I’ve worked closely with Chris Piazza of Warner Bros. Entertainment for several years and was thrilled to see him win SSON’s 2014 Thought Leader of the Year award. We recently spoke about his achievement and the work he did to land this recognition…

MB: Chris – first of all, I’d like to congratulate you on your recent award as the 2014 “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network. What an honor, particularly by such an important industry organization
CP: Thanks, Marty. It is quite an honor not only to be recognized by SSON but also to be voted in by my peers. I’m very proud and also humbled to receive such an award.

MB: It’s very well-deserved. I’ve seen what you’ve accomplished since Capgemini started working with you and the Warner Bros. team back in 2008 on your global finance transformation program.
CP: It has been an amazing journey and a great partnership. We started at a time when the media and entertainment industry was undergoing a tremendous amount of change. And the speed of change has only increased and with it our need to adapt and drive value for Warner Bros.

MB: Unlike some of your competitors who outsourced pieces of their F&A process, you decided to go much larger and do it on a global scale. Looking back, would you have made the same decision?
CP: Absolutely. I believe it was the right way to go. Taking a global approach allows us to drive transformation and a return on a scale we could not have achieved otherwise. The standardization and automation of our Record to Report, Invoice to Cash, Accounts Payable and Procurement processes enabled us to achieve major cost savings along with better insight and control over our operations. Just as important, we have built the framework and structure needed to enable future transformations. We believe this is imperative for us to become even more flexible, agile and efficient in order to stay ahead of the fast moving changes in the market.

MB: What do you consider the greatest achievement of our partnership?
CP: Well it’s difficult to point to one outcome but I can tell you that I do not believe it is possible to achieve what we have by doing this alone. Capgemini brings the people, resources, methods and technologies to make this all happen. Having a collaborative partner was critical in our success. We started this journey 6 years ago with aggressive targets for cost savings and improvements across many operational metrics. I’m pleased to say we have achieved our goals and continue to look for more. This has been a great ride and I look forward to what is still to come.

MB: Chris, it is such a pleasure working with you and I look forward to an even brighter future ahead.