Eze London 10 Years Later: Visiting the Past and Looking to the Future
Last month, the Eze Castle Integration team in London celebrated its 10th anniversary. The momentous milestone was marked with a staff party at a traditional pub on the River Thames with panoramic views of the city.
I recently sat down with Simon Eyre, director of service, who was one of the three employees transferred over from New York to help setup the London office, to talk about the ten years in an ever-changing technology landscape and look into the future.
What are you seeing now compared to ten years ago in managed IT services?
Structure. One over-riding difference between then and now is the organisational structure for Eze Castle Integration and our clients. As the traditionally secretive fund industry shakes its old image off, we’ve also seen how niche IT providers must build itself in the face of new competition. That’s not just players in the market but against the likes of Microsoft and Google too.
How has the office grown over the years?
We’ve gone from three guys that were the jack-of-all-trades to much more focused individuals and teams now north of 60. Did you know we’ve been in eight offices? That’s some serious growth! Working side by side with Dean Hill, executive director, to help run this region is a huge accomplishment and privilege for me, as is giving people the ability to grow themselves.
How has the IT industry evolved over the years?
Many of our staff won’t remember these days (floppy what?), but most corporations (and my career in IT) started with centralised servers connected with beefy serial cables to green-screen dumb terminals. I remember working on 9600bps cabling through giant factories. I still find it quite ironic how we broke off into ‘fat’ PC’s under desks with more processing power than the space shuttle, and now back again! Blackberries to iOS/Android, mobility became a real option to work and of course cybersecurity. I remember tackling the Klez virus (there used to be an alumnus group of ex-Eze Castle Integration staff called Klez Castle), and sure enough, we were doing a similar thing last month with WannaCry. That’s job security!
From your perspective, what would you say are Eze Castle Integration London teams’ greatest accomplishments over the years?
I see this as two-fold. We shook up the IT services market in London for investment firms. We brought new technology to the mix, multiple firsts in the way of international support, DR and cloud. Competitors needed helpdesks, escalation points, telco services, and true industry partnerships to compete. I think we spurred competition and ultimately put London funds in a better place, far more prepared for things like MiFID II and GDPR than it could have been. It’s a never-ending job to remain one of the best, you can never rest on your laurels, and yet we continue to be leaders.
Our other accomplishment is the people. I sometimes think of myself as a university professor. I’ve taught people, who have then taught people, who have then gone on to become IT managers, CTOs, specialists, and leaders in their field. Friendships have been created between people like no other company creates (I’ve seen some epic holidays, weddings, and bachelor/bachelorette parties filled with friends made at Eze Castle Integration). It’s the priceless part of doing this job.
What is your takeaway from the past 10 years?
Kenny, Serge and I came to London to bring a new style of IT support to the market. Our goal was to take what we had learned in New York, mix it with the culture of London and produce a company clients wanted to partner with and create an environment people wanted to work at. Over the years you make decisions that don’t always pan out the way you wanted, but ultimately you learn, correct your actions and become a better business (and person). I’m thoroughly confident in where we are headed and the vision of Eze Castle Integration. You can’t rest for very long before the next challenge comes your way, it’ll never be dull here that’s for sure!
Describe what Eze Castle Integration means to you, on a personal level, in 15 words or less
A family company with a genuine passion for their work and each other.
As well as getting all nostalgic and thinking back to where it all began, we’re busy making plans for the future and couldn’t be more excited to embark on the second decade.