Our customers are daily faced with an overload in regulatory volume and change. Wolters Kluwer creates value for customers by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with advanced technology and services to deliver better outcomes, analytics, and improved productivity. Our central technology department (Global Platform Organization - GPO) plays a key role in making domain expertise actionable and advanced technologies available for customers, fueling our evolution into a global expert solutions company.
Erkan Bayar, CFO of GPO, connected with CFO.nl to discuss the transformation of the finance function while staying true to our values of keeping people like our customers and employees at the center. “Assisting our customers with the right solutions in less time, that's what it's all about.” For example, more than 700 expert staff with deep expertise in critical technology and process partner with Wolters Kluwer business across the board to institutionalize a UX-led design way of working much to the benefit of the professionals we serve.
Actionable data, delivered urgently
Artificial intelligence powered solutions and products drive unique value for our customers and, in turn, the customers they serve. To make the data actionable and available at the customers’ fingertips, GPO has grown steadily over the past years. As its Chief Financial Officer, Erkan Bayar plays a crucial role in the department. “The role of finance has been transformed from being a bookkeeper into being a business partner with a focus on strategy,” says Erkan. “What are the scenarios, what is the right decision? In my team (spread across two locations – Alphen and Riverwoods), I need the right skills and resources to streamline processes, people who know about technology. It's all about one truth. The GPO finance team is working towards consolidating and combining different systems into one tool and streamlining processes.”
Erkan Bayar has been at his post for over a year now. When he assumed the position, the financial role within the department was certainly not yet one of sounding board. “We were only executing, and I realized quickly that had to change. Rigorous streamlining of processes, from A to Z and not just financially. It's been relatively successful, it's a long-term process, we have set out the course, and we are now a face.” Like any reorg, the change didn’t happen without a struggle: “I've replaced a portion of the team. Yes, that's cut-throat, because it concerns people. It had to become more of a tech team, the GPO had to operate in a modular way, and have the ability to scale up quickly. As a global expert solutions company, we need to ensure we offer customers in-depth know-how, supported by technology.”
Erkan previously worked as CFO IT, CFO Balkans, Middle East, Africa and Central Asia at CEVA Logistics, an international logistics company with headquarters in Hoofddorp and Houston, and Liberty Global where he held various roles at HQ and the business. He joined Wolters Kluwer, a little over a year ago. “A very nice company founded in 1836. With an atmosphere of innovation, knowledge and start-up energy, tapping into the power of multiple generations. As a result, the transformation from print to digital has gone very smoothly.”
Page updated on February 3, 2020