With the changing landscape of governance – increasing regulation, greater accountability and an escalating focus on efficiency – more and more boards are adopting software to improve their meetings, governance activities and security. Exponant has brought a Board Pack solution to the market, which is revolutionising the way board meetings are managed today.
We have partnered with Meeting Decisions to bring this market leader in board packs to South Africa.
Meeting Decisions is revolutionising meetings by paying deliberate attention to meeting culture so that with their solution, our meetings default to directed, productive and results-driven because clients are armed with the right intention and the right tools. Exponant chose Meeting Decisions because they have built a tool that empowers leaders to drive a successful meeting culture in their organisations.
A board portal, sometimes referred to as governance software, provides a secure, collaborative, online platform for board members and facilitates access to board documents online via a web browser. It incorporates features that support board communication and decision-making, leading to improved governance by increasing transparency and reducing bureaucracy.
At Exponant, we realised that the process of creating and distributing paper meeting packs is laborious for administrators and the meeting packs themselves are heavy and inconvenient for board members to handle. However, with our Microsoft-based Meeting Decision board portal, multiple processes can be streamlined, reducing time and costs.
When considering our board pack solution, we will take the journey with you by asking you the following important questions:
- Is your data hosting location important to you? It’s always a good idea to know exactly where your cloud servers are located. Data may be susceptible to different laws depending on which country it’s stored in. For example, data hosted in South Africa is protected by the POPI Act and cloud hosting in the UK is underpinned by the GDPR.
- Do you need very high levels of security? Board materials are usually highly sensitive; security should be one of your top considerations. Exponant will ensure that the data is encrypted. For system users to access information, there should be stringent password requirements. We will also ensure that your portal requires login credentials at regular intervals rather than staying permanently logged in, just in case the device is lost or stolen. We will check that it is ‘penetration tested’, which means we will ensure the system cannot be accessed by anyone who shouldn’t have access to it.
- What kind of accessibility do you need? It’s a good idea to determine how your board is going to access your new board portal. If board members are planning to use laptops, then most portals will allow access via web browser. However, if they opt for the more popular option of accessing it via a tablet, it’s important to ensure the portal you select makes an app for the specific tablet you intend to use.
- What usability experience are you looking for? Your board members are likely to have different levels of technological experience. Selecting our portal with its easy to use, intuitive interface will make transitioning to a board portal a simple task for your entire board and increase adoption.
- What support do you require? Exponant offers 24/7 support. As the board portal you select will likely be with you long-term, you’ll also benefit from Exponant’s strong, dedicated support team that you will feel confident and comfortable engaging with.
- Which functionality do you need? Some features are standard in the Meeting Decisions portal solution, and some Exponant will customise for you. Here are some examples of these features:
- The ability to freely annotate meeting papers using multiple tools, including freehand drawing, highlighters and post-it notes;
- Take notes against the agenda and compile minutes at the end of meetings;
- Store all board documents online, in a central location, for easy access at all times. More sophisticated organisations have document and records management systems, which we can align with the file plan, and document management processes from record keeping to disposal;
- Create a PDF of meeting papers that can be exported or printed;
- Anytime, anywhere access to papers, sync documents so that you can view them offline for a limited amount of time;
- Voting Decisions need no longer be restricted to meetings; pose questions and vote right from your portal;
- Create and assign tasks with reminders to members of the board;
- Easily control user permissions for access to boards and committees; and
- Control who has access to which files within board meetings, particularly useful if you’re hosting a guest who you may not want to see certain documents.
Exponant has many years of selecting and configuring the correct Microsoft solutions for our clients and our Meeting Decisions board pack is just one of them.