Meet the Agents of Transformation - Multichoice

Martin Moralo, Business Service Manager, Monetary, Multichoice

Martin Moralo joined Multichoice back in 2012 to lead technical operations and has recently been promoted to lead the Business Service Management team.

Tell us a bit about your career to date and your journey to become an Agent of Transformation.

Like many others, my career started in development before moving into operations roles and infrastructure support. Following roles at MTN South Africa and Vodacom SA, I joined Multichoice in 2012 to lead technical operations and it is incredible to look back and consider how much the company has evolved since then. It’s been in this fast-paced environment that my career has been able to accelerate at the rate it has. I’ve had the opportunity to take on some interesting roles and work with some great people, leading up to my new position, leading the Business Service Management team. I look after Enterprise Monitoring, Reporting, Service Management Tooling and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which I am very excited about.

What does it mean to you to be an Agent of Transformation?

Being an Agent of Transformation means having the opportunity to influence the organization’s monitoring strategy and align that with new technologies that will continue to transform the business. Early on it was beneficial for me to be aligned to the business’ goals to transform Enterprise Monitoring. MultiChoice’s potential remains a well of possibilities due to the belief the leadership has in investing in technologies that take the business to the next level. This same belief allowed me the fluidity to grow in my career and gave me the confidence to prove that the investment made was worthwhile in the long run. It hasn’t always been easy to go against the gradient of the status quo, but the hard work has been hugely rewarding.

Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate. How do you feel about this, and do you see it as an opportunity for technologists?

Being a technology company, Multichoice fully embraces the need for cutting edge solutions in all areas of our organization. As a team we recognize the importance of investing in the right solutions because we believe in the power they have to help transform the way we do business and the experience we deliver to our customers.

The organization offers a huge opportunity for technologists – and continued support from leadership to invest in the right tools and solutions will keep the business well ahead of the digital curve. These technologies offer new ways of doing things and will help keep the industry on its toes. Knowing that there is always an opportunity to innovate is hugely motivating.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received on your way to becoming an Agent of Transformation?

Research, research, research! It sounds simple, but it’s the only way to become a thought leader and prolific technologist. There’s no excuse not to do research – there are so many opportunities out there, such as articles in industry media and papers from relevant bodies and organizations. These are accessible on so many platforms and devices. Personally, I read a lot of academic papers to inform how and where there is room to develop and innovate.

To what extent do you think being an Agent of Transformation is about looking to challenge the norm, questioning how things are done and always striving to do things differently to deliver better outcomes?

Agents of Transformation don’t fear change. They are willing to challenge the way people see the world, or the way things have always been done. They don’t fear opposition. Convincing people to change something they are comfortable with is hard, but if you can simplify the complicated and prove the value of your idea, it makes it much harder for people to dismiss or ignore you. I have always tried to prioritize the people who oppose my ideas the most, because if I can win them over, I can win anyone over!

What advice would you give to other technologists who are looking to progress in their careers and become Agents of Transformation?

You cannot be an expert in everything, so find your niche or specialism and become a master in it. Do that by researching your subject well. When you feel ready, look for opportunities to improve areas in your organization that can deliver maximum value. This gives one a sense of purpose and an energized outlook to continually challenge oneself. Once you get the right formula of hard work and determination, people around you will feel compelled to help and support you.

How would you describe the role of AppDynamics in enabling and supporting Agents of Transformation?

AppDynamics provides a company with the tools that enable real-time application and business performance monitoring. In 2014, we made the decision to invest in AppDynamics and saw great return on that investment within a really short time. I am a firm believer in the value that end-to-end visibility into our digital services has brought to our business. We started with a concentrated area within our business and, as the footprint of usage increases, we note more and more proof points that we are ready for the digital era.

How would you describe the role that AppDynamics is playing within your transformation strategy?

AppDynamics has made it really easy for me and my team to define exponential ways of working. Where in any organization people have a preferred way of working, we have found a way that makes things easy for all of us.

There is more collaboration and open sharing of information between ourselves and the wider business, making decision-making focused on that which positively impacts the customer experience every day.

Having access to a single view of our digital services that we can really trust has brought so much value to the team. It gives us the confidence that we are making decisions based on fact, and with a clear understanding of the repercussions of any changes we decide to make. AppDynamics is considered a hugely strategic tool by the team.

How important to you is having accurate, contextual data and insight when it comes to strategic decision making?

Data is a huge source of strategic wealth and, better still in real-time, gives an organization cutting-edge competitive advantage. A business with a concentrated level of visibility into the customer journey is positioned optimally to outline a tailored customer experience, and that is critical to our business. We are able to correlate technical and business data, make decisions faster, be more proactive, and automate processes.

How important is AIOps in your future strategy?

There’s no doubt that automation and Artificial Intelligence and IT Operations (AIOps) should be a huge part of any business strategy moving forward.

What should organizations be doing in order to develop, nurture and support Agents of Transformation over the coming years?

Innovation is no longer an option – it’s a business imperative, and it no longer makes sense to ring-fence the evolution that necessitates innovation. Companies need to foster a culture of disruption throughout their business, where every person has the potential to become an Agent of Transformation within their own right, with the freedom to find new ways to improve their business.

"Once you get the right formula of hard work and determination, people around you will feel compelled to help and support you."

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