Here’s what we’ve been up to

Searching for stars: our first recruitment event

Earlier this month we were joined by budding business change professionals from across the UK for a first-of-its-kind recruitment networking event. The evening provided attendees with a great introduction to our business. Equally it enabled us to meet some fantastic new talent!

A warm welcome

On arrival, attendees networked with other candidates and members of our team over nibbles. At this point they were treated to a series of videos showcasing some of our greatest client achievements.

It was then over to our directors Eman Al-Hillawi and Peter Marsden for a presentation about the company. They talked about how we were formed, what sets us apart from the crowd and our exciting plans for future growth. Following the presentation, the mic was passed over to attendees, who were given the opportunity to quiz our team.

Getting to know us

We’re proud to break the mould. Here are the top 5 things that make us different from a traditional consultancy:

  1. We’ve made our mark on the Birmingham skyline – Looking out across Birmingham, you’ll see several iconic landmarks where we’ve delivered successful projects – from Birmingham Airport to the city’s impressive library.
  2. We’re dedicated to developing our team – Our recently-launched Entec Si Academy has been designed to help new talent achieve personal career and development goals.
  3. We’re a great bunch of people! – We pride ourselves on being a tight-knit and supportive team. Without doubt our quarterly away days are one of the highlights of our year! We really care about our people and what we do for our clients.
  4. Working across a huge range of areas – From programme and project management through to strategy and business planning for a number of industries who are putting business change at the top of their agenda. We’re also lucky enough to find our work genuinely interesting, rewarding and almost always good fun.
  5. Sometimes we do chocolate runs! – We’re committed to giving back to local communities and organisations. We even recently completed a charity chocolate run!

We hope that attendees found the evening to be as insightful and enjoyable as we did. It goes without saying that we look forward to getting to know many more brilliant business change stars at our future events!



M&A: How to achieve a successful culture integration

UK merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is fast becoming known as the go-to method for achieving diversification, market growth and increased profit margins. However, in an effort to focus on these areas, the integration of the two separate company cultures can be forgotten. This can lead to significant problems in the future. So, what can businesses do to ensure that culture is protected?

Identify a target culture and plan to achieve it

In the wake of M&A activity, organisations should identify their ideal company culture. They should then decide the actions that need to be taken to achieve it. This starts with an initial evaluation of the current culture as well as a business health-check of key markers such as employee motivation. Once an assessment has been made, it is then possible to determine how the planned changes will affect the business’ four key areas:

  • People
  • Processes
  • Systems
  • Infrastructure

Satisfy the workforce

Failing to consider company culture during M&A activity can leave employees feeling alienated from the organisation. As a result it can have a direct impact on performance and wellbeing. With this in mind, HR teams must ensure that employees are engaged in the process of change and understand its trajectory. A happy team will ensure that strategic targets are met, and employee turnover doesn’t skyrocket.

Manage the project

Culture change, like any other project, requires clear and decisive management. The support of a Portfolio Management Office (PMO) can provide stakeholders with increased visibility across initiatives. It can enable them to quickly address any potential HR issues that may arise. Furthermore, it can also help to drive effective communication. This means that everyone is aware of any developments or changes to working practices.

It will take time

Organisations need to appreciate that it can take it can take up to 12 months to fully integrate a new company culture. Getting the process right the first time is critical. In order to prepare for this, organisations should provide an appropriate buffer period and seek external advice at the earliest opportunity.

 To discuss how to make the most of any M&As that your company may be planning, please contact Peter Marsden, Debora Marras or another member of our team.

Supporting Revenue and Benefits procurement

The procurement

We’re excited to have supported East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) and Borough Council of Wellingborough (BCW) to jointly procure a new document management system.

The change

Currently both councils use a paper-based system. However, the introduction of an electronic document management system (EDMS) will be much more efficient. Subsequently it will help to manage customers’ documents, keep in touch with customers more effectively, and resolve their queries.

This change is being made with assistance from our existing supplier Capita, who were chosen as the successful supplier during the procurement process.

Moving forwards

The next phase of the project includes moving the Revenue and Benefits system to the Data Centre. As a result, this will enhance safety and security and will be done in conjunction with the EDMS installation. We are very much looking forward to be working with ENC and BCW on this project!

Reasons to prepare for Microsoft support deadlines

In 2020 Microsoft will be ending support for both its Windows 7 operating system and Office 2010. This means that any devices running these editions will soon lose support. Here are five reasons why organisations should already be preparing to avoid this by updating their software now.

1. Protection is crucial

Following the support deadline, there will be no new security patches, upgrades or refreshes for the out of date software. Consequently businesses will be entirely on their own. Therefore, failing to update could leave systems open to cyber-attacks and malware.

2. Updates take time and lots of it

The switch across to Windows 10 and Office 365/2016 may not be a quick and simple procedure. For instance, all peripheral devices such as computer mice, keyboards and printers will need to be assessed to determine whether they support Windows 10. Considering other challenges along the way, a digital transformation such as this could take between one and two years depending on the size of the organisation.

3. Staff will need training

While some staff may feel comfortable operating on different versions of software, others may find the changes difficult to adjust to. If preparations don’t begin now, it might be too late to factor this in and employees could be left unable to do their jobs.

4. Costs will run high

Businesses should also be aware of underestimating costs. Senior managers and stakeholders must understand the scale of the change to guarantee that financial investment is available for a smooth and successful transition. This includes:

  • Budgeting for replacements of incompatible physical equipment
  • Reduced productivity during the migration period
  • Provision of new software licences.

5. Your organisation will benefit

Organisations will be pleased to hear that there is a silver lining to all this change. By updating to the cloud-based Office 365, employees will be granted licence access to their files and Office software on up to five devices. This will enable shared access to content and support remote and flexible working.

What now?

Updating IT systems can be daunting at the best of times, so a major change such as this is likely to leave some business owners quaking at the thought. However, they should consider the whole process as a project to be managed from beginning to end, with a clear plan in place. Subsequently the support deadline may give organisations the opportunity to embrace meaningful transformation at the same time.

Read our full article for CEO Today on Microsoft support deadlines.

To discuss how to begin the migration process and make the most of your software update, please contact Peter Marsden or another member of the team here at Entec Si.

Celebrating our most successful year to date!

The past year has been an exciting and rewarding one for us. Not only have we seen our family grow, almost doubling in the past 12 months, but we have also had our most successful year to date, having increased turnover by 50 per cent on 2016.

Our unique approach

This is due to the stellar work of our team, who have undertaken 75 separate client commissions over the past year. Our unique approach to delivering business change through technology has been key to this success. We’ve also invested heavily in our recruitment and operational systems, including this new website that you are currently enjoying!

Leading the way

Over recent years we have led the way on many successful landmark projects. These have included working with Birmingham Airport to design and implement their new portfolio management office, transforming the Library of Birmingham’s IT systems and organisational structure and most recently delivering a major IT transformation programme with Cherwell and South Northamptonshire District Councils.

Investing in our team

Despite our recent successes, we’re not stopping there. Over the upcoming year, we intend to continue our trend of steady employee growth. This means we’ll be making key appointments throughout the business. Our people are the fundamental aspect of each and every project, and we intend to continue investing in our employees and developing our skills.

Reflecting on success

Our Principal Consultant, Eman Al-Hillawi, reflects on the last year:

 “Our people are at the very heart of every successful change management programme we deliver. And for our clients, our blended team approach allows us to influence culture change by identifying skills and upskilling their staff to facilitate business transformation.”

Principal Consultant Peter Marsden said:

“Over the last year we’ve made a focused effort to develop our team – which has been led by the growing desire for our clients to remain at the top of their game through IT and business change. Much like our own business, entrepreneurial spirit runs through the very fabric of the local business community and adapting to change is very much at the top of the agenda for enterprises.  

 “Our constant quest to achieve the best possible results has led to a fantastic year for us and we’ve been extremely fortunate to have longstanding clients.

The hard work from our teams internally, the relationships we have with clients, as well as our strong values has been our recipe for success this year. We intend to continue investing in employee growth and development to attract and maintain the best talent.” 

We would like to thank our clients, both old and new for their support. Here’s to many more successful years ahead.


New contract win

We’ve been included as one of the technology consultancy framework suppliers to Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council (CDC/SNC). We’re very excited to continue our relationship with both councils across this four-year framework programme.

The Bid

We prepared a strong response to the bid. As a result, our long-term local government experience combined with our unique ‘blended team’ approach meant that we offered strong levels of engagement. Our commitment to CDC/SNC will be at the highest level and we can’t wait to continue supporting them.

Lasting Relationship

This contract will build on our previous two-year relationship with the councils.  During this time we’ve supported their programme to transform ICT services. The scope of the framework contract covers both Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. It will ensure a range of services can be engaged to support future changes across both counties.


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