Between fatherhood, living on different continents and speaking two languages, and running his own home renovation company, there’s no question that Brad Foster, Head of Digital Transformation at Atos (Maven Wave’s parent company), has an eclectic set of passions. At Atos, Foster embodies that eclectic passion by building cross-functional teams that deliver transformational results to customers. We appreciate Foster for taking the time to speak with us for this month’s spotlight. Check out the full interview below.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I started my career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and, eventually, left to be a part of a start-up company called Fathom Solutions. After growing Fathom and being acquired by Cognizant, I took a break from consulting and started a home renovation company in Chicago, which I ran for eight years. As the cloud market started blossoming, I decided to jump back into consulting and joined Maven Wave. I have now been a part of the Maven Wave and Atos team for the past nine years.
I currently reside in Tampa, Florida. I’m married and have three kids: a 6-year-old daughter, a 22-year-old son, and a 25-year-old son. My wife and sons are Brazilian, so we spend lots of time with family in Brazil.
Tell us about your role at Atos.
As the Head of the Digital Transformation Team in North America at Atos, I am heavily focused on delivering business outcomes for our clients by bringing together the cross-functional talent that is required in today’s fast-moving market. These teams consist of digital consultants, solution architects, experience designers, data engineers, data scientists, security consultants, industry SMEs, and sustainability consultants. Ultimately, we try to identify an important outcome for a customer, define the solution, build a rapid (i.e., three months) MVP solution for the customer, and then scale the solution if the value has been proven.
What are the top highlights of your career so far?
- Starting and growing Fathom Solutions
- Running my own home renovation business
- Growing Maven Wave into an award-winning Cloud powerhouse
What is your favorite part of working at Atos?
The people. I am personally more motivated when I work in teams. When you have success, it’s fun to celebrate together. And when times are tough, it’s great to know that we all have each others’ backs and will find a way to get through it. For me, it has always been essential to build strong teams. When you hire “X-Factor” talent, it makes a motivating and fun place to work.
Which of the 7 C’s is most meaningful to you and why?
The most meaningful of the 7 C’s is compelling work. I always believe if you provide people with compelling work that it fuels so many things. I like to come to work to try to achieve that feeling of making an impact. That impact can be delivering something great for a customer, mentoring an employee, or building a new partnership. With meaningful work, employees are typically happy, make strong contributions, and are growing their careers.
Where do you see the cloud market in the next few years?
I think we see the underlying parts of cloud (e.g., storage, servers, containers, etc.) are becoming a commodity. Going forward, there will be much more focus on the value companies can create on top of the cloud platforms. Industry solutions will become a big focus. The desire to get more value from data will continue. And new emerging areas like Metaverse will create new markets and experiences that all need high-powered and scalable platforms — both centrally and at the edge.
I also think the cloud is going to become distributed and fairly ubiquitous. Imagine the entire world operating in the simplistic way all of the devices and applications in our homes operate with our Wi-Fi networks. Between edge devices getting smaller and more powerful, the arrival of 5G networks, and applications becoming easier to secure, manage, and operate with things like containers, it’s going to accelerate the distributed cloud environment. It’s cool but also scary. Will we ever be able to get “off the grid”? Haha.
What goals do you have for your team in 2022? What are your long-term goals?
In 2022, I am trying to organize our talent and capabilities into a clear set of offerings and cohesive teams. In North America, Atos has grown through a series of acquisitions. We have a lot of great talent and abilities spread around the company, but it often goes unknown by our own teams or clients. If we can pull it all together more effectively, we will have a multiplier effect on our ability to serve clients — as well as a positive cultural impact on our people.
Starting in 2023, we should be able to accelerate our pursuit of new areas. I want to see our Digital Transformation team be a recognized leader in industry solutions (healthcare is a passion of mine) that provide world-class experiences and are powered by emerging technologies like digital twins, immersive solutions, and blockchain.
What is something about you that always surprises people?
That I ran a home renovation business for many years. People are surprised in the beginning but then usually start asking me for advice on the home renovation project they are considering.
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
- Doing home renovation projects
- Playing and watching sports
- Attending concerts
- Spending time with my family — which usually involves something above!
Rapid Question Round
- Brand new or vintage? Vintage
- City or countryside? City
- Introvert or extrovert? Introvert
- Music or podcasts? Music
- Karaoke: Singing or spectating? Singing
- Comedy or drama? Comedy
- Art, science, or history? Science
- Early bird or night owl? Night owl
- Fiction or nonfiction? Nonfiction
- Planning it or winging it? Weirdly both
- Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii
- Favorite season: Summer
- What you’re currently listening to: Brazilian Music – Seu Jorge
- Recommend one movie, TV show, book, or podcast: The Last Dance (I grew up a huge Michael Jordan fan…but then again, who didn’t?)
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