Business Chief USA October 2019

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HHH USA

EDITION

OCTOBER 2019

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A DIGITAL REVOLUTION

IN THE US AIR FORCE

Nicolas M Chaillan discusses the

launch of the DevSecOps initiative

amid technological change

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FOREWORD

W

elcome to the October edition

of Business Chief USA.

In our cover feature this month,

we travelled to Washington D.C. to

interview the United States Air Force.

In our exclusive interview with the

federal government, Nicolas

M Chaillan, Chief Software

Officer at the US Air

Force, discusses the

launch of the

DevSecOps initiative

amid significant

technological change.

“This is game changing

for us,” affirms Chaillan. “The

current process takes around six

to eight months for someone to be

granted access to a cloud to deploy

software there.”

Nicolas M Chaillan,

US Air Force

under-payed throughout the tech

space, and how increased gender

parity could add $12trn to the global

economy by 2025.

Also in the magazine are in-depth

features with SAP Global Center of

Excellence, City of Aurora,

FireEye, Plaza Construction,

Patelco Credit Union and

YMCA of San Diego

County that you won’t

want to miss!

Finally, be sure to check

out this month’s City Focus

on Houston as well as a countdown

of the top 10 hotels in the United States,

according to Travel and Leisure.

Enjoy the issue!

03

Our leadership piece showcases

technology leader, Helen Knight,

as she takes an extended look at why

women are underrepresented and

If you have a story to tell, please email

harry.menear@bizclikmedia.com

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

EDITORAL DIRECTOR

MATT HIGH

CREATIVE DIRECTORS

DANIEL CRAWFORD

STEVE SHIPLEY

CREATIVE TEAM

OSCAR HATHAWAY

ERIN HANCOX

SOPHIA FORTE

SOPHIE-ANN PINNELL

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

DANIELA KIANICKOVÁ

PRODUCTION MANAGER

OWEN MARTIN

DIGITAL VIDEO DIRECTOR

JOSH TRETT

DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCERS

JOSHUA S. PECK

EMILY McNAMARA

SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCERS

DANIEL WEATHERLEY

JACK GRIMSHAW

EVELYN HOWAT

KAYLEIGH SHOOTER

USA MANAGING DIRECTOR

MIKE SADR

PROJECT DIRECTORS

CRAIG DANIELS

DENITRA PRICE

CRAIG KILLINGBACK

SHIRIN SADR

RICHARD DEANE

MANUEL NAVARRO

TOM VENTURO

DIGITAL MEDIA DIRECTORS

ARRON RAMPLING

JASON WESTGATE

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

ALEX BARRON

GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR

JAMES PEPPER

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

ANDY TURNER

PRESIDENT & CEO

GLEN WHITE

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05

PUBLISHED BY


CONTENTS

12

40

52

Making a success

of digital

transformation


66

Airswift:

Automation and

human centricity

in recruitment

74 82

FIVE STEPS

TOWARDS

A MORE

SUSTAINABLE

SUPPLY CHAIN

City Focus

HOUSTON

90


CONTENTS

104

SAP

126

City of Aurora


140

FireEye Inc

174

Patelco Credit Union

156

Plaza

Construction

188

YMCA of

San Diego

County

202

Transform

Shared

Service

Organization


12

WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE

PRODUCED BY

MIKE SADR

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

13


US AIR FORCE

NICOLAS M CHAILLAN, CHIEF

SOFTWARE OFFICER AT THE US

AIR FORCE, DISCUSSES THE

LAUNCH OF THE DEVSECOPS

INITIATIVE AMID TECHNOLOGICAL

CHANGE IN WASHINGTON DC

14

T

he US Air Force needs little introduction.

Operating with the mission: ‘to flight, fight

and win… in air, space and cyberspace’,

the organisation affirms that only the best is good

enough. With serving the American people at the

forefront of decision-making, the US Air Force has

established three essential core values to which it

adheres: ‘Integrity First, Service Before Self and

Excellence in All We Do.’

Sitting down with Business Chief in the US

capital of Washington DC, Nicolas M Chaillan,

Chief Software Officer at the US Air Force and

Co-Lead of the US Department of Defense (DoD)

Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative, is responsible for

overseeing the successful launch of Cloud One,

supporting all business and weapon systems in

the Air Force and the DoD Enterprise DevSecOps

Initiative. Introduced by the Chief Software Officer

and Gen. Schmidt in July 2019, a combination of

both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services’ cloud

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

15


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Federal Software Supply Chains

are Most Susceptible

A series of high profile and devastating cyber

attacks have demonstrated that adversaries have

the intent and ability to exploit security vulnerabilities

in the software supply chain. Never was

that so apparent than in the massive breach at

Equifax. But, Equifax was not alone. Hackers

quickly attempted to exploit the Struts vulnerability

elsewhere. According to David Hogue,

a senior technical director for the NSA’s Cybersecurity

Threat Operations Center (NCTOC),

“We had a nation-state actor within 24 hours of

scanning for unpatched [Struts] servers within

the DoD.” The government is not immune to

these issues, and may often be a great target for

adversaries.

The 2019 DevSecOps Community Survey, taken

by thousands of IT professionals, found that

20% of respondents from government agencies

believed they had a breach stemming from the

use of vulnerable open source components in the

past 12 months. That’s an alarming number when

you consider what those attempted breaches may

have been trying to uncover.

As government developers and contractors work

towards digital modernization goals, they are

consuming hundreds of billions of open source

components and containerized applications

to improve processes and catch up with their

commercial counterparts. The good news: they

help create efficiencies and enhance innovation

within the government. The bad news: many of

the components and containers they are using

are fraught with defects including critical security

vulnerabilities.

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NEXUS INTELLIGENCE: Precisely identify open

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We are laser focused on helping federal agencies

and contractors continuously harness all of the

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Visit sonatype.com/government to learn more

about Open Source Security.

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Using the Sonatype Nexus Platform, aligns security

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US AIR FORCE

18

platforms has allowed the

Air Force to operate at heightened

speeds, providing access to

cloud capabilities to airmen within days

to enable software development on

the cloud or leveraging artificial intelligence

(AI). “This is game changing

for us,” affirms Chaillan. “The current

process takes around six to eight

months for someone to be granted

access to a cloud to deploy software

there.” With the initiative focusing on

marrying automated software tools,

baked-in cybersecurity, services and

standards to the DoD program, it is

set to enable fighters in the field to

create, deploy and operate software

applications in a secure and flexible

way. “Having started nine years ago,

DevOps has become the evolution of

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘NICOLAS M. CHAILLAN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING

DIVERSE PARTNERS WITHIN THE US AIR FORCE

19

“DEVSECOPS

ENABLES US TO

SECURELY DEPLOY

SOFTWARE

MULTIPLE TIMES

A DAY”


Nicolas M Chaillan,

Chief Software Officer,

US Air Force

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agile and is now able to use automation,

both in testing and cybersecurity,

to help bring software into production,”

explains Chaillan. “By removing the

impediments we have in order to build

software faster and better, DevOps

enables us to deploy software on the

commercial side multiple times a day.

For us in the DoD, cybersecurity is vital

because of the continuous monitoring

side of the house. That is why we

call it DevSecOps. It’s important that

we’re able to constantly see what’s

going on in production in real-time

“PROACTIVITY IS

THE ONLY WAY,

PARTICULARLY

IN TERMS OF

CYBERSECURITY

BECAUSE YOU

CAN’T AFFORD

TO BE REACTIVE”


Nicolas M Chaillan,

Chief Software Officer,

US Air Force

23

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Nicolas M Chaillan

Having begun his role as Chief Software Officer of the

US Air Force in May 2019, Chaillan is an experienced

Senior C-Level Executive with 19 years of domestic

and international experience with strong technical

and subject matter expertise in cybersecurity, software

development, product innovation, governance, risk

management and compliance. He is an expert in

numerous technological fields such as cybersecurity,

DevSecOps, multi-touch, mobile solutions, IoT, Big Data,

Mixed Reality, VR, Cloud Computing and wearables.

Chaillan has successfully launched and managed

12 companies throughout his career.

www.businesschief.com


US AIR FORCE

“KUBERNETES IS CLEARLY WINNING THE

BATTLE WHEN IT COMES TO CONTAINER

ORCHESTRATION AND SCALE”


Nicolas M Chaillan,

Chief Software Officer,

US Air Force

24

with a zero-trust model down to the

container level, with behavior detection

and centralized logging so we can

obtain the data and get the telemetry

back to development teams.”

With the task of implementing

DevSecOps, the Air Force has begun

implementing software factories such

as the Kessel Run Laboratory over the

past few years. Through Kessel Run,

Chaillan believes the Air Force has

transformed the way it develops and

delivers software capabilities. “Back

in 2017, the Air Force was already very

innovative and decided to develop

Kessel Run while also building software

and mission capabilities to use

the Kessel Run factory,” he says. “The

goal wasn’t just to build a factory for

the sake of having a factory – it’s been

to create mission software and bring

tangible value to the warfighters.”

Chaillan began work at an early age

in his native France. At 15, he created

OCTOBER 2019


25

and developed his first company.

“I’ve been on the commercial side

for a long time, I ended up selling 12

companies and building robust teams

in cybersecurity and software innovation,”

he explains. “I moved to the US

around 10 years ago and, after selling

my companies, I decided I wanted

to make a difference and have a real

impact. Building mobile applications

and other cool technologies is fun, but

it’s not the same impact as we have in

the federal government.” Due to new

technology such as Big Data, machine

learning (ML) and AI becoming

increasingly influential globally, businesses

worldwide are adopting innovative,

modern processes in order to

remain current. The case also applies

to the US Air Force, with Chaillan

understanding the impact that technology

has had on the way his organisation

conducts operations. “I think

the entire future of war is going to be

www.businesschief.com


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘LEVERAGING DEVSECOPS AND

CLOUD ONE AT THE US AIR FORCE’ 27

something that’s driven by embracing

these kinds of technologies, whether

it’s AI, ML, Big Data or cybersecurity

offence and defense,” affirms Chaillan.

“If you can’t adapt while in production,

then you’re stuck in time and there’s

nothing worse in software than that. It’s

important to bring in new capabilities

as well as adapting existing capabilities

to make sure you can fix problems as

they arise.”

Cybersecurity is perhaps the dominant

factor at the forefront of Chaillan’s

decision-making. With the importance

of keeping highly-confidential information

secure at all times being crucial

to both the DoD and the Air Force, the

government must remain proactive

rather than reactive to counteract

any potential threats. “Proactivity is

the only way, particularly in terms

of cybersecurity because you can’t

afford to be reactive,” he says. “If you’re

not being proactive, you’re not doing a

good enough job. You have to combine

what’s already stable enough to use

versus something that’s new but just a

little too early.” Striking a fine balance

www.businesschief.com


Proud to support

the U.S. Air Force

Transform government,

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etween the

risk of embracing

disruptive technology

to accelerate

current processes and

sticking to previously successful

approaches is challenging. However,

Chaillan believes one of the biggest

hurdles to overcome is continuously

training staff with the latest trends.

“You really have to understand the risk,

because technology is accelerating at

an incredible pace at the moment. In

IT, you have the ability to completely

change the way you’re doing business;

sometimes it’s going to last and sometimes

it may not.”

In order to arrange and manage

software containers, the Air Force

has deployed Kubernetes, originally

designed by Google and now maintained

by the Cloud Native Computing

Foundation (CNCF), as part of its

DevSecOps platform. “As a government,

it’s important that we don’t get

locked into a particular cloud provider

or platform,”

says Chaillan.

“When I started,

I wanted to ensure

that whatever we

built was abstracted

so we weren’t reliant on

a single vendor or product. It

was a key reason why we initially chose

Kubernetes and decided to abstract our

entire stack because, whatever application

you use, you want to ensure you

understand the costs and the impact of

the lock-in with that specific application.”

“Kubernetes is clearly winning the

battle when it comes to container

orchestration and scale. It’s an open

29

www.businesschief.com


US AIR FORCE

5,328

Number of manned

aircraft as of 2018

1947

Year founded

30

327,215

Approximate number

of active duty airmen

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

31


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CLICK TO WATCH: ‘THE NEED FOR CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY

IN THE AIR FORCE’ 33

source product that anyone can use,

but you have multiple companies like

Pivotal, Red Hat, Amazon, Microsoft

and VMware that can take the

Kubernetes solution and make it into

a turnkey product that you know will

be compatible with any environment.

It’s critical because you’re not getting

locked in; you can take that piece of

code and move it to a different cloud or

disconnect and classified environment

and it’ll behave in the same way. This

is particularly important for our edge

deployments.”

The Air Force was the first organisation

to join CNCF, the vendor-neutral

home for many of the fastest-growing

open source projects, outside of commercial

companies and became an

influence over how CNCF looked after

Kubernetes. “When I joined the Air

Force, I realised we had many teams

building factories to develop their

mission applications. We had seven

or eight teams and incredible people

developing mission software,” explains

Chaillan. “Originally, we had teams

such as Kessel Run, Space Camp,

www.businesschief.com


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Security

Set

DevOps

free

with the single

embedded security

platform built for

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DoD OSD, DISA JSP, Navy C2C24,

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DevSecOps Approved Product Lists,

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* https://www.gartner.com/reviews/customers-choice/application-security-testing. Gartner Peer Insights

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data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an

endorsement by, Gartner or its affiliates.


“MY JOB IS TO MAKE IT

EASIER FOR STARTUPS

TO WORK WITH THE

US GOVERNMENT” 35


Nicolas M Chaillan,

Chief Software Officer,

US Air Force

Kobayashi Maru, LevelUp, Bespin that

were all utilising a very limited set of talent

to create the factory, and this then

enabled them to build the software. We

just decided to decouple development

teams from factory teams and now we

only have two factory departments —

LevelUp and Kessel Run. The development

teams can simply use these two

factories so they don’t have to reinvent

the wheel. The more development

www.businesschief.com


US AIR FORCE

36

US AIRFORCE FACTS

Along with conducting

independent air and space

operations, the U.S. Air

Force provides air support

for land and naval forces

and aids in the recovery

of troops in the field. As of

2017, the service operates

more than 5,369 military

aircraft, 406 ICBMs and

170 military satellites. It has

a $161bn budget and is the

second largest service

branch, with 327,215 active

duty airmen, 141,800

civilian personnel, 69,200

reserve airmen, and 105,700

Air National Guard airmen.

teams we are integrating into our

DevSecOps platform and migrating our

existing software factories the better,

because they can simply piggyback on

them and on Cloud One.”

The US government has a process

for software approval called

an Authority to Operate (ATO) which

takes between six months to a year.

“Thanks to Dana Deasy, the DoD CIO,

Bill Marion the Air Force CIO, Lauren

OCTOBER 2019


Knausenberger, the Air Force Chief

Transformation Officer, Daniel C.

Holtzman, Cyber Security Engineering

and Resilience Senior Leader, we

implemented the concept of a DoDwide

continuous ATO to allow us to

push software to production continuously

within a software factory,” he

explains. “The continuous ATO (cATO)

enables us to automatically take software

from development to production

multiple times a day, without having to

reassess the software manually. This

becomes an automated process and is

a clear, well-defined, step-by-step procedure

that takes software from unit,

integration, regression and end-to-end

testing all the way to cybersecurity

scanning and deployment.” Regarding

partnerships, Chaillan hopes it will

become easier for startups to work

with the US government to ensure the

Air Force continues to achieve success

in the technological space over the

next few years. “We’re trying to tap

into every company that is interested

in working with us,” says Chaillan. “My

job is to make it easier for startups to

work with the US government. Getting

access to technology is critical, if we

37

www.businesschief.com


US AIR FORCE

38

“THE MOST IMPORTANT

THING IS THAT EVERY-

THING THAT IS DESIGNED

HAS TO BE SUSTAINABLE –

IT MUST BE SOMETHING

THAT WILL LAST AFTER

I’M GONE”


Nicolas M Chaillan,

Chief Software Officer,

US Air Force

get behind it’s going to have a major

impact on our mission capabilities.

If we don’t have access to the latest

technologies because startups find it

too hard to work with the US government,

then we’re going to fail. The

second aspect is the real partnership

with the airmen and the DoD programs.

We have to build mission capabilities

with the implementation of programs

such as AEGIS, JAIC, F16, F22 and F35

because they need to build software

and they have to do it now. That’s my

partnership — it’s teamwork.”

With the future in mind, Chaillan

OCTOBER 2019


39

hopes to create a legacy that will last

long-term. “The most important thing is

that everything that is designed has to

be sustainable – it must be something

that will last after I’m gone. You have to

ask the question: is it something that

can scale? If I don’t do that, I could stay

10 years and I wouldn’t have made

a big impact. You need to change the

system, not just go around the system.

You have to make that change last,”

concludes Chaillan.

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

40

The ethical and

economic imperative

for women in tech

Business Chief sits down with technology

leader Helen Knight to take an extended look

at why women are underrepresented and

underpaid throughout the tech space,

and how increased gender parity could

add $12trn to the global economy by 2025

WRITTEN BY HARRY MENEAR

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

41


LEADERSHIP

42

Last year, tech job platform Honeypot conducted

a study of 41 EU and OECD nations focused

around gender parity in the technology space.

In addition to revealing that Bulgaria leads the world

as an employer of women in tech jobs (with a 30.28%

female workforce), the study placed the United

States and Canada firmly in the middle of the pack.

The US tech workforce employs just over six million

people and Canada slightly more than 900,000,

with both countries paying women in technology

jobs about 18% less than their male counterparts.

“Gender parity in the workplace is not just an ethical

or moral issue, but also an economic one: McKinsey

found that $12trn could be added to global GDP

by 2025 by advancing women’s equality,” explains

Emma Tracey, Co-Founder of Honeypot. “With the

proportion of female tech workers remaining under

30% across the board, we hope that this study will

enrich the conversation concerning equality in this

industry and inspire more women to seek out

opportunities in tech.”

Today, the gender gap is slowly but surely beginning

to close, as cities like Washington DC and Baltimore

become havens for vibrant, increasingly genderdiverse

startup scenes, and are seeing an increasing

number of female executives higher up the pay

ladder – although major tech hubs like Silicon Valley,

San Francisco and Seattle are conspicuously

OCTOBER 2019


43

“Gender parity

in the workplace

is not just an

ethical or moral

issue, but also

an economic one”


Emma Tracey,

Co-Founder, Honeypot

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

44

“I’m not theorising

that an all-female

board would do

better than an

all-male one,

but diversity has

been proven to

improve boards

in other industries”


Helen Knight,

IT Director, Calgary DI

absent from the list. In Canada,

Vancouver is starting to emerge

as a hub for women in tech.

However, the factors that push

women away from jobs in technology

still remain in our cultural and

educational institutions. “In North

America, the influences that work

against women becoming interested

in technical fields start very young.

It’s like there is an unspoken belief that,

if you’re pretty enough, you don’t need

to learn math. That is a uniquely

Western perspective that I don’t see

happening in Asian countries. It’s

ridiculously wasteful and it happens to

girls at a very young age,” says Helen

Wetherley Knight, Canadian CIO of

the Year Finalist 2018 and Director of

Information Technology at the Calgary

Drop-In Centre. We sat with Knight to

hear her insight into the current state of

women in technology, how a gender

diversified approach can lead to better

decision making, and how her ongoing

work with the Women in Technology

(WIT) Network promotes women and

girls to pursue careers in technology.

“My grandmother was a mathematician

in Australia in the 1940s. When she got

married, she could only find work as

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘THE WIT NETWORK’

45

a math teacher, and once she had

children, she could no longer practice

her love of mathematics. My mother

was a scientist in Australia in the 1960s

and was accepted to study dingoes in the

outback. However, once they discovered

she was a woman they sent her a letter

that said: ‘We rescind our offer as we

have a male applicant’. Although this was

devastating for my mother, she returned

to school and studied to become a

science teacher, heeding the advice from

her mother that the only way she could

work in the field she loved was as an

instructor,” recalls Knight.

“It worked out for me though,

because at the University of Sydney,

Australia, another student was working

on a bold thesis that the school’s new

Super Computer could be used to

survey people on their interests,

encode the data onto punch cards and

find love matches, creating the world’s

first computer dating system. I was

lucky that both my mother and father

volunteered to participate in the

experiment, as that is how they

became matched, fell in love and

eventually had me, a product of

artificial intelligence.”

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LEADERSHIP

46

Knight became interested in

computers at a very young age,

learning to program when she was nine

and falling in love with the world of

technology and its potential

applications. “In high school, I was

startled to be told that computers were

for boys. None of my new classmates

were interested in computers, so I

spent my high school years learning

how to dumb down my intellect in an

attempt to be datable.” She didn’t

rekindle her love for computers until she

was 26, enrolling in technical school

and quickly accruing certifications and

making up for a decade of missed

opportunities to learn. After receiving

her MBA from Athabasca University,

Knight proceeded to hold increasingly

senior jobs in the tech space, founding

her own IT consulting company in 2008.

Alongside her current role as Director

of IT at the Calgary Drop-In, Knight

still speaks professionally on IT

transformation and diversity in

technology at universities and

conferences across North America.

“When I go to CIO conferences, I’m

often the only woman in the room

who’s not in marketing,” she says.

“For the last year, I’ve been talking to

OCTOBER 2019


men about women in IT and how, in

financial terms and uptime, their teams

will be better and more effective if

they’re genuinely diverse.”

Pointing to a Credit Suisse survey

that tracked the performance of 3,000

companies over a 10-year period,

Knight highlights the fact that

companies with women in executive

roles were more profitable, resilient

to market down-turn, innovative,

collaborative, and better decision

makers. “I’m not theorising that an

all-female board would do better than

an all-male one, but diversity has been

proven to improve boards in other

industries. We’re just struggling with it

in technology, where women are so

often marginalized,” she explains.

The crux of the distinction is

neurobiological, Knight argues.

Referencing Dr. Louann Brizendine,

author of The Female Brain, she notes

that “the female prefrontal cortex is

larger, which is what actually governs

aggressive impulses, so it aligns with

the fact that we do things less

impulsively and have more patience.

Women have a larger insula, which

gives us an increased ability to read

nonverbal cues like facial expressions.

47

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LEADERSHIP

48

Also, we have a larger Anterior

Cingulate Cortex, which improves the

ability to weigh options during decision

making, and a larger and more active

Hippocampus, which allows us to store

emotional memory in greater detail.”

The upshot is that, while the male brain

is built to generate clear and distinct

drives towards singular solutions, the

female brain excels at brainstorming

activities, weighing options and

thinking in terms of large, integrated

systems. Knight maintains that either

method of thinking in isolation has its

own drawbacks and inefficiencies, but

if the tech space became more diverse,

“We would have better tools, better

teamwork, less territorialism and better

training material, because women still

remember the emotional pain of

learning, whereas men’s brains flush

that out a lot faster.”

Knight believes that one key to

championing diversity in the tech

sector is to increase the ability for the

minority of women working in it to

connect with and support one another.

To that end, she does guest lecturers,

OCTOBER 2019


“The WIT Network

offers us the ability

to support, not only

our female employees,

but also our entire

management team,

who are focused on

diversity and inclusion”


Vicki Thomson,

Chief People Officer, New Signature

mentors’ groups of female students

and is a member of the Alberta chapter

of the WIT Network, with the aim of

bringing together women and girls in

the province who are interested, or

already working in technology. The WIT

Network has over 80 chapters

worldwide, in more than 30 countries,

offering programs, mentorship and

inspiration for all ages and stages in a

women’s career in tech. “The WIT

Network offers us the ability to support,

not only our female employees, but

also our entire management team, who

are focused on diversity and inclusion.

Every current and new female employee

will receive a welcome package which

includes their WIT Network membership

benefits,” comments Vicki Thomson,

Chief People Officer at New Signature,

a cloud-first, full-service, Microsoft

partnered technology solutions company.

Knight plans to continue campaigning

for a brighter future for women in

technology. As with all people who

work to build a better future, a large

part of her motivation comes from the

desire to improve the lot of future

generations. “I hope I am a part of the

solution,” she says. “I’m also very eager

to see the next generation grow. When

my daughter was two, I saw her trying

to stretch an image in a book to make it

bigger. She’s grown up with tech all

around her, today’s children have so

much access to easy to use devices.

The fact that there’s no gender bias

there – no one is telling little girls today

that iPhones are for boys - is

something that makes me really

excited about the future.”

49

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TECHNOLOGY

52

MAKING A SUCCESS

OF DIGITAL

TRANSFORMATION

Nancy Hammervik, Executive Vice President,

Industry Relations at IT trade association

CompTIA, discusses the work the organisation

does to enable digital transformation

WRITTEN BY MARCUS LAWRENCE

OCTOBER 2019


europe.businesschief.com

53


TECHNOLOGY

54

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role

as Executive Vice President of Industry

Relations at CompTIA.

I have been in the tech industry for nearly 35 years,

starting on the media side (selling advertising,

sponsorships, and staging events around the

world that bring vendors, distributors and partners

together). Eight and a half years ago, I joined

CompTIA as Executive Vice President, Industry

Relations. A big part of my role is managing our

membership programme, providing value to

members to both grow their businesses and have

a positive impact on the industry. I am responsible

for growing our membership numbers, member

engagement and value, and expanding our reach

and relevance in the tech ecosystem.

CompTIA has 10 member-led communities

(in vertical markets like Managed Services and

Security, demographic markets like Advancing

Women in Tech and Future Leaders, and geographic

markets like the UK and Benelux) and

five industry advisory councils that serve as the

headlights for our organisation and industry.

The part of my role that I enjoy the most is

providing members with the tools and resources

they need to stay relevant in a fast paced, evolving

industry while harnessing the power of our

OCTOBER 2019


“YOUR TEAM SHOULD BE AS DIVERSE

AS YOUR CUSTOMER BASE”


Nancy Hammervik,

Executive Vice President,

Industry Relations, CompTIA

55

membership to be true advocates for

the industry and its workforce, driving

the adoption of emerging technologies

and having a positive, palpable impact

on the business of tech.

In your own words, what does

CompTIA offer firms around the

world with regards to enabling

successful digital transformations?

CompTIA’s mission is to advance the

adoption of technology and the

growth of the tech industry. That’s

why we offer an unparalleled selection

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TECHNOLOGY

56

of resources related to digital transformation

and other tech topics.

The vast majority of these resources

– greater than 90% – are available at

no cost, whether you are a dues-paying

member of the association or not.

We have comprehensive, worldclass

research reports and staff, howto

guides, whitepapers, and other

educational materials developed with

the collective expertise of thousands

of IT professionals and executives

around the world. We also have webinars,

podcasts, conference sessions, seminars

and networking forums that offer

peer-to-peer insight and best practice

sharing. We offer industry leading,

vendor-neutral skills training and skills

validation. CompTIA is the largest

provider of vendor-neutral skills

certifications for technology

professionals around the world.

When compared to other organisations,

what makes CompTIA unique

is our member communities. As mentioned,

we offer member-led communities

across a variety of markets, all in

the business of influencing and enabling

digital environments for themselves

and their clients. We hear all the

time that these communities offer a

trusted, safe haven where all players

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘LAUNCH YOUR CAREER WITH COMPTIA CERTIFICATIONS’

57

in the ecosystem can gather and learn

from each other.

Our UK Channel Community has

750 members. They meet face-toface

at least three times a year to

share strategies and best practices,

and members have built such strong

relationships that they can rely on

each other throughout the year as a

resource to grow their businesses.

Based on the recent CompTIA Top

10 Emerging Technologies report,

what can enterprises around the

world do to ensure they can capitalise

on the opportunities afforded by

upcoming and ascendant solutions?

A great starting point for any organisation

– large enterprise, mid-sized

firm or small business – is to inspire

and invest in their employees with

ongoing skills training. Encourage

staff to join CompTIA, even at the free,

registered user level, to stay close to

industry trends and dynamics and

make important contacts they that can

build a solid network from. Attending

industry events, conferences, and

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TECHNOLOGY

58

other meet-ups in the industry is

invaluable when it comes to being

in the know and being prepared.

Second, invest in updating infrastructure.

All emerging technologies

will need sound and secure platforms

and systems.

Third, make sure everyone in the

organisation is on board with moving

forward. Build a culture conducive to

change and progress. Articulate the

benefits of automating processes,

saving dollars, operating more efficiently,

and recognise and reward

efforts. Bring on external partners,

business and technology consultants,

and leverage their expertise. Make

sure to bring line of business managers

into the process.

Build diversity into your staff. Your

team should be as diverse as your

customer base. Seek new and diverse

perspectives and experiences to

foster a culture of innovation.

Finally, when it comes to innovation

and new and emerging technologies,

consult with your trusted technology

partners. The best tech partners are

the ones that truly understand your

business – the products or services

you sell, the customers and markets

“TECHNOLOGY IS

DRIVING ALL

BUSINESSES,

INDUSTRIES AND

GOVERNMENTS”


Nancy Hammervik,

Executive Vice President,

Industry Relations, CompTIA

you serve, and the short and longterm

goals you have for business

growth. Equipped with these insights,

a technology provider can make

informed recommendations on the

technology options that make the

most sense for a business, today

and into the future.

Aside from the tech mentioned in

the Top 10 report, what do you view

as the most influential established

technologies at present?

For me it’s all about IoT and Big Data –

OCTOBER 2019


59

capturing data and building programs

to analyse the data can have a tremendous

impact on both businesses

and consumers. While IoT and Big

Data are improving businesses and

lives, they are also solving world

problems. Having insight on your

operations, workflow and customers

– and doing something with it – can be

the catalyst for cost savings, improving

efficiency, mitigating risk, maximising

sales and driving new revenue.

For consumers, IoT can monitor and

regulate the climate of your environment,

automate your shopping experiences

and allow home healthcare solutions.

Managing fleets of trucks and trains

more efficiently can allow us to reduce

our carbon footprint, and smart buildings

in a city can help to better manage

renewable resources.

I met a young lady at a conference

last week who invented the world’s

first smart white cane for the blind

and sight impaired, which allows them

to have a greater understanding and

control of their environment. With the

cane collecting data on the user’s gait

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TECHNOLOGY

60

and centre of balance, the development

team realised it could also be used by

the frail and elderly to help predict and

avoid a traumatic fall three weeks

before it happens. The implications

for healthcare and quality of life are

tremendous.

In a general sense, what are the

most significant challenges facing

a successful digital transformation?

Security and the workforce. With multiple

components and “access points”

in every advanced digital solution, the

need for comprehensive and advanced

security solutions is imperative. The

global security market for IoT alone

is a £30bn market. Small and medium

businesses (SMBs) are still relatively

unaware and unprepared for the level

of security that should be protecting

their – and their customers’ – security.

Working with a professional consultant

or service provider is recommended.

We are also dealing with significant

workforce skills gaps. In Q2 2019

employers across the UK were seeking

to fill more than 140,000 core IT job

openings. That represented 9% of all

UK job postings in the quarter.

Not only do we have skills gaps, we

have a confidence gap where many of

OCTOBER 2019


the next generation do not see themselves

in a technology role. As we

continue to introduce new technologies,

we create new roles – like data scientists,

drone service providers, AI

ethics leads and more. CompTIA is

focused on building programs that will

encourage, train and certify the next

generation of the workplace. Digital

transformation is defining the

business of the future.

Are there any particular industries

that appear to be lagging in terms

of technological implementation/

innovation?

“THE BEST TECH

PARTNERS ARE THE

ONES WHO TRULY

UNDERSTAND YOUR

BUSINESS”


Nancy Hammervik,

Executive Vice President,

Industry Relations, CompTIA

In general, most small businesses,

across all industries, are lagging.

Without the internal skill and talent to

deploy and implement a digital strategy,

they are left to collaborate with external

partners, business and technology

consultants. While there are many

solutions and service providers available

to support them, many of them are

small businesses themselves and on

the long tail of the learning curve.

We are seeing the greatest advances

at the enterprise level being deployed

by larger system integrators and

global consultants. CompTIA is working

hard to equip smaller solution providers

with the insight, education, tools and

resources needed to drive the adoption

of emerging technologies into the

SMB. We are also focused on building

the tech workforce through education,

training and certification so more

companies can staff and skill up with

relevant talent.

In your view, which industries are

leading the charge with the most

successful digital transformations?

Digital transformation has taken hold

in virtually every industry, but there are

clear distinctions in the degrees and

61

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TECHNOLOGY

62

pace that different industries are

embracing these changes.

The advances in healthcare have

been tremendous. The use of electronic

health records got off to a relatively

slow start, but the pace of adoption

has increased in recent years. Digital

records help contribute to better care

and treatment, especially as patients

see multiple doctors or are transferred

to different care units or facilities.

Care givers have instant access to the

latest patient information, delivered in

a way that’s more secure and allows

for better data organisation.

Another digital innovation that’s taking

hold is wearable technology, from Fitbit

and similar devices that allow patients to

monitor and record their daily activities

to more advanced technologies for realtime

monitoring of symptoms and vitals,

medication reminders and status

reports for medical staff. From hospital

mattresses that measure and manage

the patient’s vitals, through to robotic

surgeries, insightful patient portals and

AI-empowered diagnostics, the healthcare

industry has been revolutionised

by digital transformation.

Retail is also pushing forward quickly

with customer-centric data management,

OCTOBER 2019


IoT store cameras managing inventory

and shopping patterns,

and enhanced security solutions

managing mobile payments. McKinsey

forecasts the retail IoT market will hit

£28.6bn this year, with healthcare

coming in at £130bn.

Cloud computing, analytics and

robotics are among the most innovative

digital tools revamping the core of

banking and finance. People have

financial management at their fingertips

via mobile banking apps, smart

ATMs, virtual assistants and chatbots,

and internet-based virtual banks.

To whatever extent, technology is

driving all businesses, industries and

governments. Whether it be hospitality,

back office, construction or even

agriculture, the use of technology,

along with the internal staff and/or

external teams to develop and manage

it, is quickly becoming the single most

compelling factor contributing to an

organisation’s ability to compete,

provide value, grow and succeed.

63

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PEOPLE

66

Airswift:

AUTOMATION AND

HUMAN CENTRICITY

IN RECRUITMENT

Business Chief talks to Janette

Marx, CEO of Airswift, about the

effects of digital transformation

on recruitment and retention,

and what the future holds

WRITTEN BY HARRY MENEAR

© Albert Robida / Wikimedia Commons

OCTOBER 2019


europe.businesschief.com

67


PEOPLE

68

In 1899, French artist Jean-Marc Côté was

among a team of illustrators commissioned

to create a series of drawings to commemorate

the 1900 world’s fair in Paris. The series,

originally printed as inserts for cigar boxes (and

then later reprinted, but never sold, as postcards

– science fiction author Isaac Asimov reportedly

owned the only surviving set) took the artists’

best guess at how technology would change

our lives by the advent of the 21st century.

The subject matter of En L'An 2000 is, for

the most part, spectacularly off the mark.

Firefighters battle flames while flying through

the air on bat wings, deep sea divers ride giant

seahorses through the ocean and students

have the contents of history books transferred

directly into their brains via psychic helmets.

Endearingly hopeful and bizarre, Côté and his

fellow artists’ work does betray just how hard it

is to predict where the next wave of technological

developments will take us.

In 1995, renowned astronomer and author

Clifford Stoll wrote in an article for Newsweek

that “the truth is no online database will replace

your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take

the place of a competent teacher and no computer

network will change the way government

works.” He also vociferously argued that there

OCTOBER 2019


69

© Jean-Marc Côté / Villemard / Wikimedia Commons

was no such thing as a future where

people would buy things over the

internet, or read books and magazines

online. “Discount the fawning technoburble

about virtual communities,” he

continued. “Computers and networks

isolate us from one another. A network

chat line is a limp substitute for meeting

friends over coffee.” seventeen

years after the article’s publication,

Newsweek became an exclusively

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PEOPLE

70

“THERE IS A LOT OF AUTO-

MATION IN SOURCING

NOW… THE PIECE THAT’S

OFTEN MISSING IS

THE PERSONAL TOUCH”


Janette Marx,

CEO, Airswift

online publication. Obviously, the future

is not something to be predicted lightly.

However, one or two predictions

made by En L'An 2000 came partly

true. Several of the illustrations portray

a world in which a single worker

sits, comfortably pushing buttons, as

automated machinery does the work

of a dozen laborers. In this respect, at

least, Côté was entirely on the money.

Automation has completely changed

the way in which people work, reaching

further and further into aspects of our

jobs and changing the culture of work

forever. While organisations like the

Office for National Statistics predict

that, in the UK, as many as 1.5mn jobs

are at risk of being eliminated by automation,

a greater number of thought

leaders believe that increased automa-

tion (and digitalisation in general) only

highlights the continued need for the

human element in business.

“There is a lot of automation in

sourcing now, a lot of technology that

companies use within their applicant

tracking systems to interact with

people applying for jobs, and engage

with them via automated responses,”

says Janette Marx, CEO of Airswift.

“The piece that's often missing is the

personal touch.” Founded in 1979,

Airswift is an international workforce

solutions provider within the energy,

process and infrastructure industries.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the

company has over 800 employees and

6,000 contractors operating in more

than 50 countries. “We're specialists in

industries where companies, no matter

what country they're in around the

world, have the challenge of trying to

source the right talent,” Marx explains.

“We're not only experts in identifying

the right talent for our clients, but also

experts in mobilising that talent wherever

it’s needed. Whether it's locally,

nationally or globally, we do everything

from making sure people have a place

to live, feel that they are welcomed

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘OPPORTUNITIES WITH AIRSWIFT IN MOZAMBIQUE’

71

into a new country and understand

the culture, to helping find schools

for their kids.”

Airswift partners with some of the

largest companies around the world to

solve talent sourcing, recruitment and

retention challenges in any number of

new and existing markets. In terms of

the ability to comment on the effect of

digital transformation and innovation

on the modern workforce, few are

in a better position than Marx. “The

biggest change in the talent sourcing

world is, if you take a step back, how

digital transformation will change the

interaction between employer and

future employee,” she says. “From a

sourcing point of view, the medium

has changed so much, from ads in the

newspaper to online job boards to the

invention of LinkedIn and so on. There

are a lot of different ways to attract

candidates to different companies.”

The increased digitalisation of the

recruitment space, according to Marx,

has radically altered the size of the net

that companies can cast. This is where

automation becomes so important.

“We can use chatbots and other types

of automation to make sure that we're

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PEOPLE

72

reaching the right audience. There

are companies using chatbots to prescreen

candidates to make sure they

are qualified before doing an actual

interview,” elaborates Marx. “It's really

broken down a lot of barriers and globalised

our outlook, especially if the

skill you’re sourcing is niche, specific or

hard to find.”

However, at the heart of recruitment

is still the human relationship. “When

a person decides to leave a job to

go to another job, that's a really big

decision. Facilitating and navigating

the thought process surrounding that

change is where real recruiters come

in to help connect the dots between

the employer and the job seeker,” Marx

explains. “The digital world is coming

into it, but you still need a human element

in the recruitment process.”

Digital transformation is not only

changing the way that companies

attract talent. Marx notes that, as the

human capital space is increasingly

reshaped by the accelerating pace of

innovation, the strategies and values

companies use to retain their talent are

becoming increasingly people–centric.

“Retention is a really important piece,

© Jean-Marc Côté / Wikimedia Commons

especially with where the unemployment

levels sit around the world right

now,” she says. “There are a lot of

measures companies can take to

increase their retention and employee

engagement, to really train and

develop their people.” More and more,

Marx finds, career progression is the

number one reason people switch

jobs, with opportunities for training and

development coming a close second.

The global workforce is as aware of

the pace of change as anyone, and

OCTOBER 2019


“THE TRUTH IS: NO ONLINE

DATABASE WILL REPLACE

YOUR DAILY NEWS-

PAPER, NO CD-ROM CAN

TAKE THE PLACE OF

A COMPETENT TEACHER

AND NO COMPUTER

NETWORK WILL CHANGE

THE WAY GOVERNMENT

WORKS”


Clifford Stoll,

(Newsweek, 1995) 73

prioritises personal development in

order to keep up.

In the same way that Côté and

Stoll struggled to accurately envision

where technology would take humanity,

the next five to 10 years are a time

shrouded in mystery, brimming with the

possibility of rapid advancements and

new challenges to face. Marx herself

is filled with optimism. “The future is

going to be really, really interesting

with regard to how we balance human

interaction with technology and how

the technology will support that overall

experience,” she enthuses. “I can’t wait

to see where the next five years take us,

particularly in terms of communications.

It would be nice to have holograms,”

she says, somewhat wistfully.

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SUSTAINABILITY

74

FIVE STEPS

TOWARDS

A MORE

SUSTAINABLE

SUPPLY CHAIN

John Perry, Managing Director at SCALA,

a leading provider of management services

for the supply chain and logistics sector,

shares the processes businesses should

undertake to become more sustainable

WRITTEN BY JOHN PERRY

OCTOBER 2019


europe.businesschief.com

75


SUSTAINABILITY

76

Sustainability is becoming

increasingly crucial to both consumers

and key stakeholders

alike, with research from Unilever finding

that one in three consumers now

choose brands based on their social

and environmental credentials. This,

combined with the UK having recently

become the first major economy in

the world to legally commit to net-zero

emissions by 2050, means that businesses

are now having to ensure that

their supply chains are as sustainable

as possible – the question is, how?

DEVELOPING A BUSINESS CASE

The first step towards achieving a

more sustainable supply chain is to

build the business case for action.

This will help to identify the highest

priority supply chain issues for the

company, evaluate opportunities and

risks, and build the internal support

needed to move forward.

OCTOBER 2019


77

The business case for a particular

company depends on a variety of

issues, including: industry sector,

supply chain footprint, stakeholder

expectations, business strategy and

organisational culture. However, in

most cases, supply chain sustainability

offers a number of significant benefits.

This can include minimising business

disruption from environmental, social

and economic impacts, protecting a

company’s reputation and brand value,

reducing the costs of material inputs,

energy and transportation, increasing

labour productivity, and fostering

growth by meeting evolving customer

and business partner requirements.

ESTABLISHING A VISION

Once the business case has been successfully

put forward, it’s important

to then establish a clear vision for the

company’s sustainable supply chain

programme. Defining the objectives at

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SUSTAINABILITY

78

“A key element

of supply chain

sustainability

is efficiency”


John Perry,

Managing Director, SCALA

the outset of the project will prove invaluable

when it comes to devising the

strategy. Having a vision in place also

makes it easier to evaluate the success

of the programme and identify areas

for continued improvement.

In order to ensure full support from

the business’s senior executives, which

will be crucial for success, they should

be actively involved throughout the

creation of the vision. In addition to the

c-suite, representatives from across

the business including sales, marketing,

finance, IT systems, manufacturing and

procurement should be consulted, as

each of these functions will have a role

to play in the implementation of the

sustainable supply chain programme.

STRATEGIC PLANNING

A key element of supply chain sustainability

is efficiency, which is best

achieved through careful planning.

Sophisticated digital modelling tools

can provide end-to-end supply chain

perspective, enabling businesses to

pinpoint inefficiencies and design a

more sustainable supply chain and

logistics network going forward.

By assessing all potential options

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CLICK TO WATCH: ‘CATHERINE WEETMAN - FUTURE-FIT LOGISTICS’

79

and analysing a range of future ‘what

if’ scenarios, companies can ensure

not only that their supply chain and

logistics networks are resilient to

future changes, but also that they can

benefit both the environment and their

bottom line by eliminating wastage

and overspending.

For example, modelling software can

help supply chain professionals to minimise

physical space used by identifying

redundant facilities or opportunities

to rebalance storage, avoid empty

miles by analysing their transportation

network, and reduce emissions by

directing inventory to serve demand.

SOURCING RESPONSIBLY

While it’s impossible for businesses

to fully control the practices of every

third party they deal with in their supply

chain, they should work to ensure that

wherever possible they only partner

with companies that share the same

goals, sustainability values, and environmentally-conscious

supply chain

processes as themselves.

Customers will ultimately hold the

europe.businesschief.com


SUSTAINABILITY

80

businesses they interact with directly

accountable for the products or

services that are delivered. So, if it is

discovered that products contain parts

manufactured unsustainably that have

come from an external supplier, it won’t

be the supplier that faces the backlash

and suffers the consequences.

Qualifying the right sourcing partners

is a critical piece of the sustainability

puzzle, and it requires businesses to

enforce the same high sustainability

standards to which they hold themselves.

Establishing and communicating

expectations through a supplier

code of conduct is an effective way for

businesses to involve suppliers in their

sustainability efforts.

OPTIMISING DISTRIBUTION

When looking to improve sustainability,

logistics is one of the areas where the

biggest difference can be made. With

a large number of vehicles moving high

volumes of goods to diverse and dispersed

locations, there is a significant

risk of inefficiency when it comes to

transport operations.

In order to optimise their logistics

network, businesses should look at

whether their fleet’s size, type and

geographic spread remains optimal,

whether their distribution centres are

in the right places, whether customer

order profiles and delivery requirements

have changed since the original

transport operation was designed,

and whether a dedicated transport

operation is even still needed, or if

it could be more economical and

environmentally-friendly.

This will not only help to ensure

that the supply chain can operate as

OCTOBER 2019


Businesses are

now having to

ensure that their

supply chains

are as sustainable

as possible”


John Perry,

Managing Director, SCALA

81

smoothly as possible, but also reduce

empty miles and carbon emissions,

which has a significant positive effect

on a business’s environmental impact.

In addition to helping the environment

and satisfying public demand

for ethical and environmentally sound

business practices, sustainability

can drive significant business value

both now and long into the future.

europe.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS

82

City Focus

HOUS

Business Chief explores

Houston, Texas,

an energetic and diverse

hub of business and

innovation, and home

to some of the country’s

most enterprising

space-centric startups

OCTOBER 2019


TON

WRITTEN BY HARRY MENEAR

83

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | CHICAGO

HOUSTON

84

T

he most populous city in the state

of Texas and the fourth most populous

in the United States, Houston is home

to over 2.3 million people. Houston is very much

a multicultural city: its residents are among the

youngest in the country, speak over 90 languages

and the metropolitan area lays claim to the thirdlargest

hispanic population in the US. ‘H-Town’,

as it’s known, is also one of the nation’s leading

business hubs. With the exception of New York,

Houston is home to the most Fortune 500

companies in America.

Also nicknamed ‘Hustle Town’, the city’s spirit of

entrepreneurship and innovation is perhaps most

iconically embodied by the moniker ‘Space City’.

Located on Galveston Bay, looking out across the

Gulf of Mexico, Houston hosts NASA’s Johnson

Space Center, where the organization’s famous

Mission Control Center is located. With 2019

marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing,

hailed by many as one of humanity’s crowning

achievements, Business Chief takes a look at

some of the Houston native companies continuing

to uphold the legacy that earned Space City its

name, according to a report by InnovationMap.

OCTOBER 2019


85

NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon ©WIKI

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | HOUSTON

86

COGNITIVE SPACE

“The world is moving towards automation

through artificial intelligence – for

good reasons. It can provide consistent

reliability, sustainability and

exceptional performance, often

surpassing our brightest minds.

Our mission is to render our precious

orbital machines fully autonomous,

such that we can fully rely on their

invaluable services from space – a

domain that is becoming increasingly

crowded and complex.”

As AI-driven automation continues

to permeate almost every aspect of

the business landscape, one former

NASA specialist, Guy de Carufel,

is working to bring this cutting-edge

technology to the approximately

2,000 operational satellites currently

orbiting the Earth’s outer atmosphere.

With the planet rapidly becoming

cloaked in an ever-thickening blanket

of space junk (NASA reported in 2017

that there were more than 25,000

pieces of debris larger than a softball

orbiting the Earth) the need for efficient

organization of spacefaring

technology is greater than ever.

Founded in 2018, Cognitive Space is

based in Houston and is currently working

on the production of a prototype

product in preparation for an upcoming

seed round, expected by the end of 2019.

“Our mission is to render our

precious orbital machines fully

autonomous, such that we can

fully rely on their invaluable

services from Space”


Cognitive Space

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘CEMVITA FACTORY’S CEMVITA FACTORY

MOJI KARIMI AT NASA ITECH’ 87

CEMVITA FACTORY

In addition to space, one of Houston’s

most significant industries is oil and

gas. For both, the production of CO2

is a major issue. Founded in 2017,

Cemvita Factory aims to provide

“economical solutions for a sustainable

future, on Earth and on Mars”. The

people behind this biotechnology

startup’s lofty goal are brother and

sister team Moji and Tara Karimi.

A member of the Capital Factory

Accelerator Program, Cemvita Factory

plans to use its proprietary CO2

Utilization platform in order to mimic

the photosynthesis process found in

plants “by simultaneous uptake of

solar energy, water, and processing

of carbon dioxide to produce nutrients,

pharmaceuticals, intermediate

chemicals, and polymers.”

In an interview with Space Bandits,

Moji Kamiri said: “We fundamentally

solve the food problem for deep

space exploration and survival on

Mars. Planning on taking food to

space is very risky and astronomically

expensive ($100k/kg to Mars at a

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | HOUSTON

“There would not have been

any better place for us in the

country than Houston”


Cemvita Factory

88

minimum). We believe the optimal

solution is a mix of all but cannot only

rely on taking the food with us.” The

company has reportedly had success

creating glucose from CO2, a huge

step in the process of making space

travel a sustainable endeavor. The

sustainability implications of harvesting

CO2 from Earth’s atmosphere and

converting it into usable chemicals

that no longer damage the environment

speak for themselves.

When asked by InnovationMap

about Cemvita Factory’s home, Tara

Kamiri said: “We’re in Houston, and we

have a technology that is from biotech

and have applications in the space

industry and the energy industry. There

would not have been any better place

for us in the country than Houston.”

RE:3D

Founded in 2013 by ex-NASA

colleagues Samantha Snabes and

Matthew Fiedler, re:3D is changing

the digital manufacturing game.

The company’s flagship product, the

Gigabot, has an eight cubic feet build

OCTOBER 2019


volume and is by far the most competitively-priced

industrial printer on the

market for its size and price point,

with a retail price of $9,000.

Bootstrapped from the ground up

using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter,

re:3D’s crusade to democratize

the capabilities of industrial 3D printing

has captured the imaginations of

donors across the world. The company’s

customer base now comprises an

esteemed group of specialty manufacturers,

engineers, designers,

universities, and hobbyists in over 50

countries around the globe.

Invested in its local community, re:3D

works with other Houston residents to

support a large number of sustainable

projects, from developing children’s

social skills through Dungeons &

Dragons (re:3D printed every child an

individual miniature of their character)

to 3D printing sustainable energy

solutions after Hurricane Maria.

The company occupies headquarters

a few streets away from the

Johnson Space Center and, along

with the other startups on this list and

scattered across the rest of the city,

embodies the pioneering and adventurous

spirit that, half a century ago, drove

NASA to put a man on the moon.

89

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘GIGABOT X: CREATING A PELLET PRINTER TO 3D

PRINT USING RECYCLED PLASTIC’

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

90

OCTOBER 2019


Hotels

in North

America

Business Chief examines the ‘Top

100 Hotels in the World’ according

to Travel and Leisure to bring you

the top 10 hotels in North America

91

WRITTEN BY SHANNON LEWIS

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

92

10

Montage Kapalua Bay

Hawaii

Spanning delete 24 acres, the Montage Kapalua Bay is located in

Maui, Hawaii. With a Travel and Leisure score of 95.88, it is rated the

63rd best hotel in the world. Its amenities include over 50 residentialstyle

multi-bedroom suites, 24 beachfront acres, five restaurants,

four bars, and a complete spa service, according to the hotel’s website.

Overlooking Kapalua Bay, it has received public acclaim, with

a five-star rating on TripAdvisor and a 9.3 rating on Booking.com.

OCTOBER 2019


93

09

North Block Hotel

California

With a score of 96.00, North Block Hotel is tied for 55th place,

according to Travel and Leisure. Situated in Yountville, California,

it is the number one Californian hotel in the world. With only 20

rooms, these are well-stocked with private entrances, individual

patios, heated floors in the bathrooms, and 300-count linens. North

Block hotel boasts a full spa and an Italian-inspired eatery, the Redd

Wood Restaurant, headed by Michelin-starred Richard Reddington.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

94

08

Fogo Island Inn

Newfoundland

Tied for 55th best hotel in the world, the Fogo Island Inn has a Travel

and Leisure score of 96.00. Located in Newfoundland, Canada,

National Geographic calls it “a great feat of contemporary architecture.”

Perched on stilts, each of its 29 guest rooms and suites are unique,

with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to a spectacular ocean view.

With a focus on sustainability, 100% of the hotel’s operating

surpluses are reinvested into the community, according to its website.

OCTOBER 2019


95

07

The Bristol Hotel

Virginia

The Bristol Hotel, situated in Bristol, Virginia, is a 65-room boutique

hotel with a rooftop bar that offers far-reaching views of the Appalachian

Mountains. With a Travel and Leisure Score of 96.09, it is the

53rd best hotel in the world. The building was built in 1925. Originally,

it functioned as a hotel before becoming the most prominent office

building in the city in the 20th century. Then eventually it reverted

back to its original intention as the 65-room, 11-suite hotel.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

96

06

The Row Hotel

Massachusetts

The 44th best hotel in the world, The Row Hotel at Assembly Row

has a Travel and Leisure score of 96.32. Part of the Autograph

Collection of Marriott Hotels, it is located in Somerville, Massachusetts,

a seven-minute train ride from Boston. With a heated pool and

24-hour fitness centre, its amenities include a guest pantry and

sun terrace. The Row Hotel at Assembly Row has high ratings:

4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and 4.7 stars on Marriott’s own website

OCTOBER 2019


97

05

Hotel Eleven

Texas

Situated in Austin, Texas, Hotel Eleven is one of the most recent

boutique hotels to open in East Austin. With a 14-room capacity,

it provides an intimate space for fans of music and art. Adorned with

locally-sourced artwork, its lounge features a rotating cast of local

artists. With a Travel and Leisure score of 96.55, it places 36th in the

world. Its private roof deck provides guests with views of downtown

Austin, the Texas Capitol, and the University of Texas.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

98

04

The Inn of the Five Graces

New Mexico

With a Travel and Leisure score of 96.62, The Inn of the Five Graces

is the 33rd best hotel in the world. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico,

each room is adorned handcrafted artisanal art and priceless

artefacts dating back to the Silk Road. It was inaugurated in 1996

under the name “Serets’ 1001 Nights”, changing its name in 2004,

according to the hotel’s website. With 24 rooms, it has a five-star

rating on TripAdvisor and a 9.4 rating on Booking.com.

OCTOBER 2019


99

03

Rabbit Hill Inn

Vermont

Located in Lower Waterford, Vermont, the Rabbit Hill Inn is a 19 room

bed and breakfast. It places 27th in the world, according to Travel and

Leisure, with a score of 96.89. The hotel boasts breathtaking views of

the White Mountains, a swimming pool, spa facilities, and awardwinning

cuisine. World-class, Rabbit Hill Inn has a five-star rating on

TripAdvisor, a 4.5-star rating on Yelp, and a 9.4 rating on Booking.com.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

02

Inn at Willow Grove

Virginia

100

Situated in Orange, Virginia, Inn at Willow Grove is right in

the middle of Virginia wine country. A restored plantation

house from the 1770s, it is rated the 24th best hotel in the

world, with a Travel and Leisure score of 97.22. Seeking

to capture Southern American charm, the hotel is staffed

by butlers and is equipped with a parlour piano. Its room

choices include 10 boutique rooms, 10 luxury suites, and

five premier suites and cottages.

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

101


TOP 10

01

Brush Creek Ranch

Wyoming

First on our list and second in the world is the Lodge & Spa at Brush

Creek Ranch, with a Travel and Leisure score of 98.67. Situated

in Saratoga, Wyoming, the 30,000-acre property provides luxury

accommodation and also acts as a working cattle ranch.

Among its 33 available units are 11 log cabin residences, 13 rooms

in its Trailhead Lodge, and nine fully furnished cabin suites, giving

it a capacity of up to 150 guests, according to the hotel’s website.

102

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘BRUSH CREEK RANCH ADVENTURES’

103

www.businesschief.com


104

SAP: Harnessing

the power of 5G

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

105


SAP

Frank Wilde, Vice President

for SAP’s Global Center of

Excellence, explains the

transformative potential

of 5G for enterprise

106

S

AP is renowned for its enterprise software,

providing solutions across finance, supply

chain and more. Another side of its business,

however, lies in advising customers on the adoption

of innovative technology. Frank Wilde is a Vice

President for SAP’s Global Center of Excellence

(COE), which serves to provide this advice and

expertise. “The Global COE is designed to be an

incubator to support the sales motion and create

a linkage to our product organization,” he explains.

“We help introduce new innovations and showcase

the latest aspects of our portfolio to drive new

customer conversations. A core component lies

in making it easier for our sales teams to learn

about new aspects of our portfolio, and then turn

those into customer driven conversations. We’re

fundamentally changing the relationship with

customers to be much more customer focused

and much more agile as a result.”

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

107


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SAP

“We’re fundamentally changing

the relationship with customers

to be much more customer

focused and much more agile”


Frank Wilde,

Vice President, Global Center

of Excellence, SAP

110

One of the most potentially transformative

technologies of recent times

is 5G, and SAP is ensuring companies

successfully weather the change with

the aid of technology. “5G is a fundamental

transition and transformation

of the network,” says Wilde. “Moving

from hardware driven upgrades and

a hardware driven network into a

software defined network turns the

network into a platform. For example,

because you are now able to guarantee

a level of connectivity to a robotic

arm that’s performing a surgery a

hundred miles away, you can wrap

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘REIMAGINE EVERYTHING WITH SAP & DELOITTE’

111

a new business model around that

and charge for that as a service.

You can then expand that to remote

equipment diagnostics, or being able

to engage in a retail experience in novel

ways. We see 5G as very much a game

changer as we look at the next three,

four or five years.”

The introduction of 5G brings with

it a host of considerations as well, an

increase in data volume being one of

the most important to address. “One

of the main opportunities that we’re

encountering is data management,”

says Wilde. “As we move from a 4G

to a 5G world, the size and quantity

of data streams is growing exponentially.

We’re envisioning a six, seven,

eight-fold increase in data usage over

the next few years. That is going to be

a significant challenge for our customers

with regards to data management

and data strategy.” To successfully

deal with data in such volumes, one

solution SAP offers is its recently

launched Data Hub, which can link

data regardless of where it is stored.

“Organizations which had been trying

to organize data into data lakes can

now lean on HANA and our Data Hub

www.businesschief.com


Unleashing the power of 5G

How 5G will drive the future of business transformation

The world’s economy is at another pivotal stage as technologies such as artificial

intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and virtual/augmented reality transition from

early stage applications to engines of economic growth. A critical catalyst to realize

this growth is the fifth generation of wireless technology, or 5G.

5G is not simply an extension of 4G, nor is it merely a

faster wireless capability offering more capacity and

enhanced performance for smartphones. 5G makes

possible the connection and interaction of billions of

devices of almost any kind and collection of

data from those devices. In addition to connecting

people to people through their smartphones, 5G

connects an unlimited number of things, which

can communicate all day, every day. The business

opportunity for 5G technology to influence productivity

and automation is anticipated to have a seismic impact

to macro economies.

Enabled by 5G, the volume and variety of connected

device types and the data they generate and consume

are expected to dramatically increase within and across

enterprises. This networking technology now provides

a range of customizable capabilities that can be “fit for

purpose” to specific solution requirements, resulting

in game changing opportunities to drive new revenue

streams and unprecedented operating efficiencies.

For example, in retail, next generation personalized

customer experience is now possible with on-site

intelligent analytics that combines location based, realtime

customer data with accurate pricing, inventory

and competitive information across stores and

regions. In manufacturing, high performance campus

5G networks can simultaneously raise the quality of

precision manufacturing with real time sensors, while

untethered factory robots bring new levels of flexibility.

The low latency property of 5G also provides numerous

opportunities to realize the potential of the examples

provided above.

In addition, 5G solutions will also involve an architectural

shift where critical analytics and artificial intelligence

functions will be executed in close proximity to the

connected devices. Edge computing capabilities enabled

by 5G will drive higher accuracy, efficiency, and results

to the device or devices across secure private or public

networks. Further, in typically low connectively locations,

such as oil rigs, mining, and agriculture, 5G makes

it possible for IoT devices with minimal computing

power and low-speed connectivity to “behave” like

powerful computers using a similar 5G/edge computing

architecture.

5G will likely create numerous business opportunities

across all industries. To be able to realize the benefits,

many business processes and solution architectures

will need to be overhauled. Deloitte recognizes that

unlocking 5G’s potential at enterprises requires both

technical and industry expertise combined with multiple

functional disciplines, including next gen networking,

cloud, and AI. In collaboration with SAP, we are taking

an industry vertical, multi-disciplinary approach to assist

enterprise clients to envision and develop 5G enabled

transformational solutions.

Deloitte’s 5G Center of Excellence brings the breadth,

depth, and scale of our practice to create practical

solutions and opportunities for our clients to utilize the

capabilities of 5G to transform their business and market.

Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed

description of Deloitte's legal structure.


Deloitte’s 5G Center of Excellence

Delivering key solutions and technology necessary to help unlock 5G’s enterprise potential:

Industry solutions

Deloitte’s leading industry practices are developing 5G-enabled solutions specific to each

individual industry and sector such as Retail, Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Health Care,

Financial Services, and Government/Smart Cities.

5G technical expertise

Deloitte’s solutions leverage our deep experience in telecommunications, bringing together

all capabilities ranging from network infrastructure, distributed application and mobile edge

computing necessary to enable 5G solution.

Deloitte Catalyst

Deloitte Catalyst accelerates innovation and growth as we help enterprises, governments and

startups–from early stage to high growth–innovate, scale, and deliver transformative value by

connecting and co-developing solutions with key ecosystem partners.

Design thinking

Utilizing our Doblin and Deloitte Digital capabilities, our 5G COE intersects human-centered

design, research and business strategy, with core 5G capabilities and industry specialization

to help organizations imagine and build new business and operating models.

Enterprise technology

Deloitte’s Technology Strategy and System Implementation practices lead the transformation

of the underlying enterprise technologies required to support 5G capabilities. From digital, to

cloud, and to ERP.

To learn more about Deloitte’s 5G capabilities, contact us at deloitte5g@deloitte.com or

www.deloitte.com/us/en/industries/technology-media-and-telecommunications.html

© 2019 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.


SAP

114

platform to stitch together a hybrid

data environment. Knowing that a

central depository or even one data

lake is not going to be able to serve the

enterprise needs of a given customer,

we’ve put in place a framework and

a data strategy that relies on a hybrid

approach. You need to take into account

that federated model rather than try

to centralize it.”

Aside from 5G opening up new

business possibilities, Wilde also

identifies the potential of the technology

when deployed together with new technologies

such as AI, machine learning and

edge computing. “We’re embedding AI

and machine learning across our entire

portfolio,” he explains. “Everything from

being able to automate the selection

of resumes to embedding it within

analytics to help streamline and drive

decision making. We see it as very

much a fundamental component of how

we handle design and development,

OCTOBER 2019


EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Frank Wilde,

Vice President, Global Center of Excellence at SAP

Wilde leads data and data science innovation focused on telecom

and high tech as a Vice President for SAP’s Global Center of excellence.

In this role, Frank’s teams of data scientists and platform architects

spark innovative thinking with SAP’s customers through

a combination of data science and design thinking.

Frank is a seasoned executive with a track record of success

in product innovation, sales and sales operations. Before

joining SAP, Frank led a software development group

at Apple which supported Apple’s strategic partnerships

with IBM, Cisco and AT&T. Prior to Apple, Frank led

a corporate strategy organization and a sales innovation

organization at Dell. At Dell, his teams designed and

built Dell’s first consumer loyalty platform and created

a competitive version of iTunes. In addition, Frank

spent 9 years with Deloitte Consulting leading digital

transformations with high tech, telecom, and

public sector clients. He began his career as a

software engineer building CRM and supply

chain applications before transitioning into

management consulting.

115

Frank attended University of California,

Los Angeles, for college, earned an MBA

of Business Administration at Duke University

and served as an officer in the Navy.

www.businesschief.com


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

ASSEMBLY

LINE

ROBOTICS

REAL-TIME

INSPECTION

& ANALYTICS

PREDICTIVE

MAINTENANCE

MASSIVE IOT

TRACKING

REMOTE

EQUIPMENT

CONFIGURATION

5G

SMART MANUFACTURING KEY APPLICATIONS


“5G has the potential to add new smart

manufacturing capabilities in electronics

manufacturing — both for manufacturers focused

on extremely high yield levels and equipment

suppliers looking to do more remote diagnostics.”

Tom Salmon,

Vice President for Collaborative

Technology Platforms at SEMI and the Executive

Director of the Fab Owners Alliance (FOA)

5G – Its Potential

Impact in SMART

Manufacturing

5G technology will create an

unprecedented fabric of connected

devices, pushing the wireless revolution

well beyond handsets, enabling

widespread connectivity of just

about everything, including laptops,

vehicles, IoT devices, manufacturing

plants, and city infrastructure.

Businesses, governments and consumers will reap

the benefits of multi-gigabit speeds, ultra-low

latency, simplistic scalability, and virtually unlimited

capacity. While the full benefits of the 5G rollout is

on the near horizon, one of the earliest beneficiaries

is expected to be manufacturing.

In the semiconductor industry, 5G is being hailed as

an enabling technology for “smart manufacturing”

that uses production and sensor data to improve

manufacturing efficiencies and adaptability.

With greater reliability and peak data speeds that

will be at least 20 times that of 4G networks, 5G

will enable wafer fabs to use wireless technology

for many quality control and predictive maintenance

applications that existing networks cannot.

For example, 5G speeds makes it possible to apply

edge or cloud-based AI technologies to packaging

and inspection steps, improving quality and yield.

5G will also help maximize the uptime of manufacturing

equipment, enabling technicians to perform

maintenance and repair operations remotely. The

streaming of sensor data over 5G networks will not

only enable fabs to build chips more efficiently and

reduce waste, they will also provide real-time data

on the environmental conditions within a fab,

delivering immediate warnings in the cases of

chemical-related worker safety hazards.

Currently, chip makers and equipment vendors are

showcasing real-use examples for 5G. In the case

of brand-new “greenfield” chip fabs, investing in 5G

infrastructure is a no-brainer, as the high-speed

wireless connectivity will reduce the amount of

hardwired infrastructure required.

In the case of existing fabs, SEMI members are

weighing the return on investment associated with

replacing existing networks with 5G. The future

ahead and potential impact for 5G is bright indeed.

Learn about SEMI SMART Manufacturing at:

semi.org/semiismore

SEMI is the global industry association representing the electronics design

and manufacturing supply chain, connecting over 2,100 member companies

and 1.3 million professionals worldwide.


SAP

118

COMPANY FACTS

• SAP is envisioning up to

eight-fold increase in data

usage over the next few

years due to 5G.

• SAP has a history of

business process expertise

in 26 industries

OCTOBER 2019


and when it comes to innovation, that’s

where we’re helping customers on the

ground think differently. How they can

use 5G coupled with AI and machine

learning, with conversational AI, to bring

new processes to life and streamline

their approach, for example.”

This combined approach is emblematic

of the solutions SAP provides.

Wilde identifies two guiding principles

informing the company’s operations:

customer driven innovation and an

ecosystem approach. The company’s

work with key telecommunications

firms serves as an example of this

mindset in practice. “It’s very much

a strategic partnership as well as a

customer relationship that we’ve

nurtured over the course of the last

couple of years,” says Wilde. “We’ve

helped them put in place a core data

backbone and the ability to lean on

the core functions around finance

and supply chain that they need to

be able to succeed and grow going

forward. We realize that SAP is uniquely

positioned to be able to help telecom

organizations digitally transform,

consolidate their environments and

land on one enterprise data platform,

119

www.businesschief.com


EXPECT

BRILLIANCE

HARMAN designs and engineers connected

products and solutions for automakers, consumers,

and enterprises worldwide, including connected

car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise

automation solutions; and connected services.

LEARN MORE

CONTACT US

car.harman.com


“We see 5G as very

much a game changer

as we look at the next

three, four or five years”


Frank Wilde,

Vice President, Global Center

of Excellence SAP

not only for their own internal use but

also for how they go to market. Where

telcos bring the connectivity, SAP brings

an enterprise data platform and the

two solutions very much are tied at the

hip, particularly as we look to innovate

around 5G.”

The process by which SAP’s Center

of Excellence brings customers on

board is comprehensive, aiming to

understand the customer’s needs and

in turn inform them of the possibilities

SAP offer. “We’ve put together and

created a co-innovation playbook that’s

specific to 5G through our partnership

with Deloitte, for example. We’re helping

customers look holistically at what 5G

is, understand what the use cases are

and develop solutions together,” says

Wilde. To accomplish this, SAP employs

concrete demonstrations. “We’ve started

5G proofs of concept to showcase the

121

www.businesschief.com


$24.7bn

Approximate

revenue

1972

Year founded

96,498

Approximate number

of employees 123

art of the possible and bring 5G to life.

We want to be able to use these engagements

as a lighthouse to say, ‘this is

one example of the smart manufacturing

of the future,’ for example. Or,

‘these are the use cases that we’ve

identified and brought to life in a retail

environment.’ We’re doing that across

targeted industries and then flowing

into all 26 verticals that we have business

process expertise in.

“Based on the proofs of concept that

we run, we create points of view to

identify the top 12 or 15 innovations in

a given industry. Whether it’s predictive

modeling or AI or machine learning,

we bake that into a point of view to

showcase the art of the possible for

each one of the industries we operate

in. Having that baseline with tangible

outcomes is one of the core components

that helps us drive customer

conversations, because we’re able

to point to work that we’ve performed.”

Going into the future, SAP has

assembled a 5G Council, pulling

together hardware manufacturers,

telecommunications companies,

equipment providers and customers

to further innovate in the 5G space,

www.businesschief.com


SAP

124

“We’ve started 5G proofs

of concept to showcase the

art of the possible and

bring 5G to life”


Frank Wilde,

Vice President, Global Center

of Excellence SAP

OCTOBER 2019


125

and Wilde is clear that such innovations

do not represent business-asusual

incremental upgrades, but

instead a transformative tsunami.

“5G adoption is not just for the sake

of new technology but represents a

fundamental shift in thinking, moving

from a hardware driven network into

a software defined one,” says Wilde.

“Look at how fast Tesla, Uber and

Airbnb came to life. We’re seeing an

ever increasing speed of testing new

business models. We want to be able

to give our customers that same

platform, so they can incubate new

ideas and land on new monetization

strategies as they go to market

in new ways.”

www.businesschief.com


126 CITY OF AURORA:

GROWING INTO

A SMART CITY

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

127


CITY OF AURORA

ALETA JEFFRESS, CHIEF

INFORMATION AND DIGITAL

OFFICER AT THE CITY OF

AURORA, COLORADO, DETAILS

THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

AND SMART CITY MEASURES

BEING PUT INTO PLACE

128

A

leta Jeffress is Chief Information and Digital

Officer at the City of Aurora, Colorado.

“There’s a lot of growth in Aurora, and we

happen to be in the fortunate position of having

land, so our footprint can continue to expand,” says

Jeffress. “There’s a lot of development east of the

city, and with that comes a lot of different challenges.

Infrastructure for instance – how do we ensure

access to water? How do we ensure that public

safety is covered as the city continues to grow,

and then what do we need to do internally to ensure

everything is working well?”

Jeffress, and the IT department which she heads,

have embarked on a program of digital transformation

in order to better meet the challenges that

growth presents. When Jeffress joined five years

ago, she began to implement a series of structural

changes. “One of the first steps in ensuring that

what we did and how we did it was repeatable was

the creation of a project management office in the

OCTOBER 2019


129

$800mn

Budget for

all funds

1891

Year founded

4,000

Approximate number

of employees

www.businesschief.com


CITY OF AURORA

130

“AS WE LOOK

AT SMART

CITIES AND, IN

AURORA’S CASE,

THE PHYSICAL

GROWTH THAT

WE HAVE,

THERE’S JUST

SO MUCH

OPPORTUNITY”


Aleta Jeffress,

Chief Information and Digital Officer

IT department,” she says. “We’re on our

third iteration now, and there’s a good

process in place. Our customers know

what to expect, we can utilize our

resources and share updates and

move projects along in a timely manner,

considering resources and budget.”

It was also a matter of systemic

upgrades, modernizing legacy systems

and moving to the cloud. “We have a

solution rationalization modernization

effort – an SRM for short. When I got

here, we took inventory of all the

products we had, really ensuring that

we were looking at the entire picture

and not just the biggest applications.”

Beneficiaries of this approach include

the upcoming modernization of

computer aided dispatch and ERP

systems, and Jeffress is also “working

on a workflow implementation that

would update how we do our

land management, and how we

work with developers and

permits.” The city also examines

its systems in order to

determine if they would benefit

from cloud transformation. “If

the platform is such that we

could move to a cloud model,

and it makes sense from a cost

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘AURORA TV – AURORA NOW’

131

and functionality perspective, then

that’s likely our first choice. We went

to a cloud-based solution for sales tax

management in the past year or two,

and that’s been very successful.”

Throughout this systems change,

Jeffress has maintained a focus on

security for the data contained within.

“We’ve built a lot more rigor into the

security side as well as more knowledge,

both with staff very specific to

security, as well as education across

the organization. Looking at it from

a data perspective, it’s a question of

understanding the data classifications

that we have, the data sources, who

has access to what, and putting all

of that together so that we can more

efficiently manage what we have.”

This focus on data will serve the city

well as it embarks on a new smart city

initiative, bringing a new influx of data.

“Aurora was one of the founding cities

of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance,”

says Jeffress. “We had done a few

independent smart city projects and

then realized that we needed to have a

bigger strategy. We made a request for

proposal earlier this year and engaged

with a firm who are putting together

www.businesschief.com


City of Aurora's Security

Posture Starts with its People

Proofpoint email solutions empower and

engage city employees in the fight against

cyber threats

The City

Known as the Gateway to the Rockies, Aurora, Colorado, boasts

spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. Aurora is the

third-largest city in Colorado with more than 381,000 residents.

When Tim McCain was hired as the City's CISO, he and his team

found themselves besieged by phishing attacks. Before they

could focus on implementing risk-based governance and

building security operations, they had to reclaim hours of time

being spent on email attacks and cleanup.

The Challenge

The existing infrastructure lacked an email gateway. The City

had added Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection to its Office

365 deployment, but attacks still occurred regularly, and

internally generated spam was still overwhelming. Worse, the

team had no visibility and no incident data for improving

defenses. For each incident, investigation through the vendor

portal could take several days and still not deliver meaningful

answers.

“Low security efficacy and visibility are bad for any organization,”

said McCain. “But the real problem is how attacks affected our

people. We needed to defend City employees and services for

the community, as well as empower and energize our team.”


“Proofpoint enables us to successfully address the

issues at the very heart of risk—people and email.”

—Tim McCain, Chief Information Security Officer, City of Aurora

The Solution

Picking a Pro

The security and infrastructure teams evaluated

solutions, including numerous Proofpoint

competitors and Proofpoint. When it came to

conducting a POC, the choice was clear.

“Proofpoint's level of professionalism, technical

ability, and understanding of our needs was

way above other vendors,” said McCain. “They

made the POC easy and answered every

question we asked. They even answered

questions we didn't think to ask.”

The City of Aurora chose a comprehensive

Proofpoint solution. Email Protection protects

users against malware, impostor emails, and

stopped the flood of spam that was generated

from infected systems. If emails are become

malicious after delivery or use evasion tactics,

Threat Response Auto-Pull (TRAP) enables

McCain's team to automatically pull them out

of users' mailboxes. Targeted Attack Protection

(TAP) proactively stops advanced threats

before they reach users’ inboxes, including

zero-day attacks and emerging threats. In

addition, the TAP Attack Index identifies the

City's most attacked people and surfaces

targeted ransomware attacks. With Email

Encryption, users can now encrypt email

messages with a click, enabling the City to

more easily meet a wide range of compliance

requirements. Proofpoint Security Awareness

Training provides phishing reports that enable

the team to analyze the City's phishing risks

and know where to target additional training.

Empowered and Engaged

McCain’s team is taking on a security

operations role with the help of the Proofpoint

dashboard and support. They're proactively

preventing spam flare-ups. The SecOps team

historically would see a 72-hour turn-around

from the point of attack to exploitation that in

certain cases would result in thousands of

emails being sent to City employees. It took

hours to remove these from mailboxes. The

team has reduced spam flare-ups to zero.

The Results

“Proofpoint's ability to make security real

enables us to engage everyone — from City

leadership on down,” said McCain. “My team's

confidence has grown, and now they feel like

‘CyberCSI Aurora,’ which is great.”

McCain said he can't overstate the value of

Proofpoint solutions and regular business

reviews with his Proofpoint account team.

Proofpoint is always available as the team

gains leading-edge security knowledge and

experience, giving them confidence. In fact,

deployment of the Proofpoint platform has

been accomplished faster than planned, which

has enabled Tim to shift focus to roadmap

projects almost a year ahead of time.

“Proofpoint enables us to successfully address

the issues at the very heart of risk—people and

email,” said McCain. “Their support is amazing.

I can say without hesitation that Proofpoint is

an unqualified success.”

For more information, visit www.proofpoint.com


CITY OF AURORA

134

and helping us drive a smart city

strategy. That’s helped us to refine our

mission and our vision for what smart

cities should be for Aurora. For

instance, we’re in the process of

finalizing a purchase of our streetlights,

which would then allow us to expand

on how we use them for our various

smart city initiatives.”

Facilitating change is not just

about putting different technological

initiatives in place and hoping for the

best, however. “Culture is a big part,”

says Jeffress. “Whenever you do

change management, you have to

“THERE’S A LOT OF

GROWTH IN AURORA,

AND WE HAPPEN TO

BE IN THE FORTUNATE

POSITION OF HAVING

LAND, SO OUR

FOOTPRINT CAN

CONTINUE TO EXPAND”


Aleta Jeffress,

Chief Information and Digital Officer

OCTOBER 2019


make sure that the culture is ready

and accepting, because otherwise it

just creates resistance. We sometimes

think of innovation as these big-ticket

items, but it’s important to figure out

a way to allow people to innovate

themselves, to be comfortable with

change and to be able to make

suggestions on how things could be

different.” For Jeffress, it’s crucial to

remember the role of people amidst

the technology transformation.

“Although we’re implementing a lot of

technology and a lot of digital transformation,

one of the things that really

remains important is making sure

that you hire the right people. That’s

especially true in technology where

it’s a continuing challenge due to the

low unemployment rate and number

of open positions.”

The IT department itself can act as

a harbinger of change for surrounding

organizations, as Jeffress explains.

“The City of Aurora has about 21

different departments. The IT organization

here supports all of them, so we

have to be very aware of what’s going

on in each to ensure we’re in a place

where we can help them to succeed.

135

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Aleta Jeffress

Aleta Jeffress is the Chief Information and Digital Officer for the

City of Aurora. She has over 20 years’ experience as a successful

executive business leader and technologist building

relationships between business and technology to enable

digital transformation and market growth. She drives

innovative strategies for business and IT leadership,

and has developed teams for Cybersecurity and Project

Management Offices from the ground up. Her career

began in startup software companies where she

started in a call center environment and moved

through private and public sector organizations in

the areas of software quality, development, product

management, security, and ultimately leadership.

www.businesschief.com


CITY OF AURORA

136

“WHENEVER YOU DO

CHANGE MANAGEMENT,

YOU HAVE TO MAKE

SURE THAT THE

CULTURE IS READY AND

ACCEPTING, BECAUSE

OTHERWISE IT JUST

CREATES RESISTANCE”


Aleta Jeffress,

Chief Information and Digital Officer

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

137


CITY OF AURORA

COMPANY FACTS

• City of Aurora has 21

different departments

• City of Aurora was a

founding member of the

Colorado Smart Cities

Alliance in 2017

138

OCTOBER 2019


We need to understand what the

solutions are. It’s not just ‘here’s your

phone and here’s your computer’, it’s

‘how are you trying to meet the goals?’

Whether it’s the animal shelter or

public safety or the water department

or the library, the question is: ‘are your

constituents being served and how

can we help you to enable that?’”

Ultimately, as Aurora continues its

transformation journey with the likes

of the smart city initiative, Jeffress

considers it vital to embrace rather

than fear change. “Growth is just very

positive. Some people might be

intimidated by that, but really nothing

stays the same. As we look at smart

cities and, in Aurora’s case, the

physical growth that we have, there’s

just so much opportunity. We have to

make sure that we take a step back

and really look at the opportunity and

leverage the opportunities that are

in front of us. Whether that’s through

process change or digital transformation,

it is what’s needed to propel us

into the next era.”

139

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140

HOW INTELLIGENCE

LED SECURITY FIRM

FIREEYE IS FIGHTING

CYBER THREATS

ON THE FRONT LINES

WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG DANIELS

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

141


FIREEYE INC

FIREEYE CIO COLIN CARMICHAEL

SHARES HIS INSIGHT INTO THE CHANGING

LANDSCAPE OF CYBERSECURITY, AND

HOW THE COMPANY USES CUTTING EDGE

TECHNOLOGY AND HUMAN EXPERTISE TO

WIN THE WAR AGAINST CYBER THREATS

142

T

he first two decades of the 21st century

have borne witness to dramatic and

unilateral change of a scope and scale

seldom seen before. Ubiquitous mobile devices,

the rise of artificial intelligence and the sweeping

digitalization of the global landscape have, even

in the last decade, brought about dramatic and

constant reinvention of the way businesses

operate. In few places is this transformation more

pronounced than the field of cybersecurity.

From sophisticated phishing attacks and ransomware

to high-profile data breaches, perpetrated by

nation-state funded groups of cyber criminals, and

direct interference in democratic elections, the war

against digital crime has never been waged more

fiercely. Colin Carmichael, CIO of leading cybersecurity

firm FireEye, lives and works in the heart of

this conflict. “We live and breathe on the front lines

of cybersecurity every day here at FireEye,” he

says. “FireEye is called into the biggest breaches

all over the world. We see, first hand, what’s going

on and what the bad guys are up to.”

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

143


FIREEYE INC

144

“SECURITY CERTAINLY

HAS CHANGED A LOT.

BACK IN THE DAY, IT

WAS SIMPLY A CASE

OF MAKING SURE

YOU HAD THE BEST

PERIMETER SECURITY

OUT THERE. TODAY,

NO ONE’S SAFE”


Colin Carmichael,

CIO, FireEye

For the past 15 years, FireEye has

fought tooth and nail against the

machinations of cyber criminals,

relentlessly protecting its customers

from the impact and consequences

of cyber attacks. Carmichael himself

came to the firm in 2016, having

previously worked in “every function

of IT you can think of: hands on coding,

managing people, building data

centers, building applications.

You name it, I’ve done it,” he laughs.

Carmichael cut his teeth at Californian

technology giant Sun Microsystems,

and later held senior roles at Amazon

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘KEVIN MANDIA: WHO IS FIREEYE?’

145

and Polycom. “The one role I avoided

for most of my career was security,

because back in the day it didn’t excite

me.” We sat down with Carmichael to

find out what changed his mind, get his

insight into the complex and dangerous

world of cybersecurity, and discover

how FireEye is fighting the war against

increasingly sophisticated and capable

bad guys.

“Security certainly has changed a lot,”

recalls Carmichael. “Back in the day,

it was simply a case of making sure you

had the best firewall and DMZ structure

out there to secure the perimeter. Then,

www.businesschief.com


FIREEYE INC

146

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘FIREEYE: LEADING FROM THE FRONT LINES’

“FIREEYE’S MAJOR

DIFFERENTIATOR

IS WHAT WE CALL

INTELLIGENCE-

LED SECURITY”


Colin Carmichael,

CIO, FireEye

if that perimeter was totally secure, you

just got on with your life.” In previous

decades, the motivations behind

cybersecurity breaches weren’t as

clearly understood, and even major

technology firms like Sun Microsystems

saw competitors looking to steal

intellectual property (IP) as the primary

risk when it came to cyber espionage.

“Today, no one’s safe. Every industry is

at risk of being attacked for multiple

different reasons,” says Carmichael.

“There are obviously still attempts to

steal IP, but there are also financial

OCTOBER 2019


attacks, people who want to ‘bring you

to your knees’, ransomware and

phishing are off the charts – there’s a

whole industry of adversaries out there,

and they are very, very sophisticated.”

This increase in sophistication,

Carmichael maintains, is the leading

driver behind the unending innovation

cycle at FireEye. “The bad guy used

to be thought of as a teenager in dark

glasses and a hoodie,” he chuckles.

“Today, that’s not the case. There are

organized Advanced Persistent Threat

groups – that are typically nation state

driven – as well as organized crime

groups out there. It’s a war.”

Carmichael and FireEye are as close

to winning that war as anyone, but the

process is a constant battle to stay one

step ahead of the bad guys. “You have

to continuously innovate. When you

identify a new vulnerability – a new

attack vector for those bad guys –

you’ve got to be able to respond

immediately,” he says. As technological

security measures become increasingly

airtight, users are being targeted

more and more as weak points in

security systems. According to

Carmichael, ransomware attacks are

147

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Colin Carmichael

As Chief Information Officer, Colin Carmichael is

responsible for leading the Information Systems &

Services organization as they seek to deliver highly

secure, modern and frictionless IT architecture and

services to FireEye. Prior to FireEye, Colin held senior

IT executive positions at Coopervision, Amazon and

Sun Microsystems. At Sun, he was handpicked to run

one of the world’s largest ERP implementations for the

office of the CFO for 2 years, which led to the eventual

integration into Oracle Corp after the acquisition

of Sun. Colin has a Masters, IT in Commerce and

Industry from The Open University in the UK.

www.businesschief.com


Service Management

Automation X

Smarter for employees.

Smarter for IT.

Start delivering Intuitive, personalized, no-wait selfservice

— powered by machine learning — to every

employee. See productivity rise. See costs, outages,

ticket volumes, and resolution times fall.

Contact Us


The James Hutton Institute Offers

a Better Experience for Everyone

The James Hutton Institute, a world-leading

scientific organization based in Scotland,

works to resolve global challenges in food,

energy, and water security.

The Institute’s IT team had been taking a

fragmented approach to capturing requests

from its 600 users. One site used a SharePoint

solution, another a service automation solution.

But neither solution really met the Institute’s

service demands. “We didn’t have a

single place for all staff to submit their requests,”

said Ben Watt, end user computing manager

at The James Hutton Institute. “This made it

hard for the end users, but also for the team of

14 working on the requests.”

Lack of full visibility was one of the team’s

biggest challenges. “Without visibility across

the process we could not easily allocate

resources and deliver an effective service,”

Watt said. “We wanted to provide a better

experience for everyone, and create a service

portal that would not just be used for IT requests,

but for our estates, communications,

and finance departments as well.”

The Institute selected Micro Focus Service

Management Automation X (SMAX) to provide

a digital self-service experience for IT and

non-IT users. Today, the SMAX-driven service

desk manages about 500 IT requests and 300

non-IT requests a month. Users leverage

smart virtual agents to receive automated

assistance, 24x7, along with email. A fully

integrated self-service portal makes it easy for

users to raise requests, check the status of

existing requests, and leave comments or

questions for IT.

Issue resolution is easier too. Now the IT team

can see all open tickets and use knowledge

articles to reduce ticket volumes. Written by

IT, knowledge articles are short answers to

specific questions. For more details, users can

link to the complete article in the SMAX

knowledge management module. “Our views

across all knowledge articles are now in the

thousands, compared to the tens of views we

had in the past,” Watt said. “In addition, SMAX

Hot Topic Analytics, using advanced search

and analytics capabilities to recognize request

patterns, has helped us create knowledge

articles or problem records to address

common issues.”

After every request, SMAX sends a survey

to the user. According to Watt, the SMAX

survey platform has streamlined the survey

process and boosted the response rate from

10 percent to an impressive 50 percent. The

team also uses SMAX Hot Topic Analytics to

highlight keywords in the surveys and determine

if extra services or knowledge articles

are needed.

With SMAX, the Institute has successfully

delivered self-service for all. “Our SMAX service

portal is well liked by staff, and we regularly

receive requests for other departments

to be included,” Watt said. “Users are very

comfortable doing their own research through

the various channels at their disposal, which

helps us focus our resources where we can

add the most value.”

Learn More


FIREEYE INC

150

on the rise. “It’s not unheard of

nowadays for CEOs to get emails that

look very much like a normal communication

from inside their network.

It looks like it’s come from a legitimate

source, and they’re moving so fast that

they just click on a link or respond

saying ‘yeah, I approve this.’ Then, that

email launches some bad stuff in the

background,” he explains. “Ransomware

is the biggest growth area right

now. Humans are humans, and

sometimes you need to repeat that

message several times before it sinks in.”

Both in its relationships with clients and

“THE WORLD

IS A SCARY

PLACE, BUT AN

INTERESTING ONE

NONETHELESS”


Colin Carmichael,

CIO, FireEye

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘THE FIREEYE INNOVATION CYCLE’

151

internally, FireEye promotes a continuous

education cycle in order to keep security

awareness at the highest possible level

and constantly strengthen “one of the

weakest links in the chain”.

While humans are increasingly the

weakest point in a company’s cybersecurity

armor, FireEye uses people as its

most effective defensive asset.

“FireEye’s major differentiator is what

we call intelligence-led security,” says

Carmichael. It is the company’s view

that technology alone isn’t enough to

combat cyber attacks, and that

‘hands-on front-line expertise, combined

www.businesschief.com


FIREEYE INC

152

CYBERSECURITY STATS

• 3.5 million unfilled

cybersecurity jobs

worldwide

• $600bn: estimated

annual cost of

cybercrime globally

OCTOBER 2019


with innovative technology,’ is the most

effective defense. Top level cybersecurity

professionals are essential to FireEye’s

business model, making the process of

attracting and retaining the best

possible talent a critical objective for

the company. “There are 3.5mn open

positions in the cybersecurity world

today. That’s an absolute dearth of

talent and everyone’s scrambling for it,”

Carmichael says. “There are a lot of

experts in the cybersecurity world who

would love to come and work at places

like FireEye, but that doesn’t change

the fact that we’re constantly working

to figure out how to educate our people

and how to partner better with universities

that have curriculums focused on

cybersecurity, so we can get new blood

and a new generation of graduates

coming out into this field, who are

prepared to walk into a job on day one.”

One way in which FireEye is helping

its clients compensate for a shortage

of cybersecurity talent is its new

Expertise On Demand service. Given

that “insufficient and under-skilled staff

increases team workload, leading to

burnout and attrition as well as

increased business risk,” according to

the company, Expertise On Demand

153

www.businesschief.com


FIREEYE INC

$831mn

Approximate

revenue

2004

Year founded

154

3,200

Approximate number

of employees

CLICK TO WATCH: ‘APT41: A DUAL ESPIONAGE AND CYBER CRIME OPERATION’

OCTOBER 2019


allows companies to utilise FireEye’s

vast expertise as a remote service, in

exchange for prepaid units including

training, capability development, and

custom intelligence. The progression

towards service-based products is

something FireEye has been embracing

for several years, moving from

hardware appliances to a servicebased

cloud model. “We still have

customers that prefer the old appliance,

we have customers that are now much

more software driven, and we’ve got a

lot of customers who are migrating fully

to the cloud and don’t want to manage

anything in terms of their network.

They would rather have their cloud on

AWS or Azure or just want a SaaS

application,” says Carmichael.

Looking to the future, the war against

cyber threats is only going to escalate,

and FireEye will escalate along with it.

“We’ll continue to evolve our products

and our business, whether that’s

through organic growth or acquisitions,”

predicts Carmichael. “We know

we’ve still got areas we want to offer

capabilities in and, internally, my drive

is to develop systems that actually get

IT out of the way of the business and

allow the business to go at the speed

of business.” As a veteran of IT and

cybersecurity fighting on a daily basis

against sophisticated and organized

threats, Carmichael admits the world

“is a scary place, but an interesting one

nonetheless, and one that FireEye will

continue in its mission to relentlessly

protect our customers.”

155

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156

It’s a big world.

Plaza is building it.

WRITTEN BY

DANIEL BRIGHTMORE

PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

OCTOBER 2019


Sky Rise Miami

157

www.businesschief.com


PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

The global contractor is delivering

prestigious and award-winning

hospitality, commercial, corporate,

and residential projects by

leveraging new technologies

with a forward-thinking approach

158

F

ounded in 1986, Plaza Construction strives

to be an outstanding builder and trusted

partner, creating value for its clients

and their communities, through a commitment

to excellence and integrity. The company started

to expand significantly in 2004 with operations in

Miami. Subsequently, Plaza established a presence

in Washington DC and in the past 18 months has set

up shop in central Florida, specifically in Tampa and

Orlando. “We’ve also opened up an office in Los

Angeles working on a large mixed-use project,”

adds President, Brad Meltzer. Recently awarded

another sizeable project in San Jose, California –

a large data center for CMI, China Mobile – Plaza

is aiming to focus on markets like these, with

a strong outlook and working in partnership with

like-minded clients.

Technology plays a big part in Plaza’s approach.

“We have a group within our operation specifically

focused on innovation. For example, in order to

make sure our staff is trained effectively on the

systems and software we currently use, such as

OCTOBER 2019


159

Plaza project at 99 Hudson Street, Jersey City, NJ

Rich Wood CEO company address

at Town Hall meeting

Ritz Carlton Residences

www.businesschief.com


PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

160

“Sometimes technology

is like the human brain

and we’re only using

10% of our capacity […]

so it’s important our

technology team reaches

out to all of our staff, so

they appreciate the true

power of the tools they

have at their disposal”


Brad Meltzer,

President, Plaza Construction

BIM360, our technology group, along

with support from the manufacturer,

holds live training sessions in our

various regional offices. This allows

staff to ask real-world questions to

trainers and get immediate feedback

and, ultimately, real-world results,”

reveals Meltzer. He explains that Plaza

beta tests new software on specific

projects to carry out a cost benefit

analysis to ensure that upgrades will

make the company more effective and

efficient in the long run. “Sometimes

it might be as simple as selecting a

new project and testing that tech over

OTM and Marquis

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘PLAZA CONSTRUCTION SOUTHEAST

– CHANGING MIAMI’S SKYLINE’

161

a six-month period to make sure it’s

working effectively for us, before we

then roll it out company-wide.”

Meltzer notes that technology is

advancing so rapidly, it’s important to

avoid a “knee-jerk” reaction to buying

every shiny new toy available. “When

you’re investing hundreds of thousands

of dollars in new solutions, it’s important

to make sure these advancements can

help your business today. And have the

patience to wait for the right technology

that works for your organization.”

While technology can provide

opportunities, it also represents

a challenge for the industry as a whole

believes Meltzer. “The biggest issue we

face is with training,” he says. “Sometimes

technology is like the human

brain and we’re only using 10% of

our capacity […] so it’s important our

technology training team reaches all

of our staff so they appreciate the true

power of the tools they have at their

disposal. Plaza’s CEO Richard Wood

is a builder first, a former superintendent,

who believes in empowering

people through workshops and

mentoring – it’s part of Plaza’s forwardthinking

philosophy.”

www.businesschief.com


Plaza uses software solutions such

as PlanGrid (part of the BIM 360 suite

from Autodesk) to enhance efficiencies

on site. “Five years ago, our superintendents

would be walking the job site,

with a set of plans,” explains Meltzer,

“but there was almost no way to

confirm if that was the latest set of

drawings. They would need to ask if

the drywall and electrical foremen have

the latest set? But now, we hand out

iPads to all key individuals on site and

we’re able to know with certainty

they’re working with the latest set of

plans. They can now just pick up the

phone and speak to the architect or a

subcontractor/vendor at their fabrication

facility and know they are collaborating

in real time. They can take a picture of

a job site condition, tag it to their iPad,

to that location, and then are able to

discuss and solve that issue.” Innovation

is a core value at Plaza and one

Meltzer believes makes its staff feel

part of a forward-thinking group. “It’s

also really helping with recruitment of

some of the best and brightest young

people in the industry.”

Meltzer believes that Plaza’s

collaborative approach, involving

163

Brad Meltzer

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

A master of architecture with more than three decades

of experience, when Brad Meltzer began working at Plaza

in 1989, he was among members of the current senior

leadership team who cut their teeth as in-house contractors

for larger developers. “We had no computers,” recalls

Meltzer. “We did our own estimating, purchasing, project

management and teams were smaller. I think having the

opportunity to have performed in those roles, and as a

superintendent, has given me a greater perspective on the

challenges that all our staff face. It allows me to be a better

leader and to mentor members of our team. I think that’s

the most important thing, being able to lead by example.”

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anz.businesschief.com


PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

“We’re fully engaged with our

sub-contractor partnerships,

what we like to call our best

in the group, as they are an

integral part of our process”

164


Brad Meltzer,

President, Plaza Construction

OCTOBER 2019


Resorts World New York Casino

165

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565 Broome St, NY

167

“They are collaborating in

real time. They can take

a picture of a job site

condition, tag it to their

iPad, to that location, and

then are able to discuss

and solve that issue”


Brad Meltzer,

President, Plaza Construction

key-subcontractors during pre-construction

and utilizing their services in

design-assist roles, allows the process

to be the most successful. “This approach

between client, architect and contractor

has proved successful on numerous

projects. For example, we’re currently

finishing One Thousand Museum

Tower, designed by Zaha Hadid

Architects (awarded its TCO in June),

arguably the most complicated

concrete project in America,” says

Meltzer. “If Capform Inc. had not been

part of the pre-construction effort with

us for such a long time, it would’ve

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PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

“The mindset in America

has transformed and

I think with Plaza’s

strengths and the great

story we have to tell, we

can take our philosophy

to wider markets”


Brad Meltzer,

President, Plaza Construction

168

been much more difficult to have

executed that project in such a timely

fashion. Power Design did all of the

electrical and low voltage work – again

it was critical to have them on board

early in the process.”

Safety is paramount on all these

projects. Corporate Safety Director

Tomasz Dering leads safety operations

for Plaza, regularly meeting with OSHA

(Occupational Safety and Health

Administration) to make sure the

company is on track with the latest

regulations. “We have safety initiatives

to reward the subcontractor workforce

for a safe job environment,” adds Meltzer.

OCTOBER 2019


One Thousand Museum, Miami, FL

“We have an incredible safety track

record. Our EMR (Experience Modification

Rate) is among the lowest in the

industry for a company of our size.”

Plaza is committed to building

projects of lasting value that not only

enhance surroundings but respect the

planet. “We work with our clients to

make sure that initiatives with regard to

sustainability are available through our

combined research and efforts with

the design team,” confirms Meltzer.

“We try to provide these opportunities

to our clients at the most reasonable

price. There was a time when people

thought building green was more

expensive but with more products on

the market, the cost of achieving a

sustainable outcome has become

more competitive.” As a member of the

US Green Building Council (USGBC),

Plaza has built roughly $5bn worth of

LEED certified projects across

America; it’s a strategy at the core of

the company’s offering. “One of our

most interesting projects in this field

was the 1 Hotel & Homes development

on Miami Beach,” reveals Meltzer. “As

an adaptive reuse project, it was a gut

renovation of an older hotel complex

transformed into a sustainable hotel

169

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PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

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and condominium through the

strategic use of reclaimed materials,

recycling and effective design solutions.

I’m very proud of our team, as

well as the collaboration with the owner

and design professionals, in achieving

that LEED certification.”

Across all sectors Meltzer sees a

positive, growing trend for developers

to think more strategically. “They’re not

viewing their contractor as a commodity

any longer,” he says. “We’re finding

the more experienced and savvy developers

engaging with us earlier, bringing

us on as part of their team, at the same

$1bn

Approximate

revenue

1986

Year founded

600

Approximate number

of employees

Century City Plaza development

171

www.businesschief.com


PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

Building tomorrow

172

Plaza Construction’s President

Brad Meltzer is excited for the

company to be leading the

500,000 sq ft second phase of

the $400mn expansion of the

Resorts World New York casino

complex, scheduled for

completion by the end of 2020.

The Queens venue attracts 10

million visitors a year where, in

addition to expanding gaming

space, the firm will manage

construction of a 10-story, fourstar

hotel with conference and

meeting rooms. Plaza has also

been chosen by Berkowitz

Development Group to build

SkyRise Miami; the $540mn

1000-foot tall entertainment

and observation tower will be

the tallest building in Florida.

The Arquitectonica-designed

downtown Miami building will

overlook Biscayne Bay and

include a 55mph base jumping

experience, an indoor drop

tower ride with a 95mph

descent speed and a skywalk

at 908ft.

China Mobile Data Centre, San Jose, CA

OCTOBER 2019


Ritz Carlton Residences, Miami

time they’re selecting designers to

promote a more collaborative process.

More than 90% of what we do is

negotiated work. We’re working with

like-minded clients and their teams all

at the same table from inception to

completion. That’s allowing us to help

our clients with regards to schedule

and cost early on. If they allow a design

team to take a job too far before

engaging with a construction manager,

it’s harder to keep a project on track

with respect to time and money.”

Ultimately, Meltzer is keen for Plaza

to continue to be known as the go-to

contractor in the markets in which it

operates. “We will steadily and thoughtfully

expand into markets we believe are

growing,” he adds. “For a long time,

construction was a very territorial

business, but I think that’s changing

and regions are expanding. The

mindset in America has transformed,

and I think with Plaza’s strengths and

the great story we have to tell we can

take our philosophy to new markets.”

173

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174

Patelco Credit

Union: creating

a culture

of innovation

WRITTEN BY

SHANNON LEWIS

PRODUCED BY

SHIRIN SADR

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

175


PATELCO CREDIT UNION

We speak to Kevin Landel, SVP of

Innovation and Payments Strategy

at Patelco Credit Union, to discuss

how collaboration between business

and technology teams is the key

to creating a culture of innovation

176

A

not-for-profit organisation, Patelco Credit

Union’s focus is on community. Started in

1939, it was originally the Pacific Telephone

Company’s credit union, where employees could

collect deposits and fund loans. Rooted in that

cooperative nature, Patelco has grown to a US$7bn

company with more than 350,000 members.

Landel says, “we truly believe we’re here to help

our members”. Patelco has multiple community

outreach and support programmes, from connections

to the Children’s Miracle Network to its loan

programme that offers an upfront 0% interest $500

cash loan to disaster-stricken customers.

Kevin Landel started at Patelco six years ago

as Chief Information Officer. “At the time,” he says,

“virtually all of our technology was home grown.”

While this has the upside of flexibility, it meant the

company was spending most of its resources on

support rather than strategic building. Landel

shifted to a platform strategy, sourcing out Patelco’s

technology. CU Direct took on its loan origination

system; Alkami made its system for online banking.

OCTOBER 2019


177

$7bn

In assets

1939

Year founded

1,100

Approximate number

of employees

www.businesschief.com


PATELCO CREDIT UNION

178

“There’s no reason for us

to reinvent the wheel,

so we partner with

providers that offer a

great foundation that

does all the basics but

is an open platform

that allows us to build

strategically on top of it”


Kevin Landel,

SVP of Innovation and Payments Strategy,

Patelco Credit Union

Now, when Patelco wants to add a

widget to simplify customer donations

to its community outreach programmes,

it can do so easily without

having to develop the technology for

an entire web platform. “I’m happy to

say we are out of fix mode and into the

build mode,” says Landel. His role has

since shifted as Patelco brings on a

new CTO, as well as marketing and

credit analysists with strong data

science backgrounds. Now, Landel

focuses on developing other areas of

innovation where the company can

flourish: robotic process automation,

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘MEET PATELCO ONLINE’

179

virtual agents, and bringing in AI for

data analysis.

“There’s typically this build or buy

decision that technology leaders

make,” Landel says, “and we take a

middle ground. There’s no reason for

us to reinvent the wheel, so we partner

with providers that offer a great

foundation that does all the basics but

is an open platform that allows us to

build strategically on top of it”. Patelco

chooses providers based on their

“flexibility and willingness to work in an

unusual way.” When updating its online

banking system, for instance, Patelco

asked a room of potential providers

if they were willing to update its mobile

site first and online site second. “It was

an innovation in the industry, but it’s not

a big leap in technology,” says Landel.

Because mobile users are more

flexible and accustomed to change,

this strategy allowed Patelco to

“concentrate on what’s important and

limit the risk”. Patelco launched the

new system without removing the old,

incentivising customers to change over

with additional functionality rather than

forcing them. 85% of members

switched systems of their own accord.

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“The culture of

innovation here

starts at the top.

It falls into three

areas: learning,

doing, and refining”


Kevin Landel,

SVP of Innovation and Payments Strategy,

Patelco Credit Union

This, in conjunction with a virtual

advisory team that asked for feedback

from the mobile users, allowed Patelco

to limit the usual dip in customer

satisfaction when making the platform

conversion and to come out of it in

only three quarters. “It isn’t using

unusual technology,” Landel says,

“it’s just a different way of thinking.

“The culture of innovation here starts

at the top. It falls into three areas: learning,

doing, and refining,” he adds. From

sending executives to the Credit Union

Executive Society (CUES) Innovation

Institute at MIT and Stanford, to putting

181

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Kevin Landel

Kevin has held executive positions, been a principal in

two startups, and as an alumnus of the MIT Media Lab

and subsequently at the San Diego Supercomputer

Center, Kevin has designed systems, taught courses, and

consulted for many companies in the US and abroad, has

been awarded a variety of grants and awards, and holds

a patent for computer video display technology. Kevin

is a sought-after voice in financial services technology

and innovation, and has served on advisory boards

for Fiserv, CO-OP, Alkami, CUISPA and others.

An avid surfer and outdoorsman, Kevin lives

in Pleasanton with his family.

www.businesschief.com

anz.businesschief.com


PATELCO CREDIT UNION

“It was an innovation

in the industry,

but it’s not a big

leap in technology”


Kevin Landel,

SVP of Innovation and Payments Strategy,

Patelco Credit Union

182

the full leadership team through the

Harvard Business School online course

about disruptive strategy, Patelco

ensures its heads of teams all speak

the same language. “Filene Institute has

an innovation immersion that we’ve

done with our executives, and we had

them come out to do a follow-up

presentation with our whole team.”

One of the ways in which Patelco

instils collaboration into its culture of

innovation is through the use of the

SAFe framework, a scaled AGILE

system that “goes higher than just a

team level with scrums and sprints.

It really works at the company and

portfolio level.” According to Landel,

“it allows us to understand what the

dependencies and risks are in any

OCTOBER 2019


project that we’re working on.” During

the planning sprint, business leaders

and technology teams get together

to discuss solutions to projects.

“It dramatically increases the transparency

and flexibility of the teams by creating

a higher level of collaboration between

the business and technology teams,”

says Landel. This has allowed Patelco

to go from taking 90 days to roll out a

product to going from ideation to

rollout in three weeks.

Patelco leverages the collaborative

aspect of credit unions. “We don’t

have the budget like big banks,” says

Landel, “but we do have the collective

strength of credit unions working

together.” Landel serves on several

industry advisory boards and is active

in credit union collaborative initiatives,

including big data and financial

health research initiatives with Callahan

Credit Union Financial Services

Limited Partnership, and as a member

of the strategy council of CO-OP

Financial Services, a credit unionowned

service organization that

provides payment card services,

shared branching, contact center, and

other services to Patelco and the CU

industry. “We leverage the collabora-

183

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tive nature of credit unions to multiply

our energy to provide the best tech we

can for our members.”

Being located close to Silicon Valley,

Patelco has access to all of the very

latest technology and innovative ideas.

“There’s a real synergy,” says Landel.

“We have knowledge, data, and an

understanding of our business that an

entrepreneur may not, while an

entrepreneur has the technology,

skillsets, ideas, and capacities to build

things that we may not. Considering

this, it’s natural to get together and do a

partnership.” This synergy gave

Patelco an AI chatbot that it now uses

as the primary knowledge database for

“We have knowledge,

data, understanding

of our business that an

entrepreneur may not

while an entrepreneur has

the technology, skillsets,

ideas, and capacities to

build things that might not.

It’s natural to get together

and do a partnership”


Kevin Landel,

SVP of Innovation and Payments Strategy,

Patelco Credit Union

185

www.businesschief.com


PATELCO CREDIT UNION

186

“It isn’t using

unusual technology,

it’s just a different

way of thinking”


Kevin Landel,

SVP of Innovation and Payments Strategy,

Patelco Credit Union

the entire organization. Actionable

Science approached Patelco with

background data machine learning

technology; Patelco was looking for a

way to help members understand its

new credit cards. The pilot was so

successful as an in-house training tool

that Patelco “took it and expanded it

across all knowledge areas […] our

entrepreneur was able to take these

learnings and develop products from

them,” Landel notes. “We’ve launched

a startup and we have a solution that’s

meeting our needs.”

OCTOBER 2019


187

In the next two to three years,

Patelco will cross the $10bn threshold,

a major milestone for US financial

groups that would trigger several

compliance regulations. “Our work for

the next few years is to get prepared

for that and cross the threshold with

momentum. We’re growing at a

tremendous rate,” explains Landel.

Patelco is looking at improving its

payment system with AI, investing in a

blockchain group exploring digital

identity, and in a group focused on

natural language processing. While

digital changes are underway, Patelco

still strongly believes in its physical

branches, although these have been

shifting from transactional locations to

places of advice and financial health.

True to Patelco’s core values, Landel

concludes, “we strongly believe in

people helping people.”

www.businesschief.com


188

MAINTAINING A

SUSTAINABILITY

DRIVE AT THE

YMCA OF SAN

DIEGO COUNTY

WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG KILLINGBACK

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

189


YMCA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY

LUIS D’CARPIO, VICE PRESIDENT OF

ASSET MANAGEMENT, ENTERPRISE

RISK MANAGEMENT & SUSTAINABILITY,

DISCUSSES THE INFLUENCE

SUSTAINABILITY IS HAVING ON HIS

ORGANISATION’S OPERATIONS

190

D

edicated to helping people improve their

quality of life and achieve their fullest

potential, the YMCA of San Diego County is

a key component to the lives of thousands of people.

Focusing on three core areas – youth development,

healthy living and social responsibility, the YMCA

serves more than 435,000 San Diego residents,

employs over 5,500 people, and covers 1.2 million of

real estate assets (18 branches and three overnight

camps). Having been founded in 1882, the YMCA

of San Diego County has become the largest YMCA

association in the United States. Luis D’Carpio,

Vice President of Asset Management, Enterprise

Risk Management & Sustainability, discusses how

important the ‘Y’s’ corporate social responsibility

(CSR) strategy is. “Environmental stewardship is

rooted in our commitment to social responsibility.

It’s vital to us and is a significant area of the service

that we provide to the community,” affirms D’Carpio.

“For us, it’s important we provide facilities that

improve the quality of human life through health

and wellness, be a great place to work or volunteer,

OCTOBER 2019


191

1882

Year founded

5,500

Approximate number

of employees

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YMCA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY

192

“ONE OF OUR BIGGEST

CHALLENGES HAS

BEEN HELPING TO

SHIFT THE YMCA

AWAY FROM BEING

A DECENTRALISED

ENTITY BECAUSE

BRANCHES OPERATED

AS INDEPENDENT

BUSINESS UNITS”


Luis D’Carpio,

Vice President of Asset Management,

Enterprise Risk Management & Sustainability

and give back to the community by

reinvesting the savings generated by

our sustainability efforts.”

Having joined the YMCA of San

Diego in 2017, D’Carpio has over 20

years of experience working for a

diverse range of entities, in addition to

spending a considerable amount of

time on a range of project types with

a particular emphasis on sustainable

design, construction and operational

measures. Holding such a varied

background, D’Carpio believes his

experience has laid the groundwork

for him to succeed in his current role.

“I’ve been fortunate in my career to

have worked across three areas:

owner-developer, general contractor

and specialty contractor. As a result,

it has given me a different perspective

on what needs to be accomplished to

achieve the desired end result,” he

explains. “One of our biggest challenges

has been helping to shift the YMCA

away from being a decentralised

entity because branches operated

as independent business units. This

centralisation allows us to focus on

standardising our asset management

approach and process to help establish

and achieve our sustainability goals.”

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘YMCA FOR ALL OF LIFE’S HEALTHIEST MOMENTS’

193

In a bid to accelerate its sustainability

efforts, the YMCA more recently

completed two major capital projects;

Dan McKinney Family YMCA and the

Jackie Robinson Family YMCA, to

create a lasting impact on its facilities

and the community, in combination

with its capital efforts. Having opened

in 2017, the $25mn Jackie Robinson

YMCA building was developed to meet

the YMCA’s vision to serve the

community and is also recognised with

a LEED Gold certification. “The Jackie

Robinson facility was also acknowledged

with San Diego Gas and Electric’s

(SDGE) 2018 Excellence in Energy

Leadership Award because of the work

that was done in collaboration with

vendors and the utility company to

implement sustainability features,”

explains D’Carpio. “Both projects

consist of over 45,000 sq.ft each and

have the amenities that our communities

needed. The Y’s first LEED Gold facility

was the Copley-Price Family YMCA,

which opened in January 2015.”

In 2015, the YMCA created a 2025

plan for the next decade and set out

clear targets of the projected place

the organisation hopes to be within the

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YMCA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY

194

next 10 years. “We’re looking at

building three to five new YMCAs,

renovating our existing facilities to get

them all to a comparable standard,

and ensuring we provide a safe and

clean environment that is good for our

community,” says D’Carpio. “Our goal

is to double our impact in order to

positively benefit the communities we

serve.” Four years in, and following the

construction of the Jackie Robinson

and Dan McKinney YMCA buildings,

work is well underway. However, D’Carpio

affirms there is still more to be done

over the upcoming six years. “There’s

definitely a lot of work to get finished.

Our current efforts continue to focus

on energy and water management,

implementing key certifications, such

as LEED or WELL and incorporating

additional renewable energy projects,”

he says. “We’re also looking at how we

OCTOBER 2019


195

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Luis D’Carpio

A hands-on and collaborative professional with

experience helping design/build $500mn+ in civil,

commercial, industrial, and renewable energy projects.

His background includes providing strategic leadership

for a non-profit organisation, owner representation/

construction management to a real estate ownerdeveloper

(residential, commercial, industrial), and

project management/engineering to self-perform

contractors (GC’s & concrete subcontractors).

www.businesschief.com


YMCA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY

196

OCTOBER 2019


“OUR GOAL IS

TO DOUBLE

OUR IMPACT

IN ORDER TO

POSITIVELY

BENEFIT THE

COMMUNITIES

WE SERVE”


Luis D’Carpio,

Vice President of Asset Management,

Enterprise Risk Management & Sustainability

197

www.businesschief.com


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manage our solar projects. We’ve

completed six installations so far

(2.5MW) out of 18 branches and three

overnight camps. It’s important that we

continue to look at where the benefits

come from and how these projects tie

into the return of the community.”

D’Carpio added that current efforts

also continue to focus on partnerships.

“We believe that long-term sustainability

comes from key partnerships with

vendors, regulatory agencies, and

our local utility.”

“WE’RE IN THE EARLY

STAGES OF SUSTAINABILITY,

BUT OPEN COMMUNICATION

IS PART OF OUR CHANGE

MANAGEMENT PROCESS”


Luis D’Carpio,

Vice President of Asset Management,

Enterprise Risk Management & Sustainability

199

www.businesschief.com


YMCA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY

200

OCTOBER 2019


With the future in mind, the importance

of remaining versatile and adaptable

to the latest trends is essential to

long-term success. To achieve this,

D’Carpio believes observing change

management is key and is continuously

monitoring the ways in which his

organisation can grow. “We’re in the

early stages of sustainability, but open

communication is part of our change

management process so there are

many opportunities for us to grow

as we continue our transformation

towards our strategic goals,” he

explains. “We’ve still got a long way

to go and we believe that continued

success will be based on establishing

high performing teams, implementing

technology to effectively manage

our work, and further developing

collaborative partnerships.”

201

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202

WRITTEN BY

MATT HIGH

PRODUCED BY

JUSTIN BRAND

OCTOBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

203


TRANSFORM SHARED SERVICE ORGANIZATION

TransForm SSO is taking a

pioneering approach to healthcare

supply chain innovation, driven

by the desire to offer exceptional

patient care across Ontario

204

T

ransForm Shared Service Organization

(TransForm SSO) provides an innovative,

end-to-end supply chain service driven

by one vital goal: offering healthcare employees the

support they need in order to provide exceptional

patient care across Ontario. TransForm SSO was

established in 2013, following the amalgamation

of two shared service organisations and, since

then, has embarked on a journey of consolidation

and digital innovation that has seen its approach

to managing healthcare supply chains evolve.

Director of Supply Chain, Renee McIntyre, has

been instrumental in this journey. Today, she is

responsible for overseeing all day to day operations

of TransForm SSO’s supply chain division, as she

explains: “We provide a true end-to-end service

covering everything from market research and

procurement, through to strategic sourcing,

contract and vendor management, capital procurement,

and value analysis. We support five multi-site

hospital organisations across the Erie-St. Clair

region in southwest Ontario, as well as third party

customers such as the Local Health Integration

OCTOBER 2019


205

2013

Year founded

190

Approximate number

of employees

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TRANSFORM SHARED SERVICE ORGANIZATION

206

“We provide a true

end-to-end service

covering everything

from market research

and procurement,

through to strategic

sourcing, contract and

vendor management,

capital procurement,

and value analysis”


Renee McIntyre,

Director of Supply Chain, TransForm SSO

Network Home and Community Care.

Alongside those services listed, we

also support the hospitals’ internal

logistics and provide value by maximising

savings and coordinating product

conversions and recalls.”

Since its establishment, TransForm

SSO has implemented innovative and

digitally-driven methods of improving

its services, in line with the wider

digitalisation of the supply chain sector.

“With our organisation and the structure

that we have in place, we’ve been able

to take great steps to automate our

supply chain operations, to implement

Derek Robertson, Vice President, Business

Development speaks to TransForm staff during

one of the organization’s Town Hall events.

OCTOBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH: ‘TRANSFORM SSO – 2019 CEO AWARD NOMINATIONS’

207

new data analytics systems and

provide significantly more value for

money in healthcare – which is an

absolutely key goal,” says McIntyre.

“For example, we’ve migrated all our

hospitals onto a single ERP platform

with a single item master file that we

manage for them; while that alone may

not be new to the supply chain industry,

it has established the foundation to

achieve significant savings and create

efficiencies for our members.”

This evolution has occurred despite

the more challenging conditions in

which TransForm SSO – a public sector

entity working in an industry primarily

focused on providing the best value

services – operates. “I would say that

healthcare lags behind other industries

when it comes to supply chain,”

McIntyre states. “Historically, processes

like barcoding scanning and the

appropriate and direct supply chain

principles that you would apply to the

private or retail sectors have taken a

back seat when it comes to healthcare.

In Ontario, the health sector represents

41% of overall programme spending,

with ever increasing pressures to

reduce costs and find efficiencies.

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TRANSFORM SHARED SERVICE ORGANIZATION

208

However, we’ve seen significant

movement more recently as these

supply chain principles take more

of a precedent in healthcare.”

TransForm SSO has become a

frontrunner in implementing some

of those changes, particularly, says

McIntyre, with regards to expanding

beyond acute care and hospitals.

“We’re the only shared service organisation

in Ontario that has integrated

the Home and Community Care supply

chains into what we do, whereas most

others focus solely on the hospital

sector. This really epitomises our vision

of expanding our services to cover the

entire patient care continuum. For that

reason, we are leaders in defining the

direction that public procurement can

go in Ontario, and we’re providing the

game plan to other shared service

organisations in the province.”

While technology has facilitated

TransForm SSO’s development, McIntyre

is also keen to highlight the importance

of the collaborative approach to

providing healthcare supply chain in

Ontario. On a broader level, legislative

OCTOBER 2019


changes in the province have led to

a more coordinated healthcare offering,

but TransForm SSO has also worked

closely with its member hospitals and

other shared service organisations to

drive efficiencies. “The strategic

direction in the early stages really did

come from the hospitals with which we

work,” she says. “Our member hospitals

comprise our board of directors,

and so we had that leadership buy-in

very early on. This led to, in my opinion,

one of our biggest differentiators – that

all our hospitals share information

across a single platform. From a data

and operational perspective, it’s a huge

benefit to the way we work.”

TransForm SSO places a strong focus

on collaboration and partnerships to

continuously improve its operations.

“The ability to work closely with our

vendor partners and leverage our

relationships to help achieve value for

the healthcare system is a team priority.

One such example is a partnership

with Scotiabank, which has been able

to directly reduce our costs of delivery

and enable reinvestment to further

improve our digitisation goals.

“Our ERP system is a multi-solutions 209

Renee McIntyre

Approx 100 words.

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

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211

platform that is backed by GHX’s

robust ecommerce platform. This is

the centrepiece of our supply chain

operation: it validates transactions

against our contracts and validates

orders in real time against vendor

catalogue and description data to

minimise order exceptions and is

layered upon a BI tool to support our

data analysis in a seamless manner.

We’ve put significant focus on automation

into the supply chain. A large

portion of our business is fully automated

from the point of the purchase

order being sent, through to being

digitally acknowledged by the vendor,

matched and then paid, with no human

intervention. Having a talented and

dedicated team and leveraging our

technology has allowed us to offer

a very strong supply chain operation

that, in turn, allows everyone to focus

on how we can achieve the best value

for hospitals so they can save lives.”

Despite these achievements,

McIntyre is keen that the strategic

focus of the business continues. She

cites two key areas for the foreseeable

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TRANSFORM SHARED SERVICE ORGANIZATION

212

“We’re the only shared

service organisation

in Ontario that has

integrated the Home

and Community Care

supply chains into

what we do”


Renee McIntyre,

Director of Supply Chain, TransForm SSO

OCTOBER 2019


future: growing TransForm SSO’s Home

and Community care business, including

closer collaboration and sharing with

other health service providers, as well

as continuing to implement technology

to tie in supply chain data to clinical

outcomes. The latter, she says, “is a

growing need in healthcare: the ability

for us to evaluate how we can tie in

clinical patient outcomes and utilisation

data to our own supply chain in an

automated way to bring even greater

value to our organisation. Looking

further ahead, I see the ability to

implement our supply chain model

across the broader public sector as

a significant focus moving forward.

Ideally, that would involve finding all

those other public sector entities within

our region and collaborating to develop

a sustainable model that allows us to

scale it right across the province. I think

that could bring tremendous value to the

public sector in the whole of Ontario,

and it would be great to lead that drive.”

213

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