Unit4 is one of the winners of Excelly Awards 2013. Here is the story behind this beautiful yet unusual annual report.
UNIT4 is a cloud software and services company based in the Netherlands, focused on helping dynamic public sector and commercial services organisations to manage their businesses and embrace change cost effectively. The company is headquartered in Sliedrecht, the Netherlands and has over 4,000 employees across in 26 countries worldwide. It is listed on Euronext Amsterdam by NYSE Euronext and is included in the Amsterdam Midcap Index (AMX).
The company has a reputation for designing and developing innovative, agile software solutions for a wide range of services-based sectors. Encouraged by a CFO, Edwin van Leeuwen, who is not afraid to create bold new designs, UNIT4 sees the Annual Report as an opportunity to reflect this innovative culture by taking a highly creative approach. In recent years it has also reflected its strong people-centric culture by involving staff in the annual report – one year by getting children of staff to submit drawings, another year by using photographs of staff outside pursuing activities outside of work.
The 2012 Annual Report had the theme ‘Outperforming in changing times’, with each country operation in UNIT4 being asked to nominate its ‘top performers’ from all parts of the business. Their pictures were incorporated into a highly creative design that features a fantasy world of animated characters and quirky scenes. The idea was to create a report which stood out from the crowd, demonstrating UNIT4’s willingness to do things differently and be bold in its design approach.
UNIT4 receives a lot of positive feedback about its report, both from financial analysts and investors who appreciate the fresh new approach, and from customers and prospects for whom the report is key to demonstrating financial stability as well as creativity. The Annual Report is created each year by an in-house design team based in the UK. Lead designer was Steve Newton. The content is developed in collaboration with a Dutch agency, Ninth Floor Communications, which specialises in financial and corporate communications. Project management by David Turner, Group Marketing Director, UNIT4.