Oasis Group – Protecting Your Data

Banks, health services, businesses, just what happens to your important information? Oasis Group knows, because it has made its business keeping that client data safe.

OASIS Group is a pan-European information management company covering a broad spectrum of services including scanning, digitalisation, cloud storage, business continuity, shredding and Business continuity / Disaster Recovery. The company is active across Belgium, Great Britain, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland and the Republic of Ireland.

Founded in the late ‘90s, OASIS Group has grown through acquisition and commercially over the years, incrementally year-on-year. The firm has gone from strength to strength since the early 2000s to become the company we see today. It has done this by showing itself to be a reliable information management partner to its clients.

“It’s security and clients’ knowledge that when they provide us with their data, they know it’s safe with us, and the ease of retrieval and continuity when they need to request data digitally or physically,” explains Conan Wade, Group Properties and Facilities Director for the firm. “That’s all most clients are looking for when they outsource information related storage. That’s why high street banks, hospitals and all those critical clients where information and its security and continuity are paramount, reach out to us. We provide an ISO accredited storage environment they’re more than happy with.”

Indeed, while like many businesses OASIS Group has faced some significant challenges in this last couple of years, client retention has not been one of them. “We have a lot of clients who have been with us for a long time, with a lot of key clients in key business sectors,” Wade says.

“We have quite a nice diversity among the sectors our clients operate in as well, which stood us very well during Covid. We are agile, flexible and able to meet the client’s needs.”

Data When (and Where) You Need It

Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of business, and the need for people to work from home has made OASIS Group’s services particularly essential over the last two years.

“With Covid becoming a factor across all businesses, we saw a trend in the migration to the digital side of the business which is a long-established platform and client service offering that OASIS Group provide to Clients and the market.” Wade recalls. “We had to be flexible very quickly to provide those services to clients who may not have availed of to date. We have proven ourselves to be adept at pre-empting or reacting to the clients’ needs.

In particular we expanded our digital offering for the HR Department of a UK healthcare trust supporting emergency services” Workers that could not work from home included hospital workers and pharmacists, but they too found OASIS Group’s services vital.

“We had a lot of hospitals, but also pharmacists, needing to free up space in their facilities taken up by physical records,” Wade tells us. “You will have seen a lot of hospitals preparing emergency wards, which obviously saw the need for ambient storage environments and specialised storage environments for that client inventory in a very short space of time.”

While it was a challenge, Wade also believes that doing this work gave OASIS Group’s Team Members an important insight into the value of their work.

“It gave everyone an appreciation for the importance of the work that we are doing here,” he says. “These documents are critical to people’s lives.”

Of course, the flexibility that allows OASIS Group to respond to these situations does not happen by accident.

“We need to keep a certain amount of capacity available. It is always a fine balance,” Wade tells us. “You don’t want excessive space or excessive specialised storage environments lying idle. Within the team, we have the expertise ready and able to deliver on requests for our clients. We’re a lean structure on the real estate side of the organisation. We leverage and work with a lot of trusted specialist partners who’ve proven invaluable over the last four years.”

Wade also points out that it has been helped by the great relationships OASIS Group maintains with the landlords of its over 70 facilities in Europe.

“My responsibility is to keep those relationships as harmonious as possible, working with those landlords to achieve flexibility on space where possible, certainly during Covid,” Wade says. “We worked closely with those landlords to provide rent re-gears where possible or lease extensions in lieu of rent reductions. That has strengthened our position to look at the long term.”

The Digital (& Analogue) Future

Covid may have accelerated the shift to a digital offering to compliment the physical, but that shift was already taking place long before the virus hit the scene.

“The biggest trend at the moment is the move to digitisation and information on demand, to have digital records at your fingertips,” Wade says. “We have our own multi award-winning Omnidox Suite providing digital access and there’s been a lot of progressive development work on the suite with new updated releases and other packages to enable and enhance the working-from home sector among our clients.”

But while the switch to digital is widespread and inevitable, Wade points out that some of OASIS Group’s most important work will forever be around the printed page.

“For certain clients, we also put in place deliveries of physical records to the clients working from home cohort where a digital record wasn’t appropriate,” he says. “In certain instances, a digital record is not accepted, and the physical record is essential.”

Indeed, when a government body in Ireland was hit by a data breach earlier this year it left some hospitals, which had gone fully digital unable to access patient records.

“In those cases, a paper record is absolutely essential and that was something we were able to help the hybrid hospitals with,” Wade says. “We have the physical records available at our at one of our locations while the scanned record is available on our platform for them to access, but because the hospitals’ IT was compromised, they couldn’t do that. Fortunately, we were agile enough to help access those records. And of course, our systems were independent of the data breach issue, so we were able to assist the client and support them through a trying time”

Wade also points to the legal profession as a sector where the paper record is critical for mortgages, deeds and contracts.

“There are many examples across the client range, dependent on those physical records,” he says.

Whether it is in digital or physical formats, OASIS Group is planning to continue expanding its operations.

“We’re a highly acquisitive organisation with many facilities across the European geographic region. We have a strategic goal to consolidate and improve our Real Estate profile over the coming years,” Wade says. “We want our facilities to be larger, more environmentally friendly and offer greater comfort for our team members.”

Indeed, OASIS Group just signed an agreement for a new Records Centre facility located in Tilbury Docks with a capacity for 3 million standard storage boxes over 100,000 square feet. The warehouse is 21 metres in height and will be fitted with high-end environmental utilities including solar panels, electric vehicle charging, and rainwater harvesting. That is alongside a 23,000 square foot new European headquarters near Dublin airport that open shortly before COVID.

“For 2022 we’re hitting the ground running among the OASIS Group Real Estate team,” Wade says. “We recruited an industry specialist construction programme director to deliver key group projects. Also, we upskilled and promoted two of our administration Team Members who migrated to the Real Estate team for specialist Real Estate support to the business. We have also added a group procurement manager who completes the team and sets us up for future expansion. OASIS Group’s future is in growth, both natural and via acquisition.”

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