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Introducing the least technical person in 404 – me!

OK I’ll admit it.  I missed my deadline.  I promised the guys at work that I would write my first blog by the end of August and I did not deliver.  So, here it is.  Late, but here.  It is also my very first blog – EVER!

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Jo and I am, truthfully, the least technical person in the team.

However, being non-technical brings benefits.  Let me explain how that might be.

My background is in furniture design and manufacture.   I was privileged to be part of my husband’s  family company  since its creation in the late eighties.  This gave me an insight into, and a passion for lifestyle and positive, pleasurable environments.

Towards the end of the nineties we relocated from Italy to set up the UK arm of the company and I was responsible for managing all aspects of that office, including IT.  I have to say that if there is one thing that gave me frustration, it was IT.  It was also stultifying.  The one meeting I ever fell asleep at was with an IT provider.  So, frustrating and stultifying.  Not good attributes.

The other thing that really got me about IT was this: it was the one line in our company accounts that was always way, way beyond the budget.  Every time.  New PCs for new users (we were growing, this was good), work to connect them, new licences, ah! new CRM (client base growing, good news, too), but oh! now the server can’t handle the CRM (too big), so new server, phew!  So that’s it, right? We are sorted for five years? Ah! new operating system needed (ok, if you say so), but now it’s not compatible with the CRM, so call in the providers to upgrade that.  And so on and so on.  Not to mention the support contracts.  “I’m afraid you’ve used all your support units”.  “What, we’re on unlimited support”.  “Yes but you called us twenty times in a day”.   I get it, it’s limited unlimited.  “OK, well just this once, as it’s really vital.  Our system keeps crashing”.  “Aah, but this is a hardware issue, Madam and you’re not covered for hardware, as you’re on a software only contract.”   I’m getting all gnarled up just reliving this.  Then licenses, antivirus.  Emails reminding me, filling me with fear.  Go away!!!

And then, the bills.  Well, these were special.  What on Earth had we been charged for?  The accountant would ask “What’s this ‘P39 – 002rv’ and do I capitalise it or is it a license or just an irritating thing sent to try us?” “It’s the latter”.

You’re getting the picture.  The bills were grey, too.  Or grey looking.  Nasty dull font.

So when a new career opportunity came along, and it was in IT, I felt like “Let me at it!”

Before I even knew what a virtual desktop was, my vision was to change this negative experience that I know is familiar to lots of businesses, and in its place bring colour, clarity, simplicity, budget- ability and pleasure.   Yes pleasure.  Because I want everything you have to do with 404 to be pleasurable.  So we’ve taken great care over everything, from the website to the billing (happy font and no mention of “P39 – 002rv”).  Even our contracts are pleasurable.  I’ve worked tirelessly with Simon Halberstam of Kingsley Napley – City IT law specialists – to create a suite of contracts that are in human language, fair and workable.  Now that’s an achievement.

Apart from making IT budget-able, my personal commitment to you is to make everything about dealing with us pleasurable.  Whether you’re a client, a supplier, a consultant.  And if it isn’t, I’d like to be the first to know.  My email is here [email protected] –  and it’s me that will answer, not a robot, and I will speak to you in non-technical, human language.

It will be… a pleasure!

Kind regards


Jo Radcliffe

Managing Director, 404 team Ltd