How the landscape for remote working will never be the same again

The current challenges being faced by all businesses regarding the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are unprecedented in our history.
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10 top tips for working from home


Working from home can at times be compared to Marmite - you either love it or hate it. You have people that regularly work from home and find themselves far more efficient and productive doing so, and then you have people that are generally office-based and fear the loss of the structure of the day and the social interaction. 

With the majority of office workers now being asked to work from home, we've spoken to some of our regular home workers to get their 10 top tips for working from home, and how to get the most out of it and still feel connected to the wider team.

1. Do have a good working environment

Sitting up in bed or on the sofa sounds nice, but your back won't thank you as the day goes on. You should try to create a suitable working environment where you can sit up properly and have your laptop at the correct working height. Whether it's sat at the kitchen table or in your study, try and create an area clear of clutter. Why not try re-arranging some of your house plants to make your 'office' more inviting?

2. Do make healthy choices  

Stay hydrated - drink water and don't overdo it on the caffeine! Why not keep some fruit or healthy snacks nearby to reduce the temptation of biscuits, chocolates and crisps?  You'll thank yourself for it at the end of the day!

3. Do use video, it's good for all parties

Much of communication is non-verbal. Seeing your colleagues, clients or suppliers on video encourages interaction and engagement. But don't forget, everybody else can see you – make sure you're dressed appropriately and you've not just got out of the shower!

4. Do remember you can blur your background when on video calls

Using Microsoft Teams? You can blur your background on video calls, meaning that the pile of your kids' toys in the corner won't be visible. Handy right!? If you're using Zoom, there is a great feature that allows you to create a 'virtual background' – video call while on the moon, anyone?

5. Do remain focused and productive

Don't be tempted to start that new season on Netflix; plan your activities for the day in small sprints with what you want to achieve and deliver on it. This will help get you into a working rhythm and give you a sense of achievement.

6. Do schedule in 'virtual coffee breaks'

Why not schedule 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon to have a short social period with your team? You can all jump on a video call while you recharge your batteries with caffeine and talk about anything but work. Being able to keep some of the social side has a lot of benefits for all involved.

7. Do stay active and get away from your laptop

It's important that you look after your physical and mental health while working from home. Take the dog for a walk, or go for a run, at lunch. Take some scheduled breaks to do something different to help stay active and let your mind reset.

8. Do have some background noise if it helps you focus

If you're the sort of person that finds sitting in silence mind-numbingly boring, why not turn on the radio? Keep the volume low so you can still focus on your tasks and not get distracted. Just like in the office, if you find yourself drifting away from work due to the noise, make sure you refocus yourself.

9. Do have a routine

It's easy to slip into a 'lazy' way of working, potentially even be tempted to stay in your dressing gown all day, but it's important to still have a routine and set your mind up for the day. Try to keep the routine you had when going into the office - wake up, shower, have breakfast - you'll feel far more ready to tackle the day ahead.

And finally, the one that many people dread…

10. Don't worry about the kids/pets coming into the room

Cat jumped up on your keyboard? Your kid asking if they can have some crisps? We're all human and these things happen. Embrace them if they happen to you, and help others feel comfortable when it happens to them - everybody understands the situation that we find ourselves in. We'll all have stories to tell about 'those' moments in the coming weeks!

Now, most of these points will be stating the obvious for those of us that work from home on a regular basis. The challenges that we will all face in the coming weeks are some of the common challenges faced by regular home workers. Once this all dies down, and we are all able to return to the office environment, why not reach out to your colleagues that work from home to make sure they feel part of the team?

How resiliency is key in the current climate, including our Education system.

Over the last week, school leaders have risen to the challenges of the current crisis.It is a reminder of the responsiveness and resilience of our education system, and for those that are living on another planet (or wish they were at the moment!), the government is closing schools as of today to the vast majority of students. Children of key (critical) workers are still able to attend to ensure medical and transport staff can remain at work, but what does this mean for the other students?
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Coronavirus Lockdown: The Digital Workspace in action


With the current global situation, the past week has shown the importance of being able to create the Digital Workspace to provide flexible working solutions for your workforce. 

I decided to write a blog around how Microsoft's Teams, a Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) solution, has enabled my productivity to not slip despite the whole of my team now having to work from home thanks to Coronavirus.

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Life Sciences & Technology - Part 2: Is DX at the top of Life Science organisations’ agenda?


The short answer is yes - thousands of businesses are grappling with DX, however most do not consider themselves to be completely 'transformed' yet. Many of the largest Pharma organisations have launched initiatives and created entire departments focused on innovation, and are well on their way to operating in the same way an organisation which has completed its DX journey so far, is.

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Life Sciences & Technology - Part 1: What Can Life Science Organisations Learn From Digital Transformations in Other Industries


In our offices, businesses, colleges and homes, barriers exist between people that hinder free and easy communication. Physics undergraduates rarely mix with the Philosophy students, our accounts teams tend not to lunch with our account managers, and I almost never speak to the lady who lives in the flat below mine. It's a natural result of living, working and studying in cities with millions of strangers.

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A royal flush: future-proofing our team with Princess Anne


For any future-facing organisation, the importance of ample learning and development (L&D) cannot be overstated. A few months ago, our L&D team entered the Princess Royal Training Awards (PRTAs) -- and we are delighted to announce that we were successful in the following entries:

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Can London’s Architecture industry continue to lead the world while adhering to the Architects Declare manifesto?


When the Mayor of London recently quashed the building of The Tulip, it raised troubling questions for the future of architecture in the UK. The Tulip was set to be London's next iconic piece of architecture, joining a long, illustrious line of pivotal buildings that have lined London's horizon and kept the city at the leading edge of architecture since Sir Christopher Wrenn re-designed St Paul's Cathedral in 1710. But can the UK continue to host such iconic buildings in the shadow of the looming impacts of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss?

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A roundtable discussion on 5G, Brexit and frameworks


Our Public Sector Director Afshin Attari recently sat down with Innopsis's Lynne Magennis and Michael Bowyer for a roundtable discussion on frameworks in the Public Sector.

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Digitisation of Healthcare: A conversation with Innopsis


The digitisation of the NHS (one of the biggest employers in the world) is a huge task, and it begins with the opening up of the organisation's underlying data network. Over the past year, the NHS's N3 network has been being migrated to a new network: Health and Social Care Network (HSCN). HSCN has been built by a number of co-operating suppliers, including Exponential-e.

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How to simplify multi-Cloud management


In recent years, Cloud has become popular with organisations due to its simplicity, accessibility and relatively low-cost. Using Cloud, you can avoid many of the difficulties and expenditures that come with operating your own infrastructure, and - because it's easily accessible from anywhere - Cloud can give your users much more flexibility than on-prem legacy infrastructure.

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Why digital transformation (DX) is the engine powering advancements in the life sciences industry.

The life sciences ecosystem encompasses organisations from big pharma to biotech start-up, third sector to private equity / VC, all ultimately striving to positively impact people's lives and deliver tangible patient outcomes in an increasingly complex health environment. However, in this digital age, their noble work risks diminishing returns if technological progression is not embraced, and DX is not adopted - after all, no one wants to get left behind.
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Making sense of the Cloud-buzz: what quick wins are available to establish Business and Security value?

On Thursday 25th April, Exponential-e held a Financial Services and Insurance roundtable event at 'M Restaurant' in Victoria, London. The event brought together leading figures from these two sectors to share their experience of Cloud adoption and the benefits it can provide to businesses.

The conversation was kicked off by guest speaker Steve Deakin, Head of Development and Operations at Lloyds of London, discussing his experiences of Cloud and the client perspective. Next followed Nick Robinson, Systems Engineering Manager at Palo Alto Networks, who provided a view of real world innovations and shared Cloud success stories that he has seen from his clients across EMEA.

Here is a high level summary and description of the quick wins that were discussed:

The Process:

  • Learn -> Hack -> Iterate

Horizon Scanning & DevOps with an AGILE mind-set

  • Microsites and Micro services that are already trialled, tested and robust from an architecture and security perspective - this enables one to rapidly deploy new products and services, websites etc. with security peace of mind.
  • Serverless - just focus on writing codes and you can make changes in microseconds! It is easy to deploy, low cost, gives you more time to focus on UX and is more efficient for developers by ensuring you are keeping code backed up and in a secure environment.
  • Grid Data Analyst - overcome floods and complexity of big data and unlock the power of analytics with the right data in the right place.


  • OWASP Top 10 - whilst the threat landscape remains consistent year on year, everyone should make sure they are aligned to the latest as it evolves. Assuming the top 10 remains unchanged or that changes are incremental such as low priority to action, can lead to vulnerabilities.
  • NCSC - The National Cyber Security Centre is an organisation of the United Kingdom Government that provides advice and support for the public and private sector on how to avoid computer security threats.
  • Ethical Hacking - this should be continuously implemented - leverage Pen testers and vulnerability scanning as much as possible in order to follow best practices and processes - Learn -> Hack -> Iterate.
  • Social Engineering was also discussed, not so much as a quick win due to the complexity (get the simple things right first) however, advised to leverage Pen testers to protect your business from bad actors that use social engineering tactics.
  • Multi Factor Authentication – we discussed how this is a very low hanging and important measure to put in place. Leverage MFA to 1) require individuals to provide two or more authentication factors to confirm their identity for online transactions or to gain access to corporate applications, networks and servers and 2) insight and reports on the user's activity. Identity (IAM) and Privilege Access Management (PAM) were also mentioned as a further way to secure your business.
  • Security Information and Event management (SIEM) - leverage SIEMS as a means to log attacks. An IT Service Provider can provide an important layer of service to proactively manage, monitor and report on what the SIEM is seeing on a 24/7 365 basis.

Cloud Patterns

Data Lakes

  • Building out centralised repository for enterprise data, for tasks such as reporting, visualization, analytics and machine learning - leveraging cloud partners to build out big data solutions.

A debate for another day

  • DevOps and Open Source software is and will continue to be the main target for bad actors, they hold the code (the crown jewels). Should such resources have locked or unlocked internet access? On one hand it offers flexibility and agility, on the other it is more locked down and has a stronger argument from a security perspective.

#Azure #AWS #CloudPatterns #Cybersecurity #OWASP #NCSC #DevOps #HorizonScanning #EthicalHacking #Digital Transformation

What kicked off at the Exponential-e Channel Charity Cup

A few weeks ahead of the Champion's League mania, we hosted our annual Channel Cup event, which saw nine teams competing in a 5-a-side football tournament at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park homeground, all vying to be crowned the winner.

Would early favourites Silver Cloud (last year's champions) walk away with the trophy? How would the rivalry - now in its fourth year - between Sprout IT and Exponential-e's team play out? On the big day, Vonage, The Phone Co-Op, Sprout IT, Natilik, Silver Cloud, Net Premacy, and Blue Saffron all came together to 'channel' their inner Messi.

Natilik's No.10 Omar was the standout player on the day, scoring the most number of goals and coming inches away from hitting the bar in the Cross Bar Challenge. No mean feat from the halfway line into the wind! Silver Cloud came close to another place in the final, but their dreams were snatched away by Natilik.

Clearly enjoying the glorious sunshine, our Head of Channel Alp Kostem stepped up for the Cross Bar Challenge in his linen jacket and Ray-Bans, much to the amusement of the players. A valiant effort,but the general consensus was that he ought to stick to his day job. Once again, Exponential-e's own Eric Ascott took control of the microphone and nimbly guided everyone through the day with matchless witty banter. A weekend radio DJ gig should definitely be on his bucket-list.

In the end though, Vonage were crowned the winners, looking on course for a campaign to rival Liverpool's recent success. We look forward to seeing the team next year as they mount a defence of their title -- no doubt training's already well underway.

Each year we sponsor a different charity. This year, we chose Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), a globally renowned centre of excellence in child healthcare founded in 1852. Working with the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, GOSH forms the UK's only academic Biomedical Research Centre specialising in paediatrics. A clear reminder of how precious life is, we're tremendously proud to have raised £7,500 to help the organisation with their mission to fund research into children's healthcare and to finding new and better ways to treat childhood illnesses.

As the game ended, the Crystal Palace Hospitality Team did not disappoint. Hot showers, cold beer, and solid meal were provided after the tournament. Our Managing Director Mukesh Bavisi wrapped up the day by handing out the well-deserved awards to the teams and, more importantly, the presentation of the cheque to Amy from the amazing GOSH. For die-hards, the evening rolled on atWesthow House pub in Crystal Palace, recounting tales of their sporting prowess and dreaming of playing in the Premiership next Season. No doubt there were some sore limbs and heads the morning after, but it was all worth it for such a successful day.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen and for their generous donations to such an important cause. The amazing life-changing operations and treatments GOSH carries out every single day to children is just outstanding. We are delighted to be able to contribute to this and help the many GOSH children patients and their families. Till next year!

Exponential-e shoots up The Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100, fuelled by SD-DP and customer satisfaction


Today we are delighted to announce that Exponential-e has been listed at 46 in The Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 - a rise of 43 places following our debut last year at 89. Our inclusion was driven largely by our work in Digital Transformation, offered through our industry-leading SD-DP, the benefits of which have been seen by a diverse range of customers. Another key factor behind our inclusion are the record-breaking numbers we've enjoyed for the financial year ending 31st January 2019. Currently, we are on track for £150m revenue, with no acquisitions or VC funding along our business journey.

The Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table ranks Britain's top 100 private companies according to which has seen the fastest-growing profits over the last three years. Compiled by Fast Track, it's published as a supplement in The Sunday Times every April, with a national awards event held in June. This prestigious league table is a clear indicator of businesses that have developed and refined their offerings to grow at an economy-leading rate.

There's no doubt that the past year has been the best yet for Exponential-e, with our industry-leading SD-DP solving Digital Transformation concerns all over the UK and beyond. The SD-DP integrates core and edge computing, bonded with SD-WAN and SD-Data Centre, to form an underlying advanced network that enables data to flow freely yet securely between multiple clouds, from wherever it's stored through to the end user.

For those using the SD-DP, further improvements come from the Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC), launched last year, which monitors for compliance to multiple standards. The most recent technological development for the SD-DP is our Cloud Management Platform (CMP), which enables customers to manage their data and costs of multiple cloud environments through a 'single-pane-of-glass' view.

But what makes this so important right now? To start with, countless organisations in a range of sectors are currently seeking access to more bandwidth-hungry services. Compounding this are a range of new technologies demanding ever-increasing computing power, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality (VR / AR / MR). The SD-DP offers customers fundamental access to real-time cloud performance and cost data, resulting in unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction - a pivotal driver of our place on The Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100.

At Exponential-e, we always put the customer first, an ethos reflected partly in our real-time NPS score. As such, we've been excited to announce new partnerships over the past year with a wide variety of industry-leading customers, including Virgin Atlantic, The Ritz, Guinness World Records, WWF, and the British Medical Association. We also laid the connectivity foundations for major companies in the US to broadcast the royal wedding when all our competitors said it would be unfeasible.

To be counted amongst the top 100 companies across the UK paving the way in terms of profit growth is testament to the services we provide and how our company's culture consistently looks forward.Connectivity is crucial for companies nationwide; at Exponential-e, we take pride not only in our technology but also in our expert consultancy. We strive to be visionary, constantly evolving and innovating in order to deliver the very best experience to our customers; we're therefore very much looking forward to celebrating our success in achieving these aims with The Sunday Times in June.

How partnering with Exponential-e can make you a go-to business for data centre solutions


While the improvement of IT management remains a goal for all enterprise IT teams, the true aim for IT departments today should be to simplify IT in order to drive business agility. Unfortunately, simplifying IT isn’t so simple.

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Why technology is vital for future-proofing the broadcast and media industry


Today, innovation in technology is changing the way digital media is consumed more quickly than ever before. Tech-savvy consumers are creating an ever-growing market for data-intensive HD and UHD content, consuming content online, on the move and on-demand.

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Cyber security expertise and the global skills gap


By 2019, 1 to 2 million roles within cyber security will be unfulfilled. That's a figure that should strike fear into the heart of even the most stoic of business people. The threat of cyberattacks is growing quickly, and there aren't enough skilled people in place to control the wildfire.

This global cyber security skills crisis isn't exactly a new problem, though. Over the last 2 years, 40% of cyber security roles remained unfulfilled, despite an increase in job postings of over 74%. This is a problem, then, that's been smouldering in the background for a long time, and consequently now has the potential to create some serious destruction.

What's fuelling the fire?

Although there is a growing understanding of how vital cyber security is, organisations still don't necessarily understand exactly how fundamental it is to the success of their companies. Just look at cyber security budgets, which usually account for only 25-30% of an organisation's total IT spend (according to the IDC.)

With the number of attacks only growing, this is clearly not enough money. Every time a company gives an employee a take-home device, they're exposing themselves to a lot more than 25-30% of the total security threats!

Even if there were enough people applying for cyber security roles, the relatively meagre budget allocated to cyber security by most organisations still wouldn't be sufficient to hire all the cyber security professionals they need.

Out with the in-housing, in with the out-sourcing!

What with the lack of applicants and budget allocation, many companies are now choosing to outsource their cyber security teams. By the time we get to 2020, it's likely that most organisations won't have their own in-house cyber security skills.

For most companies, the best way to plug the cyber security skills gap is to call in organisations that offer an offsite security service. Even better, they can call in an organisation which provides the cyber security element on top of other useful offerings, like network and virtual data centre services (conveniently).

Going this route is making organisations' total IT spend more efficient.

This is because you don't have to invest in the infrastructure. By outsourcing, you can be flexible with the scope of the estate. You are also going to get better quality responses from analysts because they are keen to make sure you want to maintain the service.

These analysts add an extra dimension to the organisation – you don't have to hire them but they're there. To cut a long story short, if and when the big alarm goes off (and something goes wrong), there's always someone there to help fix it. An outsourced security team is probably going to give your organisation a lot more value than the 25-30% you're currently spending on your IT budgets – their expertise will really give you more bang for your buck.

And crucially, you can switch this service on and off as you wish. The job of a Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) is to be there to protect what really matters - when it matters.

Anyone can buy the tools to offer a cybersecurity service. You can buy a firewall quite easily - just pop onto the internet and order one. But the value lies in knowing what the output means – and which next steps to take. Your recently purchased firewall isn't going to do you much good if you don't know what it's telling you. Therefore, most organisations need to bring in expert cyber security monitoring and advisement in order to get the best use out of their technology. And who wouldn't want to do a better job whilst saving money?

Multi-cloud and security challenges

76% of organisations are implementing the cloud or already operating in it. And no wonder: Cloud can do great things for your organisation. It can provide increased data storage capacity, improved business continuity, and potential cost reduction. However, using the cloud brings significant security risks with it, including data loss and threats to data privacy.
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The changing faces of security


Cyber security is more complex now than ever before, and the implications of a cyber-attack can be much more disastrous. Organisations must consider not only the financial implications but the reputational damage that can arise following an attack. The proliferation of social platforms and the increasing needs of regulation, mean that security breaches can be publicised across the globe within minutes. Whilst the cost of launching a cyber-attack has reduced over the last few years, the cost of defence has risen. This is because there's a greater variety of attack vectors – means by which an attacker can gain access to your network. The methods deployed are so vast, compared to previously, that it makes it increasingly difficult to build an effective defence against. Highly sophisticated cyber-attacks are also using automation techniques to maximise their damage, to the extent where one piece of code can be used many thousands of times. 

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