Disruption can and will happen: the importance of resilience by design

Anthony Sinclair, Director of Resilience & Property, and Yee-Ping Pang, Head of Design & Development, investigate how organisations can learn to not only accept the need to build resilience, but to embrace it as a way to achieve greater customer satisfaction.


Over the last 18 months, Covid-19 has taught us that disruption can come in many forms, and that just because it hasn’t happened yet, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Disruption has many faces, from restricted access to company spaces, to the impact of isolation on productivity. One important lesson for organisations to take away from the pandemic is this –  never underestimate the importance of resilience.

A PWC 2021 Global Crisis Survey reported that seven out of 10 organisations reported plans to increase their investment in building resilience. This can only be a positive that will contribute to more resilient businesses and provide minimal disruptions for customers.


What is resilience by design?

Resilience has traditionally been backloaded, in the form of Business continuity plans and recovery. Resilience by design shifts this focus to the forefront of product and service design, and ensures that resilience is considered part of the entire change life cycle.

Using a Resilience by design model applies to everything a business does – from designing, delivering and maintaining a new telephony platform, to sourcing a new office location.


The resilience by design model

There are three key pillars that support Resilience by Design – Organisational Resilience, Cyber Resilience, and Infrastructure Resilience.

Organisational Resilience

The business can react to change from a people capability, and from a governance and agility perspective

Cyber Resilience

The business can proactively defend and react to cyber attacks

Infrastructure Resilience

The business has the ability to navigate and protect against external threats

 

All three pillars must be resilient to keep a business running effectively, delivering reliable products or services that don’t impact on the customer experience. In a world where digital transformation has been accelerated as a consequence of COVID-19, all three of these key pillars of resilience by design have been put to the test.

Questions such as ‘How can we ensure our colleagues can work from home?’ and ‘Do we have enough network capacity to enable everyone to do their roles from home’ are examples aligned to one of the resilience by design pillars, and no doubt have been asked by multiple people across different organisations.

The most resilient businesses have a lens on resilience across the entirety of their organisation, through the operating principles of resilience. The controls that are embedded in these businesses start from anticipation of potential threats and disruptions, to designing robust playbooks to react to scenarios, all the way to recovering if something does go wrong. The culture in these businesses is one of continuous observation, refinement and improvement on these controls, to ensure they are operationally resilient and work in practice, not just in theory.

Resilience by Design cannot be static – there are constant evolutions needed to adapt to changes in the environment, both internal and external. At the centre of it all is the willingness to adapt, and this starts with the recognition within your business of resilience as a key strategic initiative.


Conclusion

Disruption is an inevitability in everything we do – in this regard, the impact of the pandemic has simply shone a light on the importance of resilience. Although not many businesses would have ever anticipated such a large scale disruption, those who are able to adapt and learn from this to embed a culture of resilience by design will most successfully be able to support their clients and customers. Resilience should no longer be seen as simply a bolt on at the final stages, or as a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), but as a key cornerstone in the design of operating models and solutions across all businesses.

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WebHEALTH - Plogging for World Cleanup Day

Webhelpers from around the world engage in our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy to bring our vision to life and make a positive impact.

September 18th marks the annual World Cleanup day movement. This day harnesses the power of people around the world to come together and help clear our planet of waste: from forests and rivers to beaches and local streets.

According to the World Bank, humankind generates 2 billion tonnes of waste worldwide annually, part of which ends up in our natural environment, polluting our streets, oceans, countryside’s and more: did you that “global waste is expected to Grow by 70 Percent by 2050 Unless Urgent Action is Taken”?

At Webhelp,  we strive to take action and make a positive impact, beyond our recycling efforts and reduction of plastic consumption. We believe in our people and the good they can do around them and for the planet. This September, we are stepping up our efforts and have combined the WebHEALTH Kilometer Challenge with plogging, to take care of our mind, body and our planet.

Our goal this year is to hit a target of 150,000km in 30 days. We are halfway through the challenge and our passion-game changers have already achieved 62,564km, with some already achieving their country target! Our Webhelpers have been running, cycling, walking and much more whilst picking up waste, with many involving their family and friends to achieve something great and make a difference.

The smallest efforts can have a great impact. Alone we can do a lot, together we can do so much more!

Learn more about this year’s WebHEALTH Kilometer Challenge.

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Webhelp brings home a victory at the Apexo Experience Awards

The Peruvian Association of Customer Experience (Apexo) has awarded Webhelp with the Best Customer Experience Operation award, which was presented on September 9th at the virtual gala of the 10th edition of the Apexo Experience Award 2021.

The award recognized Webhelp for having achieved significant results in customers’ perception of CX services. One of the strengths of the group’s success is based on the way it carries out processes by maintaining a key synergy between training, quality and operations teams to achieve results that exceed customer expectations.

In addition, the company demonstrated how it focuses its strategic efforts by remaining true to the pillars of its corporate culture. In addition to keeping the interests of customers at the center of every operation, Webhelp is a “people first” company where the aim is for every employee to have an unforgettable work experience that can be reflected in the end-user experience of customers by achieving a level of customer satisfaction that exceeds expectations.

Within the framework of the award for Best Customer Experience Operation, the innovation and continuous improvement processes around CX operations were also explained, with the incorporation of cutting-edge technology that allows optimizing performance, increasing the level of satisfaction and measuring results in an efficient way.

The recognition of Webhelp is part of the Apexo Experience Award 2021, which aims to reward the efforts of companies to improve and professionalize the business-customer relationship and promote the development of Peruvian companies through the recognition of best practices in administration, human capital, outsourcing operations, dissemination and social responsibility, technological innovation, collection strategy and customer experience.

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Altnets are hitting our streets, but are they here to stay?

With vast investments currently being made by altnets on Fibre rollout, Peer Hackman, Managing Director, Telecommunication, Media & Technology at Webhelp looks at why CX differentiation will be key in the competitive UK “Gigabit” market

 

Waking up to the sound of loud drilling and excavators digging up the street is rarely a pleasant experience, but when this happened to me last week, I was happy to learn that the crew from G.Network had arrived to bring full-fibre broadband to the area.

Considering I live a stone’s throw from Google’s new King’s Cross head office and trendy Coal Drops Yard, it is somewhat disconcerting that we’ve been making do with copper delivering about 6 Mbps for the last 15 years. In fact, just one week before G.Network’s arrival, I’d switched to Virgin, hoping to prevent yet another video conferencing disaster.

Having worked in the telecommunications industry for years, I’m thrilled to see that the altnet boom is happening on our doorsteps. Still, is this a short-lived scramble for market share or a disruptive force that will push incumbent providers to compete on a new level? And what can altnets do to extend their longevity in the market?

The altnet push for market share

As they compete directly with only two incumbents, BT Openreach and Virgin Media, alternative networks (altnets) are spending vast amounts of money to claim their slice of the UK’s increasingly competitive “Gigabit” broadband connectivity market.

Whilst relative minnows compared to established players, alternative operators are fuelling growth and account for 57% of homes passed on a Europe-wide basis. UK FTTx altnets are also projected to reach almost 30 million UK homes by 2025, according to the sector’s trade body INCA.

Fibre rollout is accelerating fast, with investment from Openreach, Virgin, altnet providers, and their financial backers likely to exceed £30 billion by 2025. Still, there are significant challenges for independent network operators in their roles as network builders, wholesale vendors, and ISPs.

Challenges for altnets

New entrants to the UK broadband market have to deal with multiple hurdles like future market consolidation and price erosion, overbuild by incumbents, limited access to skilled labour, and the acquisition of land access rights. However, perhaps the biggest obstacle to their commercial success is creating awareness, generating high user satisfaction, and providing positive, differentiating customer experiences for their services.

OFCOM’s 2021 survey of UK broadband ISPs found that consumer broadband satisfaction rates have dropped by as much as 11% for some of the leading providers over the last five years. The COVID-19 challenge was a significant driver of these results. As such, altnet providers can pick up churn from Openreach, its partner ISPs, and Virgin, but “new” customer acquisition will be difficult.

Other issues altnet providers will face include service installation logistics, sourcing and set up for CPE (Customer Premises Equipment, such as routers), customer onboarding, high support requirements through surveying, frequently rescheduled installation appointments, and support over live and assisted channels.

All these factors—combined with Openreach and Virgin’s potentially aggressive wholesale pricing—negatively impact the business case and OPEX profile for altnets whilst affecting new ISPs’ and resale partners’ ability to provide superior customer experiences as competitive differentiators.

Strategies for tackling CX challenges

Assuming that altnet providers can overcome some of the supply-side and demand generation issues, here at Webhelp, we see three areas in particular in need of attention to ensure a best-in-class customer experience.

  • Ensuring reliable, consistent and resilient network QoS (Quality of Service) and QoE (Quality of Experience) after COVID-19 bottlenecks.
  • Better designed services, customer/employee journeys, and touchpoints to provide understanding, confidence, trust, and the ability (by the customer or the provider) to rapidly solve issues across the customer lifecycle.
  • Orchestration of support and engagement to deliver simple, straightforward, and easy-to-find omnichannel customer engagement pathways with first-touchpoint resolution and elimination of multiple handovers.

Let’s add some context to each of these areas and explore them in more detail.

Quality of Experience

With demand levels higher and reliance on TMT services increasing after COVID-19, broadband quality and consistency are top-of-mind when customers make their purchase decisions.

Additionally, as more digital and smart-home services that require resilient connectivity gain traction, providers must track both QoS and QoE and address them on a per-customer, per-service level. This approach can help altnets avoid costly customer service calls and truck rolls or prevent angry customer tweets, which can damage net promoter score (NPS) and word-of-mouth reputation.

To monetise the customer experience, avoid churn, and grow Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), altnet providers must focus on CX metrics, engagement tracking, as well as network KPIs whilst detecting and proactively addressing disconnections, slow response times, frame freezing, and similar issues. Analytics, AI, and customer education can help locate and predict poor QoE, whilst root cause analysis and rectification tracing can help address complaints related to network issues in the home (which is by far the majority).

Backup connectivity options are a positive interim step and may accelerate the growth of 5G FWA as the primary broadband household connection in the future. Still, it could threaten the profitability of fixed infrastructure investments unless providers can clearly articulate related use cases.

Customer journey/experience design and implementation

Once altnet providers have created demand amongst future paying customers—or RGUs as they’re known in the industry—it is crucial to design and implement customer journeys that enhance the frontend, omnichannel experience whilst seamlessly integrating with backend systems, including all relevant OSS & BSS business processes and components.

It is essential to involve customers at the beginning of this design process and throughout, as their input enables providers to improve complex processes, find new value streams, and enhance customer experience and product use.

Initiatives like customer-centric journey analysis, design and re-engineering, test and learn, and best-practice implementation frameworks (e.g. TMForum) can help take the sting out of service launches whilst enabling customers to become more capable of interacting digitally with websites and apps, setting up services, and solving issues themselves, ultimately keeping them happy and profitable.

Orchestrate digital and assisted customer support

Whilst most operators have been pushing for a digital-first approach to customer engagement, around 50% of consumers in all categories still state that “telephoning the call centre is the preferred contact method, regardless of query type”, according to a survey from EY.

The dichotomy here is that several customer segments would happily interact with apps or chatbots as long as a live advisor is available when required. However, voice support is up to 30 times more expensive than digital channels, so altnet providers must find the right balance between channel interactions to acquire, retain, and grow their customer base to more profitable levels.

To achieve better commercial and customer engagement outcomes at lower costs, operators must implement a flexible, scalable, and holistic support ecosystem that delivers exceptional experiences through all preferred customer interaction channels. However, getting there requires an understanding of the business’s current digital maturity and its prospective and existing customers.

Wrapping Up

Altnet providers have introduced momentum into a market that had been relatively static in the past. With government support through Project Gigabit injecting an additional £5 billion to support operators as they roll out across the final 20% of rural premises, growth of the sector is all but assured. However, competition will be tough for altnets, and consolidation is inevitable.

By offering “brilliant basics” that are easy to communicate and simple for customers to understand, along with resilient service performance, and straightforward sales, onboarding, and support journeys, altnet providers can almost certainly find success in the UK market.

Once my current contract has expired in 2023, I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to trying a new Gigabit, 100% full-fibre broadband service provider, having hopefully helped some of them to deliver outstanding customer experience and to grow successfully.


Mode paiement

[Fashion] - 4 tips to make payments easier and more secure in Europe and the US

Mode paiement

For fashion brands, the European and United States markets are strategically very important. But there are some risks when it comes to payments, especially with department stores and e-commerce sites. Anke Glaser, General Manager of Webhelp Payment Services for Central Europe, offers some advice.

1. Fashion brands should make the most of the momentum driven by departments stores and e-commerce sites

Over the last 2 or 3 years – and especially since the health crisis – online sales have really flourished in the fashion industry, both in Europe and in the United States. This growth is mainly due to department stores, which already have a digital strategy, and e-commerce platforms.
This trend is explained by companies investing more and more in digital technology generally – in England, spending on websites and online sales platforms went up by 30% in one year. In the United States, department stores can account for up to 70% of suppliers’ turnover. We can also see this trend in Spain where the leading Spanish department store has made its digital development a major focus in its development strategy.
We therefore recommend taking full advantage of this momentum, driven by departments stores and e-commerce sites, because we think it’s one that is going to last!
However, while digital strategies are undeniably seeing a surge, we remain convinced that the physical component is still vital, and that the crisis will lead to an offering that combines human and digital solutions.

2. Protect yourself against the problem of deductions

Brands have to comply with the conditions imposed by department stores and e-commerce platforms, which generally have very strict rules, at the risk of having to deal with chargebacks. In practice, whichever country you’re in, department stores and platforms rarely make a payment for just one invoice. Usually, they send us a payment advice: a document summarising all the invoices to be paid. Added to these are debit notes or chargebacks that are deducted from the payments. For a brand, it is important to be aware that these practices, which can be for many different reasons, are widespread.
Webhelp Payment Services manages debit notes directly for department stores and platforms. We check them, as agreed with the brand, and if the deductions are not totally justified, we dispute them with the department store or the platform. Our regular contact with the stores and platforms means that we can speed up the processes and so resolve any disputes faster.
Every year, this work by our experts, dedicated exclusively to managing these key accounts, helps our clients’ brands recover substantial amounts of money, as well as giving them a clear overview of the buyer’s current situation.
The benefit: if the Order to Cash process is under control, those involved in distribution generally pay on time.

3. Know how to manage the complexity of accounting documents for department stores and e-commerce platforms and avoid mistakes

Each season, brands receive documents with a lot of items to reconcile, from department stores and platforms. This involves a considerable amount of work for their accountants!
We have developed a specific reconciliation and comparison tool for documents that come from department stores and platforms. It makes the accounts much easier to understand, and means we can analyse the source of chargebacks.
Our dedicated customer platform allows clients to find all the information and all the payments in one place. It is here, for example, that any deductions will be clearly shown. This document provides a good basis for the interaction between us, the brand, and the department store or e-commerce platform.

4. Digitise your data exchanges

The relationship between department stores, platforms, and sellers is also going digital. Implementing this digital process is really useful when it comes to optimising your cash flow with these different stakeholders. Indeed, in addition to the speed of transmission via EDI, it also means that you can check to make sure that invoices have been received, and act promptly if the invoice is rejected or incomplete. This means we can reduce delays to invoice payments, but also lots of chargebacks that might not be due.
We are currently working on setting up EDI with the many department stores and e-platforms so that we can offer our clients simple, unique access, whilst also relieving them of the technical work specific to each buyer. Why not take advantage of it?

 

With 35 years of experience in fashion and luxury, Webhelp Payment Services can be both a personal advisor and a facilitator, not only for department stores and e-commerce platforms, but also for retail distribution. We are currently working with 400 ready-to-wear brands with a network of 35,000 stores in Europe and the United States.

To find out more about this topic

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CIFAS Initial Notification

General

  1. We will check your details against the Cifas databases established for the purpose of allowing organisations to record and share data on their fraud cases, other unlawful or dishonest conduct, malpractice, and other seriously improper conduct (“Relevant Conduct”) carried out by their staff and potential staff. “Staff” means an individual engaged as an employee, director, trainee, homeworker, consultant, contractor, temporary or agency worker, or self-employed individual, whether full or part time or for a fixed-term.
  2. The personal data you have provided, we have collected from you, or we have received from third parties will be used to prevent fraud and other relevant conduct and to verify your
  3. Details of the personal information that will be processed include: name, address, date of birth, any maiden or previous name, contact details, document references, National Insurance Number, and Where relevant, other data including employment details will also be processed.
  4. We and Cifas may also enable law enforcement agencies to access and use your personal data to detect, investigate, and prevent
  5. We process your personal data on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in preventing fraud and other Relevant Conduct, and to verify identity, in order to protect our business and customers and to comply with laws that apply to us. This processing of your personal data is also a requirement of your engagement with
  6. Cifas will hold your personal data for up to six years if you are considered to pose a fraud or Relevant Conduct risk.

Consequences of processing

  1. Should our investigations identify fraud or any other Relevant Conduct by you when applying for or during the course of your engagement with us, your new engagement may be refused or your existing engagement may be terminated or other disciplinary action taken (subject to your rights under your existing contract and under employment law generally).
  2. A record of any fraudulent or other Relevant Conduct by you will be retained by Cifas and may result in others refusing to employ you. If you have any questions about this, please contact us using the details provided.

Data transfers

  1. Should Cifas decide to transfer your personal data outside of the European Economic Area, they will impose contractual obligations on the recipients of that data to protect your personal data to the standard required in the European Economic Area. They may also require the recipient to subscribe to ‘international frameworks’ intended to enable secure data

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  2. For more information or to exercise your data protection rights please, please contact us using the contact details provided.
  3. You also have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office which regulates the processing of personal


WebHEALTH Kilometer Challenge - Mind, Body, Planet

For the second year of many more to come, Webhelpers across the globe reunite for the annual Kilometer Challenge.

The first edition was an immense success in terms of participation and going beyond expectations, coupled with raising funds and awareness.

This September we’ve not only set the bar higher, with close to 1500 passionate game-changers taking on the challenge of covering 150.000 kilometers in 30 days, but we again do so for a cause worth making an impact for.

Doing more for the environment with our Kilometer Challenge

As a purpose-driven company, our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy is key in bringing our vision of making business more human, come to life. Throughout the year, many of our teams engage in activities around our four pillars of People, Planet, Progress, and Philanthropy, while as a business we continuously invest in initiatives to make a positive contribution.

For this year’s Kilometer Challenge, we’re encouraging our participants to not only work on their mind and body, but also take care of our planet, by plogging their kilometers.

The term plogging comes from Sweden’s Ploka and jogging, where people were keen to make a difference by combining their jogging with picking up litter: particularly waste that can’t degrade naturally and poses a threat to the environment such as plastics and metals. Although consciousness and the threat of waste and plastics has particularly been rising across the world, we still have a long way to go. According to the UN, in just one lifetime the amount of plastics produced has exploded massively, with over 56% of the volume produced in the 21st century. While some plastics are used for long periods of time, about 40% of products are discarded within a month leading to about 300 tons of plastic waste yearly, of which only 10% is recycled today, more than half ends up as waste in landfills or nature.

At Webhelp we regularly undertake actions to make a positive impact, beyond our recycling efforts and reduction of plastic consumption. Over the past summer, our WebHEALTH running club which reunites running enthusiasts from all over the Webhelp world, plogged their way through Plastic Free July. On World Environment Day, 25 Algerian Webhelp volunteers paired up with an association for kids with Down syndrome to plant trees and clean over 1000m2 of forest. And with the Kilometer Challenge we are stepping up our efforts to make a positive impact for our planet.

We’re strong believers that even the smallest  effort can have a snowball effect, so we’re calling our Kilometer Challenge participants, but also our supporters and partners to raise awareness and take action. Alone we can do a lot, together we can do so much more!

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Webhelp installs community defibrillator in Dunoon

Webhelp has installed a community defibrillator in Dunoon as part of an initiative to install Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) on all of its UK sites.

 

The crucial piece of life-saving equipment has been made available in the event of an emergency outside Webhelp’s Caledonia House office which is next to Sandbank Primary School. Anthony Sinclair, Director of Resilience and Property, explains:

 

“As a business focused on putting our people first, our health and safety strategy isn’t just about protecting our colleagues, but the communities we’re part of as well. To help safeguard our colleagues and indeed the communities where we work, Webhelp is installing AEDs at a number of our UK sites, including one in Dunoon which comes with paediatric pads. All of the sites were chosen where there are currently no AEDs registered on the national circuit near these locations, so by installing publically accessible AEDs on the exterior of our buildings, we feel we can help make a difference the wider community.”

 

 

Installation of the Dunoon defibrillator was complete on 31st of August 2021 and joining the free training on the day, delivered by Webhelp’s Health and Safety Manager, Craig Rooney, were first aiders from Sandbank Primary School. Head Teacher, Jamie Houston commented:

 

“When we were contacted by Craig, we didn’t hesitate to get involved. We are delighted that this life-saving equipment has been made available to us. We can’t thank Craig and the Webhelp team enough for the training provided.”

 

The Caledonia House defibrillator comes with an additional set of Paediatric Pads designed for use on children between one and eight years old, or under 25kg/55lbs in weight is registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service and will be available 24/7 meaning even when the Webhelp building is closed, it will be accessible.

 

According to the British Heart Foundation, around 30,000 people in Britain every year suffer from sudden cardiac arrest in the community, and when an AED is used within 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest, the survival rate increases significantly from 7% to 64%.

 

As part of Webhelp’s Health and Safety strategy, refresher defibrillator training is underway with trained first aiders across their UK sites.


Webhelp Romania names a new Chief Executive Officer

Bucharest, September 1st 2021

Răzvan Pătrunoiu has been appointed country managing director of the local subsidiary of Webhelp. From his current position, Răzvan will manage Webhelp’s four offices in Romania, with a team of 2300 people across Bucharest, Ploiesti, Galati and Iasi. He is taking over from Raluca Leonte, who held the position since March 2017, and has moved on to the position of Head of Global Delivery and Transformation for Webhelp, joining the group’s executive committee.

“I am excited to join such a great company. Webhelp has been very successful in changing the rules of the game for customer journeys, driven by our vision of making business more human, and I am certainly looking forward to developing Webhelp Romania further.”, said Pătrunoiu.

Pătrunoiu, 44, has over 20 years of experience in various industries, such as electronic goods, BPO, private equity and FMCG, telecommunications industry and oversaw operations as Managing Director of Samsung Electronics SSC Europe, Ascenta Management, Accenture Romania and Tchibo Romania.

Ludovic Lempire, Co-CEO of Webhelp’s French region of which Romania is part, said;

“We’re very happy to welcome Răzvan to the Webhelp family. Solution oriented, a strategic thinker, eager to tackle new challenges, and a strong believer in empowering people, there’s a natural fit with our game-changers, people-first mindset. Răzvan drove significant growth for the multinational companies he managed, designing and implementing successful solutions and we’re excited about building the future at Webhelp Romania together, combining his experience and the great achievements of Raluca and her teams over the past years.”

Razvan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a major in Finance and Banking.

About Webhelp

Webhelp designs, delivers, and optimizes unforgettable human experiences for today’s digital world – creating game-changing customer journeys. From sales to service, content moderation to credit management, Webhelp is an end-to-end partner across all B2C and B2B customer journeys. Its more than 90,000 passionate employees across more than 50 countries thrive on making a difference for the world’s most exciting brands. Webhelp is currently owned by its management and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (Euronext: GBLB), a leading global investment holding, as of November 2019.

Founded in 2000, Webhelp Romania is the first multilingual hub with 24 languages used across its +60 operational projects and the first digital hub within the Group. Webhelp Romania ended 2020 with a turnover of 126.484.237 lei.

 

 Press contact

Iulia Becheanu
Manager Comunicare Webhelp România<<<
M : +40 (0)7 51 18 70 16
iulia.becheanu@webhelp.com

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