Another amazing night celebrating home-grown ‘best of breed’ businesses
Ultima Business Solutions revealed its winning qualities from first to last as it gained two major honours at the annual Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards (TVBMA) staged at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre in Reading.
The IT services provider, successfully offering customers digital transformation through tailored solutions and automation, scooped the first TVBMA honour of the celebratory event by gaining the Best Use of Technology & Innovation Award.
Founded in Reading in 1990, and now a £120m-plus turnover and rapidly growing exponent of IT automation and intelligent processing, Ultima also won the title of ‘Business of the Year’ – the last and most prestigious award of the evening, attended by more than 300 guests.
Ultima led a plethora of talented well-run and predominantly ‘home-grown’ local businesses honoured at this 24th anniversary of the Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards – the longest-running multi-category awards event in the region.
From multinational corporates to Thames Valley charities, from SME of the Year to the Workplace Mental Health Award, the TVBMA event covers and celebrates the performance of business professionals throughout the region.
As David Murray, MD of The Business Magazine and chairman of the awards summed up: “All our finalists are exceptional companies, proving that the Thames Valley and our Business Awards event continue to attract the best of breed.”
“The Thames Valley continues to be a buoyant and dynamic area attracting inward investment, incubating and nurturing fast-growing companies, and becoming the home of not just world-beating businesses but a wealth of professional services too.
“It’s a fast-moving time to be a business in the region. That’s why recognition from awards like these is so important.”
Murray wholeheartedly thanked the TVBMA judges for their expertise and invaluable efforts and highlighted the enthusiasm of the event sponsors – Cardinal Clinic, Gateley plc, GovGrant, Hays, James Cowper Kreston, NatWest, TPC Leadership, and Curve Workplaces – without whom the gala evening recognising business excellence “simply would not take place”.
Guest after-dinner speaker was Sir Trevor McDonald OBE – one of the most recognisable news presenters in British broadcasting history and a multi-award winner himself for journalism excellence and documentary filmmaking.
Award-winning broadcasting colleague Rachel Burden – host of the 5Live Breakfast Show and BBC television’s weekend Breakfast show – was the facilitating presenter for the evening.
The event’s chosen charity was last year’s TVBMA Charity of the Year winner, Oxfordshire-based Special Effect, which helps put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control. Donations from the TVBMA guests raised £1,667.20.
Reading-based Ultima has doubled productivity and rapidly increased turnover through its innovative use of robotic process automation (RPA), which has also proved RPA’s worth to customers.
What the judges said …
“We were impressed by Ultima’s clear commitment to technology and innovation, particularly implementation of its RPA service ‘software robots’ to SMEs through simple cloud deployment and as-a-service delivery.”
“RPA take-up of large companies is significant – over 85% – so this is the future and will be widely implemented. Our winner is establishing itself as one of the leaders in this field through a delivery mechanism that works for its clients.”
What the winners’ said …
Presenter Rachel Burden asked: How do you stay ahead in the competitive IT sector? Client experience director Dave Rogers explained: “There is a lot of competition – IT is going exponential at the moment – but you have to be brave in this current world. You have to put your faith in learning and developing the new things, but also to trust your staff. If you take them on the journey, they will take you to the future.”
Rogers views RPA as a key stepping stone to a smarter IT future: “We are constantly challenged as an organisation to be innovative. Our clients increasingly want to know what added-value services we can offer and their potential outcomes.”
With Ultima having embraced and adopted RPA itself, he added: “It’s a great platform to take to customers and be able to say: ‘Actually we are doing this successfully ourselves and believe you can benefit from it too’.”