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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister