As Managing Director for 4C for the MENA region, Jake Callaway is in charge of the day-to-day activities of a rapidly expanding, customer focused organisation. The former Manchester United analyst tells Intelligent Tech Channels: “Helping customers unlock the potential of IT within their organisations is what drives me.”
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
My job role for 4C in Dubai would best be described as a facilitator for my team and our clients. The objective is to enable my skilled team to deliver high-quality services and solutions to our customers in the region. This comes from ensuring that the team are positioned and trained effectively on new technologies covered within the Salesforce ecosystem that will allow our customers to be disruptors within their own industries.
In addition, I take personal responsibility for raising awareness of SaaS solutions in the region – we do this by actively participating at key events in the region, running knowledge sharing sessions and trying to spread the word through blogs, publications and webinars.
The largest challenge we face when implementing new technologies is the overall understanding of those technologies. The accessibility of knowledge sharing groups, learning sessions and online platforms is increasing in the region, but it still lags behind what is available across North America and Europe where we typically see earlier adoption of new technologies. This is an initiative that 4C is looking to take the lead on, in the coming year.
When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?
My proudest career achievement to date was being part of a Salesforce Partner Panel discussion at this year’s Salesforce Basecamp event that was held at Jumeirah Emirates Towers and had over 1000 participants. Raising the profile of the Salesforce Ecosystem in the Middle East is of vital importance to the growth aspirations that we have in this region.
What made you think of a career in technology?
I never really thought of a career in technology, it really found its way to me. I started my career as a business analyst for Manchester United Football Club, analysing data and trends. As I became more embedded in the role, I wanted to begin understanding the mechanisms of data capture and processing further upstream. This led me to Salesforce and it is from that point that my career in Technology really began.
What style of management philosophy do you employ at your current position?
My management style positions me as a facilitator who provides direction to the team. I wholeheartedly believe that the biggest asset for any company is the team it employs; accordingly, I have hired staff who I believe are more skilled than myself and I put huge faith in them. It is then my responsibility to remove the distractions from their job so they can focus on achieving the goals that we set collectively.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2019?
The amount of data that we collect about our customers is growing at an almost exponential rate. It is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to manually explore trends, correlations and test hypothesise on this growing dataset. Advanced analytics, that is driven by Artificial Intelligence is the technology many companies are exploring to help with the challenges they are facing. It is the technology that I expect to have a big impact on the industry this year.
How do you cope with stress and demands of your career?
Golf is a huge passion of mine. If I am not in the office or with a client, then there is a high probability I will be at one of the several world-class golf facilities that the UAE has to offer. Golf enables me the platform to winding down and distract myself from the day-to-day activities associated with running a rapidly expanding company.
What gives you great job satisfaction?
Across industry verticals and the scale of organisations, technology today provides the platform for businesses to innovate. Being a customer-obsessed organisation, 4C is deeply engaged with its customers. This presents me with the opportunity to understand their business objectives and help overcome the barriers they face to accomplishing their goals. Helping customers unlock the potential of IT within their organisations is what drives me. And of course, doing this is only possible because of the support of my highly motivated and skilled team and working with them is truly rewarding.