Talking Tech And Digital

Issue 83


Did you always envisage a career in the world of technology?

Definitely not; I failed computer studies at GCSE level, which wasn’t exactly the best start to my technology journey. My first real job involved designing single-story dwellings and blast walls in the British Army, which met with my interest in both mathematics and physics. It’s a bit tenuous, but I guess to an extent this created a logical path into working with technology, as it wasn’t long before linking computers via networks and communicating securely over wires piqued my interest. I couldn’t imagine not being involved with technology these days.

What attracted you to your current role?

It gives me immense pride to lead and be part of a cohesive team. We’re currently building something very special here at Forfusion. For years we’ve been taking on industry giants by doing things differently, and we’re now seeing some encouraging results. Being operationally and financially stable has also opened doors for our in-house apprenticeship schemes, STEM initiatives, and other socially responsible activities to support local communities. It’s not all about making profit, it’s as much about giving back to society, and in particular our wonderful northeast region. My role today is more involved and diverse than I ever dreamt it could be. I love it.

How important was technology during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Technology has played a critical part for many businesses. It has helped some businesses soar to great heights, but unfortunately, it has also led to the demise of others. The advent of cloud computing and acceleration towards adopting remote working solutions has turned services previously considered niche into commodities. To an extent paving the way for industry giants to take more market share, and very aggressively too, in some cases crushing or subsuming smaller competitors along the way. However, on the flip side, it has encouraged organisations like Forfusion to be more creative, fuelling the creation of niche value-added market disrupting services.

What tips would you give someone looking to work in the industry?

Everyone should consider where the market is headed, and how aggressively a blend of cloud, security and ‘X-as-aService’ type offerings will take hold—as with many industries, providing products and services that are subscription-based and consumed monthly is fast becoming the norm. Businesses must cater for the shift from a traditional ownership model to a mechanic focused primarily on lease, annuity, or non-ownership basis. I’m pleased to say that Forfusion can provide all its products and services via this model due to recently maturing its offering in-line with demand to give clients a choice.

Tell us the most exciting thing you’re currently working on?

We have an incredible managed services portfolio delivered by a very experienced team across geographically dispersed Network Operations Centre’s (NOCs). The team is only a few weeks away from launching an incredibly comprehensive service offering spanning every technology pillar. Our developers have been immersed in creating innovative services that leverage Software Defined Networking (SDN), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and deeper integration with market-leading vendor Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs). Efforts have manifested in Forfusion seeking and obtaining a competitive advantage through significant differentiators, which we call Unique Selling Points (USPs).

What’s your fondest memory of a career in the industry?

I have many fond memories, but I think my favourite memory has to be our first taste of displacing a global incumbent supplier for a multi-million pound managed services contract. It was evident that an organisation like Forfusion, with fewer than 100 employees, could use creativity and guile to find ways to help our clients mitigate risk and innovate in parallel. We have chosen to operate in the mid-market and enterprise space, where the risk is relatively high, but so is the reward. We have the capability of the large more cumbersome integrators but retain the ability to be agile, flexible, and put our customers first genuinely.

When not working, how do you like to relax?

My time away from work is divided into three main areas. My priority is my three-year-old daughter, so I like to spend quality time with her, whether taking her swimming or putting up with her ever-increasing cheekiness in the local park. I also like to keep fit, so whilst it doesn’t exactly constitute relaxation, a lot of my time is spent on triathlon training, which I enjoy. Apparently, I am going through a midlife crisis! Rumour has it that I also like the odd glass of French wine, preferably whilst holidaying in France and eating the local delicacies.

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