Category Archives: Why Vianet

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.Contactless Payment for Vending Machine

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.

The Vendies 2022 Winners

Pictured: The Vianet team alongside other ‘The Vendies 2022’ award winners at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.

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.

SmartVend DashboardVianet’s SmartVend data insight portal is the industry’s only cloud-based IoT (Internet of Things) end-to-end solution for the vending, coffee and unattended retail markets.

Built around an easy and intuitive dashboard, the insight portal is designed to accommodate bespoke configuration that reflects customer priorities.

SmartVend already includes a comprehensive reporting suite, product sales analysis, and actionable data insight, with real-time machine alarms and alerts and a newly developed service module offering invaluable operational capabilities.

With over 34,000 active contactless and telemetry devices across their unattended retail estate currently connected to the insight portal, there are over £3.8m sales processed and 4 million transactions reported remotely every month on SmartVend. This technology is also tested and compatible with 200+ vending machine models.

Vianet’s technology team have been continually developing SmartVend, evolving its software offerings within vending as part of an ongoing commitment to ensure they deliver against the present and – more importantly – future requirements of their customers and prospects.

In 2022, Phase 2 of the SmartVend development plan is currently underway, including several brand-new features offering customers a more extensive toolkit to manage their assets and machines.

This week, the team released phase 2.1 of the development including the following new features and enhancements…

 

 

Cash Management
Using the SmartVend App to scan cash bags at the point of collection reduces input errors and allows for easy cash reconciliation. SmartVend Cash Management compares data captured in the field/by the machine to that counted in the office, highlighting any discrepancies, and removing the possibility of revenue loss at every step.

Asset Management
SmartVend’s Asset Management solution provides real-time visibility of your assets; allowing you to monitor and track their location and status throughout their lifecycle; ensuring a streamlined process from order to shipping to installation and decommissioning.   

Ticket Dashboard
The new Ticket Dashboard provides immediate insight into potential problems across your estate that – when paired with our fantastic Route Planning capabilities – allows users to limit any potential loss in revenue when things go wrong, while auto-closure rules avoid any unnecessary call outs when issues are resolved.

 

Looking forward in 2022, there will be further releases in SmartVend on the roadmap that are coming soon including a new service dashboard, enhanced route scheduling and a third party finance integration.

 

The Vendies is the UK’s national Vending Industry Awards, recognising talent, achievements and successes of those within the sector.These awards will continue its longstanding tradition of recognising and rewarding companies and individuals that have made exceptional contributions to the trade.

Now more than ever, it is vital that the hard work of operators and suppliers in the vending market – and the individuals at the heart of these companies – is recognised and celebrated.

Votes are now open – click here to vote.

Vianet have been shortlisted for the following awards at this years The Vendies 2022:
  • Best Ancillary Product / Service Award – SmartVend
  • Best Payment System Award – SmartContact Pro
  • Best Supplier Website Award
  • Best Customer Service Award
  • COVID Initiative Award
  • Best Vending Project Award – SmartVend
  • Corporate Responsibility Award
Voting for this years The Vendies Awards ends this Friday 22nd April 2022 so don’t forget to head over to their website & VOTE for us today at https://thevendies.co.uk/vote/

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.

 

Digital Innovation

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.

 

Keep checking back for updates on our progress.

 

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.

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.My Sisters Place Logo

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.

My Sisters Place Womens Aid

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.