Craig Whelan

Operations Manager

What is your role at Xtravirt?

I’m responsible for shaping and guiding the way we conduct and deliver our consulting engagements, and providing input in to other areas of the business as a whole. I work closely with our Practice Manager to ensure our consultants get the very best from being part of the Xtravirt team so in turn they can give their very best to each of our customers. Helping articulate, create and nurture the procedures, processes and engagements artefacts that makes Xtravirt work.

 

What was your first job?

Desktop Support for a media company.

 

What attracted you to Xtravirt?

Firstly, the size of the team. When I joined many years ago it was a very small organisation (I’m employee #7 if memory serves me correctly), which already had market presence way beyond its size; this offered me a huge amount of potential for growth personally and professionally. It was also an opportunity to work directly with the people that owned the company and not be just a cog in a much larger machine.

 

Secondly, the technology. My background had always been technology, I found myself fortunate to be working in an enterprise organisation managing systems and getting involved in virtualisation and cloud which I’d been only dabbling with up until being offered a role with Xtravirt. The chance to focus purely on this and be involved in a varied numbers of projects within a consultancy team – this wasn’t a chance to pass up.

 

What makes Xtravirt great?

In a word, flexibility. Due to our size and awareness of other businesses like ours we keep a focus on providing flexibility to our team and also our customers. We love finite answers but we explore all the possibilities first and this allows us to be flexible with our responses, decisions and outcomes.

 

What industries would you say you know well?

Defense, Financial Services and Retail.

 

What makes a great Operations Manager

Organisational and time management skills pave the way to being able to use analytical skills – then swiftly followed up by clear communication and honesty.

 

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Change. I’ve always enjoyed change in the work place, firstly it was technical change, followed by managing change as a project manager. Now I am more responsible for that change occurring in the first place and improving on where we are today as a business.

 

Expertise

Process and procedural analysis, business transformation and project management.

 

People would be surprised to hear that I worked as…

Warehouse operative in food (catering) and FMCG (retail) between leaving school and finding my first real job.

 

First car?

Ford Fiesta (it was metallic blue with a sunroof!)

 

Hobbies

Cycling (mountain bike and road), gardening and trying to grow vegetables in our allotment.

 

Experience

I have worked in roles across defense, finance, detail and engineering sectors. Over a period of about 10 years I worked my way through the SMB landscape in desktop and server architecture support roles through to providing specialist expertise in systems management for enterprise scale financial organisations.

 

What was your first job?

The first job I was ever paid wages for was as a car valeter for a local accident repair body-shop. I recall having to ask other members of staff to move cars for me to clean as I was only 15 and saving the money for a new bike and stereo system.