Dave Knight, who joined the firm in 2012, marks his 10-year anniversary at Communicate. Dave began his career with Communicate 10 years ago, when the company was just four employees in a small office in Wynyard. Since then, Dave has grown along with the business that now staffs 37 employees, keeping over 500 businesses and 50,000 users connected and secure, with offices in Tees Valley, Kent, Bedfordshire, and Leeds.
What was your job role 10 years ago and what is it now?
10 years ago, we were only four strong, so I did pretty much all the telecom’s installs along with any other hands-on work. Today we have teams of engineers spread across the various Communicate offices. It’s my job to support them when they come across issues, they can’t resolve.
My job title is lead field engineer, but I split my time between field work and office work, planning jobs, attending meetings and on my second line support role.
Why did you choose to work at Communicate all those years ago, and what has made you stay for 10 years?
I used to work with Tony at my last job and he asked if I would like to be part of a new start up. I saw this as a new challenge and jumped at the chance.
I’ve stayed because Communicate is an excellent company to work for. The job role is ever evolving as technology changes, we have the best working atmosphere, and the company really looks after us.
How has your job changed over the last decade?
My job has become dynamic as new technologies and products come on board.
Nowadays the IT and telecoms industry is highly focused on the cloud and unified communications hosted in data centres. Whereas, ten years ago, we had racks of servers in comms rooms at client’s premises, which meant a lot of travel and down time if something went wrong.
The biggest change for me is how in control we are with our services, from the monitoring platforms raising an alert to the time taken to resolve the fault.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since you started Communicate 10 years ago?
We started Communicate from scratch, with just four people in a small office in Wynyard. Now we have 37 staff across various offices with hundreds of clients.
It’s a massive achievement and I’m proud to have been a fundamental part of it.
What’s your favourite memory at Communicate?
I always love the summer team building days, they are great fun.
What is one of the biggest technology changes you’ve experienced in the last 10 years?
The migration of on-premises IP telephony to cloud based unified communications. The pandemic really brought the need for web and app-based telephony and we’re finding it’s a must have for any business in the new hybrid job roles that are commonplace now.
What were the biggest challenges in the industry 10 years ago and what are they now?
I don’t think the challenges have changed much. As a business you’re competing with other IT companies, delivering great products and customer service at competitive costs.
We no longer have IT or telecoms companies, we have MSP’s which means you must employ or train up multi-faceted staff in terms of skill sets.
The biggest challenge then and now is getting the right staff. If you have a great team the rest will follow.
For you, what have been the greatest developments in your field over those years?
Again, it’s the cloud-based technologies, we can spin up a server or telephone system and have users live within 30 minutes using cloud-based telephone systems with SIP trunks.
Ten years ago, it would have taken weeks to build a server, order the lines, program the telephones, ship and install.
What do you like the most about Communicate and what’s your favourite part of your job?
The best part of Communicate is the people I work with. I also love the variety the role brings.
What’s one piece of advice you would give yourself 10 years ago?
Stick at it. There’s always highs and lows.
In 10 words, describe what Communicate means to you.
I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.