This year, the ABSL Association again awarded the companies that have contributed most to the development of the business services industry in the Czech Republic in the past year and have raised the standard of services, customer experience, talent development or working environment thanks to innovative projects. The winning projects were selected by a 12-member independent expert jury from nearly five dozen nominations in 7 categories. The ABSL Diamond Awards were presented for the 9th time this year, with the winners receiving a trophy in the form of a large diamond during a gala evening at the ABSL Annual Conference.
Innovation makes us grow as an industry, innovation makes us more resilient to emergencies and crises, innovation helps us offer interesting and creative work, and innovation provides a premium work environment and facilities for professional and personal growth. And very importantly, thanks to innovations, we can also help our surroundings and more vulnerable communities,
says Jonathan Appleton, Director of ABSL, the association which brings together business, customer and IT service centres in the country, adding:
Congratulations to all the winners. We hope their efforts motivate and inspire our industry as a whole and businesses and organisations across all sectors.
This year’s winners include:
In the Customer Initiative category, the prize was awarded to Infosys Ltd., which implemented a self-service portal for its client to increase the efficiency of customer contact. The portal uses 3 chatbots, interactive forms and intuitive tutorials to significantly reduce the time taken to resolve technical issues raised by users, who are also able to resolve some issues independently. Approximately 6,000 technical issues are resolved monthly through the portal, with the average time to resolve a request reduced from 15 to 5 minutes. The ability to resolve their requests in this way has also contributed to a reduction in customer calls by a full 30%. This allowed the client to gain additional time to focus on more strategic tasks, which also meant direct financial benefits of millions of dollars.
In the Education category, the award winner was BlueLink International CZ, which designed and deployed the S.T.E.P. (Strive Towards Excellence Program), a digital training program designed to develop employees professionally. It is a hybrid program that combines a traditional Learning Management System with digital coaching and consists of a wide range of tools and resources that enable managers to support and train internal talent by creating personalized learning programs. S.T.E.P. is fully integrated into the company’s digital environment based on Microsoft technologies and is currently used by over 500 employees with over 700 hours of training available in various formats, whether as e-learning, virtual workshop, webinar or podcast. Some of the content is created internally, and some in collaboration with external partners, including Google grow, International Study Program, The Global Exec, School 42, Udemy, Edx, Coursera and the Czech Association for Financial Management (CAFIN), among others. S.T.E.P. does not only bring professional development to employees but also increases client satisfaction (by 9 percentage points) and efficiency (by 8 percentage points). At the same time, employee satisfaction increased, and turnover decreased by 5.6%. The roll-out of the program to the entire BlueLink Group, which includes a total of 2,000 employees, is currently being prepared.
In the ESG Towards Resilience category, the award was given to Conectart, which implemented a wide range of projects, the most remarkable of which was an educational campaign for the elderly, on which Conectart collaborated with the Police of the Czech Republic. As part of the campaign, Conectart developed and launched a fully automated voicebot at its own expense, providing seniors with advice on spotting a scam call and a guide on how to behave during and after it. Within one month, the voicebot called and informed over 200,000 seniors, 93% of whom listened to the call to the end. Fraudulent calls targeting seniors cause tens of millions of crowns of financial damage each year.
In the Employer Branding & People Engagement category, Accenture was the most successful company with its Stronger Every Day mobile app, which aimed to help connect employees during the pandemic. For 5 weeks, people could participate in various sports, cultural or gourmet challenges and enjoy special rewards after completing them. In addition to connecting 266 colleagues and the 17,000 kilometres walked together, the company donated CZK 230,000 to four non-governmental charities as part of this programme.
In the Innovative Workplace & Remote Working Strategies category, CTP was awarded for its Brno-based co-working centre Clubco. The idea to build a modern high-tech co-working space as an alternative to traditional corporate offices was conceived in response to growing demand and as a complement to the portfolio alongside industrial and office parks. The result is Clubco in the centre of Brno, which on 4,000 m2 provides facilities for freelancers and entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized companies. These businesses are starting to offer co-working to their employees as part of new strategies in access to remote working, such as Flex & Core, which combines a smaller main office with membership in one or more co-working centres. The spaces were opened during the pandemic, which did not make their start any easier, but thanks to the wide range of membership options, they quickly became very popular in Brno.
The winner in the Value Creation category was Deutsche Telekom Services Europe Czech Republic for a project aimed at eliminating data silos and unifying data on the Salesforce Cloud platform to further streamline customer relationship management. The project included an app that summarizes all customer interactions and a transparent database with all IT apps operated by the company. The Key Account Manager is now able to save up to 3 hours per week that he used to spend searching for documents. The project has eliminated file sharing through different channels and replaced inefficient email communication with a single integrated platform. The newly implemented fully digital offer process is automatically managed by the system, including the e-signature process, allowing for more efficient acquisition of new customers.
In the Business Innovation category, Knorr-Bremse Services Europe was awarded for its project transforming the indirect purchasing operating model from nationally oriented to process-oriented, increasing the maturity of the department to the industry benchmark and preparing the department’s transformation to Purchase to Pay – merging with the accounts department. Knorr-Bremse, which provides indirect purchasing services for all Knorr-Bremse’s European locations, achieved a 23% increase in productivity by streamlining processes. The change in purchasing tactics resulted in a new negotiating team that achieved 88% more savings in 2021 than in 2020. Knorr-Bremse was supported in the project by Accenture.
Medtronic earned the second diamond in the Business Innovation category for its virtual assistant PABLO (Payroll Automation By Logical Optimization), which took over the manual agenda in monthly payroll processing across the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). The initiative was driven by the company’s Dutch payroll department, which worked with teams from Credit Services, IT and HR to create the solution. PABLO saved the five-person team 25 hours of work per month and significantly increased internal customer satisfaction. The pilot project was run in 10 company entities, and the solution is currently implemented in 25 entities and is expected to cover all 65 Medtronic entities in the future.