3Squared in 2021: A Recap

This year has certainly been a memorable one in 3Squared’s history. Ahead of its twentieth anniversary celebrations next year, significant achievements and milestones were achieved enabling the company to further grow and develop as pioneers within the rail technology space.  

EPM Group acquisition  

A significant moment came in October when EPM Group, with the support of Literacy Capital, completed the acquisition of 3Squared. The move will see EPM further strengthen its capability in providing high quality software solutions across the transport sector and help diversify its activities into the rail sector.  

Signalling further growth for 3Squared, the acquisition will enable them to further cement their position as a leading provider of integrated transportation solutions, marking an exciting turning point in their journey.  

Team expansion and continued partnerships  

Given the company’s incremental growth since its inception, this year also marked key hires across the company. These included Jason Durk joining as Principal Consultant back in July, Claire Booth joining as Head of Client Support in September, and Amrita Pradhan joining earlier in the year as Head of QA.  

Coupled with the expansion of Martin Gleadow’s role to Head of IT and Technical Innovation, the addition of new and innovative minds to the organisation and the recognition of existing team members, serves to highlight 3Squared as a leading employer of choice within the UK rail industry.  

3Squared also celebrated its coveted 18-year partnership with Sheffield Hallam University this year and appointed a staggering ten new placement students after the summer break, placed in a diverse range of departments across the organisation. The business is extremely proud of this relationship and looks forward to taking on board and nurturing even more emerging talent in 2022.  

Navigating Covid and the new normal  

There is no denying the challenges that 2020 posed. However, 2021 marked the year that we could go beyond the screen and meet in person, safely. 3Squared were pleased to be able to welcome its people into the office more (however as a safety critical supplier the office was open in 2020 to staff, should they wish) in turn providing employees with a safe environment to socialise and meet in-person.  

The new safety precautions also enabled the business to host its “Creating a culture for innovation” event in its Sheffield HQ with the Rail Innovation Group (RIG) and rolling stock experts Porterbrook, attracting delegates from across the rail and regional business community.  

Whilst virtual and digital events do possess many benefits, it was also great to be able to meet in-person and 3Squared look forward to developing a blended approach to both hosting and attending events in the new year.  

Accolades and accreditation 

The year also marked notable accolades and recognition from across the industry. From the company bringing home the coveted Rail Business Award for ‘Supplier and Contractor Excellence’, to Jemma Foster, UI/UX Designer and Business Analyst, being named runner up in the coveted ‘Young Rail Professional’ category at the Rail Freight Group Awards, to the highly commended recognition in the competitive ‘People, Skills and Diversity’ category at the Railway Innovation Awards and recognition in the Business Cloud’s TransportTech 50 innovation ranking, 2021 certainly made for one exciting year.  

The organisation also secured Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, further enhancing its current suite of accreditations (having been ISO270001 accredited since 2017) and reinforcing its continuous commitment to cyber security and data integrity.  

RailSmart design revamp  

Back in June, 3Squared unveiled their new RailSmart logo to enhance its evolving brand identity. Created with innovation in mind, the modern design forms the cornerstone of the RailSmart brand towards a more accessible, relatable, and contemporary brand identity.  

As you may have seen on social media recently, 3Squared have also unveiled contemporary designs for all components of its RailSmart product, under the banner ‘RailSmart Evolution’. Watch this space for exciting new developments in the new year, as the company evolves and enhances its brand identity further.  

Giving back to the local community  

3Squared prides itself on giving back to the local community and getting involved in a wide range of charities and initiatives, from Sheffield Laces to its graduate programme with Sheffield Hallam University. This was exemplified earlier in the year when the business supported the Laptop for Kids scheme. The initiative aims to bridge the digital divide that became apparent during lockdown and donate and repurpose digital devices, equipping children from disadvantaged background to access the technology they require to partake in remote learning. The issue resonated with the 3Squared team, resulting in them donating £5000 and unused laptops towards the charity, alongside urging others within the local community to get involved.  

3Squared in the press 

2021 also marked a momentous year for 3Squared as regards raising their public profile, with the company featuring in a diverse range of publications, including Railway News, Rail Technology Magazine, Railway Gazette International, Yorkshire Times, Insider and London Tech News, amongst others. The piece de resistance came in the form of Tim’s interview on the government’s hotly anticipated Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) back in November on BBC Look North, which you can read more about here.   

Time for reflection 

James Fox, Commercial Director and Co-Founder at 3Squared, summarises a significant year of evolution:   

“Joining EPM Group has been an exciting new chapter for 3Squared as we roll into our 20th year. We could not be prouder of our fantastic team and can’t thank them enough for how they’ve performed this year, as everyone continues to be passionate about our efforts in enabling the rail industry to become safer, greener and more efficient, through digitisation.