“The key is to always have a team of people who are involved and up to the task”.

A conversation with Jorge del Olmo
Jorge del Olmo

Jorge’s day is spent between lines of code, strategy meetings and the feel of carefully carved wood. A lover of nature and the natural world, his commitment to sustainability is reflected in all his decisions. Both personal and professional.

Jorge recommends…

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Hi Jorge, tell us something about you…. What is your role at Fonestar?

My journey at Fonestar began in 2012 when I was hired to create a new website. The design was decided, but there was nothing written about architecture or how to manage the content, so since then I have dedicated myself to creating and optimising functionalities so that the Fonestar team can configure and display the information in the most agile way possible, as well as improving the fluidity of communication with our clients.

Currently, in addition to the more technical part, programming, functional analysis or system architecture studies, I am responsible for coordinating the best team of programmers I have had the pleasure of working with so far in my professional career.

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What do you like most about your job?

There are many things I love about my work. I couldn’t just pick one!

– I really enjoy the human time with other people designing and analysing processes and then giving them a technical dimension.

– I also love, on the contrary, to have that space of concentration to be alone in “my bubble” solving problems in the conceptual and purely logical world of code.

– I like to know the ins and outs of our personal approach to every business need.

– I am passionate about learning and improving, both on a technical and human level, and fortunately this is something that I have been doing at Fonestar on a daily basis.

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What have been the main technological challenges Fonestar has faced in recent years and how has it overcome them?

The technological part is always the easiest 😊.

When the strategy is clear and good objectives are set, technology is only our ladder to achieve what we are looking for. In this area, Fonestar has undergone a major change in recent years, from the new ERP to which we adapted in 2018/19, including the adoption of 365 as an internal tool, the new architecture based on a centralised API system from which many of our systems are powered and our new Web + Client area, with a renewed impetus from the digital marketing team, this has led to a huge improvement in the way we interact with our customers.

In all these projects (and in all other smaller projects) the key is always to have a team of people involved and up to the task.

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What is your process for managing innovation in the development of new technologies?

In recent years, Fonestar has made a major technological leap forward. That is why relatively recently we can proudly assume that we are no longer lagging behind the needs and can finally manage innovation instead of simply implementing the requested functionalities.

In this respect I am personally very focused on creating the right atmosphere of collaboration and creativity in the IT team, where there is full freedom to come up with ideas and solutions. We then evaluate these proposals based on criteria such as their potential impact, technical feasibility, scalability, security and of course alignment with the company’s strategic objectives.

If necessary due to the complexity of the idea, a (time-bound) research and development process is initiated, including prototyping, proof of concept and/or feasibility analysis.

In the implementation phase we work in close collaboration and regular follow-up with the other teams to ensure that the innovation is aligned with the expectations and objectives of the business.

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How do you determine which technologies are relevant to the company and which are not?

Nowadays, it must be assumed that there will probably always be many valid technological options to achieve the same objective. It is just a question of finding the most appropriate way forward based on the lowest cost of resources. There is always a first opening phase in which we analyse the possibilities available. Those that do not meet Fonestar’s strategic needs and those that would require more resources to implement are discarded.

Other important factors are security, scalability, current market demand, learning curve, impact on innovation, return on investment, etc….

On the other hand, it should be remembered that technologies need to be assessed on a regular basis to ensure that they remain relevant as the business environment evolves.

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How do you keep up with the latest technology trends and ensure Fonestar is up to date?

In addition to being subscribed to various sources of information relating to this sector, this is a natural part of our IT team and active communication with our external consultants, management and the rest of the teams.

New things come up all the time, but I think that just by having the right amount of passion and admiration for today’s world, the options come naturally 🙂

“Learning to deal successfully with emotions and the human psyche is undoubtedly the greatest and most exciting challenge in the leadership of any project”.

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What are the main challenges you face in leading technology development projects?

As I have been saying in previous answers, the real challenges are always in the human dimension! On a technical level, both my teammates and I really enjoy designing solutions to the technical challenges that arise. Learning to deal successfully with emotions and the human psyche are undoubtedly the greatest and most exciting challenges in the leadership of any project 😊.

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What has been one of the most successful technology projects you have led and what factors do you think contributed to its success?

One of the recent projects that we have tackled in the last year, and which is still in its life cycle with ongoing developments, has been the internal management of the Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) process.

We have invested a lot of resources in this project and it has turned out to be a very robust process despite the complexity involved.

Clearly the main factors that have contributed to the success of its implementation have been several:

– We were able to devote sufficient time to analyse and design in detail all the enormous caseload, with the necessary resources and the confidence of the management.

– We have applied several powerful technological strategies such as the state machine that supports only appropriate transitions based on the conceptual design.

– Good and constant communication with the Logistics, TSS and CS teams, who are ultimately the real users of the implementation, was an essential factor.

Finally, and without a doubt, a very important factor was having the right team of professionals who “pitched in” and helped the project to progress correctly.

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How do you collaborate with other departments to ensure that technology solutions are effectively integrated into the company?

For me, the three key concepts are: Communication, planning and follow-up.

While it can sometimes be a challenge to maintain sufficient energy doses in these three concepts, they can make the difference in achieving good technology integration.

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What technology trends do you think will have the biggest impact on our industry in the coming years?

Technology today is growing too fast to claim to be a prophet hehe, but clearly AI has already made its way into our lives and it has only just begun.

On the other hand, BlockChain technology for the first time in the history of mankind brings the possibility of maintaining decentralised information without depending on a central power to maintain it.

I am convinced that both are going to bring us major cultural changes much faster than we can imagine. Our challenge as humanity is to be able to adapt at the right speed without getting lost along the way 😉