Sheldon Harris act as trusted advisors to Boards, Chief Executives and Senior Executive teams. The team comprises experienced, credible senior executives who counsel clients in Australia, Hong Kong and across SE Asia and Greater China.
They have taken the best of what they’ve learnt from their experience at other firms to create a truly differentiated service offering, underpinned by the Invenias cloudbased platform.
The founders have vast experience gained working in senior positions with leading international consulting firms. A key lesson learnt from working with database systems at previous firms was how vital it is to build the business on the right technology platform from the start. As an advocate of cloud technology in a previous role, Founding Partner, Andrew Harris, was a strong believer of the advantages that a cloud-based platform would give them when setting up the new business.
“I knew that a cloud-based system would offer us significant advantages in terms of costs and flexibility as we grew the firm, “ said Andrew. “The first thing I did was research to see if I could find a suitable cloud-based database that we could pay for on a per usage basis rather than incurring the costs of having to set up our own servers and IT staff.
Back in 2009, Andrew looked at the established executive search technology providers in the market, but felt that the technology they offered wasn’t truly cloudbased, and would therefore involve significant set up costs – something that he was keen to avoid in the early days of Sheldon Harris.
Having discounted other providers for offering outdated and clunky technology, Andrew came across Invenias and immediately liked what he saw. Despite Invenias being relatively unknown outside of Europe, he quickly decided that the easy to use, cloud-based technology offered meant that it was worth taking the risk of going with a new comer in the Australian market.
Six years later, this is a decision that he hasn’t regretted, “We were the first user of the Invenias platform in Australia and have been very strong advocates for the technology since day one. If I compare what my previous firms and others were spending on software systems we have experienced significant savings by choosing Invenias, whilst benefiting from the latest technology offered.”
The ability to get new users up and running very quickly and easily has been a major benefit to Sheldon Harris. With a regional footprint it’s essential that new consultants find it easy to realise the benefit of using Invenias without experiencing any delay.
“When a new consultant joins it’s incredibly easy to get them up and running very quickly and it’s easy to control as I have the ability to turn people on and off immediately.”
The licensing model means that new users can be added in no time and leavers can be disabled just as quickly. Invenias offers elastic pricing, which allows Sheldon Harris to easily align their costs up and down with their business staffing levels.
“Another huge benefit of a cloud-based platform in a small firm such as ours is the support for multiple devices. We can be in a client’s office, an airport or a coffee shop and still gain access to our information via whichever device our consultants are using at the time.”
An issue that Andrew was initially concerned about was security around their vital client and candidate data managed in the database. However, his concerns have been put to rest since using the system: “The security around our data is very good. The cloud-based platform has allowed us to build resilience and protection into the business.”
It wasn’t just the cost savings of the Invenias model that has convinced Andrew, but the fact that the technology is constantly evolving to offer best in breed. Andrew comments, “We’re not software developers so the other benefit of the Invenias cloud model is that we give our thoughts as part of the wider user group, and every three to six months we get a seamless download of updates, it’s all very easy. This has obvious cost advantages, as we get the functionality we need, we don’t have to develop it ourselves, but we can also be confident that we have the best technology that’s available in the market without having to go through complicated or expensive updates.“
Customer support is also a critical issue to Sheldon Harris, as Andrew says “It was one of the key things we thought about when making our selection. It’s extremely important to us as we can’t risk being without our core system. Fortunately we’ve never had to contact the Customer Success Team with any immediate pressing issues, but our questions around functionality and upgrades, are always responded to promptly.”
Using the cloud-based platform from Invenias has given Sheldon Harris the ability to reduce costs, manage technology risks and enable an agile and mobile workforce. As an early user of Invenias in Australia they have reaped the benefits expected and more. As Andrew Harris says: “Invenias allows us to better support our clients, to improve our efficiency and to drive our growth. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.”