Social Inclusion Award Winners 2019
We are proud to have been awarded a ‘Social Inclusion’ award at the inaugural Keele University Breaking the Mould Awards earlier this month. Held in the atrium of the recently opened and our new home, the Smart Innovation Hub. Liam and Jakub were at the celebration to pick up our stunning award.
Whilst putting it pride of place on the office bookshelf we nearly broke the award, turns out it’s a very sturdily made piece of kit!
It’s really good to be recognised for the work that we do. It gives us the opportunity to highlight the importance of working in collaboration to improve the lives of others. Bitjam’s purpose is not to profit but to use business as a force for good.
As Liam announced on stage at the awards ceremony, Bitjam’s next move will be into the satellite technology sector. Watch this space!
Remote working and the digital landscape in the NHS
With the current increased risk of COVID-19 virus upon us, and the UK looking to work from home in the coming weeks, if their role allows, remote working technology will need to be high on the agenda of businesses looking to ride the storm. We want to bring you an overview of what technologies we think will help in today’s climate.
A speedy adoption of a digital ecosystem is necessary at times such as these. Some SME businesses have already started by instructing employees that all work will be done remotely including meetings and workshops, with staff using video conferencing rather than seeing people face to face.
Former GP, Dr Ruth Chambers, has championed the digital movement throughout our local area of North Staffordshire and has spoked widely around the issue of uptake within the NHS. Promoting the use of Skype for adopting video consultations effectively, for example in nursing homes, medication follow-ups and multidisciplinary team meetings.
From our viewpoint, the technological infrastructure in the NHS is not quite up to scratch when integrating with remote workers who need to use patient systems on encrypted laptops. So not all work will be accessible at home. However, there are plenty of highly usable conferencing technologies that can be utilised whether you are working whilst sat in an office, on the go on the ward, or at home.
We encourage all our NHS partners to utilize the technologies available to them for web conferencing rather than non-essential face to face meetings. If the NHS is to start using digital tech with their patients then staff need to be comfortable in using digital services themselves.
5 technologies Bitjam utilise
Whereby – https://whereby.com
Whereby is our go-to collaboration tool for hosting easy and reliable video meetings. All meetings are from your browser or mobile app. Simply send your guest (up to 4 people in one meeting) a link to your meeting space, they knock and you let them in, they do not need to log in!
Zoom – https://zoom.us/
Zoom is another great tool for web conferencing but this is more of a live event than just for meetings. Do you need something that is engaging for an online workshop? If the answer is yes then Zoom is for you. Gone are the days of simply looking at Powerpoint slides, or the days of Instant Teleseminar and just audio. Not only does Zoom bring video for the presenter, it also adds video for the attendees. You can access for free and stream full video replays. A firm favourite in the Bitjam office.
Whatsapp – https://www.whatsapp.com/
Whatsapp is one of the biggest players in the messaging market. An encrypted messaging service, which is now becoming ubiquitous in NHS hospitals and paramedic teams to chat about specific clinical subjects or in emergency situations to ensure speedy communication with hospital colleagues about what patient injuries to expect. We love that it is an encrypted service for messaging on the go.
Slack – https://slack.com/
We use Slack to stay in touch with colleagues one to one or in a group. We collaborate on projects and it’s great to know all team communication in one place. The things we love about Slack are that file sharing is simple, it integrates with our commonly used services and everything is searchable from one box.
Microsoft One Drive/Office 365 – https://www.office.com/
Microsoft One Drive is a storage service for hosting files in the cloud and offers users a simple way to store, sync and share various types of files, with other people and devices on the internet. It is integrated with Office 365 apps, which allow you to work from anywhere with all the functionality you would expect from desktop services, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and Teams, updated regularly with the latest features and security updates. It’s alternative, that is also widely adopted, is Google apps, a purely online version. Either will equip you sufficiently for remote working.
All of these changes in working need some progressive thinking within staff culture. Staff may not have ever used conferencing technologies in their working day and could feel daunted by the prospect of everything going digital. It’s important to encourage companies and NHS trusts to promote ‘best practice’ in remote working. A ‘digital champion’ could be on the end of the phone for employees who feel a bit lost in the digital landscape.
Last but not least, communicating with colleagues is crucial, to keep you accountable and on track with work projects. You never know, it could be the start of a flexible working revolution for business, as well as the fact that has been proved in China recently – no commute equals lower pollutions rates!
Bitjam will be showcasing our Santander-Keele intern success story on 10th December at the Smart Innovation Hub, at the ‘Celebrating Keele Talent’ event.
Carl, Liam and Klaudia will be on hand to discuss all things Santander Universities and how it has fast-tracked Liam into a permanent role within the company and given Klaudia the opportunity to research accessibility for the visually impaired community within the NHS.
Keele University has been running successful internship schemes for a number of years, placing hundreds of students and graduates into businesses.
Eligible companies can benefit from this service free-of-charge, as Santander pays for half of the interns’ wages.
An internship is beneficial for both the intern and the hosting company. For the student (or graduate), they can gain important workplace skills and experience, whilst it is an excellent way for companies to add fresh talent to their workforce for short-term projects.
Keele University graduate, Liam, started as a Santander intern on a Software Developer placement. He was offered a permanent position within the team on completion of the internship. Liam has been an integral part of the team since day one. His professional and hard-working outlook
Liam worked with Klaudia, on a project funded by Santander to allow equal opportunities. Together they tested the ‘Nellie’ telehealth software. Klaudia is a visually impaired student and in this project took on the role of user, with Liam demonstrating the functionality.
Klaudia was also able to complete a piece of research for Bitjam which was very useful to see the world of NHS through the perspective of a patient with additional needs. Klaudia’s evaluation of digital and physical NHS services, allowed her to produce three white papers on her findings and recommendations for NHS service providers, which have been published on Bitjam’s blog.
For more information on the Santander-Keele partnership check out the Santander Universities website.
Working towards sustainability
Being an ethical company we still feel we can do more. With our move into the environmentally focussed Smart Innovation Hub at Keele Science Park, we are moving towards a more sustainable future.
Keele is one of the first UK universities to declare a ‘climate emergency’. A key strategic aim of the campus is to be environmentally sustainable in all that they do, and we are pleased to be part of it.
How the SEND Fund is helping us
We have partnered with Keele Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND), a fund giving businesses in Staffordshire 12 hours of consultancy to help us analyse our environmental impact. This consultancy period will help us evaluate our environmental policy, looking at issues such as staff transport and office habits. It will analyse the positive impact on Bitjam being located at the green energy focussed Smart Hub.
Our consultancy hours have given us the opportunity to revamp company environmental policies and evaluate company procedures, in relation to travel and emissions as well as office supplies and the supply chain.
In their own words:
The Keele University Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) – a European first, is an at scale environment providing a platform that allows energy generation, distribution, storage, forecasting and energy balancing to be intelligently carried out across different energy sources using the Keele University campus as a genuine ‘living laboratory.’ … the demonstration facility and data generated by SEND will underpin new research and innovation partnerships with local, regional and international business, generating new products, services and knowledge to drive sustainable high value economic growth and jobs locally as part of a UK-wide commitment to lead internationally as the home of ‘clean growth.’Keele University
By 2023, the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator will:
- Support more than 240 local businesses
- Create up to 440 higher value jobs
- Save around 4,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide each year
- Generate £40m GVA from £16m investment (>2:1 ROI) (Increasing to £80m GVA by 2036 – >5:1 ROI)
More information on SEND can be found on Keele University’s website.