A closer look at our eGovernance tool

— 10 minutes read

In an era where efficiency, compliance, and security are at the forefront of corporate governance, Spreds is leading the way with its innovative eGovernance tool. We sat down with Charles-Albert to discuss how this cutting-edge solution is revolutionizing the way organizations operate.

1. What inspired the development of Spreds' eGovernance tool, and how does it address contemporary corporate governance needs?

The development of our eGovernance tool was primarily driven by the sudden need for digital solutions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving legal frameworks that permitted digital meeting formats for general assemblies. Before the pandemic, we already had expertise in organizing digital general assemblies for crowd investors. Leveraging internal resources and expertise, we swiftly responded to the immediate market need. What began as a temporary need during the pandemic for remote voting evolved into a must-have tool for long-term governance facilitation. Our tool goes beyond simple voting; it incorporates features for managing proxies, registrations, exceptions digitally, thereby reducing the administrative burden significantly and increasing the reliability of corporate governance.
Our clients' loyalty speaks volumes, as very few have discontinued its use. As 80% of associations express an inclination towards digitization, driven by administrative burdens, the tool becomes instrumental in not only easing daily operations but also in adhering to internal rules (articles of incorporation) and the law, thus emphasizing the evolving need for governance.

2. What challenges do organizations face in managing general assemblies, and how does eGovernance specifically address these?

Organizations encounter numerous challenges when managing general assemblies, primarily around logistics, engagement, compliance, and execution. The Spreds' eGovernance tool addresses these challenges through a combination of advanced digital solutions and automated processes designed to streamline every aspect of general assemblies.
Logistical and planning complexities: planning and preparing for general assemblies involves defining objectives, ensuring member awareness, and handling logistical details. These tasks can be overwhelming, especially for large organizations. The eGovernance helps organizers to define clear agendas and making relevant documents available well ahead of the meeting, ensuring that participants are well-prepared and informed. The tool then handles registration and RSVPs digitally, eliminating the manual effort typically associated with tracking who will attend. One of the most used features is the proxy feature that avoids all the burden of having to receive proxies via (registered) mail or email and having to re-assign proxies if the proxyholder is absent at the meeting. All this is automated thanks to eGovernance.
Engagement and participation: keeping members engaged during the assembly and ensuring their active participation are significant challenges, particularly in remote or hybrid settings. The eGovernance tool enhances member participation by making it easy for organizers to manage the registration process and ensure that enough members will attend the meeting. Of course, the core of the tool offers a voting in advance feature on top of real time digital voting. For members attending physically the meeting and for members who cannot attend in person, the tool facilitates (remote)participation, ensuring that they can cast their votes, thus maintaining high engagement levels across the board.
Compliance and legal integrity: ensuring that the assembly complies with legal standards and that all decisions are recorded correctly is crucial. The eGovernance tool is built to comply with relevant legal frameworks, automating compliance to ensure that every aspect of the assembly is conducted according to statutory and regulatory requirements. For instance, it manages the complexities of voting processes, including proxy voting and vote tallying, with strict adherence to governance rules. This automation not only reduces the risk of errors but also ensures transparency and legal integrity. One of the most crucial features is almost never used – luckily !, but is a must have: a strict audit log ensuring that, in case of dispute, everything can be tracked in full transparency.
Efficient execution and documentation: executing a general assembly smoothly and ensuring accurate documentation of proceedings can be challenging. The eGovernance tool addresses this by automating the documentation process, from attendance tracking to result recording. This automation ensures that all data related to the assembly is accurately captured and stored securely, facilitating easy access for future audits or reviews. The digital nature of the tool also means that meeting outcomes are immediately available, streamlining post-meeting follow-ups and communication.
In conclusion, Spreds' eGovernance tool comprehensively addresses the challenges faced by organizations in managing general assemblies. By enhancing engagement, simplifying logistics, ensuring compliance, and facilitating efficient execution, the tool not only makes managing assemblies less cumbersome but also more effective, allowing organizations to focus on strategic decision-making and member satisfaction.

3. How does eGovernance help organizations reduce operational costs, and what feedback have you received from clients?

The eGovernance tool significantly cuts down on the time and resources typically required to manage general assemblies. Clients have reported up to a fivefold decrease in time spent on administrative tasks. Key areas of savings include:
  • Registration and proxy management: digitizing these processes reduces the need for manual handling and postage costs (registered letters for proxies for example).
  • Vote management: automating the voting process eliminates the labor-intensive task of counting votes, especially in large organizations with hundreds if not thousands of members.
Feedback from clients highlights not just the time saved but also the enhanced accuracy and the peace of mind that comes from having a reliable and audit-ready system in place.

4. Can you elaborate on the customizable features of the eGovernance tool and how they cater to the unique requirements of different organizations?

The eGovernance tool is designed to be highly adaptable to meet the specific governance structures and legal requirements of various organizations. Customizable features include, among others:
  • Member categories and voting rights: organizations can define different categories of members, each with specific voting rights or weights, adapting to the nature of their governance structure.
  • Resolution and quorum settings: the tool allows for different quorum requirements and voting majorities per resolution, providing flexibility in compliance with articles of incorporation and the law.
  • Ad-hoc resolution management: enables the creation of new resolutions during meetings, particularly useful in complex decision-making scenarios like elections with second rounds.
These features ensure that the eGovernance tool can be tailored to the diverse needs of organizations, from small associations to large corporations.

5. As we navigate a post-pandemic world, how do you see digital solutions like eGovernance shaping the future of corporate meetings and stakeholder engagement?

In the post-pandemic landscape, digital governance tools like eGovernance are set to play a crucial role in the evolution of corporate meetings. These tools enable organizations to conduct meetings more efficiently and with greater participation, regardless of the physical location of stakeholders. This shift not only aligns with environmental concerns by reducing travel (car or plane for some) but also meets the growing expectation for flexible, inclusive, and transparent governance practices. Digital solutions are likely to become the standard, driven by their ability to provide both time savings and enhanced legal compliance.

6. What security measures has Spreds implemented to ensure that eGovernance is secure and reliable?

Security is paramount in digital governance, and Spreds prioritizes it through a multi-layered approach. From stringent identity verification protocols to encryption of sensitive data and adherence to best practices, we uphold the highest standards of security. Additionally, our tool undergoes regular security audits, and our hosting and development practices comply with GDPR regulations. Features like anonymous voting and an immutable audit log further bolster security, ensuring the integrity of the governance process and providing peace of mind to our clients.

In order to dive deeper into the subject, we sat down with Simon and Tiago, the tech team behind the eGovernance tool.
Can you elaborate on the security measures Spreds has implemented for the eGovernance tool?
Tiago: security is a cornerstone of our platform, and we've taken a comprehensive approach. Firstly, we focus heavily on identity verification and authentication. Each user must go through secure login processes. When a member signs in the first time, we send a confirmation link to their registered email. They need to click this link to activate their access on the platform.
What about the protection of sensitive data?
Simon: all sensitive data, including personal details and voting results, are encrypted with advanced encryption standards. This is critical to protect data during transmission and even while it’s stored. Moreover, for fields containing particularly sensitive personal data, we apply separate encryption. This extra step means that even if there's a data breach, the information remains secure and unreadable.
Can you tell us about the infrastructure security?
Tiago: our system is built on a multi-tenant architecture, which means that each client’s data is stored in isolated environments. This design prevents data from being mixed between clients, even if there's a technical glitch or a security breach. Additionally, we perform regular security audits using automated tools to scan for vulnerabilities, addressing potential threats proactively. Plus, all our hosting and development activities are carried out within the European Union, aligning with GDPR and other stringent data protection standards.
How do you handle voting security and anonymity?
Simon: voting integrity is paramount of course. Our tool supports anonymous voting, ensuring votes cannot be traced back to individual members except by necessary administrators. This promotes a free and fair voting environment, allowing members to voice their true opinions without fear. Additionally, every action within the tool, particularly those related to voting and results, is logged in an audit log. This log is tamper-proof, providing a reliable and transparent record of all activities, which is helpfull for maintaining compliance and facilitating any necessary dispute resolutions.
Lastly, could you touch on compliance and best practices?
Simon: at Spreds, we adhere to best practice security policies that are updated to reflect the latest in security trends and regulatory requirements. These policies govern everything from user access control to how we handle data, ensuring that every aspect of the eGovernance tool operates within the highest security standards.


7. Looking ahead, what are your visions for eGovernance, and how do you plan to evolve the tool to meet the changing landscape of corporate governance?

Our vision for eGovernance is to continually adapt and enhance its capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the digital age. We aim to improve user autonomy, allowing clients more control over their data and processes with minimal intervention from our side. Additionally, we plan to expand our reach to more international clients, tailoring our tool to accommodate different legal frameworks and corporate cultures. The focus will remain on providing a tool that not only saves time but also upholds the strictest regulatory standards, helping organizations to manage their governance needs effectively and securely.

8. For organizations interested in eGovernance, what would be the first step to getting started, and how does Spreds support them throughout the implementation process?

We understand that adopting eGovernance represents a significant transition for organizations, and we're here to support them every step of the way. From initial consultations to tailor-made demos and legal guidance, we ensure that clients fully understand the tool's capabilities and its alignment with their specific governance needs. This initial consultation is followed by continuous support, including training sessions and rehearsal options, to ensure a seamless transition to using the tool. Our approach is hands-on, ensuring that clients not only gain access to a powerful governance tool but also a trusted partner dedicated to their success and compliance.

Book a meeting today and stay ahead in the digital governance game with insights straight from our CEO, Charles-Albert.