FOI and the Winds of Change

Chris and I were up fairly early on a recent Saturday morning, with the wind still howling, for a planned trip to Hearne Bay to view property, as promised, with Kim, our daughter – that is until we looked out of the window and saw the fence missing from the bottom of our garden. Fortunately, the fallen fence hadn’t damaged cars in our neighbours’ parking area, but we didn’t think we should leave the garden open to passers-by, so set about repairs. No easy matter in continuing high winds and driving rain, so the repairs were punctuated by breaks in the hope that the weather would ease, and time for reflection and whimsy while staring out of the window!

As I watched our Chinese Privet Tree tossed around by the wind, now listing at 40 degrees with half its roots pulled from the ground, the variable weather, this year, seemed a simile for our travails in getting Azeus UK off the ground and that’s when I decided to talk about some of that experience in my first few Blog entries.

I’m sure many of you have noticed that we are often the subject of Freedom of Information requests. In many respects, and purely from our Company viewpoint, money couldn’t buy such good coverage, including endorsement of our product, even if the requests studiously attempt to divert attention from that product! It’s disappointing that the Act is abused through such continued vexatious requests, though, and we are very unhappy that our customers and potential customers are put to the trouble of dealing with them; but I suppose that’s the point – to discourage engagement with us, and make clear to those who do that they will be put to as much trouble as possible.

We have a fair idea of where the requests are coming from and that “David Marshall”, for example, represents a tired old company with an outdated product, which hasn’t invested in development for years, but has continued to rake-in the profits from maintenance sold when margins were very much higher. I can easily see why they wouldn’t want us coming along to disturb the status quo but then, if they hadn’t treated their customers so badly, the opportunity for us wouldn’t have been there!

A lot of the FOI requests focus on us as new entrants, without an existing UK customer base or five star UK credit record. That seems somewhat disingenuous to me. Did our competitors arrive on the scene with ready-made customer lists and brimming bank accounts? I don’t think so. Clearly, our attackers have forgotten what it’s like to be positive, constructive, ambitious and innovative. It’s easier to obfuscate, from behind a cloak of anonymity, with attacks on the very qualities that all companies have faced at start-up than to up their games and face the challenge head on. Mind you, were I our competitor, I’d be worried! The reaction to our Social Care Case Management solution – AzeusCare – is overwhelmingly “Wow!” It’s far ahead of the competition and we have already learned from “David Marshall”; we won’t sit on our laurels, but have, and will maintain, a well resourced programme of constant improvement.

In Azeus UK we have a company with access to exceptional resources – a sizeable, and extremely talented workforce, a well-funded parent company that has never had to borrow money, has substantial reserves, and has always been profitable, and a UK management team that has learned the hard way from its experiences, and is now all the more determined and confident of success.


Posted Under: Public Sector, Thoughts

1 reply to “FOI and the Winds of Change

  1. Daniw de Leon

    Interest entry, Richard! I didn’t know David Marshall was actually part of a competitor’s company. I’m very excited to see the growth of our UK operations and how we’re able to rise up to the challenge. More power to your team over there!


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