Though the lights and the party atmosphere with which Capacity23 Melbourne finished have now faded, the connections made and the things we all learned on the day will stay with me for a while to come. In this blog, I’m sharing with you my highlights from our annual customer conference in APAC – from the megatrends impacting us all as we head into the future, an AI-powered virtual operations assistant and celebrating our customers driving Ops Excellence at the ActiveOps Awards Dinner.
I was absolutely blown away by our keynote speaker, Chris Riddell. His keynote was an uplifting experience, reminding everyone of what’s important when it comes to adapting to the future and the global megatrends we’re seeing. In particular:
- We all need to start thinking and behaving like tech companies, as the line between online and offline experiences blurs and people grow increasingly tech-savvy. Big data is an incredibly valuable and important component to drive this change.
- The idea of Liquid Innovation stuck with me – that is, different systems connecting to each other to make themselves more useful, and doing it in increasingly simple ways. This one feels particularly relevant to ActiveOps as we introduce the world to Decision Intelligence.
- We must get comfortable with chaos. As Chris said, we are in uncharted territory and there is no going back. Trust is currency now, so our ability to navigate uncertainty while still delivering genuine and human interactions with customers is going to be vital to survival.
Our CEO, Richard Jeffery, echoed that sentiment, highlighting that the combination of human and artificial intelligence is going to be the next big disruption for service operations. Organisations that can embrace this will be able to navigate any economic, social, and political landscape in a way that maximises business value and ensures a healthy, engaged workforce – wherever and however they work.
After the keynote, Chris stayed on stage to moderate a panel discussion featuring Anthony Templar, Gethryn Ghavalas, and Anna Itsiopoulos, on the subject of how service operations are likely to be affected by the changing world around us. In particular, the discussion highlighted:
- The challenge of knowing what data to use. To get there, you need a clear strategy of what you want to achieve with your data, and the questions you want to answer.
- The need for a clear objective and compelling story when convincing your business to invest in data solutions. That story should include evidence that shows how data (or a lack of it) is impacting the organisation, and demonstrate how innovative technologies will help connect your people to rich insights that help them do their jobs better.
- The shift in operations that’s taken place in the last 15-20 years. Now, operations is a highly skilled area of the business, where experienced leaders using the right methodologies and technologies can drive their operations to incredible outcomes.
Introducing Decision Intelligence
In our quest to help customers in APAC to deliver MORE, Capacity23 Melbourne saw us talking about Decision Intelligence for the first time. You can read all about Decision Intelligence on our recently refreshed website, but at its core Decision Intelligence uses AI to deliver predictive and prescriptive insights to help service operations make better decisions, faster.
Ultimately, Decision Intelligence enables your operations to do MORE – whatever that looks like for you.
The most exciting new capabilities
Just as they have at previous Capacity events, our guests got a chance to see the amazing new features available now, coming soon, or being worked on to help them deliver MORE. This year, the new features we showed our guests were some of the most exciting we’ve ever showcased – and while there were too many to mention them all, my personal favourites were:
- The ActiveOps Teams App, which allows users to use our software within Microsoft Teams, so they can access the insights they need to do their jobs, in the place where they do most of their work.
- Smart Planning and Smart Case Planning can create plans at the push of a button – even for complex case-based work. During testing, Smart Planning improved planning accuracy even in top-performing teams enough to unlock up to 5% additional capacity.
- The Virtual Buzz Board (a favourite of our product team) brings together insights from multiple places in ControliQ to give teams all the insights they need for daily department or team meetings, allowing for better decision-making.
- CaseworkiQ’s Early Warning System, which analyses all your case-based work to understand how different types of cases typically unfold. If a case falls outside those parameters – and is therefore at risk of SLA failure, or taking up excessive time and resources – it’s instantly flagged to managers.
And what I am most excited about is the Virtual AOM Coach, an AI-powered virtual assistant that will transform how service operations make decisions, every minute of every day. When it’s available in 2024, it will be able to answer questions about your operations, make recommendations for how to manage any issues that come up, and can even implement those recommendations for you. Stay tuned for this next year!
An afternoon of MORE stories
The tagline for Capacity23 was What’s your MORE? Increasingly, operations leaders are looking beyond unlocking capacity to consider what they do with that extra resource. Do they boost productivity? Increase control? Upskill teams? Cut overtime costs? During the afternoon at Capacity23, our guests heard from senior ops leaders who are transforming their businesses using ActiveOps, including their routes to defining and unlocking their MORE.
We kicked things off with Ben McManus from Fidelity International sharing how they are doing MORE thanks to the power of integration. Fidelity is leading the way in using APIs to feed ActiveOps data from HR systems and its data lake, reducing manual data entry for employees and delivering operational insights simultaneously. It’s such as powerful way to use ActiveOps, and one that so many operations leaders are going to be embracing in the months to come.
Then, we heard from Andrew Wilson, General Manager of Operations at ASB Bank. He shared how ASB used the methodology behind ActiveOps to build an operation with good visibility and control, where silos were a thing of the past and where data-based decision-making was the norm. In particular, he highlighted the importance of senior leadership providing sponsorship and strong governance, and of communicating with your people as you transform your operations to help them understand why they need to embrace the new way of doing things and what it will do for them.
I also particularly enjoyed Gethryn Ghavalas’ MORE story about his experience at Westpac. Westpac’s story of embracing AI to transform its operations is inspiring, because of the focus on people that the organisation maintained throughout the process. Westpac started with the humans in its business when thinking about AI, recognising that AI’s rose is to reduce repetitive tasks and to support people to do their best work by connecting them with the right data, at the right time.
We rounded out the MORE stories with a fireside chat with Ellena Bianco, Senior Leader in Client Operations at CoreLogic Australia. Ellena told the audience about how, using ActiveOps and a digital-first mindset, CoreLogic managed to automate processes that many in the business had never believed could be automated. Ellena’s advice to our audience included the need to build a knowledge centre to help employees gain new skills quickly, and to collaborate widely (rather than just with experts). She also said the most rewarding part for her was seeing team members who wouldn’t typically try anything new coming with them on the journey – an amazing achievement!
Finally, we celebrated with our panel of ActiveOps Awards finalists as they share the ways they had unlocked MORE in their operations. It was a terrific way to round off the afternoon, leaving our guests’ heads fizzing with new ideas to take back to their organisations.
The ActiveOps APAC Awards
After the daytime’s excitement, all the finalists of our ActiveOps Awards headed to Metropolis Events for a special awards dinner. There were four categories of award: Special Recognition, Excellence in Operations, Operations Team of the Year, and Exec of the Year. Competition was fierce this year, and of course, all our finalists have done incredible things for their organisations and should be very proud. Congratulations to all our winners, including First Mortgage Services, CoreLogic Australia, ASB Bank, Rabobank Australia, Westpac, and to our Exec of the Year Andrew Wilson! There’s nothing quite like celebrating the successes of your customers and colleagues in a beautiful venue – I loved it.