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Team evoke are taking on their biggest challenge yet, tackling the ‘three peaks’ in May 2017 to raise funds for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

A team of 20 evoke staff have signed up to undertake the challenge which involves scaling Britain’s highest three peaks in 24 hours or less. The team need to ascend Snowdon, Scarfell Pike and Ben Nevis, including travel time, in one day; a feat which will require preparation, training and a huge level of endurance.

We are raising sponsorship for the team’s endeavours, with all proceeds going to our nominated local charity Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, who make a huge difference to their patients and families through their work.

Please sponsor our team and make a difference, for more details visit our justgiving page

We’re looking for a Technology Evangelist to join our growing software development team. This is an opportunity to join Evoke at an exciting time and help to shape the team and work towards our goals.

If you have a solid lead development background and a passion for technology, get in touch.

More details on our Careers page

Here at Evoke HQ we’ve had an amazing 2016, with staff numbers almost doubled, turnover continuing to grow and a record number of kiosks manufactured and installed.

We’d like to thank all of our hardworking staff for their dedication and commitment; our suppliers for always striving to keep pace with our innovations and our customers for investing in the world-leading solutions that we create.

Here’s to a great 2017!

[image: some of our staff getting into the festive spirit at our HQ]

Back in September we asked our staff to nominate a good cause to support for the year and over the past few months we’ve been running, baking, raffling and moustache growing for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

We’re very pleased to report that so far we’ve raised almost £1000 for this great cause – half way to our goal after just four months.

A huge well done to all our brilliant staff for their efforts, congratulations #teamevoke

Our Autumn teambuilding day took place on Friday 14 October at Manley Mere Sail Sports near to our HQ in Cheshire.
Four teams of staff spent the afternoon designing and building rafts to sail out onto the lake – with varying degrees of success.

We were impressed with the creativity and problem solving skills from staff from all areas of the company and consider it time well spent to consolidate our team working and staff morale.

Our very own Dean Ward has been recognised by Insider magazine in their prestigious 42 under 42 list for 2016 – a collection of stand-out business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the north west region. Evoke’s Technical Director Dean impressed the judges with his design led approach and passion about what he does.

Evoke’s growth and manufacturing success was highlighted in the report which you can read in full here.

We want working at evoke to be rewarding, exciting and challenging. We care about our local community and it’s important to us as a business to ensure we give something back.

In 2016 our staff have nominated a company charity to support. Many of our staff have been directly or indirectly touched by the work that Clatterbridge Cancer Charity do and we’re excited to be engaging with such a worthwhile cause, based just 5 miles from our HQ.

Evoke have pledged to match all funds raised by employees, supporting with allocated time during working hours and a commitment to undertake a minimum of 4 events per year.

Our first event took place on Sunday 18 September in Liverpool city centre. Eleven of our staff completed the 5k Scouse Run in times varying for 25 minutes to 45 minutes. So far we’ve raised over £250 and counting!

To add your support and find out more information about this fantastic cause please follow the links below:

justgiving.com/evokecreative
www.clatterbridgecc.nhs.uk

We’re proud of our roots as a Wirral-based company so are delighted to have won the Wirral Chamber of Commerce award for Business of the Year (50+ employees). Our Directors and staff enjoyed the celebratory dinner and awards ceremony at Thornton Manor on Friday 16 September which was attended by over 500 people from businesses across the region.

Evoke beat competition from household names Typhoo Tea and Liverpool Airport, as well as fellow Bromborough-based tech firm Webtise, to receive the award which recognises our commitment to the region and continued growth over the past 12 months.

See full coverage of the awards and ceremony here.

Evoke’s technical director Dean Ward’s reflections following Grant Thornton’s Internet of Things (IoT) panel discussion

In June and July 2016 we enjoyed numerous blue-sky talks and exhibitions as part of the International Festival Business 2016, with commercial director Neil Clark claiming his five-minutes-of-fame, discussing the new business opportunities and information available to growing exporters such as ourselves on North West Tonight!

But a highlight for me was Grant Thornton’s Internet of Things (IoT) discussion, hosted at the firm’s Liverpool office in the Royal Liver Building as part of The Edge, a fringe festival running alongside the main IFB programme.

I was invited to sit on a panel which included Tim Griggs of multi-national consultancy firm Arup and Steven Revill of Urban Tide – a business specialising in planning and delivering smart cities. Our brief was to discuss the opportunities and benefits of the IoT, along with the potential pitfalls.

Cisco – the world’s largest networking company – has recently increased its forecast for the economic value created by the “Internet of Everything” in the year 2020 to $19 trillion. With retail and manufacturing two of the industries expected to benefit from this, it’s a topic I’m genuinely excited by.

Retail implications

The implications for retailers are numerous. Our clients ask us design the end to end customer experience, and increasing connectivity between devices – from smartphones, to tablets, to wearables – is set to revolutionise this.

Technology is already in available to allow in-store displays and kiosks to change to show a product that may appeal to a customer, depending on their smartphone browsing history, or to monitor the amount of time spent looking at a product and follow that up with emails and social media adverts targeted specifically to that customer’s interests.

By analysing the collective data, retailers can track footfall, both in terms of volume and actual routes taken around the store, and see which elements of store design are working and which need changing.

The potential stumbling block to all of this innovation taking root is: are customers happy give up their personal data in this way?

Arguably, as much as it may improve the high street shopping experience, data and connectivity used primarily benefits sellers and the uptake and continued development will be undoubtedly be commercially driven.

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Reduced burden on the health service

But the ways in which the IoT looks set to aid the health sector promises far more obvious social value and has the potential to relieve pressure on strained healthcare provision in the UK.

We talked about early adopters of the technology and a company making a smart plug called 3rings to send alerts to a mobile phone if an elderly or vulnerable person hasn’t switched on an appliance such as a light, kettle or TV, that they habitually would do and prodive an early alert that something might be wrong.

Such a simple, but brilliant, idea.

In a very real way, that technology has the potential to allow older generations to retain a sense of independence in their own homes – benefitting them and reducing the need for hospital or care-home admissions.

Evoke’s own health-check kiosks are greatly enhanced by new IoT devices. The connectivity and sharing of data improves diagnosis accuracy and patient outcomes. While still in its relative infancy, it’s clear the technology has a huge role to play in the ongoing personalisation of medicine.

Smart cities

The panel also touched on the concept of smart cities and, in particular, the reduction in traffic congestion that could be achieved by the IoT. Technology can be installed to monitor traffic flow, provide real-time information to drivers provide information to drivers and ease congestion through variable speed limits and instruction to use the hard shoulder.

The reduction in pollution and the economic benefits resulting from more efficient commuting will be brilliant – not to mention that it will just be nice to sit in fewer traffic jams!

Security and drawbacks

Of course it would have been easy to get caught up in all of the potential benefits, but a lively and engaging audience posed some interesting questions.

The issue of security – what should and what shouldn’t be connected – and the importance of keeping personal data secure is perhaps the major caveat in what is otherwise an incredibly promising concept.

Whether the existing infrastructure is capable of supporting this connectivity is another hurdle, but one which I feel will be overcome. There is so much to be gained, both financially and in terms of social value, that public and private interest will ensure this doesn’t hold the IoT back.

In terms of allaying fears around security and encouraging people to buy in: that’s on us.

One of Tim’s closing comments, which I particularly liked, was that the best digital technologies are like a good waiter; there when required and seamlessly enhancing your experience, without you even realising.

Designers and manufacturers of innovative technology will have to ensure that the devices of the future are simply too useful and too appealing not to use.

I’d like to thank Grant Thornton for a thoroughly well organised discussion and a great evening. The promise of the IoT will continue to factor in all of our thinking at Evoke and we’re excited to be part of its development.

At evoke we like to think of ourselves as a creative, dynamic and most importantly an innovative company. We provide solutions to problems and help our clients engage with their customers in exciting ways. In order to ensure we keep doing that, we always need new ideas and decided that a great way to do this would be to ask our talented, creative staff what they think.

To do this, we set aside a day for all staff to come together at our HQ and think about ideas that we can develop and take forward to our clients, focussing initially on the retail sector; shaping the future of retail and what we have to offer to retailers.

Technical Director and co-founder Dean Ward led the day and posed a range of thought provoking challenges to six teams of eight staff members from across the company. Dean commented that “the day was intended to give staff at all levels the chance to influence our future plans and be involved with the process right from the start. We wanted to use the wide range of knowledge that our staff already have in different areas and were really impressed with the level of input and quality of ideas presented. We’re looking forward to taking some of these forward and shaping the future of retail.”

In the lead up to the innovation day, the whole design team came together to discuss and set the tasks and then all staff were asked to consider “Extraordinary Retail”  in advance and come prepared with plenty of ideas and enthusiasm. In such a fast-paced industry, evoke acknowledge the need to devote time and thinking space to what’s coming next and engaging all staff for a full day helps us to keep one step ahead.

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On the day, the whole company, including warehouse, factory, support, admin and sales, were split into mixed teams and posed a series of questions to generate ideas and present to the rest of the company. More than 60 ideas for new innovations were suggested, ranging from improvements to existing retail offers to blue sky ambitions. The ideas will be refined and developed in the coming months and could lead to exciting things.

Evoke’s directors were so pleased with the event that we are already planning the next session to invite staff ideas about our new purpose built headquarters, due to be completed in 2017.

What we learnt:

  • Fostering a culture of innovation means encouraging the whole company to think creatively
  • Everyone has experience of retail (as a shopper) but that experience is very different depending on age/gender/lifestyle
  • Repetition of some good ideas looks like we’re already heading in a similar direction
  • You can never have too many post it notes
  • 50 staff can get through an alarming amount of coffee in 5 hours