240

Inside Canadian

Blood Services’

risk management

driven data

center migration

WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR

PRODUCED BY

JAMES BERRY

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

241


CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES

David Grant, Associate Director,

Enterprise Services at Canadian

Blood Services, discusses his

role in the organization’s recently

completed data center migration

and ongoing digital transformation

242

T

he ability to gather, interpret and protect

its data is increasingly becoming the

metric by which a company survives or

perishes. Data has become, in short, the lifeblood

of the modern organization. However, in the past

five years, the staggering speed at which IT

advancements have swept across every industry

has placed pressure on enterprises looking to

house IT systems and data in onsite legacy

infrastructure. “The sheer volume of IT services

and the explosion of data means that it all has to be

stored somewhere, and if it’s not in your own data

center, it needs to be in somebody else’s. It’s led to

enormous growth in capacity across the commercial

space, and those new data centers have been

built with the latest technologies which can quite

often put your own in-house data center to shame,”

explains David Grant, Associate Director, Enterprise

Services at Canadian Blood Services. “When

you look at the needs of the modern digital workplace,

then attempt to retrofit your own data center

real estate to give it the same capabilities as some

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

243


CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES

244

“Canadian Blood

Services is the first

place where I’ve had

the opportunity to

make a difference to

somebody’s personal

life, as opposed to just

improving the bottom

line, or increasing

shareholder value.

It’s a nice feeling”


David Grant,

Associate Director, Enterprise Services,

Canadian Blood Services

of those commercial ones, it becomes

enormously expensive and, in some

cases, just isn’t feasible.”

With a career spanning more than 20

years in the data center space, Grant

came to Canadian Blood Services in

2016. We sat down with him to discuss

his role in the organization’s recently

completed migration from two legacy

data centers in Ottawa to commercially

operated colocation facilities, a move

calculated to ensure the safety and

resilience of Canadian Blood Services’

vital IT operations.

Founded in 1998, Canadian Blood

Services is the country’s lifeline,

providing a link between the generosity

of over 410,000 annual blood, plasma

and organ donors from Vancouver to

Newfoundland, and the patients that

need it. “We drive the donor experience

so that it’s as pleasant as possible in

order to encourage people to continue

in their generosity. At the same time,

we continue to innovate and improve

the products we offer, so that we can

improve patient outcomes and

ultimately save lives. It’s quite a mission

to be involved in,” enthuses Grant.

“I’ve worked in IT for a long time, but

Canadian Blood Services is the first

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘THERE ARE LOTS OF REASONS TO JOIN #CANADASLIFELINE’

245

place where I’ve had the opportunity

to make a difference to somebody’s

personal life, as opposed to just

improving the bottom line or increasing

shareholder value. It’s a nice feeling.”

Canadian Blood Services has

already taken steps over the last three

years to improve its front end customer

experience, digitalising booking

processes and streamlining workflow.

“Donors generously give not only their

blood, but also their time,” notes Grant.

“The last thing that we want to do is

waste that time chasing bits of paper

around our clinics. By doing this digital

transformation at the front end, we

have improved that donor experience.”

However, as in most aspects of

industry, Grant admits that the

attention paid to upgrading systems at

the front end had outstripped that paid

to the internal workings of the organization.

“That front end user experience

stuff tends to move pretty fast, but

not so much the back end plumbing.

But, without that plumbing, the front

end isn’t really much use,” he explains.

In 2016, Canadian Blood Services

engaged Gartner to review its data

center strategy and the results

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“By doing digital

transformation at

the front end, we’ve

improved that donor

experience”


David Grant,

Associate Director, Enterprise Services,

Canadian Blood Services

revealed a particularly worrying

vulnerability. “We realized that our data

centers were both located in Ottawa –

one in our HQ and one in a building that

houses most of the IT team. The

distance between the two buildings was

less than four miles,” Grant says. “In

terms of disaster recovery (DR), that’s

basically next door to one another.”

In September 2018, while Canadian

Blood Services were midway through

their migration, an unprecedented total

of six tornadoes swept across Ottawa

and Quebec, causing damage in

excess of $300mn and leaving

hundreds of thousands of residents

without power. “It was a timely reminder

that the ongoing change in weather

247

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

David Grant

David Grant is an enthusiastic IT professional with over

30 years’ experience in the provision and support

of IT services in both private sector and government

organisations. Focusing on Data Centers and IT

Infrastructure he has led several successful initiatives

around data centre migrations and consolidations,

and IT infrastructure transformation. David has a

successful track record in developing IT strategies

to take advantage of new and emerging technologies

and delivering success through strong

leadership and effective team building.

www.businesschief.com


CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES

248

patterns we’ve seen over the past five

to 10 years is going to continue, and

having two data centers that were

literally next door to one another was

probably not a good idea,” says Grant.

The review of Canadian Blood Services’

systems not only exposed areas in the

organization’s data centers that had

single points of failure – areas which

would have been both costly and

disruptive to upgrade to Uptime

Institute Tier Three certification – but

also the threat posed by the state of its

DR plan. “Our contingency at the time

was a cold site about four hours to the

south in an IBM data center. In the event

of the loss of data centers in Ottawa,

the DR strategy was to drive down

there, collect the necessary hardware

and then restore our systems from

backup tapes. The estimated recovery

time for an event like that was between

one and six days,” Grant explains.

“When you’re a digital business, being

down or out for 24 hours is a major

issue. Being out for five or six days –

well, you’re lucky if you survive.”

The need for revision of Canadian

Blood Services’ data center strategy

was, to Grant, clear. Change, however,

needed to be effected as safely as

SEPTEMBER 2019


possible. “We are a risk-averse

organization, as suits people who are

in the business of saving lives,” says

Grant. “So, we adopted the colocation

approach and went looking for a partner

who could provide facilities in locations

that were geographically diverse.”

Canadian Blood Services eventually

settled on Rogers Communications,

which now provides data center services

in Calgary and near to Toronto (both

locations are near one of the organization’s

major manufacturing sites).

A veteran of more than a few

migration strategies, Grant is well

aware that each has its own unique

challenges. “We’re regulated by Health

Canada, so there are a lot of protocols

around testing and validation, which all

had to be embedded into our strategy,”

he explains. “We broke it down into

a series of overlapping waves based

around business capabilities: our blood

management system, our donor

management system, etc. Then, we

further subdivided those into our

non-production and production-based

systems.” The process saw a huge

number of careful, methodical tests,

warranty periods and planned outages,

that allowed the migration to be carried

249

www.businesschief.com


CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES

“When you’re a

digital business,

being down or out

for 24 hours is a

major issue. Being

out for five or six

days - well, you’re

lucky if you survive”


David Grant,

Associate Director, Enterprise Services,

Canadian Blood Services

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251

out effectively and with minimal risk.

“We did stretch our team quite a bit just

to stay on top of the overlapping waves,

but they were real troopers and they

came through for us,” Grant recalls.

Another key metric in the success

of the migration is the increased

resilience of Canadian Blood Services’

DR plan. “It was calculated that the

business could only tolerate four hours

of downtime,” says Grant. To shrink the

process of getting the organization’s

IT infrastructure back on line from six

days to four hours, Canadian Blood

Services bought enough capacity in

www.businesschief.com


CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES

252

its new colocation sites that the entire

business can be run from either one.

“We replicate our VMware workloads

from one data center to the other

continuously. Should we lose a data

center site, we use Zerto to reactivate

those VMs in the other data center.”

Zerto is a Tel-Aviv-based virtual

replication software company that

specializes in providing operational

continuity in the direst of circumstances.

The company’s duplication software

was also, according to Grant, a key

tool in the migration itself. “We used

Zerto replication to move the data

from our Ottawa data centers to our

new Rogers partners data center site,”

he explains.

10 years ago, if a company embarked

on a digital project, or bought a new

piece of software, the expectation was

that there was a finite price tag and

completion date. In 2019, if executed

correctly, a digital transformation

project will cost an unlimited amount of

money and take an unlimited amount of

time. With the completion of the

migration, Grant at the team are

preparing to immediately begin

reevaluating Canadian Blood Services’

SEPTEMBER 2019


“We did stretch our

team quite a bit

just to stay on top

of the overlapping

waves, but they

were real troopers

and they came

through for us”


David Grant,

Associate Director, Enterprise Services,

Canadian Blood Services

253

data center and DR strategies. “When

we were first doing this, a lot of the

options and ideas getting thrown

around were things like, ‘Why don’t we

move DR to the cloud? Why don’t we

move this to the cloud? Why don’t we

move that to the cloud?’ Even three

years ago, a lot of those services were

in their infancy and weren’t really to be

trusted, and certainly not by blood

operator - somebody who is committed

to patients and donors and saving

lives wouldn’t want to risk that,” Grant

explains. “In the intervening three

years, we’ve seen a lot of development

in that space. I think our next data center

strategy will look at what we’re still

running in-house and in our colocation

facility, and determine what’s the next

step for these systems.”

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254

DIGITAL

TRANSFORMATION

FOR VOLUNTEERS

AND LEARNERS AT

ST. JOHN AMBULANCE

CANADA

WRITTEN

BY

WILLIAM SMITH

PRODUCED BY

JAMES BERRY

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

255


ST. JOHN AMBULANCE CANADA

JAMES WILLIAMSON, DIRECTOR

OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS

AND TECHNOLOGY, AND SHAWN

MCLAREN, CHIEF LEARNING

OFFICER, DETAIL THE DIGITAL

TRANSFORMATION OCCURRING

AT ST. JOHN AMBULANCE CANADA

256

A

cross the globe, organizations are

employing technology to find new and

improved ways of conducting their

operations, with benefits on offer to both the

newest startups and the most venerable institutions.

St. John Ambulance Canada (SJA) can trace its

lineage back over 900 years, with the modern

Canadian organization founded in 1883. The charity

is dedicated to helping Canadians via health and

safety training courses and first aid volunteers.

“We have two different aspects to what we do,”

says Shawn McLaren, Chief Learning Officer.

“One is first aid training. We train over 500,000

people a year in first aid and CPR. There are various

advancement courses – anything from a basic

one-day course to courses that are 80 hours long

teaching advanced first responder skills. The other

side of what we do is our volunteering. We train

people to become medical first responders. They

still hand over to paramedics when necessary, but

they receive upwards of 40 to 80 hours of training

SEPTEMBER 2019


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257


ST. JOHN AMBULANCE CANADA

258

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘ST. JOHN AMBULANCE CANADA –

LEADERS IN FIRST AID AND CPR TRAINING’

to act as a bridge.” To fund its activities,

the charity relies on the first activity to

fund the latter, as Director of Information

Systems and Technology James

Williamson explains. “We sell first aid

training, and that is then turned into

community service via volunteers and

first aid representatives at, for instance,

sports venues, conventions, and other

outdoor and indoor events. We also

give back through therapy dog programs

and similar services across the country.”

To further support such activities,

Williamson has helped to institute a

program of digital transformation

inside the organization. One of the

challenges of operating a national

charity, especially in a country as vast

as Canada, is ensuring the smooth

communication of its constituent parts.

“We are a federated organization where

each provincial chapter is its own legal

entity, and our national office serves to

supply the shared enterprise applications.

Right now, they are all hosted at

a data center run by a third party, but

as part of the digital transformation we

are moving to cloud-based services.

SEPTEMBER 2019


“FIRST AID IS A

TRICKY THING IN

THAT YOU CAN

NEVER HAVE A

FULLY ONLINE FIRST

AID CLASS BECAUSE

THE SKILLS HAVE

TO BE OBSERVED”


Shawn McLaren,

Director of Operations and Learning,

St. John Ambulance Canada

That allows us to get away from

expensive, cyclical hardware and

capital costs and constant upkeep

and maintenance.”

Williamson is seeking to build a

strong base from which the charity’s

activities can be supported. “We’re

focusing primarily on foundational

changes. We are moving to Office 365

and Dynamics 365 as a core platform

since we already had experience with

Microsoft’s existing legacy applications.

Then, we’re building upon that with

a new website integration where we’re

259

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Shawn McLaren

As Chief Learning Officer, Shawn leads the development

of all curriculum as well as the educational process for the

organization. In addition to this role, he acts as a national

liaison for all matters related to first aid training. Shawn holds

a Master’s degree in Adult Education with a specialization in

Corporate Development and Knowledge Management. He has

over 15 years experience in a variety of roles in learning and

development environments in both the for-profit and nonprofit

sectors. Prior to joining St. John Ambulance, Shawn was

the VP of Learning & Development for Citibank, overseeing the

Canadian consumer lending division.

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ST. JOHN AMBULANCE CANADA

260

building a learning management

system. Ultimately, we want to look at

volunteer management, fundraising,

and automating manual workflows.”

To support that work, SJA has also

been implementing upgrades to its

network. “We’re working with Rogers

to increase our bandwidth from a 50

Mbps connection to a gigabit. With

everything being based in the Cloud,

having a stable, symmetrical fiber

connection is important.”

From these strong foundations the

charity can perform its critical functions.

On the teaching side of the equation,

opportunities have been found to

introduce technology to benefit learners,

as McLaren explains. “Our new learning

management system that we’re planning

to bring in will allow us to provide digital

badges and an online presence for

people to note their certifications,

which will speed up the process.

We found a partner in D2L that meets

all of our external and internal training

needs.” An upgraded website is also

aiding learning. “We’re reworking our

website to a modern UI/UX, making it

easier for people to search for courses,

providing higher rankings in our SEO

for the website and the ability to see

SEPTEMBER 2019


the correlations in the courses people

take,” says Williamson.

It remains important, however, to

ensure a balance is struck between

the digital and the physical, particularly

in the realm of first aid training. “First

aid is a tricky thing in that you can

never have a fully online first aid class

because the skills have to be observed,”

says McLaren. “I’m not certain that

we’ll ever see a fully automated online

course. We can, however, with the

inclusion of our state of the art LMS

system, enhance the blended learning

experience, and make it more appealing

for people to take classes. Our typical

first aid classes are two days, but

a blended approach allows them to do

eight hours of online training at their

leisure before attending a full day

course.” Such blended learning takes

a number of forms at SJA, including

a move towards using e-books for

teaching. Another advancement takes

advantage of an upgraded manikin.

“We’re slowly moving towards what are

called feedback manikins. They

measure the depth and speed of your

push, and we’ve been piloting ones that

will display that information onto a

whiteboard for the whole class.

261

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“THERE’S SO MUCH

OPPORTUNITY TO DO

GOOD FOR BOTH THE

ORGANIZATION AND

PEOPLE OUT THERE”


James Williamson,

Director of Information

Systems and Technology,

St. John Ambulance

Canada

Adult learners like the idea of gamification,

and having races is one of the

functions we can do with it, which really

engages people.”

The future for SJA sees the charity

bring its work to new and exciting

areas. “We’re expanding to law

enforcement, military and aboriginal

first aid programs,” explains Williamson.

“The goal is not only to be the biggest,

but to be the best and to turn that

revenue back into community service.

We’re also trying to refocus on

engaging youth to become lifelong first

263

James Williamson

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

James brings 25 years of experience in government,

political and private sector IT: House of Commons/

Federal NDP (12yrs), The Bradford Group (5yrs), Disus

Software/Atos Canada (5yrs) and Bell Canada (3yrs).

James brings a passion for people and end users and

sees IT as a customer service role as the foundation

to enable departments to meet their needs and focus

on core competencies. James has managed many

successful software development projects ranging from

a $3mn voter outreach system, a successful cloud

transformation project as well as development and

integrations for several $30+ million ERP projects

for US & Canadian multinationals.

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ST. JOHN AMBULANCE CANADA

264

“THE GOAL IS NOT ONLY

TO BE THE BIGGEST,

BUT TO BE THE BEST

AND TO TURN THAT

REVENUE BACK INTO

COMMUNITY SERVICE”


James Williamson,

Director of Information Systems and

Technology, St. John Ambulance Canada

aiders.” To coordinate that ever-growing

stable of volunteers, future

innovations will also focus on volunteer

communication, as McLaren explains:

“There are tools to allow self-check-in

and mass communication to volunteers,

top-down and bottom-up, that

we’re looking to hopefully leverage in

2020.” Ultimately, the transformation

occurring at St. John Ambulance is

SEPTEMBER 2019


265

always in the service of improving the

scope and reach of the functions it

provides. “There’s so much opportunity

to do good for both the organization

and people out there, which is what

excites me about my position,” says

Williamson. “Success is its own reward,

and I look forward to seeing what version

two, three and four of our transformation

will look like.”

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266

NOVA SCOTIA

POWER’S

TRANSFORMATION

JOURNEY

WRITTEN BY

DANIEL BRIGHTMORE

PRODUCED BY

JAMES BERRY

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

267


NOVA SCOTIA POWER

NOVA SCOTIA POWER IS MEETING THE

CHALLENGE OF TRANSFORMATION WITH

A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO OPERATIONAL

INTELLIGENCE. OPERATIONS

TECHNOLOGY LEADER MIKE GREENE

AND SENIOR TECHNICAL ADVISOR ROB

MACNEIL EXPLAIN HOW THE LEADING

UTILITY EMBRACES CHANGE

268

N

ova Scotia Power (NSP) is a fully-integrated

power utility proudly serving 500,000

residential, commercial and industrial

customers across the province as its primary

electricity provider since the early 1900s. A 1,700

strong team help manage $4.1bn worth of generation,

transmission and distribution assets producing more

than 10,000 gigawatt hours of electricity each year.

To keep up with an ever-evolving industry which

is increasingly focused on sustainability, the power

giant is embracing radical change with a move away

from coal and oil-based generation. The shift to

renewables prompts the need for significant

transformation across the business to meet its 40%

renewables target by 2020. Utilising a fuel mix of

hydro, tidal, wind, coal, oil, biomass and natural gas

to generate electricity, its facilities can produce as

much as 2,453 megawatts of electricity delivered

across 32,000 km of transmission and distribution

lines throughout Nova Scotia.

SEPTEMBER 2019


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269


NOVA SCOTIA POWER

270

“CHANGE

MANAGEMENT

AND CONTINUOUS

IMPROVEMENT

ARE A BIG PART

OF THE EQUATION”


Mike Greene,

Operations Technology Leader,

Nova Scotia Power

Mike Greene, Operations Technology

Leader at Nova Scotia Power, is

spearheading efforts to develop more

flexible systems to manage its assets

and both modify and optimise maintenance

strategies. Preventative and

predictive maintenance, along with

surveillance activities and a more

holistic and repeatable approach,

are being leveraged to determine the

company’s ongoing investments in its

assets. Since 2010, NSP has been

building an asset management

function to care for all areas of the

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘POWERING OUR COMMUNITIES. EVERY DAY.’

271

business under the same philosophy

and regime. “Our goal is to understand

their criticality to the business and put in

place maintenance strategies that

deliver intelligence about our equipment’s

condition or health, so we’re

able to risk-profile all of our major

assets,” explains Greene.

NSP’s quest is to implement a

sophisticated approach towards the

application of technologies capable

of condition-based maintenance and

monitoring with predictive techniques

to gather intelligence about its assets.

Greene aims to bring them into a single

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NOVA SCOTIA POWER

272

environment to develop rules, rule

engines and algorithms, applying

pattern recognition tools to better

understand asset health and guide

decision making on maintenance and

investment. Greene’s colleague, Senior

Technical Advisor Rob MacNeil, reveals

more sensors are now being deployed

in the field. “We’re able to instantly see

impending health issues,” he says.

“Pattern recognition that absorbs

our sensor information and applies

principles to find anomalies and give

us early alerts, is rolling up all of our

intelligence – from preventative and

predictive maintenance to predictive

analytics and operator surveillance –

into the rules engine to offer an

improved real time view of our assets.”

The positive impact on efficiency

has been felt across the business.

Previously the technical team would

spend time searching for and managing

information but less time actually doing

high-end analytics. One of the goals for

NSP’s asset management program has

been achieved: to provide intelligence

capable of delivering actionable

SEPTEMBER 2019


insights from good data. The challenge

lay in making sure the program’s

deployment was smooth in providing

a platform its users could trust.

“We didn’t want to deploy the technology

first and then hope to get value from it

later,” maintains MacNeil, who notes

the importance of defining objectives

first and then shaping technology to

meet them once trials have proved the

solution is scalable. “Mobile technology

would be a good example of that.

Deploying in one plant, getting it right,

and then moving on to other plants

and minimizing organisational churn.” 273

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Mike Greene

Mike Greene has over 25 years of experience with Databases,

Information Systems and Plant Automation. He is currently

the Operational Technology Lead for the Enterprise Asset

Management Office of Nova Scotia Power, the utility for the

province of Nova Scotia. He is responsible for the

integration of NSP’s many OT systems with existing IT

systems. He is actively involved with piloting new

technology initiatives and expanding the NSP

computer network. Greene has a BSc from Dalhousie

University and diplomas in Business Computing

and Petroleum Resource Technology from the

Nova Scotia Institute of Technology.

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NOVA SCOTIA POWER

274

$225mn

Approximate

revenue

1972

Year founded

1,700

Approximate number

of employees

SEPTEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

275


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“DIGITAL APPLICATION

IN OUR INDUSTRY IS

STILL RELATIVELY NEW,

SO FINDING MAJOR

PARTNERS WHO SHARE

OUR PHILOSOPHY IS

VERY IMPORTANT TO US”


Rob MacNeil,

Senior Technology Advisor,

Nova Scotia Power

Greene echoes the need for

experimentation with pilot schemes

to achieve lasting results from a range

of vendors. “In the new world of cloud

deployment and software-as-a-service,

it’s easy to find software to fill certain

niches,” he says. MacNeil notes the

importance of evaluating providers,

so that NSP does not just purchase

an off-the-shelf solution but looks at

broad fleet-monitoring tools. “Digital

application in our industry is still

relatively new, so finding major

partners who share our philosophy

277

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Rob MacNeil

Rob MacNeil is a Sr. Technical Advisor with Nova Scotia

Power (NSPI) and manages the Asset Management Office.

He was responsible for the design and implementation of

a comprehensive Asset Management approach for NSPI’s

fleet of generating units, and is presently leading the design

and deployment of the Asset Management Program

within NSPI’s Transmission and Distribution business.

MacNeil has been in the utility business for 30 years

and has experience in Operations, Maintenance,

Production, Engineering and Management. Born in

Nova Scotia (Canada) he received a BSc from

Dalhousie University and an Engineering Degree

from the Technical University of Nova Scotia.

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NOVA SCOTIA POWER

“IN THE NEW WORLD OF

CLOUD DEPLOYMENT

AND SOFTWARE-AS-A-

SERVICE, IT’S EASY TO

FIND SOFTWARE TO

FILL CERTAIN NICHES”


Mike Greene,

Operations Technology Leader,

Nova Scotia Power

278

is very important to us… We’re often

pushing the boundaries of their own

technical capabilities, so we’re both

investing in the future together.”

Across the industry, platforms are

evolving into the cloud, which need to

integrate within existing infrastructures.

“With some of the vendors we’re now

looking at apps that we can deploy on

iOS devices as we look at the tools of

the future for our mobile workforce,”

reveals Greene.

Greene and his team are keen to

drive operational intelligence. “Do we

need to do something now? Can we

wait six months? Can we ignore it and

SEPTEMBER 2019


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279


NOVA SCOTIA POWER

280

COMPANY FACTS

• 10,000+ gigawatt hours

of electricity produced

each year

• $4.1bn worth of generation,

transmission and

distribution assets

• 500,000 residential,

commercial and industrial

customers

SEPTEMBER 2019


just monitor it until it is taken offline

permanently? Because within our

industry in Nova Scotia and in some of

the North American utilities we have

the ultimate aim of reducing our coal

fleet,” he explains.

In working towards that, MacNeil

highlights the need to be systematically

flexible as the use of assets change.

“Where some units would have been

base-loaded in the past, now they’re

cycling, so you cannot maintain them in

the same way. They have new failure

mechanisms that need to be considered,

and therefore your maintenance

strategy and activities need to change.”

By taking a holistic approach to asset

management, unlike more traditional

environments where each plant makes

its own decisions, NSP are able to make

portfolio decisions. “We’re confident our

investment dollars are going where they

need to be,” says MacNeil. “We’re meeting

the mission of each unit… It might be a

base-load unit, a two-shifting or a flex

unit. It might be a unit that needs to

retire in a short amount of time. This

process of detailed risk understanding

enables us to function in those variety

of realities for various generating

assets, and therefore we’re hitting the

281

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NOVA SCOTIA POWER

282

“WE’RE CONFIDENT

OUR INVESTMENT

DOLLARS ARE

GOING WHERE

THEY NEED TO BE”


Rob MacNeil,

Senior Technology Advisor,

Nova Scotia Power

right risks.” That positive impact can

defer outages to the end of the life

of a unit, saving millions of dollars.

Continuing its asset management

mission has been vital for NSP and is

transforming the way it uses all of its

generating units as deep operational

experience is applied to change. How

has the process helped with Nova

Scotia Power’s renewables goal?

“It’s part of our corporate philosophy

to develop a greener portfolio of

generation,” says MacNeil, who finds

the tools, systems and processes

SEPTEMBER 2019


283

designed for NSP’s traditional generation

also fit well in the renewable world with,

for example, wind farms. “Our distributed-generation

assets lend themselves

to the digital technologies and communication

tools we’re deploying. We’ve

learned that the infrastructure we’ve

established is well suited for renewable

assets and that’s a win for us.”

For Greene, the right combination of

people, processes and technology is

paramount to future success: “There’s

no one aspect that can be ignored so

we put equal emphasis on all factors…

Change management and continuous

improvement are a big part of the

equation. For us, they’re not just

add-ons. It comes back to the

dedicated nature of our team. We’re

not doing this part-time; we’re fully

invested in sustaining these processes

and reaping the rewards.”

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