Case studies

Superfast Broadband Promotes Global Growth for Optima

Release date: 7th January 2015

Optima

Optima Graphic Design is a Lincoln-based creative agency specialising in branding, graphic design, web design and marketing. As a top 100 Design Week agency competing against other leading agencies across the UK, being able to communicate with clients both nationally and internationally is essential.

Managing Director Simon Shaw explained: “Optima is a forward-thinking company, and to stay on top of our game and up to date with the latest technology I knew we would need to make a few changes.”

Optima wanted to get closer and connect with its clients on a local, national and global scale. To make this possible the company needed to upgrade its method of communication by switching from traditional systems like telephones to newer digital platforms like Voice over IP and Skype.

“Our clients are scattered around the world and we visit them regularly but travel takes up a lot of time – even around Lincolnshire,” said Simon. “But thanks to advances in technology, we no longer need to leave the comfort of our office to speak to people face to face and share our designs as we can do it online.

“Services like Skype have also allowed us to us to build concrete relationships with existing clients and attract new ones.”

The design agency, whose clients include Tata Steel, the United Nations and Branston, also wanted to start moving forward with cloud-based technology to allow the company to share data more easily with clients.

Cloud technology is accessed via a network of remote servers hosted on the internet rather than a personal computer or a local server. Documents and files can also be synced and shared across multiple users and devices, such as laptops, smart phones and tablets.

Simon knew that making such innovative changes would prove difficult for Optima because the agency is based in Lincolnshire and would require a faster internet bandwidth to avoid further slowing down the business’ IT systems. Until recently superfast broadband wasn’t available in the county and many areas were classed as ‘notspots’, but thanks to the efforts of Lincolnshire County Council’s onlincolnshire project more than 50,000 homes and businesses can now enjoy better broadband. By April 2016 at least 89 per cent of all properties will have access to superfast fibre broadband and for the first time ever standard broadband of at least 2Mbps should be available everywhere in Lincolnshire.

The county council is also planning a second phase of improvements that aims to extend superfast coverage to 95 per cent by the end of 2017.

Since receiving superfast broadband Optima has been able to strengthen relationships with its national and international clients and gain new clients in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.

Simon explained: “The impact on our business has been incredible. Staff can now make calls through their computer desktops enabling them to connect with anyone around the world at any time, make conference calls with multiple people and share their desktop screen simultaneously.

“Being able to access cloud-based technologies has also been very useful as we often work with large files which need bouncing back and forth between us and our clients.

“Thanks to superfast broadband we can now upload, download and share large files and documents with clients without clogging up our emails or slowing down the internal IT system. We now update all our studio software automatically through the cloud, meaning we have the latest technologies at our fingertips.”

Simon added: “In my opinion a fast and reliable internet connection is essential to the economy of any city. Lincoln is a great place to live – more organisations should be pushing to get better connected as it will make Lincoln a better city to work in too. If broadband connectivity were improved across the whole of Lincoln I think it would encourage more companies to do business here.”

For more information about Optima visit www.optimadesign.co.uk