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We are 10

Every birthday is special, but this one is particularly so. That’s because we’re thrilled to celebrate our tenth anniversary. Back in the distant days of 2011, Ammba’s first commission was working on the famous Library of Birmingham development.

Some of our highlights

We started at the very beginning of what is now the ‘digital boom’, but at the time was a very new thing. So much so that when you mentioned ‘digital’, people thought you were referring to cameras.

Successive years attending South by South West (SXSW), a now world famous technology conference, deserves most credit for setting us along this path. Being there to watch the public unveiling of Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg’s first big conference talk (which didn’t go very well) was special.

Alongside these memorable moments we also cherished talks by innovation leaders such as Al Gore and Bruce Springsteen. We were able to take that learning back into our work at Library of Birmingham, but more importantly, it helped us launch spin out businesses of ReelPlatform and Corals, and inform our work with our clients over the years. 

Opening up archives

One of the things we love most is archives and we’ve been fortunate to work with both big and small ones, including: Imperial War Museum North, The Royal Literary Fund, The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Silverstone Interactive Museum, Inspire Picture Archive, Ripon Re-Viewed Archive.

And not forgetting our favourite small archive, the Wenlock Olympic Association Archive and more recently The Common Room of the Great North.

On the road

Our work often involves travel and thanks to collaborations with the Ontario Government,  Nord Anglia Education and a few other projects, we have travelled to many far-flung locations. These include Austin, Texas, Australia and New Zealand, Bratislava, Canada, Dubai, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Mexico, New York, Seattle, Shetland Islands, Vietnam

Ever conscious of our carbon footprint, we supported a tree planting project which will offset our carbon footprint from our UK and international travels.

Going digital

Given the experience we have gained, we are being asked by more and more clients to work with them on their digital journeys, and support them to develop digital strategies and undertake digital transformation. This includes most recently developing the digital customer experience journey for the refurbishment of London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s Town Hall and working with Powys Cultural Services (the libraries, museums and archives of Powys) to develop a digital offer for their users.

It’s a people thing

What’s a business without its people? Our website says we are “a small team of dedicated and enthusiastic colleagues” and that’s true. But more than that we are a supportive bunch who have loved working together to make our projects a success.

At the risk of sounding like an award ceremony speech, we’d also like to thank some of the great partners we’ve worked with along the way. Without their support the last 10 years wouldn’t have been so productive and downright fun. Much love and hugs to:

  • Paul, Karen and the Vyka team whose journey is so interwound with ours it’s hard to know where we stop and they start
  • Entec Si led by by the amazing Eman Al-Hillawi and Peter Marsden. We have learned so much and have loved working with this growing team over the years
  • Ryan Dean Corke, whose talent is beyond measure and is a joy to work with
  • Mark Steadman, a truly serial entrepreneur, comedian and lovely human
  • Emma Vickers and Cathy Soreny at Optical Jukebox – shining stars and truly inspirational people
  • Lisa and Tom Freeman and the fabulous 18a Productions team who make the most difficult tech sound simple and look amazing
  • Andy and the Substrakt gang – trailblazers who have led the way in so much we have done
  • Jane Holmes, whose support, advice guidance, friendship and legendary eye for detail have been invaluable from before day one
  • Dan Licari, without whom it’s very likely the core of what we are, would never have started at all

Ammba by numbers

No good article is complete without some statistics so here are some of ours:

  1. Our Corals platform handles over 33,000 images for archives across the UK and had 1 million image views last year
  2. Hot drinks guzzled by the team over the last 10 years: cups of tea – 22,672, coffees – 9,074
  3. ReelPlatform currently hosts 8,500 minutes of video – that’s the equivalent of around 60 feature films!
  4. The Ammba Team have travelled approximately 481,254 miles for business in the last 10 years
  5. The name Ammba is inspired from Becky’s middle and surname Amy Bartlett, but we later found out it’s a misspelling of the Sanskrit word for Mother, and much like Steve Jobs’ accidental nod to Alan Turning with his bitten Apple logo, we rather liked our accidental association and are happy to keep it.**

Here’s to the next 10 years

So there you have it. It’s been a fantastic 10 years. This wonderful rollercoaster of a ride has brought laughter and possibly even a few tears, but we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Thank you to all who have been part of our journey so far. We can’t wait to see what the next decade brings. 

** Stephen Fry once asked Steve Jobs if the Apple Logo was inspired by Alan Turning who had famously killed himself by eating a poisoned apple. Steve Jobs replied… “God, we wish it were”.


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