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’ 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’ 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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
(Photo: Andy Preston, Mayor of Middlesbrough speaking with our Solution Developer, Martyn Bell and Learning and Development Advisor, Maret Ward)
(Photo: Allan Wallace, Bob Cook and Roland Todd meeting the Vianet Team during site tour)
(Photo: Dignitaries and Vianet Team in the Board Room)
Vianet are proud to celebrate the graduation of the following apprentices:
- Rhys Debono, IT Support Engineer completed his apprenticeship with a Level 3 Infrastructure Technician qualification and has secured a permanent role within the team.
- Danny Liu, Data Analyst completed his apprenticeship with a Level 4 Data Analyst qualification.
- Ashley Heyman, Data Analyst completed his apprenticeship with a Level 4 Data Analyst qualification.
- 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.
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
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.”
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 email@example.com or visit www.vianetplc.com.
As part of Vianet’s aim to ‘Give Something Back’, over the next 6 months, we are taking part in various fundraising activities for our chosen charity, PAPYRUS. A team of Vianet employees are willing to put themselves to the test to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge as our HOPEWALK for 2021.
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
At Vianet, we understand that mental health can affect people in many ways. Recognising the way in which the mental health of so many people has been affected by the pandemic, it is more important than ever to focus our efforts on well-being during this period. Vianet continues to make a real difference to others by supporting PAPYRUS, a national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. According to PAPYRUS (2021), suicide is the biggest killer of young people – male and female – under the age of 35 in the UK. PAPYRUS operates HOPELINE UK, a confidential call, text, and email helpline for young people with thoughts of suicide or those concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.
Michelle Staniforth, Head of People & Development told us: “Our Vianet family told us they wanted to do more to ‘Give Something Back’ and whilst we’ve always regularly supported a range of charities, we felt that we could really make a meaningful difference by partnering with one charity for the year. The well-being of our people is always at the forefront of our agenda, even more so due to the pandemic, so we wanted to join forces with a charity that supports people with their mental health. PAPYRUS had previously been suggested to us by some of our employees, so they were the perfect choice for us.”
VIANET VOLUNTEERS HAVE THE STAMINA, GRIT AND DETERMINATION
A major fundraising activity on our list to raise awareness about PAPYRUS is the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. It is our organised HOPEWALK with one common goal – to smash the stigma and get conversation around suicide started. Our challenge is scheduled for Saturday 04 September 2021, just ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day. Currently, we have a team of 17 employees from across our organisation participating along with a support team consisting of 4 employees. Our volunteers will aim to tackle the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in under 12 hours, a total of 24 miles and 1585m of ascent. In preparation, our volunteers have already begun training for the challenge, taking on both local beauty spots, as well as the Yorkshire peaks themselves.
Rachel Little, Marketing Manager and Three Peaks Challenge Volunteer said:
“As well as fundraising for a fantastic cause with the team, this challenge is just what I’ve needed to motivate myself both physically and mentally as we come out of the pandemic and back into ‘reality’.
With gyms closing and restrictions in place, my daily routine has been completely shaken up over the past 18 months, as it has for many of us. This challenge not only gives me the push I’ve needed to get back into a fitness routine through training, but by giving myself a new challenge it has also been great for my mental focus and health.”
[PHOTO] Volunteer Neil Burton, Product Compliance Manager pictured in June 2021 completing a hike up Pen-Y-Ghent as part of his three peaks training.
In the upcoming months, Vianet have plans to hold other smaller scale events to raise funds for PAPYRUS, alongside the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Recently, to kickstart the Wimbledon tournament, we held a ‘Strawberries and Cream’ event and in August we plan to have an ‘Executive Car Wash’ where members of the Exec team will wash employees’ cars, for a donation of course!
Vianet is making a difference by fundraising in aid of PAPYRUS to raise awareness and support young suicide prevention. If you would like to support our team, you can make a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/VianetYTP2021.
As we navigate our way through the remaining restrictions on hospitality and beyond, our Vianet team attended and exhibited at our first physical event in over 18 months. We are pleased to have caught up with Operators and Supply Members across Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th July 2021. The NIVO’s Business Expo and Networking Golf Event was an important opportunity for us to discuss our products and services prepared this past year.
Established over 30 years ago, NIVO represents National Independent Vending Operators with over 250 operator members and over 90 supply members (NIVO Group, 2021). They provide support and networking opportunities in the vending industries, and acts as the organisers of these events held annually.
VIANET PREPARES FOR EXCITING PRODUCTS RELEASING OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS
During the first day’s expo and seminar, we had the opportunity to showcase our products on the stand with live demo devices and talk to both vending operators and clients. Recently, we revealed our SmartVend roadmap as the functionality expands into new Stock Management Module and SmartVend mobile app in the very near future. Alongside the display of SmartMetrics and our current contactless payment solution SmartContact, we have given a preview of the SmartContact Pro which is coming soon. The brand-new contactless payment reader will offer vending operators both style and functionality suitable for their business needs.
Cole Little, Business Development Manager pictured at Day 1 of NIVO’s Seminar Event.
Further details of our product roadmap were also covered in a 5-minute talk at the ‘Five Minutes of Fame’ seminar event. In addition to our own talks, there were plenty of other presentations and talks held by different businesses within the vending industry including the AVA, Coca Cola and Red Bull.
Our Marketing Manager, Rachel Little had this to say: “This is the first physical event we’ve been able to attend and my first expo with Vianet. It’s been fantastic to be out and finally getting to meet and socialise with some of our clients and contacts in the industry. It’s also been great being able to showcase some of the exciting things Vianet have been working hard on over the last 2 years.”
(RIGHT) James Dickson, Chairman and Mark Parry, Commercial Director pictured at Day 2 of NIVO’s Networking Golf Event.
In the Vianet stand, we also offered customers goodie bags featuring our product leaflets, new brochure and some golf balls for the event the following day.
(LEFT IMAGE) James Dickson, Cole Little, and Mark Parry by our Vianet stand.
In day 2, our Chairman James Dickson, alongside the Vianet team Mark Parry, Paul Land, Paul Sansome and Cole Little had taken some of our clients from the Wilkes Group and Simon Wilkes out on their 4-ball teams. There was perfect weather and opportunities to network with our Vianet team and some great people in the industry throughout the day.
Paul Sansome, Vianet’s Business Development Manager did their team proud by taking home prize for the longest drive at the golf event, hitting a 370 yard monster, landing on the green.
(RIGHT) Paul Sansome with Graham Kingaby – Managing Director at NIVO Group – collecting his prize for the longest drive.
If you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, please contact Vianet through our enquiry form.