'By continuously developing a values-driven culture, our workforce stays loyal to the business and provides consistent and high quality software to our customers'
Information technology is a vital part of modern businesses today, helping all corporate sectors to achieve goals, generate revenue, and reduce inefficiencies.
The UK IT Industry Awards are the largest and most well-known event in the technology industry calendar. Owned and operated by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Computing, the awards enjoy a level of professionalism and industry knowledge not seen at other shows.
This year's winners were announced at a live awards ceremony on Wednesday, 9th November.
One of those finalists was One Beyond, which reached the shortlist for two categories: Best Place to Work in IT and Services Company of the Year.
Before the awards, we caught up with Nick Thompson, CEO of One Beyond, to find out what makes his company different from other technology firms.
Nick Thompson started in the business shortly after the company's inception in 1994, as a junior software engineer. He progressed up the business, becoming an expert software developer and architect, and in 2013 completed an MBO to acquire the business using personal funds, at the time with 12 employees.
In 2020, Nick received the backing of a private equity firm and has since overseen the acquisition and successful integration of two further software firms in Spain and Hungary respectively. Today, One Beyond prides itself as the UK's leading software development company with over 350 employees across a global workforce.
"I am a classical pianist for 30+ years. During Covid I played lunchtime concerts for the team over Zoom, which was something I enjoyed and will never forget. I have regular piano lessons and love to perfect my Chopin Nocturnes," said Nick.
"I was a regular on the Victoria Derbyshire programme (a BBC daytime news & current affairs show) during its peak, speaking as the voice of SME businesses, giving my views on Brexit. It was fun while it lasted, but unfortunately the programme was axed a couple of years ago."
Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.
Nick Thompson: One Beyond is a multi-award-winning bespoke software development company, with headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire, and engineering centres of excellence in London, Manchester, Madrid and Bucharest. With a team of over 350 employees across the business, One Beyond delivers large scale digital transformation, strategic team augmentation, and world-class bespoke software solutions using cutting edge technology, with a client portfolio including Costa Coffee, Pearson, WaterAid, Smith and Nephew and Bourne Leisure to name a few.
What makes you different from other tech companies?
We stand out from our peers in several ways. By continuously developing a values-driven culture, our workforce stays loyal to the business and provides consistent and high quality software to our customers - ultimately our number one aim. Every new employee has a one-hour session with the me, to explain the importance of our company heritage and values.
In the 28 years since One Beyond's inception, it has amassed an impressive portfolio of loyal clients, as well as a broad range of software engineering capabilities. With several award wins, accreditations and accolades along the journey, the company is a go-to, trustworthy and reliable firm taking on mission critical software projects for global companies. To ensure we provide a high quality and consistent service, the company treats its employees with great respect and strives to ensure their careers are developed throughout their employment through the company's talent management programme.
In addition, we have an emphasis on employee wellbeing and have created a world-class Mental Health First Aider team within the business which has been an enormous success in 2022.
What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?
In August we announced our acquisition of JayStack, a leading software development company based in Hungary.
The acquisition follows a record period of growth for One Beyond and coincides with our recent rebrand, which saw us move away from the 'DCSL' name that had been in place since our inception in 1994. One Beyond's new identity represents the company as one inclusive brand, supporting the business as a platform for growth and further acquisition.
Founded in 2012, JayStack is one of the top-rated software development companies in Hungary and has grown to a team of nearly 100 engineers delivering business critical software systems and cloud infrastructure for a wide range of blue-chip clients in the UK and Europe. JayStack was already a key partner to One Beyond and that existing relationship has allowed both companies to merge cultures and business processes to ensure a seamless integration process.
What are you working on this year?
First and foremost, we're serving our clients by building a range of exciting new software systems. These range from new SaaS products to bring to market - cloud systems, mobile apps, web applications, across a wide range of industry sectors - to ongoing engagements with our largest and most loyal customers with whom we have been supporting growth through our expert digital engineering teams. In the background we're working on our next acquisition - watch this space for more! And while we continue to acquire new clients, we have been organically growing our current team which is always a high priority as we build a bigger, better, stronger company.
Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?
These events provide a chance for everyone in the IT industry to gather, network, and share a mutual appreciation of the incredible work done up and down the country. Of course, there's always going to be a competitive element to any awards show, but being able to witness the fantastic ingenuity and innovation of our competitors first hand is what truly spurs us on to become the best that we can be as a business.
These events also give us all the opportunity to discuss common issues and exciting experiences, which in turn help the entire industry to grow and carry on providing ground-breaking solutions to our customers.