Drastic shipping restrictions hit drought-stricken Panama Canal. Expect price rises, warns ParcelHero. The worst drought for 70 years has hit the Panama Canal, forcing today’s strict new regulations that slash the capacity of some containerships by 40%. New surcharges, rising costs and increasing bottlenecks will likely increase the price of UK-US goods, warns the international delivery expert ParcelHero. Q2 2023
Editor’s letter. Welcome to our Q2 issue of The Business Concept. The Business Concept is dedicated to providing you with the latest, most intricate visions from across the business landscape. Globally, there is an endless amount of support for business development – and The Business Concept is here to showcase the solutions and assistance being provided around the world. At long last, summer is right around the corner – but it feels like it’s already here, with this beautiful weather! It’s safe to say that we’re looking forward to the long, warm days ahead! What’s also exciting is the content of this issue, which includes a variety of innovative businesses that are transforming the corporate world. These organisations are on a mission to enhance the offerings of other companies, whether through software that seamlessly supports the digitisation of their processes; a collaboration that enables the harnessing of satellite data to enhance sustainability goals; a breakthrough generative AI digital assistant for people leaders; or unique data-driven Smart Compensation software that makes it easy for managers to make effective and impartial pay decisions. These kinds of solutions are truly exciting and designed with efficiency in mind, to elevate companies to the next level so they can remain ahead of the curve and make the daily working lives of their employees easier, while exceeding the expectations of their clients. We hope you find this all to be insightful and that you have a prosperous quarter ahead. Until next time! Rebecca Scotland - Editor
Contents 4. News - Family businesses flock to Glasgow for landmark business event. - Leeds-based entrepreneur calls for new roller rink after Help to Grow: Management Course helps turn business around. 6. Lightico Acquires Customer Experience Platform Vizolution as Demand Booms for Digital Customer Completion 7. Drastic shipping restrictions hit drought stricken Panama Canal. Expect price rises, warns ParcelHero. 8. Arggo introduces gamechanging digitalisation tool to UK market. 10. Global People Analytics Leader Visier Announces “Vee, ” a Breakthrough Generative AI Digital Assistant for People Leaders 11. DigitalXRAID announces 400% year on-year growth in SOC as organisations seek 24/7/365 threat protection 12. Firms unclear on implementation as Consumer Duty deadline looms. 13. Banks admit to losing 20% of their customers due to poor customer experience, having overlooked what matters, new study reveals 14. Visier Launches Smart Compensation, Delivering a New Level of Insight and Effectiveness to Compensation Planning 16. ERM and Planet collaborate to help organizations harness satellite data to enhance decision-making and advance sustainability goals
News. 4 Family businesses flock to Glasgow for landmark business event. · The Institute for Family Business (IFB) has called on politicians to embrace and promote the family business model · Exclusive polling from Censuswide shows family businesses lead on trust Hundreds of family businesses will gather this week as the annual IFB National Family Business Conference, which kicks off on 14 June, comes to Glasgow for the first time. The three-day event will see family firms of all sizes and from every sector within the UK meet up to discuss the future of the family business model and how family businesses innovate and invest to support the next generation of businesses and their leaders. In Scotland, there are more than 280,000 family businesses - around 84% of all businesses in Scotland. Together they employ 874,000 people. The conference will bring together family firms from across the country to share and learn together, while showcasing some of Glasgow and Scotland’s family business success stories. Alongside the conference, the IFB is restating the case for why family business should not be overlooked, and the central role they have to play in creating prosperous communities. Exclusive research commissioned by the IFB and produced by Censuswide*, of more than 2,000 respondents in late May, found that the British public find family-run businesses to be the most trustworthy companies (25.4%) when compared to PLCs (14.7%), venture capital firms (7.6%), private equity backed-companies (9.8%). In addition, the polling found that the public thought family businesses looked after their employees the most compared to other business models apart from employeeowned organisations, which scored the same as family-run businesses (27.2%). Family businesses also scored highly when it came to customer service, with over 21% of respondents associating the companies with the phrase ‘have great customer service’ and are seen as the most trustworthy businesses in Scotland (23.5%). In 2020, family businesses across the whole of the UK generated £575 billion in gross value added (GVA) contribution to GDP (gross domestic product), and employed 13.9 million people. This means that family firms comprised 85.9% of all UK firms, directly generated 44.4% of GDP, and were responsible for 51% of all private sector employment in the UK economy in 2020. The conference attendees will hear how a thriving family business sector is essential to achieving a more prosperous society with long-term sustainable growth. Family businesses offer a model of sustainable and responsible business that others can learn from, be part of, work with, or even adopt. Chief Executive, Neil Davy, said: “We are delighted to bring the UK’s biggest family business conference to Glasgow for the first time this week. As well as celebrating some fantastic local firms, it’s an opportunity to come together to share their experiences and have their voice heard. “For too long, political, industry and business decision-making has taken a restricted approach to investment decisions that responds to priorities of non-family business PLCs, whose priority is to meet shareholder demands for short-term returns on investments. “The UK needs to formulate a growth strategy that encourages and incentivises businesses to focus on longer-term investment opportunities and returns for stakeholders, the environment, and the UK’s role and place in the wider world. “That starts with listening to the thousands of family businesses in Scotland and across the UK and supporting them in making day-to-day decisions that encourage them – and gives them the confidence to invest – while also helping to tackle wider challenges like revitalising our high streets, creating job opportunities and improving everyone’s livelihoods.”
5 News. A Yorkshire-based entrepreneur is on the hunt for 10,000 sq. ft of space to house a new roller rink, as demand for the sport spikes. The founder of Roller Girl Gang, a Leedsbased roller skate shop that offers classes to adults of all skating abilities, is hoping to find a suitable space for a new roller rink to serve the growing numbers of teams and individuals that have taken up the sport. Melissa Blackwood swapped her career as a primary school teacher to open her first skate shop in 2020. When Covid-19 lockdowns prevented the shop from running at full capacity, demand for lessons and online goods soared. The benefits associated with skating, such as improved mental and physical health, also began to rocket for its customers. Over the past two years, Melissa has trained 15 instructors and recruited 30 volunteers to run the classes. The entrepreneur has also taught some of her team to build bespoke skates for their loyal customer base. While Melissa was supported by her all-female team of part-time employees, to take the business to the next level and implement strategies to support growth, she needed more support for her own personal leadership journey. Melissa decided to enrol in a 12-week Help to Grow: Management Course designed to help business leaders and their senior managers to increase resilience, innovation, and growth within their organisations. The course was delivered by Leeds Business School at Leeds Beckett University, a recipient of the Small Business Charter award that is given to institutions that support small businesses. Melissa completed the course, equipped with the tools needed to make the changes to grow her business. In the 12 months before completing the Help to Grow: Management Course, Roller Girl Gang reported a turnover of £202,000. By using the new skills gained through the course, Melissa reshaped her organisation to give her employees more responsibility and saw turnover increase by 74% in the period from February 2021 to February 2022. Melissa has also gone from running her business alone to hiring six part-time employees, enabling her to focus on growing the business even more. Now her business is structurally stable and growing, Melissa is focused on ways to support the wider skating community and is looking to find a safe place dedicated to those wanting to excel in their passion. Melissa Blackwood, founder of Roller Girl Gang, said: “Many female business owners I’ve spoken to struggle to ask for support, or don’t know where to look. Thankfully I was pointed to the Help to Grow: Management Course. I’ve been able to gain the skills needed to help drive the business forward, give my team a solid progression plan, and to start work on finding a space for roller skaters to enjoy – my ultimate goal. “In addition to the confidence I’ve gained, the course also taught me a lot about things I’d never come across before in my career as a teacher. For example, I learned how to put together a business plan, how to attract and retain the right talent, and most importantly, how to convey what I wanted to say to investors in the business community.” Yorkshire has not had a dedicated roller rink in 50 years By using the advice and skills gained via the Help to Grow: Management Course, Melissa has also sought support from Fund Her North to boost her knowledge around securing investment. Melissa explained: “While demand for skating increased two-fold during the pandemic, we’re Leeds-based entrepreneur calls for new roller rink after Help to Grow: Management Course helps turn business around. now left with skaters struggling to find a safe space to play and skate safely. “From roller derby teams and competitive roller hockey groups to people skating for fun, there’s a real appetite across Yorkshire for a roller rink. Thanks to the Help to Grow: Management Course, I’m now able to understand what investors need from me and I’m working really hard to find a space so we can bring a roller rink back to Yorkshire soon.” For a new roller rink to come to fruition, Melissa needs a space to host 10,000 sq. ft of specialist flooring and is appealing for investors to get in touch with her via her website. Michael Hayman MBE, Chair, Small Business Charter, added: “Melissa is a brilliant example of how the Help to Grow: Management Course provides inspirational business leaders with the skills and confidence to build flourishing businesses and make contributions to their community. “Our team of experts are able to share their own experience and real-world case studies, to provide course participants with the knowledge and tools to increase productivity, address challenges head on, and create achievable goals in a bid to grow. “Melissa’s journey so far is truly inspiring. I wish the whole Roller Girl Gang team all the best going forward and hope they can find the space needed to make a skate rink a reality for the whole Yorkshire community.” The founder of Roller Girl Gang, a Leedsbased roller skate shop that offers classes to adults of all skating abilities, is hoping to find a suitable space for a new roller rink to serve the growing numbers of teams and individuals that have taken up the sport.
Lightico Acquires Customer Experience Platform Vizolution as Demand Booms for Digital Customer Completion Lightico, market-leading provider of digital customer interactions, today announced its acquisition of Europe’s leading customer experience technology provider, Vizolution, which positions the joint company as the global leader in B2B2C Digital Completion for the financial services and telecom industries. With a robust, combined platform, the company enables businesses to fully engage remotely with their customers through any channel in an automated and mobilefirst manner. The joint company’s solutions are already in use by leading companies in the financial services sector, including Capital One, GM Financial, HSBC, Santander Consumer Finance, NatWest, BNP Paribas, TD Bank, and by telecom companies including, BT/EE, VMO2, and Three, to reduce transaction times, increase efficiency and improve bottom-line profitability. Customers have seen over 80% faster turnaround times, 45% improvement in completion rates and an ROI of 360%. “As customer expectations for service companies to offer seamless, digital experiences continues to soar, bringing Vizolution into the Lightico fold will result in a more robust platform devoted to helping businesses deliver world-class digital experiences,” said Zviki Ben Ishay CEO and Co-Founder of Lightico. “With this acquisition, we are combining the leading digital completion solutions in North America and Europe to become the de facto global leader, and are well-positioned and fully funded to scale rapidly across the financial services and telecom industries where demand is at an all-time high.” The deal will combine Vizolution’s transformational agent-assisted and self-serve solutions with Lightico’s powerful Compliant Digital Completion Platform, including its workflow-integrated eSignature, document collection, and identification & verification services. This will provide clients with a unified solution to deliver an endto-end, seamless, digital and complete solution for the entire customer lifecycle. Additionally, Vizolution’s team will join Lightico’s organizational structure with Zviki Ben Ishay, Lightico’s CEO, at the helm and Bill Safran, Vizolution’s CEO, transitioning to Chief Strategy Officer for the 150-person strong company. Additional shareholders; HSBC Ventures, Santander Consumer Finance, Natwest and Development Bank of Wales join Lightico’s current backers Capital One Ventures, Crescendo, Lool Ventures, Mangrove Capital, Oxx, and Spinach Angels. “Vizolution has been providing customer experience services to market-leading enterprises to help them transform and improve digital experiences for millions of their customers,” said Bill Safran, CEO of Vizolution. “By joining forces with Lightico, we’ll leverage the best of both technologies, people and organizations to deliver a strong, scalable, cloud-based offering that will deliver even greater value to our clients and their customers.” With financial backing from Capital One Ventures, HSBC Ventures, Santander, NatWest and DBW, Lightico solidifies its dominant position in the digital completion sector “As early backers of Vizolution, we’ve long believed that streamlining complex customer-facing interactions, especially in the financial services industry, is critical to success,” said Terecina Kwong, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC Bank plc and HSBC Europe and Vizolution Board Member. “Lightico’s acquisition of Vizolution is a significant step towards bringing this change to the entire industry and we look forward to continued success together.” “Vizolution’s technology as well as the team behind it has enabled Santander Consumer Finance to provide customers with an exceptional digital consumer lending experience,” said Santander Consumer Finance CEO José Luis De Mora. “We have no doubt that consumer demand for more seamless end-to-end digital experiences will grow, and with Lightico and Vizolution combining forces, we’re confident that the new, larger company will help Santander Consumer Finance further its digital footprint and be one of the most important leaders in digitizing the consumer lending market.” Jan23094
6 Drastic shipping restrictions hit drought-stricken Panama Canal. Expect price rises, warns ParcelHero. The worst drought for 70 years has hit the Panama Canal, forcing today’s strict new regulations that slash the capacity of some containerships by 40%. New surcharges, rising costs and increasing bottlenecks will likely increase the price of UK-US goods, warns the international delivery expert ParcelHero. the passage of a single vessel along the canal. Water that is largely generated from Lake Gatun in the centre of the waterway, which is drying-up fast. With this in mind, it’s expected that the maximum authorised draught will be reduced still further, to 43.5ft (13.26m) on 25 June. ‘It’s the largest, neo-panamax container ships that will be among the most impacted, as they now face tough restrictions on draught limits using the locks. Last month, nine of these vessels (around 27% of all transits) used the canal daily. The canal was only uprated to receive these large new ships in 2016. The first such vessel to transit the canal and arrive in the UK, MSC’s 8,800 TEU “Sofia Celeste”, arrived at Tilbury Docks in August 2016. The huge containership was the first of the new class of vessels connecting the West Coast of South America, the East Coast of North America and Northwest Europe. Reducing these loads or switching to smaller vessels will increase costs significantly. ‘So what will the impact be on British importers, exporters and, ultimately, shoppers? Well, goods shipped from the UK to the US West Coast and onwards to the West Coast of South America will see higher charges, which British exporters will have to swallow. Likewise, products destined for the UK from the US will see an equivalent spike in price as bottlenecks and less economic sailings take their toll. ‘Goods imported directly from Asia, including China and Japan, to the UK won’t be immediately impacted. They take a different route, via the Suez Canal, which is not experiencing any restrictions. In contrast, the Panama Canal is the main route for goods to the US East Coast from Asia. That means rising costs will hit any products that originate in Asia, or goods with components made in Asia, that US companies then sell to the UK. ‘The problems are unlikely to significantly impact courier and express parcel deliveries to and from the US West Coast. These are usually air freighted, bypassing the Panama problem. It will mostly be larger, heavier goods, which cannot be airfreighted, that will be hit by new fees. However, be aware of a potential impact of the restrictions on budget, low urgency “surface mail”, as freight companies term mail transported by land and sea. We do advise everyone sending items to the US to regularly check ParcelHero’s USA page, which gives full details on any changes in prices, Customs advice, and details about sending food, prohibited items, etc. ‘Finally, there’s one more effect of the Panama Canal drought that could give us all that sinking feeling. The financial news agency Bloomberg warns the ultimate impact of higher shipping rates could be increased inflation for the US economy. That, in turn, would have repercussions for the rest of the world. The Panama Canal, a vital trade route linking the Atlantic and the Pacific, is running low on water. The Panama Canal Company says it has been hit by the worst drought since 1950. As a result, it’s imposing strict new restrictions on vessels using the canal from today (13 June, 2023). The amount of containers and commodities ships can carry on the canal will be reduced. Normally, when there is plenty of water, the maximum draught limit for ships using the canal is 50ft (15.24m). Because of the drought, the canal is already operating a maximum draught of 44.5ft (13.56m) but, from today, the limit is being slashed to 44ft (13.41m). The international delivery expert ParcelHero says this will hit UK-US container traffic, as goods travelling between the US West Coast and Europe must use either the 48-mile (77km) long canal or take the notorious and lengthy alternative route around Cape Horn. ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., who is a former Editor of ‘Lloyds Shipping Index’, says: ‘The drastic new draught restrictions will reduce the volume of cargo that the largest, “neo-panamax”, container vessels can carry through this key waterway by up to 40%. That means cargo will have to be distributed among more ships, and that comes at a cost. Already, several carriers using this route have hoisted their rates by between $300-500 per container to cover their increased costs. Ultimately, that means a spike in the price of consumer and industrial goods. ‘And the bad news doesn’t stop there. The Panamanian Government has declared a climate emergency. Water levels there could fall to 78.2ft by late July, overtaking all previous records. If that happens, the Panama Canal Company says it will have to limit the daily number of vessels using the route from 36 to as few as 28. It requires 200 million litres of water to flow down tiered locks into the sea to allow Dec22561 7.
Arggo introduces gamechanging digitalisation tool to UK market. The team working for the British market provides clients seeking to digitise their business processes with the ability to create digital solutions through Timeqode, Arggo’s low-code business process management platform. Many well-known companies from various fields such as construction, health, retail, financial and banking, food service, agricultural and industrial equipment companies like Baumit, Viarom Construct, Titan Machinery, Secom, Synevo, Kruk, Klarwin, Dedeman, Klass Wagen currently use the platform in Europe and internationally. Sphera Franchise Group, Romania’s largest provider of food services, uses Timeqode to develop and coordinate work and business processes for a franchise portfolio of over 170 restaurants, including KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. “We are coming to the UK market at a time when digitalisation is essential for companies with complex work processes. Timeqode has technical capabilities that cover virtually all aspects of digitalisation without requiring users to write any code,” said Alexandru Radu, Head of Business Growth at Arggo. Arggo’s UK market entry is the result of over eight years of experience in successfully creating, supplying and implementing ready-made, fully customisable vertical and horizontal business solutions for a wide range of industries. “Many business owners have envisioned a digitisation process for their company but don’t want to do it themselves. This is where we intervene and offer all the necessary means to create, design, deploy and support the ideal application, series of applications or the entire digital system. The flexibility of the Timeqode platform allows us to create custom applications by optimising end-to-end business Arggo, one of Romania’s leading business software development and consulting companies, is expanding into Europe by introducing Timeqode, a game-changing tool to the UK market, enabling seamless company digitalisation. processes. It gives business owners the ability to have a transparent, centralised view of their company’s activity,” added Alexandru Radu. Arggo and its Timeqode platform give companies the opportunity to achieve their digital transformation goals quickly and cost-effectively without the constraints of large initial investments or extensive programming skills. Companies can access and use a complete digitalisation platform through an affordable monthly subscription without the need for a lengthy implementation. It means that, in addition to flexibility, another major benefit of a low-code platform for UK companies with complex work processes is saving time and money through digitalisation. Timeqode can be fully integrated with any ERP system, meaning companies can leverage their existing technology investments and avoid costly and time-consuming migration processes. Arggo establishes strategic business relationships to implement Timeqode not only directly with companies but also with system integrators, business consulting firms, software development or implementation partners, professional service companies focused on specific industries, ISVs (Independent Software Vendors), VAR (Value Added Resellers), OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). “We are delighted that we can provide UK businesses with added value through our highly successful and cost-effective digital solutions and user and customer support services. This way, we ensure that all processes are optimised and constantly made easier to use and understand,” said Alexandru Radu. “We are coming to the UK market at a time when digitalisation is essential for companies with complex work processes. Timeqode has technical capabilities that cover virtually all aspects of digitalisation without requiring users to write any code,” said Alexandru Radu, Head of Business Growth at Arggo. Nov22262 Arggo, one of Romania’s leading business software development and consulting companies, is expanding into Europe by introducing Timeqode, a game-changing tool to the UK market, enabling seamless company digitalisation.
9 Arggo introduces game-changing digitalisation tool to UK market
Global People Analytics Leader Visier Announces “Vee, ” a Breakthrough Generative AI Digital Assistant for People Leaders Visier, the globally recognized leader in people analytics and workforce solutions for people-powered business, today announced “Vee,” a powerful new generative AI-based digital assistant that adds a simple conversational interface to Visier People ®, the most widely adopted people analytics solution in the world. This new capability puts the right insights in the hands of any people leader with questions about their workforce. In separate news, Visier also announced Smart Compensation, a new product designed to simplify the complex compensation planning process into an easy-to-use, data-driven approach that enables managers like never before. “Visier’s founding vision was a questions-first approach to people analytics,” said Ryan Wong, CEO of Visier. “We’ve achieved a substantial part of this vision with 2000+ prebuilt questions available out of the box with Visier People today, but the rapid advancement of generative AI makes this vision even more compelling, more relevant, and more within reach than ever before.” Vee translates natural language questions into Visier’s query language, returning accurate and perfectly-crafted narrative answers without relying on proprietary customer data. Vee makes the power of people analytics accessible to anyone, even those who are less comfortable interpreting charts and graphs. Vee can also be used to generate explanatory summaries from data visualizations, and it can be used to automatically build reports on behalf of a user. Generative AI brings new insights into people data. While some workforce data is available to many people leaders today, they are often challenged in knowing where to find that data, and how to ask questions that provide actionable insights. With Vee, their digital assistant can learn and react to these questions to pinpoint the right information from the completely secure Visier People platform - and explain these insights in a way people leaders can confidently utilize. At the core of Visier’s product vision is the aspirational concept of #askvisier, which is a moniker often used to describe the company’s shared ambition of turning complex people questions into simple answers for all people leaders. Vee, which can be accessed within the Visier People product, and via Slack and Microsoft Teams, makes it easier than ever before for people leaders to Ask, Explore, and Drive Action. Ask: Ask Vee any question about your workforce and Vee will provide the answers in simple narrative form. Backed by Visier’s Visier’s Vee adds a simple conversational interface to people analytics, transcending charts and graphs with narrative answers to complex people questions; harnesses the power of Generative AI to automatically build reports and summaries in seconds. robust security model and utilizing a technique that doesn’t access proprietary community data, Vee will only share information available to you. Explore: Drill deeper into the data with help from Vee, making it easy to explore more specific datasets. Gain further insights into business areas like turnover, risk of exit, pay equity, DEIB, employee lifecycle, burnout and more. Drive Action: Once people leaders have used Vee to find critical insight, they can also ask Vee to convert these insights into powerful stories and dashboards for sharing with others, building alignment and driving change. No need to commission analysts to build out presentations and reports—Vee can immediately drive impact at scale leveraging real time data. Vee puts privacy and security first Most consumer-facing generative AI applications like ChatGPT draw from a massive collection of public information available across the internet. But building a generative AI application for enterprise organizations is a different challenge, because much of the underlying data is private and in some cases, highly sensitive. In order to support these privacy demands, a robust security model must be at the core of any solution. Visier has the most advanced security model and permissions available, ensuring the results returned by Vee are only to authorized end users based on their assigned security model and associated permissions. This means that Vee’s answers from one person to another, while both accurate, will be different. People insights made easier through Slack and Teams In addition to using Vee inside Visier People, a new integration with Slack and Microsoft Teams allows organizations to ask Vee questions in the flow of their daily work. Managers throughout the organization can get valuable insights and data related to their teams and departments without ever having to log into Visier People by simply asking the question via Slack or Microsoft Teams. “Imagine empowering managers with the ability to ask complex questions about their team, in a simple and concise manner, through a tool they use everyday,” said Adam Binnie, Chief Product Officer of Visier. “That’s a powerful change in the way we interact with people data. Rather than asking your HR team for a report, a simple question within Slack or Teams will provide the answer in seconds. This reduces the workload on HR and PA teams, and gives managers greater understanding into their workforce.” Jan22376
DigitalXRAID announces 400% year-on-year growth in SOC as organisations seek 24/7/365 threat protection DigitalXRAID, an award-winning managed security services provider, today announced its continued momentum with a 400% year-on-year (YoY) growth in its Security Operations Centre (SOC) business as customers recognise the value in holistic cybersecurity protection. The organisation’s growth extends across the business, which has grown by 70% YoY, and includes workforce expansion as leadership pushes forward with a dedicated recruitment drive across Security Operations and Security Testing. News of DigitalXRAID’s ongoing momentum follows its recognition as one of only ten companies globally to be awarded the CREST OVS Accreditation, meeting the CREST internationally recognised gold standard in app penetration testing. The company has also celebrated the appointment of Alan Freeland, Lead Security Analyst and SOC Manager, to the CREST International Council and the success of Kerry Jones, Head of Compliance and Information Security, winning Security Woman of the Year in the Security Excellence Awards. Supported by its industry-leading team of security professionals, the organisation has welcomed a number of new customers across industries. This The award-winning MSSP continues impressive momentum, growing its business by 70% and becoming recognised by CREST as one of only ten companies globally with a gold standard in app penetration testing includes particular growth in the public sector, working with central government organisations and local government organisations such as Wiltshire Council. “With the UK reported to have suffered the most cyberattacks of any European country in 2022, holistic cybersecurity services have never been more important – and it’s clear every sector from public to private is recognising the value of good cyber hygiene and 24/7/365 protection,” said Rick Jones, CEO and Co-Founder of DigitalXRAID. “The significant year-on-year growth we’ve achieved at DigitalXRAID is a reflection of the world-class managed security services we deliver. We are dedicated to providing leading cybersecurity strategies that enhance security posture and reduce risk. We are therefore extremely proud to be awarded the CREST OVS Accreditation and to sit in the global top 1% for accreditations.” New customer wins and proven results The business growth DigitalXRAID has seen over the last year is testament to the strength of its customer relationships. The organisation has celebrated new customer wins in the last 12 months with organisations including Bark and Thrive Homes. Bark is the UK’s largest and fastest growing online marketplace for professional services. Bark engaged DigitalXRAID to conduct a NIST cybersecurity maturity assessment to evaluate operational resilience and existing cybersecurity procedures. As a result, Bark was provided with a clear outline of what security measures were in place for its cyber insurance provider to assess against, helping to reduce premiums. Thrive Homes, a professional landlord managing over 5,000 homes across England, also commissioned DigitalXRAID to conduct a cybersecurity maturity assessment. John Stenton, Head of Information Technology at Thrive Homes, said, “The DigitalXRAID team were fantastic throughout the project and very process driven. They really probed into all areas of our technology, risk and controls, which is exactly what we needed. The whole experience was very enjoyable because the approach from DigitalXRAID was so open and honest but also well integrated with the entire business.” Wiltshire Council, which delivers more than 350 services to the county, engaged DigitalXRAID for an IT Health Check. Jenny Hearn, Security Manager at Wiltshire Council, said, “The whole team were very friendly and responsive throughout the whole process, offering expert advice around scoping and taking time to understand our requirements, rather than trying to sell to us. We were kept up to date on the testing stages with daily updates. The final report was well formatted and easy to understand with more detail included. We’ve definitely seen an improvement on previous years.” Jan22194
12. Firms unclear on implementation as Consumer Duty deadline looms. A survey by regulatory consultancy Bovill reveals that almost half of firms are unsure of how long it will take to implement the most challenging consumer outcome of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) Consumer Duty, with the implementation deadline fewer than 50 days away. The FCA recently published its review of 15 firms’ fair value assessment frameworks, finding that some firms are struggling to properly evidence how they are delivering fair value for customers. It also found that some fair value assessments needed to take a more granular approach to products and services that span different market sectors. The Consumer Duty applies to any firm that plays a role in determining outcomes for retail customers, including SME customers, and seeks to ensure good outcomes in four key areas, including price and value. Bovill has found that many firms are having to commit significant resources towards implementing the Duty before the 31 July deadline. Mark Spiers, Partner at Bovill, said: “The level of change needed to implement the Consumer Duty will vary from firm to firm, however it is a very wide-ranging piece of regulation and many still have a lot of work to do before the deadline. This is a large piece of work and the greatest challenge for many firms is the uplift required, and the substantial investments that they are having to make in their capabilities to ensure they are compliant.” Product manufacturers should have completed all necessary reviews by 31 April, to give distributors sufficient time to meet their obligations ahead of the implementation deadline in July. After the deadline, firms will need to continue to invest in assessing fair value. Under the Duty they will need to consider outcomes on a forward-looking basis, considering whether products will offer value in the future. Bovill has developed a ‘fair value toolkit’, to help firms develop a robust approach to fair value. Mark Spiers, Partner at Bovill, said: “Firms will need to keep their fair value assessments under continual review. Fair value is a moving target, and firms must continue to deliver it when circumstances change. Distributors need to think carefully about what data and information they need from manufacturers, so that they can be sure of consistently good outcomes over the product, service and client lifecycle. “Bovill’s toolkit can help firms put the correct measures and methodologies in place ahead of the deadline, which in turn will allow them to ensure their products and services continue delivering for consumers.” The poll of financial services firms finds that nearly two-thirds of firms (64%) say that of the four outcomes, ‘fair value’ is the most challenging. However, almost half of firms (44%) are still unsure how long it will take to implement, and were unable to give an estimate. This is despite the fact that product manufacturers must have completed all reviews needed to meet the outcomes rules by the end of the April, and that the deadline for implementation is in July. May21215 The poll of financial services firms finds that nearly twothirds of firms (64%) say that of the four outcomes, ‘fair value’ is the most challenging. However, almost half of firms (44%) are still unsure how long it will take to implement, and were unable to give an estimate.
Banks admit to losing 20% of their customers due to poor customer experience, having overlooked what matters, new study reveals Global banks are losing one in five (20%) of their customers due to poor customer experience, having overlooked what truly matters, according to new research by 10x Banking. The landmark study commissioned by 10x, the transformational cloud-native SaaS core bank operating system founded by former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins, revealed that banks in key markets across the globe are shedding large numbers of their customer base to rivals. One in eight banking leaders (12%) state they have lost 3040 per cent of their existing customers for this very reason. Surveying more than 150 senior decision makers and more than 150 product managers, business analysts and project managers, across eight markets (UK, South Africa, the Nordics, Australia, New Zealand Germany, India and Vietnam), 10x’s study sought to understand the decision-making process within the world’s leading banks when it comes to digital transformation, specifically their ability to adopt new technologies, respond to market change, roll out new products, and prioritise resource appropriately. Commenting on the findings, Jenkins said: “Over my career I have learnt banking is about customers, but the reality is most of the banking industry has overlooked what matters, taking a productfocused approach rather than focusing on the customer. Banks need to think about solving problems in a way that makes customers’ lives easier. This is a good thing for the bank and the customer, who will be more loyal over time as a result. “Banks often mistake transformation for innovation. Innovation is a linear series of marginal improvements, whereas true transformation is a non-linear step-change in improvements, beginning with a material improvement in customer experience. Many banks might convince themselves that releasing an app or going digital means they have been on a journey of transformation, but the reality is that very few banks are undergoing true change at their core. Banks are museums of technology, with every generation of software and hardware, much of it now off support and towards end of life. Prioritising digital transformation is critical if they want to stay relevant and compete effectively.” Not only do senior decision makers within banks recognise they are losing valuable customers, but an alarming two-thirds (64%) admit that their slow rate of digital transformation has directly resulted in them missing out on winning new customers. Research commissioned by 10x Banking, founded by Antony Jenkins, former Group CEO of Barclays, reveals a direct correlation between the rate of a bank’s digital transformation and its ability to win and retain customers. This direct impact on banks’ bottom lines, coupled with the current economic uncertainty within the banking sector, has resulted in three quarters of banks (74%) attempting to accelerate their digital transformation this year, which offers some encouragement that decision makers are seeking to address the issue. “The findings from our study reflect exactly what we are hearing in conversations with customers and prospects,” added Dr Leda Glyptis, Chief Client Officer at 10x. “While innovation is flourishing, true transformation is hard to come by, and the customers of some of the world’s leading banks are becoming frustrated. “There are many human and structural obstacles to digital transformation. To overcome these, bank leaders need to embrace a fresh mentality to bring about the changes in banking and financial services that consumers increasingly demand.” This research is part of 10x’s latest industry report, “Global banks and the transformation illusion slowing their progress”. May21234 The landmark study commissioned by 10x, the transformational cloudnative SaaS core bank operating system founded by former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins, revealed that banks in key markets across the globe are shedding large numbers of their customer base to rivals. One in eight banking leaders (12%) state they have lost 30-40 per cent of their existing customers for this very reason.
Visier, the globally recognized leader in people analytics and workforce solutions for people-powered business, today announced Smart Compensation, a new product designed to simplify the complex compensation planning process into an easy-to-use, datadriven approach that empowers managers like never before. Available as a standalone product, Smart Compensation can be utilized by both current Visier customers within their suite of Visier offerings, or by new customers as a standalone application supporting their compensation planning teams. In addition to launching Smart Compensation. Visier also announced today “Vee,” a Generative AI-based digital assistant available within the Visier People solution and via integration with Slack and Microsoft Teams. “Pay is one of the most important conversations a manager can have with their employees, and yet most managers are not given the tools to effectively communicate even the best compensation packages, Smart Compensation brings a unique data-driven approach to compensation planning, making it easier than ever for managers to make fair, equitable and effective pay decisions leaving everyone involved in the process feeling unsatisfied and frustrated,” said Lino Gentile, Vice President of New Applications for Visier. “Smart Compensation takes the decades of experience the Visier team has in the people analytics space, and simplifies this complex issue making it easier for teams to make better, data-driven merit pay decisions while elevating the manager’s competency. We’re solving organizations’ most critical compensation challenges without the messy spreadsheets and with a purpose built manager experience that delivers the impact organizations expect.” Smart Compensation: redefining the pay process for triple impact For many companies, the compensation process is frustrating and ineffective for the employee, the manager and the total rewards team. Smart Compensation by Visier redefines the pay process for triple impact, dramatically improving the pay process for each stakeholder. Smart Compensation tackles several critical challenges facing organizations today, including: • Retention- Make informed financial decisions within the compensation planning cycle with built-in guidance on the cost to retain critical talent and the ROI relative to the cost of replacement. • Maximizing compensation impact: Using people analytics to optimize each employee’s merit increase to avoid wasteful and ineffective allocations based on undifferentiated “peanut butter spreading” of compensation adjustments and biased decisions. • Pay transparency- Meet your pay transparency goals by enabling managers and employees with levels of transparency designed specifically for your organization. • Pay equity- Drive a fair and equitable pay process using optimized and unbiased compensation recommendations at the time of decision—rather than after the fact. • Manager effectiveness- Increase managers’ competence and confidence with salary discussions through guided, data-backed decision making. “Smart Compensation gives managers the opportunity to make unbiased pay decisions in real time, optimized for your pay philosophy, and considering employee’s performance, risk of exit and pay equity,” said Gentile. “This helps managers, and organizations make more impactful decisions while simplifying the process for managers, and maximizing the financial impacts of pay decisions.” Available as a standalone product, Smart Compensation can be utilized by both current Visier customers within their suite of Visier offerings, or by new customers as a standalone application supporting their compensation planning teams. In addition to launching Smart Compensation. Visier Launches Smart Compensation, Delivering a New Level of Insight and Effectiveness to Compensation Planning
ERM and Planet collaborate to help organizations harness satellite data to enhance decision-making and advance sustainability goals Planet’s satellite imagery has transformed earth observation, allowing organizations to derive insights at the daily pace of change on earth. When combined with ERM’s expert analysis, Planet data can be translated into actionable information to address business’ operational and sustainability goals. By linking satellite imagery and insights, the partnership between ERM and Planet accelerates data driven decision-making to inform corporate sustainability strategies, management systems and disclosure. Planet and ERM’s joint capabilities can be applied to a multitude of projects including methane emissions monitoring, Nature-Based Solutions planning, climate risk analysis, and impact assessment for capital projects. Current and future use cases include: 1) Methane emissions monitoring: ERM plans to leverage Planet’s future satellites, Tanager, to monitor methane emissions – providing top-down direct measurement in compliance with OGMP2.0 and more direct emissions quantification. 2) Natural Climate / Nature-Based Solutions: ERM works with Planet imagery to identify optimal locations, determine viability, and monitor Nature-Based Solutions implementation for carbon offsets and removal. 3) Biodiversity & nature assessments: Planet imagery is integral to evaluating the state of nature and will support ERM’s work measuring biodiversity related impacts from corporate assets and supply chains, as part of voluntary reporting for Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the upcoming Task Force on Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). 4) Sustainable capital project development: ERM uses Planet imagery to optimize project location and design by measuring potential impacts on society and the environment, in line with International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards. 5) Compliance tracking for new construction: Monitoring construction crews to ensure avoidance of sensitive and protected landscapes is made possible using Planet’s near real-time imagery and ERM’s expertise integrating insights from satellite monitoring for compliance tracking and strategic decision-making. Doug Park, Partner, Geospatial & Climate Solutions at ERM said: “As businesses face the challenge of integrating sustainability into their strategy and operations, there is a growing need to capture and better ERM, the world’s largest pure play sustainability consultancy, has announced a new partnership with Planet Labs PBC, the leading provider of global near-daily satellite imagery and earth data with the highest frequency satellite data commercially available. ERM has been a customer of Planet since 2019 and through this new agreement, will expand the imagery use cases, applications, and reporting capabilities for clients. understand locational information relating to the organization’s assets, supply chains and markets. “From climate risk and nature assessment to oversight and market intelligence, Planet harnesses invaluable data that businesses and their stakeholders are seeking. Its cutting-edge technology, combined with ERM’s advanced remote sensing expertise and sustainability advisory capabilities, will enhance our ability to deliver impactful outcomes for our clients.” Kushal Mashru, Head of Strategic Partnerships at ERM said: “This partnership with Planet is an exciting addition to ERM’s expanding ecosystem. Planet’s satellite imagery technology has transformed the earth observation industry, helping organizations across sectors to make smarter, data-driven decisions. “We look forward to working with Planet to generate insights that will help our clients to evolve and respond to increasingly complex sustainability challenges.” “ERM has been a valued Planet customer for a few years and we are now excited to expand our relationship into a formal partnership. We expect them to become a strong growth partner,” said Jen Doogan, Director, Partnerships (AMER) at Planet. “By joining our partner ecosystem Planet Orbit, ERM can provide customers across industries with imagery solutions, critical insights regarding environmental impact, and robust reporting capabilities.” By linking satellite imagery and insights, the partnership between ERM and Planet accelerates data driven decision-making to inform corporate sustainability strategies, management systems and disclosure.