Dubai rapidly moving toward becoming first Blockchain powered government by 2020

Dubai rapidly moving toward becoming the world’s first blockchain powered government by 2020

Date       :   July 19th, 2017
Theme   :   The state of Blockchain in UAE

Sami Tayara, CEO, Aiqual Technology had the privilege to participate in this Blockchain event hosted by the CIOMajlis™  roundtable. Dan Frankel of Consensys was the main speaker, followed by a valuable Q&A session where the technology use cases were discussed and issues related to the technology’s maturity and resilience addressed.

It is commendable that Dubai government is leading with its vision and has set in motion concerted initiatives to make Dubai the first government to adopt Blockchain technology by 2020.

Aiqual Technology shares this vision and has launched R&D activities for VATchain™ a first VAT compliance solution that utilizes Blockchain to improve the efficiency and lower the overhead of the end-to-end VAT compliance process.

For an introduction to Blockchain technology and what it can do, we recommend watching this video by the World Economic Forum:


Holistic Business Transformation with BTM² Methodology

“By 2018, 70% of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail due to insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management.”

Holistic Transformation

BTM² was the world’s first holistic business transformation management methodology that provides a framework with clear phases, deliverables and corresponding methods. It is a generic framework, which can be applied to different business transformation use cases, and is not specific to one business function, technology or industry.

Business Transformation Management

BTM² is a leading holistic and integrated business transformation methodology which is based on academic and business research and has been used and validated in multiple business cases. It is described in this 348 page reference book which refers to countless external resources. So this article can serve only as a short introduction to the mission critical subject that many organisations still struggle to get right.

Four Phases of Transformation

There are four phases in the of BTM² transformation lifecycle, which are:

  • Envision
  • Engage
  • Transform
  • Optimise

Business Transformation Lifecycle

Nine Transformation Management Disciplines

BTM² consists of nine transformation management disciplines which are:

  • Meta Management (Leadership, Culture, Values, Communication)
  • Strategy Management (Transformation Direction)
  • Value Management (Transformation Direction)
  • Risk Management (Transformation Direction)
  • Project and Programme Management (Transformation Enablement)
  • Business Process Management (Transformation Enablement)
  • IT Transformation Management (Transformation Enablement)
  • Organisational Change Management (Transformation Enablement)
  • Competence and Training Management (Transformation Enablement)


Transformation Management Components

The illustration above shows a very high level of BTM². The next level down is shown in the chart below and a detailed body of knowledge resides within each of the 65 components.

Business Transformation Management Methodology

An Introduction to Each Management Discipline

Meta Management

In the context of business transformation, Meta Management provides the overarching frame for a business transformation and provides the linkages amongst the disciplines and also the management structure, which will allow the transformation process to be effective. It addresses individual disciplines which include guidelines, leadership, culture, values, and communication.

Strategy Management

In the context of business transformation, Strategy Management primarily addresses the Envision phase of the transformation life-cycle, during which a strategy is developed. Strategy Development involves the selection of appropriate team members, collection of data, analysis of transformation needs and readiness, design of a business vision, and a business model and the definition of an integrated transformation plan.

Value Management

In the context of business transformation, Value Management involves defining the business benefits and changes needed to realise them, evaluating the feasibility of making the changes successfully, and producing an evidence-based, rigorous business case and supporting benefits realisation plan. Value Management relies heavily upon the engagement of stakeholders in the preparation of the business case and benefits plan to create the knowledge and commitment required to realise the benefits described in the business case.

Risk Management

Risk management provides fundamental guidance to the planning, development and effective execution of a business transformation. It is vital that business transformation managers to manage the risks that relate to the process of transforming their organisation towards a desired future state and those risks that relate more to the possibility that this desired state becomes either obsolete or sub-optimal.

Business Process Management

Business Process Management defines the scope of process changes needed for the expected improvements in performance. To make the transformation effort a continuous success, business processes have to be considered from a strategic perspective. The identification of end-to-end business processes and the assignment of responsible process owners is a major task. It is important to understand that process management does not equal process modelling, but rather the relationship between IT, Business and People related tasks.

IT Transformation Management

IT Transformation Management evaluates the impact of current IT processes, competencies and systems on business transformation, and vice versa. It assesses and enables solution readiness of the business, defines and assesses the gap between the as-is and to-be of IT, deploys IT operations and services, and implements IT governance. It also improves IT operations and services, and manages the IT lifecycle.

Organisational Change Management

Organisational Change Management (OCM) addresses the human element of business transformation. It deals with the people who have to change their ways of working and involves setting up a foundation for effective OCM with respect to governance and assessing organisational change readiness. Establishing and implementing stakeholder communication and performance management strategies, and continuously receiving feedback to make improvements is key.

Competence and Training Management

Competence and Training Management provides qualification and enablement with respect to the competences required for business transformation, and the strategic core competences vital for the company’s future success. Competence and Training Management identifies and analyses training needs and objectives, develops training measures for the identified gaps, foster the learning transfer and analyses the success of the measures.

Project and Programme Management

Programme management aims to support the implementation of the transformation strategy in order to achieve the business benefits described in the business case. Programme management focuses on high-level specification and the “why and what” of transformation. It includes stakeholder management, benefit realisation, dependency management, transition management/change acceptance and integration with corporate strategies. Project management focuses on detailed specification and the “how” of implementation, along with control of activities to produce products.

Listen to a BTM² Introduction

The Business of Digital Transformation

If digital business transformation efforts are to be successful, all of the above nine transformation management disciplines need to be adequately addressed, and it is worth noting that technology is just one of nine disciplines in the list. This highlights the fact that transformation is less about technology and more about people and business.

Organisations need to ensure that their digital business transformation leaders do not fall into the pitfall of placing an unbalanced emphasis on technology, process and some project management, while paying lip-service or light touches to the other transformation management disciplines. Research has shown that this common error is the basis for countless failed and struggling transformation programmes throughout the world.


Note: Acknowledgment to Rob Llewellyn for sharing this article on CXO Transform.

How to succeed in your organization’s Digital Transformation



Holistic Transformation is a Must

Success in any digital transformation journey requires adherence to a true-and-tried comprehensive methodology. As in above diagram, this topic has been widely researched and best practices abound. In a separate post, I included details of the BTM² methodology which is my preferred due to its particular applicability to digital business transformation. In this post I provide our own concise formula that represents our specialization and focus areas within the broader domain of business transformation.


AIQUAL’s Concise Digital Transformation Formula

Digital Transformation = Data Management + Smart Apps + Smart Processes™

Our mission at AIQUAL is to help organizations both public and private succeed in their digital transformation journey with our focus on data management capabilities, smart applications and smart operational processes. We believe in promoting Happiness and Sustainability: the future will be led by organizations and cities who can manage and analyze their data assets efficiently, who can build smart and trusted systems and processes for trading and transacting among their customers/citizens, ultimately resulting in happier lives and economic sustainability.

Digital transformation is not an easy feat. Recent research shows 90% of digital transformation initiatives in Europe are failing. Despite spending millions of dollars on digital transformation efforts in the past year, many organizations still think they are at significant risk of being left behind by competitors, according to a new report by independent research firm Vanson Bourne.

The study, commissioned by database platform provider Couchbase, shows that 80 percent of the 450 heads of digital transformation surveyed at enterprises in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany in May and June 2017 think they are at risk of being left behind by digital transformation.

More than half (54 percent) think organizations that don’t keep up with digital transformation will go out of business or be absorbed by a competitor within four years. And IT leaders are also at risk, with 73 percent saying they could be fired as the result of a poorly implemented or failing digital project.

A huge majority of those surveyed (89 percent) said their industry is either being disrupted by digital technology, or such disruption is only a matter of time. The organizations have spent an average of $5.7 million on digital transformation in the past year.

Respondents overwhelmingly agree on the ultimate goal of digital transformation, with 95 percent saying it should be giving customers and end-users a truly unique experience. While 80 percent of IT leaders are under pressure to be constantly improving their organization’s customer experience through digital innovation, 90 percent of digital projects fail to meet expectations and only deliver incremental improvements.

At AIQUAL we are aware of the pitfalls and subscribe to a path that takes care of essential requirements for digital transformation success:

First requirement is to develop data management and analytics capabilities to become a data-driven organization. Why data-driven? With the increased availability of data and advanced analytics, industry leaders will be those who can improve business performance (or completely re-invent their business model) by  exploiting the latest data management technologies to gain competitive advantages. They will become masters at gathering and processing any data that impacts their operational efficiency and their ability to create high customer satisfaction.

Second requirement is to implement smart operational systems and processes that make the best use of the above analytics and insights to redesign their processes and achieve the level of performance that improves their bottom line and satisfies customers’ heightened expectations.

To learn more about how AIQUAL can empower you to succeed in your transformation journey, please contact us.

Digital transformation in Telecom industry


I had written an article few years ago to evangelize digital transformation for the Telecom industry.  It is refreshing to see that some major players in the industry have since made good progress, while other are still facing challenges. I updated and republished it here as the issues and themes are still playing out, and we have lessons to learn and reflect on.

The Need for Digital Transformation

The word Transformation has been ringing very loud at Communication Service Providers (CSP) for the last several years. Let us review the reasons why this latest transformation wave started, what it is about, what the major challenges are.

    • Disruptive Waves of Innovation

The traditional telecom industry is facing a perfect storm best described as “digital disruption.” Disruptions include the huge success of new devices (smartphones) and digital services (apps/content/convenient shopping) and social media infiltration into our everyday lives, and emerging competitors (OTT) who have successfully created and ridden these waves of digital innovation using new business models such as Freemium and Ad Financed. These combined events have created a deep transformation within society (the CSP customer base) and even heralded a new age in our civilization. They have triggered a significant change in customer behavior and expectation, and put pressure on the traditional telecom business model and revenue.

    • Slow Initial Reaction

CSPs have been slow in effectively responding to this paradigm shift due to several organizational and technical reasons. One such reason we will highlight is the ability to transform the mindset, systems, and processes to effectively leverage their rich and rapidly increasing data assets. For CSPs worldwide, undergoing their own transformation to a digital service provider (DSP) to ride the fast-growing wave of digital services is unavoidable. Their customers have already gone through a cultural revolution driven by social media, and we are now looking at a digital-native generation of users who needs to be catered for.

    • Consensus to Start Transformation Now

Leading industry analysts and forums such as TMF have been widely supporting this CSP-to-DSP transformation for years. Major CSP partners have also undergone their own transformation. Huawei, for example, has stepped up to the challenge and is now strategically and actively invested in supporting and enabling this transformation through its own wave of innovative solutions. Open digital platforms, business agility solutions, and new customer engagement models are all now available for CSP consideration.

Why Customer Centric?

    • Rise of Customer Experience as Competitive Strategy

Customer experience is now in focus as it becomes an efficient weapon in the constant fight for customer mind-share and wallet-share. To counter the challenges of falling revenues from voice services, CSPs need additional business opportunities by providing new digital services to their consumers. However, a CSP brand alone is not enough to keep customers loyal. CSPs need to step-up and also compete on customer experience by means of a customer-centric organizational and technological re-alignment.

    • Rise in Customer Expectations

How can we ensure that customers will like and adopt the new digital services offered by their CSP? Customers are known to appreciate a wider selection of services, personalized offers, smooth operation of the services they are using, and pricing transparency.

    • Deep Understanding of Customers is a Key Requirement

One things that CSPs need to do is to leverage the wealth of data that is running through their systems in order to better understand, segment, serve, and delight their customers, thereby generating more loyalty and ensuring more revenue through a full strategic commitment to customer-centricity. The customer should feel the carrier is catering for their specific needs in a way that exceeds their expectations with every new service released, every promotion made, and at each and every interaction thereafter. The risk of not doing so is that they will be out-done by the rising wave of digital competitors, who in the long run will make their business model unsustainable, and vulnerable to future waves of consolidation.

Why Big Data Driven?

    • Higher Revenues from Current Services

Transforming your organization to implement and embed big data analytics in its culture and processes is a prerequisite to achieve the desired revenue-boosting customer-centricity. It is estimated that CSPs can achieve 15% more revenue on average by leveraging big data to optimize current services and marketing processes. Some have achieved even more.

    • Lower Operation Costs

However, big data–driven organizations can implement big data use cases that yield significant cost-savings necessary to support more competitive business models:

-CAPEX reduction with much lower cost per TB (big data vs. legacy data warehouse) and prevalence of open source options

-OPEX reduction through streamlining current processes by embedding analytics in them (data-driven enterprise), and through new proactive use cases (log analysis to predict and prevent systems down, customer and network analytics to predict incidents and reduce calls to customer service, and so on)

    • New Data Products and Services

Once an enterprise has taken control of its data assets and built a platform to efficiently process data to gain insight, it can then move to more innovative areas:

– Offer new data-intensive products such as IoT connectivity and network-edge analytics.

– Provide innovative value-added services for industries and verticals like automotive and health.

– Engage in new ventures around the Smart Home and Smart City concepts.

How can Aiqual Technology support this transformation to Digital?

Aiqual’s founder is a pioneer of digital transformation and started this new venture specifically to support more businesses succeed in this critical journey.

There are various ways Aiqual can support your digital transformation. We can look at it from a couple of perspectives to illustrate it:

1- Must-Have Business Capabilities

You are an inspired business leader and you want to meet head-on the digital challenges and ensure that your organization has all necessary business capabilities to succeed. You have re-imagined your business model and you know that you need to achieve high performance in the following domains:

– Customer experience: Deliver a much improved user experience across all your channels trough personalized services and smart in-context recommendations

– New Revenues: Disrupt the disruptors and enable new business models with multi-sided trading platforms

– Operations efficiency: Leverage new technologies and architectures such as Cloud, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX

2- Agile Infrastructure and Architecture

On the technology and infrastructure side, CSPs need a way to quickly convert their costly and inflexible legacy systems to the same type of technology that their digital competitors are using to great advantage. There is an urgent need to have the matching “guns” to help level the playing field.

The consensus is that CSPs should leverage ICT convergence, cloud architecture and virtualization-everything technologies to gain infrastructure agility, and use a new generation of customer-oriented applications designed to thrill the customers, and to promote innovation in products and services. In addition, to make it all affordable (both CAPEX and OPEX reduction) and to cover any gaps in people and process readiness, CSPs are increasingly considering managed services options.


When it comes to solutions for CSP-to-DSP transformation, no one-size-fits-all approach can be used. We have to allow for variations in CSP specific situations, which lead to differences in strategy.

Aiqual digital consulting can provide as-is assessment and transformation road-map advice. Some organizations are taking a cautious approach and leaning towards incremental digitalization while others are exploring bolder and more effective strategies that can accelerate the transformation process to gain a competitive advantage as a digital leader. Either way, Aiqual digital consulting will support de-risking the transformation journey by weighting the different approaches and providing an agile road-map tailored to your situation, industry and market.