8 June 2018

apprenticeships at UKFast - Lawrence Jones MBE

With two of our teachers and apprentice Tinisha.

From the very beginning of UKFast we’ve placed huge focus on innovation. Our focus is always on developing the latest technology to meet the constantly evolving needs of our clients and the ever-changing tech landscape.

For us it’s about making our clients’ lives easier wherever we can. Hosting providers can’t just rely on shifting tin. The hardware alone, no matter how incredible or cutting-edge it is, isn’t enough. Our differentiator has always been in customer service, and combining this with innovation is what excites us most.

With more and more companies outsourcing their entire workload to the cloud, this sector is absolutely as inspiring as the day I arrived in 1999.

Delivering innovation in service

Looking back on 2017, it’s been an exceptional year. Last year was particularly good, with growth bolstered by securing our two biggest ever client wins, taking us to 18%. We also hit a record high with our customer satisfaction score (NPS) at 81.6. That’s grown by 20 points in the last five years. For us our NPS is the most important measure to show how happy our clients are and ultimately how well we are doing our job.

Combining a customer service focus with programming nous has no doubt contributed to this growth. Our phone systems, database and the majority of our product portfolio are developed in-house. That means our team are able to react in an instant to industry needs and changes. It also means we can automate the run-of-the-mill tasks to free up more time for client-facing teams to really get to know our clients; for us to become a true extension of their tech teams.

The challenge comes in finding people with the skills need to remain innovative. The industry is still talking about skills shortages, and of course there is an issue there, but what we’ve been able to do through our apprenticeships and training centre enables us to recruit at speed, whereas previously recruitment slowed us down. We look for that ‘supportive gene’ – people who are naturally caring – and other, more technical skills, we can teach on site.

We’ve quadrupled our R&D team in the last two years and we’re aiming at growing it to 200 in the coming years. This week we announced 18 consecutive years of double-digit growth which is hugely motivating. There’s no doubt we do things differently, we’re a people business in a tech world, but it’s clearly working and that’s all thanks to our incredible team and clients.

Read our full 2017 results

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