An early start for an experience of a lifetime

Wednesday Kim and I had an early start; our taxi took us to the airport at 5am so we were both up at 4am – 11.30pm UK time!

We arrived at the hotel just in time to join the Sopra Steria Community Day in Pune a Share & Support Day in the Sheraton Hotel Pune, the ceremonies started with the lighting of a Deepam, which signifies the removal darkness from the mind and heart of a person. An oil Deepam signifies the light of knowledge, which dispels the darkness of ignorance. It shines itself and causes the objects around it, to shine due to its reflection by giving knowledge, wisdom and intelligence.

After introduction from Gayathri the programme began which included a quiz competition between 8 Sopra Steria supported schools and amazing cultural performances by primary school children and scholars and Sopra Steria staff and even hotel staff. Apart from representatives of schools, children, scholars, we as representatives of 6 countries across Europe also joined in the celebrations with a sing along to Head Shoulders, knees and toes, in each of our native languages, which had everyone on their feet dancing to the same song.

Anil Gokarn was the environment speaker – founder of ProEarth Ecosystems in who process 3.5 tons per day of organic waste processing across 40 odd locations in areas of Pune. His talk and video  on  environmental issues, and particularly climate change, was well received and certainly brought home how this is a global problem that everyone needs to be involved with, seeing so many of the young generations in the room.

The dancing, singing, and guitar playing was of the highest standard and again brought tears to my eyes watching such beautiful performances. Something Kim and I would not have missed for the world. It was amazing to know these young students and scholars had put so much into not only their own educations, but outside of study preparing for this day.

After the event, we had Indian buffet and were able to speak with all of the scholars, students and teachers. The day for me was special, these kids are following their dreams and knowing that Sopra Steria is there helping making the journey even better with the support and encouragement of the SSIF was an honour to see. 

Proof of this was shown in one of the posters at the event of the 660 beneficiaries of the scholarships.

  • 422 completed courses
  • 245 engineering courses completed
  • 5 medicine completed
  • 410 other courses completed
  • With 238 still benefitting from the programme 

Dreams can happen

By John Gough

Digital transformation and organised crime: how Sopra Steria’s expertise could equip Police Forces to reduce offences

Vern Davis, Head of Aerospace, Defence and Security at Sopra Steria, has been featured in the latest issue of ADS Advance to outline how adoption of technological best practices could equip the UK’s Police Force to address the rise in serious and organised crime (SOC). Impacting more citizens than any other national security threat, SOC costs the UK an estimated £37 billion a year – a figure projected to increase if no action is taken in the immediate future.

Currently, information vital for the identification of serial criminals is distributed across local IT platforms; a practice that limits the Force’s ability to share intelligence internally.

In the article Vern outlines how legacy systems, processes and partners could be leveraged to improve the sharing of this vital intelligence, bridging connectivity and data gaps that currently limit the Force’s knowledge management capability.

Read the full article: https://www.adsadvance.co.uk/data-sharing-to-fight-soc.html

Vern Davis wins Business Leader of the Year

Hilton’s Park Lane grand ballroom was the venue for last night’s Ex-Forces in Business Awards and we are delighted to announce that Vern Davis, Managing Director of the UK Aerospace, Defence and Security (ADS) sector was named Business Leader of the Year. The awards is the largest celebration and recognition of ex-military personnel in the UK workforce, and the employers that support current and former members of the British Armed Forces. In line with our pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant, Sopra Steria actively seeks to provide career opportunities for this community and has a number of veterans working in all areas of our business. Vern was recognised for his transformation of the ADS business since joining in 2017.

Vern commented ‘I am delighted to have been recognised in these awards. Sopra Steria has a fantastic culture that really values different backgrounds and experiences, including those of the armed forces community. It is an honour to have been named Business Leader of the Year and I thank my team for all their hard work and support throughout our transformation of the ADS business.’

Bringing together the UK Space Sector

In April, we brought together space leaders and experts across the private, public and academic worlds for ‘Event Horizon – a UK Space Symposium’.

Partnering with The National Security & Resilience Consortium (NS&RC) and Fieldfisher, we held a fantastic day of debate, knowledge sharing and networking – the first steps in building a richer and more dynamic collaborative ecosystem across the space sector.

Throughout the day 60 attendees, from SMEs to large enterprises, academia and not for profits listened to keynote talks stimulating much discussion and idea sharing. Doug Millard, deputy curator of the Science Museum, spoke about the future of space. As well as Alan Brunstrom, from the European Space Agency, on the influence of space on the economy.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, stressed the importance of the innovative technologies SMEs within the space sector are developing. These technologies may lead to the creation of new markets as they address everyday problems in the future.

Vern Davis, Managing Director of Aerospace, Defence and Security for Sopra Steria commented, “We are committed to enabling SMEs in the Space sector. We want to form the kind of relationships where SMEs can focus on growing their business knowing they have a trusted partner that will be with them long term.”

Event Horizon was an extremely positive day for the sector. As a collective, we are committed to shaping the future of the consortium and the UK space sector, together.

If you work or contribute to the UK space sector and would be interested in joining our consortium and future symposiums please complete this form

Sopra Steria’s Vern Davis and Mohammed Ahmed finalists in the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards.

Sopra Steria is delighted to announce that two colleagues have been named finalists in the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards. The awards celebrates the outstanding business achievements of service leavers demonstrating transferable skills gained in the military. This year, the awards attracted over 400 nominations across 18 categories.

Vern Davis, Managing Director of the Aerospace, Defence and Security sector is a finalist in the Business Leader of the Year category. Vern started his career in 1990 as an Army Officer in the British Army. This role took him on operational tours across Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq while building his skillset in operational communications, SATCOM, systems training, operational planning, real estate management and budget control. Today, Vern helps organisations in their digital transformation journey, driven by delivering exceptional customer service. His wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise ensures Sopra Steria’s customers receive bespoke services that fit their needs as well as the best return on investment.

Mohammed Ahmed recently retired from the Royal Air Force as a Wing Commander. During his military career he specialised as an  Aero Systems and Communications Electronics engineer and, for Operational tours during Gulf War 2, he was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen. In August 2018 he joined Sopra Steria as Head of the Acquisition Support Partner for MOD Corsham. In his new role, Mohammed has run a multi-million pound profitable programme and a team of over 60 staff for Sopra Steria.  Within weeks he achieved the highest level of customer satisfaction and a perfect 100% NPS score. Mohammed is a finalist for the Service Leaver of the Year award.

Sopra Steria is committed to supporting the Armed Forces community and demonstrates that through our covenant pledge. We are delighted to also be sponsoring these awards and the category of Innovator of the Year.

Durham Constabulary chooses STORM Command and Control to deliver effective and efficient public safety services

Sopra Steria is proud to announce the recent signing of a three year contract to provide its STORM Command and Control system to Durham Constabulary. STORM enables Durham Constabulary to enhance public service delivery and provide more efficient scheduling of resources.

Sopra Steria and Durham Constabulary have a strong partnership and this contract extends that to a total of 16 years. During this time, Durham Constabulary have been instrumental in providing user feedback to inform product developments as part of the STORM User Group. The User Group, comprised of members from 26 forces, meets biannually to discuss product developments which feed into the Sopra Steria roadmap.

Chief Inspector Steve Long, Head of Force Control Room commented: ‘Durham Constabulary has worked with Sopra Steria for a significant period of time and we have established a good working relationship. It is essential that Durham Constabulary continue to deliver an efficient and effective service to the public and we will continue to build upon our partnership with Sopra Steria to achieve that aim.’

Muz Janoowalla, Head of Emergency Services at Sopra Steria, said: ‘We are proud of our long relationship with Durham Constabulary and delighted to continue working with the force to keep the people of County Durham and Darlington safe.’

My Journey as a Woman in STEM

International Women’s Day has been and gone, but it’s important to think about what the day means. It’s a celebration of women who more often than not don’t get enough recognition for doing what they do – but it isn’t solely about celebrating. It’s also about making efforts to break down gender stereotypes and norms – and this is especially true for women in STEM industries.

While more women are working in STEM than ever before, they still only make-up around one quarter of the STEM workforce in the UK. Even as the UK faces a severe STEM skills shortage – with a recent study forecasting more than 600,000 vacancies in STEM by 2023 – many women still struggle to enter and stay in the STEM-related industries. As women in STEM, it’s important that we share our stories so that those looking to follow the same path know that it is entirely possible and there is always a way in.

So, what about me? I’m currently on a graduate training programme as a digital consultant at Sopra Steria – one of the biggest global tech consultancies in the world. I get to learn my job in a very practical, hands on way. More specifically, my job includes working directly with clients while simultaneously getting involved with our technology teams to figure out how best we can help said clients.

As for my route into STEM, I initially studied Politics and Sociology at Cardiff University – not your traditional STEM subjects. During my study however, I took a couple of modules centred around technology and internet governance and from that, I knew exactly what I wanted to pursue. A couple of years and a nerve racking assessment centre later – I chose Sopra Steria. Beginning my career in digital technologies at a standout organisation that is heralded for its innovative solutions and expertise with female and male role models.

If you’re looking to get into STEM but perhaps haven’t previously studied a STEM subject, don’t be disheartened. It’s important to remember that there a number of routes you can follow. Looking to the future, I want to further develop my knowledge of technology and identify which area I want to specialise in and I believe I am at the right place for it.

Of course, I am at the beginning of my journey but at Sopra Steria, I feel wholly comfortable and proud to be a woman in STEM and have a plethora of colleagues who are passionate about what they do to look up to. It is truly an exciting time to be a woman entering the sector. Never before has it been a better time to put myself out there and try to make as much of a difference as I can. But, it is important to remember that while we have come so far as an industry, there is long road ahead to true equality, and we cannot take our foot off the pedal.

By Lauren Boys – Junior Consultant