Booking.com awards for women in tech recognises KPMG consultants

23 February 2018 Authored by Consultancy.uk

Two female consultants of KPMG Advisory – Galyna Ignatenko and Tammi Horn – have been recognised by Booking.com as role models for women in consulting and technology.

In Autumn 2017, Booking.com, one of the world’s largest travel e-commerce companies, announced the launch of its 'Technology Playmaker Awards'. The awards aim to celebrate and recognise women who play a leading role in the transformation of businesses, industries, and communities through the use of disruptive technology.

Now, the group has released its shortlist of finalists from ten European countries, with the winners set to be announced at a special ceremony on 8th March 2018 in London. The awards include 10 categories which celebrate many aspects of technology including entrepreneurship, innovation, community impact, and technology leadership, while an overall grand prix award will be awarded to the female technology leader whom the judges consider to be the most impactful individual in the European technology space. 

Among the nominees are two representatives from the Dutch arm of global professional services firm KPMG. Galyna Ignatenko and Tammi Horn from KPMG have both been shortlisted, for the Innovator of the Year and Rising Star gongs, respectively.

Technology Playmaker Awards 2018

Galyna Ignatenko

Galyna Ignatenko first arrived in the capital city of the Netherlands from Kyiv, having won an Amsterdam Merit Scholarship, in 2008. Upon completion of her Mathematics study at the University of Amsterdam, Ignatenko joined KPMG in April 2011.

"From that moment on, she worked hard on the way in which we use KPMG technology for projects for our customers," according to Karina Kuperus, who is responsible for technological innovation at KPMG. Kuperus added, "In the first period it was difficult for Galyna to make her ideas successful. However, she persisted and sought space to further develop her ideas and contribute to technological innovation within KPMG. Her own approach as a Ukrainian played an important role in this, because she presented new ideas that others did not have.”

Having learned an important lesson in her early days at KPMG – that technology in and of itself is not enough to help an idea succeed – Ignatenko joined KPMG's innovation team, where she successfully completed two new projects in the past year. The first was an internal accelerator to harvest ideas on how KPMG could celebrate its 100 year anniversary, aimed at stimulating and collecting innovative ideas within KPMG. Ignatenko and her team opted to use the Innovation Factory, an online platform based on machine learning, enabling all 2,800 KPMG people to contribute their ideas for the services of the future.

The second project was the realisation of the KPMG Escape Room, a space where attendees supported by IoT technology are taken on a journey past the KPMG of the past, today and tomorrow. The project team partnered with Boom Chicago and after the room opened in March 2017 and was extended several times due to its success. Currently, more than 1600 colleagues, clients and potential colleagues have escaped from KPMG’s past to the future. Both projects illustrate Ignatenko’s growth in her role, and show how technology can be used to supplement an innovative idea, leading to her nomination for the Innovator of the Year category.

Tammi Horn

Tammi Horn, who is nominated in the Rising Star category, has a background in Finance and Business Controlling and she has taken that knowledge and work experience as a stepping stone to build and leverage software solutions. Horn joined KPMG in April 2016, and is part of the Smart Tech Solutions team, which develops smart software solutions that provide clients with 24/7 insight into their business operations, improves their performance and automates work processes. Over the past two years, she has helped KPMG to turn technology into a competitive advantage by supporting the development of different software ideas in their path to maturity. Again, KPMG highlights two products in particular which showcase her success at the firm.

Galyna Ignatenko and Tammi Horn

According to Kuperus, "Tammi has contributed to the development of the GDPR tool, software that automatically detects privacy issues with the aid of machine learning, enabling customers to comply with new European privacy legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG), which will enter into force on 25 May 2018.

The solution for GDPR compliance – a e-discovery platform which uses machine learning to detect privacy issues automatically – originated from a partnership with a Dutch startup. While the basic back-end technology was already there, Horn guided the entire product development of this new use case from ideation, over designing and building the product, to selling it.

Kuperus added, “Tammi has also worked on a tool that automates the invoices flow and bookkeeping of companies by means of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Tammi has introduced this software solution on the Romanian market, where several pilots are now running. "

The Invoice Automation solution is designed for introduction to the Romanian market, and again, the product is part of a partnership with a FinTech50 startup from the Netherlands. The solution can benefit large corporates in a number of ways, using Robotic Process Automation to increase the quality of the invoicing process and to lower operational costs. The product has been sold various times now and she took the lead in the latest client conversation in Bucharest to sell a Proof of Concept for €15,000.

Employer of the Year

In the 'Employer of the Year' category, Accenture have been confirmed as a finalist. The firm is up against business and financial software company Intuit, which develops and sells financial, accounting, and tax preparation software, and Workday, an on‑demand financial management and human capital management software vendor which provides Cloud ERP alternative solutions for the financial services sector.

Accenture were recently named as being among the top consultancy employers in Europe by the Top Employers Institute. The US-headquartered company was rated highly for its career and succession planning strategy, driven in part by the recent launch of a global career architecture programme that introduces specific key performance indicators (KPIs) across its footprint to provide a clear career path to its associates.

The firm is focusing on building its capacity in the technology at present, following a veracious campaign of acquisitions in 2018. A number of these purchases were used to bolster Accenture Technology, which earlier in February released an AI testing service to help firms ensure their RegTech solutions provide accurate and rapid performance.

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