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Every Business Needs a 5-Year-Old on its Board

For the first few weeks of the summer holidays, I took some time off to spend with my two children, Jon, 6 and Zoe, 4. We had lots of fun, and during the time I spent with them I noticed a few quirks of young children that are essential for running a great business but seem to be taught out of us as we grow older!

Asking Why?

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Understanding the context of a task and why you are doing it, gives great insight and empowers you to take the best action to achieve it.  By just blindly following instructions you may not operate in the most efficient way, or if the instructions were ambiguous or unclear you may end up with the wrong outcome.

Pretty much every time I asked Jon or Zoe to help me out, I was asked ‘why?’ On the few occasions they didn’t ask, they didn’t do what I had intended!

When cooking dinner, I would ask for the dining room to be tidied, sometimes it was done, sometimes it wasn’t. If they didn’t ask why (or I didn’t tell them), some toys were put away but the table would still be littered with papers, pens, Top Trumps cards and so forth!  If I were to request the dining room to be tidied ready for dinner so we can eat at the table, the result would more likely be a clear table. The rest of the room may not be completely tidy, but it is a start.

Asking for Help

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Hands up who has struggled on with a task at work that they don’t know the answer to, don’t understand, or cannot do by the deadline? *sheepishly raises hand*.

Often, we don’t ask for fear of looking weak, incapable or unproductive.  We can work harder…faster…(Scooter???).  And who has found this successful?  *tumbleweed*.

I’ve worked with more than one business leader who has (quite rightly) delegated tasks to their team.  When they’re successful the leader delegates more to push, and challenge their team.  Often this is to see how much they can handle.  If you don’t ask for help when you need it or push back if it’s too much, then the leader will assume it’s achievable.  You are not doing yourself, or your organisation any favours by taking on too much and being unsuccessful.  Pretty much unanimously asking for assistance or challenging deadlines is seen as a strength of their team by managers.  And help doesn’t mean doing it for you.  Sometimes a second pair of eyes or a different approach is all you need.

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Jon got stuck on a video game.  He had been doing the same battle repeatedly for about 15 minutes and was getting nowhere.  He asked me to help, and I pointed out he’d missed a step before Dr Octopus cloud be beaten.  Soon Lego Captain America was on his way again!

Another day Zoe was doing some colouring and asked me to help.  In this case, she was just getting tired and need a break…she just hadn’t realised a tasty banana would re-energise her!

Giving Up When Something is Futile

Many of you will know all about the sunk cost fallacy.  You’ve spent several days on a presentation that just isn’t right, but refuse to throw it away when it has taken all week!  You spend the next week correcting and amending, but somehow it just doesn’t flow.  A better option could be to bin it and spend a day starting from scratch.  But then I’d have wasted a week you cry?  Better to have a great presentation after 6 days than a mediocre one after 10, right?  And that week wasn’t wasted…you learned from your mistakes.  Without that effort, you could not have produced the better presentation, in a day.

At Techinquest in Cardiff, there are dozens of interactive exhibits for young minds (and not so young ones) to investigate.  Jon and Zoe couldn’t work some of them out, some were not fun, or even were too easy!  When they gained all they wanted to, they finished.  Of course, you can’t do that with everything in business, but remember that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.  Make sure you focus your efforts on what is adding the most value.

Enjoy What You Are Doing!

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The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
Steve Jobs

Maybe not all of us love what we do, but that should be an aspiration.  But if you hate what you do you’ll never be great at it.  You need to have passion and drive to be a top performer.  Of course, they’re tasks that no one enjoys doing (VAT return anyone?) but you should believe in the organisation and its goals.

I think anyone who has a 5-year-old, can relate to this…nah, I’m not doing that, it’s boooring!  Find out what you love doing and become the best at it!

SUMMARY

There may be reasons not to employ a 5-year-old, not to mention the questionable legality of it!  However, sometimes we could all benefit from thinking a little more like a child; especially when it comes to having fun doing what you do!

OCTOPUS BLUE

Octopus Blue can help your day become more rewarding, by helping you to optimise your workflow and recommending the most efficient software stack for your business.

Octopus Blue.  The Business Software Experts

To arrange your complimentary requirements call and report, please enter your contact details below.

 

What to Look for in Business Mentor

Octopus Blue CEO Andy Bailey explains why you need a business mentor and what to look for in a great mentor.

Octopus Blue

Octopus Blue help your business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

Octopus Blue.  The business software experts.

To find out more about mentoring, or to arrange your complimentary requirements call and report, please enter your contact details below.

Benefits of Remote Working

Octopus Blue is growing rapidly, back in December 2016 Andy Bailey was working alone in his spare room. Fast forward to August 2017 and we are now a team of five (soon to be seven) dotted around the UK and further afield in Alberta, Canada. What are the benefits and how do we manage it productively?

The Ability to Work from Anywhere

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The most obvious perk of remote working is the ability to spark up the computer from wherever you are and get a few hours work done, morning, noon or night. I am in fact writing this blog from my sister’s front porch in Canada, its 8pm and all the children are tucked up in bed. So, even though I am on holiday I can keep up to date with how things are going back home.

Hannah Naylor, our Business Development Expert lives here and is a prime example of how remote working is good for Octopus Blue. Hannah starts work at 6am (1pm BST) and is able to fit her work around day-care, as is the case for many others.

Costs are Lowered

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Consider all the costs involved in just one person working from the office. There’s the cost of the office space, electricity and so forth but also the time and money spent on commuting to the office. Remote workers, are being eco-friendly, reducing their carbon footprint by not having to commute into the office. When I am at work, my commute to is very small but on the days I work from home I really appreciate the extra time I have to get started, even if it just to get myself a cup of tea!

Productivity and Efficiency

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The idea of working from home for some can conjure up ideas of slacking, this is not the case. At home (or wherever the remote working ‘office’ may be that day) there are less distractions, people are more comfortable, they can listen to whatever music they like and can wear whatever they like. Sitting under bright lights in the office all day can be stressful, remote working gives the worker the opportunity to modify their environment exactly as they want it. Less distractions and less stress equals a much more productive and efficient workforce.

Loyalty

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Working from home can be the perfect working environment for some, be it working around children or simply a personal preference. Whichever it may be, it can mean the work/life balance is much easier to achieve. People are grateful to their employer for the opportunity to have a job they enjoy doing in the comfort of their own home. Gratitude can then manifest itself in loyalty to the company which will increase turnover and productivity. Fantastic for any employer!

Anything is Possible

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Gone are the days of walking around with your phone in the air to get a signal. You can now go to most coffee shops and pick up free wifi making it super easy to work ‘on the go’. International phone calls used to be done from the office but with the likes of Skype this is possible for very little cost from your mobile and with platforms such as Crugo, keeping in touch with the team couldn’t be easier. Sharing information and documents is straightforward with the likes of Office 365 and Evernote. In short, there really is nothing you can’t do from home that you would do in the office.

It is, of course, good to have face-to face time too. Well planned team days can be both fun and productive ways to keep in touch and learn more about each member of your team. We recently had our first team way day and I am looking forward to planning our next!

Remote working may not work for everyone but, for those who can and do, it’s the perfect way to work, and play!

Octopus Blue

Octopus Blue help your business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

Octopus Blue.  The business software experts.

To arrange your complimentary requirements call and report, please enter your contact details below.

Panintelligence Partner Day

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The Panintelligence Partner Day on the 6th July saw Andy Bailey and myself at the Village Hotel in Nottingham for what was to be an enjoyable, informative and interesting day with the Business Intelligence specialists.

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Following coffee, conversation and networking with other partners and Panintelligence staff, we settled down while Zandra Moore, Sales & Marketing Director, launched the day with a warm welcome & introduction. She explained how they split out from Pancredit following a management buyout 3 years ago and having originally worked solely with banks and financial institutions, security is at the heart of everything they do.

For me, the highlights of a packed day included:

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Gavin Fell, MD of Exact took to the stage to introduce his Company (for those not already familiar), explaining how as a Dutch company they launched into the UK 2 ½ years ago, targeting verticals such as manufacturing as well as their core accounting solutions. Since partnering with Panintelligence they have been awarded the accolade of “App Partner of the Year”.

Octopus Blue are an Exact partner and our founder Andy Bailey spent some time with them in the role of Product Manager.

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Next up, Sue Daley from techUK a trade association for UK Tech companies delivered a fascinating presentation on Big Data and Analytics, describing how important data analytics is for productivity, job creation and economic growth in the UK. By using BI tools for the better use of data, we can deliver value across every sector. She highlighted the digital skills shortage in the UK and how it is losing about £2bn per year and demonstrated Big Data in action with a visualisation of Strava Metro Data for the City of Bath.

Since the event, Octopus Blue have also joined techUK as Tech Start Up members.

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Ian Mann CEO with cyber security experts, ECSC gave us an insight into hacking; who, why and what they are looking for; including nuggets such as “why the prevalence at weekends and bank holidays?” because “defences are low” or the hackers are “not at school”!

He explained how the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which replaces the Data Protection Act and comes into effect May 2018 will require businesses to be fully compliant with their data security. Preventative measures and secure technologies for accessing and sharing data are of critical importance.

Thought provoking and probably a real wake up call for many organisations who simply cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand.

“The controller shall be able to demonstrate that the data subject has consented to processing of his or her personal data.” Article 7(1)

“Maximum fines to be the HIGHER of 20m Euros or 4% of total worldwide turnover.” Article 83

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Back to Panintelligence and Product Director Ken Miller showed off their new HTML5 edit chart screen which is currently in Alpha. All the delegates enjoyed trying it out on tablets and experiencing how easy it is to build charts from scratch.

Even Andy and I managed to put together several Dashboard components in just a few minutes!

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Ken talked passionately about subjects such as Artificial Intelligence, sensors feeding data, the Internet of Things (even their office fish tank populates a dashboard with statistics!) and finally Tesla cars, with a YouTube clip. Andy and I already knew what to expect having chatted with Ken in the hotel bar the previous evening!

A short video showed how Clint Milnes, Head of change management at Winn Solicitors had revolutionised their reporting and visibility with Panintelligence BI.

All in all, it was a fantastic day which struck the perfect balance between informing on Panintelligence’s BI tools with useful industry wide information and insight.

A big thank you to the Panintelligence Team for having us!

Training Day!

The following week I visited Panintelligence’s head office in Leeds for a BI Dashboard training day. This gave me the welcome opportunity to get properly hands on with both their current and new HTML analytics tools and to meet with members of their staff that I hadn’t previously… and obviously discuss Tesla with Ken again; I think he may have over talked the connected fish tank a little, however!
As a result, I am pleased to say that Octopus Blue are now a fully accredited Panintelligence Business Partner and we look forward to working together.

We hope that Panintelligence will be joining us on our stand at upcoming trade shows later in the year. Watch this space…

Octopus Blue help your business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

To arrange your complimentary requirements call and report, please enter you contact details below.

Octopus Blue Inaugural Away Day

‘Away Days’…the phrase can sometimes conjure up images of colleagues awkwardly interacting, role play situations and forced ‘team building’ activities. The Octopus Blue away day, however was nothing of the sort and proved to be a fantastic day for updates, ideas, feedback and getting to know each other more!

In attendance, we had:

Andy Bailey – Founder & CEO

Alexandra O’Reilly – Operations Expert

Ian Hunt – Software Expert

John Walker – Software Expert (officially starting on 21st August)

To start the day, we met up in Tec Marina and began with an update from CEO, Andy Bailey who outlined some of the challenges we have coming up as well as noting our success so far, and future opportunities. A great preamble to the day, starting off on such a great, positive note!

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Andy then spoke to us about the culture of Octopus Blue, why it is important and how we build it. Together we completed a retrospective on four key areas which led us to, collectively chat about each of these areas and how we ensure we are always supporting, encouraging of each other and that most of all we are a very happy team! It was also very good to know that we all had the same idea when it came to integrity, openness, positive intent and continuous improvement (or Kaizen…read on to find out more)

Kaizen

Octopus Blue follow the practice of Kaizen, the Japanese word for “continual improvement “. The Kaizen practice focuses on creative solutions, improving processes and constantly introducing small incremental changes in order to improve quality and efficiency. We follow the Kaizen way so that we are continually improving everything we do as a business, making sure that all of the information is passed to each member of the team. So far this is working very well for us!

The Kaizen Principles:

  • Good processes bring good results​
  • Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation​
  • Speak with data, manage by facts​
  • Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems​
  • Work as a team​
  • Kaizen is everybody’s business

 Happy Birthday John!

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One of our newest members of staff (in fact he hasn’t even officially started yet) had his birthday on the day we met so it would’ve been rude not to stop for a quick tea and cake break to wish him a Happy Birthday!

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In amongst all this, I gave the team an update on all things Marketing and HR (or People, as we like to call it) including new staff (of which we have quite a few in the pipeline) and Ian talked us through where we are with some of the latest products we have been working with.

Time for some Lunch

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After all of this it was time to get out and have some lunch, and some fun! We headed into Cardiff for a bite to eat in Bills. Once we were re-fuelled we were off to have some fun in Breakout Cardiff where we were locked in a room with a series of cues to solve the case of a missing colleague. Despite all our efforts and very much working together, we didn’t quite manage to escape without the help of the very nice young man working there who let us have an extra five minutes. We could’ve still been stuck in there otherwise!

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To finish off a great day and after a little rest we set off for Bar 44, Penarth for a delicious dinner of Tapas and a couple of drinks. As always, the food and service were fantastic!

All in all, a very constructive and enjoyable day. I am looking forward to planning the next one!

Octopus Blue help your business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

To arrange your complimentary requirements call and report, please click here to enter your contact details.

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

Octopus Blue Newsletter July 2017

Welcome to Octopus Blue’s First Newsletter!

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It is now more than six months since I launched of Octopus Blue.  With it has come growth, change and many challenges.  From sitting in the spare bedroom alone in December, reaching out to my network and refining my ideas, to the rapidly growing team I now have based in Tec Marina and working across the UK.

Fundamental to my life has been the principle of Kaizen – continuous improvement.  This is something I install in Octopus Blue and the team.  How can we take the good work we’ve done today and make it even better tomorrow?  Where mistakes are made, what we can learn to ensure they don’t happen again?  What can we do to make our customers even happier and more productive?

In that vein, I am excited to unveil the inaugural Octopus Blue newsletter which, along with our blog and social media posts, will keep you up to date with industry trends and advances, business ideas and best practice and of course all about Octopus Blue and my amazing team!

I hope that you will enjoy the newsletter and that you will share it with friends and colleges you think will benefit from it.  Following the Kaizen theme, I would love to know what you think!  Please let us know what you like, what can be improved and anything else you think we should add.

Thank you!

Andy Bailey, Founder and CEO

Accountex 2017

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In May of this year, Octopus Blue made its debut at Accountex, the UK’s largest accountancy trade show. Andy, Alex and Ian travelled to The ExCel in London to see what it was all about. Most of the time was spent on our stand talking to people about what Octopus Blue can offer businesses, it was incredible how many visitors we had from which we generated over 300 leads! On the second day, Andy was invited to talk in the 2020 ‘How To’ theatre where so many people attended that there was standing room only! If you’ve not seen the talk yet, you can see it here along with the slides used in the talk: Accounting Software – How Do I Choose the Best Solution for My Practice and My Clients?

Introbiz

Andy and Alex have attended several Introbiz events in the past few months from Breakfast at the Marriot which we sponsored to a Ladies Lunch in St Davids Hotel. These events have been fantastic for us as a new business, proving a fantastic way of meeting new contacts and clients.

What’s Coming Up

Team Away Day

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We are planning Octopus Blue’s first Team Away day in early July, something we plan on doing every few months. This time we are meeting in Penarth for a meeting in the morning, followed by lunch and an afternoon in Breakout Cardiff where we will have 60 minutes to attempt to escape from a room! Watch this space to hear if we make it out! After a little rest, we are off for a delicious dinner in Bar 44, Penarth where we can all try some ‘Pulpo’, or slow cooked octopus for the non-Spanish speakers!

Guest Corner

Each month, our Newsletter will feature a guest – someone we have recently met and have been inspired by. Read on to find out who we have this month.

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Prith Biant – Founder of The Creative Thinking Company

I first met Prith at an Introbiz networking breakfast in May. We suggested arranging to follow up with a meeting and met up shortly after in Tec Marina to find out a bit more about each other.

I was instantly inspired by Prith’s passion and love for what she does. With the strapline of ‘making organisations more creative’ Prith sets out to help make workplaces more creative, innovative, more productive and rewarding. By bringing out people’s creative side through creative thinking sessions, filmmaking, painting and more Prith helps teams or individuals focus on what needs to be done and tackling problems they may meet along the way.

One of Prith’s projects we discussed in some detail was ‘Staff engagement in workspace design’ I was fascinated to learn of all the ways used to bring out creativity and to help people engage with one another on a different level to everyday work. Staff walked up Pen y Fan, equipped with notebooks to jot down ideas as they walked. Their ideas were later transformed into a four-piece artwork which now hangs proudly in their new staff break out area.

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All in all, a fantastic way of engaging staff in their creative side that they may not have known existed otherwise, and a well-deserved short break from the day-to-day responsibilities.

To contact Prith or to arrange a taster session, call 07966 872786 or email Prith directly for further information.

Contact Octopus Blue

To arrange a complimentary review of your software requirements, please get in touch or visit the Contact Us page on our website, fill in your details and one of the team will contact you to arrange.

Salesforce World Tour 2017

The Salesforce World Tour London saw over 10,000 attendees filling London ExCel to learn more about the Salesforce product, platform and its future. Networking with like-minded professionals and meeting with many vendors working on the Salesforce platform, Octopus Blue CEO Andy Bailey offers his thoughts on the event.

Welcome Trailblazers

2017-05-17 17.45.35After queueing through airport-style security for about 20 minutes (a first for me at a tech conference!) I, and hundreds, of others missed the start of the event. I joined as Craig Walker, VP & CIO Shell Downstream, Shell, was talking about how they need to continue to make their brand more interesting, exciting and fun.

“We are moving to a service that sells a commodity, Salesforce is key to that.
I want to give my customers an experience that brings back them back to my brand.”

Craig Waler, VP & CIO Shell Downstream, Shell

Next up was Julie, a Salesforce Admin. The Trailblazers gamification program has helped to encourage her to be excited about trying new experiences. After winning 185 badges Julie won an awesome admin award for 2017. I’ve always been a big fan of gamification and it was interesting to see one of the largest cloud software vendors globally using it front and centre.

Be a Trailblazer

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After a musical introduction from Becky Hill and a short Salesforce film, Simon Mulcahy, CEO opened his keynote explaining that Salesforce allows you to do what you do best (I think he must have been reading the Octopus Blue website!), bringing everything together in one customer success platform. Simon also highlighted that Salesforce donates 1% of their equity, profit and employee time to charity.

Simon joined Salesforce eight years ago and as a Brit living in the US he quipped that it was good to be back to top up his accent and learn to spell properly again!

Outlining the talk, Simon spoke about the Einstein AI platform, updating the Trailblazer program with US National Park look and feel. He described a Trailblazer as a pioneer, adventurer.

After thanking the partners, customers and employees, Simon sang Salesforces plaudits – fastest growing top five company, the innovator of the decade! With core values of Trust, Growth, Innovation and Equality, Salesforce aims not just to make the best software, but to be the best software company.

With 75 billion ‘things’ connected we are truly in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. When you go to Amazon and get other predictive recommendations, it ruins it for their competitors. We are in the age of the customer…the customer is at the heart of everything we do.

The Age of AI

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Einstein took complexity and made it simple, e=mc². Salesforce claims to have done the same with CRM, taking the hassle so you don’t have to.

With Einstein, they offer predictive insight into your customers. Partnering with IBM Watson who gives predictive insight into third parties.

There was a very slick demo whereby a thunderstorm was predicted by Watson and Einstein sent out messages and suggestions to customers and prospects who may be impacted by this.

Internet of Things

Nina Bhatia, Managing Director of Centrica Connected Home joined Simon to talk through a very interesting use case. Hive’s mission is to give their customers great control over their homes and lives through connected technology. Nina believes that by 2020 the smart home will be as ubiquitous as the smartphone. I don’t share her optimism on the timeline, however, what I saw looked very exciting.

Lucy, the customer in this demo, has just bought a new flat. She doesn’t know anything about Hive and Hive don’t know Lucy. Using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Hive can seek out lookalike audiences. Lucy is browsing for home furnishings and sees a Hive ad. As she clicks through, Marketing Cloud can tell that Lucy is a new customer so leads the ad with a Hive Starter Pack. Data is showing that customers resembling Lucy are likely to by a Hive Thermostat. Lucy takes a photo to check compatibility, is given the ok and orders.

After a confirmation email, Lucy downloads the app and can start using Hive straight away.

“Salesforce helps us to make the most of the Internet of Things and transform the homes and lives of our customers.”

Nina Bhatia, Managing Director of Centrica Connected Home

Sales Scoring

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Every sales process starts with a lead; a webinar is a great place to start. With a sign-up form generated by Salesforce, Einstein collects details of their browsing history to find out more about them. Einstein Score then assigns a score based on the prospect’s likelihood to buy, allowing sales teams to focus on the strongest leads and increase conversion rates.

With the browsing history, Einstein can also recommend which products the prospect is most likely to buy, sharing with the sales team for review before sending a proposal to the prospect.

Networking

After the keynote I joined the exhibition floor to speak to the dozens of software vendors partnering with or built on the Salesforce platform; ERP systems, Sales Accelerators, Connectors, Business Intelligence and more. You’ll be pleased to know that several of these will also be popping up on the Octopus Blue network soon…watch this space!

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

To arrange a complimentary review of your software requirements, please get in touch or visit the Contact Us page on our website, fill in your details and one of the team will contact you to arrange.

Journey to the Cloud

We have been hearing for a few years now that business systems will largely move to the cloud, though until fairly recently, enterprises have been reluctant to move away from the traditional client server model.

In conversations with clients and contacts over the last year or so there has been a seismic shift from “we are considering it” to “we are actively planning for it”.

As companies start to embrace digital transformation, cloud adoption has really taken a front seat. It has become the key component of digital strategy; transforming business operations with innovation that impacts every aspect of a company’s front and back office, not to mention their customer interactions. The drivers for the transformation frequently revolve around agility, scale, cost savings, collaboration, system and location independence.

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I’m showing my age but I have been advising accountants and businesses on software related matters since long before ‘software as a service’ became a viable option. Back in the dark days of dial-up (or even pre-then, if you think back), client/server or standalone solutions were the only route. I can recall configuring systems with several geographically separate databases that would (or should) update changes across the systems at predetermined times, via a dial up modem.

Glancing over at the bookshelves in my office I can still see several old books “MCSE Teach yourself…, DOS Quick Reference, Using Windows 3.1, Novell Management” etc. I’ll probably never open them again but I’ve not had the heart, or ruthlessness to throw them out. They’ve become redundant, legacy information but in a way, they catalogue the progress and the changes that have occurred almost without us noticing.

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Technology changes the way we work. It’s not always predictable but I think the seeds of change regarding cloud computing were sown twenty odd years ago when internet adoption started to happen. Cloud meant something different back then; we talked about SAAS – Software as a Service.

The arrival of the smartphone, many would point to the original iPhone. I’d been using an XDA Windows phone for years before then and didn’t see it as a game changer but it was. It brought pocket computing to the masses and the move to cloud computing was sealed

Digital Transformation is not actually about technology, it is more about how businesses integrate these technologies to help them transform and improve. Shifting from an on-premise infrastructure to the cloud is not simply an IT matter; it is a strategic move that will bring value to the business as a whole. It’s no longer an if. but a when.

There are many different cloud computing solutions – hybrid, hosted, SaaS, Cloud – and it can be daunting to figure out what the differences are and exactly what your company needs. At Octopus Blue we understand this, it’s our passion. We would love to steer you through the maze and help you form a plan for your own successful cloud implementation.

Octopus Blue help your small business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

To arrange a complimentary review of your software requirements, please get in touch or visit the Contact Us page on our website, fill in your details and one of the team will contact you to arrange.

Software Implementation [Video]

How can Octopus Blue help you with business software implementation?  Find out more in this video with Founder and CEO Andy Bailey.

To arrange your complimentary requirements call and report, please enter you contact details below.

Meet the Octopus Blue Team

It feels like summer has arrived, and with it come a few new smiley faces to the Octopus Blue Team. Our small and expanding team brings a wealth of experience from across the UK and more recently from further across the globe too. We are happy to introduce three new team members of Octopus Blue and our not so new founder, Andy Bailey. Read on to meet Andy, Alex, Ian and Hannah and find out a little more about them.

Andy Bailey, Founder & CEO

Andy

Octopus Blue Founder Andy Bailey has operated in the accounting and taxation industry for 19 years, the latter 10 with accountancy software companies for market leading companies in the UK and Europe, as well as a start-up in the niche freelancer market. Bringing together an unrivalled knowledge of the accountancy market, a creative flair for problem solving and a ‘kaizen’ mentality of continuous improvement, Octopus Blue offers a unique perspective on the accounting software market.

Andy is a very proud dad to two children, Jon and Zoe with whom he spends as much time with as possible, along with his girlfriend and her daughter too. In the spare time that Andy does have, he enjoys photography, video games and sampling craft ales…occasionally all at the same time!

To connect with Andy on LinkedIn – click here

Alexandra O’Reilly, Operations Expert

 Alex

As Operations Expert in our head office in Penarth Alex is the behind the scenes organisational whizz. She has a wide range of responsibilities including HR, bookkeeping, marketing, social media and more, all of which keep her happily busy. Alex ensures the smooth running of the business making it a comfortable, happy environment for the Octopus Blue team. Previously employed at an Auction House and firm of Architects in similar roles, the software industry is relatively new to Alex, but she is thriving on change, and is excited to continue to help Octopus Blue grow.

Alex lives in Penarth, just a few minutes away from Cardiff. She’s a big fan of the seaside and being outdoors, therefore spends most weekends out and about with her daughter, Elizabeth. Running, shopping and reading are amongst other ways she keeps busy in her spare time.

To connect with Alex on LinkedIn – click here

Ian Hunt, Software Expert

Ian

A knowledgeable sales professional and consultant, with nineteen years’ experience in the provision of software, compliance tools and services. Ian is an enthusiastic people person, tenacious, motivated and always ensuring customers’ needs are the main priority. He has worked with many Corporate and Listed Companies, Public Sector and on the Accounting side his clients have ranged from Top 10 Firms to sole practitioners. Ian is a highly experienced and informed facilitator to any progressive organisation looking for solutions that work with and add value to their processes.

Ian lives on the edge of the Peak District National Park which is the perfect location for walking, rock climbing, cycling and other outdoor activities. Inevitably these always end in a country pub! He enjoys spending time with his family and children, photography; has an over-inflated opinion of his own DIY skills and would like to own a canal boat.

To connect with Ian on LinkedIn – click here

Hannah Naylor, Business Development Expert (Pre-sales)

Hannah

Hannah joined the team in May 2017 and is our first international recruit. She is responsible for contacting leads and arranging software review meetings. Hannah has a wealth of experience in pre-sales roles for BMW and others and currently works part-time around childcare.

Hannah lives in Cochrane, about half an hour from Calgary in Canada. She enjoys spending as much time as possible with husband Simon and their two young boys, Noah and Theo. Living so close to the mountains, they spend most of their spare time in the great outdoors exploring, walking, paddle boarding and looking out for grizzly bears!

Hannah has not yet joined the world of LinkedIn, we are hoping it won’t be long until she does!

And Finally…

Octopus Blue help your small business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

To arrange a complimentary review of your software requirements, please get in touch or visit the Contact Us page on our website, fill in your details and one of the team will contact you to arrange.

Email: Alexandra.oreilly@octopusblueuk.com

Mobile: 07969 592408