Technology Record - Issue 23: Winter 21/22

154 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om When we launched in 2019, Akari’s team knew it could challenge the status quo and become a new type of Microsoft partner – one that centres on diversity and inclusion. At the time, less than 11 per cent of adults with autism were in full-time paid employment and less than 20 per cent of young people with autism were finishing further education. Akari wanted to do more, to challenge the system and improve these statistics. Akari knew that if we were to build a company with accessibility at its core, we would need our solutions to be inclusive by design. Not only would they need to address business needs, but also support digital inclusion to enable anyone to use the technology anywhere. Having built our own application for Microsoft Teams, Akari was perfectly placed to support customers and demonstrate the art of the possible, and we began running ‘build an app’ sessions, working with UK-based customers such as Marks & Spencer, AstraZeneca and Glasgow City Council. These organisations wanted to embrace new ways of working, build a more inclusive workforce and bring employees back to work safely post-Covid. We quickly saw success, helping our customers to build and customise apps like FAQ+ bot, Company Communicator and Building Access App. Akari now has extensive experience of working with a wealth of businesses of all sizes and in multiple industry verticals. One notable project involved Akari working with Derbyshire Constabulary’s strategic tasking team to develop a custom solution within Teams that enables officers to coordinate and report on tasks more effectively. In 2021, Akari also developed a landing page for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners which dynamically ranks and displays applications based on location and usage, integrating single sign-on and cognitive search functionality. For other organisations, we have also been growing a skills-based network through Teams. For example, the MyNetwork solution enables AstraZeneca colleagues to post ideas and topics into a central location and follow other topics of interest. Users can add individuals and projects to their connections, which generates an interactive view of their expanding network. We’ve witnessed resilience and tenacity like never before over the past 18 months, and one of the most incredible findings has been the ability to create, innovate and curate together on a previously unfathomable scale. Multi-agency collaboration involves data that is typically being captured and shared with multiple parties for review, amendments and further referral, either internally or to other organisations. This is particularly common in industries such as the public sector and healthcare. Focusing on digital inclusion Akari’s inclusive and accessible solutions are transforming how organisations within the public sector and healthcare industries operate and serve citizens L I ND S AY C L I MSON : AKAR I SOLUT I ONS V I EWPO I NT “Organisations want to embrace new ways of working, to build a more inclusive workforce”