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Board Beyond 2024: A Recap from London

We were thrilled to be part of Board Beyond in London this year, soaking up the innovative ideas and strategies shared by Board's leadership. The event was a perfect opportunity for our team to network with customers, other implementation partners, and Board's own employees to gain valuable insights to bring back to our own organisation. From engaging panel discussions to interactive workshops, we left feeling inspired and motivated to take our business to the next level.

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Were you unable to attend? We've got a recap here of what we saw at Board Beyond.



The morning was jam packed with events on the future of the Board application, insights from women in leadership roles in tech and finance, and an informational discussion on Microsoft's Copilot AI.


The view from the balcony!

In the opening keynote and future of the platform sessions, we learned more on Board 14. Set to launch on 19 April, the update has strong potential in many realms, though we're most excited about its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) functionality. Board 14 will also offer the inclusion of flex grid capabilities, with functionality similar to Excelm though with increased features and power. This upgrade is seamlessly integrated within the Board platform, ensuring a smooth transition for current users.

In addition to the exciting release of Board 14, User Insights is also on the horizon, providing valuable data and analytics to help users make informed decisions within the Board ecosystem. With the ability to create guides on various applications within Board, users can navigate the platform effortlessly without the need for extensive manuals.

Furthermore, the upcoming Board Spotlight feature will showcase the future features and developments of Board, giving users a sneak peek into what's to come. This feature will have a limited rollout audience, so stay tuned for more updates!

This preview generated excitement among the audience, and sets the stage for even more innovation and growth within the platform.


Women in Tech Panel Discussion

The panel discussion on women in leadership roles in tech and finance was one of the highlights of the day. The panelists have senior roles at People's Partnership, Reiss, and Burberry. These accomplished women shared their personal career journeys, highlighting the challenges they faced and the strategies they employed to succeed in male-dominated industries like finance, IT, and software. Their insights shed light on the importance of creating a work culture that values and promotes female leadership, inspiring us to consider how we can attract and retain more women in these fields.

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Burberry, in particular, stood out for its innovative approach to showcasing career pathways and opportunities to attract top female talent. By providing mentorship programs, leadership development initiatives, and flexible work arrangements, Burberry has successfully created a supportive environment that encourages women to thrive in their careers. Their emphasis on diversity and inclusion serves as a model for other organizations looking to build a more gender-balanced workforce.

As we left the session, we were left pondering important questions about how we can actively promote gender diversity in our own workplace. How can we create a more inclusive environment that attracts and retains women in key roles? What steps can we take to break down barriers and stereotypes in industries traditionally dominated by men? The panel discussion served as a catalyst for reflection and action, motivating us to champion diversity and empower women in our own organization.

Gavin Fallon, the moderator from Board, had insightful questions for the panelists, and even provided some insight of his own into hacking the Instagram algorithim to help the app send you more content from potential female role models!


A history of Artificial Intelligence, and an overview of Microsoft's Copilot AI

During the presentation from Microsoft, we heard about the realm of Artificial Intelligence and its transformative impact on the future of work. While we began with an overview of the history of AI - did you know this concept has been around since the 1950s? - the spotlight was on Microsoft's groundbreaking Copilot AI, a cutting-edge technology poised to revolutionize how we approach tasks and projects. Through a captivating running shoe branding example, we witnessed how this new consumer product was brought to life with the assistance of generative AI, including materials, cost analysis, branding, with just three hours of work with Copilot.

Screenshot 2024-03-21 at 17.46.23As we explored the history of AI and its evolution, we gained valuable insights into the rapid adoption of generative AI and its potential to reshape industries across the board. The session provided a comprehensive overview of how Copilot, coupled with Microsoft's expertise, is driving a paradigm shift in how we work, collaborate, and innovate. It was truly eye-opening to see the immense potential of AI in transforming the way we approach tasks and problem-solving, setting the stage for a future where technology seamlessly integrates into our daily workflows.

The implication is, of course, how Board will respond to the opportunities of generative AI? We're looking forward to seeing how the application develops to revitalise the world of FP&A.


After lunch, we broke out into different sections for different parts of the Board application. There were choices from a developer session, to Board's capabilities in Retail and Finance, though your author attended the session on Sales and Operating Planning.


An overview of Board's Sales and Operating Planning capabilities, with a watchmaking customer story

The case study presented by one of our fellow Board Beyond sponsors delved into the intricacies of a Swiss watchmaker's manufacturing processes and how Board played a pivotal role in enhancing their precision. By transitioning from a mix of enterprise-grade and proprietary systems to a streamlined approach using Board and SAP, the manufacturing firm was able to optimize their operational planning efficiency, even with the complexities of managing thousands of (quite literally) moving parts.

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Furthermore, during the discussion on the challenges facing modern business planning, we explored key factors such as lead time, evolving consumer habits, supply chain disruptions, and the impact of geopolitical events. These considerations highlighted the need for agile and adaptive planning strategies in today's fast-paced business landscape, where flexibility and responsiveness are essential for success. By addressing these challenges head-on, businesses can proactively navigate uncertainties and drive sustainable growth in a dynamic market environment.



The presentation on the supply chain module by Board's technical team was extremely informative. They expertly navigated a demo of the application, delving into crucial points that highlighted the importance of having all supply chain assumptions consolidated and aligned. They raised thought-provoking questions about the uncertainty of the future, questioning if 2024 will be a typical year or if unpredictability is the new norm. Emphasizing the need for agility in responding to change, the team showcased how end-to-end planning is a significant advantage of the Board platform.

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Furthermore, the discussion on the impact of integrating supply chain data into finance operations shed light on how this integration can lead to minimal adjustments at the top line, focusing on the finer details that drive business decisions. Strategies to enhance Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) were explored, with a clear goal of making plans more dynamic and adaptable to market shifts. The team also highlighted the effectiveness of using dashboards for visualization and analysis, underscoring Board's flexibility in offering both bottom-up and top-down perspectives on data.

Overall, this session provided valuable insights into the intricate workings of supply chain management within the Board platform, showcasing the platform's capabilities in streamlining processes and enhancing decision-making. It was a testament to Board's commitment to innovation and efficiency in empowering businesses to optimize their operations.

Integrated Business Planning - the contemporary way to run a business

The last session of the day was hosted by Oliver Wight, where Les Brookes, a Partner at the firm, took the stage to delve into the realm of Integrated Business Planning (IBP). Drawing parallels with the navigation app Waze, Brookes illustrated how uncertainties in our personal lives can be compared to the unpredictable nature of industries. By leveraging Board's advanced capabilities, businesses can proactively anticipate and mitigate risks, paving the way for strategic decision-making in an ever-changing landscape.

Brookes elaborated on the value proposition of IBP, emphasizing its role in driving alignment across various functions within an organization. Through a comprehensive demo by Board, attendees were given a firsthand look at how IBP can streamline processes, optimize resource allocation, and enhance overall operational efficiency. The session left participants with a deeper understanding of how Integrated Business Planning can revolutionize the way businesses strategize, plan, and adapt to dynamic market conditions, ultimately leading to sustained growth and success.

Screenshot 2024-03-22 at 16.14.14Our team at the event!

As we made our way back to the third floor for the networking reception, the soft glow of the sun peeking out from behind the fluffy clouds created a picturesque backdrop for the event. The room was abuzz with energy as attendees mingled and exchanged ideas over glasses of sparkling wine, setting the stage for meaningful connections to be forged.

Amongst the crowd, we had the pleasure of reuniting with familiar faces - Board employees and loyal customers alike - sparking conversations that reignited old friendships and fostered new ones. The atmosphere was one of camaraderie and collaboration, as we shared insights, experiences, and visions for the future of the platform. It was a moment of connection and community, where like-minded individuals came together to celebrate innovation and progress in the tech and finance industries.


We hope to see you at future Board events! Our team is hard at work on several more events in the coming months, including a webinar with insights into the world of ESG reporting and how it can impact your business. Want to stay in the loop? Register your interest with the form below!