• Neil Doyle

2014: What A Great Ride It's Been

Wow – what a year it’s been. As December 31st approaches and we start to wind down for Christmas our mind naturally turns to reflection on the year we’ve had. A few weeks ago in the Gherkin, Steve Cathal and I filmed our now customary end of year review - I thought I would share with you some of the highlights we’ve had throughout 2014 in my blog as well.

Firstly, the inclusion of Cathal in our Director year-end review highlights just one of the changes we’ve had on the staff at Bedford this year. We’re delighted Cathal has now joined us on the Board. He has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to our management structure and his clear and decisive decision making is a big help to Steve and me. The introduction of Andre Pretorius - an experienced TM1 expert previously working at one of our competitors - and the addition of Paul Rawlinson, a CIMA qualified Anaplan expert with 15 years’ experience in the industry has really allowed us to expand our client base through the year but maintain the mark of quality our clients expect.

It goes without saying we’ve maintained our core team through 2014 with some exciting promotions within our own ranks. Our team driven ethic has continued through our quarterly away days with this year seeing us paying a visit to Wembley, playing rounders in the Olympic Park (yes really!) and commandeering HMS Belfast for the day.

On the client front, we’ve had an exciting year. We’ve continued our strong relationship with some of our bedrock clients like Boots, AIG and EnergyQuote, and expanded with new exciting projects at places like Hyperion Insurance Group, Chime PLC, Go Outdoors, Commercial Services and VCCP. We’ve seen our toolset used across many different use cases, from workforce planning & contract management to lease management and financial planning. We’ve expanded our support clients and completed many challenging implementations throughout the year; we’re looking forward to continuing that in 2015.

To add to this, we’ve also hosted two really enjoyable industry events. In May we welcomed Clare Andrews, Senior Finance Manager at Boots to talk us through her journey from a legacy Cognos EP system to an all-singing all-dancing TM1 implementation. This specialist retail event was attended by over 20 different retail companies all interested to hear about how we helped Clare on that journey - we were delighted at the feedback to this event.

That was followed very recently in November by our Big Data event, held in the Chartered Accountants Hall in London. Again the event was attended by industry professionals keen to hear how we have used Cognos TM1 and BI to help companies derive meaningful information from their Big Data. Looking forward to 2015, we’re currently planning a highly anticipated Anaplan event in March, jointly hosted with one of our Anaplan clients in the Insurance sector. Watch this space for more details in the coming weeks.

For me, one of the highlights of our year was of course the Anaplan Hub which we were delighted to participate in as Gold Sponsors. Anaplan is on a hugely exciting hyper growth curve and it’s fascinating for us to see how the product and company have developed in the last four years. The Hub was a chance for us to interact with clients new and old, hear about their experiences with the tool and how they’ve used it to streamline their processes.

We also heard of the new App Hub where users can build, share, and deploy planning apps: the first-ever planning app community that brings together experts from a wide range of business domains, industries, and organisations. We were delighted to be the first consultancy in the UK to implement one of these apps for Financial Consolidation so the App Hub launch was particularly exciting for us. And of course there was the Hyper after party which left us all with very sore heads the next morning!

As the year closes and I reflect on what has been, my overriding feeling is one of excitement and enthusiasm for 2015. It’s nearly seven years since I founded Bedford with Steve and year after year we enjoy it ever more. So to our clients, staff, partners and families, many thanks for being there in 2014, happy holidays, and we look forward to seeing you all in a bright new year, 2015.

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