The business environment in the South West is known for offering innovative solutions across a range of sectors and there is evidence the pandemic has not deterred these businesses from their ambitions. According to Business West’s recent Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), business confidence is at the highest level since, at least, 2017 and for the first time since last year (Q1 2020), net domestic sales are positive.
We spoke to Darren Rowley, Principal Consultant at Move2Cloud Advisory Services about the company’s successes as well as tips for other businesses looking to grow their brand.
Tell us a little about yourself; your job role and career background?
I am Darren Rowley Business Owner and Principal Consultant at Move2cloud Advisory Services.
I moved down to the South West over 25 years ago and I am based out of Chepstow in Monmouthshire, South Wales.
After a 25-year career with Mitel, a Global Telecommunications company, I started my own technology consultancy business in October 2020 and joined the Business West Network within the first week.
Can you tell us a bit more about Move2cloud Advisory Services and your vision as a company?
I am one of the new breed of ‘Technology Trusted Advisor’s’ specialising in the areas of Telephony, Unified Communications and Contact Centres (all cloud-based services and offered on a per seat per month basis).
The pace of change within the industry over the last two years has been breathtaking and this has been matched with the dramatic changes in the way that we’ve all had to change our working habits. The IT (or technology) are strategic tools that can help business and organisations achieve the important competitive edge by enabling employees to become more efficient and effective whilst making those vital connections with potential and existing customers.
My consultancy offering is a new approach where I can use my independent industry knowledge, fantastic access to all the key Global Vendors, the most current Market Research and the latest Industry Reports to speed up the whole process of requirements clarification, strategy building, vendor shortlisting and vendor selection. This new approach also enables my clients , however small, to contract directly with their selected Vendor so benefiting from the levels of ongoing support and service once only reserved for their very largest of customers.
My vision is to retain all my clients on a long-term basis and be accepted as their Trusted Technology Adviser.
And what are the most challenging aspects?
The number one challenge that I have faced since start-up the consultancy, and is probably common to all new start-ups, is the initial lead generation and attracting new customers.
With limited resources (time and money) a small business owner needs to be very selective on how these resources are spent to create an initial interest with their products or services. Lead generation needs to be planned and carefully selected in order to maximise effectiveness.
My current approach to date has been one of lots of remote networking events, recruitment of referral partners and also activity within the Linkedin community.
What is your top tip for businesses to improve their staff productivity and retention?
My top tip is unsurprisingly technology based!
The enforced lockdown of 2020/21 has brought forward what many of us within the technology space have been predicting for a long time. Work is no longer a physical place or building but more a case of WHERE and WHEN.
Both employers and employees have realised that there are some key benefits to a hybrid working model that involves less travel to a designated office. To be able to provide this flexible approach to working and to improve staff productivity there are some great cloud-based technology solutions out there!
If you are still running on technology that is on-premise based, it’s time to consider a move to the cloud. Some of the key benefits are accessibility from anywhere (so long as you have access to the internet), great integration options into other cloud technologies such as CRM’s, the solutions are ‘evergreen’ i.e. always kept up to date in terms of software releases and come with fantastic supports SLA’s of 99.99% and above !