In a three-part interview series, we present the views of North America Corporate Responsibility Sponsors Kim Smith and Jay Dowling on why corporate responsibility should be a priority for Capgemini. This is part three of the series.
NA Chief Digital Officer Kim Smith wears multiple hats, including that of a Corporate Responsibility Executive Sponsor. She is passionate about CR and over the years has built up wide experience in this space. She is a member of the Ideagen Thought Leader Council and is working closely with the United Nations on innovation through alignment with the UN Sustainability Development goals 2030. Jay Dowling, VP and Head of Sales for Cloud Infra in North America, is also an Executive Sponsor of our Corporate Responsibility program in North America and brings sales field-level perspective of how Capgemini can translate these efforts into business opportunities.
We caught up with Kim and Jay to understand why CR is at the heart of Capgemini, how we can help shape the CR agenda and deepen our commitment to engagement through the CR pillars of diversity, sustainability and community.
How can we become more innovative under corporate responsibility?
Kim: We need to continue to infuse CR into our solutions set. For example, we have the Innovators Race annually. It is the 50th year anniversary of Capgemini and a phenomenal opportunity for us to recognize innovators who are truly changing the world. There are many things that we do with charities that have tremendous altruistic opportunity. The question is will it scale? How many lives can we touch? Can we continue to repeat this model? We can be more innovative with CR by incorporating it in our solutions and by making it a part of the discipline of who we are and how we operate. Innovation is a discipline and to have that discipline we need to exercise it.
Jay: Sustainability is an area where we can pull levers and reduce our carbon usage. Community engagement is more about embracing the vision of what we want to give to the communities and implementing that through efforts such as Capgemini Cares Day. From an innovation standpoint, there is work to be done on how we recruit and attract IT professionals. There are other things that we can do to make Capgemini an attractive career destination for women and people of color. A lot of this is driven by better digital engagement and ERGs that are focused on Millennials and other important dimensions of who we are as employees.
How can we engage our clients on corporate responsibility?
Kim: The first thing we need to do is look out what our clients care about, understand why they care and determine where and how we can work with them. The other area that we can work with our client is by being the network maker. Many organizations have tremendous interest in the work that we are doing with the European Union and the United Nations. Many of our clients are global so if they are working hard to try and build new market,develop their capabilities in new markets or innovate new products and services, it helps them to work with the United Nations through us or work with the organizations that are innovating through the United Nations. We should ensure that we are all doing good work with our clients and at the same time get the message out in the market place and create visibility for the work we are doing.
Jay: CR should be a part of every response, when we talk about our capabilities from a services standpoint. The knowledge built on by Janet’s team, our work and aspirations will complement our bids and enhance our ability to get into discussions with new clients. We can use our Corporate Responsibility strategy and results as a base to showcase attributes that differentiate us from our competitors. The communication and messaging of what we have done and what our ambitions are should be a part of every executive's talk track.
What are our priorities for 2017?
Kim: The priorities specifically in North America are focused on working with our ERGs, identifying the concentric circles of charities that we will support and setting responsibility goals and budget. The year 2017 will be about strengthening client and employee engagement through our CR commitment through things like:
- Involving and engaging executive leadership at each SBU level. We want this to be an inclusive effort wherein every SBU get their fingerprints in the plan and evangelize what we are trying to achieve together
- Actively engaging in pursuing certifications, recognition and connection with our clients through events and specific programs. We will continue to support the programs that we have already invested in like the EDGE certification (gender balance) and ISO 14001 certification (environmental) as we have conversations with our clients to help them achieve this benchmark as well.
A lot of this is creating the blueprint that I talked about and making sure that the blue print is visible and accessible to every employee in the firm. I encourage everyone reading this interview to learn about our CRS goals and stay engaged. There is really no better place to be when I think about organizations that are investing in CR. I encourage everyone to work with your clients and understand what their CR agenda is because the deeper you engage with your clients and partners around these activities, the more longevity and lifetime value you create.
Jay: 2017 is the year to measure the yield on investments of the existing initiatives, place additional emphasis on some of the priorities identified and gain the support of individuals and business units to help us move those forward. We would like to have additional volunteer and involvement from our employee base and build awareness on the priorities we have set.
Learn more about our sponsors:
Kim Smith Chief Digital Officer for Capgemini’s North American Application Services and Consulting Services. In this role, Smith will lead the overall digital portfolio for these North America business units, integrating all capabilities to architect the digital strategy and to collaborate with Capgemini’s global innovation initiatives to formulate advanced innovation practices for the collective business. As Chief Digital Officer, Smith oversees the digital go-to-market strategy and delivery capabilities of these North American operations leveraging Capgemini’s global Applied
In her prior role, Smith was Adobe’s first global head of digital services innovation where she led the development of its digital services portfolio strategy and launched Adobe’s Smart Bag for retailers and Immersive Retail Experience offering in collaboration with Capgemini. She was previously a vice president at Capgemini, and led product and service lines for cloud and digital innovation. Prior to joining Capgemini, Smith spent 12 years as an executive at Microsoft leading online, digital, cloud products and services innovation.
Smith was recently a speaker and innovation leader at the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship held at the United Nations. She will continue to work on the issues of digital innovation and diversity through IdeaGen, where she will represent Capgemini at United Nations Forum events. Her diversity and inclusion efforts will also focus on next-generation workforce imperatives, as well as cross-industry innovation and disruption to support the U.S. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on international business from the University of Delaware.
Jay Dowling recently joined Capgemini with over 25 years of experience in sales and leadership roles in the Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunications Infrastructure industry. His sales focus has traditionally been directed at large enterprise, system integrators, service providers and the public sector. He has direct sales and management experience with IT transformation projects, products and services which include IP networking, wireless data and voice, machine-to-machine mobility solutions, enterprise security, data center, managed services, application management, professional services and emerging SaaS and IAAS technologies being delivered in a cloud based model. Jay’s product and professional service experience was gained through his tenure with MCI Communications, Verizon Enterprise Solutions as well as smaller start-up ventures that included Electric Lightwave Communications & BroadRiver. As Vice President of Sales & General Manager for these corporations, Jay was responsible for deliveringthe sales results, managing the P&L and assuring overall customer satisfaction.
Jay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Central Connecticut State University. He will be based out of our Irving Office and resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas with his wife, Claudia and their two teenage daughters Anna & Rose. When not in the office, Jay and his family spend much of their time supporting Rose’s passion for dance and cheering for the Horned Frog teams of TCU, where Anna is studying for her degree in Psychology.