The Team at Influential is based upon a core group of employees at various levels plus specialist consultants brought in to fulfil the requirements that new projects dictate. The senior employees all have a minimum of 10 years’ IT experience. The core group are:
Andy Richardson (Managing Director)
Andy, Influential’s founder, began his career in IT in 1987 and has been successful in delivering projects for major Publishing and Banking institutions and in transport and logistics ever since. Whilst in education, Andy was writing commercial gaming software in the home computing market and also won several nationwide competitions for IT, science and technology. Since incorporating Influential in January 1993, Andy has concentrated his efforts primarily in the Publishing sector, accumulating an unrivalled knowledge of the industry from all perspectives, and in the BI (data warehousing) vertical. During these years, he also developed a vast network of associates in both the Publishing and general IT industry, which has proven invaluable as Influential has expanded and required the best people to help it do so. Andy also masterminded the acquisitions of the BI divisions of Redstone PLC in January 2013 and Intelligent Solutions (Midlands) Ltd in March 2014, further strengthening Influential’s position as one of the UK’s leading BI consultancies for both SAP Business Objects and IBM Cognos technologies. See Research Information’s brief bio on Andy
John Simpson (Director)
John started in IT in 1994 and his many years of experience have been centred around the Publishing sector where he has been a successful project manager, analyst, designer & developer however his other IT experience includes working on Logistics, Web Design & Transportation. John joined Influential as Technical Director in 2004 and it was at this point that the current structure of Influential was formed
Richard Walls (Head of Support)
Richard started his IT career back in 1982 as a junior programmer for a software house providing systems to hotel trade. Since then he has held various development and support positions for fruit importers, office product wholesalers, wine merchants, publishers and bailiffs. Richard heads up Influential’s support operation in their Maidstone HQ. He lives locally in Aylesford with his wife and two children.
Pete Halloran (Head of Development / Technical Team Leader)
Pete is a software engineer with over 12 years experience, most recently in the print and advertising arenas. He specialises in Java but also has an interest in computer graphics and the games industry. Outside of work he develops mobile applications and he’s also a fully qualified martial arts instructor.
Debbie Cooley (Portfolio Manager)
Debbie has over 15 years’ experience of working in Project Management in the Publishing sector before joining Influential as Portfolio Manager. Outside of work Debbie enjoys swimming, skiing, living by the sea and spending time with her family.
Chris is a certified SAP Sales consultant with over 15 years’ experience selling the Business Objects toolset into large enterprises.
Paul has a keen interest in performance and information management having developed the first KPIs in the Police Service. He has a 20 year history in utilising Business Intelligence Systems both as an end user and also as a consultant, implementing such systems to improve business strategy and operational activity. His skill set includes public sector best value regimes and efficiency gains. Since joining Influential in 2011, Paul has been concentrating on Business Intelligence development and recently passed the IBM examinations for Cognos Sales. Outside work his interests include sea fishing and sailing.
An experienced Online Marketer and Designer with a broad working knowledge of Digital Marketing strategies, David has worked within the Web Industry for 10 years.
After graduating in Animation he progressed through web and graphic design roles to become an SEO specialist, developing SEM packages and managing client sites for digital agencies. While studying a Google Digital Marketing course David was lured by the bright lights of London, recently moving to the city and taking up a position within the growing Influential Marketing team.
Simon Jackson (Head of Training)
Simon has over 15 years of training delivery experience, most recently as Head of Training at another large international SAP Partner. As well as years leading training, Simon also has a solid background in Business Intelligence and IT. After graduating in Business Computing Simon spent 18 years in IT, from testing and development to pre-sales and sales. Business Intelligence has been his specialist area for 17 years, with a strong focus on SAP BusinessObjects. Starting with the original version 4 (in 1999!) he’s grown his knowledge and training delivery styles with the toolset.
Michael has worked in BI for 15 years, and has led many projects, engaging with businesses at a high level and architecting Business Intelligence solutions from inception to implementation. His experience includes service delivery, engagement and project management as well as hands-on technical delivery of full cycle BI and DW deployment/development projects. He has worked with BusinessObjects for over 10 years and is undoubtedly one of the most capable, all round BusinessObjects consultants in the UK. Michael is a certified SAP Pre-sales consultant and certified Business Objects Professional.
Sarah Shah (Senior Consultant)
Sarah has been working in IT for the last 13 years since leaving university where she studied for a Computer Science related degree. Her experience has been mainly in large UK companies, namely MFI, BISYS-Rothschilds Financial Services, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis. Sarah’s specialities are Business Objects design and report writing, alongside business analysis skills honed in the publishing sector.
Craig joined Influential in 2013, bringing over 10 years of IBM Cognos consultancy to the team.
Des has been working in IT for over 15 years, in a variety of roles from software development to project management (including Prince2 accreditation). He has spent time in both the public and private sectors, spending 7 years working for Elsevier (formerly Harcourt Publishers) one of the leading medical publishers of textbooks and journals. Here he specialised in IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. A few years ago Des established his own music publishing company dots4strings which sells string quartet arrangements to a global audience. This combines his technical skills with a great love of music. Away from work he is a jazz musician, playing bass in various ensembles in Kent.
Kieron started his IT career in 1987 working on operations within the Oil exploration industry. Since then he has progressed in the IT industry working within operations, development, information security, project management, business analysis and most recently Head of IT for the financial services division of a £1bn turnover company within the retail sector. He has solid experience working for businesses within the publishing, shipping, transportation, warehousing, logistics, retail and financial services industries. He combines technical/database/BI skills into one package and is a hands-on team player.
Ashraf is a Senior Business Intelligence consultant with over 12 years experience within variety of industry sectors and technologies including SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Microstrategy. He is also a certified Microsoft BI professional having achieved the MCITP qualification. As well as technical delivery experience, he has a wealth of functional skills including Requirements Capturing, Business Analysis, setting up Business Processes and Best Practice Standards.
John graduated in Computer Science from Wolverhampton in 1989 and has worked in IT since then. Moving from mainframe COBOL programming roles through to certified SAP ABAP consultant and then progressing over to business intelligence. John has worked on a number of full data warehouse projects as data architect, analyst and ETL programmer utilising Kimball methodology, Business Objects, SSIS, Oracle DBMS, MS SQL Server, and .Net skills
Steven started his career in IT as an Analyst Programmer. Steven, now a qualified Business Analyst and Prince2 Practitioner, has over 20 years experience across multiple sectors such as Publishing, Insurance, and Banking. Steven’s core skill set are around BA practises, data modelling, data warehousing and database programming.
After graduating from University with a BSc (Hons) in Decision Sciences, Tracey started her career in IT. She has worked in various industries ranging from the NHS, Insurance, Financial Services and Marketing. Her main skill sets are in Microsoft SQL using the complete MS BI Stack (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS and T-SQL Scripting) and databases/data warehousing. In her spare time she likes to travel (having spent 18 months backpacking a few years ago), swimming and cooking.
Julian has worked as a Project Manager, account manager and a Business Analysis in the area of IT software and general business projects for over 15 years. Julian has worked in these roles for a variety of companies in the Insurance and Transport business sectors dealing with the development of IT products used by many Blue Chip companies. Outside interests include Golf and travel.
Amy has worked in software for the last 3 years, delivering an internally built SaaS based website solution to the automotive industry, and has worked with many dealers in the top 250 in the UK, as well as working with the sole supplier of a well known manufacturer in the Middle East. She gained the Prince2 qualification in December 2012, at the same time as studying towards a degree in modern Foreign Languages in her spare time. She loves to travel in her VW bus and blog about the adventures.
Natalie has worked in the Digital environment since starting Logo programming from the age of 10. She then went onto building websites and working in Digital marketing for over ten years. She then moved into the Project Management side of the business and worked with SAAS solutions producing many different websites plus working with NMGB with their new bespoke offers website. After having a short break working within the hospitality industry and even being featured on a Channel Four TV programme she returned to be Lead Project Manager within a Digital Agency shortly before joining Influential Software for a new challenge and experiences. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her son, cooking and travelling.
Sarah joined Influential Software in July 2015 after a long and successful career in Publishing. Having been responsible for some of your favourite books, she is now delivering successful IT projects back into the Publishing industry and Influential Software.
Martin graduated with a degree in photography, and during that time at university also developed a keen interest in graphic and web design. He joined Influential as a trainee developer, and has since forged a career in software development, primarily providing support across various clients.
Paul has over 20+ years IT experience, holding various roles in support, development, managerial and project management positions. This has covered various verticals which include Wholesale Food, Manufacturing, Publishing and is now part of the successful support team at Influential. Paul has specific technical and implementation experience of Cognos BI and Microsoft Dynamics. Outside of work Paul still attempts to play in the local football league in between his children’s hectic social life.
Dave started his working life as a Land Surveyor, completing a BSc (Hons) in Surveying and Mapping Science and an MSc in Environmental Remote Sensing. He worked on a wide range of projects across Kent and the South East. Having completed an MSc conversion course in Computer Science Dave is now working as part of the support team at Influential. Outside of work Dave enjoys sports, reading and cooking.
Recently finishing his O.C.R. Cambridge technical course at the Mascalls School Sixth Form Samuel joined Influential at the start of June 14. He is the newest member of the support team and is already learning a wide variety of skills. In his spare time he contributes to multimedia projects with friends, writes fictional stories and is an avid player of older computer games.
Graeme has worked in IT for over 10 years within business Analysis using using SQL and other reporting tools, within the Container transport industry both Shipping as well as Road.
After completing his degree in Computer Science with a Year In Industry from The University of Kent David moved straight into the influential software support team where he is now learning a lot from the thriving work environment and the enthusiastic colleagues. David is an avid problem solver, and loves to improve his knowledge through new experiences and challenges.
Ade started his career as a Chemical Engineer in oil Refinery and Petrochemical industries. (Shell, NNPC, Halliburton, Conoil Plc, Kragha & Associate) Then moved to IT where he had over 13 years’ wealth of experience with Oracle and SAP. Oracle as Oracle front end developer (3 years). SAP as Technology Consultant (SAP BI, SAP BOBJ, Vantive, Lumira, NetWeaver, CRM, My SAP PLM, Successfactor SAP Jam). As well as having technical delivery experience, he also has functional skills which include requirement gathering, SAP Report Development, Application Support, Best Practices Standard and BI. In his spare time, he’s engaged with Church/Community Care.
Simon has worked for 12 years in enterprise systems development and support. He spent most of this time in the electronics industry but has also worked in other sectors including publishing and insurance. In 2007 he completed the 1200 kilometre Paris-Brest-Paris cycling endurance race in just over 73 hours.
Dominick graduated from university in 2007 with a BSc in Computer Science. He joined Influential in 2008, after spending a year developing his skills. Outside of work he enjoys photography, reading and working on his own web development and mobile applications projects, and is always trying to learn something new.
Adam has worked in IT for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, primarily in the retail and publishing sectors. He joined Influential in 2007 and specialises in PHP development.
Before joining Influential, Peter worked in the service industry for Thomas Cook and Sotheby’s. With a keen interest in computing, he learnt C and assembly language programming in his spare time. In 2008 he graduated with a BSc in Computing at Canterbury Christ Church University, gaining knowledge in program design and the .NET framework. Peter is also a Certified Developer for Salesforce and Force.com platform.
Caroline graduated with a BSC hons in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Manchester. She worked for Logica PLC as an analyst programmer, initially in defence and artificial intelligence. She then moved to the financial sector, working as a consultant for various investment banks as a developer using Powerbuilder and SYBASE. She is now working in the field of mobile development as an IOS developer.
After finishing school, Matt continued his education by studying a BTEC National Diploma for IT at K college (formally West Kent College) from between 2009-11; after completing this course he began work at Influential. He is continuing his education by studying a part time computer systems HNC in September 2011. Outside of work and education he has large interest in sports, particularly football.
Oliver has worked for at least 10 years in various software development and server maintenance roles, specialising in Python PHP Linux and associated technology stacks. Outside of work is interested in maker communities and runs a local hackspace.
After graduating in a humanities based subject, Matthew decided to switch to computer science. He is currently completing an internship at Influential as part of his MSc conversion course at the University of Kent. Outside of work his interests include playing tennis, korfball and reading on military history.
Stefan has over 15 years software development experience in various sectors including education, legal, automotive and financial services. He is a SharePoint specialist but also has an interest in mobile and cloud technologies. Stefan enjoys a string of parental duties as well as playing chess and basketball.
Matt graduated from university in 2012 with an MSc in Computer Science. He joined Influential after undertaking an intensive, year long placement at the company. Matt specialises in the .NET development with a particular emphasis on ASP.NET and related web technologies. Outside of work Matt avidly follows developments in the IT sphere, enjoys reading, music and plays bass guitar. He also is currently developing a web-based blogging framework in his spare time.
Chris originally trained as an Architect/Construction Engineer with a BA (Hons) in Business Management & Marketing, he eventually assumed the role as one of the Lead Engineers for several large international clients. After several years in the construction industry, Chris began studying for an MSc in Computer Science; joining Influential for a one year intensive placement focusing on the .NET environment. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, movies and travelling.
Ryan is a software engineer with over 13 years experience, working in various industries from media to financial services. He is typically deployed as a Java specialist, but also has experience with Objective C (iPhone development) and Scala. His interests are games development and Kung Fu.
Lawrence graduated with a BSc in Mathematics from Plymouth University before joining a graduate programme at a consultancy agency specialising in software development. After completing 2 years on site with Credit Suisse, Lawrence pursued a job closer to home and joined Influential Software.
In his spare time, Lawrence enjoys fixing iPhones/iPods as well as working on his own software projects.
Alfred comes into computing from an Education background, first as a Mathematics & Science Teacher and IT Teacher Intern and then later as a Teaching Assistant with the same University he graduated from with a B. Ed. in IT. Whilst teaching, he developed the urge to train in computer hardware, networking and programming which he used working in various capacities from training to sales and technical support through to systems and networks support. He then pursued M.Sc. IT Consultancy and as part of the programme worked with the Kent IT Clinic where he provided various business solutions to SME’s on behalf of the University of Kent. He is currently an intern with the business intelligence of influential software. He enjoys fixing computer systems, listening to music, reading and watching football and movies.
Jonathan studied Computer Science BSc at the University of Kent in which he then went on to study Advanced Computer Science MSc. As part of the MSc course Jonathan decided to partake on the Industrial Placement opportunity resulting in him joining Influential as a Software Developer. During part of the course Jonathan was involved in a group project developing a Photo Editing application on the Android platform. Jonathan enjoys following the latest developments in the technology world, playing Badminton and cycles.
Imesha has studied BSc Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire and then went on to undertake MSc Networks and Security with a year in industry at the University of Kent. In October 2015, for her year in industry she has joined Influential Software as a Software Developer. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, reading, drawing and writing lyrics and poems in her language – Tamil. She also has a passion for charitable work and so volunteers at her local charity shop in her spare time.
Originally graduating with a degree in fine art from the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury, Steven worked in the arts industry for 10 years primarily working in graphic design and print. Steven then undertook an MSc in computer science at the University of Kent before joining Influential Software on an industrial placement. Steven combines a strong background in art and design with a passion for IT. Outside of work Steven is a Twin Galaxies world record holder for a classic Nintendo computer game and also enjoys keeping fit through parkour, bouldering and badminton.
Amara has a degree in Management IT. She went on to work for three years as a personal banker in a Nigerian bank. Confronted with clients with financial fraud cases, she developed an interest in Cybersecurity and went on to study Networks and Security MSc with an industrial placement option at the University of Kent. She’s currently working with the technical support team at influential software. Amara is excited about learning new skills and spends most of her free time volunteering with a charity for displaced Children.
Todd studied English & American Literature and Creative Writing as an undergraduate before going on to read MSc Computer Science at the University of Kent. He joined Influential after completing his postgraduate project and dissertation in computational creativity, and intends to pursue technical writing after gaining professional experience as a software developer. In his spare time, Todd practises martial arts, plays guitar, and dances Lindy Hop/Charleston.
Calin graduated in Sports Therapy. He decided to switch to computer science because of his passion for computing and technology. He is now undertaking a placement at Influential as part of his MSc Computer Science course at the University of Kent. Outside of work, Calin enjoys reading about IT development and technology, building gaming PCs, travelling and hiking.
After doing his GCSE’s Sam decided to go straight into the work place and is now taking an apprenticeship at Influential. He enjoys programming especially in PHP, but is excited to try out and learn new technologies.
After gaining a Social Sciences related degree and working within the field Anda decided to develop her skills in the Finance sector and study Bookkeeping. Anda joined the Influential team in the beginning of 2014 as a Finance/Office administrator. Outside work and studies she has a great interest in active lifestyle especially playing squash and fashion.
Susanna is from a Customer Service Management background and has past experience in managing teams of all sizes from 5-500 gained during years in retail management and more recently has worked as an investment adviser in a leading high-street bank. Within Influential, Susanna uses these skills to help support the HR and Finance requirements of the business.
Heather started her professional career working for the Government sector in a hectic Administration role. After several years she moved into Leisure industry management, becoming one of the youngest duty managers within the organisation. Since 2002 Heather has gained valuable experience across the consulting, retail, finance & banking industry and is fully versed in all aspects of both secretarial and administrative subjects.