Hazel Gibbens has joined Tech Nation as entrepreneur engagement manager (EEM) for Scotland – a role that will see her interact with and support technology companies and founders across the country.
Gibbens joins Tech Nation from FutureX, the organisation behind Startup Summit and Impact Summit. In her new role, she will act as one of 11 regional EEMs who are committed to connecting the country and engaging the UK technology scene.
Gibbens commands a strong reputation in Scotland’s technology sector and has long been a champion for the Scottish entrepreneurship networks.
Commenting on the move, she said: “I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities and opportunities this role offers. I know first hand how innovative and creative tech companies are here in Scotland, and now my role is all about helping them get to the next level and presenting our best offerings back to the rest of the UK.
“My call to action is really short; tech founders, get in touch and let me see how Tech Nation can help you.”
Tech Nation offers a range of programmes and platforms for tech founders at every stage of business growth, along with three specialised programmes focusing on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and fintech.
Claire Reid has been appointed as PwC’s regional leader in Scotland, replacing Lindsay Gardiner who is stepping down from the role after seven years.
The appointment marks the first time a female has held the position of regional leader in Scotland and marks a significant moment for the organisation north of the border.
With a background in technology, which has seen Reid spend two years in Silicon Valley and a further 10 in London, her appointment comes amid a significant period for PwC as it looks to bolster its client offering in the data and cybersecurity fields.
Reid said: “I am truly honoured to take on the role as Regional Leader for Scotland. It’s great to be back home in Scotland, working with local organisations and supporting them to prosper and grow across the region. Scotland has a dynamic and thriving economy with lots of great opportunity for business, our communities and the people of Scotland.
“Lindsay has been an inspiring leader and I have learned much from him since I returned to Scotland in 2016. He has overseen a period of huge change for our business here – one which has grown into a truly progressive and tech-enabled firm with diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do.”
Gardiner will continue at PwC, working within the firm’s audit business as both a member of the UK Audit Executive and as an audit partner for a wide range of clients.
Gardiner commented: “Leading our wider team in Scotland for the last seven years has been a privilege and great fun. A lot has changed in that time, both in the way we deliver services for our clients and in the firm itself.
“We now work, in some respects, for the majority of listed companies based in Scotland, have developed our oil and gas and financial services centres of excellence, and significantly grown our services to locally-based private organisations and across the public sector.
“I am really proud of the diversity of skills and talent that we now have, particularly in technology industries, including the launch of our data degrees. I am sure we will continue to see this develop strongly under Claire’s leadership.”
ScotlandIS, the trade association championing Scotland’s digital technologies industry, has named Jane Morrison-Ross as its new CEO.
Described as a “passionate and committed businesswoman”, Morrison-Ross is an experienced technology industry executive, and a previous board member of ScotlandIS with a “strong track record” of working in and with digital companies, in operations and consultancy.
She has also held senior roles at Capgemini and was most recently CEO of the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre.
Morrison-Ross will join ScotlandIS in mid-August and will work alongside outgoing CEO Polly Purvis, who steps down in October.
Frances Sneddon, ScotlandIS chair, said: “Jane is not only a proven, innovative CEO, but also a long-standing contributor to the growth of Scotland’s technology sector. Her understanding of organisational culture and rich experience in managing growth and transformation will be invaluable to our members.
“I’m really looking forward to working with her as we expand our membership services and activities to support our members in driving further impressive growth for the Scottish Economy through digital.”
Jane Morrison-Ross commented: “I’ve had connections with ScotlandIS from the very beginning and really understand how the organisation has grown since its inception and is now on the cusp of a new phase with the Data and Cyber Clusters. I have known Polly throughout this period and I am honoured to be taking over from her.
“It’s a hugely exciting time for the sector and I’m looking forward to helping ScotlandIS become one window to the digital technology economy across Scotland, from the highlands and islands to the south, continuing to build Scotland’s international reputation as an attractive destination for digital businesses.”
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CodeClan has announced the appointment of Linda Scott as chief marketing officer (CMO). Scott’s role will be to enable CodeClan to capitalise on its position within the ever-changing digital technology sector, and to ensure that the organisation benefits from a “much higher profile across all key sectors”.
Scott, who previously served as CEO of the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, has helped hundreds of companies to grow, scale and prosper. Due to her excellent track record, she commands a strong reputation as a respected leader within the business community, CodeClan said in a statement today.
Alongside a number of national and international projects, Scott played an instrumental role in developing West Lothian’s Developing the Young Workforce skills and training programme. The highly-successful training initiative has gone on to be used as the template for the national solution on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Commenting on her appointment, Scott said: “CodeClan has a unique value proposition within Scotland’s digital economy. With hundreds of graduates working within hundreds of industry partners, we are directly helping businesses to grow and succeed, which along with skills and digital technology have been great passions throughout my career.
“The challenge of taking CodeClan into the future and helping the organisation to scale geographically, across multiple business sectors and ensuring we can introduce new courses, skills and talent, is one which I couldn’t resist. I’m thrilled to be a part of the CodeClan team and look forward to helping the academy achieve even greater recognition for the amazing work it does.”
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Jim Darroch has been appointed as chief technology officer at subsea IoT firm, WFS Technologies, as the firm aims to bolster its product portfolio.
Darroch commands extensive experience in leading engineering teams and the development of IoT product strategies, WFS said. Recently, Darroch played a pivotal role in the delivery of the Intelligent IoT Edge ecosystem in Honeywell’s ‘Connected Enterprise’ organisation.
Speaking of his appointment, Darroch commented: “WFS impressed me as a clear thought leader in developing subsea wireless and compute technology to solve customers’ problems in some of the world’s harshest operating environments.
“While there is a great deal of synergy with other emerging IoT use cases, subsea IoT presents enough challenges and opportunities to make WFS a fascinating place to work. With a solid tech foundation and a talented development team already in place, I am incredibly excited to join the team as this time to help drive, and deliver, our product vision.”
Prior to his work at Honeywell, Darroch served as senior director and vice presidents of engineering at Artesyn, formerly known as Emerson, helping to lead the planning and execution of the firm’s product engineering strategies.
Houseology Design Group
Shane Corstorphine, senior VP at Skyscanner, is replacing Bill Dobbie as chair of the Houseology Design Group, which offers interior design solutions in the B2C and B2B furniture and lighting sectors.
It is hoped that Corstorphine’s appointment will help the company achieve its goal of increasing the group’s revenue from international markets from 10% to 40% in the coming years.
Corstorphine, who played a key role in Skyscanner’s growth to unicorn status, said: “Andy and the team have done a great job over the last few years in transforming the operations of the business and establishing profitable growth.
“Houseology Design Group is now in a unique position to disrupt this multi-billion dollar vertical whilst helping people and companies to create amazing designer spaces.
“Indeed, it’s something the group’s Bureau division did to great effect at Skyscanner’s global headquarters in Edinburgh. The proprietary technology being developed by the team is an amazing opportunity and, overall, I’m looking forward to supporting them through this next phase of significant growth.”
Andy Russell, CEO of Houseology Design Group, said: “Getting Shane on board is a great endorsement of both our ambition for Houseology and the outlook for the business.
“Shane’s expertise, in all things digital and as a key part of Skyscanner’s incredible success, will be pivotal in guiding our senior team including the scaling of our new online B2B platform due for launch later this year.
“The platform we are building will revolutionise the way furniture and lighting is searched, discovered and shopped for by both the B2B and B2C customer.”
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Richard Lennox, formerly of Skyscanner, has joined Current Health to take up the position of chief operating officer. Lennox spent nearly a decade in senior leadership roles at the Edinburgh-based tech unicorn and commands a reputation as an experienced business leader.
In his new role, he will help to develop and implement Current’s strategic growth plans and oversee product development at the firm.
Commenting on the move, Lennox said: “Following an amazing growth journey at Skyscanner, and subsequently supporting a range of growing technology organisations, I wanted to bring that experience to focus on a single, impactful, product-led organisation.
“Saving and preserving the quality of people’s lives is definitely impactful and I wholeheartedly believe that’s what our product does. What the Current Health team has achieved to date is exemplary, and I’m honoured to help take this great company to the next level, while also continuing to elevate Edinburgh and Scotland’s thriving tech sector.”
Christopher McCann, CEO and co-founder of Current Health, added: “Richard’s remarkable talent for scaling companies makes him the right choice to help us accelerate and propel our team forward.
“Since receiving our CE marking here in the UK and two FDA clearances in the US, we’re experiencing incredible growth and interest from top healthcare systems around the world. We need a talented business leader to implement sound strategies for sustainable growth while overseeing our product development.”
Process automation specialist Caseblocks has appointed Michael Cairns as chief operating officer. In his role at the firm, Cairns will be responsible for delivering the programme for operational excellence across the business, as well as managing relationships between the company’s clients and software teams.
Commenting on his appointment, Cairns said: “I’m excited to be joining an agile, quick-thinking company with a great product and huge ambitions. I’m looking forward to getting involved in, and contributing to, every aspect of the business as it enters its next period of growth.
“This is an excellent time to join Caseblocks. The company is established, with some huge customers on the books. They have made extremely positive decisions about the strategy and future growth of the company, and I can see that Caseblocks is on an exciting journey, which will be great to be part of over the coming months and years.”
Caseblocks CEO Paul McGlynn added: “We are fortunate to be bringing someone with Michael’s experience to Caseblocks at this stage. He has a lifetime of implementing enterprise software solutions, managing service and people, which is vital to us.
“He is a perfect fit for this role. He adds critical knowledge and skills to the company as part of an ongoing program of structuring Caseblocks for scale.”
The Data Lab
The Data Lab has signed the lease on new office space at One Tech Hub and appointed a new business development manager as the innovation centre looks to further expand its presence in the north-east market.
It is hoped the move will help “provide a springboard” for it to continue building new relationships and partnerships with companies across the region.
Cameron Gordon will assume the role of business development executive, drawing upon his extensive network and experience in the region to drive The Data Lab’s plans forward. He joins from Aberdeen-based firm IFB and will complement the wider team’s existing expertise to raise the profile of digital and data throughout Scotland.
Commenting on his appointment, Gordon said: “There is a thriving market in Aberdeen with a multitude of diverse sectors and combined with high-growth potential, makes for an exciting time as I join the vibrant team at The Data Lab.
“The focus on collaboration with industry to better harness the power of data is a unique one and I look forward to working with public and private sector industries to drive forward growth to support The Data Lab in its north-east efforts.”
The Data Lab has plans to continue growing its Aberdeen team over the next few months, with further appointments in the pipeline.
Jude McCorry, head of business development at the innovation centre, said: “Cameron is a fantastic addition to The Data Lab team and his motivation and enthusiasm for collaboration with industry is extremely valuable to us. Aberdeen has huge potential for The Data Lab and I’m thrilled we have the support of Cameron to drive forward our ambitious growth plans in the city.”
Edge Testing Solutions, part of Eurofins Digital Testing, has moved into a new office space in Birmingham to house its growing Midlands team.
The Glasgow-headquartered firm has also announced a series of new hires, with Alex Griffiths joining as business development manager and Justin Brown as service delivery manager.
Griffiths brings with him more than 20 years of IT sales experience from global testing industry players, including Capita, Sogeti and Expleo (formerly SQS). In his new role, Griffiths will be responsible for identifying business opportunities and helping the firm to further expand its Midlands operations.
He said: “From a sales perspective, my new position offers me the flexibility and opportunities to help a dynamic technology company to grow. Edge Testing is one of only a few organisations in the testing world that genuinely wants to implement innovative approaches to improving the quality of business systems and applications.”
Service delivery manager Justin Brown will focus on building relationships with Edge Testing partners and key stakeholders to understand their requirements and add value to existing client engagements.
Commenting on his appointment, Brown said: “I was impressed by the ambitious nature of Edge Testing and the technical expertise supporting the company’s goals.”
David Singleton, regional manager for England and Wales, added: “We established our Birmingham team five years ago and, over that time, it’s successfully grown to become the second-largest UK base, after Edge Testing’s headquarters in Scotland.
“Our aim is to continue growing and we intend to do that by attracting new talent to the team, and providing the high level of support and service our clients have come to expect from us. To ensure that the business reaches its full potential, and delivers upon its UK-wide expansion objective, we have been significantly investing in our UK workforce, and sourcing experienced and committed team members.
“We’re delighted to welcome Alex and Justin to our expanding Midlands team as they are both dynamic individuals who will help us build Edge Testing’s reputation, and identify new business opportunities.”
Awards & Recognition
Incremental Group has achieved the prestigious 2019/202 Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications. Membership of this group is based on achievements that rank Incremental Group in the top 1% of Microsoft’s Business Applications global network of partners, and only one of a handful in the UK.
Inner Circle members have performed to a high standard of excellence by delivering valuable solutions that help organisations achieve increased success.
Cecilia Flombaum, Microsoft Business Applications lead, commented: “Each year we recognise Microsoft Business Applications partners from around the world for delivering innovation and driving unsurpassed customer success.
“Our Inner Circle members are chosen based on their business performance as well as capabilities as an organisation, whether that’s creating IP, developing solutions, or having an industry-leading focus on digital transformation. Microsoft is honoured to recognise Incremental Group for their achievements this past year, their dedication to our customers, and their innovation around the Microsoft Cloud.”
Incremental’s recognition came during Microsoft Inspire, the annual premier partner event which took place last month in Las Vegas.
Microsoft Inspire provides the Microsoft partner community with the opportunity to learn about the company’s roadmap for the upcoming year, establish connections, share best practices, experience the latest product innovations and learn new skills.
Neil Logan, CEO, said: “I’m delighted that Incremental has been awarded membership of the 2019/2020 Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications. None of this would be possible without the great work Incrementalists do for our customers. I am very proud to support a group of people who have been validated by one of the world’s top technology companies as the best at what they do.”
Analytics firm Millersoft has been recognised by Horseware Ireland for its assistance in helping the company streamline operations and processes.
Horseware is a leading producer of equestrian and pet products worldwide. Millersoft recently helped the company to accommodate increasingly large volumes of customer orders through its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The Musselburgh-based firm constructed both the data integration pipelines and built the ERP data warehouse.
Millersoft director Calum Miller said: “The best reward and company can receive is an acknowledgement from a customer and a repeat order. We don’t need to advertise or market ourselves but we are one of Scotland’s IT export success stories, with customers in Estonia, South America, Holland, Germany, Ireland and England.
“All of our customers come from referrals or repeat business. We’ve concentrated on organic growth for 20 years and that has helped us maintain quality.
“Most operational systems are good at transactions but really poor at analytics, reporting and dashboarding. The data needs to be extracted and placed in a format suitable for ad-hoc analysis. We have the tools, skills and staff to do that at a massive scale and limited cost. It’s a real game-changer for most companies when they can start drilling into trends in the data and can accurately forecast demand.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Horseware and watching them expand worldwide, knowing that we have played a small part in their global success story.”
Looking ahead, Millersoft announced it will begin planning for the population of a data lake for a European bank and the launch of a new national lottery in South America. Following a particularly busy period, the firm has nearly outgrown its new office space in Musselburgh, East Lothian.
Appetite for Business
Appetite for Business, an award-winning north-east firm has been recognised by a national body as one of the UK’s top 20 highest performing learning providers.
The tech consultancy has been awarded elite status as part of the prestigious annual report produced by the Learning and Performing Institute (LPI). The Aberdeen-based firm is one of only two Scottish companies to make the list and was included due to its “exceptional” performance during the accreditation process which observes and examines companies’ involvement in learning services.
Appetite also received LPI gold accreditation for the seventh consecutive year and, as part of this process, ranked highly across all categories including achieving perfect scores for client value proposition, business integrity, online learning and people development.
Managing director Sheryl Newman commented: “It’s an honour to be recognised as one of the UK’s top-20 learning providers. We are hugely appreciative of this award and continue to work tirelessly to help people and businesses transform their performance with relevant and innovative solutions that meet their needs and provide the highest quality training to our customers.
“There are only 14 providers across the UK to have received gold status; the pinnacle of achievement in terms of learning accreditation, which demonstrates the value clients place on our training provision and the confidence it generates.”
Ken Jones, LPI consultant and mentor, added: “I’m delighted that Appetite has not only been accredited as a learning provider, but that it has achieved this at the highest ‘gold standard’ level. The company’s drive and quality of solutions and delivery for customers is very impressive, combined with the continued investment in the development of its personnel to make the service even better.
“LPI accreditation is not only an independent validation of an organisation’s quality, but also a statement of intent to its customers: that the business will constantly improve, innovate and develop its portfolio to the benefit of customers.”