Meet Simon Altit

What do you do at Insentra?

I run a dual role, as both the Director of our EMEA business and the Practice Manager of our Global Data Migrations team. As Director of EMEA I am responsible for growing the EMEA business primarily focused around three offerings Office 365/Azure, Enhanced Support Services and Data Migrations, as well as leading our EMEA based resources. As Practice Manager of Data Migrations I’m responsible for the leadership of the migration consultants, pre-sales, technical oversight of projects and to ensure that my team is adequately trained and skilled to deliver upon our clients ever changing requirements. Across these two roles I end up being doing a lot of things to drive both the back and the front of the business.

What is your background?

I’ve been in IT for a little over 10 years, I started off working for a global SI specialising in file system analysis, specifically; de-duplication, archiving and backup where I worked closely with a variety of Tier 1 software solutions. This lead me to specialising in collaboration and archival, and with the advent of cloud solutions the migration of these platforms to the cloud.

What are your three biggest accomplishments?

  1. Developing Insentra’s migration methodology and growing it’s migration team from 1 to 14 people who have successfully delivered over 200 migration projects and contributed to over 1 million users of Office 365 consumption.
  2. Being selected to start, develop and run the EMEA business
  3. When I was younger I really struggled to see things from other people’s perspectives and regularly argued with people I disagreed with, I didn’t have the patience.  Thanks to a brilliant mentor who invested heavily in me, I now really relish having discussions with people of diverse opinions and I am able separate my opinions to truly understand where someone is coming from. This has had great impact on my life in both a personal and professional sense today and I don’t think I would have been able to achieve either of the above if not for this.

What does success look like to you? What is your finish line?

Success doesn’t have a finish line  , it isn’t made up of meeting any one specific milestone, to me it is the culmination of growth. If you asked me what success was 5, 3, 1 year ago my answers would be very different each time. I love the ever changing landscape and the challenge it brings as it encourages personal and professional growth which in its self makes me feel like I am successful.

The idea of a finish line is so fixed and far away. I’d like to think that my goals have changed overtime and as I’ve experience more, my ambitions have grown in kind. I don’t have a finish line for my career. However, when I feel like I’m no longer growing and adding value to Insentra that will be the finish line for this part of my career and then it will be time to move on to the next challenge.

What have you learned in the last year of establishing your business in the UK that will benefit the Channel?

Starting a business from scratch with little to no network is hard! Also to be more open to change.

What do you want for the team that report to you? How do you inspire them to be their best?

I want them to love working as part of our team and feel like they are part of a family that is working towards the same goals. I want them to feel that Insentra is a safe place for them to grow and that we are providing them with every opportunity to be successful. What I want more than anything is for them to be proud of the work they do and the contribution that they make to us, our partners and our clients.

I try to inspire by being audacious and showing people that there are not limits to what we can accomplish together. This I feel is ultimately done by focusing on having a great relationship by listing to what people need and want and therefore working out what motivates them. From there we can provide a platform for them to be successful, by letting them know that they have the autonomy to make their own decisions. Moreover letting them know that if they encounter issues along the way, we will support them and that there will never be any retribution for trying to do the right thing.

Why is Insentra an innovative company and how does the company demonstrate innovation?

Core to the Insentra philosophy is growth and change, as a business we are constantly assessing our own performance (as a collective and individually) to focus on how we can be better. This drives everyone to look at what we are doing and how we could improve. This open and honest review cycle means that we are constantly innovating what we do.

However, that is only half the picture, the other key piece is assessment of the market and where it is going. As the industry moves to an As-A-Service model the discussion of technology has become less and less important. At Insentra we mostly talk about outcomes, there is no need for our clients to be concerned about technology, they need to care that the business outcomes are being delivered. As such we continue to look for innovative ways to deliver business outcomes through technology and no longer sell customer technology led solutions.

Insentra has a set of core values, which is the most important to you and why? How do you live up to these values?

All of our values are important to me, although I think OTOD is by far the most important, I feel it embodies all of the core values of HIT ACES. To be successful we have to work as a team and every decision I make is rooted in what’s best for the business and our team.

What is the biggest challenge facing partners and why?

The move to an as-a-service model, it’s a drastic change in how the partners engage with their customers and how they sell a solution. It requires partners to change their go to market strategies and how they compensate sales people. It also requires a different type of consultant who is looking a broader business strategy rather than just providing a point solution.

How do you see Insentra changing in the next two years and how do you see yourself creating that change?

Our business is going to transition from being predominantly professional services into a managed, focusing heavily on annuity based contracts. I believe that our professional services will continue to grow, however it will be out stripped by our managed services. As such I think we are going to be delivering a broader book of services to even more partners and more customers, ultimately culminating in significantly more revenue. In order to deliver this we are going to need to continue to streamline our internal processors and to innovate with the offerings we take to market. Operationally I will be focusing on driving excellence through our delivery teams and recruiting people who are at the top of their respective fields.  From a strategy perspective I will be focusing on what markets we should be entering and services we should be providing as well as recruiting new partners and customers.

If you were to ‘pitch’ the value of Insentra, how would you do it? What would you say?

We provide the channel with the depth or breadth of skills that they otherwise do not have access to across a range of managed and professional services. We minimise both the customer and the partners risk but fixed pricing and guaranteeing outcomes.

What is one word that describes you the best?

Challenging – I love to challenge the status quo – if only to ensure that all possibilities have been conceived, by myself or others. I relish helping people to make better decisions – even if I don’t always agree with them. It’s not the outcome, it’s the process of thinking – challenge everything – you will deepen the process and vastly improve the outcome. Sometimes that gets me labelled as a contrarian, however I see it more as audaciousness.

Tell us a funny joke?

A doctor reaches into his jacket to get a pen to write a prescription and pulls out a rectal thermometer. “Oh, damn it,” he proclaims, “Some asshole stole my pen!”