Forfront

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Forfront's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Forfront is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.forfront.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | FORFRONT
Ron Kellermann, managing
director
Working with clients
large and small
Since 1998, operating from the heart of Surrey, boutique
software house Forfront have been working to deliver
cutting-edge solutions to both public and private sector
clients. Not only does the company develop software solutions
for their clients, they have also developed market-leading email
automation solution e-shot™, which also has both private and
public sector customers managing their email marketing and
automation needs through the platform. On this matter and
others, managing director Ron Kellermann has more to say.
The first half of the story
e-shot™ is the jewel in Forfront’s crown. It is a user-friendly digital marketing
platform created to send professional, well-designed and consistent emails
alongside highly targeted, personalised and automated campaigns, with date-
driven correspondence and SMS messages. By now comprised of more than 500
customers and thousands of users, the platform has gone from strength to strength
since its launch in 2001.
e-shot™ was originally created for “Yahoo for Physicians”, then developed further
for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a secure alternative to
transfer medical guidelines to multiple recipients in a cost-effective and timely
manner, replacing their very expensive postal routine and saving hundreds of
thousands of pounds. More than ten years on, Wilmington Healthcare, one of
Forfront’s key clients, continue to successfully use e-shot™ to communicate with
medical professionals along with other NHS and local authority clients.
FACTS ABOUT
FORFRONT
»Managing director:
RonKellermann
»Established in 1998
»Based in Epsom, Surrey
»Services: Develop high-end
software solutions and run
e-shot™ digital marketing
platform
»No. of employees: 25
»No. of clients: 500
»No. of users:2,000
»Motto: “We make it simple”
www.e-shot.net
Forfront
27FORFRONT |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Over the years, e-shot™ has solidified
its place in the market as international
competitors have come on the scene.
Dedicated to its British heritage and
focusing on providing the best possible
service for UK customers, as well as
ensuring that data protection principles
and now GDPR are strictly adhered
to, e-shot™ and its dedicated support
team ensure all our customers receive
the best possible service.
Since its inception, e-shot™ has
been our pride and joy, and it has
grown and developed into a robust,
secure and highly sought-after
communication and engagement
platform. Dedication to simplicity, both
in terms of design and usability, has
driven us to create an intuitive, easy-to-
use system that puts the power in the
hands of our customers. Simplicity is at
the heart of what we do, whether we
are working on e-shot™ or bespoke
software projects.
Running two very different business
models in parallel has its challenges,
but also offers a significant benefit,
keeping our highly agile development
team at the top of their game.
I shared my vision as follows: “As a
boutique software developer, we have
the structure, organisation and process
akin to a major corporate service
provider, but we have the advantage
and ability to adapt, react and interact
more quickly and efficiently. We
are guided by our experience, not
governed by it. We can bring insight
without arrogance, partnering and
working collaboratively to deliver the
best possible outcome.”
Working for digital
transformation in the public
sector
As quoted in the government’s digital
transformation strategy: “The world
is changing rapidly and technology is
ever advancing. Government needs
to work in a modern, contemporary
way that responds to these changes,
and this transformation – to meet the
raised expectations of citizens – is at
the heart of redefining the relationship
between the citizen and the state.”
Transformation, however, is risky
and expensive, and can involve
and upheave every aspect of the
organisation, with evolution rather
than revolution often being a more
appealing option. Indeed, evolution
when working with a trustworthy
A small, highly skilled
and dedicated team
As a boutique
software
developer, we
can bring insight
without
arrogance,
partnering and
working
collaboratively
to deliver the
best possible
outcome
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | FORFRONT
partner like Forfront can have a
revolutionary and transformative
impact. All that is required is an
objective, experienced and critical eye
to see where this can be achieved with
minimal risk and minimal aggravation
for all involved. With so much focus
on efficiency and budgets continually
squeezed, low-risk, high-impact wins
are crucial.
Many departments don’t need to go
as far as a wholesale transformation;
there can be substantial benefits
from an “upgrade”, with increasing
focus on digital channels or increasing
efficiency by automation or upgrading
internal inefficient legacy systems.
As an example, a recent project
delivered to IC-ENC (International
Centre for Electronic Navigational
Charts, part of the UK Hydrographic
Offices, itself part of the Ministry of
Defence) has had a transformative
effect, improving security, decreasing
operational risk and saving one day per
week (20 per cent) in administrative
time. Through clear communication
and determined project management,
the disruption and disturbance
of producing a quality solution at
breakneck speed was minimised.
More recently, Forfront have joined the
Home Buying and Selling Technology
Working Group run by the Ministry
of Housing, Communities and Local
Government. This project offers
some innovation challenges such as a
blockchain-distributed ledger models,
digital signatures and digital ID. Forfront
also has years of experience in the UK
property industry, including: the design,
development and implementation of
the Council for Licensed Conveyancers’
internal and external systems; first4sale.
com, one of the first sell-it-yourself
portals (2004); and firsthips.com, the
comprehensive home-information-
pack digital portal, which included
a stakeholders messagecentre and
dashboard, as well as a complete
electronic creation ofHIPs.
Forfront joined both the G-Cloud
and DOS frameworks in 2015 and
are committed to playing an effective
role in the government’s digital
transformation. As I put it before, we
are committed to putting our skills and
experience to use in one of the most
challenging and worthwhile markets.
“For small companies like ours, the
government’s commitment to spend
£1 in every £3 presents a fantastic
opportunity. We genuinely believe our
skill in developing bespoke software
means we can create efficient, user-
friendly and cost-effective solutions
from the most unique and complex
of requirements, adding real value to
government departments – something
that we have successfully proved with
our work with IC-ENC.”
We are
committed to
putting our
skills and
experience to
use in one of
the most
challenging
and
worthwhile
markets
Working with
government, aiding
digital transformation

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from the prime minister.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister