Tell us a little more about yourself?
I’m Richard, and I’m the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at BrightCloud Group. Born and raised in Newbury, I studied Physics at the University of Sheffield before settling down in London. A few of my hobbies include sailing. hiking, skiing and cycling. Anything that gets me out and about!
How long have you worked at BrightCloud Group?
I started at BrightCloud Group in 2016 so just over 4 years.
Describe to us a typical day as CTO?
My typical day varies constantly! They can focus around strategy, creating value for customers, costing and establishing where real value lies. The days and weeks are often very varied and comprise of customer projects and internal projects, educating the sales team around technical aspects and working with customers to help solve their problems.
What were you doing before working at BrightCloud Group?
I obtained my first technical position at Vodafone in the Call centre later becoming an engineering assistant. I worked at Vodafone before and during university to help underpin my degree.
After university I went to the Seychelles for about 3 months before coming back to the UK and obtaining my next role with what’s now know as Hays Accounting. I was the 37th employee in the company and I worked in the billing department before becoming a Network Manager. I worked there for 6 years and by the time I had left the company had grown to over 700 employees, similar to BrightCloud Group, a small company but growing a lot!
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
Variety – every day is different. Working with different customers solving different problems for them. It’s very rewarding to see problems solved and customers satisfied.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought and why?
My Garmin smart watch. I use the watch mainly for running as I am training towards running a half marathon, most likely the four park run in London. This has been postponed due to COVID-19 but I am keen to keep that goal!
What item could you not live without?
Leather man, this is a multi tool that I use for mainly hiking and sailing.
What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?
Proliferation and democratisation of platforms and development – what would usually take you months you can now do it 15 minutes and $20. Organisations now have access to large scale IT platforms, the speed and scale of development has increased massively over the last 10 years without huge upfront investment. This opens up lots of different opportunities for many organisations of all sizes.
If there’s one thing you could change about the industry, what would it be?
Not make it all about the technology – it’s important but it’s just one tool. Instead I would change it to focus around the people and problems.
Who or what has most influenced your career and why?
My father and Managing Director of Hays Accounting. They both taught me critical ways of thinking, critical thought with a technical mindset.
A quote that influences me now is – “without data you’re just somebody else with an opinion” – words of W. Edwards Deming.
And finally, because we all know your working day will have changed, along with everyone else’s with the Coronavirus pandemic, we have to ask…
What is the biggest change you’ve seen happening in the world of communication and contact centre due to COVID-19, and what do you think the long term impact will be?
The biggest change is clearly the drive to home working. Home working has been possible through traditional on premise technologies for a while, and it works well as long as it has been considered in the design and deployment. Enablement of on-premise systems for home working isn’t a tick box exercise. From what we have seen capacity, training and interoperability are the main hurdles that COVID-19 has exposed for those that haven’t factored in the need flexible staff location.
The pivot to home working is where cloud has shone. Cloud doesn’t care about location, so training isn’t an issue. Capacity is the Service providers problem and our cloud, BCSquared, is designed to scale transparently. And for cloud, interoperability is ‘one and done’. You build it once, it works everywhere.
More About Richard Hall, BCSquared and The Cloud.
Richard, has been a panellist on our two recent webinars, focusing on the move to cloud. These are available here on our YouTube channel
In ‘How Covid-19 has accelerated the move to cloud for contact centres. A conversation with Erwin-Paul Bouma’, Cisco Head of Sales Customer Experience EMEAR and Richard, along with Alex Morrison BrightCloud Group CEO, discuss the rapid shift in mindset towards Cloud Contact Centre since the start of Covid-19, along with some of the advantages and challenges organisations have been presented with during the crisis.
And in ‘An Expert’s Guide to Taking Your Contact Centre to the Cloud‘, Richard presents some of the considerations that BrightCloud Group have seen be overlooked, and the issues that can then arise, without expert guidance and understanding of the migration to Cloud Contact Centre.
You can find more about our BCSquared Contact Centre Managed Service Cloud Platform here.