Want to know more about this blog?
Andy Spence will happily answer all your questions.
I have recently joined Merapar as Director of Agility and Transformation. It’s an honour to join such a wonderful group of talented, humble and dedicated professionals and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do together.
In 2001, I moved from South Africa to the UK, an 18 year old musician trying to find and make opportunities in a new land! Having mastered my bartending skills, I had also gained some knowledge in HTML and built a website or two for some businesses back in Joburg. Before long, I was working on the IT Helpdesk at the National Archives in Kew and it was here I got not only the bug for IT & Technology but people and service. I worked my way up to 3rd level support and eventually left the public sector to work for a TV on the Internet company, Narrowstep. I worked in Customer Support, and quickly developed into the role of Application Server Support Engineer. I knew then, I had found a home in the entertainment and broadcast space. Being in a small start-up certainly is a rollercoaster ride, as mergers and acquisitions saw the company change hands from Narrowstep to Kit Digital where I was met with redundancy, in an uncertain world as they moved on to become Pixel.
In my final days at Kit Digital, my Developers recognised the advantage of working in an agile way for success. It was then that I became a Scrum Master! Without a clue about what this role would entail, I opened the Scrum Guide and it was then, as I began to read, that I knew this was my calling.
So, recession had hit and I was out of work.I had learned so much about maintaining and building servers for unique applications and video delivery but it didn’t excite me like it once did. I realised that “troubleshooting” apps and machines had been fun but it was the “troubleshooting” of teams and people that excited me more.
Rolling forward to now, it’s crazy to think I’m approaching 14 years since I started this journey, a passion, a labour of love – a constant state of learning and serving others. This is my ultimate happy place. I have worked in so many areas from start-ups in video technology, large financial institutions, betting, mobile phone technologies, green solutions firms helping to bring about carbon neutrality, charities, furniture and major broadcasters from the UK, US and mainland Europe. I never got to see my dreams of rock stardom play out, but I’ve toured the world and I’m proud to have helped many people along the way, and to see them reaching their potential.
In more recent years, I’ve been in the world of contracting. I enjoyed the impartiality that this offered me, enabling me to give guidance from a position of experience and stability, and not from a place of trying to keep my job, but more importantly, in service to the client. Doing the best by them - Provide the service they truly need, not what suited my needs. This has been my ethos ever since I started contracting.
Never did I think I would find this kind of ethos in companies, and then I was introduced to the great people at Merapar. Their duty of service towards their clients matched my own. It wasn’t about getting “more bums on seats”, it was about meeting the customers' needs head on. Being direct, open and honest about opportunities and challenges and then helping them to solve that for themselves. Empowering people is at the heart of Merapar’s customer centric culture.
In working with Merapar, it was clear that the experience of agility, combined with their incredible delivery of cloud solutions in the world of broadcast, was a powerful combination. We now had the ability to not just help our clients on the ground technologically, but also with their people and operations too. This enables the unique value of our services to be embraced far more diligently and efficiently. Our clients succeed which means we do too.
Building greater organisational agility is now a cornerstone for Merapar’s client approach, in parallel as a standard for how we work internally. My role is to help elevate these offerings both internally and externally because when our clients do well, our people do well too.
“We build our teams around motivated individuals and give them the support, environment, and trust they need to truly get the job done”.
As we speak, we’re building an Agile Centre of Excellence (ACE) within Merapar to help grow our amazing team, and provide exciting offerings that will help our clients to meet their goals for delivering greater value. So I leave the world of contracting to join this fine organisation. I can’t wait for the journey ahead.
Thank you for your faith in me Merapar. Let’s do this!
Director of Agility & Transformation
Andy is also a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.Org