Get to know the Soltech IT team: Richard Sheppard

  • By Gabrielle Cox
  • 27 Jun, 2017

From favourite pieces of tech to the best part of their job, as part of our our latest blog series, get to know our Soltech IT team a little better.  

Describe your role at Soltech IT.
I’m the MD of Soltech IT, I founded the company back in June 2009 after I was made redundant from a corporate IT sales job. These days I oversee the running of the company and make sure everything is running as it should be and ensure resources are put in place for the various departments within the company to run efficiently and successfully, which can be challenging at times with the speed of success and growth. Seeing the company evolve and grow into a UK brand has been very pleasing and I still very much enjoy being customer facing and interacting with our clients. There have been many challenges along the way, or opportunities as I like to call them. Employing Adam Lane, my first employee who would soon become my business partner, was a big step. We've moved offices several times, it’s hard to believe our current offices are the company's 5th and things are already getting a bit tight around the edges again. Our biggest challenge has been taking the company from a well established South West provider and turning it in to a recognised and major UK player. To do this, we needed to completely change the businesses infrastructure and create new positions within the company, which we then had to fill.

What skills do you think you bring to your role?
Prior to forming Soltech IT, I had spent many years working as an IT Technician, before a change in career saw me spend a good 8 or 9 years selling corporate level accounting software and IT solutions. I guess this combined background of engineering, accounts and sales gives me a good set of skill to oversee and run the business successfully.

What is your favourite piece of tech or gadget?
Without hesitation!! My iPad and my iPhone, I know there are lots of other great gadgets out there, but I really couldn’t live without either of these. I can run the business from both; check emails and proposals, view company accounts, make payments and invoice clients. The iPad is a great educational tool that I often demonstrate in schools, some of the educational apps are amazing and even my 5 year old daughter Olivia is learning more with the apps and resources available to her. Lets also not forget about a bit of R & R, with these gadgets I can sit back and check the football results and listen to music wirelessly throughout my home or in my car at the touch of a button. I also use my iPhone / iPad to control my home CCTV system, underfloor heating, TV’s and lighting. Using for Mobile Device Management means I can securely control my family iPads and keep everyone safe and happy.

Outside of work what is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
I have to admit to being a big Bristol City fan and season ticket holder. I think it must have been 1984 when I first went to a match at Ashton Gate and stood on Crackers Corner, or rather swung around on the railing, much to my dads annoyance. I remember it well as I quickly got shouted at for cheering the blues out, not a colour of team any City fan should cheer for. Thankfully it was Gillingham, not Bristol Rovers and I soon learnt to cheer for the reds.

What are you listening to/ reading/ watching at the moment?
This is probably where I should say that I read very long novels and watch documentaries all night. But I don’t, I pinch my music tastes from my wife. I’ll hear my wife Vicki playing a track that I like and I’ll quickly Shazam and download it. Then I’ll play it over and over again to the delight of my daughter and to the annoyance of my wife. I guess she has a point!

Although I don’t read books that often, I do read autobiographies, including Jeremy Clarkson, Alex Ferguson and Gordan Ramsey. I really enjoy watching The Apprentice on the BBC, but at the moment my favourite TV series by a long way is Billions on Sky, if you haven’t seen it, then watch it.

Who would you invite (real, fictional, dead or alive) to your dream dinner party?
Well I’d obviously invite my closest friends and family, but I would also invite Sir Alan Sugar along for a glass of wine. We could talk IT, business, football and The Apprentice all night long.


By Gabrielle Cox 23 Aug, 2017
A recent government study reported by the BBC has found that more than two thirds of companies say their directors have no training in responding to cyberattacks with one in 10 companies questions (105 out of the fuse 350) revealed they have no plan in place to cope with hacking. 

As the BBC report highlighted, the annual Cyber Governance Health Check survey found that 54% of company boards identify computer hacking as one of the main threats to their business. With 68% of them had no specific training to deal with a hack. 

As has been shown by the recent hacks this year, they can have devastating effects on a global scale. As highlighted in a previous post , the threat of hacking and ransomware is only ever growing; it is therefore an incredibly important time to prepare for a potential attack. 

By Gabrielle Cox 22 Aug, 2017
At Soltech IT we provide IT support & solutions to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Over the next few weeks we will bring you details on just some of the areas we can help your business. This week we're focusing on our spam filtering solutions. 

The problem:
"I am so fed up of wasting time going through my Inbox, deleting spam emails. I get so many come through that I sometimes miss or delete genuine emails."

The solution:
At Soltech IT we have an advanced filtering solution available, which blocks all emails from known spamming servers. This system significantly reduces Spam and therefore helps protect your IT systems. 

For information or to discuss how we can specifically help you and your business, pop us an email to, visit our contact page or give us a call 0117 2140 299.

Image: vladwel/iStock
By Gabrielle Cox 17 Aug, 2017
On the 24th July, the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) launched a new Cyber Schools Programme,  encouraging teenagers to take part to help the nation address the risk of a future skills shortage. The programme is looking for students, teachers and industry workers to register their interest I taking part. 

The programme will see thousands of teenagers given the opportunity to learn up to date, cyber security skills alongside their usual secondary school studies through a nationwide network of  extracurricular clubs, instructor-led classes and online teaching and games. The programme's aim is to support and develop the skills of school aged children, giving them the ability to work in and tackle the ever growing cyber security sector in the future. 

Confirmed partners include Cyber Security Challenge UK, SANS, BT and FutureLearn who will all work together to deliver the programme which has been allocated £20m. 

The Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock said:   “Our Cyber Schools programme aims to inspire the talent of tomorrow and give thousands of the brightest young minds the chance to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies. I encourage all those with the aptitude, enthusiasm and passion for a cyber security career to register for what will be a challenging and rewarding scheme.”

´╗┐From those who register their interest, students (aged between 14-18) will be selected for the programme via a pre-entry assessment. Teachers and industry experts are also being encouraged to get involved and register their interest in working with the programme. 

For more information and to register your interest please visit HERE

For advice and guidance on business and education cyber security, please visit our website or pop us an email on / 0117 2140 299.

By Gabrielle Cox 16 Aug, 2017
At Soltech IT we provide IT support & solutions to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Over the next few weeks we will bring you details on just some of the areas we can help your business. This week we're focusing on our available multi-site support packages.

The problem:
"Our business has multiple business sites, each with it's own specific requirements. We're looking for a coordinated IT support  and advice approach from a single trusted source. Although each site is unique we really need consistency." 

The solution:
At Soltech IT, we assign a dedicated account manager to you and your business. They will meet with you for a quarterly infrastructure meeting, allowing you to seek advise and make informed decisions for ongoing IT developments. We can ensure that the IT support we provide is consistent across all sites. 

For information or to discuss how we can specifically help you and your business, pop us an email to, visit our contact page or give us a call 0117 2140 299.
By Gabrielle Cox 15 Aug, 2017
We recently tweeted a brilliant piece by Education Technology, on a pioneering new start up, allowing for children with long term illnesses to participate in school & social activities via the power of technology. 

Initially launched in Norway, the revolutionary concept is now set to launch in the UK. The first product is an avatar, which allows children & young adults who are forced to take long periods of time off of school due to ill health, to maintain a presence in the classroom. Since it's launch In 2016, at the University of Oslo, in consultation with teachers and scientists, the friendly looking robots have been used by over 200 children in Norway, Sweden, Denmark & The Netherlands. 

Karen Dolva, co-founder and CEO of the start up, No Isolation added. 

"We have learnt that when children suffer from long-term illness, their corresponding isolation from friends makes it harder for them to recover and to come back to school when they feel better. We are also aware that developing speech and social skills is just as important as following the curriculum. When they are not a part of the social scene, children miss out on important learning through play and interaction.At No Isolation, the purpose of our technology is to help people alleviate the feeling of loneliness. We want to develop tools for the groups that need more than generic solutions. AV1 helps children with long-term illness to stay in touch with their friends, keep up with their education, and secure that crucial link to everyday life."

This fantastic concept's primary goal is to reduce loneliness amongst children suffering from long term health issues, however, the idea can only be a positive for their education and social skills. The AV-1 robot, which is controlled by the child through an app, allows the child to join in from a hospital bed or sofa at home. The robot acts as the 'eyes, ears and voice' of the child, with a blinking light ti signal when they want to say something and the ability to turn 360' to see and speak to the whole class. 

For more information check out the No Isolation website. 

By Gabrielle Cox 09 Aug, 2017
At Soltech IT we provide IT support & solutions to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Over the next few weeks we will bring you details on just some of the areas we can help your business. This week we're focusing on our Wifi heat mapping business solution. 

The problem:
"My business suffers with awful Wifi dead spots & problems with Wifi calling. Which causes huge delays and disruption to our working day."

The solution:
There is no guesswork with our Business IT Wifi audit and heat mapping solution which takes into account competing Wifi systems and other interference. 

For information or to discuss how we can specifically help you and your business, pop us an email to, visit our contact page or give us a call 0117 2140 299.
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