DIGIT Movers and Shakers | December 2020
Cloud Cover IT
Glasgow-based digital transformation firm Cloud Cover IT has strengthened its developer, commercial and senior leadership teams with the appointment of eight new employees, despite the challenging business environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Steven Turner, who joins from DPS Group as Commercial Director, has more than 20 years’ experience in leadership and consulting roles, advising companies on developing high growth commercial strategies, and leading company transformations.
He also holds an active role within the wider Scottish business diaspora as an Ambassador for the Scottish Business Network.
The senior leadership team has been further bolstered with the promotion of David Pieroni from Microsoft 365 Specialist to Head of Technology and Projects.
In addition, Cloud Cover IT has strengthened the commercial team with the addition of two new recruits: Owen Smith as Sales Manager, who joins from SevenSteps Recruitment, and Caitlyn Gillespie as Marketing Coordinator, who previously worked with BIG Partnership.
The Bridgeton-based firm has also made a significant investment in its next generation of IT talent. Robbie Burgess and Kieran Bradley come on board as apprentices for the Diploma for Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals, whilst Marc Cameron and Jon Wood join as Back- and Front-end Developers respectively.
Jamie Dickson also returns to the business as 3rd Line Support Engineer following a period at BIG Partnership as IT Department lead.
Investment in new and existing talent follows a challenging but successful year for Cloud Cover IT, with new clients seeking bespoke software development projects as well as guidance in enabling the swift transition to home working for their employees at the height of the pandemic.
Newly appointed Commercial Director, Steven Turner said: “What brought me to Cloud Cover IT is that it understands that modern organisations thrive on the flow of information and data to enable productive collaboration across their workforce. The company is making a difference by helping businesses to overcome challenges and gain a competitive advantage through the power of technology. The team and I will be working closely with our clients to help them integrate digital solutions which best suit their specific needs.”
Lance Gauld, Managing Director of Cloud Cover IT, says: “We have always been passionate about fostering young talent within the IT sector. I am immensely proud that we have been able to bring on an exceptionally talented group of new recruits, despite operating in one of the most challenging commercial climates.
“It’s been a tough year, but the team has done incredibly well to adapt, in particular to remote working. Despite everything, we’ve come out the other side stronger. As we enter the next chapter of our journey, this continued investment will help drive forward our offering as we respond to the evolving needs of our clients to enable their growth and ensure they benefit from the most innovative IT solutions on throughout their digital transformation journeys.”
ClickBoost, the digital advertising firm has appointed Natasha Walker from Equator to help the firm further develop in 2021. Natasha has been appointed as Head of PPC.
While many digital firms struggled in 2020, ClickBoost went from strength to strength, primarily thanks to an increase in businesses wishing to sell and generate leads online. The company has delivered results locally and internationally for clients across a variety of industries including automotive, cosmetic, dentistry, fitness and finance.
Scott Beveridge co-founder and e-commerce director at ClickBoost added: “What made Natasha stand out was her experience with a variety of impressive companies such as AXA, Cameron House, Malmaison, Covent Garden, HCA Healthcare and The Belfry as well as her leading the paid search team while at international digital firm Equator.”
Natasha said: “I’m looking forward to not only working with existing clients but also helping Gordon, Scott and the team develop their plans in 2021 and do what we can to help a lot of businesses grow.
“As we’ve seen from the ongoing lockdowns, it’s vital to be front and centre to your potential customers nowadays. Organic content and SEO have their place but good paid-for results make sure that you are front of the right people at the exact point when they are considering a purchase. Businesses don’t have the time or budgets for efforts that don’t deliver so my focus will be ensuring that ClickBoost continues to deliver industry-leading returns on advertising spend.”
ClickBoost co-founder Gordon Campbell added: “Natasha has a lot of the same skills as our already strong team, but more crucially, she brings a range of new skills to the table which will allow us to work with a broader range of clients and further improve results for our current portfolio of clients.”
Glasgow-based technology firm Exizent has announced the appointment of Mitchel Lenson as Non-Executive Chairman. Mitchel brings extensive financial services and technology innovation experience to the Board, gained through both his executive and non-executive careers.
Mitchel was a long-serving Non-Executive Director at Nationwide Building Society before stepping down in 2019. He currently sits on the board of Currency Cloud, which allows the next generation of fintechs to quickly and easily build cross-border payments and FX functionality into their platforms, as well BioCatch, the global leader in AI-driven behavioural biometrics.
His career has spanned over 30 years. From 2000-2005 he was Group Chief Information Officer at Deutsche Bank, where he successfully led the bank’s transformation. Prior to this, he ran a variety of business, operations and technology units for global investment houses including UBS Warburg, where he served as Managing Director, Global Head of Operations & Operations IT, and Credit Suisse First Boston where he was Director of Group Operations.
Mitchel started his career in 1977 on the graduate training programme at J.P. Morgan. He has an MBA in international finance from City University Business School and a BA in Business Finance from the City of London Polytechnic.
Of his appointment as Non-Executive Chairman at Exizent, Mitchel said: “I am excited to be joining Exizent, a fine example of the role technology can play in improving an area that has been long overlooked.
“Exizent’s vision to improve the bereavement experience and fundamentally reduce the administrative burden on families is a proposition that really resonates with me, and I’m looking forward to supporting them on their journey.”
Nick Cousins, founder and CEO, says Mitchel’s extensive experience will be a huge asset to Exizent: “I am delighted that Mitchel has decided to join us,” he said. “He brings a proven track record in financial services and technical innovation and his appointment is a key step in our evolution as we seek to make the bereavement experience better for everyone involved.”
CodeClan announced the appointment of a new chief delivery officer in December, with Damien Miller joining the skills academy.
Miller joins CodeClan from Computershare, where he served as the firm’s development officer for several years. During his time at Computershare, Miller helped expand the software development team at its St Andrew’s Square site in Edinburgh city centre.
Commenting on his appointment, Miller said: “I’ve greatly admired CodeClan as it has gone from strength to strength and become a household name on the tech scene through providing industry-ready graduates for organisations.
“As Scotland charts its economic recovery in the wake of Covid-19, it has never been more important to invest in our digital skills to help put the nation firmly on the map as a technology powerhouse.
“I’m also looking forward to giving something back to the software development community that gave so much to me in the early stages of my career.”
Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, CodeClan’s CEO, added: “Damien has a strong track record as a people-focused, technical leader and will be a key part of CodeClan’s leadership team as we look to drive a number of projects and efficiencies over the next twelve months and beyond.”
Workflo Solutions has ramped up its recruitment activity during the coronavirus pandemic, hiring eleven new employees as the company continues in its aim to become the UK’s flagship outsourced managed services and IT support provider.
Joining Workflo Solutions are David Black, Sales Manager – Managed Print Division (East of Scotland), Daniel Jones, Sales Manager – North West & Midlands, Mike Bell, who has been appointed Sales Manager for the Production Print division, with Tam Haggerty coming on board as Head of Production Print Technical Team.
Paul McCallum becomes Business Development Manager for Managed Print, Nathan Neale joins Paul in the Business Development team, covering North West England, Linda Barr has been hired as Credit Controller, whilst Andrew Moncrieff becomes Head of Business Development at TRM – the Paisley based Document and Records Management Specialists, acquired by Workflo Solutions earlier this year. TRM also sees the addition of Brian Moore in a digital operative role.
A focus on Unified & Hosted Comms sees Paul Kinnear come in as Head of this Division, and to ensure the market is aware of the company’s unique market position as a true operational service partner, Courtney Coyle joins as Marketing Executive.
Michael Field, managing director, Workflo Solutions, said the recruitment drive was necessary as the company continued to move forward supporting its 900-strong UK client base as they emerged from lockdown.
He commented: “No one could have predicted the impact Covid-19 had on our professional and private lives. However, at Workflo, our business plans, goals, and ambitions remain steadfast. We have worked hard to bring together the fragmented managed service market, and to offer clients a holistic solution, one which delivers greater value than that of its individual parts.
“This is also down to intelligent recruitment as the market adapts to change. Having hired personnel which brings our staff compliment to 32, up from 21, since the beginning of the year, the entire team is focused on helping clients seamlessly transition into this new post-Covid era. Core service areas such as managed print, document management and IT management or Cloud adoption are crucial to their business processes.
“In doing this, we will alleviate pressure on our clients’ businesses as many of them take time to embrace the new normal. Much of this evolution comes from cloud printing solutions facilitating communication from those workers adopting flexible home working, which allow documents to be produced and sent securely.”
Glasgow-based credit management software firm, Know-it, has announced the appointment of James Plunkett to the position of User Experience (UX) Designer and Product Owner. The appointment enforces the company’s commitment in putting user experience at the forefront of the Know-it strategy, enabling users to monitor customer and supplier’s creditworthiness, in the most seamless and initiative manner possible.
Know-it is a cloud-based credit management platform which streamlines the credit-control process, so users can credit check and monitor, chase payments and collect overdue unpaid invoices all from one place.
Plunket, an award-winning designer with over 15 years’ experience, joins the business, having held similar positions for Kelpie Media, the Herald & Times Group, S1 and guitarguitar, where his work focused on delivering creative and innovative user-centric design and marketing concepts.
At Know-it, Plunkett will work directly with the senior leadership to support the launch of the Know-it platform, where UX will sit at the forefront, providing a frictionless experience for customers.
The platform has been designed to appeal to all business-to-business organisations regardless of size and will ensure the principles of Know-it; Check-it, Chase-it and Collect-it, run intuitively across all aspects of the brand.
Discussing his appointment further Plunkett says, “Controlling, collecting, and processing payments from clients and customers is the lifeblood of any business, but managing this task can be a laborious and often challenging affair.
“At Know-it, we want to remove the pain-points traditionally associated with credit management by providing customers with a totally transformative experience. It’s not a case of just looking good, Know-it has been designed to be intuitive and as user-focused as possible.
“We know simplicity breeds effectiveness – we don’t see anyone else in the market instil these principles into the solutions currently available and that is why we firmly believe we can make a positive contribution to businesses right across the UK.”
Wendy Shearer joined Pulsant as Regional Sales Director in December following seven years at Trustmarquee.
Shearer served as Public Sector Sales Director at the organisation, which is part of Capita, for two years.
In a post on LinkedIn, she commented: “Thanks to everyone at Pulsant for such a warm welcome this week. It was going to take something pretty special to coax me out of my career break and I’m so impressed by everyone I’ve met here.
“When I decided back in February to take some time off I had grand plans for a summer full of travel and special events. Needless to say all those plans were turned upside down when Covid arrived but I loved every second of my time off with my family and feel for full of energy for my new role at Pulsant.
“Looking forward to meeting all of my colleagues and customers (albeit virtually for now) over the coming weeks and months.”
CENSIS has announced the appointment of international executive Sophie van Dijk to its board.
Based in Amsterdam, van Dijk is the co-founder of GumCare companion, a tech startup focused on the dental care market.
Previously, van Dijk held roles in the oil and gas industry in Dubai with DNO ASA and in Iraq, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Japan with Royal Dutch Shell.
Her skills and experience were recently recognised by her peers when she was included in the NextWomen to Watch 2020, which highlights the 50 most promising female company founders.
CENSIS said van Dijk brings a “broad set of experience and skills” to the CENSIS board, including in business development and innovation.
Commenting on the appointment, Jacqueline Redmond, chair of CENSIS, said: “Sophie is a great appointment for the CENSIS board, with her experience in de-risking and deploying innovation, appreciation of customer needs, and a sharp eye for the bottom line.
“On top of all this, she is a driven, dynamic, high-energy individual and has great connections with European innovation hubs, helping us to forge even stronger links with our peers on the continent.”
The latest appointment marks the fifth addition to the CENSIS board this year. Earlier in 2020, the innovation centre unveiled a raft of new appointments aimed at bolstering its steering group.
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Ross Haston has been appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with Network ROI.
Mr Haston brings over 30 years’ cross-industry commercial and financial experience from a varied career, traversing the technology, retail, and manufacturing sectors. This included a strong track record of streamlining accounting functions, as well as in depth knowledge of IT project management and corporate governance.
Keith Bevan, Network RIO CEO, said “Ross brings a combination of excellent financial stewardship, commercial acumen, and progressive leadership experience across a diverse range of sectors which will help propel Network ROI forward in 2021. His fresh perspective and strong track record as a people-focused leader is a perfect fit for employee-owned Network ROI.”
Mr Bevan said “Ross’s passion for developing businesses and commitment to excellent customer service make him a great addition to the management team. This appointment, alongside Richard Smith being appointed as the service delivery manager last month, will help lay the foundations for Network ROI’s future growth and put in place the management structure we need to help us better service our nationwide customer base.”
Mr Haston said: “I am really looking forward to joining Network ROI and developing the financial and commercial teams. Having met the CEO and some of the team at interview I was attracted to work for such a forward-thinking company and relish the chance to make a difference.
“I am thrilled to be part of Network ROI at this exciting time, with its recent investment in a new management team, clear strategic vision and committed team of employee-owners.”
The UK’s leading IoT service and solutions provider, North, has announced the appointment of Glen Williams to the position of Group CEO. This appointment will help to drive growth within the business as it looks to further consolidate and strengthen its market position.
North was formed from five UK technology, internet of things, networking and safety and security providers brought together via a series of mergers and acquisitions to create a group at the forefront of the smart integrated technologies market.
North is backed by Aliter Capital, a specialist investment firm based in Glasgow and London. Aliter’s strategy is to develop North as a modern and progressive operator, with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT), Networking and Connectivity, and Safety and Security.
Williams joins from Allvotec where he was the CEO of the channel-only services provider, having previously led the successful sale of Damovo in 2018. Glen brings with him broad experience in global IT and strategic partnerships, having held a number of senior management roles at Dell, Computacenter and Lenovo.
Williams said: “North is at a pivotal time in its evolution. The bringing together of five market leaders, with the clear strategy of building the UK’s leading IoT, Networking and Connectivity and Safety and Security provider is an exciting challenge and I am looking forward to tapping into the market’s significant growth opportunities.
“North is already an established player in the provision of smart technology solutions and is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that exist today and in the future in areas such as 5G and IoT.”
Aliter Founding Partner and North Non-Executive Chairman, Greig Brown, added: “We’re delighted to bring Glen on board to lead the newly formed North business. With the launch of the North brand building on the successful integration of the acquired businesses and with a strong order book, we are targeting significant organic and inorganic growth across several established and emerging markets.
“With Glen’s track record in the industry, combined with North’s position as a leading integrated technology provider, the business is well placed to achieve its strategic goals and build on the foundations created by the team.”
Scottish Business Resilience Centre
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre has today announced that the founding CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC, part of GCHQ), Ciaran Martin, has joined its board to strengthen its strategic cyber relationships across the UK.
Ciaran will work with SBRC CEO, Jude McCorry and the wider organisation to build its broader cyber strategy and strengthen its relationship with industry and government.
Commenting on Ciaran’s appointment, Jude McCorry, CEO of SBRC, said: “Businesses have never before experienced the strain that they currently face as a direct result of Brexit and Covid-19.
“Added to the fact that we have seen a noticeable rise in cyberattacks on businesses if the extremely tough market conditions don’t negatively impact a business, a security breach might.
“The role of business resilience centres has never been more important. Ciaran’s experience with the NCSC, Cabinet Office and GCHQ will allow us to ensure that our own cyber strategy is industry-leading and reinforce Scotland as one of the world leaders in cybersecurity.”
Martin added: “The work that the SBRC does is unique; the collaboration and connection it has with its partners has helped to cement its position as one of the foremost business resilience organisations in Europe.
“I look forward to working with Jude and the team to support their vision and further enhance the organisation’s cybersecurity expertise.”
Burness Paull has been awarded a band one ranking in the first-ever Fintech guide for Scotland, issued by the Chambers and Partners legal directory.
From its Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen offices, Burness Paull advises leading financial institutions and growing FinTech companies throughout Scotland and the UK on market-leading technology, payments and data projects.
The firm is one of the largest and most experienced independent Scottish firms and is engaged in complex FinTech mandates, evidenced by an enviable roster of clients including Nucleus Financial, Greensill Capital, LendingCrowd, Modulr, and AlbaCo, as well as leaders in the financial services sector, including Aegon, Alliance Trust Savings, Hymans Robertson, Standard Life Aberdeen and Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Burness Paull is a founding member of FinTech Scotland and works closely alongside Scottish Financial Enterprise amongst others.
It is also the Scottish member (and the only UK headquartered member) of Lex Mundi, the world-leading network of premier in-market firms in more than 125 jurisdictions, collaborating on international financial technology and commercial projects.
Industry figures interviewed by Chambers cited the fact there was “no other firm with such a high-profile and in-depth connectivity to the Scottish FinTech community” and that Burness Paull has “a leadership role in the market and must be the most impressive firm operating in Scotland when it comes to working with the smallest FinTechs”.
Callum Sinclair co-heads the firm’s FinTech group and is head of the Technology and Commercial practice, now the largest dedicated team in Scotland. Sinclair acts for some of the firm’s biggest technology clients on market-leading outsourcing and enterprise cloud mandates.
Commenting on the accolade he said: “FinTech is an area of real expertise and tremendous potential for growth in Scotland and we have been involved in supporting its development right from the start.
“The firm is passionate about helping clients develop their businesses to enable them to work on an international scale, and it’s an exciting area which is evolving very quickly.
“We are grateful to clients for trusting us to handle their FinTech projects and it’s a nice bonus to be recognised for the effort we have put in to supporting the wider sector, which we are absolutely committed to continuing.”