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The V3 Hot Seat: Accenture MD and ex-YouView tech chief Sef Tuma

08 Jan 2013

accenture-sef-tuma-youviewSef Tuma is a managing director with Accenture, leading its Digital Services practice in the UK. He has been with Accenture since 1996, where he specialises in large complicated transformational initiatives.

Tuma has helped a wide array of content companies, ranging from film and gaming studios to ISPs and broadcasters, reach their business goals through innovation and streamlined delivery.

Most recently, he was seconded as head of technical delivery of YouView, tasked with driving the media platform’s various product lines towards a successful launch.

Tuma follows other IT industry luminaries in the Hot Seat, including Pentaho chief executive Quentin Gallivan and Lookout co-founder Kevin Mahaffey.

What would be your dream job?

If I had the talent, a film director, no question

Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?

Apple – and they are doing a better and better job at making it stickier
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?

Virtualised processing – the ability to make systems portable and always accessible continues to be applied in the most wonderful ways for both businesses and consumer goods. For example, the way that consumers now think about their books, music collections, and film collections versus the physical media in their house is a fascinating change in behaviour.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Helping launch YouView, definitely – an extremely complicated effort with multiple disparate parties resulting in the simplest experience for consumers.
What was your first job?

A dishwasher at Hot Licks restaurant (barbecue ribs)  – yes, as rough as it sounds.

However, my first project with Accenture was working with the Steven Spielberg founded Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, and this gave me my initial experience with enterprise digital media distribution systems.

Back in 1996, the challenge was to index and distribute terabytes worth of Holocaust survivor testimonies digitally to museums across the US. This included large physical robot storage and dedicated networks. It’s quite amazing to think back on how much things have changed in terms of digital video delivery since then.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?
Constantly learning from such smart people of various disciplines. As more things converge, the more I get exposure to new ideas and new angles on existing problems.
What keeps you awake at night?

The unbelievable pace at which things are changing and how best to stay on top of it - and it’s only going to get faster.

What was the last book you read and was it any good?

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I like books that challenge conventional thinking and my gut instincts.
Who is your favourite band or musician?

This is altered and moulded every week due to Spotify.
Where’s your favourite place for escape?

I’m a city mouse, and I'm still enjoying exploring Europe given it’s so easy to get around. As an American living abroad, it is still quite mind-blowing that a one-hour flight, the equivalent from New York to Pittsburgh, takes me to a completely different country, culture and economy.
E-readers or real books?
E-readers definitely. If I think of what furniture I need to replace it's my bookcase.

If you want to volunteer for V3's Hot Seat, or want to suggest an IT leader you think should take part, please email for more details.

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Madeline Bennett

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

View Madeline's Google+ profile

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