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The channel is changing. ‘Digital transformation’ is no longer just a buzzword, and clients are now demanding cloud-first technologies within their business.

But Vapour has been cloud-first since our inception in 2013. In fact, our company is built on four cornerstones of cloud-first excellence – voice, video, networks and storage. It’s all we know.

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Management team invited onto Barclays scale up programme

Three members of Vapour’s management team have embarked on a prestigious scale up programme in association with Barclays and the University of Cambridge, as the business gears up for further growth.

CEO Tim Mercer, sales manager Alec Stephens, plus head of operations and compliance Carol McGrotty, were welcomed onto the six-month course at the start of 2020. The COVID-19 outbreak risked putting the initiative on hold, but the quick-thinking Barclays team switched to an online series so the programme could still begin at the end of April.

Having already covered a range of strategic topics, the ensuing workshops will encourage participants to look deeper and deeper inside the business for scale up opportunities. With sessions with Cambridge Judge Business School peppered in between, the aim of this executive education collaboration is to help participants enhance their operational and strategic performance.

Commenting on the project, CEO Tim said: “When we first heard about this scale up opportunity, we knew the search was on to recruit 20 ambitious teams with a commitment to achieving extraordinary results. We were therefore delighted to discover we had secured a place.

“The programme is extremely timely too – and not just because of COVID-19. When Vapour was founded, there were many external faces on our board, including the investment team. Now, as we prepare for the next chapter of our story, it’s clear there are a number of colleagues internally who can add value to the formation and delivery of our strategic vision, moving forward. They are our future after all.”

Tim also stressed that while COVID-19 may have meant some adjustments to Vapour’s 2020 plans, all eyes are still on the onward growth of the firm. But the success of this will come down to people as much as tech, he believes.

“People like Alec and Carol really care about ‘what’s next’ for Vapour,” Tim continued. “They have an unparalleled insight into the work we do and the challenges and opportunities we could encounter. They are also close to both colleagues and clients, so can help run the company with empathy, a sense of camaraderie and a true commitment to maintaining our culture too. This programme will upskill them to ensure their management, decision-making and scale up acumen is equally as strong.

“I don’t have all of the answers, so this more collaborative approach will bring a great deal of value to our senior team, while adding weight to our succession planning.”

Alec and Carol’s invitation to the programme follows hot on the heels of their promotions, earlier this year.

“COVID-19 has obviously impacted on our organisation – as Tim outlined honestly in his Q1 blog,” explained Alec. “But while some elements of the business may pivot, we’ve always invested in people and technologies that will help future-proof both our own organisation and our customers’ too.

“So, the economy – and the tech channel – may currently be in a state of flux. However, we’ve got a business model with net recurring revenues and a proven customer support infrastructure that will ensure stability within our base. This allows Carol, Tim and I to continue thinking about what we can refine, enhance or take right back to the drawing board, as we prepare Vapour for the next phase of growth.”

Carol concluded: “We’re very vocal about our search for continuous improvement. We don’t profess to have all the answers, so the Barclays scale up programme is helping us look at Vapour through a new lens.

“I think every business should push for this type of evolution – whether they’re lucky enough to be invited onto a prestigious education initiative such as this, or not. Watch this space to see the outcomes of the project…”


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