The last three years have been great- when i set up SiD with a laptop and some business cards I could only dream that the company would would flourish as it has- so a big thanks to all round.

However, as we are setting up the UK office I have used this opportunity to have a re-focus on what we are doing- and ultimately ask the question- what exactly we want to achieve?  The answer was to provide a better, relevant product and have well trained,  positive staff who have developed whilst working at the company. In line with this we will be looking to change:

  1. How the company will be run
  2. How we provide our service to our customers

How the company will be run.

On a personal level I consider the most important factor that prevents IT companies providing  a good service  for clients is having staff who not only understand what the client requires, but also have an understanding of technically how it should work- basically rounded people in the industry. In this world of specialism and segmenting, often you have people who are either technical and would never meet (or be allowed!) to meet a client unless sharproned, or a client facing sales person who knows the talk, but would not know the first thing about the nuts and bolts of what they are selling. In my view this leads to the client not getting a good service; often the language used is jargon filled and meaningless leading to service agreements that are tick lists instead of being  driven to providing a meaningful end product.

On the other side of this fence: when employing people you often end up with  either technical efficient people who are really lacking customer empathy or sales people who are lacking in service delivery- and often this has been engrained into them over years of working in IT companies where this distinction is not just in place, but actively pushed.

So we are looking to set up the UK office differently: Each team will consist of a team leader (I shall be the first) and three others who we are planning to take get straight from university/higher education. The key emphasis will be that each staff member will be directly responsible for technical implementation/project management/sales- basically the whole lot. The training will be broad and wide ranging.

Yes, of course, there will be specialisms within the team, but each member of the team is involved in all aspects of the running of the company- i.e. doing client sales pitching as well as technical support. Hopefully this will provide the customer with a better service.

We want to work with people straight from education for a couple of reasons: Firstly, is that there seems to be such a lack of opportunity for clever, motivated people to get a footing in IT in the UK and particularly Scotland. Secondly, we do want people who have not become ingrained with the duality of roles in IT companies and thirdly on a personal level I remember how hard it was after University for someone full of energy and optimism being pushed into narrow job roles which were basic admin which became very boring very quick.

Will we be able to get the right type of person? I will keep you posted!

How we provide our service to our customers

Our previous company statement stated:

“Our underlying ethos is to bend the technology available to fit into your requirements, rather then you having to bend to fit the technology.”

This holds true, but we will be adding a key word to it all: “understanding”: We will be focusing further at understanding where exactly the client is currently and what they want to achieve, and then look at what is the best way to gain the data that will provide the necessary results:  It could be qualitative or quantative, a free product or paid product- it could be tracking or not tracking, but no products or services will be used until we have a clear understanding of the requirements. Once the data is gained it will be analyzed and presented. The next cycle will be to use this analysis and the clients input to set the next achievement and so on, the aim being a full interaction with the client at all times

Sounds simple and obvious? Yes it is, but behind it are two key lessons we have learned over the years: a. Making sure the data is what the customer asked for, therefore making sure it is useful and will provide some insight: It is very tiring and boring producing reports that no-one is interested in and no-one reads. b. Too often products are installed at great cost of time and money and not used at after the first week and just produce the one dimensional automatic reports.  Clients’ effort should be used in telling us what you require in pain english- it is our job to do the rest.

This is all very exciting and as a project has already got good  feedback- I look forward to yours! Please feel free to tell us what you think!

Thanks
Ranjit Sidhu

Director- SiD

email: ranjit@sidspace.info

twitter: @rssidhu