Tech Connect: Agile & Sustainable Tech

We’re approaching the half-way stage of the Tech Connect programme, and the third round of industry days saw the cohort once again split up into two groups. While half went to see Yoti, the rest were hosted by Dell at the Pivotal HQ.


Richard and the team laid on a great agenda for the group, a full English breakfast making sure the day got off to a great start and setting high expectations for what was in store! First we got an overview of Dell as a global company. It makes eight devices every second, but over the past few years this manufacturing company has also become a leading software company. And the Dell corporate family now includes several other companies, including Dell EMC, VMWare, Virtustream, RSA, Secureworks, Dell Boomi, and of course Pivotal – who were hosting us for the day.

After getting some insight into the technologies Dell is working on and where they are spending their $4.5bn a year on future R&D, we then got to see how some of these technologies can be deployed to address public sector challenges with a presentation on emerging tech in health and social care.

The discussion then moved on to Dell’s approach to CSR & Social Impact, which covered Sustainability, Inclusion & Diversity. The company has set itself some very impressive targets to make dramatic progress on sustainability issues and tackle e-waste by 2030. And already they have reached some significant achievements, with 56% of EMEA energy consumption coming from renewable sources, and 68% of EMEA sites are free of single use plastics.

Then the Pivotal team stepped up, and Deepak and Erin talked the group through their approach to agile software development, including their take on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with their hierarchy software development! The Pivotal approach shuns stage by stage work, instead of encouraging people to work vertically through every stage.

Pivotal tends to use a pairing approach to development: a pivotal product designer will sit next to the customer product designer for 40 hours a week, working together side by side, using a shared computer. And the same is done with product managers. Which helps to ensure that the product will meet the business needs.

After the morning discussions the groups once again split up to work on their Tech Connect challenges, hopefully applying some of what they had just learned to develop their solutions.


The day at Yoti started with some lovely breakfast and lots of coffee to get everyone energised for an exciting day ahead! First, we got an introduction to Yoti and a digital ID. Yoti was established with a mission statement to leverage the potential of digital identity solutions to help drive positive social and environmental change around the world. It was really interesting to hear what Yoti does and their work on digital identity and journey to identifying yourself online. I was so impressed and intrigued that I have downloaded the Yoti app!

The teams then later split into three and my group was shown an age estimation and self-checkout demo. Yoti has the latest technology to tell someone’s age at self-checkout machines to improve customer satisfaction and speed at shops. This was really interesting, and my age estimation was slightly lower than my actual age, which indeed made me really happy!

We were later shown a demo of Yoti verify and how a person would use the app to identify themselves online. Yoti’s secure digital identity app puts people back in control of their data, keeping personal details private and letting them share only the details they choose to share. We were shown how we can register for the app and the latest technology used to identify the person registering is the real person and their documents are legitimate.

Finally, our last session was on the Yoti Sign platform. My group was shown a demo on how Yoti’s platform can be used to sign documents online securely and how this service is currently used by customers worldwide.

After lunch delegates broke into their groups to work on their challenges. We are now almost halfway through Tech Connect and I cannot wait to see what groups will come up with!

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