By Jay Kerley, Vice President &Chief Information Officer, Applied Materials
Jay Kerley is the Vice President and Deputy Chief Information Officer at Applied Materials. Jay is responsible for Global Information Services strategy, planning, operations, infrastructure, and applications development. During his time at Applied Materials he has co-led the company’s IT globalization, consolidating 17 decentralized IT groups into one. Kerley has 20 years of industry experience across business verticals including pharmaceutical R&D, global logistics and high-tech leading IT globalization. He has led IT operations, application development, program management functions and enterprise managed services. Prior to joining Applied Materials in 2006, Kerley led Global Operations and M&A Integration for DHL Americas. In addition he has delivered strategic programs reaching over $1.2 billion in size. Computerworld recognized Kerley as one of its Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2012. In 2009 he was named to CIO magazine’s “Ones to Watch” list for his role as a change agent. He is a member of the board of directors for the American India Foundation (AIF), the largest Diaspora philanthropy organization focused on India and based in the United States.
Technology trends shaping the Industry
Beyond collaboration, social business has the largest opportunity to really impact and shape the way enterprises moving forward, meaning how one can collaborate across the value chain. A company like Applied Materials that designs and manufactures very sensitive costly capital equipments, the challenge we face is, "How to collaborate all over — the cost from customer design, engineering, manufacturing supply base on objects?" A little more structured object based collaboration can happen across the value chain and that is the big emerging trend.
Enterprise mobility acts as strategic information and is driving a lot of change in the enterprise kind of converging in what consumers use and what the enterprise use from the mobility perspective. At Applied Materials we have been fairly advanced at adoption of cloud computing. We have several enterprise solutions that are delivered from the cloud today. Services that allow integrating the cloud together or moving to a cloud broker type of approach is what we would see in the near future. A few today deliver multiple cloud solutions as an integrated platform. Today we see a lot of flaw in the cloud space, and the ability to stitch them together and integrate them together is the growing need.
Cloud and enterprise mobility is a part of our business model. Applied Materials enables information edge and our technology enables the mobile platforms that are consumed on the market today. For instance in iPad, nearly 67 percent of its content comes from our equipment. We not only want to enable the information age in the mobility, we are the platforms makers and we want to be leaders. We have a large project enabling our sales force, 'sale360', that allows them to manage everything from customer configuration to sales code manufacturing delivery, and information warranty from one mobile portal. This drives competitive advantage for sales, especially when you are dealing with an environment where the cycle plans are getting much more compressed and the volatility of the manufactures is extremely high.
There are three key aspects that we look at. How we interpret and bring value to our business is a challenge as we have to be customer centric — not only the internal customer but also external customer. For the last 12 to 18 months customer enablement has been a strong push for my organization. And that's where programs like sales360 are enhancing the way that we deliver consumer information across the business to business exchange. The other is globalization. Being located in North American we still have 80 percent of our customers and 80 percent of our revenue outside North America.
We operate to be competitive. We look at service delivery to move things to be done. Whether it may be first to manage services or support, we solve those problems on a global scale for applied materials and we have done it with a level of localization as well. The very piece from innovation perspective is automatically the culture of the organization and in that context come in two forms: top comes in top and my mantra is "We can’t be afraid to fail, we often don’t fail."
We were a siloed regional organization that went to a global operating model. We invested in our global leaders and in global management. We had to manage across multiple time zones and hold co-operate meetings, bring a change in the salary structure of the top-line where people are treated with equity. We share a lot of fundamental things to get to the standard operating model that puts people in a position to be more engaged.
When it comes to driving innovation within a team, a lot of this comes from partnership. We are not an organization that invents a new way to deliver our services to our internal stake holders. Partner rapidly and partner with right folks will make us successful. Few key strategies they are optional like cloud computing we have moved from captive HD systems to an external cloud based system from work day. We have moved from a captive email calendar collaboration environment and lotus notes to an external cloud based offering from Microsoft. This brings three technical upgrades a year, addition of new features and functionality that the pace we can never develop or consume in a prior activity. This is the key enabler from a cycle time perspective. Next is through business partnership. We have an entire team that serves as a office of the CIO. They partner with each of my business critical stake holders to drive feature functionality performance.
A technology need of Enterprise not met by Vendors
The mobile security is an emerging platform. Encryption at raft on mobile devices is extremely important and is not enabled today on a lot of devices. There is also encryption in fly where the data moves to the network. Being able to stand the enterprise and leverage mobility is the key credit of success factor for the organization. Being consumer focus and not for the enterprise is one of the big things we are struggling with. And we do with multiple technologies, and not all of them meet the market or do the same.
IT for the sake of IT is not optimal position. It is crucial to understand the value of what’s been delivered. We need to have a champion and stake holder on the business side which is going to oil the delivery in that value where we haven’t done it well. Delivering IT services is like a value chain a supply chain. The more partners you have in that value chain supply chain the more difficult it is. Having a level of harmonization in consolidation in a way is critical. Initially we were a highly fragmented not only from technology architecture perspective but from a service provider partner perspective. And rationalizing that simplifies the ability to deliver from a future perspective. The ability to integrate these clouds is the next strategic step.
As for the vision for future, there is no drastic change. We have a sound foundation of technology and have gone through rationalization consolidation activities. From a collaboration perspective, they are leveraging Microsoft technologies and some cloud based offerings from a core round of business perspective in a year. From an engineering perspective you have a product lifecycle management tools and engineering tool, that are founded and those core systems are integrated now. It’s less about vision and more about execution. The vision has been there and foundation is there. Outstand to execute and reap the benefits.
(As told to Christo Jacob)