If you know anything at all about tech, it’s that the last two years have thrown organisations of all shapes, sizes, and sectors head-first into the digital realm.
But just as much as state-of-the-art products and solutions have the power to revolutionise business, people are equally a key driver of innovation – not least when they’re industry-renowned professionals with bags full of experience and expertise.
Didn’t catch the commentary from our hand-selected panel of VIPs at our intimate event last week? Don’t fear. We’ve curated a list of the key takeaways that every successful leader should know as they continue to augment their own digital transformation strategy in 2022 – and beyond.
So sit tight, and delve in…
1. Don’t underestimate conversation around the 4th industrial revolution – it’s here
And our clients think of Vapour as the plumbing to the Internet and other applications. It just works.
2. By 2025, 27% of the global workforce will be Gen Zs
Not only are they an important talent pool in this industry – having grown up without a recollection of life with no internet – they’re also the future of every organisation.
With that in mind, do you understand what your employees need and want from the workplace, especially when it comes to the expectations they have on technology?
3. Intelligent automation is a key driver of innovation
As well as saving time, money, and headaches dealing with the ‘dumb stuff’ – much like RPA – intelligent automation on the other hand can also ingest, interpret, and think about data, work harder, and enhance the roles of people even further.
4. Automation can work 24/7/365
Not only this, but it’s also able to work three times faster than human processing and with 100% accuracy, plus infinite scalability.
Repetitive tasks are often one of the biggest causes of job dissatisfaction and wasted time, and according to Rob Dawson – principle consultant at Robiquity and one of the speakers at our event – clients save an average of 27,000 hours per year using their intelligent automation services!
5. McKinsey data states that IT budgets typically go over by an average of 45%!
That’s why it’s crucial to look for a partner that is vender agnostic, and will implement the solution that’s right for your needs – not the one they’re paid to implement.
Ask questions specific to your own IT scenario too, to validate their experience. Rob’s advice on this topic was to ensure the discovery stage of a project is thorough, to ensure true RPA readiness, and to ask for a partner’s typical speed to value time – 5 weeks should be feasible, on average (depending on the nature of the project of course!).
6. Many VoIP providers only work with 1-2 carriers
This means their disaster recovery lacks vital resilience.
On the other hand, Wavenet – one of the partners to feature on the event line-up – works with multiple carriers. This vastly mitigates the risk of any comms disruption for that client. If the connection goes down unexpectedly, the traffic simply flips to another in milliseconds.
Is it any wonder over a 12-month period, a busy 300-seat customer of Vapour’s had ZERO faults with Wavenet’s TeamsLink system?
7. Worldwide IT spending to grow 3% this year
Despite economic headwinds, IT decision makers are spending more on cloud services and the data centre.
And with inflationary pressures top-of-mind creating a degree of uncertainty, already high prices could rise even further. With that in mind, it’s no surprise enterprises are making a switch from ownership-based IT models to service-bases ones.
8. Tech adoption has risen exponentially – but there’s a renewed focus on people, and therefore employee wellbeing too, particularly in contact centre environments
Puzzel’s partner success manager, Alison Hogg, suggests that customer tolerance for slow service has diminished, and there’s an increasing demand to use whichever channel they want, when they want – with an unparalleled new focus on receiving a seamless, connected customer experience. So, Alison encouraged us to think about what that means for brands and how they respond.
It’s also important to remember that comms channel silos means team silos, which usually a bad user experience, as well as inefficient workloads as tasks require duplication.
9. Puzzel helps you serve micro-moments that drive engagement
With intelligent self-service for consumers, a seamless user experience for customers and agents, and automated scheduling that ensures you are always effectively staffed, the platform’s digital-first approach speeds up first contact resolutions to help improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
And if a customer wants to speak to a real person, chatbots can recognise this too! With a request for intervention and a full chat history, agents can easily pick up a customer conversation to enhance the overall service level.
10. Businesses will increasingly demand network connectivity via ground and air
The world of 5G is expanding at pace, fuelling pacy innovation for organisations reliant on smart devices and IoT, and providing ever-changing businesses with a quick and easy way to get connected – rapid deployment with a fixed cost, particularly great for firms with satellite/pop-up sites.
Still hungry for more insight? Download the full speaker presentations from the innovation forum, for free.
To discuss any of these topics in further detail, please contact Vapour on 0333 200 1142 or fill out our contact form.
Forward thinkers and tech innovators will be descending upon The Chambers in Leeds this month, for what is sure to be an unmissable exploration into next generation digital transformation.
Following the tremendous success of Vapour’s innovation forum in January, a brand-new panel of thought leaders will take to the stage to bring us the latest information on cloud technology, client connectivity, and the future of 5G - diving into what’s next for the fast-evolving world of hybrid working.
The exclusively-selected clients in attendance will come away with a slew of fresh ideas on how to improve their organisations’ productivity, security and resilience. Keeping them ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing tech environment.
Presenting at the city centre venue, will be representatives from the award-winning telecoms and technology provider, Wavenet, providing insight into, and demos of, their TeamsLink offering. The lucky invitees will be able to see just how the technology works and observe the business applications of its hero features, such as Power BI and dynamics integration, plus call recording. Wavenet’s John Denny is eager to provide a clear picture of just how much is possible with their programs, and how they can work seamlessly with other platforms, like that of Puzzel.
Pioneers of the customer service platform, Puzzel, will also be in attendance, showcasing their omnichannel contact centre on when and how this can be layered with other systems. Turning the spotlight onto their infrastructure, the value it holds, and the potential benefits they see in an increasingly remote working world, the focus of this session will be how to ensure savvy tech works harder for modern organisations.
The event’s highly-anticipated keynote speaker - CEO of Robiquity Tom Davies will be sharing the latest advancements in robotic process automation, its real world applications, and just how they can be implemented to benefit every organisation. Robiquity is widely recognised as the market leader, and Tom is sure to wow attendees with his observations and foresight.
Of course, there will also be a presentation from Vapour’s very own CEO Tim Mercer, who will unveil the latest 5G market changes set to revolutionise private network connectivity, and the need for faster progress as BT’s 2025 copper switch off edges ever closer.
Commenting on the event, Tim said “Hot on the heels of Vapour’s first innovation forum in January, this will be an excellent opportunity for our customers, partners, and friends to gather intel from some of the most pioneering thought-leaders from the communications and cloud tech space, as well as build key connections.
“With the market constantly evolving, and following such a successful turn out earlier this year, there felt no better time to launch the second instalment of the innovation forum, and I look forward to seeing what our keynote and guest speakers bring to the table on the day.”
All speakers will then be united for a Q&A session giving guests the opportunity to put their own questions to the knowledgeable panel.
If you are interested in attending this, or future innovation forums please visit our registration page or call 0333 200 1142 for more information.
It’s Katie’s turn in the spotlight this month. Here she shares the role communications can play in driving tech sector change, the need for energy in our business, and what journalists REALLY think about Vapour…
How did you first get into the world of tech?
I come from the comms side of tech and started out in the industry in 2006. I worked for a PR agency with a varied client base, at the time, but naturally gravitated towards the ‘geekier’ of businesses. These were the stories I found the most thought-provoking, especially if you could debunk the jargon and relate to stakeholders at any level. In 2013, I left to focus solely on technical communications – and ‘ta dah’, here I am at Vapour.
And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?
I had a rainbow-coloured kids’ typewriter, not long after I could walk. As I grew up, I advanced to a PC, practically the size of our dining table!
What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?
One is hard, as there are lots of values that differentiate Vapour in a crowded tech space. But I’d probably say energy. The pace of innovation is fast, and the appetite to solve customers’ challenges never stops. This is in the DNA of the whole team, not just the CEO, which means there’s always something to talk about. This energy keeps us all moving forward.
And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?
The perception that all suppliers exploit how complex it is. This view suggests dishonesty or a lack of transparency – and don’t get me wrong, some companies will take advantage of how ‘green’ customers can be. But that’s not Vapour – and I’m sure there are other companies equally passionate about banishing this misconception. Yes, it’s complicated sometimes, but there’s always a way to explain it, honestly and respectfully so that everyone in the room can make informed decisions.
Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?
I am genuinely proud of the Vapour brand. I don’t just mean the logo (although it’s cool, right?) I mean the reputation Vapour has carved for itself, despite not being the biggest player – we’re not nestled in a city centre tech district either. But I spoke to a journalist the other day and he said: “I used to think you punched above your weight – and I admired Vapour for that. Now I realise you rightfully have a seat at the table.”
Quite often, it’s Vapour bringing new innovations to market, and word is continually spreading – especially because we’re so human in our approach. And I’m on a mission to keep telling that story, so more people know it!
Complete the sentences:
The best piece of tech ever invented is... any device to play music – I couldn’t be without it.
The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... probably a kiddy gadget – I’m a mum of two girls under four, so let’s face it, practically every penny goes on them. One thing I’d love someone to invent, is a savvy device that knows what I’m thinking and types it up for me. If someone could please let me know if it already exists, that’d be great!
A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is... Champion Health – a digital employee wellbeing platform.
The biggest misconception in the channel is that... it’s all smoke and mirrors. Let’s have more conversations that everyone can understand – that’s when businesses will rightfully get excited about what tech can do.
By the end of 2022, our tech will have made organisations far more... efficient. Whether that’s in terms of collaborating with colleagues, moving traffic securely around the network, or automating even the simplest of processes to free up the time of their workforce.
Two disruptive cloud tech firms – both headquartered in Yorkshire – have announced an industry collaboration to supercharge the digital transformation solutions delivered to clients.
Managed IT specialist CloudCoCo, based in Leeds, will strengthen the cybersecurity offering provided by us here at Vapour. And in return, we will enhance CloudCoCo’s infrastructure with the addition of security-first SD-WAN connectivity – a cost-effective, scalable cloud technology that integrates network and user security, with ease, for high performance remote working.
The alliance signals the latest in a series of strategic partnerships for us – as an organisation that has never shied away from joining forces with the industry’s brightest talent, when approaching customers’ digital transformation projects.
“Organisations – certainly in the larger SME market and above – don’t expect or want a vendor to be a ‘jack of all trades’ anymore,” explained CEO Tim Mercer. “They seek to place their trust in a small number of proven experts who will listen carefully to the brief and deliver exactly what the business needs. Partnerships, in this environment, are therefore key. But they have to be carefully formed, between specialists whose technologies, standards, and cultures, are on a par, with no exceptions.”
With both companies closely aligned with enterprise cybersecurity giant Fortinet, the credibility of the two brands was clear when discussions to partner first began.
“We’re here to demystify cloud technologies to make the impossible, possible,” Tim added. “You can only do that by remaining straight-talking and customer focused at all times, and sometimes going against the grain. We’re not afraid to do that, and neither is CloudCoCo. I think both companies – and the teams within them – are respected for their honesty, so we’re a good fit when it comes to devising solutions, together.”
Like Tim, Mark Halpin’s cloud-first vision was also dismissed when he too left the corporate world to set up CloudCoCo. Fast forward three years, and the business now has more than 1,000 customers, £27m turnover, and has recently acquired managed service provider IDE Connect and Nimoveri IT Support.
“I was told I was cloud cuckoo for believing the managed IT sector had become slow, unresponsive, boring and broken, so in April 2018 I left my long-term job and built a company of agile, fiercely passionate, and supremely talented cloud, cybersecurity, connectivity, hardware and hosted voice professionals,” explained Mark.
“Tim and I share a similar back story and many values too – not least a passion for delighting customers with the help of progressive people and powerful technology that doesn’t have to be complicated. This partnership could mean great things for both our respective teams. CloudCoco has an unlimited ambition in terms of growth, so the future starts now.”
Vapour is also forecasting 25% revenue growth by the end of the financial year.