BC NA December 2020

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

NORTH<br />


businesschief.com<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong><br />

M&A<br />

DEALS<br />

USAF – MIT’S<br />


Michael Kanaan, Director of Operations<br />

discusses the USAF and MIT’s AI Accelerator,<br />

and its mission to increase AI capabilities

Pack the essentials<br />

for your business trip:<br />

Laptop<br />

Charger<br />

Business insights<br />

Payment solutions<br />

From T&E expertise to business insights to payment<br />

solutions, the American Express Corporate Program<br />

gives you all the tools and services you need, so you’re<br />

fully prepared for business wherever you are.<br />

To learn more about the American Express Corporate<br />

Program, visit www.americanexpress.com.


<strong>2020</strong><br />

– a year like no other.<br />

As we enter into the<br />

final month of <strong>2020</strong>, our cover features<br />

Michael Kanaan Director of Operations,<br />

U.S. Air Force and MIT Artificial Intelligence<br />

Accelerator, on its mission to use AI to<br />

increase capabilities while addressing<br />

societal demands. “Our efforts stretch<br />

across three main lines [...] It’s all about<br />

making AI real for our workforce,”<br />

comments Kanaan.<br />

With AI continuing to prove its value<br />

across multiple sectors and business<br />

functions, Andi Britt, Senior Partner at IBM<br />

Talent & Transformation, IBM Services<br />

Europe and Chris Huff, CSO at Kofax,<br />

take a look at the innovative technology<br />

from a HR perspective and the ways in<br />

which it is reinventing processes.<br />

Other leaders featured include Charlotte<br />

Bancilhon, Associate Director, BSR on the<br />

importance of shared value and trust to<br />

drive effective stakeholder engagement,<br />

and the impact of COVID-19; and Fuad<br />

Chapra, Head of Family Business, KPMG<br />

(Saudi Arabia) provides his expert insight<br />

on investment management benefits and<br />

trends. “Similar to other industries,<br />

technology has become increasingly<br />

important to enhance customer<br />

experience,” says Chapra.<br />

Elsewhere, we discover what it means<br />

to be a digital brand in today’s world, in our<br />

roundtable discussions with McKinsey,<br />

Toluna and Ebiquity. While Vikas Butaney,<br />

Vice President and General Manager of<br />

Cisco IoT, explains how companies can<br />

get the most out of IoT; and Ray Joyce<br />

and Steve Gill HR Services at EY discuss<br />

the rise of human and AI collaboration in<br />

HR operations.<br />

Finally to end the year, our <strong>December</strong> Top<br />

10 ranks – by year – its top mergers and<br />

acquisitions made by companies in North<br />

America over the last two decades.<br />

Do you have a story to share? If you would<br />

like to be featured in an upcoming issue<br />

of Business Chief, please get in touch at<br />

georgia.wilson@bizclikmedia.com<br />

Enjoy the issue!<br />

Georgia Wilson<br />

03<br />


Between hope<br />

and possible<br />

there’s<br />

a bridge.<br />

There from the beginning to where<br />

we stand today. And to where we will go<br />

from here. One company. One promise.<br />

If you can imagine it, we will build<br />

the bridge to get you there.


NORTH<br />


Subscribe to receive exclusive weekly news<br />

and insights direct to your Inbox<br />



FOR FREE<br />



Georgia Wilson<br />


Scott Birch<br />


Oscar Hathaway<br />

Sophia Forte<br />

Sophie-Ann Pinnell<br />

Hector Penrose<br />

Sam Hubbard<br />

Mimi Gunn<br />


Georgia Allen<br />

Daniela Kianicková<br />

PRODUCTION MA<strong>NA</strong>GER<br />

Owen Martin<br />

Philline Vicente<br />

VIDEO PRODUCTION MA<strong>NA</strong>GER<br />

Kieran Waite<br />


Sam Kemp<br />

Evelyn Huang<br />


Kayleigh Shooter<br />

Andy Stubbings<br />

Eve Howat<br />

Daisy Slater<br />

MA<strong>NA</strong>GING DIRECTOR<br />

Lewis Vaughan<br />


Jordan Hubbard<br />

PROJECT MA<strong>NA</strong>GERS<br />

Karl Green<br />

Thomas Livermore<br />

James Richardson<br />

Michael Banyard<br />

Jake Megeary<br />

Kris Palmer<br />

Mike Sadr<br />

Ryan Hall<br />

Ben Maltby<br />

Craig Killingback<br />

Stuart Irving<br />

James Berry<br />


James White<br />


Jason Westgate<br />


Stacy Norman<br />


Glen White<br />



10<br />


46 58<br />

What Does it Mean<br />

to be a Digital Brand?<br />

80<br />

92<br />

68<br />





110<br />

Saphyre<br />

124<br />

Aligned<br />

138<br />

Community<br />

Health Network<br />

154<br />

[24]7.ai<br />

170 SiteOne<br />

Landscape<br />


182<br />

T5 Data<br />

Centers<br />

198<br />

Legacy<br />

Community<br />

Health<br />

226<br />

Nautilus Data<br />

Technologies<br />

212<br />

Protective<br />

Insurance<br />

Canada<br />

Brokerlink Inc.<br />

240<br />

254<br />

Altar’d State

10<br />




FOR NEW AI<br />






DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



MICHAEL KA<strong>NA</strong>AN ON THE USAF<br />





12<br />

M<br />

ichael Kanaan is Director of Operations,<br />

U.S. Air Force and MIT Artificial Intelligence<br />

Accelerator, having previously been at the<br />

Pentagon as the co-chair of AI for the Air Force.<br />

The USAF-MIT AI Accelerator began in January<br />

<strong>2020</strong>. “It’s pursuant to a cooperative agreement<br />

with MIT, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the<br />

Department of the Air Force,” explains Kanaan.<br />

“Our efforts stretch across three main lines. The<br />

first is to execute a number of flagship AI projects<br />

and the related work to bring that into existence.<br />

The second is developing scalable AI education<br />

for the workforce – all demographics, all ages,<br />

and all ranks. And the last is to lead the dialogue<br />

in AI ethics and safety. It’s all about making AI real<br />

for our workforce.”<br />

Aside from the three flagship projects which we<br />

are covering in depth, the initiatives include such<br />

things as natural language processing for communication<br />

with machine and foreign language<br />

training, swarming unmanned aerial vehicles for<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

2019<br />

Year founded<br />

50<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />

13<br />



14<br />





—<br />

Michael Kanaan,<br />

Director of Operations,<br />

U.S. Air Force and MIT Artificial<br />

Intelligence Accelerator<br />

deployment on humanitarian aid missions,<br />

and using big data to illuminate<br />

weather circumstances in areas without<br />

a ground station. The projects<br />

are linked by a shared focus, as<br />

Kanaan explains. “The most important<br />

thing is to ensure that we all have a<br />

common and shared dialogue and<br />

understanding of what AI is, what it<br />

isn’t, how it works, and how to walk<br />

along that journey.”<br />

The MIT and Air Force collaboration<br />

is of a lineage with some of the most<br />

illustrious projects in the history of the<br />

United States. “There’s a triangular<br />

relationship between industry, academia,<br />

and government in the United<br />

States, that’s very special and very<br />

storied throughout our past.” Kanaan<br />

emphasizes that it stems from a common<br />

language between government,<br />

industry, and academia which must be<br />

nurtured. “We have to reinvigorate the<br />

relationship that, for instance, brought<br />

the internet into our homes. Artificial<br />

intelligence is something that’s going<br />

to be viewed as equivalent to electricity<br />

in our lives, because of the way it<br />

affects us every single day. What could<br />

be more important than something<br />

like electricity being shared by the<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Michael Kanaan | USAF-MIT AI Accelerator<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:14<br />

15<br />

greatest minds, by those who build the<br />

best technologies and by the government<br />

as representative of its people?”<br />

The work has been enabled by the<br />

participation of a number of key partners,<br />

whose professional experts and<br />

contractors have worked alongside<br />

MIT and the USAF. “A lot of work that is<br />

necessary to bring modern technologies<br />

like cloud to bear, without which<br />

you would not have artificial intelligence.<br />

We want to make sure that it’s as easy<br />

as possible for our workforce to grasp.”<br />

Kanaan emphasizes that partners run<br />

the gamut of sizes, from the smallest to<br />

the largest. “This is a team sport. It’s a<br />

whole-of-nation effort, with small business<br />

innovation and research crucial to<br />

the success of the United States Air and<br />

Space Force. Meanwhile, our traditional<br />

partners understand us better than<br />

anyone else. They know how to integrate<br />

technologies with the legacy architectures<br />

that we must rely upon. We can’t<br />

buy a new thing every single day, and<br />

many of those things we can’t put in the<br />

cockpit of a jet, of course. And then lastly,<br />

nontraditional partners help to reinvigorate<br />

the conversations that we need<br />

to have on AI today.”<br />


The power to<br />

do great things<br />

Reliable, resilient, and secure AI<br />

AI and ML solutions turn data into new opportunities for<br />

insight and efficiency. We’re helping our customers gain<br />

immediate value across multiple domains. Let us provide<br />

you the power to perform at your best.<br />


Building<br />

trusted,<br />

secure,<br />

and safe<br />

AI systems<br />

Reliable, resilient,<br />

and secure AI solutions<br />

Ron Keesing,VP<br />

of AI and Machine<br />

Learning, discusses<br />

how Leidos is<br />

exploring the<br />

applications and<br />

addressing the<br />

challenges of modern<br />

automation tech<br />

Leidos’ mission is to make the world safer, healthier,<br />

and more secure. We take on some of the world’s most<br />

interesting, challenging, and data-centric problems,”<br />

says Ron Keesing, VP of AI and Machine Learning<br />

at Leidos.<br />

Among the company’s core technical competencies is the<br />

development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine<br />

learning, which it hopes to incorporate into all of<br />

its solutions. Leidos often begins by adapting technology<br />

developed in the commercial and academic world to the<br />

missions and domains of our customers. On the DARPA<br />

ACE (Air Combat Evolution) program. Keesing says,<br />

“We’re taking a technology that came from the commercial<br />

world and using it to transform aerial combat. AI allows<br />

us to invert traditional battle paradigms, from one where<br />

many people control a single aircraft into one where a<br />

single person can control a team of manned and unmanned<br />

assets to complete complex mission objectives.”<br />

“We combine humans and machines to be able to perform<br />

these missions better and faster. Leidos’ role as an<br />

integrator of AI technology comes from many different<br />

sources, and we bring them all together into solutions<br />

that the U.S. Government can use. Currently, we’re using<br />

AI to transform the processing of veterans’ health benefits<br />

to make sure they’re receiving improved healthcare<br />

through natural language processing (NLP). This will<br />

enable faster claims and benefits processing with much<br />

higher accuracy and speed than was possible before.”<br />

Keesing emphasizes the importance of keeping up with<br />

the latest AI-based research and promoting understanding<br />

among clients regarding the best way to use it. “Many<br />

across the community are also starting to appreciate<br />

what it means for AI systems to be ethical; we wouldn’t<br />

want systems making crucial mistakes that could put<br />

human safety at risk or behave in a manner we perceive<br />

as unfair.” As such, Leidos believes in building trust<br />

between humans and AI to foster comprehension and<br />

encourage its more comprehensive application.<br />

Keesing closes by encouraging everyone, from students<br />

to senior decision-makers, to invest their attention in<br />

AI’s development. “This is such an exciting time for<br />

people thinking about launching careers in AI and<br />

machine learning, making sure how people understand<br />

AI will affect their systems and programs. Whether we<br />

want it or not, this technology is going to transform<br />

every aspect of our world, and Leidos’ is staying ahead<br />

to make sure the systems we’re building are safe, secure,<br />

and can be trusted.


18<br />

The fruits of the labor being put into<br />

these projects are not only for the Air<br />

Force’s benefit, with wider society also<br />

standing to gain. Kanaan cites humanitarian<br />

disasters, such as the wildfires<br />

and hurricanes which have had a<br />

devastating impact on the US this year,<br />

as examples of situations that could<br />

benefit from its work. “Humanitarian<br />

aid is a huge mission of the United<br />

States Air Force, as it is of the Army,<br />

the Navy, Coast Guard, and so on. AI<br />

has a role to play, and that can stretch<br />

across swarming drones to using computer<br />

vision, to predicting fire lines,<br />

to detecting people in flooded areas,<br />

and delivering telemedical health.”<br />

In that spirit, public challenges have<br />

been established for the two-way<br />

sharing of information. “The public<br />

challenges will ultimately help develop<br />

the associated projects for use in public<br />

society. And I think what I’m excited<br />

about is our release of some of these<br />

public challenges like magnetic navigation<br />

using earth’s magnetic sphere,<br />

for which you can find the public<br />

GitHub repository today.”<br />

The initiatives are standing the<br />

Air and Space Forces in good stead<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

for the future by embracing digital<br />

transformation. “Once upon a time in<br />

the industrial age, you had to make<br />

trade-offs between speed, accuracy,<br />

and cost,” says Kanaan. “In the digital<br />

age, thanks to machine learning, artificial<br />

intelligence or any of the number<br />

of other automation techniques that<br />

are part of digital transformation, you<br />

can now do all three at once. For the<br />

Department of the Air Force, it’s about<br />

being more accurate, delivering better<br />

logistics, working on humanitarian<br />

aid missions while also saving the<br />

taxpayer dollars and making sure that<br />

we are good stewards of that money.”<br />

Kanaan views the collaboration<br />

that has enabled the accelerator as<br />

key to its success. “I can’t emphasize<br />

enough how grateful we are to MIT,<br />

to academia, to industry for being a<br />

part of this conversation and to our<br />

airmen and workforce for wanting<br />

to have the dialogue. What makes us<br />

special is that, while we are certain<br />

to make mistakes along the way, we<br />

hold a dialogue afterwards. It’s all<br />

about diving in.”<br />

19<br />


Michael Kanaan<br />

Title: Director of Operations<br />

Location: United States<br />

Industry: Academia and Defense<br />

Captain Michael Kanaan is the Director of Operations to the USAF-<br />

MIT Artificial Intelligence Accelerator and the former co-chair of<br />

artificial intelligence for the U.S. Air Force. He was named to the<br />

Forbes “30 Under 30” list and received the US Government’s 68th<br />

Arthur S. Flemming Award (an honor shared by past recipients Neil<br />

Armstrong, Robert Gates, and Elizabeth Dole). Kanaan is a graduate of<br />

the US Air Force Academy and previously led a National Intelligence<br />

Campaign for Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq.<br />


MOVE AT<br />


OF LIGHT<br />




Department of Defense agencies are under pressure to become more agile, protect<br />

against rising security threats and continuously deliver innovation to meet mission-critical<br />

objectives.<br />


THREAT.<br />

strategy can be a painfully slow process.<br />

By leveraging Pluralsight’s technology skills<br />

platform, you can get out of reactive mode.<br />

Upskill teams into modern roles, put the<br />

Tech workforce development company Pluralsight<br />

right people on the right projects and keep<br />

offers a way for organisations to upskill their<br />

up teams with to the respond pace to of technological technology. It’s changes how in<br />

the modern workplace. Sam Pena is VP, North<br />

you America develop Presales skills at at the scale. company. “We have<br />

created an ecosystem to provide technology<br />


leaders visibility<br />

YOU NEED<br />

into their<br />

TO LEAD<br />

workforce.” He<br />

emphasises that this is achieved through three<br />

Pluralsight distinct ways, enables the first you being to mobilize its tech skills your<br />

platform, which allows leaders to index the skills<br />

agency present around in their workforce your most and critical adjust initiatives. their<br />

strategies accordingly.<br />

With Skill IQ, you can index skills across<br />

“The second way we enable tech leaders is<br />

your through organization our engineering to uncover analytics knowledge platform,”<br />

says Pena. “Our Flow product is intended to<br />

gaps, help engineering measure proficiency leaders understand get how<br />

developers are working and to remove<br />

recommended content to take skills to the<br />

bottlenecks. Then, coupling that with the tech<br />

next skills level. platform, you can understand whether<br />

there is an area of opportunity to enable<br />

With developers Role IQ, to work you more can upskill efficiently.” your The teams final<br />

piece of the puzzle lies in its comprehensive<br />

into professional the modern services tech offering, roles you which need assists to<br />

tech leaders with an implementation strategy<br />

accomplish for their ecosystems. important goals, like switching<br />

tech Since stacks 2019 the or migrating company has to the been cloud. working<br />

closely with the United States Air Force as part<br />




Many<br />


leaders aren’t sure what teams are<br />


With thousands of courses in today’s most<br />

capable of or how best to leverage<br />

critical technology topics, personnel can<br />

expertise to deliver on their technology tap into the largest community of experts<br />


strategy. Mobilizing teams around that<br />

And<br />


all the while, warfighters’<br />

SAM<br />

skills are<br />

PE<strong>NA</strong> ON THE COMPANY’S<br />

becoming less relevant as technology<br />


evolves faster and faster.<br />





available.<br />

Our skills coverage on topics like AI,<br />

DevOps, automation, security and cloud<br />

ensures your team has the right expertise<br />

to keep up with the pace of technology.<br />


With advanced analytics, you can feel<br />

confident your team can deliver. Advanced<br />

skills analytics give you unprecedented<br />

of its Digital University initiative. “We’ve helped<br />

visibility them launch into their your vision team’s of strengths, recoding and<br />

retraining the Air Force, which they call Digital<br />

weaknesses University or and Digital progress U,” says over Pena. time. “One of the<br />

nice things about Digital U is that because it’s<br />

With advanced roles analytics, you can<br />

leveraging commercial products like Pluralsight,<br />

create it’s providing and customize the Air Force roles the that same align type to of<br />

training and skill development that you’d find<br />

your at the unique tech giants.” needs, and see role proficiency<br />

levels As technology across your redefines organization and recreates to build roles in<br />

the modern workforce, Pluralsight will continue<br />

fluid to work teams. with the Air Force and others to help<br />

people best leverage that technology. “One of<br />

With the new advanced areas of channels focus in our analytics, partnership you is can in<br />

developing product engineers that are focused<br />

follow your team’s progress toward<br />

on human-centric design or full stack and mobile<br />

strategic development,” initiatives says Pena. with “This insights partnership into with<br />

Digital U has helped us both learn from each<br />

channel other. It’s completion been great and to understand engagement the by Air<br />

Force’s mission and how we can best align to<br />

individual. It’s all to give you confidence<br />

that, while on the flip side they’ve received an<br />

that outsider you perspective have the skills with needed a commercial to move partner<br />

that’s able to bring in its own expertise.”<br />

forward.<br />

UPSKILL Learn more: YOUR www.pluralsight.com/industries/government<br />



David Jacobs | USAF-MIT AI Accelerator<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:37<br />

22<br />


MAGNETIC <strong>NA</strong>VIGATION<br />

Having graduated from Stetson<br />

University College of Law as a patent<br />

attorney, Maj. David Jacobs, U.S. Air<br />

Force, got to ply his trade while stationed<br />

at an Air Force research lab. “I became<br />

the only active duty patent attorney, and<br />

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get where<br />

I am today as both the chief legal counsel<br />

to work on intellectual property, data<br />

rights, contracts, industry, and, of course,<br />

ethics, and then also a program manager<br />

for the robust neural differential models<br />

for navigation and beyond.”

Considering his role, Jacobs<br />

emphasises the focus on ethics that<br />

pervades the Air Force’s work with<br />

AI. We embed in all of our projects a<br />

consideration of artificial intelligence<br />

ethics and how it’s done. The Air Force<br />

wants to be a leader in AI, and to do<br />

that you have to focus on ethics.” He<br />

gives the example of the possibility<br />

of human research subjects being<br />

implicated from AI research based<br />

upon data. “One of the things we did<br />

is work with the Air Force 711th Human<br />

Performance Wing and coordinated<br />

with the Department of Army to<br />

develop a simple two-page guide to<br />

help Air Force and MIT researchers<br />

understand when something is human<br />

subject research under AI, and when<br />

it is not, so that we’re following ethical<br />

guidelines at all times.”<br />

In line with this ethical consideration<br />

are the public challenges. “The<br />

Air Force can actually be a partner<br />

in advancing the state of the art for<br />

everyone, and be leaders in this field.<br />

While it’s not new for academia to put<br />

forward challenges for other academics,<br />

it is new for the Air Force to get<br />

involved.” That new approach has<br />

required a number of advancements<br />

to make possible. “Some of the things<br />







—<br />

Maj. David Jacobs,<br />

US Air Force<br />

23<br />



24<br />

that we’ve had to address include the<br />

Air Force sharing data at such a public<br />

level. On the legal side, we’ve developed<br />

a data sharing agreement which<br />

enables the Air Force to share data<br />

publicly with academia and industry.”<br />

That collaboration is key to the<br />

Magnetic Navigation project, which<br />

Jacobs works on, and is aimed at<br />

developing an alternative to GPS<br />

systems which are vulnerable to disruption,<br />

especially in a conflict setting,<br />

which would create huge problems<br />

in both a military and civilian setting,<br />

considering the extent to which the<br />

technology is embedded in our lives.<br />

“The government is looking into what<br />

alternative GPS could look like and<br />

magnetic navigation is one of the<br />

possibilities,” says Jacobs. “Magnetic<br />

navigation takes the earth magnetic<br />

resonance and a magnetometer reader<br />

to pinpoint where you are in relation<br />

to the earth. Because this technique<br />

doesn’t rely on any external sources,<br />

it becomes particularly useful in<br />

areas where other signal sources are<br />

uncommon, such as over water.”<br />

The role of AI in the project is<br />

threefold, as Jacobs explains. “One,<br />

we’re using AI to reduce excess noise<br />

on the system. Have the AI cancel<br />

out what is coming from the plane<br />

and recognize what is interference<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

and what are actual readings. Two,<br />

determine your position in real time<br />

with faster speeds. As we go to other<br />

vehicles like an F-16, we’re breaking<br />

the sound barrier and so we need to<br />

determine location at much faster<br />

speeds. And then finally we’re combining<br />

that magnetic parameter with<br />

other systems in the aircraft to create<br />

a complete picture.”<br />

The project has attracted a number<br />

of interested partners, such as the<br />

Joint Artificial intelligence Center and<br />

the Department of Defense. “We’ve<br />

had some talks with DARPA, with<br />

<strong>NA</strong>SA and of course, academic institutions<br />

and industry. We’re happy<br />

to work with small business, large<br />

business and other academic institutions,<br />

because the more people that<br />

tackle this problem, the better. We’re<br />

approaching it as a chance to provide<br />

something that is good for the community<br />

at large.”<br />


David Jacobs<br />

25<br />

Title: Chief Legal Counsel<br />

Location: United States<br />

Industry: Academia and Defense<br />

Maj. Jacobs is the legal advisor to the USAF-MIT Artificial<br />

Intelligence Accelerator. In addition to providing advice on<br />

contracts, intellectual property, fiscal, ethics, and cutting-edge<br />

AI legal developments to the Accelerator program; he also<br />

works as the Air Force lead on Robust Neural Differential<br />

Models for Navigation and Beyond. Jacobs earned a B.S. in<br />

Biology from Arizona State University and earned his law<br />

degree from Stetson University College of Law. He<br />

served as a patent attorney before commissioning<br />

in the Air Force.<br />


Mission driven.<br />

Data informed.<br />

Get all hands on data<br />

with Tableau.<br />

Tableau makes it possible to explore, understand,<br />

and lead with data-driven insights.

Tableau and the USAF:<br />

data as a strategic asset<br />

Tableau’s Michael Parker<br />

on the benefits its data<br />

analysis and visualisation<br />

platform brings to the<br />

United States Air Force<br />

Data analysis and visualisation company<br />

Tableau offers its customers the capacity<br />

to make better use of the data they have.<br />

Michael Parker is VP, Business Development<br />

at the company. “ Tableau’s mission is<br />

simple,” he says. “We help people see<br />

and understand their data. We provide<br />

that through a single pane of glass view<br />

of their data in a secure environment,<br />

ensuring the right people have the right<br />

access to the right data at the right time.”<br />

It’s that capability that is behind Tableau’s<br />

partnership with the United States Air<br />

Force, as Parker explains. “They’re looking<br />

at data as a strategic asset and as a<br />

common service component of digital<br />

transformation. We use the tools<br />

specifically around a couple of use cases<br />

that draw a great return on investment.<br />

One was civilian hiring. We needed to<br />

understand where the choke points are,<br />

where’s the lag and the slack in the<br />

process. By pulling the data in from<br />

end-to-end in that whole civilian hiring<br />

process, we could look at it through an<br />

operational lens to really understand<br />

where we were experiencing challenges.<br />

Strategic decisions made along the<br />

way ultimately compressed the timeline<br />

by two thirds.”<br />

With chief data offices now established<br />

in each of the services, Parker believes<br />

the full value of data is now being<br />

appreciated. In standing that up, it’s<br />

been recognised that data is a strategic<br />

asset and a powerful tool for both the<br />

business and warfighting domains.”<br />

The partnership has also proved its<br />

worth in the response to the COVID-19<br />

pandemic. “Having tools for personnel<br />

use, personnel accountability, tracking<br />

of individuals and even return to work<br />

processes was really important, and so<br />

the partnership was critical at that point.”<br />

Parker emphasises that the partnership<br />

is built to last. “At Tableau, we plan to<br />

continue to build our partnership and<br />

understand the strategic and operational<br />

needs of the Defense Department and<br />

how the platform can help solve issues<br />

and provide capabilities in strengthening<br />

our partnership over time.”<br />





“I’m first generation everything,” says<br />

TSgt. Armando Cabrera, US Air Force.<br />

“First generation American, first in<br />

my family to graduate high school,<br />

college and first to join the military.”<br />

Having graduated with a Bachelor’s<br />

in Mechanical Engineering, and<br />

after some time struggling to find a<br />

job, Cabrera joined the Air Force for<br />

Geospatial Intelligence. “I worked<br />

really hard in the Air Force technical<br />

school and graduated as a distinguished<br />

graduate.”<br />

Having demonstrated his potential,<br />

Cabrera was eventually selected for<br />

a program usually reserved for officers<br />

to be sent to Amazon to learn best<br />

practices for machine learning. “I was<br />

there for a year, playing two kinds of<br />

roles. First, I was a student taking all<br />

28<br />


Armando Cabrera<br />

Title: AI Flight Chief<br />

Location: United States<br />

Industry: Academia and Defense<br />

Tech. Sgt. Armando Cabrera is the flight chief for the USAF-MIT Artificial<br />

Intelligence Accelerator’s Multimodal Vision for Synthetic Aperature<br />

Radar (MV4SAR) project. Carbrera earned his B.S. in Mechanical<br />

Engineering from the University of Southern California and<br />

worked as a geospatial intelligence analyst for the Air Force<br />

before being accepted as one of the first enlisted members<br />

into the Education with Industry program. Cabrera was<br />

assigned to Amazon for a year, and was the first DoD<br />

employee to complete Amazon’s Machine Learning<br />

Education University. Currently, he is a lead researcher<br />

for SAR to EO image translation, and is a content<br />

developer in AI education for MIT Lincoln Lab.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Armando Cabrera | USAF-MIT AI Accelerator<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:49<br />

29<br />

their courses, starting from the fundamentals<br />

of mathematics, machine<br />

learning, all the way to neural networks.<br />

And then also I was building training<br />

guides for how to use their equipment<br />

and software.”<br />

That background has led him to<br />

MIT, where he is now responsible for<br />

the Multimodal Vision for Synthetic<br />

Aperture Radar project. “What I bring<br />

is the operational experience of how<br />

to use these types of sensors, so I can<br />

field questions.” The goal of the project<br />

is to turn the images taken by specialized<br />

sensors into more human readable<br />

and interpretable photos. “That way<br />


30<br />






—<br />

TSgt. Armando Cabrera,<br />

US Air Force<br />

you don’t need experience as an image<br />

analyst, to understand what the images<br />

show. SAR sensors can penetrate<br />

things like weather or smoke, but the<br />

drawback is it’s hard to interpret the<br />

image itself. I’m hoping that with this<br />

capability that we’re creating, it can be<br />

used during events that usually don’t<br />

deploy it for. We can automatically use<br />

the sensor to penetrate through smoke<br />

or clouds and easily get additional information<br />

that we normally wouldn’t have.”<br />

The project uses learning algorithms<br />

trained on paired SAR and more easily<br />

understood electro-optical (EO)<br />

images. “It’s able to learn what a SAR<br />

image will look like compared with an<br />

EO image, and over time it will pick up<br />

the characteristics of the SAR image<br />

that are equivalent to EO image. That<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

31<br />

way, it can create new images with the<br />

synthetic EO image attached.” Cabrera<br />

points to the usefulness of such technology<br />

in response to disasters such as<br />

the California wildfires, making previously<br />

obscured areas visible to build up<br />

a better picture of what is happening on<br />

the ground.<br />

Cabrera hails the open nature of<br />

machine learning as meaning that it’s<br />

now accessible to far more people.<br />

“When I first heard I was going to learn<br />

machine learning, I didn’t know what<br />

it was. But AI is so democratized now<br />

that I could learn a lot of information<br />

just from searching the internet. The<br />

two years that I was able to spend with<br />

a non-stop focus on machine learning<br />

and AI have meant I’ve been able to<br />

bring back a lot of benefits.”<br />



32<br />



Having enlisted in the Air Force directly<br />

out of high school, Capt. Ronisha Carter<br />

started off in the field of server maintenance<br />

and boundary protection, before<br />

becoming an officer and receiving a<br />

Master’s in Computer Engineering. “I<br />

was selected for an Education with<br />

Industry fellowship at VMware, where<br />

I was able to work within an Artificial<br />

Intelligence Machine Learning development<br />

team,” she says. “It was at this time<br />

when I developed a foundation in artificial<br />

intelligence and machine learning.”<br />

Her current role is as a Cyberspace<br />

Warfare Operations officer. “My career<br />

field covers the entire communications<br />

spectrum,” says Carter. “Everything<br />

from network defense to base communications<br />

structures, to tactical<br />

communications. This background along<br />

with my AI foundation led me to be one<br />

of 11 selected to collaborate with MIT<br />

on the integration of artificial intelligence<br />

technology into Air Force platforms.”<br />

Under Carter’s remit falls the C-17<br />

scheduling project, with the intention<br />

of bettering the lives of pilots and<br />

airmen using AI to make the process<br />

of scheduling less time consuming<br />

while increasing efficiency and minimizing<br />

errors. “Creating an Air Force<br />

flight schedule today, the scheduler<br />

has to account for a multitude of<br />

variables we identify as constraints.<br />

This includes qualifications or the<br />

training a pilot requires for that seat<br />

and crew rest – the time they must<br />

take off in between each flight. Also<br />

the amount of flights that need to<br />

be scheduled, and the time intervals<br />

between those flights. This process<br />

is currently being accomplished through<br />

various manual channels. Separate<br />

data systems, phone calls, and even<br />

whiteboards, which causes scheduling<br />

to be immensely complex and<br />

time consuming.”<br />

The remedy to that involves using AI<br />

to take up the burden. “What we hope<br />

to achieve is to create a data driven<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

model that can produce the best or<br />

most optimized schedule for multiple<br />

objectives and constraints,” says<br />

Carter. “We provide decision-makers<br />

with a mathematically aided assessment<br />

that predicts schedules weeks<br />

in advance and it gives them back time<br />

in their day.”<br />

Wider implications for the project<br />

involve the gaining of efficiencies<br />

across the board, from supply chains<br />

to maintenance. “For instance, the<br />

work that we’re doing today could<br />

allow for advancements in scheduling<br />

for hospital staffing, shift<br />

workers, cargo and mail distribution,<br />

logistics operations, and even commercial<br />

airline crew scheduling or<br />

flight maintenance.”<br />

Carter emphasizes the extent to<br />

which ethical considerations guide<br />

everything which is done with AI.<br />

“Within all of our projects we are considering<br />

the implications of ethics.<br />


Ronisha Carter<br />

33<br />

Title: Artificial Intelligence R&D<br />

Location: United States<br />

Industry: Academia and Defense<br />

Capt. Carter is the USAF-MIT Artificial Intelligence Accelerator’s<br />

lead for AI-Assisted Optimization of Training Schedules project.<br />

Carter has a B.S. in Computer Science from Hawaii Pacific<br />

University and an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Florida<br />

International University. Carter worked as a Cyber Operations<br />

Officer before being selected to the Education with Industry<br />

program where she was assigned to VMWare to use ML/AI to<br />

create content driven intelligence platforms. Her technical<br />

papers on ML/AI during this time helped land her a<br />

follow-on assignment to MIT to serve as part of the initial<br />

core of embedded Airmen for the AI Accelerator.<br />



34<br />






—<br />

Capt. Ronisha Carter,<br />

US Air Force<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Ronisha Carter | USAF-MIT AI Accelerator<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:36<br />

35<br />

In February, the DoD adopted ethics<br />

principles for AI based on recommendations<br />

from the Defense Board<br />

of Innovation. This mandates that all<br />

DoD AI capabilities must be responsible,<br />

equitable, traceable, reliable, and<br />

governable and meet the same legal,<br />

ethical, and policy standards across<br />

the department.<br />

Partnerships have again made the<br />

project possible. “Our partnership with<br />

MIT and Lincoln Lab is essential<br />

to developing these technologies,<br />

and we also work hand-in-hand with<br />

Tron and Airmen Coders, Air Force<br />

Software development teams that<br />

vector internal Air Force talent to<br />

solve and engineer solutions for the<br />

really tough Air Force problems. Our<br />

team of MIT principal investigators,<br />

grad students, software developers,<br />

human-computer interaction<br />

designers, and Air Force software<br />

development teams ensures we create<br />

better solutions for our Airmen.”<br />



36<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

37<br />

Stakeholder<br />

Management<br />

– the Power<br />

of Shared<br />



Value & Trust<br />



Business Chief North America<br />

gains insight from BSR on the<br />

importance of shared value<br />

and trust to drive effective<br />

stakeholder engagement<br />

38<br />

O<br />

ver the last 10 months, COVID-19 has<br />

had an exponential impact on industries<br />

and organisations, regardless of size<br />

or location. As a result stakeholder management<br />

has never been more important or come with<br />

greater challenges. The business and economic<br />

uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, has<br />

increased the need for organisations to develop<br />

robust, defensible and flexible stakeholder<br />

management strategies and tools in order to<br />

be effective. “Stakeholder engagement is – and<br />

will remain – a core element of the sustainability<br />

toolkit,” comments BSR in its Five Step Approach<br />

to Stakeholder Management report.<br />

BSR defines stakeholder management as “a fundamental<br />

component of materiality assessments,<br />

which are then used to inform sustainability strategy,<br />

reporting, and disclosure. Corporations need<br />

strategies in order to understand and respond to<br />

existing and emerging societal concerns. Without<br />

input from key stakeholder groups, any approach<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


Digital Transformation.<br />

Made real every day.<br />

Find out how big advances in AI have made it easier<br />

than ever to unlock the power of data, create value,<br />

insights and a new level of intelligent security. From<br />

Individuals, to small organizations, to the Global<br />

Fortune 100, AI and machine learning are improving<br />

businesses and lives everywhere.<br />

40<br />

Learn More

“Stakeholder<br />

engagement is –<br />

and will remain –<br />

a core element of<br />

the sustainability<br />

toolkit”<br />

—<br />

BSR<br />

to sustainability will be limited by<br />

an organisation’s self-interest and<br />

inward focus.” While stakeholder<br />

management is an essential part of an<br />

organisation’s operations, engaging<br />

with stakeholders is not an easy operation.<br />

With this in mind, Business Chief<br />

North America gains insight from BSR<br />

on why adopting a strategy that creates<br />

shared value and develops trust<br />

is the best approach to drive effective<br />

stakeholder engagement.<br />



Prior to engaging in any form of strategy<br />

development, it is important for organisations<br />

to develop an understanding of<br />

what stakeholder engagement means<br />

to them, as well as what the desired<br />

achievements are for the operations.<br />

While often used to describe public<br />

relations or reputation management,<br />

it is also important for organisations<br />

to understand that these types of<br />

communication are not the same as<br />

stakeholder engagement.<br />

In order to be successful when it<br />

comes to engaging with stakeholders,<br />

BSR highlights that the corporate<br />

mindset needs to shift from seeing<br />

stakeholder concerns as external risks<br />

to manage, to being serious topics that<br />

require transparent dialogue and<br />

a strategic response. “Stakeholders<br />

that choose to engage with companies<br />

generally expect this interaction to<br />

generate change, which is why it is<br />

a mistake to treat engagement as a<br />

one-way information dissemination<br />

process, rather than as a dialogue,”<br />

adds BSR.<br />

When done well, the value of stakeholder<br />

engagement is expected to add<br />

up over time, providing support during<br />

times of difficulty, whether it be reputational<br />

or economical. “Companies that<br />

are more aware of stakeholder interests<br />

are more likely to avoid crises because<br />

they are better able to anticipate risks<br />

41<br />



BSR’s Five-Step Approach<br />

STEP 5<br />


STEP 1<br />



42<br />

Feedback Loop<br />

STEP 4<br />


Identify opportunities from<br />

feedback and determine<br />

actions, revisit goals, and<br />

plan next steps for follow-up<br />

and future engagement<br />

Conduct the<br />

engagement itself,<br />

ensuring equitable<br />

stakeholder<br />

contributions and<br />

mitigating tension<br />

while remaining<br />

focused on priorities<br />





Focus on long-term goals to<br />

drive the approach, determine<br />

logistics for the engagement,<br />

and set the rules<br />

STEP 3<br />


Set vision and level<br />

of ambition for future<br />

engagement, and review<br />

past engagements<br />

Define criteria<br />

for identifying<br />

and prioritizing<br />

stakeholders, and<br />

select engagement<br />

mechanisms<br />

STEP 2<br />



We have update<br />

BSR’s five-step g<br />

stakeholder eng<br />

to reflect the eve<br />

stakes at play in<br />

5 Five-Step Approach to Stakeholder Engagement<br />

and opportunities,” comments BSR.<br />

“A number of compelling studies on the<br />

impacts of good community and stakeholder<br />

relations across industries and<br />

countries, have concluded that companies<br />

that intentionally build stakeholder<br />

trust are more financially resilient over<br />

time, across multiple indicators of value.”<br />

An important element of stakeholder<br />

engagement is the understanding of<br />

who the key stakeholders are and where<br />

they came from, as well as what their<br />

relationship is to the company. This process<br />

allows organisations to map their<br />

stakeholder landscape and determine<br />

the correct method and approach for<br />

effective communications.<br />

Once determined, in order to deliver<br />

clear, flexible and trusted communication,<br />

BSR identifies six core principles<br />

that should govern engagement:<br />

focused and relevant engagement<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

What is stakeholder<br />

mapping?<br />

“A collaborative process<br />

of research, analysis, debate,<br />

and discussion that draws from<br />

multiple perspectives to determine<br />

a key list of stakeholders across<br />

the entire stakeholder spectrum”<br />

BSR<br />

goals; timely engagement that can<br />

inform outcomes and business decisions;<br />

providing diverse and inclusive<br />

perspectives as well as being culturally<br />

sensitive and accessible; not just sharing<br />

but ensuring that the stakeholder is<br />

listened to too; and ensuring transparent<br />

communication and sharing information.<br />

It is important to ensure that once an<br />

engagement with stakeholders is made,<br />

that the original purpose and aims; the<br />

methods used; the participants; a summary<br />

of any concerns, expectations, and<br />

perceptions; a summary of discussions;<br />

and a robust list of outputs are documented<br />

in order to measure the success<br />

and build upon the efforts made for<br />

future engagements. “Companies often<br />

conduct engagements and then fail to<br />

document the results and act transparently<br />

on the information gained through<br />

the exchanges,” comments BSR, who<br />

explains that adopting this approach<br />

Charlotte Bancilhon<br />

43<br />

“Without input from<br />

key stakeholder<br />

groups, any approach<br />

to sustainability will<br />

be limited by an<br />

organisation’s selfinterest<br />

and inward<br />

focus”<br />

—<br />

BSR<br />



44<br />

will “help hone your message for the<br />

appropriate audience.”<br />

Ultimately, BSR states that, “the art<br />

of stakeholder engagement does not<br />

actually lie in which format you choose,<br />

but in how well you match a format to<br />

the issue, stakeholder(s), and situation.<br />

The scale, scope, and span of the<br />

engagement will vary, depending on<br />

these specifics.”<br />


STAKEHOLDER MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT<br />

“The companies we work with all say<br />

that, if anything, the COVID-19 crisis<br />

has amplified stakeholder management.<br />

Companies are getting more<br />

questions from stakeholders, not less.<br />

This includes questions from investors,<br />

clients, and consumers,” comments<br />

Charlotte Bancilhon, Associate Director,<br />

BSR, who adds that “In terms of topics,<br />

the spotlight has shifted to the social<br />

agenda, in the midst of job losses and<br />

the economic crisis impacting people’s<br />

livelihoods worldwide. Marginalized<br />

populations and women are disproportionately<br />

impacted by the COVID<br />

crisis. Executive compensation and tax<br />

practices are coming under increased<br />

Building Stakeholder Trust in 2019<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:47<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“Companies often conduct engagements<br />

and then fail to document the results and act<br />

transparently on the information gained through<br />

the exchanges”<br />

—<br />

BSR<br />

scrutiny in the US, although this has been<br />

a topic for stakeholders in Europe for<br />

a while now.”<br />

Back in April, BSR looked at what<br />

stakeholders were discussing online<br />

and on social media, leveraging its<br />

partnership with Polecat, which provides<br />

a big data tool to analyse global<br />

discourse. BSR found that online media<br />

focused on some of the topics you<br />

would expect – procurement of medical<br />

supplies and the labor market. “The<br />

social media conversation on the other<br />

hand was paying acute attention to<br />

issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion<br />

and how not all are equal in the face of<br />

this crisis. One month later, the killing of<br />

George Floyd sparked the global Black<br />

Lives Matter movement.<br />

Of course COVID-19 has affected the<br />

way we engage as well, shifting from<br />

in-person to virtual and leveraging technology<br />

to do so,” commented Charlotte<br />

Bancilhon, Associate Director, BSR.<br />


FOR STAKEHOLDER MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT<br />

1. Innovate collaborate consult – joint<br />

venture or partnership; external<br />

advisory council; collaboration workshop;<br />

joint research; or stakeholder<br />

engagement summit<br />

2. Message advocate – sustainability<br />

report; survey; town hall meeting;<br />

mass email or newsletter; social<br />

media outreach; or conference<br />

3. Monitor – marketing campaign and<br />

tracking; online and social media<br />

monitoring; subscription to stakeholder;<br />

newsletter; or blog.<br />

45<br />



46<br />

Reinventing HR<br />

Operations with<br />

Humans and AI<br />

Collaboration<br />


DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



As AI continues to prove<br />

its value across multiple<br />

sectors and business<br />

function, Business Chief<br />

looks at how the tech is<br />

reinventing HR operations<br />

48<br />

E<br />

xpected to be the most significant<br />

business advantage in the future<br />

by 72% of executives, artificial<br />

intelligence (AI) is predicted to be incorporated<br />

into 47% of organisations’ HR<br />

functions by 2022.<br />

While it is feared that employment rates<br />

will drop as the use of intelligent technologies<br />

rises, when speaking with Business<br />

Chief in October, Arun Shenoy, SVP Global<br />

Sales and Marketing at Serverfarm reflected<br />

on the best way to deploy technology,<br />

software and hardware tools. “Most organisations<br />

find this challenging because they<br />

are only solving one part of the problem – the<br />

technology. Simply buying and deploying<br />

a platform isn’t enough; you have to change<br />

and refine the processes and ensure that you<br />

have the right people,” commented Shenoy.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


How Artificial Intelligence is Reinventing HR,<br />

Skills and the Employee Experience<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 19:11<br />

51<br />

In fact, speaking with executive<br />

experts in HR operations, the consensus<br />

highlights that benefits of AI in HR<br />

operations come from a collaborative<br />

approach between AI and humans,<br />

with a core use case being to provide<br />

efficiency gains. “It has allowed us to<br />

do the same thing we always did – but<br />

faster and more cost effective,” comments<br />

Andi Britt, Senior Partner at IBM<br />

Talent & Transformation, IBM Services<br />

Europe. While the internet brought the<br />

capability of fast recruitment, both<br />

Britt and Chris Huff, CSO at Kofax<br />

identify that AI can apply the same<br />

speed to the assessment of potential<br />

candidates, the likelihood of future<br />

success and the expected timeframe<br />

to fill a given role. “This is an example<br />

of the ways in which AI is changing the<br />

situation so that technology enables<br />

the HR function to solve critical business<br />

challenges, building on earlier<br />

contributions from workforce analytics,”<br />

added Britt.<br />

With COVID-19 placing organisation<br />

and business operations on the edge<br />

of a pivotal moment when it comes to<br />



52<br />

innovation and digital transformation,<br />

AI and automation have transitioned<br />

from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘necessity<br />

for survival’. “COVID-19 has created a<br />

digital awakening that has accelerated<br />

the adoption of AI and automation<br />

technologies,” comments Huff. It is<br />

expected by those in HR that COVID-<br />

19 will not only accelerate the overall<br />

digital journey for organisations, but<br />

the role of HR in the modern workplace.<br />

This acceleration will ultimately<br />

move organisations closer to HR 3.0<br />

with employee experience at its centre.<br />

“C-Suite leaders surveyed<br />

expect to see nearly<br />

tenfold growth with<br />

regard to automating<br />

HR processes between<br />

2018 and 2022<br />

Andi Britt,<br />

Senior Partner at IBM Talent & Transformation,<br />

IBM Services Europe<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

The benefits of<br />

artificial intelligence<br />

(AI) in HR<br />

“Today, AI’s capabilities are<br />

being used to augment business<br />

operations and consumer<br />

solutions,” comments Andi Britt,<br />

Senior Partner at IBM Talent<br />

& Transformation, IBM Services<br />

Europe. At IBM, the company<br />

has identified five reasons for<br />

implementing AI in HR operations:<br />

53<br />

1. To solve pressing business<br />

challenges<br />

2. To attract and develop<br />

new skills<br />

3. To improve the employee<br />

experience<br />

4. To provide strong decision<br />

support<br />

5. To use HR budgets as efficiently<br />

as possible<br />



54<br />

“CHROs at high performing organisations<br />

are taking immediate action to<br />

achieve this vision. They are leveraging<br />

real-time unstructured data from inside<br />

and outside organisations, and pairing<br />

that with analytics and AI to improve<br />

talent and workforce decisions while<br />

enabling more personalised employee<br />

experiences,” says Britt.<br />

Statistics reported during the<br />

height of the pandemic, identified<br />

that many organisations are<br />

“COVID-19 has created<br />

a digital awakening that<br />

has accelerated the<br />

adoption of AI and<br />

automation<br />

technologies”<br />

Chris Huff,<br />

CSO at Kofax<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

55<br />

embracing AI tools to attract diverse<br />

talent and to enhance and personalise<br />

recruitment. In an IBM HR<br />

executive survey, the company<br />

identified that more than half of<br />

high performing companies are<br />

using AI to identify behavioral skills<br />

to build diverse and adaptable teams.<br />

Currently, “High performing organisations<br />

are leveraging AI across talent<br />

acquisition at a rate of 6 times more<br />

than all other companies.” During the<br />

pandemic, IBM saw its clients rely<br />

heavily on AI enabled HR applications<br />

such as chatbots and skill building<br />

recommendation platforms. “These<br />

technologies enable organisations<br />

to free up HR leaders’ time for more<br />

meaningful work. C-Suite leaders<br />

surveyed expect to see nearly<br />

tenfold growth with regard to automating<br />

HR processes between 2018<br />

and 2022,” comments Britt. However,<br />

while the rate of adoption has<br />



The challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) in HR<br />

56<br />

“Current HR and AI trends point to<br />

a promising Future of Work that’s<br />

richer in experience, but also brings<br />

with it the need for strong governance<br />

to account for unintended<br />

consequences,” comments Chris Huff,<br />

CSO at Kofax. When it comes to the<br />

successful adoption of AI to deliver<br />

on its promising future, IBM identifies<br />

four key prevention barriers:<br />

1. Access to the right data: it is vital<br />

that organisations develop a complete<br />

understanding of the data<br />

involved, by harnessing comprehensive<br />

metadata libraries.<br />

2. Access to the right talent and<br />

skills: with AI skills in high demand,<br />

organisations should look to<br />

upskill existing employees, boost<br />

data and tech literacy and find<br />

the right partners.<br />

3. Get the technology right: with<br />

the adoption of AI, organisations<br />

often require an update to the<br />

technology used to collect, store<br />

and process data. Digitally native<br />

companies typically have an<br />

advantage due to their nimble<br />

and scalable businesses models.<br />

4. Ethical and governance frameworks:<br />

while AI can provide huge<br />

benefits, misused it can have<br />

negative results, such as bias<br />

and intrusive AI. To remove bias<br />

organisations should ensure that<br />

data privacy and security are at<br />

the forefront of their approach,<br />

as well as a clear ethical and<br />

governance frameworks.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

increased, IBM found that only 30%<br />

of companies have the skills and<br />

capabilities in AI in the HR function.<br />

To be successful in adopting AI in<br />

HR operations – or any technology<br />

– culture is identified as an all to often<br />

underestimated barrier. It is important<br />

for organisations to ensure that they<br />

include their employees in the transformation<br />

journey. When employees<br />

understand the reasoning for change<br />

they are more receptive, making it<br />

“High performing<br />

organisations are<br />

leveraging AI across<br />

talent acquisition<br />

at a rate of 6 times<br />

more than all other<br />

companies”<br />

Arun Shenoy,<br />

SVP Global Sales & Marketing,<br />

ServerFarm<br />

easier to implement and adopt technology.<br />

Ultimately, “Progress has to<br />

start from the top, with good leadership<br />

and open conversation to dispel<br />

fears and misunderstandings about<br />

the technology,” states Britt. Not only<br />

is it important to engage with employees<br />

to showcase the business needs,<br />

it is also important to listen to the<br />

needs of the employees conducting<br />

the tasks.<br />

By combining the best of what AI<br />

can provide, with employee hopes<br />

for the technology, Huff explains<br />

that this approach is ”a win-win that<br />

will increase adoption of AI and lead<br />

to a collaborative person-machine<br />

future to drive productivity for the<br />

organisation and individual.” With<br />

this collaborative approach to AI and<br />

humans, HR is on the cusp of a new<br />

digital era in which employees adopt<br />

a more behind-the-scenes role to<br />

create the scenarios carried out by AI.<br />

“People will find themselves in more<br />

creative, strategy, problem defining<br />

and problem escalation roles as<br />

opposed to transactional<br />

activities,” concludes Huff.<br />

57<br />


CORPORATE FI<strong>NA</strong>NCE<br />

58<br />

KPMG:<br />




MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT<br />


DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


CORPORATE FI<strong>NA</strong>NCE<br />



MENT MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT BEN-<br />





60<br />

Fuad Chapra, Head of Family Business at KPMG<br />

in the Saudi Levant Cluster, and Head of Advisory<br />

in the western region of Saudi Arabia, started his<br />

career at KPMG in 2014. Chapra’s responsibilities<br />

at KPMG include: leading M&A transactions,<br />

group restructuring assignments and business<br />

valuations, as well as specialised advisory services<br />

to the government of Saudi Arabia and leading<br />

family businesses. Prior to KPMG, Chapra has<br />

held executive positions at Panda Retail Company<br />

and the Savola Group.<br />



Investment management is the service provided by<br />

professionals in the management of financial assets<br />

and investment assets for an entity or an individual<br />

based on an agreed upon investment plan.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


Unique, open & intelligent<br />

technology solutions<br />

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the global<br />

edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company,<br />

helping organizations accelerate outcomes by<br />

unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere.<br />

Visit www.hpe.com



MA<strong>NA</strong>GERS<br />


US$2.7BN THROUGH<br />

THE USE OF<br />


MARKET<br />


—<br />

Fuad Chapra,<br />

Head of Family Business at KPMG<br />

(Saudi Levant Cluster) and Head of Advisory<br />

in the western region of Saudi Arabia<br />

Professional investment management<br />

services offer a wide array of<br />

benefits. The primary benefit to investors<br />

is that this allows them to obtain<br />

advice and recommendations from<br />

experts in the field of investment and<br />

those that specialise in various types<br />

of investment.<br />

More importantly for individual<br />

investors, investment management<br />

services allow an easier means for<br />

the investor to achieve diversification<br />

in their investment that matches their<br />

risk profile and the desired investment<br />

horizon, commonly through the investment<br />

in funds.<br />

Furthermore, investment management<br />

service providers would typically<br />

work to re-balance the investment<br />

portfolios based on the latest trends<br />

and analysis, thereby taking this burden<br />

away from the investor.<br />


MENT MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT SERVICES AND<br />



There are costs associated with<br />

investments through an investment<br />

management service provider – the<br />

fee that is required to be paid to the<br />

investment manager. This could<br />

63<br />


CORPORATE FI<strong>NA</strong>NCE<br />

of the performance of the endowments<br />

of Yale and Harvard, both of which are<br />

amongst the largest university endowments<br />

in the world. With a staff of 30,<br />

Yale believes in the model of managing<br />

investment managers. Harvard, on the<br />

other hand, has had staff up to more<br />

than 200 individuals and performed a<br />

hybrid of selecting its own investments<br />

and managing investor managers.<br />

64<br />

either be on the basis of a percentage<br />

of assets under management and/or a<br />

percentage of profits over a specified<br />

amount. This implies that if the investor<br />

had invested in the same assets by<br />

themselves, then the investor would<br />

generate a higher return.<br />

In addition to the benefits mentioned<br />

earlier, engaging with an investment<br />

management firm allows businesses to<br />

focus their efforts on their core operations.<br />

Furthermore, it allows the business<br />

to have flexibility when they want to<br />

change their investment strategy. A<br />

good example of this is the comparison<br />




Similar to other industries, technology<br />

has become increasingly important to<br />

enhance customer experience. This<br />

includes digital onboarding of new customers<br />

and providing transparent and<br />

up-to-date information on the status<br />

of the customers’ investments.<br />

Furthermore, there has been a significant<br />

rise of robo-advisors which<br />

automate investment management<br />

through the use of algorithms, and<br />

thereby making investment management<br />

services more accessible for a wider<br />

demographic, as well as an increase in<br />

availability of exchange traded funds that<br />

aim to mirror performance of a particular<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>



Settlements and contracts<br />

By harnessing blockchain, investment<br />

managers can benefit from<br />

its smart controls and automation<br />

capabilities. With Blockchain’s business<br />

rules and computer protocols,<br />

investment managers can run settlements<br />

without human interference<br />

and facilitate, verify, or enforce the<br />

negotiation or performance of<br />

a contract. Transaction ledgers<br />

Conducting transactions on blockchain<br />

technology, all parties can<br />

gain transparent access to the<br />

data via a distributed network.<br />

This type of transaction can not<br />

be altered without permission<br />

from the network, which means<br />

all activity is verified and accurate.<br />

Ultimately, this can reduce the time<br />

and costs associated with conducting<br />

verifications.<br />

Audits<br />

Blockchain technology can eliminate<br />

human error for investment managers,<br />

by using real time track and trace<br />

audit trails.<br />

Infrastructure<br />

Adopting blockchain technology<br />

reduces transaction costs, as well as<br />

the need for infrastructure and the<br />

associated costs.<br />

Source: Accenture and IBM<br />

65<br />


CORPORATE FI<strong>NA</strong>NCE<br />

66<br />

index. The US ETF market is expected<br />

to continue to be largest. However, the<br />

European ETF market is projected to<br />

have more aggressive growth.<br />

Blockchain is also expected to have<br />

a significant impact on investment<br />

management services. As an example,<br />

Castalone estimated that blockchain<br />

could save investment managers<br />

approximately US$2.7bn through the<br />

use of distributed market infrastructure.<br />

Last but not least, artificial intelligence<br />

and machine learning are also anticipated<br />

to change the way investment<br />

managers make investment decisions.<br />




THE IMPACT ON INVESTOR MA<strong>NA</strong>GE-<br />



COVID-19 has caused significant market<br />

volatility, a reduction in deal volume<br />

and uncertainty in asset valuation. As a<br />

result, many investors have sought to<br />

shift towards less risky investments. In<br />

contrast, sovereign wealth funds have<br />

seen this as an opportunity to acquire<br />

equity investments at attractive valuations.<br />

COVID-19 has also accelerated<br />

AI & Manufacturing in Asia — Opportunities,<br />

Challenges and Solutions: Microsoft Asia<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:02<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

67<br />

digital transformation across all industry<br />

segments, thereby warranting renewed<br />

diligence on investment recommendations.<br />

In particular, equity investments in<br />

companies that may have traditionally<br />

performed well may not necessarily be<br />

a good investment if they fail to digitise<br />

their business model and adjust to the<br />

new normal.<br />

Similarly, investment management<br />

companies should seek an accelerated<br />

pace of digitisation for themselves<br />

as well. This includes opening and<br />

enhancing channels for digital wealth<br />

and robo-advisory in addition to leveraging<br />

digital to enhance the overall<br />

customer experience. It is important to<br />

note that the move towards digital will<br />

also increase the importance of cybersecurity<br />

and ensuring the protection of<br />

customer data. In terms of investment<br />

strategy, post COVID-19, investment<br />

management service providers are likely<br />

going to seek out undervalued assets.<br />



What Does it Mean<br />

to be a Digital Brand?<br />



68<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Business Chief speaks with<br />

leaders from McKinsey, Toluna<br />

and Ebiquity on what it means<br />

to be a digital brand and the<br />

best strategy to drive value<br />

There are a number of definitions for what<br />

constitutes a digital brand. In this roundtable,<br />

leading experts look at the difference<br />

between digitally native companies and how traditional<br />

companies are becoming digital. Business<br />

Chief also gains insight into what it means to be a<br />

digital brand in today’s world, as well as the ways<br />

in which companies can drive the most value out<br />

of their digital brand strategy.<br />

69<br />



JP: Jesko Perrey, Senior Partner at McKinsey<br />

& Company<br />

MM: Michele Morelli, EVP, Global Marketing<br />

Strategy, Toluna<br />

AM: Angus McLean, Director at Ebiquity<br />


Reimagine<br />

the impossible<br />

Bring together people, data, and processes to transform<br />

your organization.<br />

With the latest in AI technologies, you can engage your customers<br />

in new ways, empower your employees more than ever before, and<br />

optimize operations to become an industry leader. Start your digital<br />

transformation today.<br />

Get started

“It is virtually impossible to segment a traditional<br />

brand from a digital brand today because social<br />

media and the internet are ubiquitous”<br />

—<br />

Michele Morelli,<br />

EVP, Global Marketing Strategy, Toluna<br />


Thanks to COVID-19, the adoption<br />

of digital that would have<br />

happened across all industries<br />

in a five to 10-year period<br />

happened in six months.<br />

Essentially, COVID-19 has<br />

stolen companies’ time to<br />

prepare for this development.<br />

Combine that with the latest<br />

and greatest trends which are<br />

personalisation, being human<br />

and being socially responsive<br />

and my advice would be: be<br />

yourself and don’t try to play<br />

an artificial game.<br />

Jesko Perrey,<br />

Senior Partner at McKinsey<br />

& Company<br />


JP: ‘Digital brand’ can often be misleading<br />

because too many companies<br />

think that it’s simply doing what you<br />

already do but using digital channels.<br />

This is much more about a mindset. A<br />

digital brand is a brand that anticipates<br />

and is responsive to their customers’<br />

needs. To do this at scale, companies<br />

rely on flexible technologies, comprehensive<br />

data sets, and advanced<br />

analytics. Given the profound shift to<br />

digital during COVID-19, every brand<br />

needs to be a digital brand.<br />

MM: There are two ways to look<br />

at digital brands. One is a brand that<br />

exists solely within the ecosystem of<br />

the digital environment. Huffington<br />

Post and Twitter are both digital<br />

brands. The other, and more interesting,<br />

perspective is digital brand as<br />

part of a ‘traditional’ brand’s identity<br />

and strategy that acknowledges<br />

and leads with the importance of its<br />

online presence, user experience and<br />

71<br />



72<br />

engagement. It is virtually impossible<br />

to segment a traditional brand from<br />

a digital brand today because social<br />

media and the internet are ubiquitous.<br />




MM: One trend we are seeing is<br />

the continued blurring of brand and<br />

acquisition marketing. The standard<br />

customer journey path taught<br />

35 years ago has been completely<br />

disrupted. The path to purchase is<br />

not linear; today it’s more a jumbled<br />

mess. People are consuming content<br />

for entertainment and the ‘time-topurchase’<br />

window has been greatly<br />

reduced across the board. In social<br />

media, shoppable posts are now<br />

being developed in a productive way.<br />

Influencer marketing, for better or<br />

worse, is also part of digital marketing.<br />

The steps from an unboxing video viewing<br />

to purchase are much shorter than<br />

in a non-digital world.<br />

Another trend is the greater need<br />

for personalisation in messaging and<br />

communications. Especially in the<br />

current environment, digital brands<br />

are expected to not only adapt their<br />

communications messaging and<br />

tone to reflect the circumstances,<br />

but to change their product and services<br />

offering. This is where market<br />

research – especially platform-based,<br />

agile research – is key.<br />

JP: Two stand out. One is personalisation,<br />

which is the ability to tailor<br />

offers, products, services, and communications<br />

to individual customers<br />

wherever they are in their decision<br />

journey. These brands harness<br />

technology and insights to always be<br />

relevant to their customers. The other<br />

is the ability to continually pivot and<br />

innovate. That requires an operating<br />

model that constantly looks for new<br />

opportunities and develops new ways<br />

to tap those opportunities so they can<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

FoRfest<strong>2020</strong> - Brand Building by Responding<br />

to Shifting Consumer Needs in Real-Time<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 31:23<br />

73<br />

stay ahead of competitors wherever<br />

they emerge.<br />



AM: The future was always bright for<br />

digital brands, a growing and highly<br />

connected customer base, easily<br />

accessible target audiences through<br />

major digital platforms, being able to<br />

move faster than larger more traditional<br />

competitors and not being restricted<br />

by geography or physical retail. As<br />

the world moves evermore online, the<br />

barriers to entry for new digital brands<br />

will fall and the friction for consumers<br />

to purchase from these brands will<br />

erode away. We have already seen the<br />

introduction of seamless, one-touch,<br />

end-to-end ecommerce with Facebook<br />

stores and Amazon marketplace.<br />

However, COVID has accelerated<br />

digital transformation among almost all<br />

companies to varying degrees, including<br />

traditional incumbents.<br />

JP: The human touch is becoming<br />

hugely important. In response, digital<br />

brands will get more human and more<br />

personal. They will be much smarter in<br />

terms of spending and more diligent in<br />



74<br />

measurement and optimisation. The<br />

variety of channels is so huge now, and<br />

the ways that customers use them<br />

change so often, that brands have to<br />

be much more diligent about how they<br />

spend. Across all countries measured in<br />

our global consumer sentiment surveys,<br />

consumers revealed that they are turning<br />

to digital and reduced-contact ways<br />

of accessing products and services. In<br />

the UK, 71% of consumers stated that<br />

they had tried a new shopping behaviour,<br />

with 16% stating that they had tried a<br />

new digital shopping method. As these<br />

habits further evolve, granular data<br />

analysis and disciplined marketing-performance<br />

management will be essential<br />

for brands to stay in touch with their customers<br />

and drive MROI.<br />

In addition, we’re seeing corporate<br />

purpose, environmental considerations,<br />

the balance of individual time and all<br />

social topics (such as Black Lives Matter<br />

and diversity) driving the consumer<br />

agenda. As such, there are many potential<br />

areas for getting it wrong. Again, this<br />

is really about developing deep and<br />

meaningful connections with customers<br />

based on a deep understanding of what<br />

they care about, want, and need.<br />

“The human touch<br />

is becoming hugely<br />

important. In response,<br />

digital brands will get<br />

more human and more<br />

personal”<br />

—<br />

Jesko Perrey,<br />

Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

75<br />

MM: Voice and audio will be the next<br />

frontier for digital brands. It’s important<br />

to note that digital brands evolve<br />

as consumer behaviour evolves. And<br />

now, digital brands need to understand<br />

what their presence looks like in a more<br />

non-visual world. Right now, UX, UI and<br />

design are an integral part of a digital<br />

brand, but brands must think about what<br />

interactions will look like when people<br />

aren’t using a click to engage. Audio<br />

branding and sound logos will become<br />

increasingly important.<br />



JP: The basics still hold: you need to<br />

provide something that your customers<br />

value. But with ‘digital’ at the core,<br />

you can react more quickly, test new<br />



76<br />

opportunities cheaply, be much<br />

more precise about how you connect<br />

with customers, and go after a<br />

much more granular and widespread<br />

set of opportunities. Is it even possible<br />

to be a ‘non-digital’ brand in today’s<br />

environment?<br />

The challenges are huge. On the<br />

one hand, it requires a new order of<br />

collaborative leadership to manage<br />

the complexity of technology and<br />

data-driven marketing at an unprecedented<br />

degree of granularity.<br />

Marketers have to work closely with IT,<br />

sales, operations, finance, etc, to make<br />

digital work. On the other hand, just<br />

because digital gives you the opportunity<br />

to do more doesn’t mean that<br />

you should do it. Privacy, security and<br />

purpose are all issues that consumers<br />

care deeply about, and brands need to<br />

continually balance how they want to<br />

connect with customers with the need<br />

to maintain trust with them.<br />

MM: All brands are now digital<br />

brands. The differentiators are;<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“Is it even possible to be<br />

a ‘non-digital’ brand in<br />

today’s environment?”<br />

—<br />

Jesko Perrey,<br />

Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company<br />

prioritisation of digital, emphasis on<br />

the UX and UI and integration of digital<br />

platforms in customer service and<br />

products. This all equates to simplicity<br />

for the consumer. For instance, with<br />

digital, you can open a bank account<br />

quickly to secure the best interest<br />

rate online. The offline method seems<br />

obsolete and laborious. The benefit<br />

is clear: the better and easier it is for<br />

consumers to do business with you,<br />

the more market share you gain.<br />

However, for all digital brands,<br />

customer service is challenging and<br />

must be a top priority. If you need to<br />

reach an actual person at Facebook<br />

or Google to fix a problem or answer a<br />

question, good luck! Customer service<br />

doesn’t exist for some of these large<br />

digital brands. Amazon got this right.<br />

AM: A major benefit is the ability to<br />

compete against well-established<br />

brands in reaching potential customers<br />

on digital platforms. Another benefit<br />

of being a digital brand is the ability to<br />

turn on, turn off and change strategy<br />

quickly based on data and insights<br />

gathered through digital channels.<br />

Being able to dynamically and at<br />

reasonably low cost produce and<br />

iterate creative, product messaging<br />

to what works is a huge advantage.<br />

However, building consumer confidence<br />

and brand credibility without a<br />

physical retail presence is a challenge.<br />

Can your brand be trusted to deliver?<br />

Does it actually exist or is there risk of<br />

an online scam?<br />

Many small businesses establishing<br />

themselves as digital first brands<br />

are bootstrapping and don’t have the<br />

deep pockets to compete with more<br />

established brands. As with any small<br />

business, people are wearing many<br />

hats and might be the HR, marketing<br />

and logistics person in one. However<br />

the ability to find talented contractors<br />

and online tools to help has never<br />

been easier. Many online brands outsource<br />

key functions like shipping and<br />

logistics and never actually house the<br />

physical product.<br />

77<br />






JP: You need to pull it back to the principle<br />

of good marketing/branding. The<br />

rules of good marketing and branding<br />

are being distinctive and being differentiated.<br />

That’s particularly important to<br />

revisit now as consumers are re-evaluating<br />

what’s important to them and their<br />

families. Even more important is the rule,<br />

‘learn to walk before you run.’ A good<br />

digital strategy, therefore, is a strategy<br />

that focuses on the core elements (differentiation)<br />

and which really focuses on<br />

what your brand stands for. In addition,<br />

one of the key features for an effective<br />

strategy is the right people. Key people<br />

are the core differentiator and make<br />

the magic happen. They are the scarcest<br />

resource in digital and non-digital<br />

brands. Another is to combine creativity<br />

78<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

(often an element that is underplayed in<br />

digital brands) and match it with superior<br />

advanced analytics to ensure long-term<br />

success. Advanced analytics allow you<br />

to personalise, select elements that are<br />

appropriate, and allow you to spend efficiently.<br />

When companies get that right,<br />

their investments generate value quickly<br />

and they develop strong relationships<br />

based on trust with their customers.<br />

MM: Put the customer at the centre of<br />

your strategy. Understand: how do they<br />

engage online, where they are going, and<br />

what content are they consuming? As a<br />

digital brand, these questions are paramount.<br />

Digital tracking is an effective<br />

way to spot changes in digital search and<br />

buying behavior. With access to in-app<br />

buying behaviour and mobile search, our<br />

clients use digital tracking to understand<br />

when and how consumers shop. Brands<br />

should also focus on user centric design.<br />

A good UX designer always has the consumer<br />

at the centre of their design. With<br />

this approach, users are at the centre of<br />

every step of the design process.<br />

Digital is not only about the external,<br />

it’s about the internal. Employing digital<br />

technology in areas like research speeds<br />

up decision-making and creates agility<br />

“The ability to find<br />

talented contractors<br />

and online tools to help<br />

has never been easier”<br />

—<br />

Angus McLean,<br />

Director at Ebiquity<br />

within an organisation. Moving offline<br />

research processes online allows you<br />

to keep the customer close while also<br />

maintaining the integrity and quality of<br />

your research.<br />

AM: The most effective strategy is one<br />

that gets implemented, which generally<br />

means keeping it simple. Defining the<br />

vision and setting goals, establishing a<br />

timeline and clearly communicating the<br />

strategy to everyone who needs to be<br />

involved. A strategy cannot be effective<br />

if people are not aware of it and have not<br />

bought into the vision.<br />

Management support is also key to<br />

any digital initiative. They require investment<br />

in tools and people but progress<br />

is better than standing still so don’t over<br />

complicate it. Set goals, use data, test,<br />

iterate, support successes and learn<br />

from failures.<br />

79<br />



80<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Cisco:How to<br />

Get the Most<br />

Value Out of IoT<br />

81<br />





Business Chief speaks with<br />

Vikas Butaney, Vice President<br />

& General Manager, Cisco IoT on<br />

how to get the most value out of<br />

the internet of things (IoT)<br />

82<br />


Vikas Butaney, Vice President and General<br />

Manager of Cisco IoT, defines the internet of<br />

things (IoT) as a set of technologies that extends<br />

connectivity to edge devices and a wide range<br />

of ‘things’ to extract value from business data<br />

and accelerate digitalisation. An example of IoT<br />

powered devices in an operational setting include<br />

automated robots that need to work 24/7 with no<br />

interruption in their communications in a pick and<br />

pack distribution centre or manufacturing facility.<br />

In all cases where IoT is deployed, Butaney<br />

emphasises the importance of a secure and reliable<br />

communication system as foundational to<br />

success with this technology.<br />

“Securely connecting IoT<br />

devices is paramount”<br />

—<br />

Vikas Butaney,<br />

Vice President & General Manager, Cisco IoT<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

61%<br />

of enterprises show a high<br />

level of IoT maturity,<br />

Gartner<br />

75bn<br />

of enterprises show a high<br />

level of IoT maturity,<br />

Gartner<br />

127<br />

new devices are connect to<br />

the Internet every second,<br />

McKinsey<br />

83<br />


ericsson.com/<br />

5g-switch<br />

Move towards<br />

zero touch, cut<br />

down on time<br />

Ericsson.<br />

The 5G switch made easy.<br />

With automated provisioning and insight-driven<br />

service assurance, Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration<br />

simplifies operations, moving you closer to the<br />

zero-touch experience.<br />

This means greater savings and shorter time to<br />




3. Establish cross-functional teams<br />

that have shared business objectives.<br />

85<br />

1. Be strategic and maintain focus.<br />

It is important to understand the<br />

objectives and use cases before<br />

designing IoT connectivity and<br />

solutions.<br />

2. Avoid having a site by site, custom<br />

deployment of IoT. Instead, define<br />

company-wide standards, which<br />

are deployed step by step across<br />

the company as facilities are<br />

built or refreshed. “This standard<br />

approach will drive the greatest<br />

amount of efficiency at all levels<br />

of the organisation.”<br />

4. Ensure that technology partners<br />

have a high level of experience in<br />

your industry and the market power<br />

to maintain business operations for<br />

decades. Butaney notes that “these<br />

types of operational settings have a<br />

long shelf life. It is important to make<br />

sure that IoT solutions do too.”<br />

5. In addition to ensuring technology<br />

partners have a high level of industry<br />

experience, it is also important to<br />

engage IoT partners at every stage<br />

to accelerate learning and overcome<br />

challenges.<br />



86<br />

“Video and mission critical communications<br />

over wireless are exploding edge bandwidth<br />

requirements and requiring new wireless<br />

technologies to support near-zero latency<br />

connectivity”<br />

—<br />

Vikas Butaney,<br />

Vice President & General Manager, Cisco IoT<br />


Productivity improvements: the<br />

capabilities of IoT are enabling<br />

improved operational efficiency such<br />

as: reduced downtime, improved<br />

resilience and efficiency, as well as<br />

improved output and speed.<br />

New customer experiences:<br />

Cisco’s Control Center connects<br />

over 60 million cars, enabling new<br />

driver experiences, shile machine<br />

builders and device makers use<br />

Cisco Control Center to connect<br />

100 million devices offering their<br />

customers new capabilities.<br />

Improving the way people work:<br />

improving workplace safety, produtivity,<br />

efficiency and revenue.<br />


Complexity: frequently operational<br />

settings across industries are legacy<br />

systems that have been around for<br />

decades. As a result rolling out new<br />

solutions with IoT can be complex.<br />

Security: when deploying IoT solutions,<br />

organisations need visibility<br />

on what is connected and potential<br />

threats. It is important for organisations<br />

to leverage IoT security tools<br />

to ensure that they are not vulnerable<br />

to cyberattacks.<br />

Scalability: With IoT being complex<br />

to deploy and manage at scale.<br />

Butaney explains that IoT projects<br />

require a strong partnership between<br />

IT and OT in order to build scalable<br />

and secure projects for lower lifetime<br />

TCO. “Bespoke projects are hard to<br />

sustain over time.”<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Vikas Butaney, Cisco |<br />

Cisco Live EU Barcelona <strong>2020</strong><br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 17:49<br />

87<br />


AS WE COME TO THE END OF <strong>2020</strong><br />

With 75 billion IoT devices expected<br />

to be connected by 2025, Butaney<br />

details that “securely connecting IoT<br />

devices is paramount,” but requires<br />

a new level of security vigilance than<br />

before. As a result it is important to<br />

implement IoT security solutions outside<br />

of traditional network firewalls.<br />

In doing this, IoT devices can be connected<br />

securely and continuously<br />

monitored for potential threats.<br />

Another key trend highlighted by<br />

Butaney is the increased demand<br />

for high bandwidth, low latency wireless.<br />

With the increase in connected<br />

devices on the move, “this wireless<br />

connectivity to ‘things’ in motion is<br />

frequently much more demanding<br />

than connecting data to people over<br />

wireless. Video and mission critical<br />

communications over wireless in mining,<br />

ports, manufacturing, trains and<br />

roadways are exploding edge bandwidth<br />

requirements and requiring new<br />

wireless technologies to support nearzero<br />

latency connectivity.”<br />

In addition to security and high bandwidth,<br />

low latency wireless, Butaney<br />




88<br />

IoT has become a CXO-level<br />

conversation again: IoT’s value<br />

proposition is rapidly expanding<br />

from productivity, efficiency,<br />

and new services to enabling the<br />

board-level topic of <strong>2020</strong> - business<br />

resiliency. Businesses need to rapidly<br />

adjust operations based upon<br />

the workforce availability, supply<br />

chain interruptions, and changing<br />

customer expectations – exactly<br />

the places where IoT now sits.<br />

IoT is delivering secure remote<br />

operations: over the last few years,<br />

the focus for IoT was on connecting<br />

devices to tap into new data<br />

for analytics. Now, in response to<br />

COVID, there is an added requirement<br />

to enable remote operations<br />

for both business resiliency and<br />

cost efficiency. This will fundamentally<br />

change how IoT devices will<br />

be connected.<br />

IoT is now accelerating the<br />

move to a new class of networking:<br />

companies need secure<br />

remote access to IoT devices for<br />

diagnostics and remote technicians,<br />

in addition to remote<br />

controlling and operating IoT<br />

devices. This new dependence on<br />

IoT raises the bar on secure remote<br />

access requirements, including:<br />

• Connectivity for IoT devices<br />

requiring increased bandwidth<br />

• Extremely low latency wireless<br />

connectivity for applications at<br />

high speed<br />

• Cybersecurity to protect expansion<br />

of the threat surface<br />

• Network automation to make<br />

deploying and managing IoT<br />

devices at scale doable with finite<br />

resources<br />

• Edge computing for when going<br />

to the cloud is too slow to support<br />

real-time edge processes and<br />

analysis is needed closer to the<br />

IoT device<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

89<br />

highlights the role 5G will play in the<br />

future of IoT. “Wireless technologies<br />

are a key pillar of IoT and 5G has<br />

huge promise,” comments Butaney,<br />

who also states that, by 2023, 34%<br />

of all mobile connections will be IoT<br />

connections, up from 13% in 2018.<br />

However, he does emphasise that<br />

there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.<br />

“Think of your mobile phone: one type<br />

of wireless technology doesn’t meet<br />

all your needs. You have LTE/5G<br />

cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and<br />

NFC - at least five wireless technologies<br />

- each with their strengths and<br />

weaknesses that address specific<br />

goals. The same is true for connectivity<br />

needs in IoT deployments.”<br />

With organisations needing a<br />

cohesive strategy that doesn’t result<br />

in costs, complexity and security<br />

risks, particularly in a post COVID-19<br />

world, Butaney explains that there is<br />

an increased need for business resiliency<br />

and remote operations. “These<br />

needs are driving an evolution of<br />

automation systems to be more endto-end<br />

connected, more autonomous,<br />

and able to be remotely supervised<br />

via IoT connectivity.”<br />



90<br />

“This wireless connectivity to ‘things’ in motion<br />

is frequently much more demanding than<br />

connecting data to people over wireless”<br />

—<br />

Vikas Butaney,<br />

Vice President & General Manager,<br />

Cisco IoT<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Butaney recommends a four-step<br />

process for picking the right IoT<br />

wireless technology to reduce costs,<br />

complexity and security risks:<br />

1. Decide what IoT device you are<br />

going to connect<br />

2. Decide the application requirements<br />

- latency, reliability, cost, thrupu, etc<br />

3. Decide the deployment scope -<br />

indoors or outdoors, over miles or<br />

a few hundred feet<br />

4. Assess the technology options<br />

against those requirements<br />

91<br />

Combined, businesses,<br />

governments and consumers<br />

will invest nearly<br />

US$1.6trn<br />

to install IoT solutions in <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

PwC<br />

Overall, Butaney expects IoT to<br />

continue to deliver radical transformation<br />

across industries. “In a sense, the<br />

future is now. IoT is already critical<br />

today for many businesses. This will<br />

only become more pervasive.” Just<br />

a few examples of the future and<br />

current impacts of IoT include: connecting<br />

intersections to reduce traffic<br />

and improve road safety; connecting<br />

robots to reduce machine downtime<br />

through predictive maintenance; and<br />

connecting workers to improve worker<br />

safety ( measuring worker proximity in<br />

an age of pandemics).<br />


TOP 10<br />

92<br />

US Mergers and<br />

Acquisitions<br />

of the Last Two<br />

Decades<br />

Business Chief ranks – by year – its top 10 mergers<br />

and acquisitions made by companies in<br />

North America over the past two decades<br />



DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


TOP 10<br />

2/9/20<br />


N/A<br />


94<br />

10 NerdWallet &<br />

Know Your Money<br />

Announced back in September <strong>2020</strong>, NerdWallet announced its<br />

plans to acquire Norwich-based company Know Your Money. While<br />

negotiations for the acquisition began prior to the outbreak of<br />

COVID-19, the company highlighted that the pandemic has created<br />

a surge in demand for financial guidance and products.<br />

“Expansion to the UK is an important step towards our vision of a world<br />

where every consumer makes financial decisions with confidence,”<br />

commented Tim Chen, co-founder and CEO of NerdWallet.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

09 Salesforce<br />

& Tableau<br />

In a US$25.7bn deal, Salesforce made its biggest acquisition of the<br />

decade. The acquisition made by Saleforce was designed to further<br />

drive the company’s ambition to help organisations’ digital transformations,<br />

and enable companies around the world to tap into data<br />

to produce deeper insights and make smarter decisions.<br />

“Tableau will make Salesforce Customer 360, including Salesforce’s<br />

analytics capabilities, stronger than ever, enabling our customers to<br />

accelerate innovation and make smarter decisions across every part<br />

of their business,” commented Marc Benioff, Chairman of Salesforce.<br />

1/8/19<br />


$25.7bn<br />


95<br />


6 Ways Inventory Management<br />

Fuels Supply Chain<br />

Explore How Inventory Management Enables Supply<br />

Chain to Reach Its Fullest Potential<br />

For most businesses, the supply chain is not only the primary cost centre but one of<br />

the most challenging aspects of running a profitable operation.<br />

This ebook examines the role of inventory management in each step of the supply<br />

chain and share best practices for how businesses can use inventory management to<br />

optimise and run a more profitable operation.<br />

Download Ebook Now

9/9/19<br />


$34bn<br />


08 IBM<br />

& Red Hat<br />

97<br />

July 2019 saw IBM complete a landmark deal to acquire Red Hat for<br />

US$34bn. Designed to accelerate innovation for their customers, the<br />

acquisition was aims to provide a next-generation hybrid multi-cloud<br />

platform for secure deployment, running, and management of data<br />

and applications.<br />

“Businesses are starting the next chapter of their digital reinventions,<br />

modernising infrastructure and moving mission-critical workloads across<br />

private clouds and multiple clouds from multiple vendors,” commented<br />

Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM. “IBM and Red Hat are<br />

uniquely suited to meet these needs. As the leading hybrid cloud provider,<br />

we will help clients forge the technology foundations of their business for<br />

decades to come.”<br />


TOP 10<br />

07 Amazon<br />

& Whole Foods Market<br />

98<br />

With a vision to make Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and<br />

organic food affordable for everyone, Amazon closed its acquisition<br />

of Whole Foods Market on August 28, 2017. While the company was<br />

acquired by Amazon, Whole Foods Market retained its name for<br />

conducting operations, and continues to grow its team and create<br />

jobs in local communities.<br />

“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for<br />

everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market<br />

quality – we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods<br />

Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards,” commented<br />

Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer.<br />

28/8/17<br />


$13.7bn<br />


DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

6/9/16<br />


N/A<br />


06 Dell<br />

& EMC Corporation<br />

99<br />

While the value of the acquisition of EMC Corporation by Dell is<br />

unknown, the merger, which took place in September 2016, resulted<br />

in a market value of US$74bn (2016). The merger provided Dell with<br />

the infrastructure to allow organisations to “build their digital future,<br />

transform IT and protect their most important asset – information.”<br />

Commenting on the merger Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of<br />

Dell Technologies, said:<br />

“We are at the dawn of the next industrial revolution. Our world is<br />

becoming more intelligent and more connected by the minute, and<br />

ultimately will become intertwined with a vast Internet of Things,<br />

paving the way for our customers to do incredible things. This is why<br />

we created Dell Technologies.”<br />


Pack the essentials<br />

for your business trip:<br />

Laptop<br />

Charger<br />

Business insights<br />

Payment solutions<br />

From T&E expertise to business insights to payment<br />

solutions, the American Express Corporate Program<br />

gives you all the tools and services you need, so you’re<br />

fully prepared for business wherever you are.<br />

To learn more about the American Express Corporate<br />

Program, visit www.americanexpress.com.

14/2/14<br />


$16bn<br />


05 Facebook<br />

& WhatsApp<br />

101<br />

February 2014 saw Facebook acquire popular cross-platform mobile<br />

messaging company WhatsApp for US$16bn and US$3bn in restricted<br />

stock units. The acquisition was reported to support the two companies’<br />

mission to increase connectivity and utility across the world by<br />

providing efficient and affordable core internet services.<br />

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services<br />

that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’ve known<br />

Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team<br />

to make the world more open and connected,” commented Mark<br />

Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook.<br />


TOP 10<br />

04<br />

Verizon & Vodafone’s<br />

45% in Verizon Wireless<br />

Valued at US$130bn, in September 2013, Vodafone sold its 45% stake<br />

in Verizon Wireless to the US telecommunication company Verizon<br />

Communications. It was reported that, as part of the transaction,<br />

Vodafone returned US$70.6bn to its shareholders, US$28.7bn of which<br />

was expected to go to shareholders in the UK. “We think we have a<br />

balanced approach here. We are reducing our debt level which will<br />

enable the company to be very robust and take opportunities if they<br />

arise,” commented Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone.<br />

102<br />

2/9/13<br />


$130bn<br />


DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

13/10/11<br />


$8.5bn<br />


103<br />

03 Microsoft<br />

& Skype<br />

October 2011 saw Microsoft enter into a US$8.5bn deal to acquire<br />

Skype. Marking a new business division in Microsoft, the acquisition was<br />

designed to focus on the two companies’ shared ambition to connect<br />

all people across all devices and accelerate real-time communications.<br />

“Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds<br />

of millions of people around the world. We look forward to working with<br />

the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected<br />

to family, friends, clients and colleagues — anytime, anywhere,”<br />

commented Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft.<br />


Adaptability is not<br />

an aspiration.<br />

It’s a business asset.<br />


WE GOT<br />


“Applying Industry 4.0<br />

processes has improved<br />

production decision<br />

making at 85% of<br />

manufacturers.”<br />

MPI Group study <strong>2020</strong> – read the<br />

study to learn more<br />

To survive in an era of volatile demand, uncertain supply,<br />

and constrained capacity, your organisation must be<br />

adaptable.<br />

Now is the time to commit to a new way of working that<br />

can help you adapt to supply chain disruptions, react to<br />

changes in demand, and capitalize on new opportunities.<br />

SAP will work with you as you move towards digitalization<br />

and Industry 4.0 in a company-wide, business strategy<br />

that focusses on data-driven customer attention and<br />

• Build intelligent, individualized products by connecting<br />

each customer’s voice to everything from product<br />

planning to delivery.<br />

• Meet the demands of customers looking for<br />

sustainability.<br />

• Create the kind of production process that adapts<br />

• Use intelligence and networks to integrate every machine,<br />

partner, and employee.<br />

• Connect the entire company, bringing together logistics,<br />

sales, and service, so every step is orchestrated.<br />

The SAP Digital Supply Chain portfolio supports<br />

industry 4.0, enables the digitalization of engineering,<br />

manufacturing, and asset operation processes, connects<br />

and automates machines and devices, and brings<br />

intelligence via AI and advanced analytics to an entire<br />

production process. This can help to continuously improve<br />

production performance, lower cost, and increase the<br />

agility and resiliency of your supply chain.<br />

Adaptability is no longer an aspiration, it’s a business<br />

asset that can help you stay connected to your customers,<br />

integrated with your partners, and ahead in your industry.

TOP 10<br />

106<br />

Disney Plus | Announcement Trailer<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:45<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

31/8/09<br />


$4bn<br />


02<br />

Walt Disney Company<br />

& Marvel Entertainment<br />

107<br />

In August 2009, two of the oldest entertainment companies –<br />

Walt Disney Company and Marvel Entertainment – entered into<br />

a US$4bn acquisition deal, in which Walt Disney Company acquired<br />

Marvel Entertainment.<br />

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and worldrenowned<br />

library of characters with Disney’s creative skills,<br />

unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a<br />

business structure that maximises the value of creative properties<br />

across multiple platforms and territories,” commented Robert A. Iger,<br />

president and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.<br />

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of<br />

brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and<br />

value creation.”<br />


TOP 10<br />

01Google<br />

& YouTube<br />

108<br />

Founded just one year prior in 2005, Google was quick to snap up<br />

YouTube in 2006, acquiring the company for US$1.65bn. Today<br />

YouTube has a market value of US$160bn.<br />

“The YouTube team has built an exciting and powerful media platform<br />

that complements Google’s mission to organise the world’s information<br />

and make it universally accessible and useful,” commented Eric Schmidt,<br />

Chief Executive Officer of Google. “By joining forces with Google, we can<br />

benefit from its global reach and technology leadership to deliver a<br />

more comprehensive entertainment experience for our users and to<br />

create new opportunities for our partners,” added Chad Hurley,<br />

co-founder of YouTube.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Google YouTube Merger<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:09<br />

109<br />

10/10/06<br />


$1.65bn<br />



110<br />








DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



Stephen and Gabino Roche, President<br />

and CEO, discuss overcoming risk-aversion<br />

in finance and how Saphyre is disrupting<br />

an inefficient system<br />

112<br />

I<br />

n an era of increasing digital sophistication,<br />

the extent to which out-dated<br />

technologies, techniques and processes<br />

continue to weigh down even the largest companies<br />

in finance is surprising. Not content with<br />

simply disrupting the pre-trade space with an<br />

integrated onboarding platform, Saphyre offers<br />

clients an intuitive, easy-to-use experience that<br />

belies its sophistication. Founded in 2017, it is<br />

an iconoclastic company that desires to break<br />

down barriers in a sector easily siloed and fundamentally<br />

believes in creating a streamlined and<br />

user-friendly alternative that enables customers<br />

to generate revenue faster.<br />

“I’ve always built technology products from<br />

scratch; that’s always been kind of my thing,”<br />

states Gabino Roche, CEO. An experienced and<br />

successful business-technology leader with 20<br />

years of expertise gained from executive roles at<br />

some of the world’s most prestigious organisations,<br />

he says that the knowledge gained from these<br />

companies regarding product R&D has been invaluable<br />

to the development of Saphyre. “I learned<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



114<br />

“I’ve always built<br />

technology products<br />

from scratch; that’s<br />

always been kind<br />

of my thing”<br />

—<br />

Gabino Roche,<br />

CEO, Saphyre<br />

what five of the major US banks were<br />

doing in this space and then also what<br />

their clients in the arena needed.”<br />

The process of mapping these two<br />

aspects together would prove crucial<br />

to the company’s development. Also<br />

adding to Saphyre’s strong leadership<br />

is Gabino’s brother, Stephen Roche,<br />

President. With a background focusing<br />

on business development and emerging<br />

communications tech, Stephen<br />

says that new innovation has always<br />

“enthralled” him. “I’ve worked with a<br />

lot of Fortune 1000 entities and it’s<br />

always been a challenge to introduce<br />

new technology: companies always<br />

view it and the associated operations<br />

as an expense. However, it’s also been<br />

a good learning experience because<br />

I would help them realize a successful<br />

model, and that has allowed me to<br />

advise the Saphyre team on how best<br />

to allocate resources and grow.”<br />

Allowing clients to digitise their<br />

emails, faxes and spreadsheets<br />

through an accessible platform and<br />

powered by ATTOM ((AI Tracking<br />

of Transactions and Operational<br />

Metadata), its patented artificial intelligence<br />

(AI) workflow management<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Speed Your Onboardings<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:41<br />

115<br />

technology, Saphyre integrates data<br />

sharing, real-time messaging and<br />

transparency. Developing a successful<br />

product for pre-trade was an integral<br />

part of Saphyre’s development.<br />

However, as Gabino explains, this<br />

was only half the battle in establishing<br />

the company’s place in the market.<br />

“The other half was actually planning<br />

the adoption strategy; how do you<br />

get clients, individual users, or even<br />

institutions to adopt a new technology<br />

that’s never existed before?”<br />

A believer in appealing to the “selfish<br />

interests of the client”, he relates that,<br />

by focusing on both cost-reduction<br />

and increased revenue, the company<br />

has been able to gain attention quickly.<br />

“Clients can start trading and making<br />

money straight away, meanwhile the<br />

custodians are also making money<br />

by collecting interest and fees. Our<br />

overall strategy is to digitize the pretrade<br />

space, not just for the benefit<br />

of trading, but also for trading and<br />

post-trade.”<br />

Core to Saphyre’s ethos is the idea<br />

of ‘levelling the playing field’ or, in<br />

the company’s own words, “disrupting<br />

a broken system”; it is adamantly<br />



116<br />

opposed to the innovation-stifling<br />

bureaucracy that permeates so many<br />

aspects of finance. “We chose to<br />

take on this endeavor because the<br />

status quo wasn’t serving people’s<br />

best interests,” explains Stephen.<br />

Wary that some firms were initially<br />

reticent to take notice at first because<br />

of (unrelated) unfruitful tech initiatives<br />

that spawned risk-aversiveness,<br />

Saphyre’s first mission was to prove<br />

that it could outperform expectations,<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

which, Stephen continues, it soon did.<br />

“I started with the company in May of<br />

2017. We released our first product in<br />

the fall of 2017 and we went live with<br />

our first client in March of 2018. We<br />

just cut through the bureaucracy and<br />

deliver what the client actually needs.”<br />

Maintaining a spirit of innovation<br />

among its staff is also highly important<br />

at Saphyre, which it achieves through<br />

genuine employee empowerment and<br />

a dual-layered workforce dynamic: one<br />

team consisting of product managers,<br />

industry experts and user experience<br />

designers, and a second team of<br />

coders, to whom the middle and backoffice<br />

operations are taught in order to<br />

establish the appropriate context as<br />

they work. “What that does is structure<br />

things so that the technology team<br />

is uninterrupted, and they know what<br />

we give them is solid because we’ve<br />

already validated it several times with<br />

our innovation team,” Gabino explains.<br />

“Working at some other financial<br />

institutions three and a half years ago,<br />

you would never have seen those two<br />

things combined together.”<br />

117<br />


Gabino Roche<br />

Title: CEO & Co-Founder<br />

Location: United States<br />

Industry: Financial Services<br />

Gabino is an experienced and successful business-technology leader with<br />

20 years of expertise gained from executive roles at some of the world’s most<br />

prestigious organisations, including McKinsey, AT&T and JP Morgan Chase.<br />

“I’ve always built technology products from scratch; that’s always been<br />

kind of my thing.” Holding a BSc in Business Management Information<br />

Systems from Seton Hall University (1993 to 1998) and an MBA in<br />

Global Management from the University of Phoenix (2000 to 2003),<br />

he is highly knowledgeable on industry trends, industry-leading<br />

approaches and the contemporary needs of clients.<br />



118<br />


Stephen Roche<br />

Title: President & Co-Founder<br />

Location: United States<br />

Industry: Financial Services<br />

Stephen has a background focusing on business development and emerging<br />

communications tech. He has acquired a large amount of experience working<br />

for AT&T prior to co-founding Saphyre with his brother. “I’ve worked with<br />

a lot of Fortune 1000 entities and it’s always been a challenge to introduce<br />

new technology. However, it’s also been a good learning experience because<br />

I would help them realize a successful model, and that has allowed me to<br />

advise the Saphyre team on how best to allocate resources and grow.”<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Boosting Saphyre’s standing in a<br />

cautious industry has been one of its<br />

key challenges, particularly when other<br />

companies in the space compound the<br />

issue by over-promising and underdelivering.<br />

“And then, when you have<br />

a fintech startup saying, ‘We can do all<br />

these things too,’ people might look at<br />

our size and question it,” says Stephen.<br />

“However, we’re bringing a phenomenal<br />

user experience,” Gabino adds,<br />

“If we needed to hire armies of people<br />

to support a business, that would<br />

undermine how advanced our platform<br />

really is.” In some respects, market<br />

differentiation hasn’t been difficult for<br />

Saphyre at all: possessing a portfolio<br />

of 48 patents and a unique offering in<br />

the pre-trade market, Gabino states<br />

that, prior to the company’s formation,<br />

there was no competition at all.<br />

Therefore, Saphyre’s team has been<br />

able to instead focus on raising the<br />

digital transformation of pre-trade to<br />

a higher standard. “When institutions<br />

in the finance space make investments,<br />

they invest in trading and post-trade<br />

because that’s where the money’s<br />

to be made. I’m not suggesting that<br />

pre-trade gets ignored, but you’d be<br />

surprised by the amount of Windows<br />

95 and legacy infrastructure that still<br />

exists out there.”<br />

“We chose to take on this<br />

endeavor because the status<br />

quo wasn’t serving people’s<br />

best interests”<br />

—<br />

Stephen Roche,<br />

President, Saphyre<br />

119<br />



“Our overall strategy is to<br />

digitize the pre-trade space,<br />

not just for the benefit of<br />

trading, but also for trading<br />

and post-trade”<br />

—<br />

Gabino Roche,<br />

CEO, Saphyre<br />

120<br />

Any ‘glass ceiling’ that might have<br />

impeded Saphyre has been countenanced<br />

by the announcement in<br />

mid-September that it had struck<br />

a partnership with JP Morgan and<br />

BlackRock. Deployed to digitize their<br />

account opening workflow, produce<br />

improved scalability and remove<br />

manual processes, the two companies’<br />

choice to leverage Saphyre’s technology<br />

has given it a significant credibility<br />

boost. “We were selected because<br />

Saphyre is the only one in this space,<br />

and [JP Morgan and Blackrock] were<br />

tired of pseudo-monopoly financial<br />

firms dealing with 1980s technology or<br />

faxing data information,” says Stephen.<br />

“It’s our reputation and consistency<br />

of execution that has led to this great<br />

news.” Indeed, the partnership can be<br />

viewed as simultaneously a validation<br />

of Saphyre’s value and an illustration<br />

of the importance of collaboration, no<br />

matter how large a financial institution<br />

might be, a conclusion that Gabino<br />

concurs with: “If you try to be the<br />

master of many things, you’ll be the<br />

master of none. Saphyre has opted to<br />

be the master of one thing, which we<br />

do extremely well.”<br />

Emerging from the COVID-19<br />

pandemic relatively unfazed, owing<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

121<br />


Saphyre’s new partners have<br />

been vocal in their support for<br />

the company:<br />

“Saphyre has been instrumental<br />

in transforming the account<br />

opening experience for our<br />

clients. J.P. Morgan was an early<br />

adopter of Saphyre and is now live<br />

in production after successfully<br />

testing its value proposition for<br />

over 6 months,” said Naveen TV,<br />

Managing Director, JP Morgan’s<br />

Securities Services.<br />

“With powerful workflow features<br />

and enhanced visibility into the<br />

account opening lifecycle, Saphyre<br />

has enabled BlackRock to eliminate<br />

manual processes to support the<br />

account opening workflow across<br />

custodians and broker-dealers,”<br />

commented Liliane Ancona,<br />

Managing Director, BlackRock.<br />

The full details of Saphyre’s<br />

momentous partnership with<br />

JP Morgan and BlackRock can<br />

be found here.<br />



122<br />

to its high-tech operational infrastructure,<br />

Gabino even posits that certain<br />

aspects of the business, such as setting<br />

up meetings, may have become<br />

easier. “Traditionally, I would have to<br />

fly across the world, go to people’s<br />

offices, make pitches, etc. Now, relying<br />

on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, I’m<br />

actually more busy because I don’t<br />

have to allocate that additional travel<br />

“If you try to be the master<br />

of many things, you’ll be<br />

the master of none. Saphyre<br />

has opted to be the master<br />

of one thing, which we do<br />

extremely well”<br />

—<br />

Gabino Roche,<br />

CEO, Saphyre<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

123<br />

time; I’ve got meetings back-to-back.”<br />

Subsequently, Saphyre has been<br />

able to concentrate on its mission<br />

for 2021: eliminating 70% of manual<br />

post-trade activities, a complement to<br />

its uncontested work in the pre-trade<br />

space and demonstrating its holistic,<br />

end-to-end grasp of the trade process.<br />

“Our model is sophisticated yet simple;<br />

we’re constantly exploring how to<br />

streamline the entire experience and<br />

make it more user friendly,” concludes<br />

Gabino. “In the world today everything<br />

is siloed, but we’re breaking down<br />

those walls and bringing it all together.”<br />


Adaptive Data Centers<br />

124<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Putting Sustainability<br />

at the Heart of Data<br />

Management<br />





125<br />



126<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Aligned has completed a<br />

historic billion-dollar round<br />

of financing specifically<br />

linked to sustainability. CEO<br />

Andrew Schaap is eyeing<br />

the possibilities it opens up<br />

I<br />

t’s a mark of Andrew Schaap’s modesty<br />

that he says of the Covid-19 pandemic,<br />

“We’re weathering it well.” While other<br />

companies were diving for cover in the second<br />

quarter of <strong>2020</strong>, Aligned – where Schaap is CEO<br />

– “saw a very big uptick in February, March, April,<br />

and May”.<br />

“The pandemic has proven to be somewhat of a<br />

use case study in capacity planning for our big customers,”<br />

he explains. “All of them run analysis on<br />

what they can get out of a server, what they can<br />

get out of a CPU, what they can get out of a storage<br />

device or networking device. But the ones that are<br />

really born on web technologies are being pushed to<br />

the limit of what they can do. And so, our customers<br />

have been able to see just how effective adaptive<br />

infrastructure and our Delta 3 cooling technology<br />

are when it comes to seamlessly addressing those<br />

peaks in demand.”<br />

As well as higher headroom capacity, data patterns<br />

have changed. Schaap points to a gaming<br />

127<br />



128<br />

“This is a capital-intensive business. You<br />

need capital partners that understand<br />

the business”<br />

—<br />

Andrew Schaap,<br />

CEO, Aligned<br />

client using Aligned’s data centres<br />

which saw its traditional 6pm to 3am<br />

peak capacity shift as schools closed<br />

and the workforce headed home.<br />

For Aligned’s customers, its modular,<br />

dynamic and highly scalable data<br />

solutions came into their own. And<br />

its finance partners have allowed the<br />

Dallas-based company to innovate its<br />

supply chain to meet the accelerated<br />

delivery needs of customers, specifically<br />

in the hyperscale space.<br />

Another sunny day in Aligned’s<br />

fair-weathered pandemic came<br />

in September, when it closed a<br />

billion-dollar sustainability-linked<br />

financing led predominantly by ING.<br />

This is the first U.S. data center sustainability-linked<br />

financing and also<br />

one of the largest private debt raises<br />

in data center history.<br />

Previously, after joining Aligned<br />

in 2017, Schaap struck a deal with<br />

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real<br />

Assets (MIRA) (“not your traditional<br />

private equity”) to recapitalise the<br />

business. “This is a capital-intensive<br />

business. So, you have to have capital<br />

partners that are highly capable of<br />

understanding what the business<br />

looks like.”<br />

Traditionally, MIRA invests in infrastructure<br />

such as roads, bridges and<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

CEO Andrew Schaap Discusses<br />

Aligned’s Adaptive Data Centers<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:19<br />

129<br />

highways. Aligned was the operating<br />

group’s first foray into infrastructure<br />

of the digital kind. The entity saw<br />

a clear understanding that in order<br />

to compete with the buying power<br />

afforded to publicly traded Fortune<br />

500 data brands, Aligned needs to be<br />

able to work the angles. Schaap and<br />

his team laser-focused the business,<br />

including flipping the traditional data<br />

center supply chain / vendor-managed<br />

inventory (VMI) on its head.<br />

“We did it essentially to counteract<br />

scale. Those [Fortune 500] guys have<br />

buying power with scale and they<br />

leverage that buying power to get<br />

the best outcome out of the suppliers.<br />

What we did, essentially, was<br />

approach the supply chain differently<br />

by deploying capital and committing<br />

to capacity.”<br />

“Not everybody can do this. The publicly<br />

traded providers have to explain<br />

every dollar they spend to Wall Street,<br />

and get a return on it within a set period<br />

of time – or they get penalised.”<br />

“But because of Macquarie, our other<br />

capital partners and our business<br />

model, we were able to essentially<br />

look at the supply chain and be bullish<br />


Munters brings<br />

over six decades<br />

of innovation to<br />

its partnership with<br />

Aligned Energy<br />

Munters has been developing innovative,<br />

energy efficient climate control solutions<br />

for over 60 years, and Data Center<br />

cooling is a market segment that is<br />

very active right now. DC President<br />

Michael Gantert explains why as the<br />

industry leader in energy efficient<br />

climate control solutions, Munters<br />

expertise in data center cooling helps<br />

Aligned Energy meet growth demands<br />

Munters has a long history in delivering innovative,<br />

energy efficient climate control solutions. Started<br />

in Sweden over 60 years ago, Munters has<br />

deployed its technologies in a host of industries.<br />

Munters Data Centers (DC) business, managed<br />

by President Michael Gantert, is a key partner for<br />

Aligned Energy. Munters has worked closely with<br />

Aligned Energy to manufacture and advance the<br />

development of their unique cooling solution.<br />

Munters entered the data center cooling market<br />

12 years ago and has developed a number of<br />

cooling solutions that have been widely adopted<br />

and are critical to the efficient operation of many<br />

data centers.<br />

When Aligned Energy got in touch to discuss a<br />

partnership, it wasn’t to purchase an existing<br />

solution, but rather to further develop their own<br />

cooling solution and manufacture a product that<br />

would reduce equipment lead time and cost, while<br />

also improving reliability.<br />

“For a data center company to come to us with<br />

a pre-designed cooling solution and ask us to<br />

manufacture it, while also making it better and<br />

easier to install, that was a bit unique from what<br />

we’ve experienced over the past 12 years.”<br />

Michael Gantert,<br />

Munters<br />

“Aligned Energy recognized in Munters our history<br />

of innovation, engineering expertise, and flexible<br />

manufacturing capabilities. They saw those aspects<br />

of Munters as key to support their growing business.<br />

Our relationship is a true partnership. We share<br />

a lot of information including technical engineering<br />

details and manufacturing techniques for their<br />

cooling solutions.”<br />

“There has certainly been a lot of collaboration<br />

between the two companies over the past few<br />

years. They have a great cooling technology.<br />

We have embraced that, and we really feel<br />

Munters has provided value to Aligned Energy<br />

by understanding the technology and continuing<br />

to develop and enhance it for them.”<br />

“We’ve worked very closely with Aligned Energy<br />

and we’ve been provided selective visibility<br />

into their pipeline, which allows us to plan and<br />

prepare to best meet their needs. We continuously<br />

assess equipment inventory and component stock<br />

levels as well as things we can do within our<br />

manufacturing footprint to shorten lead times<br />

to support Aligned Energy’s growth.”<br />



132<br />

on where the market is going, where<br />

we think the market’s going and have<br />

manufacturers hold on to the inventory<br />

inside their warehouse or factory<br />

before shipping it on a just-in-time<br />

basis. We’ve done very well with that<br />

over the years; and it has proven effective<br />

during the pandemic. We had a<br />

handful of transactions that we were<br />

able to win on speed of delivery and<br />

our ability to get a customer moved<br />

in faster than the competition.”<br />

“We didn’t start the VMI because of<br />

the pandemic, but It worked in our favor<br />

“Our customers have<br />

been able to see<br />

just how effective<br />

adaptive infrastructure<br />

and our Delta 3 cooling<br />

technology are when<br />

it comes to seamlessly<br />

addressing those<br />

peaks in demand”<br />

—<br />

Andrew Schaap,<br />

CEO, Aligned<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

in a big, big way because we already<br />

had that gear forward committed.”<br />

By ordering before equipment was<br />

needed, Aligned was able to offer<br />

manufacturers flexibility over their<br />

throughput. Rather than a lumpy<br />

work-to-order production schedule,<br />

with workers on triple overtime when<br />

demand surges, the company’s preordering<br />

allowed manufacturers to<br />

allocate manufacturing to quieter periods,<br />

keeping productivity stable, and<br />

workers off furlough.<br />

“What we try to do is to stabilize<br />

the throughput in the factory.<br />

Everyone we’ve spoken to has had<br />

phenomenal feedback about what<br />

we’re doing because it solves a<br />

big problem for them – removing<br />

the lumpiness.”<br />


Andrew Schaap<br />

133<br />

Title: CEO<br />

Location: United States<br />

Industry: Information Technology & Services<br />

Andrew Schaap is CEO of Aligned, dedicated to accelerating business growth<br />

by delivering data center solutions with industry-leading technology and<br />

adaptive infrastructure. Since beginning his tenure, Schaap has exponentially<br />

grown revenues, completed several successful capital raisings, and cultivated<br />

an ecosystem of innovation that advances Aligned’s<br />

commitment to reducing the social, economic and<br />

environmental impact of the digital era. He is a data centre,<br />

IT, private equity and real estate executive with more than<br />

20 years of complex transactional experience and multidisciplinary<br />

senior leadership. Prior to joining<br />

Aligned, he held numerous leadership<br />

positions over an 11-year period with<br />

Digital Realty Trust.<br />


We are Franklin-Griffith,<br />

a USESI Company<br />

Project management and vendor managed inventory experts<br />

dedicated to exceeding the goals of our customers.<br />

www.franklinelectric.net | www.usesi.com |<br />

: Franklin-Griffith Co. | email Matt Venancio, VP of Sales: M.Venancio@frankelec.com<br />

It’s just one example of Schaap’s<br />

approach to partnerships, which<br />

revolves around listening to partners,<br />

understanding their challenges, and<br />

earning their respect. “Sometimes<br />

2013<br />

Year founded<br />

90<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />

their problem is our problem. So, we<br />

have to be mindful of their problem.”<br />

While Macquarie’s financing allows<br />

Aligned to game the supply chain, its<br />

debt financing with ING has beefed<br />

up its efforts to continue pursuing a<br />

strategic vision in sustainability.<br />

“On the debt side, we’re very pleased<br />

with the first sustainability-linked<br />

financing done in the United States.<br />

And ING really drove that with us and<br />

has just been a great partner.”<br />

“We can be sustainable, have great<br />

uptime and reliability, and provide<br />

great service and support to our<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“Because of Macquarie,<br />

our other capital<br />

partners and our<br />

business model,<br />

we were able to<br />

essentially look at the<br />

supply chain and be<br />

bullish on where the<br />

market is going”<br />

—<br />

Andrew Schaap,<br />

CEO, Aligned<br />

customers. We do all three and we<br />

do them in a thoughtful, meaningful<br />

way. So, we’re delighted with it and<br />

looking forward to showcasing our<br />

sustainability even more. We’re doing<br />

it because our customers care about<br />

it and it’s part of our D<strong>NA</strong>.”<br />

Schaap gesticulates towards a<br />

40-inch monitor on the wall where he<br />

can survey the top line performance<br />

metrics in real time. Unsurprisingly, he’s<br />

big on data, and Aligned is keen to pass<br />

on its data to help clients. “If we sell<br />

a customer a megawatt, let’s give them<br />

135<br />

Aligned IAD-01 Build Timelapse<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:15<br />



136<br />

“We had a handful of transactions that we<br />

were able to win on speed of delivery and<br />

our ability to get a customer moved in faster<br />

than the competition”<br />

—<br />

Andrew Schaap,<br />

CEO, Aligned<br />

the tools to figure out how to use as<br />

much of that megawatt as possible<br />

because that’s the most sustainable<br />

thing to do. No stranded capacity; that’s<br />

the best thing for the environment.”<br />

For someone who is always “skating<br />

to where the puck is going to<br />

be versus where it is now,” asking<br />

Schaap to gaze into his crystal ball is<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

137<br />

to open a window to a new generation<br />

of data technology.<br />

“Everybody is thinking about energy<br />

storage right now. How do you get<br />

as creative as you possibly can on<br />

energy storage? That’s the number<br />

one problem with green energy: it’s<br />

cyclical. The sun, wind, hydro, all<br />

those things are somewhat cyclical.<br />

And so, you’ve got to find ways to<br />

store the energy. And so, the amount<br />

of dollars – or Euros or Yen – that<br />

are being put into it is incredibly high<br />

because that’s the new gold rush, to<br />

figure out how to store energy. And<br />

on the data side, we use a lot, so we’re<br />

really paying attention to what’s next.”<br />

Adaptive Data Centers<br />


Driving Healthcare<br />

Innovation Through<br />

Data and Analytics<br />





138<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



Community Health Network<br />

(CHNw) provides convenient<br />

access to exceptional healthcare<br />

services, driving innovation<br />

through data and analytics<br />

140<br />

C<br />

ommunity Health Network, headquartered<br />

in Indianapolis, can truly call itself a<br />

leader in healthcare services. Their Chief<br />

Analytics Officer, Patrick McGill, MD tells us they<br />

have one of the highest physician engagement<br />

scores in the region, and their patient satisfaction<br />

scores also rank amongst the top.<br />

Another key aspect that sets them apart from<br />

other healthcare providers is their strategic focus<br />

on data analytics. Whereas many healthcare<br />

organisations are lagging in this area, McGill says<br />

they believe this is the pathway to future success.<br />

McGill first came to work here as a family doctor<br />

around 10 years ago. When the organisation<br />

installed Epic as their electronic medical record<br />

(EMR), he was asked to work on some of its optimization.<br />

This led to a series of roles including<br />

Medical Director of Physician Informatics, leading<br />

training and strategic initiatives around Epic; Senior<br />

VP for Clinical Strategy, and two years ago he<br />

stepped into the position of Chief Analytics Officer.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



142<br />

“One of the decisions the Board of<br />

Directors made when they created<br />

the role of Chief Analytics Officer was<br />

that it had to be a physician,” says<br />

McGill. “When you try and make data<br />

analytics a strategic asset, having a<br />

physician lead the analytics and information<br />

technology departments really<br />

puts a different focus on these areas.”<br />

With his background as a physician,<br />

McGill understands the need to drive<br />

the digital transformation of the business<br />

as a way of ultimately improving<br />

patient outcomes while reducing<br />

costs. But, as with any big change,<br />

it’s not an easy process.<br />

Community took the approach of<br />

transforming just two areas initially.<br />

“One is the patient-facing area<br />

to allow patients to have the same<br />

experience with healthcare as if<br />

they were shopping or paying bills<br />

online,” McGill explains. “We focused<br />

on things like receiving appointment<br />

reminders, scheduling appointments<br />

online and communications between<br />

providers and patients. Secondly,<br />

we focused on operational areas<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>


Patrick McGill, MD<br />

Title: EVP, Chief Analytics Officer<br />

Company: Community Health Network<br />

Industry: Healthcare<br />

Location: Indiana<br />

Dr. Patrick McGill serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Analytics<br />

Officer for Community Health Network. In addition to serving on the<br />

Network Executive Leadership Team, he leads the Office of Network<br />

Analytics, Information Technology, Business Process Management and<br />

Clinical Informatics. Most recently, he served as the Senior Vice President<br />

for Clinical Strategy, overseeing programs to reduce clinical variation,<br />

strategies for growth and the transition towards value-based care. Prior, he<br />

served as the Vice President of Clinical Transformation. Additionally, Dr.<br />

McGill has special interests in clinical data and analytics,<br />

patient safety, population health, office workflow<br />

efficiency and waste reduction. Dr. McGill is a certified<br />

Green belt in Lean/Six Sigma. Born and raised outside of<br />

Atlanta, GA, Dr. McGill attended the University of Georgia<br />

in Athens, GA graduating Magna Cum Laude with a<br />

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He received his<br />

medical degree from the Medical College of<br />

Georgia in Augusta, GA and completed his<br />

Family Medicine residency at Ball Memorial<br />

Hospital in Muncie, IN. Prior to joining<br />

Community Physician Network in 2010, he<br />

practiced Family Medicine in Pendleton, IN.<br />

He is board certified in Family Medicine and<br />

continues to see patients at South Indy<br />

Family Practice.<br />

143<br />


Providing<br />

medication<br />

access solutions<br />

for your patients<br />

We connect the healthcare industry<br />

with comprehensive technological solutions<br />

to help patients get the medication they<br />

need to live healthy lives.<br />

To date, we’ve done that more<br />

than 200 million times.<br />

Healthcare is complicated.<br />

Our mission isn’t.<br />

Visit covermymeds.com to see<br />

how technology can improve<br />

medication access.

“Our brand promise is<br />

exceptional care, simply<br />

delivered, and one of our<br />

values is patients first”<br />

—<br />

Patrick McGill,<br />

EVP, Chief Analytics Officer<br />

that don’t directly impact patient<br />

care which we could align our business<br />

processes. Things like billing,<br />

IT operations, and, moving forward,<br />

some HR functions like the onboarding<br />

of new employees, which we can<br />

streamline and automate.<br />

“If we can show people that<br />

we’re moving forward as a digital<br />

enterprise, it’ll drive the organization<br />

forward and achieve the goals<br />

that we want, but still preserve that<br />

doctor-patient and provider-patient<br />

relationship that’s so sacred. We<br />

don’t want to disrupt that relationship<br />

– we want to enhance it.”<br />

The organization has been deploying<br />

state-of-the-art technology to<br />

assist the workforce for a number of<br />

years. A good example is the da Vinci<br />

Surgical System, a robot-assisted<br />

system that helps surgeons perform<br />

delicate procedures.<br />

“They’ve been very successful,”<br />

says McGill. “They have been found<br />

to reduce surgery time, improve<br />

outcomes, shorten the length of<br />

a hospital stay after surgery, and<br />

patients recover faster.”<br />

McGill explains that there is still a<br />

degree of suspicion of AI in healthcare.<br />

“A lot of the time I feel that AI<br />

is slow to be adopted in the care of<br />

145<br />



146<br />

“We’re building the analytic<br />

platform to understand<br />

the patient journey and<br />

the clinical journey”<br />

—<br />

Patrick McGill,<br />

EVP, Chief Analytics Officer<br />

patients because physicians, nurses<br />

and pharmacists really want to<br />

understand what’s in the black box of<br />

AI,” he says. “If they don’t understand<br />

it and they can’t explain it, then they<br />

don’t want to adopt it.<br />

“While easing into the realm of<br />

digitalization, we’ve tried to leverage<br />

AI tools to help augment their knowledge,<br />

so servicing algorithms where<br />

patients might be at a higher risk of a<br />

fall, to alert the clinician to take some<br />

extra precautions with this patient, or<br />

in areas where the patient might be<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

CHNw Safety Message<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:50<br />

147<br />

faster to deteriorate, to alert the clinician<br />

that they’re at risk of becoming<br />

sicker. It’s about using AI to augment<br />

their decision-making versus telling<br />

them what they need to do. We’ve had<br />

some success leveraging predictive<br />

models and AI in that fashion, versus<br />

being more prescriptive.”<br />

In terms of how analytics and AI<br />

can benefit patients, McGill explains<br />

that they provide ease of use and<br />

convenience. “We’re trying to drive<br />

a patient-centric frictionless experience,<br />

whether that’s to schedule<br />

appointments or consultations, to<br />

receive test results or to pay their<br />

bills, it’s about achieving a true consumer-driven<br />

experience.<br />

“Leveraging things like Mychart<br />

within Epic as a communications<br />

platform, and our partnership with<br />

CipherHealth that helps us provide<br />

text-based outreach or post-discharge<br />

follow ups when patients leave<br />

hospital, these types of partnerships<br />

are key in creating this kind of patientcentric,<br />

frictionless experience.”<br />

As well as Epic and CipherHealth,<br />

CHNw has several other important<br />

strategic partners. Health Catalyst<br />


has been a key clinical partner for six<br />

years, helping to drive them towards<br />

being a data-led organization, while<br />

guiding them on an improvement<br />

methodology, reducing unnecessary<br />

clinical variation and improving patient<br />

safety. By using the Health Catalyst<br />

DOS operating system enterprise data<br />

warehouse, CHNw has made tremendous<br />

gains in operational and clinical<br />

efficiency. Over the last three years,<br />

they have removed more than than<br />

$35mn of waste from the system.<br />

Additionally, software created<br />

by CoverMyMeds improves the<br />

prescribing process, and automates<br />

insurance authorization within the EMR<br />

workflow. CHNw has piloted and will<br />

be launching CoverMyMed’s Real-time<br />

Benefit solution across the enterprise.<br />

This tool allows providers to see patient<br />

cost at the point of prescribing.<br />

They are also partners with pharmaceutical<br />

company Eli Lilly, who<br />

they work with on patient education<br />

specifically for diabetes, and<br />

Stanson Health (part of Premier,<br />

Inc), who have provided a tool that’s<br />

embedded into the EMR that ensures<br />

appropriate care is given.<br />


“A lot of the time I feel that<br />

AI is slow to be adopted<br />

in the care of patients<br />

because physicians, nurses<br />

and pharmacists really<br />

want to understand what’s<br />

in the black box of AI”<br />

—<br />

Patrick McGill,<br />

EVP, Chief Analytics Officer<br />

“It delivers curated content and<br />

rules into the EMR silently, searches<br />

through the algorithms, and can<br />

actually look through the patient<br />

chart, searching their history, medications,<br />

problem lists and past visits,”<br />

explains McGill. “It can make recommendations,<br />

for example, if a patient<br />

comes in with acute back pain, and<br />

the recommendation is don’t have an<br />

MRI, when I try to order an MRI it will<br />

give me an alert to maybe refer them<br />

to physical therapy instead. Better<br />

quality outcomes with lower costs.”<br />

149<br />



1956<br />

Year founded<br />

$2.5bn+<br />

Revenue in<br />

US dollars<br />

150<br />

15,000<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



152<br />

He says a particular area of success<br />

with this tool has been with<br />

reducing unnecessary lab testing.<br />

“We really strive for partners to help<br />

solve some of our problems” he says.<br />

In terms of looking ahead, McGill<br />

explains that they’ve paused looking<br />

at their five-year strategy given<br />

the disruption and pace of change<br />

caused by Covid-19, and instead look<br />

at their more immediate future.<br />

“I see us continuing to accelerate.<br />

Along with our partners, we’ve<br />

built the foundation for a true digital<br />

transformation,” says McGill. “We’re<br />

building the analytics to understand<br />

“We’re trying to drive a patient-centric<br />

frictionless experience, whether that’s to<br />

schedule appointments, to receive test results<br />

or to pay their bills, it’s about achieving a true<br />

consumer-driven experience”<br />

—<br />

Patrick McGill,<br />

EVP, Chief Analytics Officer<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

153<br />

the patient journey and the caregiver<br />

journey, so we will have the ability to<br />

understand that and strive for a frictionless<br />

experience.”<br />

“I’m not sure you ever get to where<br />

you want to be because there’s<br />

always continuous process improvement.<br />

But I do think that our goal is to<br />

continue to focus on the patient and<br />

on our caregivers, on equity, whether<br />

that’s race and social equity, health<br />

equity, outcomes, social determinants<br />

of health like food insecurity and<br />

reliable housing, continuing to focus<br />

on those things, and leveraging digital<br />

tools as much as we possibly can to<br />

achieve those goals and outcomes.<br />

“Our brand promise is Exceptional<br />

Care, Simply Delivered, and one of our<br />

values is Patients First,” McGill adds.<br />

“When you put those two together,<br />

along with the culture at Community,<br />

that’s what drives people to come to<br />

work here every day.”<br />


154<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Leading the<br />

AI-powered<br />

CX Journey<br />

155<br />






[24]7.AI<br />

Against the backdrop of a<br />

growing cyber war, [24]7.ai<br />

is providing a safe platform<br />

for businesses to communicate<br />

with their customers<br />

156<br />

[24]7.ai co-founder and CEO PV Kannan realised,<br />

back in 2000, that the key to forward-thinking<br />

customer engagement was reaching beyond<br />

customers calling up companies to talk to call<br />

centre representatives to get answers to queries<br />

and moving quickly towards a digital standpoint.<br />

“Today, customers want real-time responses to<br />

their questions,” says [24]7.ai’s Global CISO &<br />

Chief Privacy Officer, Dr Rebecca Wynn.<br />

CONVERSATIO<strong>NA</strong>L AI<br />

Conversational AI is redefining customer experience<br />

(CX) across business messaging, voice and<br />

everywhere else. The journey for [24]7.ai towards<br />

meeting the need for more efficient customer<br />

interactions is allied to the rise of the chat bot triggering<br />

database responses; this inspired Kannan’s<br />

team to develop [24]7.ai’s NLP (Natural Language<br />

Processing) to build the business globally.<br />

“Companies partner with [24]7.ai because we’re<br />

pioneers in the industry,” maintains Dr Wynn.<br />

“We’re able to harness strong analytics to provide<br />

a seamless transition when customers need to<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“Today, customers<br />

want real-time responses<br />

to their questions”<br />

—<br />

Dr Rebecca Wynn,<br />

Global CISO & Chief Privacy Officer,<br />

[24]7.ai<br />

157<br />


[24]7.AI<br />

158<br />

“A paradigm shift was already coming, and now it’s<br />

here companies like [24]7.ai, with our expertise<br />

through offerings like the Engagement Cloud, can<br />

support the global roll out of secure customer<br />

communications across a range of devices, at<br />

work or at home”<br />

—<br />

Dr Rebecca Wynn,<br />

Global CISO & Chief Privacy Officer,<br />

[24]7.ai<br />

graduate to a human response but<br />

don’t want to repeat all of the information<br />

they’ve already given via a<br />

chatbot. We’ve created a unified digital<br />

customer experience across channels<br />

from websites and tablets to social<br />

media and smartphones to suit the<br />

needs of businesses across sectors,<br />

from banking to retail. We’re confident<br />

that positive customer experiences<br />

will increase our clients’ net promoter<br />

scores (NPS), lower operating costs<br />

and help drive revenues.”<br />

Dr Wynn believes it’s vital for her<br />

team to work to the mantra “How can<br />

we be better tomorrow?” She notes<br />

that recruiting the right personnel is<br />

vital to drive excellence. “We need<br />

to be equipped to analyse customer<br />

journeys and make them more efficient<br />

and secure, not only for the company<br />

that hires us but for the consumers<br />

that access them and want answers<br />

in real-time.”<br />

COMPLIANCE, RISK MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT<br />

& SECURITY<br />

During a year where the pressures of<br />

the global Covid-19 pandemic have hastened<br />

many companies shift towards<br />

digital transformation, how is [24]7.<br />

ai offering support? “Businesses are<br />

moving decisively towards enabling<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Welcome to [24]7.ai<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:17<br />

159<br />

a remote workforce,” notes Dr Wynn<br />

of a process [24]7.ai has over a decade<br />

experience in delivering. “We’re<br />

mindful of the pressures that puts on<br />

bandwidth so we regularly communicate<br />

with our customers to analyse<br />

business continuity and how they are<br />

able to move their workforce quickly<br />

and offer an instant response to their<br />

customers, even when faced with<br />

disaster scenarios like this pandemic.<br />

It’s something we were well prepared<br />

for and are able to make key decisions<br />

quickly to mitigate risk in moving<br />

agents to work from home.”<br />

Dr Wynn sees the company’s customers<br />

as partners – a vital alliance<br />

when facing up to the enemies beyond<br />

the keyboard… “We’re in this cyberwar<br />

together,” she pledges. “We’re not only<br />

driving a positive customer experience<br />

but also working with privacy, compliance<br />

and security teams because we<br />

need to be cybersecurity warriors<br />

together. It’s an ecosystem that needs<br />

to be protected. If anyone on our<br />

platform is being attacked we need<br />

to let each other know and act accordingly<br />

to stay secure. That’s why when<br />

I look at key vendors it’s not just a box<br />


[24]7.AI<br />

160<br />

checking exercise; we’re investing in<br />

good partnerships that protect ours<br />

and our customers futures to better<br />

protect consumers at large worldwide.”<br />




In its quest for cybersecurity innovation<br />

[24]7.ai partners with Proofpoint, taking<br />

advantage of a raft of compliance<br />

solutions to protect customers across<br />

every channel from email, web and<br />

cloud to social media and mobile<br />

messaging. “Proofpoint are able to help<br />

us with our top layer of security, to see<br />

where active threats are coming from<br />

before those attempts start trickling<br />

down into our architecture,” explains<br />

Dr Wynn. “It means we don’t have to<br />

spend time training our personnel<br />

because we have their specialists on<br />

board providing real-time dashboards<br />

for threat analysis of our firewalls.”<br />

She applauds Proofpoint’s ability to<br />

carry out deep dives that ensure<br />

a company is equipped to deal with<br />

constantly morphing phishing attacks<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

and ransomware, dealing with issues<br />

effectively in real-time with a turnaround<br />

time of less than 45 seconds.<br />

Gaining an overview of the cybersecurity<br />

posture of a firewall and<br />

enabling real-time filtering is vital for<br />

[24]7.ai. “You’re going to need patch<br />

management but it’s not the old<br />

school approach anymore,” says Dr<br />

Wynn. “I tell people when you have<br />

so many patches to go ahead and<br />

apply, they’re all important. But which<br />

one on what system do you patch<br />

first? And then which server of that<br />

system do you patch? First you have<br />

to be able to know the risk that you’re<br />

carrying on each server or each<br />

system; then you can know the order<br />

of precedence on that. That’s why we<br />

work with companies like Tanium who<br />


Dr Rebecca Wynn<br />

161<br />

Title: Global CISO & Chief Privacy Officer<br />

Industry: Computer Software<br />

Location: Greater Phoenix Area<br />

Dr Rebecca Wynn is lauded as a “game-changer who is ten steps ahead in<br />

developing and enforcing cybersecurity and privacy best practices<br />

and policies.” She is a “big picture” thinker who brings<br />

nearly 20 years of experience in Privacy, Compliance,<br />

Risk Management, Information Security, Assurance &<br />

Technology. She led the information security, privacy,<br />

and compliance pre-acquisition, acquisition and postacquisition<br />

of LearnVest, Inc. to Northwestern Mutual<br />

Life Insurance Company – a Fortune 100 company.<br />

She is well known for being a gifted polymath,<br />

having deep understanding of current cyber<br />

security challenges and privacy issues, and<br />

is always open to new opportunities.<br />


Call-Center Automation Leader [24]7.ai Enlists<br />

Proofpoint for People-Centric Cybersecurity

If you’ve ever felt trapped in a telephone menu<br />

tree, a nonsensical exchange with a chatbot,<br />

or even a call with a human customer-support<br />

rep who won’t go off-script, [24]7.ai feels<br />

your pain.<br />

The 20-year-old Silicon Valley company is on<br />

a quest to make customer service easier and<br />

more enjoyable—a mission that has grown<br />

ever more urgent amid a major shift to digital<br />

commerce and remote work.<br />

“If you have clients who go to your website<br />

and they can’t fi nd information very quickly<br />

and effi ciently, they usually go away,” says<br />

Rebecca Wynn, [24]7.ai’s global CISO and<br />

chief privacy offi cer. “People don’t have any<br />

patience anymore with that.”<br />

Two critical aspects of [24]7.ai’s business are<br />

protecting its intellectual property and keeping<br />

clients’ information private.<br />

[24]7.ai’s customer base runs the gamut of<br />

industry sectors. Many of those—such as<br />

healthcare fi nance and government—are<br />

highly regulated. [24]7.ai must keep customer<br />

data out of the hands of cyber criminals<br />

and compliant with a growing myriad of<br />

regulations.<br />

“Cybersecurity plays a big, big role in what we<br />

do,” Wynn said. “We’re fi ghting a cyber war<br />

with people who are behind another<br />

keyboard and who are trying to harm us all.”<br />

In any war, you need allies. Wynn enlisted the<br />

help of Proofpoint, a cybersecurity vendor she<br />

calls a strong partner in her fi ght against cyber<br />

threats and compliance risks.<br />

“Proofpoint allows me to sleep<br />

at night because of what they<br />

are doing for me.”<br />

Rebecca Wynn<br />

Global and CISO Chief Privacy Offi cer, [24]7.ai<br />

Today’s threats target people, not technology.<br />

That’s why Proofpoint takes a unique peoplecentric<br />

approach to cybersecurity. It offers a<br />

complete portfolio of security and compliance<br />

solutions designed to protect today’s “people<br />

perimeter.”<br />

Proofpoint protects against a wide range of<br />

email and cloud threats. It helps customers<br />

control access to sensitive data and prevent<br />

data loss. And it trains users to be more<br />

resilient against the threats that target them.<br />

“One of the things that I look for is who can be<br />

a good partner with me,” she said. “We are in<br />

a cyber war and I need people who can be in<br />

that cyber war with me.”<br />

With Proofpoint, [24]7.ai can easily scale up its<br />

cyber defenses, using Proofpoint to augment<br />

its internal security team.<br />

Having a trusted partner such as Proofpoint<br />

helps [24]7.ai identify which cybersecurity<br />

functions it does not need to duplicate<br />

because Proofpoint already provides them.<br />

Learn more<br />

For more information visit proofpoint.com

[24]7.AI<br />


164<br />

[24]7.ai Engagement Cloud is the<br />

industry’s first integrated suite<br />

of conversational AI services<br />

designed to power both virtual<br />

and human agent interactions<br />

seamlessly across voice and<br />

digital channels. With Engagement<br />

Cloud, IT and CX leaders are able<br />

to rapidly diagnose customer<br />

intents and build, automate,<br />

monitor and optimise customer<br />

service and sales journeys. The<br />

intuitive, self-serve interfaces<br />

in Engagement Cloud empower<br />

both experts and non-technical<br />

users to make quick decisions.<br />

Powered by [24]7.ai’s AIVA<br />

conversational AI technology,<br />

informed by decades of contact<br />

centre operations excellence,<br />

and combined with expert human<br />

insight, Engagement Cloud<br />

anticipates your customers’ needs<br />

to streamline resolutions and<br />

strengthen relationships.<br />

Engagement Cloud supports<br />

a consistent, branded customer<br />

experience while making every<br />

interaction more cost efficient<br />

and satisfying for customers and<br />

agents alike. Offering a single<br />

point of control for creating<br />

and managing human and bot<br />

interactions across digital and<br />

voice channels, its self-service<br />

tools can be used to set up<br />

intent selections and build<br />

conversational bots, business<br />

logic, conversation flows, user<br />

interfaces, and more.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“Proofpoint are able to help us with our top layer<br />

of security, to see where active The Total threats Economic are coming Impac<br />

from before those attempts Of start [24]7.ai trickling Engagement down Cl<br />

into our architecture”<br />

—<br />

Dr Rebecca Wynn,<br />

Global CISO & Chief Privacy Officer,<br />

[24]7.ai<br />

are more than just a vendor, they’re<br />

a trusted partner thinking beyond the<br />

security space into risk management,<br />

compliance and privacy to help us win<br />

the cyberwar. Because, again, it’s not<br />

only the return on investment, it’s a<br />

return on the efficiency of an investment<br />

that really counts.”<br />

Completing a trio of trusted<br />

partners, CrowdStrike empowers<br />

world-class intelligence to [24]7.ai to<br />

provide a full picture of attacks and<br />

the context needed to pivot to a protective<br />

security posture. Described<br />

by Dr Wynn as a “next gen endpoint<br />

security on steroids”, it combines<br />

next gen anti-virus protection, endpoint<br />

detection and response (EDR),<br />

and proactive threat hunting in<br />

one platform.<br />

Through customer interviews and data aggregation, Forrester concl<br />

[24]7.ai Engagement Cloud has the following three-year financial im<br />

“Being able to consolidate our<br />

endpoint SUMMARY agents OF BENEFITS with an extensive<br />

platform Three-year risk-adjusted that grows and adapts to our<br />

company’s $22.3M needs without complexity<br />

has been great,” says Dr Wynn.<br />

She explains that “having systems<br />

in place that use machine learning<br />

to ensure that breaches stop $1.9Mbefore<br />

they occur is paramount is today’s<br />

Live phone agent<br />

$8.2M<br />

Live chat agent<br />

Decomissioned<br />

productivity productivity legacy system<br />

fast-pace technology world. That<br />

is especially true when you add on<br />


25% NPS score increase<br />

42% IVR containment<br />

improvement<br />

50%+ live agent<br />

productivity increase<br />

165<br />

businesschief.com<br />

This document is an abridged version of a case study commissione

[24]7.AI<br />

166<br />

fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks<br />

and how fast malware, botnet attacks,<br />

and other cyber-attacks can move<br />

through a network.<br />

“Without a EDR and threat hunting<br />

platform, it might take dozens of<br />

analysts to do those correlations, but<br />

CrowdStrike’s use of machine learning<br />

and real-time response capabilities<br />

speeds up investigations and remediations<br />

in our environment. It’s not just<br />

correlating the data, it’s about being<br />

able to correlate and stop an attack<br />

as quickly as possible.”<br />


Dr Wynn highlights a growing trend<br />

for businesses, particularly retail,<br />

moving online; something which has<br />

been accelerated by the global<br />

pandemic. “We’re supporting new<br />

customers as they develop communication<br />

channels to be able to<br />

manage this shift,” she says. “With<br />

our full web presence, we can manage<br />

their transition seamlessly. We’re also<br />

being approached by the education<br />

and healthcare sectors to help them<br />

meet the challenge of keeping their<br />

people connected.”<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

2000<br />

Year founded<br />

1.3bn<br />

Self-service<br />

interactions/year<br />

10,000<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />

167<br />


[24]7.AI<br />

168<br />

“We’ve created a unified digital<br />

customer experience across<br />

channels from websites and<br />

tablets to social media and<br />

smartphones to suit the needs<br />

of businesses across sectors,<br />

from banking to retail”<br />

—<br />

Dr Rebecca Wynn,<br />

Global CISO & Chief Privacy Officer,<br />

[24]7.ai<br />

Recognised as a leader in The<br />

Forrester New Wave: Digital-First<br />

Customer Service <strong>2020</strong>, and working<br />

with a host of Fortune 500 companies,<br />

organisations across multiple sectors<br />

can trust [24]7.ai to deliver.<br />

Dr Wynn believes a global paradigm<br />

shift that has seen millions<br />

working remotely has offered an<br />

opportunity to move forward in a<br />

better way. “Businesses are looking<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

169<br />

at their physical footprint and asking<br />

if they need so much real estate, can<br />

they find ways to be more efficient?<br />

Startups have been operating via this<br />

model for years, leasing space that<br />

allows them to expand and contract.<br />

A paradigm shift was already coming,<br />

and now it’s here companies like [24]7.<br />

ai, with our expertise through offerings<br />

like the Engagement Cloud, can<br />

support the global roll out of secure<br />

customer communications across a<br />

range of devices to securely manage<br />

that change to a hybrid way of working<br />

between office and home. We’re pioneers<br />

for strategic thinking with much<br />

more to come.”<br />


170<br />





DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

171<br />

SiteOne’s<br />

Strategy Driven<br />

by CX and<br />

Operational<br />

Efficiency<br />



Sean Kramer, Chief<br />

Information Officer (CIO) at<br />

SiteOne Landscape Supply<br />

on the company’s approach<br />

to digitalisation, industry<br />

trends and COVID-19<br />

172<br />

S<br />

ean Kramer, Chief Information Officer<br />

(CIO) at SiteOne Landscape Supply,<br />

started his career at the company in 2014.<br />

“I have been with the company for six years. I joined<br />

the company when it was John Deere Landscapes.<br />

John Deere Landscapes was sold to a private<br />

equity firm in 2013. As part of the transaction the<br />

company needed to rebrand, and so SiteOne<br />

Landscape Supply was officially established in<br />

2015. Today, we are a publicly traded company<br />

with a billion dollars in revenue and 550 locations.”<br />

Prior to his career at SiteOne Landscape Supply,<br />

Kramer worked for eight years at Fiat Chrysler<br />

(FCA) supporting the company’s public websites<br />

and its technology infrastructure. After leaving<br />

FCA, Kramer joined Volkswagen Group of<br />

America, where he worked for six years supporting<br />

enterprise applications, internal software systems,<br />

infrastructure and operations.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

173<br />

“It is very<br />

important that<br />

we keep our<br />

customers and<br />

associates as<br />

safe as possible”<br />

—<br />

Sean Kramer,<br />

Chief Information Officer (CIO),<br />

SiteOne Landscape Supply<br />


Bringing technology solutions to high-level companies for over 22 years.<br />

• ADS/AMS<br />

• Testing/IV&V<br />

• Mobile<br />

• Transformation<br />

• Digital Services<br />

• Cloud Services<br />

• Artificial Intelligence<br />

• Connected Vehicles<br />

• Agile / DevOps<br />

• Workforce Solutions<br />

• Staff Augmentation<br />

• Managed Capacity<br />

• Onshore/Offshore<br />

Powered by V2Soft<br />

Helping companies bring employees back to<br />

work in a safe environment.<br />

www.companytrak.com<br />

• Daily Health Check<br />

• Contact Tracing<br />

• Social Distancing<br />

• API/Customization<br />

• Reporting<br />

• Mobile App<br />

• Wearables<br />

Powered by V2Soft<br />

Virtual Fundraising Solutions for Nonprofits,<br />

Community Networking for Professionals!<br />

www.iconnectx.com<br />

• Virtual Fundraising<br />

• Online Auctions<br />

• Event Ticketing<br />

• Advocacy<br />

• iBridge (Selling Time)<br />

• Reporting<br />

• Mobile App<br />

TM<br />

Powered by V2Soft<br />

www.weinvite.com<br />

• Virtual Parties<br />

• Find a venue<br />

• Order Food<br />

• Hire Entertainment<br />

• Customize Invites<br />

• Pay One Bill!<br />

• Mobile App<br />

TM<br />

www.v2soft.com (248)904-1700 Sales@v2soft.com



When it comes to digital innovation<br />

and transformation, Kramer says<br />

the company’s core focuses include<br />

customer experience, operational<br />

excellence, systems efficiency<br />

and security.<br />

“The first is around customer experience<br />

and operational excellence<br />

in the branch and how we achieve<br />

those,” says Kramer. “First and<br />

foremost it’s safety, especially in the<br />

current climate, and ensuring that<br />

we have the inventory on hand that<br />

the customers need.”<br />


Sean Kramer<br />

Title: CIO<br />

Industry: Wholesale Distribution<br />

Company: SiteOne<br />

Location: Atlanta Metropolitan<br />

175<br />

Sean Kramer began his career at SiteOne Landscape Supply in 2014<br />

and is the current Chief Information Officer (CIO).<br />

From a technology perspective, Kramer explains that the landscape<br />

industry has been a unique challenge. “When I joined, I came from the<br />

automotive industry where the technology was more prominent. They<br />

had technology in vehicles and online experiences for several<br />

years. At the time I joined SiteOne, the technology in place<br />

was to support the back office. Almost all the ways of<br />

interfacing with a customer was coming into the branch,<br />

looking at the products and buying while in the branch.<br />

We didn’t have any customer facing technology that we<br />

used to interact with customers regularly. But the industry<br />

is changing, customers are looking for new ways to<br />

interact with the wholesale distributor.<br />



176<br />

Kramer adds that when it comes to<br />

digital innovation and transformation,<br />

“it’s about how we can use technology<br />

to achieve this. We have developed a<br />

new application called Mobile Pro – a<br />

mobile point of sale – with our partner<br />

Stratix. Recently, this application<br />

has been vital in maintaining social<br />

distancing. Customers work with our<br />

associates to place their orders via<br />

Mobile Pro and wait in their vehicle for<br />

an associate to bring them their order.”<br />

Kramer adds that when it comes to<br />

digital innovation and transformation,<br />

“it’s about how we can use technology<br />

to achieve this. We have developed a<br />

new mobile point of sale application<br />

with our partner Stratix. Recently, this<br />

application has been vital in maintaining<br />

social distancing. With our new<br />

mobile point of sale, customers arrive<br />

at our branches and our associates<br />

can greet them as they pull up. Our<br />

SiteOne associates can open an order<br />

on this system, adding the products<br />

they need, pull the order and send the<br />

customer on their way to the job. It’s<br />

done safely and efficiently.”<br />

While this application has been a<br />

vital tool for the company, Kramer<br />

explains that the company still has<br />

plans to improve it further. “While<br />

the application has several enhancements<br />

planned for future use, it has<br />

played a vital role in keeping our associates<br />

safe,” he says.<br />

In addition to mobile point of sale,<br />

the company also has plans in the<br />

pipeline for siteone.com. Kramer<br />

says they will look to continue to<br />

evolve and develop the system to<br />

make it easier to search for products<br />

and place an order online, as well as<br />

develop a recommendation engine<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

177<br />

2001<br />

Year founded<br />

$2.4b+<br />

Revenue in<br />

US dollars<br />

4,600<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />

for customers based on their location<br />

and purchase history.<br />

“We also want to make the system<br />

easier to transact online, especially<br />

for our customer’s back-office processes<br />

through enabling them to pay<br />

their bills online seamlessly and with<br />

clear visibility over their transaction<br />

history,” he adds.<br />

In addition to customer experience<br />

and its mobile application, SiteOne<br />

Landscape Supply is looking to further<br />

improve its systems efficiency, operations<br />

and security.<br />



SiteOne Online<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:10<br />

178<br />

“We continuously work on developing<br />

internal security training programs<br />

and increasing the technology footprint<br />

to stay ahead of the threats that<br />

are out there in the market,” states<br />

Kramer. “But we are also trying to<br />

make it easier for our suppliers to do<br />

business with us. Here at SiteOne,<br />

we want to be the distributor of choice<br />

for all the suppliers in the landscape<br />

industry. Right now, our team is working<br />

to introduce new solutions, such<br />

as ramping up robotic process automation<br />

(RPA), enhancing our optical<br />

character recognition (OCR) and<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“We have developed<br />

a new mobile point<br />

of sale application<br />

called Mobile Pro.<br />

In the recent climate,<br />

this application has<br />

been vital to adhering<br />

to social distancing<br />

guidelines”<br />

—<br />

Sean Kramer,<br />

Chief Information Officer (CIO),<br />

SiteOne Landscape Supply<br />

launching a vendor portal. The aim<br />

of these initiatives is to increase the<br />

efficiency and transparency of doing<br />

business with SiteOne.”<br />

When working to drive such innovation<br />

and transformation in an<br />

organization, Kramer explains the<br />

importance of having the right culture<br />

in order to be successful.<br />

“It’s very important,” he states. “The<br />

team of leaders that we have bring<br />

experience implementing these types<br />

of new solutions from their experience<br />

in other organizations and know<br />

the potential pitfalls and successes. I<br />

believe that the culture they bring<br />

to our company has been critical for<br />

us to support our growing business.<br />

My leadership team consistently goes<br />

above and beyond.”<br />

Historically, Kramer highlights<br />

that technology is starting to take<br />

a foothold in the landscape industry.<br />

“We see more and more customers<br />

use technology to run their business<br />

and SiteOne is working to offer a<br />

constantly improving customer experience.<br />

Technology is at the core of that.<br />

In the last few years we have seen<br />

technology usage from our customers<br />

179<br />



“Most of my team<br />

has been at the<br />

company for a few<br />

years, and we have<br />

the right leaders in<br />

place to keep an<br />

eye on innovations”<br />

—<br />

Sean Kramer,<br />

Chief Information Officer (CIO),<br />

SiteOne Landscape Supply<br />





FU Z E P U T S YOU<br />

I N THE R OOM<br />


amp up quite a bit. With our technology<br />

know-how and our team of innovators,<br />

I think we can offer new solutions that<br />

can help our customers. We are reaching<br />

out and collaborating with many<br />

different companies in the technology<br />

space to make this possible and discuss<br />

the changes in the industry.”<br />

Over the years, SiteOne has<br />

become an analytical company, putting<br />

more emphasis on understanding<br />

market trends. “As we continue to<br />

grow, we look at our customers by<br />

their specialty so that we can better<br />

understand how to support them<br />

with product needs, replacements<br />

and recommendations,” says Kramer.<br />

“We evaluate the line of business they<br />

operate within and geographic location<br />

closely to better understand how<br />

we can continue to help our customers<br />

grow in the industry.”<br />

Kramer explains that the team values<br />

and philosophy is a key to the success<br />

of his technology group. “We take pride<br />

in our company culture. We are very<br />

collaborative, conduct our operations<br />

with high integrity, and are very humble.<br />

As we continue to grow our team, it’s<br />

important that new team members we<br />

bring on share the same vision.”<br />

In addition to working with Stratix for<br />

its Mobile mobile point of sale application,<br />

SiteOne is collaborating with Fuze<br />

and V2 Soft. “Fuze is currently the phone<br />

system for all of our branches, while V2<br />

Soft helped us to redesign our support<br />

platform for our project services application.<br />

This system is used to help our<br />

customers submit a design and take-off<br />

of materials for a job they are bidding.<br />

V2Soft has also helped as we have<br />

grown our QA service offering.”<br />

181<br />


182<br />




DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

183<br />






T5<br />

Meet a company at the<br />

cutting edge of customized<br />

turnkey development, facility<br />

management and mission<br />

critical services; keeping<br />

your business ‘on’ forever<br />

184<br />

N<br />

ow in its 13th year, T5 evolved out of<br />

the services sector representing data<br />

center users. Back in 2008 T5 started<br />

out as a development company before growing<br />

a full lifecycle of services geared towards hyperscale<br />

and enterprise customers. These extend<br />

across the lifecycle of the core data center<br />

ranging from customised turnkey development<br />

and facility management to data hall operations,<br />

mission critical construction services and sustainable<br />

approaches to power genera-tion. T5 is<br />

serving the needs of the hyperscale and enterprise<br />

data center user across North America and at strategic<br />

international locations.<br />

“Our roots in the development of cutting-edge<br />

data centers for leading corporations gave us a<br />

platform to evolve,” remembers President & CEO<br />

Pete Marin. “Those same customers looked to us<br />

to operate those DCs. There have been numerous<br />

changes inside these structures that required construction<br />

activity which drove us to create T5CS (T5<br />

Construction Services). Everything we do revolves<br />

around that discerning data center customer in<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


T5<br />

186<br />

“We advise our customers<br />

on lowering the cost of<br />

their operations going<br />

forward by evaluating<br />

power and cooling<br />

systems and helping<br />

them design and<br />

procure the best system<br />

that’s going to use the<br />

least amount of energy<br />

throughout a data hall’s<br />

lifecycle”<br />

—<br />

Pete Marin,<br />

President & CEO, T5<br />

two different sectors of the business<br />

cycle - hyperscale and enterprise. We’ll<br />

continue to grow with those strategic<br />

customers and the markets they want<br />

to be in, and we will continue to add the<br />

services they need as we evolve our<br />

assets to support them.”<br />


Marin highlights that T5 is the only<br />

company across the sector offering<br />

a full lifecycle combination of assets<br />

and services in strategic markets.<br />

From delivering a fully functioning data<br />

center building at a competitive cost to<br />

producing the lowest possible cost of<br />

occupancy and then going on to operate<br />

it for the customer, T5 can utilize<br />

a build to suit approach delivering<br />

tailor made specs - for everything from<br />

power to cooling - inside the data hall.<br />

Evolving assets through the data<br />

center lifecycle is a big part of the<br />

philosophy that drives T5 explains<br />

Marin: “We advise our customers on<br />

lowering the cost of their operations<br />

going forward by evaluating power<br />

and cooling systems and helping them<br />

design and procure the best system<br />

that’s going to use the least amount of<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

energy throughout a data hall’s lifecycle.<br />

With that comes a big focus on the<br />

reduction of carbon footprint. We’re<br />

very supportive of that and have developed<br />

the capabilities to construct<br />

solar installations and we’ll continue to<br />

expand that expertise as the technology<br />

evolves for the hyperscalers.”<br />

Marin notes that, as electrical densities<br />

across data centers increase,<br />

these developments are all intertwined.<br />

“We’re making sure we have<br />

the right cooling methodologies to<br />

meet future needs. Simple things like<br />

having water at the rack for our cooling<br />

systems which allows a deeper life<br />

cycle for that asset. And of course,<br />

we’re agnostic to networks, but we’re<br />

very supportive of having a robust<br />

network in all of our buildings.”<br />


Pete Marin<br />

187<br />

Title: President & CEO<br />

Industry: IT<br />

Company: T5 Data Centers<br />

Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States<br />

As President and Chief Executive Officer of T5 Data Centers,<br />

Pete is responsible for setting the overall strategy of the firm,<br />

maintaining client relationships, capital management, and<br />

creating and executing the firm’s vision for growth. Pete has<br />

more than 20 years of experience in the data center sector<br />

ranging from development, securing debt and equity capital, to<br />

tenant representation including site selection and incentives.<br />

Pete’s understanding of end-user needs has enabled T5 Data<br />

Centers to reduce project cycle-time and cost, which<br />

leads to successful relationships, and repeat business.<br />

Pete received a B.S. in Finance from the Pamplin<br />

College of Business at Virginia Tech.<br />


T5<br />

188<br />

T5 FACILITIES MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT<br />

• 400+ FM FTEs<br />

• 500 MW IT load currently managed<br />

in over 55 data centers<br />

• 100% data center focused<br />

• Battle-tested leadership<br />

experience<br />

• Award-winning operations<br />

platform<br />

• Multiple recipient of uptime<br />

institute’s continuous availability<br />

award and M&O<br />

certification<br />

• Commitment to military veterans<br />

and diversity<br />

A SUSTAI<strong>NA</strong>BLE FUTURE<br />

T5’s commitment to greener ways to<br />

power data centers has seen it extend<br />

its construction services to include<br />

solar and renewable energy. “We got<br />

into the delivery of solar projects a<br />

few years ago, and we’ve had a lot of<br />

repeat business,” reveals Marin. “The<br />

technology continues to improve and<br />

evolve, and it really comes down to the<br />

battery technology which I think will<br />

bring us to a point where we will see<br />

a huge reduction in traditional power<br />

sources. It’s going to be interesting<br />

to see how this develops because<br />

you’ve got some competing forces…<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

T5 Atlanta Hyperscale Data Center<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:46<br />

189<br />

“We have the<br />

ability to give<br />

visibility to as many<br />

touch points as a<br />

customer wants all<br />

the way down to<br />

the circuit level, so<br />

they have that vital<br />

input into how their<br />

building is operated”<br />

—<br />

Pete Marin,<br />

President & CEO, T5<br />

You want to reduce carbon footprint<br />

and carbon emissions because this<br />

industry has a lot of generators that<br />

are fired with diesel fuel. We need to<br />

address that. The evolution of solar<br />

represents a great opportunity to do<br />

that so we will continue to develop a<br />

skill set to deliver these solar projects.<br />

Already, a lot of the big hyperscale<br />

customers will typically build a solar<br />

deployment to offset what they’re taking<br />

from the grid. Eventually, I think you<br />

could see solar deployments that are<br />

directly set into the grid, so we’re moving<br />

in the right direction.”<br />


Unparalleled<br />

experience in<br />

nearly every<br />

major market<br />

Gibson exists to provide the highest<br />

quality, most cost effective and safest<br />

electrical construction, repair and retrofit,<br />

telecommunication, structured cabling,<br />

distributed antenna systems (DAS), and<br />

life safety systems maintenance possible<br />

for our customers.<br />





BETTER.<br />

• Electrical Skids<br />

• Modular Electrical Rooms<br />

(MER)<br />

• Modular Data Centers<br />

• Edge Data Centers<br />

• Gensets<br />


191<br />

“We’ll see continued<br />

investment as 5G<br />

implementation ramps<br />

and the move to the<br />

Edge continues”<br />

—<br />

Pete Marin,<br />

President & CEO, T5<br />


It’s one thing to build a great building<br />

and deliver it, but another beast<br />

entirely to operate it believes Marin.<br />

“Being able to go from bricks and<br />

mortar all the way through to the<br />

white space and be able to operate<br />

inside the data hall is unique in our<br />

business. We ensure we have the<br />

right EPMS and BMS systems to run<br />

the facility with a proper model that<br />

works all the controls throughout the<br />

data hall,” assures Marin. “We have<br />

the ability to give visibility to as many<br />

touch points as a customer wants all<br />

the way down to the circuit level so<br />

they have that vital input into how their<br />

building is operated.”<br />


T5<br />

CRISIS MA<strong>NA</strong>GEMENT TEAM<br />

192<br />

“COVID-19 is a challenge for all of us<br />

but we got up to speed as quickly as<br />

we could,” says T5’s President &<br />

CEO Pete Marin. “Right out of the<br />

gate, we were ahead of it with extra<br />

safety protocols instituted across<br />

our sites. We were one of the early<br />

adopters of testing and, with the<br />

use of smartphone cameras that<br />

read a barcode, our staff must complete<br />

a questionnaire each day<br />

before they are cleared to enter a<br />

site. Communication is key - that<br />

simple approach, along with best<br />

practice when it comes to PPE and<br />

social distancing, has limited the<br />

spread of COVID-19 at our sites. I’m<br />

very proud of how we’re tackling<br />

this but we’re not out of the woods<br />

yet. Our view is that we’re going to<br />

be managing and living with<br />

COVID-19 for the next year or two,<br />

so we need to make sure we take<br />

care of our people first. People first<br />

and then we’ll grow the business<br />

and keep moving forward.”<br />

Mission critical facilities rely on<br />

highly specific processes to ensure<br />

seamless IT deployment and migration,<br />

low redundancy and secure<br />

connectivity - much of which is handled<br />

by on-site IT or remote hands<br />

staff. An industry leader in critical<br />

facility management, T5 formed a<br />

cross-functional Crisis Management<br />

Team to further support its customers<br />

with expanded emergency<br />

action and business continuity<br />

plans to make sure “the lights never<br />

go out” as they navigate a global<br />

pandemic. By keeping many of its<br />

staff on the ground and avoiding<br />

the implications of an IT-less facility<br />

T5 has been able to continue performing<br />

preventative maintenance<br />

and server updates to mitigate the<br />

risk of downtime and outages while<br />

guaranteeing uptime and continuous<br />

availability.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

The open book approach Marin<br />

describes gives T5 the flexibility to<br />

build to suit offering a best in class<br />

service. “We work with the brightest<br />

and the best partners out there, from<br />

design and construction through to<br />

services inside the data hall. If there<br />

are services our customers want and<br />

we’re not delivering those today, we<br />

will go out and find the best to do that<br />

and develop that capability internally,<br />

or acquire it. We’re constantly looking<br />

at how to improve the data center and<br />

to solve the problems of hyperscale<br />

and enterprise users.”<br />

Marin maintains that recruiting the<br />

right people, often with mission critical<br />

backgrounds in the military, and training<br />

them to the highest level is paramount.<br />

“It’s a big part of making sure the lights<br />

never go out,” he says. Training is the<br />

front-line philosophy, to keep our people<br />

at the cutting edge and allow the group<br />

and its work culture to grow.”<br />

193<br />


T5<br />

194<br />

THE EDGE<br />

Evaluating the industry today, Marin<br />

believes that on the asset front it’s still<br />

important to have space that’s ready<br />

to occupy and in key strategic markets.<br />

“Over the past couple of years,<br />

it’s been just a few buyers of data<br />

center space picking up the majority<br />

of it. That’s the hyperscale phenomena.<br />

That’s going to continue.<br />

However, we predicted last year that<br />

enterprise business would come back<br />

and we’re seeing that with a combination<br />

of both cloud operations and<br />

data centers all supporting the hybrid<br />

platform. There’s going to be a combination<br />

strategy there. We’re seeing the<br />

enterprise return with more build to<br />

suit, as well as just leasing traditional<br />

data center sites.”<br />

A key development for the future of<br />

connectivity is the impending 5G roll<br />

out. Marin is excited to see what this<br />

will mean for The Edge. “Thanks to 5G<br />

we’re going to see more Edge deployments,”<br />

he says. “There have been<br />

a number of new companies established<br />

that are looking at data centers<br />

from a different perspective, not as<br />

big, scalable operations but micro<br />

data centers that can be deployed<br />

quickly in multiple locations bringing<br />

compute and storage as close to the<br />

users eyeballs as possible. We’ll see<br />

continued investment here as 5G<br />

implementation ramps and the move<br />

to the Edge continues.”<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

2008<br />

Year founded<br />

195<br />

400+<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />


Last year, in partnership with QuadReal,<br />

T5 launched a $2.5bn fund to develop,<br />

acquire and operate data centers<br />

which has proved to be very successful,<br />

allowing the company to scale on<br />

multiple levels. “We’re well positioned<br />

to continue to scale the breadth of our<br />

operations,” confirms Marin. “We have<br />

significant equity to build our asset<br />

deployment while remaining nimble as<br />

a private company.”<br />

T5 recently acquired an asset in<br />

Chicago, which it is currently building<br />


T5<br />

“Continuing to grow our<br />

third-party services will<br />

be at the heart of our<br />

strategy to remain the<br />

industry’s premier data<br />

center lifecycle partner”<br />

—<br />

Pete Marin,<br />

President & CEO, T5<br />

196<br />

out on a turnkey basis. Located in the<br />

Elk Grove Village Technology Park,<br />

T5@Chicago will provide 103,000<br />

square feet of white space and up<br />

to 27.6 critical megawatts of power<br />

capacity, purposefully designed to<br />

serve enterprise and hyperscale cloud<br />

computing customers. “We’re constructing<br />

a new building in Hillsboro,<br />

Oregon, just outside of Portland with a<br />

maximum capacity of 17.6 MW,” adds<br />

Marin. “We’ve also acquired an existing<br />

turnkey data center in Northern<br />

California in Silicon Valley where we’ll<br />

be able to deliver in excess of 17 MW.<br />

Elsewhere, we’ve acquired a large<br />

tract of land (80 acres) in Atlanta,<br />

where we’ve started what we call the<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

197<br />

‘horizontal construction’ of a facility<br />

with a total design capacity of 217 MW.”<br />

“This is just a taste of what we’re up<br />

to at T5 with many exciting developments<br />

in the pipeline. So far, we’ve<br />

deployed 30% out of our fund and<br />

we’ve got a lot more work to do,”<br />

pledges Marin. “Some of the world’s<br />

best brands have entrusted us with<br />

their facilities, so continuing to grow<br />

our third-party services will be at the<br />

heart of our strategy to remain the<br />

industry’s premier data center lifecycle<br />

partner.”<br />


DIGITALLY-E<strong>NA</strong>BLED<br />


198<br />





DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



ROBERT TEN<strong>NA</strong>NT, CIO OF LEGACY<br />





200<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

has been a year of unprecedented<br />

challenges to healthcare<br />

providers across the globe.<br />

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than<br />

38 million people around the world, with more than<br />

7.8 million cases in the US alone. As US healthcare<br />

companies strive to cope with the monumental task<br />

of providing care during this crisis, as well as continue<br />

to support existing patients, many are turning to<br />

technology in order to digitally transform their operations.<br />

The new capabilities offered by Industry 4.0<br />

are allowing for generational advances in the fields<br />

of telemedicine and remote care, as well as providing<br />

powerful new organizational capabilities that are<br />

revolutionizing the relationship between healthcare<br />

providers and their patients.<br />

“This year has been really challenging. We had a lot<br />

of projects on our plate coming into the COVID-19 crisis<br />

in March, and then the crisis demanded we quickly<br />

shift priorities to remote patient care and working<br />

from home,” says Robert Tennant, Chief Information<br />

Officer (CIO) at Legacy, a full-service network of community<br />

health clinics offering primary and specialty<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



202<br />





FROM HOME”<br />

—<br />

Robert Tennant,<br />

CIO, Legacy Community Health,<br />

care in the Texas Gulf Coast region.<br />

Tennant, who joined Legacy in August<br />

of 2019, has been at the forefront of the<br />

organization’s efforts to adapt, react<br />

and overcome the challenges, both of<br />

a global pandemic and of delivering<br />

quality healthcare to the underserved<br />

patients it serves throughout the Gulf<br />

Coast region. We sat down with him<br />

to learn more about harnessing digital<br />

transformation to support Legacy’s<br />

operations, and how to create a customer<br />

service-facing culture during<br />

the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.<br />

When the COVID-19 crisis hit the<br />

United States in March of this year,<br />

Legacy, like many other providers in the<br />

industry, was almost entirely focused<br />

on in-person medical care. “Our first<br />

concern was figuring out how we were<br />

going to continue to deliver the care<br />

that patients need,” Tennant explains.<br />

“It was obvious that the first thing<br />

we needed to roll out was a telehealth<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Legacy Community Health<br />

- Principles of Leadership<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:36<br />

203<br />

solution, which we did in record time.<br />

We signed a contract with a vendor on<br />

a Friday and were treating patients<br />

remotely the following Wednesday.”<br />

Tennant adds that he’s particularly<br />

proud of the speed with which Legacy<br />

transitioned to providing telehealth services<br />

to a patient base suddenly thrown<br />

into lockdown. “We went from just a few<br />

telehealth visits to about 3,000 per week<br />

in the span of three weeks. It was an<br />

incredible effort by my team and other<br />

teams throughout Legacy. The crisis<br />

gave us focus and we accomplished<br />

a lot in a very short amount of time.”<br />

1978<br />

Year founded<br />

$186mn+<br />

Revenue in<br />

US dollars<br />

1,000+<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />


Make work life<br />

as great as real life<br />

Meet the expectations of today’s modern workforce<br />

by using intuitive, intelligent technology and automated<br />

workflows to deliver digital experiences that connect<br />

departments and help people do their best work.<br />



Robert Tennant<br />

Title: Chief Information Officer<br />

Location: Houston, Texas<br />

Industry: Healthcare<br />

Robert Tennant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ambassador<br />

University. In 1993, Tennant started an IT services company focused on IT<br />

networking and custom software development. He sold the company in 1999<br />

and spent time traveling before moving on to a new IT venture at the onset<br />

of the new millennium.<br />

In 2000, he founded another IT services company, this time focusing on<br />

health care advisory and IT services. He stood at the helm until selling in<br />

2009, at which time he joined a national consulting firm focused on leading<br />

healthcare provider organizations into Value-Based Care (V<strong>BC</strong>), delivery.<br />

205<br />

Over the years following, Tennant held various<br />

healthcare IT consulting leadership roles, including<br />

time as an Executive Heath Care Consultant<br />

and VP of Value-Based Care. The focus on V<strong>BC</strong>,<br />

Tennant says, comes from a strong foundation<br />

of customer service along with a belief that<br />

health care organizations should anticipate and<br />

listen to consumers’ needs while measuring<br />

success by their ability to deliver the best health<br />

outcomes at the lowest possible cost.<br />

Tennant has worked as a consultant for Legacy<br />

since 2014, and officially came on board with the<br />

organization in 2019.<br />



206<br />



3,000 PER WEEK IN THE SPAN<br />


—<br />

Robert Tennant,<br />

CIO, Legacy Community Health,<br />

Legacy Community Health<br />

- Working with Financial Stakeholders<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:55<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

In tandem with a customer base that<br />

was suddenly unable to visit Legacy’s<br />

clinics and sites, the organization also<br />

had to adapt to its own staff’s transition<br />

to a remote working model. “It was<br />

kind of the perfect storm,” he recalls.<br />

“We made a big push towards working<br />

from home which was something we<br />

had not done before. Again, within just<br />

a few weeks, we managed to make a<br />

180-degree shift to enable a significant<br />

number of people to work from home<br />

and, in the case of many of our providers,<br />

to provide care remotely.”<br />

Today, Legacy’s Behavioral Health<br />

Service Line is delivering 91% more<br />

telehealth appointments than pre-<br />

COVID-19. “Virtual visits have drastically<br />

changed the way members of our community<br />

receive health care. Whereas<br />

virtual visits were previously reserved<br />

for those with private insurance that<br />

approved this option, now anyone can<br />

get the care they need from the comfort<br />

of their home,” commented Katy<br />

Caldwell, Legacy’s CEO, in May. Near<br />

the beginning of lockdown, Legacy<br />

also opened a virtual pediatric clinic<br />

to deliver care to minors in need of<br />

physical and/or mental health services.<br />

In order to connect Legacy’s customers<br />

with its healthcare professionals,<br />

Tennant and his team have increased<br />

their efforts to digitally enable the organization’s<br />

customer-facing experience.<br />

“A lot of our innovations are customerfacing.<br />

We’re working to build out what<br />

I call a digital patient engagement<br />

strategy – or a digital front door – for our<br />

patients, so they can take advantage<br />

of services from Legacy without having<br />

to come into a clinic or site,” Tennant<br />

explains. “Its development has only been<br />

accelerated by the COVID-19 outbreak.<br />

207<br />




208<br />

The global pandemic has been hard<br />

on everyone. However, it’s been<br />

found than children and young<br />

adults in particular are bearing the<br />

brunt of its effects on mental health.<br />

A recent study found that, in the<br />

US, 7.1% of children between the<br />

ages of 3 and 17 are currently living<br />

with an anxiety diagnosis, and<br />

a further 3.2% are struggling with<br />

clinical depression. According<br />

to Roxane Cohen Silver, a social<br />

psychologist at UC Irvine, the<br />

elevated levels of stress following<br />

national crises can have long-lasting<br />

detrimental effects on the mental<br />

health of an entire generation.<br />

Now, she added in an interview<br />

with TIME, we can expect to see<br />

the coronavirus pandemic contribute<br />

to an even greater spike in mental<br />

health issues than following the<br />

September 11 attacks in 2001.<br />

“This is a difficult time for everyone,<br />

and that includes children,” said<br />

Dr. Melanie Melville, Medical Director<br />

of the Behavioral Health Service Line<br />

at Legacy in March of this year. “As<br />

we turn to social distancing to quell<br />

the spread of this unprecedented<br />

virus, we at Legacy want to<br />

proactively work to ensure that<br />

our most vulnerable populations<br />

have continued access to equitable<br />

care – including behavioral health<br />

care for children.”<br />

Since the early days of the US’<br />

Stay Home Order, Legacy has offered<br />

remote pediatric appointments<br />

to children up to the age of 17,<br />

including therapy appointments to<br />

assist pediatric patients with anxiety,<br />

depression, and behavioral problems.<br />

“The crux of our school-based<br />

health care program has always<br />

been to keep students healthy and<br />

relieve the burden of a clinic visit<br />

from the parents’ shoulders,” says<br />

Dr. Teandra Gordon, the Clinical<br />

Director of School Based Behavioral<br />

Health program at Legacy. “By now<br />

offering these services via telehealth<br />

while students don’t have access<br />

to their campus clinics, our goal is<br />

to continue that warm-hug feeling<br />

of wrap-around care that the<br />

students – and parents – have come<br />

to know and trust from Legacy.”<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Legacy Community Health<br />

- Cultural Initiative<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:29<br />

209<br />

We want patients to be anywhere and<br />

be able to pick up their mobile device and<br />

self-schedule an appointment with us,<br />

arrange a telehealth visit, pay a bill, digitally<br />

sign a document, etc. We’re working<br />

diligently to digitally enable our patient<br />

engagement offerings.”<br />

Internally, Tennant has also been<br />

working to increasingly automate and<br />

integrate the organization’s back-end<br />

systems. “We’re looking at how to create<br />

a similar digital strategy to better serve<br />

our employees,” he explains, adding<br />

that their ongoing project is dedicated<br />

to alleviating the burden of manual<br />

processes from Legacy’s caregivers and<br />

support staff. Both internally and externally,<br />

Tennant and the Legacy team are<br />

engaging with technological innovation<br />

in the healthcare sector and beyond, in<br />

order to better harness the Industry 4.0<br />

developments in service of their unique<br />

healthcare model.<br />


DIGITALLY E<strong>NA</strong>BLE OUR PATIENT<br />


—<br />

Robert Tennant,<br />

CIO, Legacy Community Health,<br />



“We’re not a hospital or a healthcare<br />

system; we’re a community health provider.<br />

We serve the underserved and<br />

we function very differently than a lot<br />

of other organizations in our industry.<br />

Culturally, I think we’re very unique<br />

and extraordinary in a lot of ways,”<br />

says Tennant. “We do look at what<br />

other people are doing, but we’re very<br />

entrepreneurial and agile as an organization.<br />

We do a lot of self-inquiry as a<br />

business and ask ourselves what we,<br />

our customers and our patients need,<br />

®<br />

ServiceNow Global Elite<br />

Partner of the Year






—<br />

Robert Tennant,<br />

CIO, Legacy Community Health,<br />

and how best we can serve those<br />

needs with technology.”<br />

Both during and beyond the pandemic,<br />

Tennant notes that his number-one<br />

initiative is the creation of a culture<br />

of customer service. “I want my team<br />

to feel like their work is meaningful. I<br />

want them to feel safe. I want them to<br />

feel like they can make suggestions<br />

and be confident that they’ll be heard.<br />

And I want them to be able to go home<br />

at the end of the day and separate<br />

themselves from work. I want these<br />

things for everybody, including myself,”<br />

he says, stressing that, “If we don’t get<br />

the customer service element right,<br />

it’s going to undermine every other<br />

aspect of the culture that we’re trying<br />

to create.”<br />

211<br />


212<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

213<br />

Embracing<br />

the Art of<br />

the Possible<br />







Jeremy Johnson, CEO,<br />

describes the company’s tech<br />

transformation, customerfocused<br />

service and why<br />

problem-solving is at the<br />

heart of its business<br />

214<br />

A<br />

t its most fundamental level, insurance<br />

is an industry predicated on risk management,<br />

customer service and trust. Few<br />

companies understand the interconnection of<br />

these principles better than Protective Insurance,<br />

and even fewer have an equivalent level of the<br />

experience, engagement and commitment necessary<br />

to transcend these precepts and deliver<br />

superior results. Founded in 1930 and headquartered<br />

in Carmel, Indiana, USA, the company is a<br />

transport insurance specialist for trucking fleets<br />

of all sizes, licensed in all 50 states, the District<br />

of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all Canadian provinces.<br />

With a long-standing heritage, a portfolio<br />

of diverse products, services and solutions, it<br />

has been and continues to be a strong partner<br />

for an equally essential industry, particularly in<br />

the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

Jeremy Johnson, CEO, joined Protective<br />

Insurance in May 2019 following several years in<br />

executive positions at some of the world’s most<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



216<br />

“There’s just so much data that, with the<br />

right attitude, you can really envisage<br />

a different approach, one that can really<br />

make the roads safer”<br />

—<br />

Jeremy Johnson,<br />

CEO, Protective Insurance<br />

prestigious insurance organizations.<br />

“Because it’s a smaller company<br />

(Protective has approximately 500<br />

employees), it’s a much more intimate<br />

environment and it feels like<br />

one person can really make a difference,”<br />

Johnson explains. “It’s a pretty<br />

revered brand and, because of our<br />

client-centric, relationship-oriented<br />

approach, Protective Insurance is very<br />

well respected both by our distribution<br />

partners and by our customers,<br />

trucking fleets.” Despite starting with<br />

the company only last year, Johnson<br />

says that his first exposure to truck<br />

insurance actually occurred earlier<br />

in his career. Recognizing that it was<br />

an intricate, data-rich opportunity, he<br />

gained a particular fascination with<br />

the sector which continues to this day.<br />

“There’s just so much data that, with<br />

the right attitude, you can really envisage<br />

a different approach, one that can<br />

really make the roads safer. We’ve got<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Protective Insurance<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:33<br />

217<br />

a lot more work to do in order to seize<br />

that massive data opportunity, but we<br />

have a great foundation, momentum<br />

and a vision.<br />

For Johnson, this interest in the<br />

possibilities of data analysis goes<br />

back to one of his former bosses, who<br />

instilled in him a passion for ‘the art of<br />

the possible’ – a spirit of inquisitiveness<br />

and innovation that isn’t afraid to challenge<br />

the status quo or explore new<br />

directions. “Unless you’re prepared<br />

to ask really intriguing questions,<br />

the data just exists in a vacuum,” he<br />

states. Facilitating this approach<br />

meant a new, tech-driven transformation<br />

of Protective Insurance was<br />

necessary as, like many companies<br />

with decades of experience in the<br />

market, the business was rife with<br />

non-integrated legacy systems. “The<br />

linchpins were moving to the cloud<br />

using Microsoft Azure to build a ‘data<br />

lake’ and embracing an analytics-first<br />

commercial auto underwriting platform<br />

built for us by TSIQ. We have a<br />

partnership with a company called<br />

Roots Automation, who’ve provided<br />

us with self-learning digital bots, and<br />

we have a great partner in Majesco<br />



218<br />

whose approach to microservices and<br />

‘plug and play’ style system modules<br />

really align with our technology vision.”<br />

In addition, Johnson explains that<br />

there will be numerous, more mundane<br />

but no less crucial changes happening<br />

behind the scenes that will affect the<br />

company’s ability to scale as well as<br />

ingest, harmonize and analyze data.<br />

However, increased technological<br />

sophistication is only a component<br />

of Protective Insurance’s successful<br />

formula. What really sets it apart,<br />

as Johnson intimated, is its cultural<br />

emphasis on employee engagement<br />

and building strong customer relationships.<br />

“People genuinely enjoy<br />

working here,” he states. “In fact,<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

1930<br />

Year founded<br />

$495m+<br />

Total Revenue in<br />

US dollars (2019)<br />

500<br />

we recently celebrated one member<br />

of staff’s 50th year with us. We are<br />

a specialist and know our customers<br />

well; we have a shared dedication and<br />

excitement about our mission: making<br />

roads safer.” The importance of<br />

this client connection took on even<br />

greater proportions at the start of the<br />

COVID-19 lockdown in mid-March.<br />

In order to ensure that it was meeting<br />

its customers rapidly shifting concerns<br />

and priorities, Protective Insurance<br />

Number of<br />

reached out to understand how best<br />

employees<br />

219<br />

it could lend assistance. The answer,<br />


Jeremy Johnson<br />

Title: Chief Executive Officer<br />

Industry: Insurance<br />

Company: Protective Insurance<br />

Location: United States<br />

Jeremy has more than 25 years of insurance industry experience<br />

and has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Protective<br />

Insurance since May 2019. Prior to Protective, Jeremy served<br />

in various executive leadership roles at American<br />

International Group, Inc. (AIG) for 17 years. Roles included,<br />

President, US Commercial for AIG; and CEO & President<br />

of Lexington Insurance Company, AIG’s excess and surplus<br />

lines unit. Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Oxford<br />

with a Masters of Arts degree in Law.<br />


Move business<br />

forward, faster<br />

Virtusa – World’s leading Digital Partner of choice.<br />

Leveraging decades of core software engineering<br />

experience with Virtusa’s Digital Transformation Studio, an<br />

approach that brings together engineering tools, InsurTech<br />

assets, and multidisciplinary agile teams to drive over 30%<br />

efficiency and speed in delivering digital transformation.<br />

Learn more >

“Unless you’re<br />

prepared to ask<br />

really intriguing<br />

questions, the<br />

data just exists<br />

in a vacuum”<br />

—<br />

Jeremy Johnson,<br />

CEO, Protective Insurance<br />

Johnson claims, was rather ironic.<br />

“We asked them, ‘What can we do<br />

for you?’, expecting an answer that<br />

would revolve around digital technology.<br />

However, the overwhelming<br />

reply was, ‘We need hand sanitizer’.”<br />

Partnering with a local distillery,<br />

Protective Insurance was able to<br />

purchase and distribute hundreds<br />

of gallons of sanitizer with logistical<br />

assistance from the American<br />

Trucking Association.<br />

221<br />



Despite this response, the company<br />

was more than adequately prepared to<br />

meet the technological challenges of<br />

the pandemic too. Having analyzed the<br />

pre-lockdown situation and modelled<br />

for various operational contingencies,<br />

Johnson says that Protective<br />

Insurance “didn’t miss a beat” throughout<br />

the transition, even though it<br />

was still undergoing a major tech<br />

transformation at the time. “We had<br />

tested some things and taken some<br />

dry runs, but you never know until<br />

you’re actually in that environment,”<br />

he explains. “I think there was a lot<br />

of fear and trepidation as to whether<br />

our employees could effectively manage<br />

our customer relationships, pay<br />

claims, take submissions and communicate<br />

effectively while working from<br />

home.” Enabled by the company’s<br />

technology team, which provided the<br />

bandwidth necessary for sustaining<br />

an equivalently high standard of customer<br />

interaction virtually, Johnson<br />

reports that staff were emboldened<br />

Smart bots.<br />

Happy people.<br />

Experience so much more than RPA.<br />

Introducing Cognitive Process Automation.<br />

Self-learning Digital Coworkers increase<br />

efficiency by 400-800%.<br />


“Protective Insurance will continue to invest in<br />

other tools that can make our employees’ lives<br />

more comfortable when working remotely”<br />

—<br />

Jeremy Johnson,<br />

CEO, Protective Insurance<br />

and empowered to succeed. “I think<br />

we’re going to be in this environment<br />

for quite a lot longer. Therefore,<br />

Protective Insurance will continue to<br />

invest in other tools that can make our<br />

employees’ lives more comfortable<br />

when working remotely.”<br />

To further develop this tech familiarity<br />

among its staff, Protective Insurance<br />

hosted a ‘virtual’ fair on relevant<br />

tech-based subjects. Presented<br />

to employees by employees, the<br />

company hopes to augment its transformation<br />

through learning and<br />

communication to highlight the importance<br />

of change. “Employees can go<br />

through the many modules that make<br />

up the Technology Transformation<br />

Fair and learn, for example, what the<br />

cloud or a data lake is, and why and<br />

how that matters to us,” Johnson<br />

explains. “I’m fully confident that 100%<br />

of our employees will take the time to<br />

look at the modules that are of most<br />

interest to them.” Educating staff is<br />

an important part of his ‘embracing<br />

the art of the possible’ concept, and,<br />

as data analytics continues to play<br />

an important role in insurance’s digital<br />

transformation, knowing how to<br />

extract results will be critical. “You<br />

build all this infrastructure and you<br />

gain the ability to look at the data, but<br />

how do you get the right minds to ask<br />

the right questions?” Johnson asks.<br />

“What are the questions that will allow<br />

us to get a game changing advantage?<br />

I think there’s a colossal amount<br />

of momentum behind unlocking the<br />

value of data.”<br />

223<br />



224<br />

“We couldn’t have got into this position<br />

without 500 committed, experienced and<br />

able employees” The company’s worth is defined by<br />

—<br />

Jeremy Johnson,<br />

CEO, Protective Insurance<br />

Achieving this goal is Protective<br />

Insurance’s primary aspiration, “We<br />

want to be our customer’s most valued<br />

transportation insurance provider.”<br />

its ability to manage risk, save clients<br />

money and make the roads safer; 2021<br />

is a year in which it hopes to fulfil this<br />

mission with tech-enhanced vigor and<br />

partners equally committed to surmounting<br />

the challenges of delivering<br />

superior service. “I think we’re going to<br />

be valuable to all of our stakeholders;<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

225<br />

not just our customers, but our shareholders,<br />

employees, reinsurers, vendor<br />

partners and technology partners,<br />

who are all important to us.” Engaging<br />

with ‘possibility thinking’ and adopting<br />

an ‘always moving forwards’ mentality<br />

will maintain Protective Insurance’s<br />

competitive edge, which has already<br />

seen it triumph over other, less-imaginative<br />

companies in the space. Finally,<br />

Johnson concludes with a declaration<br />

of pride for his employees’ hard work<br />

and engagement with the corporate<br />

mission: “Our existing customers value<br />

us and many more now want to work<br />

with us. We couldn’t have got into this<br />

position without 500 committed, experienced<br />

and able employees. I’m super<br />

proud of what we’ve achieved.”<br />


Transforming<br />

in the<br />

Data Center<br />

Industry<br />

226<br />





DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


<strong>NA</strong>UTILUS<br />

James Connaughton,<br />

Nautilus CEO, discusses<br />

how his firm is revolutionising<br />

the data center industry<br />

228<br />

N<br />

autilus Data Technologies is a global<br />

pioneer in water-cooled data centers and<br />

is leading a global transformation to ultraefficient,<br />

high-performance and environmentally<br />

sustainable operations in the data center sector.<br />

James Connaughton is the CEO at Nautilus.<br />

Having joined the organisation in March 2016, he<br />

has overseen the implementation of the world’s<br />

first water-cooled and water-borne data center<br />

with Nautilus. “There are two essential features,”<br />

explains Connaughton. “The first and most important<br />

feature is cooling with naturally cold water,<br />

which is how all other major infrastructure sectors<br />

address the large amounts of heat generated<br />

by their systems. These include, for example,<br />

thermal power plants, ships, industrial processing<br />

facilities, and paper mills. Only data centers,<br />

generate heat at a similar industrial scale, still use<br />

massive and unsustainable air-cooling systems.<br />

The second feature is mobility--the ability to prefabricate<br />

the data center in large modules, and<br />

either assemble them onto a barge and deliver<br />

it fully ready to go, or transport the modules to<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


<strong>NA</strong>UTILUS<br />

230<br />

a prepared site for rapid assembly.<br />

Placing essential infrastructure on<br />

barges—such as energy barges and<br />

water treatment barges--is a wellestablished<br />

model for enabling rapid<br />

and flexible access to such infrastructure<br />

in fast growing and emerging<br />

markets. The opportunity and need is<br />

equally strong today when it comes to<br />

providing access to digital infrastructure<br />

to those who currently lack it.”<br />

Connaughton believes data centers<br />

are the newest and most important<br />

component of critical infrastructure<br />

that sustains and enriches the lives<br />

of people around the world. “Data<br />

centers now stand alongside power<br />

generation, drinking-water plants,<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

waste-water plants, roads and other<br />

critical infrastructure that allows<br />

society to function and create good<br />

outcomes for people,” he explains.<br />

“Access to the water molecule and<br />

the electron has long been vitally<br />

important. Worldwide access to the<br />

photon for data delivery is the next<br />

essential piece.” Over the past two<br />

years, Connaughton has overseen<br />

the development of the company’s<br />

first full-scale commercial facility,<br />

which provides six megawatts of<br />

water-cooled data center capacity on<br />

a barge. He strives for an innovative<br />

approach across all his operations.<br />

“We’ve been on the arc of creative<br />

invention and cleverly practical engineering<br />

to make that a reality,” says<br />

Connaughton. “The first part of our<br />


James Connaughton<br />

231<br />

Title: CEO<br />

Industry: Data Centre<br />

Company: Nautilus<br />

Location: San Francisco Bay<br />

James Connaughton is the CEO at Nautilus. Having joined the<br />

organisation in March 2016, he has overseen the implementation<br />

of the world’s first water-cooled and water-borne data center<br />

with Nautilus. He began his career as a Partner at Sidley Austin<br />

focusing on energy, natural resources and environment,<br />

energy and environmental management and compliance<br />

assurance systems. He then moved on to serve as Chairman of<br />

the White House Council on Environmental Quality as Senior<br />

Advisor to President George W. Bush. Roles followed<br />

at clean energy companies Constellation Energy and<br />

Exelon, and big data analytics company C3.ai, before<br />

moving into his current role at Nautilus.<br />


<strong>NA</strong>UTILUS<br />

232<br />

“We’ve been on the<br />

arc of innovation<br />

and invention and<br />

engineering to make<br />

a high performing<br />

and environmentally<br />

sustainable data<br />

centre a reality”<br />

—<br />

James Connaughton,<br />

CEO, Nautilus<br />

company’s life has focused on building<br />

a functional prototype, and then using<br />

that experience to make the thousands<br />

of decisions of what not to do<br />

against the several hundred decisions<br />

of what to do in bringing a full scale<br />

facility into being. We’re really excited<br />

to be commissioning that data center<br />

in California in just a few weeks time.”<br />

Nautilus is planning to develop<br />

facilities in North America, Europe<br />

and Asia, and has been contacted<br />

by potential partners to pursue<br />

projects in the Middle East, Africa,<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Nautilus Data Technologies |<br />

Water-cooled Data Centre<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:41<br />

233<br />

and South America. “Once our data<br />

center in Northern California is up<br />

and running, we look forward to<br />

onboarding a great set of anchor customers,”<br />

says Connaughton. “We will<br />

show the world the ultra-efficiency,<br />

high-performance, and the strong<br />

sustainability of our approach. After<br />

that, we are ready to rapidly move into<br />

other locations to “productize” the<br />

technology and we look forward to<br />

partnering through joint ventures and<br />

technology licensing so that we can<br />

get this important technology out into<br />

the world as quickly as possible.”<br />

Connaughton explains that a key<br />

part of his organisation’s development<br />

has been to develop the supply chain<br />

partnerships with companies such<br />

as Usystems, Schneider, Vertiv, and<br />

George Fischer, among others. “Our<br />

objective is to work with partners that<br />

can help us make this technology<br />

available globally,” he says. “These<br />

partnerships are important because,<br />

as customers, communities, and<br />

digital infrastructure providers become<br />

excited about taking advantage of<br />

our technology, we don’t want to lose<br />

ground in being able to deliver it. In order<br />


Systems<br />

www.usystems.com<br />

Future proofing data centers with advanced,<br />

sustainable and energy saving coldlogik<br />

cooling technology<br />

Low to high density cooling ‘in one solution’.<br />

All Aboard!!<br />

USystems are proud to be an integral part of the Nautilus<br />

journey incorporating ColdLogik adaptive intelligence into the<br />

TM<br />

‘TRUE ’ green data center solution. A shared vision leading<br />

with innovation, high-performance and sustainability.

“In order to support an<br />

innovation company<br />

like ours, partners must<br />

field tiger teams that<br />

know how to interact<br />

with startups and other<br />

smaller technology<br />

innovators like us”<br />

—<br />

James Connaughton,<br />

CEO, Nautilus<br />

to support an innovation company like<br />

ours, partners must field tiger teams that<br />

know how to interact with startups and<br />

other smaller technology innovators<br />

like us. And these teams need to have<br />

the creativity and agility to adapt as the<br />

innovation advances. We’ve come a long<br />

way in just three years, and there is a<br />

lot more to come. Our partners need to<br />

keep pace with us.”<br />

With the future in mind,<br />

Connaughton believes that the data<br />

center industry is moving rapidly<br />

to where the users are in order to<br />

235<br />


<strong>NA</strong>UTILUS<br />

“Data centers are<br />

the newest and most<br />

essential piece of<br />

critical infrastructure<br />

for the world”<br />

—<br />

James Connaughton,<br />

CEO, Nautilus<br />

236<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />


<strong>NA</strong>UTILUS<br />

238<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

239<br />

provide the more powerful computing<br />

and faster connections necessary<br />

for smart-city, smart-transportation,<br />

smart grid, tele-medicine and other<br />

highly valuable digital applications<br />

and services. “This means high-performance<br />

data centers in the centre<br />

of every population center,” he says.<br />

“We’ve seen this dynamic before with<br />

the buildout of other forms of public<br />

and private infrastructure—such as<br />

electricity and gas delivery, public<br />

water systems, telecommunications,<br />

highways, railroads, airports, ports,<br />

and even overnight package delivery.<br />

To these we will now add warehouses<br />

of computers, countless miles of<br />

fiber optics, and an endless array of<br />

wireless devices linking everyone to<br />

everything digital. We need to make<br />

sure that the environmental footprint<br />

of the data centers at the heart of all<br />

of this well serves both society and the<br />

planet. It’s very exciting.”<br />


240<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

241<br />

A New Vision for<br />

Community-based<br />

Insurance<br />







Alena Kharkavets, VP Digital<br />

Strategy and CX, outlines the<br />

transformation roadmap that’s<br />

enabling a new, digitally driven<br />

vision of insurance processes<br />

242<br />

A<br />

t a time when it seems like there’s insurmountable<br />

uncertainty about so many<br />

aspects of life, BrokerLink is spearheading<br />

a new approach to the insurance process: one<br />

that emphasises clarity, community and customercentricity.<br />

Founded in 1991, this Canadian company<br />

has managed to create an expansive presence<br />

across the country, with over 140 branches serviced<br />

by more than 2,000 employees.<br />

“I’ve been in insurance for over 13 years.<br />

Throughout my entire career, I’ve always had the<br />

mindset of wanting to understand how all the<br />

pieces fit together,” says Alena Kharkavets, VP<br />

Digital Strategy and Customer Experience. Joining<br />

BrokerLink in October 2013, Kharkavets relates<br />

that her current role, in combination with her extensive<br />

industry experience in actuarial, corporate<br />

development, operations and sales, provides her<br />

with the “big picture thinking” she needs to thrive.<br />

That holistic mindset is crucial for a company with<br />

a broad geographic footprint, which, nonetheless,<br />

must still deliver a consistent level of high quality<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

usinesschief.com<br />



244<br />

“Every single branch<br />

has a unique, grassroots<br />

presence and that<br />

resonates with me<br />

tremendously”<br />

—<br />

Alena Kharkavets,<br />

VP of Digital Strategy and CX,<br />

BrokerLink<br />

service across all of its locations.<br />

Kharkavets adds that “every single<br />

branch has a unique, grassroots<br />

presence and that resonates with<br />

me tremendously.” With regards to<br />

her management style in this ‘many<br />

community branches with a unified<br />

approach’ model, Kharkavets credits<br />

one of her previous roles as a sales<br />

team manager as a perfect primer:<br />

“It was one of the most transformational<br />

experiences of my career;<br />

it really taught me how to break<br />

down complexities into something<br />

more simple.”<br />

BrokerLink’s national scale doesn’t<br />

detract from its local impact, and<br />

employees benefit just as much as<br />

customers. The company is a firm<br />

believer in fostering career development,<br />

which it facilitates by being<br />

a subsidiary of Intact Financial<br />

Corporation, allowing brokers to<br />

have a wide range of career opportunities<br />

from underwriting to claims<br />

adjustment. “We’ve worked very<br />

hard to be a great employer,” states<br />

Kharkavets. “In fact, we’ve obtained<br />

‘Best Employer in Canada’ from<br />

Kincentric, again.” Empowered with<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

lean and agile capabilities through<br />

analytics technology, BrokerLink’s<br />

team managers are given access to<br />

a variety of live data and customer<br />

surveys. “This year, we’ve received<br />

over 40,000 responses from our<br />

customers,” Kharkavets says. “The<br />

notion of changing our tactics and<br />

addressing pain points depending on<br />

what we read in those comments or<br />

observe in trends is hardwired into<br />

BrokerLink’s culture.”<br />

Like many companies around the<br />

world, BrokerLink rushed into action<br />

at the beginning of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic. “In our case, nearly all our<br />

employees ended up working from<br />

home virtually overnight,” Kharkavets<br />

relates. “I think the pandemic will<br />

change how we stay connected and<br />

how we make sure that culture is<br />

retained, particularly when onboarding<br />

new staff.” This also goes hand-inhand<br />

with BrokerLink’s renewed focus<br />

on employee wellness and mental<br />

health. Indeed, for the company and<br />

insurance generally there is a sense<br />

that things are on course for significant<br />


Payments<br />

solutions<br />

built for the<br />

insurance<br />

industry.<br />

Collect payments faster<br />

Stop writing cheques/checks<br />

Eliminate costly, tedious<br />

administrative tasks<br />


change, including how customers<br />

experience modern products and<br />

services. While digital transformation<br />

certainly generated the momentum for<br />

a technologically invigorated industry,<br />

Kharkavets believes that current conditions<br />

are enabling its fulfillment,<br />

1991<br />

Year founded<br />

2,000+<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />

“The pandemic has accelerated a lot<br />

of trends that we’ve seen before.”<br />

Developing omnichannel customer<br />

service capabilities has been a direct<br />

and necessary consequence of<br />

increased digitisation at BrokerLink.<br />

Customer needs and expectations<br />

are changing in relation to technology,<br />

claims Kharkavets, and insurance’s<br />

evolution will be dependent on its<br />

realisation of this fact. However, while<br />

it’s tempting to assume that there<br />

is a clear divide between younger<br />

people (i.e. millennials) preferring<br />

digital self-service options and older<br />

people wanting agent-based service,<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

Kharkavets states that the truth is<br />

much more nuanced. “Everyone talks<br />

about digitisation in those terms, but<br />

what’s interesting is, when we dive<br />

into the data, 35% of BrokerLink’s<br />

‘70+ years old’ demographic enjoys<br />

using an app for their insurance needs.”<br />

Therefore, she considers the continued<br />

investment in digital channels as<br />

wholly validated. However, BrokerLink<br />

is also careful to ensure that its roadmap<br />

is configured to meet the specific<br />

challenges of its clients, particularly in<br />

an industry often represented as being<br />

overly complex. “When we design<br />

things, we want them to be inclusive<br />

and accessible,” says Kharkavets.<br />

“We’re constantly exploring how<br />

digital interacts with local: how can<br />

it support and act as an extension of<br />


Alena Kharkavets<br />

247<br />

Title: VP of Digital Strategy and Customer Experience<br />

Industry: Insurance<br />

Location: Canada<br />

Alena Kharkavets is the VP of Digital Strategy and Customer Experience<br />

at BrokerLink Insurance. She brings extensive experience in actuarial,<br />

corporate development, strategy and sales operations. She’s<br />

passionate about modernizing and simplifying the insurance<br />

experience. Alena graduated from the University of Toronto<br />

with a dual degree in Computer Science and Actuarial<br />

Science. She has also completed a Global Professional<br />

Master of Laws. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute<br />

of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. Outside<br />

of insurance, Alena loves spending time with her<br />

daughters, ages two and four. She loves travelling<br />

with them and showing them the world.<br />



our branches?” One of BrokerLink’s<br />

guiding principles is its ‘#realpeople’<br />

philosophy, a method by which digital<br />

projects are developed conscientiously<br />

with maximised accessibility<br />

as the ultimate goal. “Our accessibility<br />

score is 92% while the industry<br />

benchmark is only 71%,” she explains.<br />

“We implement the principles of<br />

behavioural science in our design: we<br />

serve information in bite-sized chunks<br />

and manage price expectations with<br />

an accuracy meter on our website. If<br />

someone’s eyesight is impaired or their<br />

attention span is reduced because<br />

they’re browsing at night and require<br />

more visual information, it all has to<br />

be factored in.”<br />

248<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“The notion of changing<br />

our tactics and addressing<br />

pain points depending<br />

on what we [...] observe<br />

in trends is hardwired into<br />

BrokerLink’s culture”<br />

—<br />

Alena Kharkavets,<br />

VP of Digital Strategy and CX,<br />

BrokerLink<br />

Furthermore, on the topic of digital<br />

projects, Kharkavets emphasises the<br />

importance of instilling team confidence<br />

with ‘minimum viable product’,<br />

a concept predicated on fast-paced<br />

two-week development sprints and<br />

combined with a “progress over<br />

perfection” attitude and data-based<br />

decision making. “In digital, if you aim<br />

249<br />



250<br />


Sponsoring YW Calgary’s ‘International<br />

Day of the Girl <strong>2020</strong>’ on 11 October, a<br />

UN sanctioned annual event dedicated<br />

to empowering girls and protecting<br />

their rights, BrokerLink has<br />

distinguished itself as part of a rising<br />

movement in insurance: insurers with<br />

a strong social stance.<br />

“Every branch participates quite<br />

actively in the community; we have a<br />

firm belief that organisations of every<br />

size – small, medium and large – have a<br />

role to play in making society a better<br />

place,” states Kharkavets. “BrokerLink<br />

will continue to champion diversity<br />

and inclusion. We believe that the<br />

input of business will be essential<br />

to achieving this goal, particularly<br />

as consumers expect companies<br />

to have an opinion and to stand<br />

up for what is right.”<br />

“The power of ‘diversity of thought’<br />

is huge. I encourage everyone when<br />

they start their digital roadmap, or<br />

wherever they are on their journey,<br />

to question whether they have a team<br />

that contains different opinions and<br />

consider how they interact so that<br />

everyone is inclusive of each other.”<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

for perfection you’ll likely arrive too<br />

late. BrokerLink demonstrates the<br />

value of its propositions to customers<br />

and then iterates and improves from<br />

there based on their feedback and<br />

what data shows.” From these key<br />

building blocks, the company is able<br />

to forge a coherent understanding of<br />

where and how it wants to develop.<br />

Kharkavets adds that, although<br />

BrokerLink’s transformation journey<br />

has been underway for slightly less<br />

than two years, it firmly believes<br />

that maintaining focus on delivering<br />

“When we design things,<br />

they are inclusive and<br />

accessible. We’re<br />

constantly exploring<br />

how digital interacts with<br />

local: how can it support<br />

and act as an extension<br />

of our branches?”<br />

—<br />

Alena Kharkavets,<br />

VP of Digital Strategy and CX,<br />

BrokerLink<br />

251<br />

BrokerLink Recruitment Video 2019<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:38<br />



252<br />

“In digital, if you aim for perfection<br />

you’ll likely arrive too late. BrokerLink<br />

demonstrates the value of its<br />

propositions to customers and then<br />

iterates from there”<br />

—<br />

Alena Kharkavets,<br />

VP of Digital Strategy and CX,<br />

BrokerLink<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

customer value at all times will ultimately<br />

reap greater success.<br />

When considering the direction<br />

of the company as it prepares to<br />

enter 2021, Kharkavets states that<br />

BrokerLink will remain as dedicated<br />

to transformation as ever, “We like to<br />

set ambitious goals. We then break<br />

them down into small steps and say,<br />

‘Okay, here’s where we are going and<br />

here’s how we’re going to achieve it’.”<br />

This approach will be bolstered by collaborating<br />

with its partner companies<br />

to help improve customer experience<br />

by responding to their needs. Central<br />

to BrokerLink’s future success will be<br />

an inherent trust in the value of digital<br />

technology and fast-paced R&D,<br />

which Kharkavets highlights as being<br />

particularly important. “The term ‘digital<br />

transformation’ can be intimidating<br />

for many because it’s a big term,” she<br />

adds. “But you don’t need to do everything<br />

at once, so long as you’re putting<br />

the right building blocks in place.”<br />

253<br />


254<br />

Customerfocused<br />

Digital<br />

Transformation<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

255<br />







Ty Tastepe, Chief Information<br />

and Digital Officer at fashion<br />

retailer Altar’d State, on<br />

digital transformation and<br />

its response to COVID-19<br />

256<br />

T<br />

y Tastepe is Chief Information and Digital<br />

Officer at Altar’d State, a fast-growing<br />

women’s fashion retailer, which sees<br />

him leading its technology and digital teams. “We<br />

have three brands,” explains Tastepe. “We have<br />

A’Beautiful Soul, our plus size brand and Vow’d, our<br />

recently launched weddings brand, as well as the<br />

flagship Altar’d State brand.” Tastepe emphasizes<br />

the fact that the company likes to do things differently<br />

from its competitors. “We’re very focused on<br />

giving back to the community, exceeding our guest<br />

expectations at every touch point, doing the right<br />

thing and being willing to challenge established<br />

notions in the retail industry.”<br />

Tastepe came to the role as an experienced<br />

technology leader having worked at Universal,<br />

Hilton and Disney to deliver innovative technologies<br />

around the globe. “Altar’d State gave me<br />

the opportunity to make an impact in the digital<br />

transformation of the organisation, as we focused<br />

on balancing our physical and digital portfolio and<br />

providing our guests the choice of platforms to<br />

engage with us.”<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

257<br />

2009<br />

Year founded<br />

2,400<br />

Number of<br />

employees<br />



258<br />

“We’re very focused<br />

on giving back to<br />

the community”<br />

—<br />

Ty Tastepe,<br />

Chief Information and Digital Officer,<br />

Altar’d State<br />

His approach to leadership has<br />

been solidified by the challenging<br />

times caused by the ongoing COVID-<br />

19 pandemic, which he believes made it<br />

necessary to move more quickly on all<br />

fronts. “I believe that to be an effective<br />

leader one needs to be able to paint<br />

a picture of the destination and really<br />

communicate the role of each team<br />

member on that journey,” says Tastepe.<br />

“Seeking a diversity of ideas and experiences,<br />

listening to input from partners<br />

both inside and outside the organization,<br />

staying positive and maintaining a<br />

can-do attitude, learning from failures,<br />

moving forward quickly and celebrating<br />

successes are really essential in<br />

achieving the company’s goals.”<br />

The company’s approach to<br />

implementing new technology is<br />

guided by a clear strategy. “We have<br />

looked at the digital transformation in<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

two ways. One is a set of technologies<br />

to enable our associates to reduce<br />

friction in their lives and to help them<br />

serve our guests better. And the second<br />

is another set of technologies that<br />

help us know our guests better and<br />

enable them to engage with us anytime<br />

and anywhere.”<br />

One such group of technologies<br />

is artificial intelligence, as Tastepe<br />

explains. “We are starting to leverage<br />

AI in some places. For instance, we use<br />

technologies on our website to recommend<br />

products based on our customer<br />

history and choices. We are continuing<br />

to identify many more opportunities to<br />

leverage tools that help us make better<br />

decisions, AI being one of them.”<br />

It is data that is at the heart of the<br />

company’s decision making. “Frankly<br />


Ty Tastepe<br />

259<br />

Title: Chief Information and Digital Officer Company: Altar’d State<br />

Industry: Retail<br />

Location: Maryville, TN, USA<br />

Ty Tastepe serves as the Chief Information and Digital Officer for<br />

Altar’d State, and leads technology and digital teams to deliver<br />

exceptional digital experiences for guests and associates.<br />

Prior to Altar’d State, Ty spent almost two decades delivering<br />

large scale digital transformation programs at global<br />

entertainment and hospitality brands including Universal<br />

Parks and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide and Walt Disney<br />

Parks and Resorts.<br />

He earned an MBA from Villanova University and<br />

received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees<br />

in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University.<br />



the better we know our guests and the<br />

more we are informed about what is<br />

happening in our business, the better<br />

we can make adjustments and improve<br />

our business,” says Tastepe. “We look<br />

at hourly, daily and weekly metrics<br />

across many fronts to help our leaders<br />

make decisions as quickly as possible.”<br />

Tastepe is clear that such technologies<br />

cannot be implemented without<br />

first being aware of how changes in<br />

technology might impact associates<br />

and customers. “It’s important to<br />

provide the right tools to our associates<br />

so that they welcome the<br />

change and can help our guests. This<br />

is an area we can always do better<br />

in and it’s something I think about a<br />

lot. But I am impressed with how our<br />

associates have responded to the<br />

introduction of new technologies.<br />

Although we’ve seen that can-do attitude<br />

in every corner of our business,<br />

it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t focus on<br />

change management, communication<br />

and training.”<br />

260<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

We Missed You!<br />

We Thank You!<br />

We Love You!<br />

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:57<br />

261<br />

“We look at hourly, daily and weekly metrics across<br />

many fronts to help our leaders make decisions”<br />

—<br />

Ty Tastepe,<br />

Chief Information and Digital Officer,<br />

Altar’d State<br />

Altar’d State’s transformation has<br />

been enabled with the support of a<br />

number of key technology and service<br />

providers, both large household<br />

names and emerging companies.<br />

One such partner is Exponea. “We<br />

selected Exponea as our customer<br />

data platform provider after an<br />

extensive evaluation process. The<br />

things we liked about them include<br />

their ability to combine customer<br />

data management, segmentation,<br />

orchestration, and analytics. We<br />

recently deployed the solution into<br />

production and we are continuing to<br />

learn and evolve our use of the technology.<br />

That’ll teach us a lot more<br />

about our customers and how we<br />

engage with them.”<br />



“I am impressed with<br />

how our associates<br />

have responded to<br />

the introduction of<br />

new technologies”<br />

—<br />

Ty Tastepe,<br />

Chief Information and Digital Officer,<br />

Altar’d State<br />

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic<br />

has led to changes in customer behaviour<br />

which Altar’d State is responding<br />

to. “We’re emphasizing our digital<br />

investments but we’re continuing to<br />

invest in our stores as well. We care<br />

very much about the experience we<br />

provide to our guests in our stores,<br />

and that will continue to be a key<br />

component of our strategy. So it’s<br />

a balancing act between our digital<br />

and physical presence.” That balancing<br />

act dovetails with the company’s<br />

strategy to be present wherever its<br />

guests shop, to provide a seamless<br />

experience across all touchpoints.<br />

“That includes both our direct channels<br />

and third party channels. We’re<br />

deploying technologies to provide single<br />

visibility to our inventory in a near<br />

real-time mode and manage orders<br />

across the ecosystem, both direct<br />

and indirect channels. That enables<br />

us to offer capabilities like buy online,<br />

pickup in store.”<br />

Such innovations stand the company<br />

in good stead to thrive in the new<br />

normal, leaving Tastepe to conclude<br />

that the future is bright for Altar’d<br />

State. “We weathered the storm as<br />

well as can be expected and even<br />

launched our wedding brand in the<br />

middle of the year during the pandemic.<br />

We will continue to listen to<br />

263<br />



264<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong>

“We will continue to<br />

listen to our guests<br />

and constantly adjust<br />

to shifting purchase<br />

patterns and evolving<br />

conditions”<br />

—<br />

Ty Tastepe,<br />

Chief Information and Digital Officer,<br />

Altar’d State<br />

our guests and constantly adjust to<br />

shifting purchase patterns and evolving<br />

conditions. The keys to success<br />

in such an environment are resilience,<br />

persistence, responsiveness, and ultimately<br />

taking care of our guests and<br />

associates. With those pillars in mind,<br />

we will continue to grow our business<br />

into the future.”<br />

265<br />


Driving insurers<br />

digital<br />

into a<br />

future<br />

At Cognizant, we’ve invested in the end-to-end capabilities<br />

needed to help insurance organizations not just do digital,<br />

but be digital. We partner with our clients to unlock new<br />

value and through the power of digital technologies and new<br />

ways of working, we help them evolve into more competitive,<br />

progressive versions of themselves.<br />

Learn more at Cognizant.com<br />

Copyright © 2019 Cognizant

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!