B EYE is a Bulgarian company specialized in the development and implementation of cutting-edge data analytics technologies with healthcare, pharma, and medical device clients located mainly in Western Europe, Japan, and the USA. Due to the company’s achievements, B EYE is on The Financial Times FT 1000 list and is a part of the Bulgarian Cluster for Digital Solutions and Innovations in healthcare DHI Cluster Bulgaria.
The reason behind the fast international growth of the company is the services that it provides. With B EYE’s help, public and private organizations can easily collect raw data, analyze it, build effective strategies, and monitor their implementation. B EYE’s technologies help businesses make fast and data-driven decisions and react quickly to all changes, crises, and challenges.
To learn more about the platforms that B EYE works with and how those could improve the Bulgarian healthcare system and other areas of societal wellbeing, we interviewed Dimitar Dekov, the Founder of B EYE.
Mr. Dekov, how does B EYE choose the platforms that it uses?
In the tech world, more and more platforms are emerging, and the variety is getting so big that there is no other way to sift through the noise without strict criteria. At B EYE we use a fast and effective method of 3 requirements when choosing a new platform:
- Will the platform help our clients? The end-user is the main priority for us. We exist because of them, and our goal is to help them become better and more successful.
- Are we sure that we can become the best team working with this platform? This is our internal goal as a company, and we always make sure of it before starting using a new platform. Otherwise, our users would gain more from going to our competitors.
- Can the market afford this platform? From the business standpoint, it is important for us to have a strong ROI on our efforts so that we can invest in the future of our team members. One of my goals is to know that people in B EYE develop dynamically and don’t wonder whether somewhere else in the IT world they could have found something more promising in terms of career development.
You work with Qlik and Anaplan. What is different about these platforms compared to everything else on the market?
Qlik offers solutions for data analytics and is the only platform that allows us to cover the whole cycle from gathering the raw data to making decisions based on that data. As a result, we minimize the time to discover the issue and solve it. For example, when it comes to the availability of a certain drug in a pharmacy or a hospital, the system check when the amount of a drug is running low and automatically generates a new purchase order.
On the other hand, Anaplan is a revolutionary system for planning and does not have alternatives on the market. Anaplan allows all teams in an organization to participate in the planning of every aspect of the workflow. This way, when an adjustment or change to the budgeting needs to be made for a certain department, you can see how it affects the work of everyone else in the company and even generate what-if scenarios. For example, if you are a pharma company, you need to know the demand for your drugs and what to do when the demand changes. This includes complex processes, which involve the collaboration between hundreds and sometimes thousands of experts in an organization. Despite that, when the sales go up or down, Anaplan can act automatically in the cloud without the need for human intervention. The changes in the manufacturing processes would reflect in all other processes connected to it, like ordering raw materials, etc.
Can you give an example of a real crisis that your client had overcome with the help of one of those tools?
When the COVID-19 crisis started, we had already been working with one of the biggest pharma companies that produce lifesaving medicine in different parts of Europe. They would have had significant difficulties with deliveries to the hospitals if they weren’t using Anaplan, as the lifespan of their products is small and timely delivery is vital to the patients’ state. Additionally, the price of the medicine is high, and hospitals cannot afford to order large quantities that would not be used up.
At that time, the delivery service was interrupted because of the pandemic, and the company had only a couple of days to revamp the logistics and production plans. Before the crisis, many of the raw materials were sent to certain facilities, while during the pandemic, they had to use different locations. Thanks to Anaplan, hospitals received the shipments on time which at the end of the day means saved lives.
I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if this pharma company had not optimized its processes and had used Excel.
This case is based in a foreign market, where the need for a quick and timely reaction to crises through technology was recognized.
In which directions do governmental institutions need these types of technological advancements the most?
The most important is always the efficiency. As Peter Drucker rightfully said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This is valid both for the business and for the government. The second most important thing is how and when these measurements are performed. In the public sector, there is a reporting system, but I know that those are neither timely nor very accurate. Without these two things, there cannot be a change in the efficiency of the public sector because foreseeability is one of the most important things in managing a country. COVID-19 crisis has proven this vividly.
I have been communicating with the representatives of the Western European Institutions, and I have been studying their progress. A simple observation is that they use the tech solutions a lot more and every implemented solution is considered an investment in the future.
If we want to follow a good example, we need to start with implementing the solutions in the areas where we can achieve the biggest improvement with the least effort. Very often, people in our administration imagine the implementation of tech solutions as big and complex projects which would continue for years and cost a lot of money and human capital. Worldwide examples, on the other hand, show that the projects for governmental institutions and ministries can have great ROIs and cost not more than a couple hundred thousand euros. The most important here is that the way of working and the understanding of the impact of the work changes.
Every organization is hungry for more resources, but when you don’t expect any results, it just continues to spend. It is not even clear where the money goes. If you would ask a manager of this type of institution where exactly are the said resources, it is possible that he won’t have an answer. But if you ask me where my company invests, I can tell you day by day.
Should the government promote the development of innovative companies in the healthcare sector? And if yes, how?
The state is the biggest distributor of the resources on its territory. This is why the distribution of resources is vital for the structure of our economy.
As a person from the IT industry, I would say that I want Bulgaria to be a developed, technologically-advanced country, where people have a future, have high salaries, and want to stay in the country. How can this happen? It will surely be tough if we rely on a sector with a low added value. Agriculture and HoReCa are incredibly important, don’t get me wrong, but we also have to consider a long-term strategy for development.
I always like to give examples with Israel and the “Start-up Nation” book by Dan Senor, as well as with Silicon Valley. The conclusion from those is that it is crucial for a business to have financing, enough qualified people on the labor market, and someone who buys new products. Let’s not forget that. It is important what the State buys. If it mainly buys concrete and sand for four times the price, we will have rich companies that offer exactly that. If it buys simple websites for millions, we will have lots of companies who make this type of websites. If it buys avant-garde informational technologies or cosmic rockets, we will again have companies specialized in that. Think about it, SpaceX cannot be founded in Bulgaria because there is no one to buy this product. Sometimes the State buys products in the early development stages when the product is not ready yet, but everything points out to a solid return on investment.
I can also add that many developed countries understand that collaboration with the business sector is the only way to a fast technological advancement in the public sector. Exactly because of that, the partnership with the business sector is key to the effective development of the digital transformation on a global scale.
Is there a place for platforms like Qlik and Anaplan in the public sector in Bulgaria? What would be a successful way of incorporating these solutions?
If the State would start working with these products, it will speed up the change in terms of transparency and reporting based on clear parameters. Additionally, this kind of investment would not cost millions and would not create complications in the budgeting process.
Every state institution, no matter if we are talking about a hospital, a ministry, or an agency, needs this type of technology to create budgets, monitor their implementation, and make quick decisions, especially if a crisis strikes.
For such implementation to be successful, there is the same rule that we use with our clients today. We are looking for projects which lead to visible results because afterward, people can use them to show what and how they improved. In the private sector, we need to prove the value, and we need to do it fast. If my results are not convincible, the market will not be looking for me. The State doesn’t have competitors in the same way as the private sector, but it is even more important for the State to be effective in managing the resources. It has a responsibility to its citizens because it is their taxes.
What else can the private sector teach the public one?
I believe that the public sector can learn a lot from the private one because people look at them in the same way. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about the services of a public hospital or painting a house, we use similar criteria for both services. We look for a service to be delivered with the highest level of attention and care, on time, effectively, and price-quality ratio. If we don’t like something, we complain – either want the money back or never use this company again. In the same way, we remain disappointed in the State.
How can members of the DHI Cluster support the digitalization of healthcare in Bulgaria and bring transparency to the sector?
The companies-members of the Cluster deliver different services, which when combined provide a completed cycle. This is how a lot of problems in healthcare can be solved. No one company can fix all gaps in the digitalization process in healthcare. For example, we can solve the problems with planning, budgeting, and creating analyses based on data. Someone else has to create online profiles and provide optimal ongoing support.
This shows that the DHI cluster is very valuable for healthcare in Bulgaria because the solutions to the challenges are already discovered and available for everyone, including governmental institutions. There is a need for a strong political will, and the whole knowledge and expertise of the Cluster can be used to improve the sector, optimize processes, and deliver quality service to the patients. I believe that at the moment, there is a huge potential for this change to happen and the expectations of people to be fulfilled.