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Meet the PAC: Mark Abbas, CEO, GMT Europe B.V.

Meet the PAC: Mark Abbas, CEO, GMT Europe B.V.

May 01, 2015 0 Comments

Mark Abbas, CEO, GMT Europe B.V.

The next Q&A in our “Meet the PAC” series features Mark Abbas, CEO of GMT Europe B.V., an ERP software and services provider exclusively focused on the waste management and recycling industry. A Progress Partner for more than 25 years, GMT is currently a Premier Application Partner and based in Diemen, Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

Partner Advisory Council member Mark Abbas has been with GMT Europe for more than 16 years and also serves as managing director and founder of Wastehub B.V.

Q: From a technical and/or business perspective, what projects or initiatives are you looking forward to most over the next 12 months?

There are so many exciting things going on here, I do not know where to start. GMT is currently rolling out its Internationalisation Program, where we setup an indirect sales channel for our Best of Breed application for the Waste & Recycling Industry. We have a dedicated team working on this program, which includes rebranding of our corporate identity, a go to market strategy for selected countries, recruiting and managing partners and launching our products around the globe with large marketing campaigns.

From a product perspective, we are really looking forward to launching our new release, which includes lots of new stuff. Functional add-ons, UX improvements and an integration of CLEAR and Progress® Rollbase® that allow customers and third parties to use the rapid development capabilities of Rollbase on top of our systems of record. Another thing that we have launched is our CLEAR Connect platform. CLEAR Connect is a uniform app-store style platform where we deploy, manage and configure B2B interfaces without coding.

Last year, as part of our mobile first strategy, we set up a separate team to work on industry-specific mobile apps that scale and perform the way we know they can from our Progress® OpenEdge® platform. In the next 12 months, we will launch more, sometimes truly disruptive, mobile apps that make our customers more productive and more competitive.

Q: What is the next “big thing” that you see happening in your market space, and what are you doing to prepare for it? For example, will new SaaS and Mobile demand create opportunity? Additional functionality in existing apps be a game changer? Internet of Things (IoT) flooding you with innovative ideas? Get out your crystal ball and tell us what the future holds!

Although there are still some stubborn non-believers, we see the Consumerization of IT happening every day. Mobile is no longer a strategy. It is just there.

Tablets are replacing old school on-board computers in waste trucks and the truck drivers just expect them to work without any manuals or training. Currently we are entering the IoT space with an innovative concept to measure the volume of a waste bin with sensors. Bins will tell the truck driver via an app where and when to pick up full bins, and the best way to drive to them. IoT will generate lots of valuable data that we will need to be able to retrieve, analyse and store, and we will rely on Progress technology.

Q: There have been many changes at Progress over the last 2 years—what is most exciting to you and why? This could be technical, business or both.

We are so glad that Progress has regained focus on the Partner channel. Your ability to execute on the strategy, the recent acquisitions and the dedicated team of Progress empower us as Partners to be successful in our business. Most exiting is that Progress is cool again!

Q: What is your advice for a new developer starting out with an amazing idea and wanting to build a business? 

Go for it. Read some blogs, view some YouTube videos and just start! You can probably realize your dream app several weeks quicker than I could when I was 25!

Q: What was your most innovative career moment? 

My most innovative moment of my career was about five years ago. We organized a round table session with our top 10 clients to talk about the future of our industry. When I looked around the table, I saw the representatives of all the big players in the Dutch waste and recycling industry. We were talking about how they could get rid of all the paperwork in their trucks. I thought about the difference these people could make if they could exchange their information in a standardized digital format.

This is where Wastehub was born, and it turned out to kick off a true revolution in the industry. Nowadays, the waste industry has adopted a number of Open Standards for data exchange based on the Wastehub concepts, and many of the transactions flow through our platform.

Find Out More about the Progress Partner Advisory Council

To learn more about GMT, visit the website. Interested in becoming a member of the Progress Partner Advisory Council? Contact Kimberly King at kiking@progress.com.

Stay tuned for our next Meet the PAC post.

Michelle Tackabery

An experienced content and social media marketing professional, Michelle writes frequently about the practical applications of information technology.

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