The Kuberno co-founders have been busy building our new technology solution over the last 12 months or so, and we will be able to unveil all in the not-too-distant future. Many people have asked me what we are building and I found that I did not have the terminology to describe what our solution was – probably because there is nothing else like it on the market.
So what are we building...
At its core it will manage entity data – but it is not just a legal entity management system. We are looking at technology from a very different perspective: using a design thinking approach we are creating a human centred solution. We are identifying all major stakeholders and looking at how, when and where people need to interact with the data and the system and how this impacts their work on a daily basis.
Stakeholders in relation to legal entities are far wider than just the Secretariat team members tasked with managing legal entities. I lost count of the times that the phrase “Golden Source of Truth” was bandied about at Lloyds Banking Group while talking about legal entities. Subsidiaries below the top operating companies can often be overlooked, and yet every legal entity will have tax and financial matters to manage, some may be regulated both by home regulators and abroad, others may have employees, many are likely to have contractual relationships with external parties. The issue faced by anyone managing subsidiary entities is that a lot of entity level information is held in silos as the systems being employed by Tax, Finance, Legal, Risk and HR are fragmented and unlikely to be linked to any entity management system operated by the Secretariat function.
We often hear the term “single customer view” as being the holy grail of optimising customer interactions – both from the customer’s perspective and from the invaluable insights the business can gain from joined up data on a single customer from across multiple business divisions, Sales, Marketing, IT functionality, operational interactions, finance and so on. One of the most successful enabling platforms for creating the single customer view is Salesforce. Salesforce describes itself as “.. the first in the cloud computing space to dream up a business model built on partnership. We recognised that our success hinged on building a vibrant ecosystem.”
Creating a single entity view
The vision behind our platform is to create a single entity view – the golden source of truth about each entity. However, there is little use in having such a golden source if it is inaccessible to the people that need it, in the format and place that they need it – which invariably means the systems that they use for their specific purposes. This is where partnerships come in – we have built our solution on an API first basis so that we can partner with other innovative and leading technology companies whose systems can utilise legal entity data, such as Contract Management systems, Risk and Compliance systems and Financial management solutions.
We are not just a powerful database. Our core expertise is in entity management and therefore we are building entity management functionality. This is where using a human centred approach really comes in. We have looked at the different roles in relation to entity management within the whole Secretariat function – from the Group Company Secretary to the Team administrator - to understand the different needs and pain points. Through carrying out user insight sessions with a range of FTSE 100 and 250 companies, we have built an understanding of how legal entity management tools can really help all members of Secretariat teams.
As an API first system, the days of endless data entry into wizards is largely over for routine tasks as data can be pre-populated either from Companies House or from the internal database. Being an API first system also means that our system is designed to integrate with other governance systems such as Board Portals, Insider Management solutions and even RNS providers. If you want to integrate with a preferred supplier of another related governance solution – our answer will be YES – as long as your existing supplier is willing and able to do so to!
Kuberno is created on the premise that we can be better together – that our “whole” is far more than the sum of our parts – be that our Governance Gym™ consultancy or our technology. It is therefore natural that we are building a platform through which our clients and partners can benefit from collaboration and healthy competition to create innovative solutions to governance challenges.
So how do we define our governance technology? Our vision is to create an entity governance ecosystem around our entity governance platform.
What is an ecosystem
I have looked at how similar systems and approaches are defined, and the most common term is “ecosystem” as in the description used by Salesforce. There are many definitions of ecosystems but the definition provided in the paper from the Deloitte Business Trends series Deloitte University Press: Business ecosystems come of age resonates most strongly and I set it out in the diagram below:
Central to all business ecosystems are community, collaboration and competition – as such one player cannot create an “ecosystem” even if they have a group of complimentary products although the term is often used in marketing materials. A “platform” is a powerful type of ecosystem which, while typically created by a single business, is deliberately designed to attract the engagement of many other participants and hence create an ecosystem.
Partners within the ecosystem can share innovation, collaborate, lower costs and improve the customer experience by working together so that the whole is substantially better than the sum of the parts.
By building our entity governance platform, we can break down silos of, sometimes inconsistent, data on entities and in doing so we can help both our customers and those of our partners in terms of:
accuracy and consistency of data
easy access to and interrogation of the data
management of most entity related activities from one intuitive interface which reduces time and risk
So just Imagine...
Imagine there’s no data silos,
it isn’t hard to do,
no switching between systems,
no inconsistent data too,
imagine all the stakeholders,
working seamlessly together....
you may say I am a dreamer,
but I am not the only one,
I hope some day you will join us,
and we can work as one.
(with apologies to John Lennon)
To find out more about our Entity Governance platform, contact the team: email@example.com