Another year has flown by – it’s been a busy one for us, and we hope a successful one for you.
And when we say busy, we mean it! We’ve expanded our product portfolio, brought you more industry-leading services and experts, been fortunate enough to consistently grow our client base, and we are now proud to be part of the Advania Group, after our recent acquisition by this leading Nordic IT services provider. It’s fair to say 2021 has been packed with opportunity and 2022 shows no signs of things slowing down.
So, as we approach the end of the year, we would like to take a moment to share and celebrate our successes with you, our clients, people and peers. We’d like to start with a message from our CEO on the highlights of 2021 for Content+Cloud.
A message from our CEO, Peter Sweetbaum
“This year has been a challenging and uncertain time, with Covid-19 continuing to impact every one of us in some way – whether at work or at home.
As a society, the things which we took for granted, we now understand cannot be assumed. We have become better at adapting to change, but sadly for some, not necessarily more resilient to it.
Fortunately, we have seen mental health and wellbeing (not just physical wellbeing) being more talked about, more understood and definitely more appreciated for the impact it can have.
Across all aspects of society, we have seen increasing respect and tolerance for each other and a much-needed focus on diversity and inclusion. But in both cases, this remains a crucially important work in progress.
At Content+Cloud, we took 2021 as an opportunity to further invest in and support our teams, to ‘sharpen the lines’ between home and work, and bring these extremely important aspects of our lives into greater focus.
I am incredibly proud of everyone at C+C for their hard work and dedication over the last year, which has meant we’ve been able to continue providing outstanding services to our clients during this time. I am very much looking forward to working with the whole C+C team to rise to the challenges and opportunities of 2022, and to continue Living+Breathing Client Success.
With that, I’d like to wish our clients, our colleagues, our peers, our associates, and our partners at Microsoft and partners around the world, a restful festive break and a Happy New Year. ”
Here are some of the highlights of 2021 for Content+Cloud.
Welcoming Sipcom to the C+C family
We made a promising start to 2021 by acquiring Sipcom, a leading Microsoft collaboration and unified communications provider. Sipcom joined Content+Cloud in February, enabling us to deepen our digital transformation and managed services capabilities with key unified communication and collaboration services.
#WeAreOne – Celebrating one year as one business and one group brand
Back in June, we celebrated our first birthday as Content+Cloud. Visit our birthday blog post to see the evolution of our business, from its inception in 2000 as IT Lab, to welcoming new brands including Content and Code, Fresh, Perspective Risk, Mirus IT, Sol-Tec, and Sipcom into the fold. We look forward to many more birthdays to come.
Retiring the IT Lab and Content and Code sites
As Content+Cloud continues its journey as one business, we started the process of waving goodbye to our legacy brands, starting with the retirement of the Content and Code website in September. The IT Lab website and brand is due to be retired by Spring 2022.
Awards and nominations
As in previous years, 2021 saw Content+Cloud nominated for, and winning, some prestigious awards within the IT industry.
Our cyber teams win Security Excellence Award
December got off to the best possible start as Content+Cloud won the Project of the Year at the Computing Security Excellence Awards. We are delighted that the hard work of our cyber security specialists at Content+Cloud and Perspective Risk was recognised by the discerning panel of judges and hosts Incisive Media. Our congratulations go out to all other nominees and award winners.
The UK IT Industry Awards
Content+Cloud was also nominated as a finalist for Services Company of the Year at the UK IT Industry Awards. We were honoured to be nominated for this category and had a wonderful time networking with our industry peers at the awards ceremony in November. Find out more about the UK IT Industry Awards here.
Content+Cloud recognised as a leading MSP
Each year, Cloudtango assesses managed service providers (MSPs) across the UK based on their cyber security, support, infrastructure, and cloud services. This year, we are delighted to have been recognised by Cloudtango as one of the UK’s top providers in its MSP 50 list.
We were also named in Channel Future’s MSP 501 list in 2021. The MSP 501 is a comprehensive ranking of the world’s top managed service providers and we were thrilled to have been included.
Building the momentum of our Microsoft partnership
Adding to our Microsoft Advanced Specialisations
This year, Content+Cloud achieved two further Microsoft Advanced Specialisations, taking our total so far up to six.
Advanced Specialisations are only awarded to Microsoft Gold partners displaying exceptional experience in a specific area and we are the only UK Microsoft partner to have specialisations in Intelligent Cloud (Azure), Modern Workplace and Security, and Business Applications.
Our most recent additions are:
Threat Protection Advanced Specialisation, which we gained in September for our deep knowledge of deploying Microsoft security software, bolstered by our outstanding cyber security teams at C+C and Perspective Risk
November brought our sixth Advanced Specialisation, this time in Small and Mid-Size Business (SMB) Management. We are one of only 12 partners in the UK and 25 worldwide to have achieved this, enabled by our SMB centre of excellence at Mirus IT Solutions and our understanding of the unique challenges SMBs face.
Welcoming our fourth Microsoft MVP
In November, we were delighted by the news that Content+Cloud Development Architect Anoop Tatti was awarded Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status in the Office Development category.
Anoop is now one of four MVPs at Content+Cloud, along with colleagues Steve Goodman, Jason Wynn and Chris O’Brien. Anoop was recognised for his impressive contributions to the Microsoft community. In his free time, he writes blogs, delivers webinars and speaks at conferences – find out more about the great work Anoop does here.
The return of in-person Microsoft events
This year, we welcomed the cautious return of in-person events by attending, sponsoring and speaking at several across the UK.
South Coast Summit 2021
In October, we proudly became a platinum sponsor of the 2021 South Coast Summit – the largest free, in-person Microsoft cloud technology event in the UK. The Summit played host to over 1,400 attendees across two days. Our experts, including three of our MVPs, travelled to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton to deliver a series of talks on harnessing the power of Microsoft products and the cloud.
Our MVPs resume Microsoft Cloud User Groups
In December, our MVPs continued hosting their in-person Microsoft Cloud User Groups. These regular events, hosted in London, Manchester and Birmingham, see our MVPs join forces with Microsoft’s architect and MVP Martin Boam to generate discussions and collaboration between people working with the tech giant’s cloud technologies across the UK.
Sharing our knowledge through our Meet the Expert Series
This year, we continued to keep our customers in the loop on hot topics and industry events with our ‘Meet the Expert’ live webinar series. Our experts hosted a number of episodes throughout the year on subjects ranging from zero trust to sustainability in digital transformation. Some highlights of the series include:
- Enhancing Employee Experience with Microsoft Viva
- Can Microsoft Viva, SharePoint and Intranets work together for success?
- Microsoft Ignite 2021: The Best Bits in Context
Sign up here to make sure you don’t miss any of our ‘Meet the Expert’ episodes.
Keeping our people connected in 2021
This year saw some of our people returning to the office, others remaining at home and others still mixing the two. So, we set out to provide them with the resources they need to stay productive, safe and excelling in the workplace – wherever that may be.
In the summer, we built and launched our proprietary app, enabling people to safely book time in their local Content+Cloud offices and together navigate the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as safely as possible.
Championing women in tech
In 2021, just 17% of the UK’s technology industry workforce are women. As a business operating in this space, we continue our efforts to understand this gender gap and to encourage the women among us to share their experiences and discuss where the challenges and issues lie for women and girls considering careers in STEM.
March saw us mark International Women’s day by inviting the women in our business to openly discuss the challenges they’ve faced in their roles and personal lives.
In June, we sponsored the Women in Tech World Series, while our Head of Cyber Madeleine Overton-Thickett and Group Marketing Director Alex Stone, a member of our Diversity and Inclusion Board at Content+Cloud, spoke at the event about ‘the good, the bad and the uncertain of being a woman in tech’. Catch up on their session here.
Our well-received Let’s Talk… series for employees
Throughout 2021, our Chief People officer Thea Fineren spearheaded a number of sessions entitled ‘Let’s Talk…’. Each session saw an external guest speaker join us to generate discussions around important subjects, including the following:
- Overcoming adversity – In April, extreme swimming adventurer Ryan Stramrood joined us to speak about staying motivated and the importance of resilience in challenging times.
- Male mental health – May saw award-winning podcaster and author Alex Holmes join us to talk about male mental health, why it remains a taboo subject and to share his own experiences around it.
- Pride month – To mark Pride Month in June, Microsoft’s Sophie Gray and CEO and founder of INvolve Suki Sandhu OBE led a panel discussion on the challenges facing LGBTQI+ colleagues in and outside of the workplace.
- Black History Month – October saw Chelsea FC’s first black footballer Paul Canoville share his incredible experiences and life story.
- Menopause in the workplace – In November, we were joined by menopause specialist Dr Naomi Potter, who guided a discussion on the menopause and its potential to impact us all.
Content+Cloud hits important accessibility milestone
At Content+Cloud, we believe all users of technology should be able to access it equally and, along with Microsoft, are dedicated to playing our part in closing the disability divide.
Earlier this year, we pledged to ensure at least 50% of our people completed the Microsoft Accessibility Fundamentals training course. Not only did we achieve our target, we exceeded it, and we continue to encourage our teams to take up the training. Read more here.
Announcing the exciting next phase of our journey
December ushered in the exciting next phase of the Content+Cloud journey with the announcement of our acquisition by leading Nordic IT services provider Advania.
The move will see us become the foundation of Advania’s UK presence, adding to its existing operations in Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Denmark.
As part of the combined group, we will continue operating as a leading Microsoft-focused cloud services and digital transformation partner in the UK and we look forward to the opportunities this will bring.