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Svein Cato er ekspert på Retail i Embriq

Can you tell us a little about your job at Embriq?
Externally, I work as a technology consultant. I’m often taken on as a sounding board for company management. With my background in the retail industry, it’s only natural that most of my work comes from there although companies from other industries have benefited from my experience and skills. Most managers need someone that they can discuss technology choices, priorities and digitalisation strategies with now in the new normal.

Internally, I work mostly on concept and service development and support for our sales resources. In my team, I work a great deal with my colleague Stein and have developed most of the concepts that we now market and sell to the retail industry. In these concepts, we focus on business value rather than technology.

Why did you choose Embriq?
I came to the position as business developer from the role of IT director with the Gresvig Group and had also worked in IT management in the retail sector since 1999. I had known the company and the people from the customer side for several years and had always been involved in a way. Over the years, I have got to know many people in the company and the culture they have created. Which is why I knew what I was going into. But I also saw a great potential for improvement in some areas. I saw it as a great opportunity for influencing the company in a role as business developer.

What do you think is the coolest technology trend right now?
If I have to point to one thing that I think is important now, it is the utilisation of RFID technology in the entire retail value chain. There are obvious benefits that can be recouped within a short period of time. This is technology that is capable of contributing to enhanced customer experiences, higher efficiency and more insight for decision makers.

What is your favourite gadget?
I may be a little pragmatic when it comes to technology. I’ve been working on this for a lifetime so I’m not that easy to impress. I believe that things should work easily and seamlessly. I like being able to talk to a speaker and get it to play the music I want, but at the same time it’s annoying when it or they ‘talk’ without being spoken to or they can’t find all the right playlists on Spotify.

What is the best book you have read?
I like everything that is both surprising and a little absurd, preferably fiction with a good mix of historic events. A Time for Everything by Karl Ove Knausgård is really good.

I’m a big fan of audio books and think it’s wonderful to hear Tore Renberg’s dialect as he reads all his books himself. He has some excellent books that describe people well while drawing a good contemporary picture.

Do you have a favourite television series that you would recommend to others?
I like anything from romantic comedies to thrillers. Friends, Seinfeld and Two and a Half Men are great classics if you want something light and fun to watch – and they can all be watched over and over again.

A drama I really liked was Lykkeland on NRK. That’s a really good series – there’s probably something about me and the Stavanger dialect. Otherwise I grew up with the Lord of the Rings books and am interested to see whether a series will be made based on these. The films were fantastic.


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