‘Digital transformation’ is a popular buzzword but what does it mean and more importantly how can it make a difference for your company?
At TEKenable, we view digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into your business, resulting in fundamental changes to how you operate and how you deliver value to customers.
Today, Digital Transformation continues to gather pace with the relentless advance in computer processing power and the embedding of connected devices across the organisation. Add new technologies like machine learning AI and robotic automation and it can be difficult to know what’s best for your business.
Fortunately, we’ve learned a lot about digital transformation since we started TEKenable in 2002.
We’ve worked with agri food companies, retailers, even educational bodies, helping them on their digital journey, and all share common features.
These organisations are all using digital technologies in at least one of four ways – either to engage their customers, to empower their employees, to optimise their operations or transform their product offering.
Microsoft refers to these four ways as ‘pillars’ of digital transformation and we think it’s a good description. Have a look below at how we’ve helped companies with each of the four ‘pillars’
- Respond to market trends and customer needs through better products and services
- Fulfil the potential of employees by reducing mundane workloads and allowing staff focus on value-adding activites
- Engage with customers in new and innovative ways addressing effectively the different segments of their customer base
- Streamline and optimise operational;processes to reduce overhead and improve efficiency
- Continue to grow through providing value to their customers and becoming a trusted partner over time
We give some more details on each of these areas below
Businesses thrive where they consistently recruit profitable customers and then exceed their customers expectations. And after fifteen years in business, we also know that satisfied customers are a company’s best recruiting agent.
In our view this virtuous cycle begins early in the sales process, continues through customer on-boarding and then creates lasting value through building a durable customer relationship.
At TEKenable, we help our clients interact more easily with their customer base. We also help them find new ways to reward loyal customers. In addition we help clients make better use of data for a more personalised customer experience.
Look at our case studies below for two practical examples of how Digital Transformation and Customer Engagement go hand in hand.
Dairygold – MyMilk
With annual sales in excess of €750 million and 3000 farmer members, Dairygold is Irelands largest Dairy Co-Operative. Prior to engaging with TEKenable, Dairygold communicated with members almost exclusively by post and telephone.
The company engaged TEKenable to come up with a more effective means of reaching its customer base, one that relied on modern technology. The solution – a mobile app called My Milk.
This app provides the farmer with a wide range of information, direct to the smartphone. Today, dairy farmers get data on each milk collection from the farmyard, including the volume collected , the price paid and a range of milk quality information. This quality information in particular is very useful, providing early indication of the presence of herd pathogens. Customer engagement with ‘My Milk’ is also extremely high, as farmers now get data directly to their smartphone rather than through the post.
Weatherbys – General Stud Book (GSB) Online
Weatherbys Ltd is a UK based company, established in 1770 and responsible for the administration of horse racing in the United Kingdom. It also publishes the General Stud Book, the recognised authority on racehorse pedigree for the UK and Ireland.
Until recently, breeders wishing to register foals with Weatherbys could only file documents in paper format. With over 14,000 foals registered in the UK and Ireland each year, this was a very labour intensive operation so the company approached TEKenable to streamline the process.
Working closely with Weatherbys, we designed a new digital registration portal to handle details of foal births online. This system is now live in the UK and Ireland on desktop and mobile phone, accepts payments on both credit and debit card and is already saving breeders valuable time.
Russell Ferris, chief executive of Weatherbys Ireland explains,: “To date the platform has been very well received by those breeders who have made their foal registrations via the new system. It is our objective to incorporate new technology into the General Stud Book, to create user friendly, mobile and efficient systems to meet the demands of the modern breeder.
All businesses depend on their employees to win new customers, satisfy existing customers and come up with innovative new ways to grow revenues and cut costs. But often, employees fail to perform at their best because they depend on antiquated systems and processes.
At TEKenable we understand that having the right software can change everything. We’ve helped a wide range of organisations use technology to make their staff more effective. Sometimes the challenge is to automate work processes, freeing up employees for more productive activity. Sometimes the challenge is to put data in the hands of front line employees where it can be used to greatest effect. In all cases however, we start with the business case, only proposing a solution where the cost benefit equation is clear.
Have a look below at how TEKenable helped empower employees at two very different Irish organisations.
Ryans Insurance – Administration Platform
Paul Ryan Pension and Financial Consultants Limited (Paul Ryan) was established in 1997 and provides Financial Services, Retirement Planning and Pensioneer Trusteeship services to clients. The company is highly successful with business growing strongly in recent years.
As the business grew however, Paul Ryan knew that relying on paper based processes would no longer be adequate. A solution was required.
In 2017, the company engaged TEKenable to streamline its back-end administration. We put in place a new automated process that captures investment details provided electronically by third parties, gathers other non-digital client data where necessary and stores it all in a database. This database then populates individual client files, ensuring that customer information (including portfolio valuations) is always available.
The impact has already been positive, freeing up staff to pursue new business. In addition, a more streamlined client administration process will allow Paul Ryan handle greatly increased volumes of business, at minimal extra cost.
6 Nations – SharePoint Intranet
Six Nations Rugby is the body responsible for organising the Six Nations Rugby championship. It manages a wide range of activities associated with this annual competition.
These activities include team selection, event co-ordination and media management and involve large volumes of data ranging from public information to highly sensitive team and HR data.
PFH Technology Group asked TEKenable to deliver a solution that supported Six Nations Rugby in managing this high-profile competition. We commenced our engagement with a ‘discovery’ phase, understanding how Six Nations Rugby used data across the organisation and mapping the key work flows and work processes involved in the competition. We then built out a SharePoint intranet, using ‘out of the box’ features creating sub sites, libraries and lists where appropriate.
Six Nations Rugby are now successfully using the SharePoint Online site to effectively co-ordinate this annual tournament, facilitating remote and mobile workers across the participating countries. The benefits in terms of more efficient work practices and a collaborative work environment have been significant.
Organisations typically begin to optimise operations by connecting key operational functions. They also aim to create consistent data and processes that can be accessed easily by employees and customers from any location.
Accessing and managing operational data is critical. It’s important to have access to the right data, to understand where the data sits, and to understand the level of security protection provided.
Finally, data costs need to be managed whether that data is held on premise or in the cloud.
At TEKenable, we understand the challenges involved in optimising operations. We’ve worked with private and public sector clients to digitally transform existing processes. We’ve also created new processes using new data sources, always focused on making our clients operations more efficient.
Independent Trustee Company – iTRUST Platform
Independent Trustee Company (ITC) is a pension trustee company. Established in 1994, the company has grown to become one of Ireland’s leading providers of self-administered pensions in Ireland with €1.2 billion of client funds in 3,000 pension structures. ITC also acts as trustee of self-administered schemes, private trusts and larger occupational schemes.
We have worked with ITC for over 10 years, delivering the business critical iTRUST platform which we continue to enhance and support today. This platform is the central repository of all customer relationship and investment information at ITC , providing efficient management of customer data and regulatory reporting.
ITC also relies on iTRUST to monitor trends and derive customer insights, an essential step in developing new products and services.
Zurich – Trading & Pricing Tool
Zurich Life is one of Ireland’s leading life insurance companies, offering a full range of Pension, Investment and Protection products. The Dublin investment team is responsible for funds under management of over €22 billion, of which pension assets amount to €10 billion.
Zurich Life engaged TEKenable to build a platform for trading and pricing Blended Funds. This was a complex and technically challenging project, requiring integration with key internal Zurich systems (Life 400 and Hi Portfolio). It also required working closely with internal subject matter experts to create an optimal process for daily trade and price file generation.
The new platform known as TPT, is now an important element of Zurich’s IT infrastructure, allowing the company trade wholesale volumes of Blended Fund investments without increased headcount. Long-term support for TPT is provided under contract between Zurich and TEKenable.
We see product transformation as a logical follow on from the other ‘pillars’ of digital transformation. When organisations use technology to engage customers, optimise operations and empower employees they create data rich environments which can be used as a source of new insight to create better products.
At TEKenable we work with our clients to develop new digital offerings. We also help clients make better use of their existing customer data. We help them understand key trends and derive novel insights to shape the development of new products and services.
Our case studies below show how this is happening in two very different organisations.
AnPost – AdMailer
An Post is a large organisation. With annual revenues of € 800 million it employs 8,000 staff and operates through 1,125 post office locations. It also delivers 2.5 million pieces of mail per week and every week 1.8 million people visit a post office.
While An Post’s core business remains traditional postal delivery, the company has been quick to embrace digital transformation. Nowhere is this more evident than with Admailer, a digital marketing platform.
Admailer was developed to allow customers create a direct mail marketing campaign online, define the time and delivery zone paramaters for the campaign and finally pay on-line and hand off to An Post for actual physical delivery.
We’re delighted to have worked with AnPost to deliver the AdMailer platform, a ground breaking digital product that has attracted major interest from Postal Operators across the world.
Move Your MET
‘Move Your MET’ is a mobile app created by TEKenable in partnership with Aviva Health,(now Irish Life health) the Nutrition & Health Foundation (NHF) and Dublin City University (DCU).
This very popular app allows individuals to measure their aerobic fitness and has already been downloaded more than 50,000 times.
‘Move Your MET ‘was initially funded by Aviva Health for the company’s Workplace Fitness Challenge. As part of the challenge, people agree to measure their cardiovascular fitness level via the app at the start of the programme, and then work on improving their fitness over the course of the six week programe. All participants need to do is input their data, either walk a mile or run 1.5 miles, and then calculate their score.
‘Move Your MET’ is an excellent example of how technology can transform a company’s service offering or product. In the past, a company like Irish Life Health would only have been able to offer a paper-based Workplace Fitness challenge, making the process to collect fitness data very cumbersome and guaranteeing very low uptake. All this changes when you digitally transform your product.