Planting Fruit Trees
A wise old sage once asked, “When is the best time to plant a tree?” The young businessman replied,” well obviously it has to be now!” “NO!” the wise old lady yelled, “you idiot, you want fruit now, you had to plant it 10 years ago! Since you didn’t, you now see the fact that the second-best time to plant a fruit tree is now.”

Training is much like this, you must engage it, prepare it, rearrange it, move with it, change it, and be ready to give it much attention. This is no different than managing your fruit tree: watering, fertilizing, stabilizing, weeding, treating for insects, and pruning. All the energy put in will yield fruit only after this and some time. Thankfully people are not apples, and we can move faster than an orchard for sure.

In 2011 OKIN BPS could see great promise in our future if we were able to affect our marketplace. Back then we had only a few technical positions, but could see a bright future ahead if only we could make more Network Engineers appear in that marketplace. We started with an outside-in approach: we sent four of our bright ones to the local University. There they learned basic networks, routing, switching, and, troubleshooting. Once back in-house with the added knowledge, they were charged with creating our own in-house curriculum to multiply this effort over and over. Fast forward we have four Network Academies, one Cloud Academy, and one Project Management Academy. The idea is that since the market isn’t coming to OKIN BPS, we had to come to it. Now we have the single largest Cloud Return-to-Service desk in CEE, and hundreds working on infrastructure networks in dozens of different rolls. It happened because we invested in our customers by directly investing in our people, and only with the marketplace meeting us where we need them, at the learning tree.

There has never been a time in the history of services where we’ve arrived at such a pivotal turning point – what used to work for clients is now commodity, and those service providers wanting to avoid this drain-circling spiral into transactional insignificance must make serious investments in their internal capabilities to partner with their clients. This means more people who can work in close proximity to their clients with real capabilities rolling out automation roadmaps, designing digital business models, working with clients to develop predictive data models and smart cognitive strategies. Sadly, there isn’t much of an available pool of eager college graduates ready to leap into these roles at low wage rates, so providers need to reinvent themselves radically as true learning establishments and universities for their emerging talent… ambitious people will want to invest their careers with firms who are prepared to invest in their talent. The future isn’t about buying packaged consulting, it’s about partnering with services firms whose stakeholders want to co-invest in themselves and their clients with a long-term vision and definitive plan. The model has changed forever… and we can only watch, learn and work with it as it unravels piece by piece.

Horses for Sources March 2017, Phil Fersht

OKIN BPS Labs next leap: into the Digitization of Work.

The next generation of labs in OKIN BPS are RPA and other emerging automated-work technologies. We have already the roadmap built by our sister-company Datlowe for RPA. We now move into a world of “hydroponics” taking fruit from better science, but with the same seeds as before. The model will be similar; we are training, moving, motivating and creating from the same marketplace that once didn’t have enough Network Engineers, our newest associates working as RPA Specialists and Digital Disruption Masters to make the coolest differences for our clients. This is and will remain our investment in our clients, and the best part is that it still works best from, with, and to our people.