Incremental Group accelerates its position in the UK financial services market with acquisition
- Glasgow based Redspire is one of the leading providers of CRM solutions to financial services in the UK
- The combined group becomes one of the largest Microsoft Dynamics partners in the UK
- Incremental’s FY21 H1 revenue is up more than 10%, gross margin up 5 points, and EBITDA up by more than £1m on same period last year
- Incremental continues its journey to achieve revenues of £60m and 500 employees by 2023
- Strong organic growth will be bolstered with further complementary acquisitions
Digital technology services provider, Incremental Group, has acquired Glasgow based Redspire in a deal that accelerates Incremental’s position in the financial services market and makes the organisation one of the largest Microsoft Dynamics partners in the UK.
The combined group now has run rate revenues exceeding £20m and 180 employees across the UK. Redspire will continue to operate as an autonomous business within Incremental.
Redspire provides Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Power Platform solutions to financial service providers and works with customers including Virgin Money and Beazley Insurance.
Discussing the acquisition, Neil Logan, CEO of Incremental said: “I am delighted that despite the pandemic our market continues to grow, the pace of change is accelerating in businesses and the scale of transformation projects we are seeing is increasing. Microsoft and our customers are increasingly looking to work with larger but agile partners who can better deliver for and support them. The acquisition of Redspire strengthens our ability to do this.”
Billy Lyle, Managing Director at Redspire said: “We’re excited to continue on our growth journey, delivering real value for our customers now and in the future. Financial Services is showing real resilience and determination, with transformation key to building adaptability and innovation. Joining with Incremental provides Redspire with access to additional resources and expertise. Redspire is extremely well placed for an exciting future, it’s a great opportunity for everyone involved.”
Incremental helps public sector, not for profit and commercial organisations digitally transform with Microsoft technologies. It is in the top 1% of Microsoft Dynamics partners worldwide, and also provides Microsoft Power Platform, Modern Workplace, Azure and data services. Its customer base includes Admiral, Little Greene Paint & Paper and the NHS. With a growing customer base in public sector, not for profit, manufacturing and professional services, Incremental is also increasingly seeing success in the financial services market, which this acquisition further accelerates.
Incremental Group was launched in November 2016 by a group of Scottish technology industry executives. It is backed by private equity from Dunedin.
Simon Rowan, Partner at Dunedin, commented: “The acquisition of Redspire is an important milestone in Incremental’s buy and build strategy. The company is committed to offering its customers the highest quality range of services, and this customer service philosophy very much underpins the acquisition. The strategies of both companies are closely aligned, which will allow Incremental to continue to increase its scale and market reach, particularly in the financial services sector.”
Incremental’s FY20 revenue was £13.2m, with a normalised pro forma EBITDA of £0.9m. Business performance has been strong throughout the pandemic resulting in further growth and improved profitability through the current financial year. Comparing H1 FY21 (April – September 2020) with H1 FY20 (April – September 2019), revenue was up more than 10%, gross margin up 5 points and EBITDA up by more than £1m returning a double-digit EBITDA margin.
The group is targeting £60 million revenue by 2023, a workforce of more than 500 and plans further acquisitions over the next couple of years. Neil Logan said: “While we are focused on continuing to drive strong organic growth, we are working to identify further value accretive acquisitions as part of our buy and build strategy.”
Redspire and Virgin Money have announced a new strategic FinTech partnership, which will support the development of the Bank’s digital proposition for the new Virgin Money Business current account.
The collaboration supports the development of new digital solutions, brought to life upon Microsoft Cloud Business Applications capabilities. It forms part of Virgin Money’s commitment to the recent £35m award from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability and Innovation Fund.
Virgin Money has created a ‘Working Capital Health’ proposition which transforms its existing business current account offering into a financial wellness tracker for SMEs. The offer combines dynamic views across an SME’s working capital cycle, with a set of working capital solutions; all backed up by proactive relationship management and a unique ecosystem of capability partners.
Redspire is the second of the Bank’s partners to be announced, and they will also work alongside the Bank’s key strategic technology partner, Microsoft.
Billy Lyle, CEO at Redspire, and engagement lead with Virgin Money, said “We’re delighted to be announced as Virgin Money’s technology partner, alongside our own partners at Microsoft. It’s been a year like no other for all businesses in the UK, but Virgin Money have shown real adaptability and resilience, as well as commitment to delivering for their customer base. Years’ worth of digital transformation has taken place in months rather than in years in 2020. My team is excited to continue to drive meaningful change with the limitless power of the Microsoft stack.”
Gavin Opperman, Group Business Director at Virgin Money, followed: “Following our successful application to the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund, we have been moving forward with Virgin Money Business, which will be ready for launch early in 2021.
“Collaboration is key to our success and I am pleased to welcome Redspire onto our extended team. We have a strong relationship with Redspire and place great value on their agility and ability to respond to our needs. I look forward to working with them as we continue to build our Working Capital Health proposition.”
Andrew Falconer, Programme Sponsor at Virgin Money added: “Redspire typify the kind of business we aim to partner with. Focused entirely on the customer, they bring creativity and imagination to the development of solutions, and have shown an enormous degree of flexibility and commitment to supporting Virgin Money change the landscape for SME banking in the UK.”
The launch of Virgin Money Business will mark the arrival of the Virgin brand into the business current account market for the first time. Alongside additional large-scale investment, it will enable the Group to become a true disruptor in the SME banking market and offer UK customers a meaningful alternative to the incumbent banks.
About Virgin Money
Virgin Money is the new disruptive force in UK banking. Bringing together the combined history and expertise of Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and Virgin Money, they are the only bank outside the ‘Big 5’ that boasts a genuine full-service personal and business banking capability.
The Bank serves 6.5 million customers across the UK through a digital-first approach that offers leading online and mobile services, supported by telephone and branch banking, including a national network of branches and business banking centres.
Virgin Money are structured around three divisions – personal, mortgages and business – offering a full range of products and services for consumers and small and medium sized businesses, delivered through our leading technology platform to deliver a consistently world class experience for customers. Their overarching ambition is to disrupt the status quo in UK consumer and business banking.
As part of the Microsoft account managed teams, Redspire work collaboratively to drive future-proofing digital transformation, improved processes and help businesses understand and engage with teams, customers, clients and partners. With particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, Redspire’s client base includes the Money and Pensions Service, Beazley and Virgin Money.
Read about our previous client success with CYBG/Virgin Money.
Want to talk all things Power Platform or Dynamics 365? Get in touch with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I started building Redspire’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap last year, I had no idea that a global pandemic would soon be changing the world of work for us all. Nor did I realise that we’d have a brand new challenge to overcome, in making sure our teams are safe and well, mentally and physically, thanks to coronavirus.
Employee health and wellbeing is super important at Redspire and our partners at Microsoft. Straddling technology and Financial Services, we’ve always been mindful that our teams operate in high pressure environments on detail-orientated projects. Prior to Covid-19, many of our consultants were on the road with clients. Lots of us travelled to and from Glasgow, London and other financial hubs to collaborate on solution and software project design and ideation. It can be an intense process bringing these transformation projects to life. So mental health protection and peer support was, and still is, very important to us.
Staying connected during flexible working
As part of our commitment to our employees wellbeing, we tentatively launched new flexible Work from Home policies in 2019. I didn’t realize then, just how meaningful our overarching goal of ‘staying connected’ would be in 2020. Nor did I realise that as a business, we’d taken that leap to flexible working just at the right time to embed the kind of processes that would help us transition to a fully remote team. I’m incredibly glad we did.
Whilst we got slightly ahead of the curve however, it’s important to acknowledge just how challenging working from home has been for many people – not just in our business but across the globe. There’s huge benefits of course. More family time, reduced commute and staying safe from the virus for example. However, maintaining mentally healthy habits whilst working from home feels like something we need to work hard at, daily. It’s all too easy to fall into habits that blur the lines of work and home. Answering emails over dinner, working alone, not taking breaks and just generally not switching off.
Achieving work life balance
With that in mind, staying connected has become even more important to Redspire as a business. This takes many forms. Staying connected with each other during our working day. Making time for virtual coffee breaks and collaboration with team mates. Staying connected socially and checking in on each other too. We’ve introduced hobbies groups and a buddy / mentor system, as well as larger group hubs. Managers are embedding new ways to stay connected to direct reports and their teams each week, making sure positive working relationships can continue.
Just as importantly, we’re encouraging our teams to stay connected to their own thoughts and feelings, as well as ensuring they prioritise their downtime to stay connected to friends and family during these tough times. The former we’re helping with, in the shape of mindfulness in the workplace sessions, coupled with mental first aid training and peer accreditations too. We see this as a huge benefit to the individuals taking part but also to our team’s ability to look out for one another in the form of emotional check-ins, encouraging each other to take regular breaks and knowing how to prompt one-to-one conversations if they have concerns about each other.
A health and wellbeing toolkit
When it comes to health and wellbeing, we’re conscious that one size doesn’t fit all. So back in 2019 as I was designing our Health and Wellbeing roadmap, I wanted it to include a wide range of touchpoints for people. After all, we’re all on different journeys. The first step was surveying the teams to make sure everyone’s needs were met. The responses were as diverse as our people are. For example, some people enjoy direct line manager support, whereas some prefer to talk to HR or an external counsellor. Many prefer signposting to resources to self-manage matters.
Holistic Employee Assistance and Support
We’ve also launched a new support package that gives our teams a range of support, in the form of counselling, financial programmes, health and wellbeing, access to CBT and more for their friends and family. There programme is constantly updating with relevant health and wellness webinars, workshops and other resources on how to prioritise your day for example whilst working from home. We’re very keen not to replace a service with a system, however. So the package complements our on-going programmes that are constantly evolving.
Microsoft’s Insights to support
As we head into winter, Microsoft’s Wellbeing insights will help us all get through what’s likely to be a little tricky for us all. We must ensure we stay connected and look out for each other. Personal MyAnalytics – that only users see – will tell individuals if they’re spending too much time working, or not having any quiet, focus days and send them prompts to do so. We’ve already seen our teams take positive action on these prompts in recent months.
Just launched this month, individuals, managers, and leaders will also get insights and recommended actions to achieve a better day, a better week, and a better experience for themselves, their teams, and their organisations. Powered by Microsoft Graph and backed by trusted privacy safeguards, these capabilities put the opportunity for change into the hands of everyone in the organization.
Personally, I’m looking forward to using and learning about the productivity tools, as well options to bring in a level of normality like the virtual commute and tea breaks. I’m also very excited about the partnership with Headspace, making it available directly through Microsoft Teams.
Be kind to each other
Kindness, as I mentioned in my previous blog, is something I am passionate about. It can make the biggest difference to someone who might not be feeling their best. But it’s important to also be kind to yourself. Meditation and mindfulness with tools like Headspace allows people to take a breath and focus on the now.
In these unprecedented times, and given that our whole lives are now ‘at home’, we can feel like we need to be ‘always on.’
Ideally over the coming months, we can bring together our focus on wellbeing with Microsoft’s tools, to balance work and life a little better.
Staying positive in the months ahead
Over the next month, our executive team are looking at some interesting ways to bring our Christmas Party to life virtually. Look out for my next piece on our ideas on supporting teams over Christmas and new year and how we are boosting company morale.
Let’s look out for each other – and ourselves – in the months ahead and nurture positivity and staying connected wherever we can. It’s the only way through tough times.
Connect with Kristine as she shares more on Redspire’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap over the months ahead. Redspire are currently recruiting, visit the website or connect on LinkedIn to find out more.
Using Microsoft’s low code platform Power Platform, Beazley Booking makes it easier and quicker for brokers to arrange virtual appointments and share relevant documentation securely with underwriters. Connected to a simple web application, brokers can access the portal using a secure log-in provided by Beazley.
Connecting brokers and underwriters with the Power Platform
Beazley Booking enables brokers to view underwriter availability, book a meeting time, upload an agenda and documents in advance and view all of their scheduled meetings with Beazley underwriters. It aims to ensure brokers retain consistent access to their underwriting contacts during social distancing and beyond as the insurance industry adopts more flexible working practices in the long term. It also provides underwriters with access to a detailed log of broker enquiries and appointments on a fully secure system.
From today, Beazley is rolling out the system to cyber & technology and property broking partners in the London market with new lines being added in the coming months.
Mark Moerdyk, Beazley’s chief technology officer, said: “Beazley Booking uses the Microsoft Power Platform to improve the quality of interactions with brokers and ensure that our underwriters have access to data that can help improve service in the future. This is not only a system that improves our service during this period of social distancing but also has the capability to provide long-term support as the market adapts to a more efficient and flexible model.”
Flexible working practices as the market adapts
Paul Bantick, global head of cyber & tech, said: “We have been working very hard to ensure we retain the same standard of access and responsiveness for brokers while working remotely. In the London market particularly, the temporary closure of the Lloyd’s trading floor due to the pandemic has changed the dynamic of the market and accelerated the adoption of new ways of working. As we come out of lockdown we know that some of these more flexible working practices will ensue. This was an opportunity to invest in making our virtual interactions with brokers slicker and more efficient with expanded functionality and features.”
Beazley Booking empowers brokers and ensures frictionless trading
Simon Jackson, head of open market property at Beazley, added: “Beazley Booking empowers brokers to arrange appointments with us using a user-friendly and intuitive application. It helps to ensure trading with us is as frictionless and straightforward as possible.”
Beazley plc (BEZ.L) is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in Europe, United States, Canada, Latin America and Asia. Beazley manages six Lloyd’s syndicates and, in 2019, underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $3,003.9m. All Lloyd’s syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.
Redspire is an IT Consultancy, specialising in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform technologies. As part of the Microsoft account managed teams, Redspire work collaboratively to drive future-proofing digital transformation, improve processes and help businesses understand and engage with teams, customers, clients and partners. With particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, their client base includes the Money and Pensions Service, Beazley and Virgin Money.
Register for the webinar
Beazley chief technology officer Mark Moerdyk and Billy Lyle, Redspire chief executive host an overview of the technology on 22nd July at 11am, showcasing how the Power Platform is building connections, driving adaptability, and helping insurers overcome challenges in a time of change. Reserve your place today
For more information, visit www.beazley.com
As part of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, we asked our Head of HR and Business Operations Kristine Steele to share the ways that Redspire is providing a mentally healthy workplace. She gives her thoughts below on why, especially now, #KindnessMatters.
Before lockdown, my 2-year-old son was in nursery. When I collected him at the end of each day, his nursery teacher always gave me a rundown of his day. What he learned, what he ate etc and I would always ask the same question in return…” was he kind today?”
For me, kindness is such an important value, in both the workplace and our personal lives. The small ways in which we normally show kindness in the workplace for most of us have gone, for now. Making someone a cup of tea, a hello and a smile as you walk past in the corridor, asking how someone’s day has been, buying biscuits to share. Most of us do these things without thinking about them. We are naturally caring, social creatures. But for someone who isn’t having a great day, these small things can make a big difference.
So, it’s really important now, at a time when many people are feeling isolated and anxious that we reach out and take the time to make colleagues and loved ones feel better. A virtual hug, a thinking of you message, an offer of support and a chat; even to those you may not normally speak to, could really have a positive impact on someone’s mental wellbeing. By showing that you’re thinking of them and that you care.
I am really proud to be part of the Redspire team. Our Managers work hard to support and encourage their teams and we are continuously striving to make Redspire a great place to be. As part of our roadmap prior to lockdown, we had been reviewing the way we do business to ensure our everyday working culture is as mentally healthy as possible. We continue to do this by reviewing training and coaching options for our Managers to give them the tools they need to further support their teams, and we will be creating a hub of resources to encourage all employees to explore and share ways to manage stress, anxiety and mental health.
Our next step is to train a number of team members to become mental health ambassadors. We are currently running mindfulness sessions, introducing wellbeing action plans and continue to organise virtual social events, quizzes and celebrate birthdays and achievements. We’re keen that our teams input on what’s important to them too, so source suggestions of what matters to them. We’re keen that we continue to deliver a great service to our customers, but also make sure our employees have the balance between work and personal life. Especially, as for now, as both are so intertwined.
As well as hands-on team support, our anonymous wellbeing survey helps us measure how successful our initiatives are but also allows staff a voice to talk and allows us to listen. It supports the daily conversations between employees and managers and set benchmarks to measure and improve upon. It’s important as employers and Managers that we talk, listen and really care about supporting our teams. We strive to create a trusting and open environment where people won’t be judged, and we continue to encourage people to speak out and ask for help if they need it. These recent months have been tough on the global community. Everything has changed. That’s what makes it even more important now, to all work hard to get through the new challenges we face.
Be kind to each other, #KindnessMatters
Connect with Kristine as she shares more on Redspire’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap over the months ahead.
For more information on mental health awareness week and where you can get further support visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
If you’re not a hardcore techy, you’ll be forgiven for the 2020 wave 1 Dynamics 365 and Power Platform release flying under your radar. This year’s release lands during an unprecedented time for global society, whilst businesses navigate new remote working practices and strive to achieve uninterrupted business continuity.
We, along with our partners at Microsoft are providing support and resources for businesses on the frontlines of the global health pandemic and are making seamless business continuity a key priority for our customers using Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.
The new wave 1 enhancements however are really worth exploring in some detail. The new features and capabilities further unify B2B and B2C customer journeys and user experiences across sales, service and marketing. The automations and virtual enhancements are as slick as they are time-saving, allowing c-suite teams to rethink how departments and teams are set up for operational efficiency.
Considerations for Wave 1 adoption during COVID-19
Microsoft have delayed the mandatory uptake of Dynamics for Customer Engagement and includes other allowances for uptake of the new release, including the ability to defer certain features once before uptake.
Wave 1 release for 2020 however, includes brand new apps and over 400 new features and capabilities across both platforms, many of which by design, can help organisations adapt to immediate challenges posed by the pandemic and ensure you’re well placed thereafter to adapt to operational changes.
Watch Microsoft’s BizApps Virtual Launch
If you have 90 minutes free, it would be a good time investment to deep dive into the detailed demos and use cases on the Business Applications Virtual Launch on demand. If you’re time shy, you can view a summary of the new features on the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2020 release wave 1 plans.
The Redspire technical team have immersed themselves in the new enhancements, test driven and summarised their highlights. Have a read and please do reach out on email@example.com or connect with the team on their LinkedIn to chat further.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing
If you aren’t using Dynamics 365 Marketing, Analyst Ross McGhee recommends that this is the time to get on-board. The solution has really come of age and can help both B2B and B2C businesses manage customer outreach and engagement through rich personalisation and deep automation. See Ross’s highlights below.
- Meet compliance and brand standards by test-sending dynamic marketing emails
Wave 1 enhancements enable users to test-send marketing emails containing dynamic content, highly beneficial to new users as they familiarise themselves with the syntax from which to implement dynamic content.
Now, users can test-send their marketing emails using a sample contact record or seed to ensure dynamic content displays correctly in the marketing email preview. This makes quality checking, compliance and maintaining brand standards fool-proof, in advance of sending to their target audience.
- Reach your audience where they are with automated scheduler
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been called to action to help analyse trends based on previous interaction with marketing emails.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing can now automatically send marketing emails to recipients during times at which each contact is most likely to be actively reading their emails, instead of on a timed mass release schedule. This increases engagement and interaction with content, helping produce more volume and higher quality leads.
Like other areas where machine learning is being used, the AI will only get smarter over time with each added interaction, creating more meaningful customer interactions and better understanding of their unique needs.
- Increase visibility and credibility with spam checker
The new spam checker feature makes smart recommendations to the avoid marketing emails being flagged as spam, and can confidently assess your content as Low, Medium or High risk.
Utilising this functionality will assure marketers that emails will land directly in customer inboxes and along with automated scheduler consequently produce a higher number of leads.
- Close the feedback loop with Microsoft Forms Pro
Forms Pro now integrates with Dynamics 365 for Marketing, allowing marketers to create branded surveys within the platform, automate interactions at various stages of the customer journey and return rich insights. With Voice of the Customer being retired in summer, Forms Pro’s enhanced integrations help marketers create valuable feedback that drives future decision making for campaign delivery, improve audience targeting and build valuable user experiences, whilst aligning neatly with other KPIs served within the platform.
- Export rich data to Excel, analyse and act with marketing insights
Marketers asked and Microsoft responded. Rich marketing insights can be exported direct to Excel from Dynamics 365 for Marketing at the click of a button, without having to depend on Power BI. Marketers can monitor campaign success, analyse and report on trends and behaviours and make informed decisions on future activity.
- Deliver visually impactful campaigns with the improved email content designer
Content is still King in Marketing. Microsoft have revamped the Design Editor to help users of varying skills level create quality designs faster and more efficiently. Enhanced drag and drop, drag to resize, an improved colour picker as well as more customisation options and email-wide property controls to help marketers create brand consistent output.
- Improved Customer Journey Experience
This is our marketing teams hands-down favourite enhancement. Within the customer journey, marketers now have the capability to set static expiration dates for marketing email tiles. This means that time sensitive promotions or activity isn’t being promoted outwith the campaign in-market dates and a big win for compliance in highly regulated industries.
- In-Place Editing of Email and Forms
Another favourite, allowing marketers to create and edit core marketing records from one place.
The enhancements make it possible to create customer journeys, marketing emails, marketing pages, marketing forms and more, directly from your Customer Journey record. Greatly reducing the amount of clicks back and forth between various entities throughout the application and improving time to campaign go live.
From a technical point of view, this is a great tool to showcase to clients looking to invest in Dynamics for Marketing. This functionality really highlights:
- the capabilities of the solution for users of all skill levels and
- the ease of user adoption with the bulk of the marketer’s usage carried out primarily in one single location.
Dynamics for Customer Service
We’ve been talking lots about Dynamics for Customer Service in the past few months. The solution’s automations and integrations with the Power Platform have proven invaluable for managing the spike in customer interactions in frontline services during the global health crisis. Industries like Banking, Travel, Health Service and Education have been able to meet increased demand thanks to the ease of implementing new Virtual Agent managed journeys, connected to knowledge bases and existing content at pace.
The enhancements launched this month focus on three key areas:
- Agent productivity: Delivering improvements that help agents be more productive such as improved knowledge article search, email authoring, and timeline enhancements.
- Omnichannel for Customer Service: Expanding the range of supported channels and agent productivity tooling.
- Connected Customer Service: Linking IoT diagnostics, IoT device updates, and case management to help organizations evolve a proactive and predictive service model.
Top pick new features, directly from the Analyst team
Analyst Colette Rogers shares an overview of her favourite new tools.
- The Copy and paste feature in Power Automate is now generally available. This has been incredibly handy in Power Automate, allowing capability to copy actions and paste into the flow as a further action or another branch of your condition. This feature has been available in preview and has been extremely useful when using create or update a record action, with numerous entries of Dynamics content. It saves time when recreating the same step and reduces error in selecting the content for input. It can also be used across flows in the same environment.
- Another key feature is instant flow steps in business process flows, now generally available too. In Dynamics 365 and PowerApps, a business process flow provides the user with steps to follow to in each stage of the process. Instant flows can now be used as a step within a business process flow to automate tasks, create approval requests or connect to one of the supported power automate connectors.
- Finally, the solution support for User Interface (UI) flows. UI flows allow step-by-step actions such as mouse clicks, keyboard use, and data entry to be turned into intelligent workflows. These automations can now be imported and exported as part of a solution to be used across different environments. This supports the application lifecycle of the UI flows.
This summary is barely touching the surface of the new capabilities. Our technical teams love talking all things Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. If you’d like to discuss any element of the Wave 1 2020 enhancements in more detail, please get in touch on 0845 226 8170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep an eye on our blog and LinkedIn page for our follow up article on the Power Platform.
Overcome immediate overload in call centre operations, fast with Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Power Virtual Agents and Omni-channel Engagement Hub.
Frontline service providers in banking, insurance, health, travel and retail are experiencing huge spikes on call centre operations during the Covid-19 global health crisis. Microsoft bizapps and rapid partner deployments are helping contact centres overcome urgent demand and relieving pressure on distressed call centres. Implement a rapid, tactical solution to the Covid-19 call centre crisis in days and be positioned to overcome evolving challenges ahead.
Overcoming call centre distress with Dynamics and the Power Platform
During the Covid-19 health crisis, clients who provide essential services in industries like banking, insurance, health, travel and retail are experiencing huge spikes on call centre operations. The global pandemic is straining service centres everywhere, with a massive uptick in call volumes, further complicated by many agents working remotely.
Deploy omnichannel capabilities
With omnichannel capabilities for Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Power Virtual Agent and Power Apps Portals, contact centre employees can provide consistent, personalised support while working remotely.
Self-service portals capabilities reduce pressure and urgency from agents and ensure cases are properly distributed across the omni-channel environment. Users are quickly able to deploy chatbots that are trained to respond to the highest volume of inquiring questions while providing consistent levels of personalised support.
The benefits of the tools and technologies
- Power Apps Service Portals
– build business apps and self-service portals, fast
– react to live needs to handle query flow
– connect to wider workflows and remote agents
– customers can log, update and self-manage their case
– free up front end agents and reduces call bottleneck
- Power Virtual Agent
– create intelligent agents with no code
– connect to existing bots, portals and knowledge bases
– virtual agent fields queries and establishes urgency
– resolves or diverts low and medium touch queries
– reduce impact on frontline agents – allows 24/7 self-service operations
- Dynamics 365 Customer Service
– manage, record and resolve customer cases
– connect each stage of the customer journey
– unifies operations & automates business process flows
– monitor and manage call centre volumes – a single source of truth for case communications
– ensures case continuity if agents out sick during crisis
- Omnichannel for Customer Service
– a hub for managing case related communications
– provides multiple non-call ways to manage interactions
– extends the reach of Dynamics for Customer Service
– can deploy live agent chat remotely
– reduces dependency on system telephony
– connect cases across the entire customer environment
Redspire have particularly strong capabilities in Banking and Financial Services, FMCG, Government, and Third Sector and have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money and Pensions Service, our expertise in Dynamics 365 Power Platform helps our clients unify operations quickly, and deliver transformation projects that solve immediate business pain.
Next steps for Covid-19 contact centre and operational resilience crisis support
Secure data infrastructures and unified operations have never been more important as we navigate the unfolding global health crisis. This is the time for rapid implementation to overcome contact centre distress. Solutions can be deployed at pace over just a few days to immediately relieve the pressure, and ensure internal teams are supported too. For more information, download the crisis briefing, call Redspire today on 0845 226 8170 or email on email@example.com.
Over the past weeks, Microsoft and partners like Redspire have mobilised global and UK teams to support communities and organisations affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform teams are working closely with organisations on the front lines of the crisis—including financial services organisations, governments, healthcare providers, not-for-profits, and schools and universities. We are also focusing efforts to ensure business communities have the digital capabilities to maintain business continuity and stability, while keeping employees safe and healthy.
We are hearing from organisations across industries and around the world that have an immediate need for cloud solutions to rapidly respond to quickly changing needs using custom apps and automated solutions, support remote workers, and engage customers in need. We are providing offers and support to rapidly ramp up in these areas:
Coordinate and automate emergency responses
Microsoft Power Platform was designed to empower everyone, regardless of their technical ability, to collaborate and solve problems fast. The idea that rapid, valuable innovation can come from virtually anywhere drives our development of the Power Platform, and the realisation of that idea has never been more impactful than in this time of crisis. The Power Platform team is currently supporting urgent deployments for first responder organisations, government agencies, schools and universities, and other essential service providers including the release of two Power Platform solutions to enable customers to coordinate information and resources in times of crisis, and a Microsoft Power Virtual Agents bot to manage crisis response.
- Healthcare Emergency Response Resource Tracking—the Power Platform team worked with a US hospital to create apps and dashboards to provide visibility into available beds and supplies like masks and ventilators. Any healthcare provider can now implement the Emergency Resource Tracking solution to manage emergency responses and equipment inventories, beds and staffing needs, and emergency leaders can leverage the decision support dashboard to make decisions. Read more about the solution and get the full instructions to implement it.
- Crisis Communications—a low-code solution that combines Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint to coordinate information sharing and team collaboration in response to evolving conditions. Employees can report a work status and make requests, and admins can use the app to push updates, news including RSS feeds from the World Health Organization (WHO), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or local UK authorities, and emergency contacts to different locations—all accessible on the web, mobile, or in Teams. Read more about the solution and get instructions to implement it.
- Power Virtual Agents Crisis Response Bot—the Power Virtual Agents team has released instructions to build Virtual Agent Crisis Response FAQ Bot that helps people get to the information they need quickly in a chat interface you can embed on any website. For example, a Crisis FAQ bot can help you address questions that employees are frequently asking, freeing time for managers to focus on other priorities.
Help contact centres support unprecedented demand
The global pandemic is straining service centres everywhere, with a massive uptick in call volumes, further complicated by many agents working remotely. With omnichannel capabilities for Dynamics 365 Customer Service, contact centre employees can provide consistent, personalised support while working remotely. Organisations are taking advantage of the ability to gain insights into case volume topics, ensure agents are properly distributed across channels, and quickly deploy chatbots that are trained to respond to the highest volume of inquiring questions while providing consistent levels of personalised support.
Microsoft and partners can also:
- Help retail business continuity
- Keep first-line workers connected to experts
- Ensure educators and students are connected.
To empower organisations to take advantage of the solutions above, Microsoft are making Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Apps portals and Power Virtual Agents available for a free six-month product offer, that includes all premium capabilities for customers in the healthcare, education, not-for-profit, and government sectors. Qualifying conditions apply.
Reach out for assistance
We’re here to support you during the global health crisis. Please contact Redspire on 0845 226 8170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific guidance to help you solve or signpost you to the right partner to meet your business-critical challenges.
Original article can be viewed at: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/03/26/resources-and-support-for-our-global-customers-impacted-by-covid-19/
In response to guidance and events surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to share the measures we have taken to ensure we continue to deliver secure, consistent services, whilst maintaining safe working environments for our teams.
Like other businesses that can, with immediate effect, and until further notice, we will be operating a working from home policy across the entire Redspire group.
At the forefront of digital transformation, our business infrastructure has been built upon significant and continual investment in cloud technologies. As standard, we have collaboration systems that ensure all staff members can continue to work, irrespective of location.
Additionally, we have a mature and robust business continuity plan which has recently been put into action within test conditions to ensure effectiveness. We are happy to confirm that the business remained fully operational across all services whilst every member of the organisation worked from home.
The importance of secure, digital infrastructures – both customer facing and internally – will be highlighted over the coming weeks and months. It’s business as usual for us in terms of service delivery, business continuity and service level standards.
Our client base may face new challenges as the situation unfolds. We remain active, here to support you via the usual channels. Please do reach out as and when you need us, above and beyond our usual scope of work if needed. Our switchboard remains open, and we are accessible as normal via email, Microsoft Teams and on the usual mobile numbers.
We remain committed to delivering unparalleled levels of support and consultancy services and will monitor the situation very closely, providing regular updates as and when appropriate on our website and social channels.
We are all in this together, and will get through this together.
Billy Lyle, Rick Lyle, Steven Brown, Kristine Steele,
Have you moved to a single customer view yet? With the latest release of #Dynamics365 and #PowerPlatform, we’re excited to see how the new updates help to make the single customer view a reality for users and clients.
Find out how in our latest video: http://ow.ly/vGgK50FzMUt
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