To say this year has been unpredictable would be something of an understatement. Nor would it be overstating the fact that, for the majority of folks, the idea of taking some time off over Christmas, resetting the mind and body and coming back to have another go in 2021 is both hugely appealing and very much required.
But it would be remiss to simply scrub a line through 2020. Despite the spectre of COVID and the certainty of uncertainty we have been living with there have been positives throughout the year, particularly here at Enate. And on every level too. From wider economic activity and its impact on the world of orchestration to the day to day happenings at Enate there is much to be celebrated. Indeed, as we look back on a year that will be remembered for a global pandemic, there has never been a better time to accentuate the positives.
Orchestration in full focus
The world of business was turned upside down as companies were forced to adopt remote working practices and virtualised operations almost overnight. There were some businesses that were prepared and seamlessly able to make this transition and others much less so. However, where historically the role of orchestration was focussed on automated activity, the pandemic shifted businesses focus to look at human activity. This was in an effort to reduce the burden on remote-based employees working from an environment most likely not designed to act as a full time office. It also highlighted to businesses that were poorly orchestrated in the first place, just how little transparency there was over who was doing what, when, and how it was possible to maintain service levels. The net result being that it drove the role of orchestration higher up the corporate agenda as processes, people and systems evolved and adapted.
This is because, in spite of all the bumps in the road, businesses have had a laser-focus on maintaining operations as smoothly as possible. Though, while the pressure caused by the pandemic should hopefully fall away with a new year, new vaccine and new hope, the legacy of improving the efficiencies of business processes - both human and bot - will leave a lasting legacy of change. We’re having conversations with businesses about working and delivery models that simply would not have happened prior to February this year.
Real world results
We’ve actually seen some great examples in two of our customers:
TMF - As a huge global enterprise, it had to act quickly at the start of the pandemic, especially as it has lots of Chinese-based operations. With an in-depth and detailed understanding of how the business and staff were coping, it meant that when people were sent to work from home it was quickly able to redistribute activity to cope with the fluctuating global demands of commerce, lockdowns and social distancing measures. Together, Enate and TMF ran an orchestration and automation programme across 2,000 staff, in 22 countries and in nine languages, proving that you can run major global transformation projects without people seeing each other and working remotely.
EY - Using our orchestration platform, it was able to seamlessly continue service delivery. In fact, it was prepared to make the move to remote operations because it had invested in creating this environment well-before COVID became part of the vernacular. Its staff were able to work from home and the business was operating as normal within eight days.
Optimism for 2021
All of which begs the question, ‘has it taken a pandemic for the world to wake up to orchestration?’ Perhaps not quite, but what it has done is expose the human-side of the challenge that was scarcely understood 12 months ago and hastened the desire for businesses to need to ‘do digital quicker’.
This is a good platform from which to start 2021 and means we are entering the new year with optimism because it is when businesses try to scale new automation technologies, that they will realise the role of orchestration.
Already in the fourth quarter of this year we are seeing businesses that know they need to automate and that simply cannot delay projects any longer. The ‘wait and see’ attitude of the early part of the pandemic has been replaced by a desire to do. We’re seeing much greater movement through the sales funnel as a result.
Landmark year for Enate
On a micro scale, it has been a landmark year for the business too. After securing over £2m investment in May, we invested heavily in the product, driving it forward to be bigger and better than ever before. It also enables us to to experiment on go-to-market strategies by taking a data-driven approach to sales activity. The combination of which means that we are not only well positioned to expand our offering in our current territories across Europe and Asia but also that we can look to access new markets, particularly the US.
It also means, as I look back with a huge amount of pride on how we have coped in the last year. We have a great bunch of fantastic people working for us. People that can help realise the vision and potential of Enate and leave a positive legacy with our customers as a result.
As a final thank you, I cannot neglect a call out to the members of The W(h)ine Club. Set up by Alex - one of our sales team - at the start of lockdown one. The idea was to get our partners, customers and other interested parties together to see if we can do anything useful for the greater good in the pandemic. We gathered weekly for a glass of wine at seven o'clock on a Wednesday evening with guests ranging from the head of cardiology and clinical innovation at Alder Hey to senior figures from the Royal Marsden hospital. Hugely enjoyable and successful, it not only bonded the group members but highlighted that it is possible to connect, collaborate and communicate to do great things, no matter where you are or what you are doing. That’s what orchestration is all about.
To all our customers, partners, staff, friends and family, thank you for your support in 2020. Have a great Christmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Kit Cox, Enate Founder & CEO