Harbour IT helps futureproof Pepper with Azure and Office 365

Case study 2nd September, 2020

Harbour IT Pepper Money Digital Transformation Case Study Image

In today’s rapidly changing environment there are more shifts than ever before among digital technology, government regulation and the demands of customers. For the financial sector, this period of evolution has meant a reevaluation of what it takes to be truly successful.

Pepper, Australia’s leading alternative lender to banks, has made a significant impact on the market with a team of 750 employees throughout Australia and New Zealand tasked with producing a variety of lending solutions to “help people succeed.” To maintain its competitive advantage and meet the demands of evolving market conditions, Pepper undertook a large-scale transformation project of its information technology systems. This project was focused on the development of solutions to support its customers and employees alike.

The Case for Transformation

A key driver for the transformation was the reliance on a strong technology foundation. By focusing their energy on enhancing customer experiences and overall satisfaction, the team at Pepper has been able to automate their business processes. Without this enhancement, they would have been burdened with maintaining older technologies that fell short of their criteria for success.

Speaking of Pepper’s investment in the Microsoft ecosystem, Pepper’s CIO, Jeremy Francis, notes, “Over the last two years, working with Microsoft partner Harbour IT, Pepper has transitioned a significant portion of its workloads across to Azure, with ongoing work of leveraging further platform capabilities.” Pepper has utilised Software as a Service (SaaS) platform where appropriate but retained the ability to offer custom tailored solutions when necessary. By maintaining control of the technology environment, the organisation was able to reduce its reliance on third party providers in the areas where Pepper saw an opportunity to differentiate with technological capability.

Francis continues, “That’s led us to shift towards building our own proprietary applications where it makes sense, run those applications on platforms like Azure and be able to work in an agile way so that we can not only create that differentiation but do it in a really rapid way.” This setup helps the organisation maintain its advantage and offer unique solutions to real-world problems for its internal teams and user base.

Solutions Designed for the Real World

With back end infrastructure support from Harbour IT (part of Canon Business Services) and Microsoft, Pepper staff have had more available resources to dedicate in other areas that have a significant business impact. All of these solutions work together to meet Pepper’s objectives of rapid response, new opportunities that arise and the identification of new innovations to adapt to rapid industry change. The Pepper team has also found that a transition to Office 365 and the deployment of teams has contributed to their ability to more effectively communicate and collaborate with each other. Francis continues, “We’ve got employees who are happier to use the technology that we’re providing them.”

In the same way that the team’s internal processes and operations have been positively impacted by the transformation, the customer experience has been upleveled as well. This is due to access that the Pepper team has to critical data to support their customer interactions. To expand on their use of data, Pepper expects that its new cloud foundations will add additional flexibility and an ability to scale their technology platforms alongside its own growth trajectory.

A Collaborative Partnership

While the technology capabilities provided by Microsoft are expansive, having a trusted partner to serve in a role to understand how to make the most of it has been invaluable for Harbour IT. Speaking of Pepper’s relationship with Harbour IT, Francis notes, “The key thing that came out of expanding the Microsoft relationship was the realisation that we had a number of existing technologies that could also be provided by Microsoft. The more that we worked with Microsoft, the more we realised that we could get those same technologies; without having to spend additional money with other organisations. We’ve been able to see a lot of benefits across everything from security to productivity, and capabilities around collaboration and application development”.

The team at Pepper has been pleased with both the speed and quality of the technology that they are able to deploy and have also taken advantage of access to Microsoft’s “Azure Fridays,” a collaborative environment where Pepper IT professionals can learn more about Azure technology from experts. All of these pieces come together to accelerate innovation and meet the organisation’s needs across the entirety of their team. By offering support in this forum, all parties are able to receive encouragement and support within a community-based learning module.

Looking for a managed services partner for your digital transformation? Harbour IT is a leading managed IT services and professional solutions provider committed to exceptional customer service. Contact us today for a discussion about your business requirements or call 1300 785 926 to speak with an expert now.

Learn more about how we assisted Pepper Money in their journey to modernise the workplace by downloading our Customer Immersion Virtual Event recording here.

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