You were one of the founding members of Quintech over 30 years ago, tell us what that first day was like.
I started as chief technician, delivery driver and, very importantly - tea boy! The first day was rather memorable - it was 9am on Monday 4th February 1991, we were in reception having a team meeting, and someone surprisingly walked in the front door. All five pairs of eyes turned excitedly to see who the first customer was going to be! We were somewhat bemused to see a stereotypical country farmer, with bailing twine for a belt and a sheep following behind him on a rope! Before anyone could say anything, he exclaimed loudly “I’ve brought my ewe for her injection”. Of course, he wanted the vets next door, but it didn’t stop my colleague, Charles, from trying to sell him a PC! Cue jokes about us not knowing what to do with the ewe but of course had he brought a RAM…!
Thirty years is a long time, what’s changed in the company most during that time?
It’s probably easier to say what’s changed least! I’d say the company values and ethos have been really consistent throughout, and it’s one of the reasons I returned to Quintech. It is very much a team feel, people matter, we value trust and teamwork - the same as we do with our clients - and we have customer care at the heart of our ethos. I’m really proud of the professional service we provide to clients as their trusted advisor - however we’re also often described by them as a ‘friendly’ and ‘down to earth’ company, and I don’t think that’s typical for an IT business!
So yes, a lot has changed. We still have some customers who were with us on day one, but we’ve grown massively; we’ve moved premises, we’ve taken on a whole host of new products to stay ahead of the curve and we’ve completely revamped our managed IT services to make it more tailored to our clients’ needs. Our newest product monitors exposure and risk on the dark web. 30 years ago, the dark web were those things spiders left at the back of your Grandad’s shed!
So, are you still the tea-boy?
Well, as Commercial Manager one of my areas of responsibility is overseeing the general running of the office, so I guess so!
During the interim years when I wasn’t at Quintech, I held roles from IT Administrator up to IT Director level for a large, independent accountancy practice and similar for an independent insurance broker. So, when I re-joined Quintech, I was able to bring in knowledge and experience from other sectors which really helped. I now play a pivotal role in the overall running of the business; I manage the staff from an HR perspective and ensure we have the right people, in the right place and with the right tools and skillset; I also oversee processes and commercial practices etc. to make sure we’re operating effectively and efficiently. My work is very much behind the scenes but if what I do enables my colleagues to focus more time on their customers, then that’s a job well done for me.
The last 12 months in lockdown have been difficult for everyone, what has kept you going both personally and professionally during that time?
Personally, it has to be my family. To see my teenage children adapt and thrive in such adverse circumstances, to keep such level heads and above all to keep smiling throughout the last 12 months has really kept me going. And, of course, Dougal the dog, who has been my constant work companion throughout… we are really going to miss each other’s company when the time to return to the office arrives! He’ll definitely be coming with me when we have our next ‘bring your dog to work’ day though – he’s a recognised member of the Quintech family and even featured in our 30 years anniversary video!
Professionally, we were able to react quickly and safely to the threat that Covid-19 brought to our business and swiftly adapted our way of working to support all our customers and help them continue with their own business as successfully as possible. Systems and IT solutions obviously played a big part, but this was also largely due to the resilience and pragmatic approach taken by all of our team. Knowing that I have good people around me has meant a lot in the last 12 months, perhaps more than ever before.
And finally, just for fun, what’s your favourite quote, and why?
“No Dougal, these cows are small, those cows outside are far away” from Father Ted - in my opinion the funniest TV program ever…no debate needed! I like the way this explains, in a light-hearted way, that looking at something from a different perspective can allow someone to form a very different opinion. This is also something I can relate to Quintech when it comes to our clients. We’re really good at looking at their needs and requirements from a different perspective to provide the best solution for them.
Connect with Pete on LinkedIn.