Martin Shand, finance director at Ascensos

AN independent customer service outsourcing company has future-proofed its business with a ‘green’ tech investment thanks to £500,000 funding from HSBC UK.

Motherwell-based Ascensos has used the funding to lease 700 laptops and upgrade tech equipment for its staff as they continue to support the company’s growing client base while working from home.

The technology has been provided by 3stepIT – a sustainable IT company that organises a regular refresh of PCs and laptops for businesses and refurbishes the returned equipment for resale to give it a second lease of life.

Martin Shand, Finance Director at Ascensos, said: “We saw a rise in demand for our services as companies shifted their operations online during the pandemic. Having the best tech is essential for us to continue to deliver great service for our clients as they adapt to changing situations. While we wanted to upgrade, we were also very conscious of our carbon footprint, and we didn’t want to be a business that saw its old laptops collect dust in office cupboards or go to landfill.

“HSBC UK’s Equipment Finance team understood our dilemma, and thanks to their support and advice, we’ve been able to contribute to the ‘circular economy’ while knowing that we have the flexibility to sustainably upgrade our assets in future.”

Marcus Sangster, Relationship Director at HSBC UK, said: “It’s great to work with environmentally conscious companies like Ascensos, who care about the impact of their workplace decisions. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with 3stepIT, and we’re proud to have helped a customer of ours give their tech assets a longer lifespan, while facilitating the business’s growth.”

Ascensos has leased its new tech from 3stepIT for a period of three years, after which time the IT company will replace Ascensos’s devices and refurbish and resell its older technology.

Ascensos employs 1,800 people in Scotland and 2,700 in total across the UK and Europe. While the customer support company deals with enquiries over the phone, the large part of the customer service it delivers to clients is done via live chats, client websites and email.

The funding was allocated from HSBC UK’s national SME Fund, part of its commitment to help British businesses innovate and grow as the country looks to rebound from the Covid-19 health crisis. The new £15 billion SME Fund has been announced by HSBC UK, with £650 million committed to supporting SMEs in Scotland.