Members of the Vapour team and its extended network headed down to London last Thursday to show our CEO Tim Mercer support as he stepped into the boxing ring at CRN’s Fight Night — raising vital funds for our nominated charity of the year, Borne.

Despite putting on a truly courageous fight from start to finish, Tim ‘No Mercy’ Mercer was just pipped at the post by his opponent, Paul O’Sullivan in a choice blow which brought it down to points. Although he didn’t secure a blue corner win, the top tier performance did earn our founder the esteemed ‘Fighter of the Night’ title — ending the knuckle biting fundraiser on a high!

“It was a fantastic experience that made the weeks and months of hard graft worth it!” commented Vapour’s champion. “Those who know me will testify how much I revel in a physical challenge, so the opportunity to test my endurance, resolve, and grit at the event was too good to miss. It was emotional to see so many supporters out in full force ringside on the night as well.”

And the team isn’t stopping there. Next month, Vapour’s charity golf day returns to Oulton Hall in Leeds by popular demand. Following the success of last year’s event in September — which saw the team raise a fantastic £6,385 — golf fanatics will gather on the green on Thursday 23 June for a day of friendly competition and charitable donations. For anyone wishing to attend, there is still a handful of places remaining. But be quick — they won’t be free for long.

In 2021, the team announced its pledge to dig deep for this hardworking medical research charity. And since the announcement, various colleagues have got stuck into a number of fundraising activities — bake sales, sponsored walks, a half marathon, and an intense week of endurance fitness training, to name a few. So far, the donation tally sits at an astonishing £10,500, but we’re sure there’s plenty more where that came from.

Reflecting on the reasons for choosing Borne – an organisation dedicated to saving lives, preventing disability, and creating lifelong health for mothers and babies – Tim notes: “Our families are what we seek to protect the most, and with premature birth an ongoing difficulty that nobody completely understands, there seemed no better cause.

“It is the leading reason for childhood mortality in the world today. More significant than infection, trauma or cancer, it affects some 15 million babies across the world every year – including nearly 60,000 in the UK. So, we want to do our bit to help stop babies being born too soon. And we hope we can drum up a fair amount of support for our varied efforts.”

Follow Vapour on social media to watch more of the team’s fundraising efforts unfold.

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Vapour boss Tim Mercer has signed up for his toughest fundraiser yet, all in aid of the premature birth charity, Borne.

On 19 May, our CEO will don his boxing gloves and step into the ring for the CRN Fight Night, at The Brewery in London.

A sell out industry event that has raised £220,000 for charity since the contests began in 2008, this is Tim’s first time up against an opponent.

Aware the selection process is notoriously tough, he applied to fight at the start of 2022, before being invited for a nerve-racking assessment. He was one of only 16 UK tech professionals selected, and all eyes are now on the black-tie event to see if Tim ‘No Mercy’ Mercer can bring home the title.

Fighting for the blue team, he will face Paul O’Sullivan, UK sales director at Threatscape, in the red corner.

Travelling to the Ring Boxing Club in Southwark, South London, every week for training, Tim had already upped his fitness regime last year, in preparation for his ‘week of hell’. That particular challenge - which saw him row, cycle, run and climb 286km - was one of his first major fundraisers for Borne back in October.

Since then, he and the Vapour team have raised £8,500 for the charity - and counting - with hopes that Fight Night will get them to £15,000. The ultimate goal is to reach £23,000 before the year is out.

Commenting on his latest challenge, Tim said: “I’m a big boxing fan, so when I saw the application process open for Fight Night, I thought - why not?!

“But when the news dropped that I’d made the lineup, s**t got real!

“There’s a difference between sparring and going toe to toe with an opponent - as I’ve already learned. But I’m tackling this event just as I would anything else - properly! I’m training hard, eating really well, and improving my technique week by week. I’ve got a table of supporters coming to cheer me on but I hope people will get behind me from a distance too, and dig deep for Borne.”

Over 15 million babies are born too soon every year, and 1 million of those die. Borne is a charity dedicated to saving lives, preventing disability, and creating lifelong health for mothers and babies. Anyone wishing to sponsor Tim can donate via Vapour’s JustGiving page.

October feels like the month the business community properly woke back up – particularly when talking about tech. An increasing number of organisations have continued to acknowledge the emerging threats and opportunities caused by the ‘sticking plaster’ solutions introduced during the pandemic, with data security, network resilience and latency, among the most talked about topics.

When it comes to comms, Gartner published its new UCaaS Magic Quadrant for 2021, with brands like Microsoft hailed for leadership, while challenger Google was praised for ease of use. With 74% of enterprise users forecast to have ditched their desktop phone by 2024, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be in this evolving space.

There have been product launches, investments, company acquisitions, movers and shakers, and more. The media has therefore had a LOT to talk about. But with disruption in our DNA, Vapour has continued to make plenty of headlines over the past three months.

Here are some of our highlights - click on the links throughout to catch up…

Vapour heads up sustainability in tech feature

Our head of transformation and operations, Carol McGrotty, headlined an environmental feature in Comms Dealer, which explored how organisations can reduce the carbon impact of their tech infrastructure – and the role that suppliers can play.

Senior hire gets industry talking

News of our latest hire caused ripples throughout the tech community, as we welcomed Glenn Ollivant ‘home’. He first entered the sector exactly 15 years ago, when he was trained by Vapour’s CEO, Tim Mercer. He’s had a high-flying career since, with roles for Virgin, Kcom and TalkTalk Business, and we’re delighted that his next big move, was into our ambitious team

This article from UK Tech News was one of our favourites.

How many SD-WAN solutions are truly security-first?

Vapour was interviewed by tech title Jaxenter, this month, on the incredibly hot topic of SD-WAN. But while these agile networks are causing quite the debate in industry, it’s crucial that IT leaders look for one that is truly security first. We delved into the exciting potential of this game-changing technology, while considering which solutions are truly worth the investment.

Digital transformation secrets unlocked

Don’t innovate for innovation’s sake, was the top-line advice provided by Vapour in an expert comment for Top Business Tech. The piece, which looked at the roll out of digital transformation projects in organisations large and small, explored how to reap maximum value from such an exercise, and why the role of people is just as crucial as technology and process digitisation.

Vapour collaboration accelerates Allvotec’s UC roadmap

In September, we shared that ICT specialist Allvotec had recently partnered with Vapour to bolster its Unified Communications portfolio. Allvotec is forecasting huge growth over the next 12 months, as organisations continue to adopt digital transformation projects at pace. This story hit the headlines, and was picked up by UKTechNews, CommsDealer, UC Today, Networking Plus and Business Link to name just a few!

And a feel-good story to finish…

CEO Tim Mercer tackles 286km challenge for Borne

There was widespread – and deserved – media support for Vapour boss Tim Mercer, when he embarked on a 286km challenge which he affectionately named his ‘week of hell’. In only five days he cycled 211km, rowed 20km, ran 13km and completed the 42km Yorkshire Three Peaks climb - all in aid of the charity committed to preventing premature Birth. His enduring feat was the latest in a series of fundraising efforts for Borne and has taken us that little bit closer to our bold £23,000 target. Thanks for getting behind us LeedsTech, UK Today News, Topic UK, BusinessUpNorth, Huddersfield Hub, and Eminetra.

There’s a lot more to come from Vapour in the final weeks of the year, as we prepare to announce new industry partnerships, customer projects and toolkit developments. To be among the first to read the latest, follow us on our social media channels Twitter and LinkedIn.

Only a matter of days after Vapour’s new annual charity campaign was revealed, CEO Tim Mercer has already announced the first of his fundraising quests for Borne. And he’s appealing to business owners, innovation heads, CTOs and IT leaders for support.

Over the next six months, Tim will donate up to 24 days of his time to deliver digital transformation sessions for organisations large and small. Covering topics ranging from secure hybrid working infrastructures and debunking the misconceptions associated with SD-WAN, to robotic process automation for companies regardless of size, Vapour will not earn a penny from these consultations.

But in return for his expertise, Tim will be asking the firms to donate £250 for a three-hour session, or £500 for a seven-hour session. And 100% of the monies raised, will go towards raising £23,000 for the charity committed to preventing premature birth.

“When we unveiled our chosen charity for 2021-22, last week, we made a start on drumming up funds the very same day with a staff auction,” said Tim. “And the team was brimming with ideas to climb mountains, clock up the miles, get quizzing and hold bake off style competitions. But reaching our colossal £23,000 target will be a feat in itself. So, it’s important we think of as many ideas as possible.

“As organisations have undergone more workplace change in the past 12 months than they ordinarily would in a 5-10 year period, I thought that the donation of my time, industry knowledge and advice could help fire up our fundraising efforts, while also benefitting the organisations I talk to. I’m willing to cover any topic from our toolkit, or any solution that we currently highlight on our website. So, I look forward to discovering what I’ll be tasked with, and hope to see the coffers filling up.”

To discuss potential dates and topics for one of the consultations, please email gs@vapourcloud.com.

Want to donate? Check out our JustGiving fundraising page.

Follow Vapour on social media to watch the team’s fundraising efforts unfold:

Twitter

LinkedIn

Instagram

Every year, Vapour pledges to fundraise for a worthy cause. So, for the next 12 months, the company will dig deep for the charity committed to preventing premature birth – Borne.

And all sights are set on the boldest target yet – a staggering £23,000!

From sponsored treks to corporate auctions, the team will leave no stone unturned on the mission to fill the coffers. In fact, a jam-packed agenda of activities will be revealed as the weeks unfold, with something for every single colleague to get involved in.

“Ever since the company was founded, we’ve been determined to exist for far more than commercial gain,” explains CEO Tim Mercer. “And over the years, we’ve learnt that giving back isn’t just the right thing to do – it brings us together as a team too.

“That’s why some of our fundraising efforts will centre on pushing ourselves and taking on personal challenges or feats of endurance. At the other end of the scale, we’ve also come up with ideas that are, quite frankly, pretty daft, so we can have fun at the same time as doing something good.”

Reflecting on the reasons for choosing Borne – an organisation dedicated to saving lives, preventing disability, and creating lifelong health for mothers and babies – Tim adds: “Our families are what we seek to protect the most, and with premature birth an ongoing problem that nobody understands, there seemed no better cause.

“It is the leading reason for childhood mortality in the world today. More significant than infection, trauma or cancer, it affects some 15 million babies across the world every year – including nearly 60,000 in the UK. So, we want to do our bit to help stop babies being born too soon. And we hope we can drum up a fair amount of support for our varied efforts.”

Want to donate? Check out our JustGiving fundraising page.

Follow Vapour on social media to watch the team’s fundraising efforts unfold:

Twitter

LinkedIn

Instagram

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