Partnering with APS for my Last Dance
I’m 57 ☹ but inspired by Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” – I too fancied a last work shot at having fun, making an impact & being challenged, but lacked Michael’s outrageous talents & huge bank balance!
I’ve worked flat out since ’87 for 4 large FS firms, including 10y of overnight support & 30y of a daily 3.5h commute to/from the City of London and our Midsummer Murders village in South Oxon. Time for change.
What to do? I am a Geek, who loves Tech, learning & seeing how it can make lives better. Via RSS & Twitter, I speed read 500+ thought provoking & inspiring articles a day. A data led insight has been the strong signal of a profound & growing shift to data driven decision making over opinion led decision making. Totally accelerated by Covid19. Digital Transformation is coming. Hooray!
I’ve been dumped with far too many projects with shockingly bad “guarantees” made by slick sales-people (mostly men). The funding model favours those who exaggerate the most! Increase the benefits, scope & certainty. Decrease the budget, time & risk. Sorted! If it all goes wrong, then we can always blame IT!
I am passionate about the value of basing decisions on data, where uncertainty is embraced, transparency is key and whoever experiments the most is highly valued.
It is the mind-set of the new Digital Giants, who do experimentation, big data, agile & DevOps at pace and scale.
So I decided that my own Last Dance will be focussed on helping teams & organisations accelerate their data led decision making journey by adopting new cloud based technologies combined with a mind-set of experimentation, collaboration and obsession on the customer. Fun, impactful & challenging!
I am convinced that many firms could do so much more if someone held their hand & also simplified the complex tooling & data set plumbing.
But who to partner with? Delivering tech & change is absolutely a Team Sport, so picking the right partners is crucial. Ed Bearcroft & I were chatting regularly & he suggested that I meet Dave & Mark, his fellow Directors at APS https://www.apsolutionsuk.com/
At my last job, I chose Apigee (Google) & Microsoft as key partners as both were easy to deal with, smart & super helpful too.
It felt the same with APS. The guys liked my concept of a Digital Data Lab “in a box” as an accelerator for firms wishing to move beyond Excel. I like the APS mind-set and attitude a lot.
For our Digital Data Lab, Ed ran our Zoom based Design Thinking workshop, where we created our Lean Canvas. We then rapidly engaged with Tristan & Dirk from IOCO https://ioco.tech/ an impressive S Africa based 5000 strong s/w consultancy, to design & engineer the MVP for our Digital Data Lab. We are getting great help from Shane & team from Google too. In my next blog, I shall talk about how we see our Digital Data Lab as both an accelerator and a “Spreadsheet Killer”.
It is early days, but so far so good. I’ve learnt that Dave is super punctual & highly entrepreneurial, but his APS photo has a LOT more hair than I’ve spotted in our Zoom chats Whereas Mark is highly organised & commercially focussed but seems reluctant to turn on his video in our Zoom chats. I know Ed well from a previous life, but am still surprised that the former Tank Commander needs THAT many guitar lessons.