Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Paula Kennedy Garcia

  • Name: Paula Kennedy Garcia

    Role: Vice President, Concentrix

    University: QUB, BA Modern Languages

    Biography:

    Paula Kennedy-Garcia is Vice President at Concentrix and is charged with Concentrix’ latest disruptive tech play in customer management, Solv™, an award winning innovative technology platform that creates an enhanced customer support ecosystem with crowdsourced support, one which lends itself perfectly to the growing empowerment of our modern workforce that is saying good bye to the traditional 9-5.

    What does your typical day look like?

    I work with a globally distributed team, and we all support a network of globally located clients, so there isn’t really such a thing as a ‘typical’ day, except that you can be sure it will be an interesting schedule and a lot of video calls. Currently the day can begin as early as 6am for Zoom calls with our Technical Development team in Dubai and clients in Asia.

    The rest of the working day is very mixed depending if it involves travel to clients or events, which can be pretty much anywhere in any given month, or working with the team in our Belfast studio when we are planning and amidst key projects. From 3pm, we pick up the US meetings, so we truly travel the world every day, even if it’s not always on a plane!

    What are you currently working on?

    2019 was the year that we launched Concentrix Solv crowdsourcing platform to market and it has been non-stop with technical design and client growth, ever since. We are pioneering new thinking for customer support in the growing gig economy which means we are creating new ways of working technically, legally and logistically that are fundamentally changing how and what we do today. Our work is ever-evolving to the next phases of innovation and we are in the midst of some very exciting new features for the platform and another group of new brands that will join from early 2020.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    Concentrix is a global leader in the customer management industry with over 225,000 staff all over the world. I get to work with the latest in emerging technology, the largest and most exciting global brands and travel and partner with incredible people from all over the world. All that, and work from home. That’s a pretty special privilege.

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    I have grown in the industry towards tech, during the 20+ years I have been in it. I came into the industry by chance, if honest, and my early jobs were customer and client focused, rather than technical, in the traditional sense of the word. As digital services gained speed and tech become more intertwined in our everyday, however, the worlds of Customer and Technology quickly became less separated and it opened new doors in a space that I might not otherwise have explored, simply because I had not necessarily studied to work in that field.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    The fact that every day and every client is different. We look at the business challenges facing organisations and their customers and find new ways to leverage innovation and technology to excel their CX, by doing things differently that they have done before. That means working with everyone from blue chip leaders to start ups on the client and tech sides, and it is that diverse mix that allows for the most innovative thinking, and success.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    Don’t think you have to be a technical expert to work in Tech. Not everything about the industry requires you to have technical specialism or know how to code. We all live and breathe a digital life in a digital economy today, so technology is really just a new norm for us all. The most successful teams pull on skills from all backgrounds - being curious and passionate, having vision and ambition, being great at building relationships and knowing how to articulate the why of tech are attributes you can bring to a company that.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    The gig space that Solv operates in is a total game changer for CX, yes, but it plays a wider role in the future of work and reflects a shift in what we want from life-work balance. The Solv platform unlocks access to income to people in the most remote locations, removes any barriers of physical ability and removes costs and environmental burden associated with a city-first centralized model. Solv unshackles everything traditional about how and when and where we can work from.

    It gives users (Solvers) access to a source of income on their terms, uncapped, and it gives customer end-users a fully flexible and accessible customer support experience that the constraints of traditional delivery cannot offer. In a world that spins on tech, we have put the human back at the heart of what and why we do.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    There have been many great peers and leaders along my career who have encouraged me and given me the freedom to pursue my passions but mostly the inspiration has to come from within. I stress that even more as a female in business, to take the leap of faith to try the next big thing. It’s very likely that nobody has it fully figured out, so it can just as well be you who does.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    The evolution of mobile networks -4G, now 5G. So much great tech has been invented and has changed our daily lives, but its interdependent is the ongoing scale and access of global mobile networks and what that truly has the power to do for medicine, environment, climate and the future.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    Smart phone – an obvious choice but without it, life would be just so much more inconvenient.

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