Wednesday, 25 May 2022 22:12

iTWire speaks with Syniti the data company on digital transformation, data science, and the power of simplicity

By Staff writers

Syniti ANZ director presales and value engineering Johann Lubbe spoke with iTWire about digital transformation, data science, the power of simplicity, and more.

iTWire: Please start by telling us a bit about Syniti – company history, presence in the ANZ region, partnerships in the channel, and so forth?

Johann Lubbe: Formerly known as BackOffice Associates, Syniti is THE data company. Syniti is an end-to-end enterprise data management company supporting enterprises on their data transformation journeys.

Syniti established a presence in ANZ in 2006 with a focus on helping businesses tap into their data as a key competitive advantage to achieve greater business outcomes. At Syniti, my work focuses on defining and communicating Syniti’s solution value propositions around data transformation and end-to-end data management – helping organisations appreciate and adopt tried and tested software and methodology in their digital transformation journeys to not only de-risk programmes, but also drive better business outcomes as a result.

As a company, Syniti has grown sales by 800 per cent in the back half of 2021 and made key hires in ANZ to strengthen our customer relationships and address the growing demand for data migration solutions.

In the past, Syniti was responsible for some of the world’s largest data transformation initiatives, helping organisations move large volumes of data and specialising in migrations to SAP S4/HANA and associated SAP products. Our flagship product is the Syniti Knowledge Platform which has end-to-end capabilities around Data Migration, Data Quality, Data Replication, Information Management, and Master Data Management.

In the ANZ region some of the key partners we work with include SAP, IBM, and Deloitte, among others.

iTWire: Your company has experienced a large growth curve here in recent times – what can you tell us about that? What is driving it?

Johann Lubbe: The data sector continues to grow at an exponential rate across ANZ, due to more organisations accelerating their digital transformation journeys and optimisation plans. The work-from-home and hybrid work movement across ANZ has also driven changes in the data landscape. With new, more dispersed workforces and less centralised data collection, it is more important than ever to ensure that all data ingestion points are covered, with curated and high-quality data being used to advance the enterprise.

In addition, companies also recognise the sudden shift in consumer demand for online and digital services and responded to that. By consolidating and analysing customer data, companies are able to understand customer preferences and create a more personalised experience for consumers. The biggest challenge facing businesses today however is the rate of change and their ability to be agile – and the pandemic has amplified this challenge globally.


iTWire: Looking at the data market in general, what are you seeing – has the pandemic accelerated digital change as much as people are saying?

Johann Lubbe: Data can impact all aspects of a business: revenue, costs of goods sold, working capital, and ultimately, profitability. Companies that can harness their data across their customers, operations, and vendors are able to gain valuable business insights to help them to address new markets, the changes in customer demand, reduce costs, go to market faster, better manage risks, and the list goes on.  Good data can have a positive effect while bad data can bring your business to a stand-still, or even cause damage.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a growing cloud migration trend for global organisations due to an increasing amount of data. The disruption brought on by the pandemic then forced many businesses to adapt and migrate their data to the cloud in order to continue operating. Looking ahead, this approach to work will continue to be the way forward as data is now the new oil, and the value of organised and reliable data is key to business growth and success.


iTWire: What type of organisations are you dealing with - is a digital transformation happening across the board here, or are there certain industries that stand out?

Johann Lubbe: Syniti works with a number of organisations from various industries – manufacturing, public sector, telcos, energy, mining and utilities, and many more. Over the past few years, a key concern for our customers was how they could transform and adapt quickly to today’s volatile environment. For enterprises in ANZ especially, some of the key areas they pivoted to focus on include strengthening remote work models, re-allocating resources, and investing more in digital innovation. To that end, many businesses are starting to realise the value of becoming more data-driven as they continue on their transformation journeys.


iTWire: Tell us about talent shortages in your market – it is no secret that data scientists and similar roles are in short supply.

Johann Lubbe: The shortage of available talent in Australia is well known, and is a substantial issue right across the breadth of industries. This is more apparent in the technology sector, and perhaps most keenly felt in the field of data management – from data management to data science and analytics.

While the government has begun a series of initiatives to address the skills gap, the underlying issue remains – without significant white-collar migration to Australia, there are simply not enough skilled and trained professionals to fill certain industries.

If pandemic business conditions have changed anything over the past couple of years, it is the mindset that all staff need to be in the same office at all times. Remote work has become universally accepted, as have the digital tools we employ to communicate effectively collaborate and share information.

Furthermore, hybrid work empowers an organisation to find and hire talent no matter where the individual happens to be. So if an Australian company needs data scientists or programmers, and the best talent they can find exists in Indonesia or Malaysia, there is no longer such a roadblock to securing that talent.  Even language barriers are reduced through technology that is readily available today.


iTWire: What is on the radar for Syniti over the next few months and years, are there new products coming, partnerships, and new hires?

Johann Lubbe: Syniti remains focused on its core vision of helping businesses harness their data as a key competitive advantage and enabling business efficiency and agility to unlock their potential.

In ANZ, we are investing strongly in building partner capabilities to continue to address the growing demand for our software and expertise.


iTWire: On a personal level, what is one lesson or piece of wisdom you can share with us, perhaps something you were told or discovered in your career that drives you personally?

Johann Lubbe: I once heard a quote that stuck with me – “We underestimate how powerful it is to do simple things really well. We also underestimate how hard is to do simple things really well”. For me, this especially applies in our line of work where we continuously need to remind our customers that they need to do the simple things really well – and for that, you need to be strategic as well as tactical. To be successful in business transformation, you need to be successful in data transformation – and for this, you need to appreciate WHAT you need to do, WHY you need to do it, and HOW you need to execute. 

My personal advice, especially to those embarking on digital transformation journeys, would be to not underestimate the power and return on investing in the right technology, people and methodology, which will go a long way in doing the simple things really well – and in turn, ensuring transformation and business success.


iTWire: Anything else you’d like to share with ITWire today?

Johann Lubbe: We should never forget that businesses run on systems, and systems run on data. Data needs to be relevant, trusted, harmonised and optimised to maximise operational and business benefits.

Those companies who take a proactive step toward enterprise data management are also better protected against external or environmental factors, as was evident in the last two years. The impact of the pandemic was lessened for those who had relevant, trusted, and readily available data to support fast decision-making around their supply and value chains.

For companies to remain competitive and relevant, the “white elephants” need to go. Don’t let data be an afterthought, instead embrace, leverage, and unlock value from your data to gain a competitive edge.

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