Our Digital Standards
Salix complies with Government Digital Standards as follows:
1. Understand users and their needs
Salix has a good understanding of why our users access our site. This is largely to find out about government funding opportunities and apply for specific grants. We maintain customer queries during peak times including application portal openings and ensure all problems are logged and addressed.
2. Solve a whole problem for users
The concept of continuous improvement has become the heart of our service. We ensure our users can access their information with a single login. We work in partnership across the organisation towards creating a service that provides efficient and rapid solutions to resolve any issues.
3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels
We work towards creating a user-friendly service to meet the needs of our users across all our channels, these include our website pages, ongoing client webinars, emails, Microsoft Teams meetings, direct phone calls and face-to-face interactions whenever possible. We adjust our messaging and communications accordingly to reflect our learnings.
4. Make the service simple to use
We have built a service that’s simple, intuitive, and comprehensible. Our new website has been designed with our users in mind, ensuring we have improved the customer journey. We encourage our users to feedback to us about our services, how we deliver and the ease of use. We test all our communications and actively listen to different points of view from different areas of the business and from our key audience to ensure we are delivering information and a service that is accessible and understandable to all. As a non-departmental government body, Salix follows its set of brand guidelines as well as following the government design principles.
5. Make sure everyone can use the service
We provide a service that meets accessibility standards and have designed our website to ensure it is inclusive, accessible, simple and easy to use. We provide information online as well as offline. To access government funds our users are required to have an internet connection and access to email. Guidance on funding can be found online and can be downloaded to be read offline. It is known that some downloadable documents on the Salix website may not be accessible, this is a known issue that we are working to resolve. We continuously support our users if they have issues with making an application.
6. Have a multidisciplinary team
One of the main strengths of Salix is that we recruit employees from different backgrounds and levels of experience. As a result, we have a multidisciplinary team across the organisation that can provide the best possible service and support to our users and with our partners and stakeholders in mind. Through collaboration across our teams, we ensure users benefit from comprehensive and reliable solutions.
7. Use agile ways of working
At Salix, we work according to agile methods without being mindless to a particular methodology. There are daily stand-ups, sprint planning sessions and weekly meetings to ensure we deliver value to our users. We work towards providing succinct information about our funding services as soon as possible and align this with user-focused webinars. This allows Salix to receive real-time feedback from users which is put to use immediately for further developing and adapting our services. All content is reviewed by the relevant senior stakeholder and ministers at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and they are updated with all relevant adaptations and user feedback.
8. Iterate and improve frequently
We are constantly improving the way our site looks and works for users. We can continuously improve the skills and expertise of our teams and ensure that we are using the right technologies to support a systematic, progressive, iterative and efficient approach to delivering solutions.
9. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy
Our development team regularly run security checks with the help, whenever needed of our historical service supplier of cloud services (SharePoint, O365) and hardware. Our other business systems are protected by user accounts and passwords; the providers apply the security guarantees to protect our users’ privacy, including two-factor authentications and following GDPR-UK obligations.
10. Define what success looks like and publish performance data
Metrics and analytics are regularly run by Salix on the website but also on our other digital platforms to optimise the performance of our systems. When opening an application window to a scheme, we first increase the performance of our website and web portal applications to ensure that the external users do not face a slowdown or a system overload while processing their application. We collect performance information across all online and offline channels so that we can measure and show that the service is effective and improving.
11. Choose the right tools and technology
At Salix, decisions are made considering efficiency, functionalities, automation, flexibility and costs.
Efficiency is the way a technology will improve the work of both our internal users and external users; it is about data quality, facilitating the day-to-day workload and providing the best analytics for improvements. Functionalities are about finding the tools that will bring the features that Salix needs in its specific business area. Automation is the ability for the different systems to communicate seamlessly, without manual intervention; it also contributes to data quality. Flexibility is the ability of the systems to adapt to new requirements and their ability to be run by internal teams instead of being dependent on external suppliers’ expertise and availability. Finally, the cost of the investment is taken into serious consideration because we are a government agency dealing with public money, and all costs must be contained. The decision leading to the current IT Transformation project: CRM improvements – development of a new and more powerful web portal - implementation of a modern finance ERP - were made based on these criteria.
12. Make new source code open
We have discontinued the use of suppliers who wanted to license their code and we are in the process of owning all the code produced for our applications and this will be made easier with the current IT transformation.
13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns
Standardization is a necessity for performance and for support reasons. Being in control of our systems and development and less dependent on suppliers has provided us with the possibility to set standards. But as we are not a development company, we are also maximizing the use of standard tools and components.
14. Operate a reliable service
Most of our business applications are cloud-based and we have set contracts with the suppliers on service level agreements and ongoing support. The support is based on business days and some weekends; if this is the case, when we receive notifications, we can react immediately on the first working day. Our NetSuite Cloud Instance is managed by Oracle and except for short periods (one hour on weekends, 4 times a year) to update our version, there has never been any downtime. Overall, the availability of our systems is above 99 per cent. With our SharePoint, O365 and Exchange cloud suppliers, we have a Disaster Recovery contract. The performance of our systems is regularly monitored and updated.