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DIGIT Movers and Shakers: February 2020

David Paul


This month’s Movers and Shakers column looks at recruitment news from i4pd, Inoapps, Pawprint, ITWORX and more, plus relocation news from Merkle and Essential Cloud Solutions.



i4 Product Design

i4 Product Design (i4pd) announced the appointment of Tristan Elliott to Director of Business Development this month. A key champion for the company’s transition to Employee Ownership back in 2018, he will join the three Founders and Employee Director on i4pd’s Board of Directors.

As part of the company’s growth initiative, Tristan joined the consultancy as Business Development Manager five years ago to diversify the company’s clients by introducing scientific and medical experience to the business, contributing to its expansion of electronics and software capabilities. Since then, he brought 150 projects to i4pd’s portfolio and led the company’s recent partnership with Converge, Scotland’s leading company creation programme and Technology Scotland, managers of the Product Design Scotland network.

Managing Director Brian Combe said Tristan’s appointment is one of several to happen in the coming years as i4pd moves from the founding directors to the next generation of management: “Tristan brings drive, enthusiasm, and a genuine interest in what our clients want to achieve combined with a passion for supporting their vision.

“My co-founders and I hope to leave i4pd in the safe hands of a new management team who can take the business to the next level; we believe we have made a very good start by entrusting Tristan in what will be a pivotal role in achieving this”.

Scottish Business Resilience Centre

February sees a new Chief Executive appointment for The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC).

Jude McCorry will take over from Eamonn Keane, who had taken on the role temporarily to enable the centre to secure the best possible long-term replacement for Mandy Haeburn-Little, who departed the post last autumn.

McCorry will join in April from The Data Lab, where she helped it to establish initiatives as Business Development Director such as the “Data for Children Collaborative” with UNICEF while helping carve Scotland’s reputation as a leading data science community.

McCrorry said: “As a nation, I firmly believe that our sense of community is our competitive advantage.

“The SBRC is at the forefront of this, bringing together our world-regarded police force, fire and rescue, academia and business community, with the aim of improving resilience.

“This doesn’t just help our businesses. Every single person in Scotland benefits when we become more resilient to the constantly evolving threat.

“It’s that element of a public good that is exciting me about the role, and I feel very privileged.

Paddy Tomkins, SBRC Chair, said: “We are delighted with Jude’s appointment and look forward to working with her. The board is confident that SBRC will flourish under Jude’s energetic and ambitious leadership.”

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab said: “Jude’s contribution during her time with The Data Lab has been outstanding and we are extremely grateful for her passion and enthusiasm over the last four years to help drive Scotland’s data economy.

“We are delighted for Jude and SBRC in this appointment and we know she will continue to deliver for Scotland’s economy and society in this new role.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with SBRC in driving a future for our companies, organisations and individuals in data, cyber and resilience.”


Global technology firm and Oracle Platinum Partner Inoapps has announced Phoebe Foy-Phillips will take on a new role to drive sales across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As Inoapps’ new VP for Sales EMEA, Phoebe will focus on growing the company’s presence across the region on the back of new investment into products and services.

She was recruited last year as VP Global Business Transformation joining after spending more than seven years at Oracle where she led strategy and governance for EMEA applications.

Commenting on the appointment, Phil Burgess, Managing Director of Inoapps EMEA, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Phoebe to this new EMEA role. In her brief tenure at Inoapps, she’s demonstrated a laser focus on identifying and developing growth opportunities. I’m confident she will deliver for Inoapps’ partners and customers by demonstrating the value of our products and services.”

Foy-Phillips commented: “I’m thrilled to be taking on this new challenge where there is a huge opportunity to build the Inoapps brand, grow our business and support more clients across EMEA regions.



Edinburgh-based climate change company, Pawprint, has exceeded an initial fundraising target after a group of 50 angel investors backed its new project.

This initial funding of £580,000 has allowed Pawprint to accelerate its hiring plans, employing two executives to help kick-start the business.

Former Sky scanner growth director, Douglas Cook, will work on the company’s marketing strategy, and former WoodMac VP, Mark McCafferty, will take up the head of content position. Both are building teams at WeWork Labs, the startup accelerator programme also based in Edinburgh.

Pawprint’s founder, Christian Arno, commented: “The response to the Pawprint concept has been very positive, and we now have an exceptionally high calibre and varied shareholder base.

“Our investors are buying into a long-term vision to help millions of people to fight climate change. The quality and breadth of our investors are already proving useful.

“Their insight is helping to build the foundations of what we hope will be a globally impactful company.”

The platform will allow users to measure their carbon footprints, helping to change daily behaviours to help combat climate change.

Consumers will answer questions about their lifestyle and then be able to compare their personal ‘Pawprints’ in the four buckets of Home, Diet, Travel and Consumer Goods with country averages and other chosen groups.
They will then be presented with a personalised range of challenges and tips to help them

choose if and how they make small changes to transition to a lower-carbon lifestyle.
As a user reduces their footprints, they will be rewarded for competing with and against their friends and colleagues to increase their positive impact.

Intelligens Consulting

Intelligens Consulting celebrated three years in business in February. The boutique telecoms advisory was founded by UK telecoms expert Iqbal Singh Bedi in February 2017 and has had its busiest year to date, having recently launched an IoT research programme with support from the University of Strathclyde which should be published later this summer.

Now based out of Glasgow, the company has become one of Scotland’s most experienced telecoms advisers to public and private sector clients.

Iqbal has been a digital and telecoms adviser to public and private sector clients for 25 years and is well known to policymakers and telecoms operators.

He wrote a comprehensive report on 5G on behalf of the International Telecommunications Union. He has also advised prominent local authorities and train operating companies on attracting infrastructure investment in the Internet of Things, full-fibre, WiFi and 4G/5G services while navigating new Electronic Communications Code and State-aid legislation.

A particularly active 2019 saw the firm advise local authorities, operators, train operating companies and investors with strategic advice on 5G, IoT, WiFi, full-fibre and subsea connectivity.


ITWORX, specialists in providing IT and communications, has added four new members of staff thanks to a 15% increase in their business.

The company, based in Holland Street, aims to achieve an annual turnover of more than £4 million over the next three years. Jill Ross, ITWORX co-owner and director said: “The last 12 months for ITWORX has been extremely exciting and fast-paced.

“With investment in new positions throughout the year, core to our success has been the strong teamwork and commitment of our people.

“We are extremely proud of the team’s achievements with a record number of eight specialist industry certifications achieved.”

Last year the company secured new contracts from existing customers and 10 new clients, with a combined value of more than £775,000. This will be delivered across the next three years.

Jill added: “Building on last year’s success, we have plans to expand the business into other areas of Scotland. This will include growing the team further, with the creation of additional roles combined with the launch of new products and services throughout the year”

Barrier Networks

Barrier starts the new year with an expansion into London and several key additions to the sales and technical staff.

After eight years working at Razorthorn, a Gartner-recognised PCI DSS provider, Sophia Durham has joined Barrier to help grow the London office.

Sophia started her career on the technical side of cybersecurity but later moved into account management where she now helps clients identify and resolve cyber risk.

Commenting on her new position, Sophia said: “I am excited to join such a dynamic and fast-growing company. Barrier already has a good reputation in London and their Centri Managed Services will be a good fit for a lot of businesses.”

Ian McGowan, Managing Director at Barrier commented, “The growth we’ve achieved in the past three years while being based out of Glasgow has been remarkable. Our London office will improve the service to our existing customers down there and help others in the region benefit from the cybersecurity services that we provide.”

Iain Slater, Sales Director at Barrier commented, “We have experienced significant demand for our services in London already, so I am excited to have someone of Sophia’s calibre join my team.”

Cyan Forensics

Edinburgh-based Cyan Forensics has announced that Paul Brennan is taking over as chair to guide through its next level of growth.

Brennan offers a wealth of commercial experience helping to steer technology organisations into the international arena, with a focus on the US and Europe. Former chair Simon Hardy will remain on the board continuing to bring with him experience from more than a decade of providing technology solutions to law enforcement worldwide.

Hugh Lennie, Cyan Forensics’ Chief Finance Officer (CFO), also joins the expanded board line up to bring his extensive experience of building, growing and exiting businesses.

Paul Brennan, new Chair of Cyan Forensics, comments: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to help shape Cyan Forensics’ forward momentum. Cyan Forensics’ technology has multiple applications to offer solutions that can make a real difference to protect people from online harms.

“The company has seen much success in its first three years of business, and I look forward to supporting their expansion following a recent contract with the UK Home Office and into new markets in Northern Europe and the US.”

Ian Stevenson, CEO of Cyan Forensics, said: “We welcome Paul Brennan and Hugh Lennie onto our board, and are fortunate to retain the experience of our former Chair Simon Hardy.

“We are at an exciting stage of growth where our product is going into many police forces across the UK to help catch paedophiles much faster, and we are now in a strong position to enter the European market, as well as making greater in-roads in helping law enforcement in its fight against counter-terrorism.”

Cathcart Associates

Cathcart Associates has announced three senior promotions as the business continues to see rapid expansion in the tech and energy recruitment industries across the globe.

Rhona Kennedy has been promoted from Senior Recruitment Consultant to Principal Consultant. She specialises in sourcing software developers to support Scotland’s thriving tech sector and will be responsible for leading the Scottish division of the specialist IT recruitment firm’s operations to help address Scotland’s tech sector skills shortage.

In her new role as Principal Consultant and Lead for Germany, Austria & Switzerland (DACH) with the organisation’s renewable energy division, Cathcart Energy, Sabrina Hickl drives recruitment for C-Level positions in this sector. Having already seen great success as the first European consultant within the company’s energy division, Sabrina will continue to grow her existing team to extend Cathcart’s reach in the lucrative German, Austrian and Swiss renewable energy markets.

Sigrid Carstairs has also been appointed as Senior Recruitment Consultant for Scandinavia with Cathcart Energy. Integral in the early development of the company’s presence in Northern Europe, Sigrid will further the Scandinavian expansion of Cathcart’s renewable energy business, offering a full contract and permanent recruitment service across the region.

Sam Wason co-founder and Joint Managing Director at Cathcart Group, said: “It’s fantastic to see both our IT and renewable energy divisions thriving, and 2020 is shaping up to be very exciting for us as we continue to meet the growing demand for our bespoke recruitment services.

“We are very proud of the team that we have built since we launched the company a decade ago. We are delighted to announce the promotions of these three key members of staff, all of whom have delivered exceptional results for our clients and helped to drive our expansion.

“Both the tech and renewable energy sectors are flourishing, and demand for our specialist services as high-calibre recruiters in both industries is growing fast. These promotions will help us support our expanding client base, helping even more organisations find the best people for the job.”

Scottish Government

Kate forbes

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has named 29-year-old Kate Forbes as Finance Secretary, replacing Derek Mackay.

Forbes has been working as the Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy since June 2018 and becomes the first woman to hold the position of Finance Secretary in Scotland.
Her responsibilities in her new role will include managing public finances, fiscal policy and taxation and the Scottish budget. She also remains responsible for Scotland’s digital economy.

In a mini reshuffle following Mackays’ resignation, Ben MacPherson will take over Forbes’ previous role as Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, and Fiona Hyslop will work alongside Forbes as Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture.

Commenting on the reshuffle, Sturgeon said: “These appointments bring new talent into government and deliver a real focus, not only on driving forward our economy but also on addressing the challenges of Brexit, increasing our population and ending Scotland’s contribution to the climate crisis.

“I’m pleased to make these appointments and – in particular – to be able to put Scotland’s finances and Scotland’s economy into the hands of two incredibly talented colleagues.”

Turnkey Group

Turnkey Group have announced the appointment of Deborah Baxter as Commercial Director focused on their Restructuring software offering – IPS. Deborah joins from KPMG where she was most recently focused on driving a digital transformation agenda across all aspects of their Restructuring practice. Deborah brings over 20 years’ experience in driving technology and strategic change.

Her arrival follows the appointment of Kenny Doole, Commercial Director for Turnkey Business Software, a Microsoft Gold Partner. Doole brings over 15 years’ experience in sales, leadership and business strategy all within the Digital and Technology industry.

Tony Wood, Turnkey Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to have both Deborah and Kenny join the leadership of our business as we embark on a significant transformation of both our Restructuring software business and SME software business.

“Both bring a wealth of skills and experience in dealing with customers in their respective sectors and plan to drive significant change as we expand and develop our services and products. “

Baxter commented on her appointment: “I am delighted to be part of such a well-known, family-run business who have established such a credible product. The opportunity to drive a wider digital agenda into the Restructuring market is really exciting, particularly helping our customers understand how they can embrace this new platform and all that comes with it.”

Kenny added: “The appetite for cutting edge business software solutions is increasing at a staggering rate, and with our technology stack and expertise, we aim to help as many businesses as we can.

“This is why we are significantly growing our sales, marketing and delivery teams to support our ambitious plans.

“I’ve already seen exceptional growth in the short time I’ve been here, and with further recruitment, along with the changes to our headquarters, it’s a really exciting time”



Essential Cloud Solutions

Essential Cloud Solutions is celebrating the completion of an extensive £40,000 office refurbishment that will enable its team to build on recent expansion.

After nine years in the same office, Commsworld and ECS decided to invest in overhauling the 2,800 square foot space to enable further growth, including the addition of two new employees, and a lab which is used to bench test equipment.

With the takeover, the team lost no staff which allowed for an immediate focus on expanding the firm’s client base – as well as continuing to focus on maintaining strong client relationships.

Willie Fairhurst, Managing Director of ECS, said: “Not only does a new office make the team feel fully part of the Commsworld group, it also allows us the space and capacity to grow our team.

“Our move into the Commsworld family has brought so many new and exciting opportunities, like working on bigger contracts including projects with local authorities in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders – which we previously wouldn’t have been able to.”

In line with ECS and Commsworld’s commitment to creating a greener environment, which includes electric vehicles and a commitment to zero-landfill status respectively – all of the new office furniture is recycled.

Councillor David Key said: “It’s always great to see companies embracing their commitment to becoming greener – ECS has its own high-quality ventilation system and only runs low emission vehicles, which are both really positive steps in becoming more sustainable.”


Technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency Merkle has opened a dedicated office in Aberdeen to support the city’s economic growth.

The agency opening builds on last year’s investment in a new northern UK hub, based in Edinburgh, and is a direct result of the growing requirement for people-based marketing and performance media expertise in northern Scotland.

It is also responding to an increased demand for, and changing requirements towards, data-driven innovation from the region’s major industries.

The agency will support businesses across Aberdeen and Scotland’s north coast with the full range of Merkle’s people-based marketing capabilities, including advanced analytics, customer strategy, and CRM & loyalty.

Merkle is already well-established in the region and works with high profile clients such as Spirit Energy and Total.

Neil Carden, managing director of Merkle Analytics, said: “The opening of our new office in Aberdeen is an exciting development for Merkle and a testament to the opportunity that the North of Scotland represents as a hub for data innovation. We are working with some great clients in Aberdeen and I look forward to building our team and capability in 2020.”

Sean Robertson, client director lead, Merkle Analytics, said: “Merkle understands that these unique challenges coupled with Aberdeen’s emergence as a centre for innovation require dedicated, local data analytics expertise.

“As a proud Aberdonian, I’m delighted that we are opening our second hub in Scotland in the heart of the city. Not only are we providing local businesses with the full suite of Merkle services – it means we are building on last year’s investment in an Edinburgh hub and further extending our clients UK and EMEA reach and flexibility.”



After a successful first six months, Aberdeen-based tech startup io has appointed Nick Pickering as a director and moved into office space at Balmoral Hub, Wellington Circle.

Pickering joins David McCready, who founded the managed IT solutions specialist in 2019. Their newly-renovated premises creates a platform for future growth and will allow the business to build upon recent achievements. io expects to double the size of its team to four by the middle of this year through sustainable, organic growth.

Pickering and McCready worked together for a city-based IT services provider, since 2014, and both possess extensive experience in all aspects of technology. The duo has spent the past decade in management roles, most recently as technical business manager and service delivery manager respectively.

Prior to Pickering recently joining the company, io had experienced a positive start to trading since its launch in July. It was established to meet demand for reliable and professional technology solutions that simplify IT provision for end-users. The business has also invested in developing internal processes, infrastructure and back-end systems to ensure capacity for enterprise-grade customers.

McCready said: “I’m delighted to welcome Nick on-board and look forward to working together to capitalise on the opportunities present in the market today for a proactive IT partner. We have been extremely fortunate to have experienced fantastic organic growth since day one and I am excited to see what the future holds for io as we continue to grow and develop.

“While we are predominantly focused on the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire area, we are ambitious and anticipate growing our client base throughout the UK and internationally – with one of our clients, where we effectively act as IT manager, already operating globally.”

Pickering added: “We’ve both worked with different managed service providers (MSPs) and, given our years of experience in the industry, David and I are well placed to pinpoint where demand in the marketplace is heading; we see that as being reliable, cost-effective solutions that are, above all else, focused on quality service and efficient systems.

“Where we differ in our approach is through our focus on the people using the technology and empowering them to increase their performance and productivity levels. We adopt a long-term view to each individual client’s requirements to ensure that the solutions we prescribe are fully scalable; not just taking a reactive approach to patching-up broken systems.”

io delivers traditional IT support management, strategy, project management and consultancy as well as website/application development and cyber security solutions to a customer base ranging from sole traders to international energy service companies employing over 1,000 people.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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