Tuesday 31st January 2023 marks 10 years of Stratas. This is a massive milestone for any company and one worth celebrating. But how did Stratas become what it is today? We spoke to the founders David Wilson and Ashely Hamer.
What inspired us to create Stratas?
Ash and I were having lunch at Yo! Sushi in Paddington after meeting with a prospective new client and were talking about how all the solutions we were seeing in the market were still focused on paper on not the information on the paper. We felt there was a better way to approach the reduction of paper and manual processes by starting with the information and not the document, and that was the beginning of the journey to create Stratas Business Solutions. – David Wilson
I’ve always been inquisitive about how changing the behaviour of people through process change could deliver a step change of some kind. Over lunch after having done none of this with a global organisation, focussing only on product, David and I made the decision to do things differently and create a business that was committed to the cause of transforming process using information held on documents to drive automated workflows transforming the resultant value delivered. – Ashley Hamer
Where does the name come from?
Our approach is very consultative, and we invest a lot of time peeling back the layers in any business process, getting right under the skin of the business; down to the bedrock of its goals and drivers in order to design a solution that will fit the culture of the company. There are also many facets to the solutions we design, so that is how we came up with the name, we wanted something that spoke to layers, complexity and composition. – David Wilson
I have to give credit to David for the name, Stratas, a name which reflects our layered approach to solution design across people , process, and technology layers. – Ashley Hamer
What challenges have you faced?
We had a few false starts and went down some dead ends, as is want to be the case when you’re trying to find your niche in the market. We’ve also suffered the pains of pioneering, where our approach was too revolutionary or the client was not ready to fully embrace the change we can bring. Change is a very emotive subject and often people fear it, which can lead to projects stalling or not getting the internal buy in they need to succeed. Simply put, our biggest challenge was trying to change the perception of digital transformation from being a “nice to have” to “a necessity”. – David Wilson
As with any business that is delivering disruptive approaches to a product led market, getting clients to often embrace the approach has been in some cases hard. We’ve also always explored new innovations in the information space which on a few occasions has proven less than productive. Having said that, exploring all tools does ensure we have a breadth of best of breed recommendation in our kit bag. – Ashley Hamer
Who are we thankful for?
Everyone who has helped us on the journey, from our technology partners, the staff who chose us to be the curators of their careers and the customers who trusted us with their process redesign. We’re very grateful to The British Heart Foundation, who were our first and still our longest standing customer. They were impressed with our approach during a tender process and took a leap of faith by appointing a small, newly formed company to help them embark upon their digital transformation journey. Ten years on, we have helped the charity save millions of pounds and realise process improvements across many areas in the business and we couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved together. – David Wilson
We’ve built a strong team and I’m thankful for everyone’s contribution and drive, along with huge thanks to our many customers and partners who have made the decision to work with us to deliver transformation across many processes. Without their support and belief we would not be where we are today. – Ashley Hamer
Where do we see the business in another 10 years?
Hard to answer, as the technology market is moving at such a pace. The advent of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and now the release of AI such as ChatGPT are rapidly changing the landscape. Our goal has always been to help businesses become more competitive by freeing people up from manual tasks and let them do the jobs machines cannot do, and I think that will remain our focus – bringing the human touch to transformation. Not replacing people and jobs with technology but allowing people to do more by relying on it to perform tasks that a person doesn’t need to do. – David Wilson
I’d like to think that Stratas will be bigger, stronger and as innovative then as it is now. The rapid developments being seen in AI and RPA will present new and exciting innovations that Stratas is well placed to embrace adding the people and process overlays to technology led advances. At a personal level, I’ll hopefully be playing a little more golf and supporting the management team in more of an advisory role which gives my age away a little. – Ashley Hamer
Heres to another great 10 years of Stratas!