21st November 2017
Lesson learned: Partnerships can fail/work
What we did about it.
Do not waste time – qualify better using internal process
We have had both experiences here, good and bad. It is also aligned with the reality that you need to build relationships in business.
Sounds obvious, of course, but partnerships are based on relationships and the more effort you put into these the more you should gain from them.
The key, i believe, is that by having a well defined process in place you will be able to understand the value that any partnership could create. The key word is “could” and the sooner you work out if there is a value the less time you will waste.
I could name some of the very large organisations we have dealt with in the past and how much wasted effort and the amount of meetings that have absolutely had no value.
Qualify quickly as they will suck your time from you..
14th November 2017
Lesson learned: Time – it always takes longer
What we did about it
Plan accordingly !
This is one lesson that we all should be saying “of course it does” but even though we knew it we still got it wrong. If your time appreciation is not very good the impact is far reaching and can be costly.
It does not matter if it is software development or project timeline or securing a sale you have to build in contingency as it will take longer, much longer than you think. Coupled with time is communication buts that’s another lesson..
9th November 2017
Ok, like it or not, passwords are a fact of life and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. One of the most common complaints from end-users is “why do I have to keep changing my password?!”
It’s a cry we hear commonly and is always a source of negativity for any system.
2nd November 2017
Lesson learned: Communication with clients – Must be built on from sales activity and MUST happen
What we did about it.
Ensure key communication is in place with the client
Another, sounds so obvious lesson learned ! Of course you will communicate with your client, right…
During the sales phase you will find that you are very keen to get the job and will have your best sales patter off to a tee. You will be doing everything possible to win, you should be, but once the deal is won you as a business can not afford to stop the communication. In fact, i would suggest that you must start to really build on the sales and build the relationship with your clients as soon as possible.
This is what you know need to do, build a relationship as you will hit rocky patches and it will be put to the test. The ability to communicate is critical going forward and it will needed by both sides for one reason or another. You should never ever ignore your client, but you must be honest when things are not going to plan as it is the relationship that will see you through.
25th October 2017
Lesson learned: Delivery – Keep current clients first and foremost
What we did about it.
More focused direction
Have a responsible management leader
When we first started Nine23 i would always suggest the answer is “Yes, we do that” when talking to potential clients. No matter, of course, what the requirements were.
Having a responsible leader is one key requirement for keeping the clients happy. One point of contact and someone that is accountable sounds so simple but is an absolute must if you want to keep your clients.
They must have a contact that can answer their questions and at the same time push back when something is not achievable/contracted.
I could write a whole article about focus (I may do yet) and stress the importance of being focused. Be it delivering a project or going after a market sector in fact in any facet of the organisation the ability to be razor focused is key to success. Without the focus and a leader to drive that focus it will simply end up costing you more later… trust me !
18th October 2017
Lesson learned: Project Costs – Not controlled or understood
What we did about it.
Removed ineffective staff
Ensure correct staff recruited in future
Stronger management of accounting process
There are a lot of people that can say they have project management qualifications and have the certificates to show they have been on a course or two. There are also people that have experience of delivering on projects to go with the qualifications. But the ultimate owner of the project is the business that is being paid to deliver something.
We thought we had a good structure in place and the right team but the reality was that we did not and we paid dearly for the wrong people being in place. Overrun on time, project costs not fully known or understood and worst of all dispute with the customer. These failings were very much the management teams issue not just the staff members.
We did sort our projects out in the end but we really did learn the importance of the costs as these are the reason you are either profitable or not.
When it comes to Project Management you can have all the qualifications in your team but the reality is you have to deliver and you must know what your costs are from day 1. It is all in the detail…
17th October 2017
Mi3 Security https://www.mi3security.com, the leader in machine learning based application security analysis and intelligence, and Nine23 http://www.nine23.co.uk, a UK-based Mobile Technology provider, announced today an MSSP agreement that sees Nine23 integrate the multi-tenant Mi3 Security RECON Platform into their managed services offering for the United Kingdom. The agreement provides a new level of application analysis and security capabilities for Nine23’s government and enterprise customers.
11th October 2017
Lesson learned: Cash – Service revenue, reduce outgoings
What we did about it.
Reduced all outgoings to minimum to become cash flow neutral and be breakeven with service revenue alone
It sounds so simple to say reduce outgoings and have long term service revenue ! But we really didn’t have a good hold on our costs early on and the fact was that we spent way too much on costs that we really didn’t need too. Be very ruthless when it comes to every single cost that goes out of your business bank account, you will be surprised what you amass and what can be saved.
The best solution if it is in your model is to gain the long term service revenue which is the lifeblood of any business. It also makes the planning process much easier and stops the peaks and troughs of project revenue.
The sooner you can get to a cash flow neutral potion using service revenue alone the much stronger your business will be and will allow you the stability from which to grow.
4th October 2017
Following on from our “What we do” posts i thought i would continue with a series of posts on what are our “Lessons learned”.
Whilst it is a cliche to say founding and then running a business is a journey it is however very true. That journey for myself has had a number of twists and turns and i have definitely learned a lot through those times. However, it is not all about learning lessons it is in my view making sure you don’t make the same mistakes again. I am sure we will make mistakes again in our journey but it is vital that we do not make the same mistake twice.
The aim of these short notes each week is to highlight what we capture in our annual strategy document and hopefully pass on some hard won lessons to others. We are not perfect in any way and i am very happy to discuss further if anyone would like to discuss any of my points.
Comments always welcome and if anyone has any questions please feel free to get in touch.
26th September 2017
So we decided 14 weeks ago (how time flies) that we would publish a short note about what services Nine23 offer. We have been on the Digital Market Place – G Cloud framework from the start and firmly believe it has been a key to our success to date and we currently have 14 services listed, hence the 14 weeks.
Below is a link to all Nine23 EMM services in one place on the Digital Marketplace – G Cloud.
If you want to discuss in more detail or hear more about how we have deployed these services to our current clients then please do drop me a note.
Looking forward to our next series on LinkedIn articles – I will be be publishing a series of lessons learned in setting up, growth, re-structuring and growing again – Nine23.
20th September 2017
An enterprise mobility management platform accreditable to OFFICIAL SENSITIVE ready to onboard mobile, tablet, and laptop devices from any operating system including iOS, Android, and Windows. Encompassing the entire management and audit requirements from MDM, App Store, Content Management and hosting, to performance and SIEM reporting tools.
13th September 2017
Secure private hosting area up to OFFICIAL SENSITIVE, for application servers that need to be accessible to government networks and internet-side users alike. Includes performance management and usage statistics, alongside backup and resiliency options, that scale to security and end user volume requirements.
6th September 2017
Mobile Threat Defence (MTD)
Provides real time mobile threat detection on phones, tablets and other mobile devices, as well as the networks they are on, and analyses apps for malicious activity pre-release and during use. Multiplatform protection and analysis tool for unified endpoint management.
30th August 2017
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) – DUO
Provide additional authentication to confirm user identification before allowing access to applications and services. Can be provided through tokens or mobile device integration to allow seamless user experience. Integrate with other cloud services, as part of enterprise apps, or add to unified endpoint management solutions.
23rd August 2017
Cloud Information Assurance Advisory
Specialist advice for remote access and mobility cloud solutions to achieve accreditation at OFFICIAL, including SENSITIVE caveat. Undertaken by CCP IA Archtiect Lead with track record of accredited RMADS in government ministries.
16th August 2017
Mobility Advisory Services
Support to organisations undergoing digital transfromation and transitioning to mobile working or updating existing mobility deployments. Experienced mobility engineers provide deployment and configuration advice of EMM systems deployed locally, as SaaS, or hosted in secure datacentres.
9th August 2017
EMM Configuration Services
MDM software, including Airwatch, setup and configuration to NCSC guidelines by certified AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Experts / VMWare Mobility Management Technical Solution Professionals, and VMWare Certified Professionals.
2nd August 2017
Cloud Deployment Services
Setup and configuration of cloud, remote access and mobility solutions. These may encompass boundary configuration, filtering software and gateways, MDM software setup, or compliance in line with NCSC guidelines.
26th July 2017
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) – Airwatch / Workspace ONE
Mobility management provided as a service using VMWare/Airwatch MDM software. Deployed on-prem, from VMWare/Airwatch cloud, or your own private cloud, and managed as a service for you to admister devices from a single console, or have the service fully managed for you. Full range of licences and support models provided.
19th July 2017
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
Mobility management incorporating multiple EMM technologies providing holistic endpoint management platform. Deployed on-prem, from public cloud, or secure private cloud, and managed as a service for you to administer devices from a single console, or have the service fully managed for you. Flexible range of licence and support models provided.
12th July 2017
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – DACS
Learning management and hosting system enabling front line training of OFFICIAL (inc SENSITIVE) material. Content can be in standard multi-media formats or as individual executables providing training apps within the VLE. Can connect with existing HR systems and LMS, via internet or government network connections. We will be posting further information in due course about this service in our case study of how we delivered the Digital Media Investigation (DMI) training solution across all UK Police forces.
5th July 2017
Cloud Strategy Advisory
Specialist support provided to the planning stage of mobility and remote access cloud projects, and annual tech refresh or information assurance renewals. This service supports Nine23 solutions or provides an impartial advisory to ongoing projects and programmes.
28th June 2017
Secure Government Gateway
A gateway service up to OFFICIAL SENSITIVE providing secure connection to government networks from any device or service. Mobile and laptop devices, or hosted applications and services, can connect with government services and networks, such as PSN, PNN and N3, over standard internet connections.
21st June 2017
Secure Private Cloud
Private hosting area in our secure UK hosting platform accessible to government networks and internet connected organisations using secure remote access solutions incorporating virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) or virtual private networks (VPN). Includes performance management and usage statistics, alongside backup and resiliency options, that scale dynamically to requirements.