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This week we celebrated National Mentoring Day and it was perfect timing because we’ve been organising a Hackathon, in partnership with Bournemouth University and the Arts University of Bournemouth.

This is the second event we will be holding of it’s kind and we’re really excited for the launch next week.

Our team has been working around the clock and we already have the collaboration of the creative and tech teams at Ageas, but we really need agency professionals who work in tech, design and creative to lead the teams of 2 or 3 interdisciplinary students.

We truly believe it will be a fantastic opportunity to give students the ability to improve their skills with software development, data analytics, and digital design, through a virtual event.

If you are interested in mentoring a team of students, you’ll find all the details below.

https://bournemouth.digital/code-jam-2-the-creative-jam/

The global Covid-19 pandemic has unquestionably forced changes in the way people work. M365, Teams and SharePoint specialists Silicon Reef took a deep dive into employee attitudes to how they are working – both now and in the future – and uncovered a widespread appetite for greater flexibility. Alongside, however, is a worrying indication that the tools needed to support remote working in the long term are seriously lacking.

As an agency specialising in Microsoft-based transformation solutions, Silicon Reef have long supported companies as they transition into more flexible, more productive and happier ways of working. Conscious of how traditional ways of working have been holding back most UK businesses from achieving optimum engagement and results, we saw the positive opportunity that the pandemic created for fundamental, widespread change to working practices. But, we wanted to find out, was this change sustainable, and what was the appetite for making flexible, remote working a long-term proposition?

Silicon Reef commissioned a UK-wide survey of 1,000 respondents across a broad spectrum of age and income levels and asked 15 simple but probing questions based on attitudes and tools to work pre- and post- pandemic.

The survey returned a vital insight into the attitudes and capacities of UK businesses to working remotely or from home.

Results showed that, before the pandemic took hold, just 8% of the workforce had the flexibility to work remotely or from home when they wished and a staggering 61% was either not allowed to work from home at all, or rarely permitted. Since lockdown measures came into play, and employers were forced to support their workforce carrying out their roles from home, the respondents have welcomed the change with 70% claiming that it has been like normal or (62%) saying it has been good or even better than before.

As massive advocators of flexible working, and of businesses providing employees with the tools and support to create their own work/life balance, maximise engagement and increasing productivity – a concept they have termed ‘Work Happy’ – Silicon Reef were pleased to finally see a step change in this area, although the reason for the immediate shift due to the pandemic was terrible. Now, 73% of respondents feel supported by their company in working from home and 80% are maintaining positive relationships with their manager or colleagues.

This is all excellent news says Silicon Reef Co-Founder and Managing Director Alex Graves, but we were interested in how sustainable this new way of working was for the majority.

Most significantly in our survey 55% of respondents state that they don’t want to return to previous ways of working, and 87% overall want to continue with the flexibility to work from home. Our experience tells us that organisations need to adapt fully to enable this change and empower their workforcetransformation is required across tech, training, communication, visibility and employee recognition.

To measure this readiness the survey looked at the practical side of working remotely, finding that 33% of employees did not have the tools or technology in place to work effectively and a further 38% were claiming they were merely ‘just about ok’. That’s 71% needing an improvement in tools and tech to enable sustained, effective remote working in the long term.

“2020 has been a year of immense change across the world, and in all aspects of our livesAlex continues.Our research shows us that there is a tremendous opportunity to make that a change for the better in the way that we all work, as long as businesses are willing to acknowledge that they need to provide a different, more sustainable infrastructure.”

Silicon Reef truly believe that businesses willing to adapt and embrace a Work Happy culture will reap the benefits of improved employee engagement, and unlimited productivity. Our work with SharePoint and M365 tools has shown us that this change can be relatively painless and is highly rewarding. Most importantly, by transitioning to a new way of working, businesses are also preparing themselves to imbed flexibility and resilience for whatever the future has in store for us all!”

 

Download the full survey results and read up on our movement to Work Happy.

Bournemouth based digital marketing agency Adido, are pleased to announce they’ve started working with Scottish drinks giant William Grant and Sons. The agency will work on three of their eight main brands plus three of their innovation brands. The brands are Hendrick’s Gin, The Balvenie, Monkey Shoulder, Atopia, Verano and the sustainable spirit Discarded.

The preferred development agreement means they are responsible for working across multiple global markets on each brand to identify digital wins in an aim to increase their digital footprint and ROI. Most recently, Adido has been working hard to strategically support the global brand teams, offering a best practice approach as they go through a period of change within their omnichannel marketing plans due to the current crisis.

They’ve already launched a new global website for Monkey Shoulder using the new brand visual identity (BVI) created by design agency, Space in London. The site uses animation and vibrant, quirky designs all brought to life by Adido.

And in response to the increasing Zoom trend we have worked with Hendrick’s Gin to release some unusual backgrounds to make video calls more theatrical.

“Adido is great at working with our agency partners, always looking at the bigger picture. They happily take on any challenge to get us where we need to be. They work across our markets globally and locally, turning everything around in a timely manner which helps us hugely” said Celine Weldon, Global Brand Manager at Hendrick’s Gin.

The agency has also been working with the Hendrick’s UK team using their data to provide insights for better decision making. In a specific landing page test Google Analytics was used to generate insight around the demand for ‘where to buy’ features within the website. This has helped them to make strategic decisions on their e-comm strategy.

“It has been a very exciting start to the year for all of the Adido team. From being able to make small changes on their websites to helping shape their global digital strategy, we’ve put all of our digital skills to use and are making a real difference. As the world comes to terms with the Covid outbreak, we look forward to working even closer with all of the WG&S brand teams across the globe to understand the nuances of each market and provide insights to help them adapt and win.” said CEO Andy Headington.

Adido was established in 2003 and is a specialist digital marketing agency. Their ethos is to analyse data to enable better decision making & marketing results, an approach that has seen them work with clients like Hall and Woodhouse, Ordnance Survey and Dine. Their strong analytical, development, PPC and SEO skills are currently even more relevant and considered a necessity to get organisations through the epidemic.

Written by: Passenger |

Many of the operator TransXChange datasets already added to BODS are hosted by Passenger and linked for automatic updates. Go-Ahead subsidiary East Yorkshire, and operators Transdev and Nottingham City Transport are amongst those already using the new service.Anthony Carver-Smith, Marketing Manager at NCT comments, “When the regulations were announced there was a concern from operators that it could be a time consuming process to meet the new legislation, adding to an already full workload in delivering services. But Passenger has made compliance with the new regulations automatic for us. Each time we upload data to Passenger Cloud for our app and website it gets published straight to BODS. Simple and very effective.”

The Bus Open Data Service went live on 29 January 2020 and over the next year will become the online home of bus operator data in England. The team at Passenger has worked closely with the BODS team at the Department for Transport to enable operators to meet the new requirements.

Alex Hornby, CEO at Transdev adds, “Open data has been shown to stimulate innovation and economic growth. As a forward thinking company we understand the vital role the transport network plays in our community, now and in the future. It is great to see our colleagues at Passenger making it really straightforward for us to publish our data to the new BODS service.”

Following the passing of the Bus Services Act 2017, operators running commercial bus services and local authorities acting on behalf of bus operators must provide their timetable data by the end of 2020. Sharing fare and vehicle location data to BODS will also be required by 2021.

To find out more about how Passenger is helping operators to quickly and easily publish data on the new BODS service please get in touch.

 

Silicon South has launched a new supporter network for everyone working in the digital creative and tech sector in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset.

This launch represents a big shift in the emphasis of what Silicon South stands for and delivers.

After several years of delivering support to businesses in the digital, creative and tech sector, set by a publicly funded agenda, we are changing to deliver an agenda set by the sector itself. The Network is being championed by a range of businesses from across the different elements of the sector who are all keen to promote the expertise and world-class talents of our sector.

Silicon South becomes a supporter-led organisation which will deliver three key goals:

  • Build the reputation of the region’s sector, maximise the appeal of working for the companies in it – and attract people and business to locate here
  • Strengthen the interest of potential customers in the services and products offered by businesses in our Network
  • Improve the capability of local businesses to manage ever-evolving demands and opportunities, and deliver financially-sustainable, imaginative and innovative solutions

Our Ambition is to raise the reputation of the sector to a level that is nationally recognised, e.g. on par with Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff, etc.

Silicon South will develop a campaign strategy that can significantly extend the reach of our reputation, both inside and outside the region. The details of the campaign have not been set yet, we want to have a wider consultation with businesses, as they become supporters of the network, to make sure we take into consideration the aims of a wider range of companies.

The end-goal of this campaign work must be to improve knowledge about the sector with potential recruits and customers, and making sure this leads to concrete actions for our supporters – such as stronger employment or increased customer enquiries.

As a first step we have implemented a series of practical online functions that can provide support in delivering these bigger goals. This includes:

  • News and stories: A single location where local business success stories and insights, demonstrating expert knowledge, can be found on this website. Primary mediums are articles, podcasts and videos.
  • Promotion and social media: the Silicon South team will use social media as a principal medium to promote stories, backed up by PR and other marketing options
  • Searchable database and map: The database on this website provides an overview of the expertise and skills offered by Network supporters. So they can be discovered by interested parties
  • Jobs board: Displays the breadth of opportunities in the region, and emphasises the choice available to applicants to provide a destination for them to appreciate the range of opportunities on offer
  • Contract finder: A place potential customers can advertise opportunities
  • Speaker/expert opportunities: Allows companies from other sectors to find businesses or consultants that can deliver news expertise they need

The Silicon South team will also be running a range of activities to ensure to push the wider agenda:

  • Develop links with other industries, to promote commercial potential offered by the sector and deliver meet-the-buyer activities especially around digitally-based innovation
  • Networking: to enable companies to connect with other local companies to share advice or find potential pitching partners, including meetups and dinners at a peer-appropriate level
  • Opportunities to grow and develop: The team will continue to deliver a range of programmes to support business leaders including: Mentoring; Access to expert advice; Specialist workshops and Masterclasses. We will use the expertise of the network to develop each other’s knowledge
  • Employee support programme: Enable employees to gain access to peer-appropriate support, to enable them to develop their skills, gain confidence and overcome imposter syndrome.

Joining the network is easy and your best way to keep up to date with the opportunities that will be on offer. You can sign up here https://siliconsouth.org.uk/memberships/