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Victoria Sedgley

Victoria Sedgley on the business support of IT

By Victoria Sedgley

Business Director - Netserve

Her Masters degree in Strategic Human Resource Management from the University of Southampton as well as her CIPD Level 7 Diploma in Human Resource Management, informs Victoria Sedgley’s mindful understanding of the people elements of business.

Having begun her career in corporate HR roles, Victoria joined Netserve ten years ago – an IT support business founded by her husband Will Bellows – complementing his technical expertise with her business support aptitude.

Now in its 20th year, Netserve continues its steady organic growth thanks to its excellent customer experience and commitment to team development.

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What services does Netserve specialise in?

We are an MSP (managed service provider), and we offer IT support to businesses across Hampshire, Dorset, and London. We tend to focus on businesses that have between five and 25 users. We manage over 1100 contracted monthly subscriptions, helping our clients with day-to-day IT issues.

We’re a team of fifteen and offer onsite and offsite support. We support our clients with an in-house team of helpdesk technicians, an onboarding team, a projects team and we've also got two field engineers who visit clients’ premises.

We've also got a technical workshop and trade counter in Southampton where people can walk in with their laptops, PCs, or Macs so that if they've got any hardware issues or they want upgrades or repairs there are technicians on hand to help.

We genuinely care about our relationship with our customers. We do not have a high turnover of customers, once they have signed up with us, we tend to stay as their IT provider for many years.

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What new technologies are you harnessing to deliver your services?

Since the shift to more mobile working – not just remote working from home but also mobile workspaces such as the Old Bond Store – we’ve had to shift our private security offerings to keep up with those changes to the ways of working. A big thing we’re working on right now is advanced cybersecurity that will work on any device from anywhere in the world.

Something else that we’re rolling out lots of at the moment is Starlink. We’ve got quite a few businesses in and around the New Forest, some are in hospitality and have to use card machines, but they can’t get a signal. Starlink satellite internet is fast speed, and it’s not as expensive as people think it is – so that’s a really good thing for the New Forest and rural areas.

How do you as a company keep your finger on the pulse to consistently deliver the most up-to-date services?

One of our core values is learning so we give the team free rein to do lots of research and development on new IT products in our technical workshop. They then feed back to the rest of us whether it is worth considering for our clients.

We have partnered with various local and national IT companies to share initiatives and as a result we even have some local IT companies reselling our services on our behalf. We are also part of multiple peer groups and we have lots of good strategic partnerships.

"A big thing we're working on right now is advanced cybersecurity that will work on any device from anywhere in the world."

rom your background in HR, you’re particularly passionate about skills and development. How do you nurture skills and development within the company?

I love the idea that attracting and retaining a skilled and passionate workforce can be your competitive advantage as a company. I have worked really hard on our recruitment strategy over the past few years and so now ‘cultural fit’ is almost more important than technical knowledge for prospective employees. Many of our technicians join us on a Degreeship and as we operate with a fairly flat hierarchy, they get hands on experience of things like network management and server work almost from day one, so they very quickly become solid IT technicians. The team work really well together and so upskilling between team members happens fairly naturally. They’re a lovely bunch to work with.

We also acknowledge that knowledge sharing is key to our success as a business. We have rolled out lots of HR best practice methods to ensure that collaboration and cross sharing of information is fully utilised between departments.

What do you enjoy the most about your role within the business?

I enjoy the long-term vision of things – strategy making and implementation, especially from a people perspective. I love it when months of hard work and planning comes together and you see successes as a direct result.

I also really enjoy having the freedom to try new HR ideas within my own business. For example, we ran a 12-month wellbeing programme featuring external speakers talking to the team about things like financial wellbeing, mortgages, savings, mental wellbeing, and nutrition. The feedback was really positive, and the team appreciated the opportunity to learn about things that weren’t technical or necessarily related to their role.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

We’ve got a toddler so most of our weekends are spent at childrens’ parties!

I’m also fluent in German, having studied it at university; I love Germany and anything German so I try to go there as much as I can. We’re currently planning trips to Cologne and Vienna this year.

"One of our core values is learning so we give the team free rein to do lots of research and development on new IT products."

Victoria Sedgley - Business Director, Netserve

What apps do you use every day?

I like to keep up to date with all the news updates via X: I follow lots of businesspeople on there.

I use the Apple Podcasts app to see what’s new on there every day – I’m really into podcasts; I listen to at least one a day. I like business podcasts and history podcasts. I really like The Guardian Long Read. And another one I’m into at the moment is called the Sustainable Minimalists which is about trying to reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing less and buying things for longevity.

We’ve also just gone through a total house renovation so during that time, and an even now, I enjoy using Pinterest for inspiration.
At work, as a non techie, I’m constantly the guinea pig for testing out new cyber security products. I currently have a Cloud NextGen Firewall on my laptop to help keep me safe online, and supposedly I’m more productive as a result as I can’t now access any non-work related websites!

Victoria Sedgley Portrait