Interview Series: Damu Nair, Managing Director- Project Management Organization and Quality Assurance

How long have you been at Utegration, and how did you first get involved with the company?

I have been at Utegration for 2 years. However, I have been familiar with Utegration for a long time, starting from when I used a lot of Utegration resources on an IBM project. I was impressed with the Utegration’s expertise and delivery capabilities.

Can you explain in simple terms what your practice area does at Utegration?

I am the Managing Director for the Project Management Organization (PMO) and Quality Assurance along with our Testing Center of Excellence. PMO oversees all of Utegration’s client projects including core consulting delivery. We want to ensure that we meet our client’s goals and business interests by executing projects on time and in budget, and with quality deliverables. We also provide testing services to our clients in both advisory and delivery.

How have technological changes in recent years affected your practice area?

The SAP technology landscape and ERP landscape have traditionally been heavy on premise, so with the shift to cloud, the methodology of delivery is going to change a lot. We are going through this transition as well as helping our clients with it. In the end, technology is going to drive the adoption of cloud focused project delivery. Along with this, we are also seeing a significant shift to test automation. With the cloud offerings it is imperative that you have very robust regression test capability to keep up with the frequent updates.

What are some of the industry trends you see affecting your practice area?

We are seeing more commonly a shift from solely project management to program and portfolio management. Many of the projects we manage have multiple vendors. Now instead of just managing one part of project, we are managing the entire program. A recent example is with one of our AMI projects, where Utegration managed the program delivery, including other vendors.

What are your goals/vision for your practice area?

The main thing is that within the professional services industry, the PMO organization is shifting in responsibilities. We want to focus on being relevant by continuing to add the right business value to the client. Traditional roles are changing, so not only do we need people that can understand the project, but they also need solution knowledge and to understand how to deliver the business value.

Utegration has well-rounded people with the project management capabilities, solution knowledge, and implementation experience. We do a lot of training and boot camps that focus on enriching these skills for our project managers and consultants. We are also growing, and with that we are identifying people within our organization with a good foundation of product knowledge and then adding the project management aspect to that.