EDUCATION and technology are ever more closely linked.
On the one hand, there is something of a revolution happening in education as technology changes how universities operate, students are taught, and teachers teach.
Recently, the media covered the story of Beacon, an artificial intelligence (AI) education tool, and the first digital assistant of its kind to be operating at a UK university.
Tony is one of Novosco's Technical Services Managers, and when he's not helping our customers he's usually either watching a football match, learning photography, or enjoying a movie.
Q: Tony, what's your role at Novosco?
Tony: I'm the Technical Services Incident Manager, I oversee our Technical Services Analysts and Engineers, generally ensuring that we restore IT service as soon as possible should any of our customers experience an issue.
Q: What's been your career path so far?
Novosco has won Large Tech Company of the Year at the prestigious Digital DNA Awards.
The company was presented with the honour at the event in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast from amongst a category shortlist that included the likes of Allstate, STATSports, and Kainos.
The win follows Novosco's success in the 2018 Digital DNA Awards, when Managing Director, Patrick McAliskey, was named Business Personality of the Year.
RECRUITMENT is something that is never far from the thoughts of technology companies in Northern Ireland – and with our biggest ever contract secured last year, Novosco has been very much in hiring mode during recent months. This has given me cause to reflect closely on a long-standing challenge for the tech sector as a whole.
Courtney is a Technical Services Analyst with Novosco, she is an avid follower of her own step count on her FitBit, a coffee-addict, and spends as much time as possible exploring music on Spotify.
Question: Courtney, what’s your role in Novosco?
Courtney: My role here is as a Technical Services Analyst, I’m the first contact for customers who contact Novosco when they have any issues or queries. I aim to assist the customer by either working to resolve the issue or escalating it to one of our engineers.
PART of the reason Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google are sometimes collectively referred to as the FANGS is perhaps because they get their teeth into almost everything, from movies and groceries to family photos - and now the expanse that exists beyond the earth.
Going into space may have been one giant leap for mankind all those years ago, but it seems it's just another step in the ever-upward ascent of Amazon, and Facebook too.
After expanding from retail sales to cloud services, Amazon is now going higher still and into satellites.
There can be few businesses left in the UK and Ireland who haven’t had to factor Cyber Crime into their considerations in recent years. Whether they've become victim to such crimes already or have taken steps to prevent an inevitable attempt on them, one thing's for sure – ignoring it isn’t an option.
The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) annual report this year highlighted the increased prevalence of such crimes, “criminals are launching more attacks on UK businesses than ever before,” was the summary accompanying the report.
WE all know that hacking has become a mainstream problem for businesses and consumers. But we perhaps didn't anticipate how mainstream some hackers would become in how they run their operations.
A notorious cyber crime collective known as the Dark Overlord recently posted an online job looking for tech employees. Specifically, the Dark Overlord is seeking to hire software designers and systems engineers with at least 10 years' experience to “bring innovative approaches to operations and think outside the box”.
Ellen is Novosco's Client Director, as well as a busy working mum of two teenagers, and 3 fur babies that her kids grow increasingly jealous off as she tends to lavish what little time and attention she has on them when she isn’t travelling for work! She also helps run the family business, the family home and tries to fit in cooking excellent curries and baking absolutely ace Raspberry Ruffle Cheesecakes on occasion’
Question: What do you do, and how did your career bring you here?
Andrea has been working in service delivery for longer than she would care to remember, it fits both her professional desires and her personality needs, as providing a supportive and nurturing environment is key! When not immersed in work, getting some time on the beach, in what will hopefully be 'the retirement plan' place in the sun, is the priority - after all, practive makes perfect!
Question: Andrea, what’s been your career path so far?
Andrea: Now, I’m the Senior Service Delivery Manager with Novosco, but my working career began within the technical side of IT as a developer in the finance industry. I gradually worked my way through several team leader and team management roles until I eventually moved away from managing technical teams to managing services and being client facing.
Rick is a Senior Infrastructure Consultant based in Novosco's Daresbury office; he's a coffee addict with a penchant for travelling and wine - sometimes combining them.
Question: So Rick, what do you do at Novosco?
Rick: Hi! My role is within the field services team as an infrastructure consultant. My primary skills have been historically around networking and security, but more recently I have diversified towards infrastructure and virtualisation, which fits in well with the needs of many of Novosco’s customers.
IF you work in the tech sector, you probably love reading Gartner's predictions for the years ahead. They don't have a crystal ball, but they do come up with some thought-provoking forecasts.
So as we approach the end of 2018, here is a flavour of the things the global research and advisory consultancy is suggesting we might see in 2019 and beyond.
Ken is one of Novosco's Technical Services Analyst, is a wrestling enthusiast, and would love to visit Alaska some day.
Question: What’s your role at Novosco?
Ken Anderson: My current role is a Technical Services Analyst, which means I am the first line of contact for our customers whenever they have any issues. My role involves either helping the user to resolve their issue or by logging the issue appropriately and assigning onto a suitable engineer for the specific problem they’re facing.
Q: So you’re the customer point of contact, how does the process work?
Many people see Uber as a taxi firm. Uber sees itself as an urban mobility company. Is it being pretentious?
In an era when people generally want more companies to take the Ronseal approach to how they describe their businesses, Uber may actually have a point in its resistance to being plain in its description of itself.
How the San Francisco-based firm articulates its business model says much about its approach to innovation and its understanding of its strengths. In effect, it is a logistics and technology company rather than a taxi firm.
Paul leads Novosco’s Hosted Skype for Business team, is a big fan of photography, kebabs, and Metallica and will try to merge the three whenever possible.
Question: Paul, what’s your role with Novosco?
Paul Robinson: I’m currently the team leader for Novosco Hosted Skype for Business side of the business. As such, I guess my main responsibilities are to ensure the smooth running of our hosted voice solution that many of our customers rely on for their day-to-day telephony needs. This involves looking after the team here in HQ and making sure the platform is running at its best for all users.
MOST people accept that Northern Ireland has an impressive history of invention and enterprise. They may not know much about Hans Sloane or Sir James Martin. But Harry Ferguson, who invented the modern tractor, and John Dunlop, whose pneumatic tyre is one of transport's greatest inventions, should be familiar names.
Steven Johnston is a Chief Technical Architect with Novosco, and likes pretending that he’s still a ‘gamer’, he also enjoys travelling in search of authentic foods, particularly from South East Asia.
Question: So Stevie, what do you do at Novosco?
Steven Johnston: Currently fulfilling the role of Chief Technical Architect on the new Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) contract. Basically what that means is I have ownership of the overall technical solution for the CUH contract that we recently won. Prior to that I was involved in the bid process.