1 - You have been the head of Tridant’s support services for almost 2 years now, could you tell us a little bit about your professional background and how you came about this role?
I have always had a passion for two things; 1) IT and 2) Customer Service.
Throughout high school I was always interested in IT and this lead to my studying Information Systems at university. During this time, I was also working for Myer department stores. Initially I started with back of shop duties, but over the course of a 13-year career with Myer my roles varied. I moved on from shelf stacking to working as a 16 year old boy selling children’s clothing and it was here that I was mentored and began to understand the implications of good versus bad customer service. After my time in sales I then moved onto the role of store technical officer whereby I was responsible for maintaining the store point of sale system.
Next, I moved into a head office role as a graduate where I worked as an operations analyst and spent 3 months being mentored by the CEO. After the graduate program I was then offered a position as a full-time operations analyst and it was here that I began my TM1 journey. I spent 5 years as an end user using TM1 daily. Slicing data to excel, performing modelling, what-if scenario analysis and weekly dashboard reporting were the core duties of my role. This resulted in becoming inquisitive as to where the data was coming from, how was it being calculating and how could we use the data to make informed decisions.
It was around the age of 28 when I decided it was time for a career change as well as a sea change. It was in my search for new work that I was approached to work with Tridant. I began as a junior TM1 developer, a part of a large TM1 Budgeting, Forecast and Planning model implementation for one of Australia’s largest resourcing organisations. It was a steep learning curve, however with the experience around me and the knowledge that I was working for a company that encouraged continuous training and knowledge sharing, I was able to hone my development skills and succeed in my role.
3 years later and with few couple of projects behind me, I began a 12 month journey in providing onsite support for a client. This encompassed resolving TM1 issues regarding day-to-day operational activities, assessing, designing and implementing minor enhancements as well as interacting with internal and external stakeholders to ensure successful testing and release cycle management. It was then that I realised that the skills I acquired in a retail environment were transferrable to providing valuable customer service when providing customer support.
At the conclusion of this engagement, I was offered the position to lead the Tridant Support Team and with my passion for providing excellent customer service coupled with an inquisitive nature and drive to finding solutions I accepted the role and 18 months later I have not looked back.
2 - You are based in Perth overseeing the 24/7 support team in Melbourne, Sydney and Philippines, South Africa. What approach do you like to take when it comes to managing a remote team?
It is all about communication. In our industry, there is no need to be constrained by physical boundaries and with the tools that we have at our disposal, we have been able to effectively co-work across these locations.
It does have it challenges. The odd conference call at 6am in the morning or the late night Skype session to assist a colleague sometimes mean you don’t get a full 8 hours of sleep, but if the result means you have been able to help to resolve a customer issue then it is worth it.
3 - I hear that the support team is expanding to more locations globally, could you tell us a little bit more about this and the type of clients the team will be servicing?
As our client base grows so does the need to provide our support services. We are often asked “do you provide 24/7 support?” and even though our support team is relatively small in terms of headcount, we do have individuals based in various locations to allow us to provide this offering as well as many other variations. As previously mentioned we have support consultants based in Melbourne, Sydney, Manilla (Philippines) and Cape Town (South Africa), which enables us to do this.
Our clients differ from one industry to another. We currently support clients across the Resource, FMCG, Racing, Aeronautics, Transportation, Aged Care and various other industries. We also provide support to a variety of technologies including Planning Analytics (TM1), Cognos Analytics (BI), Tableau, CDM and Alteryx.
4 - Working in a global support team can be very fast paced and each day would present a different set of challenges, what seems to be the most common set of issues raised by clients to Tridant Support?
Whilst we provide support for various technologies, most of our common issues revolve around TM1 and understanding what TM1 is doing for that specific customer. More often we are being ask “what has happened to my data?” or “how is this being calculated?”, and so we find that we are devoting time to work with our customers, guiding them through how their model works and what it is doing for them. Sometimes it is a simple question and other times it can be complicated and significant time. We aim to ensure that at the end of the experience the user is confident that they know how their system works, the data is correct and that it can translated into invaluable information which they can use to assist in their decision-making process.
5 - You tend to work quite long hours looking after our clients, what would you say is the key to a healthy work/life balance?
Whilst I love my job, I love time with family and friends more and it is important that there is a work/life balance. My mantra is that, whilst I like to think I am making a difference in this world, I know that the world will keep spinning, business will keep running and life will go on long after I have left this planet.
I make sure that each day is as enjoyable as possible. To me life is too short to get caught up with problems that are beyond my control. I can only contribute as best as I can and strive to be better each day. At the end of my life, I don’t care if people look back and say, “he was the greatest or best at what he did”. I want people to look back and think “he loved his family and friends, he made the world a better place (even if it was in the smallest of ways) and he has left behind legacy in the way he has raised my children”.
6 - In terms of the next 5 years, what vision do you have for Tridant’s support services?
This is a simple answer.
I want Tridant support services to become the first destination when organisations begin to look for a support service that is dedicated to providing exceptional levels of service to ensure their ongoing success.
This will mean we want to be able to grow the team, not only in number of support consultants we have onboard, but also to expand our offering to different and new technologies. We want to engage new customers, but at the same time nurture and grow the relationships we have with our existing customers and to be able to continue to deliver reliable and effective service.
7 - Outside of work you are a new time dad, could you tell us a little bit about Audrey Joy and this exciting time in your life?
After finding the love of my life, she is my second greatest achievement. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her and when, at the end of a hard day, I get smiles and kisses from her, it puts life into perspective and there is nothing more I need.
Audrey keeps my wife and I on our toes. There isn’t a second that we don’t want to spend with her and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly she learns and it
scares me as to how quickly she is growing up. She is only 8kgs, 67cms tall and only commando crawling around the house but she is quick. I have never realised how much time would be spent chasing her around the house, picking her up when she wants to be held or how many hours would be spent rocking back and forth trying to put her to sleep at 3am in the morning.
I also never realised the hours of conversation that could be had with just ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahhhs’ and I also never realised how quickly you can fall in love with someone. The best feeling in the world and I would never trade a single day, hour, minute, second or moment since she arrived in our lives.
8 - What do you enjoy doing outside of work to wind down after a busy week and rejuvenate for the one ahead?
With an 8-month-old daughter there is not much down time outside of work. But that is the way I like it. I honestly can’t wait to get home at the end of the day and enjoy every second I spend with my family on the weekends.
I have also become a bit of a green thumb. I used to hate the garden as a child, but now I love spending time cultivating, nurturing and manicuring my garden. It drives my wife crazy because whilst we have a nice-looking yard, it does mean countless trips to Bunnings and an ever growing she of power tools, appliances and equipment.