ActiveOps


Founded 2005 | HQ Reading, UK and Dallas (TX), US | 190 employees | $28M revenue (approx.)

ActiveOps provides a viable, sophisticated, and timely platform to bring some order and insight into remote working situations. What ActiveOps adds to existing process and task-mining technologies is “manageable context” – a system managers can use to oversee and guide performance and work in decentralized work environments.


The Company

ActiveOps, a provider of management process automation software, was founded in London in 2005 and is now headquartered in Reading, UK, with US headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since March 2021. Current CEO Richard Jeffery was one of the company’s founders. ActiveOps received growth funding from Calculus Capital in 2014, and the firm also acquired digital operations management firm OpenConnect Inc. in 2019. Today ActiveOps has around $28 million in revenue and 190 employees.

The Technology

ActiveOps aims to provide a data-centric approach to performance and capacity management. The company extracts process- and task-related data and delivers a product via a UI that enables forecasting, planning, and optimization; this product provides insight into the effectiveness of existing management processes and offers improved, automated, best-practice alternative processes to implement.

At the heart of its operations is a methodology called AOM (Active Operations Management). AOM delivers a framework to define and configure standards and targets and to control, maintain, and improve work performance. To be clear, AOM is not a technology function; instead, it is the methodology (embedded into the software) that users of ActiveOps learn in order to use ActiveOps effectively. In our estimation, AOM is a positive differentiator for the firm, as it provides its customers with a well-tested methodology/framework to follow.

From a technology perspective, ActiveOps consists of four key products:

  • ControliQ
  • WorkiQ
  • OpsIndex
  • CaseworkiQ

A glance at the names indicates how closely the technology is tied to the AOM methodology that is designed to improve workforce analytics and work-related performance management. But how does it work? In simple terms, ActiveOps provides integrations to existing business applications such as Pega, ServiceNow, or Salesforce, then aggregates this data in the cloud (Azure) and runs analytics against it to provide real-time and historical insights. That’s similar to other process- and task-mining tools; where ActiveOps differentiates itself is in the structure, detail, and usability of its analytics. This comes through the use, in part, of its “Collector,” which adds values (costs) as well as HR information such as which role/team did the work to the equation of captured task activities. Analyzing this data helps the user understand which team is doing well, and where and when resources/capacity can be reallocated. In other words, it provides insight into how much time is taken to complete an activity and how that work translates into measurable productivity.

That ActiveOps integrates with HR systems to identify workers and groups is not a unique differentiator, though it does enhance and bring granularity to its analysis. Where ActiveOps really differs, as noted above, is that it uses this activity and personnel-related data to optimize the deployment of resources through forecasting and capacity planning.

WorkiQ provides good user desktop activity analytics and is similar to other task-mining products. The ControliQ product goes further, offering a dashboard system to manage, forecast, and plan back-office work activities rather than just providing a snapshot of what is happening (see Figure 1). Similarly, the OpsIndex (which runs alongside the iQ products) provides performance benchmarking functionality such as that needed to score departmental or group performance, for example.
CaseWorkiQ is the most interesting product, in our estimation. It includes capacity management, audit, benchmarking, and performance analysis for use in casework situations. Casework-style work is typically more complex than most regular business processes, requiring multiple different yet coordinated and often parallel staged work activities. Though the slowest and most laborious processes to complete, they are often also the most regulated.

ActiveOps, then, is a management process automation (MPA) platform; a means to automate or augment management operations. Rather than being a platform to identify and eliminate human tasks via robotic automation, ActiveOps identifies performance variabilities across distributed working environments. Put another way, it is a platform that enables people to manage people through data insights, something which has become increasingly tricky across remote and hybrid workforces – balancing people, work activities, and capacity management into a single environment. In practice, managers can identify not just available resources, but also resources with the right skills and time availability to fill gaps, and reassign them to more critical work. And to subsequently manage their performance and adjust accordingly, ActiveOps claims that in using its products, a customer typically gets around 20% more capacity.

In summary, ActiveOps provides a management platform that bridges processes and tasks, locations, humans, and bots to provide the ability to measure and visualize work. It also provides functionality to compare one business function with another or one team with another to optimize outcomes and to manage work capacity and availability.

Figure 1
ControliQ Dashboard

Our Opinion

Few, if any, large businesses have truly grasped or addressed the full implications of remote working. Most commonly, they are applying management procedures that worked when everyone was in a single place or handful of locations. ActiveOps, though not initially designed for remote working, provides a viable, sophisticated, and timely platform to bring some order and insight into such situations.

Advice to Buyers

Process- and task-mining tools are bringing huge value to the world of automation; what ActiveOps adds to this technology mix is “manageable context” – a system managers can use to oversee and guide performance and work in decentralized work environments. If you are a midsize to large organization struggling to apply traditional supervision and management models to deal with service level agreement and capacity planning in a hybrid and ever-shifting work world, then ActiveOps is well worth checking out.


SOAR Analysis

Strengths

  • Well-tested and established product set
  • Experienced leadership team

Aspirations

  • Expand into more regulated, case-related work
  • Add more ML & AI features to increase the product’s automation

Opportunities

  • Bridge the gap between HR and performance management
  • Automate skills and work management

Results

  • Blue chip customer base including AIG, TD Bank, DXC, and National Australia Bank (NAB)
  • Strong reseller partnership with Microsoft

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