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expanding the world of sage

People at Datel: Oliver Brown, Software Developer

Oliver Brown is one of Datel’s growing team of Software Developers in the R&D department, starting at Datel eleven years ago as an Analyst Programmer.

First, tell us a bit about you and your background.

After graduating from Liverpool University with a Computer Science Bsc degree, I started working for the NHS in London in the PAN Thames Genetics department. I then moved back to the North West and worked for a small software house that specialised in Sage solutions. During my time there I was contracted out to a customer and spent around 18 months on-site, providing technical bespoke solutions for their Sage system. I then moved to Datel, where I have now worked for the past eleven years.

I have not always been interested in a career in IT – initially I wanted to be a physiotherapist! But have always been mindful of IT, hence my degree choice.

I have experience of a wide variety of current and legacy development technologies, primarily based in the Microsoft .Net/MS SQL technology stack. I also have experience of other platforms, including Oracle and Java, and I enjoy using the latest technologies to provide the best solution possible.

I am a husband and father of two boys. I am also a keen Rugby Union player and have played at representative level for both the South West of England and England Students, but am now enjoying coaching my son’s under-fives team!

Left: Tim Purcell, R&D Director. Right: Oliver Brown, Software Developer.

How did you find out about Datel?

I used to drive past Datel on a regular basis and asked one of my colleagues who they were. They informed me that they were a Sage reseller. I wasn’t actively looking for a job but emailed the HR department to check on job availability and two weeks later, after interviews, I was offered a job.

What made you decide to apply for the role at Datel?

Datel was and is still considered a leading company in the Sage field for technology. It was one of the only Sage resellers to have its own official software development department, so the idea of working as a programmer for a Sage reseller was very appealing.

What does a typical day at Datel involve for you?

On a day-to-day basis, my job can vary significantly.

One day I could be designing or scoping new feature requirements for our existing Fusion product range, and the next day delivering user training for our support department or product users. Sometimes I even end up on-site delivering workshops to gather requirements from our customer base for our brand new products.

I am very fortunate to work in very supportive environment which breeds creativity.

What is the day-to-day working environment like?

I work in a fantastic department. The atmosphere is relaxed and innovative, which provides me with the room to be creative in designing and delivering a variety of solutions.

What do you enjoy most about working at Datel?

Definitely the people - I enjoy working with all departments across Datel. I have always felt that Datel has an ethic where people are willing to help one another to achieve, which is a very important facet for me.

How has your role/department changed since you started and how do you think it might change in the future?

There have been huge changes since I first started. Firstly, I worked in a different department: technical development. I was then moved into a new team with two other people, called Product Development. Initially we designed and created a small set of products for Sage 1000, and as time went on the amount of products and employees in this team increased. Now, in the newly re-named R&D department, we have a headcount of ten people, and support and develop over ten different products used by hundreds of customers.

On a personal level, I am now the product lead for Fusion Notify and Fusion WMS - two of our existing products. I am also currently heading up the development of Fusion Carrier Connect, which is one of our newer products – so all very exciting.

Would you recommend Datel?

I will always recommend working at Datel.