Ness Connection: Meet Pete Rogers

Meet Pete Rogers, EVP & General Manager of the Western Europe Business Unit. Pete is an experienced sales-focused leader with a tenure of 7+ years at Ness. He takes great pride in having partnered with clients across 15+ countries to help them realize the business benefits of technology.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your role and where you reside.

A: I’m the EVP & General Manager of the Western Europe Business Unit which means I’m responsible for new logo sales and account management across a portfolio that, in fact, spans San Diego to Singapore and on to Australia. I live in London but am originally from the North of England.Pete Rogers

Q: Everyone has their own morning routine to help get their day going. What are the 3 most important parts of your morning routine?

A: It has to start with a cup of green tea to ease me gently into the world. This is followed by a light breakfast together with the first strong coffee of the day.

Q: How do you take your coffee?

A: Espresso macchiato – My family and I lived in Italy for 5 years and spend as much time as we can at our home in Piemonte, in the foothills of the Alps. Without a doubt, it must be Italian coffee – short, strong with just a splash of milk foam. Macchiato actually translates as ‘stained’ or ‘spotty’ so it is literally a splash of foam.

Q: What’s on your to-do list?

A: At the moment, it is non-stop virtual meetings, starting with my staff ‘stand-up’ on a Monday morning, client and prospect calls, and all the internal discussions needed to drive Ness to the next level of operating excellence. What I desperately miss is traveling – to meet clients and staff face-to-face. We are 100% a ‘people business’ where personal relationships are key to gaining and retaining clients. Whilst I’m acutely conscious of the environmental impact of travel and the steps needed to mitigate the impact of my carbon footprint, I can’t wait to be able to connect in person with friends and colleagues soon.

Q: How did you get started in this industry?

A: After a degree in pure mathematics, I started programming in the engineering department of an aerospace manufacturer delivering a project on, ‘The Reliability and Maintainability of Helicopters’ (and no, to this day, I haven’t flown in a helicopter!). I have always been impatient and soon started looking for something new, so I quickly moved into the supply-side with, now defunct, leading suppliers of database and application development tools and banking solutions. I ran the European end of a couple of start-ups (in messaging and the IT Service Management) and then started in outsourced Product Development in 2007.

Q: Which meal is your favorite and why?

A: Dinner. Food for me is far more than fuel. Eating together, as a family, a group of friends, or a business lunch is the critical social function that glues us together. There is nothing better than a leisurely dinner with good food and a glass of wine. Also, I love spicy food – the hotter the better – so trips to India, Southeast Asia, and Mexico are always a treat.

Q: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?

A: It’s simple yet powerful – find something about which you are passionate.

Q: What at Ness energizes you?

A: The opportunity to nurture and help grow a team within the wider company which excels at what it does. Delivering a great product to happy clients is a real buzz!

Learn how you can become a part of #LifeAtNess by visiting our careers page.

What to Watch: Top 3 Media & Communications Predictions for 2021

What does the new year hold? Learn more about Ness’ top 3 media and communications industry predictions for 2021.

Each industry has been presented with new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Some companies have faced unprecedented demand for their products and services, while others have found themselves completely shifting their business models and strategies just to keep their doors open. Even within an industry, such as the media and communications sector, the effects on businesses range based on their specialty. For example, companies that previously thrived on holding live events have experienced a significant negative impact due to restrictions. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there has been a significant surge in video and music streaming and online gaming as people across the globe have relied on these services for in-home entertainment. In fact, many proprietors are calling themselves the ‘providers of healing services’ during these troubled times. Even after the pandemic subsides, it is expected that the time spent by consumers on such services will likely reduce but will remain higher than pre-pandemic times.

As we look ahead to 2021, we predict 3 key trends will dominate in the media and communications industry as they strive to meet the increasing needs of consumers in this new normal.

1. Continued Investments in Scalable Streaming Platforms and Digital Content Protection

Like many households, I had two streaming service subscriptions prior to the pandemic. Months later, I’ve since doubled my streaming services to gain access to more content. This scenario has been common during the pandemic as consumers across the globe have looked for alternative ways to occupy their time and battle loneliness. Consumers have also turned to was online gaming. Gaming app usage increased has increased significantly and soared by 132% during the last week of March 2020 alone. With these unplanned spikes and as more and more content is shifting to an online format, the existing platforms had to and will need to continue to enhance and scale. This is a must for this industry to keep up with demand in 2021.

We will also continue to see a surge in new small, mid, and large-scale platforms mushrooming across the globe to capitalize on this market. NBC Peacock, which launched in October 2020, already has 26 million subscribers and is expected to grow to be the largest US over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform. To keep up with the sheer volume of demand and to remain relevant, companies will need to invest in building the next generation of scalable platforms to provide live and streaming content.

This increased volume also intensifies core issues of digital content piracy – an area that has been largely ignored so far; however, technology companies will need to invest in this area in the near future. Research indicates that more than 80% of piracy is attributable to streaming and estimates that global online piracy costs the U.S. economy at least $29.2 billion in lost revenue each year. This means that not only is it important to produce engaging content but becomes equally important to focus on its rightful distribution and consumption.

2. Increase in Thematic Content Streaming

The second of our media and communications predictions focuses on the concept of thematic content. Even though the OTT streaming services market seems to be saturated, a trend we will continue to see into 2021 is the rising popularity of thematic or niche streaming services. A report from Magine Pro revealed that thematic streaming services will generate over $2.8B in 2020. While Netflix and Amazon Prime remain popular, consumers are also looking to fill their entertainment needs with a complementary alternative to general streaming services that reflect a common interest, such as horror/thriller, anime, or sports.

One of the more promising aspects of thematic content providers is their ability to move with agility to bring new and engaging content to their consumers; however, like other larger streaming services, the ability to keep their library of content up to date will be key to consumer retention. As thematic services continue to proliferate, we anticipate partnerships playing a role in the long-term viability. Partnering with telco’s and other pay-tv providers can help attract subscribers to these niche services. Non-live sports are likely to take center stage amongst others as fan bases expand and consumers look to alternatives to traditional sporting events. Prior to the pandemic, the concept of competitive, organized video gaming had gained significant popularity. eSports is now a billion-dollar industry projected to increase to $1.8B by 2022. User engagement with sites, such as YouTube Gaming, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming has experienced a 20% increase in the number of hours streamed during the pandemic, a trend that we expect to continue in 2021.

3. Focus on Personalized Content

As noted by Netflix, the typical subscriber may lose interest if they don’t find something to watch in the first 60-90 seconds of browsing. As we approach 2021, the idea of personalized content is no longer optional with these limited attention spans. A consumer wants to be recognized as an individual and served content relevant to their interests. Striking the right balance will be key to giving recommendations that are ‘friendly’ versus content that is too personalized which may raise concerns about privacy. Media and communications companies will look to bring their disconnected data together and generate meaning from unstructured content. Leveraging metadata tagging solutions will be key to increasing their content’s value, improve search, and provide a faster, more relevant, and personalized experience for consumers.

What’s Next?

Undoubtedly, the media and communications industry is going through a major evolution that will continue into 2021 and years to come. Technology will remain at the heart of this evolution, be it building and supporting scalable platforms, designing solutions to generate intelligence from consumer behavior to control churn, and solutions to control digital content piracy meaningfully and effectively.

For more information on predictions in the media and communications industry and how to leverage the power of digital technology to provide engaging content to your consumers, contact us today.

– Amit Gupta, Associate Vice President 

Building Resilience in B2B Sales

In a recent podcast with SalesTech Star, Drew Naukam, Chief Growth Officer for North America, shares his thoughts on building resilient teams in B2B sales and how it has become crucial for sales and marketing leaders to step up and drive team processes in the new normal.

Key Highlights & Takeaways:

Leadership qualities that are integral to sales and marketing in today’s new normal:

  • Bring value to your team: As a sales leader, you have to put your team in a position to be successful and help them think differently to achieve their goals.
  • Hold your team accountable: Help your team grow, develop, and give them opportunities to take on new roles. At the same time, hold them accountable when there are opportunities to improve.
  • Listen and prepare: Have a plan and be able to adjust it depending on the customer’s needs.

The importance of building and shaping stronger sales and marketing teams:

  • Consider the impact of this new world on our business today: Everything needs to be driven by data, and platforms need to be modernized and evolved to succeed.

How to adapt to the changing business needs in this new normal:

  • Have agility in your offerings: Create offerings to respond to the new demands of the customers.
  • Be creative in prospecting: Use social media tools to map and cultivate new customers.
  • Your presence on calls matter: First impressions count in a virtual world, so it’s important to make the effort.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

Building on the AI/ML Foundation with Imagery and Predictive Maintenance

From the days of multiple Hadoop distributors battling it out for market share with everyone in a mad scramble to create larger and larger data lakes to the consolidation of that space into arguably a single solution provider which has worked arduously to remain a contender in the data ecosystem – there is no question about the incredible speed in which the data and analytics space continues to evolve. This evolution has forced many organizations to refine (and sometimes redefine) their data and analytics strategy to ensure that the tools, solutions, and processes are in step with the business’s needs. New and innovative solutions and means of automating processes have created opportunities to use data in new ways and collect through various imagery types while analyzing massive volumes of data at a staggering pace. Below we uncover how these modern solutions have positively impacted the manufacturing industry.

Image Analytics

Image analytics have seen tremendous advances as organizations across the globe leverage this process to extract meaningful information from images through digital imaging processing techniques. This helps improve operational efficiency, enhance near real-time decision-making, increase employee productivity, reduce cost, and limit potential employee physical harm. For example, let’s look at an analog meter or an LCD display that a system can read, decipher, and use in calculations. There are many instances in a manufacturing environment where the operators read displays on machines that don’t have an automated capability to send and receive information and make decisions regarding that machine’s operation. Enter the use of both artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) and imagery. We now have a “lens” to read the analog or digital displays and make the necessary decisions to keep that machine in operation, helping keep the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as high as possible.

Lasers and Thermal Imagery

While the human eye can detect many imperfections, the use of lasers and thermal imagery can see even more. We can use acceptable standards to ‘look at’ the manufactured items to determine if they meet the appropriate standards. Rejecting substandard items before being sold or distributed reduces costs associated with returns and negative customer satisfaction (a single unfavorable tweet can cost thousands of dollars to remediate). Consider the use of imaging in the manufacturing of automobiles. Many of the auto plant tasks are now automated, especially those considered dangerous, such as welding. Now, a robot completes the frame’s welds, which are then inspected via standard and thermal imaging to ensure that the frame has been appropriately constructed and meets all safety specifications.

Predictive Maintenance and Imagery Types

Now that we understand how AI/ML with imaging makes manufacturing more cost-effective, we can introduce the idea of Predictive Maintenance (PdM). We know that machines need maintenance to continue to operate and that it costs less to maintain that machine than it does to fix it once it breaks. Imaging can visually (or thermally) inspect various items to determine if some intervention is necessary before a failure occurs. Our most recent development of an IoT and Predictive solution helps a large industrial client quickly analyze part specific information (service life, material characteristics, etc.). Utilizing image analytics to enhance visual inspections of equipment, improve the inspector experience, and enhance the streaming data’s analytic value.

Various industries and areas can leverage different types of imaging. There are many circumstances where inspection would be unsafe for humans, such as the interior of certain sections of a nuclear power plant or the stern of an oil tanker while it is still at sea. In such circumstances, drones can play an integral part. Consider agriculture; drones can inspect large acreages for damage after a storm or blight caused by insects. As the number of resources working at a farm becomes scarcer due to the pandemic, this type of imaging can help save the crop.

The Marriage Between AI/ML and Imaging Systems

These advances are happening at a more rapid pace than ever before. Given our current circumstances due to the pandemic, the need for this type of evolution has never been more imperative. These innovations improve our lives’ quality by reducing faulty materials, increasing the useful life of certain items through an enhanced PdM, and replacing the reductions in the availability of human resources. The marriage between AI/ML and imaging systems supports the economy and the population as a whole, and the benefits of such technology will last long beyond the pandemic.

Contact us to learn more about how Ness can help modernize how you collect and analyze data using imagery.

– Scott Schlesinger, Senior Vice President – Global Data Practice Leader
– Aaron Gavzy, Senior Data Strategist

Ness Partners with Harpyja to Drive Digital Transformation in Manufacturing And Supply Chain Management Industries

TEANECK, N.J. – December 4, 2020 – Ness Digital Engineering, a global provider of digital transformation solutions, has announced a partnership with the business transformation consultancy firm, Harpyja. Together, the companies will use their combined expertise in business processes and software engineering, as well as a common framework rooted in iterative design thinking, to develop and deliver innovative products, services and processes in the industrial and supply chain domains.

“Ness brings a wealth of experience in software product engineering that comes from being a global leader in its field for 20 years,” said Mark Barratt, Chief Executive Officer, Harpyja. “Their end-to-end experience creating strategic proprietary software products and solutions for leading organizations in energy, telematics, 2D/3D digital mapping, supply chain and manufacturing will help us further support our customers with their strategic vision and roadmap.”

Ness and Harpyja’s comprehensive experience in cloud enablement, data governance and stewardship, Salesforce, full 3PL and 4PL managed services, and best-in-class product and intelligent engineering provides organizations with the means to drive growth, promote continuous optimization and implement technology-based change. Both companies have a successful track record leading organizations through digital transformation, developing business start-ups, and pushing international expansion.

“Partnering with Harpyja allows us to draw on their decades of strategic, transformational and operational experience across many different verticals in both the private and public sectors,” said Pete Rogers, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Western Europe, Ness. “Both organizations share a relentless vision for innovation, whether that is by helping develop growth or by working side by side with customers to implement technology in a systematic way.” 

About Ness

Ness is a digital solutions company with product engineering in our DNA backed by a global collective of software engineers, data experts, user experience designers, and innovators. Combining core competence in engineering with the latest in digital technology, we build customer-facing platforms and software products that help businesses thrive in the digital economy. As your tech partner, we help engineer your company’s future with cloud and data. For more information, visit ness.com.

About Harpyja

Harpyja brings decades of strategic, transformational, and operational experience to every project. They add value across many different verticals whether private or public sector because they can draw on years of client-side, C-suite experience. Experience anchored in digital, business, and cultural transformation. Couple this to their hands-on, customer-centric style and you’ve got a team ready to genuinely move the needle whether that is increasing shareholder value or employee engagement. Always with an obsessive eye on sustainable results and ensuring you are supported both during and post-change. For more information, visit www.harpyja.com

What to Watch: 3 Manufacturing Predictions for 2021

As the new year rapidly approaches, what should manufacturing companies incorporate into their 2021 strategy? Here are our top manufacturing predictions in 3 key areas that we see dominating this industry as cloud providers enrich their Internet of Things (IoT) offerings and force a reflection around points of parity versus points of differentiation.

1. Evolution of Homegrown Platforms

As the 2020 Eclipse IoT Developer Survey results confirmed, public cloud providers including AWS, Azure, and GCP continue to cement their lead in this space. Industrial organizations that have previously developed their own homegrown IoT solutions will face sustainability questions and pressures to evolve these platforms to keep pace with the competition. This will inevitably lead to migrations to cloud-based architectures to take advantage of managed services capabilities. Smaller, focused organizations providing point solutions on top of established platforms, such as providing Overall Equipment Effectiveness reports for continuous processes or providers of platform benchmarking, will be absorbed into larger service offering portfolios.

2. Uses of Additional Signals for Industrial Applications

While applied machine learning (ML) applications based on image data were quick to emerge, the area of acoustic signals is showing promising results when it comes to identifying equipment failure and avoiding costly downtime. For instance, organizations are using acoustic signals to detect malfunctioning fans and other rotating or vibrating equipment. As we enter 2021, we will see acoustic engineering evolving to incorporate the data-driven ML paradigm and move beyond intuition-driven models. This plays together with advances in edge computing such that ML algorithms can be fine-tuned and fielded on ruggedized hardware. While power consumption still plays a crucial limiting role, we anticipate some industrial uses of ML will only make sense when deployed close to the data source and actuators.

3. Continued Shift to Bolder, Differentiating Initiatives

Leading organizations have already made substantial advances in their digital transformation journey on top of an IoT platform. They are now moving towards commercially-led, multi-year projects still delivered in Agile ways of working. This in turn will drive a shift in their partner ecosystem. We will see a change from freelancers and boutiques attracted by first-of-a-kind challenges to product engineering partners designed to sustain long-haul technology efforts across multiple end-to-end business processes while bringing expertise in mature platform engineering.

To learn more about Ness’ manufacturing predictions, contact us today.

– Jean-Paul de Vooght, Senior Director – Client Solutions

test