Computacenter Maximises the Business Value of IT by Collaborating with Diligent
Computacenter is one of Europe’s leading providers of IT services. Their aim is to help CIOs and IT departments maximise productivity and the business value of IT for internal and external users. According to Computacenter: “We provide user support, the best devices and secure provision of applications and data to support individual working styles and improve collaboration.”
For a company that enables collaboration, Computacenter had challenges of its own when it came to running its roster of board meetings. There are nine scheduled meetings every year with eight board members, one from Germany and the rest from around the United Kingdom. The company also holds a number of ancillary committee meetings.
Louise O’Sullivan, the Personal Assistant to the Company Secretary, described what it was like to prepare for meetings. “To compile board packs, we’d stack up to 10 sets of paper on the cabinets in the office. Each of those stacks contained 200 pages or more. Invariably, we’d have late additions. That meant delayed deadlines, which forced us to deliver materials using same-day couriers.” The board members themselves were required to carry heavy documents that weighed in at up to one kilo per pack. These paper-based board packs made it difficult to quickly access the latest information and supplementary reports critical for supporting decision-making. When one of the company’s board members began using a digital solution on another board, they recommended that Computacenter consider the alternatives to paper.
After getting the go-ahead, the Company Secretariat team began the process of vetting board portal suppliers. They compiled a short list of leading providers and asked for demos of each of their solutions. One of the Computacenter board members already used a competing product to the Diligent Boards™ solution on another board but didn’t find it particularly easy to use. What board members liked most about the Diligent Boards solution was that it looked like an actual book when viewed on their iPads.
As an IT company, Computacenter put security as a top priority when it came to evaluating board portal options. They were impressed by Diligent’s stringent security standards, with data stored on Diligent’s own secure servers protected by multiple, robust levels of physical and encryption security.
Today, all members of the Computacenter board use the Diligent Boards solution. One member initially requested paper-based copies of board materials but after trying the new board portal, he was quickly converted, thanks to the intuitive nature of the solution. The Diligent Boards solution enables collaboration and supports better decision-making. Executives have, at their fingertips, the most up-to-date information for current meetings and can also readily access a depth of information from past meetings as well.
According to O’Sullivan: “From our perspective in Company Secretariat, the Diligent Boards solution gives us back nearly three days of work that used to be spent compiling information, or waiting for information to come in. I often work from home and the Diligent Boards solution gives me the flexibility to create books from home and send out last-minute additions quickly and easily.” Another benefit O’Sullivan noted is that Diligent constantly upgrades its portal solution. Questionnaires are one of the new functionalities recently added that Computacenter plans on using, to derive even greater insight from board meetings.
O’Sullivan said: “I’ve worked in the Company Secretariat Department at Computacenter for 23 years and, in my opinion, this is the best money we’ve ever spent!”