Last week Haggerston Times paid a visit to to the offices of leading End to End, One Stop IT and Telecoms and Connectivity provider, the Backbone Group
On a bright afternoon, Backbone’s sun-kissed premises, based in a converted school in the heart of Farringdon, just off Bowling Green lane, were every inch a match for the best that California or San Francisco has to offer.
If brightness and colour were the order of the day, an hour spent in the company of Head of Client Services, Alex Hobbs, felt like another flash of inspiration. And to complete the effect, our meeting was held in what can only be described as a Gazebo, installed slap bang in the middle of the Backbone office!
So far so wow, now let’s look at the Company itself.
The Backbone Group is loosely split into 3 divisions; RTW Hosting, a cloud services provider with a number 1 rating on http://cloudpitch.me, and more than 3,000 endorsements; Backbone itself, a top 5 rated IT Services Provider according to the same website; and Backbone Connect, Connectivity and Data-centre specialists, ranked 10th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, published in 2013.
It’s clear that all 3 areas of the business have solid credentials, evidenced still further by a customer retention rate of over 92% over the past five years, with 75% of new business coming from client referrals.
In essence, Backbone will comprehensively review your business requirements, establishing exactly what your business wants to achieve, and add value in areas as diverse as Business and Technology budgeting, Disaster recovery, User experience, Remote working, Big data storage, Mobile Device Management and Business Scalability, plus many others besides.
The ultimate goal is to streamline products so that a business is fully optimised, but not burdened with the kind of all too familiar, unnecessary, and expensive product range that can put a small to medium sized business in a financial straitjacket.
A creditable roll-call of large and high profile clients keeps the Company on a secure financial footing, and allows Backbone to get creative when developing strategies for its smaller but no less ambitious clients, a subject that Alex, who is proud of his background launching successful start-ups, speaks passionately about.
Looking at the business as a whole, Alex believes its success can be attributed to 2 major factors: recruitment strategy, and a customer led approach to the business of problem solving.
Firstly, Alex explains, The Backbone Group are passionate about hiring well. In an industry as fast moving as Tech and Media, you are only ever going to be as good as the people you hire; Alex quickly reels off a list of talent that includes web developers, coders, data specialists and creatives, knitted together by industry veterans and long serving staff who show admirable commitment and belief in the cause.
In short, this is a talent pool that could probably have gone to any Company they chose, so the fact that they have congregated at Backbone is testament to the Company’s ambition, and also its open-mindedness.
Clever and talented people can be easily distracted, but the diverse nature of the business offering means that anybody can pick up an idea and run with it, and provided there is clear benefit to the client, this kind of behaviour is always encouraged, if not expected.
Secondly, Backbone’s clients are at the heart of everything the Company does. In effect, Alex explains, sentences tumbling one after the other in such rapid succession I am forced to concentrate on every word, a challenging client with an exciting business proposition gets the team motivated, which in turn leads to a successful and mutually rewarding business relationship.
Alex is on message and focused on delivering success, the perfect front man if you like, but what also stands out during my visit is the quiet and efficient way that the staff go about their business.
Before my meeting starts I chat to Paul, who has been with the Company 7 years. It doesn’t take long before he is earnestly discussing the advantages of RTW, the new cloud storage system, and it is clear to me that here is an intelligent guy you can trust with your business goals. Around the clock support service? We’re working on it, we’ll get there soon. The new offering is expensive tho’ right? Not at all, since you don’t need to replace your servers, you’ll save a small fortune by switching to RTW.
Impressive stuff; charismatic front man, and the support band’s not bad either! That’s just how they roll at Backbone.