Proxima Group specialises in providing procurement outsourcing. Its notable clients include the supermarket Morrisons, Man Group, Prudential and Universal Music. Proxima’s head office is in London, although the company operates globally and has additional offices in Germany and the US. The company addresses procurement as a strategic corporate process rather than a simple procedure of obtaining goods from appropriate suppliers.
Proxima also offers organisations design, spending analysis and finding appropriate supplier services. Proxima offers IT sourcing in cloud, SaaS, technology convergence and new outsourced delivery models. Part of the service the company offers for their clients involves helping them understand what technologies will benefit their business.
Previously called The Buying Team, Proxima developed a new company image which reflects their aim to develop stronger client relationships and exceed the expectations of the organisations that they provide services for. The refresh also came from the aim to more away from cost effectiveness being a focus and instead improved the ‘intimacy’ between the business and their clients.
CIO Katherine Coombs has previously worked for Lloyds banking group and Morrison utilities, a company which provides repairs across social housing in the UK. Coombs has a strong online presence and uses social media and blogs to promote both the companies she works for and her opinions on current trends in technology.
IT leader: Katherine Coombs, CIO.
In role since: February 2011.
Reporting line: CFO.
How often does the CIO you meet with the CEO: Monthly on a one-to-one basis, and monthly as part of the board meeting.
Board level seat: Yes.
IT budget: Opex is £450,000, excluding staff costs.
IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: Every user has a login.
IT staff currently employed: Nine.
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: All in-house.
IT management team and reporting structure: Three direct reports.
Primary technology platforms at the organisation: In-house procurement tool.
Primary technology suppliers: Softcat, Access.
Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Select HR system purchased from Access.
Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: 5%.
Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Recently launched Lync to the company, which has greatly improved collaboration.
Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: Currently spear-heading a “good to great” business transformation programme and in the process of the CIO role becoming transformational; the role has been very operational to date.
Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: “Good to great” programme.
Strategy in the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and how social networking is impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation: Not really impacting us.
Technologies are being considered to enable transformation: SharePoint.
Transformational inspiration sources: Other companies, colleagues, up and coming technology providers.