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2022! What a year!

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2022! What a year!

I think it’s fair to say that 2022 has been an incredible year for Expert Thinking. We have grown up as an organisation in so many ways.

We have had the pleasure of supporting some amazing customers on their cloud journey, helping them to most of the significant opportunity that cloud presents, optimise its use, ensuring appropriate security and controls are in place, delivering dynamic and powerful cloud platforms that will maximise the value and benefit of our customers investment.

We have worked with some amazing partners. Softcat plc and ShiftLeft in particular.

Over the past few years Softcat and, in particular, Charlotte ParsonsGuy StokeldDean GardnerMatt Larder and John Hellmuth have been instrumental in helping us find our way.

And I cannot tell you what a pleasure it has been working with old friends Alan Upton and Dave Rigler of ShiftLeft who were critical not only in the introduction but also the development of our relationship with our flagship customer. And a big congratulations to ShiftLeft for their recent acquisition by Planit Testing.

Talking about our flagship customer, in November we signed a three-year contract as their preferred cloud solution provider. This is a great moment for Expert Thinking, and we are excited to continue to support the extension and enhancement of the cloud-native platform (CNP) that we designed, built and implemented for this Fortune 500 household name that operates in, I think, every country on the planet. We shall be publishing a series of whitepapers early in 2023 covering our work with this amazing organisation. I’d love to be able to tell you the name but we are bound by confidentiality to keep it secret.

Some customer highlights of 2022 include:

  • One of the UK’s leading (and largest) automotive retail and aftersales service companies – re-architected, developed and deployed a new multi-environment Azure platform on to which we migrated critical workloads (including business critical data, customer-facing website and stock management systems) providing a dynamic, powerful, well-governed, more secure platform aligned with best practice, highly resilient with Geo-Redundancy and failover processes.
  • A leading European private debt manager investing in non-investment grade debt on behalf of institutional investors globally – re-architected, developed and deployed a new multi-environment Azure on to which we migrated financial data workloads and application workloads. We provided deep up-skilling of our customer’s engineers and stakeholders to build trust, knowledge and enable the internal team to look to upcoming 2023 projects with confidence, and enabling our customer to take management of their Azure estate in-house, moving away from heavy managed services usage and taking ownership of infrastructure and configuration going forward.
  • The world’s leading providers of software systems to the healthcare industry – successful business-critical production migration from Team Foundation Server (on-prem) to Azure DevOps services (cloud) resulting in the deprecation of outdated and costly on-premise infrastructure and development teams fully utilising #Azure DevOps cloud services.

Delivery aside, we have really matured as an organisation. Having realised that the needs of a team of 40 are substantially different from a team of 10, we have embarked on our own transformation. In 2022, we have defined our roles and grades and we have kicked off several initiatives focusing specifically on building our collective capability (as individuals and as a team). These initiatives focus not only on our technical capability but our behaviours cognizant of the fact that whilst we are all engineers at heart, we are consultants and some of the most valuable input to our customers is how we work with internal teams, sharing our knowledge and expertise so they can support the solutions that we deliver moving forwards.

Some of the other big achievements this year:

  • We formalised our expertise in #Kubernetes by becoming a Kubernetes Certified Solution Provider (#KCSP)
  • We became a GamingWorks partner and certified to deliver The Phoenix Project simulation. This is a game changer. Our ability to be able to demonstrate (not tell) the challenges and limitations with our customers’ current ways of working either as a discrete piece of work or as part of our assessment, is hugely valuable.
  • We achieved a four-star rating with Support The Goals. We have chosen focus areas of tackling climate change, equality and promote good health and future goals of no poverty, zero hunger and responsible consumption and production are hugely important to us and integral to how we operate as an organisation.
  • We have a trained network of peer-to-peer counsellors and rolled-out #mentalhealthawareness training to the team.
  • We have improved our branding and launched a new website, and are releasing new material every week in the form of whitepapers, opinion pieces, blog posts, etc.

Most recently we have #goneglobal. We are now building a truly international team. Having always been a remote-first team, we have looked at ways to extend our reach beyond the UK borders. Removing geographic boundaries means that we can bring together the world’s best team of cloud architects and engineers. Now we can extend our search to over 150 countries, and we are actively recruiting across the globe for those people that truly excel in Azure and AWS.

The team is truly exceptional and I am humbled by those who have chosen Expert Thinking as their home. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the team for the massive contribution they have made towards our continued growth and success and that of our customers. I can quite honestly say that never before have I been more confident in our ability to become the UK’s leading cloud consultancy, not by our size but by our reputation for delivering the highest quality services and solutions to our customers. I cannot wait to see what 2023 can bring for both Expert Thinking and our customers. 

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