Seize the Day – Opening New Frontiers for a Leading Professional Services Company

Client: EY
Objective:Create a self-directed online learning platform for SMEs
Solution:Bespoke digital product design using an open source technology stack
The Challenge

EY is known globally for its world-class consulting service, helping business owners re-imagine their organizations and embrace change. SMEs represented an underserved market for EY, but entering this market would be a challenge. EY needed to deliver its consultancy expertise without a heavily customised offering, but via a self-service online platform that didn’t need human intervention.

EY knew it wanted the platform to leverage its consulting process — including the gap analysis typical of a standard engagement — but this had never before been captured in a digital format. Following a competitive tender, EY chose NearForm to develop the platform. Alex Collins, Director of EY Virtual Advisor, explains that NearForm’s rapid iteration process quickly brought the EY team’s focus onto the needs of the end customer.

NearForm was instrumental in helping us focus on design-led product development. And that’s an achievement: getting a group of consultants, who love to give you an answer, to look at the bigger picture of what we needed to achieve, create a clear vision and work out what it was we really needed.

Alex Collins, Director of EY Virtual Advisor, EY

The Response

Brought from initial workshops to Minimum Viable Product in just five months, the EYVA consultant-in-your-pocket service successfully uses EY’s proven consulting methodology, all captured within an easy-to-use digital service.

Instead of putting something like an Excel sheet online, NearForm helped us capture that information and integrate it into EYVA to produce an online report, so business owners can answer key questions themselves. The technologies NearForm uses – Node.js and Open Source, microservices – are where we see the future. Working with a company who’s right at the heart of these technologies leaves us well-positioned to make the most of them.

Alex Collins, Director of EY Virtual Advisor, EY

The Results

Businesses in the Middle East and North Africa were the first to use EYVA, with very positive results. A further engagement with NearForm is underway as EY moves to expand its range of EYVA products, with NearForm again at the heart of the development.

One business owner, a very successful design business in the region, told me that EYVA got her thinking about the ‘customer journey’ for the first time. She did the online assessment and then used the template EYVA suggested, which led to a fruitful session with her team. This is exactly what we were hoping for. EYVA really pushes boundaries of how we offer consulting services: it opens the potential for us to service clients in a fully digital manner. This achievement absolutely couldn’t have happened without NearForm

Alex Collins, Director of EY Virtual Advisor, EY

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