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The Art of Communication: Following Up with Aurora Consulting’s Bilyana Anicic

It all starts with a question, and Bilyana Anicic is the one to find the answer.

For Anicic, creating success for clients is a passion. She has overcome bias, gender gaps and learning English as a third language, to become an independent Enterprise consultant. Anicic has the ability to communicate in terms industry and non-industry professionals can understand.

For over 20 years, Anicic’s company, Aurora Consulting, has helped clients navigate through digital transformation and meet their enterprise’s needs. 

In addition to the technical expertise Aurora Consulting offers, clients also appreciate the incredible levels of communication, empathy, and patience they receive. Anicic knows the ability to communicate is essential to understanding the problem and actively finding a solution. Patience also plays an important part.

“Clients need me to be calm and confident in situations where they cannot be calm and confident,” she explains. 

Anicic looks at things holistically, otherwise the outcome will not be sustainable. 

Empathy is so important to have as a skill. It’s key in understanding what the client’s needs are. It also leads to kindness and compassion, which Anicic believes is critical to being an effective consultant.

Everyone wants the best technology, even if they don’t know how to use it or if it fits the needs of the business. Anicic helps the clients see what their actual needs are and what is needed to fulfill the demands of the client.

“The goal is understanding and communication,” said Anicic.

She uses methodologies to identify and understand all the client’s needs, and help them prioritize. Proven frameworks and methodologies lead to better results for clients. These methodologies come in useful when issues or challenging clients come her way.  Anicic uses TOGAF, Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and Agile methodologies, leverage Open Standards and Best Practices in her work.

She wants clients to understand, “Change is constant,” and tells her clients to think of having different systems in place that can help with change.

Anicic compared levering new technology to gardening. There has to be some planning, some intention, and understanding. There should be some benefit to the technology being used. 

There have been many highlights throughout Anicic’s career.

From August 2012 to March 2016, Anicic was the lead for the FGP (Federal Geospatial Platform) Initiative.  She says it brought many different people, 21 departments, and agencies together. This group discovered and enjoyed the consistency and harmonization of working together and sharing information. There was also the Open Data Platform, a collaboration that allowed the community another chance to communicate. Anicic was an Enterprise Architect for the Government of Canada’s FGP where she provided Canadians and government departments through Open Government-Open Maps

Anicic admits there are so many highlights from her life, there are too many to mention.

Currently, among other projects, Anicic is involved in the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), which is helping small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) update and improve with the latest technology. This endeavour was created to help stimulate the economy and was part of the 2021 budget. It aims to boost the e-commerce presence of SMEs and digitize how they run their businesses, as well as providing funding and training and work opportunities.

“There was a lot of hardship going on,” Anicic said. “It is good to see how things are picking up.”

Anicic used the idea of a bakery updating their invoices to digital as an example of how the CDAP works. The grants are for any enterprise to help make them more competitive and successful. There are also 0% loans and no interest loans available. Any enterprise may apply.

Future plans for Anicic and Aurora Consulting include Digital Earth Canada. Although not realized yet, this innovation of analytical earth observation is currently being developed. 

There is more to Anicic and Aurora Consulting than meets the eye. As Anicic says, “I do more than Geospatial.”

Not only does Anicic enjoy gardening, she also participates in judging Data Challenges for students. Data challenges offer unique opportunities for expansion on students’ programming and analytical skills, as well as showcasing current and potential abilities to future employers. 

Anicic was a judge for the NASA International Space Apps Hackathon, where engineers, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, astronomers, and enthusiasts spent an intense 48-hours solving challenges. These challenges were created by NASA and CSA, among other world space agencies, to leverage data relating to celestial, spacecraft, and science data. The Hackaton involved over 200 cities all over the world, and had the support of the Canadian Space Agency. 

She also was a judge on the CANDEV Data Challenge. This challenge was organized by the University of Ottawa and

 Statistics Canada. It involved over 350 college and university students in a 24-hour “Hackathon meets Dragon’s Den” style challenge. Real User Stories were taken from 14 participating Government of Canada departments, and given to the students to solve.

With such a passionate individual leading the way, Aurora Consulting has become an example of dedication, diversity, and what communication can do for industry and non-industry professionals.

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