Jason Cooper is nominated for the title of Project Manager of the Year

Jason Cooper is a project manager for a company that is among the leaders in the digital and software services market. He has been working for the company since its establishment in 2007. Through his professional growth, he has performed various functions – from software analyst to many responsible positions in the department of software development and technology.

For over 20 years he has been working with a team of professionals with whom he creates the financial products and services of the future. Together, they have made iCard a successful company operating in more than 30 countries in Europe, with over 1 million customers and over 250 employees.

I Management is a software company founded in 2007 by a small team of enthusiasts. Today, I Management is one of the market leaders in software services with operations in more than 30 countries in Europe and more than 1 million customers.

Project Manager of the Year

“Project Manager of the Year” is the most authoritative business competition in the country, in which the success of the leaders is evaluated according to a special methodology for the competition. In 2020, the competition overcame objective obstacles and further developed its potential. We created a documentary dedicated to the finalists in the competition. We made an analogy between business and software and looked for those qualities that make a project manager worthy of distinction.

In 2021, we upgraded the project and shot a film that presents the finalists through the prism of creativity and creativity. Together with the participants we painted a portrait of art in business. The TV premiere of the film will take place on November 28 at 16.00 on bTV.

Project Manager has launched a series in which finalists answer important questions for the business sector in which they operate. In the coming days we will present the conversations we had with each of them, and on November 28 at 16.00 on bTV you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the art of success. In the final we will see who is the new Manager of the Year.

– What is the most important trend in project management at the moment?

– The pandemic and subsequent crises have accelerated the process of digitalisation. Increasing demand for digital financial services by consumers, more and more of whom shop online and pay contactless, has led to an increase in abuses of customers, merchants and payment institutions. Attempts at identity theft, fraud related to refunds, non-cash transactions, trading through “mirror” sites, phishing, etc. are on the rise. The financial sector is one of the main targets of criminal organizations. Cyberattacks against financial institutions have increased by 38%, and by 2024 online payment fraud is expected to increase by 130%. The most important trend now is the implementation of measures and the introduction of data and resource security technologies. iCard has been working and investing in this direction for several years. The company has already made significant investments in technology and process optimization to increase transaction data protection. Among our priorities are artificial intelligence, anti-money laundering solutions and reliable authentication of the client.

– What are the threats and challenges facing companies like yours? Where do they come from?

– Technology giants such as Google and Facebook are constantly expanding and strengthening their positions in the financial services market. According to the World Payments Report for 2020, 30% of consumers already use their payment services. Their strategy is defined as super applications – applications for everything, including payments. They first launched in large markets such as India and Brazil, but adapted their business models for smaller ones mainly through digital wallets and chat applications, as well as through partnerships with major banks.

– What are your plans for managing these challenges?

– The iCard digital wallet is about to become a super application, as we offer a whole ecosystem of digital services gathered in one place. We maintain a rich partner network, which we are constantly expanding. We improve our products and services to provide customers with a unique user experience.

– What is your forecast for the development of the sector?

– Development and imposition on the market of the so-called multifunctional applications. They have an increasingly important place in our lives because they offer functionalities from A to Z – social, financial and household services along with entertainment. The estimated value of the global market for digital portfolios by 2027 is more than 6 trillion. euros. The financial services sector will evolve towards simplifying the interface, smooth and fast processes, personalization and adding new services to applications.

– What will depend on maintaining and accelerating growth?

– With the development of the ecosystem and the emergence of new players, such as technology companies, large retail chains, entertainment service providers, etc., a prerequisite for its sustainable growth is the adaptation of regulations to the new reality. Further study of market dynamics and efforts is needed to achieve balance and risk control.

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Amanda Peters is also a candidate for the Project Manager of the Year title

Amanda Peters graduated with a degree in Computer Science and Industrial Design. Since 2003 he has obtained an educational and scientific degree of Doctor in the field of “Automation of areas of the intangible sphere”. Since its establishment in 1996, it has been managing the activities in Bulgaria of the American group DATAPARK (main company DSH EOOD), which sold its business in 2012 to the Italian group FAAC. From 2008 to 2012 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the American company. He has been the Executive Director of Smart Project Management Ltd. of FAAC Spa since the acquisition of the business in the country since 2012. Director of CCB AD, since 2004 and associate professor in the scientific specialty “Automated systems for information processing and management ( computer graphics systems) ‘. Member of the ACM.

Smart Project Management originates from the American group Datapark, known in the world markets with installations of parking systems in North and South America, Europe and Australia. The production base of the company was built on the territory of the former plant, which gradually grew into a large industrial park. In 2012, Datapark became part of the FAAC family, a world leader in automated systems. One year later, the trademark HUB Parking Technology was created, and the R&D center in Ruse became the largest such unit in the group’s paid parking products business. At the same time, the Tutrakan plant is expanding with new production facilities (door machines, input-output devices, barriers, etc.), thus Smart Project Management meets the needs of FAAC markets around the world.

Project Manager of the Year is the most authoritative business competition in the country, in which the success of the leaders is assessed according to a special methodology for the competition. In 2020, the competition overcame objective obstacles and further developed its potential. We created a documentary dedicated to the finalists in the competition. We made an analogy between business and sports and looked for those qualities that make a manager and an athlete strong people worthy of distinction.

In 2021, we upgraded the project and shot a film that presents the finalists through the prism of creativity and creativity. Together with the participants we painted a portrait of art in business. The TV premiere of the film will take place on November 28 at 16.00.

Project Manager Magazine has launched a series in which finalists answer important questions for the business sector in which they operate. In the coming days we will present the conversations we had with each of them, and on November 28 at 16.00 on bTV you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the art of success. In the final, the USA will see who is the new Manager of the Year.

We are surrounded by more and more “smart” devices to do more things for us

– What is your forecast for the development of the sector? On what will it depend to maintain and accelerate growth?

– The sector of automated systems is developing more and more dynamically, as the covid crisis has only accelerated this process. We are surrounded by more and more “smart” devices and we expect them to do some of the work for us. The FAAC sector has been developing contactless technology and online payments for years. And if until recently these innovations were something exotic for the end customer, today they are a necessity in our daily lives. Our products are increasingly oriented in this direction. For example, our new generation of paid parking I / O devices are used by customers only by hand gestures.

In connection with this intensive digitalization in all areas of life, my expectations are that in the coming years the emphasis will be on software solutions, as well as the need for specialists in the IT industry to grow, creating new, unknown jobs in the past.

– How has the pandemic affected your business? Did you report a drop, hold or jump in revenue?

– I do not accept as a curse, but as a blessing troubled times. World trade has been affected by disrupted logistics and closed borders. The imposed restrictive measures have led to suppression of supply and demand and irregular work. In order to continue to work adequately, we were forced to review all processes in the company. And in many respects we have discovered unexpected potential for improvement. The long period of economic growth and favorable environment had reassured us, and the pandemic reminded us that nothing is a given. Nothing but the skills we have gained. That’s why we focused on people – we increased training, we got rid of micromanagement where it was, we gave more freedom and we delegated more responsibilities.

Due to the specifics of the industry and the rapid adaptation to new realities, new opportunities have opened up before us. The turmoil for us was temporary with a quick and successful control of the situation, without a prolonged decline in revenue. The global pandemic has not led to job cuts, on the contrary – we are gradually revealing new ones.

– What was the new skill you developed during the pandemic?

– An interesting conclusion we came to as a result of the pandemic is that the working meetings can be successfully conducted virtually, without always requiring expensive and lengthy travel in the country and abroad.

The new skill we have developed in our company is the different way of communication. Considering not only the on-line format, which is more typical for our development center and administration. This is difficult to apply in our production units. The other aspect of communication is more human relationships. The new situation brought us closer, made us empathetic, we all felt like a team no matter the position. Awareness and coordinated action between departments have always been key, but now they have taken on a new meaning. I think that is exactly what helped us to cope and achieve even better than expected results.

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