Welcome to Tata Consultancy Services’ rolling coverage of the 14th TCS Summit Europe coming to you from Geneva, Switzerland.


It’s a wrap!

Reflecting on the key themes over the last three days of the Summit, Amit Kapur, Head of UK & I, Tata Consultancy Services, took time to recognise what the Summit is really all about:

“All of our customers – thank you for your beautiful stories, beautiful narratives. All your stories were so unique. All your stories were so insightful. We carry back huge loads of impressions and incentives in terms of those learnings. I hope you had a very insightful last two days. And I wish you all the very best, safe travels, and thank you for all the partnership that we’ve enjoyed so far.”

[Friday, 27th September, 19:13]

Mass personalisation in action

The personalisation of the marketing message is no longer an if but a how.

Mass personalisation is not just about tailoring messages to customers – it’s about winning their trust.

Trust is vital to drive sales in today’s Business 4.0 world. And marketing is on the front line of building customers’ trust.

The telecommunication industry is a great example of why we need personalisation, says József Szõke, Head of Customer Value Management & Big Data, Vodafone Hungary.

Szõke describes how, in the Netherlands, the average subscription has grown fast to around 1.5 a person.

Differentiation by personalizing the offer suddenly became critical to growing business and retaining customers,” he says.

Vodafone found “the magic recipe” for success was to make targeted offers based on individual usage. For example, a 1 gigabyte addition to all plans might improve take up by four or five percent. Properly targeted, the same offer drove uptake by over 40%.

Working with TCS, Vodafone analyzed its customer data to target its marketing based on behaviors and needs.

Some people think marketing is smoke and mirrors but if you do it in the right way it is incredibly important, helping you to understand customer needs and solve their problems,” he said.

[Friday, 27th September, 18:13]

B2C, B2B, B2?

Have the lines between traditional marketing terms been blurred in recent years? Heather Wijdekop, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Tata Steel Europe, certainly thinks so.

B2B is no longer a marketing attribute,” she says.

Even though B2B customers are generally characterised as large and complex decision-making units, ultimately, those units are made of humans, as she explains:

B2H – business-to-human – I think is a far more appropriate marketing term now which transcends the old B2B and the old B2C.

Fundamentally, their needs are ultimately the same. They do want to be seen as having unique and bespoke needs to their industry, to their specific role, to their specific process. They want to be heard and understood. In exactly the same way as we, as individuals, want to be heard and understood. So personalisation in an industry like mine is really no different to personalisation in our consumer lives.”

[Friday, 27th September, 15:13]

The modern digital brand

Marketers have a key responsibility today to help drive the growth of a business.

According to Paramita Bhattacharya, Global Head of Marketing, Nokia Technologies, that means both developing the right kind of sales and strategic partnerships as well as using a full suite of integrated communications, all the while putting the customer at front and centre.

One of the key things that I consider really critical for a modern digital brand to do is to provide a very relevant and connected experience.

As a brand, we should be aware of what their usage history is, their preferences, what they’ve been using. The availability of data gives you that information.

[Friday, 27th September, 14:25]

MFDM™ Making Enterprises AI Ready

There are three imperatives for the enterprise today, explains PR Krishnan, Executive Vice President & Global Head, Enterprise Intelligent Automation, Tata Consultancy Services:

1. Heterogeneity: making sure that legacy and digital systems can co-exist
2. Granularity: making sure that the enterprise processes are aligned to the business goals
3. Industrialisation: Using technologies to re-imagine the customer experience

A key thread running through them all is the changing role that people will play in the future.

People’s roles are going to change,” says Krishnan.

They have to reskill themselves. People who were doing tasks will become trainers and coaches of machines. They will may become designers and architects of AI gardens. They will essentially build the future of your enterprise.

MFDMmakes your enterprise AI-ready. It creates a future-proof architecture, integrating experience at every touch point.”

[Friday, 27th September, 14:18]

The importance of ecosystems 

Much of the work of the CFO concerns building a business case for investments. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, as Jim McConville, Group Finance Director & Group Director, Phoenix Group explains.

If you take what we do in finance and actuarial where we’re making increasing use of digital capability and working with big data initiatives, it is quite easy to build the business case there because you’re dealing with harder facts that you can derive a benefit from.

On the other side, in digital work involving the customer it is generally harder to anticipate the benefits you will get from customer behaviour. It is inherently just much more difficult but, nevertheless, we try to give it a good go.”

Key to the strategy at Phoenix Group is building ecosystems: 

We rely very heavily on a business model which has strategic partners. So in constructing a lot of the digital work, particularly with the customer, it is working very hand-in-glove with those strategic partners and building, essentially, a joint business case that makes it work.”

[Friday, 27th September, 12:37]

The mentality of change

Marc Dierckx, Chief Financial Officer & Member of the Executive Board, DLL Group says that the term Business Manager is relevant to the CFO function today, because “we are there to facilitate the digitalisation process.”

Two years ago, DLL established a Project Management Investment Committee to oversee its investments.

Now the company invests 10% of its total operating costs all over the world into change projects.

That’s our business model goal. And of that 10%, we have 10% in an innovation lab, some people call it “sprinkle money” because we really don’t know what is going to come out of it.

As an organisation, it is difficult because we are managing costs very tightly.

This is a real change mentality that is needed because there is no firm business case yet on the millions that go in there, but that is also a leap of faith that it is not sprinkle money, but investing.”

[Friday, 27th September, 12:21]


The CFO as changemaker

In recent years there has been an absolute transformation of the finance function from accounting to strategic business partner. In the digital era, CFOs have become pivotal in driving the digital transformation of their companies.

CFOs have far more to consider than finance, as Michael Schmelmer, Chief Financial Officer, Boehringer Ingelheim, explains:

If we talk about transformation and digitalisation, we talk about it in research and in customer interactions, in customer engagement, and in the patient interaction, so less in finance.”

Part of the digital transformation at Boehringer Ingelheim involved augmenting the technology workforce and building a digital lab:

I hired 50 digital people. I made a separate organisation. I decided that these people are available for everyone.

It was interesting for our culture, but that is what you need to push the culture and it has to be top-down. That’s why the CEO and the CFO, they have to take it in their hands and to push it. Otherwise, I think the small, tiny, little plant of innovation will be killed very early.”

[Friday, 27th September, 11:50]

From shipbuilder to solutions provider

Aart Rupert, Chief Information Officer, Damen Shipyards Group, takes to the stage to describe the Group’s transformation from shipbuilder to maritime solution provider.

With the sea covering almost three-quarters of the earth’s surface, 90% of world transport – an equivalent of roughly EURO 18 trillion, is by seagoing vessels. In order to improve safety, sustainability, and efficiency, ships are becoming smarter and more connected.

To stay ahead, Damen paired with TCS to build a collaborative platform which collects data from their ships, transforming them into connected vessels.

Damen vessels are now equipped with between 10,000 to 15,000 sensors, all feeding into Damen’s Connected Vessel Platform.

“The maritime industry has a legacy of discovery, boldness, and Damen shipyards. With the help of our trusted partners, we will continue this journey, and we will transform the shipbuilding industry again and again,” says Rupert.

[Friday, 27th September, 11:00]


Data on wheels

The digital transformation of the automotive industry has altered the car into a data centre on wheels, it’s no longer just a machine. So says, Olli Hyyppä, Chief Information Officer & SVP, NXP Semiconductors.

He goes on to explain that semiconductors are helping to power this transformation in cars, and NXP has seen a huge rise in the number of conductors it produces for its customers. But with an uptick in scale comes an upscale in quality, and automotive industry demands a zero failure rate of conductors.

Hyyppä tells delegates that NXP has leveraged new technology, as well as data and data insights to bring about a solution, with TCS as partners.

“I think the next step in our journey is to start looking at predicting. Are we able to anticipate product failure based on the massive amount of data we have collected?

“I can clearly call, right now, TCS my friend in this journey.”

[Friday, 27th September, 10:45]

Protect the magic, but modernise everything else

“Three years ago, we consciously decided to change,” says Carl Dawson, Chief Information Officer, Marks and Spencer.

Changes in modern retail have meant that the traditional retail business model is under threat. In addition, customers expect much more.

Marks and Spencer set about a digital transformation, looking at how to employ digital and data in every part of the business. The company employed cloud technology and agile methodologies to become a much leaner, faster and lower-cost organisation, a change in which TCS has played a fundamental role.

Looking forward, Marks and Spencer is using data insights to inform how it can better serve its customers, leveraging the expertise of startups through TCS’ Co-Innovation network and others.

“There’s still a lot to do, we’re still well in the middle of this. But I’m very clear that changing was absolutely the right thing to do. And we’re well on the way to making M & S special again.”

[Friday, 27th September, 10:05]

Walking the walk, talking the talk

N Ganapathy Subramaniam, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Tata Consultancy Services, tells delegates how TCS has transformed many of its own ecosystems.

One key example is how it has built its own talent pool ecosystem, using digital technology to open up its recruiting to applicants all over the globe.

Now, TCS has access to over 300,000 applicants, ten times the previous number. Since then, TCS has brought some of its customers into the ecosystem, opening up that talent pool to a wider employer network.

Another example is TCS’ Co-Innovation network, which brings together over 1,800 startups and matches them with the innovation needs of industry.

From cybersecurity to the cloud, partnerships have enabled TCS to build new ecosystems to deliver results for clients.

[Friday, 27th September, 09:39]

Welcome back!

Welcome to day three of the TCS Summit Europe. Coming up shortly, hear the thoughts of our Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, N Ganapathy Subramaniam, on Mastering Business 4.0: Harnessing Abundance and Ecosystems.

Last night, our guests were entertained at a Gala Dinner where many of the insightful conversations from the day carried on well into the evening.

[Friday, 27th September, 08:47]

Coming up tomorrow

Hear from CIOs on how to embrace ecosystems to power success, how CFOs are balancing growth with risk to deliver exponential value, and how CMOs are using technology to place the customer at the heart of their companies.

Tonight, our guests are enjoying the sights and sounds of Geneva!

[Thursday, 26th September, 20:58]

“Humans for machines, and machines for humans.”

Artificial intelligence is powerful and AI and machine learning are going to play a significant role in the future.

But there is a lot of fear that surrounds the subject, which N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, wants to dispel.

“Fundamentally, we’ve got to realise there are two classes of resources we have – humans and machines. Machines are going to be good at certain things way better than humans, and humans are going to be better than machines in certain things.”

There are other things businesses need to consider beyond the human/machine conundrum, he continues.

In every industry, the model is shifting. The power is in the experience, not in the products. You can have the best products, but you have to understand what experience is being delivered.”

When they reimagine their business models, companies also need to proactively put the reduction of carbon outputs at the front and center of their business models, he says.

[Thursday, 26th September, 14:23]

The digital ecosystem

What does it mean to be digital? asks N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons.

“Digital is not about digitising a process. It is a fundamental shift. It has to be deep into the company. People have to buy into it. People have to see what’s possible. Digital is not only because of what it can do in your business – it is about everything that is happening around you. You can call it the “ecosystem”.

In practice, this means complete disruption of business models, he adds, using the traditional recruitment process as an example.

You know the two traditional models – either hire workers or hire contract workers. Today, what you need is expert knowledge on demand, let’s say even for one hour when you need it. The person who has this skill could be in Peru. It doesn’t matter. You need to create access to that skill for your company. So the way we think about talent – it’s everywhere. What is required for your company? And how do you harness that talent? That’s the new HR.”

[Thursday, 26th September, 14:11]

Operating on the edge of uncertainty

It’s an uncertain world, and in this sort of situation, questions are everything. So says Hal Gregersen, Executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Innovation at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

It’s the questions that become the means by which we discover things that otherwise we don’t see. And if we don’t see, we get disrupted,” he says.

The only way to get the answers is to ask bigger questions, agrees Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive, Legal & General.

And that involves intellectual honesty, that is: “Tell me what you think, not what you think I want to hear.”

Self-disruption is a privilege and a responsibility, but you have to have a collective will to do that. It isn’t good enough that I really want to do it, the organisation really wants to do it. The biggest challenge that we have is having leaders who sit around us who have that shared goal. Because all organisations need to perform and transform. And it’s very hard to do the two.”

[Thursday, 26th September, 13:17]

The nature of the game

Digital transformation stretches well beyond the business world. In the world of tennis, data and technology insights have shaped the modern game.

For Martina Hingis, sensors in the tennis rackets helped underline her natural instinct for the game. In addition, Hawk-eye, the computer system that tracks the ball, helped ease the agony of whether a ball was in or out.

Sometimes, yeah, it’s by a hair and it’s still in and you’re like, “No, it was out!” It eases your soul that you know – OK, cut it off, play the next point.”

Stefan Edberg finds it astonishing what players can do today.

There’s so much you can learn from these technology systems to help develop your game, and you can watch yourself, you can watch it right on the court what’s happening, you can do certain drills… It makes it fun for young players as well.” 

[Thursday, 26th September, 12:17]

IoT will change the world

The Internet of Things will fundamentally change the relationship between the consumer and the producer, says Regu Ayyaswamy, Global Head – IoT, Tata Consultancy Services, as he introduces TCS’ IoT Business Framework – Bringing Life To Things.

Customers don’t often communicate how they are actually using your products. But today, connected devices and the IoT will close that loop. Businesses can then make investment decisions based on how the customer is using the product and enhance the value to the end customer.

TCS has made significant investments to enrich IoT offerings for our customers and to start implementing the enhanced value available from this investment across many industry sectors”

[Thursday, 26th September, 11:45]

Change is the only constant

Marie-Noëlle Semeria, Senior Vice President, Group Chief Technology Officer, TOTAL S.A., told delegates how Total has put sustainability at the heart of its strategy, positioning itself to handle three major challenges ahead: the growing demand for energy, climate change, and an abundance of new services offered to customers.

TOTAL has invested heavily in technology, working with TCS to create Refinery 4.0 – a smart, connected refinery, and is completely reshaping the customer experience in Total service stations.

[Thursday, 26th September, 11:15]

What does digital really mean?

At one level, everything with a “0” and a “1” is digital technology. But we have to get beyond that… It’s really the adoption of machine learning, artificial intelligence, voice interfaces, robotic and process automation,” says Chris Webster, SVP IT Strategy & Architecture, Ahold Delhaize.

Ahold Delhaize’s initial focus on digital is very much on the customer agenda, he explains, which allows then to implement true, individual, 1-to-1 personalisation, capturing every single touch point that they have with their customers, whether that’s online, on a mobile, in a store. Electronic Shelf Labels, for instance, can be 3D located in space allow for digital interactions in-store, while robotics and automation are helping with their internal processes and supply chain.

I think the whole concept of Business 4.0 is something we have to embrace as an organisation in order to actually survive in the increasingly competitive market.

[Thursday, 26th September, 11:10]

Embracing innovative partners

TDC is a 140-year old company and is currently undergoing the biggest upheaval in its history. The Danish telecoms company is splitting into two, using the most cutting-edge digital technologies to become “the best digital service provider and the best infrastructure company in Denmark”.

We are touching applications that have 40 years of legacy, and also an amount of applications that is above 1,000. So it’s a pretty interesting journey,” says Antonietta Mastroianni, Chief Information Officer, TDC Group.

The company has invested heavily in agile, finding completely different talent and investing in startups and partnerships in order to access the best digital solutions.

We are building an open and innovative model that is going to change the operating model of our telecom operator.”

[Thursday, 26th September, 10:55]

Science for a better life

Science for a better life has been the mission of Bayer AG for quite some time now, explains Daniel Hartert, Chief Information Officer, Bayer AG & Chairman of the Executive Board, Bayer Business Services, and digital is now playing an important part.

In the last few years, digital is really supporting and becoming increasingly critical for science and for our mission,” he says.

Bayer AG has been modernising and digitising factories around the world, for instance, using digital technologies to simulate the effect of molecules, driving down the time it takes to manufacture a new drug.

[Thursday, 26th September, 10:25]

Partnership and collaboration

Rajesh Gopinathan, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services, discusses how clients have used ecosystem thinking and horizontal collaboration to transform their business, shaking up established industries as a result.

[Thursday, 26th September, 10:05]

Looking at the future of our changing world

Welcome to all our guests and speakers to what promises to be an exciting series of discussions on how to future-proof your businesses.

Tata Consultancy Services’ VP & Head of Europe, Amit Bajaj, says

All we need is one idea to change the world.

It has been – and will remain – our mission to be the change that you want to see in each one of your organisations.

[Thursday, 26th September, 09:15]

Coming up tomorrow

Coming up tomorrow.

Hear directly from global business leaders and senior directors at TCS Summit sessions that include:

  • A keynote address on Mastering Business 4.0.
  • Driving change – Executing Tomorrow’s Business Agenda and Building Companies That Disrupt Themselves.
  • Bringing Life to Things – exciting new developments for the Internet of Things.
  • Tennis legends Martina Hingis and Stefan Edberg on preparing to win, and enhancing the audience experience.

[Wednesday, 25th September 18:16]

We’re ready to welcome our guests!

[Wednesday, 25th September 14:39]

Here’s what to expect

[Wednesday, 25th September 11:38]