Immediately after 17 decades at Microsoft, Paul Rellis has put in the previous 4 several years heading up the Viatel Technological know-how Group. He sat down with Ann O’Dea to examine foremost via a pandemic, digital transformation and the long term of business.
The previous time I sat down to job interview Paul Rellis, he was country manager for Microsoft in Eire. So I was keen to catch up on his most up-to-date experience as CEO of the Viatel Technology Group, exactly where he has viewed the indigenous company’s group triple in dimension and expand, together with through the acquisition of Digiweb and ActionPoint.
We commenced our discussion by hunting back at his 17 yrs he put in at Microsoft, both in Ireland and overseas. “Microsoft was an completely fantastic experience, a excellent company and great persons,” he says. “I figured out and made so a lot, and I think we actually undervalue what firms like that have carried out in Ireland for so numerous men and women. They’ve invested in individuals, employed so many, grown so lots of individuals and it’s been, for me personally, a excellent journey.”
Rellis joined Microsoft in 2000 from Coca-Cola in Germany, where he was dwelling with his wife Lisa, since, he claims, he desired to sign up for a “leader in the technological innovation industry”.
Ireland was a very diverse country then, and the ‘born on the internet’ giants like Google and Fb had not nonetheless arrived. “If you go again 20 several years it was quite a great deal Intel, IBM, Dell, Microsoft, a pair of huge world-wide providers. Of program, now that has exploded into heaps of firms providing a lot of services and lots of of them are housed in this article in Dublin,” says Rellis.
“It’s superb, the options people have currently to select corporation X or firm Y. It implies you can emphasis on trying to come across the appropriate fit for oneself and it forces companies to be better organised far too, and to be a great deal more open up to all types of men and women, all varieties of skills, because if they do not, they just will not get the persons.”
Rellis believes Eire and Dublin are really perfectly positioned now in the international economy. “The point I’d love to see far more of is people today shifting out of the even larger organisations over time and into Irish companies, and taking all the learnings they have from there and kind of bringing it to everyday living in other companies. And that is taking place additional and a lot more.”
And of program it is not just Dublin, as Rellis can testify. Viatel Technological know-how Group has teams in Dublin, Dundalk and Limerick these days, with enterprise predominantly focused in Ireland, but its sights are established on transferring even further afield in coming five a long time, he suggests.
Specified Viatel’s small business in telecoms, facts centres and infrastructure, it was of study course designated a ‘key industry’ in the course of the pandemic, so while so a lot of the planet switched off, substantially of Rellis’s team ended up tricky at operate. “A ton of our people today, our staff, were being out there maintaining the lights on in excess of the very last two years in the hardest of moments for our business customers and buyers, so we definitely feel like we have played a significant purpose in undertaking that,” he suggests.
Viatel started off life as a telecoms firm 20-odd several years back and was brought collectively as a result of acquisition and development of businesses. “It has a incredibly successful consumer manufacturer identified as Digiweb, a really successful business enterprise brand referred to as Viatel, and we acquired Action Issue, a pretty prosperous managed services and cloud computing partner in Limerick very last 12 months,” points out Rellis. “So we’re growing really very well, which is good.”
Today, Rellis oversees a workforce of some 300, a trebling from 100 when he 1st joined. “It appears like it was all plain sailing and all pretty quick, and of course it wasn’t,” he states. “The initially two years of my time there, we actually had to concentrate on getting ourselves suitable, acquiring the team right, the items proper, client company, all all those factors.”
It was a approach that was productive, he claims, and today he thinks the enterprise has the correct merchandise and alternatives for the time we are in. “There’s extremely number of moments in enterprise wherever you have that actually very good feeling of momentum behind you, and that’s the emotion we have suitable now.”
Lessons in leadership
With many decades in leadership roles, the job interview is well worth a view for some prime leadership classes he has acquired, but a single is about using a hard glimpse at by yourself as a leader.
“I’d be strongly encouraging every chief to realize their own strengths and weaknesses and really take those to coronary heart and test and strengthen on those over time, so that they are going for walks the discuss,” states Rellis. “Because when people see more senior folks or leaders concentrating on by themselves, trying to enhance them selves, taking all their holiday seasons, being energised, performing all the ideal items, it essentially really will make a variance.”
It is 1 of numerous positives that could possibly arrive of out of the challenging pandemic many years, he tells me. “I think, ironically, it could be really good for business. Perhaps we experienced kind of arrived at peak efficiency and leaders becoming so concentrated and type of forgetting about on their own. So it is going to be interesting to see the impact in the coming years,” he states.
Look at the complete job interview above. Paul Rellis has satisfied his fair share of very good and poor leaders in his a variety of roles about the many years, so he has loads of priceless learnings to share.
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