Interview

Kamran Allahverdiyev: Transforming Business with Infrastructure Automation

Having graduated from the two European State Universities, in different fields – Mechatronic Engineering and International Relations and European Study, Kamran Allahverdiyev is the CEO of WEVO (former IT Grup). He is still studying EMBA at Sheffield University in UK. The all of them taught him various knowledges in order to become a successful CEO in the international IT company.

Kamran Allahverdiyev gained experience working in the multinational, private sector and also in the government sector. He began his career at WEVO (former IT Grup) as Business Development Engineer. Right now, they are carrying out the rebranding process, changing the logo and name to a unique one, which tells more about them and their business position.

WEVO is generated from the two words: ‘we’ and ‘evolution’. WEVO’s new motto is: “Together we evolve”. WEVO (former IT Grup) was founded in 2000 in Romania and since then has been involved in major local and regional projects for the Downstream industry. It was the first company to develop and implement for Romania the unattended concepts in downstream industry by certifying and implementing the first 18 full unattended petrol stations in Romania, which are automated projects.

 

Dear Mr. Allahverdiyev, how did you get started in your profession and when did you join the WEVO (former IT Grup)?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: I have always thought if you want to reach heights you should put much effort in order to make your dreams a reality.

So, no matter how high you are, there is always a place for a next step and next level of your achievements.

Having graduated from the two universities, I gained experience working in a multinational, private sector and also in the government sector, particularly, political and diplomatic fields. Being a Mechatronics Engineer, now I am in the EMBA program at the University of Sheffield.

I began my career at WEVO (former IT Grup) in Romania as a Business Development Engineer.

My skill of understanding technology, client needs and business leadership resulted in rapid and successful professional growth at the company. Thus, Mr. Mihai Lucian, owner of the company, has appointed me in the position of CEO of WEVO (former IT Grup). Mr. Mihai Lucian Gabriel is very innovative person and always thinking about client’s satisfactions. His experience in the IT and managerial fields helps us a lot to develop our strategical and tactical plans.

My aim and achievement, as a CEO, is to make our company known worldwide, to bring it to the international market and to transfer our innovative solutions to other countries of the world.

Now we are European and also international company, with one office in Azerbaijan, Baku and the head office in Bucharest, Romania.

We have a professional team whose common goal is to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way. In this way, I always help and support my team in order to obtain success for WEVO (former IT Grup), because our team’s success means WEVO’s (former IT Grup’s) success.

 

What are your responsibilities as the company’s Chief Executive Officer?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: My responsibilities as a CEO include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Communicating, on behalf of the company, with shareholders, government entities and the public;
  • Leading the development of the company’s short- and long-term strategy;
  • Creating and implementing the company or organization’s vision and mission;
  • Evaluating the work of other executive leaders within the company, including managers and other employees;
  • Maintaining awareness of the competitive market landscape, expansion opportunities, industry developments etc.;
  • Ensuring that the company maintains high social responsibility wherever it does business;
  • Assessing risks faced by the company and ensuring they are monitored and minimized;
  • Setting strategic goals and making sure they are measurable and describable.

 

WEVO (former IT Grup) was the first company to develop and implement for Romania the unattended concepts in the Downstream industry. What does this concept mean exactly?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: I would like to note that our system automates all business processes in the filling station. Our proposed system consists of software and hardware components:

  • HOS – ‘Head Office System’ platform manages the goods and petrol prices from a single place. It manages all transactions from the petrol stations network and uses the power of BI to take the right decisions very quick;
  • Point of sale and Back office system- ‘BOS’ platform manages fuel transactions and delivery by controlling the forecourt devices, Fuel pumps, ATG, Price Poles. It also manages shop and service goods transactions and delivery without any mistake. Issues fiscal receipts and fiscal invoices for transactions at one finger ahead. You can get control of your shop and fuel stocks;
  • Fleet Card Management System platform manages products and services allowed on any Fleet Cards transactions (DKV, EWG, UTA, AS24). Any downstream company can be a fleet card issuer at one click ahead: define, create, print its own Fleet card (MSR and contactless). You can also manage card restrictions in your petrol station network and manage fleet cards customers, contracts, invoices and payments. Fleet Card management system has secure transactions using EMV Level, 1,2,3 devices;
  • EPS – Electronic payment system – This system allows us to check the card limits online, avoid security and financial issues by using online or offline check. We can control the products allowed for each fleet card. The system assists you to increase your sales by accepting other international fleet cards: DKV, UTA etc.;
  • OPT (Outdoor Payment Terminal) hardware controls the fuel pumps to dispense the prepaid amount of fuel. It also speeds up the transaction process to avoid queues and delays. It also assists you to preauthorize any fuel transaction with the available amount from your customers’ fleet or bankcards. OPT is secured and resistant to cold and hot temperature, dust, water and to all kind of impact.

Types of payments as follows:

  1. a) Contact and contactless bank cards;
  2. b) Fleet Cards MSR, secure contactless (Myfare Desfire EV1 EV2AES 128bits), unsecure contactless (RFID keys or Myfare Classic);
  3. c) Cash (optional).

 

OPT functionalities as follows:

  1. Fuel sale on all payment methods specified above;
  2. Wet price management (programmed prices);
  3. Possibility of discount during fuel sale;
  4. Stock management (unloading assistance, real-time tank volumes, sales correlations with pump indexes);
  5. Attended (can be used as POS assisted by an operator);
  6. Unattended (manages self-propelled fuel station);
  7. Customs reporting (specific reports required in relation to the Bureau).

 

What are the requirements for the filling stations in infrastructure automation?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: As you know, each filling station has individual IT infrastructure and methodology for management of business processes.

In this case, we have to approach each customer individually.

First, we conduct business and system analysis and get to know the business processes of the filling station.

Then, we prepare the technical proposal where we describe the solution for the filling station.

I would also like to note here that the system, equipment and solutions we prepare are not the same. They must comply with the laws of the country and their local and regional standards. The mentality and the system of each continent are different.

Is there any need to upgrade the equipment and train the staff to ensure proper functioning of the system?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: Automation is something that saves time and reduces human effort.

I think that automation of filling stations will help a downstream company to manage all business processes, which are conducted inside of filling petrol station, sale, refilling and other operations.

If you look around, you will see that other industries tend to automate processes. Therefore, automation is very important for each industry.

As regards the training of staff for project management, I can say that if we realize the project we need to upgrade equipment for meeting the requirements of the proposed solution, and training the staff is very important in order to manage the project, otherwise the project can fail due to irresponsibility of duties.

Our staff is specialized in this field and also upon recruitment we try to hire the best candidates and also within the interview they need to pass (English Communication and Technical test); every aspect is very important for us.

Our staff is built from the people who enjoy to learn and discover new things in this field and all of them are licensed, certified from Microsoft and the other Organizations (these kinds of certifications are supported and paid by us).

We enjoy working with smart people who upgrade their knowledge because they work smart, not hard. Our Helpdesk department is working 24/7 and it addresses every challenge.

WEVO provides many volunteer and internship programs for the development of the young generation.

 

What are the main benefits of an unattended filling station? What about the savings?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: Using our solution, the business processes in the filling station will be completely automated.

The main benefits are the following.

  • Service Quality:

Refers to a customer’s comparison of service expectations as it relates to our company’s performance.

  • Customer satisfaction:

People are satisfied with the quality of the product and service they get from our company.

  • Convenience:

Customer can control sale processes via system in just one click; Customer can get daily/weekly/monthly reports via system in just one click.

  • Security:

Fleet Cards are protected by EMV Level III transaction data at the pump, which means drivers must enter specific information known only to them to begin fuelling. Since fleet cards are owned and operated by the same system, if fleet fraud occurs, the provider can quickly notify you about the suspicious activity and, if necessary, take a swift action.

  • Time:

Unattended Filling station makes it simple and fast for drivers to get in, get fuelled and get back on the road. Not only does this increase productivity, but it also increases the level of customer satisfaction, with more deliveries and jobs completed on time.

Further, there are no stores at Unattended Filling stations that drivers can stop in for food or drink, and there are no crowded lots to make manoeuvring of the vehicles more difficult, which makes the chances of a parking lot accident more unlikely.

  • Savings:

Customer will not need to hire many employees. Because the sale process is automated. Employee expenses are minimized.

 

Are there any other specific products and services WEVO (former IT Grup) offers? Please, tell us more about your range of solutions for the Downstream market.

Kamran Allahverdiyev: We can propose various solutions for Downstream, Upstream and Midstream companies, Bank sector, Hypermarkets etc.

As we have mentioned, we are open for every innovative project.

We have all the necessary resources for implementing every project and for making all customer expectations a reality.

But first of all, we need to know their exact requirements and their business processes. In this case, we can propose a solution and we can automate the business processes the customer needs.

We have those resources to bring innovative solutions and also the 20-year experience.

 

What are the major local or regional projects WEVO (former IT Grup) is currently involved in?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: Our first contract in Romania was started with Lukoil.

Some major local/regional projects are: 1. Project with SOCAR (Romania); 2. Project with Oscar Downstream (Romania); 3. Governmental Projects in Azerbaijan.

 

What are WEVO’s (former IT Grup’s) major partners?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: Currently, WEVO’s (former IT Grup’s) major partners are: SOCAR, Oscar Downstream, Microsoft, IBM, Huawei, Red Hat, ABBYY, Avaya, Barracuda, DELL Technologies, VISA, MasterCard etc.

We are also partnering with the biggest fleet-card providers from Europe: Eurowag, UTA, AS24 and DKV.

 

One of the key recommendations of the European Union 2020 analysis refers to the functioning of the internal energy market and the level playing field for energy technology development, investment and sustainable financing in the EU to keep all technology options open for achieving net-zero emissions. How do you see the future development of WEVO (former IT Grup) in this regard?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: WEVO (former IT Grup) is a leading European and International IT company.

The company plays the necessary role in the internal energy market and provides various innovative IT solutions for the Downstream Industry.

WEVO (former IT Grup) company is focused on energy technology development and invests in the development of various software and manufacturing of hardware oriented to the energy market.

So, we wrote many success stories in the span of 20 years and now we aim to realize our innovative IT projects in all countries of the world.

 

What are WEVO’s (former IT Grup’s) short- and long-term plans? Do you take into consideration to expand your business internationally?

Kamran Allahverdiyev: WEVO (former IT Grup) company’s long-term plans are to transfer and realize our innovative IT solutions in other countries of the world.

Therefore, we established the branch in the Republic of Azerbaijan to operate our forthcoming international IT projects through Baku city, Azerbaijan.

My achievement was to set up the WEVO Company in Azerbaijan from scratch, hiring the best IT professionals, gathering around me the eminent IT and administrative team that is able to realize any project.

We brought the company to the international market.

Now we conduct negotiations for transferring our IT solutions to the European, Asian, African and American markets.

Lavinia Iancu

Lavinia has an experience of over 20 years in business management and has attended in-depth management courses. She is licensed in the field of Industrial Engineering, Welding Technology and Equipment specialization, and in Psychology. She is currently Co-Founder and CEO of Industry Media Vector and coordinates the newsroom team of Energy Industry Review publication, having a rich experience as energy business analyst. She has been involved in the organization of events dedicated to the energy industry for over 14 years.
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