The storm solution helped NHS 111 London to cope with a 500 per cent increase in demand last year
Scalability is one of the most common challenges public sector organisations face in normal times; in the middle of a pandemic, demand could quickly overwhelm supply. We talked to Robert Mansfield, CTO at UK IT Industry Awards finalist Content Guru, about how the company delivers speed and scale.
Computing: What is Content Guru all about?
Robert Mansfield: Content Guru was established in 2005, predicting the emergence of what are today called ‘cloud services'. Content Guru offers omni-channel communications services from the cloud through storm®. Storm offers virtually limitless scalability, unmatched integration capabilities and industry-leading AI. Content Guru ensures contact centres and customer engagement hubs meet the needs of every user, seamlessly. We have deployed storm in mission-critical applications across Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific, in sectors ranging from finance and healthcare through to government and utilities. Customers relying on storm include Sodexo, Chubb, Rakuten, Serco and NHS 111.
CTG: What makes you different from other technology companies?
RM: We design and deliver our software product using an iterative agile methodology, an approach we have progressively applied to all aspects of our business to ensure flexibility. Speed of execution has also been key during the COVID-19 crisis, and we have moved to spin up new services and new customers, often at a very large scale. To manage this, it has been vital to break new requirements down into easily-delivered stages. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) goes live quickly, to be followed by a series of sprints that deliver the rest of the customer's wish list. This simple-sounding approach has enabled us to bring new customers into operation during the lockdown, with critical new communications services, in days rather than weeks or months.
CTG: What is your proudest company achievement of the last 12 months?
RM: I'm most proud to be part of Content Guru's work in support of UK health and care organisations coping with unprecedented pandemic demand amidst difficult and fast-changing conditions. Content Guru's storm solution enabled NHS 111 London to scale instantly, handling an increase in call volumes of up to 500 per cent as the pandemic hit the capital. Content Guru went on to develop the innovative storm LINKTM On-Demand Video Consultation service for HUC, the provider of NHS 111 telephone and GP out-of-hours services for over 3.3 million people in the East of England. Storm LINK enables HUC's clinicians to conduct instant consultations via video, without the need for patients to make appointments or install mobile applications.
CTG: What are you working on this year?
RM: We've been working on improvements for our CRM system, storm CKS®. In a post-pandemic world where employees are distributed and customer loyalty is essential for the success of any public or private sector business, leveraging this data is key. Storm CKS (Customer Knowledge System) converges cost-effective CRM, Case Management and Ticketing capabilities into a single environment, creating consistency across all of your data and delivering a 360° view of an organisation's customers. CKS runs on Content Guru's storm cloud contact centre solution, and is deployed in mission-critical sectors such as healthcare and government, to manage large quantities of critical data and deliver consistency across information pulled from multiple distinct sources and from every channel of communication.
CTG: Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?
RM: The long-established and highly prestigious UK IT awards, which are known colloquially as 'Britain's IT Oscars', celebrate the contributions of individuals, organisations and technologies in the use, development and deployment of IT. It is more important than ever to recognise the impact that the IT industry has had during the pandemic by digitally transforming organisations to enable them to cope with new and unforeseen challenges.