Digital SME of the Year

SMEs are developing innovative digital services and products that are increasingly being recognised as underpinning the UK’s economic growth. This award is for an SME organisation that, in the last 12 months, has delivered digital impact in their business sector.

Sponsored by

No Isolation

London
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No Isolation

No Isolation is a Norwegian company, founded in October 2015, fighting social isolation and loneliness. They became aware that loneliness experienced by children with long-term illness was in many cases, just as bad as the illness itself.

This sparked their desire to make a change, and so they designed AV1, a telepresence robot. AV1 acts as the eyes, ears and voice for children and young adults with long-term illnesses and allows them to participate in their everyday lives. From there, the aim of the company came about: to end social isolation and loneliness.

No Isolation has grown to over 70 employees in four countries, and also created a one-button computer for seniors that bridges the gap between generations. No Isolation designs specifically for niche groups that are otherwise left out of technological developments and make technology that is warm for those who need it most. Throughout this journey, No Isolation has become a thought leader on the subject of loneliness and social isolation.

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The Work Crowd

London
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The Work Crowd
The Work Crowd is transforming the way businesses access PR and marketing support to help them achieve their growth plans, whilst supporting the rise in the professional gig economy. The platform connects businesses with expert PR and marketing talent by intelligently matching them to vetted professionals faster, cheaper and flexibly. The Work Crowd is enabling businesses to connect with marketing and PR talent like never before, and developing a community of experts for agile businesses to tap into where and when they need support. Through our intelligent algorithm, clients are matched to the perfect freelancer in just a few clicks and the platform ensures smooth communication and processing of payment to instil peace of mind for both parties. Our community of approved freelancers has grown to 1,652, with a total of 770 clients, more than half of whom have transacted projects through the platform. Throughout the past 12 months, we've transacted over £1.5 million in project value, acquired 217 new clients and 183 new projects have been set up. With the rising gig economy, our platform is meeting the needs of entrepreneurs and agile businesses as well as the growing freelance community in Britain and around the world.

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ProtectBox Ltd

Northern Ireland
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ProtectBox Ltd
 

Cybersecurity comparison website/marketplace that automates buying the right cybersecurity at the right price, rating and regulation for small and medium businesses. In hours, business owners can go from filling out our online form to filtering our comparisons to downloading the bundle of cyber solutions they've just bought. Businesses pay us nothing for our service, we get a fee from suppliers.

Trusted' service providers to SMBs such as accountants, telcos, banks, insurers etc refer us to businesses (we're sold as a cyber add-on in same way as insurance add-ons are sold with banking products). Existing marketplaces (our competitors) such as Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google Cloud are partnering to refer suppliers to us. Automating the end-to-end process to be plug-and-play, in this way, has never been achieved before. Others (including the big names) have tried and are now helping us instead. As they agree that having an independent (so not owned by a supplier), data analytics-driven, global regulation focussed algorithm/tool is key to the future (/disrupting the) cybersecurity industry. We've won Wired Security & been finalist in 15+ other Awards, generating a lot of media attention for this reason. Also because we're challenging norms of who can work in cyber by hiring ex-forces, graduates, returners etc.

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We are Lean and Agile

South West
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We are Lean and Agile

We have brought to the UK innovative process improvement software that not only helps organisations map their processes but also produce fully costed process models evidencing benefits of change. The software provides powerful analysis, collaboration, process handbook and even GDPR data audit functionality it’s a real continuous improvement game changer.

Traditional process mapping is done utilising post its and Visio with probably some excel/powerpoint/word used to deliver outputs. This approach works but has a number of drawbacks i.e. it takes a long time, there is lots of write ups and rekeying of data, stakeholders are not engaged with the outputs and amongst others savings are not integrated within the maps therefore it is easy to make mistakes when calculating savings.

The software is widely used in Holland by over 33% of Public Sector bodies and private sector companies such as Schiphol Airport and Bavaria Beer. In our first 2 years in the UK we are already working with 15 Local Authorities/ public sector bodies to improve their processes.

The software helps you by creating fully costed process models live in a workshop, engaging stakeholders and giving them a sense of ownership over the improvements, thereby gaining buy in and easing implementation of changes. The product supports a continuous improvement culture and real savings are shown by comparing your ‘As Is’ and ‘To Be’ processes. As well as improving engagement this is a timesaving tool for your analysts making business improvement 20-40% faster.

On top of this maps can be published to a process handbook to ensure process improvement becomes embedded in the organisational thinking and culture.

The cost of the software is covered by the time saved by just a single analyst using it. The cost is negligible compared to the many benefits.

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Arcus Global

East of England
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Arcus Global

Arcus Global was established in 2009 by two graduates of the Judge Business School, Denis Kaminskiy and Lars Malmqvist. Arcus Global uses modern technology in a disruptive way making it accessible to the Public Sector. Arcus Global assists the Public Sector to save costs and deliver transformational change via Cloud-based solutions.

During the last 12 months Arcus has continued to consolidate it’s existing client base at the same time as successfully establishing new products and markets. Arcus uses technology in a disruptive way for the public sector. Arcus builds innovative Cloud based products that help people doing the most important jobs do them better. We’ve created more than 50 products and services to cover many aspects of public sector service provision. For example our popular Arcus Place enables you to make your local environment better by streamlining services such as planning, building control and waste management through the smart use of cloud based applications. We are particularly proud of the work that we have done with Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the last 12 months. We developed the World’s First Alexa Skill for Local Government Transactions. Initially the Alexa skill will be used to ask for payment options for council tax, to obtain information on recycling, waste collections, and recycled needle collections. Residents will also be able ask questions on the political and council leadership. We have also launched Arcus Answer. Arcus Answer uses AI in a contact centre setting. It sits at the frontline, handling customer calls. It reduces workload of staff whilst saving money. We configure Answer to handle the questions customers ask the most, allowing contact centre staff more time to resolve complex queries, improving staff morale and customer satisfaction. Within one month 43% of calls were resolved for NHSBSA without the need to speak to an operator.

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Incremental Group

Scotland
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Incremental Group

Incremental Group is a digital technology company that works with organisations to deliver the digital enterprise, step-by-step. It provides Consultancy, Applications, Intelligence, Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics services; delivered by a growing team of 70 digital specialists in Inverurie and in Glasgow. Customers include Total, Aggreko and The Scottish Government.

Incremental group has doubled its workforce in the last year to employ 70 digital specialists between its Glasgow and Inverurie offices. This growth in available resource has resulted in over 20 new customer organisations (including BP, Total, Aggreko, Scottish Leather and the Scottish Government) benefiting from digital transformation.

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The Edgeway Group

South West
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The Edgeway Group

The Edgeway Group create bespoke cloud based business management tools which automate the end to end administration processes within any business environment. From processing emails to dispatching goods every administrative process is automated. This allows for complete workflow transparency, resource scheduling, extensive MI reporting and acute performance and shrinkage monitoring.

Recently we have automated the entire end to end administration process for orders submitted by Vispring beds to a high-end manufacturer in the South West. The original ordering process required the administrator to save all emailed PDF orders (30-40 per day) submitted overnight by Vispring's SAP system to the local drive. They would open each PDF and then manually enter the information into a spreadsheet. From this spreadsheet they would copy each new line into a job card which would form the unique work instructions for the carpenters and upholsterers. The administrator would then copy the same line from the spreadsheet into another spreadsheet which would create the delivery labels for when the final product was ready for delivery. The administrator would update the original spreadsheet with the finished weight, update the FSC compliance log and then copy all of the lines from the original spreadsheet to another to create a delivery manifest. Our solution collects the emailed orders from the inbox, saves the PDF order on the server, extracts the information contained within, enters the order into the order database, creates the job cards, creates the labels and emails all of the resulting information to the admin team for printing. It updates the FSC log and product weights and emails a delivery manifest to Vispring all from the operatives scanning barcodes generated by our solution. Cost per transaction has reduced from £10.66 to 0.003p; order processing time reduced from 7 hours per day to 6 minutes every morning.

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MyFirmsApp

North East
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MyFirmsApp - Unique Mobile App for Accountancy Firms

MyFirmsApp has created a brand new App platform that makes it easy for accountants to connect with their clients on their smartphones and tablets.

This is a major innovation in an industry where accountants have the opportunity to become digital heroes, helping their business clients to make the digital world work for them.

The new App platform enables accountants to easily have their own App, which is downloadable from the iOS App Store or Google play and the App is given away free to clients. It delivers real-time communication and a plethora of tools, such as receipt management and mileage trackers and 18 different calculators that are designed to make running a business easier. The OneApp platform complies with new GDPR regulation and enables accountants to interact with their clients, day or night.

Joel Oliver, CEO, MyFirmsApp says: “We have worked closely with Apple to bring to market a solution that works with its’ strict new rules and regulations and we believe that the new platform provides accountants with the opportunity to create the next level of brand experience for their clients with mobile at the very centre of the accountant client relationship.”

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ORCHA Healthcare Ltd

North West
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ORCHA Healthcare Ltd
 

At ORCHA we have built the world largest health app library which is filled with live rated and reviewed apps, we create targeted app libraries for the NHS, corporate welling and pharmacy’s who also access the functionality for their professionals to prescribe apps to those who need apps the most.

The key benefit of the ORCHA solution is to individual patients and citizens in supporting them to find solutions they can trust to improve their health and wellbeing and in also supporting clinical professional groups across health and care providers, who wish to recommend, prescribe and clinically implement apps. We have hundreds of GPs, clinicians and carers who are using this feature to prescribe apps to their patients, and clients. For example, we are working with in primary care where local practices are using the system to recommend the best smoking cessation app to their patient lists known to smoke. We are also working with care assistant who prescribe apps as a part of health checks. Another example is in Mental health, where patients are provided with an app at their GP appointment and along the IAPT or CAHMs pathway. Here apps have been seen to reduce patients need for therapy, drugs and have also been used to achieve better outcome measures across the whole pathway.

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Parallax

Yorkshire
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Parallax

Parallax is a forward-looking digital agency based in Leeds, best known for making websites and apps. But we also craft engaging content, build bespoke software, get friendly with search engines and turn our hands to all kinds of design, development and digital marketing.

The past year has seen us launch a number of new websites for a range of exciting brands, including Town Centre Securities, Tilsatec, IconInc, Trax and Playertek, plus an award-winning brochure site for Leeds Golf Centre. In the background, we’ve been tinkering away with some top secret cutting-edge tech projects, including an interactive web game for Lynx, a Digital Leadership Development project for the NHS and an Internet-Of-Things application for Lucy Zodion - all launching in the near future.

From a marketing standpoint, we launched numerous new FMCG products online for Cauldron Foods (tripling their social media following to over 60,000 people), created a female fitness campaign called Set to Sweat for easyGym (with over 20,000 downloads) and improved search rankings for the Parklane Properties Group (giving them a year on year increase of 66% for organic traffic). We also launched a customer service brand - CitiPark Heroes - for our car park client, using a mixture of online and offline promotion.

On top of all this, we found time to promote three Leeds SOUP fundraising events online, launch a digital events calendar to benefit the local tech community, be the primary sponsor of the Tech Off at the Leeds International Festival and create Viva Le Velo, a beautifully illustrated guide to famous bikes, which picked up a 6-page spread in Web Designer Magazine. Last but not least, we snagged an honourable mention for our very own website from the esteemed Awwwards.

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