Staying Connected: Crummer and Siemens Energy Alums Collaborate for a Brighter Future

One priority that unites everyone at Crummer is the importance of maintaining strong connections with our alumni. We especially enjoy coordinating events with large businesses that hire many of our graduates, like Siemens Energy. Early this May, we were hosted at the Siemens Innovation Center in northeast Orlando where alum Vinod Philip ’08MBA, member of the Executive Board of Siemens Energy, spoke to the attendees about the future of the company. Vinod recently became the new CEO of the wind turbine unit for Siemens Gamesa. Crummer’s Dean Anil Menon and Dr. Keenan Yoho were also in attendance and presented to the alums.

 Vinod kicked things off by discussing innovation at Siemens Energy. The company invests €1.2B in innovation annually, has 4,900 employees in the field, and 24,200 patents. “We have almost 95% of technologies we need for net zero at some level of development. We are focusing on scaling them and bringing them to market,” he said.

Focusing on how to provide Siemens Energy with the innovations to succeed in a dynamic market, Vinod offered these five key takeaways: First, innovation will focus on service and the new five fields of action including resilient grids and reliability, energy storage, and condition-based service interventions. Second, investments will be linked to business cases with tangible payback. Third, Siemens Energy will innovate together with partners to reduce R&D expenditures and risks as well as to shorten time-to-market. Next, there will be active portfolio management with clear R&D KPIs to quickly and rigorously stop activities that are not progressing. Last, they are consolidating competences in four global innovation centers (Orlando, Berlin, Abu Dhabi, and Shenzhen) for higher efficiency and more customer proximity.

Vinod also discussed the recent internal reorganization the company underwent with the intention of becoming flatter. He offered three reasons for the restructuring: First and foremost, is to get closer to the customer. NPS since the initiative has been consistently improving. Second, Siemens Energy would like to create an organization with less focus on management titles and boxes. “We want people to make decisions on every possible level and to create horizontal leadership,” Vinod said. Third, the company would like to increase employee engagement. Vinod concluded by stating, “Versatility is key to the customer experience,” and “Service is the place where we touch the customer closely over a long period of time.” Vinod’s insights underscore the company’s strategic vision to enhance customer relations, empower employees, and streamline its structure for greater agility and service excellence.

Dean Menon began his address by stating how proud he is of the alums at Siemens Energy, including Vinod. He emphasized that while Orlando is often thought of as a tourist destination, it should also be known for innovation and that we need to drive that perception. He discussed new initiatives Crummer has undertaken such as the relaunch of the Executive MBA with five courses on leadership, the new certificates being created, and the addition of highly experienced faculty members like Mark Hertling and Jay Liebowitz. He concluded by reminding the alums to stay engaged and mentor students or offer internships when possible. Overall, Dean Menon’s address highlighted the pivotal role that Siemens alumni play in shaping Orlando as a hub of innovation and reinforced the importance of alumni engagement in nurturing the next generation of leaders through Crummer’s enhanced educational initiatives.

The attendees emphasized the importance of the Siemens Energy-Crummer connection.

“Staying connected to Rollins allows for me to maintain a great professional network, offering me opportunities for collaboration with the school and other colleagues at Siemens Energy who graduated from the program. It also ensures access to continuous learning, keeping me updated on the latest research and technological advancements. I learned so much about new developments that I am excited to continue exploring future learning opportunities with the school and promoting those with my peers at Siemens Energy.” -Melanie Gnecco ‘10, North America Service Operations, Siemens Energy

“Crummer is one of the better business graduate schools in the southeast. My company needs good talent. What better place to get this talent than Crummer. I am proud of the relationship Siemens Energy is building with Crummer.” -Leon Armstrong, Jr. ‘87MBA, IT Project Manager, Siemens Energy

The last part of the presentation was a dynamic lecture from Dr. Keenan Yoho on Competition as a Design Problem: Applying Lessons of Design to Strategic Thinking. Dr. Yoho shared an analysis of Microsoft and Apple, comparing their business structures and levels of success. He also emphasized the importance of understanding geopolitics and how they affect business operations. The attendees had the opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of his presentation, and one person queried about what Dr. Yoho learned from his military experience that applies to business. He responded, “The importance of flat structures, the willingness to demand the best tech available, and how they are constantly tinkering and experimenting with it.” 

Vinod highlighted one of Dr. Yoho’s key points, where he said, “Your own internal organizational structures and processes are often the biggest sources of friction.” Vinod emphasized that a business’s internal structure can become a hindrance if it’s not often evaluated and adjusted to meet larger objectives.

The Crummer and Siemens Energy event highlighted the ongoing commitment to fostering strong ties and continuing education between alumni and their alma mater, underscoring the importance of collaboration in driving innovation and professional growth within the dynamic landscape of modern business. If you would like to organize an event like this for your organization, please reach out to Zack Poe with Alumni Relations at zpoe@rollins.edu.