We provide solutions, service, guidance and recommendation to our customers to help them navigate the many challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak and meet their clients’ new expectations
The outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting almost all industries and sectors worldwide. NCR is the world’s enterprise technology leader for restaurants, retailers and banks. This global company has offices all around the world and office in Serbia is among the largest ones. We talked with NCR Serbia General Manager Stefan Lazarevic about today’s challenges and changes in NCR’s business and in the business of NCR’s banking, hospitality and retail customers.
How did NCR respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and how did it impact business operations of NCR Serbia, a company that employs around 4,000 people?
The safety of our employees, along with the safety of our customers and business continuity, is NCR’s top priority. In January, before the pandemic was declared, we established the NCR coronavirus response task force, responsible for monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. As the situation evolves, we continue to stay informed and respond in the best interest of employees, customers and business.
To limit employee exposure to the coronavirus, NCR in March limited access to its offices around the globe to essential employees only. As a global company with employees in 160 countries, NCR has been constantly improving the ways we collaborate and work together as one team. Also, as our employees provide support to the clients across the globe, they are equipped to do that from wherever they are based. We have been using various tools, applications and resources to connect with our coworkers and clients from all over the world, so we easily adapted to the new working environment. Our customer engineers continue to work in the field and stay side-by-side with our customers. All this time, the company is focused on enabling them to do their jobs as safely as possible to keep commerce running.
In Serbia, we have about 4,000 people who used to work in six different offices in Belgrade. We started gradual return to our offices in June, following local and global government and health guidelines. Our workplace today is different from the one we walked out of in March. There is only a limited number of people in the office, using personal protective equipment, required temperature checks, signage across the office to ensure physical distance, increased hygiene levels, and many other rules necessary to ensure safe and healthy environment for our employees.
“As for NCR’s plans in Serbia, we will continue contributing to the delivery of NCR’s strategy, keeping our customers in focus and helping them run their operations”
COVID-19 has changed the way companies are doing business, especially in the technology area. As a technology company, how did you address those changes and new customer demands?
The pandemic has put digital transformation into focus more than ever. The importance of digital to customers, suppliers and to the entire economy has rapidly accelerated. In the new environment, the way people connect and interact has changed, and so have our customers’ demands. Since digital connected services and digital transformation are among the priorities of NCR’s global strategy of digitalization of business processes, we were ready to respond to new requirements from our customers. We provide solutions, service, guidance and recommendation to them to help them navigate the many challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak and meet their clients’ new expectations.
With physical distancing, for example, keeping our customers’ business operations as contactless as possible became a must.
What does “contactless” mean and how do you help your customers offer it to their consumers?
“Contactless” or “touchless” means any part of the dining/shopping/banking experience that previously required restaurant/store/bank employees and clients to touch shared surfaces or closely interact that now does not require that kind of contact. We help our customers introduce contactless into their business by moving most of their services online, enabling their clients to pay, make orders and shop using their mobile devices. One of the solutions we offer to restaurants are digital menus, instead of physical. Guests scan a QR code that loads the menu on their own device to avoid a contact with a shared surface. For restaurants and stores, there is an online or mobile ordering. Customers can place their order online or through an app for takeout or delivery. Contactless payment is also very useful in making sure that staff and clients stay safe. Clients can pay without handing their card over, but simply waving their phone over the payment device.
For our ATMs and self-checkouts, we have launched a new anti-microbial coating that can be applied to touchscreens, cash drawers, scanners, receipt printers, pin pads, self-checkouts and privacy shields. This coating makes it difficult for microbes to live on coated surfaces, limiting the possibility of transmission through touch.
Is there a place for innovation in these challenging times since retail, banking and hospitality sectors that you support are striving to keep their business running by being more practical, deprioritizing innovation and not taking risks into unknown?
At NCR, we’ve been transforming business processes for 135 years now. From our early days as the inventor of the paper receipt and the mechanical cash register to our recent software solutions and services – our success has been the result of changing the way we do things across the company. Our innovative and proactive approach to business enables us to always quickly respond to our customers’ demands. Our focus on customers and innovations is what made us a global technology leader and helped us navigate the many challenges we faced in our long history.
“Next year will be an important year for all of us in NCR Serbia, since the Belgrade campus, our new state of- the-art office, will be completed”
What are the plans for NCR and NCR Serbia in 2021?
With all the uncertainty at this moment, one thing remains the same – NCR will do what it takes to keep commerce running for our customer and their clients, and we will do it in a simple and safe way. As for NCR’s plans in Serbia, we will continue contributing to the delivery of NCR’s strategy, keeping our customers in focus and helping them run their operations.
NCR started its business in Serbia with 300 employees and today there are 4,000 talented people working here. I am proud of the fact that today Belgrade is one of NCR’s most strategic locations. Next year will be an important year for all of us in NCR Serbia, since the Belgrade campus, our new state-of-the-art office, will be completed.
NCR has come a long way and I have no doubt we will keep growing stronger and better.
135 years of NCR
From cash registers to software and services led
NCR Corporation is a leading software- and services-led enterprise provider in the financial, retail and hospitality industries. NCR is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with 34,000 employees globally.