Justyna Piwowarczyk: We started back in 1996 as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Capgemini acquired the business process outsourcing (BPO) business and shared service center in Krakow in 2003.
I joined in 2002 when there were less than 100 people and only two clients—British Petroleum (BP) and International Paper (IP). For the next 10 years after 2003 we recorded very dynamic growth, achieving 3,000 headcount by 2013. The people that joined the organization at this early stage in essence created the organization by continuously developing and improving the methods and assets we are using today.
At the beginning, we mostly offered a lift and shift model that was not so much transformation, but more project management and how to move work from one place to another—people recruitment, IT set up and repeating the same work for the client remotely. The focus then became more about transformation, and we became the organizational office for process transformation involved in developing our Global Process Model© (GPM) and Global Enterprise Model© (GEM).
And this brings us to where we are now—the era of Intelligent Automation and the “Five Senses of Artificial Intelligence,” which many of our people have been involved in developing.
Could you give some examples of innovation or outcomes already delivered?
I have already mentioned our GPM and GEM, our innovative way to approach a new target operating model and how to assess the client organization not only in process but from the entire organization perspective. GEM comprises seven levers that look at a client’s organization and we carry out benchmarking and a maturity assessment of where our client is against leading practices. It has proved itself to be a very innovative tool to transform a client organization to a best-in-class organization.
Another recent example is Intelligent Automation. Everything we read about Intelligent Automation on the internet tells us that it has become just another buzzword. But how we understand and use Intelligent Automation at Capgemini to transform our clients’ organization is extremely innovative. The “Five senses of Artificial Intelligence” concept, for example, focuses on using automation to deliver enhanced business outcomes for our clients’ finance operations.
How are you developing the knowledge and skillsets of your teams?
This is a very good question and it actually relates to what I mentioned at the beginning—starting from lift and shift, focusing on process transformation and enterprise transformation, and finally Intelligent Automation. In the same way that we’ve developed our delivery models, we’ve also developed and built up the skillsets of our people.
Fifteen years ago, the most desirable profile was someone who could process invoices quickly. Speed and quality of data entry were the skills we would look for. There was one person in the team who processed 300 invoices every day, no matter how complex the invoices were. He was just very quick with data entry, while other people would process between 60 and 100. So we were looking for people with a similar profile, along with project managers who could help with transition projects.
But when we evolved to process transformation, the profile changed to a process expert; someone who could handle, for example, procure-to-pay (P2P) and suggest how to make the process quality better, or someone who understood how automation could make the transformation process faster and more effective. So we not only required process experts, but overall transformation consultants.
With Intelligent Automation, we now require “knowledge workers”—people who know their process and understand the technology or where automation can be applied. We need people who are good at interacting with our clients and who can come up with innovations and improvements in putting the customer at the center of our clients’ operations. This has obviously required different management styles, and our goal is to select and manage the right people in the right way, followed by the right learning, training and certification our people needed for this new era of automation.
I would also like to underline that we aren’t a classical outsourcing organization focused on transactional work. Primarily, we are a people business, and the way we approach and focus on our clients, the innovation and value we deliver, all the new methods and assets we create, and how well we deal with complex situations and end-to-end processes are unique.
Finally, what’s next for your delivery centers? What’s next for Poland?
This is another very good question, especially as I’ve recently moved into the role of center director for Capgemini’s European delivery centers. What is currently happening in the outsourcing market is very interesting. We have a dynamic environment and things are changing, but we are now at a new evolution point beyond classical outsourcing. With the advent of automation and robotics, it’s more about how automation can eliminate mundane repetitive work and release capacity to focus on more stimulating work for our people to increase value add activity for our clients. We now work as a strategic transformation partner rather than an outsourcing provider for our clients, and our success is measured in business outcome improvement and value delivered versus how many FTE of scope we take over and reduce in the outsourcing deal.
In terms of what’s next for our delivery center, from a strategic point of view, as an integral part of our Global Delivery Network within Capgemini’s Business Services, Capgemini Poland will focus even more on expertise and transformation of processes and interaction services. To achieve this, we are required to speak an increasing number of languages and deliver excellent customer service at a high client stakeholder level. So, we are developing our people to acquire these new skillsets at increasing scale.
Another important aspect is our readiness to deliver an agile approach for much shorter projects. Our clients typically contract with us for three to five years, which means we are in a state of constant renewal that requires even more dynamic thinking about innovation, productivity and automation. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for us going forward.
These challenges and opportunities have also been the same for me personally, and while Capgemini Poland has developed greatly over the last 16 years, I have also developed with it. And now, with the era of intelligent automation and enhanced customer centricity, we are well positioned to embrace these challenges and opportunities to deliver even more success together with our clients!