At seven years old, Ideal is still young, but already we've seen the rise and fall of buzzwords, fads, and various other transient ideas. Other shifts - the rise of the cloud, the move to mobile - are here to stay, providing us and our customers with new challenges and opportunities. So what are we looking forward to in 2016? And how are we responding to the ever-changing IT landscape?
Mo Merrick, Director
My priority is that we have great customer relationships. So I'm really excited that in 2016 our customers will feel the benefit of our significant investment in people, technical knowledge and more efficient systems in recent years. It means we'll be giving them an even more brilliant service - from the first time we talk about their business challenges, to the ongoing support and management of the innovative solutions and services that we implement to solve them.
You'll hear more about the detail of these from the team below. But in a nutshell, we've made these investments to make sure that when we talk about 'brilliance' at Ideal it isn't just marketing hype.
Claire Hopkins, Managing Director
My focus in 2016 continues to be steering the high-level direction of Ideal, and leading the business' strategy. Brilliant people who are experts in their field are at the heart of this, so much so that we've just hired Gosia Bullock as our Head of Talent (you'll hear more from her below). This year she'll guide us as we continue to invest heavily in hiring and training the people who will support our customers' technology ambitions and challenges.
Building on our expertise in the public sector is a priority for all of the directors in 2016. With our inclusion on RM1045 and GCloud, we are excited about the prospect of bringing brilliant customer service and IT services to more public sector customers. And on a more practical level, we will be solving our space challenge: we're growing so quickly that we're either going to have to build a new floor on our lovely Brighton seaside offices, or find a bigger space.
Mick McLean, Technical Director
I'm really excited by what's coming in 2016. We now have four expert architects working together to build technical practices around the core technologies - networks, data centre, security and unified communications - that will deliver tangible outcomes and solutions for our customers.
Alongside this, we'll be investing more capacity in our support and engineering teams so that our managed services and support continue to be brilliant. You won't just have my word for that - we're implementing a new NetPromoter tool which means we can make sure we're delivering what we promise.
Security is a key focus for my team in 2016 - our newest addition in the Solutions Team - Senior Cyber Security Consultant Adrian Clarke - will tell you more about this below. My next goal is increasing our team of architects to ensure we cover customers' infrastructure needs from cloud solutions through to end user mobility.
Ian McCusker, Engineering Manager
My task in 2016 is to continue to ensure that our engineering capabilities offer brilliant depth of knowledge and levels of service across all four architectures.
We know that we do our best work when we work with our customers at a higher level, offering consultation and advice as well as delivering the technology solutions for businesses. So part of what excites me about 2016 is doing more of this kind of work with our customers and helping them make smart decisions and meet their longer-term challenges.
Adrian Clarke, Senior Cyber Security Consultant
My focus is going to be on helping our customers manage cyber-related requirements, beyond specific IT or networking technologies. We can do so much more than this - helping with a full end-to-end technical security solution, along with the supporting policies and procedures. To counter the constantly shifting threat landscape, we're investing in a 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC) to support our customers with security related incidents. I'll be working on this with Andy, our Support Services Manager.
My cyber predictions for 2016? Expect ransomware to reap further havoc on unprotected endpoints, an increase of cyber warfare being used by and against extremist groups, and a growing focus on compliance with cyber security standards such as Cyber Essentials or ISO 27001. As one of Ideal's newest hires, I'm particularly looking forward to getting out and meeting our customers in 2016.
Andy Roughton, Support Services Manager
I head up the team that provides our customers with 24/7, 365/366 days-a-year support from our in-house Service Centre. In 2016 it's very much business-as-usual: maintaining and developing our support service provided by our highly skilled support team, providing our proactive monitoring and performance reporting, and ensuring we deliver an excellent service. We aren't complacent about what's involved in providing this high level of service, so we'll be investing in more people, technology and lots of training.
And there are some new things on the horizon too. Aside from the new SOC mentioned by Adrian, we'll be rolling out our new world-class monitoring and performance reporting solution and making improvements to our customer service portal. I'll also be working with our Head of Talent, Gosia, to develop the Ideal Academy - you can find out more from her below.
Gosia Bullock, Head of Talent
2016 is all about three things for me: finding more brilliant people to join our team, investment in training to support the brilliant people we have, and making sure we have a lot of fun.
In particular I'm excited about getting the Ideal Academy off the ground. We'll be working with local colleges and the two universities based in Brighton to develop apprenticeship and graduate opportunities for young people in and around Brighton, and also to promote IT as an exciting career choice. There will be more about this on our blog soon.
Nick Childs, Finance Director
In 2016 my biggest priority is to support Ideal to work in a more strategic way with our customers. We know we deliver brilliance, whether it's installing a new switch or planning, designing and implementing a nationwide telephony project. But it's frustrating to work in a way where we aren't adding as much value as we could be.
Of course financially speaking, more strategic projects tend to lead to longer term relationships and that's going to be good for our bottom line! But they're also the ones where we get to make the biggest difference for our customers and help them transform their businesses and meet their challenges.
I'll also be very focused on making sure that our use of the NetPromoter customer satisfaction tool isn't a 'tick-box' exercise, but rather a way for us to take our customer opinions seriously and demonstrate our commitment to continuous improvement.
Pat White, Head of Delivery
We have some really big projects potentially coming down the track in 2016. The project delivery team are looking forward to managing these through and making sure that everyone on the project has a happy, easy experience. We do this by being partners rather than just 'suppliers' to our customers. That means getting under the skin of the project, anticipating needs - sometimes beyond the initial project remit - and offering advice and support.
For me, the best projects are stress and pressure free. I'm looking forward to helping deliver many more of these in the year to come.
What are you looking forward to in 2016? What are your opportunities, and what challenges do you face? Whatever this year holds we'd love to help - why not call us on 01273 957500, or send us a message.