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May 28, 2019

Digital transformation with passion and expertise

There's a new face at UID Munich: As of April 2019, our new Director Business Transformation, Armin Vakili, is in charge of the Munich sales department. Thanks to his long years of experience in business transformation, he also pursues the adaptation and advancement of our service portfolio. He supports the agilization of the company, assisting the UID team in growing targeted sales activities. And one thing is for sure: He has many plans for his new position, accompanied by a great amount of passion and enthusiasm. In the following interview, he talks about his visions for UID, his previous career and even shares some personal insights.

Armin, please tell us what made you join UID. 

In the past, I have been dealing a lot with holistic agile delivery models and had the opportunity to create sustainable and integrated solutions for customers from around the world in cooperation with renowned international design agencies. My last position was at Accenture Interactive, where I was responsible for strategic planning, realization and implementation of digital solutions and their respective operating models, and supported customers in their agile transformation. There was a great demand for such transformation services, not only in large corporations but increasingly in German SMEs, too. This development made me think about suitable services and strategies for these target groups, the question being: What implementation approach for agile business models is able to push intrinsic change while sustaining market relevance, even on a global scale? In this context, UID is a good example: We are trying to tackle the challenges and consequences of the new digital world and have already started to take agile restructuring measures ourselves. I want to be part of this process and pursue an integrated approach for the UID operating model together with my new colleagues in order to consolidate our current portfolio and to create new digital UI services.

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Sounds like you have a true vision in mind. What does that mean in practice? 

Let me elaborate a bit on this: Apart from my passion for agile topics, I have been dealing with Disributed Sensoric for a long time. The idea that everything around us will one day be controlled by sensors truly amazes me. This may be a new UI solution for controlling your home. Physical switches may be replaced by an AI-controlled sensor coating which distinguishes the touch intensity of individual family members and adjusts their personal settings in the connected home.

Or the interactive car interior which recognizes passengers based on their digital footprint and adjusts to their personal preferences to make the journey as pleasant as possible for the user (mood, interfaces, speed, temperature, etc.). These are two scenarios that exemplify the challenges, but even more so the possibilities of connected and distributed sensoric. A virtually endless and extremely exciting field for the future…

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Here at UID, our team consists of UX experts, researchers, designers, psychologists, software developers, ethnologists and many more who have been working with smart user interfaces and HMIs for more than 20 years, boasting more than one million hours of hands-on experience. I believe that this team has the necessary expertise to scrutinize such complex questions of the world of tomorrow and to develop smart interaction systems and services for and with SMEs. I am sure that all of this, combined with new methods and tools, is a perfect ecosystem – my vision.

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Okay, I can see that you've got big plans. And I feel a great deal of passion and enthusiasm on your side. In general, is this something that's important for you?

Yes, this is what it's all about, and our customers benefit from it. Passion for what you are doing is a spark that we need to turn into a flame. So we need the right leaders and a common vision in our teams in order to generate a mission. When we look closely at how successful digital companies work, we can see that the top-down principle is a thing of the past and that these companies have become so successful thanks to their constructive and passionate teamwork. Flat hierarchies and creative freedom add their part and foster resourcefulness and enthusiasm.

Enough of digital transformations – what are you passionate about in your private life?

I haven't got much of a private life since I travel a lot for business. But that doesn't matter – the job is my passion. Even in my spare time, I like to share my ideas of digital transformations as a presenter and lecturer. But my greatest passion clearly is my daughter – I spend every spare minute I have with her. And when I'm away, we have a Facetime date every night, talk about the day and what happened in our lives. Apart from that, I like arts, museums, basketball, my PS4 and spending quiet days with my dog in the beautiful nature of Munich.

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Interview by Roxanne Oestergaard

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About Armin

Armin grew up as the son of an Iranian engineer and an Austrian banker in the Middle East and, from an early age, had to come up with solutions for all sorts of Problems – and is still doing so today. In the past 17 years, he developed and implemented agile IT strategies, accompanied by the respective delivery management, in companies such as Designit, Frog and Accenture. In these jobs he had the opportunity to work as a consultant for innovation and transformation management with large brands such as Ikea, Lidl, Lufthansa, Deutsche Telekom, Audi, and many more. And his studies in computer sciences and marketing as well as his training as a certified agilist and agile coach have perfectly equipped him to develop and push innovations and transformations.