AvePoint’s Mario Carvajal on empowering partners through digital transformation

This week’s Five-Minute CIO, AvePoint CTO Mario Carvajal, discusses digital transformation and the tech trends changing his industry.

Mario Carvajal is chief technical officer at US software company AvePoint, where he has worked for more than 10 years. Here, he discusses the company’s cloud API framework, mistakes that were made during the digital transformation process, and ways we can better protect data in the future.

‘When we speak with enterprise organisations and our partners about digital transformation, we often say it’s more than implementing discrete technologies. We know this because we have lived it’

Tell me about your own role and your responsibilities in driving tech strategy.

In my current role, I provide leadership in driving the strategy and growth of AvePoint’s product lines that migrate, manage and protect SharePoint and Office 365 data. This builds on more than 20 years’ experience delivering technology-differentiated solutions to private, public and international customers.

My role is also customer and industry-facing, which includes consulting with customers to develop solutions for their needs and forming key partnerships.

Are you spearheading any major product or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

At AvePoint, we continue to work toward the enablement of digital business services by expanding our cloud API framework. AvePoint’s public cloud services is the embodiment of an architectural layer that brokers an enterprise’s productivity services core capabilities with the digital application ecosystem that channels those capabilities into new business models.

Our customers and partners will greatly benefit from this business process automation layer – this is work that is helping our customers and partners transform their organisations into a cognitive enterprise. It will help our partners mature their program to standardise and simplify operational processes across all their markets.

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How big is your team? Do you outsource where possible?

Our R&D organisation is over 700 strong and we look to organic growth as much as possible. We do have an existing and growing ecosystem of partners for specific scenarios where outsourcing is a good fit.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation and how are you addressing it?

When we speak with enterprise organisations and our partners about digital transformation, we often say it’s more than implementing discrete technologies. We know this because we have lived it. More so, our CEO even wrote a blog about the mistakes we made during our own digital transformation.

At AvePoint, we focus on creating an array of technology-related assets and business capabilities, which we like to call Digital Business Transformation Services. This is a type of approach that can help our customers and partners accelerate their journey of becoming a digital master.

While focusing on transforming back-office operations first is less risky, we believe that focusing on customer-facing or end-user-facing functions may help produce market impact more quickly. Our goal is to empower the organisation with agility in implementing technology infrastructure that balances security and privacy needs with flexible capacity according to business demand.

Additionally, another example is empowering our channel partners with AvePoint’s Public Cloud Infrastructure services. These services help aggregate under-utilised data by embedding it into product, services and operations to increase efficiency, revenue growth and customer engagement.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically at the moment?

Digitising end-user engagement is a trend that seems to be shaping the way enterprises transform their IT services. Implementing and continuously recalibrating processes that make the most of both human and technological capabilities consistently produces positive outcomes and frees up resources for higher-value actions.

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One example of this is our virtual assistant technology for better end-user engagement. We are working with managed service providers (MSPs) to drive a customer experience using AI coordinated with human interactions that are useful and efficient in immersive engaging environments.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

In general, a well-thought-out data governance framework will ensure that the organisation complies with the regulation and does not develop bad practices in the misuse of data.

We believe that a robust data-governance framework has the right balance of transparent and non-transparent controls. This way, every end-user interaction with the data will remain within the context of their role and area of responsibility.

Our work with partners and customers is to establish a mission of data protection that is designed to protect information from unauthorised retention, use, disclosure, modification or destruction. We accomplish this through a series of automation layers which drives policies, procedures, guidelines and technical security architecture efforts.

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