Rudolf Kooi, a CIO With Employees, Customers and Wildlife

Today’s businesses operate in a world where traditional, rigid structures are being replaced by fluid, rapidly changing models. Individuals who inspire new ways of thinking will power the businesses that succeed as they embrace this new dynamic environment.

Smart CIOs are stepping up to the challenge. They are the catalysts for change, harnessing the transformative power of technology to change the way a business operates. VMware’s Agents of Change initiative shines a spotlight on these important contributors.

Here’s the next individual in our Agents of Change series: Rudolf Kooi, CIO at Wildlands Adventure Park Emmen.

When Rudolf Kooi joined Wildlands Adventure Park Emmen three years ago, the park was about to embark on a huge modernization project. The ageing zoo facilities were to be updated into a unique adventure park where animal welfare came first, and where guests experienced the animals in their natural habitats.

Technology Everywhere, but Invisible

With the vision of the park defined, Kooi’s job was to make it happen. He explains, “To realize our ambitious plans, I knew that technology needed to be everywhere across the 22 hectares [54 acres] of the park. It would play a crucial role in caring for the animals, in making the staff productive no matter where they are, and in creating an amazing experience for our visitors. But I wanted the technology to be invisible.”  

Recognizing the scale of the task, Kooi turned to VMware partner TCA Telecom & IT to help design and build the required infrastructure and solutions. “One of the hardest elements of any transformational IT project is finding the right partners,” says Kooi. “We needed help and guidance as we navigated through this very complex project.”

Hear from Kooi in the video below, then read on to learn his advice to others setting out on a change initiative.

Preparation is Key

The end results are inspiring and are all enabled through technology. The park has three climate zones: a tropical jungle where herds of elephants wander through the dense forest; an African savanna where antelope, zebra, and giraffe roam the dusty plains; and an arctic zone where polar bears stride across the ice. Visitors embark on adventures through the huge park and learn about the wildlife with an easy-to-use smartphone application. And staff have the digital tools to help with every part of their jobs—from animal care to ticketing services.

“My advice to others setting out on a change initiative like this is to put in place a rigorous planning and preparation process,” concludes Kooi. “Preparation really is the key to success.”