Our insight


Pick up the phone to Ideal just now and you might detect elevated levels of grooviness. Stroll past our office and you'll likely find yourself moving just a little more slowly. Come in for a meeting and, well, there's a huge, psychedelic snail sunning himself in our meeting room window.

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At the top of the year, Mike set out the challenges and opportunities we're all facing in 2018. More than a month in already, and I wanted to talk about the exciting ways Ideal is rising to meet those challenges, and help you seize and deliver on opportunities.

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At the start of the month I was at Cisco Live in Barcelona: an entire week of presentations, workshops, networking and general hobnobbing among Cisco, its partners and IT professionals. I've been before, but this year I was with fellow solution architects Daren Vallyon and Adrian Clarke - a strong showing from Ideal.

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I was lucky enough to spend 2017 as a Cisco Champion. If you're not familiar with the programme, it's a Cisco-sponsored network of technical experts, who love what they do, and are fired up about Cisco's technologies and solutions. Being new to it at the start of last year felt a bit like being a fresher at university, but the support on the programme meant that I quickly felt at home. I got so much from it over the year that I really wanted to stay on for 2018.

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This year's going to be an exciting one for Ideal as we expand our managed services portfolio and grow our cloud offering and expertise. We already apply best-practice security across our core architectures - enterprise networking, data centre and unified comms - and we wanted to ensure we could offer the same level of security expertise and reassurance as we expand our range of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions.

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Earlier this month I had the privilege to attend the flagship Cisco Partner Summit in Dallas. By invitation only, and with only about 60 places available to UK partners, it is the hottest ticket in the Cisco partner world, yet Ideal has been there on several occasions: a testament to the fantastic relationship that has developed between our companies over the years.

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Time moves quickly. It seems like minutes since the top of the year, but here we are in Q3 and I've been at Ideal for eight months. A lot has happened. A lot more is happening, and this feels like a good point to pause for reflection and take a look at what the future holds for Ideal and its customers.

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We've been building an increasingly close partnership with Palo Alto Networks - the disruptive next-generation security company behind innovative products like Traps. Last month I was out in Vancouver for Ignite, PAN's annual cyber security conference, and as PAN's UK and Ireland Technical Champion of the Year 2016 I had the privilege of a one-to-one with its engaging founder, Nir Zuk.

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Our series of interviews with women who work in IT and the technology sector was started by co-founder Claire. It's a response, in part, to the lack of female applicants for our job vacancies.

As digital marketing manager and founder of Brighton Digital Women, Rachel Finch is a well-placed advocate for women in Brighton's thriving digital industries. Here she shares her experience, and offers advice to anyone starting their own career in technology.

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2016 was a year full of highlights for Ideal, and if its first quarter was anything to judge by, 2017 promises just as much excitement. Since January we've welcomed two new directors, many new starters and two new technology partners - reassuringly, we're still focused on our trademark excellence. With more events and announcements in the pipeline, here are five highlights from our year so far.

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Cisco ONE - What is it?

Cisco One offers a great alternative for licensing and the IT infrastructure management solutions for your business.

>But what is it? Ideal’s Account Director George McKenna explains all…

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