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Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson is the CEO of business communications firm, Intercity Technology

IN ONE SENTENCE, WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO? We have over 30-years’ experience delivering secure business communications, remote working, data centre and cloud-managed services to customers.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT JOB? After joining Intercity Technology as a managing director in 2008, I was appointed CEO five years later in 2013, so almost a decade as CEO.

HOW HAS YOUR COMPANY HAD TO RESPOND TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS? At the start of the lockdown, like many organisations, the vast majority of our team pivoted to working from home, and have been doing so productively ever since.

We developed a skeleton staff comprising consultants and engineers on site at our data centres in Birmingham, London and Bolton, as well as with some of our customers, including the NHS and police, to provide on the ground support and ensure business continuity provision was maintained.

HAS THE LOCKDOWN PRESENTED ANY OPPORTUNITIES AS WELL AS CHALLENGES? Before lockdown, there was little evidence to suggest that employees would be as productive working from home than in the office, but the pandemic has demonstrated that working from home does work. Now that this has been accepted by companies as an effective and productive way of working, we believe that working from anywhere, for many businesses, will become the new norm. At Intercity, we have seen the positive benefits working from home can bring to our colleagues and we have no intention of changing our current set-up anytime soon. 

We have already seen demand increase significantly for remote working solutions, both temporary and long-term, as well as additional security provisions, to ensure those who are working remotely can do so safely and with confidence.

Fortunately for us, the technology and communications industry has not been affected as much as other industries during the pandemic. Therefore, from a commercial perspective, the only real challenge for our company and the reseller business community is the lack of mobile roaming spend due to the restrictions on global travel, which I don’t see resuming for 18-24 months.

WHAT DO THINK THE CURRENT CRISIS WILL MEAN FOR YOUR INDUSTRY IN THE MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME? Traditionally, IT personnel and software has been managed internally, but as companies become more flexible with working arrangements, we will begin to see more of a shift as businesses outsource their standard and non-core IT to technology and communication companies.

We are developing our strategy in light of this shift, adopting a futureproofed outsource model over the next five years that encompasses all areas of IT - from supporting the end user, wherever they are working, right through to supplying more complex security systems, which have become increasingly important as users consume data across multiple platforms.

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF? At Intercity Technology, our people make us different. Our straight-forward, collaborative, and people-first approach creates an open and caring environment for our colleagues to feel comfortable and confident whilst at work.

Even through this uncertain period, we have remained open and honest with all our staff about the situation, discussing job security and, because we chose not to furlough any staff, relationships throughout the business have become stronger. I believe we are a stronger business from an employee engagement perspective as a result of the pandemic.

HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU TEND TO GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM? Too many, I dislike being a slave to email and the volume has increased through Covid, I prefer other forms of communication, but do my best to get back to everyone.

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? Positive and ambitious, full of ideas and energy, caring about people that work at Intercity and their families, loves technology and looking forward into the future.

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? Diversifying the business into cloud & security, managed services and unified communications from our mobile heritage and working with some great people, resulting in us beating Marks & Spencer to a National Employee Engagement Award and becoming a Top 50 business to work for in the Midlands.

ANY PARTICULAR FAUX PAS OR EMBARRASSING MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER YOU WOULD PREFER TO FORGET? I believe you learn every day and you never stop until the day you die and so there will have been many along the way, I can’t think of a specific one that stands out, but I think you just own up to it and learn from it.

PET HATES? Politics and game playing, I try and be open and I am what I am, I don’t have time for game-playing and believe we can all be successful if we work together and help each other out.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Surround yourself with good people who are better at the things that you are not so good at and play to your own strengths.

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? I love cycling in the countryside, have a passion for motorsport and the mighty Aston Villa!

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS COMMUNITY? As a Birmingham headquartered business and as someone who is passionate about the success of Birmingham, we’re proud of the city’s diverse culture and business community, which continues to grow and diversify despite the challenging conditions. This rich pool of business talent creates plenty of opportunities to connect with like-minded local businesses.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW. I am a proud Brummie and I love seeing our region grow and prosper!

YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE? Book – Lord of The Rings or a biography, Film – Saving Private Ryan and CD – probably something by Oasis.

YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE? Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO EAT FOR YOUR LAST SUPPER? Nando's.

 

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