It’s Amanda Harrison’s turn in the spotlight this month…

Sharing her nostalgia of playing Pac-Man on a retro Atari games console, to creating new gaming memories with her son using virtual reality tech, Amanda shares her hopes of demystifying the complex jargon within the sector to make it more inclusive, and why sometimes it’s all about asking the right questions to ensure your solutions aren’t just ‘off the shelf’ one size fits all.

The floor is yours Amanda – your 60 seconds start now…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

It was a bit of a fluke really it was my first full-time job when I left school. I started in a customer service role discussing billing, services, fault troubleshooting, and general enquiries. I loved working with people and quickly realised I enjoyed learning about the technical side to the role too. I was given the opportunity to go out on site visits with engineering and networks teams so I could see what the job truly entailed – I was even able to help pull out fibre optic cable in the middle of Glasgow City centre! I was hooked from then.

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

Atari games consoles my favourite was Pac-Man, I absolutely loved that game.

What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?

Adaptability. Tech is ever changing alongside customer needs and expectations. Change is something that you need to be good at handling, and it makes the job so much more exciting.

At Vapour we are always learning about new innovations and developments, constantly looking for better ways to do things and disrupting the status quo.

And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?

Jargon, there is way too much of it. It can sometimes make it hard to break down the barriers for people to adopt new technology. If it was made simpler – so that everyone could understand – everyone could benefit.

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

We have years of knowledge and experience in the technology industry, and we are passionate about what we do. We’re a great team that loves to get under the skin of our customers, to ensure we can support them in the best way possible. And our services have gone far beyond the conventional voice and data solutions you typically see in the industry.

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is...

Satellite navigation, as it means I never have to worry about getting lost or trying to read a printout of AA route finder on a long car journey! It’s made travelling so much more direct and straightforward.

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is...

A virtual reality headset so that I can start to enjoy gaming with my boy.

The biggest misconception in the channel is that...

You have to order off the shelf. We can tailor solutions to fit various requirements – it’s all about understanding what you want the technology to do. At Vapour we ask the right questions so that we can personalise our offering. That’s when things become really powerful and often effortlessly simple too.

By the end of 2022, our tech will have made organisations far more...

Flexible, with the ability to work anywhere, any time. The pandemic has pushed this technology forward, but many organisations are still not using the cloud to its full potential when it comes to security, agility and conveniency. I’d like to see more of this going forward, as many companies only have a ‘sticking plaster’ at the moment.

It’s Adam G’s turn in the spotlight this month! His passion for tech and interest in computers has shaped his career, from as early as choosing his subjects in college. He reflects on his nostalgic memories of using infrared to share music across the classroom, why effective communication is a key skill at Vapour, alongside his experience of the tech sector so far.  

Your 60 seconds start now…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

Tech has been something I’ve had an interest in from an early age. Since school I knew I wanted to work with computers, so when I got the option to choose my subjects in college, I went with IT systems support – and I’ve been in the sector ever since!

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

Before the likes of Spotify and YouTube, we used to send songs across the classroom through infrared, which then progressed to Bluetooth later down the line. Oh, the nostalgia!

What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?

Good communication is always key. We can sometimes be using quite technical language, so it’s a quality that helps break down those barriers when working with clients.

And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?

The fact that so much of our personal information is stored for marketing purposes. It can sometimes come across as fairly invasive. I know this is changing, but there still seems to be plenty of ways for companies to get around it.

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

The people at Vapour are what makes the company stand out. All my colleagues are fantastic at what they do, and they know how to ask the right questions for our clients and communicate effectively.  I think that’s important.

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is...

The computer! We spend all our working day on it.

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is...

A new mobile phone.

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is...

Amazon. We just couldn’t have done without it over the last few years.

The biggest misconception in the sector is that...

One size fits all. The right tech will adapt to the needs of your business, not the other way around.

By the end of 2021, our tech will have made organisations far more...

Productive. I think that the pandemic has left a lot of organisations needing to revaluate their tech systems and has demonstrated just what is possible, in terms of efficiency, flexibility and collaboration.

It’s Debbie's turn in the spotlight this month. Having recently returned to the tech sector after a break, she’s keen to change the number of complex jargon and acronyms that make our world a daunting and sometimes inaccessible industry. With a keen interest in new innovations and how things work, the self-confessed music lover has a new ‘Sonos’ speaker on her tech wishlist, claiming it provides a more immersive experience that can’t be beaten!

Debbie, your 60 seconds start now…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

Back in 2003, I started working as a customer service advisor for a local cable TV company. As the company progressed and tech developed mainly around customer relations, retentions and customer experience, my roles adapted to suit, and I was able to become more exposed to the world of technology. I’ve always had a keen interest in technical developments and love to know how things work.

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

Back before vinyl came back into fashion, I had a stereo with a turntable and cassette deck – I must have been around 10 at the time! I didn’t have any cassettes though, so I’m glad to see they’re making a comeback.

What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?

Passion for what you’re delivering, believing in the products and service you provide, and having the confidence to push to get the right results. At Vapour, we strive to overachieve on customers’ expectations, and I think that’s such an important quality.

And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?

Acronyms – the number of acronyms has increased exponentially, and having recently returned to the tech sector, Even I have had a lot to catch up on!

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

The staff and our passion for everything Vapour is trying to achieve. We see outside the box to ensure customers get the right solution. We aren’t afraid to ask ‘why’.

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is...computers. They changed the world from getting cash out of a hole in the wall in the 70s to advancements in medicine and manufacturing

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a Sonos Sub! I love music, and Sonos has thought of everything for music lovers. They’re able to make the experience totally immersive.

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is...  Amazon, if we can class them as a tech firm – they’ve been a godsend this past 12 months.

The biggest misconception in the channel is that...you have to be a ‘techy’ to understand technology!

By the end of 2021, our tech will have made organisations far more...agile. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, and it’s no longer enough to just continue with the same digital structure that once existed. People are going to demand more flexibility and agility – which is where we come in.

Next up, we’ll be featuring service desk lead, Adam Greenhalgh, so keep your eyes peeled in October!

It’s David Parsons’ turn in the spotlight this month. Get to know our solutions engineer, as he shares why Acorn had him hooked on IT from such a young age, and why he believes problem solving is key for a career in tech.

59, 58, 57…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

I entered the technology industry in my first job – working for a dictation company transitioning customers from tape to digital devices and software management of the recordings.

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

My Dad got me interested in computing from a very young age, loading software from tapes onto an Acorn – now I feel old!

What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?

Anyone who has been successful in technology has a drive to learn and to challenge themselves. Exams and training are useful, but an individual’s initiative to work out a problem on their own and learn from it, is what really makes a good engineer stand out.

And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?

Investing in technology is a lot like investing in people – you cannot invest once and expect everything to run smoothly for years. Demands and expectations are always changing, as is the landscape and what is available. So, a continuous development approach is vital to avoid being left behind, or being hit with an unexpected problem and avoidable costs when things do go wrong.

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

We have a clear vision of the sort of company we want to be.  Our focus is always on the customer, finding solutions to real problems and delivering the best levels of service.

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is... the internet.

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a new TV.

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is... Amazon.

The biggest misconception in the channel is that... Product and price are everything.  Finding a partner you can work with to build the right solutions and a high level of service, is far more important.  The art of IT is not in the product, but in the delivery and support of it.

By the end of 2021, our tech will have made organisations far more... intelligent and mobile.

It’s Ronnie Paton’s turn in the spotlight this month. His entrance into the world of tech started with cable TV and fast-forward to 2021, the next 4K offering is on his wishlist. Learn all about our new recruit and cloud UC engineer, in his quick-fire Q&A.

Ronnie, your time starts now…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

It all started when I completed a course surrounding the installation of cable TV, as it was just being rolled out in the UK.

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

I am of an age that means I can remember the world without the internet. And so, my earliest memory of tech is military radios – if you could call them technical?

What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?

The ability to listen to what is being said and explain the solution to everyone at a level they understand, is key.

And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?

The use of TLAs (three letter acronyms). I believe they’re over relied on, and that some people try to confuse others by using them to hide their lack of knowledge of what they are explaining.

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

Vapour has the ability to build a comms platform around the customer’s needs, rather than the customer having to work around the comms platform.

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is... the telephone.

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a 4KApple TV.

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is... YouTube. Without it, lockdown would’ve been very boring for sure!

The biggest misconception in the channel is that... everything is difficult, therefore it must be expensive.

By the end of 2021, our tech will have made organisations far more... flexible and secure.

This month, it’s Becky’s turn in the spotlight. Our new recruit holds a plethora of experience within the industry and is a customer service champion – who knew how influential her memories of using dial-up would be.

Becky, your time starts now…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

I started in cyber security around eight years ago as a telemarketer. From there, I’ve worked through the ranks – including presales and sales support, internal account management, account management and customer relationship management.

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

Using dial-up to create websites on my mum’s massive computer and hearing the synonymous noise when someone tried to use the phone!

What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?

Communication is key. Also, keeping up with ever-changing solutions is so important – doing your homework is crucial in the tech industry.

And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?

Definitely the industry jargon!

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

It’s an exciting company that knows what it’s doing, and is keen to bring new solutions to the market. 

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is... my iPhone – I couldn’t live without it!

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a Smart TV.

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is... Amazon.

The biggest misconception in the channel is that... you have to be a ‘techy’ to work in the industry – when in reality it’s not like that at all!

By the end of 2021, our tech will have made organisations far more... secure & up to date.

It’s Greeta Sagris’ turn in the spotlight this month. A self-confessed tech novice – not to mention a straight talker – she is a breath of fresh air at Vapour’s HQ. She loves communication, processes, teamwork – and dogs!

Greeta, it’s over to you…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

This is actually my first job in the sector. I work in a process capacity, rather than on the tech side, pulling together my organisational skills from previous roles, to make sure the right things get done, to the right standard, at the right time.

And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?

An ANCIENT Gameboy, Tetris and Snake.

What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?

Communication and determination. I talk A LOT, so this role is right up my street! It helps keep everyone in the loop as well and gets things done!

And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?

As I’m not from a techy background myself, it’s really struck me how much terminology is used. Some of it is relevant, of course, but the industry’s misuse and over-reliance on jargon is something Vapour is trying to change.

If you’re the CEO of an organisation preparing for a digital transformation project, for example, you don’t need to be bombarded with the specifics of the toolkit, so long as you know that the solution being recommended is going to achieve the outcomes you’re striving for. This is the simple, straight-talking language we should be focusing on.

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

For our innovation and creativity – we are striving to be at the forefront of technology services, and disrupt along the way to change the face of what’s possible (without the headaches!)

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is... the iPhone!

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a new bigger, smart TV (or stronger glasses!)

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is... Amazon.

The biggest misconception in the channel is that... it’s all about physical technology – there is so much that goes on behind the scenes, and we receive as much praise for our people, as we do our products!

By the end of 2021, our tech will have made organisations far more... flexible and secure.

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