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Testimonial Sibelga

Sibelga is the distribution network operator (DNO) for electricity and natural gas in the 19 municipalities of the Brussels Capital Region. Its mission is to ensure reliable access to energy for all and to be the partner of the energy transition in Brussels. The context is marked by a number of changes in the energy landscape, including decentralized energy production, local energy communities and the deployment of smart meters. Digital transformation is another piece of the story, bringing new opportunities but also challenges, including in the area of cybersecurity.

To deliver on its mission and address these challenges, it is critical for Sibelga to rely on a solid and secured ICT infrastructure, and innovative digital solutions as well as internal operational and human excellence.

This is being driven within Sibelga’s IT department by its Chief Information Officer, Herbert Carracillo, who shares his views and feedback about the collaboration with Passwerk and information security officer Amedée.

What was the motivation to start a collaboration with Passwerk?

It is critical for Sibelga, as a distribution network operator for electricity and gas and as a key player in the Brussels energy landscape, to maintain high standards in the quality of the services and solutions we deliver and in the security of our infrastructure since we provide essential services to communities and industries.

Precision and attention to detail are therefore key and explain why we decided to collaborate with Passwerk in the area of IT testing and IT security. It gives us the chance to access a pool of highly talented individuals with exceptional analysis skills. Their accuracy, rigour and meticulous approach make the difference and complement our in-house skills to ensure that our solutions are thoroughly tested and that the highest level of IT security is applied. This creates what we consider a win-win partnership.

What also convinced us to start a collaboration with Passwerk is our attention to Corporate Social Responsibility. Passwerk's mission to provide employment opportunities for individuals with autism reflects our vision and values in terms of diversity and inclusion.

We started our collaboration in 2020 with a consultant from Passwerk who joined our Test Management team. Based on a positive experience, we extended this partnership in 2023 with Amedée joining our IT security team and more recently a third consultant from Passwerk completed the team.

What does our consultant Amedée do at Sibelga?

Amedée performs security monitoring operations and he elaborates a monthly security report to create visibility for our head of IT security, head of IT infrastructure and myself as CIO.

I must say that I’ve been impressed by the quality and rigor of the reports that Amedée has been producing so far as well as by his in-depth knowledge of IT security, which reflect his dedication and commitment to the job.

Amedée also reviews and adapts the configuration of security tools and more. Based on our needs and on possible unpredictable events for our IT security, he is required to perform some form of analysis (root cause detection, consequences,...) and elaborate a report which is then reviewed and shared with our management.

How is the partnership going?

Amedée’s integration into our IT Security team went very smoothly, he has been able to find his place easily and we are very pleased with the added value that he brings to the team.

The diversity of tasks that he is able to perform, his dedication to deliver, even under challenging circumstances, and his attention to detail make him a valuable member of our team. He is also able to quickly adapt to changing needs and can work very independently while keeping in line with the rest of the team when necessary.

The collaboration and the interactions we have with him are very enriching, in the areas of technology and IT security as well as on a more personal level as we are always happy to exchange on our respective or mutual interests.

How do you experience our job coaching model and what are the lessons learned from their expertise?

The jobcoaching model has been very important in first instance to prepare the start of Amedée’s mission at Sibelga. Integrating consultants with autism in a team always brings the questions of whether our ways of working and our workplace are suited and of how the interactions can be organized optimally.

Our exchanges with the job coach from Passwerk allowed us to raise awareness in our team about what autism is, what it requires from us and how everyone is supported along the way to make the most out of this collaboration.

The on-the-job coaching and support that is being provided every two weeks by the job coach of Passwerk is also very helpful for everyone. It allows us to ensure that our expectations continue to be aligned with those of Amedée, that we have a common understanding of the work to be delivered and to clarify any potential misunderstanding that may occur.

This job coaching model really creates the conditions to make this collaboration a success story for us, for Passwerk and for the consultants.

Does our partnership fit into a broader strategy around diversity & inclusion within Sibelga?

Diversity & inclusion is a key topic for Sibelga, it is part of everything we do. We want to approach it from different angles, not only from the social and gender points of view, but also on the side of neurodiversity.

This means for us to give equal chances to people who have different ways of thinking such as high potentials and people with autism as it allows us to bring innovation, problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking into our activities.

It also helps break certain misconceptions or stereotypes by showing that what is wrongly considered as a weakness by some, opens up a range of possibilities in various fields.

We look forward to continuing this collaboration with Passwerk and to exploring future opportunities as Sibelga continues to navigate the digital transformation and the energy transition in Brussels with all the challenges that it may still bring.

Herbert Carracillo, CIO of Sibelga, is a nominee for the CIO of the Year Award by Datanews.


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