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DIGIT: Movers and Shakers April 2018

Dominique Adams

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DIGIT Movers and Shakers April 2018

April was a month of new beginnings, growth and expansion for Scotland’s digital technology community. This month we cover recent appointments, new ventures, exciting business growth and expansion into new territories. 

Appointments

Commsworld

John Bennett

Joining the firm’s board are two business heavy-weights Steve Langmead and John Bennett, who will both take outward-looking roles to help the business achieve the next stage of its growth. Langmead, the former Senior Vice President of Atos and Chief Executive of Capita Scotland will join the board as a Non-Executive Director as will Bennett, the Director with European Equities at Janus Henderson Investors and a Non-Executive Director with Rangers Football Club.

The duo, who have a combined c-suite experience of more than 40 years, will add to an already formidable board that includes Ian Blackford MP, the SNP Parliamentary Leader. Langmead said: “The fundamental reasons for me joining are the great people behind the firm and the sheer amount of good it is doing for Scotland’s businesses and essential public services.”

Bennet said: “I firmly believe that the best is yet to come for Commsworld even after the remarkable last year. They’ve been able to transition really well, serving the SMEs really well, as well as those in the public sector at a time when others simply aren’t doing so.”


Scottish Enterprise 

Steve DunlopSteven Dunlop has been selected to take over from incumbent Lena Wilson at Scottish Enterprise as the new Chief Executive. The organisation will benefit from Dunlop’s extensive experience in public sector leadership roles. He has a proven track record of driving inclusive economic growth and a wealth of industry expertise. Before taking up the role of Scottish Enterprise, Dunlop was a driving force behind the transformation of Scotland’s canals, which acted as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration.

Prior, to that he held the position Director of Regeneration for Newcastle City Council and Director of Community Services for Falkirk Council. Dunlop said: “There has never been a more important time to help Scottish businesses grow and internationalise. At Scottish Enterprise, I look forward to collaborating with other public bodies, the private sector and our world-class academic institutions to help optimise our talent, resources and ambition in ways that genuinely benefit Scotland.”

Economy Minister Keith Brown said of the appointment: “Steve is a talented leader with a fantastic ability to bring people, partners and stakeholders with him in driving meaningful and sustainable change. He is one of the most passionate and entrepreneurial leaders we have in Scotland and I am delighted he has accepted the role to lead Scottish Enterprise working in close collaboration with national and local partners to deliver a more joined up economic development system across Scotland.”


British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association

Calum PatersonBritish Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) in the UK has welcomed Calum Paterson, Managing Partner of Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) on board as its Chairman for 2018/19. Paterson, one of the co-founding members of SEP, will bring his extensive experience of working in equity and venture capital to the firm.

Paterson said: “I am very pleased to take on the role of BVCA Chair, particularly at this important time for the industry and for the UK economy. I would like to pay tribute to my immediate predecessor, Helen Steers of Pantheon Ventures, for doing such an excellent job during the last 12 months.”

“Private equity and venture capital play a vital role in the UK, not least in terms of supporting the growth of innovative companies. I look forward to supporting the BVCA in representing and promoting the entire industry, across the whole country.”


Eureka Solutions 

Xavier bastien This month the award-winning Glasgow based company has appointed Xavier Bastien as its new Managing Director. With over 20 years of experience, Bastien joins the company with the aim of building on the firm’s momentum and strong partnerships. His appointment comes at a time of significant growth for the firm, having grown their staff count to 58 and taken on a host of new customers such as Saltrock Surfwear, Derby County Football Club, The Kiltwalk, Loganair and Bounce.

He has a solid background in marketing, international business development and financial operations. Commenting on his new role, Bastien said: “I’m really excited to join the team at Eureka Solutions. After seeing its impressive growth over the last few years, I hope to accelerate this growth further. Eureka Solutions’ passion to provide customers with the correct solutions to optimise their processes is outstanding and I’m excited to be a part of the team.”

 


BrightSolid 

Malcolm Smith BrightsolidMalcolm Smith has been appointed as Chief Sales Officer to lead the delivery of a revitalised strategy for the company’s sales force. Smith, previously Head of Sales, has been promoted to the newly created role and will be responsible for coordination, functional management and strategic leadership of all Brightsolid sales initiatives.

Smith’s priorities in the new role include supporting and contributing to the new Brightsolid business strategy and strengthening the sales team capacity with two new appointments. Smith, who has been with Brightsolid for almost 13 years, has over 20 years’ experience in Scotland’s technology industry.

Smith said: “Cloud computing is driving transformational change in organisations, so it is a really exciting time to take on this challenging role. Our new leadership structure and strategic approach has made this promotion a highly attractive opportunity for me. We are moving forward with renewed focus and an improved delivery model, which means we will be doing more of the right type of business, more effectively. Coupled with our product and service offering, we are uniquely placed to help organisations achieve digitisation in a flexible and cost-effective way.”


Growth

Zonal 

The Edinburgh based hospitality technology solutions provider has grown its turnover 20.5% to reach £54.3m, up from £45.1m. In the last financial year, Zonal increased its spend on R&D by over 27% to just under £5m. The company has also launched a Marketing Technologies division, specialising in online marketing services and mobile app technology.

Chief Executive Stuart McLean said: “Zonal has come on a long journey since it was founded by my father almost 40 years ago and he would be very proud of our achievements. Zonal remains fiercely independent, which enables us to be nimble and quick to respond to the ever-changing world of technology.”

“We remain focused on R&D with plans to launch new innovative products during 2018, which will secure our position as the market leader of technology solutions to the hospitality industry. It’s an exciting time for the industry as technology becomes a key part of the consumer out of home experience, with the growth in pre-order, mobile ordering and food delivery.

 


New Ventures

Devanha Digital Security

 

Mark Mair After 15 years at Skibo Technologies, of which he was a Founding Director, Mark Mair has branched out to establish a new business, Devanha Digital Security (DDS). This new venture will be providing information security and privacy solutions to organisations of all shapes and sizes.

It will have a keen focus on governance and compliance (ISO 27001), user awareness training and strategic consulting to help businesses to meet the challenges of an ever-changing threat environment. Previously, Mair has held various senior technical IT positions in the oil and gas industry, the engineering industry, the marine industry, and both the legal and financial sectors.

Mair told DIGIT: “I am looking forward to the future, the company is looking to expand rapidly over the next two years and in the coming months we will be looking to recruit five or six new data security experts to be based in Aberdeen.”

 


Expansion

SHE Software

SHE Software InvestmentFollowing a £3m investment, SHE Software has just launched in the US and has opened its first state-side office in Chicago. As well as an office in the UK and US, the firm also opened its New Zealand office 18 months ago. The firm is currently in the process of creating five highly skilled new jobs in its stateside team of health and safety software experts. CEO Matthew Elson is set to move across the Atlantic to head up the firm’s US operations.

Over the next 12 months, the company plans to recruit 10 more people into a range of roles including sales, marketing and implementation specialists. In the coming year, the company plans to focus on raising brand awareness in the US.

SHE Software CEO, Matthew Elson, said: “The funding boost we received earlier this year has allowed us to secure a foothold in North America and begin the all-important hiring process to build our team out there.”

“We are seeing more enquiries from the US and following a successful market test in 2017, we feel that now is the right time for us to target America. It will be a challenge but we firmly believe that with a strong team in place, we can comfortably meet our US business objectives.”


Henderson Loggie 

As of the 4th of May 2018 one of Scotland’s leading independent firms of Chartered Accountants, Henderson Loggie, are moving their office to new premises at 11-15 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DF.


Awards

2018 CIO 100 List

Martyn Wallace Scottish Digital Office, CIO 100 Martyn WallaceMartyn Wallace, the Chief Digital Officer for Scottish Local Government, Claudette Jones of the University of West of Scotland and Adrian Tucker from the Student Loans Company have all made the shortlist of the UK’s CIO 100. The CIO 100 is a list of the most transformative and disruptive Chief Information Officers in the UK, recognising technology and business leaders driving change in successful organisations.

Wallace who was placed at 62, has previously received recognition for his work in leading the Digital Office for the Scottish Local Government. Wallace said of the recognition: “It’s great to be recognised amongst some great CIO’s from very large, well known and in some cases global businesses.”

Jones, who ranked 71 has received recognition for her hard work to increase both student and staff satisfaction. Jones has halved staff travel time by introducing video conferencing on all devices. She also oversaw a major infrastructure upgrade, which increased the availability of wifi access across the university’s campuses. She was a key driving force behind the creation of a single student portal and a student engagement tracker to help identify students who might be struggling.

Tucker, who came in at 66, specialises in complex transformation delivery, organisational re-structuring and operational re-engineering. At his current role, Tucker’s overriding goal is to deliver value for money for the taxpayer, while disrupting and transforming the technology landscape.

Previously, he was responsible for the completion of an ambitious modernisation programme at the Department of Education. This saw the rollout of 6,500 Surface devices, running Windows 10 and Office 365. The value to the organisation was significant, allowing true mobile working and exploiting all space within DfE buildings.

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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