DIGIT Movers and Shakers July 2018
As July comes to a close, DIGIT looks back at another exciting month in Scotland’s digital technology sector. Recruitment, expansion, relocations and yet more awards for a sector brimming with pioneers and innovators.
Gareth Lush will join Quorum Cyber in a full-time capacity as Commerical Director. Lush had been engaged in consultancy work with the cybersecurity specialists, however, the firm’s rapid growth has led to his full-time appointment.
With over 25 years of experience in growing tech businesses, Lush specialises in cloud, cybersecurity and managed services and commands a proven track record in developing strategies, go-to-market plans, delivering growth, and building commercial models.
Commenting on the position, Lush said: “It’s a privilege to have been invited to take on commercial responsibility for such an exciting and innovative cybersecurity provider. What makes it really stand out from the crowd is the Big Red Button portfolio.”
Quorum Managing Director, Federico Charosky highlighted Lush’ invaluable help in shaping and delivering the firm’s commercial model and believes his full-time appointment could be key to future growth.
“Gareth has been amazing in helping us shape and deliver a great commercial model that just works, making our products and services simply to buy and clear to understand”, he said, adding: “His joining full-time is key for Quorum Cyber to maintain the speed of growth and the consistency in our approach to everything we do.”
Edinburgh-based booking specialist, Appointedd, has appointed Sarah Freestone as Operations Director. Freestone will take on a comprehensive role with the booking specialist, overseeing a number of key operational areas in the business, including; finance, legal and HR.
Having joined Skyscanner in 2010 as one of the company’s first HR hires, Freestone moved to International Communications where she was instrumental in developing and capturing Skyscanner’s culture.
Freestone said she looks forward to playing a pivotal role in Apppointedd’s continued operational development, helping to ensure world-class service to customers.
She said: “After playing a key role in Skyscanner’s development, seeing them grow from a staff of just sixty to over nine hundred across ten offices, it is wonderful to be able to join another exciting startup at this early stage. I’m looking forward to enjoying a similar aggressive growth story here at Appointedd.”
Williams joins the broadcaster from UKTV, where he assumed the role of General Manager of UKTV Play; the video-on-demand service operated by the broadcaster behind Dave, Gold, Really and Drama. In the newly-created role, Williams will focus on driving the growth of the STV Player, which is already gaining traction as the fastest growing broadcaster VoD service in the UK.
Williams said: “I am thrilled to be moving to STV at such an exciting time. The digital vision that Simon has set out for STV is compelling and I am delighted to be joining the team in Glasgow in order to help realise those ambitions.”
Women’s Enterprise Scotland
Women’s Enterprise Scotland has promoted Carolyn Currie to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Currie has been heavily involved with Women’s Enterprise Scotland since 2015 as Chief Operating Officer.
Currie said: “I am delighted to take up the role as CEO for an organisation which I feel so passionately about.
“WES delivers a range of innovative services to support the growth aspirations of female business owners and leaders and we have considerable strides in terms of reinforcing the economic benefits to Scotland of gender equality in enterprise.
“Women-owned businesses already contribute £5 billion in GVA which is more than any other notable sectors of the economy such as Food & Drink, Sustainable Tourism and Creative Industries.”
Health and safety software firm, SHE Software, has appointed Martin Fincham as its new chairman. As a leading software entrepreneur, Fincham brings with him years worth of experience; working with some of Silicon Valley’s top companies.
The appointment comes during an exciting period for SHE, as the company continue to draw international recognition for Assure; a state-of-the-art software solution designed to simplify health and safety management in a number of organisations.
SHE Software CEO, Matthew Elson, said: “I am delighted to have Martin join SHE Software as our new chairman. His impressive entrepreneurial credentials, expertise in global go-to market strategies and leadership experience make him a major asset to the company.
“Right now, our goal is to bring our innovative and dynamic health and safety solution to the US market. I firmly believe that we will achieve this with Martin’s help, support and guidance.”
Fincham will guide the leadership team at SHE Software on its mission to expand, sharing expertise and experience of how to scale a global software business.
Martin said: “I look forward to supporting Matthew and the team, sharing my experience of taking a software business to global scale.”
He added: “I have witnessed and participated in several segments of the enterprise software market when truly modern SaaS platforms have gained rapid customer acceptance and started displacing previous market leaders.
“SHE Software’s cloud-based Assure system is now recognised in the industry as one such disruptor, evidenced by their rapid growth and recent funding to support international expansion. I look forward to supporting Matthew and the team, sharing my experience of taking a software business to global scale.”
Dr Rudman is a Digital Transformation expert and has extensive experience working with over 250 enterprises of all scales, and across a number of sectors to create digital transformation strategies. Her experience considering blockchain’s potential for business since 2015 enables her to offer valuable insight for Wallet.Services.
In addition to leading the firm’s Strategic Transformation Offering, Dr Rudman will assist Wallet.Services in developing its private sector offering.
She said: “It’s been a privilege consulting and educating in Digital Transformation with so many great Scottish organisations over the years. Blockchain and DLT are exciting foundational emerging technologies, and following work with the brilliant Wallet.Services team already this year, I’m thrilled to be onboard full time.
“For me, DLT are the new DT frontier. I can’t wait to help more existing and potential customers pioneer the customer value, business cases and concepts blockchain could introduce to their enterprises and sectors.”
Darren Martin has been appointed to the newly-created role of Chief Technology Officer at Wood as part of a strategy to broaden its capabilities in energy and industrial markets. Martin commands a reputation as a digital and technology thought leader and has previously fronted a variety of strategic growth initiatives, with previous roles at CSC and Jacobs.
Martin will enable Wood to redefine the firm’s digital offering and adopt technology that will further enhance its deep industry domain knowledge.
Robin Watson, chief executive of Wood said that Martin’s renowned digital leadership expertise will key a key component for the firm as it looks to evolve its innovation capabilities across a range of markets.
He said: “Digital leadership is key to Wood’s strategy. The fourth industrial revolution is disrupting global markets and we intend to be a key player in the technological innovation critical to addressing energy transition. We will continue to evolve to ensure our innovative capability extends across a range of end markets, within and beyond energy.”
Martin said he was delighted to help progress Wood’s digital footprint during an exciting time for the firm:
“This is an exciting time to join Wood. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to progress our digital footprint and accelerate the digital transformation of our services.
“Our world is changing faster than ever. Everything around us is becoming smarter and more digitally connected: cars, factories, ports, mines, refineries, roads, office buildings, and even entire cities will be wired together in new ways and this will fundamentally change how Wood does business in the future.”
Awards & Honours
The Data Lab CEO, Gillian Docherty, has received an honorary degree in recognition of her achievements as a leading figure in Scotland’s IT industry. The honorary doctorate was conferred upon her Robert Gordon University’s graduation ceremony on 13th July.
Docherty has over 25 years experience working in the technology sector and is arguably one of the most prominent female figures in the field. Docherty was recently named Digital Leader of the Year 2018 by DigiLeaders, and in 2017 was named CEO of the Year at the ScotlandIS Digital Technology Awards and was listed as one of the top ten most influential data professionals in the UK.
Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of RGU hailed Docherty’s achievements, highlighting her as an “excellent example” for young people across the country.
He said: “It is truly a pleasure to be able to recognise Gillian’s achievements with this honorary doctorate. Her career in technology absolutely speaks for itself and she is an excellent example for our young aspirational graduates.
“RGU has worked closely on a number of innovative projects with Gillian and her colleagues at The Data Lab and we are extremely proud to be able to honour her in this way.”
The Edinburgh-based tech innovator has been singled out as one of the top-20 learning providers in the UK from a pool of over 100 training specialists. In order to achieve this recognition, Zonal had to demonstrate how it provides customers with high standards of learning solutions and service, according to best practice criteria.
It was also required to undergo an independent annual accreditation process; which observes and examines every fine detail of its involvement in learning services.
This acknowledgement comes at an exciting time for Zonal, which was recently crowned Supreme Champions at the sixth annual Family Business of the Year Awards (FBOTY) and is a top 500 best performing Scottish company.
The firm is preparing for its 40th birthday next year, marking four decades of innovation and market-leading customer service.
Craig Hamill, Zonal’s Head of Learning and Development, said: “We are thrilled to be acknowledged as one of the top 20 learning providers by the LPI. At Zonal, we invest and place the utmost importance on offering the highest quality training to our customers and our staff, so this is a huge honour.”
An exciting month for Assure APM as the company announced it would appoint a new chairman and relocate to a larger office in Edinburgh’s fabulous Rutland Square.
The company has more than doubled the size of its team in the past year and is looking to expand further. The Edinburgh-based firm has enjoyed a year of great success with a marked increase in turnover and a 40% rise in repeat revenue over the previous 12-months.
In addition to its Edinburgh expansion, Assure APM has opened a new office in London to act as a base for its activities across the country.
While the company continues its expansion, it will welcome John Waddell to the board as chairman. Waddell has previously worked in executive roles at Christian Salvesen, Noble Grossert and Archangels. He is expected to
Doug More, Founder and CEO of Assure APM said: “We are delighted that John has agreed to join us on this journey. John has a long and successful career in guiding and advising companies. We are very much looking forward to him bringing his experience and leadership skills to bear here as we continue to expand.
“We are also very pleased to be moving to our larger premises in Rutland Square as we were quickly outgrowing our previous office. Additionally, we’ve opened a new office in London.
“This will give us a base for our work south of the border as we continue to grow and work on new business in the area. We have had a great start to the year, winning business and taking on staff. In the coming months, we are looking to further increase our client base and create more jobs.”
VKY Automation has become the first independent Scottish business to achieve partner status with both Automation Anywhere and UI Path; further enhancing its reputation as a leading Intelligent Automation consultancy in Scotland.
Alex Croucher, Managing Director of VKY told Digit: “We’re delighted to have achieved partner status with both Automation Anywhere and UI Path, two of the largest and most exciting RPA software vendors in the field.
“Intelligent Automation is growing rapidly globally and it is already shaping digital transformation across other parts of the UK. Scotland’s Intelligent Automation journey is only just beginning and the next couple of years will be very exciting as Scotland adopts and embeds this technology. We are now well placed to serve Scottish businesses in making the most of this technology.”
Intelligent Automation “trains” virtual users to carry out computer-based activities which are currently manual and repetitive in nature, with the aim of enabling greater efficiency, productivity, accuracy, compliance and resilience without the need to build automation across multiple systems or through changing legacy systems.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software is used to build virtual users. Various complementary technologies such as machine learning, analytics, image recognition, optical character recognition and chatbots are then incorporated to create an Intelligent Automation solution.
Converged Communications Solutions
Aberdeen-based IT firm, Converged Communications Solutions, is expanding its operations into the Highland and Islands as it looks to bolster its client services. The new office space in the Inverness Longman Industrial Estate will further enhance its cybersecurity services in the city and, according to the firm, underlines its ongoing commitment to the region.
The opening of the Inverness office forms part of a six-figure investment by Converged, which includes work already completed to unbundle Openreach telephone exchanges in the city.
Initially, two staff will be based in the Highland capital, including Stuart Mundy as Senior Security Engineer. Karyn Evans, who was previously based in the Aberdeen office, will relocate to Inverness and will continue to deliver IT support through the firm’s 24-hour service helpdesk.
Neil Christie, Managing Director of Converged, said: “The major investment in digital connectivity in the Highlands will have hugely positive benefits and help meet the bold plans to grow and develop the region’s economy. We are committed to supporting the Highland economy and being part of it through our Inverness office.”
Christie added: “Since establishing Converged in 2005 we have remained committed to providing technology and connectivity services that enable businesses to operate efficiently and ultimately achieve their growth ambitions. The geography of a local area can present connectivity challenges, but wireless and mobile technologies can overcome such issues.”