Interview: Neos Networks, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

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Interview: Neos Networks, UK IT Industry Awards finalist
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Interview: Neos Networks, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

"Neos Networks strives to make complex connectivity challenges simple."

As society emerges from the pandemic years, IT finds itself ever more central to our personal and working lives, and IT professionals have never been more crucial to the functioning of businesses and society.

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 the finalists was Neos Networks, in the running for the Best Technology Refresh Project of the Year.

Before the awards, we caught up with Chris Voudouris, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Neos Networks, to find out what makes his company different from other technology firms.

Chris Voudouris provides the vision and leadership for the Neos Networks' technology strategy, whilst overseeing the company's network and IT functions. Chris has over 25 years of experience in the telecoms, IT and Infrastructure sector.

Prior to joining Neos Networks, he held several senior roles at organisations such as Gartner, Network Rail, Deutsche Telekom, Logica/CGI and BT Group, leading large-scale digital transformations, product portfolio evolution and research and advisory services.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.

Chris Voudouris: Neos Networks strives to make complex connectivity challenges simple. We provide innovative solutions and technical excellence to a wide range of customers, including businesses, government organisations, local authorities and wholesale partners, to provide future-proof, robust connectivity solutions.

As a leading business connectivity provider, we offer a wide range of services to our customers, including WAN, Ethernet, Optical and Dark Fibre services. We were also the first company to launch national Ethernet services across the UK. These services were purpose-built to support a growing and otherwise unmet demand for full fibre connectivity.

Neos Networks was formerly known as SSE Enterprise Telecoms, a part of SSE Group. Following 50% acquisition from Infracapital in March 2021, Neos Networks rebranded taking up the moniker that it was known as up until 2003.

What makes you different from other technology companies?

With one of the fastest growing business networks in the nation, Neos Networks operates a 34,000km fibre network across the UK, including 640 Points of Presence, 550 exchanges, 90 on-net data centres and three UK-based network operation centres. Our reach spans the UK, including hard-to-reach, rural locations, bringing fibre connectivity to areas where it would otherwise be unavailable.

Neos Networks also has an online ordering and pricing tool, LIVEQUOTE, in which customers can compare and order business connectivity options.

Customer experience is critical to our business. As a result, we continually invest in the growth and enhancement of our UK-wide network.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

The Blue Planet project saw us carrying out a seismic transformation of our BSS/OSS platforms. It involved digitising and automating our entire process, from quoting and ordering to fulfilment processes and service orchestration, to meet ever-growing demand for improved efficiency and speeds.

The improvement to our software and the move to a cloud-native approach in our systems and platforms have made our processes simpler for our teams, as well as streamlining customer experience.

These new, advanced processes underpin our growing network and allow it to continue to grow at speed, by removing any laborious and repetitive tasks. It also forms a key part of our network digitisation process.

What are you working on this year?

This year, our focus has been on the continued expansion of and investment in our national network alongside fostering digitisation across the entire network and business.

A key part of this is our Metro Access Networks project, in which we will offer 'last-mile' services to thousands of businesses in four key business hubs: Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London. Deployment is underway, and our focus for the year ahead will be on completing the deployments at each of these key locations.

Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

Awards such as the UK IT Industry Awards are important for a variety of reasons. They recognise and celebrate excellence within the industry, and help other businesses to take inspiration from those who have carried out large-scale projects. They also highlight the importance of digitisation and allow businesses to share best practice with their peers and partners.

Perhaps most importantly, they allow the industry to connect, network and celebrate each other's achievements, even more crucial following a particularly difficult few years for the industry following the pandemic.

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