CEO of Zurich, Switzerland-based high-end software and security engineering firm, AdNovum, Ruedi Wipf, spoke to MIS Asia (April 30, 2012) about his company's plans for expansion in Asia, its most recently completed project-building a web-based logistics system for a client in the business of making cement-and how information security should best be managed by organisations worldwide.
Below is the expurgated transcript of that interview.
MIS Asia: Talk about your business, globally, and how important the different geographies are to you.
Ruedi Wipf: AdNovum is an IT company headquartered in Switzerland. So, historically Europe has a strategic importance for us. Three years ago we decided to start our activities in Asia. We picked Singapore as our starting-point and headquarters for AdNovum Asia as it a very international city with a good infrastructure and high education levels.
Many of our international customers in Europe have operations in Singapore as well. So, it was a natural move for AdNovum to follow the customers to Singapore.
Our clients in the region include the CPF Board, UBS in Hong Kong as well as the Asian Development Bank in Manila.
What plans do you have for those geographies you just mentioned?
We maintain a focus in Singapore but look to seize opportunities in other countries in Asia as well. From the first to the second year of operation we tripled our sales revenue in Asia. For the subsequent years we expect a 2-digit growth rate in Asia, and Singapore.
Tell us more about your key customers in Asia.
Our initial plan was to provide solutions and services to the multinationals from Europe. As it turned out, our list of clients quickly expanded to include a number of local organisations, with the Central Provident Fund in Singapore and Intuition-a local consulting firm and the leading provider of mobile sales solutions-being among them.
With specific reference to Holcim, please elaborate on the challenges you have found to be unique to their business, and how you have gone about overcoming them.
Holcim is the world's leading cement company and we are proud to count them among our key customers. Cement has traditionally been a very local business. So streamlining the processes of different countries in one IT solution was a challenging task. The logistics solution that we developed for Holcim-LOGON Logistics Online-is a fully-automated, web-based solution that provides the company with the ability to integrate its entire cement delivery order-to-cash process from initial customer order to distribution and delivery.
The solution which has been deployed in two countries so far, has enabled Holcim to further strengthen its pole market position through the optimisation of its supply chain, considerable improvements in customer satisfaction, quality of service and cost efficiency. The company is now looking into deploying LOGON into more countries.
What are the most difficult security issues that organisations today have to resolve?
This largely depends on the industry you're in and the regulatory framework that applies to you. In the banking industry for example, the main challenge is to prevent loss of client identifying data while still meeting all regulatory requirements.
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