Jul 16, 2021

SirionLabs, Empowering True Collaboration and Partnership

Vodafone Procurement Company
4 min
Ajay Agrawal, CEO & Co-Founder of SirionLabs, discusses their fruitful partnership with Vodafone and how CLM enables smarter contracting enterprise-wide

SirionLabs’ CLM solution connects all enterprise teams on a single, easy-to-use platform and delivers real-time insights across the contracting lifecycle for improved risk control, operational resilience and accelerated growth. Bringing a host of benefits, both to the hard and soft sides of contracts and procurement. The setting of baselines and leveraging of the valuable data that lays within contracts after they’ve been signed allows for a fair and democratic process where true collaborations and partnerships can be nourished and mined for further opportunity.

Ajay Agrawal, CEO & Co-Founder of SirionLabs, shares how the alignment of values and the power of CLM have made for an effective partnership with Vodafone. “We believe in the power of cost savings and superior customer experience, and therein lies the synergy between our organisations. What started out as a post-signature value realisation exercise back in 2016 has since grown into a full suite CLM solution encompassing customised pre-signature features to cater to local markets spread over more than 40 countries. Nothing gives me greater happiness than a customer who has been able to gain increased visibility and get a tighter grip over their contracts.” 

“Vodafone has today around 2000 strategic supplier contracts managed through SirionLabs, which oversee a spend of close to 6 billion euros annually. Through our initial discussions, we saw great potential in addressing Vodafone's commercial engagements, tracking and realising value at scale through a myriad of systems that were retrofitted to suit existing infrastructure.”

“Our four-way automated invoice matching solution has contributed to Vodafone’s bottom line, enabling them to save hundreds of millions of dollars. It has also reduced the friction in their supplier landscape, from missed commitments or complaints to disputes or disagreements. Automation also reaps many benefits and has enabled Vodafone to cut costs in contract management and supplier governance by more than 60%, reducing manual effort by almost 50% and generating further savings through reduced headcount cost. Post signature activities have also become smoother and a lot more efficient, with one enterprise contract repository across all suppliers and managing them according to their footprint.”

The effects of the global pandemic and the need for sustainability and innovation have brought to light the need for collaborative partnerships. By leveraging AI and extracting valuable data, SirionLabs’ CLM solution empowers collaboration and continued cooperation and partnership long after contracts have been signed. 

Agrawal explains, “Collaboration is essential to any partnership. That is really the heart and soul of any SirionLabs project. Unlike many conventional contract management systems that create, store, and maybe extract information from contracts, SirionLabs is unique because it allows both the contracting parties to have continued access to the system, even after the contract is signed while giving a single, consolidated view of data, further enhanced by rich dashboards and insights which help make quick business decisions. The purpose of that continued access is true collaboration, across multiple business functions.”

Over 3000 Vodafone users log into the SirlionLabs platform, spanning from sourcing, procurement, contract management, technology, finance, and legal. SirionLabs has also held multiple workshops which  helped Vodafone stakeholders collaboratively monitor obligations and service levels across strategic contracts with thousands of vendors. 

Agrawal highlights the criticalness of AI in mitigating risk, safeguarding profits and managing supplier performance.

“Expectation baselining: This is the notion that logging into the same platform after the signing of a contract allows you to continue to remain in agreement on what each one of us is supposed to do. And this is what we believe true contract performance management really is.  Capturing and measuring KPIs, presenting them through digestible chunks of data, and insightful reports have also become possible after lots of brainstorming. Today, Vodafone is at a stage where predictive intelligence has kicked in, and they're able to predict contract failures proactively as well.”

“One of the most important features of our relationship with Vodafone is the ability to cut across the conventional boundaries of contract creation and storage and be able to integrate with their other enterprise systems. This has allowed us to generate value for them in a way that would not be possible without these systems interoperating with each other, without the use of artificial intelligence.”


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Aug 3, 2021

Future-tech and IXAfrica: Full Life Cycle Expertise

IX Africa
3 min
James Wilman, CEO of Future-tech, on working with IXAfrica on Kenya’s largest hyperscale data centre project.

Future-tech is unique among data centre consultancies for a number of reasons. Not only does the Reading-based firm have high levels of expertise in markets ranging from Helsinki to Johannesburg, but Future-tech offers services across the complete life cycle of a facility. 

 “We are involved with projects from the initiation to completion,” explains James Wilman, Future-tech’s CEO. “We go from initiation phase - which could mean the site selection process or technical due diligence for a merger or acquisition - all the way through establishing the brief, the various design stages, construction oversight, commissioning, operation, end of life cycle replenishment, and can start right back at the beginning with refurbishment.”  

While some factors, like the facility requirements for major tenants, remain the same no matter where you are, Wilman explains that “it's the environmental conditions, construction methodologies, supply chain, and skill sets available in different locations that vary, and that makes this a very interesting job.” 

Future-tech was selected by IXAfrica as the life cycle design strategic partner for its hyperscale campus project in Nairobi, Kenya. Wilman explains that, over the past year, Future-tech has been leveraging its strong local knowledge, working closely with Kenyan architects and engineers, and collaborating with both Guy Wilner and Clement Martineau, to help IXAfrica successfully deliver Kenya’s largest hyperscale data centre. 

“Future-tech did its first project on the African continent in 2012 in Kenya. I've been involved in the data centre space there for a long time, and have known Guy for a number of years through projects and interaction in Europe,” says Wilman. “As the IXAfrica project came into being, Guy and I spoke about it as he knew that we were already quite familiar with the area. We assisted out with the initial planning and project design, and the relationship really grew from there.” 

Wilman adds that the experience helping Future-tech support the IXAfrica project has been hard-won. “It's been a steep learning curve, figuring out how to work in Africa. Some of our earlier projects were quite challenging, but we're fortunate to be at a point now where working throughout the region feels really comfortable,” he explains. “One of the things about Nairobi - which we found out when we were working on our first project in the city back in 2012 - is that, because it's about 1,200 metres above sea level, the altitude actually de-rates the onsite equipment. Having your equipment perform less well because of the altitude can massively impact the whole facility.” Understanding the factors that define a local environment can be the difference between success and disaster for a data centre, and Future-tech’s extensive experience in Kenya is a key supporting factor for IXAfrica’s success in Nairobi. 

Wilman has also developed a strong collaborative relationship with Guy and Clement. “We've got over a gigawatt of design projects going through our office at the moment with different clients, which means that we're always learning new things. What is refreshing about working with Guy and Clement is that when we bring them a new idea, they listen to us,” says Wilman. “We've had a good run in Nairobi with IXAfrica built off of a long relationship, and I hope we get to continue working with them on their future projects.”  

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