Business Hilights
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Sterling Bank, US software group, Freshworks to grow tailored service offerings

Freshworks Inc., a leading US-based provider of cloud-based business software, recently announced its partnership with Nigeria’s prestigious Sterling Bank Plc as a client.

Being a technology pioneer in Nigeria, Sterling Bank realized the importance of upgrading its current IT service desk to a modern, robust, cloud-based platform to empower its employees and also enhance the business efficiency of its technology teams.

The 2014 CIO imperative pushed the Bank to align with industry best practices and comply with the CBN IT roadmap for financial institutions in Nigeria. The Bank found its current IT platform incapable of fulfilling some of the critical requirements stipulated by the ISO 20000-1 standard. The legacy platform was also insufficient in supporting some of the bank’s strategic goals around digitization and implementing IT as a Service (ITaaS).

After a successful proof-of-concept of Freshservice, Freshworks’ flagship IT service desk solution, Sterling Bank transitioned to the modern, efficient, ITIL-aligned service desk to power its technology teams to realize strategic organizational goals while improving operational productivity and overall business efficiency.

Business Hilights gathered that Freshworks provides organizations of all sizes with SaaS solutions that make it easy for customer support, sales and marketing professionals to communicate effectively with customers for better service while also collaborating with team members to resolve customer issues.

The company’s products include Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshsales, Freshcaller, Freshteam, Freshchat and Freshmarketer. Founded in October 2010, Freshworks Inc., is backed by Accel, Tiger Global Management, CapitalG and Sequoia Capital India. Freshworks’ headquarters are located in San Bruno, Calif., with global offices in India, UK, Australia and Germany.

The company’s cloud-based suite is widely used by over 150,000 businesses around the world including the NHS, Honda, Rightmove, Hugo Boss, Citizens Advice, Toshiba and Cisco.

Though efforts to confirm if the deal passed the National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA) local content and integrity tests, experts say the new partnership will favour Sterling Bank especially now banking competition has shifted to the strength of digital products and service delivery using technology.

In his remarks on the deal, Director for Middle East & Africa at Freshworks, Arihant Jain said “Africa is a very strategic market for Freshworks,” adding that “The opening of this new market is an important milestone for us, as it demonstrates our expanding commitment to Africa and further strengthens Freshworks’ position as a leading provider of business software”.

“The combination of our industry-leading software solutions along with an already strong customer base in the region will allow us to partner with more African businesses as every company in this region is looking for innovative solutions to improve their customer and employee experience.”

Besides, with focused plans to expand into the African market, Freshworks is increasing its commitments to the region with additional investments in marketing, sales and partnerships to better serve the growing customer base.

In his views, Olayinka Oni, Chief Information Officer of Sterling Bank averred that “We were very impressed with the way Freshworks presented its service desk features, backed with business benefits from an end-user point of view”.

He said “At the end of the POC, we realized that Freshservice was a perfect fit to meet all our organizational needs and goals. We are delighted to be partnering with a market-winning platform to modernize our internal processes and enable us to derive the most value from this tool”.

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