Firstly, let me introduce myself, my name is Michael Caine. No!! Not really, only joking it’s really Barrie Wade, and I am the UK Business Development Manager for Keitaro. Like most of you reading this blog I have an active life outside of work and enjoy many sports, including Football, being a Golf bandit and Tennis. I also do a lot of walking and love to travel wherever possible. I have two grown up sons, one who lives and works in Australia and the other who is in University, studying Operational and Project Management.
For many years I have also worked extensively in the charity sector and put on social inclusion events for adults and children with learning and physical disabilities which I personally find very rewarding.
I have always been someone that has strived to be successful in everything that I have done, whether it’s in either my professional or social life. Challenges are good for you and make you a better person and improve knowledge.
My initial career was in Forensic Science. I started my career as a Crime Scene Investigator (Like CSI Miami but not as exciting) in the UK Police and built a successful career pathway. However, I felt there was always something missing, and no it was not a murder weapon. I had always been interested in business and people in general, and knew that long term, and after my Policing career, I wanted to move into the world of business.
After leaving the Police Service I developed in Operational roles within small businesses, took some management course and then took an opportunity in a large UK PLC and worked my way through their progression program, ending up managing a business centre with a turnover in the £m’s. A big part of my role outside of the operation was business development which was heavily customer focused. I gained some great insight into the importance of customer satisfaction and growing business relationships, and became generally successful.
After leaving here I went back to work for a small local start up business, where I helped the founder grow it to a medium sized successful operation, having responsibility for both business development and operations. I really found my calling to be more Business development and after a few discussions came across an amazing opportunity to work with an International renowned company called Keitaro (Not sure if you have heard of them, but they have some great soccer stars!!) as a Business Development Manager in the UK.
Entering the world of Open Source Software
I researched Keitaro, could see that they were a young dynamic progressive company with a good expansion programme and although I knew nothing about software, I knew about Business Development and how to build business relationships. Plus, Keitaro would be a new name in the UK and this would be a challenge, and everyone in business likes a challenge, right?
My initial thoughts were this could be a tall order, especially being an old grumpy grey haired soccer hooligan, tennis playing golf bandit and having to learn new skill sets. But it would be a challenge, one that I was halfway to succeeding in as I had skills in Business Development, I just needed to learn the product.
Having been at Keitaro for coming up to three months I can honestly say that I have enjoyed my short time here, the staff have been so friendly and extremely helpful. I am never stuck for support and advice when I need it and the staff are a credit to the company and the Keitaro brand. I have learnt some great new skills, especially a new technical language, opposed to looking dazed when talking about software I can allude that I understand everything (as long as no one asks me a tech question that is).
Learning about the world of Open Source, CKAN, Docker, Kubernetes and all the other aspects of the business processes (See I sound like an expert already) has been a challenge, and coupled with trying to get the Keitaro brand into the UK, sometimes slow. But, we have seen an increase in engagement through proactive social media campaigns and potentially have a great project coming up with a UK University which will culminate with a Data Conference in 2020. Exciting times lie ahead.
What I have discovered
In business we need all types, large international corporations, UK PLC’s to little Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and, when it comes to technology, Open Source offers something for everyone. So many SMEs need technology to grow in their marketplace and make themselves more efficient and profitable. Open Source is a solution that offers this to them, great technology with an affordable budget offering a great return on investment.
Open Source Technology also offers flexibility for larger PLCs and Governments through our great Data Management platform Amplus. In a modern world where larger organisations deal with public money, transparency is a key to building relationships and trust. At Keitaro we can provide these services.
Regrets? None yet as I have not been fortunate enough to meet any of my new colleagues face to face!! No seriously now, I am pleased I made the move. It is pleasing to work with a business that wants to grow, looks to improve themselves and their staff and more importantly for me, empowers their staff to work effectively for the brand and their clients.
The journey of developing Keitaro in the UK and growing with them is exciting. Being able to work with Open Source Technologies and sharing its benefits with new and existing clients and assisting their businesses to thrive and develop in this ever changing world is rewarding.
Keitaro is a progressive company in a progressive world and I am proud to be a part of it.