We interviewed PMC Head of Service Design and Mobilisation, Vishal Shah, to find out what ensures a successful outcome for systems engineering projects. We asked how the PMC operating model impacts service delivery and about the significance of microservices, API and cloud design (MAC) Technology for meeting the client’s specified outcomes.

Q. A successful outcome to a systems' engineering project – how do you ensure this for your retail customers?


A. Retailers need engineering partners who understand their retail world. This might sound obvious, but our teams’ understanding and experience of retail means they will quickly grasp the complexity – and subtleties - of a customers’ business challenge.


Combine this with a broad array of relevant technology skills and you have the successful combination that our teams have brought to bear on the many engineering projects we have been involved with over the last decade.

We recognise that fully understanding the customers’ problems involves thinking through all the layers.

Some professional services providers simply think in terms of processes and technology. At PMC, our mindset is to consider multiple layers when assessing a problem - and when engineering our solutions. This includes an understanding that real people will be using our solutions. So our focus is very much on both the operator and customer experiences. The level of commitment to each is determined by the specific problems we are solving for the customer. In all cases, we know that recognising the end-to-end delivery chain is what will deliver the successful outcome.

Engineering challenges

Thinking through the layers of the Retail engineering challenge

Q. How is your customer service provision affected by the PMC operating model, with teams in both the UK and India?

A. Retail sector expertise runs deep and wide within PMC. This ‘retail first’ philosophy - perhaps expected of the front-end, customer-facing teams – is equally deep-rooted within the delivery teams.

It enables very powerful collaboration across the company to the benefit of our clients. This integrated way of working spans our UK and India office locations. Because both teams bring sector expertise and specialist knowledge of retail technology, they are never operating in silos.

Each can comfortably engage with the customer and take an outcome-driven approach. This ensures there are no bottlenecks and that tasks can be completed within shorter timescales. It also means that projects can be quickly changed and importantly stay on schedule.

Other companies struggle with this delivery-team-to-customer engagement piece and push all communications through their head office, but this can result in a disjointed service.


At PMC, the teams are all equipped with the relevant communicational tools – including Instant Messenger and conference call solutions – and are empowered to make decisions. It avoids the delays of routing all decisions through a single location.

 

Q. What’s the Significance of MAC technology in delivering Digital Transformation?

A. We combine our sector and technology expertise with an agile mindset to engineer and deploy the MAC technology that best enables our customer’s digital journey. (MAC is microservices, API and cloud design.)

Most PMC projects are influenced by this approach because it creates a framework and eco-system that aligns with our belief that applications should not work in isolation but instead need to be integrated. This can be best achieved by a lean design, based on a microservices-based architecture, with API integrations, placed in the cloud.


High-level integration skillsets are crucial when dealing with best-of-breed components, which need to communicate with each other. Many projects today are integration heavy as retail customers want the single customer view across their various technology solutions.

Businesses are often operating a spaghetti-like array of systems, which can trigger compliance issues. Using the MAC approach helps us build seamless, better integrated solutions. Ultimately, it is our system integration capabilities that are fundamental in delivering our client’s desired the ‘end-goal’ for multiple and seamless customer touchpoints, whether web, mobile or kiosk.

Vishal Shah, Head of Service Design and Mobilisation, PMC Retail

As Head of Service Design and Mobilisation, Vishal Shah ensures the rapid mobilisation of PMC Development and Delivery teams at project commencement. As the interface between PMC technical and commercial teams, Vishal’s responsibility extends through the customer's commercial decision to proceed and concludes only at the successful service implementation or project completion.

Vishal Shah, Head of Service Design and Mobilisation, PMC Retail

As Head of Service Design and Mobilisation, Vishal Shah ensures the rapid mobilisation of PMC Development and Delivery teams at project commencement. As the interface between PMC technical and commercial teams, Vishal’s responsibility extends through the customer's commercial decision to proceed and concludes only at the successful service implementation or project completion.