About eccinternational

ECCI is an innovative knowledge-based solutions provider. We partner with organizations and help them achieve performance excellence through our portfolio of process improvement consulting, organizational learning solutions, technology interventions for process automation and managed training services. Headquartered in the Philippines and sporting presence in 6 countries across South and South East Asia, ECCI caters to a wide array of customers across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

APEX Global runs 1st Joint Knowledge Forum with SHRM on The Future of Learning & HR

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APEX Global, the learning solutions arm of ECC International has recently partnered with SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) from USA to bring professional development solutions for HR practitioners in the Philippines. Together with SHRM, APEX Global jointly run the 1st Knowledge Forum focused on whats in store for global corporations – both big and small and how HR will play a crucial role in shaping this future.

This forum was held at the Mandarin Oriental, in Makati City this 10th April 2014, and was well attended by senior HR executives from banking, financial services, manufacturing, Outsourcing / BPO, government agencies and IT companies. The group had several meaningful exchanges and a lively discussion in the field they get to oversee – HR & Learning.

Some of the key highlights / strategies for the future shared from the presentation included

1. Grow from Within – Need for organisations to focus internally for future leaders rather than outside

2. Business Partner Approach – Shifting towards the setup of ‘HR business partner’ model rather than viewing HR as a support department

3. (Re)Building Employer Brand – Creating new strategies to retain performers and reduce recruitment related costs

Keeping the extensive interest among the participants, SHRM’s professional certification programs will be launched in the Philippines starting May 2014.
          HRMP (HR Management Professional) – May 26-28 2014

For more information about the courses, pre-requisites and the value of the professional certification, please email us at training@eccigroup.com to contact you with details.

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ECCI becomes AA 1000AS (AccountAbility) licensed assurance services provider

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In its continuing growth as the leading sustainability solutions provider across Southeast Asia (covering Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia), ECC International (ECCI) has been accredited and awarded the status of licensed AA 1000AS assurance service provider in the region by AccountAbility, UK – a leading global organisation providing innovative solutions to the most critical challenges in corporate responsibility and sustainable development.

 AccountAbility’s AA1000 series of standards have become the gold standard in the industry for performing assurance of non-financial reports, more popularly developed into sustainability reporting. The AA 1000 series are principles-based standards to help organisations become more accountable, responsible and sustainable. They address issues affecting governance, business models and organizational strategy, as well as providing operational guidance on sustainability assurance and stakeholder engagement. The AA1000 standards are designed for the integrated thinking required by the low carbon and green economy, and support integrated reporting and assurance.

 Having become a licensed assurance services provider, ECCI is now vested with the responsibility and privilege to carry our external third party assurance of sustainability reports (commonly called CSR reports and ESG reports) for organisations that are interested to get a credible statement as well as global recognition of their sustainability commitment.

 “With the unprecedented growth that the ASEAN market is experiencing there is an increasing interest among stakeholders (investment community, public sector, top management and consumers) for responsible profit and strong risk management in private sector. Practicing sustainability reporting to communicate one’s sustainability commitment and pursuing a credible third party to accredit this is seen as a good way to address such stakeholder needs. We are happy to be able to provide sustainability assurance services for companies in the region. Our 15 years of experience in this domain and geography will give us the right advantage of global expertise coupled with local knowledge!” said Karthik Subburaman, Country Manager, ECC International.

 ECCI is the leading sustainability solutions provider spanning assessment, strategy, training and assurance services with over 1000 customers in the last 15 years. Under the domain of Corporate Sustainability & Governance, ECCI works closely with its customers in the following areas – Energy Management, Sustainability Reporting, Corporate Responsibility & Governance, Carbon Neutrality & Climate Change. Some of the key management systems and best practices that ECCI helps its customers implement include ISO 14001, OHSAS 18000, ISO 26000, SA 8000, GRI G4, UNGC, ISO 50001, PAS 2050 and PAS 2060 amongst others.

GRI G4 – Quick Look on what’s hot and what’s not!

By Karthik Subburaman, Country Manager, ECCI Group

GR4 logoGRI guidelines has been the globally accepted gold standard in non-financial reporting over the last decade . But with several questions around the credibility of the basis for rating companies as superior vs otherwise using applicability levels and different types of assurance, improvement of the guidelines for sake of clarity and better hold of the sustainability context was imperative.

GRI G4 – the next generation guidelines was released last thursday (May 23) officially at the Global Reporting Initiative Conference held in Amsterdam between May 22-24 2013. A bi-annual affair, this year’s event attracted close to 1600 practitioners from over 60 countries – with exactly equal number of men and women registrations. The script for inclusiveness and equality could not have been written better…

The G4 guidelines was touted to be an enhancement of the G3.1 guidelines in many areas while several of the components have been retained. Largely, some key objectives the guidelines that this change aims to achieve include:

  • Simpler and clearer guidelines that leave not too much to interpretation (by convenience)
  • Grounded on principles that help companies focus on ‘material issues’ rather than go merely by number of indicators
  • Make it simple for new reporters to take on the responsibility of non-financial reporting and take transparency to the next level

How far these objectives will be achieved will be answered in time as companies start adopting G4 guidelines but as in any new focus area there is clamor from the other side for intentional omission of focus / clarity on ‘sustainability context’ making the guidelines still a difficult set of best practices from the perspective of true sustainability!

Leaving opinions for a different post, here is a list of

Whats HOT – New additions / changes to the guidelines
Whats NOT - Omissions from G3.1

Whats HOT!

  • New ‘in accordance‘ criteria – It consists of two options: “Core” and “Comprehensive.” Core reports will include majority of the standard disclosures and a minimum of one relevant indicator per material aspect. Comprehensive will include all the standard disclosures and all of the relevant indicators for each material aspect. The biggest change from G3.1!
  • Its ALL about ‘Materiality‘ – While materiality is not new, the G4 framework more explicitly requires reporting efforts to center on materiality — impacts, risks and opportunities. What used to be a bunch of protocols to determine report content, now forms the crux of G4 reporting!
  • Open up your ‘boundary‘ – There is an exemplified need to consider supply chain and downstream processes through customer use as part of reporting still in line with materiality!
  • DMAs a double! – There are two separate DMAs (Disclosures on Management Approach) – general standard disclosures and specific standard disclosures. The latter along with the indicators are clubbed under the 3 major categories (Social, Economic and Environmental)
  • Indicators & disclosures plus some more! – There are some new indicators added with very few deletions. Special focus on governance related standard disclosures leading to 10 new additions!
  • Increased focus on Ethics & Integrity - Special mention as a standard disclosure area which was not originally separate. Calls for specific attention to aspects such as remuneration, transparency etc. making it relevant in today’s scenario

Whats NOT!

  • No A,B,C application levels – Application levels have been removed to give way to ‘in accordance’ criteria and increased focus on materiality!
  • No assurance based on application levels – With the removal of application levels, external assurance leading to ‘+’ ratings of sustainability reports is also not part of the G4 guidelines. However, assurance as a potential value-added intervention for credibility still exists!
  • Value chain assessments are gone – Value chain reporting of the organization has been removed and there is a specific intent to include supply chain as mentioned before

Personal Highlights

  • Potentially shorter reports - With a clear trend towards considering materiality aspects before reporting, overall length of reports might become shorter (especially as companies figure to perform appropriate assessments and prioritization)
  • Probably lesser uptake for assurance – to begin with! - With lesser clarity around the types as well as intensity of assurers on the aspects of materiality, going for external assurance could remain a wait and watch game for many!
  • Guidelines and implementation manual – The what & how… connected! With the intent to keep the guidelines close to inputs on its usage, there is a sense of ease and connection which might make it reporter-friendly.

To learn more about the GRI G4 guidelines and the updates from G3.1, please attend our upcoming Friday Forum on 7 June 2013 organized by Apex Global.

About Apex Global & ECCI

ECCI is the leading process improvement solutions provider in Southeast Asia, focused on process consulting, automation solutions and learning outsourcing services. We help companies achieve performance excellence by assisting them implement management systems and international standards/best practices across multiple domains and industries. ECCI has helped several top companies in the region implement GRI guidelines and prepare externally assured sustainability reports!

APEX Global (The Academy for Professional Excellence) is the learning solutions arm of ECCI – the leading process improvement solutions provider in Southeast Asia. Our sole aim is to promote performance excellence among professionals. We help our customers achieve greater success through effective, experiential and results-oriented training delivery.

Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines) achieves ISO 22301

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Manila, April 30, 2013: ECC International, the leading process improvement solutions provider in Southeast Asia, awarded Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc. (TIP) with a plaque of recognition for successfully achieving ISO 22301:2012 (Business Continuity Management Systems) – making them the first manufacturing company in the Philippines to achieve this ISO certification. The award was received by TIP President, Minoru Iriko and Vice President for Human Resource Administration, Ma. Corazon Bunag.

TIP and ECCI worked together in achieving two milestones for the company by not only achieving ISO 22301:2012 and extending their ISO 27001:2005 (Information Security Management System) certification to their second site, located in Cavite, Philippines. This was achieved through a combined audit by TÜV Rheinland, which was held last March 18-19, 2013.

Released in May 17, 2012, ISO 22301:2012 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards, to guide organizations on the requirements needed to develop a document management system that would allow them to prepare, respond and recover from disruptive incidents.

“We work with clients such as HP, Dell and Lenovo who find it important for their suppliers to have Business Continuity Management (BCM) in place. Given the unpredictable environment that we (businesses) operate in today, if one company is in a crisis or if there is a crisis with supply chain management, most customers feel more confidence if a company, such as ours, has a BCM plan in place.” Shared Minoru Iriko, President of TIP when asked why they felt it was important for them to be the first manufacturing company to achieve ISO 22301:2012.

Although having a Business Continuity Management System in place is viewed as a requirement in most companies to ensure operations regardless of impending crisis’ and disasters, Toshiba explains that one of the key decision factors in choosing BCM implementation is their most prized asset. “In our philosophy, we always say that we are committed to people and committed to the future. So one of the very important factors that we considered is the value of our assets, and the most important assets would be human beings.” said Ma. Corazon Bunag, VP for HR Administration.

Achieving these certifications is just the start for Toshiba. “Of course it is good to have certification, but the important thing is what it represents about our company, so therefore – it is not just building a perception, but building the image of what a responsible company should be.” shared Ms. Bunag with regard to Toshiba’s plans for the future.

ISO 25639 for clarity

Greater transparency for worldwide exhibition industry

An ISO standard brings greater transparency and consistency to the exhibition industry worldwide by providing internationally agreed terminology and statistical methods, thus reducing the potential for misunderstanding and disappointments between organizers and
exhibitors.

ISO 25639:2008 is the first International Standard for exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions. It consists of two parts, respectively addressing exhibition terminology and statistical methods.

Industry best practice
Lee Mong Ni, Secretary of the ISO project committee that developed the standard, comments: “ISO 25639 helps minimize ambiguity, confusion and misunderstanding of
terms used in the exhibition industry. It also provides a basis for objective comparisons
and evaluations across exhibitions around the world, and helps prospective exhibitors
to better gauge the quality of the exhibitions. This, in turn, helps them to decide in which
exhibitions they should participate.”

ISO 25639-1:2008, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions – Part 1 : Vocabulary,
includes terms and definitions often used in the exhibition industry. It facilitates
a common and universal interpretation of this terminology, facilitating understanding
between industry players. It also helps improve professionalism and raise standards for the exhibition industry. The standard serves as a guideline for industry players to be more discerning with regard to the various statistical data released on exhibitions. ISO 25639-1 groups terms into four categories :

• Individual and entity, which lists and classifies the various types of people involved in the exhibition industry
• Type of event
• Physical item, which describes the various components such as size of the exhibition, type of facility, associated print material, etc. and
• Miscellaneous.

ISO 25639-2:2008, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions – Part 2 : Measurement procedures for statistical purposes, provides standard measurement procedures
to increase confidence in statistics related to exhibitions. Stephen Tan, Chair of the ISO project committee that developed the standard, commented : “ International consensus on
the set of terminologies of ISO 25639:2008 provides the common reference that enables a high level of transparency and professionalism in an increasingly global exhibition arena. Industry players, which include exhibition organizers, contractors, venue operators, freight forwarders and auditing firms, are able to communicate consistently to all companies and corporations. This facilitates the evaluation of statistical information and thereafter, the
decision-making process.”

Implementation
Since its publication, ISO 25639 has been used by many national exhibition industry associations and has gained international recognition and acceptance. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), a leading worldwide association for exhibition organizations, has aligned its terminology and measurement procedures according to ISO 25639.

UFI, which represents 587 member organizations in 85 countries, said the ISO standard is a very useful reference for clarifying definitions with its stakeholders, especially those from outside the exhibitions industry.

ISO 25639 has been adopted either through direct use or adoption as a national standard by countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

Ms. Dilys Yong, Chairperson of the Singapore National Mirror Committee, commented: “Since ISO 25639 was published in 2008, the standard has been implemented by more than 90 % of the trade exhibition organizers in Singapore.”

After a systematic review, ISO 25639 was recently confirmed, without amendment, for another five years.

This article originally appeared in the ISO Focus magazine.

Mobile Learning: Past, Present and Future (Part 2)

Excerpts from the NetDimensions White Paper by Gary Woodill Ed.D

Mobile learning, in the sense that we use the term today, had to wait for the development of miniaturized electronic devices before it became a real possibility. Early examples of the development of mobile communications include radiophones for the military in World War I, police cars equipped with two-way radios in the 1920s, ham radios in cars that could be patched into the telephone system in the 1950s and 1960s, and the first clunky cell phones developed by Motorola as early as 1973. But, it was only with the development of smaller “flip phones” in the late 1980s and early 1990s that the hardware became small enough to be used as a portable learning technology.

Professor Mike Sharples of the University of Nottingham was one of the first people to develop the concept of mobile learning with an active research program that started in the late 1990s. In 2000, computer learning consultant Clark Quinn provided one of the first definitions of “mobile learning” which he described as “…the intersection of mobile computing and eLearning: accessible resources wherever you are, strong search capabilities, rich interaction, powerful support for effective learning, and performance-based assessment… e-learning independent of location, time and space.”

Over the past decade, the focus on what is important in mobile learning has shifted. Ten years ago mobile learning was about displaying e-learning on a small screen. Then, mobile learning shifted to any learning that happened while using a mobile device. This was followed by a view that mobile learning is what happens outside a classroom. Finally, we have come to an understanding that the important fact in mobile learning is that the learner is mobile.

The sources of information can be in any form, from signage to mobile phones, to interactive billboards, or to computers embedded in our clothing. It is the fact that the learner is mobilized while connected to information that is critical. This is in contrast to the classroom model of learning, where the learner, for the most part, is immobilized.

Another milestone in Sustainability Reporting for ECCI

ECCI helped Ayala Corporation in developing their 2011 Sustainability Report for at the conglomerate Level. The report focuses on the Environmental, Economic and Social performance of the group for the past year based on the GRI G3.1 Guidelines. The report was released during the recently held  Sustainability Summit at the Ayala Museum on Friday, October 5, 2012. The report was officially launched by its Chairman, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala. The event was organized by Ayala Corporation to strengthen the sustainability initiatives in the group. Lory Tan, WWF President, Philippines and Adam Brennan, Global Sustainability Manager for Puma where speakers in the event who shared their views on the Climate Adaption Project in the Philippines by WWF and implementing sustainability measure in their organizations respectively. At the end of the Sustainability Summit JAZA’s message was “We all have a big job to do”. This statement by the chairman clears out the vision and direction given by the Chairman to its subsidiaries.

Another milestone in Sustainability Reporting for ECCIIn their third conglomerate sustainability report, it reinforces the group’s commitment in creating shared value to the broader communities in which they operate. It highlights Ayala’s pledge to improve their sustainability impact through their operations, products and services, supply chains, human resources practices, community involvement and management approach.

After helping Globe Telecom’s 2011 Sustainability Report and helping them achieve a B+ level of external assurance, ECCI assisted Ayala Corp to attain GRI Application Level B Check for the report to strengthen the credibility of the report.

Being one of the leading training and consulting companies in Southeast Asia, ECCI has been taking active participation in helping companies developing their Sustainability initiatives and disclosing them through reporting. Some of the key areas where ECCI helps clients are in Energy Management, Carbon Footprint, Sustainability Reporting and CSR.

For more information on ECCI’s Corporate Sustainability & Governance services portfolio, please email info@eccigroup.com

ECCI Group Implements NetDimensions Learning as its Managed Services Platform in Asia Pacific

Hong Kong, October 18, 2012 – NetDimensions, a global provider of performance, knowledge, and learning management systems, and Andrada Briones Inc. (ABI) announced today that ECCI Group has implemented NetDimensions Learning to serve as ECCI Group’s platform for delivering Managed Services to clients in Asia Pacific.

“Managed Services is a portfolio of training management services that help mid-sized companies better manage training functions ranging from planning and delivery, to evaluation, reporting, and administration,” said Karthik Subburaman, Country Manager of ECCI Group.

“We chose NetDimensions Learning because of its robust functionality. We see our Managed Services as a solution with a unique value proposition, and we are able to offer this solution through NetDimensions Learning that serves as our core platform. The ability of NetDimensions and ABI to provide local support, as well as to meet our customization requirements were also key in our selection process.”

As part of NetDimensions global reseller network in more than 40 countries and regions, ABI is a certified reseller of NetDimensions’ award-winning learning, performance, and talent management solutions in the Philippines.

Reducing Training Costs for SMEs
ECCI helps small to medium-sized companies achieve efficient and effective training administration by outsourcing this function. This enables SMEs to reduce costs because they do not need to establish and maintain this function internally.

“Through our Managed Services portfolio, we aim to help small to medium-sized companies in the Philippines manage their training and talent management function effectively, end-to-end. Typically training budgets seem to never be enough for companies of this size,” explained Subburaman.

“We strongly believe that through a good blend of professional training services, a strong solution for administration, reporting, and training management, and most importantly, results-oriented training evaluation, our Managed Services will serve as the right solution for such companies.”

Through a direct relationship with organizations in the Philippines and a detailed understanding of their overall training needs, ECCI is able to ensure that all training programs meet these organizations’ targets for employee effectiveness, increasing revenue growth through fully trained personnel and reducing the risk of limited employee engagement.

Steve Young, General Manager for Asia Pacific at NetDimensions said: “We are very excited to work with ABI and ECCI in this implementation because the overall solution is well-aligned with NetDimensions vision to help organizations achieve productivity and efficiency improvements, cost reduction, risk management, and cultural and process innovation.”

About ECCI Group/Apex Global
ECCI is the leading process improvement solutions provider in Southeast Asia, focused on process consulting, automation solutions and learning outsourcing services. We help companies achieve performance excellence by assisting them implement management systems and international standards/best practices across multiple domains and industries.

APEX Global (The Academy for Professional Excellence) is the learning solutions arm of ECCI – the leading process improvement solutions provider in Southeast Asia. Our sole aim is to promote performance excellence among professionals. We help our customers achieve greater success through effective, experiential and results-oriented training delivery.

Our professional development solutions cover Trainings and Conferences, Managed Services and Learning on Demand. We organize public trainings and in-house workshops tailored for specific organizations. We help companies manage their non-core yet critical training function through end-to-end training management – starting from planning and needs analysis to program evaluation and records management. The Learning on Demand products we offer provide convenient and innovative ways for learning.

Applying the experience of training over 100,000 professionals in the last decade, a strong pool of expert trainers and facilitators with expertise in a niche array of domains and a strong regional presence, we provide an extensive portfolio of high-quality industry specific and functional programs coupled with high quality training materials – to deliver the R.E.A.L. learning experience.

About Andrada Briones Inc. (ABI)
ABI provides Philippines-based clients with workforce knowledge, performance, and learning management solutions sourced from the world’s top suppliers.

ABI adds local implementation, training and support services to these solutions and offers related hosting, consulting and content development services.

About NetDimensions
Established in 1999, NetDimensions (AIM: NETD; OTCQX: NETDY) is a global provider of performance, knowledge and learning management systems.

The NetDimensions Talent Suite enables companies, government agencies and other organizations to personalize learning, share knowledge, enhance performance, foster collaboration, and manage compliance programs for employees, customers, partners and suppliers.

Recognized as one of the talent management industry’s top-rated technology suppliers in overall customer satisfaction, NetDimensions has been chosen by multinational organizations worldwide including ING, Cathay Pacific, Chicago Police Department, Delphi Automotive, Progress Software, and Travelex.

NetDimensions is ISO 9001 certified and NetDimensions hosted services are ISO 27001 certified.

ECCI talks about Human Sigma at the PSQ 24th National Quality Forum

The Philippine Society for Quality (PSQ) recently concluded the 24th National Quality Forum last October 11 and 12, 2012 at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. This year’s forum was entitled “Sprinting to the Future of Quality: A Race to Global Competitiveness,” bringing together local and international quality advocates to share best practices in the field of quality management and operational excellence in order to prepare the Philippines to race in global competiveness. The forum was also intended as an avenue to learn from experts on their success stories and methodologies in order to achieve leadership, customer, operations and environmental excellence.

ECCI Philippines Country Manager, Mr. Karthik Subburaman, was one of the guest speakers for the forum. His topic entitled “Strengthening the Employee-Customer Emotional Engagement through Human Sigma” discussed the need to improve the quality of employee-customer encounter, particularly within sales and service organizations.

Attended by over 200 delegates across all industries, the two-day forum was commenced with a Keynote Address by Mr. Paul Borawski, Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Quality. Throughout the course of the two days, invited speakers from various industries such as BPO, telecommunications, banking, FMCG, and the academe shared success stories and best practices on several topics leading to organizational success and excellence. Capping off the forum was a highly interactive workshop that engaged the delegates to explore and share their ideas on the future of quality in the Philippines.

Mobile Learning: Past, Present and Future (Part 1)

Excerpts from the NetDimensions White Paper by Gary Woodill Ed.D

In order for learning to take place, several components must be in place. First, we need a learner with the motivation to learn something. This learner is always in a specific context, located in a particular culture, point in history, and place, which must be taken into account. As well, we need a source of knowledge or the opportunity for experience and discovery in order for learning to happen. As we shall see, all these components are important in understanding how learning and development has the potential to radically shift with the advent of mobile learning.

From “nomadic learning” to the “immobilization of learning”
Since the development of the human species, people have learned throughout their daily lives. In prehistoric times, before the invention of writing, learning took place in the course of everyday life through observation and imitation of the actions of other people. Formal schooling came with the invention of writing, allowing knowledge to be recorded and passed along from one generation to another. However, school was unknown to the vast majority of people who learned from members of their family or as apprentices to masters of various trades. The first “mobile learning” would have to be examples of learning while wandering from one place to another – what we might call “nomadic learning”. Of course, in those days there is no electronic technology to assist a learner on the move.

The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1430s changed everything. The ability to produce books in large quantities meant that curriculum could be standardized, allowing the state to impose “norms” of behavior and knowledge throughout its jurisdiction. In fact, the first institutions for training teachers were called “normal schools.” Along with a standardized curriculum came new learning technologies in the form of the modern classroom.

The modern classroom was invented in the 1770s in Prussia by a religious group called the Pietists. The modern classroom is a learning technology that includes sitting in rows, raising hands, recess, periods, and detentions.

But, while classrooms were, and are, a ubiquitous feature of modern schools, the same cannot be said for corporate training. By the beginning of the 20th century, American companies such as Westinghouse and General Electric provided schooling to many of their workers, and in 1913 the National Association of Corporation Schools was founded. But, schools attached to workplaces were rare. Instead, training was usually “on the job” or, in some cases, took place in the hallways adjacent to the shop floor where people worked. This practice was known as “vestibule training,” and was common before World War II.

The American Society for Training and Development was founded in 1944 and marked the beginning of the professionalization of corporate training. The “corporate university” movement was boosted by the founding of McDonald’s Hamburger University in 1961. The 1970s and 1980s saw a strong growth in the number of corporate universities with their own training facilities in many large companies throughout the world.