South African businesses turn to digital portals for board-level communication
Johannesburg – 24 August 2016 – Diligent Corporation, global leader of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions for boards and leadership teams, today announced that an increasing number of businesses across Africa are using digital board portals to share corporate information securely, eliminate paper and improve governance practices.
Digital board portals allow board members and management teams to securely access confidential board-level information and work collaboratively on critical decisions via a tablet device. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions such as board portals are increasingly used by organisations – both commercial and not-for-profit – seeking to improve the security of highly confidential meeting materials.
The demand for secure board portals has spurred Diligent – used by more companies than any other board portal in the world – to invest further in South Africa and the African continent as a whole. The company has recently established a local office in Johannesburg and has recruited Jenny van Zyl and Gregory Prinsloo to lead its customer success and business development in the region. In addition, the company is partnering with a number of local organisations and international bodies such as CSSA and CSIA to drive governance initiatives and best practices across the region.
Organisations among the 50-plus customers in the African continent that have entered service agreements with Diligent include National Treasury, NamPower, Nedbank, Naspers, Erongo RED, MTN, Barloworld, MultiChoice and The Mvula Trust, South Africa’s leading water and sanitation NGO. In addition, Diligent is delighted to announce that the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the non-profit organisation founded by Nelson Mandela, will use the solution to continue its core work of finding sustainable solutions to critical social problems.
Van Zyl’s background is as a Diligent user, client-side. She was Assistant Company Secretary for a listed company in South Africa, where she was tasked with getting the board to switch from paper to a digital board solution. She assessed the options on the market and chose Diligent for its advanced security, intuitive interface and – perhaps most important – its customer support.
“I remember being on my own in the office one Sunday afternoon, uploading huge documents to the portal,” said van Zyl. “I had an issue with one of the packs, so I sent a message through to Diligent’s customer support. I didn’t really expect anything to happen, but within three minutes, the phone rang, and someone was talking me through it.”
This experience as a Diligent user will be invaluable in her role. “I know what the directors want from their board portal, and I also understand the company secretaries’ experience and the processes around delivering accurate board packs in a timely manner,” she said. “You rarely need help 9-5 Monday to Friday when you’re working with board directors. You need great support out of hours, and Diligent delivers that.”
Prinsloo, who has worked in the IT industry for more than 12 years, agreed with van Zyl: “Due to its award-winning customer service, Diligent has a customer retention rate of 97%, which is unheard of in the SaaS industry. The positive feedback we get from our customers means our footprint in Africa has grown quite significantly in the past 12 months.”
The approach is paying off for Diligent: it now has over 700 customers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, with more than 140,000 individual users worldwide.
For more information about Diligent, please see www.diligent.com
About Diligent Corporation
Diligent is the leading provider of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions for boards and senior executives. Over 4,700 clients in more than 72 countries and on all seven continents rely on Diligent to provide secure, intuitive access to their most time-sensitive and confidential information, ultimately helping them make better decisions. The Diligent Boards (formerly Diligent Boardbooks) solution speeds and simplifies how board materials are produced, delivered and collaborated on via any device, removing the security concerns of doing this by courier, email and file sharing.
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