From Uni to Nando’s, yum!
I still remember that dreary rainy evening in February 2012, sitting in a damp student house in Guildford desperately searching the web for placement opportunities. My mood mirrored the weather as I continually struggled to answer the inevitable first stage questions like “Why do you want to work with us?” the unwritten answer being “I don’t know, I just need a placement already!”
Then I found Brovanture’s job spec: a technical, client facing role in a small local company dedicated to improving a business’s budgeting and forecasting process by implementing something called Oracle Hyperion software. In all honesty, I didn’t entirely understand everything I was reading, but I understood enough to realise that Brovanture was a different kind of company – focussed on providing variety, challenges and opportunities in a friendly environment.
When I stepped into the interview, I immediately felt at ease meeting Emma – a fellow Surrey University maths student in her intern year. She had already been offered a permanent role after graduation! Then I met Martin, a consultant who has been working with Essbase longer than I’ve been alive (sorry Martin!). The more I found out about the company, the more I wanted to work with them. Finally came the million-dollar question: “Do you like Nando's?" and it was then that I knew I was born to work with Brovanture.
During my interview, I also met Malcolm who explained proudly how he and another fellow South African, Marc, had set up the company in 2005 and had built it from the bottom up working from Malcolm’s living room with no salary for the first 6 months. They now had 15 employees and were resident in Surrey Research Park’s “business incubator”.
Needless to say, I was hired and benefitted from (compulsory extra hot) Nando's every Friday for a whole year! Om nom nom…
Our team, yay!
But seriously, I learnt so much more than I ever imagined I would. I was nurtured by Martin who taught me the revolutionary cube structure behind Essbase, the differences behind the two types of databases and the optimal ways in which to build a database. Within months, I was Essbase certified and from there I started contributing to client work before delving into Hyperion Planning to see what all the fuss was about.
Over the year, I got to know everyone’s personalities. To name a few:
Malcolm: The big boss, firm but reasonable.
Marc: Head social event organiser. Oh, also Director, pre-Sales and Planning Consultant.
Martin: Essbase and tech guru, forever studying!
Sarah D: Senior HFM consultant, meticulous and glamourous.
Emma: The intern who set the bar so high I had to jump to reach it.
Tony (aka DJ T): Sales during the day, DJ from 4pm and fisherman at the weekend.
Ram: Support, the human documentation library. May he never take leave or get sick.
By the end of my year I had seen Brovanture outgrow the incubator (move to a larger office), become ISO certified and reach new revenue highs. The secret – or perhaps not – behind it all being the people, whose congruent goal was adding value and ensuring clients were happy with the service.
Cloud Champion, woo!
When returning to Brovanture after graduation, there was a new kid on the block – PBCS. Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service was the latest cloud innovation by Oracle, which lifted on-premise Planning into the Cloud - woop! No more remote desktop onto servers, manually restarting services or remembering what software’s installed on what server!
I jumped on the opportunity to get involved in some of our first PBCS implementations and it soon became apparent that the monthly upgrades would need to be monitored and each new functionality tested as it was unveiled; hence my starring role as PBCS Champion was born.
Okay so maybe I was lured into the role by the promise of the ‘Champion’ title; the responsibility of keeping myself and the team up to date with PBCS functionality falls with me, but I enjoy it so it’s worth it.
If you’re still reading and think you might like to join us, then feel free to contact me on LinkedIn or drop me an email and I’ll pass on the message!
Thanks for reading! Now you should probably get back to work… :)