In just over a month’s time, we’ll be opening the doors to our brand new co-working space in London’s beautiful Clerkenwell. This is a slightly different approach for us, as we’re partnering with Verizon to bring a new type of co-working to the UK.
To give you a bit of a glimpse into what you can expect, we talked to Leanne Hurrell, the head of Public Sector (EMEA) for Verizon, about how they harness the power and creativity of the SME community within their public sector team.
How does Verizon harness the power of community and start-ups to enhance the work that you do with big businesses and organisations?
Co-working and collaborating with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is important to Verizon for a variety of reasons. Firstly, we believe that great ideas are generated through diversity of thought – and big companies like ours can really benefit from working with agile, smaller organisations to come up with creative solutions and innovative ideas.
We are also aligned with the UK government’s view that SMEs are the powerhouse of “UK PLC,” and have consciously involved SMEs as we develop our public sector strategy, as we know their insight is invaluable. Finally we believe that helping to solve customer problems isn’t just about ‘selling things’, but about creating longevity in our relationships. To do this we sometimes say “we can’t do this but we know someone who can” and collaborate with trusted partners to get the best results for the customer.
Why is it important to look to these networks outside of your business, and what benefits do they bring to Verizon?
The Verizon brand attracts many people to come to our door with their ideas. We try to treat all ideas with integrity and respect, ensuring that we do not waste people’s time – we know that small businesses cannot afford to waste a second. We are honest and direct, and that earns respect and referrals back to us. Nothing makes us prouder than when people have succeeded based on our counsel, even if Verizon hasn’t been directly involved in a transaction.
What role does co-working play in this? From the perspective of a big business, how can this collaboration produce results you wouldn’t ordinarily get.
Collaboration and co-working isn’t a new concept for Verizon. We have previously worked with others across a multitude of disciplines including Artificial Intelligence concepts, high speed UK code production, as well as training partners for cyber security and video compression companies. In addition, we have many links with SME networking groups and often host, facilitate and sponsor SME networking events at our International HQ based in Reading. SMEs like the fact that the Verizon brand gives us (and them) access to senior stakeholders in businesses and Government which they normally cannot reach. These stakeholders appreciate that Verizon listens to their business challenges and provides unbiased and diverse solutions to them. It is a ‘win/win’ situation.
What are you most looking forward to with our Clerkenwell collaboration, and what does do you hope will come from it?
The Clerkenwell collaboration space projects the innovative culture we foster within our own public sector team. We act as a SME within a larger eco-system and know how the right creative environment can enable innovation and teamwork to flourish.
Ready to join the future of work? Book a tour of our new Clerkenwell space here.