Archives

Vianet, a prominent player in the technology and data analytics industry, is proud to commemorate National Apprenticeship Week, spotlighting the outstanding achievements of our apprentices. With an impressive 10% of its workforce engaged in apprenticeship programmes last year, Vianet is steadfast in its commitment to nurturing talent and fostering continuous learning and development. 

Graduation Day Extravaganza: A Glimpse into Success Stories

Local Dignitaries on tour of Vianet's Head Office

Vianet’s Head Office was abuzz with excitement on February 7th, as we hosted a grand graduation ceremony for our apprentices. The event was marked by the distribution of certificates to the graduates, who also had the opportunity to engage in an open forum discussion with local dignitaries, which included the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Jim Beall. Chris Renahan, Assistant Director of Inclusive Growth and Development at Stockton Borough Council was also in attendance. In addition, the apprentices were joined by Vianet’s Executive Team and their managers. Some of the highlights of the event were a series of videos showcasing the journey and experience of each apprentice, as well as the opportunity to cultivate strong working relationships with the Council and local authorities.  

Learning & Development at Vianet 

Tom Highfield, Learning and Development Specialist at Vianet, took centre stage to elucidate the essence of apprenticeships within the organisation. Dispelling common misconceptions around the stereotypes of apprenticeships, Tom emphasised the unique support structures in place for apprentices facing challenges. Attendees described the apprenticeship journey as transformative, collaborative, and empowering. 

 

Stores Apprenticeships 

Mayor of Stockton with Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson, a Stores Assistant who completed the Supply Chain Warehouse Operative Apprenticeship, shared his journey and a glimpse into his role. Jason highlighted his experience in the role, as well as challenges that he has faced and how he has used his apprenticeship to overcome them. Over the last few months, Jason has applied his learnings from his apprenticeship and utilised it throughout his role. In his video interview he outlined the importance of teamwork and the opportunities that have been made available to him through his apprenticeship, empowering him to develop in his career.   

 

IT Apprenticeships 

 

Kyle Ansfield, IT Support Engineer, who completed his Infrastructure Technician Apprenticeship, shared his experience applying his newly developed knowledge and skills to his role. Kyle works closely with multiple departments across the business and has found that the apprenticeship has boosted his confidence communicating with stakeholders. His line manager James Ankers, Infrastructure Manager, discussed the positive impact that the apprenticeship has had on Kyle, strengthening his service as a member of the IT department. As James would say, Kyle just keep doing what you’re doing.  

 

Customer Service Apprenticeships 

 

Mayor of Stockton with Ryan Gallen

Ryan Gallen, Customer Support Advisor, who completed his Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship supported by his Team Leader Becky Newman, delved into the world of customer experience within the Data Audit team. Ryan spoke about his newfound organisation and prioritisation skills from the apprenticeship, and how they have supported him in the role. In their video interview, Becky highlights the benefits of accessing the financial support available from the Government when the Company Levy fund has been fully utilised.   

Data Analyst Apprenticeships 

 

Chris Byers, Alan Keeney, and Adam Mason, Data Analysts, showcased the success stories of their apprenticeship journey. The trio discussed their career paths, successful projects, and the invaluable support received from Vianet and their teams throughout their apprenticeships. Alan has shown great progress in his journey, with various career changes throughout his time at Vianet and now fully certified as a Data Analyst. In their video interview, Adam touched on the types of software and reports that they use within their day-to-day role, as well as the value they add to the overall operation. With 20 years of service under his belt, Chris is a true Vianet veteran. He has worked in several departments across the business but has now found his home in the world of Data Analysis.

  Mayor of Stockton with Adam Mason Mayor of Stockton with Alan Keeney Mayor of Stockton with Chris Byers

 

Commercial Apprenticeships 

Mayor of Stockton with Paul Sansome

As part of Vianet’s Commercial Team, Paul Sansome, National Sales Manager, and Callum Hardy, Business Development Manager, are integral parts of bringing in new business. Paul completed his Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship, helping him build relationships internally and externally. Callum completed his Sales Executive Apprenticeship, giving him the tools to enhance his communication techniques with customers. In their video interview, both apprentices outline the importance of carving out time to complete the course work and time management to balance both further learning and day-to-day responsibilities.  

 

A Commitment to our People 

National Apprenticeship Week at Vianet stands as a dedication to fostering talent, providing meaningful learning experiences, and shaping the future workforce. As Vianet continues to prioritise employee development, the success stories of its apprentices exemplify the positive impact of investing in continuous learning and growth. We encourage you to think about how apprenticeships could support both yourself and your employees to refine skill sets or develop new ones. For more information on the opportunities available at Vianet, get in contact with our People and Development team at recruitment@vianetplc.com.  

­­Good Times as Par as The Eye Can See

On Thursday 1st June, Vianet invited clients across the business in the vending and hospitality industries to a golf day event held at Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds. The attendees included blue chip companies, who have been loyal Vianet customers for many years. Customers like Lavazza, Compass, Montagu, JW Vending, Admiral Taverns, Stonegate, Red Oak, Robinsons, and Trust Inns attended, along with partners and associations like Suresite and the AVA. Attendees, along with Vianet staff were broken up into 6 teams to complete 18 holes throughout the day, creating an exciting occasion to network and collaborate.

It’s rare that Vianet gets to bring both sides of the business together in one space. Hospitality and unattended retail have many similarities in some aspects but can be worlds apart in others. However, sometimes these events spark conversations that can inspire new ideas, ways of working, and even introductions. It’s also a time for Vianet to thank its customers for their years of loyalty and cooperation while rolling out new products.

 

The Course

Alwoodley owns 257 acres of land, of which the course occupies 115 acres. This course has some of the most beautiful views, with the highest point being the 5th tee, from where there are views of (at least part of) 13 of the 18 holes. Many have ranked Alwoodley within the top 100 courses to play, for not only difficulty but experience. In Golf World’s list of The Top 100 Courses in the World You Can Play 2022, Alwoodley was ranked at No 57. Meanwhile, in National Club Golfer’s GB&I’s Top 100 Courses 2020, Alwoodley was ranked as the 28th best course in the British Isles. Top100golfcourses.co.uk currently rank Alwoodley at No 41 in their Britain & Ireland list and at No 15 in their England list, describing it as “one of the finest and most subtle inland courses in the British Isles”.

 

Let’s Par-Tee

Upon arrival, guests were offered an array of breakfast options, along with a goodie bag and welcome pack. Jim Dickson, Vianet CEO, kicked the event off with a welcome speech and order of the day. Once breakfast was concluded, all participants headed out to the first hole and prepared for their big debut. Each team teed off in style and started their venture through the course.

A refreshment area was set up at the halfway point to refuel before continuing on to the next hole. After all 18 holes, attendees had finished the course and retired to the terrace for drinks. It was great to see so many customers captivated in lively conversation and healthy discussion. The day also offered an opportunity to connect customers with various industry associations/groups that they may have been interested in joining.

 

A Tee-riffic Day

The day came to a close with a delicious three-course meal paired with fine wine. In between courses, each team was awarded prizes, depending on their team score. All participants seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time at Alwoodley as well as the connections they made. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our next Vianet Golf Day. Thank you to everyone who participated, it was wonderful to catch up.

 

Gallery

Technology and Data Insight company based in Stockton-on-Tees, Vianet, shortlisted as finalists at the Teesside sub-regional heats for this year’s North East Business Award 2022. Vianet are one of three businesses in the running for each of the following 2 categories: ‘Apprenticeships, Training and Skills Award’ and ‘Services Award’ – both sponsored by Middlesbrough College and Sage.

Great news for our whole team at Vianet as we are honoured to be shortlisted in our first nominations with the North East Business Awards. The results are due to be announced at the award ceremony on Thursday 23rd June 2022 at Middlesbrough College.

What does the North East Business Awards mean to Vianet?

These awards are a celebration of successful and innovative businesses right here in the heart of the North East, with each award professionally assessed by a panel of judging experts. If successful, the winners of each sub-regional heats then compete in the following Grand Final for the overall North East titles taking place on the 29th September.

Vianet have been continuously innovating and evolving our services and products to deliver valuable data insights for clients in the hospitality and unattended retail sectors across the UK and Europe. The company have seen a strong recovery since the global pandemic first hit, using the growth of the business to expand into new markets and continue nurturing on our own employee development. Engaging, growing, retaining, and unleashing the potential of people is critical to successful businesses – and Vianet are no different.

Apprenticeships, Training and Skills Award

‘Apprenticeships, Training and Skills Award’ Finalist

We recognise that great people are key to driving the business forward and delivering outstanding performance. Vianet have actively been implementing apprenticeships, internships, training programmes, employee engagement and our e-learning portal, SmartAcademy, to name a few. Only by having incredibly talented people who are driven by boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm, can Vianet be a forward-thinking, high-performance business. To receive this recognition in creating the best environment and workplace engagement will be testament to the great people’s training and skills involved.

 

Services Award

‘Services Award’ Finalist

Over the past 18 months, Vianet have made significant investments in our products, services, and people, laying a strong technology and commercial foundation to address our exciting growth opportunities in the vending and hospitality sectors. Working with over 300 customers, including blue-chip companies, our data software platforms, remote asset management and contactless payment solutions have allowed them to make informed operational decisions, driving profits, increasing sales and operational efficiencies. The experience and knowledge that few can match has resulted in developing a strong granular sales pipeline for the company.

 

Being shortlisted is a fantastic achievement for the Vianet team and testament to the hard work they put in. We wish all our fellow finalists the best of luck at this year’s North East Business Awards 2022.

To keep up to date with the latest on our people and products at Vianet, keep checking back on our news or alternatively follow our social media channels.

Compass Group are the largest contract foodservice company in the world, predominantly focus on Catering, Cleaning and Vending with some facilities management services.

In 2018, Vianet successfully won the preferred supplier status across Compass UK & Ireland to provide a volume of 5000 contactless readers over 5 years.

Find out more by clicking the image below to read our strategic partnership with Compass Group in further detail.

Compass Group Case Study

If you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, please check out our Vending Solutions.

Venta SVS Ltd is a provider of disposable e-cigarettes to mental health services, with over 74 vending machines in their estate.

Venta Vending Machine with SmartContact

Venta SVS Ltd’s vending machine in-situ with Vianet’s SmartContact installed

With the cost of products higher than a typical vending machine, they were able to benefit with Vianet’s rental scheme and low transaction charges, saving 1.5% in transaction fees across their turnover.

Find out more by clicking the image below to read our strategic partnership with Venta SVS Ltd in further detail.

Venta Case Study

 

If you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, please check out our vending solutions.

Go Vending are a vending machine supplier for the drinks and snacks sector based in Scotland.

Go Vending - Vending Machine with SmartContact Go Vending - Vending Machines with SmartContact Go Vending's Vending Machine with SmartContact

(Go Vending’s vending machines in-situ with Vianet’s SmartContact installed)

Vianet’s contactless payment, telemetry, and data insight solution has driven both an increase in sales and a measurable reduction in cost for Go Vending. They continue to receive a positive experience and invaluable service as a Vianet customer.

Find out more by clicking the image below to read our strategic partnership with Go Vending in further detail.

Go Vending Case Study

 

 

If you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, please check out our Vending Solutions.

During National Apprenticeship Week (7th – 13th February) Vianet marked the successful achievements and commitments of our apprentices for the last 18 months. Apprenticeships are a brilliant option for people of all ages to launch their careers, or simply upskill at various levels within Vianet. Participating in an apprenticeship at Vianet allows employees to acquire valuable skills and experience as well as a recognised qualification.

Growth and Success for Young People in Teesside

To celebrate the hard work and graduation of our apprentices, Vianet held a Graduation Presentation Day on the 11th February.  For this memorable event, Vianet invited the Executive Board and local dignitaries on site including the Mayor of Middlesbrough – Andy Preston, Leader of Stockton Council – Bob Cook, Principal Employment & Skills Officer – Roland Todd and Vice Chair of North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (NEAAN) – Alan Wallace. The day involved a short tour of the Head Office showcasing the great work within the organisation, meeting with the Executive Board and presentation of certificates to our apprentices.

Martyn Bell, Andy Preston and Maret Ward Talking

(Photo: Andy Preston, Mayor of Middlesbrough speaking with our Solution Developer, Martyn Bell and Learning and Development Advisor, Maret Ward)

Local Dignitaries and Vianet Team Talking

(Photo: Allan Wallace, Bob Cook and Roland Todd meeting the Vianet Team during site tour)

Dignitaries and Vianet Team

(Photo: Dignitaries and Vianet Team in the Board Room)

Vianet are proud to celebrate the graduation of the following apprentices:

Graduation Presentation Day - Rhys Debono

  • Rhys Debono, IT Support Engineer completed his apprenticeship with a Level 3 Infrastructure Technician qualification and has secured a permanent role within the team.

Graduation Presentation Day - Danny Liu

  • Danny Liu, Data Analyst completed his apprenticeship with a Level 4 Data Analyst qualification.

Graduation Presentation Day - Ashley Heyman

  • Ashley Heyman, Data Analyst completed his apprenticeship with a Level 4 Data Analyst qualification.

Graduation Presentation Day - Martyn Bell

  • Martyn Bell, Solution Developer completed his apprenticeship with a Level 3 Software Development Technician qualification.

Apprentices get to apply their learning and contribute to the work environment, developing the practical skills and understanding they need to excel in their role. The apprentices and their managers commemorated the occasion with a trip to an Escape Room for some entertainment at the end of the day!

Maret Ward, Learning & Development Advisor said:

“This was our first and I am sure the graduation event will now be firmly in the annual calendar. It was a great opportunity to recognise all of the hard work each individual apprentice has given to their continuous professional development; they have all given 110% commitment to completing their apprenticeships. I would encourage anyone within the organisation who wishes to express an interest in participating in an apprenticeship as part of their own learning and professional development to contact myself or their line manager.”

Our aim is to continue to grow the apprenticeship opportunities within Vianet following the success of previous cohorts. We are focused on providing continuous professional learning and development as the business continues to grow and develop into new verticals. If you would like to find out more about our apprenticeship opportunities at Vianet, please visit our apprenticeship page.

JW Vending recognised that cashless and contactless are the future of payment and approached Vianet to provide them with a cost effective and reliable contactless solution to support them in making that transition. Vianet deliver a combination of contactless payment, telemetry and data insight solutions to JW Vending, along with expert support & guidance in order to grow their business. With high quality products and accessible technology, Vianet continues to prove invaluable to JW Vending as they continue their partnership.

Find out more by clicking the image below to read our case study in further detail.

JW Vending Case Study

Vendex North was held on 10th November 2021, and the team at Vianet attended and exhibited at our first large scale vending show since before Covid-19 restrictions first began. The show held in Leeds attracted a great number of visitors across the vending industry after a long period of lockdowns and restrictions which prevented events from happening. Vianet were greatly anticipating this event after such a long time without physical shows. We are pleased to have caught up with lots of our existing customers as well as new vending operators, contract caterers, service providers and more.

Vendex is a well-recognised exhibition and networking event established in 2003 (Vendex, 2021). The event offers great exposure and opportunities for both exhibitors and visitors to get the latest industry news, products, and services.

Vianet Showcases Products and Services to Vendex Attendees

 

Vianet Goodies and SmartContact Pro in the Vending Machine Courtesy of Evoca

Vianet Goodies and SmartContact Pro, in the Vending Machine Courtesy of Evoca

Situated near the entrance at Vendex, we had great visibility and opportunity to showcase our product offerings with live demos, devices, and new product videos. Vianet also launched our new website this week, and it was great to get feedback and shout about this to our visitors at the event to go and check it out.

On the Vianet stand, we offered attendees at the event the opportunity to try out our brand-new, all-in-one contactless payment device, SmartContact Pro. With an exciting opportunity to free vend and win mystery prizes, our SmartContact Pro was installed on a vending machine (Melodia vending machine supplied courtesy of Evoca Group) to give visitors first-hand experience of the new terminal. It was a buzzing atmosphere as visitors were keen to try and win some big prizes we had up for grabs, including £10-£50 Amazon gift cards, wireless chargers and many more.

 

Our Client Manager, Kirsty Kirk said:

“Vendex North was a great success. It was good to see so many operators in attendance, especially after such a long period of remote working. We’re looking forward to sharing more innovation updates with Vianet clients and prospects in the near future.”

Jack Cooke and Callum Hardy, Business Development Executives by Vianet's Stand at Vendex North

Jack Cooke and Callum Hardy, Business Development Executives, by Vianet’s Stand at Vendex North

 

In addition, throughout the day, there were plenty of opportunities to explore what’s currently out there in the vending industry as a range of businesses across the sector were in attendance such as PepsiCo, Red Bull, NIVO and many more.

Rachel Little, Marketing Manager said:

“This is the first Vendex event I’ve done since starting at Vianet, and it was fantastic to finally be able to showcase what we’ve been busy with in the background over the last two years.

Vianet has had a lot going on during the pandemic with the release of SmartVend and the launch of our new contactless payment solution, so there is a lot for us to be shouting about. It was also great to be able to finally put some faces to names in the vending industry!”

Overall, Vendex North was an important opportunity for Vianet to meet clients and prospects to discuss our exciting product developments and plans going forward.

Don’t worry if you didn’t manage to catch us at Vendex North, as we will be attending Vendex Midlands 2022 in Milton Keynes on 26th April 2022.

Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, you can contact us directly through our enquiry form.

Friday 15th October 2021 onwards marked the UK’s limit on a single contactless card transaction to increase from £45 to more than double at £100. As this threshold gradually gets implemented across the country, consumers can expect to enjoy more flexibility with contactless payments.

 

Announced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and HM Treasury, convenience was the primary aim. The increased payment limit was brought for the fifth time to date in response to the continued growth in card transaction usages over the years. A study found that 54% of consumers have been using contactless payment much more frequently in comparison to last year according to Mastercard (2021).

 

The Shift in Consumer Behaviour and Growth of Contactless

First introduced in 2007 as an alternative payment solution, the spending limit without requiring consumers to enter a pin was at £10 (BBC News, 2021). This alternative to carrying small cash was proven to be popular as the contactless limit was consequently raised to £15, £20, £30, and £45 respectively.

The Covid-19 pandemic only accelerated the shift away from cash to help tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, briefed that this latest move would “make it easier than ever to pay safely and securely”.

 

Where the New Payment Limit will Benefit the Unattended Market

The ability to pay for higher value transactions is important for both consumers and merchants across unattended retail and the self-service sectors. Paying for the weekly grocery shopping or self-service kiosk services such as ticketing, or fuel payments will be quicker and have shorter queuing times due to the ease of use.

Furthermore, from the businesses’ perspective, you can benefit from better operational efficiencies. A convenient payment solution allows for better route planning and time management as merchants don’t need to go and operate the card machines or handle cash as frequently.

 

End-to-End Contactless Payment and Data Insight Solutions

Contactless payment has become essential as attitudes towards cash change. With our low transaction fees averaging 1.4%, and cash in the bank from 24 hours, this solution is invaluable to businesses looking to improve efficiencies and cashflow.

With Vianet’s end-to-end contactless payment and data insight solution, you can revolutionise your business estate to gather greater transparency of your business as well as combining contactless payment to create convenience and increase sales. Offering our streamlined payment technology together with our telemetry solutions, businesses are able to gather and generate “real-time” insight of their performance in our SmartVend portal.

Vianet’s contactless payment solutions are PCI Level 1 Compliant meaning they are secure payment devices, offering businesses and customers a peace of mind.

The gradual transition from traditional cash payment combined with the demand for contactless and the rise in the payment limit indicates businesses, particularly in the self-service sectors, need to adopt contactless payment to futureproof their estates.

Vianet provides the ultimate solution to drive efficiency, improve cashflow and profits, and give you greater transparency of your business. To find out more about our contactless payment solutions, get in touch with a member of the Vianet team at info@vianetplc.com or visit www.vianetplc.com.