Archive for March, 2014


High Heels and Bow Ties

Friday, March 28th, 2014

A tremendous amount of effort went into making the Kent Women in Business Awards a successful event. The organisers envisaged a grand affair with high heels and bow ties and that’s exactly what they got.  The men were looking groomed in their smart tuxedo’s and the women stood out in fabulous frocks, sparkling with enthusiasm for the celebratory night ahead.  

One aspect of the evening that took us by surprise was when Hilary Steel appeared in a cloak clutching a sabre, (yes I said sabre) and proceeded to swipe the cork out of a bottle of champagne.  A stunned audience were soon applauding with delight; partly impressed and partly relieved that she put the blooming sword down. 

The room was filled with 200 business women and men from across the county and beyond. Dinner was served as the guests bubbled with excitement and anticipation of what was to come.  As coffee was served we were treated to twenty minutes with the fabulous Bev James. (MD of the Coaching Academy) Bev, a coach, mentor, seasoned speaker and author of Do it or Ditch it, explained how successful business men and women are no different to the athletes she coaches. They are focused and hard working individuals aiming for that all important podium moment. I couldn’t help but smile knowing that a few podium moments were just about to be revealed.  Bev also reminded us about her ‘snooze you lose’ message, yes that dreaded button that encourages us to ‘start the day with a delay’. A simple message and yet many of us are guilty of it.

Marvellous Mimi Anderson was next up on stage and completely wowed us all when she told us how her desire to have slim legs led her to become a world record breaking ultra-runner. Tales of running for seven days with a broken toe, running across the Arctic when her body had swollen and blistered and finding that extra store of energy and sheer determination to carry on. She had us overwhelmed with admiration. What a woman!

Finally we reached the part of the evening that we’d all been waiting for, the awards, and the first category up was Start-Up Business Women of the Year.  A huge cheer went up when Ali Hollands was announced as the winner. Congratulations Ali, on your achievement and the very obvious support you have from the Kent community.

I was lucky enough to present the Contribution to the Community Award, a category in which I also judged and was honoured to hand over the award to Ella Brocklebank, who does an astonishing amount for the community. In fact Ella is so inspiring that it was no wonder that she went home with the Inspirational Woman Award too. Congratulations Ella.

Other winners were:

Joanna Worby - Management/ Leadership Award

Jan Post - Growth Business Award

Karen Hardie - Small Business Women of the Year

Claire Singleton - Business Woman of the Year

Sally Laker - Home based Business woman of the Year

Katie Malkinson- Mumpreneur of the Year


As the evening was nearly done it was time for old snake hips himself Paul Andrews to take to the stage. In true Paul Andrews fashion he delighted the audience with a mix of humour and inspiration. He predicted that the future is small; more and more small businesses are emerging and thriving in Kent. The evening was certainly full of evidence to support that forecast, and I know many will be doing their best to see that happen.

Of course the event would not be complete without a raffle and auction for charity and in keeping with the evening a first class display of generosity raised the very decent amount of £2,300!

Not only do we say congratulations to the finalists and winners but also to Hilary Steel and Sue Smith for organising a remarkable evening. Thank you.



Is it time to spring clean your technology?

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

They say that 2014 is the year that IT expenditure will increase significantly worldwide.  Spending on cutting edge devices are on the up as more and more organisations are ditching their dated systems in favour of smarter ways of working.  

It can be a daunting prospect having to keep up with the latest technology but the fact is times are a changing and our customers know it.  Today it’s all about convenience; just ask the younger generation they’ve got an app for everything!

There are multiple ways to bring your technology into the 21st century and plenty of features to choose from that can make working more efficient and cost effective.

You can make and receive calls these days from a host of devices, telephone numbers are no longer geographic, calls are significantly cheaper and it can all be managed online.

If you are hanging on to a telephone system that quite frankly belongs on the Antique Roadshow then it may be time to find out about some up to date options. You’ll also be pleased to know that Unify (formerly Siemens) are offering upgrade incentives until October 2014 to customers who are considering making the change.  If you would like to find out more, we would be happy to help.

You can contact us on 0800 376 8484 or at

The Connected Business Expo, Olympia 2014

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

If it’s the very latest information you’re after in the technology industry then the Connected Business Expo at Olympia was the place to be last week.

With names such as Microsoft and Virgin Media on the bill you can imagine the draw for any IT specialist, curious to discover the new products, new solutions and emerging trends in this ever changing sector.

Our first stop was to check out our preferred partner Unify (the re-branded Siemens) and to see what was the reason for all the interest at their stand.  We weren’t surprised to see that it was ‘Project Ansible’ causing all the fuss.

Siemens Enterprise re-branded last October and emerged as Unify.  There has been a major drive since then to evolve communications and find new and simpler ways to work.  ‘Ansible’ is fundamentally a video conferencing system but really it’s is so much more.  In simple terms it aims to bring together different communication channels and devices into a single experience.  Take a look at and check out the demo that will give you more of an idea of the product.  It's exciting times for Unify, who in our opinion took centre stage when it came to creating an ‘expo buzz’, so there was no surprise to hear that they received the award for 'Exhibitor of the Year' for the second year running.

We were also taken with Gamma Telecom’s stand, their innovative but simple way of promotion was worth a photo, Horizon Avenue was another hive of activity throughout the day. 

In addition to the stands there were 7 theatres all providing constant seminars covering subjects on mobile working, customer contact, voice and video conferencing, cloud and convergence, social business and collaboration.  The selection was varied, with something of interest for everyone.

If you want to keep abreast of technology and be in the know, you can register your interest for the next expo at  of course in the mean time if you wish to discuss any telecoms matter, contact us at 0800 376 8484 or at