Q&A: Rich Lowe, CEO, PMC
Rich joined PMC as CEO in February 2019 from BT Group plc. He brings significant operational management experience in IT, networking, and software services. Rich previously led BT Expedite (now part of APTOS), Dabs.com, and latterly BT’s consolidated IT Services businesses, providing Cloud, desktop and infrastructure transformation.
What does your company offer retailers?
PMC provides independent, technology services to retailers and B2C organisations. These services span consulting, programme delivery, development, QA, testing and managed support services. We work alongside our customers and technology vendors to deliver transformational change, whilst improving IT management and delivery. We believe there is critical role for integrators who can bring relevant domain understanding, cultural and sector skills to support both customers and vendors land change that is unique to their needs.
Our company is located in the UK and India, working as a single integrated team across our two offices. What sets PMC apart is a focus on bringing together the skills and technology our customers need to get the best from their existing investments today, whilst also planning and executing change for tomorrow.
We truly believe in the power of working across the technology eco-system to help our customers freely choose and leverage the options that are available to them. As an integration partner we also support the delivery and service needs of several leading technology vendors.
In addition to enabling customers to implement the best Commerce, Mobile and ERP technologies, we bring a strong integration and service mindset to our engagements.
We have invested heavily in our own Cloud Development and Integration Services, which enables us to rapidly deliver solutions to our customers’ development and integration challenges, alongside their principal technology investments.
How do you go about supporting retailers deliver transformation?
It is all about pace, agility and value for money. Transformation plans need to take account of existing principal technology investments, as well as an organisation’s ability to execute and absorb change. The transition to these new platforms and solutions requires the correct skillsets, scalable teams and the appropriate level of support to deliver the transformation into the business
By providing a full suite of automation and services from both the UK and India, we can lower the cost to deliver. PMC’s integrated delivery and support services provide fully outsourced solutions, or can be deployed to augment a customer’s existing resources.
Our UK delivery teams all come from retail and retail technology backgrounds. Our India teams provide analysis, design, agile development, testing and programme skills from a single delivery function. Teams across both locations comprise highly experienced technical consultants, programme managers, business analysts, developers, testers and service delivery managers.
Our Managed Services practice then provides proactive 24x7x365 support for our customers, operating in over 14 countries. I’m proud to say that our extensive service delivery and support capability has been proven in market and with our customers over the last 20 years.
Who are your customers and are there other companies you partner with?
We have a fantastic group of customers that we work with. Retailers including Reiss, Monsoon, B&M Retail, Primark, Paperchase, The Original Factory Shop, World Duty Free, Fitflop, Fenwick, The Health Lottery, Bravissimo, Specsavers, Green Commute Initiative, WH Smith, Estee Lauder, Card Factory, National Express, Signet and Hotel Chocolat. We are very lucky to have such extensive relationships and partnerships which typically span many years.
We also work closely with many leading technology vendors, including Aptos, Flooid, Enactor, Yapster, Worldpay, Mercaux, Microsoft, Couchbase and AWS. The Retail Technology sector in the UK is rich with innovation. It is a great industry to be in.
Our teams operate with an ethos and culture of being ‘open, host and direct’. If we think something will not work, we’ll call it out. For us, this is the essence of how we have built so many trusted partnerships.
What challenges and opportunities do you see for retailers and the retail sector?
The challenges retailers face today are very well documented. We are convinced that there has never been a more exciting and important time for technology service provision in the industry. Retailers have a multitude of choices they can make that will deliver a substantial difference to how they operate and the experience they can offer their customers. It’s no longer about massive, never-ending programmes to establish epos, ERP or ecommerce platforms. With the right choices, transformational change can be enabled by rapidly integrating targeted solutions with those existing platforms.
Digital transformation is about building that bridge from today to tomorrow. Combining it into a cohesive plan, with access to the right delivery, integration, automation and services skills at the right cost point is difficult for Retail CIOs.
Our role is to help them. You can only do this by working alongside them and alongside the technology vendor eco-system. This is why our Cloud development and integration services purposefully present an ‘innovate alongside’ opportunity, without the need to rip and replace existing infrastructures.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
Our horizon is simple. Ensure our customers have access to the skills they need today to supplement their teams at the right experience levels and cost points.
For tomorrow, it is about being the integration and service partner that helps speed up the rate of change for retailers and retail IT, by offering choice and solving the integration challenges they face. We’ve invested in our cloud microservice platform and mobile integration capabilities in order to do this.
Retailers are turning to mobile solutions and cloud architectures to increase the pace of change, but we recognise that everyone is starting from a different place, so the need is for technology service providers to bring breadth of capability and deep sector expertise.
Our relationships largely come by reference and sometimes start small. We work with both small and large retail and B2C businesses. Our model is different, so we are happy to start a conversation with anyone in the industry.
Rich Lowe Profile contd…
Most recently, Rich was Commercial Director of BT’s Corporate Sector, responsible for strategy, propositions, and go-to-market. An Australian national, Richard is passionate about building teams to deliver solutions and services that deliver meaningful change for customers.
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