Marketing update

Marketing-Update

Previous Events

  • Luminet Roundtable (Channel): Christopher's Grill, London: 20th February
  • UCISA Unified Comms Today (Public Sector): Austin Court Birmingham: 25th February

Upcoming Events

  • Digital Health Rewired (Public Sector): London Olympia, 3rd-4th March
  • British Legal Technology Forum: Old Billingsgate, 10th March
  • Back to the Fibre (Channel): The Gherkin, 10th March
  • UCISA20 Leadership Conference: Manchester Central, 18th-20th March
  • CMP Demo Webinars with John Burton, 19th March
  • International Hotel Technology Forum (IHTF): Vienna, Austria, 24th-26th March
  • GlenLegal20: The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland, 29th – 31st March
  • Aviation Strategy Forum: Oxford, 24th – 25th March

​Press Release

  • Exponential‐e joins forces with at‐visions to become hospitality's one‐stop digital shop Press Release

PR

 Blogs and Videos


Campaigns / Display ad campains:

  • Managed LAN & WiFi 
    Call out day support
  • Finance campaign: 
    Operational resilience and risk mitigation
  • SD-WAN
  • CMP Webinar
  • S4 Cloud Storage

Google Remarketing Campaigns:

  • UCC (Always on)
  • Cyber Security (Always on)
  • Connectivity (Always on)
  • Cloud (Always on)
  • Channel (Always on)
  • Generic (Always on)

JANUARY OFF TO A GREAT START – LET’S KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING...

JANUARY OFF TO A GREAT START – LET’S KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING...

January 31st 2020 was a momentous and historical day for the nation as a whole as we officially left
the EU. However, it remains to be seen whether the nation can steer a path back to the once great
inventive, entrepreneurial and world-leading innovator we were as an independent nation. I think we can. On a pro-rata basis, the UK produces more Nobel Prize winners than any nation on earth (excluding Philosophy where France beats us!); we would be the winning country at every Olympic games ever held; and for a tiny island of just 66 million people, we are the 5th wealthiest nation on the planet. I believe we can power on further once our independence to govern ourselves is fully imposed. However, it will take years before we know the answer to that question...

On a microcosmic scale, January 31st was our financial year end and given the turbulence of the whole of 2019, we have fared not too badly – which is more than can be said for most UK companies. This is shown in Slide 1, with revenues finishing on £142m and EBITDA of £38.5m.

More importantly, January saw a very positive uplift in our sales performance compared to January 2019. As can be seen from Table 1 below, we achieved a Year 1 value of sales orders result that was 32.9% higher than the previous year with deal margin up 39.9% compared with last January.

This is a great start to the New Year and we hope we can build upon this early momentum.

But let's move on to the subject that I first touched on in the last issue of Innovate and said I would return to in the January issue; Relevancy...

Table 1: 2020 Overall Sales Year-to-Date


THE ISSUE OF RELEVANCY – 'TO BE OR NOT TO BE. THAT IS THE QUESTION...' 

Today, we live in a time of constant change and heightened customer expectations. The greatest danger facing most brands today is loss of brand relevance. People are ultra-connected. Markets constantly shift. New trends emerge. Competitors enter and shake things up. Clearly, customers expect more from the brands they buy from. As a result, many businesses struggle to stay relevant – trying to get ahead of the competition, adapting fast enough, and maintaining their position in the market. These are the challenges we face in attracting new staff and customers, and indeed, keeping the ones we have already.

If your brand is no longer relevant in the market place you operate in, then you must fix the issues or else, you're going to experience 'death by a thousand cuts'. The business environment is littered with once great companies that ignored the importance of relevancy in the digital age and have since met with their
decline or demise. E.g Kodak, Woolworths, Mothercare, Blockbusters, Toys R Us and HMV are just some of
the famous brands no longer with us, but question marks hang over companies today such as Ted Baker, Superdry, Debenhams and John Lewis.

Most of these once-almighty brands are from the Retail sector, but there are plenty of lesser known companies in the Tech sector too that are being impacted. Indeed, who would have thought that at
one time in its history, Apple was an irrelevant and almost bankrupt technology company? Until Apple Inc. brought back its founder Steve Jobs in 1993, Apple had definitely gone down the route of 'irrelevancy'. But
Steve Jobs masterminded the transformation of Apple to the point where it is one of the most relevant and
important tech companies in the world... 

But we can split out relevancy into two areas;

  • Commodity Relevance
  • Brand, Purpose and Cultural Relevance

Let's quickly deal with the first item;

Commodity Relevance

In a dynamic, fast-moving digital world, products and services quickly move from being the latest must have gadget, fashion, music or media website to being irrelevant. This is driven by the increasing velocity of innovation, which in turn, is often fuelled by the sprawling influence and power of social media. Hence, today's latest must-have item very quickly becomes replicated and newer alternatives offer faster delivery at lower prices. The price of that item gets driven down to the lowest possible price where the profit margin is tiny or negative and it becomes a volume game.

Amazon is the leading example of this. Amazon commoditises everything. Prices are so low competitors cannot compete against them. (Although our S4 object storage is cheaper than Amazon's S3!) The volumes they are able to sell at such low prices are phenomenal. Hence, they are the most relevant company on the planet for everyday 'commodity' purchases and have driven the High Street to become the most 'irrelevant' place to be.

So, for the most part, in the commodity world, price and speed of delivery are the main drivers of the selling company's relevancy. Consumers pay scant regard to Amazon's brand, purpose and culture. (And nor does Amazon!) If a competitor cannot match the price of that item or deliver it tomorrow – then compared to the market leader, they are largely irrelevant and may not survive in the long term.

In our technology world, most product and services have been commoditised – and you've guessed it – in the Cloud technology space, Amazon cornered that years ago to become the largest Cloud services company in the world. In fact, it's the profits they make from Amazon AWS (Cloud) that allows them to run their Prime delivery and TV services, which are still loss-making.

Relevancy – why does it matter to us?

Which brings us to the question; if in our technology world most products and services are commodity, how
is it that we are able to do relatively well against 700 other competing tech companies? Well, the answer
to that question comes down to us and the brand and cultural relevance we have built over the past
17 years. And in particular, the move upmarket from Exponential-e 1.0 (commodity relevance) to where we
are today, Exponential-e 4.0 operating at the higher end of the market.

This secondary area of relevancy is related to other factors when we consider our purchasing decisions
and which company or brand we choose to buy from. A simple analogy comes from the luxury goods market that is huge, measured in trillions of dollars of revenues.

Picture 1: High-end brands and their values – April 2018

When considering a new dress, car, shoes, handbag, watch or holiday for example, there are many lowcost
equivalents that look very similar, but may be less than 10% of the price of the premium brands. For example, there are many handbags available from Primark that look and feel similar to those available from Chanel. The price differential might be £30 versus £3,000 – so why would anyone pay 100 times more? It's because you are buying into the lucrative brand cachet that stands for quality, superiority, trust and very importantly, what the brand says about you as a person - your personal brand - because we all have one. What does your personal brand stand for?

What is it you want people to think of when they think of you?

So let's look at brand, purpose and culture in more detail...

The journey from strategy and targets to brand, purpose and culture

Bear with me on this thread . . .  the rationale of what follows takes a path from our 2020-21 Financial Targets (Slide 1) to the Strategic Growth Execution Plan (Slide 2) to the topic of Brand, Purpose & Culture (Slide 4).

At the January company conference, I displayed the slide below showing our business plan projection for
the financial year 2020-2021. January 31st 2020 is our financial year-end date and slide 1 shows we should
achieve audited revenues of £142m with £38.5m EBITDA. For this year ahead of us, we are projecting

revenue growing to £176m and EBITDA to £45m. 

Slide 1: Financial projections for 2019-20 & 2020-21

 However, the financial projections for 2020-21 are all predicated on the following strategic plan;

Focusing on slide 2 below, there are four streams of strategic deliverables required for us to hit our 2020-21
targets;
  1. We successfully achieve our M&A acquisition in February/March (blue box)
  2. We successfully achieve the sales target (£54m Y1) announced by John Kryillou at the Company Kick-Off by focusing on the 4 cornerstones sales focus (red boxes)
  3. Supporting areas such as Vendors & SI's, Recruitment, Marketing and Product & Services delivers the partnerships, people, campaigns and operational services during the year (green boxes)
  4. The red and green boxes are supported by tertiary services and strategic deliverables shown by the (yellow boxes) and 'Relevancy' is the most important factor of these
Slide 2: Summary showing the strategic areas of focus for 2020-21 vision 

 As stated above, relevancy is also related to one's belief in the brand, purpose and culture – the people element of relevancy. Because at the end of the day, it's people that deliver the technology and services. And if they do not believe in the brand, purpose and culture of the company, they will not have the right positive mindset and attitude required to deliver any targets. Furthermore, we will not keep existing staff members and will find it difficult trying to recruit new staff if they do not believe in the brand, purpose and culture of the company.

Another simple example illustrating the importance of brand, purpose and culture and how it relates to relevancy might be as follows. Imagine you have two new job offers and the salary packages are exactly the same. How do you choose one offer over the other? Consciously or subconsciously, you will have been reviewing each company's brand, purpose and cultural relevance. These are top of your agenda. In fact, many people will put these factors first before the salary package, especially if both salary packages are above the salary package they are receiving from their current employer!

Well, prospective and savvy buyers of technology solutions (high-end of the market) are often similarly concerned about the company they are about to sign a 3 to 5 year contract with. In fact, they will look further at the company's corporate and social responsibility policies, their ISO or professional accreditation achievements, their training programmes, their climate change stance and their inclusivity and diversity policies and so on. Why? Because they contribute to the potential new client's or staff members' perception of the brand and culture they are signing in to. These factors combine to differentiate us from the competition and raise the perception of our relevancy in people's minds.

Our Brand, Purpose and Culture depicts our Corporate DNA

Obviously, we need to be absolutely clear about what our brand, purpose and culture stands for. Slide 3 captures my 'elevator pitch' or summary view of what we have nurtured and evolved over the past 17 years.

 Slide 3: Brand, Purpose & Culture

 We can see that;

  • Our brand is centred on trust, integrity and customer service excellence;
  • Our purpose focuses us in on the constant strive for perfection;
  • Our culture has been built upon delivering relentless innovation to our customers.
These are the attributes and values that people buy into when everything else is commoditised. They know we are long-term players with quality values and possess and the right cultural DNA to do business with. It's these factors that help keep us relevant. If we ever lose sight of these core backbone elementary vales of Exponential-e, then we've just moved into the realm of irrelevance.

Henry captured this point quite succinctly at the Company Kick-off with his slide 'Framing our Challenge' shown below as Slide 4; we either reinvent the business or face the slow onward slide into irrelevance, negative growth, institutionalisation and 'harvesting' our way downwards until we meet oblivion.

Slide 4: Framing our Challenge going forward 

Clearly, businesses today need a strong brand, a clear purpose, and an inspired culture. All three elements work together to drive one another - they are mutually interdependent if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Simply embracing purpose is necessary, but not sufficient. Even the most talented people aren't going to drive you into the future without a clear vision of what that future looks like. Likewise, a strategic and perfectly designed brand won't succeed without purpose-led people who can bring it to life.

We must learn how to enhance and communicate these values to the world at large. These are the values we strive for, that get us out of bed each day. It's what is in our corporate and cultural DNA that matters; trust, integrity, customer service excellence, and assured delivery of solutions that drive tangible outcomes ...

Two sides of the company with one brand does not work ...

So, we can see that Exponential-e has a clear dilemma when it comes to brand advocacy and marketing.
There are two sides of the company; one side competing in the commodity tech space and the other side competing in the higher-end markets such as the FTSE 350 and Enterprise sectors.

This is a real challenge to us right now and indeed for the past few years. We do sell low cost/high volume
services at the same time as winning orders in the premium/high value end of the market. It's a bit like trying to be Primark and Chanel at the same time. It doesn't quite work! It deflects focus, confuses our marketing messaging and leaves clients at odds. High-end clients wonder if they should trust us with their £1m per year order that requires a different skill set to selling a commodity internet connection for £230 per month; and the smaller customers think we don't care about them because we are only interested in the very large clients! Relevancy in two market areas is really difficult to achieve with one brand. One solution to this dilemma – and we have looked at this in detail during the latter half of 2018 – is that we split the company into two separate companies and two distinct brands addressing the two ends of the market.

Commodity relevance in the small order value market and brand, purpose and cultural relevance in the high
end market via separate companies with separate brands e.g Expo-e Ltd and Exponential-e Ltd.

This will in time, diffuse the brand marketing conflict we face. Marketing our products and services into two
distinct market areas with two separate companies becomes simple!
  • We would need to approach the market differently with different tones of voice
  • We could enhance our 'high-end' brand to spell out exactly what doing business with us allows our customers to say about their brand
  • We could become more agile through analytics for our lower value services - only agile organisations can truly be relevant in the volume market, and a marriage of data and marketing creativity is required. An example: S4 and tier 1 data storage - What is the performance and ROI on these services? What can we do to improve and relate the pricing metrics to the market? Our S4 product is significantly cheaper than Amazon's S3. Why aren't we telling the world about this?
  • The list of bullets goes on and on... 

In summary, whilst we have always striven to deliver 'relentless innovation' and have mostly succeeded, delivering 'relentless relevancy' is much more difficult when trying to address the whole of the market.
Hence, we are reaching the point where we may soon have little or no option but to split the company into two distinct entities and brands if we are to improve our relevancy in both market spaces.

And finally ...
Once again, a big thank you to all our staff members for your tremendous efforts throughout 2019 and again following on with that in January. Every area of the business has worked so hard to drive a very good result for the month. So, let's drive onwards into February to try and sustain this early momentum ...
Best wishes
Lee

New Starters

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At Exponential-e, we welcome a new group of starters every month. In this section you can put a name - and job role - to all those fresh faces.
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Procurement Update

Procurement-onboarding

The Cloud Category mission

  Amro Badawy - Cloud Category Manager

At our core, Procurement seek to save Exponential-e money which contributes directly to EBITDA growth. We do this by achieving value for money on high-value customer projects or negotiating reductions on existing invoices over time.

To enforce the 'five rights' of procurement (ensuring we buy inputs of the right quality, delivered in the right quantity, to the right place, at the right time and for the right price) we leverage Cloud purchasing to ensure a firm commitment from vendors to consistently achieve the best value available, and end-to-end support for Exponential-e.

We also ensure high collaborative partnerships with key suppliers to benefit Exponential-e both commercially and technically, and to ensure sustainability for our suppliers.





Dell​ EMC

  • Cloud Service Provider (CSP)
    • Gold partnership
    • £80K FY20 as BDF
    • Training discounts
    • Partner finder presence (customer can find us in the Dell portal)
    • Sales support
    • Dell EMC branding
  • Solution Provider (SP) (Resale)
    • Gold partnership
    • Access to Dell rebate
    • Deal reg discounts
    • BDF directly from Dell 





Microsoft

In the past, we have struggled to get information about Microsoft's products, prices, rebates, incentive programs and support. Now, we have succeeded in gaining access to all of these by leveraging our relationship with Microsoft.         

  • Microsoft CSP Gold partner
  • £75K as a rebate FY20 
  • SPLA – in progress to move onto Bytes as an aggregator for our SPLA usage (2% as rebate)




Citrix

  • CSP – we were only an authorised partner but have now completed all the requirement and are currently in process to move to the Premier tier. By moving to this tier, we will be able to achieve: 
    • 4% or 6% annual accelerate rebate upon achievement of growth targets
    • Strategic Development Funds (SDF) eligibility
    • Free Citrix Summit passes



VMware

  • VCPP – Premier partner (in the process to move to a new aggregator that offers us a better rate)
  • VCAN (resale program)– succeeded in moving to the Enterprise tier (a higher partnership tier), this provides access to achieve better discount level against Deal Reg opportunities, BDF and training discount





Zerto

  • CSP Gold Tier partnership which allow us to get a 3% business development fund

Do it for charity!

Do it for charity!

With Exponential-e staff always fundraising, we decided it would be a good idea to include a new section to help staff raise money. If you are participating in a charity event and would like to be featured then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Q419 PRIDE Awards

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Congratulations to the winners, the runners up and nominees for the Q4 PRIDE Awards.
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Culture Club

Culture-Club_July19

Our Culture Club is always working hard behind the scenes to make sure we have fun company events to enjoy. Find out what they've got planned for us (asides from their usual Thirsty Thursday events).

Upcoming Events

February Thirsty Thursday

It's back…

We are pleased to announce that Thirsty Thursday is back from Thursday 13th February. However, because of the newly refurbished Reception area, we will be using the Boardroom and Strong Room from now on. The usual selection of drinks will be available, such as beer, wine and soft drinks. We hope to see as many of you there as possible to welcome the tradition back!


Q1 Event

It's up to you to decide...

We try and hold a social event every quarter and for Q1 this year we want you to vote for your preferred choice of event. We ask that you please head here and take this quick survey to contribute your great ideas. You have until COB Tuesday 11th February to submit your choices. Once we have collated all the votes the most popular event will be organised for some time in March.


St George's Day

Let's Celebrate...

This year the Culture Club will be organising an event to help celebrate St. George's Day on 23rd April. More details will be announced nearer the time…

Sales Awards 2019

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Congratulations to the winners, the runners up and nominees for the 2019 Sales Awards 
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Finance Update

Financial-Update

​Revenue

  • We added £12.0m of revenue in December, so year-to-date, after 11 months of trading (i.e from February 2019 – December 2019) we have accumulated total revenue of £130m.
  • This is £12.5m more than the same point in time last year, i.e December 2018.
  • On the positive side, this represents growth versus last year of 10.6%, of a pure organic nature, in a challenging market.
  • As you can see in the chart below, the red bar which represents this year's performance, i.e FY20 is taller than the blue bars, the blue bars representing last year's performance, i.e FY19.
  • On the negative side, this is a performance that is considerably below the business plan we set at the beginning of the year, when we set a stretch target to close the year on £150m.
  • Our latest forecasts suggest we will finish the year around the £142m mark.

Expo Express

At the Company Kick-Off last month, I used the imagery of trains, to explain the productivity challenges we are facing as a business.

Let me share the stats I presented at the Company Kick-Off, for you to reflect on:

  • 5 years ago, in 2015, we generated Year 1 revenue of £92k per head. This gave us a total fire of £26.7m… from which 35% of this fire was reduced by water, alias cancellations and installs.Net new fire to fuel the engine, was Year 1 revenue totalling £17.3m or £59k per head.
  • Winding forward to today in 2020, we generated Year 1 revenue of £73k per head. This gave us a total fire of £40.6m… from which 73% of this fire was reduced by water, alias cancellations and installs. Net new fire to fuel the engine, was Year 1 revenue totalling £10.8m or £19k per head.

Therefore, in terms of new revenue growth, today we are 2/3rds less efficient in generating and converting new revenues per head, than we were 5 years ago.This is our collective challenge we all need to embrace in FY21, to fire up organic growth productivity, i.e "do more with less".

HR Update

HR Update

A big welcome to 2020 and I hope you are all as excited as me for the year ahead! It was great to reflect back on 2019 at the Kick-Off, and to also gain an understanding of the key focus areas of 2020 to help us grow as a company. Growth means opportunities but we need to match this with hard work to achieve our objectives and targets.

In Lee's Annual Newsletter, he spoke about the need to review our Code of Conduct. This has been a priority of the team and in the next week, you will all receive an updated copy of our Staff Handbook. Together with the handbook, we have put together an online video to highlight the key changes and to remind us all about what is expected of our behaviour towards our colleagues, clients and customers. Once available please take the time to review the updated handbook and complete the short assessment. It is compulsory for all employees to complete the online video and assessment.

As we get started in such a busy year, I would like to focus on some of the key systems to support you in your roles and get the most out of your experience with Exponential-e.

Enter your text here ...


Clear Review

Make sure you have set your objectives with your manager and made a note of them in Clear Review for you to discuss during your regular catch ups

Edison

A number of learning paths and online learning content to help you continue to develop in your role. Continue to view the calendar and book in for any face-to-face workshops that are suitable for you.

ViaNabo

Access information and sign up for all benefits available across Exponential-e. Don't forget to also check out Advantage and MyActive to view additional discounts available


Last year we had approx. 70 employees that either were promoted or took on a new role internally. Most of these had either completed learning pathways that had been put together or continued their own study to help them develop. As we continue to grow as a business, it is key that we continue to make opportunities available internally. During your regular discussions with you managers, make sure you find time to discuss how you can take on new challenges that help the team and the overall business to reach our goals.

We communicated that we kick-started the Management Academy last year and all initial coaching conversations have taken place. Matt Drought, from Natural, has put together a piece to ensure you are all aware of the programme our Managers are undertaking during 2020.

The team and I are always available to answer any questions or discuss any people-related topics. Pop past or pick up the phone at any point, we are here to help.

Thanks,

Sarah 


Well done to Louise Martin-Simms for taking part in the monthly Lottery via Advantage and taking home £100 cash in January. 
Head to advantage via ViaNabo to register and potentially be the next winner.

World-Class Management Training in 150 minutes per month

The Management Academy is in full operation, with most Managers having completed their first coaching session with their Natural Coach. Finally our Managers are receiving a world-class programme that has been designed just for Exponential-e and quality-assured by one of the best educators in the UK, Dr Daniel Prior from Cranfield School of Management.The next stage are the workshops beginning in February. So that we are all super clear on what your Managers are doing this year, here you can see a table with a sample Manager Learning Path.

In this example, you can see how this Manager has spread the learning over the course of the year, which means the 30-hour annual workload is manageable. They have attended the mandatory elements in bold, which gathers them the most Academy Points (110/140 needed to pass). Then, they complete two fieldwork assignments, enjoy a few episodes of the Scar Tissue Podcast, and watche a few extra videos. By the time they sit the final exam, they have achieved 160, well over the 140 point pass rate to get into Year 2.

So, in summary, to pass Year One and be invited to Year Two, an individual must:
  • Complete all mandatory elements in bold (coaching, training, exam pass)
  • Pass the final exam
  • Achieve 140 learning points or more
The best news is that they have completed all this learning for only 150 minutes per month.

If you have any questions or feedback please contact James Quinn, or call me personally on 07753926621, and we will ensure you are fully prepared for success.

Yours naturally,

Matt Drought
CEO, Natural Training

Customer Comments

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We all work hard at Exponential-e, and we are not the only ones that notice this! Our customers are always leaving us positive feedback - and you can read some of the comments here.

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Customer Wins

Key-Wins

Here you'll find the best of the many new deals our sales teams close for us each month, including what customers we've won, which Exponential-e people have worked on these deals and the TCV.

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Spotlight on the Sales Academy

Spotlight on the Sales Academy

This month we're turning the Spotlight on the new Academy!

Q1. What were you doing before?
Q2. What's been your favourite part so far?
Q3. What are you hoping to achieve with the rest of your time here?

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AI and Big Data

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In 2019, we worked with a customer who owns and operates a mine in Mozambique to help them identify their key business objectives and advise them on how to succeed on these. Throughout our discussions with them, we defined the below key objectives:

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How your organisation can be more flexible

How-your-organisation-can-be-more-flexible

In today's competitive environment, being flexible is a fundamental part of any business strategy to survive. To be flexible, organisations must make the necessary changes needed to respond effectively to the changing market. One simple way organisations can increase their flexibility is by using the innovative technology solutions and services that are available.

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How technology enables organisations to be more agile

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Although 'agile' has become a hype word, it is an important concept that organisations should strive to achieve in a world of continuous change and uncertainty. Being agile enables organisations to be more adaptive and reactive to the changing market, allowing them to respond quickly to customers' demands to keep a competitive edge.
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