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11 October 2018

Becoming ThirdSpace: 16 years of identity and security

Profile shot of Neil Coughlan.
Written by Neil Coughlan

We’re excited to be taking on our first major brand revision since the business started with identity management 16 years ago.

We are proud to unveil our new name – ThirdSpace – formerly known as Oxford Computer Group UK, reflecting the evolution of the business and what we represent today.

The key to the new name is the evolution of work and what we enable. Work is no longer somewhere we go. The ‘place’ has changed, from that fixed working location like David Brent in The Office, to a more progressive scenario, of working from home (stay away from the fridge!), or working in our new ‘ThirdSpace’ – being truly mobile.

“We haven’t forgotten who we are nor where we came from.”

Even though we have an exciting new name, we want you to know that we haven’t forgotten who we are nor where we came from (although don’t ask my mum about sourdough bread).

We continue to do all the excellent identity work we have become renowned for, as eight-time Microsoft Partner of the Year Award winners, although we are now bigger and better. We do so much more, improved with 16 years of enterprise experience, huge technology advancements and our own software solutions as part of our service offering.

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The world has changed – and so have we

Since 2002, we have grown and developed from identity to enterprise mobility and now security. The world has changed and so have we; it was time to create a brand that more accurately represents who we are and who we want to be.

16 years is a long time! In 2002, Switzerland joined the United Nations, the movie Spider-Man was the year’s box-office blockbuster, grossing more than $406 million, but my big favourite from that year was the film The Bourne Identity. This film was all about identity, the unknown secret agent with memory loss on a journey of discovery. We have been on a journey of discovery and change with our memory mostly intact.

Identity management was our start. The primary need for our clients was adopting new systems, collaboration and authentication, with the business driver usually being efficiency and enablement.

“Now we can engage at work, at home or in our ThirdSpace.”

The big transformation in that time is technology and the how and where people work. Work was somewhere you went, and technology was there to make us more effective. Now we can engage at work, at home or in our ThirdSpace. Cloud computing and mobility has enabled that transition, and we are helping many organisations embrace a secure modern workplace.

I like to think of myself as device independent – I can use my laptop, phone or other device of choice to connect with work and collaborate. If my device blows up, is stolen or stops playing ball, I can quickly switch to working with another device. My last holiday puts this into context beautifully, whereby, upon buying a new duty-free Windows 10 device at the airport, I was able to get online and be securely accessing my Teams sites and emails in less time than it took my wife to complete her travel book shopping! I was also able to access all my holiday info, which was very handy, as I had put some great cycle routes around Sicily into my OneNote.

The control to liberate

Our vision at ThirdSpace is to provide “the control to liberate”. We believe that with control comes freedom, and that when you know your data is safe and you have control over who has access to your systems then you are free to work creatively, flexibly and collaboratively.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients past and present, and I hope we can be of service to all of you in the near future, as we embark on this new exciting chapter.

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Profile shot of Neil Coughlan.

About Neil Coughlan

Chief Strategy Officer

Neil is passionate about new technology. In fact, he loves it – especially when it helps businesses become more productive and secure. This is what inspired him as a consultant 25 years ago, and this...


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