The digital revolution has transformed everyday life for millions around the globe in recent time. Thirty years ago, it was hard to imagine offices with a PC on every desk. Today, life without constant internet access from our phones is unthinkable.
More recently, the pace of change has accelerated. When smartphones first started to gain traction in 2008, the early adopters made up less than 10% of the mobile market. Thirteen years on, that figure has leapt to 84%.1 Many businesses have embraced this digital transformation with incredible results - 10 years ago we didn't have household names such as Uber, Airbnb or Monzo. As customers flock to book rides, reserve rooms or bank online, Monzo's transactions have increased by £32 billion in the past 3 years,2 while Airbnb enjoys a global compound annual growth rate of 153% with over 7 million listings worldwide.3
The key question is, should the corporate advisory industry follow suit in this digital journey?
In our personal lives we have everything we need at our fingertips: online banking, food delivery, transportation, communications - from any device, anywhere and almost instantly. But there remains a significant disconnect in the technology we have in the workplace, especially around how we access our employee benefits. With over half of employees stating that they would give up part of their salary for personalised benefits4, workforces now expect their employers to give them easy access to those benefits - digitally. What's more… with ‘digital native' millennials, Gen Z and younger generations forecasted to make up 75% of the working population by 2025 - enabling them to access their information and data digitally will be essential.
One corporate advisory has taken the step to embrace the digital revolution in order to build a better employee experience for modern workforces.
In January 2020 OPC Asset Management Limited teamed up with us at Cloud8, to launch our benefits platform, BEAM at Work™.
OPC Asset Management has always had a strong vision to develop a corporate offering for their varied client needs. In January 2022, it announced a partnership with True Potential Wealth Management LLP, a key accelerator for its growth journey and one where a digital proposition is playing a major role. With True Potential already providing a digital wealth platform and business support options, an employee-benefits tool from Cloud8 was the perfect complement for its corporate advisor clients.
Bringing our market experience together, it was clear that client demand for digital benefits was already strong, and so the onboarding began. OPC AM launched its first client on the platform in less than eight weeks; we're able to do this so quickly as the building of client sites is supported by our Cloud8 Support Team via our helpdesk, packed with guides and online content - as well as working in conjunction with the OPC Asset Management account managers.
"The build process with BEAM at Work™ is one that the managers here have picked up very quickly and are able to build and run themselves without tonnes of technical training" says Danielle Bennett, Head of Platform Solutions for OPC Asset Management. When building new sites for clients, it has been recorded that replicating templated benefits and structures across their sites on BEAM saves around 50% of time when compared to paper-based working.
Once OPC AM had the first client live, employees were feeding back that the platform itself was visually engaging, easy to use and offered a range of different benefits and levels of interaction. Being able to adjust pensions in an instant and embrace online shopping discounts all in one place was a fantastic addition to their employee benefits package - whilst HR and Finance appreciated it being really cost effective!"
Danielle adds "We have plans for continued growth into the future with a number of key clients in mind to win and onboard onto the platform. We see BEAM at Work™ playing a key role in making this achievable. The team at Cloud8 work alongside us in partnership, helping to keep us ahead of the game with their smart software. Additional offerings such as ‘BRIDGE,' their marketplace panel of pre-vetted suppliers providing voluntary benefits, has allowed us to roll out a number of new benefits at no additional cost to us and offer discounted options to employees."
Stephanie Windsor, OPC AM Director says "As more and more employees are working with increased flexibly from home, or perhaps outside of the traditional 9-5 hours, our digital platform is a truly appreciated extra which increases employee retention and role engagement.
With the platform, benefits can now be varied and exciting, such as Pawprint (a team building carbon offsetting app) and Calm, the meditation app. In addition, salary exchange benefits like Octopus electric cars, shopping discounts, cycle to work and nursery benefits can really add value from the employer to employee without masses of paperwork and headaches for our clients."
Dipa from Cloud8 adds "We love working with clients such as OPC Asset Management who understand the importance of why corporate advice needs to embrace tech - at pace. Advisors who understand the importance of combining their expertise with our simple digital offering, allows our clients to better serve their clients and their employees. Feedback has shown that there is significant time-saving when it comes to building and managing client benefits through our platform, and for smaller advisory firms this is very important. OPC AM are also utilising the voluntary benefits we have on offer, further increasing their revenues and building a better employee experience."
OPC Asset Management's requirements:
- Affordable digital platform with strong ROI potential
- Quick and easy to deploy (average of 8 weeks)
- Simple to use
- Market-leading technology giving power to clients
- Support from market and tech experts
The future is bright, the future is digital…
After our growth over the past two years, working with a number of clients, Cloud8 has recently secured further private equity to drive our product at an accelerated rate, much faster than the anticipated roadmap - enhancing the product significantly in terms of features and performance.
This additional investment is being used to expand the existing development team, with a primary focus of fast tracking the build of a new client user interface and reporting dashboard for delivery later this year. The recent design forums with Cloud8's key clients and partners told us that our clients want to see features including highly-performant APIs to enable integration with a range of other systems. This smart two-way communication will aid automation, updating employee data in real-time - all of which reduces the risk of human error and creates greater efficiencies for advisors, employers, and employees.
Employee benefit consultancies, advisories and wealth management firms, such as OPC Asset Management, who are forward-looking, progressive and taking the exciting step of embracing technology to build a better client and employee experience will no doubt reap the rewards in the digital future.
About BEAM at Work™
- Built with market expertise
- Strong engagement reporting
- Reduction in enquiries and paperwork
- Quick and easy deployment
Find out more about how BEAM at Work™ is helping advisors to transform employee benefits at beamatwork.co.uk
This post was funded by Cloud8.