The Tech Swindon community has a vast variety of companies and we'd like to get to know as many as we can - and our Start-Up For Ten questions are a great conversation opener
Over to Gavin at Accelerate Technologies
1. In your own words – what do you do?
Accelerate Technologies is an IT solutions provider with extensive experience in the worlds of Cyber Security, Wide Area Networking (WAN), Application Optimisation, Network and Application Visibility, plus much more besides.
We prefer our engagements to begin with a discovery session, learning about our clients’ business, IT environment, challenges, and future goals. This way we can deliver the services that best support those aspirations.
We see ourselves as the polar opposite to the big sales commission-hungry organisations. Naturally we want to sell services and technology solutions – we need to pay the bills and we have mouths to feed – but we want to build long lasting trusting partnerships with our clients, and we will only succeed in that by understanding our customers.
2. What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?
For many years we worked together in an IT Distribution business, supporting some of the largest IT providers in Europe in delivering solutions to customers ranging from enterprise to SME size. We learned huge amounts and technically underpinned many hugely successful projects.
But we never owned those client relationships, and sometimes you knew that what the solution provider was recommending to the customer was not right for their business, but they would shoe-horn it in as it made them the most profit and commission.
We had many conversations between ourselves about how we would do it differently and better if we were the solutions provider, now we finally have the chance to do it.
3. What are you most proud of so far?
We used our experience in the areas of Wide Area Network (WAN) solutions and Cyber Security to conduct some research into the growing areas of SD WAN and SASE in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic.
We uncovered some really interesting shifts in opinion and produced a full report with our own analysis and opinion. It received a lot of national coverage and was carried by many publications including Computer Weekly. We have also created huge amounts of valuable content that we make freely available to customers and prospects alike through the knowledge hub on our website.
4. What have you found most difficult about being a startup?
Many startup IT solution providers are formed by people that already have a wealth of customer relationships that allow them to hit the ground running.
With our backgrounds we did not have that luxury, and trying to get in front of potential customers to pitch our capabilities has proved extremely difficult. We are not pushy salespeople – we like to let our knowledge and experience do the talking – and we hope that we will generate a lot of business through referrals and word of mouth in the future. But gaining those first few customers from a standing start is difficult in such a competitive market.
5. What would you do differently if you started now?
We made a decision when we first started to invest heavily in our technical resource and ability in the hope that people would see us as a competent and safe pair hands to manage their IT projects (which we are!).
Unfortunately, without a strong sales push to go with it, nobody gets to hear how good you are technically, and the resource is wasted. In hindsight we may have been better investing more heavily in sales first and adding further technical resource as the need arose.
6. Where do you think you’ll be in 12 months?
We aim to have a strong core of customers who view us as their trusted advisors for IT infrastructure, and ultimately as an extension to their own internal IT teams
7. What tools/people/services/organisations helped you most?
We are fortunate to have started our business as part of an existing group of companies, and benefit from their experience of starting a business from scratch.
We have not had to worry about the administrational side. Our marketing agency, Motion Marketing, have built us a really strong brand and excellent website.
Their knowledge and expertise in B2B marketing for technical companies makes them easy to deal with as they understand what we are talking about, and can actually produce a lot of content for us rather than relying on us to supply the words.
8. What’s the best thing about being based in Swindon?
We have all lived and/or worked in the Swindon area for our entire careers, so it is an area that we know intimately.
The IT industry has a strong presence in London and the Thames Valley, which we can reach quickly and easily, and we have good transport connections to the North, South, and West. I just wish we were a bit closer to the sea!
9. What support does the tech scene need in Swindon?
We are finding that a lot of businesses in the local area are taking IT services from providers a long way from the Swindon area.
Would there be more local support if there was a stronger IT community in the area – events and platforms that allow local IT professionals and providers to share ideas, talk about new technologies, and showcase local businesses? We’re hoping that Tech Swindon will provide just that!
10. Where can we find out more about you?
We have a huge amount of information on our website, including our knowledge hub with plenty of useful collateral for IT Directors / Managers / Architects etc. https://accelerate-technologies.com
We are also very active on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/accelerate-technologies/ . We aim to share insightful and valuable content – not sales blurb!