Our Solutions

Human Skills for a Digital workplace

How to make sense of people, work tasks and manage business objectives in an online world
– Article by Pieter Nel

Looking back at my career of more than 30 years, I’ve found it interesting to reflect on which skills I have acquired and which skills I had to learn the hard way by making mistake after mistake.
My first qualification after matric was to obtain a B.SC degree in mathematics, followed by an Honours degree and then a few others. These however were all ‘hard skills’, especially from a mathematical perspective. It was the same during my IT career… Can you create a pivot table? Can you write a Macro? Can you program? Can you optimise a database?

Then my career suddenly progressed into a management role and then into an executive role. I was a terrible manager. I could not figure out why people could not just be like me. For a mathematician everything must be logical and there must be a simple reasoning process.

My first encounter with Softskills came many years later, when at age 37, I attended a Softskills training course for the first time in my career. Ironically, by this time I had already delivered several leadership training sessions to staff members. I thought that if I could figure out how to prove a complex mathematical theorem, I should easily figure out Softskills. This was a tremendous misconception on my part. Sadly, this may be a mistake made by many other leaders too.

The development of essential Human Skills for the workplace allows people to relate to one another with authenticity, compassion and empathy to form deeper connections, serving to build a strong foundation for innovation, adaptive thinking and collaboration in the workplace. Crucial ingredients for any organisation to grow.

In these times we live in right now, where evolving workplace arrangements have amplified the issue of how we relate to each other in the workplace, managers are faced with the dilemma of “How am I supposed to lead in a virtual world and how do I trust that my staff members are all equipped to know how to do their work in this virtual environment we work and live in?”.

If you are a leader where logic is key, then it’s important to be mindful that the attitude of “just get over yourself, we have work to do” – could injure your business and damage employee morale.

It is evident that employees have been truly impacted by this virtual world and some have lost their sense of belonging, leading to subsequent mental health problems. Some feel disengaged, others feel burnout due to not knowing when to switch off from work, and new hires feel disconnected from their teams.

I recently watched Simon Sinek’s YouTube video on the topic of why he hates the term “Softskills” as it creates the impression that these skills are somehow less important than ‘hard skills’. And I have to give him credit – We face a huge lack of Human Skills; the stuff that makes us better humans.

Work ‘norms’ are forever changed, and these challenges are likely to remain. As a learning organisation, here at Altron People Solutions, we have therefore decided to lean forward on this matter by creating a new range of training courses to develop Human Skills for the digital workspace. Content will include topics such as Critical Thinking, Crisis Management, Knowledge Management, Creative Thinking, Conflict Resolution, Active Listening, Negotiation Skills, Delegation skills, Process Improvement and many more

If I allow my mathematical brain to take over, then the key question when developing any training content, is how will we know if it is effective? A hard skill is rather simple – y+y = 2y, either right or wrong. However, when we develop training content for Human skills, it will only be successful if we see a change in behaviour. In our new offering we will therefore end every course with no more than five critical aspects that we want delegates to put into practice.

The course content will comprise of assessments that will provide insights on whether the delegate has tried the exercises, are they working, and most importantly what does the delegate feel they still require to achieve the desired outcome. This will be followed up by an hour session with a training group to provide feedback on the results obtained in this analysis.

Aside from the scheduled training workshops, we also offer organisations a comprehensive consultative process through our client engagement model (image below). This allows us to work with organisations to identify specific areas of concern in their business, unpacking the requirements and then tailor-making solutions to address those specific concerns.

As a leader, how are you working to develop Human Skills across your teams? In this digital age, it becomes even more important for individuals to be supported in developing these skills allowing businesses to succeed and thrive.

If you are interested in finding out
more about this, please contact

Rae-Ann.Toerien@altron.com

Upskill with AWS until the end of December 2021 from 10% to 15% less

If you book and attend any of the below courses during September and October 2021 you will receive a 10% discount, excluding exam vouchers.

If you book and attend any of the below courses during November and December 2021 you will receive a 15% discount, excluding exam vouchers.

These training sessions are all safely delivered via our practical and engaging VILT (Virtual Instructor-Led Training) solution. Our VILT training simulates our quality classroom learning experience – you can see, hear and engage with the Instructor in real-time, all from the comfort of your own space.

Terms and Conditions:
1. Courses must be booked and attended in September and October 2021 for 10% discount

2. Courses must be booked and attended in November and December 2021 for 15% discount

3. Exam vouchers are excluded from this promotion

For more information, contact: asanda.mbali@altron.com

Why Cybersecurity

A single email can lead to a multi-million-dollar breach in seconds, and the employee responsible may not even be aware of their mistake.

The problem is that many end users are not aware of the dangers accompanying today’s most common cybersecurity threats, much less how to detect them. CyberSAFE™ will enable your employees to identify the most common risks involved in using conventional, mobile, and cloud technologies, as well as how to protect themselves and your organization from cyber threats.

Compliance

Cyber awareness training is no longer a nice-to have for organisations. With thousands of laws across the globe, and monetary penalties on the rise, organisations are now requiring their staff receive cyber awareness training annually. Studies show that implementing a company-wide cyber awareness training program can reduce incidents by up to 70%. In addition, organizations who complete voluntary cyber awareness programs can submit to reduce cybersecurity insurance premiums.

Readiness Assessment

Measure your organisation’s level of preparedness against cyber threats with our complimentary CyberSAFE Readiness Assessment. This tool was designed to measure knowledge of how to detect and avoid imminent cyber threats. You will receive a free report including staff members readiness results.

3.86M

Average cost of a data breach

Average cost per period 148
IMB 2018

148

92%

Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations Report, email is responsible for 92 percent of malware

Think

Empower decision makers, executives, and project managers to lead, design, and put emerging technology into practice.

For more information. contact us: jose.martins@altron.com

Are you looking for solutions to virtually enable your employees?

Many organisations have resorted to having employees work from home which also means that they can be trained from home, or anywhere else for that matter.

Altron People Solutions has a variety of virtual enablement solutions to ensure that users can perform optimally from anywhere.

With our integrated change management learning tool, Altron People Solutions provides intelligent user assistant enablement across various applications with offline and offsite training capabilities.

Our In-app Coaching (Guided Learning) facilitates seamless software adoption by simplifying User Experience and ensuring optimal proficiency for the user. This will ensure increased ROI on software investment.

As a supplementary to virtual classroom training, we can offer a Digital Adoption Platform on a variety of applications.

Through our Digital Adoption Platform, our virtual coach is available 24hrs 7 days a week, at your convenience.

At your leisure, training can now be delivered on any application through contextual and On-Demand enablement.

As a valued client, we are offering you an exclusive

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY DEAL

to experience our innovative solutions.

Click on the link below to get access a 14-day trial licence.

Complete your details and you will receive a separate e-mail with a username and password.

For further information, contact
sen_support@Altron.com

Altron People Solutions creates jobs for 300 previously unemployed youths

Altron People Solutions recently employed 300 unemployed youth, which was made possible by a recently won bid which serves to provide support, assistance and information to millions of South Africans

“The national lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified some critical disasters in South Africa – poverty and unemployment. One of our goals at Altron People Solutions is to bridge the unemployment gap, especially among the youth, and provide them with sustainable employment opportunities,” says Priscilla Rampathi, Altron People Solutions Managing Director.

“We were awarded this bid through our ability to demonstrate how innovation and technology can improve and transform the customer experience for the client. For us, the challenge was not merely in winning the bid but in ensuring that we make a sustainable impact, not only for the people we employed but also for the organisation represented. Winning this deal is a testament of our track record in offering our clients, both in SA and further afield, sustainable bespoke contact centre solutions and our standing as a business. Our ability to rapidly scale up, recruit and train 300 agents and go live within 3 weeks, whilst ensuring that we are Covid-19 compliant was a major factor in us being successful in securing this deal.” shares Rampathi.

The client has a major service delivery mandate to millions of South Africans every month and the contact centre aims to provide much-needed relief as it will respond to crucial customer queries and provide vital assistance and support. Customers can access the contact centre from the comfort of their own home without the need to stand in long queues to get help.

Currently, customers experience restricted services and long queues at the client’s regional offices. Through LivePerson’s Conversational AI platform (that seamlessly connects customers in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Web Messaging and other popular messaging channels), we will reach more customers in their channels of choice; create convenient, personalised conversations and provide customer query resolutions in real-time.

She explained that recruitment and training focused on individuals who understood the sensitivities and complexities of working in the organisation’s environment. “We actively looked for empathetic individuals who will put the customer first. People who exude kindness, compassion, patience and willingness to serve the people.

“Our people-centric approach to business and technology played a huge role in ensuring that we provide the client with scalable and efficient results. The fact that we have empowered 300 individuals and possibly more in the future will allow us to further train and develop skillsets for contact centres of the future.

Training process and methodology

The training programme was designed over a three-day training period. The classroom-based training included both theory and practical application that unpacked the entire product offerings and process training. The Agents learnt about COVID-19 awareness, company and campaign induction training and the POPI Act. The soft skills training covered customer service, Attitude is Everything, communication, voice and email etiquette. There was on-the-floor support, live coaching and one-on-one coaching.

The training was structured across three new contact centre agent intakes of 100 agents per intake with two dedicated trainers and two coaches allocated to the project. The floor space was divided into two sections that accommodated 50 trainees per section. Each workstation was set-up with COVID-19 protective screens between each workstation that afforded each trainee protection during the training process. Each training section had one trainer and one coach that conducted the training with 50 trainees allocated to each training section.

What does the future hold?

We will continue to invest in the bridging the unemployment gap in the market. We currently have funding for 50 Agents employed in this project to enrol in an NQF3 level contact centre learnership programme. This will ensure that they are certified and have access to further opportunities within Altron People Solutions or in the job market.

“We hope that customers will embrace the digital technologies offered by our contact centres. This is one of the most innovative ways of making a defined difference in the lives of South Africans,” Rampathi concludes.

Demystifying WhatsApp business

Altron People Solutions and LivePerson are proud to host this event where you’ll hear directly from the experts on how to best leverage WhatsApp for your brand’s needs.

For the first time in South Africa, the WhatsApp family will demystify the tools at your disposal — like the WhatsApp Business API — and share why in 2021, now more than ever, you need to meet your customers where they are.

With 100 Billion messages sent daily by its 2 Billion user global customer base, it’s clear that WhatsApp is a strong channel to connect with consumers. To support commerce, new WhatsApp Business features are rolling out too, full of promise for digital marketing, sales, and care initiatives — an increasingly important element for brands as the pandemic has accelerated both adoption of and demand for digital experiences.

Then you’ll learn how to future-proof your engagement strategy by using LivePerson’s Conversational AI to create hyper-personalized experiences, at scale, to nurture and grow B2C relationships, increase agent efficiency 2x, and increase revenue by 1.5x

Guest Speakers:

Gareth Bray

WhatsApp

Partnerships and Business Development

Samantha Rosendorff

LivePerson

Global Enterprise Solutions and Go To Market

Darryl Marcus

Altron People Solutions

Business Development

Date:

Wednesday,
3rd March 2021

Time:

11:00 SAST

Save your spot for the upcoming webinar

A warm welcome back

As I step into my new role as Managing Director of Altron People Solutions, I’d like to reflect on the past year, the lessons we learned and our optimism for this new year.

2020 was undoubtedly a historic year that tested us in ways we could never have imagined. And while it’s clear the pandemic still has a firm grip on our country, Altron People Solutions enters 2021 with a strong sense of hope.

Hope in science, medicine, and technology. Hope in our country’s ability to fight this invisible foe and hope in each of us who have not only weathered this immense storm but have done so while continuing to serve our business and you, our customers in remarkable ways.

I, personally, have to note the recent improvement in performance across the business. The pandemic continues to produce uncertainty, stress and trauma in our world and, by now, we have all been impacted by this virus in one way or another. Despite the challenges we are all facing every day, this is also a time that has brought out the best in our people. I am so proud of the deep commitment and unwavering solidarity I have witnessed in our people.

This commitment was evident when we won three major deals, SASSA, Sasfin and Samsung. As you can imagine, winning these illustrious clients towards the end of 2020 was not only an affirmation of our expertise but of our renewed commitment in delivering bespoke customer solutions.

We also made an impact in the international arena of cybersecurity certification, education, training, and services when we were awarded the 2020 EC-Council Accredited Training Centre (ATC) of the Year award. This is one of the most prestigious awards within EC-Council and the cybersecurity community. Winners are selected from a list of over 2380 training partners in 145 countries worldwide.

To top this off, we continue to attract the best talent in our various industries, which is a true testament to the work we have done to establish Altron People Solutions as a values-driven organisation and an employer of choice.

I do not doubt that 2021 will come with a litany of challenges for our business but we remain ready to tackle them head-on. We are working on strengthening our COVID-19 response efforts and practices to ensure our employees and their families are safe. Part of our effort includes enhanced contact tracing and compliance with the Disaster Management Act and reporting requirements to the National Institute of Occupational Health.

Our number one priority has always been the safety of our employees. We will continue to introduce processes that assist in keeping our environment compliant and reduce the risk of infection. Aside from the rigorous cleaning, monitoring, increased social distancing and remote working, we will also be introducing an online screening app which will reduce the need to manually complete COVID-19 questionnaires at the entrance and help speed up the arrival screening process.

Altron People Solutions is a 25-year-old company that has weathered good times, bad times and everything in-between. With determination and the willingness to work together, I know we will find a wealth of opportunities for positive change.

By cultivating openness, integrity, passion and belonging, we can innovate, transform, and grow. We can deliver innovative and effective digital transformation solutions. We can delight our customers and we can help to bridge the unemployment gap.

We have bold plans for 2021 and the continued partnership with our clients will ensure that Altron People Solutions continues to be a better place to work and a preferred partner for digital transformation solutions. Together, we can make 2021 a better year.

Altron People Solutions to empower organisations to do virtual business with virtual businesses through the Virtual Business Academy

When South Africa and the rest of the world went into lockdown, it was clear for organisations that they had to reinforce the way they work and do business. Crucial to the current situation was realising that having remote employees and policies in addition to technology was going to be the solution to keep the doors open.

However, working remote may be isolated now and then with nobody nearby that you can immediately ask help. Also, some employees will not openly admit to needing help to finish a task nor reach out if they have issues with technology compared to a conventional office setting. On the opposite hand, employers face the dilemma of how to successfully support remote working and ensure business continuity through increased productivity and effectivity.

It is against this backdrop that Altron People Solutions recently launched the Virtual Business Academy, a strategic programme geared toward providing key tools and skills to transform employees into the Virtual Business World. The programme modules include communication, collaboration, customer culture, safe online and employee culture delivered via our innovative Virtual Instructor-led Training platform that enables employees to attend the sessions in the comfort and safety of their own home.

“The best trait for a remote employee is discipline. Not a lot of us can handle working from home. There are many things on the go and that we easily get distracted, slack off, etc. Your employees must be able to get on with tasks without the watchful eye of managers and coworkers. This type of accountability is not for everyone and therefore, the Academy equips employees with the tools and attitude to be disciplined enough to do their work regardless of the obstacles they may face,” says Pieter Nel, Executive: Digital Adoption Learning Solutions.

“The Academy allows employees to grasp skills such as punctuality and responsibility and not being afraid to admit that you need help for a given task. Since remote working makes it harder to manage someone, the person must show a powerful commitment to a task. With revenue being a crucial factor for organisations, we equip employees with the tools to learn how to create engaging and successful sales presentations virtually to potential customers.”

Remote working can bring many benefits to either side, but it takes a special set of skills to have a successful remote employee that contributes to your organisation. The Academy emphasises that organisations reinvent the employee culture to ensure that remote working doesn’t compromise overall business professionalism and productivity by upskilling employees and managers to do virtual business with virtual businesses.

For employee culture, the programme focuses on managing the change, coaching and mentoring, delivering internal training virtually, emotional intelligence, employee wellness, facilitation skills, goal setting and virtual leadership skills.

“Remote employees must be organised and mature. They need to work well without a lot of supervision and be able to complete projects by assigned deadlines. It also runs on effective communication, without it, teams lose two important components of success: collaboration and efficiency,” says Dinah Coetzer, Virtual Business Academy Project Manager.

Remote employees are not as accessible as the rest of your day-to-day employees. Without a manager there to push them and watch to make sure they are working, it can be difficult for those without the proper work mindset to keep them on task.

“A good remote employee has to be inherently self-directed – someone who does best setting their own deadlines, working times, and goals, given feedback from others. They have to be

conscientious, able to manage their own time and focused on attaining goals and delivering great work instead of doing the bare minimum. The most effective remote employees are independent-minded problem solvers. When questions come up their first instinct is to come up with a solution on their own. They’ll maintain detailed notes of their activities to allow others to understand the status of their projects,” adds Coetzer.

Let Altron People Solutions help you upskill your employees and managers to do virtual business with virtual businesses today. Contact Dinah Coetzer to sign up now:
Dinah.Coetzer@altron.com or book a course: https://www.altronbps.co.za/introducing-our-new-virtual

Altron People Solutions partners with LivePerson to deliver AI-powered messaging for better customer experiences

16 November 2020, JOHANNESBURG – Altron People Solutions, a subsidiary of JSE-listed technology company Altron, was recently named as a Preferred Partner of LivePerson, a global leader in Conversational AI. The partnership will deliver AI-driven conversational experience solutions to the South African market and help companies pivot their businesses away from traditional voice-based channels to digital messaging channels.

“The Altron People Solutions-LivePerson partnership is setting the bar when it comes to conversational experiences. South African brands can now leverage AI-powered bots to answer consumer messages alongside human customer service employees; we refer to this the Human-AI Tango,” says Darryl Marcus, head of business development and CX enabling technologies.

“The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the speed of digitalisation for our customers. They have had to adopt several initiatives such as new business models and new ways of working to mitigate this extraordinary occurrence. There is a greater need now for our customers to leverage automation together with human experts to fulfil users’ intents, allowing for easy scalability, higher efficiency and increased customer satisfaction.”

LivePerson’s industry-leading platform, the Conversational Cloud – a software platform that allows companies to build automation and manage AI-powered consumer conversations over popular messaging channels including WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, SMS, Apple Business Chat, Google RCS, Google Business Messages, LINE, WeChat, and native messaging on websites and mobile apps.

Brands using LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud have seen results including:

  • Higher qualified leads that are 2.5x more likely to convert to sales
  • Up to 20% increases in average order value and online sales conversions
  • Labour costs reduced by 50%
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores increased by up to 20%
  • 50% decreases in agent attrition

“The strategic partnership with Altron People Solutions will benefit South African consumers with the efficiency of messaging. Brands will benefit from direct, high-value relationships with their customers, which they’ll own forever right within the same conversation thread where they first connected,” says Andrew Lezon, vice president of global partners at LivePerson.

LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud now also provides Social Messaging and Email Connect, through which companies can manage the massive volume of email, social mentions and direct messages they receive in the same conversational platform they use to manage messaging channels like Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook Messenger and more.

“Altron People Solutions is redefining the customer experience as we all know it with digital engagement, messaging and AI-driven automation. This partnership will help companies not only offer customer interactions across today’s most popular messaging channels but also turn their contact centres into digitally-enabled customer experience hubs and deliver high-impact, personalised customer experiences at scale with messaging and AI,” he adds.

For more information on our conversational AI solutions, contact Darryl Marcus, Head: Business Development and CX Enabling Technologies on Darryl.marcus@altron.com

Build your Microsoft Skills and Certifications with Altron People Solutions

Build your Microsoft Skills and Certifications with Altron People Solutions

Altron People Solutions offers exciting upcoming Azure courses in the months of November & December 2020

These training programmes will be delivered via our Virtual Instructor-Led Training solutions. This platform allows you to see, hear, interact and ask questions in real-time, all from the comfort of your own space.

Available Courses:

Implementing an Azure Data Solution

R6 500.00

Duration: 3 days
Preparing for exam: DP-200
Date: 9 – 11 November

Designing an Azure Data Solution

R4 700.00

Duration: 2 days
Preparing for exam: DP-201
Date: 12 – 13 November

Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps solutions

R10 500.00

Duration: 5 days
Preparing for exam: AZ-400
Date: 9 – 13 November

Analyzing Data with Power BI

R9 500.00

Duration: 4 days
Preparing for exam: DA-100
Date: 16 – 19 November

Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

R10 500.00

Duration: 5 days
Preparing for exam: AZ-204
Date: 16 – 20 November

Microsoft Azure Administrator

R8 500.00

Duration: 3 days
Preparing for exam: AZ-104
Date: 16 – 19 November

Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution

R6 500.00

Duration: 3 days
Preparing for exam: AI-100
Date: 23 – 25 November

Microsoft Azure Architect Design

R9 500.00

Duration: 4 days
Preparing for exam: AZ-304
Date: 23 – 26 November

Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure

R6 500.00

Duration: 3 days
Preparing for exam: DP-100
Date: 23 – 25 November

Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

R9 000.00

Duration: 4 days
Preparing for exam: AZ-500
Date: 30 November – 3 December

Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure

R9 00.00

Duration: 4 days
Preparing for exam: DP-300
Date: 07 – 09 December

Microsoft Azure Administrator

R8 500.00

Duration: 4 days
Preparing for exam: AZ-104
Date: 07 – 10 December

Microsoft Azure Architect Design

R9 000.00

Duration: 4 days
Preparing for exam: AZ-304
Date: 01 – 04 December

Learn more about our other Microsoft Offerings:

Azure Certification poster
Download the Microsoft Azure certification poster
*Attached to your mail for ease of reference

D365 Certification Poster
Download the D365 certification poster
*Attached to your mail for ease of reference

Microsoft role-based roadmap
Get to know all microsoft role-based courses by downloading the full guide

Microsoft role-based roadmap
Get to know all microsoft role-based courses by downloading the full guide

To book your space now or to find out more about our Courses:
Surita du Plessis
Surita.duplessis@altron.com for more information