May 18, 2020

Pizza Express boosts UAE Wi-Fi offering

Middle East
Pizza Express
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Pizza Express boosts UAE Wi-Fi offering

Purple and CDW (international IT solutions provider) have announced a partnership with Pizza Express UAE in a bid to step up the restaurant chain’s WiFi offering.

Purple is a cloud-based marketing and analytics Wi-Fi software company. It provides public Wi-Fi and takes the lead in real-time analytics and marketing for venues and businesses that want to engage with visitors and understand the use of physical spaces. The company serves industries such as stadiums, healthcare, retail, smart cities, hospitality and shopping malls.

Purple currently has 20 million users across 73 countries and works with a variety of brands and venues. The Wi-Fi company currently employs over 90 full time staff and currently has offices in the UK, US, Chile, Madrid, Singapore and Melbourne with more offices planned.

Established in 1965 in London, UK, Pizza Express is one of the world’s leading casual dining and consumer brands. It has more than 450 managed restaurants in the UK and over 65 franchised restaurants internationally, in 9 different countries.

Pizza Express UAE chose Purple and CDW to offer fast, free and secure guest Wi-Fi to its customers while gathering valuable analytics. CDW has delivered a fully integrated solution which comprises of hardware, software and services in partnership with Cisco Meraki, Purple and Microsoft Office 365. The new Wi-Fi solution is currently live at every Pizza Express restaurant in the United Arab Emirates.  

Purple was selected to replace Pizza Express UAE’s existing guest Wi-Fi, which had delivered patchy coverage resulting in customer complaints. Customer experience is very important to the business and therefore the key objective was to provide accessible Wi-Fi that was quick and easy.

The team at Pizza Express UAE also realised that they were missing a valuable opportunity to collect data and gain real-time insights into customer behaviour with an analytics platform. Before using Purple, the marketing team didn’t have much visibility over how often people visited, what their favourite choices were from the menu, when they were due special loyalty offers and how they interact socially with the Pizza Express brand.

The restaurant now has the ability to export data into a separate database via the API, and then use this data to keep CRM and email marketing records up to date.

Before, the database was described as stale and the printed vouchers were not driving sales. The existing database that Pizza Express had contained roughly 30,000 email addresses and by using Purple, more than 10,000 active customers were collected within just a few weeks of installation.

“Our partnership with Pizza Express UAE shows the benefits of having a fast, free and secure guest Wi-Fi offering, combined with easy to use detailed customer analytics. Purple has changed customer Wi-Fi from a customer pain point to a valuable asset, introducing a measurable sales channel for the business as a whole in the process,” said Gavin Wheeldon, CEO at Purple.

Gavin Wheeldon - CEO, Purple

The first Pizza Express UAE offer published using the Purple platform was a free pizza voucher with a very short end date. This resulted in more than 100 redemptions which drove sales of other items (such as drinks, starters and desserts).

Pizza Express UAE has now replicated this campaign with other offers, including two for one on main courses and two for one on Iftar meals. The objective of these deals is to increase customer spend. So far, results have been very strong with over 300 additional covers generated from the email campaign. Pizza Express UAE revealed that just one batch of outbound emails can increase a single day’s sales by up to 4000 Dirham.

“Compared to the other platforms we looked at, Purple is more robust, the reports are impressive and the portal is far more visually appealing and easy to understand. The automated emails are good for saving time, allowing us to focus on planning new marketing campaigns,” commented Nick Freeman, Head of Marketing at Pizza Express UAE.

The choice to log in through social media platforms has proved very popular with the restaurants customers. Almost 2000 people logged into the Wi-Fi through Facebook alone in the first few weeks.

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”


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