My 15 year anniversary and how it all began by Zoe Sadler
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2018 by Zoe Sadler — 1 comment
15 years ago, Zoe Sadler packed up her job at PwC to join makepositive. Here’s a synopsis of her journey so far...
Rewind back sixteen years. Gareth Gates (remember him?!) had been at Number One for four weeks with Unchained Melody. Now makepositive CEO, Mark Richards was then the Project Manager on a PwC Consulting billing implementation for BT Wholesale and I was working on the team as a billing subject matter expert. It was a successful project, but like many that came before it, the team were doing a great job, working some very long hours and not getting much in the way of recognition. Mark’s idea: what if we could deliver the same great projects, with the same great people but really value them and give them a share in the success? And so, a few months later, expw consulting (admittedly a bit of a cheeky name-play on our PwC forbears) was born (we re-branded a few years later to makepositive).
There followed some large scale telco billing projects with clients such as O2, Romtelecom in Bucharest, T-Systems in Germany and then a Siebel/billing delivery at Thomson-Reuters. It was at this time, in 2008 that we noticed the emergence of Salesforce as a leading CRM player and decided that this was where the future lay for makepositive. We haven’t looked back since.
The growth of the Salesforce platform over the past ten years has been phenomenal. What really sets Salesforce apart for me is not just the explosion in the platform capabilities and the emergence of a raft of multi-disciplinary clouds, but the wealth of knowledge online and the amazing support network, not only within Salesforce of course but in the community as a whole. In addition, the level of benefits that a team can deliver in a short period of time makes this an incredibly agile and exciting space to work in. There’s nothing so rewarding as embarking on a client project, hitting the first show and tell and delighting the client with what has been achieved in a two week window.
A few years after we ramped up in Salesforce, recognising the importance of being able to serve our northern clients locally, we decided to set up our Manchester practice. Marc Benioff himself has called out Manchester as a key tech hub and Salesforce has recently joined us and set up their own regional centre in the city centre. It was clear that there was great scope for Salesforce projects up here in the north, a bit like Instagram, it took a little while to catch on in the mainstream but I believe we’re there now! We’ve got a combination of homegrown talent and in the past year the Manchester team has more than doubled in size, recently benefitting from the brave migration of a number of Salesforce experts from the south to the frozen north. We have a multi-functional team here in Manchester, of Project Managers, Technical and Solution Architects and Implementation Consultants, delivering projects for clients including the likes of Dunelm, Sunseeker, the RSPCA and Amey. For development skills we work closely with our colleagues in London and most frequently with our India Practice, headed up by Manu Dewan.
We set up our India practice in Gurgaon in 2012. The story goes, that Manu was literally about to board his plane for a new life in Australia, when makepositive persuaded him to head up and create our India team. Having an inspirational practice lead such as Manu, that lives and breathes our makepositive values and dedication to quality has been fundamental to the success of our India arm. Our makepositive Managed Services team, a raft of highly skilled developers and Technical Architects and our Quality Assurance practice are now all based out of Gurgaon.
15 years, now over 150 people. We’re delivering some really exciting, large and complex projects right now, for the likes of Calor and Gamma Telecom. What hasn’t changed for me since day one, is the quality and dedication of the makepositive team and Mark’s unsuppressable energy and ethos in uniting our people behind a common goal whilst maintaining our fun, caring, open, culture.
For us, 2018/19 is all about consolidation. Bedding in our processes and quality controls to ensure that we can continue to deliver on even larger and more challenging projects. We’re seeing a great demand for Field Services Lightning projects and CPQ projects too. makepositive currently holds approx. 20% of the CPQ UK certs and it seems that things are moving full circle, back to our roots in billing!
Zoe Sadler - Manchester Practice Lead