With 2020 a year like no other, we asked our Managing Director, Steve Brehaut, for his thoughts on the past 12 months and then Olly Duquemin, our CEO, gives us an insight into 2021 plans.
"It would be extremely easy to close the door on 2020 without a backwards glance, assigning it to the ‘could have done better, could have been better’ business learnings. However, when I look back on the last 12 months I am amazed and humbled at what we as a team have managed to achieve in a year when ‘furlough’, ‘self-isolate’ and ‘social distancing’ all entered the list of most used words in 2020 and depending on which list you’re reading, the word of the year was ‘unprecedented.’
Resolution IT started 2020 with 34 staff and ended it with 48, with so much happening in between to reach that milestone. We made what would unknowingly be our first (and last) trip off-island this year, when some of the team attended the very inspiring Microsoft Ignite conference in London. We came away with so many ideas on how both we and our clients could continue the technological journey of making us more agile, collaborative, communicative and streamlining our business processes.
On a cold but bright January day, we gingerly reversed our van down a slipway ramp at the harbour so we could offload furniture, and yoga mats, answering the call from Herm who were looking for donations to furnish their inaugural community hall, a hub to support Hermites with their mental health and wellbeing. And how important that has been for everyone this year.
By February we were well into the new year; we gave a talk at the Guernsey College of Further Education to IT students looking to secure their first role post-education. At Beau Sejour, Digital ACE was hugely popular and we were on hand to (we hope) bring the wonders of technology alive as well as sound a note of caution with information about cybersecurity. Meanwhile, as a partner of Agilisys who is leading the digital transformation of the States of Guernsey, Olly was invited to join the panel of their IoD lunchtime seminar, Making Guernsey’s Digital Vision a Reality.
And then with March came coronavirus and almost overnight, everything changed. We were initially very busy helping clients to work remotely but then probably like everyone else, we experienced a slowdown in business in April and May as we entered into a totally unchartered world with no end date in sight. Suddenly planned projects couldn’t be completed and we were left in a digital limbo, wondering how temporary our new world order was going to be.
‘Work from home’ became the new norm, as did dressing for work on your top half only. We were lucky in that we were set up to transition smoothly to working remotely, as were the majority of our clients. With the use of Microsoft Teams our service desk carried on being a service desk, except everyone was answering calls from their own homes. We joined in with the #guernseytogether spirit, offering our services for free to charities who needed some technological assistance with remote working, as well as helping set up donated tablets through the #StayConnected initiative enabling older or more vulnerable islanders to stay connected through donated digital devices.
And training. The forced rush to work from home meant some of our clients had the tools but not necessarily the knowledge to fully embrace their capabilities. So we ran virtual training sessions so everyone had the full knowledge at their fingertips.
Then we were fortunate to be the first part of the British Isles to come out of lockdown and office life returned to normal. Except it was a new normal because lessons from lockdown were learnt. Gone went the constant ringing of the traditional telephone system in our own offices and instead, we have permanently embraced Microsoft Teams for making and receiving calls. Many businesses have started to embrace more flexible and permanent ‘WFH’ policies, made possible by the continuous developments of cloud technology.
We became Microsoft Gold certified for Datacenter, Cloud Productivity and Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions, designed and implemented a new app for Guernsey Voluntary Service to speed up the logistics of delivering over 500 Meals on Wheels and started both our Community and Environmental journeys with ESI Monitor, rose 150 places on global Managed Service Provider 501 list and welcomed a summer intern who went on to university but was so good, he’s carried on doing work for us.
We redefined our fixed-price, IT service, launching ‘Platinum Plus’, probably the most comprehensive all-inclusive offering by any IT provider on the island.
And then as summer turned into autumn, in-person events started up again and we took part in Future Rewired at Digital Greenhouse, explaining how we built our own ‘Resolution IT Academy’ platform, through which the team can pick and choose their professional development path.
We delivered a free workshop on how to work remotely at the Chamber of Commerce and in between, found time to do some cliff clearing, beach cleaning and taking part in the Swimarathon.
In November we were at the Community Foundation Awards, sponsoring the Innovation award, helping St John Ambulance digitally transform with a brand-new subscription app, as well as wearing Bright Tights and donating funds from our home-baked baking bonanza. We also found out we’d won Managed Service IT Provider of the Year, having been up against IT providers right across the UK. And as a year like no other drew to a close, we were awarded IASME’s Governance Gold, their highest level of information cybersecurity good governance.
We have finished the year as Guernsey’s largest independently owned IT provider, gaining many great new clients who are joining us on our mission to transform businesses using our pioneering approach, combined with secure, modern technology and exceptional service, delivered by a team who really care."
And Olly looks forward to (hopefully) a more brighter year for all of us.
"As we enter Resolution IT’s 14th year of business, we are focused on the growth and development of both the people who work here and the clients we serve. A growth that is based on our values of commitment, accountability, positivity, truthfulness, communication and helpfulness. A maturing of growth that supports our clients’ belief that they have partnered with the best IT provider there is both here, in our offices in Dubai and wherever we may go next.
We have recently appointed our first HR professional, with his title of HR & Employee Experience Manager signalling our intention to continue our commitment to making Resolution IT an employer of choice where people stay and develop long term careers with us. We are further looking to enhance our 10,000 sq foot of office space, in our quest to make it a best place to work.
Our journey towards ESI Monitor accreditation and ongoing environmental benchmarking will see us progressing several measures towards reducing our environmental footprint, including the arrival of our first electric van in January. The formation of our Community & Environmental committee earlier this year gives strength in numbers to our increasing extra-curricular support.
Our work partnering with Agilisys will continue. With a 10-year technology partnership with the States of Guernsey agreed to deliver Guernsey’s Future Digital Services programme, Agilisys chose us as a local IT provider to partner with. Our staff have been busy supplying and installing hardware and will continue to provide support and specialist expertise where they can. They will also continue providing ad hoc in-house support or relief for those Guernsey businesses with their own IT depts but who, from time to time, need extra support or expertise.
It’s probably never been more difficult to plot a course ahead for the next 12 months; since putting pen to paper several new variants of Covid-19 has made its presence felt, Guernsey has tightened its border restrictions and we are possibly on the verge of a Brexit deal but with huge uncertainty still remaining over over what that could mean for our suppliers.
However, against that backdrop we will diligently work away at growing Resolution IT, at continually seeking out new technological opportunities to help both ourselves and our client's power through this third (and very different) industrial revolution. And at the core of it remains our vision of enabling every business to succeed and continuously evolve through innovation.
The road ahead for 2021 may not be clear but we are ready for it."