About Steve

Steve has wide experience in many industries gained as a consultant and director. He has worked in software and hardware development, high-technology manufacturing, fixed and mobile telecommunications, energy, financial services, consulting, publishing, industrial equipment retail and services, broadcasting and membership based organisations. His work has been reported on by broadsheet newspapers, industry journals, academic conferences and national broadcasters.

Today he operates a personal practice advising on business improvement, governance and leadership, customer service and ICT strategy through his consulting company SBA. He works at board level advising organisation on the convergence of business and IT, developing strategies for both exploitation of technology and delivery of the IT necessary to exploit those opportunities. He provides mentoring and coaching to IT leaders and leaders responsible for IT. He has particular expertise in the operations of businesses and translating the delivery of IT into services that support those operations, and in the development of information to support business strategy.

He also holds a number of pro-bono roles focused on the development of the IT profession and the development of the Isle of Man as an international business centre of excellence.

Business Background

Steve served from 1999 to 2009 as a director of Vanilla Group and its subsidiaries including JLA , Circuit Managed Laundry Systems, Laundry FM and others, growing Vanilla Group to become the largest independent distributor of commercial laundry equipment worldwide. In that time he held leadership roles in finance, operations and IT. He led the business to become one of the UK's "Most IT Enabled Businesses" for the UK Computing Awards, and to win the first UK National Customer Service Award for Field Service. Vanilla Group was sold early 2010 for "between £150,000,000 - £200,000,000".

Before joining Vanilla Group Steve operated his own consultancy business in the UK and Europe. As a consultant, in addition to advisory work Steve performed many major business and technology change management assignments for large UK and multinational businesses, including:

  • Orange Personal Communications where he led the replacement of Orange's billing systems

  • South Wales Electricity (SWALEC) where he led the 1998 deregulation culture change and training programme

  • JLA where he led a turnaround following the failure of a major ERP system deployment

  • Yorkshire Electricity (YEG) where he led the replacement of YEG's billing systems and the re-imaging of the YEG brand

  • DPSL where he led the transformation of the company from consultancy to software house

  • Océ where he provided market and competitor analyses for the mid-range production laser printer segment

  • Xerox where he managed the development and delivery of desktop laser printers and software to achieve turnover of $250,000,000.

  • ITT where he led the development of machine translation technologies and the successful bid to translate UNIX for AT&T

Prior to consulting Steve was employed by UK technology companies as a developer, consultant and salesman.

Steve is a Chartered Director, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Chartered IT Professional and a Fellow of BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, and a Fellow of the RSA.

Speaker and Author

Steve takes a few speaking invitations on Information in Business, IT Leadership and Customer Service, mainly in the UK and Europe. He is an occasional author for business and ICT industry journals and wrote the leading industry reference book on laser printing.