In the Hot Seat with Georgia & Simon

Q&A with Percipient’s Project Managers, Georgia Key and Simon Jones, looking at what it’s like to work with Sage and their top tips for a successful project.

It feels like the UK is very much in a transition right now as lockdown continues to ease, and normality beckons. What does a typical day look like for you both at the moment?

Georgia: A typical day for me almost always starts with some form of exercise, and at least two strong coffees, but after that, they can be pretty varied. From meetings with the team, to meetings with customers, I am usually somewhere between planning a project, responding to RFPs and undertaking training.

Simon: Like Georgia, my days are all different. The nature of our business means that every project is unique, so in turn, every day brings new challenges. Internal meetings, consultancy work and project planning are the constants but the content varies significantly. A dog walk and time playing with my two-year-old also feature prominently in most of my days, which for me, represents a nice work-life balance. Teams has definitely been a game changer when it comes to embracing remote working, and the reduced travel time has created more time for other things.

What’s the best part of the job for you Georgia?

Variety is definitely one of the areas I enjoy. More than anything it’s the ability to work on different projects, address multiple challenges and problems, and finding ways to deliver optimum value and success for our customers.

And you Simon?

Enjoyment is definitely linked closely to project success in my role. I love to see a project through from the scoping stage all the way to a customer seeing tangible results and benefits. Troubleshooting and plate spinning are part and parcel of that and I enjoy that aspect of my job which is definitely a good thing.

Throughout the lockdowns of this last year, company pub quizzes, including fancy dress ones, and coffee mornings, have really helped to bring much needed camaraderie and humour to all of our jobs. We’re really fortunate in that we all get on well. There are no egos, and the company isn’t at all hierarchical – we all share the same focus which is to get on and get the job done to the very best of our abilities.

Could you share an example of some of the best or worst projects you’ve ever worked on?

Simon: Collaboration is key to project success so the worst projects are generally those where there isn’t buy-in or full commitment from the customer. The best one I have worked on recently was a large travel brand which involved tight deadlines and many moving parts spanning multiple entities, different regulatory and legislative frameworks. Both teams worked really hard and we also had a lot of fun. Ultimately a dedication to the end result and shared ethos in our approach makes this one a stand-out one in my mind.

How have things changed for you both over the last 12 months?    

Simon: Despite the dramatic events caused by the pandemic, not much has actually changed for Percipient as a business. We were already very much on a cloud-ward path, supporting remote working and had a couple of remote projects under our belt, so it has been largely business as usual with some zoom socials and additional challenges along the way!

I will say that the shift to remote and virtual working is, in my opinion, likely to remain to a degree, as people have had the opportunity to see what is possible. There are so many advantages, such as getting people together more easily, getting to know people better through Teams background talking points, whether that is children, pets or artwork, and the ability to use what would have been travel time, more productively.

Georgia: For me, starting a new role in a virtual environment has been an unusual experience. While everyone has been amazing, and I’ve had the opportunity to speak to so many people and learn so many things, as well as hit the ground running on some fantastic projects, I have missed being in an office and the face to face contact that comes with that. I really believe that both virtual and face to face have their place in the post COVID world. There are great efficiencies and benefits to remote working, and remote projects, but there is no substitute for being around people.

Collaboration and teamwork, to ensure that everyone is on the same page, equates to happy customers in my experience. 

Georgia Key
Project Manager, Percipient

What are your top tips for a successful project?

Georgia: I think communication is absolutely key. Ensuring that everyone on the consultancy team and customer project team have a full understanding on the project, including expectations and constraints, and being able to ask any question, truly makes the difference between a successful project and one which has the potential for issues.

Collaboration and teamwork, to ensure that everyone is on the same page, equates to happy customers in my experience.

Simon: I totally agree with Georgia. Team work, collaboration and having close knit relationships across the project are crucial. The expertise and experience of the consultants is also paramount in understanding the needs and nuances of the customer’s business, making appropriate recommendations and problem solving.

We are definitely seeing more and more organisations looking beyond pure automation to opt for agility, resilience and flexibility in the systems they deploy, and both Sage X3 and Sage Intacct provide these capabilities in spades.

Simon Jones
Project Manager, Percipient

You both work with Sage X3 and Sage Intacct – briefly, what are the key differences, and indeed, respective merits of each?

Simon / Georgia: Both are incredible products, but in terms of their merits, it really is a case of horses for courses. Sage X3 is great for global firms with complex requirements, a need for multi-country reporting and multiple regulatory frameworks, while Sage Intacct is a cloud-native solution with an innovative modular design that allows business to quickly deploy what they need today, whilst providing the flexibility to add more functionality further down the line.

In the wake of the last 12 months, we are definitely seeing more and more organisations looking beyond pure automation to opt for agility, resilience and flexibility in the systems they deploy, and both Sage X3 and Sage Intacct provide these capabilities in spades, just in different platforms.

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, what’s in store for you both in your roles at Percipient?

Georgia: I’m feeling really positive about the next 12 months, and am looking forward to getting up to speed in more areas, and continuing to add value to the projects I’m working on currently. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more people, getting into the office and embracing a more normal way of life – and a holiday would be amazing!

Simon: I think the next 12 months are going to flow nicely on from the last, with lots of projects underway, and go-lives planned. Personally, I’m looking forward to expanding my skillset, diversifying into new sectors, embracing a good work-life balance and ultimately, enjoying myself!

Contact Percipient

If you would like to discuss the benefits of Sage Intacct or Sage X3 for your business, get in touch or call us on 01606 871332.

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