It’s Alec’s turn in the spotlight this month – here, our sales and strategic accounts manager talks corkscrews, complexity and why Vapour will always constructively challenge…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

I fell into it – four days after returning from travelling in 2004 – when I began working in a call centre for Telewest Business in Sheffield.

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

Either ‘Roland on the Ropes’ on the Amstrad, or my mum and dad’s old hi-fi system. Either way it’s far later than some people at Vapour (*cough*, Tim), but much earlier than others.

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

Can I have two? One would be removing the complexity. Yes, what we do is critical, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. It should be simple.

The other is my ever-present pet peeve of companies with big sales and marketing functions, but hardly any support in the back-end. It always leads to a bad customer experience.

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

We challenge everyone, all the time. It’s very rare we will work with a partner or end user and just deliver what they ask for straight away. We bring experience to the table and use it constructively to ensure the best outcome.

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is...a corkscrew.

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... I’m eying up an Apple Watch.

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is...SpaceX. Topical, I know, but they are bonkers!

The biggest misconception in the channel is that...cheapest always wins.

By the end of 2020, our tech will have made organisations far more...confident.

This month, our green-fingered finance manager Jill steps into the employee spotlight. She began her career in banking back in 1980, when she saw the opening of London’s first skyscraper, but her role with Vapour means she now calls Yorkshire ‘home’.

With a passion for helping things grow – whether on her allotment or within the four walls of Vapour’s HQ – she’s a self-confessed ‘non techy’ with a firm eye on our future…

How did you first get into the world of tech?

As an Ops Manager for the University of Manchester Incubator Company (UMIC), as it was known then.  I looked after start-up spin out and spin in tenants.

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

Mid 80s during my banking career – IBM screens with green digit data! But I can also remember my first ‘laptop’ as a mortgage adviser – we wheeled them around on trolleys!

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

An absolute focus on the client – both in terms of what they need as a tailored package of services for their business, and how we can grow the relationship.

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

I’m not personally a ‘techy’, so from a user point of view, understanding all the acronyms!

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

We concentrate on the client!

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is… the smartphone.

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a smartphone with upgraded camera.

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

The biggest misconception in the channel is that...  delivering unified comms is simple.  I am really in awe of my techy colleagues!

By the end of 2020, our tech will have made organisations far more... green. It’s been an extremely challenging year for the business community and we’re only half-way through. But there are some unexpected pleasant surprises to come from lockdown too. For example, it has proven we can all be greener!

Many traditional and somewhat archaic working patterns – including travel to the office and meetings – have changed dramatically, and I see this being the ‘new normal’ now. Organisations are collaborating differently, which has improved the work-life balance for many, and the environment has benefitted too.  Vapour can help make this continue, with powerful tech that keeps people securely connected with colleagues and customers, wherever they may be.

It’s Carol McGrotty’s turn in the spotlight this month – find out what Vapour’s head of operations and compliance would change about the tech sector, why she couldn’t live without her Sat Nav and her thoughts on embracing female talent in the sector…

How did you first get into the world of tech? 

It was fate that led me to a secondment role in January 2000 with NTL (now Virgin Media Business). I stayed there for 12 years and then the opportunity with Vapour Cloud came along.

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

I’m not sure that this technology really changed the world, but when we got an electric typewriter in the house, we definitely thought we had moved with the times!

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

Innovation.  At Vapour we are always curious – and looking for new ways to surprise and delight – as well as finding even better methods of doing things.

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

When it comes to embracing female talent in technical roles, there is still a way to go. The key for future generations is encouragement at both school and apprentice level.

Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?

We have a reputation for working closely – and becoming entwined – with our partners’ sales and marketing teams, which leads to great success rates. We also offer key tools, systems and workshops to third parties – making us different.

Complete the sentences:

The best piece of tech ever invented is...  the Sat Nav. I’d be lost without mine – literally!

The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a Fitbit Charge 3.

A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is... Spearhead Interactive. Its demonstration of the interactive experiences that virtual reality offers – witnessed at Vapour’s Innovation & Disruption events – was very impressive.

The biggest misconception in the channel is that... the industry should be avoided because it’s challenging. This should be a motivator for workers and not a deterrent – it’s why we are so passionate about what we do!

By the end of 2020, our tech will have made organisations far more... private and secure through cloud-based technology – the Vapour network ensures that customers have excellent end-to-end private connectivity.

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