This is a transcript of our interview with Giles Newman, Managing Director at Navex Global EMEA
You can watch the original video interview here
Boris: Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to our interview with Giles Newman. Giles is a managing director at Navex Global. Navex Global is the leader in integrated risk and compliance management solutions with over 14,000 customers around the world.
Giles, thank you for taking your time and coming to our virtual interview today.
Giles: My pleasure, indeed.
Boris: Giles, can you tell us a short story about Navex Global? Can you explain perhaps what Navex offers to the industry and how it differs from other risk software providers and what are some examples of your customers use case?
Giles: Sure, of course, thank you. What differentiates us is the broad spectrum of risk compliance and ethics solutions that we offer. So that’s really what we have, we position ourselves as what we offer in those three areas - risk, compliance and ethics.
As a result of that we’re able to offer a more holistic solution then some people can, in the sense that we can help you manage operational risk through policy management, we have training programs to teach people around risk and ethical issues. We have many, many hotlines, as you say, over 14,000 customers using us for a hotline provision around the globe.
The other thing is that we have a larger footprint than most. We have customers in over 60 countries or nearly 70 countries, in fact, around the world and they use our full-range of different solutions partly because we have such a broad and comprehensive capacity to deliver the content in local languages, something they’re reaching 200 languages are well within our norms talk for different things.
So that’s the sort of things we do. A typical customer will use us for policy management. They make sure that their policies can be viewed by all employees. Those employees can attest to them, they can have a cadence for updates and refreshing knowledge and attestation.
We have a broadened and comprehensive set of training programs, all in the risk and ethical and compliance management area and through to hotline provision where we can provide people with a safe and anonymous ability to report issues that they see, which they don’t believe is right. That is depressingly a very, very significant component of the world’s business that we operate in. I say depressingly because one would like to think that bad behavior and mis practice would be eradicated but it’s a long job and it’s not going to happen overnight.
Boris: The global pandemic of COVID-19 is unlike anything any of us has ever experienced, challenging us to operate in a new paradigm that is changing daily. Every business and its leaders are having to make moment-by-moment decisions to best deliver on the customer commitments while caring for employee well-being. What are the key things that companies should be focusing on as they reassess their risk management and compliance programs right now?
Giles: We’ve seen a number of different things, one is just simple basics around training.
People are operating from their homes, they don’t have some comprehensive set of firewalls to prevent viruses and other phishing attacks and other sorts of web attacks coming into their place of work. So they have to be doubly diligent in terms of making sure that they’re going to the right websites and they’re checking their emails carefully and that they don’t open things which they shouldn’t. So it’s just that much easier when you don’t have an in-house IT department to support you, you need that extra bit of effort and work there.
Getting guidance and rules out to your people is increasingly challenging. You can’t put a poster, you can’t leave things on people’s desks. You only have one vehicle which is to send it to people electronically.
You want to know that they’ve read it, you want to know that they’ve understood it and they might be changing really quickly. So as people want to emerge from lockdown, they’re going to be sending out information to their employees about how that might look, what that’s going to be, what sort of considerations you need to take into place and security matters, you need to think about.
So you really need to be absolutely sure that you’ve delivered that message safely and securely to every single employee and that they’re read it. I think the final one would probably be around managing risk and compliance programs remotely. It’s very often you need to go and to do a proper investigation and you need to go and do this for on-site visits and talk to people in person. That’s not possible in the current world. So learning a new way of doing investigations, for example, is probably something that customers and companies need to be thinking about.
Boris: Alright, thank you. Navex recently created a very comprehensive tool kit for risk and compliance managers related to COVID-19 containment that will help them stay the course during this time. Could you please elaborate more on this resource or others you might be working on?
Giles: Yes, of course, they were really proud of the ability that we had using the sort of the scale and experience of the business to be able to put so much resource out into the hands of the wider community, not just our customer base. We’ve taken a decision to publish a great deal of material which is available to everybody that might want to look at it. We started with a specialist website which we call Stronger Together and on there we have some discussions, webinars with people who have been experiencing some of the challenges of COVID-19 and managing to work their way through the different situations that brings about.
We’ve also put on a number of our training programs. So we have a series of things called “micro-learnings” and rather than try and take a financial advantage of the situation, we put these training programs up on the site for free. They cover things like workplace harassment which is obviously somewhat different, but it’s still happening. Cybersecurity - making sure that the social media sites are being used properly and appropriately and a number of other training programs. So we have that.
We also have some policy templates out there, some customers have provided some insights into how they’re working. So we feel that we’ve been able to provide a great deal of valuable information to the world in general.
We’ve also launched a number of new products. We have our flagship policy management product called PolicyTech. It’s sophisticated and takes some implementation. We’ve come up with a quick, fast to implement light version of that which comes in at a much affordable price point as well but it’s there specifically to allow customers to be able to communicate safely and securely and effectively with their employees and another stakeholders that they can be anything that differentiates it from a traditional email approach is that you know when someone’s read it, whether they’ve been able to read the whole document, you can ask them if that’s appropriate to attest to its content so that they can acknowledge that they’ve read and understood what you’re asking of them. So we’re pleased with that.
We’ve also very recently launched a conflict of interest disclosures to again, very much, it was in the product that was in the pipeline but we’ve accelerated it and broadened it out quicker because there are some interesting situations that arise out of a work from home environments and conflicts of interest. I’ve changed their form. So those are things.
The other thing that we have is Compliance Next. Compliance Next is a platform that we’re using for a long time and it’s a community of people that are interested in the risk and compliance and ethics world. Compliance Next has got a lot of rich selection of content up there which is available for people to use as they need. So those are the sort of three areas, one or two new products, some great content on both Stronger Together app which you can get to from an MX Global home website and also Compliance Next which you’ll find on a regular Google search. So those are the three things. We are incredibly proud of the fact that we’ve been able to provide that kind of leadership and information to people.
Boris: So you say it’s actually free for everyone or only for your customers?
Giles: Everybody. Stronger Together is free for everybody and anybody and we would encourage them to take advantage of it because if anything that we can do to help people going through these difficult times, we’re proud and pleased to be able to.
Boris: Fantastic. What should we expect from you guys in the future?
Giles: We, as I said, a leader in the space, I think you can continue to expect us that we’re going to look after our customers. We’re going to continue to support the community at large because the world is going to be forever changed and I feel that as a leader in space that we should continue to take a leadership role.
But from a customer perspective, from a product perspective, we invest a huge amount in our product lines, we’ve got new products to come which are going to be coming to market which I won’t tell you about today. That’s something that we would like to launch more completely. But do keep an eye on social channels. We have LinkedIn and you can subscribe to our mailing list.
But the most important thing is the program of innovation. We believe in innovating our products, we believe in innovating the content that we put into those products and we believe that it’s important that we continue to expand that holistic approach that we’ve taken.
So you know that we acquired the LockPath business about six months ago and that was there specifically to enable us to branch into broader areas of the overall risk management environment.
We have got ourselves a fantastic acquisition of former WhistleBee which is very easy to implement, faster to roll out, hotline provider so that we can provide smaller and medium-sized companies, in particular, the capacity to roll out a hotline to their staff very quickly. We see that employees themselves, rather than employers are demanding that they have an environment where they speak up culture is built within the DNA of the company that they work for.
So anything that we can do to help companies respond to that and give their employees what they’re looking for is great.
You’ll see us moving into other areas over the coming years. We have a long and exciting plan of growth into different spec areas and also as we expand our international footprint, as I mentioned earlier, we already have customers in 60 countries and we’d like to see that international presence grow as risk compliance and ethics becomes a global thing as opposed to something which is more concentrated in some countries, not all.
Boris: The last question, Giles. Can you give us perhaps some tips how we at Global Risk Community can contribute to the process of a better understanding of this complex world of risk?
Giles: Well, firstly, I think you should carry on doing as you do, the ability to your efforts to sort of bring together members of the community and talk about what they’re doing and sharing some best practices is a fantastic starting point.
I would love you to feel that you can use and access and promote both Compliance Next and Stronger Together. Those are practical environments where people can go.
I think the financial benefits and the business imperatives of having a really good risk compliance and ethics environment is something which I think more and more people are coming to understand but another thing that you can do to help share with the wider world that’s actually, it makes good business sense to have good ethics and having a good hotline and to have your employees trained in compliance matters and to have strong policies and ability to manage those because your company works better, your business grows better and your employees are more engaged.
You might be aware that somewhat research was done by George Washington University last year and I actually found a strong correlation between people who have implemented hotlines which is an indicator of the sort of the ethical approach of the company might have and their financial performance. There’s more of, you know, a positive variance in terms of return on investment for companies that provide really good speak up, clean, well behaved cultures. So I would encourage you to continue to promote that area as well and I thank you for everything that you’re doing to help keep compliance, risk and ethics on the global agenda because now more than ever, I think it’s becoming critical as we enter a whole new paradigm.
Boris: Thank you very much for your interview and for your time. I wish you great success in all your undertakings. I believe that our audience will find this interview very useful.
Giles: Thank you very much for your time as well, Boris. It’s been great to talk to you.