When it comes to HR digital transformation and global payroll solutions, Solena Banks is a highly motivated professional. Currently the Business Development Director of Middle East markets at ADP.
She is an ambitious business woman focused on helping the company grow with her skills. We got to know a lot through our interview with her. Let’s begin with it.
Starting Off With The Career Path
How did you begin your career journey? We asked Solena to start off the interview.
She says, “I am a French citizen, living in Dubai for 14 years, previously living and working in Europe. You always come here for 2 to 3 years but end up staying. Dubai has become home even though my children are grown up and have started living abroad. The culture and the diversity of the population are what I like the most, along with doing business in the region. One of my biggest priorities in life has always been my career. I have always been very career oriented and passionate about every job I’ve had.
My journey has varied and been interesting so far. I’ve had the chance to work for large organizations in different industries in various parts of the world. Throughout my career, I’ve been promoted a number of times and been in a leadership role which I’ve really enjoyed. More importantly, as a woman in the professional world, I have demonstrated that it is possible to switch industries and start from scratch.
During covid, I joined a tech services company called ADP, a 500 fortune company headquartered in the USA. It couldn’t have been further from my comfort zone. I have taken on this challenge with ADP and approached it with an entrepreneurial eye as if it was my very own startup. It has been a rewarding journey so far. I’ve become fascinated by the tech world and the knowledge I was exposed to, but passionate about helping organizations with their transformation, their digitization processes, and of course global payroll.”
Unmatched Experience Within The Industry
This seemed pretty exciting, and we wanted to know more about ADP. So, we asked Solena Banks, “What are the services/solutions or products offered by ADP?”
“For over 70 years, ADP has led the way in defining the future of business solutions. ADP is proud to be named to FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list for 16 consecutive years*.
ADP was established in 1949 and is a financially mature organization recognized by Gartner as a leader in the Global HCM Sector. We are a comprehensive global provider of cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solutions that unite HR, payroll, talent, time, tax, and benefits administration, and a leader in business outsourcing services, analytics, and compliance expertise.
Our experience is unmatched within the industry. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, ADP’s cutting-edge technology platforms bring deep insights to human resourcing, transforming it from a back-office administrative function to a strategic business advantage.” Solena continues.
Aligning With the Market’s Strong Competition
Since she is a director of ADP in the Middle East, we were curious to understand their goals. So we continued by asking Solena about her goals as a director for the region.
She replies, “My role is to extend & develop the ADP footprint across the region. The Middle East is a focus area for ADP, and my role is to lead that move into the region. My vision and strategy are to partner with the right organizations and people throughout the region, which I look forward to. The professionalism of ADP speaks for itself, so it is a win-win for both parties, as I always say.”
Challenges are something that every business goes through throughout its journey. Hence, we asked Solena, “What are the challenges you are facing in your role?”
“Like everywhere, there are many challenges. The region itself has really matured in the time I’ve been living here t’s catching up fast, but it still has some way to go. This is what makes the challenge interesting. There’s so much potential here. The competition is strong in the market (from both local companies and international) and very present, but again I’d say that there are great opportunities that are more suited to ADP than others. A lot of firms want to engage in their digitization journey but don’t know how. That’s where ADP can really help. The challenge for us is that we are new to the region.” she says.
The Region’s Current Happenings
Since she’s the region head, we were curious about learning more from her. That’s why our question that followed was, “What have you noticed the most is happening within the region?”
The UAE is at the top in terms of looking at streamlining its processes and automation. Saudi, Oman, Qatar, and others are markets currently exploring digitization; however, the UAE is much more advanced. Sometimes we take for granted how well things are run here. That’s a conscious choice by the country to embrace technology and modernize. It is interesting to see how the dynamic of this market has evolved and what kinds of organizations are approaching ADP. Many organizations still rely on manual processes, leading to challenges, human errors, and extra costs. Three-quarters of HR executives agree that “the regulatory challenges of hiring, paying, and managing employees internationally is increasing in complexity.”
How do you think technology is leading to changes in businesses? Do you feel it’s helping Your Company grow?
Solena Banks continues, “Yes, definitely. Large organizations are faced with not only having to manage and pay a local, regional & global workforce, but they must also maintain compliance with multiple country-specific, regional, and local laws and regulations. The environment is only getting more and more complex. As companies extend or grow rapidly, whether we are referring to an outsourced payroll solution or other ADP products and services workforce management, IHCM, etc.), organizations are facing many challenges as they expand, which lead to various issues hence the need to have a robust process in place to ensure compliance and security. Choosing the right vendor is so important.”
Data Security & Compliance
Nowadays, data security is very crucial for everyone since the world is transitioning into a digital one. So, it’s crucial that a company ensures proper data security for its employees, partners, and customers. Upon this, our next question to Solena was:
“How does ADP deal with the data security of its organization and its customers?”
“Today’s digital landscape means limitless possibilities and complex security risks and threats. At ADP, security is integral to our products, business processes, and infrastructure. We deliver advanced services and technology for data security, privacy, fraud, and crisis management—all so you can stay focused on your business.
When it comes to security for your ADP products and services, you need protection around the clock and in every time zone. With over 65 years of experience and global reach, our security specialists and intelligence platforms have the bases covered.
To be protected, you need to take an integrated approach. Partnering with ADP gives you advanced platform defense, intelligent detection, automated data protection, physical security, fraud defense, business resiliency, identity and access management—and much more. We embed multiple layers of protection into our products, processes, and infrastructure to be sure that security remains at the forefront.” shares Solena Banks.
“Explain how ADP can support you in compliance.”
She further continues, “Managing regulations across different regions is challenging, and missteps are costly. Our compliance resources and solutions can help you protect your company anywhere you do business.
Keeping compliant can consume time and take you away from running your business. But with ADP, you stay compliant and productive with everything you need to easily manage your responsibilities. Our integration with ADP payroll increases data reliability for more accurate test results. By leveraging the power of integration and smart programming, we help clients save time and avoid mistakes, inaccuracies, and missed deadlines that can result in fines. Especially when you need to manage this in multiple countries at the same time.”
Assisting With HR Transformations
Lastly, we also asked her, “Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?”
She said, “As a leader of the region based in Dubai. I am here to help and support organizations with their HR transformation. I am a passionate person with a very strong work ethic, and when I take on a new project, it means that I value the people I talk to and the businesses. We learn from each other. It’s such an interesting journey. From a strategic standpoint, I am looking for true partnerships rather than a customer/vendor relationship on behalf of ADP. I believe in the success of those relationships within the region, and I am keen to take on new projects with organizations who want to start their digitization journey.”
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