Team Sagittarius Take on London to Brighton 2019.

L2B2019

Have you ever thought about undertaking a gruelling off-road bike ride with a bunch of your colleagues on a Saturday? It might sound mad, but that’s exactly what we did as a group of us jumped on our bikes to attempt the London to Brighton challenge, all in aid of British Heart Foundation.

As we shared training regimes over a carb-loading Nandos the evening before the race, it dawned on me just what we were about to undertake. 60 miles of off-road forest, trail, valley and hills (lots and lots of hills!) with a few drops and ridges thrown in for good measure.

On the morning of the race, we congregated at Kempton Racecourse ready to start and were suddenly very grateful for our striking Sagittarius branded jerseys, which stood out in the sea of 2000 riders. As we set off in convoy the nerves quickly dissipated and we found our groove, settling in for the first section of the race which took us along the Thames, overlooking early morning rowers pacing along the still water and the rising sun.

Our first real challenge came at two hours, as we tackled a gnarly hill with an uneven surface and winding path. Luckily the legs were fresh, and we all dug in, grinding to the top before hurtling down a trail on the other side! I’m pretty sure I heard Nick Towers and Ian squeal “weeeeeeeeeeeee” like kids at one point!

As the hours flew by we kept spirits high with jelly babies and outbursts of “the hills are aliveeee, with the sound of music”!

At halfway, the promise of a Farm shop serving fresh sausage rolls and coffees came just in time to relieve our tired legs. By that point, we had accumulated a few nasty scrapes and swollen knees, so we used the time to strap up as we ate. Claire’s smile and a hamper of goodies were such a welcome treat as she came to greet us and feed us like animals at the zoo! Naturally, we also fit in time for a photoshoot carefully choreographed by Claire!

Post lunch the struggle was real, as fatigue set in and no amount of gels could boost heavy legs! We kept pedalling as the beautiful countryside rolled by and Hannah made new friends - on average one every three miles. By now we were infamous on the trail and would frequently be passed by cyclists cheering “wheyyy Sagittarians” as our lime green jerseys stood out.

We were greeted by Claire once again at our last stop before the end. James fondly recounts, “it was just so nice to spend some quality time with the whole team, especially those in other offices which we most often communicate with over conference call or gifs on slack”.

I’d love to tell you that was the end, but we still had to tackle the beast that is Ditchling Beacon. Not only does its reputation precede it but its physical presence looms in the distance; a horrible shadow that you cycle towards for a good five miles before hitting the base.

So let me share the pain with you: imagine your legs in mud and someone with a rope dragging you backwards. You feel like an elephant on a tightrope trying to balance on an impossibly narrow path. Each rotation feels like a mini victory, as the 20% incline makes progress so slow. You turn a corner, hoping to see the peak and are instead faced with another section...I could go on, but you get the picture! Fast forward 20 minutes and you’ll find Nick Steele waiting nonchalantly for you at the top, having arrived 20 minutes before (I’m spreading a rumour of him having an electric bike, shhh don’t tell!) and enjoying the view.

And what a view!! Brighton spread out before us, with the sea glistening in the distance. Only rolling hills and cows interrupted the view. As we all stood appreciating the view, gushing about the pain and how happy we were to have conquered “the hill at the end” I finally understood why we had taken part.

The team spirit was incredible, and we couldn’t have done it without each and every man and woman in our pack! Yes, there are lows and some points when you when want to chuck your bike in the river, but the feeling of achievement is so worth it.

The only thing better than seeing that finish line was the taste of the beer waiting for us when we passed it!

As a team, we raised £680 (and counting!) for the British Heart Foundation!!

Today award-winning digital experience agency Sagittarius is proud to have been certified to ISO 27001 Information Security Management systems standard by business improvement company, BSI.

Leading brands demand first-class information security from their agency partners and the only real proof of this is achieving the ISO / IEC 27001 Certification. If you’re in sectors such as Financial Services, Healthcare, or even working with Government and Third Sector you’ll know that regulation and compliance are essential throughout your supply chain and that the top priority is guarding information and data.

Nick Towers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Sagittarius said “We wanted to ensure that brands can come to us in the knowledge that we take data security, data protection and privacy very seriously. Our mantra is ‘remarkable’ and this applies to not just what we do but how we do it and ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised best practice framework for this. To achieve this in six months’ pay testimony to the hard work and commitment to security and privacy that prevails at Sagittarius and I’m very proud of the whole team who have made it their mission to exceed the high standards needed.”

Sagittarius wanted to meet the very highest standard and so decided to work with BSI whose mission is to ‘share knowledge, innovation and best practice to help people and organizations make excellence a habit’. 
Achieving ISO 27001 certification clearly demonstrates that the Information Security Management System at Sagittarius meets international best practice and demonstrates to our customers and partners that we handle information securely throughout the business. 

The agency accepted that by embracing the implementation process they were actively encouraging their team to delve into internal processes and rather than accepting these as ‘the norm’, firstly making sure they were all documented sufficiently. Then as part of that process, they challenged and questioned each process to pressure test validity and innovate and improve where necessary.  BSI then rigorously audited Sagittarius’ policies, processes, and approach to data security. Through the audit stages, BSI shared opportunities for improvement and have helped refine the Sagittarius InfoSec roadmap. 

Data is the most valuable asset any business can have and to achieve peak performance through a truly connected strategy and digital experience it’s imperative that data and information is shared with the agency partner. Trust plays a pivotal role and assurances of confidentiality can only be achieved through an ISO 27001 accredited organisation.
Initiatives like the GDPR have raised the bar on compliance and the associated fines for having gaps in governance leading to breaches are significant. At Sagittarius we operate a single source of truth using tools and systems such as Confluence and Jira to provide documentation quickly and accurately and this was complimented by the auditors. 

Nick goes on to say “We are delighted to create even more value for our clients and prioritise the things that matter to them and their customers. This ISO 27001 certification bolsters our class leading NPS score of 85 adding deeper quality to our services. It sets us apart from other agencies when brands are looking for a partner with deeper credentials. We wanted to take the next step and ensure that Information Security became baked into everyday processes and the way we function as a business. We set an ambitious timeline of achieving the ISO 27001 certification and to meet the highest possible standards through independent auditing and we’ve nailed it. We pride ourselves on ensuring the data of our clients, team and partners are handled in the most responsible manner.”

Gigi Robinson, Regional Product Manager – Information Security & Business Continuity, said: "Protecting information is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations. Achieving ISO 27001 demonstrates Sagittarius' commitment and proactive approach in ensuring their information management processes are robust, secure and resilient for the future. We are thrilled to have supported Sagittarius in achieving this certification which demonstrates to customers and suppliers an ability to handle information securely."

Additional Notes
ISO 27001 is an internationally recognized best practice framework for an information security management system (ISMS). Sagittarius has designed a set of adequate and proportionate security controls within the ISMS to help protect our internal and our clients’ information against cyber-attacks. We have used the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the NIS Regulation as part of our framework.  

 

 
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Naomi Harper
Head of Marketing & Communications
Naomi is the agency's Head of Marketing & Communications with a strong background in Public Relations, events, Marketing and Brand campaigns.

Naomi joined Sagittarius in January 2021 to deliver exceptional external brand experiences, engaging internal communications and to assist with the driving of sales and the developing of relationships with key strategic suppliers.
 

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Naomi Harper

26 Sep 2019 - 10 minute read
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