Mar 11, 2021

Zendesk + StashAway: Scaling support in a conversational era

William Girling
3 min
Zendesk + StashAway: Scaling support in a conversational era
Wendy Johnstone, SVP & COO APAC, discusses trends in APAC finance, new customer expectations, and why messaging is the future of customer experience...

“The Asian finance industry is currently seeing unprecedented changes: digital disruption, shifting customer expectations, and obviously the very challenging economic environment presented by the pandemic,” says Wendy Johnstone, SVP & COO APAC, Zendesk, in reference to the company’s recently released Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2021. “Customers have stepped back, re-examined what their priorities are, and adopted new behaviours. They want to connect in a more convenient, conversational, and personal way with brands, and that's really been driven by messaging.”

A leading provider of customer service software, Zendesk’s mission has always been to democratise customer service software to help foster better customer relationships. Johnstone joined the company in May 2020 following a long career working at some of the world’s largest tech brands, “I love the transformational impact that technology can have on not just our companies, but also on our lives.” Passionate about helping companies embrace digital adoption, she has been driving operational excellence across the APAC region, connecting with customers and understanding the key areas for market growth.  

It’s an important mission, particularly at such a turbulent time of change in the finance industry and socio-economic upheaval. In such an environment, it’s vital to understand where the wind of prevailing customer sentiment is blowing, and that’s exactly what Zendesk has been helping StashAway to do. “We started working with StashAway back in 2017, when it was looking to improve both its customer engagement and its customer service agent efficiency. StashAway wanted a solution that could scale as the company itself grew,” Johnstone explains. The digital wealth management platform subsequently adopted a host of Zendesk’s solutions, including email support, help centre, knowledge management, analytics, reporting and more. 

“We’ve helped StashAway deliver the world-class omnichannel customer experience they’re known for,” continues Johnstone. “Customers can use a variety of channels and with a completely unified view, StashAway’s agents don't need to waste precious time manually synching customer data across disconnected systems,” a useful capability, particularly as the company continues its expansion into new markets like the Middle East, Thailand and Malaysia.  

Linking back to the findings of Zendesk’s CX Trends 2021 report, Johnstone noted that “messaging has very quickly become the preferred channel for customers to engage with businesses,” drawn by its convenient, fast and personal nature. StashAway was among the first to deploy Zendesk’s WhatsApp integration when it was launched, and doing so enabled the company to dramatically reduce their first response time to just 30 minutes - significantly lower than the industry benchmark of 24 hours. Shortly following its introduction, she relates that it has quickly become a strong customer favourite. 

StashAway’s focus on its customers and view of CX as a strategic differentiator has placed it in good standing to address the changing needs of its customers. “It’s a fantastic partner of ours and the relationship has really grown and deepened over the years. A big reason for this has to do with the team,” Johnstone concludes. “StashAway is a digital native, and these are the organisations who we see disrupting the norm and driving the transformation in financial services. It’s taking a very open minded approach to trying lots of new initiatives; Zendesk is very honored to be StashAway’s partner and support its growth.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT

3 min
Erez Yarkoni, Global VP, explains how a three-way partnership between Check Point, HOOPP, and Microsoft is yielding optimum cloud security

Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.

“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.

Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:

  • Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
  • CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
  • Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data


However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”

In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies. 

The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help. 

“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”

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