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Malcolm McIlhagga

Malcolm McIlhagga - SHC IT ConsultantHello, I’m Malcolm. I’m not entirely sure about this picture of me – if you come back to the site it may have changed. So, what should you know about me …

I’m 50 now, but I started my career working as a Research Fellow at the University of Sussex. Actually I started by studying to take my degree at Sussex. I studied Artificial intelligence and Psychology. After I finished my degree I was offered a research position working on the application of artificial intelligence techniques in current engineering problems. During which time I worked with Rolls Royce, British Aerospace and BT. When that project finished I worked on two other research projects. The first in networked applications and the second in virtual reality, and its application to education. During my time at Sussex I published a dozen research papers and by the time I left  I was a Senior Research Fellow (one of only two in the university at that time) and at that point I was ready for a new challenge.

In 1999 I left the university to start my own company with my youngest brother Niall. Niall and I started Sigmer Technologies, an IT solutions, company based at the prestigious Sussex Innovation Center. Sigmer grew year on year and eventually was servicing some very large clients, such as BskyB and at its height was employing 30 people. In 2008 I sold my shares.

Soon I started a small software development company called Colrosa with someone I had worked with at the University, specifically to develop software to schedule small reactive teams of developers and creatives, like the team I had run in my previous company. That work was wrapped up in about 18 months.

Those last two experiences have taught me a great deal about the ups and downs of commercial life.

This gave me the opportunity to start working with Nigel Gill in 2009. We had previously worked together in IT Solutions sales and I knew we were a good fit in terms of both skills and temperament. Nigel and I started an e-commerce company call Zenlo – retail was a new field for me and I was very excited about it. Zenlo has been growing by between 70-80% per year, each year. We now employ 10 people and have got to the point where is possible for me step away from Zenlo to run Powered by Humans.

Part of Zenlo’s business plan had always been to provide IT Solutions for clients, as the profit from that work could feed into new stock lines at Zenlo and help to fund growth (which is always a challenge in retail). I made a decision to spin that out to form a new company (Powered by Humans) and my motivation is rather selfish – it is something that I love to do and I really need to get out of the office more!

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Areas of Expertise

  • Website Development
    • Project Management
    • E-commerce
    • Server setup, security and administration
    • Usability
    • Website optimisation
    • Ideas
  • Software Development
    • Design (systems engineering)
    • Project management
    • programming (yes I still write code)
    • testing
    • usability
  • Hardware
    • Infrastructure
    • hardware sourcing
    • PC/Mac/Linux
    • Servers
  • Business Development
    • Growth management
    • Procedures and Processes
    • Sourcing Suppliers
    • Recruiting and interviewing technical staff
    • IT Sales funnel and qualification

Of course I have other skills, but its the IT that I excel at, and I want to offer a bit of that to you.