Solent: Onecom sponsors South Coast Tech Awards 2019 to recognise regional business

We went behind the scenes with Onecom’s marketing director, Sarah Van Michael, who told us about the rapidly changing tech industry and why Onecom is particularly passionate about showcasing significant technological innovations.

  1. Could you tell me more about Onecom?

Onecom is a communications business that is headquartered in Whiteley. We sell mobile phones, data communications activity and host cloud based solutions for SMEs.

Onecom is a national company with eight regional offices which stretch as far north as Leeds. We also have offices in Telford, Cardiff and Brighton, to name a few.

  1. Why have you chosen to sponsor the South Coast Tech Awards?

 We have a lot of clients on the South Coast and we see the awards as a really good opportunity for businesses in the area to raise their profile about what they are doing,  from a tech perspective.

The awards are also effective at helping businesses to realise their potential and recognise their successes, benchmark themselves and see what the competition is doing. We’re keen on these awards because they are focused on technology and are inspiring businesses in the region to do more with tech.

  1. How will the Tech Awards be beneficial for the region?

As a country, we are still very London centric in terms of  tech. Thames Valley is very well known for technology whilst the South Coast is less well known for delivering a large range of technology businesses, I’m hoping the awards will put the South Coast on the map more and showcase regional talent.

  1. How do you think technology will change in the next five years?

From a business perspective, I’m hoping that digital transformation is going to become even more affordable and accessible to SMEs and that over the next five years technology will enable SMEs to automate processes and adopt AI to ensure customer journeys are more efficient and seamless, and generally use technology to showcase what they do well. Unfortunately, internal and administrative tasks can prevent this but are still today a necessary evil. I think we’ll be seeing less Excel Spreadsheets and more automated, plug- in and play applications.

  1. What is your favourite development in technology over the past 10 years?

Being a telecoms business, it would be wrong of me not to mention smartphones and  it was about 10 years ago that the Android operating system became available. We often think about Apple and iOS when we talk about smartphones but actually, when put in perspective, Android has enabled so much for businesses. It has allowed accessible and affordable tech to enter the marketplace, as well as low-end and high-end devices.

Android has improved customer journeys in terms of tablets to assist sales and interactions in retail, as well as bespoke devices from manufacturers, for example, rugged phones that are great for the construction industry. So I would say that Android has been a great operating system and opportunity for SMEs.

  1. What tech gadget couldn’t you live without and why?

Is it my new coffee machine, or is it my new air fryer that I just bought which gives me amazing food in half the time?  My most used gadgets are my laptop and my mobile phone and then it is actually things that feed me.

I can’t live without my mobile from both a personal and business perspective as it allows me to capture important memories with my children and respond to  emails immediately, out and about between meetings. Whether it’s good or bad, it is at the centre of existence.

For more information about the South Coast Tech Awards, including how to apply, visit: