Better, faster and more effective systems for your business
How we can help you.
Our solution offering.
The digital workplace provides an organisation with services or capabilities across four main dimensions:
- Communication and employee engagement
Communication between the employer, a place where anyone from the CEO’s office to the line of business and the employee to impart information (Links to Intranets and Yammer).
Providing the opportunity for employees to work together on projects or in teams, to share and solicit ideas. (Links to Teams, DRMS).
- Services – finding and sharing of information and knowledge
Business applications (process specific tools such as Microsoft 365 including SharePoint and the office tools, workflow as well as employee self-service).
- Agile working — the ability to be productive any time and place
In a time when remote work is becoming the norm, employees need to be able to access their work, any place, any time on any device.
Whether you need to optimise an existing IT infrastructure, or navigate the complexities of a hybrid physical and digital world, Exponant can help. With our services, you’ll have an agile, scalable, and more efficient way to address changing business demands. By employing solutions like cloud storage, office 365, Workflow Automation, imaging and data restoration and migration services, you can focus on your core business processes while accelerating your transition to a more digital workplace.
The Exponant Modern Workplace services include:
- Customer Engagement solutions including Websites and Extranet Portals;
- Employee engagement tools including Intranets and process management tools, for example approvals, leave or registration;
- Enterprise Content Management including Documents and Records Management, Scanning, OCR and storage directly from Outlook into the DRMS;
- Secure Digital signatures in compliance with the archive act;
- Software customisation and development;
- Change management, adoption and process optimisation
Exponant Workplace Solutions.
We develop websites according to the following principles which a great website should have including the following:
Our websites are designed to serve a purpose, usually to solve a problem, this may be as simple as proving information to online forms and applications, subscriptions or booking for an event.
Ease of use
A website should be easy to use and navigate. We draw up careful content architectures, site structures and data architectures to ensure that the website is easy to use. One of the most critical features of a website these days is the Search functionality because of the way we source information these days. We seldom navigate on a website any more unless we know exactly what we want, we merely enter a search term. Another aspect of making the site easy to use is the choice of language, sentence structure etc. to make it easy to consume the information we find.
We spend time evaluating your business model, relevant legislation, your existing website and understanding who your target audience in order assist you with creating a suitable content architecture to suit your audience’s needs.
Exponant spends much time ensuring that we are up-to-date on the latest trends designs and technologies in order to to make sure your website is current.
Optimised for all browsers and devices
We develop your website to be optimised for different devices, browsers, data speed, search engines, and users.
Performance and Speed
We monitor the website’s performance and speed in order to optimise it for your purpose. We run technical diagnostics to establish the reason for any delays and will make recommendations for improvement. We also test uptime and can run an SLA service to monitor this for you 24/7.
Access to the web on mobile phones has almost taken over browser-based access. Responsive design is a graphic user interface (GUI) design approach used to create content that adjusts smoothly to different screen sizes. Designers size elements so that their designs can automatically adapt to the browser space to ensure content consistency across devices. We can build and host your website in almost any application, but we will ensure that the software is responsive too. Exponant’s websites are designed to scale to any device, from mobile to PC.
Our websites scale to a number of potential visitors. Not only the website’s user interface databases, APIs, and services.
We make sure that your website follows industry standards and guidelines. For example, if you have user registration feature, you want to make sure that user passwords are encrypted and not displayed in plain text. We also ensure that the website is secure and uses SSL encryption and a CAPTCHA feature to ensure that the user is not a bot.
People with visual impairments are accommodated by using AltText on the images, visibility tools, to test the experience of a person who is colour blind and where it is available in the software enabling the “Read out loud” function.
Monitor and Manage
Exponant can also monitor the usage, behavioural patterns, demographics and adoption of the system using Google analytics and other software health checks. They can assist the business with acquisition programmes to drive people to the website.
Search Engine Optimisation
At Exponant, we provide white hat SEO. This refers to any practice that improves your search rankings on a search engine results page while maintaining the integrity of your website and staying within the search engines’ terms of service.
We use two primary mechanisms for this:
- Technical – the settings are optimised, keywords in the correct place, there is a site map for the bots to find and index and many more features.
- Content – we can assist you in content creation and the development of SEO strategies and content calendars in order to keep the site fresh and the Search Engine bots coming back for more.
At Exponant, we understand that internal systems, document management and communication needs differ vastly between companies. Rather than take a “one size fits all” approach we prefer to analyse and lay the groundwork before we begin implementation of a SharePoint Intranet.
We also believe that an optimised Intranet forms the strategic backbone for an organisation, increasing productivity, motivating staff and ensuring that they are committed to delivering on the organisation’s vision and goals.
Exponant can also monitor adoption of the system and provide insight into increase the use of the Intranet.
An extranet allows access to partners, vendors and suppliers or an authorised set of customers – to information which is not in the public domain.
We develop two kinds on Extranets:
These extranets allow named users toto parts of the Intranet or an internal application which the organisation wishes them to see. Care must be taken with security including Acceptable Use Policies, Firewalls, onboarding and off boarding and the prevention of data downloading, copying or emailing out of the system etc. to make sure there are no security breaches and risks of exposure
The Portal is less risky option as it is created on a ringfenced Team site. The users must still be registered, but only the information they have permission to see will be placed there. The disadvantage here is that care must be taken with version control and duplication in the DRMS.
Enterprise Content Management
SharePoint is an intuitive solution with increased enterprise content management functionality. It has same familiar look and feel of Microsoft Office, making it user-friendly, with no need to master a complete, new platform of operation and navigation.
Exponant is experienced in developing robust, intuitive ECM solutions that reduce risk and increase productivity.
Methodologies for Development and Configuration
In order to ensure that we achieve consistent results, we follow a specific methodology which we have developed over many years. We also have the flexibility to adapt to a client’s methodology where specified.
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process used by the software industry to design, develop and test high quality solutions. An SDLC is a framework defining tasks performed at each step in the software development process.
The SDLC that Exponant follows is a process for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system. There are six stages in this cycle: requirement analysis, design, development and testing, implementation, documentation, and evaluation. Each of these steps is carefully thought through and we take care to learn from all new developments and practices.
Dev, QA and Production Servers
Optimally we prefer to use the three-server environment.
The development environment (dev) is the environment in which changes to software are configured or developed. This differs from the target environment in various ways – the developer’s environment will include development tools like a compiler, integrated development environment, different or additional versions of libraries and support software, etc., which are not present in a user’s environment.
The is an environment in which options and changes are worked on and tried out
The purpose of the test environment is to allow human testers to exercise the new and changed system. After the developer accepts the configurations through unit testing in the development environment, the items are moved to the test environment. This usually constitutes one of the steps in the User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
This is an environment for testing prior to publishing. It may also connect to other production services and data, such as databases.
The primary use of a pre-production environment is to test all the installation/configuration/migration scripts and procedures before they’re published. This ensures all major and minor upgrades to production are completed reliably, without errors, and in the minimum of time.
Another important use of pre-production is performance testing, particularly load testing, as this is often sensitive to the environment.
Pre-production is also used by some organisations to preview new features to select customers or to validate integrations with live versions of external dependencies.
The production environment is also known as live, as it is the environment that users directly interact with. This is the most sensitive step
Deploying a new release generally requires a restart and thus requires either an interruption in service or redundancy – either restarting instances slowly behind a load balancer, or starting up new servers ahead of time and then simply redirecting traffic to the new servers. This is why we normally deploy to production in off peak hours.
Agile vs Waterfall approach
When we are planning a project a lot of thought goes into the approach.
Agile is an incremental and iterative approach; Waterfall is a linear and sequential approach. Agile separates a project into sprints; Waterfall divides a project into phases. Agile helps complete many small projects; Waterfall helps complete one single project.
The advantages to Waterfall in measured cost containment, but in modern configuration environments like Microsoft 365 Agile tends to work better as the user embarks on a journey of discovery as they see what the system can do and this allows a far more collaborative approach with the client, so they get the best solution possible..
At Exponant we consider the structure of our team very carefully. Whether on sight at the client or working remotely the following teams are usually gathered, depending on the project.
- Account Manager
The Account Manager is a senior Executive Team member on Exponant’s side and has sight of the overall project. Where necessary this Executive can play any of the other roles in the team. The Exponant Executives are highly engaged on all client projects.
- Project Manager
This is particularly on large, complex fixed price projects as it is this person’s job to set out the ground rules for the project’s success. The project manager agrees with the client on a project management methodology, develops a project initiation document, sets up the Project Steering Committee and is primarily entrusted with ensuring that the project plan is executed on time, within the budget and to the requisite quality.
The Project Manager also manages timesheets and checks and follows up on the invoicing and other financial aspects.
- Team Lead and Subject Matter Expert
This may be the same person or it could be two people depending on the specialisation, but for these purposes we shall treat them as a single entity. This person is responsible for designing the methodology that will be used, to get to the best possible results. This person is often also a senior business analyst and will take the time to research the client and the sector within which it functions to determine trends and opportunities.
It is this person’s job to negotiate with the project manager to ensure that enough time and resources have been allocated to the tasks at hand. This person is generally responsible for the management and guidance of the team and ensuring that they understand what is happening as well as the documentation of the Functional Specification or Strategy.
They are also responsible for taking a holistic view of the project within the client’s business context and also forming a constructive collaborative relationship with the Line of business customer who is the owner as well as the Executive Management and Enterprise Architecture team. In many cases skills transfer (Link to Skills Transfer) takes place between the team lead and the customer.
In some instances, the Team Lead may also take on the role of Change Management (Link to Change manager) and Training.
The Subject Matter Expert is someone who has specialised in the solution and understands all facets from the latest trends, methodologies and legislative impact.
This team reports to the Team Lead.
Technical Lead and the software specialist master
The Technical Lead is a senior developer and is responsible for developing the technical solution based on the Functional Requirements. He may also be a 3rd party software specialist or he will have one on his team. This person is responsible for liaising with the client’s technical team, usually the IT team as well as with the business teams to make recommendations for improvement where the software enables it.
The Technical Team Lead is responsible for being up to date with the latest technologies and trends and ensuring that the technical resources that report to him are productive and exercising care.
This Team Lead is also responsible for the development of the Interns. The role of technical, policy and methodology skills transfer to the client as well as technical training also fall within this role. Over and above that, the change agents (interns) must be taught the softer skills of engaging with the clients.
The administrator liaises on “housekeeping” issues such as access, parking, getting on to the network etc. with the client, manages admin and sets up meetings, keeps attendance registers etc.
The Interns are basically junior developers who are refining their trained skills in the real-world environment. They are salaried members of the team. It is there job to “walk the floors” with the clients, as change agents, to assist and encourage business uses when they encounter a technical difficulty. The also man the Service Desk in and SLA contract.
Data Architecture and standards
Exponant takes its Data Architecture very seriously as we have found in our experience that the system is significantly optimised by having consistent standards in terms of deliverables, reporting and scalability.
We have developed our own proprietary conventions for our data architecture which is learned by every developer and rigorously deployed throughout the project.
At Exponant, we have strict documentation riles. A case file for deliverables is set up for each client either on our DRMS or in the Teams site for that client.
Prior to the project starting we establish the client’s preference as to whether they would prefer to use their own format, or we should use the Exponant format.
We also agree with the clients what the criteria for success are and build them into the structure and create templates for consistency.
All specifications, Functional, System and Technical Specifications are meticulously documented and records of all meetings and decisions are kept as well as important emails.
Infrastructure and Licencing.
Aside from our Cloud Solution services, Exponant can also manage your on-premise environment, including
- Security testing and auditing;
- Licence optimisation;
- On premise deployment;
- Data Recovery;
- System performance health checks and fixes;
- Manage help Desk and other SLA services;
- Migration; and Decommissioning
Exponant is an accredited Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). We can directly manage our entire Microsoft cloud customer lifecycle. We package our own tools, products and services, and combine them into one monthly or annual customer bill.
Our CSP accreditation means that we can enable our clients to
- Move faster
- Achieve more
- Save money
By working with Exponant, our clients save money and time.
Workplace Management encompasses the operation, management and monitoring of buildings and infrastructure. Our services include the administration and operation of your ICT facilities, from managing ICT floor and rack space to running security access control, as well as any additional services you may require.
Integrated workplace management systems
We also provide monthly reports on everything from availability to power usage and maintenance, so you’ll have a complete overview of operations in order to plan and make changes where necessary.
- Save Money
- Improve Functionality
- Maintain Focus
Create a workplace strategy that right-sizes real estate, reduces operational costs, and inspires your workforce. Integrate data, roles and goals into a proactive system that optimises daily performance, forecast needs, and enables continuous improvement.
Exponant provides comprehensive systems for optimising your built environment, whether you’re keeping up with growth, reducing portfolio costs, or optimising your environment to bring out the best in people. Start simple and evolve into a system that keeps your organisation at the forefront of innovation.
While most organisations prioritise space in cost-savings initiatives, we know unassigned spaces, poor density planning, and spaces that don’t reflect workplace needs further strain real estate portfolios, and so do ballooning maintenance costs, or poorly negotiated leases. We provide the insight and automation necessary to optimise your portfolio to support your budget and your people.
Only by remaining focused can Exponant ensure we provide the kind of next-level service demanded by their customers. This, of course, is where Managed Outsourced specialist resources comes into the picture.
Exponant can place a development team on site, to consult with your stakeholders and observe how your workers use existing systems. We can also provide individual developers to supplement your existing team. This allows for a more integrated development cycle, where code can be deployed and tested in a real environment and can be approved or rejected by the people who will eventually be using it.
Exponant provides highly skilled ICT Resources and services over short- or long-term periods across all ICT categories.
Partnering with our clients
Exponant’s approach to project staffing is to ensure that we strike a balance between hands-on involvement of the client’s personnel and our consultants:
This helps both the client and Exponant attain:
- Effective communication and transfer of the necessary understanding of the business requirements between all participants;
- Empowered client personnel with an intimate knowledge of the new systems and processes through direct involvement in the implementation thereof;
- Facilitated ownership of the change process by client personnel, even in the lower ranks (where we typically find the most resistance) and this maximise the probability of success and return on investment; and
- Access to specialised skills by the client without having to employ them full time.
We recommend a project structure that comprises of Project Management, Business Analysis and Solution Design, Training, Business Processes and Technical Workstreams.
We also believe in incorporating Operational Experience, such as subject matter experts to guide the suitability of the solutions.
Finance and Operations.
Sage is the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems. Exponant has partnered with Sage to provide, deploy and support our clients’ financial and operational requirements.
Finance and Operations
With Sage Finance and Operations you can:
- Enhance productivity – save time and do more
- Conduct business with confidence – remain agile, manage the business, reduce costs and deliver excellent customer solution with tried and tested solutions;
- Work faster and harder – customer information is always at your fingertips. Sage200 Evolution makes it easy to access all the information needed to make smart decisions; and
- Breakdown silos – as a business grows, people probably need to work further apart. Sage 200 keeps them on the same page. With Microsoft 365 connected to Sage, teams can work collaboratively and productively from almost anywhere.
Here are 10 benefits of using Sage Software:
- Accountants recommend sage pastel accounting;
- It is a fully integrated business management application;
- Sage 200 has the lowest total cost of ownership of any like financial software;
- There are five easy to use, specialised modules for industry specific requirements;
- The reporting is simplified;
- Customer and supplier relations are improved and enhanced;
- Easy access to skills;
- Increased productivity; and
- Sage 200 is backed by an extensive national service and support infrastructure
Sage 200 Evolution delivers an entire business management solution
Another reason that Exponant chose to partner with Sage is that it is simpler to implement and renew and the peace of mind of using one of the world’s foremost accounting solutions.
Sage 200 Evolution Accounting and all modules within the Sage 200 Evolution product range are subject to an annual renewal fee.
This business model provides customers with a number of important benefits including updates and upgrades and first line telephonic and e-mail support.
The annual renewal is payable on the anniversary date of registration of the Sage 200 Evolution application and will automatically provide you with advanced notification.
The accounting system forms the financial heart of your business which becomes a central repository of key information that you rely on. The concept of a compulsory annual renewal fee is similar to insurance. It gives you peace of mind that you always have the backup service, support and expertise you need. This concept appeals to businesses that consider Sage 200 Evolution a crucial element to the efficient and competitive running of their business.
Sage Peace of Mind
The Sage range of products, from start-up to medium-size – businesses, through to large enterprises, ensures that your business software will sustain and support continued growth. Powerful and flexible, Sage’s feature-rich applications are suitable for a broad range of industries.
Exponant is committed to ensuring that you get the very best out of your accounting software. That’s why we continuously invest in improving our comprehensive service and support infrastructure.
Tech Related Business Services.
Technology is integral to supporting and enhancing modern business, but business is critical to ensuring that we derive value from our technology. For this reason, Exponant has developed many technology related business solutions and our business skills are applied very strategically to ensure that the promise of technology is materialised.
Our Business Analysis Solutions include the following services
Digital strategies for ensuring that your business objectives from your technology investments are realised. These include:
- User Requirement specifications which many entail a comprehensive analysis of your organisation as well as its processes, environment and global trends (including your Strategy, KPI’s, legislative requirements, what’s going on elsewhere in your sector etc.) From this we evaluate and document what your technology and the adoption of it need to achieve as well as determine the measurements to know when we have achieved it.
- The Functional Specification documents what functionality and workflows the technology requires as well as the conditions for it to work such as security, interoperability etc. They should also be accompanied by a Change Management and Adoption plan as well and Training and Test cases. Once signed off, they are handed over to the Data Architect and Systems analyst to design the Tech Spec; (The Technical Specification includes the infrastructure environment, software evaluation and configuration, actual interoperability features, the data architecture etc. – we mention it here because at this stage our business analyst works very closely with the technical team who will develop the solution).
- Change Management and User Adoption. The Business Analyst not only designs these strategies, but can be responsible for their roll-out too;
- Testing, the Business analyst manages the testing, any rework as well as User Acceptance and sign-off.
What makes Exponant’s Business Analysis solutions stand out?
Our Business Analysts have the following personal traits that a great Business Analyst should have.
Our Business analysts are facilitators, communicators, agents of change and negotiators. They understand the needs and purposes of a business in order to consider technology solutions. They have degrees and certifications, skills, experience and domain knowledge as well as critically important soft skills.
Our Business analysts communicate with a variety of stakeholders. They understand why what they’re doing has value and articulate that to stakeholders. This includes convincing people to work on activities that may not be their top priority.
Good communication skills involve both verbal and written communication. Various forms of communication, such as workshops, meetings and other informal methods may be necessary to bring every stakeholder on board.
Our BA’s use active listening skills to make sure that all stakeholders are heard. They always attempt to identify exactly how they feel about what they are saying as well as diplomatically handling internal politics.
We honour confidentiality agreements and this enables our BAs to establish trusting relationships where they follow through on commitments.
Problem-solving combines analytical thinking and creative thinking. It involves resolving cases of conflicting information, incomplete information, missing information etc. Solutions aren’t always simple when problems occur within a company. Our analysts often have to examine multiple scenarios and operations to find a solution. Understanding the problem usually involves exploring the overt symptoms, in the form of the effects on costs, sales, and performance metrics.
Examining every aspect of the situation provides context and a greater understanding of the big picture. Exponant’s analytical skills are necessary to be able to interpret your business needs and translate them into practical, operational requirements. We analyse information from a variety of sources, such as documentation, surveys, existing systems and requirement gathering sessions.
Our BAs are passionate about analysing everything and usually have a variety of different methods and models. They want to see what they can do with it and how they can tease different facets of meaning from it.
Many business analysts have expertise and experience in IT and their domain. However, Exponant’s BAs have experience in performing tasks in unrelated fields across various industries. This experience enables us to elicit information, interact with stakeholders and identify opportunities. We know about the world, business trends, tech updates and have a deep knowledge of the processes of business.
We leverage this knowledge to apply information and techniques to the project. Our wide range of knowledge affords us innovative ways to deliver value. We are more versatile and avoid thinking that certain tools, techniques and work products are suitable for every situation.
In consulting with managers and offering advice to developers, business analysts exercise sound judgment. After they have received input from all the stakeholders and assessed a situation, they facilitate the making of certain decisions.
The goal is not just to bring about change but to bring about the right change. Our Business analysts help others to make the right decisions so that the right needs are met. If a decision isn’t made, nothing happens.
We also define all the decisions that need to be made, who will make the decisions and the information the decision-maker will use to make the decision. When multiple people need to make a decision, they get buy-in from all decision-makers takes some skill.
Data science has been growing exponentially with the advent of faster processing time, quantum computing and very specifically cloud computing. This proliferation of data has many functions including:
Understanding what is going on in a business, for example data usage, leave time, sales growth. The benefit to using data science is that multiple datasets can be cross corelated to provide visualisation, this could include sales data, per geographical region by season. Better yet, we can use the data visualisation tools which are a function of most business and social software to visualise the data on dashboards and charts. Data insights can be used for planning and decision making.
If we have multiple datasets including behavioural data, we can layer them in such a way that we can predict with some accuracy what will happen in the future. There are some interesting case studies that show that future shopping patterns can be forecast based on current retail behaviour. When purchasing pattern data is collected with loyalty cards at the till (behavioural data), merchandising decisions can be made, because we know not only the demographic of and the region where the shopper buys but what they buy too.
- Knowledge Management and organisation
When an organisation needs to structure the information captured and generated, it will often turn to a Document and Records Management system to do so. A data architect can structure the metadata in such a way that it can be easy, stored and retrieved. This metadata can also be used to direct workflows such as approvals. It can provide extra functionality like version control.
- Connect and contextualise
Application Programming Interfaces like Microsoft’s Graph connects users, emails, calendars, tasks, and devices, and helps users find relevant, contextual data wherever it may be located within Microsoft 365. Users generate an enormous amount of data every day, and Microsoft Graph helps make the most of that data by allowing it to be shared among apps, rather than being siloed.
Documents and Records Management (DRMS)
Document and Records management processes and systems bring value to the organisation by helping to ensure accountability for the process of document creation, ensuring accountability for managing records that are needed to conduct the business of the organisation.
At Exponant we belief that the value of a DRMS can be exponentially enhanced by the deployment of a Data architect, a senior visionary who translate business requirements into technology requirements and defines data standards and principles. Our data architect works very closely with the Business Analyst to visualise and design our client organisation’s enterprise data management framework in order to ensure that it is process driven, fit for purpose and futureproof.
Document management involves the day-to-day capture, storage, modification and sharing of physical and/or digital files within an organisation.
Document management focuses on:
- Reducing lost and misfiled documents.
- Providing faster search and retrieval of documents.
- Helping to improve on the organisation of existing documents.
- Improving general work processes and organisational efficiency.
- Reducing the amount of physical space used to store documents.
Records management establishes policies and standards for maintaining diverse types of records. Some, but not all, documents within an organisation become records.
Records management includes the functions of document management plus:
- Identifying which records exist by records inventory;
- Applying required retention periods to stored items;
- Identifying the owner of each records series;
- Determining that a chain of custody and a proper audit trail both exist;
- Assisting in e-discovery issues and applying legal holds to records when needed;
- Managing disposal of documents;
- Applying the safety guards which prevent the contravention of certain pieces of legislation such as the Archive or POPI Acts or the deliberate unlawful dissemination of information
- Developing and administering defined records policy and procedures, regardless of if the records are electronic or paper.
- Preserving records throughout their life cycle.
The primary elements of Documents and records Management include:
- The System (functions, non-functional elements and technical configuration, testing and deployment);
- Security Mechanisms;
- Data Architectures;
- Legislative Compliance; and
- Adoption (training, change agents, communication).
Workflow and Robotic Process Automation
Good workflow management helps to eliminate chaos and attain organisational goals faster. When Exponant builds, automates and manages workflows effectively, our client understands the whole picture with each and every step clearly.
Workflow management systems to streamline workflows and make processes easier. This is why we automate workflow
- Reduced errors
Operating with zero errors is impossible. But being proactive in identifying and setting errors right is something to work on. With workflow management, it is easier to prevent errors from occurring in the first place. And if they happen, you can pinpoint the exact location. The same errors can be prevented from happening again.
- Improved connectivity
Workflow management connects multiple entities–people, software and work culture. Work that is well-connected enables increased productivity.
Integration between software systems is critical in IT infrastructure. Workflows draw data from different software tools and run workflows between them. Most tasks need employees to use more than one application. Workflows function as facilitators.
Data on how work happens is slowly pooled and then you can use the data to improve workflows, this prevents errors and builds stronger connections between people and software.
- Increased productivity
Since all workflows are automated, teams save a lot of time sending emails and updating information in multiple tools. Employees don’t need to wait for approvals to reach them. They can track the progress in the workflow system and stay in the loop.
Critical data missing in an approval? Employees can send it back to someone in the previous step of the workflow and even communicate contextually within the tool.
- Redundant manual tasks eliminated
With workflow systems, pre-defined business rules do the job. The workflow can be configured to trigger steps based on conditions to automatically delegate tasks.
- Increased trust, transparency, and control
Workflow greatly reduces micromanagement. The duties of each job role are clear with defined goals. Employees are informed on what they need to do, managers are comfortable delegating ownership over tasks.
Workflow automation squeezes out shadow tasks, everything happens out in the open, with more control over data accessibility than before. Admins can choose to display or hold back sensitive information to specific job roles or teams.
With many companies working remotely, there are enough emails and messages going around. Workflow helps keep work organised and trackable.
Workflow management has the potential to evolve into a company-wide practice.
Exponant has solid experience in documenting and automating processes which speeds up an organisation’s workflow whilst increasing accuracy and measurability.
Our process maps illustrate the flow of the work and the interaction with the organisation. We make use of common notation that is easily understood by everyone. Our process maps contain proper detail with respect to multiple paths, decisions and rework loops. But as we all know it is people who make the organisation work, so these processes match the organisational processes that employees are used to and when improvements are made, we can assist with the training and communication of that change.
We also perform workflow audits
Workflow audits should occur regularly (every 6 months at a minimum), but if you’re noticing any of the following, you should perform an audit immediately:
- Noticeable bottlenecks or delays on a daily or weekly basis
- Simple tasks like approvals overwhelm your team
- There have been significant changes to team roles in the last 6 months
- Processes and workflows have changed significantly in the last 6 months
- Goals and objectives are not being met on time or according to plan
It is becoming important not only to incorporate workflow planning and mapping into your daily routines, but also implement business process management (BPM) solutions into the organisation as a whole. BPM helps to keep the organisation moving in a clear direction. It can help set priorities for the organisation and plan out failures at a higher level.
Robotic Process Automation
Exponant now offers Robotic Process Automation to our clients.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the process of automating mundane tasks such as taking data from one file and entering it into a business application like CRM. It’s about automating repetitive tasks that are an inefficient use of people’s time.
RPA is an approach to working across multiple software applications and entering, maintaining, migrating, integrating, mining and testing data on spreadsheets. It’s the equivalent to an employee who never sleeps, eats or makes mistakes on tasks that need repeating over and over again.
It is the fastest-growing segment in the global enterprise software market, according to Gartner.
RPA provides improved accuracy for automated and repetitive tasks. Two-thirds of financial processes are now automated, in one shape or form. The remaining third is taken up by ad hoc or ‘human’ requests for information.
Exponant uses the Microsoft cloud to enhance the business use of information technology and the acceleration of POPIA compliance.
We align IT as a mechanism to support the controls, procedures identified to achieve POPIA compliance.
South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act or POPIA) sets a standard for the processing of South African’s personal information by public and private bodies within and outside of the country’s borders. Organisations doing business in South Africa need to ensure their information security practices are updated to meet POPI compliance.
The POPI Act sets in place regulations governing South Africa’s constitutional right to privacy, by safeguarding personal information when processed by a responsible part to balance the right to privacy against other rights, particularly the right of access to information; and protecting important interests, including the free flow of information within the Republic and across international borders.
It also aims to regulate the manner in which personal information may be processed, by establishing conditions, in harmony with international standards, that prescribe the minimum threshold requirements for the lawful processing of personal information.
The purpose of the POPI Act is to lead to:
- Enhanced personal privacy rights;
- Increased duty for protecting data;
- Mandatory breach reporting; and
- Penalties for non-compliance.
Protecting personal data in your care
With penalties for data privacy violations growing in South Africa and worldwide, organisations need to assess their information security practices. The key is to balance the pervasive access to information made possible by enterprise collaboration applications – including data sharing tools, messaging apps and email – while maintaining compliance with POPIA and other regulations. Collaboration tools make it easy for employees to inadvertently share regulated information with unauthorised parties, or worse steal it for malicious purposes.
There are many solutions that can help ensure POPI compliance and mitigate risk. A data-centric approach to managing compliance is a must to comply with POPI. Protection must be applied to data itself as opposed to just the application or container in which it resides to best protect against breaches and compliance violations as it passes though digital hands within and outside your organisation.
Exponant offers advanced information protection that can help ensure your organisation complies with the POPI Act information security mandates. Exponant provides a simpler, faster and cost-effective solution to tailor information protection to control user access to and sharing of regulated personal data and other sensitive information (intellectual property, financial information, healthcare information, HR documents, etc.) in file sharing, messaging and chat across cloud, on-premises and hybrid collaboration tools.
We empower organisations to implement and enforce POPI information security measures with an automated solution to:
- Locate personal data that currently exists within the storage repositories and tools used for file storage and collaboration including on-premises files shares and cloud sharing applications including Microsoft Office 365—SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange, plus Dropbox, and Windows file shares.
- Automatically classify documents based on the presence of personal or other sensitive data governed by POPI and other regulatory guidelines.
- Set business rules with classifications to restrict actions that can be taken with classified documents such as print, email, save as or downloading to prevent data leakage.
- Ensure that documents accessed and shared in group messaging and chat tools like Microsoft Teams and Yammer have the same data security restrictions as other collaboration tools.
- Restrict collaboration between users in different geographical locations or subsidiaries to meet regulatory guidelines.
- Automatically adapt security controls to the changing risk profile of data as users and third parties’ access and collaborate across multiple locations, organisational and geographic boundaries, and devices.
- Track access to regulated personal data for auditing and compliance purposes.
Compliance without sacrificing collaboration
Protecting data governed under POPI is of utmost importance for organisations doing business in South Africa – not doing so will harm both your brand’s reputation and your bottom line. Organisations must keep the right balance between what users need from a collaboration perspective and what the organisation demands from a security perspective to remain in compliance.
At Exponant we know that technology investment is redundant without adoption and so we take a two part approach to ensuring maximum take up of the new technology.
Technology Adoption Modelling
Before we even consider change management principles, great care is taken to use our Technology Adoption model to enhance our chances of gaining traction.
- Fit for Purpose
The technology must be aligned with business processes and deliver the same or more than the incumbent system, so that people see the point of using it. This takes careful business analysis in the form of both the business team and the technology team together with thorough process modelling and sufficient documentation.
- Easy to use
The new system should be intuitive, logical and easy to navigate. Multiple navigation routes, internal links and a comprehensive search function can be used to achieve this
- Make the user look and feel good
Nobody likes to feel like they are floundering, can’t keep up or may be embarrassed in front of their colleagues, so the system must have adequate help mechanisms such as links to internal policies or “how to” videos. The helpdesk should also be accessible, friendly and efficient.
Change management is a collective term for all approaches to prepare, support and help individuals and teams to effect organisational change. Drivers of change include the ongoing evolution of technology, internal reviews of processes, crisis response, customer demand changes, competitive pressure, acquisitions and mergers and organisational restructuring. These all impact on how employees use IT systems to remain productive.
It includes methods that redirect or redefine the use of resources, business process, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly change a company.
Change management considers the full organisation but focuses on how people and teams are affected by this transition.
Exponant has a unique approach to change management in that we realise that change is also a product of people having day to day jobs on top of adapting a new system.
Over and above the existing and proven methodologies including Prosci ADCAR, Exponant adds an additional element. Our highly trained interns have the education they need, but in order for us to turn out well rounded professionals, we need them to gain real world experience. This is done through placing them on the ground with your employees to assist or reexplain the training, your employees get the hand holding they need and our interns gain insight into how business people think.
Exponant uses very senior, experienced project managers for our larger, more complex projects.
We believe that Project management is the process of leading the work of a team to achieve goals and meet success criteria at a specified time. The primary challenge of our project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints. This information is usually described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. The primary constraints are scope, time and budget. The secondary challenge is to optimise the allocation of necessary inputs and apply them to meet pre-defined objectives.
The objective of our project management is to produce a complete project which complies with our client’s objectives. The objective of project management is also to shape or reform the client’s brief to address the client’s objectives. Once our client’s objectives are clearly established they should influence all decisions made by other people involved in the project.
Content is the essence of people deriving the most out of your solution, if instructions are not clear or content is obscure or simply missing, this impacts on your user’s experience of the technology. We are in a position to assist you with the structuring of your information, curating, creating and editing your content.
We are an integrated ICT solutions provider that uses leading technologies to deliver sustainable value to corporate and public sector organisations.
Building 32, Oxford Office Park, 3 Bauhinia Drive, Highveld
+27 12 663 0100
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