Back To The Future!
So it wasn't number 10, but number 11 Downing Street is still steeped in history and carries an air of authority. To be honest a lick of paint here and there wouldn't have gone amiss but this was 2011 and the recession was biting deep. Getting the decorators in would have been seen as frivolous in the circumstances.
Software Europe had entered the Cabinet Office's Innovation Launch Pad, an initiative to highlight small firms with innovative products, that are more flexible and more cost effective, that should be of interest to government organisations. We entered the 'competition' because we had made some good progress with our online expenses solution. The NHS was gradually adopting this cloud technology, Trust by Trust, and we knew that it was making a real difference. Hard cash savings was at the end of a deployment that typically took just a few weeks.
Having gone through a number of selection meetings we were handpicked and reached the final nine. This was to be the Cabinet Office's showpiece for SME innovation. But the real results for Software Europe would come from the introductions that would now be open to us across the government's many departments. So did it happen...?
Well before I answer that question there is something that needs saying. The impact on morale within Software Europe was sky high. This little company from Lincoln, who without loans, overdrafts or any investment had been recognised for its innovative cloud technologies. It is impossible to put a value on that but it was a great story and our marketing team used every ounce of noise from the event.
So back to the question. Did it give Software Europe access to government departments? There was support and we had access to some key government representatives, and indeed they helped us to engage with the decision makers. But the short answer is no, the new government business that should have come from this opportunity didn't materialise. Maybe there was still some sensitivity around the 2009 MP expenses stories raised by The Telegraph, or maybe cloud technology was just a step too far at the time. But however you present it no new business came from that event.
Software Europe's success in the NHS has continued to grow. The majority of the 1.4M NHS employees can now access Software Europe's cloud technology. The NHS has truly embraced cloud technology as a way to meet their cost reduction targets and from what I'm hearing it is making a real difference.