We’re already well into Q4 of 2020, which shows just how busy things are at Vapour HQ. But what’s been going on behind the scenes over the last three months, and as we prepare for the final weeks of the year, where will our attention lie? Tim, it’s over to you…
The start of July feels like a lifetime ago, so reflecting on what has happened over the past three months, is actually not an easy task.
We’ve always been a fast-paced business, but due to the events of 2020, we’ve ramped things up even further. In fact, it feels like we’ve crammed 12 months of work into three, so it’s unsurprising that everything feels a bit of a blur.
Going ‘back to school’
Myself, our head of ops and compliance Carol, and our sales manager Alec Stephens, successfully completed our scale up programme in association with Barclays Bank and Cambridge Judge Business School last month, and I think it has played a big part in giving us such a great deal of energy, over the last quarter.
We’ve got big plans as an organisation, and I truly believe that Covid-19 has not derailed these. In fact, if anything, it’s brought the future into sharper focus. As a team, we’ve talked more than ever before; we’ve been sharper on the organisation and delivery of huge tech projects we’ve wanted to get over the line; and we’ve been clearer on not just where we want to be, but how we want to get there.
Going ‘back to school’ to formulate our thinking, was fairly daunting, not least because of the volume of work we had to undertake (and we don’t believe in doing anything half-heartedly!) But I’m incredibly proud of the plan we have compiled and the feedback from the course tutors. Now all eyes are on us implementing it, into 2021 and beyond.
Welcoming new faces and new fixtures in the calendar
There are a couple of new faces at Vapour HQ since my last post, with the appointment of James Hartley and Tim Stableford, and boy have these chaps made an entrance! We’ve another colleague due to arrive in mid-November too, plus talks are already underway about some potentially exciting hires for 2021. Just you wait and see…
This boost to our capacity – and hunger for our cloud tech knowledge – has seen us launch a new series of virtual events. We began our Webinar Wednesday initiative in September, and feedback to date has been really positive.
Focusing more on the sharing of insight as opposed to selling our solutions, the sessions have seen us cover everything from our cloud subscription service for Avaya, through to an effective remote working tech stack and 10 steps to building a disaster recovery strategy. I’m particularly excited about welcoming Tom Davies, CEO of Robiquity, to the mic, for our 4 November slot. There’s still time to sign up for this free event, if you’d like to learn how robotic process automation (RPA) could benefit your business in 2021.
Between the Eyes podcast goes live
I’ve gone live with a new podcast series too – Between the Eyes. We’re now on season two in fact, with the first episodes having proven a massive hit, taking us up 200 places in the entrepreneur chart, to position 30 in only a couple of weeks!
Designed to encourage straight-talking conversation that I think is so often lacking from modern debate – not least in the tech sector – the show covers the stories of real people who have overcome adversity, achieved great things and/or made some pretty tricky decisions along the way. If you haven’t heard what all the fuss is about, I’d love you to have a listen. We cover everything from leadership to lacrosse, and futurology to foundation for men!
Doing our bit
Elsewhere, we talk a lot about being a principled company that truly cares about people – a commitment that admittedly feels a little trite in the business space nowadays. But we know it’s an authentic part of who we are, and I think there are some wonderful examples of that passion, in action, in this last quarter.
- We appointed a charity champion, Emily Potter, who has spearheaded a number of fundraising initiatives for our nominated worthy cause, CLIC Sargent.
- We’ve rolled out a new physical and psychological wellbeing initiative for staff, with the help of our friends at Champion Health.
- And, having announced our enhanced commitment to ‘going green’ earlier in the year, our financial controller Jill has been busy nurturing nature, at our Yorkshire HQ.
These are just some of the things that matter to our colleagues, so they’re now permanent fixtures in everyday Vapour life.
Oh, and then there’s everything we’re working on for clients, which is last but absolutely by no means least. Away from all things Covid-19, we’re working on some really cool projects for clients in the automotive, construction and healthcare sectors at the moment, and we’re particularly excited to reveal details of a comms automation project with machine agents and NLP at its heart – watch this space!
With so much packed into July to September, many of us are getting ready for a recharge, but there are just nine weeks of 2020 remaining and some exciting opportunities left to grasp, so we’re aiming to go out on a high.
We’ve just launched our A-Z of Workplace Technologies in 2021 – a phenomenal piece of work which isn’t just a testament to the efforts of the Vapour team, but the many partners and friends of the business who are each genuine experts in their own fields. I think this has the potential to be a real must-read for so many organisations next year.
Nobody has a crystal ball, but given the rate at which a number of companies have undergone digital transformation this year, I think we’re going to see further great changes afoot in 2021. The adoption of video in only a matter of months is what many technologists expected to see over three to five years, for example, so it’s a very interesting time to be in this space, as we look ahead to the next quarter and beyond.
When it is time for that recharge, I will relish the opportunity to reboot over Christmas with the family – especially the two little people for whom it’s all about. Oh, and I’ve an expedition to Spitsbergen to prepare for, on the fringe of the Arctic Ocean. But more about that next time…
There’s a lot to do before the year is out. Stay safe everyone