Outsourcing Expo & Summit

This week, Robert, Kayleigh & Asghar attended the London outsourcing Expo & Summit as an opportunity to see clients and make sure Soitron are continuing to be ahead of the curve in all things digitally disruptive.

 

Listening in on talks, it was an insightful day with many firms proving they are catching on to the realities of living in a digital era.

 

From a global perspective, UK firms are following the IT centric trends of countries such as China, though more budget needs to be allocated to allow them to thrive against its corporate competitors. With events such as this, the focus is therefore on how both growth and sustainability can be achieved in nearshore outsourcing. Reinforcing the similarities in cultures, time zones and the increased demand for flexible working, the outsourcing market has become alive with firms both small and large and previously strongly traditional, coming around to the true benefits of nearshoring.

 

One of the talks was led by Tom Wake and Luke Pratsides of NHSX, a new division within the NHS focusing on its digital development. Online booking and a triage doctor online is only the start of what’s been and will be launched. AI is being explored in a multitude of channels. From heart monitor sensors which send signals to a doctor to alert them when a patient’s heart rate drops or increases to an alarming rate, to AI tapping into a person’s everyday routine and alerting a healthcare professional when that routine is disrupted, potentially signifying a problem which needs to be followed up. Huge investments are being made in RPA and AI to ultimately, in the long term, save lives and save the NHS millions of pounds.

 

Outsourcing enables cost-effective ways of researching, testing and developing new ideas. It was great to see many smaller firms realising its true value as the market had previously been dominated by large corporate giants. Though we love working with both, the next big invention could come from anyone and we’re very excited to be part of this motion!

Balancing for better in business. Inspiring sayings from the International Women’s Day

by Kayleigh Maggs

 

International women day photo

Job specs made more gender neutral Flexible working to be more inclusive to both genders Re-train our eyes and brains to see differently and stop seeing the wallpaper covering the things and people around usHosted at the elegantly beautiful ‘Bristol Harbour hotel’, a reasonably early start of 8:30am and when I arrive, it seems I wasn’t the only one excited for the event as the venue is packed! After a quick refreshment, a few introductions to new faces, a devilishly delicious pastry and we move downstairs for the morning discussions to start.

The theme is ‘balance for better’ on international women’s day. Unsurprisingly, the guest panel is mixed and there are a handful of men who’ve come along too. Though today’s focus is on celebrating the growth of women in the past and today, the event is inspiring balance for all so it makes perfect sense for the audience to be mixed. It would be hypocritical to push for the same rights as men without understanding the rights of women, that men have been fighting for too. Until that moment, I hadn’t considered we had rights men wish they had. Quite naïve of me but this reinforces the need to educate people on the subject. The mindset cannot be changed until it has been taught.

The first guest speaker is Lu Wilmott representing a charity, One25. They work closely with women working in the sex industry and offer them support, food, drink, hot water bottles and as much time as they want in a safe place. A charity which many don’t offer empathy towards due to its nature and the assumption that they are on the street by choice.

Statistically, one third of the women have been through the care system. 80% are homeless, 99% addicted to drugs or alcohol and 100% risk their lives every time they get into a car, to survive. In 2018, ‘One25’ helped 54 women to come off the street and an incredible 240 women were helped over the year. It’s not just the physical help they provide too, the support is also in enabling them to address the obstacles they face to come off the street. They rely on donations; something as small as £5 gives a food bag and a hot drink. It’s saddening to think about what the women are put through, the mental trauma they must’ve experienced to get there and the ongoing mental and physical torture of living with it. Thankfully, charities like One25 exist and looking around the room, I can see many faces like mine who are touched by Lu’s words and will be looking to donate and help them continue making the change, step by step.

International women day photoThe vibrant Emma Clune introduces the panel of guest speakers who sit before us, Dion Johnson, Halina Jaroszewska and Jonathan Gaunt. Their energy is positively contagious.

We are encouraged by Halina to ‘Reflect, re-think and reboot’, which is this year’s slogan for Tedx Bristol. Stop and think about how we

can challenge to change ourselves, consider how can I be different? Take the onus on why a situation didn’t pan out the way you wanted it to as when you point the finger at someone else, you will see three fingers pointing back at you. How our mind thinks dictates what we say, what we say dictates the results that we get. To change the results, we need to first change what we think. Quite a powerful thought.

International women day photoDion takes her turn to dazzle us. Her story of her past and the obstacles she’s come up against is awe-inspiring, I’m choked up by her words and can’t help but be mesmerised by her.  To influence change, you must do it with respect and honour. Finding a way to communicate in a way which appeals to the other person is key. Dion draws reference to the children’s story of the sun and the wind.  It teaches a moral of the superiority of persuasion over force and how we can use that through life. What is pivotal, is we must find a way for us to work together and in this instance, get shared rights for both; balance for better.

Jonathans view on how we can adopt a new way of thinking and doing is quite refreshing, one which should be easily grasped by peers in the workplace still struggling to come on board with a room with no gender restrictions. It’s an idea easily identified with, Jonathan speaks of how we should adopt the mindset of children, showing no prejudice. Question yourself, if that were my child, grandchild or even me as a child, how would I want my children/myself to play and interact? I’m confident we would all actively encourage them/ourselves to play with everyone, show kindness, understanding and above all else, help make everyone feel involved.

But, as women, what happens when we are champions of change? Far too often, we are stereotyped as the ‘angry women’ whereby passion and desire is misconstrued as anger and aggression.

So how do we start to model change?

  • Job specs made more gender neutral
  • Flexible working to be more inclusive to both genders
  • Re-train our eyes and brains to see differently and stop seeing the wallpaper covering things and people around us

Dion reminds us that the way things present themselves is subjective as we’ve learnt how to see them. To see things differently we need to take our lenses off and analyse what could’ve been if you’d thought differently, behaved or showed up differently. This is the journey to changing our ways.

The theme of communication styles is prevalent in how to do things in a better way. Only the day before in a separate meeting, Berkeley Harris of Sandler Consultancy had asked the group if we still lived by the saying, ‘Treat others how you want to be treated yourself’. He immediately screamed NO at us to our amusement! Treat someone how THEY wish to be treated, we are all individuals after all.

View things from a different perspective, how you may be portrayed outside of what you can see. How can we step up to do something different?

Historically, we’ve tried to assimilate how things worked, put shoulder pads on to gain assertiveness and respect from colleagues. There is another way, our natural power needs to be revalued and brought forward. Individuality is an identity statement, but we now need to find a way of blending.

International women day photoHumorously, Halina compares growth and learning to a baby first learning to walk. The baby takes a few steps, wobbles and falls onto its bottom. To which the parents pick up the child and soothingly assure it, ‘It’s ok, you tried, we will carry you all your life’. Like with learning to walk, the phase of life we are entering is new but worth striving for and each effort, should be celebrated as it denotes progression.

Jonathan reminds us that as children learning to ride a bike, we fall, we get back on and try again. Why as adults do, we question our own abilities? Our unconscious thinking is often the reason we usurp forward thinking.

Change must start in education, and with us, the guardians and parents. Sport like rugby, ballet, art, drama, we need to encourage diversity and instigate the change at an early age and spur children on to try everything, to find their passion rather than cast the gender division into what our children do.  If we do, sadly, we are the ones who are subconsciously building the walls and gender divisions within our children.

International women day photo

Balance is better for all, we are a society of people not a society of men and women divided. As one we are stronger, wiser and capable of achieving so much more. To push forward, we must stop doing what we’re doing and start afresh, keeping that vision prevalent in our mind.

Through our efforts, keep fluidity of the mind in telling yourself, ‘at the moment ‘. A brilliant final piece of advice from Halina. Don’t allow your mind to cast doubt by reminding yourself, that feeling is temporary ……I can’t change it, at the moment.

Becoming a disruptor in the organisation is a big task and there is a process to getting ready for that but we’ve all come so far already. The frustration is shared across genders, so many men are the biggest advocates for gender equality, through time we will achieve balance for better, for all.

And to finish with another marvel from Dion, ‘you never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete. ‘Safe to say, the old model of me I left my home as that morning has already been replaced by a much more informed, enthused version. Personal growth was inevitable after a morning spent with not only the panel speakers, but the entire room who engaged so energetically in the conversations. Thank you all.

Our Technology Breakfast experience

by Kayleigh Maggs

 

I’m what you would call a newbie; new to software and new in my workplace having joined Soitron UK in early January. As with any ambitious new starter, I combe through the internet for events. A chance to be amongst my peers with the opportunity to expand my knowledge whilst also growing my network as in any industry, it’s not always what you know and what you can offer but who you know and who you can be introduced to.

 

Tortworth 1The list of panel speakers sent prior to the event lessened the blow of the 5:45am alarm I had set to ensure I got to the event in timely fashion. Arriving at the venue, a delicious smell of bacon and egg rolls and coffee greeted me. Insider Media who put on the event were thoughtful in ensuring there would be no hungry belly or tired eye distracting the full room from engaging with each of its panel speakers.

 

One of the opening points made by David Clensy is quite an eye-opener. The technology sector in Bristol & Bath generated £8.1 billion p.a in 2018. Even more shocking though, a lot of the panels discussions highlight the problem we face with the supply of IT engineers not even coming close to meeting the high demand. At this mention, like a hunting dog hearing a deer in the woods, my ears prick with delight. I had come to learn but had no idea I’d be leaning just how valuable my current role at Soitron will be for just about every business I could come to meet. Now I understand why nearshore staffing solutions are quickly becoming popular options for companies of all sizes.

 

The discussions continued to dissect why are we facing this problem. In the UK, people are choosing work to suit their lifestyle and are demanding creativity and agility in the way in which they work, which doesn’t suit all employers. Additionally, the UK is experiencing a shortage of skilled IT professionals with the qualifications achieved in our Universities not fulfilling the skills required in the workplace. To grow this sector, schools and Universities need to become more engaged in helping students be more aware at an early age of the possible paths available to them; to inspire and lead them into a digital age whereby it will be essential to possess such skills.

 

Tortworth 3This doesn’t however help our immediate problem in sourcing experienced IT professionals. To fulfil these positions, we need to make use of the networking and meetup groups in our areas as well as the advantages technology has given us and connect with the deep pool of talent in nearshore Europe. No longer is doing business within our own locality a priority. With advantages such as multi-lingual workers, lower wage expectations and similar laws and regs across Europe, as technology has evolved, the way in which we work has too. With firms like Cardstream, (Adam Sharpe, chief executive) payment in different currencies has been made easy, bridging the gap between countries even further.
But the challenges don’t end with sourcing the right people.

 

Tech companies small and large are finding it’s the implementation stage most businesses struggle with. Andrew Pass, an engineering manager for MSA Safety spoke of the software they use to bring the feelings of someone dealing with heights and small spaces in the workplace to the end user using AR (Artificial Reality). In aligning the two, he’s able to create an understand of ‘why’, to help with the implementation. As with any situation in life, until we understand the why, we question the purpose. This role-out can’t be duplicated across an entire business though and without a company-wide buy in, the success of any implementation plan can vary significantly.

 

AR (Augmented reality) and VR (Virtual reality) will undoubtably become common use in the years to come, but there is still a lot of reluctance in firms adopting new ways of working due to concerns over security. Esther Connock, corporate marketing director of XMOS works with voice capturing. Not new to the her and her colleagues who have been developing this complicated tool for years but relatively new to the general public with the its most widely known use in the launch of the Amazon Echo in the US less than four years ago.
Though AR, VR and VC will inevitably catch on, (once upon a time people were cynical of the internet ever catching on), securing our own personal data remains paramount. Roland Emmans, head of technology sector at HSBC UK made comparison to the layers of security we now have in our homes compared to 20 years ago. As the risk increases, the layers of security increase to provide as much protection as possible to both the business and the consumer. For any hackers that do slip through, Benjamin Hosack, co-founder of Foregenix has designed an investigative tool to enhance cyber security which a analyses trends at the front edge of the technology we use.

 

Tortworth 5If I can be certain of anything from today’s discussions, though uncertain, the future of digital technologies is an exciting, progressive path of discovery. Chris Pockett, head of communications at Renishaw is a prime example of how progress can be made when demonstrating a disruptive business model. Challenging a culture and looking at what clients need rather than what they want. He is currently collaborating to find a cure to Parkinson’s; through all Renishaw’s current success’, that would be truly awe inspiring and set the stage for a future where the only limits are the ones, we impose on ourselves.
Overall a riveting discussion by all guest speakers, not mentioned above but worth mentioning for their insight and brilliant work are:

Mark Miles, managing director, Render
Emily Kent, director, One Big Circle
Ben Yarrow, founder, Marks out of Tenancy
Ian Risk, chief technology officer, CFMS

Soitron UK now on G-Cloud

We are happy to announce that Soitron UK has become an authorized supplier of SMAX on the UK government portal!

Soitron will provide three solutions:

Micro Focus SMAX, SMAX support and configuration services and  Soitron Connect via the Digital Marketplace, under the Government Cloud Computing (also called G-cloud ) framework.

G-cloud10 is an initiative targeted at easing procurement by public-sector bodies that use cloud computing. This allows public sector bodies to search for services.

Soitron actively works together with Micro Focus to enable government organisations to use the benefits of SMAX to modernize the support organisation, reduce total cost of ownership and increase users’ satisfaction.

Find out more on our product registration page for  SMAX. Or Soitron Connect Transformation and implementation support relating to SMAX are available on this page.

 

SITS Show 2018

SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show, is the UK’s leading event for IT Service Management and Support professionals. And Soitron UK was a part of it! 

On 5th and 6th June, Soitron UK was presenting its solutions at the SITS Show 2018 in London.  As a premier partner to Micro Focus, we cooperated with their experts to provide visitors a comprehending picture of transformation and migration issues.

sits photo team

At our stand, we were presenting 3 our  products – ITSM Transform and Migrate, Soitron Connect and SMAX. During the exhibition visitors had a chance to meet our professionals  from the UK, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

 

 

Not only our unique products, eye-catching stand and experienced team but also a chance to win an Amazon Echo was drawing visitor’s attention. We are happy to announce the winners soon.

 

 

We want to thank all the visitors for coming to our stand! For those who did not have a chance to stop by at our booth, don’t worry. Contact our experts or check out our web to find out more about our solutions.

New Webinar Series

Soitron UK kicked off new lunchtime Webinar Series in February.  Each month, we prepare new webinar, on different topic.

Until now, we’ve devoted our webinars to Data Centre Migration topic.

Our Managing Director, Daniel Olssontalked about:

*  PlateSpin – A powerful multiplatform server portability solution

*  Workload Migration and PlateSpin Migration Process

We are going to prepare more webinars in next months. If you want to be informed about upcoming webinars, or have any questions, please contact us on robbie.ali@soitron.co.uk

 

Soitron supports the education of future generations

Do you know what the term ‘STEM’ stands for? We are sure little Sophia (aged 9), who once told her parents: ‘I want to go to robots school.’, would explain to you.

STEM is an educational program based on the idea of educating children in 4 specific disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This type of education is getting more and more important nowadays, even though STEM education is still not given enough attention. Lack of expertise and not being a part of curriculum causes the need of searching for this type of education elsewhere. That’s why special STEM educational centers are being emerged.

 

STEM factory logoOne of those, called The STEM factory is located in Bristol, in the UK.

 

robot truckThe STEM factory delivers special activities to inspire children and engage them in STEM education. Children are given space to develop their creativity, with respect to their individual talent. It is done through different exciting activities. What does it mean in practice? Children learn the basics of robotics, how to build a robot, code it, or how to build a drone. It helps not only to develop their STEM skills, but also to improve their communication and ability to collaborate in a team.

 

How cool is that? It is so cool that Soitron UK decided to support this activity! We have been supporting The STEM factory since the beginning of 2017. Richard Scaiff, Director of The STEM factory, spoke about cooperation with Soitron UK, ‘Soitron has provided us with technical advise regarding our courses. This has given us confidence as it has helped to validate, in our minds, their worth to Primary School children and helped with the course design. ‘ Our support also helped to find a best way to approach schools and is extremely beneficial as it shows to customers that there is professional tech company support. ‘We really appreciate Soitron’s help so far,‘ said Richard.

STEM education is very important, and the sooner children start, the better. Soitron UK is proud to be a supporter of this project. We need this kind of education to raise the brilliant future coders, creatives and robot builders that the world needs 🙂