After the success of our blog last year of 20 highlights of 2020, we wanted reflect on 2021 with ‘21 of 21’. We started last year’s blog by saying 2020 was challenging. 2021 was perhaps more of a mixed bag – still a challenging year with some return to normality until now.
But what gets us through these times is our fantastic team and amazing customers and partners.
Here UP3's co-founders Matthew Shears and Ruth Weatherall look back at the serious and offbeat things that helped shaped UP3’s 2021.
- New hires. There was no slowdown at UP3 – quite the opposite. We continue to hire. We’ve added many new faces to our team including a Head of Managed Service, Head of Marketing, an expanded Managed Service and Technical Team, a new Solution Consultant and more. Welcome!
- We played our part. We built applications to help organisations and governments deal with COVID-19 including companies like Avanti West Coast. We were honoured to support them all with their fantastic work during a very difficult time and help make a difference.
Only one this year, but what a wedding! Navaneethan Venkatesh wed earlier in the year and shared many wonderful photos of the occasion with the team. You can see him and his bride in the photo above. Many congratulations Nav and Subashini.
- New customers. We were delighted to welcome a number of new customers to UP3. We continue to go from strength to strength and we are excited to be supporting these amazing organisations with ServiceNow.
- The year of legal. The legal sector has always been quite close to our hearts, with some of our team having many years’ experience in the sector. We’ve made this one of our strategic initiatives and were over the moon to have 16 law firms attend our final webinar of the year.
- Foreign travel… it’s vital that our team takes time out to relax and recharge. So it was wonderful to begin to be able to travel again and take time out. We even made it to Copenhagen on business.
… and local.
Who knew there was joy to be had in jumping on a tube train and visiting a customer. But it’s true. We absolutely embrace remote working and its benefits, but nothing can replace that moment of sitting down in person and catching up. We really missed it.
We expanded our office again……
we took on extra space at HQ. Decisions were made on the all important furnishings and wall art and the breakout area is a rainforest.
- … but then we decided to move anyway.
We need more space! And to be more accessible for our customers and closer to our friends at ServiceNow, we’re moving to London. Our new offices will be at The Ministry, a converted Victorian printworks between Borough and Elephant and Castle. We are very excited.
- We caffeinated. There’s been plenty of discussions about the in-house coffee, not all positive. It’s a good job we have Moondrop Café on hand to satisfy us with coffees and poached eggs. Too many receipts over the course of the year, it seems. We’ll miss you when we move, Moon Drop!
We met face to face.
We had our UP3 H2 kick off, and it was the first time we’d met as a team in 18 months. For some of the team it was the first time they’d even met their colleagues. It was great to have everyone together.
- We gifted. It was great to be able to recognise the team and give them some treats in a very busy year. The gifts were varied, including gin, maps, ironically-gifted motivational posters and… maracas. We won’t explain!
- We played. With our remote nature, some of our fun turned to online activities. We did online escape rooms and quizzes. Insider info: Rebecca Copley needs to win at all costs, and thankfully her team did or we’d worry about the consequences…
- We got glamorous. We needed better photos of the team. So Jo Scott took on the challenge of capturing our team, many of them far from thrilled by the idea. There were costume changes, and calmed nerves… and it all turned out okay in the end.
We planted some trees.
Yes, it’s was our fifth birthday. Did we forget to mention that? We know, we don’t look a day over four. As part of the celebration we planted a tree in the name of each of our employees. Wales is now a little bit greener (our favourite colour).
- We stayed fit. 100s of runs, HIT sessions, cycles, horse rides, rounds of golf and more. Oh and a few trophies. Many of our team worked to beat their personal bests. One comment by a colleague as another ran: “How can she talk so clearly and keep on running?”
- Tradeshows were back. We attended World Passenger Festival in Amsterdam, our first face to face event since before the pandemic. It was great to be able meet prospects and customers again.
- People moved home. It’s not just in the office. Four of our team became new home owners in the year. Another in the process is enduring “the longest house purchase in history”. He asked “does it still count?” We say yes.
- We sang happy birthday. Badly. A lot. We’ve probably sung happy birthday about 30 times over the course of the year. It’s now quite the UP3 tradition and, to be honest we’re not that good at it. But we all have our strengths. Can Susan Boyle demonstrate a one week ROI on a ServiceNow App? We thought not.
- We gave back. Christmas is not just about parties. We mustn’t lose sight of what’s important, so we gave a donation to each of our customer’s chosen charities – everything from the Railway Children to the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
- We are blessed. We have a great team of dedicated, intelligent and hardworking individuals. We’re grateful to those that have joined us on this journey, and the team is happy and healthy as we enter 2022. That is the highlight for all of us.