The enlightened testimony of an Alenian, Production Chain Owner.
Hugo Peureux has been with Alenia Consulting for 3 years and Production Chain Owner at Natixis. His career path and key experiences, required qualities, day-to-day on a mission, Alenia's assets... he tells you everything in this interview!
Sarah Gambie: Hello Hugo, how are you?
Hugo Peureux: Hello Sarah, I'm doing very well, thank you and you?
Sarah: I'm doing very well! Can you introduce yourself?
Hugo: I'm Hugo Peureux, I've been with Alenia for three years and I've been a consultant in banking and market finance for six years.
I started as a technical and functional support for five years: two and a half years at Société Générale and two and a half years at Cacib. I started my mission at Natixis 6 months ago. My mission as PCO (Production Chain Owner) is a sort of mix between CRM (Client Relationship Manager) and Production Owner on the FX, Rates and Credit part.
Sarah: You work on an IT operational mission, what are your daily challenges?
Hugo: It depends on the duration of the mission. The first challenge is integration. Some clients are very well known for having a lot of seniority and processes that are a bit old-fashioned, or even certain separations between internal and external staff. At first, you have to find your place, understand the systems. Then, as the mission progresses, as I mature and develop my relationships, my main challenges will be to ensure that everything is in place and that everyone is aware of the various concerns. Managing communication, the levels of communication essentially and above all understanding the business and IT side.
Sarah: How is the collaboration with your colleagues/clients going?
Hugo: It is going very well. I have a particular framework, I don't have a team as such, I essentially work with team leaders who have their own team. And I work alone with my perimeter referent. They were very welcoming thanks to the transformation mission carried out in parallel by Alenia. The team had already prepared the ground well before my arrival and so everything went very well.
Sarah: With the experience you have accumulated as a Production Owner, is it difficult to adopt a leadership posture in front of the client? To get integrated into the teams? What advice can you give on this topic?
Hugo: It's true that it can be a bit complicated. It depends on the client and the assignment. I'm a pleasant and social type of person. Especially with the jobs I've done, as I told you I did 5 years in support. And in support, the number one rule is to get to know everyone and try to get along with everyone. Because in the end, we ask them to do things with us or for us, which is part of the job. Integration, socialisation and social intelligence, as our friend Xavier Lagarde would say.
Sarah: Did you work mainly in finance?
Hugo: Yes, I was a bartender for a few summers, but that's another story (laughs).
Sarah: In terms of working hours, do you think that being an extern means that you are more committed and therefore work more? Or is it the same as being an employee?
Hugo: It depends, for similar jobs, I think it's the same type of investment in terms of hours and so on. Most of the IT operational missions of a consultant are essentially missions in client teams. The team atmosphere will take precedence over "am I internal or external? From my experience, the workload is not that different.
Sarah: In your current position and functions, do you have a recurrence in your work? What is your day-to-day?
Hugo: Yes, of course (laughs). I'm one of the people responsible for production, not necessarily at an investigative level, but mainly in terms of transferring information and following up on issues. Overall, my day-to-day job is to check the production in the morning. We have a recurring meeting at 9am between IT every morning on global production follow-up, typically on what happened in Asia. And what has potentially happened on the big applications. This allows us to review the incidents and problems of the day.
My job is to ensure the investigation and communication of these incidents and problems. I am responsible for their follow-up. This is essentially my day-to-day job because we have incidents and problems quite regularly, unfortunately. And there's also a contact with the business to get their feedback. I go to see them every morning to take the temperature, and my day is structured according to the problems and incidents. If there are any, that's what I'll follow up during the day. Otherwise, I'll concentrate more on fundamental projects.
Sarah: So today you're interacting between Business and IT, you're the bridge between the two.
Hugo: Right! And there's a top management part that's added on top of that. Because I also have a reporting part to give a fairly clear picture of production at a given moment and to monitor the various developments.
Sarah: What do you like about your job? Why did you choose to work in support?
Hugo: That's a very good question (laughs). I like the world of finance because I find it frank and honest. Typically, every time a new person joined, we tested their limits to see the scope of their skills and possibilities. And then we asked them to do things according to their abilities. And I like that because it allows us to push our knowledge and experience to enrich this field more and more, to go further and further, to know more and more things.
And I love the interaction with different people, which is why I started in Support and continued in Support. Because there is a large social part in addition to the technical part (IT and finance).
Now, with this new position, I have a little less technical work and a lot more social work, more follow-up, and this forces me to adapt to different worlds: the IT world and the business world. And now I'm starting to touch the world of top management a bit. It's very interesting.
Sarah: What do you think are the essential skills for this job?
Hugo: For my current job, you have to be very adaptable and reliable, as I'm going to ask a lot of people to do a lot of things without being their direct manager.
You also have to show and prove that you have technical skills, that you understand what you are doing and that you are trying to show a new vision. That is the goal of my job. Alenia has made recommandations for organisational changes (among others) which have been validated. As a result, I try to give the different teams the means to bring their needs to the attention of top management so that we can achieve this vision.
Sarah: So adaptability, knowing how to be curious, and saying to yourself today I'm doing IT, tomorrow I'm going to be in contact with the business or the top management. Be a chameleon and be open-minded.
Hugo: That's exactly it, the chameleon part is very accurate (laughs).
Sarah: For you, what are the advantages of being a consultant working on operational missions?
Hugo: I started working in a consulting firm by chance. I was supposed to be doing an end-of-study internship and I was contacted for a permanent position by a consulting firm that had seen my CV on LinkedIn.
I said to myself: either I do a 6-month end-of-study internship then look for a permanent job, or I sign a permanent job now. So I jumped on the opportunity. And I ended up in consulting by chance. But this allows me, after all, every two years to be very flexible in terms of assignments.
This is my third assignment, I've worked at Société Générale, CACIB and Natixis, and I could have changed jobs quite easily. The management part allows you to discover many things quite quickly. Whereas internalisation is more about discovering a single place in depth, operational missions allow you to develop an expertise, a knowledge of systems, people and an organisation. I see operational missions at the beginning as a way of discovering different environments that we like. And then, internalisation if you want to go deeper into an environment that you like.
Sarah: So it allows you to have a versatile vision of the jobs, so to speak.
Hugo: That's it!
Sarah: And for the final word, what advice would you give to someone who arrives on a project with a client?
Hugo: Be curious and manage to prioritise your mind and the way you understand the project fairly quickly. Because it's always quite complicated the first few months when you arrive in new environments, you meet new people, it's a new job. You have to manage to compartmentalise and split each layer of learning a little. But always keep learning and being curious.
Sarah: We'll end our interview with these words, thank you for your time and all this information.