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DIGIT Movers and Shakers: March 2019

Ross Kelly


This month’s edition of DIGIT’s Movers and Shakers column features recruitment and awards news from companies including FullProxy, Converged Comms Solutions and DeepMiner.


Converged Communication Solutions

Aberdeen-headquartered IT support firm, Converged Communication Solutions, has appointed Gerry Grant as chief security officer, a newly created senior post.

Grant brings with him a “wealth of knowledge and experience”, Converged said, having previously served as chief ethical hacker at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre. Commanding a strong reputation in the cybersecurity sector, Grant has delivered presentations on computer security at national conferences, and contributed to the highly-popular STV series, Stopping Scotland’s Scammers.

Commenting on the appointment, Converged Managing Director, Neil Christie, said: “Gerry is one of Scotland’s most respected cybersecurity experts and brings to Converged an unprecedented level of knowledge and understanding about hacking and how hackers operate.

“The way in which technology is now an intrinsic part of our lives means that we must maintain good cybersecurity practices at all times. Our clients will benefit from Gerry’s expertise.”

Working with the firm’s existing cybersecurity team, Grant will work to enhance Converged’s service offering, as well as testing client networks to identify system vulnerabilities.

Grant commented: “Joining Converged is an exciting move, which will allow me to directly support businesses, organisations and individuals in implementing the advice I’ve previously been giving. Improving cybersecurity is an ongoing process that doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive, and employees can be the first and best line of defence.”


Richard McCandless and Colin Winning have been appointed as joint CEOs at ResDiary, following Mike Conyers’ decision to retire.

Having founded the company 13 years ago, Conyers has led ResDiary through a period of significant growth, which McCandless and Winning both intend to replicate. ResDiary was purchased by Accor in 2018.

In their previous roles as Global Sales Manager and Chief Technical Officer, McCandless and Winning have been instrumental in growing ResDiary from a small company to a globally-recognised in table reservations.

Commenting on the dual appointment, McCandless said: “Having worked with the company for many years, I’m delighted to move into this role. Colin and I will be building on ResDiary’s previous successes and continuing our mission to make ResDiary the market leader in restaurant reservation systems.”

Winning added: “With my technical background and Richard’s operational know-how, I believe that we are entering a new era for ResDiary. There are exciting plans for development which we’ll undertake while upholding the company values that made ResDiary the success it is today.”


Hospitality tech innovator Zonal has appointed Henri Jooste as Strategic Product Manager. Located at the firm’s Edinburgh head office, Jooste will work to explore the ever-evolving needs of customers when it comes to supply and stock management.

Working alongside Zonal’s R&D teams, he will help deliver solutions that meet both present customers needs, and anticipated future needs.

Jooste has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, holding positions in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Throughout his career, Jooste has played a pivotal role in the development of hospitality technology products.

Speaking on his appointment, Jooste said: “I am delighted to be joining Zonal at such a key time in its journey. With a product set that stands out from the crowd, Zonal provides the ideal opportunity to deliver world-class, integrated solutions, which very few of our competitors can offer.

“I couldn’t be joining the company at a more exciting time with its 40th anniversary year upon us. I find it quite remarkable that despite its significant growth, Zonal remains a family business at heart with a culture of passion and dedication to its customers and staff.”

Zonal Chief Executive Stuart McLean added: “We are thrilled to welcome someone of Henri’s calibre into the Zonal family. Zonal prides itself on constantly evolving and we continuously assess our products and processes in order to deliver a dedicated and bespoke service for our customers.”

Leidos UK

Silka Patel has been appointed as Leidos UK’s Senior Marketing Manager. Working alongside the UK marketing team, Patel will help support Leidos UK’s go-to-market strategy.

Patel brings more than 14 years of technology marketing experience with her. Having spent 13 years at Cisco, for the past year she has worked in a consultant capacity for a number of technology companies.

In her new role, Patel will be the strategic advisor to the UK leadership team and senior management on industry activities, growth plans, market opportunities and the channels to market that underpin the key drivers for Leidos in a host of sectors.

These include defence, healthcare, government, safety and security, and transportation.

Johnston Carmichael

Chartered accountants and business adviser, Johnston Carmichael, has announced a key strategic hire for its financial services advisory team. Ewen Fleming will play a key role in Johnston Carmichael’s ongoing expansion and capability enhancement in the financial services sector.

Fleming commands a strong reputation in financial services, having previously held senior roles at Royal Bank of Scotland. He also helped establish Santander UK’s premium banking business before moving into business consultancy for the financial services sector.

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive Sandy Manson said: “This move is all part of our ambitious strategy of expanding the range of services we can offer our growing client base.”


Edinburgh-based financial services firm, Computershare, has recruited three skilled technology workers as part of a drive to get more women to return to work following career breaks.

Working with consultancy Women Returners and the Finance, Legal & FinTech Returners Scotland programme, Computershare took on developer Helen Robertson, test analyst Andrea PonPeter and business analyst Ella Leigh for 16 weeks. The company has since made permanent job offers to all three, which have been accepted.

Commenting on the trio of appointments, Global CIO at Computershare, Mark McDougall, said: “Computershare strongly believes that diversity and inclusion makes good business sense and we are constantly looking at ways to include people with different life experiences in the company.

“Recruiting high-calibre individuals returning from a career break helps to support our goal of sustainable growth by bringing people into niche roles, as well as aid innovative thinking and creative solutions for our customers.”

Speaking on her appointment, Robertson said: “Thanks to the effort of Computershare and the return to work programmes, I have a fantastic opportunity with a world-class company that has created relevant work experience and a highly-supportive and understanding environment.”

PonPeter added: “My new role has instilled in me great confidence and re-kindled my desire to meet new people and upskill myself to meet changing trends. It’s a great joy to be able to contribute not just to my family, but also to use the knowledge and talent to the benefit of the organisation. ”


Robert Wilson has secured a position at xDesign, marking a significant milestone for CodeClan.

As the organisation’s 500th graduate to gain employment, Wilson’s appointment underlines the positive impact of CodeClan’s collaborative approach to working with industry to help bridge the digital skills gap in Scotland.

The coding academy believes that this business milestone demonstrates that its Professional Software Development (PSD) course is “exactly what recruits and employers need”.

Rory Bennett, Head of Engineering at xDesign, commented: “We’re delighted to have Rob join us as a software engineer at xDesign. Rob stood out because of his strong problem-solving skills, his ability to adapt to challenges and for having a keen willingness to learn.

“We know that through the CodeClan experience, he has picked up core development skills that are important to us and that we can help him build upon. It’s been a good experience collaborating with CodeClan to tap into their junior talent pool, it’s certainly something we would look to do more of when hiring in the future.”


Cybersecurity integration expert FullProxy has been named F5 Security Partner of the Year at the recent annual F5 Forum event in London after a period of rapid growth. 

The prestigious award recognised FullProxy for its continued focus on the security aspects of F5’s portfolio, such as Web Application Firewall, Identity and Access Management and L4 Firewall.

Neil Burton, F5 Director of Channel and Alliances UK & Ireland, described the win as “the least contended nomination as they were so far ahead of the pack”. 

Ewan Ferguson, CEO at FullProxy, stated: “For me this award represents the culmination of three years hard work from the team at FullProxy, building on last year’s recognition for individual talent with the F5 SE of the Year award.

“It is an exciting time for the company with rapid growth in the Sales and Consulting departments and I feel receiving this accolade not only recognises our focus and validates our skills and experience, but also signals our intent to be world leaders in cybersecurity integration.”

Commenting on the award, co-founder Aine Ui Ghiollagain, said: “We are thrilled to pick up the ‘New Business of the Year‘ award at this year’s HBW Awards. DeepMiner has been making strides to continue evolving and developing our search solutions through artificial intelligence since 2017 and this marks another tremendous milestone in our journey.

“The team is demonstrating our commitment and capability to change the business world by empowering large powerful organisations with a new way to research, view, gather and process data and as a data scientist with a genuine love and fascination for data, I am truly excited to push the boundaries and challenge the norm.

“To be recognised for our achievements particularly with so many creative and worthy finalists, I am honoured to receive the Highland Business Woman’s Award on DeepMiner’s behalf.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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