In this 'tell us about your tech' interview, Marc Defosse, Managing Director of Ribbonfish, reveals what odd technology he has in his office.
What is your business’s best tech investment?
The wisest tech investment that we’ve made as a company is probably in our Microsoft Surface tablets. They’re genuinely brilliant for enterprise usage, and help keep us productive when we’re on the move. Whilst we don’t necessarily have anything against iPads, we feel they are certainly geared more towards the consumer market.
We’ve also gone a bit left field in our office and invested in some standing desks with treadmills attached. It’s slightly odd, but some of our team like to keep the blood pumping while they’re at work – myself included! Plus, it’s said by many to improve productivity, and burning a few extra calories definitely doesn’t hurt.
What are your business’s biggest tech challenges & how do you overcome them?
The biggest problem is the sheer choice of available technologies on the market. At Ribbonfish we work with a select few products, which we also help implement for other companies. However, due to our teams’ obsession with new tech, hardware and software, ideas naturally keep coming to the table. Although it’s very tempting, it’s important that we remember that no matter how shiny new tech can be, unless it has a function, we shouldn’t splash out unnecessarily.
It can also be tricky to manage the classic Windows vs. Mac issue. Our marketing and design team insist on having Mac computers, while many of the developers are happy to use powerful Windows machines. To help us overcome some of these issues, we use cloud-based document storage, which is geared for all devices.
What new tech are you excited about?
As a company we’re incredibly excited about the development of wearable tech, such as the Apple Watch, Google Glass and the like. It’s been lumbering along in the background for a while, but wearable tech is about to explode in both the consumer and enterprise world. For us, it offers an amazing opportunity to build exciting new apps and tools. For businesses and consumers, it’ll take connectivity to a whole new level.
We’re also big into our virtual reality (VR) and have recently bought an Oculus Rift to mess about with in the office. There is incredible potential for VR to impact the way we experience tech; closing the gap between online and offline. For example, if you’re looking for a new house you will no longer need to go for a physical viewing; instead, you can take a tour using your virtual reality headset. The possibilities are astounding.
What tech advice would you give to other businesses in your sector/generally?
The most important thing to remember when it comes to business tech is to make sure it aligns with your overall business goals. For example, CRM systems and the like must be scalable and flexible enough to adapt with fluctuating sales and staff levels. Tech and IT will prove to be one of your biggest overheads, so it’s important to get it right early on to avoid costly overhauls or upgrades.
About the Author: Marc Defosse is the founder of Ribbonfish, specialising in building innovative enterprise solutions as well as working with leading vendors such as Microsoft and Salesforce to deliver slick, bespoke applications and business tools. You can follow him on LinkedIn