Featured Archives - de Novo Solutions

Press Release

de Novo Forms Strategic Partnership with Rittman Mead to Deliver Next-Gen Cloud Analytics

de Novo enters new partnership agreement with Rittman Mead to address the growing demand from clients for sophisticated cloud analytics in order to improve operational efficiencies

Langstone, Wales – 25th October 2022:  de Novo Solutions, a leading provider of industry vertical solutions, digital transformation and business support services for both Oracle Cloud and ServiceNow applications, today announced a new strategic partnership with Rittman Mead, one of the UK’s leading companies specialising exclusively in cloud analytics and Business Intelligence (BI).

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Brighton (UK), Rittman Mead specialises in data visualisation, predictive analytics, enterprise reporting, and data engineering. A key Oracle partner, the company also supports technology platforms from market leading partners such as Cloudera, Tableau, MapR, Confluent and AWS.

The field of analytics has evolved significantly over the last few decades, and organisations that want to remain competitive must move beyond standard dashboards in favour of the latest innovative use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. This new alliance comes as a crucial step in de Novo’s mission to bring together likeminded industry leaders to support their clients’ entire cloud journey, from enterprise-wide digital transformation to high value insight delivery.

The opportunity to integrate Rittman Mead’s renowned capabilities made perfect sense”, said Mark Sweeny, Chief Executive of de Novo Solutions. “By combining de Novo’s best-of-breed application delivery expertise and Rittman Mead’s BI and data analytics expertise, our clients can gain much more powerful insights faster and ultimately realise what it means to truly operate successfully in the cloud”.

Jon Mead, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Rittman Mead, said “We are very excited about the de Novo partnership. Bringing together two leading Oracle partners creates an excellent opportunity for Oracle customers. By working together, we can unlock the full potential of digital transformation programmes. Our combined expertise in applications, data and analytics will give clients an unrivalled end-to-end solution”.

About de Novo
The Experience Economy Consultancy
We are de Novo.  We create data-driven, personalised experiences over standardised business processes for the experience economy, providing organisations with valuable insights into their customers and employees.

It is our unique entrepreneurial background and diverse thinking that fundamentally differentiates ourselves from our competitors.  We work across all industries, combining our experience as entrepreneurs, consultants and practitioners to deliver innovation and generate value for our clients through the power of Oracle SaaS Cloud and ServiceNow technologies.  

We are a team of innovators, disruptors and straight-talkers, who are not afraid to challenge the status quo in order to support our clients in pioneering change in the fast-moving experience economy.  

Excel in the digital world.  Experience a different approach. Engage de Novo.    

See how we’re different. Please visit www.de-novo-solutions.com or email contactdenovo@de-novo-solutions.com.    

#wearedenovo

About Rittman Mead
Successful organizations see data as an opportunity, not an overhead. They know data can be used to meet the organisation’s goals, identify problems and find new opportunities. By collecting and analyzing data, they can improve their products, services and operations.

If your company is having trouble using data, you’re not alone. Harvard Business Review found that less than half of an organization’s structured data is used in making business decisions, and less than 1% of unstructured data is used at all.

So how do you go about creating value from your organization’s data?

Rittman Mead can help you build frameworks and methodologies for harnessing data to create value, provide a data-focused roadmap to gain competitive advantage in your industry, and implement business-centric data management and analytics systems.

Our services include strategy, architecture, implementation, training and support. To learn more, see www.rittmanmead.com

About ServiceNow  
ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) is making the world of work, work better for people. Our cloud-based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for employees and the enterprise. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com.  
 
About Oracle PartnerNetwork   
Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle’s partner program designed to help enable partners to accelerate the transition to cloud and help drive superior customer business outcomes. The OPN program allows partners to engage with Oracle through track(s) aligned to how they go to market: Cloud Build for partners that provide products or services built on or integrated with Oracle Cloud; Cloud Sell for partners that resell Oracle Cloud technology; Cloud Service for partners that implement, deploy and manage Oracle Cloud Services; and License & Hardware for partners that build, service or sell Oracle software licenses or hardware products. Customers may be able to expedite their business objectives with OPN partners who have achieved Expertise in a product family or cloud service.  To learn more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partnernetwork.     
 
Trademarks  
ServiceNow are registered trademarks of ServiceNow Inc. and/or its affiliates.    
Oracle, Java, and MySQL are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.    

Contact Info  
Michelle Clelland, Marketing Experience Lead de Novo Solutions   
michelle.clelland@de-novo-solutions.com   
+44(0) 1633 492 042   

Oliver Matthews, Senior Business Development Manager, Rittman Mead
oliver.matthews@rittmanmead.com
+44(0) 7766 060 749

Press Release

de Novo Accepted onto the G-Cloud 13 Framework 

de Novo remains committed to helping the UK government achieve its ambition of using cloud technology to increase the efficiency of all of its departments and other public sector bodies  
 
Langstone, Wales – 18th October 2022:  de Novo Solutions, a leading provider of industry vertical solutions, digital transformation and business support services for both Oracle SaaS Cloud and ServiceNow applications for the experience economy, has today announced that their services are once again available on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) most recent procurement framework, G-Cloud 13, which goes live on the 9th November 2022.   

The G-Cloud 13 framework available through the CCS Service Digital Marketplace will continue to allow UK Central government departments and all other public sector bodies to buy cloud-based computing services, such as hosting, software and cloud support. For the buyer the G-Cloud 13 framework also provides direct access to small medium enterprises (SME)’s who specialise in the provision of such services, offering compelling alternative value for money services and innovative commercial propositions.  

de Novo is a named supplier on Lot 3: Cloud Support, which helps customers to implement, adopt and maintain cloud software or hosting servicesIn the upcoming iteration, de Novo has published 14 cloud software services relating to Oracle SaaS Cloud and ServiceNow.  

The company has also unveiled their unique flagship offering, Odyssea™ – a trusted and proven fully integrated packaged solution for Finance, HR and Payroll, making it possible for organisations of all sizes to quickly and affordably deploy market leading Oracle SaaS Cloud and ServiceNow technologies, efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, the cutting-edge solution, which is based on industry-leading best practises, enables organisations to take a fresh approach to enterprise-wide digital transformation by prioritising the customer and employee experience in a native digital landscape.  

Mark Sweeny, Chief Executive of de Novo Solutions said, “The de Novo team has a rich legacy of delivering successful projects to the UK public sector, reaching back over 20 years having successfully worked in partnership with many central government departments, local authorities, NHS, universities and multi-academy trusts in the education sector. By having our services accessible through the G-Cloud framework we remain committed to helping the UK government achieve its ambition of using cloud technology to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of front-line service delivery. We’re also extremely excited to be offering Odyssea to the Public Sector, designed for the experience economy and taking advantage of the continued innovation available through both ServiceNow and Oracle SaaS Cloud”. 

To learn more about de Novo’s G-Cloud 13 offerings, please visit the official G-Cloud Digital Marketplace or find out more about our work in the Public Sector by contacting us at contactdenovo@de-novo-solutions.com.

About de Novo | The Experience Economy Consultancy
We are de Novo.  We create data-driven, personalised experiences over standardised business processes for the experience economy, providing organisations with valuable insights into their customers and employees.

It is our unique entrepreneurial background and diverse thinking that fundamentally differentiates ourselves from our competitors.  We work across all industries, combining our experience as entrepreneurs, consultants and practitioners to deliver innovation and generate value for our clients through the power of Oracle SaaS Cloud and ServiceNow technologies.  

We are a team of innovators, disruptors and straight-talkers, who are not afraid to challenge the status quo in order to support our clients in pioneering change in the fast-moving experience economy.  

Excel in the digital world.  Experience a different approach. Engage de Novo.    

See how we’re different. Please visit www.de-novo-solutions.com or email contactdenovo@de-novo-solutions.com.    

#wearedenovo

About ServiceNow  
ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) is making the world of work, work better for people. Our cloud-based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for employees and the enterprise. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com.  
 
About Oracle PartnerNetwork   
Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle’s partner program designed to help enable partners to accelerate the transition to cloud and help drive superior customer business outcomes. The OPN program allows partners to engage with Oracle through track(s) aligned to how they go to market: Cloud Build for partners that provide products or services built on or integrated with Oracle Cloud; Cloud Sell for partners that resell Oracle Cloud technology; Cloud Service for partners that implement, deploy and manage Oracle Cloud Services; and License & Hardware for partners that build, service or sell Oracle software licenses or hardware products. Customers may be able to expedite their business objectives with OPN partners who have achieved Expertise in a product family or cloud service.  To learn more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partnernetwork.     
 
Trademarks  
ServiceNow are registered trademarks of ServiceNow Inc. and/or its affiliates.    
Oracle, Java, and MySQL are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.    

Contact Info  
Michelle Clelland, Marketing Experience Lead de Novo Solutions   
michelle.clelland@de-novo-solutions.com   
+44(0) 1633 492 042   

Press Release

de Novo Appoints Tara Dewar as Chief Operating Officer

Langstone, Wales – 11th October 2022:  de Novo Solutions, a leading provider of industry vertical solutions, digital transformation and business support services for both Oracle Cloud and ServiceNow technologies, has today announced Tara Dewar has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) with immediate effect.  In this newly created role, Tara will be responsible for running the operational aspects of the company and will work alongside Chief Executive Mark Sweeny, the Board and the executive team to implement the strategic vision and values of the company.  

With over 25 years of experience leading high-profile SaaS cloud implementations for the public sector, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, Home Office, and Ministry of Justice, Tara joined de Novo a year ago as Vice President of Client Services and a member of the Executive team.  

Tara’s appointment further strengthens de Novo’s governance board as it continues to invest and develop its delivery and managed services capabilities using Oracle Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and ServiceNow technologies as well as the development of its own industry specific cloud-based solutions for the experience economy. 

Mark Sweeny, Chief Executive of de Novo Solutions, “This past year, de Novo has grown significantly.  This new role will help us to build on that growth and Tara’s incredibly strong experience and knowledge, as well as her leadership and vision will be vital as we continue our ambitious plans to grow and develop the range of services and unique product offerings we offer to our clients“.  

Tara Dewar, Chief Operating Officer said “I am honoured and privileged to be offered the role of Chief Operating Officer for de Novo Solutions.  Our journey over the last year has been monumental in terms of growth and success and I look forward to directing the company’s future ambitions and achievements as we continue to pioneer into the experience economy“.

About de Novo | The Experience Economy Consultancy
We are de Novo.  We create data-driven, personalised experiences over standardised business processes for the experience economy, providing organisations with valuable insights into their customers and employees.

It is our unique entrepreneurial background and diverse thinking that fundamentally differentiates ourselves from our competitors.  We work across all industries, combining our experience as entrepreneurs, consultants and practitioners to deliver innovation and generate value for our clients through the power of Oracle SaaS Cloud and ServiceNow technologies. 

We are a team of innovators, disruptors and straight-talkers, who are not afraid to challenge the status quo in order to support our clients in pioneering change in the fast-moving experience economy. 

Excel in the digital world.  Experience a different approach. Engage de Novo.   
 
See how we’re different. Please visit www.de-novo-solutions.com or email contactdenovo@de-novo-solutions.com.  

#wearedenovo

About ServiceNow 

ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) is making the world of work, work better for people. Our cloud-based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for employees and the enterprise. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com. 

About Oracle PartnerNetwork  

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle’s partner program designed to help enable partners to accelerate the transition to cloud and help drive superior customer business outcomes. The OPN program allows partners to engage with Oracle through track(s) aligned to how they go to market: Cloud Build for partners that provide products or services built on or integrated with Oracle Cloud; Cloud Sell for partners that resell Oracle Cloud technology; Cloud Service for partners that implement, deploy and manage Oracle Cloud Services; and License & Hardware for partners that build, service or sell Oracle software licenses or hardware products. Customers may be able to expedite their business objectives with OPN partners who have achieved Expertise in a product family or cloud service.  To learn more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partnernetwork.    

Trademarks 

ServiceNow are registered trademarks of ServiceNow Inc. and/or its affiliates.   
Oracle, Java, and MySQL are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.  

Contact Info 

Michelle Clelland, Marketing Experience Lead de Novo Solutions  
michelle.clelland@de-novo-solutions.com  
+44(0) 1633 492 042  

As Featured in ERP Today | Written by Mark Sweeny, CEO of de Novo Solutions

Both the platform vendor and systems integrator landscapes are changing. Where to put your money?

SaaS cloud applications are continuing to evolve, and the innovation just keeps on coming. The first ten years of the cloud era saw the large platform vendors establish their back office enterprise platforms and go-to-market strategies with the mantra of ‘standardised processes’, driving economies of scale and cost. However, markets are cyclical in nature, and the current move to promoting industry solutions is nothing new and is a natural evolution. With most finance, procurement, HR and payroll processes being the same across any organisation and industry, it is the front of house and mid-office cross-cutting processes that really drive differentiation and competitive advantage. 

This is not saying that the core ERP foundation platform is now obsolete – far from it – but industry vertical solutions are tailored to reflect how a given industry works. Consequently, the importance of the wider implications of the experience economy and providing personalised experiences over standardised processes becomes even more important and relevant as it is an enabler for innovation with digital disruption driving competitive advantage.

Industry vertical solutions – what are they?

Simply put, industry vertical solutions have greater potential to create value for customers. Established organisations are always having to find ways to differentiate themselves to remain competitive, especially from the smaller native digital disruptors that are backed by what can seem endless new investment monies courtesy of VCs and private equity. Meanwhile, the public sector is always looking for efficiency savings from policy delivery.

Consequently, such organisations carry significantly high levels of technical debt and often experience poor performance from their legacy on-premise systems, where it is quite common that the siloed front of house systems do not integrate through to the back office. Rewriting such systems takes time and monies that are often not available, and ‘lift and shift’ might reduce the total cost of ownership in the short term but this does not address the challenge of ageing technology that is less relevant to the business operation as an industry evolves.  

Industry vertical solutions (or clouds) have the potential to accelerate and take the risk out of cloud migrations and deliver both economies at scale and cost as well as enabling an organisation with disruptive technology that is specifically relevant to their market. Healthcare providers are an example of this, with significant importance placed on improving the patient experience and requiring high levels of data protection, often going beyond the GDPR provisions.

What does this mean in practice?

In the first instance it means that the user experience of the system needs to reflect the industry and the ways of working in the organisation, whilst also remaining able to leverage standardised business processes that underpin all organisations. Over time this will evolve into an individual personalised experience reflecting how an individual works and interacts with the digital landscape without resorting to customisation. This is real digital transformation in action and is a theme that is only going to accelerate. 

Build once and use many: this was a concept truly ahead of its time

In the ERP on-premise era of the mid-late 90s and 00s, the technology and its capabilities were just not available. This was a period that promised a lot but delivered very little in the way of innovation when compared with what is available today. 

Roll forward a couple of decades and we are awash with artificial intelligence-powered digital workflows and analytics capabilities that allow us to drive innovation. 

However, the real innovation only really occurs when these technologies are assembled to deliver relevant industry vertical solutions and positively disrupt the status quo of doing business. 

I can personally vouch for this during the pioneering years of Certus Solutions and the Oracle SaaS cloud era. We developed a reusable blueprint for UK central government as far back as 2015-2016, and it is this framework that today underpins the Office for National Statistics, HM Treasury, and elements at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. This blueprint is also at the core of the Home Office Metis programme with its final implementation found at the Crown Prosecution Service. 

To put it simply, Oracle SaaS applications were configured to reflect the common processes and reporting of how the UK Civil Service works. Build once and use many: this was a concept truly ahead of its time both in thinking and in its overriding objective to derive maximum value for the public sector through process convergence and reusability.

An alternative case study is Inoapps, another well-known Oracle partner that has its origins in the oil and gas industry and which now has available an Energy for Cloud solution.

The importance of industry knowledge

Any experienced business development professional will tell you the sales process is just a series of conversations. However, for these conversations to be valuable to the buyer, they must be relevant and dialled into the pain points of a given industry and organisation. Consequently, having deep industry knowledge of a given vertical is a must if you want to be successful.

Clive Swan, former SVP Oracle Applications and now investor and non-executive director, says: “Cloud and SaaS technologies simply allow innovation at scale and through creating industry vertical solutions the opportunity to rethink and re-engineer whole industries and ecosystems is available. That’s why this technology is so exciting as the possibilities are endless.”

Sasha Wight, director of employee experience at wrkflow, says: “Organisations looking to deliver the very best employee experience in the hybrid workplace are embracing the concept of hyper-personalisation. The first step towards this is ensuring employee journeys reflect the nuance of the industry your employees operate in.”  

Evolution at pace

SaaS solutions are leaving behind solely being associated with the back-office enterprise with greater focus on the front of house. Microsoft has been the most vocal in pushing this narrative and in their own words ‘accelerate time to value, speed up innovation, and drive benefits for customers, employees and organisations.’ The company is now offering cloud solutions for retail, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services and non-profit organisations, whilst also providing cross-cutting industry solutions for sustainability. 

Not to be outdone, ServiceNow has also been extremely vocal in encouraging its ISV partner ecosystem to create industry vertical solutions. The organisation itself announced last year its OT Management Solution for manufacturing organisations, alongside its intention to create industry vertical solutions for the banking, healthcare and life sciences.

So where is the value?

The value is no longer in just having a systems integrator or management consultancy that can lay down references in any given domain space and which can quote how many implementations they have done and how quickly they have done them. No-one gets a gold medal just because you can put a SaaS system in at record time and at the cheapest price, so be warned, the race to the bottom of the rate card never does you any favours in the long run, and SaaS is a long-term investment. 

Instead, the organisations that can bring to the table the blueprint for your given industry, backed by a relevant knowledge basis and an ongoing commitment to stay relevant as the business evolves either through legislation, industry practice or innovation, will be the winners for the future. Both the platform vendor and systems integrator landscapes are changing.

I, for one, know where my money is going to be.    

Published on May 26, 2022

Well, being honest it is not really an accident, but I always thought the title was really cool and have unashamedly plagiarised it for headline grabbing attention. However, on reflection I have always been an entrepreneur, it just took the first 15 years of my working life to realise it with the last 20+ years being a rollercoaster of a myriad of ups and downs, highs and lows, success and failure over four businesses.

This blog reflects on de Novo’s journey pioneering into the experience economy as we close out our first year of full trading and provide some insight into what it is like to re-climb the mountain that is building a successful sustainable business when you find yourself at the bottom looking up.

There are no short cuts, but experience increases your chances of success as you roll the dice.

So why go again after the success of Certus?

After spending a frustrating 18 months sitting at home, putting on weight, watching every TV box set there is and counting the days tick off from a punitive meaningless no-compete legal clause I needed to get back into the game for my own sanity.

A combination of meeting some wonderful entrepreneurs who I subsequently invested in (shout out to Emma Sinclair, Holly Stephens, Dean Shephard, Paul Shepherd, and Alex van Klaveren) and a visit from Mr Peter Jenkins inviting me to revisit the old stomping turf and our familiar joke around ‘Next year Rodney will be billionaires!’, was enough to put a smile back on my face, take a hard look again at the market for possibilities, and with encouragement make the phone call to my old partner in crime – Tim Warner.

I missed the everyday cut and thrust of our wonderful industry, and not being active was a massive disappointment.

Even more annoying and being brutally honest, I had a massive sense of jealously as others tried to take the ground Certus had previously filled, not in my opinion because they had done anything special, it was just we left a massive void in the Oracle eco-system in the UK when we were acquired. I fully acknowledge this is a negative place and I bare absolute no ill will to others, but you can get yourself into a very bad place mentally when you are inactive and for me the feeling of success had simply eluded me.

Unfinished business

Certus simply had too much unfinished business, and whilst extremely successful, much to mine (and others) endless frustration it did not achieve the greatness it always deserved. Missed opportunity! – absolutely.

Certus was never about just making money, it was about creating choice and challenging the status quo of the tier one management consultancies & systems integrators, breaking the monopoly, searching and demonstrating delivery excellence every single day and delighting our customers at every opportunity. Thinking out of the box was for us business as usual.

It was always about trying to be the very best we could be whilst always reaching for the stars. If we made our customers successful, we would be successful, plus having a lot of fun along the way. There is a lot to be said in being able to work alongside really good people every day whose company you like to be in and being able to smile and laugh together.

Instead of languishing in self-pity (first world problem!), I was brave and went to have a conversation with my wife Natalie to ask if I could try again. I caught her walking through the door when she took one look at my sheepish attempt to open my mouth for her to say ‘You’re going to start another business’ – it was a rhetorical question – busted!

Negotiations followed over a bottle or two of red, with terms agreed including moving back to South Wales to be nearer family as well as promising that the new venture regardless of outcome would be the very last one before we could enjoy a proper retirement together. There is always risk, and success is never guaranteed in this game.
Amazon swiftly delivered the first company assets the next day, being two whiteboards, crayons and stickies of various colours, shapes and sizes with myself commandeering the company’s first new HQ – the kitchen table, which was swiftly moved (under instruction) to the garage. Natalie meanwhile contributed by finding the company name – ‘de Novo’, which in Latin translated means ‘new’ and continues the Certus legacy.

New proposition for a new era

No point just recreating the past as the world has moved on. Pioneering into the experience economy was something I had been carefully watching and subconsciously plotting since late 2019 in the back of my mind.

This time we needed a much larger addressable target market, and my insatiable quest for knowledge and admiration of what Bill McDermott was starting to do when he arrived at ServiceNow just could not be ignored. However, equally knowing that Oracle SaaS Cloud not only remained the foundation of the enterprise, being the most complete and best product around but sooner or later Larry Ellison would also move into the experience economy as market momentum accelerated. This crystal ball prediction materialised in April 2022 with the launch of Oracle ME. (see The Conversation has Changed… | LinkedIn)

The market opportunity was clear, and my enforced sabbatical allowed me to conduct extensive research and further crystalise my own thinking. Numerous conversations followed, even being able to talk to the Godfather of the experience economy himself – Mr Joseph Pine, Harvard Professor, who with Pete Gilmore originated the phrase back in 1999! His research and thinking on the subject was simply twenty years ahead of everyone else.

You build not where the market is today, but where it’s going to be in 5 years’ time

It was clear we were entering a new era of SaaS Cloud, and de Novo was going to be at the front of this thinking in the UK&I, being able to create digital experiences by connecting front, middle and back offices, recognising employees do not work in functional silo’s. Just like a decade ago, we began creating a new language to differentiate ourselves.

The magic recipe in 5 simple steps

1.    Vision – create the vision, differentiated proposition and the backdrop story

2.    Build – focus on building a desirable brand from the outset – ‘quality over quantity’

3.    Fund – ‘cash is king’ – raise, inject, creating runway and time

4.    Assemble – bring together the very best people to turn concept into reality; good people always attract good people

5.    Hustle – leverage the network, let everyone know your back and find that first deal

and then above all else DELIVER and EXCEED CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS!

The importance of governance

Being a Chief Executive can be a lonely job and the buck ultimately stops with you. With numerous stakeholders to keep constantly satisfied surrounding yourself with people that can constructively challenge you, offer insight and provide that sounding board is critical.

From the outset we moved to secure an extremely experienced Board of Directors led by Tim Warner as the Chairman, backed by Richard Summerfield, Chief People Officer of Hawksford and Clive Swan, former SVP Oracle Product Development to offer guidance and support, whilst always ensuring the necessary checks and balances were in place.

Having NED’s is not a vanity project but rather loading the deck of cards in our favour and increasing our chances of success.

Dealing with rejection

Dealing with rejection is all part of the journey. From losing a deal and we have lost several already (hey we were a bit rusty!), to someone deciding not to join after they had already said yes. But from experience, as one door closes another opens (even if it does need a nudge!).

We deal with disappointment transparently, learn where we can, and move on quickly. It is difficult, especially when people will not even give you a chance, but that says more about them than it does about us.

Doing what we do is not for everyone, and you must taste defeat to know how to win.

The Power of Alumni

Being part of building something special is a very powerful aphrodisiac. It is an addictive drug. The power of a collective vision reaches out to natural human behaviour of wanting to be part of something.

So, it comes as no surprise to build a successful company we immediately went back and surrounded ourselves with as many of the same people from the #certusalumni network as we could, injecting immediately the experience into the organisation from the outset.

Some, quite understandably, did not want to come on the journey again – the Certus legacy casts a long shadow. However, it has been pleasing to see we had a rush of the ex-Certus alumni wanting to be involved, showing the hunger and passion to build something and are prepared to make sacrifices and take risks – that’s our DNA!

For some the timing is not right just now, however the market and opportunity wait for no-one, and we continue to push ahead whilst leaving the door always open for our alumni to join when they are ready later.

Equally we also are looking for new blood and new ideas to stimulate our thinking and push the company to greater heights!

Thinking sh*t up days! – Real value creation

Personally, I enjoy this more than anything and for me it’s the best part of being part of a team. Back to basics, around a whiteboard, just throwing ideas up, the majority falling away, but then some gold emerges and collectively an idea turns into a hypothesis, then a concept and from that into product and/or service offering, and hopefully into revenue. Once the idea is partially crystalised we just go out and sell it.

Serendipity also sometimes unexpectedly intervenes and shines a light on a potential opportunity into a new market sector perhaps often overlooked or never even considered.

It just proves as I have always said you don’t need a swanky innovation lab in the centre of London but it does help if you have plenty of coffee and cake!

No Free Pass back to the top of the mountain – 365 days of tale of the tape

And for those in business development the job is not about managing a procurement process, it is about solving someone’s pain points and generating value. You need to originate – bang on doors (occasionally kick the door in!), network and engage through conversation both face-to-face and digitally through social media. Sales do not just appear! – phone calls, digitally posting and shoe leather are the order of the day, every day, so hustle.

To win our first deal it took 6 months and…

Tenacity, hard work and simply bloody mindlessness, proving doubters wrong and suddenly you find the pipeline coverts and you have a different ‘quality problem’ to solve…

The future is full of opportunity

We are now well beyond start-up with momentum building day-by-day with the de Novo brand established and being recognised. We have beaten the odds again that only one company in ten makes it successfully through its first trading year, and that is cause for celebration.

Any new business needs support, and I cannot thank enough those whether being ex-employees, suppliers, partners or former / current clients and of course both Oracle and ServiceNow who were prepared to help us get started again. It is something we all very much appreciate.

What we are all building here at de Novo is something special, it is not a flash in the pan, and it is going to take time to nurture. I can feel the same buzz as in the early days of Certus, and whilst different, de Novo already feels special. We are not trying to build the biggest company in the world, but we are on the mission for building the very best company we can be.

It is hard work, but it is also incredibly rewarding for everyone involved. We have always said ‘if you come and work with us, no matter how good you think you are, we will make you better’. It’s a bold statement, and not only is it true, but it raises our own game and in doing so we all become better!

My undying thanks for Peter Jenkins for being the magician in the background, Tim Warner, Clive Swan, and Richard Summerfield for their faith and support, and most of all Ian Carline, Tara Dewar, Alex Alexandru, Craig Roch and Hayley Dobson who were prepared to make the jump at the beginning, unleashing their internal entrepreneurial spirit, pioneering into the #expereinceeconomy and being the DNA of #wearedenovo.

Finally, a shout out to our ever-expanding wonderful workforce, my thanks for coming on the journey and respect to all of you.

And of course, Mrs Natalie Sweeny (aka the honorary ‘first lady of de Novo’) for all her love and support. Could not have done it without you.

Game on – here we come, ignore us at your peril, we are not going away!

Published on April 22, 2022


New Equation for a New Era of Empowerment

After nearly 18 months sabbatical from writing LinkedIn blogs and the positive response I received from my returning article The Conversation has Changed… | LinkedIn based upon Oracle’s announcement of #OracleME, sitting in the glorious sunshine over this past Easter weekend I wanted to share my understanding further of what the experience economy really means, what the impact really is and why everyone should be paying attention.

Consider this the follow-up to ‘Change the Conversation’ and the number one insight that we use with our own employees to drive #wearedenovo.

For those organisations that have not started their SaaS Cloud journey, let me be candid, you are now a whole decade of innovation behind those who have already transitioned, with some of your competitors not even being in business anymore. In the majority of cases, this is down to their failure to stay relevant to their market as they did not digitally transform or provide their clientele with the experiences they demanded and valued.

For those that are just starting their journey but have the simplistic mindset of ‘lets just replace our legacy systems and move to the Cloud’, you’re thinking is still in the wrong place! However, if you are thinking and wanting to change the conversation by talking about creating new experiences for customers and employees, learning from insights and driving outcomes then I am pleased to say you are very much in the right place and it is definitely a conversation I want to have with you! So, let’s explore this…

So what does the experience economy really mean?

Put simply it means user empowerment.

Successful SaaS Cloud implementations are all about adoption as they are transformational, but it is by empowering the end user to take full advantage of what is available that unlocks the value over the long term.

SaaS Cloud is evolving at pace and whilst the foundation stone of any enterprise should remain a single instance ERP system, the industry platform vendors have acknowledged that the vast majority of employees do not work inside functional silos, with the operational processes required to deliver services to customers and/or citizens cutting across the organisation. Specifically, we have gone beyond HR/HCM siloed Cloud systems and are now in the era of ‘experience platforms’.

Such technology advancement allows us to create personalised experiences over standardised processes, and with the rise of the no code low code, ai, machine learning and digital workflows supported by advanced analytics we are now able to technically deliver faster than ever before.

My prediction remains that in only in a few years’ time these systems will self-configure, render and deliver the relevant individual experience to a user in the very moment it is required. Consequently, the technology turns data into accurate timely insightful information to facilitate informed decision making in the moment.

The technology capability now exists to enable the Client themselves to create new experiences and react quickly to a change in circumstances. Have we been promised this all before? Yes we have, but this time it is real and it exists.

Systems Integrators beware the role is changing, as SaaS Cloud technology matures, new ways of adding value need to be found – ‘The bums on seats model is definitely in the twilight era’.

Shout out to the Mouse! – the ultimate experience case study.

Disney, has to be the ultimate experience case study and I find myself time and time again referring to Walt Disney’s biography.

Forget technology and think laterally about the human experience. Walt Disney recognised as far back in the 1960’s the need to create engaging ‘magical’ experiences for those visiting his amusement parks. His focus being to capture and hold a customer’s interest not just whilst at the park in the moment, but also afterwards in the memory.

In the experience economy, the memories, emotions and feelings that customers take away are ultimately what matters most. Products and services become commoditised over time; they are copied by competitors and lose their differentiation and value.

Disney fundamentally understood this and went about creating a brand and product portfolio that could not be copied lightly. However, fundamental to everything was his employees as they were and still are today the primary delivery channel of the experience to the customer.

So how is this achieved? Disney empowers its employees in delighting their customers at every opportunity. Creating magical memories, pulling on emotions. This is subsequently monetized.

Even to this day Disney make queuing an absolute art form through the power of constant distraction! and they even monetize this by cross and up-selling through merchandise kiosks en-route before and after the main attraction.

So lets take these concepts and apply this to the 21st century digital experience economy.

Technology is the Enabler, but Culture needs to foster empowerment to realise the value

Technology extends the core ERP system into the middle office and beyond, albeit at this point you really do move into the hybrid SaaS Cloud scenario. However, putting the technology to one side as it really becomes totally irrelevant if an organisation’s culture does not empower its employees to innovate and foster a programme of continuous improvement into its DNA, using the power of the experience and insight through the tools that the vendors are making available. This is real cutting-edge transformation seen daily.

To get better at anything we must be curious, constantly question the status quo, seeking improvement by creating new experiences that our customers and/or citizens demand and value.

Employees serve customers, therefore both experiences matter and converge.

I am going to cheat at this point as I cannot better the research findings from Gartner, so lets just insert a small cut and paste with due credit applied…

The Gartner Research Report conducted by Jason Wong, Michael Chiu, Gavin Tay, and Brent Stewart (26 May 2020) states ‘The shift toward digital business can be seen as largely being about creating new business models and innovations that allow companies to alter their products and services through information and digital technologies. Not only must digital be a building block of CX, but It must also be foundational to your EX.

In this digital experience economy, in order for companies to earn their share of the positive feelings, emotions and memories, they need to compete for attention and time. Attention and time are precious because we, as customers and employees and users of technology, only have so much time in the day and we can only give so much attention at any given moment. Any wasted motion or non-value-added feature unnecessarily steals the user’s attention and consumes their time’.

Consequently, we have end-to-end digital convergence.

Market Indicators – Seismic Shift

Salesforce, ServiceNow, Microsoft and now Oracle are all pushing the narrative. For one of them to do it is differentiation within a market, for all of them to do it is a market shift. Those I have not mentioned, are behind the 8-ball. In my opinion the shift is seismic and only going to accelerate.

Microsoft are pushing hard industry vertical solutions, ServiceNow are innovating more and more across the front and middle-office, Salesforce announcements look to re-engineer whole industries from the customer experience perspective, and Oracle now have Oracle Me – punching outwards and across from the functional silos of the ERP market. It will be interesting now to watch the marketing messages of these vendors as we move into the second half of 2022, and for me, how the Systems Integrators marketing adapts (or not!).

Take a Moment

So before you sign that big cheque to your chosen platform vendor alongside that significant investment in an implementation partner, ask yourself one question ‘where do you want to be in seven years’ time?’ and do your chosen partners share and understand that vision to such an extent they can constantly, consistently deliver and unlock value to you in the experience economy to help you arrive at your destination as both your business, the technology and both your employees and customers evolve.

The bragging days around who can implement the system the quickest (aka ‘turning the lights on’) is a false economy and has always been a load of nonsense, a figment of imagination of the vendor marketing departments who have never ever undertaken an implementation.

However, if you still decide to follow this route and don’t look upon the transition to Cloud as an opportunity to transform your business to create experiences that empowers your employees to delight customers and citizens, then given the body of evidence available, I have little sympathy when you later say ‘we are not getting value out of our SaaS platform’
We are already at an inflection point in the vendor landscape regarding experience platform evolution and consequently we have arrived at a new equation for a new era:

Experience Economy = Empowerment

Why? because empowerment means choice, and all great experiences are rich in data in the moment. So, the more we encourage the workforce to be curious, take control and look for improvement, the greater the opportunity for digitalisation but in the context of the user experience at a specific moment in time. The future of the employee experience is now, but without the culture of empowerment, maximising value through the return on investment will never be achieved. Think Disney and add digital into the mix!

One thing is for sure, this story is not over yet not by a long way…

#oracle #oraclecloud #saas #cloud #oraclehcmcloud #oracleerpcloud #oracleme #experienceeconomy #servicenow #salesforce #microsoft #digital #digitaltransformation #digitalbusiness #wearedenovo #empowerment 

Published on April 14, 2022

Oracle Evolves Again with Oracle Me

It only seemed like yesterday I wrote my last blog article, in-fact it was 11th January 2021!, I have been so busy with de Novo (#wearedenovo) and my obligations to the wonderful ERP Today, that I have just not had time to write. However, after a great night out with the #Certusalumni – the original pioneers of Oracle SaaS Cloud – Ian Carline, Richard Atkins and Rob English along with an alcohol induced headache and watching todays announcement from Oracle regarding Oracle Me, I was inspired to metaphorically put pen to paper and write…

Change the Conversation

‘Change the conversation’ a phrase that I have heard and used many times myself. When pioneering, searching for new ideas, seeking out new markets and looking for the next opportunity or market trend, you can easily get dragged back into what is the status quo and existing market behaviours.

The ability to find inspiration can come from the most unlikely of sources, something you remember from years ago, something you read, something you discuss with friends over a bottle of wine in a restaurant (thank heavens we can do the most normal of normal things again), something on a side of a bus?

Studying market behaviour in the technology industry I personally find fascinating. A market of many stakeholders – buyers and sellers from platform vendors, system integrators, ISV’s and of course customers to name just a few. Behind all of this you cannot ignore the VC’s, Private Equity and the Business Angels, providing the much-needed risk capital to fuel innovation.

Understanding and seeing what resonates, whilst also watching the latest trend as it comes and goes, and most importantly identifying the cyclical pattern which many do not even consider let alone embrace to their advantage is fundamental in determining a winning proposition.

Evolution of the Experience Economy – Its Happening in front of Us!

I have now been writing, let alone investing money and time (the most valuable of assets) in the #experienceeconomy for over two years now. Slowly but surely, through the delivery of new technology capability and the focus on deep personalisation within industry vertical solutions, the playing field we know as the enterprise, or more specifically enterprise resource planning (ERP) is changing.

Being an systems implementer with industry domain experience, references, people with vendor certifications and an ability to compete effectively on price (don’t get me started on that!) has been ‘table stakes’ for years. Somewhere along the line SaaS became a commodity play and everyone forgot about value creation.

Regardless, the industry has moved on, and whilst significant amounts of buyer education still needs to be undertaken, the move to delivering industry vertical solutions by personalised experiences over standardised business processes is gaining more and more traction.

Salesforce has always been in the mix; ServiceNow fundamentally changed as a company and its positioning using its Now technology platform; as well as Microsoft becoming more and more vocal around industry solutions have unquestionably all been leading the way.

Finally, Oracle or ‘big red’ as I still refer to it, has awoken and firmly announced its direction of travel having to recognise the need to be more active in an ever changing game, and the need to respond effectively to the onslaught of experience platforms over the past two years from the competition.

The Importance of Oracle Me Announcement – Empowering the Client’s People

Crystal ball prediction time and I stress again that this is just my personal opinion.

What we have seen with Oracle’s public announcement today, is a whole lot more than more SaaS product innovation with Oracle Me. In a single word its ’empowerment!’.

Whilst it always takes time for Oracle to pivot, its resources are frankly unlimited and it has the ability to gain momentum quickly and accelerate pass the competition. Often this is when Oracle is at its most dangerous as a competitor.

We have seen this several times before, from the days of on-premise, to most recently in what was the first era of the Cloudwars with Workday which seemed miles ahead, only for Oracle eventually to power past as it delivered a single unified system in ERP, HCM, Payroll and SCM together, whilst adding Digital Assistant very early on. Anyone in the ERP ecosystem will tell you, the suite play always trumps best of breed in a back-office enterprise, and Oracle achieved this with aplomb and continues to do so to this day.

Oracle through Oracle ME is recognising the hybrid Cloud era and providing the tools for connectively, communication and collaboration that are required to deliver employee experiences that matter that go way beyond the transactional base of a SaaS Cloud ERP system. A place I will argue where Workday is still at, and SAP is still getting there – they seemed to miss the first Cloud era altogether. These Vendors however are no longer the competition.

Most importantly the Oracle ME tools buy-in to the low code, no code platform concept and empower the Client to take control of its configuration. Systems Integrators beware!

Today, with the announcement of Oracle ME, it is just as an important announcement as when Oracle firstly announced Fusion SaaS back in 2011!

Oracle is publicly signalling awareness, accepting the landscape is changing, and acknowledging to stay relevant it needs to evolve. This is how I interpret events today, and April 2022 is a time I would suggest that everyone will point back to in years to come.

In essence, Oracle has changed the conversation about their product offerings in one go. The #experienceeconomy isn’t about technology platforms, it’s about creating digital experiences that empowers individuals to undertake a task or action efficiently and effectively at any given moment in time, recognising that the majority of people do not work in functional silos. Oracle Me does that, the prediction being that Oracle repositions itself selling personalised industry solutions.

It will be interesting now to see if my prediction comes true, but if it does, as far as Oracle is concerned it started today. Game on…

#oracle #oraclecloud #saas #cloud #oraclehcmcloud #oracleerpcloud #experienceeconomy #digital #digitaltransformation #oracleme #wearedenovo

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. In addition, my thoughts and opinions change from time to time and I consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind. This blog is intended to provide a semi-permanent point in time and as such any thoughts or opinions expressed within out of date posts may not be the same or similar to those that I hold today.

Double trouble for this digital edition so I thought I would pull in some additional expertise and commentary again from Libby Mason, recognised organisation and change management expert. So, here’s another episode from the Mark and Libby show…

Over the last 18 months we have seen the constant rise in the industry narrative from the SaaS cloud platform providers regarding the importance of delivering ‘experiences that matter’. Historically this narrative was heavily focussed on the end customer, but with a tectonic shift in how we manage our work and our workforce there is a wave of experience platforms which are now focussed on the employee as the customer.

SaaS ERP cloud over the past decade has delivered capability through leading business processes; whilst this is no longer new, it provides the foundation of any enterprise change as this becomes the base for future innovation. We have seen in the last few months that even the likes of Oracle, which is clearly one, if not the market leader of ERP and HCM SaaS cloud technology reacting to the relentless onslaught from the likes of Salesforce and ServiceNow with its ‘Oracle journeys’ in regard to the experience economy.

The gathering momentum around delivering relevant, timely and easy to access experiences to employees is fast becoming an element in any company’s competitive advantage. This is becoming the new benchmark in the digital world. Organisations in both public and private sectors are now making the link between improved employee and business performance, enabled by SaaS cloud platforms, delivering better services to their end customer by enabling their own workforce to do their jobs effectively. 

Future blueprint – building value through great experiences 

Whilst everyone seems naturally to dive immediately into ‘digital journey mapping’, which is a necessary activity and usually accommodated by a nice set of PowerPoint slides, let’s step back and address the basics.

Start with the end 

A lot of organisations fall into the trap of buying shiny new tools and then going to find problems to fix with them without really understanding which challenges are the most important to solve or which opportunities to prioritise. Cloud is a journey; you’re not going to get there all at once, so start with the experiences that are most important to building value and momentum for your organisation and determine which parts of those experiences are critical to quality. It will be different for every organisation and will span every process area from recruitment and onboarding, to procurement, to invoicing. Consider what you need to get right to succeed.

Cloud is a journey; you’re not going to get there all at once

Get your business model right 

Even when technology is deployed in the right way, if the operating model isn’t right, and the right employees are neither empowered nor have the right skills to do their jobs, then organisations can’t succeed. The people and organisational side of the equation is and always will be just as important. Experience platforms depend on having the right people doing the work, in the right place in the organisation, with the right skills and behaviours – getting this aligned up-front means we need to consider how to adapt our business to work in a new way. It will mean new roles, new skills, new behaviours and a new business logic to drive enhanced workflows.

The cloud SaaS design principle of ‘adopt, not adapt’ has not gone away. You need to decide up-front which technology platform’s processes you wish to ‘adopt’ as they all work differently – a ‘vendor agnostic’ strategy when designing the operating model only leads to significant rework. It’s like putting the cart before the horse, so don’t sit on the fence, as technology platform choice is not something you should kick down the road.

This is not an easy transition to make for many organisations. Trusting and empowering employees at the right levels in organisations is the best way to reduce unnecessary hand offs and eliminate waste in processes. This means challenging traditional approaches to managing control and often means reshaping individual and whole teams’ roles and accountabilities.  

Understanding organisational maturity will help to prioritise investment in upskilling and improving in areas where the experiences will have the greatest impact. 

Understand the data and get it right 

The data architecture of an organisation is absolutely critical. How many times do we come across poor quality data being held in siloed applications? For experience platforms to deliver genuine value, organisations need to spend more time thinking about the data model (including the end-to-end business logic like workflows, approvals). 

At a minimum, deploying an ERP SaaS cloud system becomes the first step in capturing and maintaining standardised datasets through the execution of standardised business processes. Elements to consider: 

For employees to be effective in the moment, they need the right data at their fingertips enabling informed decision making. 

Who is leading the way?

Done correctly, successful organisations: focus on business outcomes; break down delivery silos; create positive employee experiences without frustration and perceived bureaucracy; and consider human behaviours alongside technology fit. Examples include: 

Lloyds Bank deployed ServiceNow to address the problem of managing complex IT infrastructure across 100,000 people where data fragmentation across such organisations is commonplace in the financial services industry. Lloyds now has a cohesive view of its critical business processes. This has led not only to significant improvements in control, cost reduction and regulatory compliance but more importantly it has empowered employees, reducing frustration in the process! It also now has an experience platform for building continuous improvement across all areas of the business beyond the back-office enterprise.

Unilever is another example of an organisation which is leading the way in unifying the employee experience across its ERP/HCM cloud estate. Salesforce is deployed as the seamless engagement layer over their estate to simplify employee interaction, whilst still taking advantage of SaaS standardised business processes. This strategy has significantly improved employee productivity and reduced the reliance on employee helpdesks.

Eye on the prize

Experience platforms offer the potential to unlock significant value, enabling organisations to deliver performance enhancing services to their employees. This prize can only be achieved when you understand what is important to your organisation; know the cloud SaaS technology you are going to deploy and put in place an operating model and the data you need to support achieving that ambition. Without it, you will be left wondering why you’re not getting the value and what is wrong with the technology……spoiler alert, it’s not the technology!    

Trusting and empowering employees at the right levels in organisations is the best way to reduce unnecessary hand offs and eliminate waste in processes

Mark Sweeny, founder and chief executive, de Novo Solutions 
Libby Mason, founder, Alluvion Consulting

Clive Swan, the former SVP for application development at Oracle, has joined de Novo Solutions as non-executive director. We don’t usually cover appointments, but this hire is a significant feather in the cap for de Novo, which is effectively a start-up led by former Certus and Accenture execs, Mark Sweeny and Tim Warner.

Swan’s career at Oracle spanned more than 30 years – all in application development – ultimately leading the HCM product roadmap.

Read the full article on ERP Today here.


Press Release

de Novo Solutions Advances to a Premier Partner in the ServiceNow Partner Programme

Welcome to the Experience Economy #wearedenovo 

Langstone, Wales, United Kingdom – 15 November 2021: de Novo Solutions today announced its advancement to a Premier Partner in the ServiceNow Partner Program. de Novo Solutions supports ServiceNow customers with a range of industry vertical solutions and personalised experiences across front, middle and back offices leveraging the ServiceNow Now Platform®. 

de Novo Solutions creates personalised experiences over standardised processes using digital workflows across the enterprise, enabling all aspects of work. By using an experience-based enterprise architecture de Novo integrates front, middle and back-offices accelerating the digitalisation of work throughout the enterprise, transforming the way work is delivered to an organisation’s customers. 

Alex Alexandru, VP Finance Experiences, said “We are incredibly excited to announce this milestone in the ServiceNow Partner Program. It’s great to be recognised for our capabilities and success and demonstrates our commitment to the Now Platform®. We look forward to working closely with ServiceNow and our customers in developing and implementing industry vertical solutions creating personalised experiences using digital workflows across the enterprise”. 

Craig Roch, VP HCM Experiences, said “This milestone demonstrates our ever-increasing investment in the ServiceNow® Now Platform and recognising that the enterprise technology landscape is constantly evolving as hybrid cloud structures take hold and become the enabler for the experience economy. Congratulations to the #wearedenovo family that have strived to achieve this certification”.   

de Novo Solution’s transition to the Premier Partner recognizes achievements in the ServiceNow partner assessment methodology, which identifies the activities, accomplishments, and commitments that demonstrate de Novo Solution’s level of ServiceNow investment and go-to-market maturity. 

About de Novo Solutions

de Novo Solutions is a ServiceNow and Oracle Partner. It is a provider of industry vertical solutions, digital transformation and business support services for both ServiceNow and Oracle Cloud Applications.

About ServiceNow

ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) is making the world of work, work better for people. Our cloud-based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for employees and the enterprise. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com.

ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, Now Platform, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.   

Contact Info

de Novo Solutions
Alex Alexandru
alex.alexandru@de-novo-solutions.com 
+44(0) 1633 492 042