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 ZuluDeskuk.com 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.