Bring On 2022

Chris Stock, Managing Director, Percipient, reflects upon the last 12 months and explains why he feels eminently more positive as 2022 gets underway.

2021 was another challenging year for us all. In a similar vein to 2020, our best laid plans were often side-lined as we continued to react and adapt to new ways of thinking about what we do. However, many positives shone through, and the year certainly wasn’t without reward.

As a business, we’ve witnessed continued and increasing investment in digitalisation on the back of the pandemic. For many organisations, the need to switch to remote working, or deliver services remotely, played out risk factors, with existing systems unable to cope with the changes necessary to support a remote working model.

In an environment which relies on finance documents being manually passed around an office for signature, a remote working model clearly renders such a process defunct. There became a clear requirement for new ways of working, not only to achieve this efficiently, but in many cases to achieve it at all.

A Cloud-Shaped Hero

Many of our customers have heralded the cloud as the real hero in enabling new ways of working, with existing cloud users finding the transition to remote working much easier than their on-premise counterparts. Of those who underwent a cloud deployment during the pandemic, many reported much improved visibility, access to data and reporting within just a few months.

In parallel, this cloud-shaped ability to solve a major problem, combined with speed to value, has, in turn, made it much easier to justify the investment. We’ve supported many business cases along the way, many of which have highlighted that the cost of not doing anything is far greater than the investment required to instil change.

New Models

At Percipient we have been fortunate in that we cut our teeth on remote deployment models some time before the COVID hit. We found ourselves in a strong position to adapt and reassure our customers that it was business as usual. This has been hugely valuable and while we’ve all missed face to face meetings, we’ve all become very proficient on Teams.

We’ve found that a remote model for project delivery is in fact incredibly efficient, which has helped all parties in their quest to expedite digital initiatives. And we’ve seen successes across all areas, from speedy Sage Intacct deployments to more complex Sage X3 ones, as well as new support frameworks.

Recognising Talent

As one of the first UK consultancies to launch Sage Intacct, we have leveraged this early advantage to consolidate our footprint in hospitality; not-for-profit; and technology, culminating in one of our proudest award wins at the end of 2021: Sage’s Intacct Partner of the Year.

Announced at Sage UK & Ireland’s annual partner event at The Belfry, Birmingham, the fact that the award was given to us based not only on sales volumes, but successful projects and customer feedback from across numerous teams, was testament to the incredible work across the entire value chain. From sales, marketing and operations, to consultancy and support, everyone was recognised and I couldn’t be prouder as a result.

On the back of this growth, we’ve expanded our team by 25% throughout the year, with seven new consultants across the Sage team, and this number is set to increase further in 2022. It goes without saying that our people are the bedrock of our business, and our focus for 2022 is to leverage the skills and experience from across our team, to help our customers instil the agility and performance they need to embrace a digital future.

We also want to continue to foster our great relationship with Sage. Leveraging the benefits of the cloud, our focus is to unashamedly build even greater customer relationships and boost retention across all of our core industries.

Celebrating Successes

We celebrated the many positives of this year at a (real life!) Christmas party in December which I feel we all appreciated and enjoyed so much more for having not had the opportunity for some time.

Getting to know so many new members of the team properly was brilliant – and the event was such a positive and fitting end to 2021. Bringing everyone together to raise a glass to the team work and customer relationships we’d established throughout another challenging year meant more, somehow, than in previous years.

With uncertainty the new normal, 2022 seems set to embody this, but we’ve started it feeling incredibly positive. We’ve become really well practiced in embracing new ways of working, living and socialising, and adapting to change. With current restrictions looking set to abate imminently, this year is looking altogether brighter than its recent predecessors.

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