Meet the Winners – VRAI Simulation

In our Meet the Winners series, we’ll be speaking with some of those who walked away from the 2022 Digital Revolution Awards with one of our sought-after trophies.

As well as creating a life-saving product that supports greener futures, VRAI Simulation has embraced equal opportunities and the triple bottom line (people, profit, planet), by committing to providing a percentage of payroll to impactful community projects and creating gender-balanced shortlists for all new hires.

We spoke with Pat O’Connor, Managing Director at VRAI Simulation to talk about their win.

How did you enjoy your Digital Revolution Awards experience?

We really enjoyed the Digital Revolution Awards experience.

I suppose it’s important for us, as when we set up the company, we set it up slightly differently. We used what we call a triple bottom line. That means we’re measuring success not just on profit, but also what we’re doing with people and the planet.

So for us, it’s important that we’re looking at awards like this to measure ourselves against.

Are we actually living up to the standards we set ourselves? And putting ourselves in for the award meant that you have to really think it through, you have to make a case and then obviously get into the final.

It’s exciting and it reminds everyone in the company that, you know, this is a really important part of what we do. Really positive experience, overall. 

Were there any other winners or nominees who really stood out to you?

Overall, all the winners and nominees. It’s great that there are awards for people doing good in business. It’s not just about sales numbers or profitability, it’s about people recognizing that tech can have a positive impact on society.

And that’s what we’re trying to achieve. We’re not doing it for some sort of virtue signaling reason. We’re doing it because we think a: it’s the right thing to do and b: it’s what our people in our company believe in.

And we think it’s the right thing for our customers. Our customers want to be associated with a company who does the right thing.

What advice would you have for anyone hoping to be recognized in next year’s awards?

With any of these things you need to have a really strong story. And that story should be based very much on a true story.

So I would say that when you’re going for an award, it’s not just about box ticking, it’s about what the story does. What resonates with people and what makes you stand out, because lots of people are talking a good game, but are you actually delivering?

I think what made us stand out was two things. One: a very strong narrative. Two: we’re actually doing what we’re saying and we’re also putting our hands up when we’re not achieving what we’re setting out to.

So I think it’s that it’s a strong story and then giving evidence that you’re actually delivering what you’re talking about and it’s not just nonsense.

How important do you think it is that we celebrate success in the cloud? What impact does it have on the tech community?

One of our learnings towards the end of last year, coming out of COVID, was that we’re doing something really complicated. We’re very much at the cutting edge and a lot of it is quite long-term and strategic.

So it’s vital that we find ways to celebrate smaller wins to break the year down into chunks. And I think sometimes you can forget about all the good work you’ve done during the year.

Having an award makes you focus on that and it makes you, as a team, as a company, celebrate it.

I think focusing on Cloud, particularly in the type of world that we’re in, it’s important because it normalizes that this is the way to drive innovation for our customers.

So I think it’s critical that when we win awards, for me, it’s not really about us. It’s about using the opportunity to highlight what you’re doing. And it’s important that all the other nominees and winners do the same, so that you’re spreading the message around the tech community that tech can have a positive impact on the world, cloud can have a positive impact on the world.

And again, you’re feeding the narrative that this is where we should be going and you’re reinforcing that.

Is there anyone you forgot to thank in your acceptance speech that you’d like to acknowledge here?

I’d personally like to acknowledge the Digital Revolution Awards and your team very much.

And I’d like to emphasize our customers; we can only do what we do because they enable it. They enable it by working with us, but also they enable it by reinforcing with us that this is the right thing to do. We are the types of partners that they want to work with.

Finally, where will you display your trophy?

It’s currently here in Dublin, but we’re going to move it to the Gateshead office, and it’s going to be proudly displayed in there for the next year.

Follow the Digital Revolution Awards on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

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