10 Years on - An interview with our very First Employee
John Burrows (JB) joined Managed in January 2010 as our first employee. Ten years on John is a Service Delivery Manager and a key part of the management team. We caught up with John to gain some insight on his amazing story and his journey with Managed so far.
Where were you employed prior to Managed?
I formed part of a internal IT service desk team at a large organisation supporting retail and EPOS clients in the UK. I was based in Milton Keynes and really enjoyed the problem solving aspect of the job and helping end users with their day to day incidents. I have always loved engaging with customers, understanding their issues and helping solve them together.
What was your interview at Managed like?
Very different to people being interviewed today at Managed!
I remember walking into an office full of projection systems and surrounded by analytics with one guy in it - John Pepper (JP) sitting in the middle. John had a vision to build the very best outsourced service desk provider uk based at all times.
I asked JP - "how many customers do you have?" - "none" was his response with a smile on his face "we build the systems and services before we go to market and sell them"
"how many employees do you have?" - "none...you would be the first" was his response. "do we have an HR dept?" - "you are looking at your HR dept!" said JP. We both laughed.
I honestly thought - this guy is mad but then as we talked through the vision of building a leading IT Managed Service Provider from scratch I thought that sounds incredibly exciting. After about two hours of discussion JP offered me the position as an IT support consultant.
What made you accept the position?
I went and spoke with my wife and family. They could see I was excited at the opportunity and challenge. So I accepted the position soon after. That was 2009 and I started in January 2010.
What was your first day like?
The first day was like every day since at Managed. The days and weeks flew passed as we built, created, tested and transitioned in new customers. A week at managed is like a month at other companies. We move at such a fast pace and everybody has input to continually improve and act as one team. You are listened to and nobody is a number.
Nothing stands still ever. It never has and I don't see that changing. Its why I love the job!
What has changed since your first day?
Everything! Even our name! I really like the new branding and moving from Managed 24/7 to Managed in 2020 was great. We have the core values, work ethic and focus on happy clients. We have mature processes, systems, people and I am so proud to see my efforts every day make a change for the better as we grow.
Has there been a moment you thought "oh wow" something big is happening?
There has been so many! When we hit 10 employees in 2010 I thought this is getting big and fast. Then 20, 30,40, 50,60,70,80 etc - it just grew. The numbers of clients grew rapidly also. Winning the CRN award for Best Managed Service Provider of the Year was triumphant, winning for a second time was madness and then the third consecutive year was a pinch yourself moment. Also the moment we featured in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100. Suddenly we were in the spotlight for truly being one of the best Outsourced Help Desk Provider UK providers.
Ten years on what is your role now?
My early years sitting on IT service desk gave me a fantastic grounding for what I do now. I moved into field engineering and worked with a lot of customers onsite. For the past two years I have worked as a Service Delivery Manager which I really enjoy.
I have a great understanding of Managed's capabilities whilst also enjoying visiting customers, presenting stats, ideas and helping clients make the most of the services we are able to offer. The Service Delivery Manager role is a key part of customer success for Managed. I pull together and report to client senior management teams on incidents, requests, problem management etc. This is both remotely and onsite.
What do you think sets Managed apart from its competition?
The people. We are such a close and passionate team. Anybody who visits our Technical Services Centre say they feel that buzz the moment they arrive. I am so lucky to work with such driven people.
What does the future hold for Managed?
Many clients say they are approached by Managed IT Service Providers that say they deliver their services 24x7 but when you deep dive they are delivered from South Africa or Eastern Europe out of hours or 24x7. There are very few of us that deliver Managed IT services from the UK at all times always staffed by full time employees.
As customers onshore to the UK we are seeing a greater demand for UK delivered IT management and the future is very very exciting.
We are also busy developing our own monitoring, automation and orchestration tool from E2A (End User to Application). It has been four years in the making and we are starting to engage clients to get feedback before full launch. The benefits to our customers will be monumental. Watch this space!
I look forward to giving another update in 2030.
Thank you John - you are amazing and happy 10th work birthday!