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?
Ellen: I’m Novosco’s Client Director for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I’ve been working for 30 years, and it’s been a very winding road, I trained in accounts, slipped into training, and then sidebar into sales for software (Sage), then into channel management and back into a front line role here in Novosco, that was over a decade ago!
Q: So you really seem to have a specialist understanding of the Health sector, what are some of the challenges faced?
Ellen: NHS budgets have been slashed in the last decade, whilst demand on their services has grown exponentially. Additionally, they are tasked to digitise and follow 'cloud first' by NHS Digital, it’s a perfect storm, and my job is to help them navigate it.
Q: What are the most common challenges you come up against?
Ellen: They have to invest wisely to get maximise impact and return, so making sure every penny spent achieves a core objective or mitigates a risk is key.
Q: What advice would you have for someone looking to do what you do?
Ellen: Be prepared for knocks, tenacity is a must, plus read, read, read... technical blogs, industry news, keep on top of what’s emerging, invest in key relationships with clients. The job is really about making sure you are the go-to person for technical advice within your client base, and for that, trust is a must.
Q: How has your role changed over the last few years?
Ellen: The major change is going from managing lots of clients across multiple verticals to then focusing on Healthcare, to then becoming responsible in broader terms for one client alone. Being a Client Director means I’m not just involved in commercials, but also the service design, the technical solutions, and the recruitment of the team, so a far cry from my original role.
Q: What changes in the IT sector do you think are coming down the pipeline in the next couple of years?
Ellen: In healthcare it’s all about leveraging the data and digitising the patient record, that’s where the investment is, so extending out data warehouses, going into join research ventures, genetics research, and complying with GDPR.
Q: What skills help in your specific role?
Ellen: The Client Director has to have commercial savvy, technical understanding, and great relationship skills, it’s about distilling and interpreting complex solutions and writing excellent business cases clearly demonstrating return on investment. I have to be the honest broker, and sometimes that means telling clients things that they don’t want to hear, but making sure its heard and understood.