A Pioneering CEO Providing Best in Class Cloud Solutions
EAS Cloud Services is a specialist technology company providing modern cloud services to their customers. In September, the firm’s CEO, Alan Hazell, was named among the winners of CEO Monthly Magazine’s 2018 CEO of the Year Awards programme, as the Technology CEO of the Year West Midlands. Alan took some time out of his schedule to give CEO Monthly a unique look at his career and responsibilities as CEO of a leading establishment in cutting-edge cloud technology.
The cloud sector is booming. As the global business landscape embraces an ever-changing workplace dynamic, on the back of swift technological development, the unique opportunities offered by cloud computing are too good to pass up. The advantages of utilising cloud technology are apparent, offering a cost-effective solution to a problem that has plagued businesses since the dawn of the digital age. Namely, how do you store an ever-burgeoning -and increasingly crucial- asset in a safe and secure manner, whilst still allowing for an ease of access?
By all considerations, cloud technology has become a necessity in the modern age of business. In this, EAS Cloud Services offers expert IT management solutions to help their clients capitalise on the benefits of cloud computing. To start the interview, Alan offers a brief overview of EAS’s history and operations. “Twenty-one years ago, I formed what is now EAS Cloud Services. Eighteen months ago, an opportunity presented itself for me to transform my company from a limited company with one employee to an SME. Today, and with a couple of name changes along the way, EAS has grown exponentially and we now have 25 employees and a similar number of associate consultants on our books. We have also achieved Microsoft Gold Partner accreditation and we are continuing to build a strong technical, agile and dynamic team in Coventry – the newly named City of Culture for 2021.”
Alan continues, detailing the importance of cloud technology for today’s businesses. “A major part of the IT strategy of many organisations is to commit to the adoption of cloud computing in order to benefit from the overall lower Total Cost of Ownership (ToC) of running their IT and business in the cloud. To quickly summarise EAS’s role – we work with customers to help them develop and deploy cloud strategies and cloud solutions using agile principles and practices in line with the adoption of DevOps culture as applied to providing and operating IT and business services in the cloud.”
Perhaps surprisingly, Alan was quick to reveal that IT was not his first choice for a career: “My ‘first career’ was working as a Stage Manager, having qualified at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in Stage Management. My career changed direction in the late 80’s after I married and started a family. While I was working as a middle manager for Welsh Water, I was given a PC to help me manage an outsourced contract they had won. With huge thanks to my late father-in-law, I quickly took to using the computer like a duck takes to water.” In many ways, Alan had found his calling, later graduating with a degree in Software Engineering at Coventry University, before becoming an Independent Consultant with his own company – a company that would eventually become EAS Cloud Services – in 1997.
It is not so difficult to imagine that Alan takes some inspiration from his dramatic background, creating a company culture defined by trust, transparency, mutual respect and creativity. Ultimately, EAS’s success has been formed on the back of collaboration and a commitment to the company’s goal – to provide best in class cloud services to their customers.
“We are a family business with family principles at our core. Myself and my management team are building a company where everybody can feel safe and secure in their jobs and valued as both a professional and as an individual.”
“We have a reasonably ‘flat’ structure, with myself as CEO, a Senior Management Team and capable team leaders who report to a single member of senior management. We believe this setup enables more efficient collaborating, communication and trust that runs from the top to the bottom of our organisation and vice versa. We have regular stand-ups, briefings, team building events and social activities away from the office.
“I operate a fully open-door policy, any of my employees are welcome to grab a coffee with me and share some of their views and insights. I have a Kanban board in my office that my team are free to come in and place a task on for myself and my management team to review and action.”
“My key advice to someone else looking to be successful is to firstly recognise your own strengths and weaknesses, and then build a team around you of trusted people who can complement your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses.”
Company culture remains an important point of focus for the company as it enters an exciting period of growth. Alan is a firm believer that enduring business success relies on the internal team just as much as the products or services it offers. “We allow all voices to be heard equally at stand-ups and by undertaking regular retrospectives we are all able to learn from both our success and our mistakes, where we focus more on the learning process rather than the blame culture. As CEO I not only make sure that the culture is being used at my level, but myself and my Senior Management Team also ensure that the culture is being adopted and is working for the company by taking part, as participants, in sessions with staff at all levels.”
In his closing comments, Alan takes a moment to talk about EAS Cloud Services’ plans for the future, as it looks towards further expansion into new. “Looking ahead, we are planning to continue our growth by increasing our customer base in both the public and private sector markets. To achieve this, we will be driving awareness of our company’s products and services by undertaking various marketing events, including a number of conferences where we will have a stand, so that we can talk directly to a host of potential new customers. The first conference is the digitech18 event in Leeds at the end of October.
“We will also continue to grow our people, process and tools, specifically, we are building our own cloud management and orchestration tool, which we will be showcasing in the Autumn of this year. I will also be strengthening my Senior Management Team with the appointment of a Delivery Director, as this is an area of rapid growth, and I need to ensure that we have somebody in place to help me develop our delivery best practices.”
Company: EAS Cloud Services
Address: The Design Hub, Coventry University Technology Park, Puma Way, Coventry, CV1 2TT, United Kingdom
Telephone: 44 (0)2476 158 712