Author: Steve Groom | Vissensa CEO

Before writing this blog, I thought it would be a good idea to remind myself of what I’d written the previous year. As I read about our 2019 and the trends we were excited to see develop in 2020, it struck me how blissfully unaware we all were of the enormous challenge we were about to face. It’s hard to believe that was just one year ago!

2020, more than any other year in my lifetime, has reinforced the fragility of human life on this planet; not only from the emergence of new, deadly viruses, but also as the consequence of an impending climate catastrophe, which many scientists are warning of. However, 2020 has also served as a beacon of human endeavour, resilience and ingenuity, as well as showing what can be achieved when we all pull together. 

Just here in the UK, we have a lot to be proud of. Whether it’s leading the way in developing a vaccine in record-breaking time, the NHS’s call for 250,000 volunteers being met with 750,000 sign ups in just three days or the incredible initiative and innovation demonstrated by businesses to continue operating in the most challenging conditions we’ve ever faced. At Vissensa, we’ve been amazed at the speed at which the companies we support have adopted technology like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint to successfully work remotely.

Despite all these challenges, Vissensa has still strived to meet its objectives for 2020 through continued investment in people, technology and our own systems and processes. We hired new technical and sales staff giving us our first experience of the “virtual recruitment and on-boarding process” with our new recruits being introduced over Microsoft Teams, which I’m sure was as strange for them as it was for us. This period of lockdown was a challenge for all our team though (me included), with many feeling more isolated as a result of remote working. Mental health is a priority for us and we recognised the impact this could have. Regular coffee afternoons and competitions over Teams (including a virtual horse race) became really important for all of us, helping us all stay connected until we could venture back into the office. Of course, we wore reusable Vissensa branded masks – no disposable masks allowed!

We were acutely aware that it wasn’t just us that might need some support getting through lockdown. That’s why we launched an initiative to provide companies with free help and guidance keeping their teams connected whilst working remotely. As a technology company, we were fortunate enough to already have the IT infrastructure and systems in place to transition to remote working seamlessly. Many companies were not in that position though. Our expertise enabled us to design a comprehensive telephony and collaboration solution using Microsoft Teams, which many of our clients relied upon to continue operating. 

The initial uncertainty around how long the crisis would last meant that, like many other businesses, we had to re-evaluate our expenditure and re-think some of our investment plans. We committed to developing and investing in the activities we believed would make a difference in the short term, while looking ahead to more positive times to come in 2021 and beyond. 

Talking about more positive times – this year we were proud to be recognised by a number of industry leading award bodies for our commitment to technology and innovation! 

We also have some exciting plans already in development, which we’re really excited to announce next year! We’ve got more packaged solutions coming to market, inspired by the everyday challenges experienced by businesses, and we’re also planning an expansion in our reach as a supplier of data centre technology and services.

I’m really pleased to say that the results of these initial investments are bearing fruit, and if you’re a follower of Vissensa’s news outlets, I hope that you’ll agree that our marketing position has changed significantly in the last year! In June we launched our brand new, user focused website, with more information about our team and our aspirations. Not to mention our sophisticated new brand! Our social media stance has also developed significantly, with more followers and contributors than ever before – and we’re thrilled to be growing our network.  

We are really pleased with the response to our “Vissensa Talks” series. Our video and podcast sessions were introduced at the start of lockdown to support our market by maintaining communication with as many people as possible, showcasing how local business have been coping with the pandemic. We hope that sharing their positive views for the future was a comfort and in inspiration to those watching throughout the first pandemic! My thanks go to Caroline and her Marketing team who continue to drive our brand forward to new heights.

For a while now, we’ve been working behind the scenes to develop a set of new product wraps for our expanding Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Business Voice Telephony customer base. Through talking to our customers, and carrying out some market research, we realised that most businesses were looking for more than just  paying  Microsoft  license fees – they wanted to use the tools effectively.  The addition of our free training portal to all Microsoft 365 licenses is a benefit we’re pleased to see many of our customers enjoying already, but is also one of many new exciting areas planned for our Microsoft offerings leading into 2021.

But we didn’t stop there – oh no! We decided to give businesses a simple and easy way to source equipment for their remote teams, and we launched the Vissensa Shop: shop.vissensa.com. 

The Vissensa Shop is our online technology site that provides the latest pricing on everyday items business need to operate – from laptops and desktops to licences and headsets. Head over there now to take a look at our latest offers! 

We have been very fortunate to extend our Data Centre business, winning a number of significant clients across a range of market sectors, and we’re really looking forward to working with them in 2021 as Vissensa continues to grow. Although 2020 will go down as a difficult trading year overall, we are looking forward to releasing some really exciting news in the New Year, so keep an eye out!   

Of course, none of this would be possible without a great team of colleagues and I want to pay tribute to each and every one of them for their commitment and professionalism they continue to show to our clients and the company.  

Every one of them has faced challenges and difficulties during 2020, and I am so pleased that our hard work and dedication have allowed us to stand by our commitments to them all, and to continue to invest in their futures. 

Our clients cannot go unnoticed and I consider they have played a massive part in our ability to weather this storm. Recognising the difference that Vissensa’s services bring to the managed Service market and continuing to place their trust in our experience and abilities to help them to succeed has allowed us to start to close the door on 2020 while looking forward to an exciting future. A heartfelt thanks go out to all our clients and suppliers. 

We’re not out of the woods yet, there are still trying times ahead, but by talking to each other, supporting each other, and continuing to do ethical, decent business together, we can all play our part in rebuilding  our  own  economic success.

I for one have looked very differently on how I do business with people and how they want to do business with Vissensa, and I am encouraged by the level of co-operation that is out there. Whatever your plans are in 2021, I hope they materialise and that you all stay safe.   

Steve
Vissensa CEO