In the Future, Companies Will Be More Global and Multicultural!

With a professional background, Rui Paiva is CEO of WeDo Technologies and COO of SSI – Software and Technology. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of BizDirect, Saphety, SSI Sonae Serviços Partilhados and, more recently, S21Sec, based in Spain.


Prior to founding WeDo Technologies in 2001, he assumed the position of Director of IS and Deputy Executive Committee of Optimus Communications. Previously, he worked for HP Portugal, as Director of the Consulting Department, and for Telecel / Vodafone, as Head of the Department of Infrastructure, Operations and Help Desk.


He holds a degree in Applied Mathematics and a post-graduate degree in Administration and Management from Univ. Nova de Lisboa.





We thank you for the opportunity and the challenge of putting current issues in the especially volatile world in which we live, we suggest that we begin our conversation with your current challenges.

What are the main challenges of your current responsibility?


In companies like WeDo Technologies, the most relevant, no doubt, are the people. For companies like ours, being close to people is fundamental, because even if leadership has is responsible for inspiration, if the person is not close, it can not do that – inspire.


The company dimension counts too, obviously. Smaller companies will be, theoretically, easier to manage because leadership has direct contact with people. In big companies, the manager must truly like people. A manager in an organization, if he likes people, easily does his job.


We have to identify and retain these people – our “ambassadors.” This situation is especially noticeable in large organizations: there are people who are fundamental to retain, not only because of the work they do, and not always the most relevant, but because of the dynamic and genuine way in which people aggregate. They are ambassadors of culture. They are so fundamental that it is important to have them in the company. Knowing how to scale this is one of the great secrets and main challenges of my job (and the management team), I would say.


In addition, it is important that managers are increasingly inclusive. At WeDo, we decided from the beginning to have shared management. We have always decided that there would be a structure on which we would manage, that would define all the rules of the company and that is open to everyone, that is, everyone knows the rules of management of our company.



In your industry, what big current trends would you highlight?


The big tendencies to highlight in our industry lately would be Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (loT), among others.


WeDo Technologies, as a world leader in the areas of Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management, is working hard in these areas, investing heavily in Research & Development, in order to leverage all of our offer in this regard.


In the case of Internet of Things, everything has to stop being theory and come true with the advancement of the 5G network of data transmission. It is expected that this high speed transmission will be available in the USA and Canada in the next five years.


All of us – people, objects and animals – will have a mapping into something digital, with sensors on our bodies, cars, houses. Everything will be digitally tracked. It will be the internet of everything, not only of things. It will serve as our coexistence, our purchases, but also to predict the consumption of water, electricity, traffic detail, among many other things.


When we talk about these buzzwords, among them Big Data, what we are referring to is a technological evolution that will serve to manage more and more data.


Artificial intelligence has always been at the heart of the WeDo Technologies offering. Our offer is based on predictive algorithms, which we are trying to evolve. We’ve always kept everything on-premises because we treat all data daily, raising a question about the volume of traffic, along with the confidentiality of the data.


We have been verifying that the cloud has worked quite well in large countries. We have been testing the same technology applied to other markets since it is one hundred percent configurable. We made direct sales in other sectors of activity, to prove that the technology worked.


We certainly recognize the current challenges faced by companies in the areas of Business Analytics (BA) and Business Intelligence (BI), which is also the core business of REBIS in the market and one of the main concerns of CEOs worldwide.

In the context of BA and BI, what is the relationship of your company with the data and the critical information for the business?


The constant digitization of the world as we know it is transforming many of the day-to-day actions of organizations and their customers into data, forcing them to become more oriented towards analyzing that data.


Although the benefits of this set of data are now increasingly available to companies, their transformation into actions that improve performance, profitability and bring innovation still pose some challenges from a technical and business standpoint.


The role of Business Analytics and Business Intelligence tools is to be able to take value from the available data to make them more reliable, as well as allow them to run more complex analyses in order to present results or unexplored business hypotheses.


Results-driven companies in the digitization era arbitrarily leverage BA and BI technologies to explore data and make more informed and structured decisions and to make improvements to their results in a much more assertive way.


At WeDo Technologies, our specific mission is to analyze the available data and leverage our Business Analytics and Business Intelligence software to perform fraud management and revenue assurance monitoring analyses that enable our customers to better their financial performance.



What implications will such trends have on business and people?


Society has everything to do with teams, with belonging, with groups and friends. In addition to the big data, we are also fascinated with the small data and how these relate to our culture. It is the small data that will identify the fraud and the individual person who committed it and make the arrest. This small data will identify fraud and the individual person shall commit jail sentence. These small data, 85% of all fraud within the organization, correspond to 0.01% of the overall data set.


The secret is finding them and knowing where to start looking. The small data is really important and is key to the customer experience that comes with these numbers.


Building a relationship with the customer costs nothing to the company. However, with digital growth and online shopping growth, retailers will have to shake things up to keep and attract customers.


Take the case of payments through mobile devices, for example, that are changing and adapting to meet consumer demand. In Africa, M-PESA is now handling 30% of the country’s turnover, with only one mobile payment platform. 1.7 billion people worldwide do not have a bank account but have a mobile phone.


With the constant increase in the mobile, 8 billion people will have access to banks and insurance, in what is the biggest change in financial services in the history of mankind.



The relationship between business and customers continues to be a critical business challenge, from people to people and organizations to individuals.

In general, what is the distinctive factor that highlights the relationship of companies with their clients?


I believe that IT managers should not fall in love with technology. Anything that has the most integration will only cause problems and compromise business agility.


In this way, using tools that are developed in continuity, that always have new releases and that have guaranteed support by contractual basis, is fundamental. Standardization is crucial for companies.


Minimal integration is key. Companies should focus on evolving with a partner and looking for tools that are one hundred percent configurable.


WeDo Technologies is an example of a company that only has three people in the IT department for 600 people in 10 countries.



To you, innovation is…


To simplify …


We at WeDo have always tried to innovate.

It’s part of our DNA.

The atypical way we started demonstrates this.


Usually startups (we were one in 2001) are born of an idea that then begins to take shape, to attract customers and to grow. This leads to a problem in that it requires structuring the organization at the same time as the product is marketed.


During a certain period, our focus was on designing the company’s methods and processes of organization on two fundamental axes: 1) we wanted it to be a product company, and 2) that it was global, which was a challenge in a resource-poor country. We would always have to be product-oriented.


In order to scale without too much costs, we decided to focus exclusively on telecommunications, an area where we had experience.


Here there were three big blocks: billing systems, CRM systems and ERPs – at this point the market was already dominated. We then opted to innovate and develop a link between all these tools. We were able to turn that into a product and we were able to accelerate the time-to-market.


This portfolio continues today, due to the first customer where we implemented it, who requested an additional service, at the time impossible to deliver, but which eventually became our main activity: revenue assurance.



And, in the future…

In 2030, how will companies be?


Companies will be more global, multicultural, and more flexible. One of the challenges will certainly be the culture of the organization, and I think this is going to be a big problem that needs to be solved. Already today, in our case, we have 20 nationalities in 10 countries.


Managing diversity, addressing the company culture as an aggregator, and knowing the tools to make it inclusive is the big challenge.


With that said, there will be big changes. Everything is moving so fast, automation is leading us to a process where we can have the same things with fewer people working.


We are quickly headed into a time where 25% of people need to work to have what we have today. Business management will be another big challenge in the coming years, assuming that automation will give us everything.