Taking HandsOn Systems to the next level

Gabriel Sultana

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Although recruited at the early peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Technology Officer Gabriel Sultana has been working tirelessly, initially remotely, to put together his team at HandsOn Systems to drive the organisation and its product portfolio to new heights.

Since he took over the technology leadership at HandsOn Systems, Gabriel Sultana said he is committed to continue building and evolving the company’s product portfolio, while making sure that customer centricity and tangible value are embedded both at the strategic and execution levels.

“At the core, the successful alignment of data and a strong, unified team are considered critical for achieving the set objectives. We are transforming our solutions to meet the current consumer patterns, exhibiting characteristics such as event driven, insightful analytics and directly connected with the person’s usage needs. This is one of the core strategies adopted to constantly meet ever changing consumer expectations,” he said.

Taking usage-based insurance (UBI) as an example, Mr Sultana said HandsOn Systems is deploying IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to tackle a highly specific need. Yet the goal is to make UBI commoditised in terms of being ‘accepted and fully utilisable by all’. Yet, he pointed out, HandsOn Systems is implementing UBI in very different ways here in Malta compared to Dubai, among other places.

“Although certain common concepts of UBI are adopted everywhere, the contextualisation element is very important to be a better fit for the specific business domain needs,” he said. “That is something we pride ourselves in achieving in all the markets where we are active.”

The recent investment of Melita in HandsOn Systems, he said, would enable the two companies to tap and merge strategies to offer richer services that are cost effective to the end user. HandsOn Systems is giving more of the real-world scenario of IoT to Melita, which it is currently doing on a small scale around Malta. This can be projected through Melita’s GSM and SIM infrastructure globally so HandsOn Systems can be more aggressive in Italy and other countries where it has operations.

“The idea is that we intend to continue working in this strategic alignment when it comes to projects and initiatives so that it is a beneficial partnership for both” Mr Sultana said. “Our greatest strength would be around this continuously aligned relationship. This is something we are happily vested in retaining to make this partnership successful.”

Discussing HandsOn Systems’ vision and mission, he explained: “Our vision is to work hand in hand with our customers to transform our telematic solutions into feature-rich services that constantly create value, transparency and positive experiences”; and “our mission is to improve the quality of life for consumers through the processing and presentation of rich telematic data that is packaged into intuitive and ease-of-use services”.

The company has been growing in the IoT and telematics sector for the past 10 years, Mr Sultana pointed out. “Notwithstanding this wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience in the sector, the socio-economic challenges that organisations are facing nowadays, are forcing almost every organisation to reboot and rethink their next steps, thus pushing for continuous learning and creative solutions along the way. These aspects are not limited to a specific function within the organisation, and have to be adopted and adapted across all functions and in all areas of the organisation.” he emphasised.

HandsOn Systems CEO Geoffrey Farrugia said the company’s technological vision is to be a global IoT systems provider. “We are in the process of achieving this vision by ramping up our recruitment of leading minds in the field and through alliances like those we have with Melita,” he said.

The new CTO is working hand in hand with the CEO to consolidate the organisation’s existing operations, further grow its team and continue to innovate by developing new technologies and extending the applications of its current suite of products and solutions.

Five years down the line, Mr Sultana sees HandsOn Systems as a data powerhouse with the necessary backbone infrastructure, so that both through technology and strategic partnerships it can constantly offer high value services to its customers. He pointed out that “although this five-year vision has been wrapped in one simple statement, on the ground it entails a lot of sweat and hard work… How are we going to get there? Persistence, perseverance and a strong drive being taken on board by the entire organisation.”

Gabriel Sultana at a glance

  • Age: 42
  • Born: Pietà
  • In the news: Named HandsOn Systems Ltd CTO
  • Background: With over 22 years’ experience in the IT world, Gabriel started his professional journey in the software world as a Quality Assurance Engineer; Technical and Enterprise Architect; and Heading Architecture and Technology function.
  • Education: Masters in Information Technology and Management specialising in Cloud Technologies. Also being an Electronics Engineering graduate from Fellenberg Training Centre, he continued his studies in Computing and Information Systems, with a number of professional certifications along the way. This covered Software Engineering and Data Science topics, like Big Data and Statistics.