Finance and Administration – Days Sales Outstanding – Ages nicely

Those of you familiar with MTI will know we pride ourselves on the longevity of our staff, with several of us well into our second decade here! Our finance and administration team is no exception and with some of the key players approaching milestones, it’s time to celebrate the careers of some of MTI’s finest.

Regular readers will be familiar with our in-house bakery enthusiast Rainer Held, MTI’s SVP Finance. He’s been looking after the money for 20 years now, joining the team in 1995 at the tender age of 30. We’ve also got another stalwart in Christine Renzaho, a financial controller fast approaching a decade at the company, while Clarence Do Rego joined at the age of 50 and is now at the ten-year mark as a financial controller.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 16.22.56

Rainer Held, SVP Finance

While this elite cadre have more than their share of grey hairs between them, their combined 40 years at MTI really demonstrates the loyalty we try to inspire as a company, among our staff and importantly, among our customers. In a world where many might need more than two hands to count their different jobs before they reach 30, we’re proud to say that MTI’s team is built for the long-term.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 16.24.20

Clarence Do Rego, Financial Controller

With this in mind, I’ll be rounding up Rainer, Christine and Clarence this week to celebrate in style. We’re all ageing nicely yet remain just as enthusiastic as ever, so watch this space – pictures of our exploits will be up in due course!

Moving with the times

I had a very interesting day yesterday which highlighted the need we all have to be agile in business and in life.

In the morning, Ian Parslow and myself were invited to a breakfast with The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge, management editor and Schumpeter columnist. Adrian has just written a book, The Great Disruption, in which he examines the impact of forces such as the internet, financial capital and globalisation on business. The event, hosted by our PR consultancy Champion Communications, covered a lot of topics, ranging from the changing role of content in our lives through to the new way in which businesses need to adapt to stay ahead of the game.

Adrian Wooldridge’s book on The Great Disruption

We then hot-footed it across the West End, through Soho to the Park Lane Hilton for a luncheon held for the Royal Warrant Holders Association. MTI (Security Practice) has the honour of having been granted a Royal Warrant for being a provider of data security services and products to Her Majesty The Queen. We are one of 700 companies to hold a Royal Warrant, and feel very proud of this. Ian Parslow, Alan Ryan, Sheila MacKinnon and I from MTI hosted a  table which included Pete Smith of The Royal Household, Ben Spencer, Beazley, Tim Raworth, KIO, Dave Exall, SafetyKleen, John Singh, DAC Beachcroft and Richard Cook, Champion Communications.

MTI (Security Practice) table and guests

MTI (Security Practice) table and guests


KC and Tim Raworth, KIO.


KC and Dave Exall, SafetyKleen


L-R: KC, Robin Wodehouse of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, Pete Smith of The Royal Household

Over a three-course dinner, we heard from Robin Wodehouse, of Walker and Wodehouse Wines, one of the few Wine Merchants to hold a Royal Warrant and Grantor of Royal Warrants, who explained the work of QEST, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which raises funds to provide scholarships to support the education of talented crafts-people.

We also heard from Sir Charlie Mayfield of the John Lewis Partnership who made the point that holding the Royal Warrant is a mark of pride for everyone in an organisation, not just the business leaders. Upon reflection of the two parts of the day, the consistent theme for me was the need for agility.

On the one hand, we had a futuristic view of the world from a journalist who talked about the pace of change and shared his view that only those individuals and businesses that can adapt will service. On the other hand, we had lunch with one of the UK’s most traditional organisations, and here it is investing in the future and creating new opportunities by developing talent. In both environments, the benefits of being able to adapt whilst staying true to core principals seem to be the best way forward.

Robin Wodehouse at The Royal Warrant Holders Association dinner

Robin Wodehouse at The Royal Warrant Holders Association dinner

This woman has had her eye on me for 43 years!

Good luck Liz!

KC says thanks to Liz Ford

She has seen the restaurants I have eaten in and always known the names of the hotels I have stayed in. She probably could even tell you where I went on my honeymoon and which gifts I bought my wife for every birthday.

She is Liz Ford my Senior Personal Banking Manager from Lloyds in Accrington and is retiring today after 43 years of stunning service.

I went up to say thank you and good-bye and to wish her well in her retirement. It turns out I am not the only happy customer who she has kept out of the red and in the black. The room was filled with cards and flowers from well wishers.

Shirley Grimshaw, the Branch Manager who works with Liz and has herself been with the bank for 35 years, had this to say:

Liz and Shirly

Shirley Grimshaw, Branch Manager for 35 years with Liz

“It’s a really special day for Liz. We have 15 bouquets of flowers reflecting the fact that the service that she has been giving to customers over the 43 years she has been with us has been second to none. She will be sorely missed.”

I get inspired by people like Liz and Shirley who demonstrate the value of great service. So, thank you ladies. For both the service and the inspiration.

Liz, I wish you a fun filled and well deserved retirement.

Liz at Lloyds

Liz says goodbye to Lloyds Bank, Accrington after 43 years!

IP Expo begins with a bang!

MTI is exhibiting at IP Expo, at Earls Court 2 in London, today and tomorrow and the show has already kicked off with a bang. The floor is buzzing and it looks we are set for another great year at the event.

Me with the cinema ushers Lara and Leah and our Marketing Manager Kirsty Lambert

Me with the cinema ushers Lara and Leah and our Marketing Manager Kirsty Lambert

MTI is in the thick of things with our cinema themed stand at booth F52, complete with a popcorn machine, pick‘n’mix treats and ushers paroling the aisles.

In addition we also have a live hacking event at the stand, with MTI experts showing delegates the techniques hackers employ to breach company networks.

So if you are attending IP Expo please do drop by to see the MTI security experts at work, chat to our specialist infrastructure and managed services teams and grab some popcorn and sweets. We’ll also be serving beer on the stand after 3pm, if that tantalises your taste buds after a long day of exhibiting and networking.

I will update the blog with more about what MTI got up to at IP Expo after the show, but for now here are some images of MTI’s team on the show floor.

Me with our senior VP of sales Ian Parslow

Me with our senior VP of sales Ian Parslow

The MTI team at the stand

The MTI team at the stand

MTI recognised in EMC and Cisco awards


The MTI team celebrates picking up EMC’s Best VSPEX Partner award in Las Vegas. From left to right:Paul Burdett, Alasdair Young, Andy Dean, Stefan Fehr, Ian Parslow, Steve Wiggs, Juergen Peter and Peter Bilicki

I’m delighted to report that MTI was named ‘Best VSPEX Partner of the Year’ at the 2013 EMC EMEA Velocity Solution Provider Breakout, which took place during EMC’s Global Partner Summit at EMC World in Las Vegas this week.

The awards recognise EMC Velocity Solution Provider Partners that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence by exceeding business and sales goals, expanding across new and existing markets and providing superior customer support.

We are committed to helping organisations across EMEA transform their IT infrastructures, supporting their unique business needs and improving efficiency. EMC’s technologies are a key part of our solution offering, so it’s fantastic to see our VSPEX expertise and ongoing dedication to meeting customers’ requirements recognised and rewarded by EMC.

Elsewhere, MTI has also been named Cisco’s Data Centre Partner of the Year for Scotland. We picked up the award at Cisco Scotland’s flagship partner event – Cisco Scotland Partner Forum 2013 in Dunblane. Cisco said MTI has really driven opportunities in a relatively new market for them.

Both these awards confirm the high regard in which we are held by our closest partners. Onwards and upwards!

MTI France gets festive

To bring 2012 to a fitting end, today we have a guest blog from Damian Saura, Vice President Sales at MTI France, writing about the French team’s festive close to the year.

Tradition is important, especially at this time of year. Holding traditions that we revisit year after year reinforces the feeling of team spirit and bonding at MTI.

MTI France holds its traditional small Christmas party each December to thank our employees and their partners for their commitment to MTI. Most importantly, it is also the time to share joy and happiness with MTI people, their families and their children. This year’s party, which took place last Wednesday in our Croissy offices, was attended by lots of children, who were all delighted to receive a gift from the MTI Santa Claus.

It was a great evening and a fantastic way to bring 2012 to an end.

I hope you all have a wonderful festive season and I look forward to seeing you in 2013.

New NOC, $100M and a few girls blouses

As CEO of MTI, one of the parts of my job that I enjoy most involves transferring great ideas and best practice from one area of the business to another. Recycling and refreshing great ideas took a very literal turn recently, when I was at the EMC Forum Frankfurt event and noticed that the female members of our team had MTI blouses on. I was very impressed with this and promptly asked them to remove them at the end of the event so I could take them home to be laundered ahead of the next event. There were also footprints stenciled onto the floor of the event leading visitors straight to the MTI stand. These are both examples of great ideas that show MTI working just that little bit harder to stand out and attract business.

It is this passion and commitment to going the extra mile across the business that I believe is responsible for MTI being on track to beat our target of hitting $100m in group bookings by the end of this year. Given the economic climate we are in, this requires agility, innovation and determination. It also requires deals such as Juergen Peter’s carexpert order, the single best EMC deal of the quarter, and the NTT Managed Services deal in Germany that Thomas Fritze and Simon Walters have brought in. Both are high stake, one chance opportunities. Other deals, such as Kevin Moxey’s General Dynamics deal, demonstrate the benefits of determination. In addition, deals of note include Millstream in Scotland, brought in by a team lead by Spencer Misstear, as well as the Elior deal in France brought in by Didier Pichon. All are great endorsements of MTI’s services and product, so congratulations and thanks to all involved, including the Services and Finance team who play such a critical role in our business.

Looking forward, I am excited about the new NOC we are building in the upper floor of our Godalming site, due for completion in December. I am also excited about the momentum that David and his team at MTI Secure have built, with some record-breaking deals coming in. France’s Cisco UCS team is also looking very strong for the quarter ahead.

Whilst on the theme of looking forward I would like to wish Monika Hoffmann my best wishes and express the appreciation of the company as she retires after almost 17 years with MTI. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Matthieu Lafaye and Marijana Anusic, who have joined our sales teams.

So for those of you who have had your summer holidays, welcome back. I hope you are refreshed, invigorated and as excited about the rest of the year as I am. There is lots of work to be done and there are lots of great deals to close, but there is also immense talent and commitment in the business to rise to this challenge.