Like any young
lad growing up in the 1980’s, my love of gadgets and therefore technology
started in my early teens, with the launch of the Sinclair ZX80/81 and
then the Spectrum. I started learning to program on the Commodore-64 and
once our school started receiving its first computers, I moved over like most
secondary school pupils in the 80’s: to the BBC Micro.
excited I was to then land my first job in an IT business? Well, that
passion for IT and technology remains a core part of my life today.
Dr Bryan Keating
gave me my first break in the world of IT and therefore a job at CEM
Systems (Fitzroy Avenue, Belfast) during the late 1980’s. I couldn’t
believe my luck and thus I have never forgotten about Bryan and his faith
in me. Being able to focus my energy and passion for the latest kit (BBC’s
& Apple Macintosh): I found my niche is selling this pioneering
technology to businesses, universities and the Northern Ireland Government.
launch of the Amstrad 1512 and then the 1640, my world (along with
everyone else’s) moved to the mighty IBM compatible PC and after stints
NI’s leading systems providers Shorewood and B.I.C. in the early to
mid-1990’s: I knew it was time to take Graeme Campbell to the next level
and that meant leaving Northern Ireland.
(Digital Equipment Company) was still here today, I’d probably still be
working for them! The DEC VAX, then the Alpha and with the development of
64-BIT Windows; DEC (or ‘Digital’) was probably the most innovative
computer hardware company in the world. In 1997, I moved to the UK and in
specific Scotland with a new role to take the DEC Direct business
indirect, through a network of fantastic local partners and there I
stayed until the demise of Digital. What happened to DEC? Well, like all great things that sadly
come to an end: they were swallowed up by a not-so-great competitor:
I hung around
Compaq into the early part of the new millennium and seeing the writing
on wall for profit margins in the world of hardware, I moved into the
bright new world of software!
Since 2001, my
career has continued working in the world of software solutions, which
are designed to support and improve the workplace and for me that has
been (in the main): public Sector. Throughout the years 2001 to 2009, I
built up experience developing winning solution strategies in UK public
sector but also: North America and Australia.
In 2009, after
the Northgate acquisition of Anite (yet another corporate buy-out), I
took the leap into self-employment and set-up Govbiz. My goal was to help small software companies
market and sell their products into the world I know best: public Sector.
said I was crazy but in 2007 after witnessing many blunders by our local
authority in Avondale, including the complete lack of investment in our
rural roads and the community being ignored when it came to the highest
performing school in the county, I decided if a job is worth doing; I
would have to do it myself!
As I result, I
should for election in May 2017 to represent the people of Avondale
(South Lanarkshire) and over a decade and two elections later, I’m still
In my first
eleven years as an Avondale councillor, I’ll have seen one new school
building, fit for the 21st century delivered to this community
each year. More than £20 has been invested in Avondale’s roads and today I
continue to use my skill-set developed over 30 years in the IT business to
support any constituent who comes to me asking for assistance.
think about Microsoft, they have (in my opinion) developed some of the
most fantastic software products that have enriched the lives of billions
across the planet. With the explosion of cloud computing, we see
Microsoft leading the way with cloud-first strategies on all their
for me this is
just another reason why so much of my career has been dominated by
Microsoft, including a three-year stint working for them in Scotland.
Today, It doesn’t matter if your hardware platform of choice is Windows,
Mac-OSX, IOS or Android; Microsoft supports them all with a superb range of
products and solutions. It’s therefore no surprise that so much of my
personal & professional world is still dominated by Microsoft,
including their products, services and network of partners who use the
various Microsoft platforms to deliver world-class solutions that continue
to improve our lives both inside and outside work.
In2017, as the IT world takes another leap forward, driven by a world
demanding everything online and available 24/7/365; the world of IT sales
is also changing!
Alvin Toffler (October
4, 1928 – June 27, 2016) was an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing modern
technologies, including the digital
revolution and the communication
revolution, with emphasis on their effects on cultures
worldwide. He said: “The Illiterate of the 21st
century will not be those who cannot read or write but those who cannot
Learn, unlearn, then relearn.”
Today no-one can say that they have a job for life and the reason
those of us old enough to remember the ZX80 & 81 are still around the
IT sector today, is because we have changed with the times: unlearned the
old ways (inc. old tech) and relearned new ways, including new tech. MS-DOS
and green screen are gone! No longer is the world of business &
government chained to a desk from 9-to-5 and no-longer is sales just
about the golf-course and networking.
Sales & Marketing in the IT sector requires us to consider new
ideas to engage with an ever-changing and better educated (never mind more demanding)
customer base. Social media and Skype are here to stay and as a result of
our ever-changing world, 2016 saw a new milestone in human evolution: the
year (see above) that saw technology companies in the top five largest
global companies. I 2016, oil no longer dominates our economy: tech does!
In conclusion: technology has provided me with the opportunity to
work and play for over three decades and I plan for this to continue! I
will also continue to be suckered into supporting the latest crowd funding
project for a gadget that will change our lives and I will invest time and
knowledge, which keeps me at the edge and therefore able to advise and
support my clients going forward.