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’ finest talent, and gain some 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 Craig Webster – contracts manager at award-winning IT service provider, Mint Support. Take it away, Craig…

Tell us about your role at Mint Support and the part you play in the tech sector.

As contracts manager, I’m responsible for maintaining and developing relationships with our new and existing customers – I’m always on the lookout for improvements in both service and delivery. Mint provides managed support services, primarily for the education sector, but also for businesses too.

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

IT is continually developing, so keeping abreast of developments and being able to support customers through these changes is key. You could say that the PC and internet were the innovations that allowed us to ‘exist’, and their continuous developments mean we are always working alongside new technology.

And where’s next for your business?

We’re migrating into communication technology and making the most of remote tools to deliver services to customers further afield.

The biggest misconception faced by the tech sector is…

That technology will solve everything.

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

Further development in AI and automation – that is definitely a trend I expect to see grow. I also think that we will see much more focus on sustainability and greener solutions within the tech space over the coming months.

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

Remember that technology is there to make life better for the end user. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people.

The next purchase on my personal tech wishlist is…?

I’d love a drone – using that technology to capture creative video and photography appeals to me.

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

The vinyl record – but I’m glad it still exists.

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

I’m a simple guy who remembers a time before the internet, so I can think of plenty of things. For me, I enjoy getting out of the house for a long walk and spending time with my family and friends. I think that sometimes, even if the internet is working fine, we should switch off, as it is easy to get distracted.

Now that face-to-face events are back, next month some of our colleagues will be heading to Birmingham’s NEC for the Channel Live expo. With over 40 presentation and panel discussions centred around business, people, technology, and skills, the event seeks to keep industry professionals abreast of the latest issues impacting the Channel – not least to bolster growth and success through practical business advice.

Joining an expert line-up of industry panellists – including WISE Campaign CEO, Kay Hussain, and Jola’s chief marketing officer, Cherie Howlett – is our very own head of transformation and operations, Carol McGrotty. Taking to the stage in Conference Theatre 3 at 11:15AM on day one (30th March), Carol with delve into the fundamentals of attracting more women into the next generation telecoms workforce.

With a rich career history spanning over 22 years’ experience in the telecoms sector – from provide manager at Virgin Media Business, to her current position at Vapour – Carol is perfectly placed to deliver valuable insight into this topic. Bridging every gap between sales, operations, the technical team, and ongoing support, she is not only the lifeblood of our company, but a true ambassador for women in tech.

And if that wasn’t enough, Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer is also set to deliver a session of his very own the following afternoon. Leveraging over 20 years’ experience in the IT sector – and his strategic entrepreneurial insight – Tim will tap into the opportunities associated with Technology as a Service (TaaS) the market hasn’t yet thought about, for the channel and customers alike. For this must-see discussion, you can find Tim in Conference Theatre 2 from 3:15-3:45PM on 31st March.

“Just because tech is changing, doesn’t mean the role of conferencing has. There’s such a buzz around face-to-face events, and the benefits are unparalleled – from facilitating learning and driving personal and professional development, to fuelling continuous inspiration. There’s just so much creative potential when it comes to in-person engagement,” says Tim.

“And people play a crucial role in spearheading growth. It’s all about sharing your knowledge and experience with others during what is such an exciting time for the industry, to build a stronger market together.”

Whether you’re looking to expand your portfolio and integrate best-of-breed technologies into your organisation, or seeking new partners and business opportunities, Channel Live offers an unrivalled opportunity for tech and telecoms professionals alike.

Sign up is completely free, although attendees are encouraged to pre-register their interest to guarantee a place, here.

If you spot a familiar face, please don’t hesitate to come and say hello. We look forward to seeing you!

Disruptive cloud specialist Vapour has launched a new Technology as a Service (TaaS) proposition, as the progressive firm continues its commitment to aiding the digital transformation of businesses large and small.

With TaaS commonly perceived as merely a lease plan for hardware and software procurement, there is far more to Vapour’s offering.

The goal is to support customers with the consistent delivery of high-performance technology, applications, and endpoint security, with proactive device imaging for a seamless user experience, plus the compliant handling of redundant kit and ongoing IT support.

But there will be no such thing as ‘one size fits all’, says Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer.

“Whether we’re supporting a rapidly growing business with the onboarding of new staff, at pace, or handling a customer’s rip and replace strategy, the key to a value-adding TaaS proposition is flexibility,” he said.

“We’ll work with the customer to ensure every new device is supplied complete with the apps, functionality, UX and security that the employee requires – all they need to do is log on! This ticks many boxes, not least in terms of efficiency, quality control, minimal IT headaches and procurement simplicity. And everything is available for an affordable fixed price per user.”

With global environmental pressures mounting, Vapour predicts the take-back element of the TaaS offering will prove particularly popular.

Head of transformation and compliance Carol McGrotty added: “The TaaS contract can include the compliant recovery of redundant equipment with complete audit trail – to uphold customers’ data destruction and environmental responsibilities. Working with an AATF, we’ll ensure devices can be reused where possible, for maximum sustainability benefits but none of the security worries. And if the equipment is beyond repair, it will be processed for recycling.”

As a recognised Microsoft CSP, customers can source any Microsoft product or service, through Vapour – including Teams licences, Azure, hybrid cloud, and backups – with one wrap-around support solution, analytics across the collaboration stack, and direct escalation into Microsoft if needed. However, the company is technology agnostic so will produce a TaaS agreement tailored to customers’ individual requirements. For more information, please visit www.vapourcloud.com/solutions/technology-as-a-service/

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