Q&A – Tony Brown, Cloudworks

The news that cyber attacks on businesses have more than doubled in Q2 and that two out of three bosses are still not trained to deal with them, reaffirms the importance of ensuring you have adequate IT support.

East Midlands Business Link chats with Tony Brown, CEO at Cloudworks, the Nottingham based IT company that has helped some of the largest UK based businesses in the Microsoft space.

Tell us a little about your company and the recent changes that have taken place?
Cloudworks is a new breed of IT provider, designing, implementing and support Microsoft based products and services. Our ethos is to provide efficient and cost-effective services to our clients and to maintain the highest customer satisfaction.
The Company was created by a group of senior Office 365 consultants, who after working for some of the largest service integrators in the Microsoft space – realised there was a different approach to on-boarding businesses to Office 365, maintaining the close on-site contact that’s required with migrations, but creating a process driven approach that utilises remote resource for on-going migration tasks. We also help our clients expand their IT systems into the full Microsoft Cloud suite – maximising their investment in Cloud technologies.
We undertake work for some of the largest UK based businesses who recognise our experience in delivering successful migration projects and the ongoing help / development we provide, we also work directly with clients throughout Europe.

What sets your company apart from other IT companies?
We take a different approach to most providers by providing cost savings and productivity enhancements through true consultancy as opposed to passive/reactive service that our competitors offer. We have also recently agreed an MBO which means that the initial investors will no longer be shareholders.
We only work with businesses that are in the cloud and with our support contracts, we bundle in Office 365 and a free migration. We strongly believe that moving to the cloud will make any business more productive and secure so we like to give them a gentle push in the right direction. We engage with our clients not only from an IT perspective but help solve business problems by improving processes & achieving as much automation as possible.

Can you introduce us to some of the projects that you are currently/recently been involved?
Cloudworks client base is pretty extensive as it continues to grow and we are proud to be working with a variety of business from SMEs to large Enterprises.
We’ve recently migrated the Bristol University Staff network from Google to Office 365 which was around 30,000 mailboxes & we’re working with them to migrate the students currently. We help Arcadia and SIG PLC on numerous projects We recently won John Smedley in Burton & Plessey Semiconductors down in Devon.

What would you say are the most surprising/challenging aspects of working in IT for those who are not used to the industry?
The most challenging aspect of working in IT is keeping up to date with new products and services. I have nearly 30 Microsoft qualifications, obtained over the past 20 years and I’ve recently booked three exams around Microsoft Azure. Each of these requires a month or two of preparation so it takes up a huge amount of time. However, these qualifications so set you apart from the unqualified consultants as they display your company’s depth of knowledge. If you want to be an IT consultant, you do need to travel a great deal and be comfortable with lots of nights in hotel rooms- perfect time for exam prep!

Describe your dream commission, and why do you think your company would be the ones to do it best.
We’re big fans of the East Midlands here and we love our local clients. We helped Cumbria Police move to Office 365 so we think we’d be able to make a real difference to Nottinghamshire Police – I don’t think any other company has as much experience in intelligent migrations and we could definitely achieve a cost effective yet slick migration.

For further information on Cloudworks click here or visit https://cloudworks.co.uk/