Egnyte: combining technology with customer-centricity
Recognising the value of cutting-edge technology combined with a strong, customer-centric work ethic, Egnyte is an intelligent content platform to access, share, and manage content no matter where the work happens. Specifically, working with one of its key clients, PIB Group, Egynte has been helping it define a vital data management strategy to maintain its high-quality services in a shifting insurance landscape. “For enterprises these days, the focus isn’t just on digital transformation,” explains Andrew Martin, Managing Director, UK. “Really it's about data transformation and helping our customers formulate a strategy regarding their structured and unstructured data.”
Fascinated by both technology and sport at a young age, Martin says that he has been able to incorporate his leadership and team management skills from the latter to drive his coordination of Egynte’s EMEA-focused operations. Priding himself on an ability to see problems from the customer’s point of view, Martin explains that the philosophy of the company’s founders - Vineet Jain (Chief Executive Officer) and Rajesh Ram (Chief Experience Officer) - drew him in and inspired him to join. “Fundamentally, they’re two guys who found a problem that they couldn't solve at their previous organisations and decided to create a company to address it.” Claiming that, in a direct comparison with its competitors, Egynte’s cloud-first usually emerges victorious, it is Martin’s opinion that the time is right for further market expansion.
With over 16,000 customers accrued since it was founded in 2007, the company has a solid grasp on its core capabilities and is now assessing the market carefully to anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s clients. “The business started with moving document file servers to the cloud without negatively impacting the user experience or speed degradation. However, with a client like PIB Group, we have to manage millions of files across thousands of employees while they're also trying to onboard multiple new acquisitions every year.” To give a more accurate impression of the scale of the onboarding: PIB Group has brought over 40 businesses under its umbrella in less than five years.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most difficult logistical challenges of modern business, Martin proudly states that Egnyte’s strong relationship with PIB Group has seen the latter through its implementation of remote working processes. “Paul Johnson (COO and CIO at PIB Group) has said that, through PIB Group’s usage of our technology, the company has had no challenges making content and data available to all their employees wherever they want to work.” What was once a static and relatively limited vendor relationship has developed over the years to become a fully-fledged partnership, one underpinned by mutual recognition of the value of customer-centricity. “Darrell Cook (Customer Success Manager) runs our relationship with PIB Group, not my sales team,” Martin emphasises. Cook himself adds: “That dynamic allows us to really understand its business, goals and problems, therefore making it easier to find solutions. That's something that I think Egnyte does very well: we listen to the customer and find out what they want to see in the future.”
Read the full PIB Group article in the latest edition of InsurTech Digital
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”