Thursday 18th February 2016
Read this candid interview about Mike’s plans and priorities for OpenAthens and what he enjoys most about his role.
1. When did you join OpenAthens?
I joined OpenAthens in March 2015. First of all as an Interim Director and then I joined full time in April 2015, as the Executive Director.
2. What is your background?
I started straight from education and went into the Royal Air Force. When I finished there, I got into international technology sales for various software companies and that led me to a variety of roles managing tech business start-ups and recoveries. My last role was a CEO of a software development business in Auckland, New Zealand.
3. What are your plans for 2016 for OpenAthens?
That’s quite difficult really, because there is a lot to do. A key plan is to improve Partner relations; these are companies that sell and support OpenAthens on our behalf. We have some very good partners but we want to improve how we work with them continually. This will see us communicating with them and supporting them more effectively. On top of that, we need to consolidate the position in the marketplace that we have today and then go onto grow revenues after that.
4. What is your top priority?
Our top priority is to engage more closely with our customer base. There are lots of reasons why we want to do that but primarily, to understand what their real needs are. That in itself will feed into our thinking for future development. Development has to be driven by the people who buy our software. Another priority is to create and grow presence internationally, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
5. What do you enjoy most about working here at OpenAthens?
The thing I enjoy most about working here at OpenAthens is the commitment of the people. It is an interesting place because of the Eduserv and OpenAthens charitable status. We have excellent people here, all of whom are committed to the task in hand. Every day is a pleasure to see that.
6. What do you enjoy most out of the office?
My hobbies are distance running, playing real tennis and this time of the year I like to ski. It is a passion I have but unfortunately do not do it enough. However, my next trip is coming up at the end of February and I am very excited.
7. What three words best describe working at OpenAthens?
Challenging, complex and rewarding. Overall it is rewarding because there are things to do, all things we can improve to provide a better service to our customers – that feels great.
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