Applications Delivery & Technical Services Manager
Unilever – Ice Cream & Frozen Food
Brief job description
I manage a team of 6 application support specialists, 2 software specialists, 1 personal productivity tools specialist, 1 SAP contractor ad 1 Oracle contractor supporting 50+ business applications in the head office and across four factory sites.
My career so far…
I left school in 1989 and went to a local Government funded computer skills centre for 8 months. In March 1990 I took a job in an office in London, mostly doing office admin but keeping my IT hand in by looking after the company’s small Oracle RBDMS database. I learned Oracle inside out and took a job as an Oracle developer with Birds Eye Wall’s in January 1996. I joined the BEW application support team in March 1999 and was then promoted to applications delivery manager (with overall responsibility for the AST) in June 2000. I was recently seconded to technical services manager, retaining responsibility for the AST but also taking on the technical software support development.
What does your job involve in a typical day?
I supervise the team and help in fixing the day to day problems with the applications. I manage the relationship with Unilever’s Infrastructure Support Centre and trying to ensure that BEW users are getting the service they expect and deserve from the IT department. I ensure the necessary processes are in place to support the applications for 15 hours a day, including weekends and public holidays.
What do you like most about your job?
The challenge it gives me in trying to hold everything together – myself included! The variation in problems and technologies that it exposes me to. The enjoyment I get from fixing a difficult problem or performing in a tricky situation. The people I work with as they are very friendly and social, almost like one big happy family.
What skills are required in your job?
Patience! Man management. The ability to see things from the outside looking in and seeing the overall picture. A variety of technical skills including Unix, Oracle, NT, Cobol, VMS, Personal Express and OFA/OSA.
How many people work for you?
What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?
I can’t comment extensively as my job doesn’t see me getting directly involved with the industry. Also I can’t claim the ‘study hard’ route because I am the first to admit I could have done better at school, and I never went to University. Everything I have achieved in the last 12 years has been through sheer hard work and commitment to the job coupled with a very inquisitive and investigative mind.