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DIGIT Movers and Shakers: October 19th 2017

Andrew Hamilton


DIGIT movers and shakers October 19th 2017

It’s October, time for another round-up of the recruitment, expansions, acquisitions and promotions in Scotland’s digital tech sector. Yes, it’s DIGIT’s increasingly definitive Movers & Shakers.

This month: space-tech firm STAR-Dundee becomes fully employee-owned,  Deloitte expands its creative side, office expansions include Kite Power Systems & Axis Animations and Wood Group acquires AMEC Foster Wheeler.



zonal DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Hospitality technology specialist Zonal has appointed Leo Cunningham as Information Security and Compliance Manager. Cunningham will provide leadership for Zonal’s info-sec requirements, to ensure that the company remains safe and compliant in the ever-changing landscape of cyber-security.

Today Zonal employs more than 500 people and provides point-of-sale technology for 11,000 businesses across the UK. Cunningham has more than 10 years’ worth experience in risk management for finance, e-commerce and FinTech under his belt.

Cunningham said: “Zonal is a technology leader in a fast-paced sector that mines vast amounts of sensitive data.  The company already has strong procedures in place, but I look forward to leading Zonal’s information security and compliance programmes, policies, and procedures to ensure we meet our objectives, not just today but the future too.”


CGI Group

Justene Ewing CGI GroupJustene Ewing has joined CGI Group as Vice President of Consulting Services. Prior to joining CGI Justene was the managing director of digital health and care at Waracle.

Justene told DIGIT: “I am delighted to be joining CGI, one of the worlds largest IT consultancy, outsourcing and digital transformation organisations. I started my career in outsourcing twenty years ago, and after spending the last five years working within the public sector this appointment allows me to return to an Industry with which I am very familiar to combine and utilise all of my skills. It’s an exciting time.”


The ID Co.

lazaro scott DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Digital passport firm The ID Company has appointed two new leading roles in a bid to strengthen its market position. Lazaro Campos and Scott Leckie have been adopted by the firm as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, respectively.

Mr Campos, a former Chief Executive at financial communications firm SWIFT, has been part of The ID Co. since 2014 as a Non-Executive Director. Meanwhile, Mr Leckie’s previous roles include CTO of digital documentation service HotDocs, where he managed the firm’s overall strategy.


Edge Testing

James McLean Test Lead, Edge TestingEdge Testing Solutions has appointed James McLean a former police officer and graduate of the software testing company’s Edge Academy as Test Lead.

McLean said: “I was injured on duty so spent a few years behind a desk and, during that time, studied computing through the Open University, before retiring from the police force. I hadn’t realised that people got paid to test, but after finding out that testing is an interesting and challenging occupation, I knew it was the ideal job for me. Now, thanks to Edge Academy, I have been given the skills to transform my 25 years in law enforcement and finding criminals into hunting down and fixing bugs and glitches in IT systems, programmes and apps.”

James’ new Test Lead role involves setting up and managing test teams, creating project test plans, business analysis and managing systems test processes, and while the progression from police officer to software tester may not seem an obvious one, James confirms that there was one similarity between the two career paths that he has been able to draw upon – collating and probing evidence.



 star dundee DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Dundee-based space-tech firm STAR-Dundee has completed its transition to full employee-ownership. Spun-out from the University of Dundee, the company designs data components for use in satellites and spacecraft. The firm decided to go employee-based after its founder, Professor Steve Parkes, concluded that it was the best move for the company going forward.

STAR-Dundee is now celebrating its 15th year in business, and its tech is used in more than 100 spacecraft whose functions include monitoring the planet, photographing asteroids and mapping the galaxy.

Professor Parkes said: “Having formed STAR-Dundee and forged it over 15 years into a company with a worldwide reputation, I realised that I was not going to be around to see it through the next 15 years. Selling the company to another organisation, which would inevitably change the culture and might even move it from its Dundee base, was not a very attractive idea. Employee ownership retains and strengthens the culture and will ensure that it always has a base in Dundee.”



odro DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Glasgow-based firm Odro has its sights set on UK-wide expansion, after its video-CVs have proven popular with clients as far as Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Sao Paolo. The company has already established relationships with hundreds of public and private bodies in the recruitment world, including Aberdeen City Council and Capita plc. As a result, Odro reports that it is already responsible for thousands of video-CVs every week.

Ryan McCabe, CEO of Odro, said: “Over the last 12 months we’ve won over 30 London-based clients and we’ve now got customers using Odro in offices as far away as Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Sao Paolo.

“With strong client support, that’s given us the confidence to have a footprint in London that will allow us to win even more work there and to make further inroads into Europe and beyond.”


Organised Health Technologies

oht DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017After months of continued expansion, Glasgow-based digital health company Organised Health Technologies will move from their Entrepreneurial Spark incubator into a new city centre head office, Clockwise. The office will serve as the new headquarters for the firm, as it sets ts sights on wider expansion across the UK and a push for London, in Q1 2018. As a result, Clockwise will house all of the OHT team, including the executive, technology, marketing and customer service departments.

Nadeem Sarwar, CEO of Organised Health said: “It’s the perfect time and the perfect location. We have a great relationship with the team at Clockwise having attended numerous events in the building and we are thrilled to be bringing our team of over 10 staff in our Glasgow head office (and counting!) to such an incredible looking and inspiring space.



deloitte digital DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Deloitte, one of the ‘Big Four’ global auditors, has strengthened its Scottish foothold with the acquisition of Edinburgh-based proposition design firm Market Gravity. Deloitte already has offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, employing around 600 people. The firm will likely integrate Market Gravity’s framework with its own Digital Studio, which it created last year, to allow firms to rapidly prototype new products and services.

Gareth Edwards, Head of Deloitte Digital, Edinburgh, said: “Expanding our digital team and capabilities is a real focus for the firm, as we look to help our clients develop new services that will help them lead the way in their respective industries.”

“The acquisition of Market Gravity was a logical next step. It has operations in London, New York, Toronto, and Edinburgh and has worked with some of the world’s leading brands in a variety of sectors.”


Wood Group

Aberdeen-based energy and engineering firm Wood Group has completed its acquisition of project management group Amec Foster Wheeler. Operating in more than 60 countries and employing more than 55,000 people, Wood has a global presence in the technical energy sector. The purchase will mean Amec advisors Ian McHoul (of drinks company Britvic), Linda Adamany and Roy A Franklin (Premier Oil PLC) will be appointed to Wood Group’s board as Non-Executive Directors.

Robin Watson, Chief Executive of Wood Group, commented: “This transformational acquisition creates a global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets.”


Cathcart Associates

cathcart DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Independent IT recruiters Cathcart Associates to set to expand and strengthen its foothold in Manchester’s growing tech scene, as demand for skilled technology staff reaches record-levels in the north of England start-up scene.

Originally from Edinburgh, Cathcart expects a 100% increase in turnover year on year for its Manchester division, taking revenue of up to £4 million by 2020. Headcount is expected to double over the same time, and the firm has created a dedicated training programme for graduate recruits who want to work in the growing Manchester base.

Sam Wason, Co-Founder and Director of Cathcart Associates, said: “The volume of tech success stories coming out of Manchester is impressive. Manchester’s technology sector is bursting with potential and we are excited to be part of the tech scene here and to support it as it competes with other tech hubs for talent and business.”


Purpose HR

purpose DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Edinburgh-based Purpose HR has secured a number of new Scottish clients to deliver its ‘HR as a service’ offering. These include shopping app Mallzee, training software specialist Administrate and AIM-listed Smarter Grid Solutions.

Lisa Thomson, CEO of Purpose HR, said: “Our USP is supporting high growth ventures through close collaboration with the in-house teams, a deep understanding of the technology and life sciences sectors and a proven track record in enabling the leadership function to scale the business.”



lingo24 DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Tech-based translation company Lingo24 has opened a branch office in the Netherlands, taking its total number of outlets in the world to 6. The firm, originating from Aberdeen, has experienced significant growth particularly in Amsterdam over the last few months, with 8 of Lingo24’s top 30 clients having major assets in the Netherlands.

Lingo24 is now the third largest privately owned language services business in the UK. Two senior employees from the company have re-located to the Netherlands to support the growth there, while Founder Christian Arno and fellow ‘Lingo-ists’ will be spending more time in the country.

Arno said: “Amsterdam has the highest concentration of Lingo24 clients after London, and so it’s natural for us to want to build on that success. It is also becoming a real hub for e-commerce, which is where our experience and technology have most positive impact. Within travel, B2C and B2B ecommerce, the pressure to deliver tailored content in multiple languages at the speed of now has never been greater.”


Axis Studios

axis animation DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Glasgow animation and VFX company Axis Studios has announced the launch of a new London-based branch in Hoxton. It is hoped that the new studio will provide ‘greater exposure’ for its sister-companies Axis Animation, Flaunt Productions and axisVFX across the capital.

The London studio is predicted to house 10-15 percent of Axis’ workforce of around 200 employees. Projects slated for the studio include  Netflix/E4’s Kiss Me First and SyFy’s Happy!

Paul Schleicher, Executive Producer at Axis Studios, said: “The London studio is a natural evolution for Axis Studios, it gives us greater access to new and existing clients and of course some of the very best talent in the world.”



Kite Power Systems

kite DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017High-tech wind energy firm Kite Power Systems has acquired its own offices in Glasgow, meaning it can now move out of the city’s Tontine Innovation Centre. The company has outgrown its surroundings after increasing its headcount from nine to 30 at the start of the year, well ahead of forecasts which put growth at 25 persons by the end of 2017.

The firm will now be able to carry out all of its energy-engineering functions from a 4,100 sq. ft. space, seated in Glasgow’s CBD. It has also established a research and test facility on a MoD range at West Freugh near Stranraer, after netting £5 million of investment from E.ON, Schlumberger and Shell Technology Ventures.

Simon Heyes, Chief Executive of Kite Power Systems, said: “This move to a new head office in Glasgow underlines just how quickly the business has grown over the past nine months and it fully endorses our decision to relocate to Scotland, where we have been able to recruit many additional talented individuals, both engineers and support professions, to enable us to take our technology to the next level.

“The Tontine has provided us with an excellent foundation in the city and we are extremely grateful to Glasgow City Council for their support and encouragement over the past nine months.”



lockton DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Lockton, the world’s largest independent insurance brokerage firm, has unveiled its Aberdeen office in the city’s Westhill business district, as it looks to expand its regional footprint.

Based in London, the company employs almost 50 insurance brokers and management specialists here in Scotland, but will also expand its Scottish presence with four new hires. The appointments – Moira Presley, Gillian McGruther, Alison Sprink and Gordon Henderson – will all be stationed in account management.

Gordon Duncan, Head of Corporate Business in Scotland, said: “We welcome the impending arrival of our new colleagues and believe that they will readily demonstrate the highly-focused, customer-centric approach to business.”



ctrip DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017Online travel agency Ctrip has cemented its Edinburgh presence by booking One Lochrin Square as the site for its new call centre. The office is expected to create 200 jobs, with recruitment starting at the end of the year. The deal – brokered by property firm Knight Frank – will see Ctrip occupy the first floor of the business centre, with refurbishment work already underway. Ctrip first demonstrated their interest in Scotland with their purchase of flight-booking unicorn Skyscanner last November for £1.4 billion.

Coley Dale, Director of Ctrip, said: “It was clear from our previous visits that Edinburgh was the ideal base for our dedicated call centre. We looked at several buildings in the city, but One Lochrin Square was exactly the kind of accommodation we were looking for – we’re very much looking forward to getting our new operation underway.”



waterstons DIGIT movers and shakers: october 2017And finally, in its first foray north of the border, the Durham-based business performance company has opened its first office in Scotland, along the M8 corridor between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Waterstons has worked with a number of clients from Scotland already.

Ricky Milliken has been appointed Regional Head for Scotland to lead the office. It is hoped that a starter team of around four or five consultants get things underway, before the unit ultimately grows to 30 or 50 members within five years. To encourage this growth, Waterstons is planning to host a series of industry events in Scotland throughout 2018.

Ricky, who joined the company four months ago but has more than 17 years experience in IT management, said: “It’s the company values, capability and ambition of Waterstons that really resonated with me. We have a very efficient and professional business-focused outlook, offering technology as an enabler to maximise real business outcomes and benefits.”

Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton

PR & Content Executive at Hutchinson Networks

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