Q1 2021

74 | Q1 2021 Nov20515 Ahead Of The Game HUB is a business application developer based in London and specialising in web development, app development and cross-platform integration. We speak to Founder, Mike Staines, about the firm’s offering and how the Covid pandemic has also brought opportunity to the table. Digital agency, HUB, has a mission to help clients and partners tell their own digital stories. At its core is a breadth of knowledge, technological insight and diverse, cross-industry experience, as Founder, Mike Staines, explains further. “We know that before any pens hit paper, a mouse clicks a button or code is written and regardless of the services undertaken, justified business cases, key performance strategies, information architecture and all the components of a strong digital strategy, are created.” Mike and HUB team are all very well aware that industry trends come and go. Whilst HUB as a limited company has been trading for six years, the business and the retained client base has been building and changing since 2005 and, over the last 10 years, it has moved through collaboration, digital transformation and the Internet of Things, to AI Content Automation and Mixed-reality Collaboration. Through this period of time, the firm has seen the Internet change and fluctuate, witnessed new technologies come and go, and most importantly, it has a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. With a history in IT, graphic design and software development, HUB draws on a wide pool of experiences, and mixes it with a diverse, loyal, cross-industry client base to offer new clients and partners a wider gamut of knowledge and digital technique. “Perhaps the most important thing we have learnt is that in a digital marketplace that is changing faster than the eye can see, that to introduce supportable, timeless systems and products in to the world, that have as much built-in longevity, is far more important than capturing the latest trend,” elaborates Mike. Instead HUB aims to build digital products and content that stand the test of time, and brings the utmost possible, accountable value to its clients as it can. Regarding up-to-the-minute key developments, the pandemic has challenged many businesses, HUB’s customers included, to look for newer, more accessible ways of offering ongoing value to their own customers. “With this in mind, we have seen a considerable uplift in the development of membership and subscription-based applications and websites, whereby a user may pay a micro-fee, or a monthly subscription, to access a whole plethora of different digital content material,” Mike says. “However we need to remember that whilst trend and talking about the latest and greatest app or tech may assist the sales and marketing processes, that a strong user experience and the ability to tell a story sits at the heart of all digital development.” The internal culture of HUB is one of fairness, opportunity and inclusivity – it is also about being open and, ultimately, responsible. Mike describes the workforce by saying: “We are not ‘yes’ people, but instead of saying no, we like to say, ‘why not try’ or ‘have you thought about’.” All staff come equipped with multiple skill sets and are encouraged to expand their train of thought outside the box. From illustrators that can undertake front end development, to designers who are just at home with Power BI and data visualisation as they are with Photoshop or XD, Mike is keen to breed an environment of multi-skilled talent. “Implicit to being able to work within a small business like HUB is the ability to interact with clients and to answer human and technical questions from all angles,” Mike enthuses. “We ensure that the team is best equipped by setting a good example in management, whereby the CTO and senior staff are just as much at home getting their hands dirty as looking at the P&L on a monthly basis.” Looking ahead to what the future holds, HUB reveals that there is a great number of projects in the pipeline, making the next few months even more exciting. Drawing on the strength of recent work undertaken with trade associations and educational (EdTech) organisations, Mike and the HUB team intend to blend them with the many ecommerce products it has released. “We are well-placed to continue to evolve the digital subscription models our clients are demanding going in to 2021 and beyond.” Company: HUB Contact: Mike Staines Website: www.hub.london