NCR CIO Bill VanCuren Drives The Move To Internet Of Things And Big Data

March 30, 2015
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by Peter High, published on Forbes

3-30-2015

NCR is in the throes of a major transformation. They are moving from manufacturing company to a software and services-driven company. In the process, NCR is positioning itself as a leader in the internet of things and big data. CIO Bill VanCuren is helping to lead this charge. His team works with engineers outside of IT to re-configure many of the company’s flagship products such as ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) systems, and kiosks in order to develop more predictive data. Now these machines collect data on customers so they are better served, but they also collect data in order to provide earlier warning when issues arise that must be resolved or when software downloads need to be initiated.

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Peter High: Can you speak about the imperative behind NCR’s shift to a software and service-driven company, and where your team has sought to add value to this effort?

Bill VanCuren: Software is enabling the next generation of productivity gains for consumers and business alike. Software and Hardware combined creates a solution that requires a robust services organization in order to obtain the maximum value and availability.

In order to shift NCR to more of a software and service-driven company, we needed to make big capital investments in technology. One such investment was the installation of technology to support“feet on the street” technicians that could solve customer problems on-site or remotely. Equipping the NCR workforce to be in a position to diagnose issues required upgrading to state of the art global technologies, like Android, that support this mobility. So we realized we needed to develop experts in these areas of connecting mobile platforms to enterprise platforms.

High: As you incorporate machine learning into what you do, it strikes me that you are becoming more of a driver of the Internet of Things. Is that right?

VanCuren: That is correct.The various end points for our clients – an ATM, POS, self-checkout, mobile phone – that is ordering a retail transaction or checking an airline website, kiosk at an airport, for instance, are either connected to a private network or through the NCR network backbone. So we provide, and IT supports, remote management of all of these critical end points for our clients. I think that clearly translates to the concept of the “Internet of Things” where we are seeing this proliferation of devices that need remote and predictive support.

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