Here at Namos, our people are our greatest asset. We firmly believe that our talented delivery teams are what makes Namos a great place to work! In this new series, we will be meeting some of our key hiring managers to talk about their team and the valuable contribution they make to #teamnamos.
Sarah Mears, Internal Recruiter at Namos, sat down with our Managed Services Practice Director, Richard Clayton, to talk about his career to date and his role within the Namos Managed Services team.
Tell me about your role within Namos.
I am the Managed Services Director. My role is to set the strategic direction of Managed Services, but as well as that, I ensure the delivery of service by our support team. I make sure that our service meets the expectations that have been set out by our clients. With that comes a host of other responsibilities – not just being an escalation point but making sure we continue to exceed client expectations.
Can you talk me through your previous experience?
I started my career path with the Royal Academy of Engineers, as part of their Year in Industry scheme. That partnered me with a local manufacturing company, where I developed shop floor computer systems within Oracle. That whetted my appetite for implementing systems that make a real difference to how a company operates – not just the monetary benefits (cost savings, etc.) but also the people benefits: putting people at the heart of the operation.
From there I went on to the University of Birmingham, where I started as a Developer, working on bespoke HR and Payroll systems. Whilst I loved being a “techie” (I am still a techie at heart!) I went on to head up their live systems support and then into a wider senior manager role as their Head of Application Management. Within my remit was Quality Assurance, Business Analysis and Application Operations. Essentially, it was about ensuring that we were capturing the requirements set out at the beginning, assuring the quality of them and delivering to them in the long term.
I was then the Head of Cutover for the University’s Oracle implementation – a baptism of fire in the world of large-scale SaaS implementations! I was part of the cavalry that helped the project over the line…thanks to a lot of hard work! It was really where I cut my teeth in the world of Oracle SaaS, and it was fantastic
I went on to join Namos, first as the Higher Education Practice Lead and later as the Managed Services Director.
I am an ITIL expert, and I ensure that our team delivery in is keeping with best practice in this area. I am able to advise customers on targeting operating models and how they set up their lines of support to complement ours.
What led you to join Namos?
After you are part of a big Cloud transformation project, you realise that they are never straightforward (but they are exciting!) You are delivering Business Transformation with these systems, it is not just system admin changes in the background. You are often changing the fundamental ways that an organisation operates.
After being with the University on the customer side, I knew how a partner should engage with a client. What I instantly felt with Namos was that it would be a change from what I had experienced as a customer. Namos really put their clients at the heart of what they deliver. I wanted to be a part of that.
Even though I joined right at the beginning of the first lockdown – March 23rd was my first day! – and even though there was uncertainty around the stability of the job market, I remember seeing the University of Greenwich’s HR Director present alongside Jerry Seager (our COO) at Oracle OpenWorld and that dispelled any doubt. I saw the partnership and mutual respect – the relationship with the client was a true partnership, not just a supplier / client relationship.
Since joining, I have seen that Namos is an organisation that cares about its clients and its staff – it is a simple formula really!
What do you love about working for Namos?
It is a cliché, but it is the people who make the company – not the logo, not the projects or the work you have done in the past. It is about the here and now, mutual respect for colleagues and clients. Namos never fail to uphold their values of Professionalism, Expertise and Trust. You are always working with like-minded individuals. It is not about getting away with anything, it is about transparency. It is not about ruthless ambition to be promoted, it is about helping your colleagues. I have not met anyone at Namos who hasn’t been willing to put your needs ahead of theirs. Likewise, that follows through into our customer relationships. We do not sell our customers a dream and deliver them a nightmare! We are honest, we set expectations of what we can deliver and the commercials around that. We deliver projects with a one-team approach, always.
Talk me through the typical roles you recruit for within your team.
The traditional role in Managed Services is a Support Analyst. That has a few guises, either in the HCM, ERP or EPM space, or a Techno- Functional Analyst.
We have first line support roles which are all about sharing knowledge and resolving more immediate issues. We also have second line support roles. These are the people who conduct deep dives and root cause analysis using additional Oracle expertise. Our third line support encompasses the Technical guys within our team who pick up specific issues and additional changes.
We also look for Test Managers and Project Managers.
What qualities would make someone a good fit for your team?
We are looking for people who love delivering good service to clients, who have the right skills, experience and attitude, we want people who can genuinely build relationships with clients, understand their needs and deliver to them. With that comes a high level of ability and skill within Oracle, but it is also about the wider account management and relationship management skill set.
Which aspects of your work are you most passionate about?
I love team building. We have the ambition to be the best Oracle Managed Services partner in the UK. That is admittedly a lofty ambition, but it is an exciting time for us!
What I love about my role is the autonomy I am given, and the trust bestowed on me to set that ambition and deliver to it. When you have a team behind you who rally to the cause, and meet the challenge with you, it is something to be deeply proud of. I take my responsibilities very seriously, because I want my team to feel proud of what they are delivering. I want our team to feel that they are part of something special. That is proven in the client feedback we receive and the service we are delivering. Clients are sticking with Namos because they want to be a part of our continued drive for excellence.
What advice would you give to candidates who are interviewing for your roles?
As a hiring manager, I am looking for the As : Attitude (can they demonstrate the Namos values?), Aptitude (what transferable skills do they have – are they willing to build on those for the future?), and Ambition (like minded individuals who want to go further). That all leads to Application of those Oracle skills.
I would urge candidates to use the STAR method when interviewing : situation, task, action and result. Too often I receive meandering and unfocused answers. I want candidates to show the best of themselves in an interview. It is important for candidates to feel that they gave the interview their best shot and got the role on merit.
In the next installment of our Meet The Hiring Managers series, we’ll be catching up with our HCM Practice Lead, Micky Sidhu to talk all things Human Capital Management. See you again soon!
Interested in joining our award-winning team? Check out all our latest vacancies here.
About Namos Solutions
Namos Solutions are an award-winning Oracle OPN Modernised Partner specialising in the implementation and support of ERP, EPM and HCM business solutions, both in the Cloud and on-premise.
With global experience together with an impeccable track record, our business is built on our passion for delivering successful business transformation. Passion underpins everything we do at Namos – passionate about delivering beyond expectations, earning trust and building long-lasting relationships with our clients.
Although based in central London, we work wherever our clients need us to be. Many leading organisations located all over the world trust and rely on our expertise to deliver industry-leading business solutions. Namos customers can currently be found in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and Africa. For more information, please visit www.namossolutions.com or email email@example.com.