“You have to have a real interest in what you do and a thirst for new challenges.” — CEO Q+A: Michael Elliott, CEO, Over-C

CEO Q&A | Wed 17 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
Michael Elliott, CEO, Over-C

In our next CEO Q&A, Michael Elliott, CEO, Over-C speaks to us about disrupting internal organisational culture, adapting to changes and IoT. 


Q. What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

As a digital innovation and transformation company, my priority is to disrupt the internal culture of organisations and improve how they manage operations, customers and employees.

My role is to also drive Over-C to be the industry-leader, strategically identify new opportunities for growth and build a strong, diverse team that can deliver for our clients.

Q. What are your biggest challenges as CEO?

As the company scales, building out a team in line with our changing business needs and securing and putting in place an expert senior management team have become a priority.

The role of Over-C CEO is constantly evolving, due to our recent growth, so I have also needed to adapt quickly.

Q. How do you keep your team/staff motivated?

Our team has huge energy and passion for our products and our customers. As an organisation, we also have some big audacious goals that keep us motivated, and that filters down through every level. Everyone in Over-C has autonomy in their role, and the opportunity to have a great work-life balance which helps maintain enthusiasm for their roles and the work they do.

Q. What are the challenges facing the industry going forward?

Diversifying across industries is a challenge. The technology we provide can be used across many industries and adapted to different scenarios. Therefore we have to maintain a great degree of agility to continuously deliver for our clients.

Q. What new trends are emerging in your industry?

We are seeing clients focussing on real world problems and solutions and not just IoT for the sake of it. For IoT to be effective, it needs to be in place from the ground up, enhancing performance levels across the organisation and becoming the driving force behind operational innovation.

Q. Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?

Technology is, of course, the enabler but, at Over-C, we advocate less big brother, more big team.

We focus on a people-first strategy by building and bonding effective teams that underpin every positive outcome we deliver to clients. In order to deliver any form of digital transformation, organisations must first recognise that they need to adopt a cultural shift within their operating practises. Building a strong culture and community within an organisation makes employees more efficient and more effective, rather than relying on technology alone to make those changes.

Q. As an employer are you finding any skills gaps in the market?

We’re constantly striving to attract the best in global tech talent to develop a cohesive team. We have a very strong company culture that we want to maintain and develop as we continue to grow.

Q. How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?

I previously owned a security services firm. One of the main problems I came up against was the ability to provide my clients with clear, verifiable insights about the efficiency of the service I was providing. When I sold my company, the tech to track how services were being provided wasn’t affordable, but during the crisis, a lot of the barriers to that such as the cost of mobiles and mobile data reduced.

Following on from this, Over-C was born as a means of effectively gauging the efficiency of service staff, the concept and business strategy developed from there.

Q. How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?

I think the tech community in Ireland is strong and that, currently, it is an attractive destination for firms. We have strong connections with the UK, and the manner of our partnerships means that we are well positioned to navigate any of the possible outcomes of Brexit, when it comes into effect.

Q. How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

The thrill of your job comes from what drives you to succeed. At Over-C, we get that thrill from innovation and the application of new technologies.

In industries where staff sometimes feel undervalued or overstretched, where teams lack cohesion and where business owners have increasingly reduced visibility, knowing our technology is transforming cultures drives us to succeed.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

You have to have a real interest in what you do and a thirst for new challenges.

Q. What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

After spending two years developing our platform to enterprise grade, we announced a partnership with O2, which enables them to offer our solution to their new and existing clients in the UK, under the name O2 Smart Compliance. The first client of that partnership is ScotRail, Scotland’s national rail provider.

We have also signed significant European partnerships, and the team has continued to grow and expand at our recently opened headquarters in Cork.

Q. What’s next for your company?

At the moment, we’re focused on continuing our expansion into international markets, working with enterprise clients in the UK, Spain and the Netherlands, among others.

Q. What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2018?

We have seen significant growth in the past 18 months, with our team expanding from a team of six to 34, and this looks set to continue. We will also be increasing our presence overseas, with plans to open an office in Germany by the end of the year.

Q. Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?

We want to be at the forefront of changing organisational culture through digital transformation. We are passionate about improving communication throughout organisations, which ultimately builds community. We will be diversifying our product offering over the next 12 months, but our core vision will remain the same.

The thrill of your job comes from what drives you to succeed.

 

Business & Finance, CEO Q&A

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