Charter Engage: Know IT

Sustainability Roadshow 2.0 - Business Transformation in Action: A Roadmap to Delivering Better Outcomes

March 12, 2024 Charter
Charter Engage: Know IT
Sustainability Roadshow 2.0 - Business Transformation in Action: A Roadmap to Delivering Better Outcomes
Show Notes Transcript

💭 Charter Engage: Know IT Podcast – Sustainability Roadshow 2.0 - Business Transformation in Action: A Roadmap to Delivering Better Outcomes

This podcast explores our upcoming Roadshow across Canada. Together with Cisco, we’ve built a comprehensive program called “Business Transformation in Action: A Roadmap to Delivering Better Outcomes.” 

Regardless of the industry you work in; whether it’s for profit, or not-for-profit, the commercial sector or the public sector, Business Transformation can enable you to deliver on the outcomes you desire. Our presentation will guide you through practical steps to begin that journey and achieve those outcomes.

We’ve scheduled a Live Webinar and In-Person Seminars in Calgary on April 16th. 

All the details can be found on our website -
Get to know some senior members of the Roadshow team – Mark George, Charter’s Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader; Ronnie Scott, our Chief Technology Officer ; and special guest, Roland Plett, Cisco’s; Global Leader for Energy & Mining as they discuss Business Transformation’s three pillars of “technology, process, and people” and how they can be successfully utilized to further business objectives in today’s market.

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Charter Engage: Know IT Podcast

Sustainability Roadshow 2.0 -

Business Transformation in Action: A Roadmap to Delivering Better Outcomes


[Recorded in Calgary, AB and Vancouver, BC]

March 7th, 2024


Presenters: (in order of Appearance)

  • Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator
  •  Ronnie Scott, Charter, Chief Technology Officer
  •  Roland Plett, Cisco, Global Lead for Energy and Mining 


[00:05] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

Welcome to the latest episode of Charter’s ongoing podcast series, called Charter Engage: Know IT. [1] I’m your Host, Mark George, the leader of our Business Transformation team and the Prairies Market Leader. 

 We’re recording a special edition of our podcast series, today, to announce our upcoming Roadshow across Canada. Together with Cisco, we’ve built a comprehensive program called “Business Transformation in Action: A Roadmap to Delivering Better Outcomes.” 

Regardless of the industry you work in; whether it’s for profit, or not-for-profit, the commercial sector or the public sector, Business Transformation can enable you to deliver on the outcomes you desire. Our presentation will guide you through practical steps to begin that journey and achieve those outcomes.

We’ve scheduled luncheon seminars in Toronto on April 8th, Regina on April 10th, Saskatoon on the 11th, Calgary on April 16th, Victoria on April 17th, Vancouver on April 18th, and Edmonton will wrap it up on April the 19th. All the details can be found on our website, [2]

Building on over 25 years as a reseller of networking, IT, security, and collaboration products, Charter continues to build a comprehensive Solution Integration business that’s focused on delivering specialty professional services in critical areas such as Application Development; App Modernization; Business Architecture; Cybersecurity; Governance, Risk, and Compliance; and an Augmentation Approach to Staffing. To do this, Charter will take responsibility for customers achieving business outcomes, delivering consultative, subject matter, and solutions expertise to help build and execute a roadmap for your successful Business Transformation journey. 

We know from experience that to build better organizations and, quite frankly, enable the transformation process, it requires a combination of people, process, and technologies that must be aligned to help drive more effective communications; increase operational performance; and modernize the organization. 

Today, I’m delighted to be enjoyed by two guests: Roland Plett, the Global Lead, Energy and Mining in the Industry Solution group at Cisco; and our own Chief Technology Officer at Charter, Ronnie Scott. They’ve helped create the Roadshow program and are here to preview some of the key insights we will share in April. 

We've all seen that survey data from the top global consulting firms proves that transformation initiatives tend to be digital in nature - dealing with changing systems and processes, which, in turn, manage significant amounts of data. [3] Data is, obviously, one of the most important assets of an organization, and is critical and key to a competitive advantage. Most executives we talk with admit that sitting still is not an option. And they fundamentally believe that their business may not even exist if it does not change course, or, in the case of our topic today, transform. 

So, what do we mean by “Business Transformation?” It’s the process of reinventing an organization’s, strategies, operations, and culture to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape and is a top-down initiative led by the organization’s senior leaders. This is driven by focusing on business cases and measurable outcomes. 

Now, a pivotal aspect of the transformation lies in harnessing the collective strengths of digital Information Technology (traditional IT); Operational Technology (or OT); and the brand new area that’s all around us today, the Internet of Things, (the IoT systems.) All together, they provide the foundation for efficient data management, real-time analytics, and seamless communication across the organization. Together, they propel the business toward a future where innovation thrives; customer experiences are enriched; and agility becomes a competitive advantage in an increasingly interconnected world.

However, you must understand how you can achieve this transformation, because it, from the outset, can appear daunting. By using well-understood tools and methodologies, combined with simple, realistic steps, Charter and Cisco have worked with several customers to help define outcomes and bring about significant operational improvements. 

Our April seminar series is designed to take a deeper dive into how these improvements can be applied across a variety of industries. Most importantly, identify where to start. And finally, to be able to provide details to you, that you can take away and help your own organization figure how to continue to compete and accelerate your growth in these challenging market conditions. 

So, Ronnie, let’s start the discussion by talking about this notion of outcomes. What are some of the key objectives? How do they get set? But, maybe, even more importantly, how do you define what are the useful outcomes that can have the highest impact on the organization, perhaps in the shortest amount of time? 

[6:29] Ronnie Scott, Charter, Chief Technology Officer

Well, first of all, thanks for having me back on the podcast. It's good to be here with you, Mark, and you again, Roland. And it’s fair to say, I’m looking forward to being back on the road with our customers, in April. 

Starting this whole conversation, really, can be quite daunting, I do agree. You can begin to look and say “What do I need to transform? What do I need to change? What I would start with is “What are the things that are causing you pain? What are the things that are annoying your staff; your customers; that are causing stress; that are making processes harder to follow; that are frustrating the ongoing business you’re trying to perform?” 

So, we keep talking about this through our whole Business Transformation conversations in the past. We keep talking about “people, process, and technology.” [4] We don’t put people at the front for no reason. We talk about the people first. “What are the things that they want to achieve? What are the things that are frustrating them? What are the things that are preventing them from doing their job well?” And we begin to look at the processes they follow. And what they have to do to achieve their tasks. And then we can begin to talk about what technologies might help that, and improve it, and make the process smoother, and make the people happier. 

And so, outcomes are about “the people” - the people that are doing things, that are wanting results, the customers you have, the staff you have. And, if we can begin at that point, it becomes very obvious, quickly, where the frustration is. Even here, inside Charter, that’s something we often talk about. We get people starting to open trouble tickets, or we see people complaining that “This isn’t working well,” or “Why can’t I use this feature?” And so, then we begin a discussion about “Is this something that's going to make us more productive? Is this something that we can make better for our people?” and just begin the process from there. 


[8:26] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

Ronnie, who needs to be involved in establishing the outcomes? As you’ve worked with a variety of customers, what are you seeing?


[8:34] Ronnie Scott, Charter, Chief Technology Officer 

Yeah, that’s a great question, Mark. And, obviously, the more people that are involved, can be both good and bad. So, identifying the stakeholders - the people who have been impacted by those decisions, and the processes, and the policies. That’s an important place to start. So, at some stage, we have to bring in the people who are expecting the outcomes. But we also need the people who can make the change in the organization. So that has to be married with the decision makers (the people in the organization who have the power to say, “We can take steps to move things forward.”) 

So, depending on the complications, and the layers inside your organization, that may require people of different levels. But what is important is the people who can affect change must be involved. And so, that often comes from an executive level. In some organizations, that may be departmental leaders, and so on. But it is important that we’re incorporating both the decision makers, and the people whose outcomes we are trying to make better. And, often, we see that you can sway towards one end or the other. Where the people making decisions are not incorporating the ideas, the thoughts, the problems of the people are actually during the work, and vice versa. We can see people at the _cold face__ that are actually doing the work, sometimes don’t understand the policies and governance that the organization has to be under – and can prevent them from getting exactly the outcomes they want and the way they want. 

So, by bringing those two sides together. And that's why in this Roadshow, we are very keen to see both executives and people who are involved in building out, and making things happen being involved in the Roadshow.  This is something that every part of your organization can benefit from.


[10:24] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

So as much as we talk about people, process, and technology being the pillars of business transformation, it’s almost like the over-arching requirement is that the culture has to shift, or you’re not going to, probably, achieve the highest outcome of transformation. 


[10:42] Ronnie Scott, Charter, Chief Technology Officer

Yes, I think that’s quite insightful, Mark. 

When we talk to organizations, yes, we say “people, process, and technology.“ These things are the things we have to work on that we have to build around. But if there isn’t a culture of collaboration, of working together, and aiming for those outcomes, then, obviously, we’re going to get stuck at the people mark. And if we’re not prepared to build good process around the organization, and we tend to be an ad hoc, “Let’s make it work,” kind of, organization, you may get stuck at the process phase. And if you don’t have or don’t see value in this, you’re not going to invest in the technology to get the outcomes you want. And then you’re going to be stuck at the technology phase. 

So, yes, culture does set and drive the ability to improve your business. If you don’t start with a mindset of “change is good,” it’s going to be very hard to drive through any part of those three pillars.


[11:37] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

Well and, I guess, one of the critical messages we also are going to communicate, together with Roland, and the Cisco team in April, is this is not a big company exercise. This applies equally to brand new start up companies; it applies equally to not-for-profits; it applies equally to public sector organizations. And, ultimately,  what we’re seeing collectively in the marketplace is that if you ignore this, or admit that you can continue to stand still, within the next 5 to 10 years, I suspect you’ve going to find yourselves either in an uncompetitive position in the market, or almost redundant, from a service delivery perspective. Roland, would you agree?


[12:22] Roland Plett, Cisco, Global Lead for Energy and Mining

Yeah, that’s exactly right. There’s a few reasons why that is. The things that are changing, you know, changes in the landscape are important to recognize, as well. But, there is so much change happening, it's virtually impossible to keep up with the changing landscape without digital transformation. 


[12:43] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

I want to take, kind of, almost an immediate pivot into one of the most critical and, perhaps, highly visible outcomes that, again, most organizations end up having to address today, and that is a comprehensive set of sustainability goals or metrics. Now, one, obviously, ties to energy consumption as part of the Business Transformation process. Generally, the critical pieces require measuring improvements in energy and resource efficiency; enabling energy management techniques and tools (that can track energy consumption); and, ultimately, delivering sustainability across the whole lifecycle of the organization. 

 Cisco is absolutely great at some amazing tools and solutions that can enable organizations to address these environmental priorities. So, Roland, I know our audience would like to know more about Cisco’s views on this specific outcome. But, more importantly, they’d also really value your personal experience working with clients because you get to work across the globe every day; you get to see large organizations, as well as small; you get to be involved in both enterprise, and commercial discussions, as well as into the public sector. And so, we’d really value your thoughts on this specific outcome - sustainability.


[14:22] Roland Plett, Cisco, Global Lead for Energy and Mining

“Yeah, thanks Mark. I didn’t say this earlier, but thanks for having me back on. It’s always a pleasure to be talking about important topics, with Charter.  

This whole idea of sustainability is really a global phenomenon. And we’re at the point, now, where every single organization has, either informally or formally, declared that they want to hit certain goals by a certain period of time. There’s been so much social pressure to do that. And, just, even in response to Shareholders and people who have an interest from a consumer perspective and business partner perspective. And so, this is in everybody's business plan, right? 

And this doesn’t necessarily become an extra to driving profitability. It can happen in parallel. And a lot of times the outcomes that are best for sustainability also provide fuel for productivity, right? And I think that’s sometimes forgotten. And that you can really achieve both.

You mentioned a couple of interesting pieces. A lot of times, sustainability drives us to the conversation around energy. This is very true, whether you're in the energy industry, in terms of producing and transporting energy, or whether you're consuming energy.

At Cisco, I think a lot of our early communication out to our customer base was around how Cisco was doing their part, from an energy and circular economy perspective, and then really built on that to say “This is how you can save energy by employing our latest architectures and infrastructure. 

So, and those are all important. But, more and more, what I’m finding customers really wanting to talk about is “How do we change the way that we do business so that our metrics move?” 

And, so what I’ve done (and actually all of my colleagues, in the industry team, have done) is gone back to our use cases, our core use cases that we see in each of our industries and identify which use cases really do move the needle, from a sustainability perspective. I mean, a great example is just the idea of remote operations has become incredibly popular for a lot of different reasons, including productivity where you're able to actually move some of your operation centres and dashboards to remote locations (remote to the operation.) So, not remote in terms of remote from major centres. 

In some cases, I deal a lot with mining companies. A big, big example of that is where they move a lot of the operation centres that have traditionally been at the mine, they’ve moved them to major centres where they don't need to house people; they don't need to fly people into the site; they don't need they don't need to feed people and create a very expensive working environment, right? They can do that in major centres where the costs of that are much lower and you're not incurring the safety risk of transporting people out to the site. A very simple example. That has huge productivity implications, but it also gives you a lot of sustainability benefit in terms of not burning all of that fuel; taking people out to the site; not dealing with the safety risk of having people on-site; and a host of other very tangible sustainability metrics. That's one example. 

In mining alone, I have 5 very explicit examples of that and one that we’ll be talking about a little bit more in the mining discussions on the show, is really around mine electrification. And this isn't just a mining thing, although that's where a lot of that happens. All the Heavy Industries are looking at “How do we shift our processes from fossil fuel-rich energy consumption to more electric energy consumption? Can that even be done? Maybe its thermal transferred to other thermal processes that are fossil-fuel intensive, maybe, like nuclear, or geothermal, or something like that.

So, all of those – you’d say, “What does that have to do with digitization?” What we find is that, really, a lot of those new processes are really dependent on being able to digitize and manage remotely those processes in ways that we haven't had to do with traditional methods. 


[18:43] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

I was sitting with a CEO last week, and one of the things he said to me is “Mark, one of the challenges we have in our ESG reporting, not just the “S” for social by also the “S” for sustainability because it's relevant for our discussion today is. “I find I’m conflicted. Because I have to deliver sustainability goals, but my shareholders, my stakeholders, my employees, my board has production goals. Sometimes they seem to be in conflict. How do I deal with that?” How do you answer that question, Roland?


[19:22] Roland Plett, Cisco, Global Lead for Energy and Mining 

They are two different goals, right? And they can be in competition with each other. But I think what most people are recognizing is that there are ways to solve for both. And that’s important, right? Especially as you embrace digital transformation, now, your options grow. You talked about agility at the beginning of the conversation, here. That really is key, because when you need to select from a broader set of solutions because you're trying to solve for two different, very different goals, then that agility becomes really, really important. And you can, actually, achieve both, right. 

And in some cases you’re already making changes from a productivity perspective, that because you're doing it in a digital form, rather than a more traditional form, it actually, by definition, becomes a bit more sustainable. 

So, sometimes it's not recognized, and you can go, “Oh, wait a second. Some of these projects that were already on the books, maybe we can accelerate them to, maybe, reach some of our “S” goals faster. 


[20:23] Ronnie Scott, Charter, Chief Technology Officer

I’d add to that, as well. When we look at this “people, process, technology discussion,” I think it's pretty clear that sustainability, if you're not working in “life and limb” or “safety” spaces, is possibly the most people-centric outcome you can get. 

And I think that’s a really important part of not treating sustainability as a way to score points, or a way to “win deals.”  It's about thinking about the culture of the people that you're working with - whoever those stakeholders are. And whether it be your employees; your customers; your partners; sustainability affects us all. By being able to think about in the context of “How can we work together with the people and stakeholders that care about our business? How can we find outcomes that really are going to be good for all of us?” 

And I think just changing away from just not trying to score points, to “Ok, what do my Stakeholders care about?” can really increase the sustainability conversation to an interesting and exciting place. 


[21:28] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

Like everything in life, there’s a balance.


 [21:33] Roland Plett, Cisco, Global Lead for Energy and Mining 

Push back a little bit on that because, although it’s not about scoring points, as you said, (I do agree with that), I do think that in order to really make a meaningful business difference, we do have to measure, right. And so, it is about the people, it still needs to be measured to see if we’re moving in the right direction.


[21:51] Ronnie Scott, Charter, Chief Technology Officer

I certainly can’t argue with that because it’s where the people, process, and technology all come together. But, I just think starting with that “people” side and understanding what the cares and concerns of your stakeholders is a great place to start.


[22:05] Mark George, Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator

What an exciting way to kick off our initial Roadshow. And there's obviously a lot more we need to discuss. But that's the purpose of the seminar series. 

At each of the sessions we’re going to share real-life examples of where our clients use tools and different methodologies to simplify their transformation journey. We’re going to break it down into manageable, actionable steps that yield significant operational improvements. And our hope is that these stories will inspire you to embrace change and drive transformational results in each of your organizations. 

Our planned take-away value will be the learning you get across all the diverse industries we’re going to address in the seminar series. You’ll discover how incorporating new capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence (AI); Digital Twins; Cybersecurity; App Modernization; addressing the customer experience; Design Thinking; Dashboards; IT/ OT/ IoT can all come together and help enhance your business regardless of where your organization fits into the economy. 

So please join us at one of our April seminars by going to our website – [2]and clicking on the link for our seminar series. 

I want to conclude today by thanking Roland and Ronnie for the insights you’ve provided to our listening audience. We hope that today's episode has be invaluable, and thank you for investing the time to tune into our podcast series “Charter Engage: Know IT.” We wish you a productive day.



Presenter Information: (in order of Appearance)

Mark George Charter, Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader, Moderator
Mark George is a proven business leader with global experience across multiple industries. He currently serves as the Vice President, Business Transformation & Prairies Market Leader for Charter. Prior to that, he worked for five years as Managing Partner and Founder of EdgeMark Capital and Advisory Services Inc., a capital markets and financial advisory services firm.  Mark’s in-depth energy markets experience developed through leadership roles with Environmental Refueling Systems Inc. and with PricewaterhouseCoopers. From 2000 to 2010, he served as the Founder and President of the Cielo group of companies, a fully integrated residential and commercial construction and real estate development company in Arizona. Mark has an intense interest in emerging technologies, having spent 15 years with Nortel, Bay Networks, DEC, and Honeywell in progressive sales, management, and executive roles throughout the Americas and Asia Pacific. Mark proudly serves on the boards of several privately held companies and not-for-profit organizations. [ ]   

Ronnie Scott,  Charter, Chief Technology Officer
Ronnie Scott has over 35 years of broad IT experience, including programming, network architecture, as well as senior consultative roles for Financial Services, Internet Service Providers, ILEC Carrier Networks, and large enterprise customers across New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Ronnie is currently the CTO at Charter Telecom Inc, a Value-Added Reseller specializing in IT service delivery. As CTO, Ronnie brings his extensive technological background with a strong Business and Service Delivery lens to Enterprise IT Infrastructure solutions. [

Roland Plett, Cisco, Global Leader for Energy & Mining
Roland leads the Oil & Gas and Mining solutions practice at Cisco Systems. In that role, he brings together the products of Cisco and its partners in the Oil & Gas and Mining industries. He loves moving valuable business data from the dirtiest and most hazardous environments on earth to the operator screens and applications of Cisco customers. Over the last 25 years, Roland has been an active part of the data networking industry including 8 years at Bell Canada and 13 years at Cisco Systems.
[  ]



About Charter

 Charter is an award-winning technology solutions integrator established in 1997 in Victoria, BC, Canada. Our mission is to align people, process, and technologies to build better organizations, enhance communication, boost operational performance, and modernize businesses. Leveraging a design thinking methodology and a human-centered approach, our team of experts drives successful business transformation for clients. Charter offers a comprehensive range of IT, OT, and IoT products and professional services, including advisory and consulting, project management, and managed services, providing end-to-end solutions from planning and design to ongoing support and implementation. We extend knowledge and support beyond our clients’ businesses, empowering them to focus on core operations. Charter helps organizations generate new value, drive growth, and unlock opportunities, enabling faster and more effective market entry. Forward, Together with Charter, achieving your potential.


For more information on this podcast or on Charter, please contact:

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[1] Charter Engage Podcast. (n.d.).

‌[2] Charter - Forward, Together. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2024, from

‌[3] McKinsey. (2020, October 5). COVID-19 digital transformation & technology | McKinsey. McKinsey & Company.

‌[4] Charter - Forward, Together. (n.d.).