"We dream of and actively strive to create a future in which we, together with our customers, use ecosystems to contribute to our society's further digitization for specific societal challenges. This ecosystem-based approach gains us a truer understanding of our customers' business with regard to social issues. We're breaking through our own barriers. We also do this through collaborations with partners like Microsoft, who share our vision and deep commitment to our customers," says Johnny Smets, General Manager at Inetum-Realdolmen. "For this reason, it gives us great pleasure to join their Partner Pledge Program, and we'll be taking action to support this positive initiative in all our operations."
Microsoft's Partner Pledge focuses on four critical goals: acquisition and improvement of digital skills, fostering of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, ethical development and implementation of AI, and working to achieve all of the above in a sustainable way.
Digitization's impact on job content continues to grow in all areas and applications. "That makes it essential to implement a digital mindset throughout an organization: for our own employees and customers, and for their users and end consumers too. Everyone must be able to both acquire and maintain the necessary digital skills. This is the only way we can digitize the ecosystems we strive to establish together with our customers," says Johnny Smets. Inetum-Realdolmen has been a reputable source of IT training in Belgium for 40 years now. The company offers organizations a wide range of quality training options for end users, IT professionals and developers.
"We haven't forgotten our own employees, either," he emphasizes. "There are plenty of training opportunities available for both existing and new employees." One of these initiatives, the Architecture Track, aims to help colleagues with the right technical know-how and experience make the switch to software architecture. Another initiative, the acADDemICT program, transforms recent grads into fully fledged consultants in specific technological domains with the aid of mentoring by more experienced employees. Inetum-Realdolmen also collaborates with VDAB, Flanders' public employment service. By offering Microsoft training courses, they hope to encourage the unemployed to consider a future in IT. All these initiatives have already resulted in 600 or so employees now actively working with Microsoft technologies.
Like Microsoft, the Inetum group believes that the IT industry should both support our society and offer an accurate reflection. “The Inetum Group is present in 26 countries around the world with a collective of 27,000 experts. A diverse workforce is an essential part of an internationally integrated group," says Johnny Smets. Besides, Inetum Group sees diversity as a driver for success. That's why the group maintains a proactive policy on workplace equality and an inclusive labor market – built on gender equality, inclusion of persons with disabilities, the promotion of cultural diversity and intergenerational exchange, and social engagement in general.
Responsible and ethical AI
Inetum-Realdolmen also shares Microsoft's commitment to responsible, ethical AI development. "We believe that this new technology can make a positive change and wish to deploy it towards that goal," explains Johnny Smets. This is also why a few years back, the Microsoft partner organized its R-IoT Games, an Internet of Things (IoT) competition for all Flemish training centers and institutions of higher education. During the hackathon, various teams searched for solutions to social problems through the use of IoT technology. Additionally, Inetum-Realdolmen has developed solutions that are of social significance beyond their own company, such as a smart camera with an algorithm to detect whether people are wearing face masks incorrectly or not at all. They have also helped the City of Leuven deal with excessively noisy students, making the city more liveable for its residents.
Last but not least, Inetum-Realdolmen wants to reduce its ecological footprint. This consistent commitment to sustainability is expressed in the company's mobility policy, among other efforts. Hybrid and electric vehicles are well on their way to becoming the standard and employees are encouraged to complete an eco-driving course. It's also apparent from internal communications, which include frequent tips for employees on the adoption of environmentally friendly habits.
"Like Microsoft, we believe these four priorities are the right thing to do. At the same time, they make sense from a business perspective. Ultimately, a successful digital transition benefits ourselves, our customers and society as a whole," concludes Johnny Smets.
About Inetum-Realdolmen, Positive digital flow
Inetum is an agile IT services company that provides digital services and solutions, and a global group that helps companies and institutions to get the most out of digital flow. In a context of perpetual movement, where needs and usages are constantly being reinvented, the Inetum group is committed towards all these players to innovate, continue to adapt, and stay ahead. With its multi-expert profile, Inetum offers its clients a unique combination of proximity, a sectorial organisation, and solutions of industrial quality. Operating in more than 26 countries, the Group has nearly 27,000 employees and in 2020 generated revenues of €1.966 billion.