Soaring to the top of the tree
Soarsoft Africa, exclusive South African distributors of global messaging platform migration specialists Binary Tree, has announced its adoption of Binary Tree’s revolutionary SMART migration methodology.
With this move the company becomes one of the first global SMART migration partners, in line with its status as a Preferred Binary Tree distribution partner.
Binary Tree is the leading provider of messaging and collaboration transformation technology and solutions for the Microsoft platform in the cloud, on-premises or in hybrid environments.
The SMART Partner Program is offered to select partners who have a core focus on complementary lines of business to Binary Tree, and uphold the global organisation’s strict service standards.
Preferred distributor designation is offered by invitation only, and was granted to Soarsoft in 2012 based on its continuous commitment to providing superior services and support to end user customers as well as partners.
Soarsoft Africa Director Chris Hathaway said: “As distributors of Binary Tree products for more than two years, we have executed many large and complex migrations across multiple platforms and in complicated environments with vast amounts of legacy data housed in various third party applications. Based on this experience, the move to adopt SMART methodology was a natural fit for our organisation.
“SMART is a highly refined methodology that Binary Tree has developed over many years as specialist migration vendors, working with the company’s tools to form a seamless framework for migrations.
“It is based on three pillars: best practice methodology, proven technology, and knowledgeable and practiced advisors, which is where Soarsoft fits into the picture. These three pillars correspond with the well known trifecta of ‘people, process and technology’ and form the cornerstones of successful messaging migrations,” he added.
Decade of experience
Soarsoft, which has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, has more than a decade of experience in the supply, Project Management and support of enterprise information management solutions for leading organisations in Africa the Middle East, Europe and the USA.
To become a SMART partner, Soarsoft Africa has undergone extensive and continuous mandatory training on multiple competencies, as well as product focused education.
Binary Tree closely manages the training process, and a curriculum is developed for each partner based on their specific needs and requirements.
Soarsoft has committed to not only participating in the training themselves, but also acting as a gateway to training the partner network throughout South Africa.
Marcella Mazzucca, Worldwide Marketing and Channel Operations at Binary Tree, said: “SMART Partners are an extension of Binary Tree. Our certification process is broken into multiple levels, including technical, sales and marketing enablement, and we continue to drive the follow-through on education to ensure that our distributors, including Soarsoft, are not only able to lead within their marketplace, but exemplify our commitment to services.
“Soarsoft has an extensive Microsoft and services portfolio – one that is unmatched in their region – which made them a logical choice as a preferred distributor.
“As a SMART Partner, Soarsoft is able to deliver the SMART Methodology by offering a seamless, automated migration process for customers going to new or enhanced versions of Microsoft Exchange or the Cloud.
Soarsoft also understands and is able to deliver on the SMART Methodologies principals: Superior, Messaging, Analyse, Rationalise and Transform. This enables them to deliver best practice email migration projects by recommending superior solutions throughout the lifecycle of the Exchange deployment.
“From coexistence between platforms to content eDiscovery and archiving, Soarsoft has the ability to offer the project scope and ancillary technologies that will truly transform today and tomorrow’s migration process.”
By adopting the SMART methodology, Soarsoft is able to harness a refined end-to-end process for migrations, beginning with the correct analysis of the environment and continuing through to project signoff.
This migration roadmap benefits organisations by ensuring zero downtime, simplifying complex migration processes through enhanced communication and ensuring reduced project timelines and therefore reduced costs. By leveraging a proven framework, SMART enables better planning and enhanced quality of messaging migrations.
Hathaway said: “Soarsoft sources best of breed technologies to meet the needs of our customers, and as such have found a comfortable fit with Binary Tree and the SMART methodology.
“Messaging platform migrations typically involve multiple complexities, including legacy data in third party archiving solutions, change management, user adoption challenges and more. This goes beyond a single technology or software tool, as it is not only the messaging platform that is affected by the migration.
“SMART methodology takes all of these aspects into account, and enhances our existing migration route. As messaging, archiving, migration and collaboration specialists, we are continuously seeking to improve our methodology and processes, as this will only be of benefit to both our organisation and our customers’.”
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
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.
- 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
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- 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
- 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.”