Cameron Mitchell Restaurants Discusses How Cloud Technology is Enabling Greater Mobility in the Workforce

Orlando Sprockel - Columbus Tech Power Player Honoree

Orlando Sprockel

Director of IT

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants



Jason Skidmore




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The Director of IT for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Orlando Sprockel, discusses how cloud technology is enabling greater mobility in the workforce. 


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JS: Hello, we're here today with Orlando Sprockel, who is the Director of Information Systems Technology at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. My name is Jason Skidmore. I'm the CEO of Vernovis, and I will be your guest moderator today. Orlando, let's get started.


OS: Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me here.


JS: Great to have you here, thank you so much. So, I'm going to start by asking you about the area of emerging and disruptive technology innovation. That's a really big topic these days. In your opinion, what's one of the most exciting, disruptive technologies that you're beginning to see impact our work and our lives?


OS: It is to bring the cloud; the buzzword is cloud these days. Um, but it's basically changing the mindset within the culture. Um, we had a lot of technology that were on-prem and we're trying to change it to go to more cloud, to more of the utility model, so, um, changes and innovation can happen quicker. Um, so at this moment we're looking to start moving our content, our data and our files into the cloud using different models. And we’re doing actually a proof of concept right now with companies, two companies at this moment to see how we can make our um, our associates, uh, more, more mobile. At this moment, at times when they need to access data back at the home base, the home office, they have to connect via VPN to be secure. By putting the data into the cloud, we are allowing them to access data when they need it on any device, any time.


JS: Absolutely. And how are you seeing this change create some positive disruption in your organization?


OS: The ability to access the data at any time. For example, we have regionals, which are the managers overseeing multiple restaurants. They're constantly traveling at times with labor lost, potentially right now for the people working in the restaurants, they need to be able to produce documents to discuss and educate the associate at site. At times, meetings don't happen in the restaurant. They happen somewhere else. At a Starbucks somewhere away from the restaurant. So, by having access to the data that they need to have this discussion, this meeting offsite, helps them be more mobile, otherwise they have to email themselves the document, or put it local to their device so it's available.


JS: Yep. Absolutely. Well, that's a great segue – I mean, given the mobility of our workforce today and some of those changes in the move to the cloud, it helps us put a different eye on security. Right? So, there's so much in the news today about what's going on in the security world. I mean, how worried should we really be, how do you think about that?


OS: So, uh, security for us is two things, one definitely is the PCI compliance. With the whole issue about credit card debt and being in the restaurant business, we have to be a mindset of, mindful of our customers, our guests, um, on their credit card. So, we’re trying to implement new technology. One of them, again, is to partner with people who are better than my internal team. We're not a security minded, um, IT, um, personnel in the team, whereas if I partner with people who are able to do what they do best, then we can get that security level that we need. The first part is to change our topology, our hardware and how we protect our fences. So, that's the first phase.

The next phase is to bring, um, software in-house onto the POS devices, the devices we use in restaurants to collect your data, your credit card. By doing so, we are able then to make sure that the content of your credit card never leaves your hand. So, that's to bring what we called EMV devices. These are devices that, when you're sitting at the table, you're able to, um, insert your own credit card into the device, process the transaction and take your credit card out. And then the credit card never leaves your hand, which gives to the guests a better, um, a feeling that their credit card is protected, but also elevates the technology.

Uh, the next step is the culture. We have to change the culture and the people who are using the technology. You can build a big fence, but if you, for example, if you have your house, you put, uh, security all around your house, but if somebody rings the doorbell and you open the door and let them in, then your security is not that good. So, that's the next phase is for us to change the culture within the company. Make sure people are more, um, more aware, particularly into email and phishing and such.


JS: Absolutely. Orlando, thank you. Great insight today and something different for me to be thinking about next time I'm enjoying a great meal at one of your restaurants


OS: You are always welcome!


JS: Thank you very much.


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