Our Operations Manager, Jon Clark, has a natural affinity for working in IT, getting the most satisfaction from this industry and, specifically, the fast-paced and ever-changing world of Vinters. Jon has been applying his genuine passion and interest for all things technological to his role at Vinters since 2014. His current position as Operations Manager entails overseeing many aspects of the company and ensuring that every team member is on a path of growth.
With a wealth of experience and a multitude of hats to wear, Jon enables us to step into his shoes in our latest meet the Team segment where he gives us a glimpse into the past, present, and future of his career and life at Vinters.
Tell me a bit about your career history and what led you to Vinters.
After completing an IT apprenticeship, I secured my first role in IT as a 1st Line IT Support Engineer working on a helpdesk at a company that provided insurance services. However, I found the role to be somewhat monotonous and, once my probation ended, I declined the offer to stay on permanently. Unfortunately, this role heavily skewed my vision of IT as a career which led me to look into other industries.
I spent some time working for a security company installing and maintaining CCTV and alarm systems before moving on to help out at my brother’s heating and plumbing company. Despite my ability to do the work, neither of these roles gave me much satisfaction and I found myself eager to get back into IT.
I started searching for IT roles and came across an Evening Helpdesk Analyst position at Vinters (called VooServers back then). Whilst it wasn’t so much the role itself that appealed to me, the opportunity to get back into the IT industry and learn more was something I couldn’t let pass me by.
How have your responsibilities evolved over the past 7 years?
When I first joined Vinters, my core responsibilities were to carry out server security audits and maintenance updates, alongside monitoring and responding to any requests or alerts from any of our infrastructure or client servers. Fast-forward several years and I’m now involved in almost all aspects of the business. My primary focus is to ensure our service desk maintains the high level of service our clients expect which is somewhat all-encompassing as it entails providing good customer service whilst also ensuring the infrastructure we provide is reliable, available, and suits the requirements of each individual client. Most importantly though, I need to ensure that the team is inspired and capable of delivering such a service.
Can you tell me how your role as Operations Manager fits in with the wider business?
The work that I oversee as Operations Manager forms part of our core foundation and allows us to continually expand, upgrade to new technologies, and offer new services. Ensuring that these key aspects of the company are performing to the level that both our new and long-standing clients require allows us to achieve their desired outcome and increase client satisfaction across the board.
What does a typical day at Vinters look like for you?
That is a tough question to answer as everyday at Vinters is different and there is always something new to learn or be involved in, which is part of the appeal of working here. One thing that remains consistent in my day-to-day though is checking in with our Service Supervisor to see how the team is getting on and whether there is anything I need to be made aware of or assist with – whether it’s training or actively picking up a task myself. I also work closely with our Projects team, so I have frequent updates with our Head of Technical Projects to see what stage our current projects are at. There are also plenty of internal and client-facing meetings that can range from company updates to in-depth discussions about the technical solutions we can offer.
Being on the managerial team and with a hand in so many aspects of the company, do you have a favourite task?
There are numerous aspects of my role that I thoroughly enjoy, however the main stand-out part to me is being able to share my knowledge with the team and assist them in developing their own skills. My main intention for each member of the team is to help them evolve and provide them with the opportunities they need to progress – not only to add value to the company and the services we provide, but for them as individuals to push their careers forward.
What has been your favourite moment at Vinters so far?
As we have presence in both New York and Frankfurt, I would say my overall favourite moment was a visit to New York to carry out a fairly large installation for a client. It was a big task, but I managed to complete the work with enough time to go out and enjoy some of the city. Due to poor signal, my Google Maps stopped working and I ended up lost, though luckily one of my colleagues who had remained back at the office was still able to give me directions over messenger. It was great teamwork and I got to explore some new streets and see a Michael Jackson tribute act while navigating my way around.
What do you see on the horizon for Vinters and yourself?
We are continuously growing at a rapid rate and have numerous big projects coming up over the next month with more in the pipeline for the new year. I expect this to continue, which makes it a rather exciting time at Vinters. Personally, with recent internal changes and new hires, I’m mostly looking forward to seeing how far I can develop my team and indirectly improve our already fantastic service.