Business Chief North America June 2020

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AMERICA

www.businesschief.com

JUNE 2020

Digitalising the modern

benefits experience

Busiest

airports

IBM’S BLUEPRINT

FOR A

DATA-DRIVEN

ENTERPRISE

Inderpal Bhandari, IBM’s Global Chief

Data Officer, discusses data and cognitive

transformation strategies

Listen to

this feature on

our Podcast

City Focus

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FOREWORD

W

elcome to the June edition of

Business Chief North America!

This month’s cover features Inderpal

Bhandari, IBM’s Global Chief Data

Officer on the topic of data and cognitive

transformation strategies and his role

as Chief Data Officer.

Other leaders that feature in the

magazine include Ed Hofstede,

President, and Inthida Ngeth, Vice

President of Operations, at PPI Benefits.

They discuss how the company is

prepared to deliver a modern benefits

programme, while Lt Col Woody Groton,

CIO of the NH Army National Guard

details interstate collaboration and

the annual Cyber Yankee exercise.

Elsewhere in the magazine, Chris

Hutchins VP, Chief Data Analytics

Officer at Northwell Health explains

how data and analytics are

transforming healthcare, and Joel

Raedeke, Senior Vice President at

Broadspire, expands on the company’s

digital transformation.

This month’s City Focus explores

the home of Botox, Greenpeace and

California roll sushi, as Business Chief

explores what drove Vancouver’s

economy prior to COVID-19. Our

Top 10, meanwhile, counts down the

busiest airports in North America

based on recorded passenger numbers.

Do you have a story to share?

If you would like to be featured in an

upcoming issue of Business Chief

North America, please get in touch at

georgia.wilson@bizclikmedia.com

Enjoy the issue!

Georgia Wilson

03

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PUBLISHED BY

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Georgia Wilson

EDITORAL DIRECTOR

Matt High

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Steve Shipley

CREATIVE TEAM

Oscar Hathaway

Erin Hancox

Sophia Forte

Sophie-Ann Pinnell

PRODUCTION DIRECTORS

Georgia Allen

Daniela Kianicková

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Owen Martin

DIGITAL VIDEO DIRECTOR

Joshua S Peck

DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCERS

Kieran Waite

Sam Kemp

MARKETING DIRECTOR

Leigh Manning

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER

Shirin Sadr

DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Kayleigh Shooter

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Mike Sadr

PROJECT DIRECTORS

Arron Rampling

Craig Killingback

Jake Megeary

Nicholas Bochmann

Ryan Hall

DIGITAL MEDIA DIRECTOR

Jason Westgate

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Alex Barron

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Stacy Norman

PRESIDENT & CEO

Glen White

www.businesschief.com


CONTENTS

10

28

IBM’S BLUEPRINT

FOR A

DATA-DRIVEN

ENTERPRISE


46

56

70

City Focus

82

Busiest

airports in

North America


114

Mircom Group

of Companies

100

Army National Guard

128

Broadspire,

A Crawford Company

142

Northwell Health


160

Bleakley

Financial

Group

176

Star2Star

190

Servus Credit Union

220

Canopy Growth

Corporation

202

HOOPP


10

Empowering

clients with

new technology

and services

WRITTEN BY

WILL GIRLING

PRODUCED BY

ARRON RAMPLING

JUNE 2020


canada.businesschief.com

11


PPI BENEFITS INC.

Ed Hofstede, President, and

Inthida Ngeth, Vice President

of Operations, explain how PPI

Benefits is prepared to deliver

a modern benefits programme

12

P

art of Canadian insurance and financial

services company PPI, PPI Benefits is

an experienced team of consultants

and third-party administrators for group benefits.

With a reputation for outstanding customer service

and cutting-edge proprietary solutions, the

organisation provides access to plans that cover

over 1,000 businesses across Canada, tailored to

suit that particular enterprise’s individual needs.

An expert in its field, the company offers technical

support, consulting services, comprehensive

implementation services, a range of benefits plans

and more, all for an affordable, manageable cost.

The success and results of PPI Benefits are

driven by its leadership team, who join together

in a united effort to promote the best services

for clients. Ed Hofstede, President, has been

in the insurance sector for over 30 years and

calls PPI – “a major player in the Canadian insurance

marketing sector” – a natural evolution in

his career. Joining the company almost 15 years

ago, he started out as a Regional Leader at PPI

Financial Group before going on to become the

JUNE 2020


13

1995

Year founded

60

Number of

employees

canada.businesschief.com


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PPI BENEFITS INC.

16

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Ed Hofstede

Title: President

Location: Toronto, Canada

Ed Hofstede is President of PPI

Benefits and its fast-growing

administration division, CustomCare,

where he has embraced technology

to build one of Canada’s leading

Third Party Administrators (TPA’s).

As a prolific idea generator, Ed has

reshaped companies through focus

on a differentiated customer

experience, team building, and

revenue growth. Ed believes that

people perform their best when they

enjoy being at work so he tries to

keep things light and even serious

meetings are rarely concluded

without a few rounds of laughter.

His formula for business is:

(Innovation + Execution)

X Caring = Success

Ed is a passionate, vibrant speaker

and an active advocate for

workplace and youth mental

health initiatives. When not

working, you will likely find Ed

with family, golfing, exercising,

or playing guitar.

Vice President (VP) of Marketing at

PPI Advisory, the VP of PPI Benefits

and finally President in 2016. Inthida

Ngeth, VP of Operations, on the other

hand, came up via a slightly less linear

path. “I don’t have much background

in employee benefits or insurance per

se,” she explains. “My background is in

technology, consulting and telecoms;

I worked in different roles across

various industries before focusing on

technology transformation.” Ngeth

states that PPI’s open attitude towards

digital innovation and its desire to

JUNE 2020


leverage technology to improve its

customers’ and advisors’ experience

is what encouraged her to join in early

2019. “I wanted to be part of something

exciting and evolutionary; the industry

is changing right now.”

Change is certainly in the global zeitgeist

– whether socially, economically

or technologically motivated, in the

digital era, most businesses are finding

that the only way to stay relevant is to

identify trends and adapt to them. In

this regard, PPI Benefits has a clearly

defined view of what good industry

change should look like. “I’ve tried to

always view our business as working

through advisors to help their clients

create healthy, engaged, loyal and

productive employees,” Hofstede says.

He identifies this simple strategy as

integral to helping PPI’s clients provide

necessary services and be successful.

“ We believe our role goes beyond

simply employee benefits and pension.

Our mission is to help clients improve

their work environment and build an

exceptional employee experience for

the modern world.”

17

PPI Business Formula

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canada.businesschief.com


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PPI Benefits:

The Advisor centric TPA

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:29

19

This ability to see beyond the mere

product or service which it provides is

what gives PPI its edge and continues

to inform its approach. Having worked

with some of the top advisors in the

country, PPI has developed a sophisticated

mode of operation which factors

in high business ethics, technological

innovation and a strong, customercentric

philosophy. “We use what we

call a ‘G.A.P.P. consulting methodology’:

we look at the goals set by the client,

understand why they are running a

benefits programme and what they

are trying to accomplish, and then we

contrast that with the Actual results

they are currently achieving,” explains

Hofstede. Focusing on the two ‘Ps’ –

Possibilities and Priorities – PPI helps its

clients identify what’s important to them

and how to execute an effective plan.

Access to the latest technology and

an integrated system for deploying it

is crucial to this operating model, and

that, in turn, requires a well thought

out digital transformation. “We know

what our member and advisor journey

should look like in terms of what

we aspire to and how we want to

transform in each of the steps,” says

canada.businesschief.com


PPI BENEFITS INC.

20

Ngeth. Taking an iterative approach,

PPI Benefits has begun to deploy AI

(artificial intelligence) in increments to

automate less crucial functions whilst

gradually developing larger tech solutions.

It’s an approach that allows the

company to constantly be achieving a

string of small victories which will add

up to a larger goal. After all, Hofstede

says, repetitive data-entry tasks are

tedious for employees and subject to

manual error. Transferring the responsibility

of these tasks from humans to

machines eliminates this margin for

problems and allows staff to focus their

energy on more critical client-facing

activities. “I want to automate the

predictable so we can humanise the

exceptional,” he adds. “It’s all about

making PPI Benefits really effective

and efficient on the predictable processes

so that we’ve got more time

to deal with people.”

Handling the vast amounts of data

relevant to the insurance sector and

placing it in an integrated environment

for analytics software led PPI Benefits

to start moving to a cloud-based

PPI Automation & AI

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:16

JUNE 2020


platform – the company as a whole

is actively transitioning to the cloud.

Gathering, analysing and presenting

that data to advisors and clients forms

one of the company’s biggest technological

challenges. “We’re looking to

evolve how we gather the information

in a way that is easier and more consolidated

in one location. From there, we

can slice and dice it any way we want

and structure it accordingly to make it

meaningful,” Ngeth states. In the digital

era, where data is king, knowing how to

extract value from it and use historical

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Inthida Ngeth

Title: Vice President, Operations

Location: Toronto, Canada

Inthida Ngeth is Vice President of

Operations at PPI Benefits. She oversees

P&L performance across divisions

and leads all facets of operations.

As a value builder and connector,

Inthida thrives on bringing vision,

ideas, and people together to create

new potential. With 15 years of

experience across the insurance,

tech, consulting and telecom sectors,

she has led organisations and teams

to exceptional growth, by leveraging

her diverse operational, marketing

and strategic background to deliver

impactful results and create

customer-first solutions and services.

Passionate about helping others

develop and succeed, Inthida is

a coach and mentor, and serves

as an advisor for a portfolio of

emerging startups. She is also an

active champion for diversity and

inclusion and the advancement

of women in leadership.

21

canada.businesschief.com


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patterns to determine decision-making,

predict and inform risk assessments

is PPI’s objective. However, far from

being purely utilitarian, Hofstede

emphasises that a technological

approach is crucial to business continuity

with a new generation of people

with different expectations. “PPI is

starting to use AI in the customer service

realm and there’s an opportunity

to use it for some of our narrower product

deliveries. Our wonderful people

have always been an important part

of PPI Benefits’ value proposition, but

we also know that there are a growing

number of millennial clients coming

through, and sometimes they may also

value interacting with a chatbot, so we

need that capability too.”

Despite a strong tech underpinning

to its operations, PPI Benefits ensures

that the human touch is never lost at the

customer service level. The company is

also careful to ensure that its staff can

wield the digital tools they are equipped

with securely. Indeed, cybersecurity

is a top priority of both clients and the

modern, digitalised insurance sector.

23

PPI AI + Machine

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:54

canada.businesschief.com


PPI BENEFITS INC.

24

“Our role goes beyond

simply employee

benefits and pension.

Our mission is to help

clients improve their

work environment and

build an exceptional

employee experience”


Ed Hofstede,

President, PPI Benefits

JUNE 2020


The company’s focus on digitisation

couldn’t have come at a more fortuitous

time; the coronavirus (COVID-19)

pandemic has made global businesses

question the integrity of their previous

ways of operating and seek out more

advanced solutions. In this uncertain, new

environment, Hofstede says that forging

a way forward is “about picking partners

that PPI can work with to deliver the digital

employee and advisor experience” that it

envisions. Critical to helping PPI Benefits

on this journey so far have been companies

like Oliver, a modern benefits and

pension administration software company;

and Venngo, a work-perks group

discount programme, and IA Financial

Group. Although they all collaborate with

PPI Benefits on different things, Hofstede

explains that there’s one consistent element

that these relationships are based

on: trust. “One of the first things PPI

Benefits does is assess the reasonableness

of their promises and commitments.

We deal with partners and suppliers every

day, so we have to ensure we’re comfortable

dealing with them. If we choose to

work with them, it’s because they provide

high-quality goods and services, they’re

ethical and they work well with our team.”

25

canada.businesschief.com


PPI BENEFITS INC.

26

“I think, more than

anybody else, we’re

poised for success

with our foundation

of technology. PPI

Benefits is optimistic

because we know the

possibilities and how

to reach them”


Inthida Ngeth,

Vice President, Operations, PPI Benefits

Although the rest of 2020 will be a

challenge, both Hofstede and Ngeth

are confident that PPI Benefits has

hit the ground running. The changes

being ushered in are all about creating

a better experience for the people who

need PPI’s services, and the company

is not being complacent in trying to find

out the best way to secure that goal.

“These days, you’re not just being compared

to other advisors, administrators

or insurance companies,” Hofstede

says. “Now, you’re being compared to

the best experience a customer can

JUNE 2020


27

have anywhere, dealing with anybody.”

With companies like Amazon revolutionising

the convenience of shopping

and same/next day delivery, why

shouldn’t PPI Benefits try to do something

similar in its field, he asks. “In

addition to just the traditional benefits,

dental plan and pension, maybe there

could be an employee assistance programme,

a mental health programme,

alcohol treatment program, employee

discounts, etc.” Clearly, the sky’s the

limit for what a modern benefits programme

could be, and PPI is dedicated

to empowering advisors with new

technology and services to deliver better

value for corporate clients. “We’re

excited about the future and how we’re

doing it differently,” Ngeth concludes.

“I think, more than anybody else, we’re

poised for success with our foundation

of technology. PPI Benefits is optimistic

because we know the possibilities

and how to reach them.”

canada.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

28

JUNE 2020


IBM’S BLUEPRINT

FOR A

DATA-DRIVEN

ENTERPRISE

29

WRITTEN BY

MATT HIGH

PRODUCED BY

GLEN WHITE

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

Inderpal Bhandari, IBM’s Global Chief

Data Officer, discusses data and

cognitive transformation strategies

and the role of the Chief Data Officer

30


T

o be a good Chief Data Officer is a true

craft; when I walk into an organisation I

immerse myself in the business strategy

and the detailed end-to-end business processes

to know exactly what I’m going to implement, the

strategy behind it, measure how well it’s going to

unfold and the milestones to be hit,” says Inderpal

Bhandari, IBM’s Global Chief Data Officer. With

more than 20 years of experience transforming

industry-leading organisations, Bhandari has

defined the scope, expectations, and deliverables

of the modern Chief Data Officer role. Indeed,

it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest he is the

Chief Data Officer.

Bhandari is a recognised expert in transforming

data into business value. He improves customer

experiences by delivering strategic and innovative

capabilities that use data-driven insights to enable

growth and streamline productivity. Most recently,

he has been doing so at IBM. Bhandari joined the

global tech leader in December 2015 to lead IBM’s

data strategy and to drive its internal data and

artificial intelligence (AI) transformation. This work,

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

31


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Business Cheif Podcast


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

34

“Our aim was to

transform IBM

into a data and

AI enterprise”


Inderpal Bhandari,

Global Chief Data Officer, IBM

which Bhandari joined us to discuss

in more detail, has culminated in the

company’s Data and AI Enterprise

Blueprint – a roadmap for IBM clients

to use when embarking on their own

data and AI journeys.

His experience and an intimate

knowledge of what an effective Chief

Data Officer can deliver took shape

in the trenches of corporate America

where data was becoming the new

natural resource. “I became the very

first CDO in the healthcare industry in

2006, and was an entrepreneur in data

products before that. It was very early

on in the profession – at that point

there were four of us globally. Today

the role has expanded massively with

thousands of CDOs, Chief Analytics

Officers and Chief Digital Officers,

and I’ve been fortunate to have been

at the forefront from the very beginning,

learning, and understanding

the profession.

“Data is a hugely valuable asset

and so the importance of the role

has transformed within enterprises,”

he continues. “My experiences

enabled me to contribute to multiple

JUNE 2020


IBM - DATA STRATEGY

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:18

35

organisations while honing the craft

of using data and technology to fuel

the powerful and complex transformations

that enterprises are undergoing.”

TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSFORMATION:

DRIVING CHANGE

Understandably, during his career

Bhandari has been at the forefront

of technological innovation. He has

also seen data evolve to become a

crucial success factor for the modern

enterprise.

“The rapid change we’re seeing

today really started with the journey

to the cloud – cloud computing has

been a major game changer at the

industry level,” he states, expanding

on the technology evolution that has

shaped today’s landscape. “And with

that came a heightened focus on

cybersecurity, data privacy and ethics,

which remain core areas for any CDO.

Once the resources become available

through cloud or, more recently, hybrid

cloud, AI and many of the devices

at the ‘edge’ can and will come into

play, such as robotic technology, the

Internet of Things (IoT), and autonomous

vehicles.”

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

36

The ability to keep ‘building’ on

the hybrid cloud, says Bhandari, will

accelerate the adoption of AI as part

of enterprise transformation. Other

important technologies that will be

adopted include 5G and blockchain,

which he says has the potential to

transform data and data ownership.

“It’s a rapidly changing industry. But

with that, comes an acute awareness

and willingness on the part of the

c-suite and enterprises to gain a much

greater understanding of what these

trends and technologies can do in

terms of transforming their businesses.

Leaders and organisations all over the

world have come to realise that it’s not

a question of ‘should we do it’, but a

question of ‘when do we do it’. If you

don’t, you’ll very quickly be irrelevant.”

IBM: THE CDO’S BLUEPRINT

FOR CHANGE

When Bhandari joined IBM five years

ago, his role was specifically created

to facilitate the mission of transforming

IBM into a Data and AI enterprise.

He built a transformation strategy

JUNE 2020


EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Inderpal Bhandari

Title: Global Chief Data Officer

Industry: Information Technology & Services

Company: IBM Corporation

Location: New York

Inderpal Bhandari rejoined IBM as Global Chief Data Officer in December 2015.

In this newly created role, he has leveraged his extensive experience to lead

the development of IBM’s data strategy and drive IBM’s internal data and AI

enterprise transformation. The work has culminated in the Data and AI Enterprise

Blueprint; a roadmap for IBM’s clients on their own transformation journeys.

Inderpal brings to IBM more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles at

such leading companies as Cambia Health Solutions and Express Scripts/Medco

Health Solutions. Prior to joining IBM, Inderpal served as Senior Vice President

and Chief Data Officer of Cambia Health Solutions where he led the development

of Cambia’s data strategy and drove the transformation of the company’s

consumer experience strategies. Prior to that, Inderpal served as Vice President

of knowledge solutions and Chief Data Officer at Express Scripts/Medco

Health Solutions, where he was responsible for maximizing the utility

of the company’s data and its readiness to respond to emerging

market trends. Before that, he founded Virtual Gold, growing the

company into an international market leader for analytics in call

centers and professional sports. Inderpal is an expert in transforming

data into business value and improved customer experiences by

delivering strategic, innovative capabilities that use analytic

insights to enable growth and productivity. In 2017, he was

named U.S. Chief Data Officer of the Year by the CDO Club, and

has been featured as an industry expert by Wall Street

Journal, Washington Post, US News & World Report, CNN

and FOX. Inderpal earned his Master of Science Degree in

Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of

Massachusetts and holds a PhD in Electrical & Computer

Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

37

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

IBM - ARTIFICIAL INTELIGENCE

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:43

38

roadmap based on three steps:

develop a clear data strategy; execute

enterprise-wide data governance and

management systems; and become the

central data and AI framework for the

IBM enterprise.

The first is crucial for any enterprise

embarking on such a journey and starts

with one straightforward question:

what is your company’s monetisation

strategy? This is, says Bhandari, key to

a successful data strategy. “Any data

strategy has to be tied to the business

strategy, and that revolves around how

the company is going to make money,

maximise business impact, and delight

customers,” he explains. “In IBM’s case

it was clear that we were going to make

money primarily from best-in-class AI

and hybrid multi-cloud offerings. But

it wasn’t clear what AI meant for an

enterprise or how to go about it. Thus

we thought why not make IBM itself into

an AI enterprise and use it as a showcase

for our clients.” Bhandari created

a dedicated team that consists of

world-class data and AI specialists who

collaborate across the entire business.

JUNE 2020


“To be a good

Chief Data Officer

is a true craft”


Inderpal Bhandari,

Global Chief Data Officer, IBM

Next, the focus rested on consolidating

critical enterprise data and making

it available as a service. Rapid integration

of critical data into a single,

consolidated data platform can bring

unprecedented connection and is

the moment, Bhandari says, where a

data strategy ‘really comes alive.’ He

adds that a unified data platform is the

fundamental enabler of advanced AI

solutions in an organisation, and brings

new business capabilities, drives efficiency

and top-line improvement.

“Our aim was to transform IBM into

a Data and AI enterprise,” he notes.

According to Bhandari, AI systems – all

of which are underpinned by data – have

four main attributes: they learn from

data, they support forms of expression

more natural for human interaction, their

primary value is their expertise, and their

learning evolves continuously as they

encounter new information or scenarios.

IBM’s Data and AI Blueprint encompasses

technology, organisational

considerations, data, and business

process transformation. For example,

cognitive services give the ability to

see and contextualise across all data

as well as infuse insights into the workflow

of business processes. Hybrid

cloud solutions encompassing public

cloud, private cloud and on-premise

environments, provide enterprise cloud

container support while implementing

and enforcing security standards

and privacy policies. Further, the

convergence and curation of data that

would have previously been siloed and

fragmented across an organisation,

to create a reliable and trusted source

that AI systems can build upon.

39

www.businesschief.com


IBM

40

“Cloud computing has

been a major game changer

at industry level”


Inderpal Bhandari,

Global Chief Data Officer, IBM

JUNE 2020


Cognition also brings distinct

advantages to points of business

that require significant human judgement.

In Bhandari’s Global Chief Data

Office, for example, several projects

utilise IBM’s Data and AI Platform.

“As an example,” he adds, “take a role

within our business, which essentially

revolves around an employee having

to classify whether a client that we’re

working with is a government-owned

entity. We hold ourselves to very high

standards, and so that kind of classification

and judgement is crucial.

We have to get it right. Previously, that

classification would have involved

research, communication with other

parties and eventually arriving at the

classification. This is a perfect example

of where AI comes into its own.

Using our IBM Watson capabilities,

we can now access historical data as

to how we have previously labelled

companies, and we can sift and monitor

real-time information about those

same businesses.

“That capability makes the decision

more quickly, accurately and improves

efficiency of the work,” he continues.

“As an example, it may be at a lower

41

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LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

How the IBM Integrated Analytics System

Helps You Do Data Science Faster

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:51

42

“We have to work AI

into every business

process, whether

it’s supply chain,

finance, marketing,

accounts payable.

There’s no area it

can’t bring significant

advantage to”


Inderpal Bhandari,

Global Chief Data Officer, IBM

level in terms of the vast amounts of

activity we undertake at IBM, but you

multiply it one million-fold across every

significant business decision that we

make, and you have an insight into

the potential of AI. That’s what I envisioned

when I began this journey – we

have to work AI into every business

process, whether it’s supply chain,

finance, marketing, accounts payable.

There’s no area it can’t bring significant

value to.”

The challenge, says Bhandari, is for

enterprises to undertake that scaling

of data and AI solutions. Core to that,

JUNE 2020


he says, is a strong central function

which is the role that he and his immediate

team provide. However, he also

adds that in his experience, many

organisations are still in the early

stages of their AI adoption journey.

IBM’s learnings from its data and AI

transformation form the basis of how

IBM interacts with clients.

Take the company’s AI Enterprise

Accelerator as an example. This collaborative

cross-enterprise initiative

builds on IBM’s AI transformation

and is designed to help leaders

quickly ramp up their AI solutions and

processes and drive business value

covering areas including data strategy

and architecture, automating business

metadata, data privacy and trust, and

AI applications.

“When I started the Global Chief Data

Office at IBM, we were effectively at

‘ground zero’ in terms of this,” Bhandari

notes. “But our success allows us to

share and take it to a completely new

level for both internal transformation

and with our clients. Our Enterprise

Data and AI platform was established 43

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LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

1911

Year founded

$79.59bn+

Revenue in

US dollars

44

350,000

Number of

employees

at the end of 2017 and by year end

2019 we had over 100,000 active

users on it internally, who were infusing

AI into their business processes,

and several clients replicating these

use cases externally. That’s a really

high rate of adoption for both internal

use and by our customers.”

A BLUEPRINT FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS

Any transformation journey is an

ongoing process, even with a CDO as

capable as Bhandari at the helm. He

freely admits to adopting a ‘fail fast’

approach to his role and mission at

IBM and is not afraid to admit – even

with his experience – that he and his

team are always learning. “If you are

the CDO then you must be aware it’s

a transformation role and you are

primarily a change agent,” he explains.

“You have to change the enterprise to

transform it, so the data and AI blueprint

that we developed has all of the

aspects that any change agent should

focus on.

JUNE 2020


45

“You use the data and the technology

to affect the change, of course, but

there’s also the people and culture factor

that is equally important. You can’t

neglect any aspect of that blueprint if

you want to succeed. Technology will

continue to evolve, and so we must

evolve too. The move to the hybrid

cloud is only accelerating, for example,

and things like cybersecurity, privacy

and data ownership will become more

and more relevant. Similarly, edge

computing will be a critical driver as

data comes from millions of devices

at the edge. That and technologies

such as quantum computing have the

potential to revolutionise everything

we do. It’s an exciting prospect and a

very exciting time for Chief Data and

Technology Officers at the forefront

of these transformations.”

www.businesschief.com


CORPORATE FINANCE

46

JUNE 2020


47

Susan Bowen, CEO of Aptum Technologies,

discusses how IoT may hold the secret to

unlocking the full potential of Big Data

and enterprise systems

WRITTEN BY WILL GIRLING

www.businesschief.com


CORPORATE FINANCE

48

TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY

AND YOUR ROLE AT APTUM

I’m Susan Bowen, I have been the CEO and President

of Aptum Technologies, formerly Cogeco Peer 1,

since May 2019. Prior to this, I held the position of

President at Cogeco Peer 1 and before that Vice

President and General Manager of EMEA for three

and a half years, based in the UK. As CEO and

President of Aptum, my purpose is to guide and

empower the Aptum organisation to drive growth

for our customers and our business, enabling data

as infrastructure globally.

During my first 150 days as CEO of Aptum, my time

has been occupied with establishing goals, building

a knowledgeable and experienced leadership team

and creating a strategy to achieve those goals.

Creating the new foundation for the business has

been extremely exciting, and our dedicated team has

embraced our vision and made its success possible.

Any organisation is only as good as its employees,

and as CEO, it is vital to empower employees to

propel the business forward.

LAST YEAR, YOU WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE

EXCLUSIVE FORBES TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL. WHAT

DID THIS HONOUR MEAN TO YOU AND HOW WILL

IT SHAPE YOUR APPROACH GOING FORWARD?

To be accepted to join the Forbes Technology

Council, and the members that uphold that prestigious

name, is an achievement of which I am

JUNE 2020


Businesses today are encountering

amounts of data that grow at an

exponential rate, which means they

require the appropriate technology

to exploit it”


Susan Bowen,

CEO, Aptum Technologies

49

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extremely proud. The opportunity to

become part of this community of fellow

esteemed tech professionals is

testament to the work we have done

at Aptum. Our unique approach of

helping businesses unlock the potential

of their data as infrastructure has

proved successful.

The Council isn’t just about recognition,

though. It encourages contribution and

creation of debate, with the overarching

goal of driving society forward

through technology. Being able to collaborate

with industry leaders in this

private forum will expose me to new

and original perspectives which I will

take back to my own forum at Aptum.

We are always looking for opportunities

to discover new insights, and where

better to receive it than from my colleagues

on the Council?

YOUR COMPANY’S NAME LITERALLY

MEANS ‘ADAPTABILITY’– IS

THIS AN IMPORTANT QUALITY

IN A TECH COMPANY, PARTICULARLY

ONE INVESTING IN

DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE?

Due to the ever more complex and

unpredictable economic, political and

social environment in which we currently

find ourselves, adapting is crucial not

only to a business’ success, but to its

survival. The speed, intricacy and global

nature of today’s disruption is at a different

scale than ever before and

businesses must be conscious of that.

51

“The sheer volume

of data IoT devices

promise means their

value is integral”


Susan Bowen,

CEO, Aptum Technologies

www.businesschief.com


CORPORATE FINANCE

52

While technological change has

continuously brought about unprecedented

opportunities for those capable

of innovation, it can also be the downfall

of those who are inflexible and

reticent to change. Adaptability, then,

becomes an indispensable trait for

businesses that want to succeed. Due

to the highly competitive market, businesses

must keep up with the rapid

pace of change. The key to this is placing

an emphasis on developing and

establishing a mindset which favours

adaptability into all levels of the workforce,

from the boardroom, through

to a business’ IT infrastructure.

Businesses today are encountering

amounts of data that grow at an exponential

rate, which means they require

the appropriate technology to exploit

it. Reliable platforms which harness

the power of their data enable better

decision making and generate new

insights and deeper customer

engagement.

With a 20-year heritage helping

customers maximise technologies to

store, manage, move and secure their

critical data, Aptum is one of a select

group of companies able to offer true

hybrid infrastructure solutions with

secure data centre, cloud, connectivity

and managed services across North

America, Latin America and Europe.

DATA AND IOT ARE INTRINSICALLY

LINKED. HOW DOES YOUR

APPROACH TO THEIR UTILISATION

DISTINGUISH ITSELF?

At Aptum, we believe that data should

be treated as infrastructure. As the

source of insight into performance,

markets, and innovation, data should

be considered the backbone of the

JUNE 2020


just one component of an IT ecosystem

designed to enable businesses

to unlock their data potential. But,

the sheer volume of data IoT devices

promise means their value is integral

to that ecosystem.

modern enterprise. We help businesses

discover the true value of their

data and support them on the best

ways to utilise their data sets for their

desired business outcomes.

IoT has the potential to scale the

value of data at an unprecedented rate.

Data from hordes of sensor points

across an IoT network can be transmitted

and processed in real time.

Aptum’s approach helps organisations

cleanse, process and manage this

data in order to generate analyses that

optimise processes. IoT devices are

MANY IN THE INDUSTRY POSTULATE

THAT 5G NETWORKS ARE SET TO

REVOLUTIONISE IOT. DO YOU AGREE

AND WHY?

The benefits of 5G will revolutionise

IoT. More bandwidth, higher reliability,

lower latency and the ability to support

a vastly greater number of connected

devices will propel IoT into the mainstream.

The diversity of IoT means

that each use case can take advantage

of 5G in different ways. For

example: higher processing speeds

will enable faster production in manufacturing;

lower latency means remote

control of machinery from production

plants to hospitals will be possible; air

traffic monitoring would need high reliability

and service quality; and smart

cities will be able to leverage a higher

density of devices.

5G will indeed transform IoT, but

it is important to recognise that this

53

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CORPORATE FINANCE

“5G will indeed transform IoT, but it is important

to recognise that this revolution will not be

quickly realised across all applications”

54


Susan Bowen,

CEO, Aptum Technologies

revolution will not be quickly realised

across all applications. Due to the gradual

nature of 5G’s implementation, where

3G and 4G sites are developed or new

infrastructure is built, IoT development

will in turn be slow and complex. Some

use cases will involve a large amount

of data, many devices, autonomous

machinery, and advanced analytics. 5G

will develop at the same time as these

systems, so due to the sheer scale of the

task, a speedy timetable is not likely.

ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT INDUSTRY

HURDLES THAT WILL NEED TO BE

OVERCOME BEFORE THE CAPABILITIES

OF IOT CAN BE FULLY ENABLED?

The main challenge facing IoT is security.

Recent increases in distributed

denial of services (DDoS) attacks have

brought attention to the issue, and beckoned

calls for action in IT communities.

Put simply, as an emerging technology,

solutions for many unforeseen problems

simply do not exist yet. Software that

secures laptop, mobile, and server endpoints

are not as far developed for IoT

devices as they are harder to identify.

This is where the fundamental problem

lies. For secure control of IoT

devices, visibility over all assets is necessary.

Panaseer commissioned a study

of 200 enterprise security leaders.

When asked about the assets into

which they had least visibility, IoT

devices topped the list. An IP address

can rarely be found on an IoT device,

and even if it is found it is difficult to

tell what the device’s function actually

is and what it is connected to. With

multiple networks in different locations,

containing multiple devices, visibility

naturally decreases. This leaves security

teams completely in the dark of

the risk individual devices pose and

what vulnerabilities can be exploited

by hackers.

JUNE 2020


55

However, companies that work with

technology partners with experience in

securing these technologies will have

the best expertise available to them to

help secure their IoT devices. When first

enrolling IoT devices into an ecosystem,

they undertake rigorous checks, reviewing

the manufacturing guidelines on

the best ways to securely configure

a device. A full inventory will then be

undertaken mapping out each device

and its function to increase visibility.

Crucially though, it is the role of a technology

partner to be experts in emerging

technologies. As new methods of

securing IoT devices are developed,

the partner will be in an informed position

to conduct their implementation.

www.businesschief.com


DIGITAL STRATEGY

THE DIGITAL

56

EVOLUTION OF

SUPPLY CHAIN

OPERATIONS

Dr. Frank Himpel, Faculty Member

at CSE Hamad Bin Khalifa University

and Jaap Bruining, Head of Coyote

Europe, Coyote Logistics, discuss

the digitalisation of supply chain

WRITTEN BY GEORGIA WILSON

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

57


DIGITAL STRATEGY

58

In today’s supply chains, fast paced innovation

and complex operations built on

legacy systems are commonplace challenges

within the industry. To combat this,

supply chains are digitally transforming in

order to create more efficiency. With digitalisation,

supply chains are experiencing cost

reductions, as well as increased agility,

end to end visibility and flexibility, resultingin

a competitive advantage against others

in the industry.

Speaking with Dr. Frank Himpel, Faculty

Member at CSE Hamad Bin Khalifa University,

and Jaap Bruining, Head of Coyote Europe

at Coyote Logistics, we discuss current

supply chain digitisation trends, the benefits,

the challenges and the future of supply

chain technology.

HOW CAN THE SUPPLY CHAIN INDUSTRY

BENEFIT FROM DIGITISATION?

Dr. Frank Himpel: Supply chains link customers

on buyers’ markets with production

capacity and resources needed from

resource markets. This occurs on a global

scale, making the world a smaller place.

Global ordering and deliveries are a reality in

many industries already. In order to facilitate

accuracy, forecasting, operational efficiency,

and strategic flexibility of the entire chain,

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

59


ericsson.com/

5g-switch

Move towards

zero touch, cut

down on time

Ericsson.

The 5G switch made easy.

With automated provisioning and insight-driven

service assurance, Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration

simplifies operations, moving you closer to the

zero-touch experience.

This means greater savings and shorter time to

market.


“Digitalisation can help

to reap the benefits of

a more agile supply chain

portfolio network for

the benefit of all parties

involved – customers,

companies, suppliers,

and logistical service

providers”


Dr. Frank Himpel,

Facility Member, Engineering Management and

Decision Sciences division, College of Science

and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University,

Qatar

digitalisation has played a crucial role.

In the past, logistics and supply chain

management was considered a purely

operational play that could be optimised

by lowering costs as well as

lead times, while trying to increase

overall quality for the customers.

Transportation tasks and logistical

coordination were often outsourced to

achieve greater cost control through

scaling. However, through the advent

of digitalisation, this view has been disrupted.

Nowadays, logistics and supply

chain management is a strategic asset

Dr. Frank Himpel

of a company trying to satisfy the

needs of its ever-more demanding

customers. Digitalisation can help

to reap the benefits of a more agile

supply chain portfolio network for

the benefit of all parties involved – customers,

companies, suppliers, and

logistical service providers. To that

end, digitalisation is a great opportunity

in many industries worldwide.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS

OF DIGITALISATION?

Dr. Frank Himpel: The digitalisation

of a supply chain network has several

benefits. Depending on the specific

industry, products can be delivered to

customers much faster than before.

This reduces lead times and delivery

times, in particular of so-called high

61

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DIGITAL STRATEGY

62

runners. Here, predictive analytics

tools are employed to simultaneously

and continuously assess internal and

external data with regards to improving

forecasting of demand volumes

and demand patterns, as well as provision

times. Another benefit largely

associated with digitalisation is to

increase the flexibility of the production

infrastructures (i.e. factories),

no matter where they are located

geographically. The more interlinked

coordination with logistics and transportation

capacity ensures the timely

delivery to end users and customers,

even if the production points are on

the other side of the globe. Thirdly,

the production concept of mass customisation

will be more fully and

broadly implemented. While this

concept has been introduced to the

management discipline already some

time ago, it has not been able to show

its potential on a global scale in many

industries. Through the disruptive

advent of digitalisation, the benefits

of mass customisation (i.e. highly

individualised production at comparably

lower factor costs) will become

available for many industries

JUNE 2020


Coyote Logistics:

Helping You Deliver on Your Promises

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:03

63

worldwide. Also, operations can be

managed in a more granular manner.

This implies the availability of learning

systems to continuously calibrate

performances (and measure deviations

accordingly). Therefore,

management of operations and production

capacity becomes in a way.

To learn about unrealistic KPI targets

does not take whole planning cycles

anymore, so that strategic adjustments

can be implemented much

sooner. Last but not least, another

benefit of digitalisation is the integration

of more fully automated and

autonomous production and logistics

capabilities. This spans autonomous

mobility of trucks outside the warehouses

and factories with more fully

automated sorting and picking functionality

in warehouses, to factories

that can be steered and adjusted

from large distances away. All in

all, the benefits of digitalisation in

logistics and supply chain management

are very promising, however,

only few companies and industries

have started the journey towards

achieving more digitised production

potential.

www.businesschief.com


DIGITAL STRATEGY

64

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES

OF DIGITALISATION?

Dr. Frank Himpel: Digitalisation is not

without its challenges. Several technologies

need to be integrated in

a technology network that supports

a data network (e.g. the so-called

cloud), and both networks need to be

linked to production capacities and

forecasting methodologies. If one element

of the entire setup is missing,

or not fully operational, then the benefits

might not be achieved. In other

words, implementing digitalisation

as a step-by-step approach, which is

often cautious in nature, might not

lead to success. Digitalisation is pretty

much a binary system – either a system

is being digitalised (and if so, then

all-encompassing), or a system is not

being digitalised more profoundly.

Island-like solutions, such as those

we have witnessed in past decades,

where ERP systems co-existed with

more traditional legacy systems, are

not the way forward when it comes

to the digitalisation of supply chain

networks. Of particular relevance

is the holistic, integrative, systemic

implementation along all partners

and stakeholders of a supply chain

network. And, to refer to a classical

metaphor – the chain is only as strong

as its weakest link.

Jaap Bruining: Another challenge

in the digital supply chain is measuring

the impact of supply chain technology,

to determine improvements in efficiency

and costs reduction. The importance

of this came through loud and clear

in research from Coyote Logistics last

year. Supply chain professionals

reported that, while measurement is

JUNE 2020


65

“One major trend through

the eyes of logistics and

transportation is the

advent of so-called supply

chain management-as-aservice”


Dr. Frank Himpel,

Facility Member, Engineering Management

and Decision Sciences division, College of

Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa

University, Qatar

essential, many shippers still struggle

with it. In fact, a majority ranked identifying

return on investment as a top

supply chain technology challenge.

Integrating with systems, managing

tools and analysing data completed

the top four.

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT TRENDS

WITHIN SUPPLY CHAINS IN RELATION

TO DIGITALISATION?

Dr. Frank Himpel: One major trend

through the eyes of logistics and

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DIGITAL STRATEGY

66

transportation is the advent of socalled

supply chain

management-as-a-service. Supply

chain management capability can be

bought on the basis of need, as provided

by specialised external vendors,

rather than having such functionality

in-house. The whole concept of outsourcing

business functions, which

began more than half a century ago

with outsourcing of IT departments,

might be adopted to the outsourcing

of supply chain management functionality.

Here, completely new business

models can emerge that will specialise

as per lead-time constraint, mode-ofdelivery-constraint,

and/or factor

allocation constraint. Another trend

is the ‘uberisation’ of transportation

capacities. Here, flexible transportation

networks will ensure the delivery

of resources to factories, and/or products

to customers.

WHAT INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY

HAVE YOU SEEN IMPLEMENTED

AS A RESULT OF DIGITALISATION

WITHIN SUPPLY CHAINS?

Dr. Frank Himpel: As companies

around the globe aim to capitalise

on the benefits of digitalisation,

artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data,

machine learning (ML), and blockchain

have become highly prominent. In

particular, blockchain technology

is having inroads into innovative supply

chain concepts in the food and

healthcare sectors. In general, AI

aims to support a company’s desire

for greater supply chain automation.

Advanced analytics and the internet of

things (IoT) sources help better forecasting

of demand patterns and supply

potentials, for example. IoT in particular

is considered suitable for supply

chains where higher uptime and higher

asset utilisation are key.

WHAT IS THE BEST STRATEGY

FOR ADOPTING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

WITHIN SUPPLY CHAINS?

Dr. Frank Himpel: Hybrid supply

chain strategies, where paper-based

and IT-based approaches are mixed,

JUNE 2020


arely achieve the level of efficiency

required for successfully spanning

global supply chains in the long run.

Therefore, those technologies would

need to be adapted swiftly. Here, it

requires bold decisions, rather than

cautious tactics. However, acting

alone through one’s own ecosystem

also might not be suitable – therefore,

allocating partners and orchestrating

them in a concerted effort is key.

Jaap Bruining: It’s also important

to know what the aims are, how technology

will help meet them and how

you will measure the impact it has.

Start a steering committee and align

priorities with those of the business and

executive leadership. Secure IT’s input

to the strategy. It’s also essential to

involve human resources as you may

“Innovations in

technology continue

to advance capabilities

in business planning,

measurement,

operations and more”


Jaap Bruining,

Head of Coyote Europe, Coyote Logistics

need to build on existing skills sets

and/or recruit to plug any skills gaps.

Keep in mind that out of 13 supply

chain tasks, shippers did not think a

single one should be 100% human or

100% technology — both were consistently

the most frequent choices.

Even those predominantly human or

technology tasks should have some

blend of both. Once strategy creation

and execution is underway, remember

to stay informed on industry trends

and new technology.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE

DEVELOPED IN RELATION TO

DIGITALISATION?

Dr. Frank Himpel: Talking about

technology and advancements in

Jaap Bruining

67

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DIGITAL STRATEGY

68

digitalisation falls short of mentioning

that logistics and supply chain management

is a people-intensive

business. Even more so, people in

logistics and transportation have

a wide variety of educational backgrounds,

with regards to specialisation

and maturity. Logistics is a people’s

business, and even the advent of

Supply Chain 4.0 will not completely

get rid of human resources in our

supply chain networks. However,

as facets of efficiency of increased

digitalisation capability are likely to

(partially) diminish the role of human

beings in these networks, alternate

JUNE 2020


69

jobs need to be allocated for these

individuals. So, rather than wishing

for even more roboterised production

and logistics systems, I would suggest

to not forget the human dimension.

Jaap Bruining: Innovations in

technology continue to advance

capabilities in business planning,

measurement, operations and more.

Advanced AI solutions, better freight

market forecasting tools, technology

to streamline supply chain and blockchain

as a viable operating system

were at the top of the supply chain

wish list for shippers, Coyote Logistics’

research revealed last year.

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | VANCOUVER

70

City Focus

VANCO

JUNE 2020


The home of Botox, Greenpeace and California

roll sushi, Vancouver is a city full of surprises.

In this article, Business Chief explores what

drives the economy of this unique location

WRITTEN BY WILL GIRLING

71

UVER

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | VANCOUVER

72

It has been estimated that, prior to

European settlement, Canadian Aboriginal

peoples occupied the area now known

as Vancouver for close to 10,000 years.

Following its exploration by Spanish naval

officer José María Narváez in 1791, it was

later toured by George Vancouver in 1792,

after whom the city was eventually named.

Despite being founded in the late 18th century,

Vancouver was finally incorporated in

1886. Growing from roughly 1,000 people

to 100,000 by 1911, the city has continued to

grow ever since, and over 2.5 million citizens

now call the Greater Vancouver area their

home. The place of origin for Botox treatments,

Greenpeace and California roll sushi,

Vancouver’s history is written by the creativity

and success of its people — Ryan Reynolds,

Seth Rogan and Michael Bublé were born

and raised there, amongst many others.

© Greenpeace

ECONOMY

Formerly reliant on resources (oil, gas, gold,

etc) and shipping, Vancouver’s economy has

successfully transitioned to include technology,

media, tourism, finance, aviation and

myriad service-based companies. The Port

of Vancouver is the largest in Canada and

third-largest in North America by volume

JUNE 2020


73

shipped per annum, whilst its cruise

ship terminal ranks fourth-largest in

the world. The total GDP of the city is

US$136bn, with a GDP per capita of

$39,914. Vancouver, particularly the

West, contains some of the wealthiest

neighbourhoods in the country: the

average income per household ranges

from CA$63,000 to $120,000, which

could be accounted for by the abundance

of movie stars and high-ranking

executives who take up residence in

the area. Vancouver has been dubbed

as the ‘Hollywood in the North’ for its

flourishing film industry.

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | VANCOUVER

74

“Vancouver’s

history is

written by

the creativity

and success

of its people”

HOOTSUITE

Founded by internet entrepreneur

Ryan Holmes in 2008, Hootsuite is a

social media management platform

that has transformed from an SME to

a Fortune 500 company. Currently

serving over 18 million customers,

the company utilises its renowned

expertise with the platform to build

strong relationships, explore data that

could contain potential transformative

consumer insights and integrate the

customer experience. Companies that

trust Hootsuite to deliver them a nextlevel

social media presence include

JUNE 2020


75

10 Years of Hootsuite

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:11

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | VANCOUVER

TELUS:

20 Years of Good

76

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:31

Domino’s Pizza, General Electric and

the British Museum.

It is estimated that 50% of the world

(3.8 billion people) are now active

social media users. Therefore, it’s

likely that the services of Hootsuite will

only continue to increase in demand.

However, far from resting on its

laurels, the company is constantly

looking for innovative new ways of

operating, such as its recent integration

with Oracle Eloqua. “We’ve

been using Oracle Eloqua for several

years — having our social media efforts

The Port of Vancouver

JUNE 2020


tied into our lead generation process

through Hootsuite’s integration is going

to provide a huge benefit of seeing

customer and prospect brand engagement

across our social channels,” said

Neil Tolbert, Director of Marketing

Communications, in a press release.

THE PORT OF VANCOUVER

Handling over 147 million metric

tonnes of cargo per annum (worth

CA$240bn), the Port of Vancouver

requires over 115,300 staff to operate

and contributes $11.9bn to Canada’s

“Vancouver

has been

dubbed the

‘Hollywood in

the North’ for

its flourishing

film industry”

77

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | VANCOUVER

Over 2.5 million

citizens now call the

Greater Vancouver

area their home

78

Average income per

household ranges

from CA$63,000

to $120,000

The city’s GDP is

US$136bn, with

a GDP per capita

of $39,914

JUNE 2020


79

Handling over 147 million

metric tonnes of cargo per

annum (worth CA$240bn),

the Port of Vancouver

requires over 115,300 staff

to operate and contributes

$11.9bn to Canada’s GDP

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | VANCOUVER

80

GDP. The port was established by the

Government of Canada in 2008 to consolidate

three separate port authorities:

the Port of Vancouver, the Fraser River

Port Authority and the North Fraser

Port Authority. Covering a coastline area

of 350km, the facility features 27 marine

terminals and three ‘Class 1’ railroads, as

well as a variety of services for the shipping

community.

2.5mn

Population of

Vancouver, Canada

1886

Year founded

Nearest Major Airport

13km

Vancouver

International Airport

The port covers five primary sectors:

cars, containers, cruise ships, project/breakbulk

cargo that cannot be

transported in conventional containers

and bulk cargo. Not just focused on

delivering a diverse, high-quality and

reliable service, the organisation is also

active in philanthropic and CSR (corporate

social responsibility) initiatives.

Organisations recently sponsored

by the port include Harvest Project,

Mission Possible and the Reach Child

and Youth Development Society.

TELUS

One of the premier telecoms companies

in Canada, Telus has built a

reputation for providing consistently

fast internet speeds and well-managed

overall customer experience.

Set up in 1990 by the government of

Alberta, Edmonton, the company later

merged with BCTel in 1999 and relocated

its operations to Vancouver. Telus

is constantly seeking to improve its

services and provides regular updates

on its progress. New milestones so far

in 2020 include reaching 75 Mbps 4G

download speeds, introducing wireless

services to all British Columbia

communities with more than 1,000

residents and bringing internet to the

Dunsmuir SkyTrain line.

JUNE 2020


City of Vancouver:

Awards of Excellence 2020

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:22

81

Telus is currently seeking to expand

its operations by raising $1.3bn in

funds through a public stock offering

on the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange).

WHEN IN VANCOUVER, YOU MUST SEE…

The city will play host to the

Canada Gas & LNG Exhibition and

Conference between 12 and 14 May.

Featuring more than 200 booths,

seminars and conferences bringing

together over 500 industry experts,

the event is sure to be informative

and instructive for those searching

to find out how these two essential

sources of fuel will shape the future

of energy.

For those planning on sticking around

until mid-summer, the 43rd Annual

Vancouver Folk Music Festival will be

held at Jericho Beach Park between

17 and 19 July. A cornerstone of local

culture, celebrating the best in contemporary

and traditional folk music and art,

the 40,000 expected attendees will be

treated to 40 acts from all over the world.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

82

JUNE 2020


Busiest

airports in

North America

83

Business Chief counts down the

top 10 busiest airports in North

America based on recorded

passenger numbers in 2018

WRITTEN BY WILL GIRLING

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

8410

Toronto Pearson International

ONTARIO, CANADA [49,849,520]

Operating five runways, two passenger terminals and numerous cargo

and maintenance facilities, Toronto Pearson IA is the busiest airport in

Canada and one of the busiest in the world. Named after Nobel Peace

Prize laureate and former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson,

the airport operates 75 different airlines and serves 180 destinations.

In addition to its regular passenger terminals, Pearson IA also has a VIP

terminal for handling privately chartered aircraft and features a 24/7

concierge service, a private customs and immigration section, dining

facilities and exclusive ground transportation.

JUNE 2020


09

85

Seattle–Tacoma International

SEATTLE-TACOMA, USA [49,849,520]

Also known as Sea-Tac IA due to its near-central location between

the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, the airport has become known

as one of the fastest-growing in America. Covering an area of

3.9 square miles, it is significantly more busy for a facility its size in

comparison to other airports in the country. Serving routes to North

America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the most popular destinations

for passengers include Los Angeles, Anchorage, Vancouver

and Seoul–Incheon. Featuring only one terminal, the airport has

80 gates, four concourses and two satellite buildings.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

08

87

McCarran International Airport

LAS VEGAS, USA [49,863,090]

Situated just five miles south of ‘fabulous Las Vegas’, McCarran

IA has its origins from an airfield built by the US Army in 1942.

Following the end of World War Two, the site’s military application

was discontinued and passenger flights began operating instead.

Named after Senator Pat McCarran, a prominent politician who

did much to promote aviation across the US, the airport features

two passenger terminals. Some of the more popular airlines

favoured by passengers include WestJet, Air Canada Rouge

and British Airways.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

07

88

San Francisco International (SFO)

SAN FRANCISCO, USA [57,738,840]

With a dedicated mission of providing exceptional levels of service to

the almost 58million passengers who fly with it annually, San Francisco

IA ensures that its facilities are equipped to make customers feel at

ease. The airport is engaged with environmental and social sustainability

projects to ensure its vision of quality extends to the wider community.

Aiming to be eco-conscious at all times, SFO has been constructed and

maintained to minimising the airport’s impact on the environment. This

includes the protection of water supplies, natural habitats, air quality

and reducing carbon emissions.

JUNE 2020


06

89

John F. Kennedy International

NEW YORK CITY, USA [61,623,756]

Originally named New York International Airport upon opening in

1948 (commonly known as Idlewild Airport), it was subsequently

renamed to commemorate the memory of the late President.

JFK IA operates more than 90 airlines and operates both direct

and stopover flights to nearly 200 destinations on five continents.

Among the busiest international routes are London-Heathrow,

Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Mexico City. A major hub for air-freighted

cargo, it is estimated that 21% of US cargo by value passes through

the airport each year.

www.businesschief.com


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TOP 10

05

91

Denver International

DENVER, USA [64,494,613]

The fifth-busiest airport in the US and 20th-busiest in the world overall,

Denver IA (DEN) is one of the most important hubs in the global

aviation market. Generating US$33.5bn in revenue for the Colorado

area, it is a vital asset to the state. Currently the largest airport in the

US if measured by land area (52.4 square miles), DEN also features a

3.03-mile long runway (16R/34L) which is the seventh-longest in the

world. The scale of the airport doesn’t stop there: with approximately

35,000 employees keeping it in operation, it is also the single-largest

provider of employment to the state of Colorado.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

04

92

Dallas/Fort Worth International

DALLAS-FORT WORTH, USA [69,112,607]

Dallas/Fort Worth IA (DFW) services 260 destinations – 67 international

and 193 domestic – and is the second-largest airline hub in the US

after our No.1 entry on this list. Featuring an impressive five passenger

terminals (A to F) and 182 gates, the airport was actually constructed

with the option for an expansion which could almost triple its number

of terminals to 13 and increase its gates by 43% to 260. Each terminal

is designed for economy of motion – the time and distance it takes for

a passenger to arrive and board their designated airplane has been

streamlined to decrease DFW’s overall traffic congestion.

JUNE 2020


03

93

O’Hare International

CHICAGO, USA [83,245,472]

Beginning as a manufacturing plant for Douglas C-54 airplanes in 1944,

the airport was named after the US’ first Medal of Honour recipient

during the course of World War Two, Edward O’Hare. Among the first

airports to be developed following the end of the war, the building’s

design pioneered innovative concepts which would become commonplace

in later years: concourses, highway access to the terminal,

underground refuelling systems and bridges to cover and guide

passengers directly into the aircraft. O’Hare IA held the distinction

of being the world’s busiest airport for 35 years (1963 to 1998).

www.businesschief.com


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TOP 10

02

96

Los Angeles International

LOS ANGELES, USA [87,534,384]

The second-busiest airport in the US and the third-busiest overall, Los

Angeles IA (known by its distinctive code LAX) provides a major international

gateway to America and is one of the most popular destinations

to fly to in the country. The design of LAX features the distinctive Google

Theme Building, constructed in 1961. Made to look like a grounded flying

saucer, the building contains a restaurant which provides a sweeping

vista of the entire airport. A stylish relic of the space age in which it was

constructed, it is a must-visit for passengers seeking a unique dining

experience before their flight which feels ‘in the not too distant future’.

JUNE 2020


97

The Future of LAX:

Automated People Mover

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:44

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

01

98

ATL Airport TV:

Two Men One Vision

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:34

JUNE 2020


99

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International

ATLANTA, USA [107,394,029]

Calling itself “the busiest and most efficient airport in the world”,

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta IA (ATL) is both vital to the state of

Georgia, which it contributes US$34.8bn to each year, but also

to the US itself. Offering scheduled flights to 220 destinations

(70 international and 150 domestic) and forming the largest airline

hub in the country, ATL features 300 commercial venues in its

deluxe concessions programme. The airport has a multitude of

dining, entertainment and shopping opportunities for passengers

who have the pleasure of travelling through.

www.businesschief.com


100

JUNE 2020


THE ARMY

NATIONAL GUARD’S

CYBERSECURITY

RESPONSE

101

WRITTEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON

PRODUCED BY

MIKE SADR

www.businesschief.com


ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE LEARNS

FROM LT COL WOODY GROTON,

CIO OF THE NH ARMY NATIONAL

GUARD, ABOUT INTERSTATE

COLLABORATION AND THE

ANNUAL CYBER YANKEE EXERCISE

102

I

t hardly needs to be said that human

conflict has over the last couple of decades

shifted from military confrontation

of the kind seen in the wars of the last century to

more complex and subtle platforms. Nations still

spend significant proportions of GDP on defence

hardware, but have woken up in the present century

to the fact that more can be done to destabilise,

weaken, threaten or confuse other nations or

groups of nations by targeting the core systems

and communications everyone relies on today.

In the United States, the Army National Guard

is, with the Regular army and the Reserves, a key

branch of the armed services, with 337,000 personnel

on call nationally. Community-based, units

report to the governor of their respective states

unless called to protect US domestic or national

interests at times of conflict or natural disaster.

“Always ready, always there.” The Guard has, like

the rest of the U.S. military (not to mention business

and the rest of society), had to evolve rapidly into

JUNE 2020


“CYBER SECURITY IS

INTEGRATED INTO

EVERYTHING WE DO”

Lt Col Woody Groton,

CIO, NH National Guard

103

Lt Col Woody Groton with

Senator Maggie Hassan

www.businesschief.com


ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

104

“WE WORK VERY

CLOSELY WITH

THE ELECTRICAL

POWER AND WATER

INDUSTRIES”

Lt Col Woody Groton,

CIO, NH National Guard

the digital era, and one of its key tasks

today is to always be ready to foresee

and defend against threats to the

nation that come from cyberspace.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a

natural disaster, has given rise to uncertainties

that could be exploited by an

attacker, whether motivated by criminal

or political goals. For example, imagine

that a hospital system might be targeted

at this time, muses Lt Col Woody

Groton, Chief Information Officer of

the New Hampshire Army National

Guard. As a Certified Information

Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified

Information Systems Security

Professional (CISSP), Groton leads a

team of IT professionals responsible

for the Guard’s network and ensures its

readiness to counter any threat. “Cyber

security is integrated into everything

we do. With IoT permeating everything,

almost any activity you care to name

could potentially be disrupted, so network

modernisation is one of the top

U.S. Army priorities currently.”

The Army’s cloud strategy isn’t too

different from that of any large business

or organisation, partnering with

names like Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft,

JUNE 2020


EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Lieutenant Colonel

Woody Groton

Title: CIO / Cyber Officer

Location: Sunapee, New Hampshire

Lieutenant Colonel Woody Groton has served in the United States Army for

over 20 years. He is an Army Cyber Officer currently assigned as the Chief

Information Officer for the New Hampshire Army National Guard as well as

the commander of the 195th Regiment, Regional Training Institute. He also

serves as the Chair of the New Hampshire Information Technology Council.

LTC Groton has a Master’s of Science in Information Assurance/

Cybersecurity from Regis University, a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the

U.S. Army War College, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science

from Loyola University Maryland. He is a Certified Information Systems

Security Professional and Certified Information Systems Auditor.

105

LTC Groton is the current Exercise Director for Cyber Yankee, which in 2020

is part of the FEMA National Exercise Program. He is considered an expert at

whole of government response to cyber-attack against critical infrastructure

and state/local government.

His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious

Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, the Combat

Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault badge,

and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.

www.businesschief.com


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107

AWS and others. “The networking

infrastructure we use is all the same.

Our logistics system or our new integrated

personnel and pay system

for example are semi-custom implementations

of best-in-breed systems

from the likes of SAP, PeopleSoft or

Microsoft.” The recently concluded

Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure

(JEDI) contract awarded to Microsoft

in 2019, against hot competition from

AWS, is a huge step toward placing

cloud-enabled technologies like AI

at the service of the Department of

“FOR SOME OF THE

SMALLER UTILITIES,

PARTICIPATING IN CYBER

YANKEE IS A LEARNING

OPPORTUNITY THAT

LINKS THEM WITH LARGER

PLAYERS AND HELPS

THEM PROTECT ALL

OF THEIR CUSTOMERS”

Lt Col Woody Groton,

CIO, NH National Guard

www.businesschief.com


ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

108

“THE RELATIONSHIPS

WE HAVE BUILT HERE

IN NH ARE REALLY

IMPORTANT. WE

HAVE MUTUAL

TRUST AND REAL

FRIENDSHIP”

Lt Col Woody Groton,

CIO, NH National Guard

Defense (DoD). “The one part we keep

firmly in-house is in the cryptology

piece, and for our classified networks

of course we work with the National

Security Agency.”

From its inception in 2015, Groton

has been a key leader in the annual

Cyber Yankee Exercise across the six

New England states. This, he explains,

is an initiative which coordinates

the National Guard’s cybersecurity

response team (its ‘Blue Team’) with

entities outside of the DoD from

national agencies like DHS, FBI,

JUNE 2020


109

FEMA and U.S. Cyber Command to a

broad range of local and regional government,

law enforcement, academic

and commercial bodies as well as

private companies. “As an example, in

2019 the U.S. Army account manager

for Tenable reached out to us and

became a very valuable participant in

the exercise, offering additional cybersecurity

tools. Likewise, we’ve worked

closely with Cisco Systems among

other major players over the years.”

The Guard works with regional utilities

from critical infrastructure. “A lot

of the participants don’t have the

resources to put together a cybersecurity

exercise with over 300 participants,

a virtual network range and a live

opposing force. That includes some

of the smaller utilities; for them, participating

in Cyber Yankee is a learning

opportunity that links them with larger

players and helps them protect all of

their customers.”

A simulated but realistic threat is

put forward, and these partners are

invited to test their ability to respond

effectively. “We work very closely with

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“WHEN WE HAVE A

PROBLEM WE SOLICIT

SOLUTIONS FROM THE

TEAM RATHER THAN

DIRECTING THEM IN ANY

PARTICULAR WAY!”

Lt Col Woody Groton,

CIO, NH National Guard

the electrical power and water industries,”

he says. “Engineers from these

utilities participate in the exercise to

see how ready critical infrastructure

is to face any attack.” So, training is a

clear goal of Cyber Yankee. However,

Gorton is keen to stress the benefits

of deepening relationships between

all interested parties at a regional level,

and this has been brought into sharp

focus by the current COVID-19 crisis, in

response to which the entire exercise

has been put on hold until July 2020.

“The relationships we have built here in

NH, for example with the State CIO or

the Chief Information Security Officer

(CISO) are really important. We have

mutual trust and real friendship. That

applies right across the region. For

example, the Massachusetts Water

Resource Authority utility has been

an important partner over the years,

inviting guardsmen in to review its

operational technology systems, since

a cyber incident at any utility could be

crippling for the entire community.”

For now, COVID is keeping people at

home but Cyber Yankee needs to go

ahead as soon as it is safe to do so, to

give new soldiers and airmen coming

into the services the cybersecurity

training they need and to cement

third party relationships for the future,

Groton believes. “But you can be

assured we are in a state of heightened

awareness and preparedness, at times

like this pandemic crisis, to meet any

attempts to take advantage of the distraction

it provides.”

The National Guard has some

amazing talent within its network,

he emphasises, with some of the

smartest and most experienced

penetration testing, cyber intelligence

and encryption professionals. Groton

is passionate about his team, and

for a career soldier he is refreshingly

democratic in his approach. “Rank is

111

www.businesschief.com


ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

112

JUNE 2020


not really relevant, because we have

extremely capable IT professionals

here, whose entire focus is technology.

When we have a problem we solicit

solutions from the team rather than

directing them in any particular way!”

You might think the army was not the

natural home for a geek, he jokes, but

in the best sense of that word the

Guard attracts people who relish the

most intractable problems, and will

work all hours till they are solved.

So compelling is the need to guard

the whole of society against disruption,

that the U.S. Army Cyber Command,

formed in 2009, is now changing its

name to the Army Information Warfare

Command. The level of threat from

malicious actors, whether state proxies,

criminals or financial opportunists

will continue to increase exponentially,

Woody Groton predicts, making it vital

that the National Guard always keeps

several steps ahead of them.

113

The DoD and the NHNG does not endorse

(expressly or by implication) any Non-Federal

Entities referenced in this article.

The views presented are those of the author

or LTC Groton and do not necessarily represent

the views of DoD or its components.

www.businesschief.com


114

MIRCOM GROUP’S

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

OF REAL ESTATE

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

PRODUCED BY

ARRON RAMPLING

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

115


MIRCOM

JASON FALBO, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY

OFFICER, MIRCOM GROUP, DISCUSSES

HOW THE COMPANY USES TECHNOLOGY

TO MAKE BUILDINGS SMART FOR THE

BENEFIT OF TENANTS AND OCCUPANTS

116

“ W

e work hard every day to modernize the

real estate industry, which from a technology

standpoint hasn’t changed as much

as other industries in the last 50 to 100 years,” says

Jason Falbo, Chief Technology Officer at Mircom

Group, a Canadian leader in the smart building

space. “Our goal is to make buildings safer, smarter,

and more livable.”

Tracing its origins back to the 1960s with founder

Tony Falbo’s involvement in predecessor company

Mirtone, today Mircom remains a family business

that nevertheless competes with the largest corporations.

“We’ve seen great consolidation amongst

the competitors in the market and we now find

ourselves one of only a handful of global players

in the fire and life-safety industry. Our competitors

are behemoth companies, all multi-billion-dollar,

multinational firms. Fire is a very small part of their

business, whereas, it’s our primary focus and the

biggest part of what we do on a daily basis.”

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

117


MIRCOM

118

Mircom offers a broad range of products

and solutions for the modern smart

building. From a long-established core

of fire detection sensors and alarms, to

security solutions such as perimeter

protection, intercoms and access control,

the company rounds out its offering

with building automation products covering

heating, ventilation and cooling,

lighting and power metering.

Since 2010, it has also offered

its flagship OpenGN building intelligence

product, based on a prediction

that building control systems were

only going to become more integrated

in the future. “We developed

award-winning 3D facility management

software called OpenGN, which ties

together the monitoring and visualization

of hardwired or wireless building sensors

in a way that’s simply beautiful and easy

to navigate,” says Falbo. “It’s a software

package that is scalable for the modern

smart building and supports both

Mircom and third-party products through

interfaces and open standards such as

Modbus. Recently, we’ve been prototyping

the next generation OpenGN, which

will be cloud hosted and available as

a subscription software offering”

“WE SEE OURSELVES

AS THE DIGITAL

CONSULTANT FOR THE

PEOPLE PUTTING UP

BUILDINGS TODAY”


Jason Falbo,

Chief Technology Officer, Mircom Group

JUNE 2020


That level of flexibility is important

when considering the different vintages

of technology employed by its customers,

as Falbo explains. “It’s very important

for us to maintain legacy wiring and

communication options for many of

our products, in addition to offering IP

and POE solutions, because we understand

not all of our users are cloud

ready today. Although it’s becoming

increasingly popular, we have to be

able to migrate along timelines that are

comfortable for them.” Nevertheless,

Mircom’s cloud offering is robust and

comprehensive, from mobile apps to a

119

Mircom:

Corporate Video

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:55

www.businesschief.com


MIRCOM

120

service known as the Unified Building

Solution (UBS). “We partner with several

companies to deliver this service

to our end users in the real estate and

property management market,” says

Falbo. “Microsoft, Dell, and Arrow

Electronics are all considered key partners

and they’re helping us to deliver

on our smart buildings as a service

model. We’ve modified, enhanced

or adapted existing products and

solutions that we’ve been offering for

almost 30 years now. We’ve developed

an enterprise solution that uses a

connected service bus that pulls data

from different edge devices covering

the domains of fire, security and automation

within buildings and campuses.

The previously siloed system data is

then pushed to tools like OpenGN for

enterprise monitoring manifested as

visually stunning dashboards.”

Data is the lifeblood of smart

buildings, with the data produced

by sensors being fed back into the

building to drive efficiencies and

optimization. Consequently, the data

Mircom collects runs across all the

JUNE 2020


areas its products cover. “We collect

environmental data, especially on

the fire and life-safety side, looking

for things like smoke, heat and gas

levels that might create a hazardous

issue for building occupants. On the

security side, we’re collecting data that

tells us who is in the building, where

access has been granted or denied,

who let the visitors in, at what time,

which doors are open, which doors are

locked, whether there’s an intrusion

alarm going off in the building. Then

there’s general building performance 121

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Jason Falbo

Title: Chief Technology Officer

Industry: Electronic Manufacturing

Company: Mircom Group of Companies

Location: Canada

Jason is the Chief Technology Officer at Mircom, Canada’s most successful

intelligent building solutions provider. Jason is a software engineering

graduate from Western University in Ontario, Canada, and has obtained

his MBA at a joint program offered by “Bocconi University” in Milan,

Italy and “UCLA” in Los Angeles, USA. Jason has led the design

and development of multiple successful products in the

domains of fire, security, and automation. Mircom designs,

manufactures and distributes smart building products to

over 100 countries around the world in addition to a branch

network for sales and service across North America.

www.businesschief.com


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“EMPLOYEES SHOULD

NOT BE LEFT ALONE

TO DEAL WITH

THE CHALLENGES

OF DIGITAL

TRANSFORMATION”


Jason Falbo,

Chief Technology Officer, Mircom Group

data. Things like the temperature of different

zones, the humidity levels, power

consumption, light levels. All of those

pieces of information can be used to

optimize building comfort for the occupants

and to keep the operating costs

down for the management companies.”

Gathering this data typically involves a

hybrid cloud architecture wherein edge

devices act as gateways, promoting

data to the cloud for monitoring systems.

Securing that data, meanwhile, are bestin-class

Microsoft cloud services, with

all data written to Azure Storage being

encrypted and access tightly controlled.

123

www.businesschief.com


MIRCOM

124

With such a volume of data, there

are many opportunities to use AI to

gain insights into a building’s performance.

“AI plays a really important role

for our end users,” says Falbo. “The

building data that we collect allows

operators to lower the total cost of

ownership of their properties. AI can

support the implementation of energy

strategies based on consumption data,

with predictive analytics to tell you, for

instance, the best time to turn off the

lights automatically.”

Aside from the technology it offers to

customers, Mircom has experienced

its own digital transformation, with

cloud-based technology at the core

of its systems. “We have a number of

servers that were previously deployed

on-prem that are now moved entirely

to the cloud. Things like an active

directory for our account credentials

management, our email server, which

is now completely on the Office365

platform, a corporate intranet site

for data storage and sharing. We

use SharePoint as well, which is also

hosted on the cloud. Then we also

have several areas where we’ve leveraged

cloud, not necessarily for primary

JUNE 2020


125

“OUR GOAL IS

TO MAKE BUILDINGS

SAFER, SMARTER,

AND MORE LIVABLE”


Jason Falbo,

Chief Technology Officer, Mircom Group

www.businesschief.com


MIRCOM

126

application delivery, but for either scalability

or backup purposes.” Alongside

the introduction of new technology,

Falbo emphasizes the intertwined

consideration of culture. “Our opinion

is that employees should not be left

alone to deal with the challenges

of digital transformation. Executive

leadership should be involved from the

CEO’s office to the front line. Digital

transformation is more of a business

strategy than an IT strategy these days.

As a smaller player in the industry, we

recognize the need to be nimble and

1991

Year founded

$100mn+

Revenue in

US dollars

500+

Number of

employees

JUNE 2020


127

quick to help our people adapt to new

business models and tools. That’s one

of our advantages we have versus our

bigger, more bureaucratic competition.”

Due to such an approach, Mircom

has positioned itself as a go-to partner

for the real estate industry. “We

see ourselves as the digital consultant

for people putting up buildings

today,” says Falbo. “If you’re looking

for financial advice, you find a financial

advisor. If you’re looking for building

advice, we’re the people that you can

count on to guide you through the

considerations you should have, not

only for providing application specific

solutions, but also ensuring those

solutions form a cohesive, integrated

environment for the needs of your

occupants and tenants.”

www.businesschief.com


128

JUNE 2020


129

Digital transformation

grounded in client

objectives

WRITTEN BY

WILL GIRLING

PRODUCED BY

MIKE SADR

canada.businesschief.com


BROADSPIRE

Joel Raedeke, Senior Vice President

at Broadspire, expands on the

company’s digital transformation

via technology and culture shift

130

A

s part of Crawford & Company, the world’s

largest independent claims management

company with over 700 offices spread

around 70 countries, Broadspire provides customised,

integrated claims solutions to clients across

the globe. Broadspire has garnered an outstanding

reputation for its handling of worker compensation,

auto and general liability claims admin, medical

management, and absence and care management

through Crawford’s mission to enhance lives, businesses

and communities while helping to increase

productivity and reduce costs for clients. Based in

Atlanta, Georgia, but with an interconnected reach

which extends to 85 locations throughout the US

and Europe, the company employs best-in-class

leadership techniques and technology to deliver

consistently high-quality results and white-glove

service to its clients.

Joel Raedeke, Senior Vice President of Analytics

and Technology, entered the industry in 2001

and joined Broadspire as a manager in 2004. He

quickly immersed himself in the technology which

makes the claims sector tick. Choosing to report

JUNE 2020


2003

Year founded

$1.07bn

Revenue in

US dollars

9,000

Number of

employees 131

canada.businesschief.com


BROADSPIRE

132

“One of the strategies that

I’ve used is to (imaginatively)

step outside of the company

to look at a problem

from another perspective.

I think ‘what would a fintech

company do?’ ‘What would

a tech-first company do

to solve this problem?’”


Joel Raedeke,

SVP, Broadspire

up through the Chief Client Officer

rather than the head of IT has been a

formative aspect of Raedeke’s career.

This has shaped his conviction that

technology has to be focused on the

clients’ objectives, rather than being

siloed within the organisation. After

a five-year period (2007-2012) as VP

for Strategic Outcomes with ESIS,

Raedeke returned to Broadspire as

SVP of Analytics before rising to his

current position in early 2019.

Raedeke’s client-focused background

is foundational to his approach

JUNE 2020


COVID-19: Don’t get lost in the data

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:06

133

for shaping technology’s evolution.

He captures the essence of his strategy

in three principles: 1) all engineering

is grounded in client objectives; 2) a

primary goal of the executive should be

to create an environment that empowers

line-level employees to identify

and solve problems in order to achieve

high-level client objectives; and

3) In order to effectively integrate

technology such as AI or straightthrough

processing, in domains such

as claims handling it is critical to

first model the claim process with its

macro and micro workflows, as well as

the myriad decision nodes that occur

throughout the workflows.

Critical to the engineering of technology

centered around the needs of

the client, Raedeke states, is providing

a unified ecosystem for each client.

“A company like Crawford has a wealth

of capabilities around the globe, so

establishing a unified experience for

our clients is critical. Our clients’ objectives

can be expressed in a number of

ways: take care of my people, reduce

my total cost of risk, execute the

process my way, and so on. Our ecosystem

gives our clients a unified way

canada.businesschief.com


BROADSPIRE

134

to experience the evolution of our technology

to achieve continual success

in meeting their objectives,” he says.

While successful technology

transformation starts with the client

objectives, fostering an engineering

culture that can pursue those objectives

is equally important. Establishing

the best culture possible has taken a

complex, multi-dimensional execution,

but one which has ultimately enabled

a diverse spread of knowledge to

make Broadspire highly effective.

“There’s been a shift in how we do

things,” Raedeke explains. While the

engineering teams were previously

project-based, most engineering is

now squad-based and far more versatile.

“Each of those squads is made

up of developers, user experience

designers, subject matter experts and

business analysts.” Empowering its

workers to be highly agile and independent

means that the company’s

squads can utilise their first-hand

knowledge to target better performance

through self-selected KPIs

(key performance indicators).

JUNE 2020


EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Joel Raedeke

Title: SVP Analytics and Technology

Location: Chicago, Illinois USA

Joel Raedeke is responsible for overseeing the strategy and execution of

consultative analytics, data science and technology for Broadspire US.

Joel has nearly two decades of industry experience related to RMIS, data

science, IT and business consulting all in support of establishing and

strengthening client partnerships. He began his career in the insurance

industry in 2001 as a RMIS Analyst at RSKCo CNA. When RSKCo was sold to

Broadspire, Joel became a manager of custom reporting, analytic technology

and data conversions. In 2008 he took a VP of Analytics position with a

major US-based third party administrator. In 2012, Joel rejoined Broadspire

and became a Senior Vice President charged with building teams and

technology to support Broadspire’s objective to drive

continual programme improvement for each of its

clients. In 2016, Joel was put in charge of all client

facing technology for Broadspire. In 2019, in addition

to Broadspire’s consultative analytic practice, data

science and client facing technology, Joel was asked

to oversee all technology for Broadspire US.

135

Joel holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the

Wheaton College.

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137

“I communicate to them what our

strategic objectives are,” Raedeke continues,

“but then I allow them to select

opportunities within that and then align

the KPIs they’ve selected with client

objectives.” This front-line ownership

allows for the discovery and evolution

of features that are immediately

relevant to the client and end-user.

An example of insight uncovered by

the squad-based approach relates to

the incorporation of predictive scores

within the claim process. Raedeke

says, “Some organisations incorporate

predictive models and AI by attempting

to change the nature of the work of

the end-user, but an adjuster shouldn’t

need to become a data analyst in

order to engage with benefits of data

science. In my view, AI should be happening

somewhat behind the scenes,

or at least in a way that’s curated. Our

teams have discovered how to optimise

the decisions in the claim process without

requiring the end-user to become

a data analyst him or herself.”

It’s an approach which truly highlights

the emphasis that Broadspire

canada.businesschief.com


BROADSPIRE

138

“In my view, AI should

be happening

somewhat behind the

scenes, or at least in

a way that’s curated”


Joel Raedeke,

SVP, Broadspire

JUNE 2020


places on innovation and its importance.

The company’s rapid R&D

(research and development) capabilities

are essential to driving stakeholder

value. The flexibility and innovative

mindset that this requires are reminiscent

of a startup’s approach and

Raedeke states that this is intentional.

“One of the strategies that I’ve used is

to (imaginatively) step outside of the

company to look at a problem from

another perspective. I think ‘what

would a fintech company do?’ ‘What

would a tech-first company do to solve

this problem?’.”

While establishing the right objectives

for technology and the right

culture for innovation is critical, it is

also foundational to have a unified

map of the domains for the core business.

“If we are trying to optimise

a process — let’s take the Workers

Comp claim process, for example —

it can be helpful to understand it as

a macro workflow,” Raedeke says.

“Obviously it starts when the claim is

filed, ends when the claim is closed

and has many steps in between those

points. The process gets really interesting

when you discover and map

139

canada.businesschief.com


BROADSPIRE

140

the micro workflows within the larger

claim process, each of which have their

own beginning, middle and end, some

of which are controlled by the adjustor,

some by the nurse, team leads, client

and so on. Going deeper, it is critical

to map out the various decision nodes

within and at the edges of workflows,

some of which involve a single owner

and others which require collaboration

between multiple parties. Once

this kind of mapping has been done, at

least in part, we can understand where

to integrate automation such as AI, ML

and predictive modeling.”

This complex network can make

mapping out and measuring improvement

very difficult, but Raedeke

highlights that the scalability benefit of

developing a solution from the ground

up will pay dividends in the long run.

“If you start by doing foundational work

JUNE 2020


“If you can create an

atmosphere where

innovation is occurring

naturally, my main job

then is to cultivate a

healthy, well-resourced

environment where

it can flourish”


Joel Raedeke,

SVP, Broadspire

141

first, such as entity modelling and really

mapping out a domain, this is where

concepts such as micro workflows and

decision nodes become very helpful.”

This leads back to Broadspire’s

teams being able to set their own KPIs

centred on client objectives and allow

their organic capacity for innovation

to shine through. It is this, Raedeke

says, which forms his core focus. “If

you can create an atmosphere where

innovation is occurring naturally, my

main job then is to cultivate a healthy,

well-resourced environment where it

can flourish. This is how technology

can contribute to client success.”

canada.businesschief.com


142

NY’s biggest

healthcare

provider’s

data-driven

transformation

WRITTEN BY

LEILA HAWKINS

PRODUCED BY

MIKE SADR

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

143


NORTHWELL HEALTH

Northwell Health’s Chris

Hutchins on how data and

analytics are transforming

healthcare

144

“ T

echnology has enabled us to accomplish

a lot more than we’d imagined,” says

Chris Hutchins, VP, Chief Data and

Analytics Officer for New York State’s Northwell

Health, discussing how the healthcare provider has

adapted its operations to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We basically flipped the switch one day, and most

of our workforce who are not involved with direct

patient care started working remotely. I can only

imagine that the load on the system was massive,

but we didn’t experience a lot of disruption. It’s

been remarkable,” he adds. “Our entire executive

team has taken extraordinary measures to prepare

the health system for many scenarios that involve

disruption to health system operations.”

Northwell is the largest healthcare provider

in the state with more than 72,000 employees.

Founded in 1997, it has 23 hospitals, nearly 800

outpatient facilities, medical and nursing schools,

as well as the Feinstein Institute for Medical

Research, which alone has 50 research labs. “It’s

the most truly integrated delivery network that

I’ve ever seen,” Hutchins elaborates.

JUNE 2020


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145


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NORTHWELL HEALTH

148

“Technology has

enabled us to

accomplish a

lot more than

we’d imagined”

Chris Hutchins,

VP, Chief Data and Analytics Officer

for New York State’s Northwell Health

Presently, a key focus for Northwell

is understanding the entire health

system from the patient experience

perspective. Indeed, the organisation

has a department dedicated to this

led by a Chief Experience Officer,

who, along with other members of

the executive team, examines every

aspect of potential interactions with

the health system from a patient perspective.

They assess environment

and services, noise levels, ease of

access, signage, comfort and even

the patient dining experience.

According to Hutchins, technology

is helping Northwell to achieve a more

personalised, positive patient experience.

For example, smart devices are

being deployed in inpatient units that

enable communication, entertainment,

food service options and much more.

Its use, says Hutchins, is “about providing

the patients with some of the

comforts of home”.

For some time, healthcare has

been shifting to a preventive model,

with the aim of reducing the need for

hospitalisations. “Thanks to technology

and advances in medicine there

are more and more services that

can be done in outpatient settings

or in same-day surgery facilities so

that patients don’t require long-term

hospitalisation,” Hutchins affirms.

Telemedicine, which makes virtual

appointments with clinicians possible,

and chatbot technology, which helps

JUNE 2020


Northwell Health Fertility –

State of the Art Fertility Clinic

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:03

149

to rapidly identify patient test results

and is integrated with the electronic

medical records (EMR) have come to

the forefront. According to Hutchins:

Northwell is really depending on

these types of technology, particularly

right now, because we have to

limit our interactions due to social

distancing guidelines.”

This has taken on greater significance

due to the impact of the global

COVID-19 pandemic. For example,

patients are being given smart

devices so they can communicate

with their families while they’re in

isolation, which Hutchins says, has

been received very well. “I have heard

a number of stories where patients

were having to say goodbye to their

family this way, although my favourite

stories are the ones where the

patient recovered and was reunited

with loved ones. Those are the best

stories of course, but, sadly they’re

not all like that. But just being able to

deploy innovative technologies and

solutions that we previously hadn’t in

order to make that kind of difference

for those receiving healthcare is

really significant.”

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Hutchins has been interested in

healthcare since his early days, when

his mother worked in a hospital radiology

department. During vacations

and on weekends he gained valuable

experience, learning about managing

care from the ground up. “I liked the

idea of being able to help people,” he

says, “and over the years I have had

amazing opportunities to get involved

in new areas.”

A variety of roles followed, from

working in back-end operations

scheduling appointments and coding

visits from physicians’ notes, to

learning how to build databases and

integrating budgeting systems, until

he was heading up reporting and

analytics, which led to a role as an

IT director. His duties grew untill he

was responsible for building out new

facilities when practices expanded,

and for big enterprise analytics. This

eventually led to a role where he was

responsible for extending an enterprise

data warehouse function while

integrating three different data warehouse

environments, and helping to

lead implementation of a new consolidated

EMR. A year or two into this role he

1997

Year founded

$12.5bn

Revenue in

US dollars

72,000

Number of

employees

was blessed with the opportunity

to join Northwell Health.

Over the course of his over

20-year career in healthcare he’s

seen how data and analytics have

increased in importance. “It’s only

really been in the last decade or so

that companies in the US have had

a chief data officer,” he says. “It’s a

result of recognising the important

role that data and analytics play,

in helping you to make decisions and

in developing effective strategies

that not only support your business,

but improve and grow it.”

151

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“It’s a result of recognising the important role

that data and analytics play, in helping you

to make decisions and to develop effective

strategies that not only support your business,

but improve and grow it”

Chris Hutchins,

VP, Chief Data and Analytics Officer

for New York State’s Northwell Health

The value of data and analytics is

particularly evident in the midst of the

current crisis. Northwell’s emergency

operations centre uses analytics to monitor

call center volumes, occupancy rates,

staffing and load balancing and multiple

other critical data points to enable coordination

of critical activities. Hutchins

explains: “We’re monitoring where we

have capacity to send the patients so

that there are no surprises and sites are

prepared when patients arrive.”

The company also uses analytics to

make predictions such as anticipating

what the demand for ICU beds,

ventilators and personal protective

equipment will be, along with how

many staff and transportation vehicles

are needed. “It helps us to see in which

locations we’ll need vehicles, and

where we’ll need to bring in assistance

from the countless professionals

that have come to support us in New

York from across the country, as well

as local and state government. All of

those things are being supported with

data and analytics.”

Similarly, analytics is also enabling

the company to better coordinate

care so it can provide the right level of

information for scheduling, for example

when a patient is due for various

screenings, or lab testing.

153

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NORTHWELL HEALTH

154

“We really have a unique opportunity

to make significant discoveries if we

can harness this data. I believe it could

reveal tremendous transformational

insights that can have a positive impact

for future generations”

Chris Hutchins,

VP, Chief Data and Analytics Officer

for New York State’s Northwell Health

JUNE 2020


Hutchins says that one of the things

that’s been most impactful is the creation

of a registry that’s updated in near

real time. By analysing records, including

data from clinical systems, billing

data from insurance claims, and other

information, the company is able to tell

if a patient is due for a test, for example.

“We’re looking at virtually every patient

in every emergency room we have in

the health system, understanding how

long they’ve been there, how long it’s

taking for them to be seen from the

minute they walk in. We’re understanding

what the workflow is that will predict

where we need to increase staffing

levels. It’s tied into our emergency

operations centre, so they’re able to

determine where to route patients that

call in for emergency services.

“We’re also using datasets to manage

emergency response vehicles,

and understanding what’s happening in

the geographic locations that we serve,”

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Chris Hutchins

155

Title: VP, Chief Data & Analytics Officer

Industry: Healthcare

Location: New York

Chris is a senior health care leader with over 20 years’ of

experience developing analytic teams, establishing data

governance, data warehousing and business intelligence

implementation, delivering solutions focused on patient

experience, outcomes, cost, population health, quality,

regulatory and risk based arrangements, revenue cycle,

health system operations. He has extensive experience

with organisational transformation and specialises in

integrating analytic, IT and Informatics teams

across organisational lines to improve solution

delivery and enabling data driven insight.

www.businesschief.com


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he continues. “This means we’re able

to anticipate where surges may arise,

and so can move those emergency

response vehicles proactively so we

can respond quickly. It’s heavily used

in logistics, and we’ve seen that more

so with Covid than ever before.”

Internally, Northwell has several key

partnerships that help it manage its

operations. GE Healthcare has been

the company’s enterprise physician

revenue cycle tool for a number of

years, using its billing and accounts

receivable management and analytics.

Tableau Software is used for

enterprise data visualisation across

multiple departments, including strategy,

quality, operations and finance

because, as Hutchins explains, it’s

intuitive and easy to interact with.

SAP is widely used for cost accounting

and financial reporting; it also

uses Sutherland Healthcare Solutions

for robotic process automation,

primarily focused on revenue cycle

areas presently.

Allscripts provides the enterprise

electronic medical records platform as

well as managed IT services. Northwell

and Allscripts are teaming up to build

157

Clinical Laboratory of New York

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:12

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a next-generation EHR that will incorporate

input from physicians, nurses and

other medical experts and relies on an

infrastructure that includes voice recognition,

clinical decision support, artificial

intelligence and machine learning.

Looking ahead, Northwell continues

working on a platform that they have

deployed that allows patients to interact

directly with the health system,

using the web and their smartphones

to schedule appointments, search

for physicians who can treat specific

problems — for example by typing in

simple keyworks like ‘joint pain’ — and

even look for healthy food options in

their area.

“I’d like to see us continue to grow

and I’m sure that we will,” Hutchins

says, “doing more breakthrough

research and innovation, particularly

for cancer prevention and treatment.

I want to see us continue to attract

the best minds for research, medical

practice, Information Technology and

data science.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity

here in the New York City area. We

have an enormous population centre

that’s incredibly diverse, and has representation

of the population across

the globe,” he adds. “We’ve been accumulating

data for a couple of decades

here that would take an unlimited supply

of money, and a lot of time to build

a similar infrastructure in other parts of

the world to start capturing this data.

We really have a unique opportunity

to make significant discoveries if we

can harness this data. I believe it could

reveal tremendous transformational

insights that can have a positive impact

for future generations.”

159

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160

JUNE 2020


Knowledge,

experience,

commitment:

Bleakley leverages

161

fintech

WRITTEN

BY

JOHN O’HANLON

PRODUCED BY

SHIRIN SADR

www.businesschief.com


BLEAKLEY FINANCIAL

Bleakley Financial’s CDO

Kyle Wesley discusses

digital transformation in a

growing asset and wealth

management company

162

B

leakley today has a team of some 43

advisors on its team, managing more

than US$6bn in client assets. In 2015, it

decided to go independent and spin out from the

umbrella of Northwestern, opting to provide advisory

services through LPL Financial’s hybrid RIA

platform for its custodial and brokerage services.

Since then, Bleakley has doubled assets under

management, attracting more than 15 new advisors

since the beginning of 2018 alone.

Bleakley has expanded its footprint to a dozen

offices nationwide, the latest at Dayton, Ohio. The

headquarters, where most of its 80-plus staff

work, remains at Fairfield, NJ and the sum the

firm manages is between advisory, financial planning

brokerage and 401(k) retirement planning

business, according to Kyle Wesley, who joined

Bleakley’s leadership team early in 2016 and has

been Chief Digital Officer (CDO) since May 2019.

To an organisation like Bleakley Financial, financial

technology or fintech is the key to not only to

the reliable and smooth running of its operations,

processes and communications, but also to its

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

163


BLEAKLEY FINANCIAL

164

“We eventually

went to RedBlack,

which we felt was

by far the best

fit specifically

for our business”


Kyle Wesley,

CDO, Bleakley Financial

ability to continue to expand. “I am

responsible for all of our internal digital

technology, setting up compliant practices

when new offices are onboarding,

making sure they understand that

technology, making sure that we’re

reviewing our internal technology and

generally ensuring that we function

day-to-day,” explains Wesley.

Before he came on board, Bleakley

had committed to Morningstar’s tRx

(Total Rebalance Expert) solution for

household rebalancing alongside its

core portfolio accounting platform

Orion. It was an ad hoc decision that

worked well at the time, he explains,

though after a while tRx showed it

wasn’t flexible enough to service clients’

portfolios across the book in a

tax-efficient way and update their legacy

positions. Rebalancing portfolios

at scale when Bleakley has more than

10,000 accounts on its books, each

containing a complex mix of assets, is

a hard-to-solve challenge. “This led us

to look at other platforms; we eventually

went to RedBlack, which we felt

was by far the best fit specifically for

our business.”

Bleakley needs to be flexible around

JUNE 2020


Fourth Quarter 2019 Analysis

& 2020 Expectations

CLICK TO WATCH | 5:41

165

its standard portfolios and also to be

able to move tactically to take advantage

of movements in the markets,

something that was not easy under

the former system. “Now when our

advisors make a decision to buy a particular

asset we can see at once what

the sale price is, and then go back and

prorate other securities down to move

fast and at scale, seamlessly across

our entire database. As the firm continues

to grow we need that flexibility to

satisfy our clients’ needs. At the same

time we need to be able to administer

it; our analysts do most of the trading,

and we need to segment out different

groups because one group may operate

a little bit differently than another.”

The need to have multiple users of

the system doing 100 tasks simultaneously

and efficiently is what led them

to RedBlack, he says. “We can run

hundreds of accounts a minute, where

previously we didn’t have that ability.

So as we grow, it’s just become more

and more important that we can trade

seamlessly right across the whole

book of business.”

For Kyle Wesley, Bleakley’s commitment

to its clients from corporate

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BLEAKLEY FINANCIAL

166

executives and large institutions to

small business owners and retirees

dictates the focus of the digital transformation

he leads. Last year has been

a busy one for him and his team. As

well as onboarding new businesses

in some numbers and concluding the

shift from tRx to RedBlack they have

affected a radical upgrade in their

approach to CRM. For a company

whose credibility lies in the trust of its

customers, this was an operation that

had to be carried out with sensitivity.

The functionality within Salesforce

had served well, but once again, added

flexibility was felt to be needed in the

CRM platform, tying in advisors and

clients with sales fluctuations and a

number of other variables. The platform

chosen was Practifi, which now

overlays Salesforce. “The move was

in response to the growing number of

requests we were getting from users,”

says Wesley. “We encourage staff to

speak up when they have an idea. We

couldn’t execute on a number of those

ideas given our current Salesforce

environment.” We were telling them

JUNE 2020


they could make small changes like

adding a field here and there, but we

couldn’t make big changes which is

what an office our size needed.”

The migration from standard

Salesforce to Practifi involved a true

database migration as opposed to a

plug and play implementation, and carrying

this out successfully is, he says,

the achievement he and the team are

proudest of since it was so challenging.

“When you are making changes

to a trading platform you are perhaps

affecting a quarter of the office: when

you’re dealing with a CRM migration,

every single user in the office has

their business disrupted. As advisors

prepare to review for a client I need

to know all the past interactions and

planning notes. Now I have AUM, my

clients, their family members, dates

of birth, emails – everything – on a

one page tear sheet, something we

couldn’t even have dreamed of in the

old system.”

And, at the same time, he’s able to

get metrics more reliably through

Salesforce, with neat data integrations 167

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Kyle Wesley

Title: Chief Digital Officer

Industry: Financial Services Location: New York

Kyle Wesley is the Chief Digital Officer for Bleakley Financial

Group. He officially joined the firm in 2016 but worked very closely

with its operations team as a Senior Trader with LPL, one of

Bleakley’s five custodial platforms. After joining the firm, he

became an integral part in the expansion of its technology

platform – from enhancing its reporting capabilities to

implementing a new CRM system for its advisor teams.

Kyle’s key focus is to continue growing the digital

platform of Bleakley, ensuring that the experience

benefits both the advisors and its clients.

www.businesschief.com


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“When you are making

changes to a trading

platform you are

perhaps affecting a

quarter of the office:

when you’re dealing

with a CRM migration,

every single user in

the office has their

business disrupted”


Kyle Wesley,

CDO, Bleakley Financial

with Orion. “Orion is definitely the

data hub of everything,” he explains.

“Data flows from custodians like LPL,

Pershing, Schwab, TD and Fidelity into

Orion where it’s reconciled and made

available by 0830 Eastern Time each

day. We can migrate that information

to Practifi/RedBlack to display it to our

advisors. This is a very robust system.”

At a guess he reckons the new

systems have doubled the internal efficiency

of the business. It has definitely

increased the capacity of Bleakley’s

analysts and client service associates

to get data to the advisor quicker,

169

About Bleakley

CLICK TO WATCH | 4:41

www.businesschief.com


BLEAKLEY FINANCIAL

170

COMPANY FACTS

Bleakley Disclaimer

Securities offered through

LPL Financial, Member

FINRA/SIPC. Investment

advice offered through

Private Advisor Group,

a registered investment

advisor. Private Advisor

Group and Bleakley

Financial Group are

separate entities from

LPL Financial.

JUNE 2020


“We can run

hundreds of

accounts a minute,

where previously

we didn’t have

that ability”


Kyle Wesley,

CDO, Bleakley Financial

prepare for their meetings, and made

them more proactive in growing

their business. Within such a diverse

organisation people accept change

at different speeds, Wesley admits.

“Some people struggled with the

CRM migration but now we’re getting

feedback that it was the best decision

we’ve ever made, and that they love

the Practifi migration!”

Bleakley’s vision is to become the

top wealth management firm in the

Northeast area, doubling its size in the

next four or five years. It will depend

heavily on digitisation of its operations

to achieve that. “We’re recruiting heavily

right now,” concludes Kyle Wesley.

171

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BLEAKLEY FINANCIAL

172

JUNE 2020


173

2015

Year founded

$6bn

Revenue under

management

80

Number of

employees

www.businesschief.com


BLEAKLEY FINANCIAL


175

“We’re trying

to create a

company and

a culture that

allows advisors

to do what

they’re best at”

“Unlike some of the big wirehouses,

we’re trying to create a company and

a culture that allows advisors to do

what they’re best at and make sure we

actually align with their goals. When

someone asks: what does your advisor

do for you? We want our clients to say,

“Everything – Bleakley literally does

everything for me!”


Kyle Wesley,

CDO, Bleakley Financial

www.businesschief.com


176

INNOVATION

IN COMMUNICATION

TECHNOLOGY

WRITTEN BY

WILL GIRLING

PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

177


STAR2STAR

Michelle Accardi, President and

CRO, explains why Star2Star’s

industry-recognised communications

solutions are so popular and

why remote working is the

company’s 2020 focus

178

W

ith the new paradigm of remote working

suddenly becoming a necessity for many

businesses stemming from the COVID-19

(coronavirus) pandemic, having a solid communications

network with the latest technology has taken on

global importance. It is arguable that few companies

are poised to remedy the situation quite like Star2Star.

Having recently enhanced its remote work solutions

with extended features and capabilities, the

company understands the current challenges

that businesses face when transitioning to a remote

environment. Star2Star’s bespoke communications

solutions factor in the size, operational scope and

technical requirements for businesses of various

operational models and industry backgrounds.

Relatively unique in the industry, all of Star2Star’s

enterprise solutions are developed in-house, meaning

they are seamlessly compatible with each

other and able to be scaled up or down depending

on the customer’s requirement. It was this aspect

of the company which attracted Michelle Accardi,

President and Chief Revenue Officer, to join

Star2Star in 2013. Having previously worked in

a range of different roles at companies such as

JUNE 2020


www.businesschief.com

179


STAR2STAR

180

“I can relate to the challenges of my partners and

my customers because I know fully understand

what they’re facing”


Michelle Accardi,

President and Chief Revenue Officer,

Star2Star

CA Technologies, Accardi states

that these experiences have created

her holistic approach to working at

Star2Star. “I’ve been in all areas of

the technology and communications

business, whether that’s development,

operations, marketing or sales. I can

relate to the challenges of my partners

and my customers because I fully

understand what they’re facing.”

This expertise also helps Accardi

focus on how to direct Star2Star’s

efforts in developing solutions that

meet and answer a market need.

When the subject of her being recognised

by CRN as a Channel Chief – an

endorsement of an individual’s effective

management and high standing

in the business community – for the

sixth year consecutively is mentioned,

Accardi is modest and states that

she is simply happy to play a part in

Star2Star’s mission. “It means a lot and

to be recognised for building a business

that enables other companies

JUNE 2020


Star2Star — A New Perspective

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:30

181

to be successful,” she explains. “Being

recognised as a Channel Chief means

that you’re truly impacting a greater

ecosystem of people and reaching

more customers. So, I think it’s quite

an honour.”

The breadth of Star2Star’s expertise

and the crafted integration of

its platform are, for Accardi, vital. Its

cloud-based business phone and

communications facilities, including

VoIP (voice over IP) services and

its enterprise solutions platform

deliver the reliability, flexibility and

integrity required of a corporate

communications system. Possessing

a portfolio that includes solutions

for voice, video, instant messaging,

mobile, fax, collaboration, integration

and communications management

tools, Star2Star’s comprehensive

solution set is designed to meet every

business need.

When asked what trends she sees

as important, Accardi has a simple and

prescient answer: the cloud. “There

are still some companies that aren’t in

the cloud and that is something which

will either drive transformation, or, if

they don’t adapt, could result in them

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DESK PHONES

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STAR2STAR

184

“It means a lot and to be recognised for building

a business that enables other companies to be

successful”


Michelle Accardi,

President and Chief Revenue Officer,

Star2Star

going out of business.” She goes on

to address Star2Star’s new positioning,

saying, “We’re changing how we

talk about our platform. We previously

called it a full spectrum solution

because it offers end-to-end applications,

but now I’m envisioning it as more

of a ‘complete cloud communications’

platform.” The importance of the cloud

for Star2Star cannot be overemphasised,

as it is the environment from

which the company’s vision of a complete

integrated platform sprang; it was

by leveraging the inherent potential of

the cloud that the company is able to

offer its scalable and seamlessly interwoven

solutions.

For Accardi, it is the company’s inhouse

development capabilities which

JUNE 2020


EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Michelle Accardi

Title: President and Chief Revenue Officer

Industry: Telecommunications

Location: Florida, United States

As President and Chief Revenue Officer, Michelle’s mission is to inspire and maintain

growth for the company and its partners and ensure that customers get significant value

from Star2Star’s products and services. Michelle works with the executive leadership

team of Star2Star to define long-term vision and operational strategy to assure that

growth and market potential are achieved. In pursuit of this goal, Michelle sees as a

primary function of her role to engage and listen to employees, partners, and customers

to gather information needed to keep Star2Star on the optimal strategic path. In this

way, customer success is assured as employees and partners are inspired to deliver an

excellent product and experience with every interaction. In her previous position as the

company’s Chief Operating Officer, Michelle used these same methods to develop new

processes and systems to streamline business interactions. She grew departmental

leadership and expanded Star2Star’s support capabilities to better serve customer

and partner needs. Michelle is also regarded a technical thought leader on nextgeneration

marketing and communications strategies. Her book, Agile Marketing,

chronicles her experiences applying agile methodology to the marketing process

for better results and faster time to value. She brought her substantial

executive-level and tech industry experience with her to Star2Star, having

driven innovative, agile, revenue-producing field and channel marketing

programs for one of the world’s most relied upon technology companies,

Computer Associates. In 2016, Michelle was named to the CRN 2016 Power

100 – an elite subset of CRN’s prestigious annual Women of the Channel

list – for the second year in a row. In 2015, she was named a CRN Channel

Chief, an annual list representing select leaders in the IT channel who

hold direct responsibility for driving growth and revenue through the

reseller channel. In 2014, Michelle was honored to be named

Businesswoman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Michelle

holds an MBA from American Intercontinental University and earned her

bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida.

185

www.businesschief.com


STAR2STAR

Tour de Star

186

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:42

JUNE 2020


2006

Year founded

99.4%

Customer retention rate

250+

Number of

employees

187

www.businesschief.com


STAR2STAR

188

“Our mission this

year is to help

other companies

that are going

to struggle”


Michelle Accardi,

President and Chief Revenue Officer,

Star2Star

distinguish it from its competitors.

“The technology we’ve built ourselves

enables really great call quality and

capabilities for a good price, whereas

other companies, because they’re

dependent on third-party products,

whether it’s video or contact centre,

it drives their costs up,” she states.

“Because our competitors only have

the ability to work with third-party

products, they don’t have something

that’s built specifically for their network

JUNE 2020


to ensure call quality.” This end-to-end

development forms the crux of what

makes Star2Star so valuable in today’s

market: it’s a company that wants to

provide great value to its customers by

bundling services together and scaling

the product to suit their business needs.

And its approach seems to be working:

Star2Star has an impressive 99.4%

customer retention rate amongst its

thousands of clients, a sure indicator

of the perceived quality of its services.

With the need for reliable communication

networks growing rapidly as

more workforces settle into working

from home, Accardi views remote

working and business continuity as

paramount to the company’s vision for

the rest of 2020. “Thankfully, Star2Star

is a very financially healthy organisation.

Our mission this year is to help other

companies that are going to struggle,”

she says. Identifying the assistance of

other businesses and organisations is

characteristic of Accardi’s approach

and representative of Star2Star overall.

Its flexibility, diversity and tech

expertise packaged with a highly

customer-oriented approach has

already earned it acclaim and is sure to

build a strong reputation in the North

American communications sector. “We

have solutions for every business, big

and small,” Accardi concludes. “We

believe what we offer is far better than

what customers could get piecemeal or

even in bundles from other competitors.

We’re focused on doing everything we

can to help companies as they deal with

the new challenges of remote working.”

189

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190

Servus Credit

Union: the

changing

landscape of

cybersecurity

WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON

PRODUCED BY

JAKE MEGEARY

JUNE 2020


canada.businesschief.com

191


SERVUS CREDIT UNION

Jakub Mamos, Vice President

of IS Risk Management at Servus

Credit Union, discusses the

evolution of cybersecurity and the

adoption of innovative technology

192

J

akub Mamos has always been intrigued by

both the security and technology spaces,

especially where the two connect.

“I was always fascinated by computers, encryption

algorithms and cryptography in general, as well

as the overall concept of security. I started my

career working for a utility company in data security,

working on systems that were still connected

to mainframes. I have been very fortunate to work

with very smart people within the industry, who

helped me to combine technology and security in

a meaningful and productive way. Over the years I

have progressed from security analyst to security

architect, through to private consulting, working

for construction and financial companies,” says

Mamos. Today, Mamos is the Vice President of IS

Risk Management at Servus Credit Union, which

he has been working for since 2011 with responsibilities

including operating information risk

management, cybersecurity, change management

and disaster recovery.

JUNE 2020


canada.businesschief.com

193


SERVUS CREDIT UNION

Servus Credit Union:

The Servus Origin Story

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:10

194

Servus Credit Union is a memberowned

and community-based financial

institution which dates back to 1938.

“Servus Credit Union’s primary concern

is making sure its members are taken

care of and receive excellent financial

products and services, as well as

committing to sustainability and giving

back to the community,” says Mamos.

“Our vision is to ‘shape member financial

fitness’, which can be applied in

multiple ways, be it to help people stay

financially fit in terms of planning for

the future, saving and maintaining a

good credit score, or to help financial

businesses maintain security,” he adds.

Since joining the company nine years

ago, Mamos has seen the institution

go through several mergers, consolidating

its operations in order to be as

effective and efficient as possible

while maintaining its core mission

and service to its members. “Over the

years we have grown – when I started

we had just under $10bn of financial

assets, now we have over $16.3bn with

400,000 members, which we plan to

double in the next few years. We have

JUNE 2020


also evolved new initiatives in regards

to innovative technology to provide the

most value for our members.”

Within the industry, Mamos has seen

cybersecurity evolve many times over

the years. “When I started in the industry,

the primary focuses were internal

matters such as file security, email

security and spam. Compare that to

today, where we have advanced levels

“Our purpose

is to ‘shape

member financial

fitness’, which

can be applied

in multiple ways”

of criminal activity such as phishing, —

fraudulent transactions and taking over Jakub Mamos,

Vice President IS Risk Management,

accounts. Therefore it is important for

Servus Credit Union

organisations to remember that, while 195

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Jakub Mamos

Title: Vice-President IS Risk Management

Industry: Financial Services Location: Canada

Jakub Mamos is the Vice-President IS Risk Management with Servus Credit

Union, and a passionate security practitioner. Jakub has worked in both

the physical and information realms of the security industry for over

25 years. His leadership roles in the security space include stints

in various industries, including utilities, consulting, non-forprofit,

government and financial services. Jakub received his

BA in Sociology and Political Science in 1998 and Master of

Information Systems Security Management from Concordia

University as a member of the first graduating class in 2007,

and has held his CISSP designation since 2003.

canada.businesschief.com


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“When I started we

had just under $10bn

of financial assets,

now we have over

$16.3bn with 400,000

members, which we

plan to double in the

next few years”


Jakub Mamos,

Vice President IS Risk Management,

Servus Credit Union

everybody wants to deliver innovations

and provide their customers and

members the best experience as fast

as possible, companies need to ensure

that securing those innovations isn’t

overlooked,” says Mamos.

Other challenges within cybersecurity

that Mamos has faced include the

lack of borders with digital clients:

“If you wanted to rob a bank you would

have to physically be there in order to

execute a robbery. With the interconnectivity

of different countries and

jurisdictions it’s much easier to move

money around, and while this is a positive

for customers, it is important to

be responsive in an innovative way to

combat criminals and ensure that interconnectivity

remains a positive.” To

enhance cybersecurity within its own

operations, Mamos explains the importance

of of data for the company.. “If

you don’t know, then you can’t respond.

At Servus Credit Union we are heavily

investing in data gathering, monitoring,

analysis and automation. We are using

a combination of machine learning,

artificial intelligence, data analytics,

advanced analytics and predictive

analytics to detect anomalies and stay

ahead of potential threats.”

However, Mamos highlights that

within the world of technology, people

tend to focus on the ‘coolest’ or ‘latest’

technology, sometimes forgetting

about the principles. “It’s not that we

don’t use innovative technology, but

perhaps it is better to call it innovative

approaches. Being able to be responsive

is something that in this space is

unfortunately not a common occurrence.

It is important to go back to

basics to ensure that the simple things

are in place to build a strong foundation

197

canada.businesschief.com


SERVUS CREDIT UNION

198

JUNE 2020


“If you don’t know,

then you can’t

respond. At Servus

Credit Union we are

heavily investing

in data gathering,

monitoring, analysis

and automation”


Jakub Mamos,

Vice President IS Risk Management,

Servus Credit Union

199

for digital transformation.” In addition

to this approach, Mamos states that

Servus Credit Union is working to truly

integrate security within every aspect

of the organisation, as well as authenticating

all internal communications.

“It’s more than just an add on - security

provides value in ways that people may

not have originally thought. Security

technology monitors for potential

anomalies in vast amounts of data, and

sometimes anomalies are not always

security related. Sometime the analysis

canada.businesschief.com


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Our specialists can help you determine a comprehensive and secure

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Learn more at CDW.ca or by contacting your CDW account

team at 587.441.5156

of data can lead to business opportunities,

adding more than just assurance

and security to a business.”

When it comes to security management,

Mamos highlights the

importance of managing the ‘human

element’ of cybersecurity. “In our environment,

security is people, process

and technology, and they all have to

work in unison. No matter how good

your process and your technology is,

you need to invest in people in order to

see the biggest value. Which is why we

invest in education, working with people

and explaining the purpose of a new

JUNE 2020


process or technology to increase the

effectiveness of our security.”

Key trends Mamos is seeing within

data analytics, Big Data and data governance

are the increases in pragmatic

approaches. “In today’s economic

climate you have to be able to show the

value. We have been entrusted with all

that data to make security decisions

and offer protection, so we need to

look beyond assurance, protection and

security, to look at how we can utilise

it even further. Which I think is where

Big Data, data analytics, machine

learning and artificial intelligence are

really important. Data governance is

the same in terms of maintaining data,

managing it and providing direction in

order to enable business disruption,

while ensuring you are compliant with

rules and regulations.”

When reflecting on the organisation’s

operations, Mamos highlights

that he is “very fortunate to have a

core group of partners that I can rely

on no matter what. Our partners are

an important part of our operations to

drive innovation and success.” When

forming these partnerships Mamos

explains that, although it’s a simplistic

approach, he looks for companies

that “treat people how they want to

be treated. “I am very transparent and

direct with our partners while maintaining

ethics,” he says. Accordingly,

Mamos believes that Servus Credit

Union’s biggest strengths are “being a

diverse, member owned organisation.”

201

canada.businesschief.com


202

JUNE 2020


203

HOOPP: delivering

a world-class

digital IT strategy

WRITTEN BY

MATT HIGH

PRODUCED BY

JAKE MEGEARY

canada.businesschief.com


HEALTHCARE OF ONTARIO PENSION PLAN (HOOPP)

HOOPP’s Reno Bugiardini

discusses how an innovative IT

digital transformation strategy

has seen the business thrive

against COVID-19 disruption

204

W

hen Reno Bugiardini and his colleagues

reached the culmination of a sweeping,

innovative three-year IT strategy at the

end of 2019, the disruption and impact to countless

industries worldwide as a result of the COVID-19

pandemic was still a way off. That plan, which

aligned with the broader five-year strategic plan

at Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP),

has driven vast change within the organisation.

It was, says Bugiardini, based around three fundamental

areas of focus: a cloud-first approach,

adopting Agile working methods, and ‘flattening’,

through the creation of teams aligned to business

groups, a previously hierarchical structure. “Our

goal has always been to ensure that we are the

single point of contact for the business, and that

all departments feel they can come to us with any

of their priorities. This is helped by the fact that I

report directly to the CEO and am part of the senior

executive team, which is not always the case for

IT heads in organisations. By giving IT a seat at the

executive table, HOOPP ensures that our digital

strategy is aligned to the organisation’s strategy.”

JUNE 2020


canada.businesschief.com

205


HEALTHCARE OF ONTARIO PENSION PLAN (HOOPP)

206

“From an IT

perspective,

it’s a new

adventure”


Reno Bugiardini,

Senior Vice President, Information

Technology & Facilities Services, HOOPP

That the strategy was a success,

and positioned the organisation well

for years to come, is something of

which Bugiardini, who has been with

the business since 2002, is rightly

proud. That it also placed HOOPP in

an enviably strong position to seamlessly

navigate any potential disruption

from COVID-19 is remarkable.

Bugiardini is a driven and highly

experienced innovator and leader.

He holds the position of Senior Vice

President, Information Technology

& Facilities Services at HOOPP, a

role that sees him responsible for

providing strategic vision and direction

for IT and facilities services at

the organisation.

HOOPP is a defined benefit pension

plan that is tailored to the healthcare

sector and provides financial security

for industry workers in retirement.

The organisation’s purpose, says

Bugiardini, is to “deliver on the

pension promise”. To facilitate this,

the IT division has to serve the entire

organisation and, most significantly

two core functions: investment management

and pension administration.

The latter two are directly responsible

for the investing and pension admin

respectively, with IT empowering

them to do so in the most effective

JUNE 2020


Thank you from all of us

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:27

207

way. “We’re a world-class IT organisation

that exists to provide and enable

innovative solutions and strategies

to the entire business,” he explains,

expanding on the core aspects of the

three-year strategy he was tasked

with leading. “The way in which we

deliver those IT services over the last

three years has absolutely evolved –

it has to, so as to ensure we maintain

the competitive advantage that differentiates

us in the sector.

“We exist to deliver the very best

solutions to our business partners,

but if we don’t have a progressive,

innovative IT organisation that’s

impossible,” he continues. “Each of

those three areas – cloud-first, Agile

and the restructuring – gives us the

ability to innovate, to be a flexible

strategic partner and to develop quick

proof of concepts for the business

when it’s exploring new opportunities.

Take being cloud-first as an

example. Moving over 95% of our

compute infrastructure to the cloud

gives us a scalability and flexibility

that just wouldn’t be feasible with a

self-managed data centre, and it means

we can explore and scale at minimal

canada.businesschief.com


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Senior ObjectSharp Consultant @HOOPP

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plan to deliver its pension promise to its more than

350,000 members.

Since 2014, ObjectSharp’s team of senior consultants

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Initially embedded with HOOPP’s Investment Services

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increasing software delivery velocity and quality with

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building HOOPP’s first reusable React UI component

library, used by HOOPP’s in-house team of

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using infrastructure as code to reduce help desk

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- Reno Bugiardini

Senior Vice President, Information Technology


HEALTHCARE OF ONTARIO PENSION PLAN (HOOPP)

210

cost and meet business needs when

required. Similarly, now that we’re an

Agile development shop, we’re much

closer to our business partners –

aligned in teams so we can deliver

solutions significantly faster and

more accurately. The result is that

our business is leveraging solutions

sooner to meet their business needs

and demands. We can leverage

the advantages and opportunities

of cloud to very quickly procurecompute

and explore new ideas

and complete tasks in two-week

sprints whereas, previously, that just

wouldn’t have been attainable for us.”

Naturally, achieving such a technological

transformation relies on

close collaboration with best-inclass

partners. Bugiardini is keen to

highlight two in particular: Thinkwise

has been instrumental in our migration

to the cloud and the decommissioning

of our self-managed data centre,”

he explains. “They provided consultation,

leadership, and programme

planning, which made for an overall

far more seamless transition. Similarly,

JUNE 2020


ObjectSharp has been a key partner in

our digital transformation over the last

six years, working embedded within

HOOPP to identify and unlock value,

solve complex problems, and coach

our teams in the Agile delivery model.”

Of course, global events this year

have created a landscape in which

traditional approaches to business

count for little. As an organisation

HOOPP has responded rapidly, recognising

the unprecedented change

facing its members and launching

a series of measures that address

concerns and allow HOOPP to

continue to deliver on its pension

promise. This ability to continue providing

the highest levels of service

was greatly helped by the tireless

work of Bugiardini and his team

to deliver that digital strategy.

From the challenging transition

to a significant remote working

programme, through to continuing

to serve the needs of the organisation,

the scalable, flexible and newly

restructured HOOPP business has

allowed COVID-19 disruption to be

211

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Reno Bugiardini

Title: SVP, Information Technology & Facilities Services

Industry: Financial Services Location: Toronto, Canada

Reno brings with him more than 25 years of IT leadership

experience from various industries. He is an innovative leader

focusing on providing his business clients with agile technical

solutions that are driven by business requirements,

challenges and opportunities. Having a great passion for IT

and its dyanmic nature drives Reno, accompanied with his

strong client service attitude. This ensures that his team

delivers technical solutions aligned with HOOPP’s strategy

that are enablers and differentiators to our business.

canada.businesschief.com


CONGRATULATIONS HOOPP ON YOUR

TRANSFORMATIONAL SUCCESS!!

Thought provoking leadership with sensible governance

Unleash the potential of cloud

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dealt with in a remarkably seamless

fashion, he recounts. “We’d been

closely monitoring the crisis through

our Business Continuity Management

programme since early January,

considering the impact on our organisation,

and modifying operations

accordingly. It was on 12 March that

we took the biggest step yet – to move

to work-from-home for the whole

organisation. With more than 700 people,

that’s not a small transition. The

IT team had practiced before and,

of course, we had contingency plans,

but that they managed to do it

successfully with few challenges in a

72-hour period borders on the heroic.

The team did a great job that weekend

and really demonstrated the importance

of the work we have done.”

Indeed, the most noticeable challenge

– a VPN performance issue

– was rapidly dealt with. “We were

able to procure additional hardware,

we spun up another VPN, mobilised

our IT team to test it and ensure functionality

with minimal disruption to the

business,” Bugiardini says. “In a traditional

data centre or workspace that

capability simply wouldn’t be possible.

JUNE 2020


“We’re a world-class

IT organisation that

exists to provide the

very best services to

the entire business”


Reno Bugiardini,

Senior Vice President, Information

Technology & Facilities Services, HOOPP

Similarly, if we didn’t have that Agile

way of working and our teams organised

the way we do, I don’t think we’d

have been able to achieve what we

did to accommodate the business

in 72 hours.”

That success is testament to the

effectiveness of Bugiardini’s digital

vision for HOOPP. Indeed, so watertight

were the deliverables of the

strategy that he somewhat casually

describes the process as “really

just moving folks from the physical

office to their homes. Because of the

infrastructure in place many of the

concerns being discussed about such

a transition – cybersecurity, for example

– just haven’t really been a concern

for us”. On that point, it should be

noted that the transition to the cloud

in particular was fortuitous, affording

Bugiardini and HOOPP a level of security

that, instead of disruption, saw

the company effectively in a ‘situation

normal’ mode.

Technology aside, Bugiardini is a

keen proponent of the benefit of flattening

the structure within an IT team,

a process he describes as critical

to the way in which the organisation

operates. “You don’t have red tape,”

he says, “and that makes everything

more simple. People and teams are

empowered to make their own decisions

and to take ownership of the

results.” He refers back to the performance

challenges experienced

during that hectic first 72-hour period

as a good example of this. “We had

speed and the agility to do whatever

we needed to. There were several

213

canada.businesschief.com


HEALTHCARE OF ONTARIO PENSION PLAN (HOOPP)

214

1960

Year founded

$94.1bn

Assets in

Cdn dollars

725

Number of

employees

JUNE 2020


“We can leverage the

advantage of cloud

to very quickly

procure compute

and explore new

ideas and complete

tasks in two-week

sprints”


Reno Bugiardini,

Senior Vice President, Information

Technology & Facilities Services, HOOPP

automation and process tasks in that

initial period that just happened; no

one needed approval to carry out a

task, or to ensure they were in sync

with the broader thinking of the business.

If we weren’t built that way we’d

probably still be here debating whether

we should deploy another VPN in the

cloud or not.”

Of course, it would be foolish to

state there has been no challenges.

However, rather than being technology-related,

these have been based

around the sheer change management

and shifting of workplace culture that

every organisation has undoubtedly

215

canada.businesschief.com


HEALTHCARE OF ONTARIO PENSION PLAN (HOOPP)

216

experienced. “Collaboration has

always been a big part of how we work

at HOOPP, particularly as a result of

the teams we have created and the

technologies that we can now leverage.

Sure, moving to a working from

home environment has meant a ramp

up in terms of understanding the full

capabilities of certain technologies

like video conferencing tools, for

example, but there’s positives to that

shift too. It’s refreshing to ‘open up’

your personal life to your colleagues –

whether that’s kids in the background

or your dog barking during a meeting

– and it’s refocused our perspective

JUNE 2020


on working from home when we consider

future IT and business strategies,

for example.”

Having reached the culmination of

the three-year plan at the end of last

year, Bugiardini is naturally already

focused on the next step of his digital

vision. The changes brought about by

COVID-19 have, he says, reorganised

the prioritisation of some of the digital

initiatives being considered, particularly

around the greater automation

of some processes, for example. But,

it would seem the success afforded

by the existing strategy calls for

“If we didn’t have that

agile way of working

and our teams

organised the way we

do, I don’t think we’d

have been able to

achieve what we did

to accommodate the

business in 72 hours”


Reno Bugiardini,

Senior Vice President, Information

Technology & Facilities Services, HOOPP

refinement rather than anything drastic.

“Our ability to do business hasn’t

really changed, we’re just not doing it

in the office. There are so many businesses

that have had to rethink their

entire processes because they’ve previously

failed to leverage technology

to its fullest.

“On the contrary, we’ve been able

to scale and to meet demand while

delivering services to our members

and pensioners – productivity hasn’t

dropped at all,” he continues. “The

market has been impacted by the

volatility, but on our plan operations

side, our service delivery levels to

members actually improved. And, on

that investment management aspect

of the business, we were able to give

217

canada.businesschief.com


HEALTHCARE OF ONTARIO PENSION PLAN (HOOPP)

218

“We’ve been able to scale and

to meet demand while delivering

services to our members and

pensioners – productivity hasn’t

dropped at all”


Reno Bugiardini,

Senior Vice President, Information

Technology & Facilities Services, HOOPP

our investment management staff full

computing capability at home right

away, and scalability when they need it

through the cloud, to ensure they were

able to adapt to the volatile markets

and not miss out on any opportunities.”

Any digital transformation, even

when it is facing unprecedented

disruption and uncertainty, doesn’t

stand still. Accordingly, Bugiardini is

in the process of forming the next IT

blueprint for HOOPP, which will be

developed in collaboration with business

partners. It will, he says, align with

the organisation’s broader strategy

and be built around delivering the high

performance culture that is instilled

in every part of HOOPP.

JUNE 2020


219

“This has certainly changed everything,”

he explains. “It’s opened up the

opportunity to hire the very best talent

from around the world – there are

fewer barriers to business now. From

an IT perspective, it’s a new adventure

that is now about us serving and supporting

700 internal clients remotely

and we have the infrastructure and

strategy in place to continue to absolutely

succeed at that.”

canada.businesschief.com


220

CANOPY GROWTH:

WORLD’S LARGEST

CANNABIS

DISTRIBUTION

NETWORK

WRITTEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON

PRODUCED BY

ARON RAMPLING

JUNE 2020


canada.businesschief.com

221


CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION

CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION’S

LOGISTICS DIRECTOR MATTHEW SLY

TALKS ABOUT THE POST-LEGALISATION

CHALLENGE OF DISTRIBUTION IN

A REGULATED ENVIRONMENT

222

C

anopy Growth Corporation (Canopy)

was established in 2013 at Smiths Falls,

Ontario as a grower, processor and

producer of medical cannabis. Cannabis originates

from India and Asia, where it’s been used

for many thousands of years and is so widely

used today that a history review is unnecessary.

It’s only recently though that western medical

science has started to accept the efficacy of

cannabis in alleviating illnesses such as epilepsy,

multiple sclerosis (MS) and muscular spasms as

well as a host of other conditions, both physical

and mental. Research and trialling will doubtless

isolate and validate many new cannabinoidbased

remedies.

The debate about legalising cannabis has rumbled

on for decades, those in favour pointing out

that it is less addictive or physically harmful than

either tobacco or alcohol, those against arguing

that it is a gateway to hard drugs. However

that argument is pretty much lost: legalisation in

many countries has generally been welcomed

JUNE 2020


“THERE WAS NOBODY

TO FOLLOW, NO REAR-

VIEW MIRROR: WE

WERE THE LEADERS!”


Matthew Sly,

Logistics Director, Canopy Growth

223

canada.businesschief.com


CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION

224

“THE RECREATIONAL

MARKET IS WHERE

THE MAJOR PART OF

OUR BUSINESS NOW

COMES FROM”


Matthew Sly,

Logistics Director, Canopy Growth

by enforcement agencies because

it decoupled pot from the illegal

drug trade controlled by criminals.

Cannabis for recreational use was

legalised by the Canadian government

in October 2018, opening a

completely new market opportunity to

the already well-established industry

leader Canopy Growth and its subsidiaries,

Tweed Inc (which grows the

plants) and Spectrum Therapeutics

(which supplies medical formulations).

Today, Canopy is the world’s biggest

producer and distributor of cannabis

and employs some 3,500 people.

From growing sites all around Canada,

some under glass producing up to five

harvests a year, some in open fields

yielding a single harvest, the bulk product

is brought in armoured trailers to

the processing and packing plant at

Smiths Falls.

It was in the run-up to legalisation

that Matthew Sly was appointed

Logistics Director of the company.

At that point the company employed

just 150 people, he recalls, and had no

formal logistics department. Until then

it had been comparatively simple as all

operations were out of a single site at

JUNE 2020


Canopy Growth:

Regional Distribution Center

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:19

225

Smiths Falls. But as acquisitions were

made in other provinces, licensing and

moving the cannabis became more

complex and a supply chain professional

was needed.

For him, the challenge facing Canopy

called to mind how the first settlers

moving westward across Canada must

have felt over a century ago. “There

was nobody to follow, no rear-view mirror:

we were the leaders!” Legalisation

presented so many unknowns, and

though the core product was now

legal, today’s product portfolio, including

edibles, vapes, beverages and

concentrates, had yet to be formulated

for a completely new market. One

big unknown was how large this new

retail market might become: Canopy

increased production and growing

capacity at this time to meet expected

demand but has since modified its

approach. It aims to maintain its position

as the world’s leading cannabis

company but growth is being carefully

matched to market demand as that

becomes clearer.

Recreational shipments outstrip

medical by a factor of around 10:1

in units, says Sly. “That is where the

canada.businesschief.com


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ce software lets you just sit back and watch your business move.


CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION

The Great Clone Transfer:

Moving over 120,000 cannabis

plants from Smiths Falls to BC

CLICK TO WATCH | 4:51

228

major part of our business now comes

from.” And remember that this is a

high value, rigidly regulated product

requiring specialised handling. Brinks

is the global leader in security bulk

transfer of cash and securities for

banks. Within a month of legalisation,

Canopy signed an ongoing agreement

with Brinks Canada to provide

logistics for its domestic recreational

distribution network. “We have a fleet

of armoured tractor trailers that we

use for all our deliveries. The value

Brinks brings to us, and the network

they provide, has made for a very

successful partnership. We can have

goods to the value of anything from

CAD$5mn to CAD$20mn on a trailer,

and this needs very specialised treatment

because it not only has to be

secure but also in temperature controlled

and pharma-grade transports.”

Brinks continues to be a key partner,

and it’s not hard to understand why.

Its CEO Douglas Pertz was excited by

the tie-in with Canopy, he estimates

the global cannabis industry to be

worth around US$160bn. As finance

JUNE 2020


is increasingly traded electronically,

it’s not just producers like Canopy

who will be the winners.

The recreational product is confined

to Canada, the medical distribution

is destined for Europe, Australia, and

South America. Starting to export cannabis

was quite challenging, Sly admits.

“One of my first challenges was figuring

out how to move cloned plants and cultures

to other continents. Navigating

the regulations around the movement

of agricultural products is one thing,

doing that with a controlled substance

is another!” His first international shipment

was to Germany to open up the

Europe market. His second international

shipment was to Australia, which

required special temperature and

humidity-controlled shippers that were

custom designed to make sure the

cloned seedlings and cultures would

not flower or come to harm in up to

36 hours of transit.

Part of Sly’s original brief was to set

up a Canada-wide warehousing operation

and he continues to help design

all Canadian and global storage locations.

Here the experience he’d had of

running Walmart’s massive Canadian

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Matthew Sly

Title: Director of Logistics

Location: Ottawa, Canada

After a decade in the pharmaceutical

and high-tech industries, Matthew

turned his attention to logistics.

During his 20 years in the field, he

has managed one of the largest auto

parts fulfillment centers in North

America and has also managed

Walmart’s Eastern Canada

Distribution Center. Now as the

Director of Logistics at Canopy

Growth Corporation, Matthew

oversees all logistics and worldwide

distribution of medical and

recreational cannabis out of the

world’s largest cannabis distribution

center in Smiths Falls, ON. In 2018,

Matthew piloted the design

of Canopy’s Regional

Distribution Center

and continues to

improve efficiencies

with state-of-the-art

technologies and

innovative solutions.

229

canada.businesschief.com


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231

distribution facility equipped him for the

daunting challenge. At the beginning of

2018 he was asked to plan and implement

a recreational distribution network

ready to capture a new and quite

unknown demand. He had five months

to buy a distribution center, set it up,

work out the excise stamp requirements,

and put contracts in place with carriers.

This called for him to be very creative

to cater for as yet unknown quantities,

products and even destinations.

Back at the Smiths Falls distribution

center, Canada’s rigorous excise

stamp requirements were a further

2013

Year founded

$226mn

Revenue in

US dollars

3,500

Number of

employees

canada.businesschief.com


CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION

232

Canopy Growth:

Corporation Culture

CLICK TO WATCH | 5:33

JUNE 2020


“THE VALUE BRINKS

BRINGS TO US,

AND THE NETWORK

THEY PROVIDE,

HAS MADE FOR A

VERY SUCCESSFUL

PARTNERSHIP”


Matthew Sly,

Logistics Director, Canopy Growth

challenge – and in this case an opportunity

to implement the reliability,

flexibility, speed and data capture that

only automated packing can really

ensure. As with tobacco, cannabis producers

have to obtain a licence from

the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

permitting them to buy excise stamps

– and each province and territory’s

stamp is differently coloured “Every

unit we ship out has to carry an excise

stamp; and they come without adhesive.

So I worked with a partner called

Plan Automation LP to develop custom

excise stamping equipment and high

speed packaging lines that allow us to

pick and place these stamps, at rates

from 100-300 units per minute, with

the flexibility to accommodate all our

different product types.”

There’s been a big automation programme

at Canopy, he says, placing it

ahead of its competitors in being able

to respond to customer orders flexibly

and fast. An order can be received,

packaged, stamped with an excise

stamp and dispatched within four

hours for delivery anywhere in Canada

by 8am the following morning. Digital

transformation is not achieved in

233

canada.businesschief.com


CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION

234

isolation of course. Brinks for example

has custom-designed its own systems

so that Canopy can track exactly

where its trucks are, what orders are

on them and when they are delivered,

with proof of delivery (POD) instantly

relayed to Canopy and triggering

an automated bill. “Because of the

complicated regulatory environment

we work in we’ve had to automate a

lot of our internal processes including

documentation controls and transfer

processes,

to eliminate paperwork and transactional

errors. We simply can’t have

errors because we are required by

Health Canada to account for every

single gram. And we are introducing

more production automation, for

example robotic picking and packing

of orders. The digital transformation

of our industry is the one key thing that

will enable us to grow and be more

cost efficient.”

Flexibility and agility are qualities Sly

has learned from experience, he says.

JUNE 2020


235

He could have added a great deal of

confidence, since many would have

fled from some of the challenges he

describes. With a CV verging on the

picaresque, he has worked with construction

equipment, high-tech PCB

manufacture, pharmaceutical products,

English teaching, auto parts fulfillment

(at a rate of 20,000 products a day)

and large retail distribution. Now, he is

truly working in a culture that suits his

personality. Canopy, he notes, gives

its people the autonomy they need to

reach their potential to deliver value

for themselves and the organisation

– it is, he says, a fun environment for

someone who thrives on change.

“Logistics is the heart of the company;

if the heart is not pumping properly

everything will shut down.”

canada.businesschief.com


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