person sitting in forest with laptop

Forest Research: Finding success during the COVID-19 crisis using the cloud

Forest Research are new to the Unit4 family. And they picked a difficult time to undergo such transformation. But that hasn’t stopped them from reaping real benefits since beginning their digital transformation.

Who are Forest Research?

Forest Research are the UK’s principal provider of tree-related research. Internationally they are renowned for the research they do to support sustainable forestry and protecting habitats and biodiversity.

But their primary mission is protecting the UK's forests from a fast-growing number of threats, and action is needed. And to achieve this, they're rethinking how they tackle this problem and using technology to free people to focus on the work that matters most.

How’s the digital implementation gone?

In April, we partnered with Myriad Consulting to deliver a new finance, fixed assets, and HR solution for Forest Research. From the beginning, they embraced this new way of working, and since then, things have gone from strength to strength.

So recently, we spoke to Forest Research and Myriad Consulting at our global virtual event, X4U, to understand their transformation journey, the impact of COVID-19, and what they’ve achieved in the first 6 months since implementation began, including:

  • Eliminating most of their outdated systems
  • Creating a digital culture
  • Boosting staff adoption
  • Paying 99% of suppliers within 10 days
  • Increased reporting capabilities
  • Delivered real-time financial monitoring capabilities
Any issues?

Well, there was that one thing that happened this year. So the key question for Forest Research was: Could they have coped with the challenges COVID-19 using their previous systems?

The short answer was no. Without the cloud capabilities and new infrastructure we introduced, everyday work would have become impossible.

Their old system did not have the functionality and flex to transform their working model instantly, almost overnight. They wouldn’t have been able to sign off accounts remotely.

So attempting a financial year-end with an untested new system seemed like a smarter choice, and they’re glad they did. Their new Unit4 infrastructure lets them process requisitions, print and share data, and prepare financial statements. And it lets them do this remotely.

And this was just the beginning. You can hear the full story behind how Forest Research beat their COVID-19 challenges by watching the full discussion on-demand here.

Rafael Artacho

Rafael Artacho

Principal Product Manager

Platform and product agnostic services are Rafael’s main focus areas. He has been driving the release of Platforms like Unit4 Extension Kit and Unit4 Integration kit that are the foundation on which Unit4 envision innovation will be provided to customers going forward.

Rafael is passionate about Artificial Intelligence, cloud native solutions and customer experience and he is always looking to converge technology with business.