Tell us a little about your business and your role within it?
I am chief technical officer at VMotion IT Solutions, headquartered in Limerick. We have been providing managed IT services to medium and large enterprise customers since 2010. In 2014, we were appointed as an Atlassian Partner, providing the full suite of Atlassian services in Ireland, UK and Europe.
What, in your opinion, sets you apart from your competitors?
Every member of our team is highly technically proficient. This means that we are able to help our customers without them having to deal with non-practitioner sales people and first-line support. This makes us more approachable, helpful and competent which wins us business. Our client companies have been with us for years simply because they don’t get passed from pillar to post when trying to resolve an issue and because we offer a service level second to none.
What would you say is your greatest achievement in business to date?
It would be very easy to talk about our financial achievements. But, in reality, the ability to build a team that works well together and fuels business success if the single most important thing we have achieved over the last number of years. Establishing a close-knit, dedicated team has allowed us to retain each and every customer we’ve won. Having a happy client-base is our main priority. The rest follows.
What is the biggest lesson you learned in business during the recession?
Keep calm, keep your eyes open for new opportunities and keep your budgets tight.
Who or what inspires you?
Steve Jobs and Deepak Chopra…to some degree. While they both have inspirational personalities they don’t inspire me every day in the same way that the next generation does. Children and young people are always the source of inspiration for me. They have fresh ideas and inquisitive minds. They constantly remind me that it is important to keep questioning, pushing boundaries and thinking outside the box in order to evolve.
What goal (personal or professional) would you like to achieve in 2016?
We try to plan well ahead and are already looking at our goals for 2017. However, in the few months that we have left of 2016, we will be setting foot in two new markets that are part of our business development goals for 2017. Finding new, bright business partners in those places during 2016 would be a welcome bonus.
Are you concerned about the implications of Brexit for Irish businesses?
At this point in time, no. The only impact of the Brexit vote at the moment is weaker sterling. Whether there will be any further Brexit implications is nothing other than speculation at the moment. We have always operated on the basis that we have to prepare for potential negative scenarios. Brexit will be one of them but, as well as looking at the likely pitfalls, we will also be looking for new opportunities and exploring new markets. We don’t know what is going to happen with Brexit so see little point spending time planning for ‘what if’s’ that might never materialise.
If you had one piece of advice for those starting out in the export/import industry, what would it be?
Be market and culturally aware. Don’t just sit at your desk and rely on Google for the insight and the answers. Get on a plane and visit the places you want to export your goods and services to. See what it is like in your sector on the ground, take notes, and make the most of your Embassy and the valuable intelligence and connections they can pass on. Then sharpen your value proposition and align it with local market conditions and cultural values. Finally, use technology to get ahead of the competition by automating everything that can be automated so that you can invest your time in building meaningful relationships with customers.
To find out more about the range of hosting and IT services VMotion provide, please visit – http://vmotionitsolutions.com/.