How this SA business is using the cloud to ensure business success during a pandemic


Focusing on digital helped ooba overcome the challenges of Covid-19.

At a time when businesses have found themselves facing rapidly evolving circumstances almost every month, one South African company has turned to the cloud to ensure business continuity, drive innovation and keep its team strength of more than 350 intact.  

Digital first approach

ooba, an online home loan quote comparison and application service, has been in business for over 20 years, and it prides itself in being able to help thousands of South Africans get better rates on their home loans.

When the pandemic hit at the start of last year,  ooba like many businesses was concerned about ensuring business continuity while keeping its staff safe. Luckily, as a future-forward business, ooba had already embarked on a digital first approach and was quick to adapt to rapidly changing business conditions.

Dominique d’Hotman, Chief Strategy Officer for ooba, explains, “ooba partnered with Oracle over a decade ago; as our business has grown, so has our relationship. Reimagining our business and the need to invest in cloud-enabled applications, leveraging their constant innovation and feature-rich development has enabled us to further enhance our engagement with not only our customers but our employees as well.”

“If ooba was only starting out on its digital transformation journey when the pandemic hit, it would have been much more difficult to adapt. This shouldn’t dishearten companies that haven’t invested as much in the cloud or other tech, but rather encourage them to prioritise this in 2021”, added Dominique.

Putting people first

Often, when companies are looking to implement tech to help make them more productive or more efficient, they focus on the bottom line instead of considering the people who make the bottom line possible.

Linda Roos, Head of Human Capital at ooba, describes how Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) has helped the company support its staff, which was one of their main concerns last year.

“We could never have predicted the times we are living through right now; Covid-19 has affected every industry and every individual, but we are fortunate that with cloud, we were able to provide our staff with access to crucial HR systems during a time of much uncertainty,” she explains. “We found that the transition to an online, cloud-enabled platform had a profound impact on staff as a consistent employee experience created a sense of certainty, transparency and security within the organisation.”

Building resilience through community

For businesses that are focused on building resilience, defining what’s next is a critical priority. Resiliency is not only built through technology adoption, but through the development of a resilient community. A key priority for ooba was to ensure that employees have access to critical HR systems at all times, no matter where they were located.

After migrating their on-premise HR system to the cloud, ooba’s staff can now use e-learning modules to make on-demand learning and general workflow advice accessible, anywhere and at any time.

This has helped deliver a seamless, integrated approach towards each employee through their entire career-span lifecycle within the company, from joining through to exiting – closing the gap between ooba’s consumer-facing and its employee-facing technology.

“This is an incredible example of how digital transformation can be used to increase employee morale, drive job satisfaction, and contribute to more than just revenue,” added Linda Roos.

At ooba, Oracle Cloud HCM is at the heart of providing continued access and support for remote workers while also safeguarding the safety and health of employees. A business’s workforce is its greatest asset and should remain its greatest concern. Especially now.

Linda Roos further suggested that “with employees scattered, the data collected and analytics generated by next-generation solutions becomes crucial to combat absenteeism, identify at-risk individual employees, and formulate a succession planning strategy across an entire organisation.”

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