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North East Connected

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ByLiz Luff

Feb 17, 2021 #Business, #ISO 27001

Despite a very challenging year, Team Valley-based SOS Group has stepped up to achieve both the ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 accreditations.

During normal business conditions this would signal a strong commitment to the certifications and, given the issues created by Covid, has required great dedication.

Throughout the pandemic, in addition to managing its own team of staff, the office technology company has continued to provide specialist support for its clients, which range from local start-ups to the IAAF World Athletics Championships, as all organisations adapted to the difficulties created.

John Behan, one of three company Directors, explains: “This has been a tremendously challenging year for all businesses.

“We’re very proud of the way our team responded when the pandemic began. We implemented our Disaster Recovery Plan and Business Continuity Plan and, if anything, we’re emerging from this crisis with stronger client relationships than ever.

“Given everything that’s happened, we could have been forgiven for putting these accreditations on the back burner. But it was our ambition to achieve both of them during 2020 and we stuck to our guns. We know how important they are and, while committing the time to them was a big undertaking, it has certainly paid off.”

ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised Quality Management System standard, which is designed to help business plan, monitor and manage business quality and identify areas for improvement. It recognises continually improving effectiveness and efficiencies across the business, while ISO 27001, is a highly prized IT security accreditation.

John continues: “We’re particularly proud to now hold ISO 27001, which is a significant accomplishment and achieved after a meticulous audit of our information security management system.

“It shows we have the policies, procedures and risk controls needed for robust IT security management. And, if the last year has taught us anything, it’s the necessity to be prepared for the worst-case business scenario.

“We’re growing our IT and Telecoms business presence and the ISO 27001 credential clearly demonstrates how securely we treat client data and information, and our expertise to support clients to do the same.

“Cyber security is one of the biggest threats to every business in today’s world and the move to remote working and change in practice by most businesses since the pandemic began has heightened risks still further. Accessing files securely and remotely is a key issue.

“Achieving the two certifications was a team effort lead by myself and Ben Fletcher, our service manager. We started the road to accreditation back in June 2020 and began with six half day blocks to build the basis of our manual and then followed up with the detailed evidence gathering and background work.

“There were various stages in the project where up to 10 members of the SOS Group team were involved and, in total, something like 25 working days dedicated to the effort. That commitment, during an already challenging business period, was validated when we received confirmation of our accreditation in February.

“The two ISO certifications are an endorsement of our existing business processes and procedures, as well as a measurable demonstration to our current and prospective clients of our commitment to delivering quality in everything we do.

“They’re a world-recognised standard and a true mark of quality we’re very proud we can now display.”

SOS Group supplies and maintains leading brand digital office equipment. As well as offering a full range of office management services, including unified communications, IT support, document management, cost consultation and managed print services.

In addition, the firm’s DDB Workspace Solutions Division supplies a range of furniture that helps tackle common issues including posture and lack of space.