Netpremacy – building an environment for innovation
Netpremacy is a company that, day in and day out, uses some of the most innovative and forward-thinking tools going. We also use these solutions to help drive our customer base forward, helping them to achieve their strategic goals as a business by using technology as an enabler.
One thing we are really proud of and are constantly looking to develop and improve is our network focused on innovation. We love being involved in new exciting projects where technology is being used as a driver for something different. Que our relationship with FinTech North.
Since the start of 2020 Netpremacy and FinTech north have been working together to help bring innovation to the masses, constantly educating each other’s network, connecting people to people, business to business, and technology to solutions.
We’ve run a number of webinars focusing on how Google is creating a community of Fintech leaders, where their cloud platform is at the heart of this…. Who knew technology could be such an enabler! These webinars have covered topics such as how Google is building specific Finance solutions, all the way to how some of the largest FinTechs, such as Monzo, have revolutionised the support desk systems using big data tools such as BigQuery, and they were a huge success.
Netpremacy as a Google Cloud Premier Partner is constantly advising its customers on how to leverage the Google ecosystem and use the tools available in the most optimal way. We are keen to constantly evolve our role in the Fintech space and this is something that has only been strengthened by our relationship with FinTech North. This is exactly what helped theme our next webinar in partnership with them.
On the 29th September Netpremacy & FinTech north are partnering once again to create a network for innovation. We are bringing together start ups, established companies and those with simply an idea together to hear them “pitch” their business to industry experts. This is a great chance for the FinTech community to get together (albeit virtually) hear some new and exciting ideas and see what’s coming next from one of the most forward thinking and disruptive industries.
We’ll be hearing from the likes of:
Celebrating women in tech, and how far we have come
Women make up only 16% of IT professionals, a trend that has remained the same for 10 years in a row*.
Here at Netpremacy, we recognise the gap in the stats and are always looking to work on ways in which we can celebrate the women in technology that we have at our HQ. We think it’s important to raise awareness and spread the word, but to also make the technology sector a place that is more inclusive and approachable to women in technology.
To celebrate how far the industry has come, we are teaming up with some of our very own ladies in the cloud to host an online webinar, celebrating women in technology and how far we have come. The webinar is held in collaboration with the Leeds Digital Festival. Get to know our speakers that will be making an appearance on the webinar, and sign up for the event here.
Bryonie Brignall – Marketing, Events & Brand Manager. Bryonie has been working at Netpremacy for 3 years now and will be opening our women in the cloud webinar. “When I first started at Netpremacy I knew little around technology and where to begin. Since starting at Netpremacy 3 years ago I have been given the opportunity to learn about new and emerging technologies. Part of my job is writing content, and organising events on trending topics, so I had to learn on the job around all of the different types of Google technology. It has been a challenge, but one I have found so interesting. I have enjoyed the development that Netpremacy provides and as a result have had the opportunity to learn, grow, and attend interesting events such as Women of Silicon roundabout. My job keeps me on my toes and is challenging me every single day. Technology is always changing, and as I result I am always learning new things.”
Fraja Hodges is a Product Manager in our Customer Success Services team. She has been at Netpremacy for 4 years and will be discussing her Cloud journey so far. “As a Product Manager, it is my responsibility to create quality content for our Customer Success Services, so having a good understanding of Google technologies is quite vital to my role. I started out at Netpremacy in change management, but over the years I’ve had lots of opportunities to expand my knowledge of Google Cloud, as well as gain invaluable experiences for my own personal development. With all the encouragement and support I’ve had from the business, I’ve managed to take a number of courses and exams, and even pass the Google Cloud Professional Collaboration Engineer certification. All of this has helped me be more independent, self-reliant, and confident when it comes to creating technically-accurate collateral for our customers.”
In addition to this, we are also collaborating with Jordan Winokur, Google. Jordan has worked at Google for the past 14 years, in both the New York and London offices. She is passionate about growing and nurturing new business lines within Google, driving strategic partnerships across enterprises, and helping customers achieve digital transformation.
Jordan joined Google Cloud two years ago and leads services partnerships for Telco, Media, and Entertainment customers within the UK and Ireland. Before moving to Google Cloud, Jordan ran the global data and ad technology (now Google Marketing Platform) partnership with one of Google’s largest agency holding company customers.
Jordan is passionate about supporting more women in the STEM industries and is an active mentor and coach for women in technology. She is a member of Women in Cloud UK and Women at Google.
Last but not least is Sarah Tulip, founder of WILD (Women in Leeds Digital). Sarah Tulip is an award-winning strategic leader with over 15 years’ experience of Business Operations, Innovation & Change within Technology. She has been part of leading businesses including, AQL, The Test People & Klaxon Technology. She is currently the Digital Director for EY across the North of England where she can help them build the solutions strategies and visions they need to take them on the next stage of their journey.
“I have long been a champion of women and I am passionate about individuality and equality for all, especially within our digital world. I’m keen to find a way to proactively grow, engage, develop, and retain diverse digital skills and community in Leeds, now the North, I joined forces with Deb Hetherington to co-found WiLD, a community-led organisation aimed at encouraging women and under-represented groups into digital roles, the group now has over 1000 members across the region. Amongst other non-exec roles I am the City Ambassador for Leeds as a digital city and chairs the Leeds Digital Forum I champion the voices of those less represented. I feel that being a gay, working-class, a woman without a degree education, plus a leader within digital that I carry the responsibility to be visible and encourage those who don’t believe they can.”
We are excited to get together with many different personalities and roles within the Tech sector, to celebrate progress and to discuss industry challenges. If this sounds like a webinar that you would be interested in, you can register here.
*ComputerWeekly.com – Percentage of women in tech remains low at 16%, with little growth in 10 years)
LeedsBID was looking for a way to capture data and manage it more efficiently…
Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID), is a business-led, not for profit organisation voted for by the city’s businesses with an ambitious plan to transform Leeds city centre.
Over the last 3 years, LeedsBID has helped to transform the city through the introduction of innovative and exciting initiatives such as its street teams (Welcome Ambassadors, Street Rangers, and Evening Ambassadors ) Leeds International Festival and Summer in the City to name but a few. LeedsBID represents close to 1,000 businesses and offers a number of key services to its levy payers – those city centre-based businesses which provide an annual financial contribution to the work of the BID. Effective customer service is key to its work.
Netpremacy has a long-standing relationship with LeedsBID – a recent collaborative marketing campaign helped to drive attendance and create a buzz around a Netpremacy event as part of Leeds Digital Festival.
Netpremacy suggested the implementation of Zendesk into LeedsBID’s business after a discussion with Simon Gillard, Account Director at Netpremacy. Particular focus was around how LeedsBID handled enquiries and managed aspects of its core services. The team at LeedsBID is always interested in ways to improve efficiency and Zendesk provided the perfect solution. It enables the automated booking of services, and at the same time makes the process more efficient from an administrative perspective.
LeedsBID was looking for a way to capture data and manage it more efficiently so that they had more resource for projects, and could also make for a smoother, more efficient service for levy payers.
The project was first started in November 2017, and took just 6 months to be implemented (completed 1st July 2018, soft launch). Netpremacy enabled LeedsBID to create a ticket system through Zendesk that handled enquiries and business in a more efficient and effective way. LeedsBID found that implementing Zendesk, with Netpremacy’s customisation suited their needs perfectly.
For this deployment, administration training was provided by Netpremacy. Netpremacy was able to provide in-depth practical training to the LeedsBID administration team to prepare them for managing the new support system and allow the team to see how their solution was formed from day one. This approach to training means that LeedsBID now has an in-house team who is able to make changes and additions to the Zendesk based platform enabling them to grow and adapt the platform to be future proof.
Agent training was delivered on site by Netpremacy. This training took a relaxed approach so that agents had the chance to ask the questions they needed. The sessions also allowed them to see how the system would operate not only for LeedsBID but also the levy payers.
The training of both administrators and agents has allowed LeedsBID to position and manage their own Zendesk platform.
Vicki Freestone, LeedsBID Business Executive, said: “LeedsBID is always looking for ways to innovate and improve the customer experience whilst increasing our own internal productivity. It has been an absolute pleasure to develop Zendesk with Netpremacy, a key Leeds-based cloud technology firm.”
The project ran incredibly smoothly and now LeedsBid and Netpremacy are looking forward to a growing and continued relationship for the future.
Want to find out how Zendesk can enhance your customer service platform? Contact us.
The Secret Ingredient in Change: Executive Sponsorship
My name is Fraja Hodges and I work in the Training and Change Team at Netpremacy, a Google Cloud Premier Partner. Having seen first-hand how important the role of an Executive Sponsor is during a time of change, I was inspired to write a post on this specific topic:
We recently worked with a company who were looking to implement a social collaboration platform in order to “connect the unconnected”. Their extremely proactive CEO, who acted as Executive Sponsor in the G Suite deployment, strongly contributed to the overall success of the project. His general enthusiasm and eagerness for the transition motivated his employees, especially upon seeing that he ‘practiced what he preached’, communicating via Hangouts and Google+, rather than email. Working with us as a partner meant they had all the advice they needed on-hand. We were able to identify exactly what needed to happen and how, namely analysing key use cases and broadcasting a unified, focused message.
When a company decides to make a change – whether this is a deployment of G Suite, Zendesk, LumApps, RingCentral, etc. – the ‘why, what, when, how and who’s must be relayed to the end-user so that the project is completely pellucid for everyone to understand and trust in. These include why this is happening, what exactly it will entail when it will take place, how it will be rolled-out, and lastly who they can contact for further information and support. This should help to prevent resistance, anxiety, and confusion from the offset. As per the Netpremacy Change Management Methodology, at the start of any project, we ensure that an Executive Sponsor is nominated to act as the face of change. This blog post explores the part played by an Executive Sponsor in a change initiative and their significance to the project.
So, what does being an Executive Sponsor actually mean?
The role of an Executive Sponsor is best untaken by a senior member of the project board, often the CEO of the company. The reason for this is that they are a respected, authoritative person who can aid in promoting change management and supporting the project from the perspective of the organisation’s strategic goals. They are a key decision-maker in the deployment, with the control over people and resource needed to finalise the best approaches and practices for their company; as well as a catalyst for change to get the ball rolling. It’s important for them to have a vision of what the change will bring to be able to identify objectives, outcomes, and measures. This, in turn, will create and emphasise a ”burning platform” – or absolute need – for the transition.
Executive Sponsorship usually involves a number of responsibilities when it comes to organisation-wide announcements and communications (see more about the importance of communications here). The elected sponsor is the one from whom end-users should receive any information and updates to do with the project, and is the internal presence that provides a sense of familiarity during such times of change. They are usually a big (if not sole) focus in the elevator pitch – this is the initial announcement and a direct message to all employees from the Executive Sponsor on the reasons and benefits of going Google. It typically includes the end goal and vision for the future, as well as the project roll-out plan and impacts on users that the move may entail. Their named sign-off on communications and senior position build the initial sense of urgency for this transition on an individual, personal level, as well as an organisational one.
What else makes for good sponsorship?
One of the top contributors to success for change management initiatives is active and visible Executive Sponsorship. All organisations look to their leaders in times of difficulty or uncertainty to be strong supporters and lead the way – this is no different when it comes to times of change. Senior leadership provides the credibility to maintain and articulate a clear and attractive vision for why the change is necessary and therefore, increase the impact of the messages received by the end-user. Likewise, their overall line authority gives them the ability to directly confront resistance in order to clear a path to success.
The Executive Sponsor will align the organisation’s infrastructure, environment and reward systems with the change, allowing for performance to be measured and managed accordingly. Having somebody well-known and influential celebrate project successes is meaningful to the end-user and encourages innovation long after the deployment has come to an end. This also emphasises that this is not just an IT project, but a complete cultural transformation (see here for a great blog post on how G Suite deployments underpin the journey of cultural transformation within businesses).
What are the risks of poor sponsorship?
Using an influential, senior person in the company for communications, means end-users are more likely to open (and actually read) the information they include around the project. Let’s face it, you’d pay more attention to an email from your CEO, than you would from someone in IT that you may not know! Additionally, when you see an email from your CEO, you immediately assume it’s content is important – otherwise, why would they spend their valuable time writing it?
As established beforehand, an Executive Sponsor should have authority and credibility. Without this, there is less of an incentive for people to co-operate and little sense of urgency for the transition. Visible senior involvement helps to avoid push-backs and delays of the project, as well as portray the change as a “burning platform” because their internal position brings value, urgency, and priority to the project.
I hope that this post has highlighted the roles and reasons for an active and visible Executive Sponsor in any form of change initiative. Not only do they boost employee engagement and promote the importance of change management, but they also have a direct effect on the success of the deployment as a whole. Having the right people involved and providing transparency throughout the project creates a purpose and a visual plan for the transition.
If you have any questions on this topic or for Netpremacy in general, please feel free to contact us here.
Blog post written by Fraja Hodges, Training and Change Co-ordinator, Netpremacy