Tell us a little more about yourself… (Ie. Where you’re from, hobbies, education)
I have always lived in Leicester. When I was younger, I was determined to become a professional snooker player. But interests change.
My spare time is spent with my wife and family, on a golf course or building advanced Lego sets. PlayStation is a big passion of mine, and especially fantasy games. Currently, I’m learning about cars through a PlayStation car mechanic simulator. It’s entertaining for a person like me who doesn’t know much about car mechanics!
How long have you worked at BrightCloud Group?
Since June 2023.
Describe a typical day in your role
There isn’t a typical day, but in general, I try to split my day in two parts. The first half is about the things that are happening now, the opportunities that we’re working on, the customer engagements, the meetings that I’m presenting, and so on. And then the next half is about the future, figuring out what’s the next thing and how we can shape it at BrightCloud Group.
What were you doing before working at BrightCloud?
I was 15 years old when I got my first job, and I worked in various industries from construction to working at a chicken factory to being a croupier in a casino. Eventually I landed in telecommunications in 1993 when my friend recommended a night shift job at BT as an international & emergency operator.
What I loved about that job was the pace of change and the having to think on your feet. On average, a call lasted 42 seconds, and we handled 65 calls in an hour! As an emergency operator, you never know what’s coming next, so literally, every minute of the workday is different! From there, I did management training and eventually got into sales. Most recently, I was at Cisco specialising in contact centre solutions.
BrightCloud Group is my 23rd job. It all comes down to having the courage to say yes. Every time an opportunity has presented itself, I’ve taken it without hesitation. This something my grandfather taught me; I’ll share the full story later.
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
The great thing about being part of a midsize team is that every team member can make an impact on each other’s day. Being part of the business development team, I want to make sure that we have enough in the pipeline to drive growth and help us do the next big thing.
The biggest difference between an organisation like BrightCloud Group and a big corporate is the way that the silos fall away. When we’re working towards a big opportunity, everyone is involved and doing stuff outside their comfort zone because it’s our shared goal. We’re currently working on a large engagement, and I haven’t heard anyone say, ‘that’s not my job’ or ‘it’s too late’. It’s all about being part of a big BrightCloud Group family. I’ve worked at so many places that do a lot of talk about being a family, but at BrightCloud Group it just happens organically.
What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?
Passionate, funny and loud
Tell us the most memorable moment that has happened at BrightCloud Group whilst you’ve been working there?
This far the most memorable moment has been a meeting we had with a few of our key partners. It was the first meeting I went to with Alex, BrightCloud Group CEO. I want to call it ‘a meeting of the minds’. It was so insightful, engaging and fast paced.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought and why?
iPhone 14 Pro and Apple HomePod speakers.
I bought the iPhone 14 Pro because of the new contextual block at the top of the screen that I found a very interesting concept from a customer engagement point of view. The block acts as a remote control with little micro controls for the app that’s running. For example if I’m watching something on Apple TV, I can control volume from inside that block.
I have wired up my TV, game console and Sky TV to the HomePod speakers. Using AI, Apple put together a sound model inside those speakers, which makes it sound like surround sound, even though it isn’t.
When it comes to new technology, for me it’s not about the shiniest or the fastest. It’s about features that are genuinely new. This feeds into what I do because each time I buy a new piece of technology, I can start thinking about ways to use the same technology for customer engagement? I like to see myself as an idea pioneer.
As technology providers we try to get people to think differently. My job is not to find a need. My job is to make people realise that there is something they can do to solve a problem that they may not even realise that they have.
What item could you not live without?
At first, I thought it would be the PlayStation or my phone, but it’s the Tesla. Now that I’ve owned two of them, I could never have any other car. From environmental benefit to the way the car operates and drives, the overall customer experience is designed to such an extent that you become emotionally attached to it.
Even just the charging experience is exceptional. If I tell the system where I’m going, it will tell me at which point along my journey I’m going to need to charge. The car actually says, “we were going to go to this charging point, but this one over here is quieter right now so why don’t we go there now, then we won’t need to stop later’. And then the system gets the car ready for me to charge.
What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?
It must be smartphones, they revolutionised everything.
If there’s one thing you could change about the industry, what would it be?
Acronyms. We have an industry swamped in acronyms, not just for the technology, not just for the architecture, but for the people too. My motto is to simplify everything. At the end of the day, the technology industry is just people talking to people, and helping people to see past the complexity to drive real improvement. As a great man once said, “What we do is more psychology than technology”.
Who or what has most influenced your career and why?
My grandfather. After WWII he worked in the hosiery industry his whole life.
As I approached working age, I visited him in the factory that was reminiscent of an old Victorian workhouse. A giant machine spewing out vast, constant clouds of steam with a line of men standing in front of it. I believe to this day that he wanted me to see this as a cautionary tale. That night he said to me, “Whenever a chance comes up, just say yes. Other people will ask about extra pay or better hours, but you just say yes.” This was a defining moment in my life.