1818 – Harnessing Technology for Human Impact with Amy Salcido

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the President of Kyndryl, Amy Salcido.

Salcido Wide

Kyndryl's journey is a fascinating one. Born from a spinoff, this company hit the ground running as a $19 billion business. Yet, despite its size, Kyndryl has managed to maintain the agility and culture of a startup.

Amy shared with me the excitement of fostering an environment that encourages entrepreneurial thinking and the importance of having a team that's fully engaged in the company's transformational journey. It's a heartwarming reminder that the backbone of any successful business transformation is its people.

At its core, Kyndryl is an IT consulting and services company that keeps the world's essential systems running—from banking to aviation, and everything in between. Their focus is not on IT for its own sake but on leveraging technology to solve the most pressing business challenges.

Amy's passion was palpable as she spoke about the honor of being integral to their customers' daily operations, emphasizing the real-world impact of their work on individuals' lives.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Kyndryl, an IT consulting and services company
  • Kyndryl's commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity
  • Kyndryl's focus on culture, people, and entrepreneurial spirit
  • Kyndryl's role in running mission-critical systems worldwide
  • Examples of Kyndryl's client relationships and impact on industries such as healthcare, airlines, and technology
  • Kyndryl's services in providing IT and tech-related solutions, consulting, and system management
  • Kyndryl's use of technology, AI Ops, and Control Bridge to provide proactive recommendations and insights to clients

About Amy Salcido:

Amy Salcido serves as the President of Kyndryl US, adopting a people-centric leadership approach to guide diverse and high-performing teams in tackling complex business and IT challenges.

With a career marked by collaboration with global brands, Salcido has garnered trust from C-suite executives by introducing innovative solutions and leading with empathy.

Previously the Chief Customer Engagement & Transformation Officer, and General Manager of Consumer & Travel at Kyndryl, she forged meaningful relationships in retail, consumer products, travel, transportation, and logistics.

Committed to fostering allyship, Amy champions Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity initiatives, emphasizing the unlocking of individual potential for organizational growth.

An advocate for employee well-being, she believes prioritizing individuals' holistic development drives creativity and skills enhancement.

Amy, currently based in New York City, brings a wealth of experience and a global perspective, reflecting her passion for travel and having lived in various parts of the world.

About Kyndryl:

Kyndryl is a premier global company with a commitment to designing, running, and managing cutting-edge and reliable technology infrastructure.

As an independent and focused entity, Kyndryl builds on its foundation of excellence by adopting innovative approaches, collaborating with strategic partners, investing in its business, and working closely with customers to unlock potential.

With 90,000 highly skilled employees worldwide, Kyndryl serves 75 of the Fortune 100, showcasing its extensive experience. The company's core purpose is to advance the vital systems that drive human progress.

By ensuring the health of digital ecosystems, Kyndryl enables adaptability and continuous growth, opening up a world of possibilities for individuals and businesses alike.

The emphasis on holistic thinking and collaboration underscores Kyndryl's commitment to raising industry standards and pushing the boundaries of technological innovation.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Kyndryl website at

Check out Kyndryl on LinkedIn at

Check out Kyndryl on Twitter at

Check out Amy Salcido on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Amy Salcedo. Amy, you are the president of the U.S.. You are found on the web at Kindle. Com kinder Amy, thank you so much for joining us.

Amy (00:01:13) - Thanks for having me. Josh. I'm really happy to be here.

Josh (00:01:16) - So tell me, who is Kendra? What does Kendra do?

Amy (00:01:21) - Yeah.

Amy (00:01:21) - Well, look, we sort of affectionately say Kendra is one of the world's largest startups. So we were born out of a spinoff, which is a very unique experience that, you know, I had to be a part of because I don't know how often you get to experience something like that in your professional career. And, you know, on the day we spun off, we were a $19 billion business. So again, a very large startup, but has all the sort of hallmarks of a real startup, which is all the focus that we've put on culture and people, and just creating an environment that really fosters entrepreneurial spirits and, you know, lets people think about, you know, how would we do this differently? And, look, it's it's a lot of transformation that goes into that kind of startup process. But people are in it with us, right? I mean, our engagement scores have never been higher, which is just one of those things that, you know, kind of warms my heart because I feel like you can't do any kind of real transformation in business if you don't have the people with you.

Amy (00:02:25) - Right? So but look, as a company, what we really do well is we run the mission critical systems of the world, right? So we're an IT consulting and services company. And, you know, all of the keeping money, running through banks, keeping planes flying in the air, all the things that we all depend on every day is, is really what what we do right all across the world. So we, you know, have a lot of long standing client relationships. We have new client relationships we've built since the spinoff, but we really do, you know, focus our energy on how do we help clients use technology to really solve their their biggest business problems. Right. So not it for the sake of it, but, you know, how do they leverage it to do things better, faster, more efficiently, more safely, more securely? All the things that are, you know, important in the world today. But it's really it's an honor to be able to be such a big part of of our customers, you know, every day.

Amy (00:03:30) - Right? We have to show up every single day. And there's not a lot of room for error when you're, you know, you're talking about, again, passengers on a plane or patients in the hospital. These are this is touching real people's lives. Right. So that's for me, such an exciting piece of it is just getting to focus on, you know, how do we help our customers serve their customers and patients and, and stakeholders. And that's what we do every day.

Josh (00:03:58) - Yeah. So what I'm hearing is you provide kind of IT and tech related solutions and services, as well as consulting for the biggest industries out there. I mean, it's everything from automotive, government, you know, chemical, oil, gas, banking, fintech, insurance, retail, travel, transportation, healthcare. I don't know if you have like, you know, examples of clients that you've worked with, but it sounds like it looks like you basically work with the biggest enterprise level companies on the planet.

Amy (00:04:29) - Yeah.

Amy (00:04:30) - And so you you nailed it really well, Josh. So I mean, that is exactly what we do, right? We we help advise our customers and do consulting work for them on how they can can run their enterprises more efficiently or better. We also can run those systems for them to make sure that, you know, nothing bad happens and that they can continue to run their business and and focus on what's important to them and leave the technology to us. But some really great examples that, I mean, one of my favorite most recent examples was Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC. And you know, this is small children, right? This is a hospital for kids who are sick is a tough time for any parent who is there with a child. And, you know, the work that we did was really centered on how can we help this hospital serve that caregiver, the parent as well as the caregiver, the doctor, better so that there's a better outcome and a better experience for for that family and that child.

Amy (00:05:34) - Right. And that's when I feel really great about what we do. You know, like that's really touching people's lives. And in that case or in a case we, you know, had just recently as well with care New England, which is another hospital system out of the Rhode Island area. It was really again, how can we give them sort of a single. Go view of that patient through technology so that the doctor or the nurse has that information at their fingertips and can make better decisions faster, and doesn't have to worry about paper and doesn't have to worry about technology that may be outdated, but it's really about consolidating all of that health information in one place so that there is a quicker time to decision on how to react with a patient. And, you know, again, those are real life examples of customers that we're partnering with. And look, we also I mean I mentioned airlines, Delta is one of our key clients and partners as well and have been for a long time. And we continue to work together to manage, you know, some of their their most important, you know, sort of technology systems and help them think about how they can go into the future.

Amy (00:06:51) - Right. Because technology is changing so fast. Think about just the last year. If we rewound, I don't know if anybody could have spelled an I a year ago, and now it's everywhere. And that's just one example, right? The bad guys also don't take a rest. You know, they continue to innovate every day. So security is another big thing that we focus on, making sure that our clients are secure from a cyber standpoint as well as physical security. And, you know, the world changes fast and we feel like we have the opportunity to, you know, to move quickly on behalf of our clients so that they can focus on what's core to them and not be trying to stay at the leading edge of technology by themselves.

Josh (00:07:34) - Yeah. Share with me, Amy, just a bit about, you know, when you're working with a client and what insights you as a separate or kind of third party consultancy as you're working with someone, what is Kendra typically able to reveal or allow the client to see that maybe historically they haven't been able to discover or see for themselves?

Amy (00:07:56) - Yeah.

Amy (00:07:57) - So I mean, I just mentioned I right? So one of the things we focused a lot on since we've kind of become an independent company, is how do we help gain better insights for ourselves and to allow us to do a better job on behalf of our customers, but more importantly, to provide insights to our customers directly? Right. So even in cases where we may not be, you know, managing their entire estate, you know, we're leveraging technology today to that can look across their entire estate and we can say, we think there's going to be a problem. I know you don't see it because it's not creating any symptoms, but it's coming. Right. And and we can look at repetitive patterns. We can, you know, use things like what we call AIOps, which is basically keeping an eye on all of your, your technology estate. And, and we can start to look for trends and we can look for, you know, possible problems coming before they come. Right? It's a way for us to avoid downtime or outages or bad things happening before they happen.

Amy (00:09:05) - And that's, you know, that has to be one of the great evolutions in the last number of years in the technology world is that, you know, oftentimes in the past, you might not have known something was broken until it didn't work. Right. And and now there's usually signals, if you have the technology to be looking at it and catch it. So we actually have we call it control Bridge. It's our sort of culmination of technology and AIOps and FinOps and other kinds of things that can look at the data across a customer's enterprise and, and can help us make proactive recommendations as opposed to, you know, reacting and waiting until until something breaks. And then it's kind of all hands on deck at two. And that's kind of the old way we want to continue to evolve past that.

Speaker 3 (00:09:55) - Yeah.

Josh (00:09:56) - Amy, tell me about who typically you start chatting with in organizations. Right. So who should be really paying attention right now on the edge of their seat and then saying, I am so grateful I heard this conversation and, you know, heard the message that Amy was sharing.

Josh (00:10:12) - I really need to have a conversation with Kendra.

Amy (00:10:15) - Yeah, well, look, it's a mix. I mean, historically, it's been a lot of CIOs, right? Chief information officers or even CTOs, chief technology officers. And that that is still a core constituency for us, as well as chief security officers or anybody that's, you know, really in that security or cybersecurity space. But the other thing I would say that's really transpired over the last number of years is that there's a convergence between it and the business, right? Most CIOs now are at the table with the CEO and the rest of the C-suite making business decisions because technology plays such a large role. Right. And how we do things, how we better serve our customers. It's very rare now that you see any separation right between technology or the CIOs team and what's happening with, you know, the business, the line of business execs, for example. And so we are really evolving with that. So, yes, we want to continue to support CIOs and and we work with them regularly, but we're also finding ourselves having more and more conversations with business execs who are trying to solve a business problem by using technology.

Amy (00:11:28) - Right. So an example of that might be, you know, just this week in New York City was what they call NRF, which is a retail conference for for retailers across the world. But it's a conference that happens every year to talk about, you know, innovation and retail, for example. And, you know, one of the things that we've specifically been working on is how do you better, you know, sort of enable the frontline worker. Right? So in an industry like retail, the frontline worker, the person in the store that's in front of of me as a customer or the agent that's talking to me through the online purchasing or, you know, even the frontline worker in a distribution center that was kind of an overlooked IT user for a long time. Right? It was kind of this thing in a data center or, you know, it was kind of this big enterprise level view. But now if you can put insights into the hand of that person that's closest to your customer, and you can do that real time and you can, you know, help them to be able to answer a customer's questions so they don't walk away without borrowing something.

Amy (00:12:40) - That's a win for for a retailer, right. If you can, um, do things like electronic shelf labels, which I know seems small, but if you've ever been in any kind of retail store, there's a lot of them that still do physical stickers that takes a person to walk around and change every physical sticker, and it doesn't give the retailer the ability to modify the price as demand fluctuates, for example. So if you can have that all become based on technology, then you have a lot more accuracy, you have a lot more flexibility to change the pricing. And so we don't make the labels, but we partner with a company that does. And that's just one thing that you can do to sort of help on the front line. So, you know, it's an evolution, I think, in the technology world in general, and certainly for us in general of how do we get out of kind of just the, you know, the data center world of operating these really big computers and machines and things, but that are still vital, by the way.

Amy (00:13:44) - But then how do we take technology? Because we all use it every day, right? We all walk around with a phone that we barely take our eyes off of all day. So, you know, you now have workers again in a store who are used to that in their personal life. How do you enable them to use that same kind of technology in their work life as, as they're trying to serve customers? And so those are the kinds of things that we're trying to think more broadly about, you know, beyond just sort of that enterprise level. You know, managing really big systems is how do you make an impact to your customers, customer more directly. So, yeah.

Josh (00:14:22) - You know, one final thing I just wanted to ask you about Amy as kind of an aside, um, tendril has done some really good like, I can see this in the messaging is just like really tied into the brand, but the and it looks like you're personally a fan of, you know, kind of the inclusion, diversity and equity work that Kendrick is committed to.

Josh (00:14:39) - Would you mind just, you know, kind of editorializing or kind of sharing your perspective on this?

Amy (00:14:46) - Yeah. Well, I mentioned, you know, kind of at the top, Josh, that, you know, as you become a new company, you have to find your own identity, right? So there's a lot of work on culture that has to happen. And, and we decided from day one to heavily invest. And what is this culture going to look like. And it was everything to do with our people. Right. And a technology services company, your people are your asset. They are your everything that's good about the company is your people and their skills and their experience and their expertise. And, you know, it makes it even more important to make sure that they are. Every single person is part of building the culture and feels like it's a culture that's inclusive for them. Right. And it, again, was a priority from day one. And and we've done a lot of things in regard to this.

Amy (00:15:39) - So we really said, okay, who do we want to be? How do we want to act? How do we want to act with each other as well as how do we want to act with our customers? And we named it right. We like we we have, you know, books that say, like, these are our leadership behaviors. This is how we're going to act. We all have this agreement with each other that this is who we want to be. You know, I recognize people for those behaviors. They're nominated by their peers when they exhibit those behaviors. And then we we honor them, you know, quite, quite publicly across the team of, you know, these are people to emulate. Like, these are people who really are living these values and leadership behaviors every single day. You know, I think the fact that it's sort of a peer nominated also goes to the fact that everybody's in. Right? Everybody's saying, yes, that's an example of of what we all aspire to be.

Amy (00:16:35) - And I think, you know, for me, that's the most incredible part. I mean, I could I could give awards out and I could have it sort of be chosen by me. But it's so much more valuable and important when it's really from the ground up and people say, yes, that's a leader, that's somebody who's living our culture. And so for me, that's been exciting to watch that sort of groundswell. And we have a number of other ways that we really try to take more of a sort of bottoms up approach, which is we have what we call, um, inclusion networks. Right? And these are volunteer jobs. So we have leaders that that lead these groups. Um, we have participants, we have allies that are members of these groups. And these really represent a number of different, you know, sort of inclusion groups. Right? So my leader for Kendall, for what we call affectionately our beacon, which is the Kendall Inclusion Network for our black community and allies, you know, is is a strong leader that pulls everybody together.

Amy (00:17:42) - But he doesn't run the show, right? He he's there as a sponsor, as a guide, as a voice in the community. But the work and the activities and the what's important to us, and how do we want to pull people together and who do we want to highlight and do we want to invite people to speak? All of that is really a ground up effort by that team. And again, that's something people choose to be a part of. It's not a requirement. It's, you know, there's no rule that says you have to be part of any of them. But we have people that are part of many of them, right? Whether, as you know, identifying as part of a particular community or just being an ally and wanting to to support in whatever way they care. And so we also have what we call our cultural ambassador network. This is another kind of ground up approach. These are people who've raised their hand and said they want to spread the word, and they they want to lead sessions about who we are and the culture and how we're going to treat each other and and how we show up for each other every single day.

Amy (00:18:49) - So all of that has been such a joy for me to watch, because I don't think this would have worked if we had tried to do all of these things top down, and I absolutely know we would not have had a successful transformation if we hadn't had the people with us. Right. So, you know, for me, probably the most telling and rewarding and humbling evidence is, you know, in our engagement scores, you know, two of the top three for my team are I feel respected at work. And number two, which always makes me, um, feel very humbled, is I feel I can show up as my whole self every day. Yeah. And yeah, you know, for me, there's nothing more important than that, that people feel they can show up as their whole selves. And if they feel that they want to be part of it and they want to help it grow and flourish. And that's the only way we've made the progress, both in our culture as well as in our business, quite frankly, is because we had everybody with us and feeling like they were part of it.

Josh (00:19:59) - You know, here we have, you know, probably the most tech of tech companies. Obviously you're dealing in a lot of AI and but yet at the end of the day, this is a human company working with humans and impacting the lives of humans. So I really appreciate that, Amy. Let's see, though, we have about 20 30s left. Um, the website kindred Kindred When people go to your website, what would you recommend they do if they say, you know what, I'm familiar? Maybe you know they've stumbled upon this podcast as a part of their, you know, researching Kendra, and now they've heard our conversation. Where do they go from here?

Amy (00:20:36) - Yeah. So look, I think if they go to the website, uh, one of the things they can do is look at some of these customer stories I just talked about, some of them. But, you know, I think those will continue to sort of solidify what we do and give them real examples.

Amy (00:20:50) - And, and then they can easily reach out to us directly from the website. Um, there's, you know, a way to do that. Either you can pick up the phone and call us if you want to do it kind of old school style, or you can send them a message via email, but I would love to to talk to anybody who would like to follow up on this conversation.

Josh (00:21:09) - Yeah. All right. Amy Salcedo, again, present Kendra for us. Amy, thank you so much for joining us. I love the conversation.

Speaker 3 (00:21:16) - Yeah.

Amy (00:21:16) - Thank you. Josh, it's been great, I appreciate it.

Josh (00:21:24) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Com slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook.

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