Can you go into detail about your role at Netmetix?
Primarily, as Technical Manager, I am the overall technical lead at Netmetix, responsible for all technical output of the business, from complex design to more hands on tasks.
I manage a team of System Administrators, System Analysts and Technical Support employees to ensure our support operation goals are achieved and the processes run smoothly.
I also oversee the development, design, and implementation of both new and existing customer systems; this involves ascertaining project objectives and expectations, of which I develop strategic plans and implement accordingly.
Due to the current climate regarding cyber security, it’s my job to ensure that the security of the information systems, communication lines and equipment of all our internal system and our customers’ systems. Part of this process includes identifying emerging information technologies to be assimilated, integrated and introduced within the IT infrastructure.
I’d describe myself as an innovative IT leader and solutions architect with a passion for using technology to solve problems, improve processes and drive business forward.
Can you share some of your experience prior to working with Netmetix?
After working my way through the helpdesk tiers, I went on to own a similar sized IT support organisation and worked at various blue chip businesses in senior roles.
I have brought a wealth of both technical and management experience to Netmetix, backed up by a track record of successful project delivery in fast paced and demanding environments.
With experience across a variety of industries including distribution, finance, insurance, journal fulfilment, manufacturing, utilities and call centres, I have the ability to quickly understand a variety of businesses and this coupled with a technical background enables me to help delivery solutions that are both advantageous to the bottom line and technically robust.
Why did you join Netmetix?
I had heard good things about Netmetix so the initial reputation was a factor. After taking a short break from work, friends in the industry relayed positive things regarding the business and what it was achieving in the industry and I thought my proactive style would fit in really well here — especially in this particular role.
Is there anything in particular that stood out as attractive at Netmetix from an employee point of view?
The people working in the business, the atmosphere and the working ethos came across very well and I knew from meeting the owner and senior management that this would be a good fit for me.
What is the history of Netmetix, what spurred you to start the business?
We started Netmetix in February 2001, after I spent most of the previous year undergoing treatment for a serious illness. I can’t claim to have had a master plan, but it was important to me to run the business on high moral and ethical standards. That isn’t to say that I wanted to save the planet, but I wanted to treat all parties, employees, customers and suppliers fairly and honestly and be treated the same in return.
Netmetix started out as a provider of CAD systems and related services, predominantly into the construction and engineering industries. However, changes in the market and over-dependency on a single vendor lead us to exit the CAD market and instead focus on our developing IT infrastructure business in 2008. We quickly gained a reputation locally for technical excellence in our field and earned Microsoft Gold Partner status.
In 2011, the ‘cloud’ started to take shape on the horizon and we recognised the huge potential opportunity that it presented to us and our clients alike. We built our first cloud platform in a data centre in Derby and provided an all-inclusive small-business IT platform for a fixed monthly fee, per user. This proved extremely popular and we still retain every client that took up our service. We built a second platform based on a self-service model, but found that the market wasn’t really ready for that yet so it proved less successful.
As a Microsoft Partner, we were keeping a very close eye on their developing Azure strategy, and in early 2014 we felt that it had sufficient breadth and depth to be a viable solution for us and our customers. Our first deployment was a big success and every cloud deployment since then has been on Azure. Strategic partnerships have since seen us deploy systems to companies all around the world and we are now recognised as one of Microsoft’s leading UK cloud specialists.
What are the most prominent changes that you’ve noticed within the industry over the past few years and what changes do you think are on the way?
Cloud computing has been THE big change in recent years and is proving to be a fantastic enabler for businesses of all sizes. However, the major benefits are being felt by SMEs because it levels the playing field by giving them access to enterprise grade IT systems without the huge costs, whilst still retaining the agility of a small business.
We’ve already seen young start-ups challenging and overtaking the established players through the intelligent and creative use of the cloud. Uber is now the world’s largest car rental company and they don’t own a single taxi, likewise with Airbnb and properties.
The growth of cloud-based services are opening up all manner of new opportunities and every week sees something new, so it is difficult to pick out what the next big thing will be.
What makes Netmetix stand out against other cloud solution providers?
We recognised very early on what the cloud had to offer our new and existing clients, and we were very early adopters. We now have a proven track record of successfully migrating a wide range of systems onto the cloud and delivering quantifiable benefits to our clients.
We don’t tie our clients into long-term contracts. Instead, we work on a rolling monthly agreement because we want our clients to work with us because they want to, and not just because they’re tied into a contract.
Our engineers are some of the highest skilled in the industry with every one of them sitting an external certification exam every three months.
Netmetix’s growth rate over the past few years is quite impressive, what do you think the reasoning is behind this?
We had the vision to see what the cloud had to offer before most of our competitors, which has allowed us to seize the initiative. Whilst most of our competitors are still struggling to come to terms with selling and deploying cloud-based systems, we’re growing our base of satisfied clients, who are in turn spreading the word for us.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
The cloud has allowed us to play on a much bigger stage. Whereas in the past we were limited to servicing clients in our local area, we can now deploy and support clients all across the globe, so I expect to see overseas deployments take a larger share of our overall business.
We’re still a very small company and whilst I have no real desire to be a big company, we will inevitably grow and I want Netmetix to be a recognised leading provider of cloud IT infrastructure systems across the UK.