No one would blame you if you were feeling worried about the future of your company right now. It’s true that many things look uncertain in the face of global disruption. However three months have passed since the beginning of lockdown in the UK, and it might be a good time to consider how we can set ourselves up for the future.
We’re fortunate in many ways at Integrella, as we have been able to carry on ‘business as usual’ so far, working remotely and servicing our clients uninterrupted. We realise many have not been so lucky.
Digital integration continues to be a game-changer for our clients, enabling developments which are essential right now. Digital transformation has become urgent as many businesses consolidate, merge and move online in ways never seen before.
There are some opportunities ahead for our clients, and many ways we can support them. We’d like to tell you more about this, as it may spark some ideas for you.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Now that we’re starting to see some of the real effects of COVID-19 on businesses, there may be a flurry of investors buying up and merging viable businesses in the rest of 2020. So it’s worth considering that API-led change directly impacts deal-value, and can make the difference between a successful and a failed merger. Benefits can be realised both pre-deal and post-deal, for enterprises on the buyside or sellside.
On the pre-deal side – An API wrapper can make a company more attractive to potential buyers as they can more easily get visibility of what they’re buying. For the vendor it allows them to more accurately value their asset and puts them in a better negotiating position. For example it might enable the the vendor to integrate their core finance and operational platforms with the buyer’s assets more simply and quickly. Implementing an API platform could be carried out by a vendor before they even approach the market. A cloud-native based approach would also allow for ease of migration of APIs across platforms as well as scaling to meet demand.
On the post-deal side – An API-centric approach to expose enterprise data within the newly acquired asset allows for rapid integration of key functions. Setting up an API platform in the cloud to expose key data from enterprise platforms can directly enable early benefits, followed by iterative frequent delivery of more APIs that deliver added capability.
Once the deal is done, an API-based approach sets the foundation within the new organisation for how it views and exposes it’s data. In essence, putting APIs at the heart of the transaction helps drive value for the enterprise long after the transaction lifecycle has concluded. We’ve also written a full article about it on our blog.
Retail / Bricks and Mortar
Any business which relied on customer footfall or had a showroom or physical location is going to be thinking about how to move their business online fully. They may have a basic system, but the requirements of lockdown have exposed that a far more comprehensive customer portal will be needed to keep their business going.
This is something we have done over many years, for many types of businesses. There is amazing technology available now to consolidate front and back-end systems and create a great customer experience. Many say that the back-end integration is the hardest part of any digital transformation, and this is our specialty.
NHS / Healthcare
The NHS and Healthcare sector have been forced into a compressed period of change. Trusts have quickly needed to create or modify solutions to help identify Covid-19 patients, support those with symptoms in and out of hospital, and track the progress of the epidemic.
There is likely to be a time of reckoning, as the necessary rapid procurement decisions made were best for the short term but may have to be amended down the line. The usual information governance blocks on information sharing and commercial communications tools were suspended and will need to be revisited. Rapid actions taken were not uniform across Trusts and will likely see issues arise in the collection and use of data.
Shared care records for the acute sector still need a lot of work, and EPR continues to be an important priority as a quarter or more of Trusts still lack this. Amidst the chaos, Trusts have expedited developments, and there will be massive opportunities to socialise these across Trusts, and to solidify and stabilise these for ‘the new normal’. These are all opportunities which we look forward to helping with.
COVID Staff Testing – Responding to a request from a trust we’re currently working with, we’ve developed a tool which can be integrated into existing systems to track staff exposure to COVID. In fact this tool can be used across industries for purposes where staff, patients or customers need to be logged and tracked in some way. We’d love to show you a demo – simply drop a note into the box on the right and we’ll set it up for you.
Banking and Fintech funding – BCR
Banks and Fintechs which are looking to create or expand their current account or lending offerings to SMEs currently have a rare opportunity to apply for funding through the Banking Competition Remedy (BCR) scheme. The scheme will redeploy £100 million to support eligible bodies providing financial services to UK SMEs. Applications open on the 1st of June.
Funding is split into two pots, for banks and for FinTechs. A key challenge in providing services to SMEs is to be able to efficiently serve a larger number of smaller companies. This inevitably means automating the ‘last mile’ of straight through processing (STP) which makes account opening, management and lending efficient and cost effective. We’re in a unique position to offer our assistance with BCR funding applications and eventually project delivery – technology requirements, business case, costing and delivery.
More about Straight Through Processing (STP) – We’re keen to speak to any company looking to enable STP, as we have delivered numerous similar projects for banks, fintechs and challenger banks. Digital Integration is a key part of enabling STP, and this is exactly what we do. We have helped banks to digitally integrate their systems – from small UK challenger banks to the largest banks in the world, and are in a unique position to assist your application for your share of the funding.
We’re keen to speak to any business which sees digital integration as a key way for them to stay afloat over the coming months and years. We’ve worked with many medium to large businesses across industries to deliver their integration projects, from banks, insurers, retailers and healthcare providers, to government and councils.
We’re staying hopeful amongst all the disruption. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation to discuss your ideas.