I’m the managing director of AvalonVale. I have been in the IT software and services business since 1990, always for the supply of human capital management (HR and payroll) solutions. I was born in Aylesbury and for the first few years of my life, I lived in Cyprus before returning to the UK and eventually settling in Somerset where I grew up.
Leaving Yeovil Technical College in 1984, my first job was as a trainee programmer for a small local software house, where part of my role was the development of their in-house payroll software package. Leaving after just over a year, my next three years were spent working in the IT department for a local manufacturing company. Amongst my various roles, I again was responsible for support and maintenance of the payroll software that paid the factory workers and staff. After a couple more jobs on the way, I joined ISIS McDonnell Douglas (now known as NorthgateArinso) in February 1990 to work on the software development and implementation of their payroll package.
In 1997, I went to work for my first SAP partner company to contribute to a large number of SAP HR and payroll implementations. Leaving that company in 2002, I also worked for PwC and Serco before finally founding AvalonVale UK in 2004.
I formed AvalonVale, a small niche supplier of HCM solutions and services, because I became so disenchanted with the attitude of the larger players in the market. I thought that we should concentrate on the personal touch and focusing on giving the best possible service to our clients, with the view that they would come back to us for repeat business, upgrades etc. and also be happy to tell their friends and colleagues about the excellent service we offer.
Over the years, my colleagues and I have built up significant expertise in HR and payroll solutions and now are able to offer solutions for small, medium and large organisations in both the private and public sectors (we have become so diverse that we even have some charities as customers).
My team and I have supplied solutions to organisations as small as 12 employees and our largest customer ever was 200,000 employees. I have gained knowledge and experience in cloud-based systems in the past twelve months to supplement all of my historical experience of on premise solutions. I have also worked on the project to bring a brand new cloud-based HCM system (Exelsys HCM) to market in the UK for the first time. The project is going well and we now have our first three customers in the UK with sights set on acquiring many more in the future.
I have worked with a range of organisations in the UK from the smallest charity SAT-7 (12 employees), a couple of housing associations (circa 100 employees), BDO Northern Ireland (150 employees), Lloyds Bank, Wiltshire Council, Kirklees Council, Cadbury Schweppes, HM Revenue and Customs (200,000 employees), Glasgow City Council (40,000 employees), DVLA and Post Office Counters to name but a few.
I would like to think that the length and breadth of my experience and my personable approach to my work means that I will be able to offer genuine sound practical advice to readers of Business Advice.
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