Happy birthday to us! virtualDCS celebrates 10 years of cloud innovation

virtualDCS will be celebrating in style on the 1st September, looking back at a decade of success in the Cloud.

A blog by Richard May, Managing Director.

The Cloud was born here in Leeds. In 2005 the virtualDCS team, working at the ICM Computer Group, built the first ever VMware cloud platform. We also signed the first ever UK lead initiative to provide rented VMware resources. This model is now the cloud as we know it today.

happy birthday virtualDCS - cloud computing expertsAfter many Coffee shop meetings after work, we decided to create virtualDCS and focus on this new IT explosion. Today, we’re still acting as catalysts for change within the industry, with benchmarks such as being the ‘first VMware Service Provider Enterprise partner’ to being one of the largest Veeam Cloud Connect providers in Europe.

Our UK hosted cloud platform now spans multiple sites and is arguably the most mature UK owned cloud platform in the country. This is another accolade we are very proud of.   

With many of our first employees still at the company, our recruitment approach of employing apprentices has been great for us. 10 years and we still have every single one of them. This is why we see our company as a shining example of how the Apprentice Scheme can help people reach their full potential.

Looking toward the future

Now we’ve hit this milestone, we’re not planning on sitting back with our feet up. We’ve just welcomed Colin Meakin as a new non-executive director into the team. We’ve also expanded our support department and are currently recruiting for new business development managers and administrative assistants.

We’ve also just recertified our ISO 27001 status and are working hand in hand with Veeam to launch a new service that the industry hasn’t seen before.

So, how do we do it all, you ask? Looking back it’s safe to say we owe a lot of our success to our fantastic employees. Our strong business values also play a part.

What are our values?

If you split virtualDCS in half like a stick of rock, these values would be right down the middle:

Be dependable – to do what we say we will when we say we will.

To be consistently innovative – We’re always looking to improve, both in business and technology.

Be easy to do business with – Any action that we take makes our customer’s lives easier.

To be an awesome place to work – We want our employees to enjoy coming to work and our customers excited to visit us.

10 years on we’ve still got our first ever customer, and yes, they still enjoy visiting us. As well ensuring our high standards, these values have seen us supporting the community doing many weird and wonderful things, from 7 seated charity bike rides to bring your pet to work week.

With so few businesses managing to hit this milestone, we’re delighted that we’ve reached our 10th birthday. We’re now looking forward to the next 10.

If you’d like to speak to us in more detail about our solutions and our company, we’re always on the other end of the phone. Just call 03453 888 327 or email enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk.

Joe Brain and Ross Devine

Yorkshire cloud company virtualDCS hires new support apprentice with QA.

Continuing its phenomenal growth, virtualDCS welcomes Joe Brain to the company in his new role, with the help of QA Apprenticeships.

The announcement comes shortly after Kieran Miller joined the team in a new customer support position. virtualDCS is an advocate of technology apprenticeships and student employability within the region, with Joe marking the fifth apprentice to join the company.

Joe shared his thoughts around his new role at virtualDCS: “I’ve always been interested in technology and the expertise behind the cloud, so I’m excited to join the team and get stuck in.

Joe Brain and Ross Devine

It was also great to hear that every apprentice they’ve hired previously is still with the company, having moved up the ranks into more advanced roles. I’m really looking forward to getting started in my new position and absorbing as much information as I can from the team.”

Ross Devine, Head of Support at virtualDCS said: “virtualDCS has been welcoming support apprentices into the company for over 6 years now and our first ever apprentice is still with us. For us, it makes much more sense to have an employee ‘learn on the job’ as they have a direct impact on the business from day one… it’s also much more stimulating than working from a textbook!”

Thomas Keighley, Regional Sales Manager North/North East for QA commented on Joe’s new position:

 “We are immensely proud to help young talent in their journey into new careers working closely with fantastic companies like virtualDCS. They open the opportunities up for apprentices to gain qualifications and experience in the working environment.

virtualDCS have seen the benefit of growing your own talent via Tech apprenticeships and we are proud to help mould the future through this opportunity and training for the individuals and the company”

For more information on virtualDCS and Business Continuity solutions contact us on 03453888327, visit www.virtualDCS.co.uk or email enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk

 

A day in the life of an apprentice

A blog by Megan Barnett, Business Administration Apprentice at virtualDCS.

You make decisions every single day, and throughout your lifetime you are guaranteed to make more decisions than the number of years you live.

However, I believe, a notable milestone in life and one of the most critical choices a young person can make when leaving school is whether or not to follow the majority of others and go to University, go straight to work or complete an apprenticeship.

virutaldcs technology apprentice

With my favourite piece of office equipment

For me, after weighing up all the financial options and the different lifestyles – being a bit gym obsessed and loving nothing more than the comfort of my own bed, university life just didn’t make the cut. Especially when you hear about the stereotypical ‘student life’ all over the news, which consists of consuming your body weight in alcohol and living off takeaways every day for three whole years.

 

If school has taught me anything it’s that I have always learnt by using a more hands-on approach and after 14 years in the education system, I was truly ready to bin my textbooks and remove the post-it notes that camouflaged my bedroom walls. This is what led me to the idea of an apprenticeship. I began to search for opportunities and discovered the company QA Apprenticeships. By the time my A-level exams were coming around I had already been interviewed, had completed a trial and accepted my new role as Business Administration Apprentice with virtualDCS.

Unlike many of my other classmates, I was ahead of the game, with a guaranteed job. Admittedly, this did make me stick out like a sore thumb and give me major FOMO (fear of missing out). Looking back, this was mainly for the nights out, however, virtualDCS has made sure that there are plenty of corporate nights out with new friends to keep me going.

People tend to assume that as an apprentice you only take on daily jobs like making brews, input data and use the photocopier. This couldn’t be further from the truth; as I mainly use the shredder.

One of many terrible pictures from company nights out.

On a more serious note, I have been equipped with the fundamentals of business/ finance and taken on a large part of the account’s activity. Performing tasks that have a direct impact on the business. All in all, every member of virtualDCS has made my first full-time job, dare I say…enjoyable.

I was provided with all the equipment and guidance essential for making a successful start to my apprenticeship and every employee charmingly welcomed me aboard and have assisted me with my many queries about the IT world.

Two months into my new role, I haven’t looked back or regretted my decision once but undeniably, there was a slight adjustment period. At first working 9-5:30 five days a week, combined with

sustaining my part-time job one day at the weekend, took some getting used to and I’d be lying / superhuman if I said it didn’t catch up with me.

Now a few months down the line and freshly adapted to my new working life and being ‘in the real world’ as my mother keeps reminding me I have happily settled in at virtualDCS.

I would highly encourage anyone who was in my position to stray away from the pack and think realistically as to what is going to benefit themselves in their future life.

Blue skies ahead: new apprentice for cloud computing experts virtualDCS

As apprenticeship popularity continues to grow across the UK, virtualDCS welcomes Megan Barnett to the team, where she’ll be completing a business administration course.

This will be the fourth apprentice to join the company with others progressing into advanced roles within the group. In her new role, Megan will gain a variety of skills completing a number of tasks -from helping to further the company’s ISO accreditation and processes to product development.

Meg-BarnettApprenticeships are now one of the most popular pathways for students taking the next step in their career, with many of them choosing to ‘learn on the job’ as opposed to completing A-levels or a degree. From 2015-2016 there was a total of 904,800 apprentices employed within England alone, a huge increase from 871,000 the year before.

These amazing statistics are only set to rise, as, by 2020, the government aims to grow the number to a total of 3 million yearly apprenticeships. virtualDCS is proud to be one of the organisations driving these opportunities forward.

Peter Bowers, sales director at virtualDCS said:

“As a company, we’re wholeheartedly behind the apprenticeship concept, it makes much more sense for us to have an employee learn while working and have a direct impact on the company from the start. It also gives us an opportunity to impart our knowledge, creating a new generation of cloud experts while shaping their skills in a way to benefit virtualDCS.

Now we’ve had a number of apprentices, I can only see this figure rising, especially with the current trends and we look forward to more joining the team.”

Megan also commented on her new role:

“For me, picking an apprenticeship was a ‘no-brainer’ and it just made sense. I’ve always had a passion for business and I decided that rather than go to university and pay expensive tuition fees to study, I could actually go out there and live it. I wanted to complete an apprenticeship with a business that could help me grow personally and professionally, while also earning a wage.

I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now, and I’m really excited to get fully settled in, everyone is really friendly and they’ve got great relationships with customers as well. I’ve always been interested in technology and business management, so working with virtualDCS is the perfect combination for me.”

The team were looking for an exceptional candidate to fill the position, which is why they turned to QA, the market leader in apprenticeship placements.

Ben Pike, Managing Director of QA Apprenticeship commented on Meg’s appointment saying that:

“We passionately believe in the positive impact that our apprentices have in their tech and business roles, and are thankful to employers like virtualDCS, who support apprentices to fast-track their careers.”

About virtualDCS:

virtualDCS, one of the world’s oldest dedicated cloud providers offer quality cloud computing solutions to businesses across the globe. Our team works in partnership with clients to provide a unique and professional experience resulting in cloud solutions that exceed business expectations and reshape the way companies work for the better.

Unlike many other providers, virtualDCS work collaboratively with customers enabling them to take full advantage of the solutions – helping them to understand both the technology and how it can alleviate their existing business problems.

About QA:

QA Apprenticeships provide IT, tech and business apprenticeships. QA’s programmes blend high-quality training with online learning and real-world experience in the workplace. We design our programmes to teach meaningful skills that build long term careers – upskilling talent within businesses across the UK and kick starting young people’s careers. Our wide range of apprenticeships including degree programmes, and industry-recognised qualifications and accreditations from Microsoft, ILM and APM.