Influential Team

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:

Senior Management

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.

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.

Sales/Account Management

Chris Nelson
Chris is a certified SAP Sales consultant with over 15 years’ experience selling the Business Objects toolset into large enterprises.

Paul Jarvis
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.

David Mann
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.

Consultants

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 Thorp
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 Presales 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 Darnley
Craig joined Influential in 2013, bringing over 10 years of IBM Cognos consultancy to the team.

Des Crocker
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 sell 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 Mitchell
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 Hussain
Ashraf is a Senior Business Intelligence consultant with over 12 years experience in a 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 Campbell
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

Project Managers

Julian Barker
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 Johnston
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.

Support

Sarah Bradshaw
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 Walls
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 to various clients.

Paul Clements
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.

Samuel Stock
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 Eagleton
Graeme has worked in IT for over 10 years within business Analysis using SQL and other reporting tools, within the Container transport industry both Shipping as well as Road.

David Avery
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 Bakare
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.

Development

Simon Bennett
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 Rankin
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 Palmer
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.

Peter Armstrong
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 Hullah
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.

Matt Bacon
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 a large interest in sports, particularly football.

Oliver Marks
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.

Matthew Gould
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 Sainiuc
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 Tolliday
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.

Ryan Fleming
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.

David Rion-Davies
David 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.

Imesha Chelvakumar
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.

Steven Clinton
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.

Amarachi Arinzeh
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 Pickering
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 the guitar, and dances Lindy Hop/Charleston.

Calin Lupoiu
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.

Finance/HR/Secretarial

Anda Biedre
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 Simpson
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 Medcraft
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.