Here at Central, people are at the heart of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of everything we do.
We started out on our IT journey back in 1991, and our mission and ethos haven’t changed. We’re a family-run firm that pride ourselves on our integrity, honesty, and objectivity – and we make IT stress free by keeping it as simple as possible.
But it’s our people who make this all possible. Get to know them more in our staff spotlight.
Name: Thomas Lindley
Job title: Technical engineer
Sum up your role at Central in one sentence:
The Azure Guru.
What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?
Helpful, knowledgeable, and comical (I hope!).
And what do you enjoy most about your job?
No two days are ever the same. We have customers with all different kinds of technologies, so supporting them means I am exposed to new challenges and scenarios all the time.
Check your phone, what was the last emoji you sent?
Crying laughing face (😂) and the monkey see no evil (🙈).
Who was or is your biggest inspiration?
It has to be my mum – she always made sure that I had everything I needed growing up and did everything she could for me and my brother.
You’re hosting a three-course dinner party, what’s on the menu?
Garlic and chilli prawns to start, steak, veg, and chunky chips for main, and a warm brownie with ice cream for dessert.
Back to Central, what makes the company stand out?
We have a team of highly skilled staff, who really care about our customers – meaning we always go out of our way to provide the best, most headache-free service possible.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself we might not know:
I’m a certified personal trainer!
What would the title of your autobiography be?
Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.
Central’s mission is to ‘restore faith in IT’ – tell us more about what this means to you:
There are a lot of IT companies out there that promise the earth but can’t back it up – or throw massive costs at the customer once they’ve signed. Central works with clients to provide the service they want, need, expect, and deserve – and we’re completely transparent from the get-go.
It’s no secret that the tech sector is facing increasing pressure on the employment front – not least because of the national IT skills shortage.
But offering custom learning routes, apprenticeship programmes present a great opportunity to help bridge the gap - both bolstering recruitment and introducing fresh knowledge and perspectives too.
That’s why, here at Central HQ, we’ve had a scheme dedicated to nurturing tomorrow’s talent since 2009 – set up by our very own client director, Mike Dunleavy.
And because we’re so proud of our apprentices’ contributions to the team – plus their willingness to dig deep and develop their expertise – we’re keen to showcase and celebrate each and every one of them.
So, first up, it’s our technical architect, Jordan Gallier. Take it away, Jord….
Why did you choose a career in the IT and tech sector?
I have always had a strong interest in technology, from being about three years old on windows 95 and windows 98. As my mother used to say, I was a bit of a wiz – and she always used to leave me to it!
After finishing school, I was set on pursuing a job in IT – and had been keen on the idea of an apprenticeship from the offset. Previously working at another company that went into administration, Mike gladly took me under his wing.
From coming in with next to no knowledge of the day to day working of networks and systems, Central provided me with the resources I needed to grow in my career.
Why was an apprenticeship the right choice for you?
It skyrocketed my career – giving me the chance to learn and gain experience at the same time. Working at a managed service provider (MSP) specifically, I have also been able to quickly progress in my role, becoming a lead engineer at Central with over eight years’ experience under my belt.
And how did you first find out about Central’s apprenticeship programme?
Central’s details were provided to me by my previous employer – it just so happened that I lived quite locally, and I drove, so it was easy to get to the office. It was a no-brainer for both Central and myself.
The opportunities that Central quickly placed on the table filled me with great confidence on this being the best step of my career.
What made Central stand out from other employers?
Central as an MSP was local, had a very experienced and knowledgeable team, provided a good sense of security when it came to the path they were taking in the industry, and there were great benefits for career progression that got me to where I am today.
Sum up your role in three words:
Collaborative, team-oriented, technical lead – I suppose that’s four, but they’re the perfect summary of my position at Central!
Can you tell us what a typical working day looks like for you?
This can vary, as my responsibilities at Central are very vast – and I love that no two days are the same. As a technical architect, I get involved in pre-sales – which is essentially providing system specifications for our clients.
But my role also involves lots of hands on work too – from implementing security solutions and provisioning new servers for customers clusters, to travelling down to customers to help them out with their own projects.
Finish the sentence – the biggest misconception surrounding apprenticeships is…
That it’s just cheap labour for companies, which is definitely not true. Organisations like to work with next-generation talent to help progress their career – and bringing an apprentice on board is the start of an investment into staff.
Take myself as an example, I have worked hard for over eight years and have progressed to now play a key senior role in the business.
What’s the most valuable skill you’ve learnt so far?
Work hard – not just for the business, but for yourself – and you will be rewarded.
How do you see your career path developing?
Having worked myself up to being a technical engineer and, more recently, a trusted technical architect, my career at Central has already developed significantly.
Moving forward alongside the management team, the ultimate goal is to continue to compete in a highly saturated market and ensure we always stay at the top of our game with the services we provide.
Finally, do you have any advice for would-be apprentices?
Start your career at an MSP that allows you to be guided by highly experienced and knowledgeable colleagues, whilst giving the freedom to carve your own path. It’s an opportunity that I’m extremely grateful for, and wouldn’t change if I had the opportunity to go back.
Central Networks are a strategic technology partner. Excellent technology is a given, customer service, trust and long-term relationships are what drive our business. We support CEOs, Heads of IT, IT technicians and transformation directors to ensure technology provides an edge to their organisations.