Having spent four years at Agricultural College in Cirencester, a career in the IT Industry was not something I had planned. I was very lucky that the College I went to was in Cirencester which is the UK’s very own Silicon Valley. In the early 1990′s a Cisco Distributor called RBR Networks was founded, and became the biggest European distributor of Cisco equipment. Out of the owners and employees of that company have emerged a huge range of IT companies, one of which was Star Internet (now Star Technology).
I used to drive past their offices whilst still a student and liked the assortment of cars out the front. This inspired me to knock on the door, ask them what they did and ask for an interview. I missed one of my Final exams to attend an interview and started on the sales team a week later in May 1999.
I worked at Star for two years, learning about the SMB clients we sold into, and getting a good lesson that the services we developed were in answer to business issues faced by our clients – one of these being the young MessageLabs services “Why can’t you scan our email and deliver it clean to us?”
In 2001 I spent some time abroad in Nice working for an events company, but I knew then that the MessageLabs part of the business was something unique, and returned in 2002. As with many companies a lot of sales people like to go for the big clients, the big partners, and as a result have a very lumpy business model. For me though, I have always enjoyed the SMB market – this is where Star and the MessageLabs services were originally created and where they can provide the best benefit. I therefore put together the MessageLabs Associate Programme aimed specifically at IT Service Providers selling into the SMB market.
I’m pleased to say that the market proved to be very successful and I have learnt yet more over the past eight years about listening to customers, understanding the SMB market, and delivering products and programmes that help every customer, and every partner to grow their business.
MessageLabs was acquired by Symantec in 2008 for $700m in one of the biggest ever UK technology acquisitions. It was clear that cloud had come of age.
In 2010 I founded Keboko – an implementation partner of Google Apps and Salesforce.com. Our intention was to create a scalable business moving SMB’s into the cloud. Very quickly it was apparent that the although the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, what clients want from a partner is a local presence and high touch support. Once I realised that Keboko couldn’t scale the business was closed and I knew I wanted to help drive the cloud forward through enabling the existing channel.
In 2011 I joined NewVoiceMedia, a Salesforce partner and provider of cloud-based contact centre technology. As Communities Director I helped drive forward our social strategy, contributing to a number of posts on the NewVoiceMedia blog and engaging with our customers and community on our social networks.
In November 2012 I was really excited to join the Appirio team in London. Appirio is one of the leading Salesforce partners in the US and I’m excited to be helping accelerate enterprise adoption of cloud technologies alongside hundreds of other Appirians!
On a personal level I love technology, with a lot of Apple products around the house! I enjoy public speaking and helping non-technical people to learn about cloud and understand what it can do for their business. I still live in Cirencester with my wife and four young children. I therefore have very little time to relax!