46 episodes

Get ready to think differently about how technology driven solutions can lead to business success. Mustansir Saifuddin is the co-founder of Innovative Solution Partners. With a career that spans multiple industries and a variety of roles including a software quality assurance engineer to leading global teams and projects, he knows what it takes to fuse technology with what a business wants. Listen as he interviews tech experts, business experts, and visionaries on their successes, challenges, and lessons learned. We’ll cover everything from SAP and ERP focused solutions, to leveraging data analytics, to how to achieve your business goals with technology.

Tech-Driven Business Innovative Solution Partners

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Get ready to think differently about how technology driven solutions can lead to business success. Mustansir Saifuddin is the co-founder of Innovative Solution Partners. With a career that spans multiple industries and a variety of roles including a software quality assurance engineer to leading global teams and projects, he knows what it takes to fuse technology with what a business wants. Listen as he interviews tech experts, business experts, and visionaries on their successes, challenges, and lessons learned. We’ll cover everything from SAP and ERP focused solutions, to leveraging data analytics, to how to achieve your business goals with technology.

    Inside Insights: Secrets to Successful IT Projects with Carla Sarti

    Inside Insights: Secrets to Successful IT Projects with Carla Sarti

    In this latest episode, Carla Sarti, former VP GBS - Lear Corporation, joins Mustansir Saifuddin to share strategies on how organizations and teams can succeed with any IT implementation. From teamwork to fundamental project management, to supplier relations, Carla highlights what's she learned across her storied career path so others can make an even bigger impact with their IT projects.
    Carla Sarti was most recently the Vice President of Global Business Services at Lear Corporation – a position she held since April 2018.  Prior to this position she was Vice President of Non Production Purchasing and Director of Shared Services.  
    Prior to Lear, she served as Account Executive at ACS, a Xerox company (now Conduent) where she acted as chief strategy officer and Director of Sales for many large accounts in the Finance and Accounting Outsourcing area.  She spent five years at Delphi Corporation in numerous roles of increasing responsibility including managing the SAP environment after implementation and working as a Lean expert for the Cockpits business.  She also worked as a plant and divisional financial analyst at TRW and an operational auditor at the Budd Company.
    Connect with us:
    LinkedInCarla Sarti
    Mustansir Saifuddin
    Innovative Solution Partners 
    Twitter: @MmsaifuddinYouTube
    or learn more about our sponsor Innovative Solution Partners to schedule a free consultation.  
    Episode Transcript:
    [00:00:00] Mustansir Saifuddin: Welcome to Tech Driven Business brought to you by Innovative Solution Partners. Carla Sarti, a seasoned executive, shares her insights that any team can use for leading successful IT projects. From understanding business processes to the importance of transparency, teamwork, and supplier relations, Carla reveals the key ingredients for project success.
    [00:00:30] Welcome to Tech-Driven Business Carla. How are you?
    [00:00:33] Carla Sarti: I'm great. Thanks for having me. Great to see you.
    [00:00:38] Mustansir Saifuddin: It's great to have you on our show. And I'm glad that , you took the time out to share some of your thoughts and leadership with us today,
    [00:00:46] Carla Sarti: Absolutely.
    [00:00:48] Mustansir Saifuddin: so our topic is going to be Secrets to successful IT projects. How does it sound to you?
    [00:00:55] Carla Sarti: Amazing. It's 1 of my passions.
    [00:00:58] Mustansir Saifuddin: I know, I know. And I think that's going to be something that it will be very helpful to our listeners, especially in this day and age where technology is changing so fast. There are so many different options available. And I. T. Is in the middle of all of this. Let me start with this. You know, I want to set the stage.
    [00:01:15] So let's begin with this. Can you share some background on how you How did you find yourself leading I. T. Projects you started your career in a totally different arena?
    [00:01:29] Carla Sarti: Absolutely. So, yes, I have a business degree of my MBA. I started in audit and very specific businesses, purchasing finance, et cetera. But technology was always something that I was very curious and passionate about. When I was a co op at TRW, the vice president of finance came to me one day and I'm going to date myself a little bit here, but we were on Lotus 1, 2, 3, and he had a disc in his hand and he said, Carla or little kid or whatever he called me.
    [00:02:00] Here's a disk of Excel. I would like all of our reports moved from Lotus 1, 2, 3, put on Excel and let's review them next week. And I said, okay, let's go. And so I taught myself Excel and I really started to understand the power of technology. And that's just such a basic example. Right. So while I was still a co op, I got involved in an SAP implementation and That really opened my eyes to what technology can bring, and I've been into it ever since.
    [00:02:32] So different functional groups I've been in, I've always brought best in class processes along with the technology side, because I think it is, it goes hand in han

    • 23 min
    Inside Insights: Navigating Business Transformations with Gen AI with Geoff Scott

    Inside Insights: Navigating Business Transformations with Gen AI with Geoff Scott

    In this latest episode, Geoff Scott, of ASUG, joins Mustansir Saifuddin to discuss what is required for businesses to be successful with Gen AI as they prepare for the future. With more than 20 years of leadership and technology experience, including seven years of extensive SAP implementation and operations experience, Geoff understands the impact of Gen AI in digital transformation. Listen in as he also highlights how ASUG is supporting the SAP ecosystem on the Gen AI journey.
    Geoff Scott, is CEO and Chief Community Officer of ASUG, believes that the connections ASUG makes for our members have the potential to become career-defining relationships that inspire innovation and success for their organizations. His forward-thinking leadership prioritizes helping our members make the most of their investment in SAP technologies. To that end, Geoff works closely with customers, members, the SAP Executive Board, and the extensive partner ecosystem to amplify the voice of the SAP customer.  
    Past positions include CIO for TOMS Shoes, where he led the implementation of SAP: CIO at JBS; and senior leadership positions at Ford Motor Company. Before becoming CEO, Geoff was an ASUG member and served on the board. Geoff has served on several philanthropic boards and is the founding member of the Denver CIO Executive Council. 
    Connect with Us:LinkedInMustansir Saifuddin
    Innovative Solution Partners 
    Twitter: @gscott16@Mmsaifuddin
    YouTube
    or learn more about our sponsor Innovative Solution Partners to schedule a free consultation.  
    Episode Transcript
     
    Welcome to Tech-Driven Business brought to you by Innovative Solution Partners. I'm honored to have Geoff Scott, CEO of ASUG, joins me to discuss what is required for businesses to be successful with Gen AI as they prepare for the future. He'll also share valuable insights on how ASUG is supporting the SAP ecosystem on the GEN AI journey.
    [00:00:02.560] - Mustansir
    Welcome to TechDriven business, Geoff. How are you?
     
    [00:00:11.190] - Geoff
    I'm wonderful. How are you today?
     
    [00:00:13.480] - Mustansir
    I'm doing great. Thank you. Thank you for joining our show.
     
    [00:00:17.570] - Geoff
    Pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me. Or I should say, you can make that decision after we're done today.
     
    [00:00:23.130] - Mustansir
    All right. Sounds like a plan. Hey, it's always good to have you, Jeff, especially meeting in person every year, either in the volunteer meeting or at Sapphire or other events. It's always fun to have that conversation with you. Glad to have you on our show.
     
    [00:00:38.390] - Geoff
    What a pleasure to be here. I want to thank you for your connection and commitment to ASUG, your commitment to the Michigan chapter, one of our most wonderful places to be in all of the United States. I have close ties to Michigan, so it's always wonderful to hear Go Green, for those who are Michiganders, my alma mater. I think that being part of ASUG and being part of this The SAP community is really a tremendous thing. I've been doing the CEO job at ASUG for 10 years. Every year, as you mentioned, we get all 300 volunteers together to plan the year and celebrate our successes and talk about our challenges. It's a tremendous things. So I encourage everyone to be part of ASUG. If you are an SAP professional and you want to be at the top of your game of SAP, there's no better place to be than being an active part of ASUG, which you are. I want to thank you for that.
     
    [00:01:28.530] - Mustansir
    I second that. Thank you. Thank you. So today, we will be talking about how digital transformation in AI is changing the business landscape. How does that sound to you?
     
    [00:01:39.350] - Geoff
    I think that sounds like a tremendous conversation.
     
    [00:01:42.040] - Mustansir
    It absolutely is, and it's going to be fun. So let's start with the basics. Jeff, you have been around for a long time, not counting your-Original dinosaur. Hey, it's all good. But your extensive background with SAP

    • 27 min
    Inside Insights: Leveraging Gen AI with Todd Kackley

    Inside Insights: Leveraging Gen AI with Todd Kackley

    In this latest episode, Mustansir Saifuddin delves into the ever-evolving landscape of Gen AI with Todd Kackley, Vice President and CIO of Textron. Todd shares how his team implemented their inaugural generative AI solution and the crucial role leaders play in crafting scalable, well-governed, and future-proof data analytics and AI infrastructure.
    Todd shares invaluable insights into striking the balance between leveraging third-party capabilities and developing in-house models, shedding light on the dynamic interplay between proprietary solutions and open source technologies. Whether you're a seasoned leader or a budding enthusiast, understanding the nuances of Gen AI and its implications is key to driving innovation and staying ahead in today's digital landscape.
    Todd A. Kackley is vice president and chief information officer for Textron Inc. In this role, he leads the business unit chief information officers and the Textron Information Services (TIS) organization. He oversees Textron's Information Management Council and manages Textron's information technology supplier and outsourcing relationships.
    Prior to his current role, Kackley was executive vice president and chief information officer for Bell where he developed and executed IT and digital strategy, aligning business systems, infrastructure, cybersecurity and development capabilities to the needs of the business.
    Connect with Us:LinkedIn
    Todd Kackley
    Mustansir Saifuddin
    Innovative Solution Partners 
    Twitter: @MmsaifuddinYouTube
    or learn more about our sponsor Innovative Solution Partners to schedule a free consultation.  
    Episode Transcript
    [00:00:00.890] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Welcome to TechDriven business brought to you by Innovative Solution Partners. Today, an old friend, Todd Kackley, Vice President and CEO of Textron, joins me to delve into the ever evolving landscape of Gen AI. Todd shares insights into implementing their inaugural generative AI solution and the pivotal role leaders play in crafting a scalable, well-governed, and future-proof data analytics and AI infrastructure.
     
    [00:00:40.270] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    So thank you for joining the session today. Today, we will be talking about any organization's readiness to embrace Gen AI. And I would like to get your perspective on this topic. So with that, I would like to get into our session.
     
    [00:00:57.060] - Todd Kackley
    Let's do it.
     
    [00:00:59.280] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Awesome. Great. So let me start with, as you lead your organization in these times of quicker adoption, we see this across the board, across technologies. When we talk about AI-driven solutions, how are you and your team striking a balance between leveraging third-party capabilities versus developing in-house models?
     
    [00:01:24.640] - Todd Kackley
    Well, Mustansir I think that's a very good question. And this is also something very relevant for us at Textron. We recently implemented our first production generative AI solution, and that solution leverages a third-party proprietary generative AI model. And part of that decision making was certainly there's a lot involved in developing artificial intelligence models as a technology company as well at Textron. We've dealt with AI, and it's been part of our product offering and some of the things that we do around geospatial analysis and other things. And we built models in the past. So the decision to make versus buy, it wasn't necessarily one that we had to approach when it comes to generative AI, because I think this is an area where it's certainly a buy, leverage third-party models because of the capability and the massive amounts of compute and investments required to go off and build a model, the capability that we're We're seeing coming from third-party proprietary models that are secure. And certainly that's something that's very important to us, making sure that we leverage a third-party model that is secure and allows us to be able to work within the confines of our dat

    • 27 min
    Inside Insights: How Employers Succeed with SAP University Alliances with Meagan Knoll and Tom McGinnis

    Inside Insights: How Employers Succeed with SAP University Alliances with Meagan Knoll and Tom McGinnis

    Meagan Knoll and Tom McGinnis, long-time collaborators and educators rejoin me to dive into what it takes for employers and universities to succeed with the SAP University Alliances program. Although employers may find it daunting, Meagan and Tom share valuable tips on how employers can engage with universities and students alike to develop a qualified talent pipeline.
    Meagan Knoll has been a member of Grand Valley State University Faculty for the past 16 years. In addition to her longstanding dedication to academia, Meagan has achieved a new milestone as the Vice Chair of the SAP North America Academic Community Board and as the Co-Chair of the Partnership Committee. Meagan's commitment to student success extends beyond the classroom. She takes great pride in her extracurricular role as the advisor of the university's SAP student group, a community that serves as a crucial bridge connecting students to professionals within the SAP ecosystem. Outside of GVSU, Meagan remains deeply involved with the ASUG Michigan Chapter, where she currently holds a position on the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).  
    Thomas McGinnis has industry experience as a Software Developer, Business Analyst, System Administrator ERP Consultant and Project Manager. Tom also has 20 years of experience in academia.  He has a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in the field of Business Information Systems; he is an SAP-certified Associate Consultant and TERP10 academy instructor.  Tom has developed and taught courses in Enterprise Resource Planning (using SAP), Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing.  He is active in his local ASUG Chapter; frequently presenting new and developing aspects of Business Intelligence at chapter meetings.   Tom’s research work has appeared in peer reviewed journals, in book chapters and numerous conference proceedings. 
    Connect with Us:LinkedIn:
    Meagan Knoll
    Mustansir Saifuddin
    Innovative Solution Partners 
    X:
    @Mmsaifuddin
    Innovative Solution Partners
    YouTube
    or learn more about our sponsor Innovative Solution Partners to schedule a free consultation.  
    Episode Transcript
    [00:00:00.890] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Welcome to TechDriven business brought to you by Innovative Solution Partners. Meagan Knoll and Tom McGinnis, long-time collaborators and educators, rejoin me to share how SAP University Alliances is impacting the IT industry talent pipeline. Listen in as we uncover the value of UA programs, how employers leaders can connect with universities and the key takeaways for fostering successful partnerships in the ever-evolving tech landscape. All right, So let's start with the very basics.
     
    [00:00:46.430] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    When we talk about University Alliance, what is the real value of the UA program in building a talent pipeline overall from an IT industry perspective?
     
    [00:01:00.900] - Meagan Knoll
    Well, let me get started with telling you some of the unique opportunities that the University Alliances offers, and I think that will really segue into some of the value that comes from it. So the University Alliances has a lot of different initiatives behind the scenes. They offer training and workshops to faculty so that we're always on the cusp of new technology and emerging technology. They allow us to have hands-on access to SAP systems so that our students can explore and learn really the basics and the extended knowledge of being within the SAP system. They offer a lot of curriculum resources. How can we impart this knowledge onto the students in a very hands-on way? And a curriculum that is pretty standardized across the University alliances, so we can pool our talents to troubleshoot and provide these really in-depth curriculum opportunities. Then one of the best, I think, when it comes to connecting SAP employees or SAP users, is it helps faculty and students collaborate with those experts. For new emerging technologies or maybe a specific line of business, they really help make that connection so that we'

    • 20 min
    Inside Insights: Overview of SAP University Alliances with Meagan Knoll and Tom McGinnis

    Inside Insights: Overview of SAP University Alliances with Meagan Knoll and Tom McGinnis

    In this next series of episodes, Megan Knoll and Tom McGinnis, long-time collaborators and educators join me to talk about how companies can leverage the SAP University Alliances to build their talent pipeline. In this first episode, we'll start with an overview of how the program is helping shape a skilled workforce and benefiting students, educational institutions, industry partners, and SAP. 
    Meagan Knoll has been a member of Grand Valley State University Faculty for the past 16 years. In addition to her longstanding dedication to academia, Meagan has achieved a new milestone as the Vice Chair of the SAP North America Academic Community Board and as the Co-Chair of the Partnership Committee. Meagan's commitment to student success extends beyond the classroom. She takes great pride in her extracurricular role as the advisor of the university's SAP student group, a community that serves as a crucial bridge connecting students to professionals within the SAP ecosystem. Outside of GVSU, Meagan remains deeply involved with the ASUG Michigan Chapter, where she currently holds a position on the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).  
    Thomas McGinnis has industry experience as a Software Developer, Business Analyst, System Administrator ERP Consultant and Project Manager. Tom also has 20 years of experience in academia.  He has a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in the field of Business Information Systems; he is an SAP-certified Associate Consultant and TERP10 academy instructor.  Tom has developed and taught courses in Enterprise Resource Planning (using SAP), Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing.  He is active in his local ASUG Chapter; frequently presenting new and developing aspects of Business Intelligence at chapter meetings.   Tom’s research work has appeared in peer reviewed journals, in book chapters and numerous conference proceedings. 
    Connect with Us:LinkedIn:
    Meagan Knoll
    Mustansir Saifuddin
    Innovative Solution Partners 
    X: @Mmsaifuddin
    @ISolPartners, 
    YouTube
    or learn more about our sponsor Innovative Solution Partners to schedule a free consultation.  
    Episode Transcript
    [00:00:00.000] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Welcome.
     
    [00:00:03.310] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    To Tech-Driven Business brought to you by Innovative Solution Partners. Megan Knoll and Tom McGinnis, long-time collaborators and educators, joined me to share how the University Alliance Program is helping shape our skilled workforce and benefiting students, educational institutions, industry partners, and SAP. It's all about building a valuable talent pipeline.
     
    [00:00:28.810] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    So how are you guys?
     
    [00:00:38.400] - Meagan Knoll
    Well.
     
    [00:00:39.200] - Tom McGinnis
    Thank you. Very well, thanks.
     
    [00:00:41.830] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    So I know the topic from today's session is building your talent pipeline. And I know it's a wild subject, but I try to keep it to a few points that make sense in terms of how our listeners interact with our podcast. So if you guys are ready, we can get into our questions.
     
    [00:01:05.990] - Meagan Knoll
    Sounds great.
     
    [00:01:06.500] - Tom McGinnis
    Let's get started. Let's go.
     
    [00:01:08.420] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    All right. So I know talent pipeline, big word, a lot of different things that goes along with it, but let's focus on a couple of things. Can you describe the University Alliance as it applies to SAP and the SAP customers and partners ecosystem? Absolutely.
     
    [00:01:31.680] - Meagan Knoll
    The University Alliance is a program that was initiated by SAP, and the whole idea was to foster collaboration between educational institutions like the universities and trade schools, SAP itself, and then SAP customers and partners. What we like to think of for the University of Alliances is that it is a conduit for knowledge transfer that will help prepare students to become skilled professionals in the SAP area. It's a global initiative that has over 3,500 educational institutions, and that sp

    • 20 min
    Inside Insights: Modernizing FP&A with SAP Analytics Cloud with Nick Verhoeven

    Inside Insights: Modernizing FP&A with SAP Analytics Cloud with Nick Verhoeven

    In this 2nd part of a 2-part series of Tech-Driven Business, Nick Verhoeven, Solution Manager for Planning & Analytics at SAP, rejoins Mustansir Saifuddin to dive into how SAP Analytics Cloud's seamless integration between planning, reporting and predictive capabilities is modernizing FP&A strategies. SAP Analytics Cloud continues to reshape business analytics and strategy. His key takeaway? With continuous technology developments, make sure you have a vision and then see how technology can help you achieve it. 
    As solution manager at SAP, Nick's role is to align the different functions within the company. Customer engagements, analyst relations as well as supporting the internal controlling functions are the main drivers of the role that spark enthusiasm in Nick and steer the solution in the right direction. Nick’s discipline stemming from professional sports is his main strength, helping him drive enterprise engagements however sluggish processes might be.
    Connect with Us:LinkedIn:
    Nick Verhoeven, 
    Mustansir Saifuddin,
    Innovative Solution Partners ,
    Twitter: @Mmsaifuddin
    Innovative Solution Partners
    YouTube
    or learn more about our sponsor Innovative Solution Partners to schedule a free consultation.  
    Episode Transcript:
    [00:00:00.260] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Welcome to Tech-driven business brought to you by Innovative Solution Partners. Nick Verhoeven, Solution Manager for Planning and Analytics at SAP, rejoins me to dive into how SAP Analytics Cloud's seamless integration between planning, reporting, and predictive capabilities is modernizing FP&A strategies. SAP Analytics Cloud continues to reshape business analytics and strategy.
     
    [00:00:37.390] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Welcome back, Nick, to Tech-driven business.
     
    [00:00:39.830] - Nick Verhoeven
    Thank you, Mustansir. I'm happy to be here.
     
    [00:00:43.670] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Well, thank you, Nick. It's been an amazing session we had last time. Really enjoyed the discussion. And for our conversation today, I'd like to give a little background on what we talked about last time. We were looking on the surface of what planning is and what planning brings to SAC, especially in the analytics space. You are bringing both the planning capabilities and analytics together in the SAC platform. So what I would like to do today is I would like to start our conversation with taking it a step further. A lot of times, customers look at things where they are looking at, What benefit does it bring to me? What do I get out of this tool? So if I want to go and bring on planning capabilities of SAC, and how does it compare to other planning tools in the market? How does that sound to you?
     
    [00:01:44.810] - Nick Verhoeven
    I think that's great. I always look forward to a bit of a deep dive in SAC and cloud, so let's do it.
     
    [00:01:51.060] - Mustansir Saifuddin
    Awesome. Let's start with the most obvious thing. Whenever you look at any planning tool, you look at features. So what are some of the key features of SEL that elevates it compared to other planning tools in the market? What's your take on that?
     
    [00:02:08.510] - Nick Verhoeven
    Well, that's a good one, Mustansir, but if I look at it, so this is my perspective, what I think is unique to the experience cloud is the flexibility in an enterprise setting. So what do I mean? What I mean by that is that with its integration to SAP systems and non-SAP systems, using commonly accepted APIs for metadata as transactional data to create and maintain data models for planning, that they can be easily extended with flexible dimensions and measures and accounts for a user interface. There you see this enterprise as well as business functionality coming together in that sweet spot. But then if you go beyond data, going beyond the model itself, you have user interactions through data inputs, analysis, workflow. Here similarly, we offer flexibility through drag and drop and wizards to build entire flows for the business user. Bu

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

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3 Ratings

Joshill:) ,

Thanks Mustansir!

This is a great show to listen and get actionable tips if you have an interest in the technology industry! Quality production, keep it up!

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