Accelerated use of collaboration tools

Tom Wollard, Edge Technologies

Edge Technology Group: Best Cloud Services Provider – Flexible working is likely to be part of the “new normal” as the past year demonstrated the power of the cloud and the benefits enjoyed by firms with a robust digital platform. As managers significantly increased their use of unified communications and collaboration tools, service providers are seeking to better meet their needs in this regard.

“As clients embrace flexible work policies, they will be seen supporting an element of dispersed working forever more,” comments Tom Woollard (pictured), managing partner and head of Europe at Edge Technology Group, “We are therefore launching a new communications line of business, specifically aimed at aiding and enhancing those efforts.”

The firm will now be selling customer connectivity, such as point-to-point circuits, internet circuits, home business broadband and Wi-Fi solutions. In due course, this suite will also include 5G business solutions for office and home, in addition to Hosted Telephony with Cloud Integration for common conferencing, messaging, and collaboration technologies such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. 

Woollard elaborates: “Bringing the provisioning and resale of such components in-house will enable us to take complete front-to-back control of a customer’s IT, connectivity, and telephony cloud, and manage the integration of all components. This will allow us to meet the requirements of our customers further, providing the highest levels of service, while supporting our own business growth objectives through a new dedicated offering. Along with our existing CloudSuite, CyberSuite, and SupportSuite services, a new collaboration Suite will be launched in Q2 of 2021.”

More broadly, Woollard notes: “We have seen greater acceleration and adoption of digital platforms that support dynamic, distributed, and dispersed working. The cloud and other digital technologies have enabled our business and others to adapt the way that we manage staff. Through enhanced collaboration tools, we can support the dispersed manner in which we now work, without losing any productivity and or performance.”

In a context where hedge funds are delivering performance superior to that of any other asset class, Woollard expects these strategies to remain prominent as investors review portfolios: “Hedge funds proved themselves to be highly adaptable and resilient in the face of massive disruption. Operating models are likely to continue a broad re-evaluation to ensure core process, cost structures, and hybrid working environments, continue to deliver results with high levels of operational efficiency.”

He observes that although the industry fared well throughout the pandemic, the expectations of institutional third parties, decision-makers and staff have changed significantly. To meet these demands, managers must be rigorous in their approach to cloud adoption.

“The cloud’s biggest strength is its pure scale and its significant feature set that can provide endless SaaS options at no extra charge. However, this is also its single biggest risk. If a cloud is not properly managed and or secured, it could leave a business extremely exposed to a significantly increased threat landscape,” Woollard outlines.

Going forward, technology is expected to continue playing a key role, which means many firms will likely include the use of alternative data and artificial intelligence in their business’s decision-making process. Further, Woollard anticipates an accelerated bias toward ESG and responsible investment strategies while the move away from manager-led products to investor tailored solutions continues. 

Tom Woollard, Managing Director & Head of Europe
Tom Woollard is Managing Director and Head of Europe, and was responsible for launching the UK operation in 2011. Tom has seen the regional operation extend throughout continental Europe, and is responsible for the firm’s day to day operations, business development, and growth strategy. With over 17 years experience at senior management level within the Finance Sector, Tom was providing technology services at the CTO level to the Hedge Fund and Alternative Investment industry prior to leading the regional group efforts. With a unique blend of business acumen, industry specific knowledge, and hands on systematic approach, Tom has successfully extended the Edge Technology Group brand to the UK and Europe, establishing Edge Technology Group as the premier provider in the community, and extending a single entity mind-set and work ethos to each and every client.

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