It’s no secret that the global tech sector is advancing at an astonishingly rapid pace – not least in relation to the now integral role of digital transformation in spearheading growth and success. But no matter the size or scope or your organisation – or how sophisticated your innovation strategy is – the only way to drive significant change is to leverage the power of people.

So, to champion some of the industry’s finest talent, and gain insight into the minds of individuals from across the tech space, we’re inviting friends and partners of the business to take part in our quickfire Q&A.

Up next, it’s Ben Thomas, director Of sales and marketing at Flomatik...

Tell us about your role at Flomatik and the part you play in the tech sector:

As the director of sales and marketing, I oversee a number of pivotal aspects of our business within the UK. 

Since our inception in 2007, where we were established to support ntl: (now Virgin Media) in substantial network projects, we’ve evolved into a market-leading full-service design and engineering provider. More than just a design and survey house, we offer a comprehensive suite of fibre services, aiding the progress of alt-nets, communication service providers (CSPs), and network investors across the UK.

What innovation was the turning point for your organisation, to get it to where you are now?

A transformative moment for Flomatik was the introduction of the Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) solution, focusing on design and survey capabilities integrated into the BT network. Our in-house innovation utilising QGIS was another significant milestone. This empowered us to train our personnel and seamlessly integrate with the tool, resulting in a more efficient software stack that removes impediments to transactions.

And where’s next for your business?

Looking ahead, Flomatik’s circular economy approach is really gearing up for 2024, emphasising the recycling and re-use of redundant infrastructure. Rather than leaving equipment idle or disposing of it, we're dedicated to sustainable practices, aligning with the broader industry trend of environmental responsibility.

The biggest misconception faced by the telecoms sector is…

Consumers' understanding of their current broadband setup and usage. Many believe they are already on fibre so can be reluctant to change — which isn’t helped by the constant influx of jargon. Providing clear, accessible information and maintaining dialogue throughout every corner of the industry is therefore key to driving progress.

What do you think will be the biggest tech trend over the next 12 months?

I foresee significant strides in home technology, particularly in improving connectivity with WiFi 6/7 and turning unreliable infrastructure on its head. Simultaneously, a growing need for more efficient power utilisation for all devices will emerge, aligning with the broader sustainability focus, especially in the face of increased demand driven by electric vehicles (EVs) that need greater — and more sustainable — capacity from the grid.

What top tip would you give to an individual trying to excel in their tech/telecoms career?

The ability to understand and meet customer needs is paramount. It doesn't matter what tech you’re interested in, you need to focus on what customers want if they’re ever going to invest in it. Or, do what Apple did and create something that nobody knew they needed in the first place.

The next purchase on your personal tech wishlist is…?

An app that means I don’t need to maintain multiple passwords. It’s a simple one, but something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. 

And what is the earliest memory you have of tech in your life?

I vividly recall the Motorola battery phone — my first company phone that was, at the time, a cutting-edge device. Despite its novelty, the call charges were exorbitant, and looking back, it was nothing but a giant brick! It marks a memorable era in the evolution of mobile technology.

What is one longstanding piece of tech that you are shocked is still used today?

I’m amazed that the landline has survived. What’s more, I can’t believe some CSPs still charge for landline services! To me (and most people), they’re near enough redundant with the strides technology has taken in recent years. There are so many cheaper and more reliable options out there now.

If you are without the internet for an hour, what would be the first activity you resort to, to pass the time?

My go-to activity would be a run, but any exercise would suit me. Beyond being a good routine and great for physical health, the mental wellbeing benefits really stack up. Studies have even shown that resistance training can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in women.

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