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.forfront.com
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