The next chapter

I am pleased to present Incremental’s third annual review for the financial year ended March 2020. FY20 has been a year of significant change. It was a year where we continued to grow whilst being presented with challenges that we had to overcome. Whether it be the economic uncertainty regarding Brexit or the unprecedented challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic presented, we demonstrated our ability to make the difficult decisions to restructure and refocus our business. It was a year during which we have matured as an organisation and there is no doubt that we are a far stronger and more resilient business than we were just 12 months ago.

FY20 renewed our focus on our core beliefs: digital technology can help every organisation achieve more; and sustainable success is achieved through incremental improvement. Our belief in incremental improvement was something that we had become complacent about as we became emboldened by our continued exceptional performance but this year we proved to ourselves that only by taking small steps quickly can you achieve remarkable and sustainable progress. The unprecedented circumstances we have seen this year has accelerated many of the technology trends that were already in flight and will be a catalyst for change for many years to come. The way in which the world has successfully shifted to our new socially distanced normal has only been possible thanks to the remarkable advanced in digital technologies we have seen over the last two decades.

Phase 1 of our journey concluded in FY19 and marked the end of the beginning. This phase saw us acquire two businesses and grow our organisation rapidly to provide a solid base for future long-term growth. FY20 marked the beginning of Phase 2 of our journey. We began it by welcoming our new investors, Dunedin, to the business and Investment Director Simon Rowan to our board. Simon’s appointment provided us the ideal opportunity to review our board structure, assessing its performance to date and considering what we needed moving forward. This review identified the need to bring another Non-Executive Director on board and after a comprehensive search we identified Richard Logan as the ideal candidate. A Chartered Accountant, having previously served as Finance Director of cloud computing company iomart Group plc, Richard brings over 30 years’ experience to our board. He is also a Non-Executive Director at Inspired Energy Plc and Pebble Beach Systems Group plc.. His knowledge and understanding of company acquisitions and integrations, as well as broad financial experience, will be crucially important as we move forward.

Following our rapid growth during the previous two years we took time this year to restructure our organisation to ensure that we retained a tight operational control. We made the transition to a cellular business model whereby we subdivided the organisation into individual business units. This move has proved to be the right strategic decision but, as with any significant structural change, it was not without its challenges to implement successfully. Throughout FY20 we continued to evolve our cellular model and we subsequently took the decision to consolidate to two individual business units. I am pleased that as we closed the financial year our new business unit structure was understood, embedded, and working well. We have made an excellent start to FY21.

Welcoming new customers

FY20 saw us welcome 60 new customers – a tremendous achievement! I am delighted each time we welcome a new customer as it provides a new opportunity for us to demonstrate the value we can help those organisations realise through the use of digital technology.

Our continued focus on technical excellence and delivering positive customer outcomes continues to resonate well with organisations across all sectors of industry. Our investment in our commercial function enabled us to continue to develop our brand both as a partner and an employer.

We have also taken the decision to consolidate our operations in the North West of England in Manchester city centre. Manchester is a thriving economic powerhouse and it is very exciting to now be in the heart of the city, giving us great reach across the region.

Stronger alliance with Microsoft

In FY20 we became a member of Microsoft’s Inner Circle for Business Applications. Inner Circle status is reserved for the top one percent of Microsoft partners globally and achieving this recognition from our most valued technology partner is something our whole organisation is proud of.

Inner Circle status is a validation of the quality of work we have done and continue to do for our customers, our level of growth but most importantly it gives us much improved access to senior executives at Microsoft. This access enables us to work closely with Microsoft as a highly trusted partner. For our customers this enables them to gain more access to Microsoft and to shape the future of the Business Applications product suite much more directly. I am delighted that we have achieved Inner Circle status for FY21.

Accelerating demand for digital transformation

As we closed FY20 the Covid-19 pandemic struck the UK. We reacted quickly in early March by taking the decision to cease all business travel and close all offices before the government mandated this action. As an organisation we transitioned to fully remote working well, changing how we worked and communicated literally overnight. The pandemic will have a long-lasting effect on all our lives – things will simply never be the same again. But, with that level of change comes opportunity for us. Businesses are continuing to push ahead with their digital transformation agendas as the imperative has never been greater. The move to the cloud, the improved use of data, shifting to digital channels, and more are all accelerated.

FY21 will be an exciting time and one for which Incremental is very well prepared.