I caught up with Richard for the anniversary of his first year at Mysoft to find out a little more about his experience with Sage X3 and his time so far at Mysoft.
Richard joined Mysoft in October 2020 as part of our ever-growing Consultancy team.
Having had around 17 years’ experience working at Sage, and five years’ experience with Sage X3, he has been an extremely valuable addition to our team.
Could you summarise your career at Sage?
“I spent almost 17 years working at Sage starting my journey, as many do, in Sage 50 support way back in 2003. This experience provided a good foundation for me to begin to understand how businesses work and start to develop key skills like troubleshooting, thinking laterally, structured analysis, communicating precisely and clearly etc. This was the early 2000s, so we couldn’t simply run a remote session to see a problem like we would today. It took methodical, clear questioning to resolve an issue, which was a really good learning experience.”
“However, very few people want to spend their entire career delivering telephone-based support and I was always keen to progress onto more complex software solutions, so when my wife and I moved London, I transferred to the Sage office near Reading and into the world of enterprise level software working with Line 500 and Sage 1000.”
“I spent 10 years working with these products in various roles, after a few years in support I moved to R&D to be a Business Analyst (Product Owner would probably be a better term), where I learnt more about scoping and delivering projects, developing requirements and producing quality documentation. My final role was as Product Manager for Sage 1000 which provided different challenges from managing team expectations, communicating at a high level with customers and partners (sometimes delivering difficult messages), and becoming far more involved in commercial and strategic decisions.”
“I transitioned to Sage X3 in March 2016 so I’ve been learning the system for roughly 5 and a half years. I still learn something new most weeks…”
In your opinion, what has been your most notable Sage X3 project so far?
“We had an ‘off-track’ project with a customer where, for various reasons, the project ended up being below the standard we would’ve liked with strained customer relations and a tight go-live deadline. Working closely with an excellent Project Manager, we were able to ‘reset’ the project, by getting back to the fundamentals of prioritising key tasks and agreeing a sensible scope, building trust with the customer and improving the quality of the solution. Rescue projects can be quite satisfying in the end.”
What do you like most about Sage X3 as a solution?
“I see Sage X3 as a toolkit or a functional framework. So, although it can work out of the box and be standardised, it has amazing flexibility, and once one understands the concepts and how the configuration can be manipulated, it becomes a powerful beast (but also much less scary).”
What does a standard day at Mysoft look like for you?
“Typically, I’m booked to work with a customers 3 to 4 days each week, that could be for anything from scoping the introduction of a new piece of functionality or configuring the system to an agreed scope, to designing a new SEI data model for reporting or helping load data into the system, it’s very varied.”
“Over the past year I’ve spent a lot of time working with customers to ensure their systems are setup correctly for VAT and that they’re utilising the many Sage X3 functional enhancements, delivered to ensure compliance with Making Tax Digital. Additionally, as many of our customers import from and export to the EU, post-Brexit, I’ve become a lot more familiar than I ever expected to with EORI codes, Incoterms, Postponed VAT accounting, deferred tax, the CHIEF service etc…”
Why did you choose to join the Mysoft team?
“I was aware of the Mysoft back story, of being early adopters of Sage X3 in the UK, and knowing that they had the expertise that went along with that experience, so they were always one of the first Sage resellers that came to mind when thinking where my future lay. Once I had an initial conversation with the Consultancy team manager, Steve Higgins, it was clear that were also aligned culturally around an ethos of collaboration, knowledge sharing and looking out for one another. Additionally, although we all work hard, we retain a good work life balance that allows each of us the space and flexibility we need to deliver quality work.”
It’s not all hard work…
“My wife and I had our first child (a boy) last year so we decided to return to our native north east and having recently made the move there hasn’t been a lot of time for my normal hobbies and activities.”
“I’m a keen cyclist so I’m eventually looking forward to rediscovering the Northumberland countryside on two wheels. Whilst living in London my wife I enjoyed paddle-boarding on the Thames and we’re hoping to buy a house by the sea so we can continue to enjoy that pastime. We will need to invest in some quality neoprene wetsuits to cope with the different climate and water conditions!”
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