We would like to congratulate our MDP (Management Development Programme) graduates, Cindy Shing, Kirsty Kirk, Katherine May, Andrew Walton, Philip Macmahon, and Laura Langrick for completing their programme this week! 🎓 As well as Thomas Highfield for facilitating and delivering such a great course!
The MDP includes six modules aimed at developing the skills and knowledge necessary for effective leadership. The programme is Chartered Management Institute recognised, meaning the modules have been mapped against some of the most scrutinised standards in management development. They have worked hard over the last 6 months and it has been an honour and a privilege to watch them grow and develop.
What Vianet Believes
At Vianet, we recognise that great people are key to driving the business forward and delivering outstanding performance. Only by having incredibly talented people who are driven by boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm, and who have the courage to make tough calls, can Vianet be a forward-thinking, high-performance business.
Our MDP is a comprehensive program designed to equip managers with the fundamental skills and knowledge required for effective leadership and team management. It covers a wide range of topics, such as employee engagement, building and managing teams, assertive communication and conflict management, time management, and coaching skills.
An In-Depth Look
The programme starts with helping new managers transition from being team members to team managers by understanding their role in setting expectations, managing performance, and building trust with team members. It then goes on to cover how managers can create a culture of engagement by creating a positive work environment, providing feedback and recognition, and communicating effectively with team members.
We emphasise the importance of building and managing a successful team by understanding team dynamics, identifying strengths and weaknesses, setting goals and objectives, and developing team members. It also helps managers develop the skills they need to communicate assertively and manage conflicts effectively with key stakeholders.
In addition to these critical leadership skills, the programme covers essential time management techniques to improve productivity and manage priorities effectively. Finally, the programme provides managers with the tools to coach and develop their team members to achieve their full potential.
To mark the special occasion, the graduates delivered a presentation to our CEO, the Exec, and their line managers on their knowledge gained over the last few months. A big thank you to all who were involved, mentoring and guiding our graduates through this process. We can’t wait to see what they do next! Great job everyone! 👏 🎓
Our very own Head of Technology, Thom Menzies has been featured alongside other local businesses for our partnership with CyberWhite, a Teeside-based cyber security firm.
Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen met with some of CyberWhite’s clients to discuss the importance of cyber security in helping businesses to grow in the local area.
Working with several businesses across the region, CyberWhite recently facilitated a meeting between Mr Houchen and some of its Teesside clients to discuss the importance of cyber security in helping businesses to grow in the local area.
“The technology space on Teesside is growing rapidly and it’s important that we work collaboratively with businesses to ensure they have the security they need for success in the future.” – Matt Hewison (Director at CyberWhite)
“There is a lot of opportunity for the region to grow and it’s meetings like today that allow us to share ideas and plan for a more prosperous future.
Partnering with CyberWhite has allowed us to plan strategically for the next three years, identifying information security objectives and milestones. The relationship is superb, and the team are really interested in delivering outcomes.” – Thom Menzies (Head of Technology at Vianet)
“It shows that the digital sector can help the industrial sector and ultimately help increase local jobs by spending more money in the local area.” – Ben Houchen (Tees Valley Mayor)
Vianet is excited to announce that we have partnered with Vendekin Technologies‘ mobile payment solution to drive further growth into the unattended retail market in the UK. This disruptive technology will provide a seamless mobile checkout experience for customers and help operators increase their sales with a lower capital outlay.
Whether you own a vending machine, micro market, laundrette, EV charging station, plus much more, QR payment is here for your unattended business. Already in 16 countries, Vendekin is leading a new revolution in fully contactless payment technology.
In 4 easy steps, customers can access any of your product offerings, simply scan, select, pay, and collect. It’s that easy! With no limits on how many products/services they can select in one transaction, saving customers time at every visit.
Fully integrated with our SmartVend platform, you still have access to all data for your entire estate, giving you the freedom to choose how customers pay.
If you want more information on QR payment, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on our products and services contact email@example.com. Don’t forget to request your free demo today!
Throughout each year, Vianet gives something back in a way that has the potential to have a positive impact in the wider community. For our Giving Something Back campaign this year we have been raising funds for My Sisters Place Middlesbrough, our chosen charity, delivering fundraising and support to their cause.
Who are My Sisters Place?
My Sisters Place is an independent specialist ‘One Stop Shop’ for women aged 16 or over and have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. Established in 2002 in Middlesbrough, the charity is committed to working in partnership to tackle domestic violence.
Their approach is rooted in an understanding of the gendered nature of violence against women and girls, and recognises the way intersecting factors such as age, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability can affect women’s experiences and the journey through recovery. Women and children have a right to live free from all forms of violence and abuse, and society has a duty to recognise and defend this right. My Sister’s Place takes this responsibility seriously and works with a wide range of partners to generate the best outcomes for women and children.
Raising Funds for our Chosen Charity
So far in 2022, Vianet have held several fundraisers for the charity including voucher and ticket raffles, football sweepstakes, cake sales, and an office tuck shop. As well as these smaller fundraisers, six of our employees took part in this year’s Tough Mudder 10k race, raising a whooping £2650.
The first 3 fundraisers we carried out totalling £500 were paid to the charity during ‘The Big Give’, a fund matching initiative whereby for every pound donated, the charity will match funds through their platform for the selected cause. This has meant they received further funding to double the sum for them – add this extra £500 to the total, and we have raised £3,852.94 so far.
Giving Something Back through Community Support
My Sisters Place runs a Community Ambassador ‘Ask Me’ Scheme and they offered to deliver training to any Vianet employees interested in becoming an ambassador back in April 2022. The scheme is designed to equip everyday people with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors thereby enabling the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse. 10 of Vianet’s employees volunteered to take part and during training, delegates learnt about domestic abuse, how to challenge the stereotypes surrounding it and how to listen to, believe and direct survivors to specialist support.
Following training, ambassadors are given resources and support to share what they have learned with those around them, in ways that feel most comfortable to them. They are encouraged to start conversations about domestic abuse that will help others to better understand the barriers that survivors face in speaking out. My Sisters Place will also keep in touch with opportunities and events such as meet-ups, campaigns and volunteering so that ambassadors can be involved as much or as little as they are able to commit to.
Vianet recognise the importance of having qualified Mental Health First Aiders within an organisation and as part of the support offering to My Sisters Place, they were able to deliver a Mental Health First Aid training course to 5 employees from My Sisters Place. This has given them each the FAA Level 3 award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health, equipping them with skills and knowledge to identify and deal with mental health matters that arise whilst delivering their service.
In addition to the support Vianet employees offered each other through training and giving back to the community, we have donated several computer tablets after our engineers had theirs replaced, and donated a selection of Easter eggs at Easter for families supported by the charity. Moreover, we have been able to also link them up with a local landscaping company (ATM Limited), who have completed a garden make-over for the charity, free of charge.
Over the next couple of months, Vianet will be continuing to raise funds with a Bungee Jump in Whitby on the 1st October (to support with a donation, please visit here), and a Family Quiz/Games Night for employees and their families and friends to take part in on 8th October.
Keep checking back on our social media for the latest!
Pictured above from the left: Presenting the Best Payment System award, Phil Reynolds, Managing Director of Vendex; accepting their award, Vianet’s Matt Thornton, Client Director; Rachel Little, Marketing Manager; Mark Parry, Commercial Director; and on the right, The Vendies 2022 host, comedian Ian Moore.
On Thursday, 9th June 2022, Vianet travelled down to the capital to attend The Vendies 2022. This year’s Vending Industry Awards, hosted by Vending International, were held in the Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn, Central London, and welcomed a wealth of suppliers and operators from across the UK’s vending industry.
Vianet was crowned the winner of two awards; ‘Best Payment System’, and ‘Best Supplier Website’. The Company was also ‘Highly Commended’ for the ‘Corporate Responsibility’ award, alongside the category winner, Mondelēz International.
The ‘Best Payment System’ award is a major achievement for Vianet, as contactless payment reached new highs of demand throughout the pandemic and the Company’s brand new contactless payment and telemetry solution, ‘SmartContact Pro’, was introduced to the unattended retail market to meet demand.
Vianet’s contactless payment, telemetry, and data services work in synchronicity to provide invaluable insight for the industry looking to utilise cashless payment data. Vianet offers the only truly end-to-end solution on the market, having already helped many vending businesses adopt cashless technology and data capture across their estate to make informed decisions.
Winning ‘Best Supplier Website’ is an excellent accolade for Vianet, following the launch of its new and improved website in November 2021. Changes were introduced to the website to improve the users understanding of Vianet’s products and services, improve the user journey, and introduce a streamlined login area for accessing service dashboards remotely.
Vianet was shortlisted in seven award categories, which were decided by a judging process in the spring. Each award entry was reviewed by an independent panel of industry experts, comprising leading names from across the sector. The judging panel assessed the entries in accordance with a strict set of criteria to determine a shortlist in each category.
The shortlists went to an online vote, where professionals from the vending sector were invited to make their voices heard by casting a vote for the products, operators, and individuals that they believed would be worthy winners. Each stage of the vote held a 50% weighting in the final decision.
Mark Parry, Vianet’s Commercial Director, attended the awards, stating, “We had a fantastic day in London for The Vendies, and I’m extremely proud of the Smart Machines division and our support functions who have contributed to this success. Already in 2022 we have had some great achievements, launching new features into SmartVend and expanding our reach in the payments market. These awards are testament to this and the hard work of our team.”
Huge congratulations to the other award winners at the event. There is incredible talent within the vending industry at present and it is fantastic to see this recognised. To find out more about the winners of The Vendies 2022, please click here.
Pictured: The Vianet team alongside other ‘The Vendies 2022’ award winners at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.
Vianet hosted their southern golf day on Thursday 26th May 2022 at Frilford Heath Golf Course, which this year will host the English Trophy presented by Rocket Yard Sports Marketing when the European Challenge Tour returns to British soil in September.
The day started with registration, goody bags and breakfast rolls as clients arrived.
The event brought clients together from both Vianet’s vending and hospitality divisions, creating a refreshing dynamic allowing both sectors to collaborate and network. The teams played four ball better ball, with prizes for nearest the pin and overall winners. Snacks and refreshments were provided at the halfway house for our teams as they made their way round the 18 holes.
We ended the day with a fantastic evening meal with a prizegiving. Our prize winners included Mark Grunnell of Red Oak Taverns and Lee Worgan of JW Vending taking prizes for nearest the pin, alongside Chris Worgan of JW Vending taking prize for the longest drive.
The overall winning team on the day included Vianet chairman, Jim Dickson, Mark Grunnell of Red Oak Taverns, Ken MacIsaac of Lavazza Professional, Greg Wallis of Shepherd Neame. The winning team members will go onto the final at Gleneagles as well as receiving a selection of wine.
Vianet hosted their northern golf day on Thursday 12th May 2022 at The Alwoodley, the very first golf course designed by Dr Alister Mackenzie who went on to design Augusta and Cypress Point amongst other iconic courses. This stunning course is situated in Leeds and was recently ranked as No. 36 in the top golf courses in GB & Ireland by Today’s Golfer.
The day started with registration, goody bags and a full English breakfast as clients arrived.
The event brought clients together from both Vianet’s vending and hospitality divisions, creating a refreshing dynamic allowing both sectors to collaborate and network. The day itself brought superb weather with the sun peeking through the clouds throughout the afternoon.
The teams played four ball better ball, with prizes for nearest the pin and overall winners. Snacks and refreshments were provided at the halfway house for our teams as they made their way round the 18 holes.
We ended the day with a fantastic evening meal served in the Alister Mackenzie Room with a prizegiving. Our prize winners included David Graddon and Gary Raymond from Graddon Vending taking prizes for nearest the pin, alongside our very own Business Development Manager, Paul Sansome.
The overall winning team on the day included Vianet chairman, Jim Dickson, David Graddon of Graddon Vending, Ross MacDonald of Upton Group and Andrew Buchanan of Daniel Thwaites. The winning team members will go onto the final at Gleneagles as well as receiving a selection of wine.
With the great feedback we’ve received from the day so far, we are thoroughly looking forward to our event in the south on Thursday!
“As golf days go that was a special one!”
Simon Wilkes – Wilkes Vending
“The whole day was very enjoyable, the course magnificent, the food very good”
Ross MacDonald- Upton Group
“Simply amazing, well organised, great people and a wonderful day.”
Kevin Reed – Tower Leasing
“A thoroughly enjoyable day.”
David Wigham – Admiral Taverns
Vianet have been shortlisted as a finalist for this year’s Tees Tech Awards under three award categories – ‘Company of the Year’, ‘Digital Innovation’, and ‘Best Digital Project’. Vianet are the only company amongst the finalists that have been shortlisted for 3 awards.
The Tees Tech Awards is a Tees Business event in association with DigitalCity and Middlesbrough Digital, and the award ceremony itself is due to take place at Hardwick Hall Hotel on Thursday, April 28. The awards recognise and celebrate the organisations and individuals thriving within the Tees region’s fast-growing digital sector together with the local companies driving their business through digital transformation.
Nearly 90 entries and nominations came in for the awards across the 11 categories, with sponsors now announcing their choices for the final three for each award.
Vianet have seen a strong recovery coming out of the global pandemic as hospitality and pubs reopen, together with good growth in both new business and contactless payment solution sales in their unattended retail division. Innovative and ever-growing, Vianet have evolved and shown strong potential throughout their 27 years as a technology business on Teesside.
Company of the Year
Vianet’s aim is to be the recognised leader in delivering unparalleled insight and actionable information that is game-changing for customers in their chosen sectors. As well as this, Vianet pride themselves on being a people business, creating opportunities for growth and development for their employees as well as their customers.
With over 140 employees, Vianet has over 300 customers across their technology estate, including several global blue-chip clients such as Lavazza, Greene King, Compass Group, Atalian Servest, Coca-Cola, and many more. With more than 250,000 devices connected to Vianet’s platform, along with years of experience and knowledge, form a powerful technology and insight capability that few can match.
Vianet are an Internet of Things company whose software platforms and solutions specialise in delivering innovative data insight, remote asset management and contactless payment for the hospitality, vending machine, unattended retail, food service and fuel sectors. With products such as their SmartInsight reporting suite, and SmartVend insight portal, Vianet deliver unique and meaningful data to customers, including blue-chip companies, allowing them to make informed operational decisions to drive profits, increase sales and create efficiencies.
Best Digital Project
With the vending industry going through a period of change, Vianet’s SmartVend data insight platform, combined with its contactless payment and telemetry solutions, offers the industry’s only cloud-based IOT “end-to-end” solution for the vending, coffee and unattended retail markets.
Built around an easy, intuitive dashboard, SmartVend gives vending operators the ability to view their machine data anytime, anywhere.
The software is proving a big hit. For example, Compass Group – the world’s largest foodservice company – has identified a 45 per cent increase in average monthly sales as a result of installing contactless payment and being able to review its sales data remotely within the SmartVend portal.
Vianet would like to wish all their fellow finalists the best of luck at this year’s Tees Tech Awards.
Throughout each year, Vianet give something back in a way that has the potential to have a positive impact in the wider community. One of the ways we achieve this is through delivering an annual fundraising campaign to raise funds for a specific charity, so rather than doing one-off fund-raising for multiple charities, we have a more focussed approach to supporting one main charity.
Some of the different means of support our employees and partners offer include fundraising with cake days, Christmas hampers, raffles/prize draws, shoebox appeal, Just Giving donations, as well as larger scale events.
Giving Something Back to My Sisters Place
Vianet’s chosen charity for 2022 will be My Sisters Place.
My Sisters Place is an independent specialist ‘One Stop Shop’ for women aged 16 or over and have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. Established in 2002 in Middlesbrough, the charity are committed to working in partnership to tackle domestic violence.
Their approach is rooted in an understanding of the gendered nature of violence against women and girls, and recognises the way intersecting factors such as age, ethnicity, sexuality and disability can affect women’s experiences and the journey through recovery. Women and children have a right to live free from all forms of violence and abuse, and society has a duty to recognise and defend this right. My Sister’s Place takes this responsibility seriously and works with a wide range of partners to generate the best outcomes for women and children.
My Sisters Place Purpose:
- To deliver accessible, effective, specialist services that are informed and evaluated by service users experiences promoting individual freedom and quality of life.
- To explore new and innovative ways to address domestic violence issues with a range of partners, and share best practice locally and nationally.
- To challenge inequality in access to safety, justice, health and wellbeing, and campaign for change to shape future policy and practice.
- To work with the wider community through education and community involvement to create a cultural shift in a zero tolerance of domestic abuse, and better equip families to protect one another.
For further details, please visit their website.
This doesn’t prevent or exclude Vianet from supporting other charities of course, but we hope that it will enable us to have greater awareness about our chosen charity and increase the amount of money we are able to raise for them.
Keep checking back to find out more about our ‘Giving Something Back’ campaign, and our fundraisers throughout the year.
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.