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Job title: Vice president, products
2015: Vice president, products, RMS
2012: Director, Smarter Care, IBM Watson
2009: Director, industry solutions, business analytics, IBM
2005: Assistant vice president analytic applications, Cognos
2000: Director pre-sales, SAS
common thread, which was the application of technology to
drive better business outcomes: giving a customer actionable
analytics at their fingertips to driver smarter decisions.
A recent highlight was a large primary insurer describing
how the RMS(one) platform, enabled them to understand
the impact of a catastrophic event within hours, rather than
the days it would have taken before. This meant they were
able to provide proactive guidance to key stakeholders across
their organisation and to support their customer base in an
efficient and effective manner.
What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered?
It’s fear. Having to deal with a clients’ fear of new and different
technology is always a challenge. Technology evolves rapidly,
so there is always something new and different around the
corner. In my current role at RMS, I’m surprised to find the
concerns of our re/insurance clients for our solutions using
the cloud. It’s surprising to me because many industries have
been securely leveraging the cloud for a number of years.
The good news is that, with education and a better sense of
how cloud solutions can benefit them, this initial trepidation
can be easily overcome.
If you had chosen a different profession/career path, what
would it have been?
I have always had an affinity for maths and sciences, and I’d
have liked to focus on mentoring young girls to pursue careers
in engineering and technology. I do this on a voluntary basis
with a number of organisations, but if I were an educator I
could do this full time, helping to guide the next generation
of young women into sciences and technology. Women bring
a unique perspective to the domain and we simply don’t have
enough of them.
Farhana Alarakhiya is a software product management and
marketing expert. Her well-rounded experience gained at
companies such as SAS, Cognos, IBM and now RMS, coupled
with a pragmatic attitude, has enabled her to establish a strong
record of delivering business relevant and market driven analytics
across various industries. She has brought that experience to
RMS, guiding it through its delivery to market of the first of the
widely-anticipated solutions on the RMS(one) platform.
Her emphasis has been to ensure RMS solutions enable
clients to avoid ‘drip’—being ‘data rich but insight poor’—
and to tackle customer pain-points.
Alarakhiya is a seasoned global leader, mentor, industry
speaker and technology specialist. She is passionate about
fostering new ideas that bring big data analytics to the point
of business impact.
Why did you choose to work in this industry?
I have a background in electrical engineering and my first
career was in the transportation industry. At that time mobile
technology and the power of data were in their infancy. My
role was to build an automated system to move analysis from
the company’s back-office, where it was done on paper, to
a digitised process for front line workers via a simple, hand-held
device. The job was incredibly rewarding, and I realised
how simple but powerful applications could deliver significant
Years later this same led me to the insurance industry
and to RMS. The insurance industry is on the cusp of a
transformation through the power of data and analytics and
to be able to participate in the delivery of this transformation
is incredibly exciting.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have been quite lucky in my career and constantly exposed to
innovation across multiple industries. However, they all had a
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