Welcome

I am a freelance IT Consultant based on the East coast of the UK providing:

  • Answers to all of your IT and technology questions
  • Friendly training, software demonstrations, kick-off meetings, and presentations
  • Customised and bespoke database, software, web and mobile App development
  • Expert advice on harnessing the existing power of IT for your operation
  • Independent purchasing and licensing advice
  • Technical marketing, sales and support documentation

I work mainly with small to medium businesses that would like the services of a multi-faceted IT Manager but cannot justify the full-time cost.

My services are simply priced and affordable to small businesses.  I have been providing these services to clients in their offices all around the world for over twenty years.  Below are some of the key points about myself and the services I offer.

I communicate well about IT and I offer my recommendations and training at levels suitable for computer novices through to C-Level Management and technical developers.

My verbal communication skills include public speaking, classroom training,  and question and answer sessions.  My writing and presentation skills allow me to write easy to understand product manuals, how to sheets, and other informational guides.  I use charts and diagrams where appropriate to aid comprehension.

Programming has been a hobby since the eighties, and my profession since the nineties.  I write software in several different languages and technologies although most of my development work is focussed around Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Visual Studio.

Database and data form the mainstay of my work and many of my projects are focussed around collecting more data, collecting better data, reducing redundancy and achieving results through availability, analysis, and reporting.

This blend of skills mean I am well suited to implementing and integrating new software systems.  My experience allows me to foresee and avoid potential problems with new systems and my programming background means that I am able to tightly integrate systems to minimise repeated data entry.

I have worked with many companies supporting the offshore oil industry, and I am very familiar with their need for urgent responses and need to keep operations running.  The environment has also engrained an extremely high level of safety awareness in the ways I work.  Work in this field has taken me to deep drill ships off Brazil to troubleshoot well logging software and opencast mines in Australia to design a database for a coal loading system.

The Education Industry has provided the basis for many of my projects, including a pupil target setting system, behaviour tracking system, attendance system, college management system and other similar solutions.  These solutions were used throughout the UK and by the Army Education Service providing schooling for troops children overseas.  I have shared this work with colleagues in South America, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.

When not working I enjoy spending time with my wife and family, traveling and cooking.

.Net Holiday Booking System

I was approached to design a bespoke database system to act as a customer database, booking system, and property management system.

This was integrated with the companies Sage Finance system and interfaced with Booking.Com to harness that additional revenue stream.

Mobile App and HQ database for nationwide service company

A large service company with around a dozen regional headquarters  and 500 mobile engineers approached me, having changed their financial reporting structure.  Following the cenralisation they made an alarming discovery.

All of the engineers communicated their work via a CRM application on their 4G tablets whilst out on the road.  However, it had become apparent that during the companies expansion they had not managed their licensing, and when contracts were won by regional offices more licenses were bought in small packs to cater for the expansion in workforce.

The results were staggering and showed that the company was pouring away tens of thousands of pounds every quarter simply in licensing charges for a piece of software which they used as little more than an appointment book.

I designed a more modern database to be used in the regional headquarters and used a development team to write a .Net intranet portal to interface into that database.  Due to the very limited requirements of the company, this was considerably cheaper than deploying a Sharepoint Server which would simply have been excessive for the needs of the business, especially as the ongoing consultancy costs can be rather high.

Some regions had used SalesForce but this had become rather expensive due to the licensing model, even for the few regions that were using it.  This is not intended as a discredit to SalesForce – SF is an excellent system I often endorse, but as always, it’s a case of choosing the most appropriate tool for the job, and for this business, SalesForce wasn’t it!

I also wrote a mobile application which would use the 4G connection to synchronise with HQ database.  This app works with the HQ software to end work orders to engineers.  The engineers can use the app to send back report cards, or, if required, check availability and price of parts at HQ whilst on the service visit, thus increasing upsell opportunities.

The design and development costs of the database and mobile application were less than the licensing of the previous system for eighteen months.  I provided training via three different courses intended for differing audiences, at five regional centers as a separate contract.

ERP System (Oracle JD Edwards)

The client company had selected an ERP system and associated consultants .  However, after reviewing the consultants planning phase the company felt the proposed system would require large changes to their own workflows and processes.

I assisted the company in selecting more appropriate ERP consultants and assisted the company further by creating detailed business process maps for each of their departments.

From a technology perspective, the assignment involved integrating an existing MS SQL Procurement System with Oracle JDE running in an SQL Server environment which involved working with two programming teams to adjust the software on each side of the interface.

Maritime Systems

Managing and developing a suite of databases used both onshore and on-vessel, predominantly MS SQL based, for a maritime company.

One database system was used for procurement of provisions and materials, ship to shore. This database also tracked vessel maintenance. Another database was developed to track the overseas construction of new vessels.

These two databases shared a common convention for subdivision of the vessel and its components.

Big Data Project

This project involved loading huge chunks of data, several gigabytes in size, and performing a series of checks, validations, and transformations.

Naturally, the emphasis on this project was to write ultra efficient code and to concurrently develop thorough testing routines so as not to waste time running scripts which could fail.