On a daily basis, Ali is responsible for IT contract management at Falck. He is also responsible for managing IT suppliers and developing IT-related tenders. All of it on a global scale, which is no small feat. According to Ali, it’s all about ensuring Falck gets value out of the contracts.
“I look for ways to save money for Falck – or ways to extend and improve collaboration with our suppliers. If, for example, we buy a new system for our ambulance business in the US, we have to make an IT contract too. Then I become involved in the negotiations from start to end to ensure we land a good contract,” says Ali.
It’s a job that demands a sound understanding of IT from both the technical side and the user side, as well as business sense. And you’d think Ali is just crazy about all things IT. But that’s not the case.
From medicine to the mayor’s office
Originally, Ali wanted to study medicine. He was intrigued by the way the human body works and the many ways in which it is possible to fix it. He even went so far as to enrol in medical school after high school. But then he had second thoughts and took a timeout.
“I was tired of books and needed a break. I took a sabbatical and got a job as a substitute teacher at my old school. It was a lot of fun – and full of challenges, working with the kids,” recalls Ali.
At the school, Ali also worked at the youth club where they had a computer room full of computers. Ali became fascinated with how the computers worked, and especially how they could be connected in a network that enabled the kids to play together.
"It means a lot to me to be part of a company that makes such a tangible difference to so many people"
“I had never been interested in computers before. Not at all. But the computer room fascinated me. I remember a computer broke down and thinking it couldn’t be much harder to fix than fixing a flat tire on a bicycle. So, I decided to give it try. I succeeded, and from then on I was hooked,” laughs Ali.
Still short of proper education, Ali decided to take a position as IT Supporter at the mayor’s office in Odense, Denmark. At the same time, he took a degree in computer science.
“I really wanted an education. But the 6-7 years of studying that medicine required was too much. I needed a combination of theory and practise,” recalls Ali.
It’s all about the contract
After a spell in the public sector, Ali decided it was time to give a proper IT company a try. He got a job as IT Supporter with NNIT working as both support and technician.
In his job, Ali worked both back-office and was on the road a lot. And he discovered that there often was a gap between user expectations and what was actually in the contract.
“I realised I was good at working out contracts. I was good at structuring the things we discussed and agreed upon and putting that into writing. And suddenly, much of what normally didn’t go into writing was written into the contracts,” says Ali.
Ali’s approach got attention higher up in the system and he suddenly found himself involved in building contracts for major clients.
“My approach was to find out where the problems arose on the user end. What is the problem we’re trying to solve? Find the core of the problem and find the solution. Sometimes, it was in the contract. If so, I would talk with the people who had developed the contract to work out a solution that would solve the user’s problem,” says Ali.
Ali ended up in contract management and helped create the processes for how to build and manage contracts to ensure they solved the business needs and created value for both clients and suppliers. And his success took him from NNIT to Novozymes before he one day found himself drinking coffee with his old boss who asked him if he would be interested in joining Falck.
In Falck, Ali was tasked with the job of building the contract management department according to the same ideas and processes he had developed in his previous employments.
“I was enticed by the fact that I would be part of building something new. A new approach. Doing things smarter and saving Falck a lot of money. And the international dimension. It adds complexity. I like that a lot. It really drives me. We need to use IT to do things smarter so we can become better and more efficient,” says Ali.
The fact that Falck is a healthcare company that helps save and improve the lives of people around the world only makes the job more attractive.
“It means a lot to me to be part of a company that makes such a tangible difference to so many people. I’m in touch with so many aspects of the business. IT is a key element. It is an integrated part of our product today. We are helping save lives, by providing our frontliners with the critical IT service they need to be able to do their jobs.“