A SUCCESSFUL Tyneside business consultancy has moved into its first ‘office’ after growing its team from one to more than 40 in less than two years – working as a delivery partner for one of Silicon Valley’s key software platforms.
Digital transformation specialists whyaye was launched in 2019 by Maureen Robson Norman, Anna Bisset and Lisa Smith. The three met while working on a Royal Bank of Scotland project seven years ago – and have ambitious plans to increase the workforce by a further 20 by the end of the year.
“The three of us worked together for five years and the timing seemed right to set up a business. We’d been collaborative partners and clicked,” said Maureen Robson Norman, whyaye’s CEO.
“We shared the same values – wanting to make change happen in a transparent, positive and outcome-focused way – but we also believe that people need to enjoy their time at work so we strive to find the ‘Yay’ in every day,” Maureen added.
Many of the company’s employees – or Mob members as they’re known – work from homes in the north east, while others are based at home across the UK or embedded in teams at clients such as Danske Bank and other large multinational companies.
“Although our way of working was going well, we felt we needed some way – or somewhere – for the team to come together to collaborate properly. I was born and bred in Walker so knew the Byker area well and wanted to contribute in some way to the ongoing regeneration of the area, so that’s one of the reasons we chose a base at Hoults Yard,” Maureen explained.
“There’s also a huge amount of talent locally that we wanted to tap into and promote. We don’t call it an office, it’s more of a co-creation hub. We spent a great deal of time thinking of what we wanted and how we were going to use the space we’d taken. It’s designed to promote collaboration, not as a place to work 9am to 5pm,” she added.
whyaye became a ServiceNow partner shortly after launching. The relationship continues to be a business priority – introducing, implementing and working with the enterprise software service.
“The three of us all had experience working with ServiceNow so were delighted to be confirmed as a partner and have since helped implement ServiceNow at several large global companies. ServiceNow is experiencing huge growth as businesses understand its benefits and possibilities, and we’re certainly growing with them,” explained Maureen.
“For one multinational consumer good giant we work with we implemented ServiceNow’s HR system in five months and the finance system in just nine months – for 120,000 employees across 108 countries and in eight languages!” she added.
Earlier this year, whyaye was named the 2021 ServiceNow EMEA Premier Segment Partner of the Year. The award recognizes the Premier Partner who achieved overall excellence in certification and ServiceNow pipeline growth.
“Because of our size, we’re more agile than some of our much larger competitors. We talk to companies about what transformation they want to see, how they’d like to improve the customer experience, design a bespoke solution, deliver it and then we’re out, providing much better value. We’re not like one of the bigger boys looking to deliver an off-the-shelf solution and then work out a way of keeping a relationship going,” said Maureen.
“Having said that, people like working with us and we often find clients ask us to do more. Similarly, people like working with us – we’ve not had one person leave whyaye yet, which is remarkable really.
“Our aim is to make businesses more efficient and we have five key areas in which we do so: improving enterprise information; programme delivery; product and platform assurance; business change and adoption, and operational resilience,” she added.
whyaye is continuing to recruit and expects to increase its headcount to more than 60 by the end of the year: “We appointed a new Business Development Lead in February and we can see what’s coming down the pipeline – we know we’re going to have to grow the team and are constantly looking for new Mob members.
“But we’re determined that we’ll keep the culture the same – we’re very careful when recruiting that we’re the right fit for them and they’re the right fit for us. It’s fun to work here and we want to make sure that doesn’t change,” said Maureen.