He’s the newest face at Vapour’s HQ, and news of his appointment caused quite a stir in the tech industry when we revealed he had become our senior account director. So, we’ve mixed up our regular Q&A this month, so you can discover what all the fuss is about.
Glenn Ollivant, it’s over to you…
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
In a work capacity, it has to be securing one of TalkTalk’s largest single converged international network deals for data and voice services.
In a personal sense, I’m a very proud father of three amazing girls – Betsy (11), Imelda (9), and Nell (7). Kids keep you young, tired and poor – but it’s all worth it!
Name one thing people might not know about you
I did plenty of travelling during my 20s and had some crazy jobs along the way – one was plucking chickens! Even some of my closest friends don’t know that.
Tell us a fact about yourself that might surprise people
I’ve been a governor at our children’s school before – that always makes my friends laugh because they can’t picture me in that setting. I did that for three years before work and travel made it hard to fully commit to, but I’m still very active with school particularly their team sports.
Describe what you get up to on a typical weekend
There isn’t really any let up for us at the weekend – those days went years ago! I coach Betsy and Imelda’s football team so we’re either playing or training early, then we’re off to some other sort of class or child social engagement. I always make time for a Friday night pint though to decompress with the family. And Sundays are all about doing something together – often a walk, food, then a good film to finish off the weekend.
What’s the best piece of tech you’ve ever owned?
It’s got to be the first-generation iPods – downloading all that music (legally) blew my mind at the time! It’s crazy where we’ve got to now, across all brands, tech and devices though.
What sparked your interest in working in the tech sector?
It would be very crude to say money, but I genuinely wanted a better job, career options and lifestyle. It seemed a fast paced and cool place to work compared to where I came from – selling stainless steel! They’re chalk and cheese!
It was the best decision I ever made – it’s been both incredibly challenging and rewarding in equal measure. And now I’ve come full circle, working for the chap that gave me that first shot!
You receive an email from your dream client… who would it be and why?
I’m a big sport nut and sport documentary fan, and I’m particularly obsessed with Michael Jordan. Throughout my life I’ve had a 23 jersey and pair of Jordans, but after watching “The Last Dance” on Netflix I became even more obsessed. Just everything about him strikes a note that hard work really pays off – I really admire the way he trained and demanded so much of his teammates. He would have some great stories to tell, I’m sure – particularly about Rodman. Hopefully, he’d need a bit of disruptive cloud tech too!
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
If it’s a movie about my life we’ve got to get the accent right, so being a proud northerner I’m going to say Sean Bean. I’d like to say Daniel Craig but I’m not sure he’d nail the twang!
If you were in charge of Vapour for the day, what would be your number one rule/objective/goal?
Ensure we deliver on the expectations we set our clients and partners. If we don’t look after them at every single touch point someone else will, and we could potentially lose them forever.
Describe your job/company to an alien
Assuming they understand my fairly broad Yorkshire accent I’d say very fast paced, disruptive, and genuinely keen to make our technology uncomplicated, so that we remain easy to deal with.
Experienced industry professional Glenn Ollivant has joined the team as senior account director, exactly 15 years after he was first hired and trained by CEO, Tim Mercer.
Glenn switched from selling stainless steel to circuits back in October 2006, when Tim – then regional sales manager at Virgin Media Business (formerly TeleWest) – saw his potential. He quickly found his feet in the tech sector, progressing up the ranks at Virgin, before moving on to enterprise sales roles at Kcom and TalkTalk Business.
Departing as TalkTalk’s technology and UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) specialist, his name remains firmly in the record books having secured what is still one of the company’s largest ever deals.
And now he’s back working alongside some familiar faces, including Vapour’s head of transformation and operations Carol McGrotty, and sales manager Alec Stephens - who also propelled their careers following long stints at Virgin.
Things may have come full circle for Glenn in terms of his team mates, but the opportunity firmly represents his most exciting move yet, he believes.
“I’ve watched the Vapour journey with utmost respect for what Tim and the team have done,” commented Glenn. “We all knew the market wasn’t ready for a pure cloud offering when Vapour was launched in 2013. But the ambition, drive and foresight means that bold leap is now paying off - especially because organisations’ adoption of cloud tech has rocketed over the past 18 months.
“Working both with partners and now directly with end customers too – on more conventional solutions such as Unified Communications and backups, as well as cutting-edge virtual desktop infrastructures, secure networks for hybrid working, and even robotic process automation – this is absolutely the right next step for me. I’ve set myself bold targets, never mind the goals that have been outlined as part of my role!”
Glenn’s appointment represents the latest senior hire for us at Vapour, in the year we rebranded and evolved our toolkit to include next generation cloud tech, far beyond traditional voice, networks and storage mainstay.
Pushing for 20% revenue growth by the end of 2022, Glenn’s appointment will prove critical to the expansion of the new and existing business pipeline – not to mention the market better understanding what Vapour 2.0 can do.
“People of Glenn’s calibre don’t come along every day,” admitted CEO Tim Mercer. “I know – I mentored him! But the time is right for us to join forces once again, not least because the market is opening up again and we have the same attitude when it comes to supporting customers. His quality of service is outstanding, and he knows exactly what you can achieve in organisations if you’re agile, inquisitive and collaborative.”
“I’m really excited by Vapour’s tech stack,” added Glenn. “We can transform customers’ resilience and productivity, even with some simple tweaks to their infrastructure. And that energises me.
“That, and Vapour’s culture. I want to put some vibrancy back into my career.”