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The first few months of 2022 have been as busy as ever here at Wattle HQ.

Since January, we’ve welcomed new clients, taken on talented new team members and gone live with some
really exciting projects! Read on for some of our highlights from the year so far.

New client: Institute of Export & International Trade  

In line with their ambitious five-year strategy to be a leading stakeholder and partner in delivering an export-led recovery, the Institute is in the midst of a large transformational programme to implement a joined-up, digital-first strategy, rethinking the way the organisation presents itself to the world.  

We’ll be working with them to replace their existing website, portal and CRM with MemEx, our membership experience platform for the membership sector.  

New client: National Counselling Society 

The NCS was first set up in 1999 by a group of counsellors, psychotherapists, hypnotherapists and psychologists. They play an important role within the profession of counselling in the UK and were one of the first organisations to gain Accredited Register status. 

We’re excited to be working with them as they merge to become the National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society (NCPS) and replace their existing CMS and CRM with MemEx to improve their digital processes including automating applications to give admin staff far greater system flexibility. 

New client: Soil Association 

We’re working with fellow Bristol-based organisation the Soil Association on two website build projects for their Innovative Farmers and COOL FOOD Pro Carbon Reduction programmes.  

The Innovative Farmers website will be the to go place for practical, free information on sustainable farming techniques. We’ll be leading the discovery phase and user experience (UX) research, during which we’ll identify key conversions and user journeys relating to personas and make recommendations of the best information architecture (IA).   

Meanwhile, the COOL FOOD Pro Carbon Reduction programme will be a multilingual Umbraco CMS website with associated Member Portal for participating French and UK Caterers and seamless integration into the Carbon Calculator Web App Tool. 

Simon Givens, Head of Information Technology at the Soil Association has said about our partnership so far: "[It’s been] great working with you guys. Outstanding engagement and great focus on successful and inclusive delivery. We are looking forward to our ongoing relationship." 

New project: CIMSPA – ReTrain to Retain 

At the end of last year, we launched a new ReTrain to Retain website for the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). This was the result of an initiative led by Sport England designed to support everyone working or volunteering in sport and physical activity navigate the disruption caused by the COVID pandemic.  

ReTrain to Retain aims to support 50,000 sport and physical activity professionals and volunteers who had to find work outside the sector or had their hours reduced during the pandemic. The website was developed predominantly for those working in an area of economic deprivation, supporting under-represented groups or self-employed people and small businesses. 

The Umbraco website we built integrated with CIMSPA's Learning Management Portal (Brightspace) and featured single sign-on (SSO) for users. SSO is an authentication method that enables users to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites by using just one set of credentials, so they move seamlessly between two different platforms. 

Another part of this project involved integrating a Deprivation Index with the ReTrain to Retain application form. We developed functionality that checked a database of 2.2 million locations in the UK for the subsidy value an applicant may be entitled to for their selected training package.  

CIMSPA are undergoing a complete digital platform rebooting across the organisation to create a reliable digital infrastructure for the future. We're currently working with them to replace their existing Candidate Management System with MemEx in order to reduce the manual workload for their team. 

Look out for more updates on this coming soon.  

New project: Education and Training Foundation – Customer Voice 

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is the workforce development body for the Further Education and Training sector. Their role is to design, develop and deliver continuous professional development (CPD) for teachers, leaders and trainers to support government policy and meet sector needs.  

ETF need to conduct surveys, primarily satisfaction surveys targeted at course attendees. They’d previously been using Survey Monkey, which was judged unfit for purpose by the Department of Education (DoE), due to potential data protection issues. They were looking to move the survey capability to a new application, Customer Voice, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 app that empowers organisations to collect and understand omnichannel feedback at scale to build better customer experiences.  

We worked with ETF to develop a DoE compliant survey that enhanced their existing capability with additional functionality that allows for multiple survey types. This went live at the end of March and we've since received great feedback from the client. 

“Thank you for your work on this!” said Emma Dickinson, Senior Systems and Data Manager. “The form and process look great.” 

New project: Royal Academy of Engineering – Enterprise Hub 

The Royal Academy of Engineering's (RAE) Enterprise Hub team’s mission is to increase the number and quality of high-growth engineering and technology companies that solve some of society’s most pressing challenges. They’re driving a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and success among engineers in the UK, and creating more jobs and economic growth. They currently make limited use of the Academy’s existing CRM system and, instead, are reliant on a set of Excel spreadsheets to manage mentees and mentors and to deliver key business processes.   

They approached us to help them move onto Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM with fully automated end to end business processes and enhanced reporting with a particular focus on Contact activity that allows them a holistic view of Contacts and their specific activities.  

Our Discovery project defined a detailed understanding of the team’s business process and functional requirements along with a CRM specification that met the team’s immediate needs to enable of ‘lift and shift’ from Excel to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.  

We also formalised a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) set of CRM requirements to enable the team to move onto RAE’s D365 CRM with fully automated end to end business process. 

New team members 

With new clients coming on board and several new projects in the pipeline, we’ve needed to grow our team to keep up! Since the start of the year, we’ve welcomed aboard new Senior Software Developers along with:

It’s great to see the team growing and we’re enjoying our lunches together on our office days! 

Jamie Mitchell, Katt Johnson, Liam Tullberg and Jenna Wilson are the latest additions to the Wattle team.

Self-managing teams 

Along with adding to the Wattle team, we’ve also improved how we work, creating self-managing teams to better serve the needs of both business and individuals. What does this mean exactly? Well, we believe that people do their best work when they’re part of a team that has autonomy, so we empower small teams to define their own schedules, priorities, and objectives within a flat politics-free structure. 

A Wattle team has a cross-disciplined skill set and comprises software developers, CRM consultants, delivery managers and QA consultants. Each team has a delivery manager with ultimate responsibility for scheduling, but a flat structure to organise and cooperate in a way in which the team sees fit to best achieve results. 

You can find out more about how our teams operate – and more about how we work in general – in our new handbook. 


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