“People are not afraid to change. They just hate to be forced to change! ”, Dr. Phuong Tram, former Director of Global Information Technology (CIO) of DuPont, a multi-industry corporation with $85 billion in revenue, shared about management change when the company conducts digital transformation.
In 2018, Dr. Phuong Tram decided to retire and leave DuPont after nearly 30 years of contributing to the turning point of the business of Top 500 largest companies in the world, especially the great achievement for Dupont after the digital transformation. To take over of his workload, the DuPont had to recruit two replacements!
“When IT systems are not strong enough, change it. ”
To talk about the former well-known CIO of the IT world, the two outstanding words associated with almost all of his activities are “technology” and “process”.
Since he was a student in Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (Australia), Dr. Phuong Tram showed his strength through articles about computer simulations to control processes and optimize factories in chemical engineering journals and topical journals. Then, he spent 11 years building and managing MRP and ERP systems to help optimize the supply chain of factories at the ICI Australia chemical company. In 1989, he joined DuPont.
At a multidisciplinary corporation with a history of more than 2 centuries, Dr. Phuong Tram is probably not a prominent person from the beginning. But he marked his footsteps with constant efforts and different ways of thinking.
“My luck is to go to many places, cooperate with great partners. From a professional staff, I learned the knowledge of technology that way,” said Phuong. Starting as DuPont’s manager of the Australian branch, he went to Singapore and was quickly promoted to Director of Information Systems and Business Process Improvement. Dr. Phuong Tram has successfully implemented a management system (SAP R3), solving the problem of increasing customer service competitiveness and increasing revenue for the company in the large Asia-Pacific market. So in 2000, he was assembled to his mother company in the United States.
Talking about the reason DuPont had to do digital transformation, or rather, applying technology to optimize DuPont’s business processes, he just laughed: “I have been through many professional positions, from the administration, distribution, trade, security, strategy. My “pain” was that the company’s IT system was not strong enough to support me at work. So I have to change it! ”
From the global digital transformation leader of the billion-dollar corporation
In his role, he leads DuPont’s IT and Processes world-wide, focusing on direct IT support for business units, functional units and active area. He initiated, built and completed minimal business infrastructure in 28 countries, enabling DuPont to run digital businesses that it controlled seamlessly and easily at low cost.
At the age of 53, he officially became a global CIO in charge of the IT & Process segment of the giant DuPont, managing a $500 million budget with 1200 employees under his command. This is also a golden period of DuPont, and Dr. Phuong Tram is a significant factor contributing to that.
He partnered with Microsoft to set up and operate the largest Azure cloud computing environment, including thousands of servers; together with SAP to consolidate and create 4 global servers, making DuPont the first company to design and operate SAP Hana Data Hubs; and wth AT&T created Netbond, a secure cloud communication method, that connects open source APIs to the entire cloud computing environment such as Salesforce, SoftLayer, Azure …
DuPont has become a typical company for pioneering technology use to create business strengths, the first company to use Window 365 to replace obsolete LotusNotes. DuPont is also the first company to launch an e-commerce model that helps reduce costs, improve customer service in Brazil, Singapore and grow to more than 20 other countries worldwide.
With a clear and integrated digital conversion strategy, Dr. Phuong Tram helped DuPont save more than $1.6 billion in information technology costs, reduce 80% of order processing time, create more billions of dollars in profits useful for the corporation. In short, he put DuPont’s name into one of the world’s most successful business models of digital transformation.
To the desire of a Vietnamese child
In 2019, the renowned talented warrior decided to return to Vietnam to cooperate with FPT as the Chief Advisor of Digital Transformation. He said: “As a Vietnamese, I want to help the Vietnamese company become a world-class company. In addition to its strong technological capacity, FPT also owns an education system to create high-quality human resources for digital transformation, with an ambition to become a global corporation. If FPT succeeds, this will be a model for other businesses to work towards, contributing to bringing Vietnam to the world map. ”
With the capacity and experience of implementing digital transformation for the world’s leading corporations and Dr. Phuong Tram advice, FPT announced that it would transform into a digital enterprise, becoming one of the rare enterprises operating based on Near – Real time Data or so called Driven Enterprise, improving labor productivity and strong growth rate by innovation and application of 4.0 technologies.
Recently, in the dialogue with the top 30 largest enterprises in Vietnam in digital transformation, one of his most memorable statements was: “Think big, but make baby steps smartly.” In the current era when technology is creeping into every corner of social life, the sooner a business recognizes and seizes opportunities, the earlier that business will win. That is what DuPont did 7 years ago, which is also a great encouragement for the determination of every Vietnamese enterprise to be ready to transform. And more than anyone else, Dr. Phuong Tram knows how to do it.