What does your role at LAKE involve?
I am the Technical Manager. I head up the team that covers everything technical relating to the solutions that we sell. Personally, I have a significant focus on cloud integration. I also manage all of our internal systems, including CRM, Financial Management, and our in-house adoption of Microsoft 365.
How long have you been with LAKE and what did you do before you joined?
I joined LAKE in October 2007. Tracing my development from leaving school, I initially trained as an electrician, but my employer was forward-looking and sponsored me through university. After graduating I stayed on and took on an IT support role, which eventually progressed into managing the company's internal business systems, before I left to pursue my career with LAKE.
What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
Every day is a school day. I am constantly learning. The IT industry is changing so rapidly. I don't look for problems, but I do enjoy solving them, and the cleaner and neater the solution, the better.
If you had to pick out three achievements or pieces of work that you're particularly proud of from your time at LAKE, what would they be?
Well over 10 years ago, I worked on an integration project for a customer in the social housing sector, helping them link Dynamics CRM (as it was then) with their housing management system and Proactis P2P, which we were implementing for them. We designed, developed, and documented this integration, and it is still running now, albeit with a few tweaks here and there. I'm proud of that.
Secondly, I'm also proud of the way I helped lead our in-house implementation of a new CRM platform. It was a complex and challenging transition from the old system, and it impacted everyone in the LAKE business in one way or another, but we did a great job, and we're very proud of where we've ended up.
Finally, I'm proud of some integration work we did with a customer in the financial services sector. They purchased Proactis from us, and our challenge was to integrate it with their on-premise finance and document management systems. Neither the customer nor their service provider had integrated with the platform previously, and they had custom tax modules to make the integration that bit more interesting. However, we rose to the challenge, and I designed a solution to sync static data between the systems and post invoices, credit notes and related images into Proactis. It was delivered on time and inside budget, and has now been working well for several years.
My preference is always to do it well and do it once. It will then last and be a cost-effective solution for the customer for many years into the future.
What does your background, experience and knowledge mean for customers?
I have a very broad experience of IT and business in general from helping to manage ERP systems in my previous role. I also have a good understanding of how to work with customers and what their needs are, and this has translated well into what I do today at LAKE. I also have a very detailed understanding of the products that we sell, especially those on the financial management side including Proactis, SunSystems, and Q&A.
What excites you most when you think about LAKE's future plans and the future of business systems in general?
The industry is going through a transition where far more things are becoming cloud-based. We have a tremendous amount of knowledge here at LAKE and a lot of experience of how to manage business systems both from an application and technical point of view, so we have an important role to play in terms of getting the best use out of these systems for customers. I hope we can get closer to our customers through this change of emphasis to better understand them and to provide them with even more value.
What do you do when you're not working?
I like the outdoors. I like going up into the mountains and climbing. I've just done that in Switzerland. I also love making things. I have developed apps in the past. I developed an app for Garmin watches that had over 100,000 users. I'm also getting into woodwork and 3D printing at the moment.
What is one item on your bucket list?
I'd love to drop everything for three months, jump in a campervan and tour the Alps.
What would your specialist Mastermind subject be?
I think I'd stay close to home and take questions on Information and Communication Technology
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