Tech-Wales - Doubles revenues and breaks into a new market
Tech-Wales is an IT solutions provider, based in Swansea, with over 30 years IT experience. It provides a nationwide base of customers with a suite of Microsoft products, including Office 365 and SharePoint, and bespoke IT support services.
Tech-Wales was ambitious and was looking to grow and strengthen in order to recruit the best staff and win the biggest contracts. The company’s MD, Adrian Williams knew his company would need to operate like a larger service provider if it wanted to act like one in the market. He set about looking at how he could do this without impacting on operations and customer service:
“We wanted to streamline our businesses processes, which would lay the foundations for us to grow and scale in terms of project size and head count. Being one of the only companies that don’t tie customers into 12-month support contracts, customer service is especially important to our business, which meant we needed to find a way of changing our business processes without impacting on our service levels to customers. After talking to Software Alliance Wales about the CompTIA Trustmark programme, and how it was designed specifically for the IT industry, we signed up straight away!”
Tech-Wales worked closely with Software Alliance Wales, CompTIA and an independent assessor to go through a comprehensive assessment of the company’s current processes and procedures, taking a close look at how they can be improved in order to grow and scale. They were then offered an improvement framework that would allow them to make gradual steps towards more flexible business processes that worked for them and their business.
“We were set achievable goals with realistic deadlines which worked great as this meant that things couldn’t get missed and we had something tangible to work towards – this is something that would have been impossible if we had tried to go through a similar process alone. In addition, the knowledge and expertise from our assessor were invaluable.”
Upon completion Tech-Wales was recommended to CompTIA by the assessor to be recognised as a ‘best in class’ IT provider and was awarded the CompTIA IT Business Trustmark in April 2013. The company then went on to earn the CompTIA Accredit UK Trustmark+ in August 2013, and is now one of an elite but growing number of accredited companies in the UK.
Since becoming an accredited IT company, Tech-Wales has doubled its annual revenues, it has also gone on to break into new markets - winning its biggest contract to date with a large automotive manufacturer – and has almost doubled its headcount. Adrian is confident that this success is set to continue:
“Since having all the right procedures in place, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted and we’ve been able to focus more on evolving the business and working towards achieving our company vision. In just over two years we’ve been able to break new markets, win new contracts and recruit some great new staff – there is no question that our CompTIA Accredit UK Trustmark+ was crucial to this success and long may it continue!”
Looking ahead, Adrian plans to continue working with Software Alliance Wales and CompTIA and intends to retain Tech-Wales’ Trustmark+ status so that he can continue onwards and upwards. He explains, “we want to stay on the path to success that we’re on and accreditation is paramount to this.”
CompTIA offers the opportunity to earn an IT Business Trustmark and an Accredit UK Trustmark+, to UK IT companies that can demonstrate sound business best practices while providing quality IT services.
For clients and collaborators, CompTIA Trustmarks demonstrate that your IT company is committed to excellence and has pledged to follow a robust code of practice that meets or exceeds the industry standard level of service.
GiaKonda IT - Setting itself apart from the competition
GiaKonda, based in Swansea, supplies complete IT solutions to businesses across South Wales. The company is a Microsoft Certified Partner and Microsoft Office Specialist and is an approved BCS centre, providing IT training, IT support as well as supply of software and hardware.
As a small IT provider of just three people, priding themselves on providing a high-standard of IT solutions, they found themselves very busy servicing the needs of their clients to the detriment of some vital business processes, such as managing payments. The company was looking to trump competitors by gaining an industry standard that would give them the differentiation they were looking for in the market.
The company’s director, Wendy Kirkman, sought the help of Software Alliance Wales, she explains, “the team became so dedicated to delivering our services to customers that some of the back office stuff had began to slip, we knew that if we let this continue that this could end up having a detrimental impact on our operations and stunt our growth as a company. We had already done a number of training courses with the Software Alliance Wales team and were delighted when they said that they could help us streamline our business processes with a CompTIA Accredit UK Trustmark+.”
GiaKonda worked closely with Software Alliance Wales and an independent assessor to go through a comprehensive assessment of the company’s back office processes. They were then offered an improvement framework that would allow them to make gradual steps towards more flexible business processes that worked for them and their business.
“The support from Software Alliance Wales and CompTIA throughout the whole accreditation process was great. We were set realistic, achievable goals and deadlines and having a third party on board meant we had the discipline we needed to meet them.”
Upon completion GiaKonda was recommended to CompTIA by the assessor to be recognised as a ‘best in class’ IT provider and was awarded an IT Business Trustmark in 2013. The company then went on to earn an Accredit UK Trustmark+ in 2014, and is now one of an elite but growing number of accredited companies in the UK.
They are now confident that their business processes are sharp enough to cope with the day-to-day demands of running a small IT business, as well as feeling confident to take on more clients and larger projects moving forward, now that they have the competitive differentiation they were looking for:
“We now have a stringent structure in place that will allow us to operate effectively as a business and grow sustainably. We also have foundations to take on bigger projects and the confidence that our clients have faith in our capability to deliver.”
CompTIA offers the opportunity to earn an IT Business Trustmarks or Accredit UK Trustmark+, to UK IT companies that can demonstrate sound business best practices while providing quality IT services.
For clients and customers, CompTIA Trustmarks demonstrate that your IT company is committed to excellence and has pledged to follow a robust code of practice that meets or exceeds the industry standard level of service.
The next generation of Swansea’s IT stars are to gather at a Project Fair in the city which will showcase their computer science skills to prospective employers in Wales.
IT businesses are being invited to the event where they can watch demonstrations and presentations from around one hundred Swansea University computer science students and learn how the cream of this young IT talent can help solve real life business dilemmas.
The event run by Swansea University’s Computer Science Department and Software Alliance Wales will be held on Thursday 5 June 2014 from 5.30pm – 7.30pm at the Techhub Swansea 11 Wind Street, Swansea, SA1 1DP. Businesses interested in coming along can register at www.softwarealliancewales.com/SAW-Project-Fair-14
At the event prospective employers will have the chance to discuss their business requirements with talented computer science students like Ryan Wong who has designed a mobile application for the Android platform. Ryan’s app allows the user to record their location and then visualise the length and efficiency of their route.
He said: “As my project was in collaboration with an industrial partner, I had access to additional resources, help and advice as well as the support of my academic supervisor. I have learnt to develop web applications using a variety of different languages such as HTML, PHP and CSS. The knowledge and experience gained will hopefully stand me in good stead when I start my career, ideally as a Software Developer or Engineer, as I really enjoy planning and building software and finding solutions for computational problems.”
Dr Neal Harman Project Director at Software Alliance Wales and Head of Teaching, Computer Science, Swansea University said: “The ‘Project Fair’ provides an ideal forum for employers to recruit from the pool of Swansea University’s home-grown talent with the high-level IT skills required to help businesses grow sustainably in the increasingly competitive marketplace. They can also meet with the academic and industry representatives who supervised the project work; and, as importantly, to network with like-minded tech companies, innovators and entrepreneurs.”
TE Connectivity is a leader in broadband connectivity, who make it possible for massive volumes of data to move efficiently, reliably and seamlessly from origination to destination. With an R&D centre in Denbighshire, North Wales, the company work with 10 of the world's top ten telecom carriers and top ten telephone equipment manufacturers.
Like so many businesses, time and resource to focus on internal development tools can be a struggle. The pressure of successfully delivering on customer contracts is vital to the success of the company, resulting in internal-side projects being set aside; with the business suffering the consequences.
Struggling to find the time and resource for internal development, TE Connectivity embarked on a journey to find a suitable tech savvy intern to take on the challenge to further develop their in-house development tool.
Andrew Roberts, Software &Systems Manager at TE Connectivity, decided to take time out to attend the annual Employability EXPO in 2013 – organised by Software Alliance Wales in collaboration with Bangor University’s Computer Science Department – with the intention of seeking a suitable undergraduate to take on the challenge.
James Smith, a second year computer science student, was identified as having the IT skills that the company was looking for to help the in-house team develop IT solutions for the business. Following an interview, James was offered and undertook a successful 10 week summer internship with TE Connectivity.
Andrew Roberts, Software & Systems Manager at TE Connectivity said; “Working with local universities and Software Alliance Wales is a great way for TE Connectivity to bring graduate talent in to the workplace. The EXPO allowed us to assess the local talent, whilst also gaining further understanding of the students’ practical experiences and interests.”
TE Connectivity are recruiting! Following their success in 2013, TE Connectivity attended the Employability EXPO at Bangor University on Thursday 3 April 2014 to scout for students with the potential to fill two vacant full-time graduate roles within the company.
Are you a graduate with experience and/or knowledge in a mathematical or a science related degree (ideally computer science)? Do you have practical work experience and an interest in object orientated programming? Find out more about TE Connectivity and their graduate posts by contacting Andrew Roberts, Software & Systems Manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Scott, Human Resources Officer at email@example.com.
TE Connectivity, Kinmel Park, Bodelwyddan, Denbinghshire, LL18 5TZ www.te.com | 01745 589232
If you’re an employer looking for recruits with IT skills, join Software Alliance Wales and Swansea University at the ‘Computer Science in Action – Student Project Demonstration Fair’ at TechHub Swansea on Thursday 5 June 2014.
For a comprehensive list of the courses and workshops available this year, take a look at our events calendar. And, if you would like to be updated regularly on Software Alliance Wales activities please sign-up to our fortnightly mailshot.