Mark Wilkinson’s journey with razorblue began in 2012 when he joined the company as a Technical Project Manager. Over the years, Mark has played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and is now Commercial Director, where he continues to drive razorblue’s expansion whilst leading a team of near 30, overseeing sales, marketing, customer service, and account management.

He gave us his thoughts on the company's growth, and his vision for the future.

This is the 20th edition of BUSINESSiQ – how has razorblue changed in those last five years? It seems to have been growth all the way.

“It’s been an incredible journey,” says Mark.

“I started razorblue back in 2012 and have watched the business react and innovate during each growth phase, which is always different to the one before.”

“In the past 5 years, we’ve gone from around 60 staff to near 200,” he continues, “and also acquired businesses in Scotland and Manchester to further expand our reach.”

“Our company structure has been tweaked to suit the style of a larger business, ensuring that we continue to operate optimally in the future.” Mark notes.

Mark initially joined razorblue as a Technical Projects Manager. As the company’s momentum grew, so did Mark’s roles and responsibilities as he progressed to become the Commercial Director, overseeing sales, account management, marketing, and customer service.

Throughout his tenure, Mark has been a part of the company’s biggest milestones. He says: “One thing I am really proud of at razorblue is our agility in responding to change. No one in the company sees change as a negative thing, and I don’t think you can working in the tech sector!”

“We are constantly thrown in at the deep end,” Mark explains, “and I feel many people working in this sector will feel the same. Whether it be through new technology launches, unexpected changes and updates or Microsoft changes, the list goes on - everyone is eager to embrace new technologies, become experts, and ensure we deliver cutting-edge solutions."

Your client Supportal is another example of tailored support for your clients. Tell us what’s new and how it will work?

“We are dedicated to continuously improving our customer experience,” Mark asserts, emphasizing razorblue’s commitment to exceptional service.

“In today’s business landscape, IT is not just a support function; it’s a critical infrastructure that drives operations. That’s why we’re always looking for more efficient ways to provide IT support.”

“We’ve had the client Supportal for some time but we weren’t fully content with it, as we knew we could do better. We have a dedicated team of internal developers whose focus is to enhance the Supportal for our clients.This involves gathering feedback, analysing analytics, and studying user journeys to ensure continual improvement.”

“It will feature a roadmap of ongoing developments, and in line with what our clients need we are going to be launching really exciting features such as reporting, insights on 365, Sophos and other industry leading providers, projects overview, backup reporting, and more, as well as a forum for client feedback which is essential for us to improve as a service provider.”

Razorblue’s cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions have been a valuable tool for businesses across the North East. How has this grown with clients’ needs?

“Business continuity is a critical aspect of our services,” said Mark.

“Downtime is extremely costly for businesses, which is why we want to ensure our clients can be up and running almost immediately if anything were to occur.”

The Northern Echo:

Around 60% of businesses that suffer a data breach go out of business within six months.

“We developed our own, bespoke data backup software and named it Matter, because quite literally, your backups ‘matter’ to us. It was born out of the necessity to streamline our backup management process.

“Another reason behind Matter was a playful twist on the name ‘Matt’, who was the engineer previously responsible for the manual and (and time-consuming) backup checks. What started as a humorous nod, soon evolved into a game-changing innovation for us, and that’s what I love about working in technology.”

“Matter offers a unified single-panel view that allows us to monitor the status of all backups effortlessly and effectively.  With the ability to monitor both Veeam, and Microsoft/ Windows backup, Matter has become the watchman that safeguards data integrity for our clients and we’re really proud to have the capabilities to build something like this inhouse.”

Security is always paramount – how has razorblue grown its managed security services?

“It’s crazy to see how drastic cybersecurity breaches have become over the years,” Mark agrees.

“Security is always paramount, even on a personal level cybersecurity risks’ have become much more dangerous, let alone for businesses, so the launch of our new Managed Security Services really excites me, particularly from a customer experience perspective.”

“Our new services have been a big investment as they provide true 24/7 support which is vital as cyber attackers don’t work 9-5 shifts. I don’t want to bore you with talking about the rise in cyberattacks as I feel everyone is much more educated on this nowadays, but this is what has made it imperative for us to offer this level of service.”

“We haven’t just simply selected a SOC product and resold it; we are enhancing the value by integrating them as add-ons to our Managed IT packages. We’ve created options for standard and premium services to give businesses with various budgets the opportunity to enhance their security.”

“Our new services include proactive monitoring, threat detection, incident response, user training, security accreditations and ongoing 24/7 support – this type of service is SO important when you consider it is like insuring your house; you wouldn’t insure a house with no windows, would you?

“Cyber threats lurk around every corner, investing in cybersecurity protection is not just prudent, it’s essential for safeguarding your business assets and reputation, so our goal is to provide peace of mind to businesses, knowing that their systems are protected by cutting-edge security measures and a business that genuinely cares.

“We’re really excited about the future of cybersecurity and the role we play in helping businesses navigate the ever-evolving threat landscape.”

What’s next for the company – is there something exciting you are working on?

“We have a lot of exciting things in the pipeline. We are adding new products to our portfolio, expanding our business applications, more specifically our Dynamics 365 and Power BI offerings, and putting even more of a focus on staff development.”

“Additionally, we are launching a new fulfilment facility – a comprehensive service to facilitate new starters, arrange collection of kit from leavers and store these assets securely.” Mark continues, “We store and configure devices and kit, streamlining the new starter process and enhancing overall operational efficiency. We want to relive our clients of the burdens of IT administration and additional overhead costs.”

“We are also working on Microsoft services for ongoing updates and developments as well as Copilot, providing clients with dedicated Microsoft experts to help them navigate the complexities and get the most out of their existing licences. It’s all going on!”

“Our goal is to continue to grow and expand our offerings. We are always looking for new ways to innovate and improve our services, we see a lot of potential for growth in areas such as cybersecurity and we are excited to continue to lead the way in these areas.”