A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Serversys'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 Serversys 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
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Serversys co-founder
Serversys are based in
Theale, Berkshire
Web portals are rapidly changing the relationship
between organisations and the people they serve.
Based in Reading, Serversys has been delivering web
portal solutions using Microsoft technologies since 1998 and is
an established leading Microsoft partner. Leveraging the power
of the cloud and Microsoft Dynamics, managing directors Stuart
Lawrence and Phil Catterall believe they can plan, implement
and support web portals that enable businesses to enhance the
experience that customers, partners and employees receive.
What are web portals?
As anyone with a messy desk will tell you, it’s important to have information, but
it’s just as important to be able to access it when you need it.
We live in an age of information, where server space is cheap and companies often
flood the internet with all kinds of data.
That’s the beauty ofweb portals – they cater to specific audiences and gather
information together in one place. They follow the process of human thought to
highlight relevant information to users quickly and easily. Utilising their power can
help restructure an organisation’s processes and encourage a digital transformation
to serve customers the way they want to be served.
Web portals are being utilised to great effect in many different spaces. Small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now deploying customer-focused portals, which
provide convenience and an easy communication channel. These portals provide
functionality for tracking support tickets and enable access to detailed knowledge
»Managing directors: Stuart
Lawrence and Phil Catterall
»Established in 1998
»Based in Abbey House, Theale,
Reading, Berkshire
»Services: CRM and web portal
»Leading Microsoft partner,
specialising in Dynamics 365
CRM solutions, including
implementation, consultancy,
training and support
»Proud to work with
organisations such as Toyota,
Mitie, Capita, Lloyds Bank,
bases to find answers quickly.
Previously, service queries would
require a dedicated customer service
team to manually respond, which is
inefficient, expensive and depends on
substantial human resources. Customer
portals save customers time, provide a
superior experience and improve the
business relationship. In addition, web
portals react to the shift in culture,
where customers often prefer using
interfaces to communicate rather than
speaking with a representative directly.
Customers expect instantaneous
resolutions, and organisations must
respond to remain competitive. Self-
service is the way forward.
The benefits of employee-centric web
portals are being examined by SMEs.
Successful implementations improve
company organisation and drive
innovation. They make life simpler
for human resource departments
who can post information on the
portal for employees to access at their
own convenience and target specific
groups within the workforce. It also
encourages employee engagement and
enables them to access documents and
projects remotely or learn about new
events and courses. This leads to the
creation of new ideas and, ultimately,
increased productivity.
Portals can be used for many purposes
within organisations across most
sectors. “Partnership portals” promote
better communication through sharing
company information, networking
tools and scheduling events. “Research
portals” enable subscribers to view
information securely and provide
real value in sectors such as financial
technology (fintech).
SMEs are increasingly turning to web
portals. Previously, this technology
was restricted to larger organisations
with the economies of scale to make
the investment profitable. However,
“out-of-the-box” pre-packaged portal
solutions are now being bundled
together with customer relationship
management (CRM) software. This
provides an attractive option for SMEs
with restricted capital and administration
resources. New portal technologies
have enabled smaller organisations
and their stakeholders to benefit and
undergo digital transformations.
Portals disseminate information at
a granular level. They are typically
connected to CRM or other back-office
systems and data can be represented
in a multitude of ways to end users.
CRM data can be applied to make sure
each user receives the correct access
and permissions. This can be tightly
controlled and customised, ensuring
that users can access the content for
which they have permission with just a
few clicks of a button.
We’re also witnessing deeper integration
between all back-office systems, to the
point where accountancy software,
web portals and CRM solutions can be
Portals enable positive
interactions between
organisations and
Self-service is
the way
Highlighting best practice
implemented on a single infrastructure.
This removes potential compatibility
issues, reduces infrastructure costs and
removes the need for data replication
across systems, which have traditionally
plagued organisations who want to
focus on key objectives.
Taking a wider view, the world is
changing due to technology advancing
exponentially. Tools that are now
available are significantly changing
cultures and the expectations people
have regarding the services they
use. People want the freedom to
communicate in different ways,
whether that is through live chat,
digital assistants, social media, phone
or email. They demand instantaneous
feedback and that issues be resolved
immediately. If an organisation fails to
deliver these requirements, they risk
providing a poor customer experience
and damaging their reputation. Portals
are an effective remedy to this problem,
given they provide all communication
channels in a centralsystem.
Serversys’ objectives
Our mission is to support organisations
and transform how they interface
with their stakeholders using new
technologies within the cloud. We aim
to continue demonstrating that our
Microsoft Dynamics 365 web portals
with powerful customisable tools can
be deployed in multiple sectors.
We’ve observed organisations in financial
services, facilities management and
automotive sectors trying to reshape
their operations for efficiency and
productivity. By centralising business-
level data and making it accessible
online, they can also provide this
functionality to stakeholders. Our portals
can be used to not only view information
but to book events, request repairs,
manage products and much more.
The information produced is custom-
made for the organisation, enabling
exceptional flexibility and control.
Organisations will ultimately provide
an improved service using web portals
as well as driving productivity. We
strongly believe that our web portal
solution delivers long-term benefits.
These services can be continuously
updated and modified to reflect the
business landscape.
Our philosophy is to align ourselves
with the organisations we partner.
We aim to understand the culture of
the organisation and will recognise its
business environment. This enables us
to develop a comprehensive plan to
deliver IT solutions with these factors
As Mark Hazelwood, operations
director for Miworld at Mitie, said:
“Serversys invested time in learning our
business, mapping every process and
getting to the heart of our operations.
They also shared with us best practice
recommendations that ultimately
helped to characterise our customer-
centric vision.”
Listening to the demands of our clients
has led to expanding our services to
offer ongoing support and training
long after the web portal launch. We
provide an all-encompassing solution
that enables our customers to realise
the full potential of web portals.
Our strategy helps to deliver digital
solutions that benefit everyone, raising
operational standards and enriching
the end-user experience.
invested time in
learning our
mapping every
process and
getting to the
heart of our
operations. They
also shared with
us best practice
that ultimately
helped to
characterise our
Mark Hazelwood,
operations director for
Miworld at Mitie
Portals empower
employees and access to
confidential information

This article was sponsored by Serversys. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

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

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

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