Four New Zealand innovators on the tech that’s driving their bottom-line

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Cat Mules

Technology is taking centre stage of business and social efforts. What are its links to ROI?

While for some this has been a long-time coming, for others the future links of technology remain vague. Still more don’t believe they have the IT skills they need. With New Zealand companies investing more and more in technology to drive value, are they trusting their gut, or are they acting on evidence that digital technology itself be linked to the bottom-line? I asked four New Zealand IT specialists and industry players for their views.


Insight 1: Technology changes how we understand the bottom-line.

“We are always trialling digital and automation tools for specific tasks… we have to weigh up the costs of the process benefits we get vs operational and system complexity we add.” – Daniel McCarthy, CEO @Mobile Mentor

“The old way of understanding the bottom line was all about profit, and now it’s great to see business looking at the triple bottom line across profit, people and the planet.” – Damon Kelly CEO & Founder @Enlighten Designs

“As a professional services business, the bottom-line is impacted by a few key levers, firstly how utilised our people are on billable customer work, how effective/productive our people are and our cost of sale and our key OPEX costs.”  Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships @ClearPoint

“As we see the benefit to the bottom-line… the evolution of the way we work with our customers and channel, our relationships and networks and understanding diverse viewpoints in the workplace/project collaboration is even more important in the global world to represent the diverse audience, be it end customers or channel.” – Nadia Phillips, Partner & Marketing Lead @Umbrellar

Insight 2: Emerging technologies enable ROI insights.

“One of the most effective ‘tool sets’ we have is our Microsoft E5 licences that gives us so many of the fundamental tools that we need to run our business – productivity, security, endpoint management across all our devices, analytics, and much more… Our costs are also predictable and when we take into account all the previous software packages we used to achieve the same results.” – Daniel McCarthy, CEO @Mobile Mentor

“We have all of our crucial information data warehouse that we visualise in Power BI. It’s through really understanding our data and then visualising it in a way that lets us quickly identify the key insights we need to act on that helps us drive bottom-line impact.” – Damon Kelly CEO & Founder @Enlighten Designs

“Bottom-line impact means having the right tools for the right job. Sure a spreadsheet is very flexible but not providing your team with best in class tools will mean their engagement will be impacted but you also open yourself up for costly mistakes and data errors, which no one wants…  Nothing impacts the bottom-line like sustained growth.” – Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships @ClearPoint

“Let’s break that down. SlackGoogle WorkplaceMicrosoft Teams – these help us centre our collaboration around a project or customer. Xero’s WorkflowMax helps us record people’s time spend simply and effectively, so the effort can be re-allocated to customers and revenue generated. We use Atlassian’s Jira manage work required. We seamlessly respond to demand generation to nurture leads that fuel the growth in our business through Salesforce or HubSpotMicrosoft PowerBI helps us with reporting and analytics – understanding what the impact of our actions are on our gross margin and bottom-line through reports and dashboards.” – Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships @ClearPoint

“The best tech tools are the ones that work to simplify, automate and support business strategy to allow a focused team spending their time where it’s making a real impact and difference. Close to my heart is data storytelling dashboards, and one of my favourites is the Enlighten Aquarium built in Power BI. Data should be simple, engaging, and tell a story at a glance. It can also be FUN! The Enlighten Aquarium transforms your dashboard into a story that clearly communicates and allows you to have conversations as a team about the big issues to make a real impact and difference to the bottom-line.” – Nadia Phillips, Partner Marketing & Sales Operations Manager @Umbrellar

Insight 3: Technologies may be underrated for ROI planning. 

“The humble Excel spreadsheet is still the world’s leading business planning tool in my opinion….Excel is the most flexible multi-dimensional calculator ever invented.  And I’m not even an accountant!” – Daniel McCarthy, CEO @Mobile Mentor

“Products like Mural offering digital workspaces for visual collaboration and planning are game-changers, especially for collaborative planning sessions. Our discovery and design team have been utilising Mural as one of our core tools over the last couple of years.” – Damon Kelly CEO & Founder @Enlighten Designs

“Robotic process automation (RPA) or intelligent automation technology. I see it day in and day out in businesses where team members carry out repetitive and mundane tasks in their systems. This impacts on operational efficiency and engagement but also the customer experience. RPA, such as UiPath, enables organisations to seamlessly automate processes across different technologies to free up time from their staff to work on higher-value tasks. RPA is also really smart now, using AI it can automate many processes that were not possible to be automated previously.” –  Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships @ClearPoint

The CRM is the golden ticket to digital transformation but underrated and not understood by most. Poor data gives poor results, from business planning to business execution. There are also some brilliant platforms available now, in the cloud, allowing more interactive/group team focused collaboration, such as AsanaTeams and beautiful.AI, especially in a company where we are fulltime WFH, the right application can have both business  and people benefits. – Nadia Phillips, Partner Marketing & Sales Operations Manager @Umbrellar

Insight 4: Adoption of technologies for ROI involves challenges.

“Security is a very subjective field. A bit like insurance.  How do you know if you’re over or under insured until you claim?  Security should be a proactive decision by a business to look after their data and their customers’ data.” – Daniel McCarthy, CEO @Mobile Mentor

“Increased security often means worse ‘employee experience’ – if you have to jump through too many hoops to get your job done, it’s not pleasant.” – Daniel McCarthy, CEO @Mobile Mentor

“Customers are always fearful of return on investment (ROI).  Customers want to know that the benefits they expect to receive will actually materialise for them and can absolutely transform their businesses and hold an advantage over their competitors.”  Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships @ClearPoint

 “’We don’t do that’ is a number one fear. People are busy, the thought of having to upskill, or the unknown or difficulty of adopting a new technology and the change management required, it’s easier to just keep doing the same.” – Nadia Phillips, Partner Marketing & Sales Operations Manager @Umbrellar

“The critical part of any new technology project is to not forget about adoption and change management. We’ve found this has been critical for our team to support our clients through there areas when they are adopting new technology applications.”  – Damon Kelly CEO & Founder @Enlighten Designs

Insight 5: The technology user is its most important ROI focus.

“It’s changing the conversation to the why, the value proposition at a strategic business level, engaging with key stakeholders and creating a path of adoption that manages and brings together diverse viewpoints. Inaccurate understandings of the technology can also create a fear, and this is where thought leadership and content marketing is so important, to dispell the untruths and build the story of the technology and the value that is in it for the customer or channel.” – Nadia Phillips, Partner Marketing & Sales Operations Manager @Umbrellar

“Through our adoption offerings we ensure there is a strong adoption plan that aligns each organisation’s KPI’s, training, an ongoing enhancement roadmap, strong sponsorship & stakeholders communications to make sure the technology is adopted well in the organisation and therefore meeting the ROI and benefits expected.”  Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships @ClearPoint 

“Adopting increased security needs to be balanced with employee experience, so that productivity and employee engagement is improved not made worse.” – Daniel McCarthy, CEO @Mobile Mentor

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

Mobile Mentor

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We enable remote teams to be secure and productive. Work is an activity, not a place. We’re a Microsoft Gold partner specialising in modern work technology that enables remote teams to be secure and productive.

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Get the Cloud, Done Right. Umbrellar Powered by Pax8 is New Zealand's prime Professional and Managed Cloud Services specialist. Recently acquired by Pax8, we're transitioning into something "harder, better, faster, stronger" (thank you, Daft Punk!). Watch this space!


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ClearPoint is a digital design and engineering company, creating world-class digital solutions for NZ and Australia’s leading organisations.

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Enlighten Designs creates beautiful, user-friendly digital solutions. As an award-winning creative technical agency, our mission is to deliver digitally transformative experiences for customers ranging from small businesses to enterprise clients. Founded in 1998, Enlighten Designs is based on our passion to bring exceptionally designed, innovative and custom technology solutions from the shores of New Zealand to the world.

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Application modernisation services address the migration of legacy to new applications or platforms, including the integration of new functionality to provide the latest functions to the business. Modernisation options include re-platforming, re-hosting, recoding, rearchitecting, re-engineering, interoperability, replacement and retirement, as well as changes to the application architecture to clarify which option should be selected.

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