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Posts Tagged "Software as a service"

“We now have a refined approach when preparing for and documenting Board and Committee meetings together with relevant documentation.  As a result of eBoard, we now have paperless meetings, a central document repository accessible to all from anywhere as well as the ability to carry out board performance evaluations and other evaluations/surveys with reports captured seamlessly. When I think about eBoard, efficient, confidential, transparent and effective are the words that come to mind.”

Ms. Betty Kanyagia, Company Secretary, Bamburi Cement Limited.

Bamburi Cement Limited, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim, was incorporated in 1951 and is listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange.  It is the leading cement manufacturing and marketing company in the Eastern Africa region. Bamburi Cement has grown to be the leader and Industry Captain with a bold vision for the future, which is to be the undisputed leader and the preferred partner by providing innovative solutions for nation-building with Health & Safety as its overarching value.

The challenge

Large volume paper use: The Company Secretarial administrative staff compiled Board and Committee packs for all Board/Committee members for every single meeting. The Company then made arrangements to collect the packs after some time for destruction due to their sensitive nature.

Lagged process: Compilation, printing and binding of board packs for each director took days after which the physical copies had to be delivered to the Directors wherever the Directors were located, including outside Kenya.

Manual evaluation: Evaluation forms had to be printed, delivered to the Directors for completion and collected after which the Company Secretary had to manually enter the ranking and compile the reports.

Access to Documentation: the Directors had to have the hard copy documents if they wished to make reference. This proved a challenge if the Directors required access on the go.

Why Software Technologies

“For us, ease of use as well as the adaptive and accommodating nature of eBoard as a product to our specific needs and requirements was a key feature in the selection of a board management software. Software Technologies’ support is commendable with feedback wholly accepted and implemented, where possible,” Ms Kanyagia states.

The Results

Paperless Board Meetings: With paperless meetings, Bamburi Cement has significantly reduced the amount of paper used for Board related purposes. Further, Board members have access to the meeting packs and other documents at all times irrespective of where they are, which has increased the productivity of the Board.

Easy updating and sharing of board papers: By using eBoard, Bamburi Cement has seen ease not only in the sharing of board papers but also in the ability to update or amend them, when necessary. Betty explains, “I do not worry when I have to update a document, because I do not have to send notice that a document is updated then send hard copies of the updated version – the system automatically notifies everyone and the updated version is immediately available.”

Seamless board evaluations and easy report tabulation: With eBoard, Bamburi Cement’s Board of Directors now has an online and effective way of carrying out the assessment together with an automatic report generating system. “Performance evaluations are seamless, easy to analyze and generating reports is just a tap away,” Betty states.

Savings on resources: Previously, significant time, printers, paper and staff resources were used in preparation for Board and Committee meetings. With eBoard and, in line with its environmental agenda, Bamburi Cement continues to reduce its environmental impact by using less paper thereby saving trees. It has also saved on resources previously spent on the preparation and distribution of meeting packs.

 Leaders from the public and private sectors shared with the audience how ingraining good governance at planning makes vision a reality.

 

The Institute of Directors (Kenya), in collaboration with Software Technologies Limited and other partners had their 3rd Corporate Governance Conference hosted at the Inter Continental Hotel in Nairobi.

The Theme of the Conference was Sustainable Governance for Africa. The Conference explored Africa’s potential and the role of good governance for a Sustainable Continent. Leaders from the public and private sectors shared with the audience how they think ingraining good governance at planning and throughout implementation, makes vision a reality. Topics such as Politics and corporate governance, Achieving real results in the fight against corruption; the roles and responsibilities of a dynamic private sector, Building an ethical organizational culture as a driver for corporate sustainability and Building sustainable corporate Governance systems in Africa; the African Challenge were covered

Objectives of the Conference

  1. To “unpack” the East Africa region in terms of potential, opportunities, numbers etc and their implications to socio economic transformation.
  2. To highlight the importance of good environmental, social and corporate governance in the socio-economic transformation of Africa.
  3. To highlight the importance and value of good governance in the private and public sector.
  4. A platform for policymakers, corporates, public institutions from across the East African Community to encourage and practice.

Outcomes of the Conference

The Conference explored East Africa’s potential and the role of good governance in unleashing this potential. Leaders in Africa’s public and private sectors will share with the audience how they think good governance brings visions to reality, from planning to implementation.

“Moving from email distribution to eHorizon eBoard has brought transparency, security of confidentiality to board information. In addition, our board members experience more organisation and uniformity. We no longer have to bear with Directors asking ‘did you really send the files? Everybody gets whatever is sent in the same format and the board administrator can track all documents. Board members can now access all board materials from one central place.”
Elias Mwaura, Board Member – CITAM

Industry:  Religious Organization
Solution: eHorizon eBoard

Challenges

  • Arranging and organizing meeting materials
  • Distributing board materials in a secure manner
  • Emailed documents getting lost in inboxes or not being read
  • Version control of documents
  • Moving board communications out of personal and corporate email systems
  • Moving storage of board materials out of personal computers
  • Member collaboration confined to boardroom meetings
  • Projecting of minutes and packs during board meetings

Solution

  • Simple “drag and drop” board pack creation
  • Instant sharing of board materials within a secure app. • Audit trails and email controls to block forwarding and “copy and paste,”
  • Harmonized update of last-minute revisions
  • Secure messaging and sharing of board information
  • Easy to search and access digital storage of board materials
  • A real-time collaboration of board members
  • One intuitive secure board portal for digital board meetings

BACKGROUND

Christ is the Answer Ministries (CITAM) is a mission’s oriented Pentecostal church with business interests in education, media and recreation facilities. CITAM has 18 church branches located countrywide. Its businesses include 5 Academies, Hope FM, and TV as well as a camp. Since 1960, the church has experienced continuous growth to the current over 30,000 members and over 300 employees.

CHALLENGE

CITAM is one of the largest churches in Kenya. The governing board, the Council comprises 7 council members who meet every quarter. Supplementing the council is the Board comprising 11 members who meet every two months, and board committees with meetings held on a regular basis. Additionally, there is a Senior Pastors Board with 20 members who meet eleven times a year.

Board members need to receive and review board papers ahead of each meeting, which means the board pack needs to reach every Director in advance. To make this happen, the administrative team shared each committee reports as it came in on an ongoing basis and later collated the vast amounts of the reports into a board pack put on a laptop and project it.

Emailing of board materials often disorganized the Directors and some documents would get lost in inboxes. “Normally, emails have a way of mixing especially if you receive too many emails and some get lost in between,” explains Sarah Njuguna, the board administrator.

Board members made their comments on documents separately on notebooks and they had to wait till actual meeting day in order to share them with other members.

Each board member had to have own system of keeping their documents for future reference. In addition, version control as some documents could not open on some machines required the administrator to keep resending documents in a version that can open.

This was not an efficient and secure way to produce board materials. Furthermore, it was a huge task for some of the Directors, especially those with no system of keeping documents in order to ease reference. So, they were more than happy when in mid-2016, they went digital with eHorizon eBoard.

THE APPROACH

The Head of ICT for CITAM, Joshua Ogacho, oversaw the tremendous task of finding the right board portal vendor. He looked at three vendors. One of them was a foreign company and the other two including Software Technologies, were local companies. CITAM was looking for an intuitive, customizable and user-friendly solution for its board’s digitalization.

They also wanted to provide board members with a flexible tool allowing them to annotate modify and share comments in real time and without having project minutes during every meeting.

After looking at what other vendors’ offerings were, Elias Mwaura, a board member explains the biggest advantage eHorizon eBoard was tried and tested ready-to-use software. It had all the features that board members could possibly look for. “There is a very big difference when a product is mentioned and you are told this is what it does, and when someone comes and literally shows you this is what you can do with it. We got to understand what the ICT Manager was drumming all the time,” he says.

RESULTS

eHorizon eBoard lessened the amount of time in creating the board pack folder in the way it had to be prepared. We can now do it in minutes. Additionally, committee reports can now be uploaded on eBoard on an ongoing basis with notifications sent to all Directors who can access them from anywhere, any time.

Board members are more organized. The can access all documents from a central place within the eBoard app; hence do not require a personal system of arranging documents sent on email on their computers.

Our meetings are now shorter and productive as Directors can comment on documents, share notes and communicate privately with other board members beforehand.

 “The beautiful thing is that each Director can access eBoard on iPad. If I annotate a document each one of them will see it immediately even without internet connection. We no longer project our minutes or wait to share our comments with other board members during meetings,” explains Elias Mwaura, board member.

Referencing to past material is now easier as board members can instantly search and access resolutions and items discussed in previous meetings. “Every item has a minute number. If you want to reference something on eBoard, you only need the date, title or other search terms.

On the day of the first live board meeting, eHorizon Board customer support team was on high alert to ensure a successful meeting.  “It went very smoothly,” said Elias. “In fact, all the Board Members were very happy and comfortable using eHorizon eBoard.”

With close to a year of being online with eHorizon eBoard, CITAM is very satisfied per Elias. “In the beginning, one of the things we also heard before choosing eHorizon eBoard was that they provided personalized services, and we found this to be very true. And, we were really amazed by the eHorizon eBoard solution – it is so simple and easy to use.”

Software Technologies Ltd. Chief Executive, Jyoti Mukherjee named Ernst and Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the year 2013. The award was in recognition for her strength, vision and determination to re-shape the business environment in achieving economic growth should be celebrated,” said Gitahi Gachahi, Ernst and Young Eastern Africa CEO.

Accepting the award, Ms Jyoti said it was humbling to emerge the winner of her category.

“The three of us had equal chances but I’m humbled to carry the day,” she said and advised fellow women: “We are equal; a good mind has no gender, a good brain knows no limits.”

Click to Read more on Kenyan women top region at coveted Ernst & Young entrepreneur awards gala by The EastAfrican.

 

 

Dinfin Mulupi looks at five Kenyan women entrepreneurs who have dared to enter the male-dominated world of business to build some of the region’s most respected companies, among them, being Software Technologies Ltd  Chief Executive, Jyoti Mukherjee

Ms Jyoti has steered the company to expand its product portfolio offering from software development to software as a service (SaaS) and spread to over 11 countries across Africa.

Click to read more on this story by How We Made it in Africa 

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