Visionary Trends

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Visionary Trends's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Visionary Trends is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
James Trend, managing director
Visionary Trends, a computer services company, consciously
and deliberately put people before technology, and
that philosophy guides their daily working practices.
They provide home and business computer repair and network
solutions. This description, however, is insufficient. They may
appear to be a generic high street computer shop or “IT guy”
on paper, but they are not. This is because they don’t just
provide the run-of-the-mill PC services. Rather, two critical
factors set them apart from the majority of IT support providers:
expertise based on a wealth of experience and continuous
knowledge updating, and an understanding of their clients as
people. James Trend, managing director, says more.
What sets us apart
Expertise and experience set us apart. You cannot run a successful IT company
without knowing your stuff. As with many things, knowing where to find the
answers to what you don’t know is crucial – honesty with customers being key
here. We have years of experience in the broadcast and medical industries, both
areas requiring total reliability and extreme precision. This enables us to provide
local, accessible and amenable computer support to a very high standard, reflecting
the high-level knowledge and experience of hospital operating theatre procedures
or film studio broadcast playout systems.
Understanding people also sets us apart. We look at how each person is working,
their tools and their character. Some people, for example, are stuck in their ways.
»Managing director: James Trend
»Established in 2014
»Based in Oakham, Rutland
»Services: IT, computer services,
networks, communications,
VoiP, CCTV, IP based media
and web design
»No. of employees: 4
»We love all things tech with
a passion, but not more than
Visionary Trends
However, systems can be provided
which are orientated towards their use,
keeping it simple for the people who
need it simple, but allowing complexity
for more advanced users. We always
try to provide a user experience
which is in keeping with the user’s
temperament and character.
We take great care to listen to clients’
requirements in detail. Many horror
stories exist of users taking their
machines to alleged computer experts,
only to have it returned trouble free
but also data free – all data wiped,
passwords removed, subscriptions
and licenses gone; just re-formatted
away. Nowadays, data is one of
the most important commodities,
not only commercially valuable but
also personally precious in the form
of information, photos, old emails,
chats and so forth. Data on people’s
computers is today’s shoe-box of
valuable memories. This means that
we approach all data as precious, never
removing or destroying any data unless
the owner requires it. Then we always
treble check and ensure that the request
is recorded. We don’t actually erase
anything – all data is always backed up
and kept for 60 days. There have been
a number of occasions when we have
been told we can wipe everything, and
a few weeks later asked if there is any
way of getting the data back.
Providing support which is strongly
customised for a particular personality
goes against an important IT convention
– consistency of provision permits
far better support in the future. If
I provided 20 different people in a
company with twenty different laptop
models, each with a different VPN
connection method and a different
email client, either my support costs
would be extortionate, or the support
of such a large range of products
would be unprofitable. Balance is key.
It’s important to understand the
technology recommended and
ensure that support for the solution
is congruent with Visionary Trends’
continuing knowledge base and
support. We often pitch a higher
grade specification than would actually
suffice, as this not only allows longevity,
but often provides Visionary Trends
a more sustainable and supportable
bench from which to work. The
choice between maintaining regularity
throughout a company and providing
tailored solutions is one at which we
are especially adept and is one of our
greatest assets. It can be summarised
as our ability first to understand a
company’s workflow and working
practices and be in a position to
recommend the best, most appropriate
technologies to aid their development.
Also distinctive is our ability to put into
place solutions which have contingency
and reliability. There is no emergency
fire-fighting and no missed deadlines
because of technology failures; there
are only phone calls saying that
something isn’t working but that it’s
still tentatively operational. We always
provide a secondary method to achieve
results. This way, our time management
works and our customer satisfaction
remains high. This commitment to high
quality reliability and contingency arises
from experience in broadcast: if the
pictures are not on air at the correct
time, someone pays. It also comes from
working in hospital operating theatres
and intensive care units: if it doesn’t
work properly, someone could die.
A passion for technology
We take great
care to listen
to clients’
in detail
Highlighting best practice
Other factors
Everyone is different, and requires
correspondingly different solutions.
Each of our clients has a special way
of working, and one of our biggest
challenges is facilitating change with
minimal negative impact, providing
easier and better solutions, allowing
greater efficiency and reduced stress
for our clients.
We often say that all technology within
business is here to aid, to assist, to
improve and to make the user’s life
better. If it doesn’t achieve these ends,
it is either the wrong technology or
it is configured wrongly. So often we
hear IT support colleagues offer “user
error” as an explanation for a problem.
If there is a “user error”, then the user
hasn’t been shown correctly, or the
wrong solution has been provided in
the first place. Visionary Trends looks
at the solution as a whole, including
potential future issues, and matches it
to the people concerned.
It is very unusual to be in a position to
provide a full solution after spending
only a few days in the IT environment
examining how the business
operates and how thepeoplework.
Throwingtechnology at a problem,
like throwing money at a problem,
doesn’t work. We first gain an
understanding of the requirements
of the business and then provide
each individual user the tools needed
to achieve their productivity in the
manner which is most appropriate
for them. More importantly, we help
individuals flourish in their work
by supplying the tools specifically
chosen to complement their job and
their character. Today’s diverse and
flexible technologies allow this precise
customising for individuals.
Other practical matters that must be
borne in mind is reminding a new
colleague to not to tamper with a
client’s work environment, which can
be surprisingly frustrating.
It is this attention to high quality
technical support combined with
a strong commitment to genuine
personal interaction that’s allowed
us to go from strength to strength,
with considerable growth year-on-
year. Above all, we enjoy working
with our brilliant clients and providing
efficient and usable tools to help their
businesses grow.
Also distinctive
is our ability to
put into place
which have
and reliability
People are at our core

This article was sponsored by Visionary Trends. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy