This week Kevin Burgess, CTO talks to us about his special memories from the past decade.
Azerbaijan 2011 – In the very early days of Fourteen IP’s infancy, we worked hard to win a tender process to install the wired and wireless network at a prestigious new 5* hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan. This required several long stints working away in completely foreign surroundings and culture. The nervousness was soon overcome, and the team performed incredibly well. The welcoming nature of the customer and the Azeri local people played a great part in aiding the job. At the time Baku was going through some major changes in its infrastructure, getting new roads, underpasses, hotels having recently hosted the Eurovision Song Contest. As we made several trips over to Baku to complete the installation, we saw these developments go through. In a strange way, it was happening at the same time that Fourteen IP was also going through development and starting to make a name for itself. Once the installation was complete, it filled me with great pride to see that we designed, built, and tested a very large network infrastructure for one of the most prestigious properties in Baku.
GPNS Certification 2013 – I remember quite clearly sitting at the meeting table in our first office in Leigh. Neil opened a huge excel spreadsheet and said – “we’ve said we can do this”. It was a very complex set of network requirements that were needed to be able to enter the Marriott GPNS program and become an LSP. From this point, I worked with other engineers (namely Dan Cunliffe) to design a system that would meet the criteria. This took many months and lots of long days. We finally got to the stage of booking into the lab to have the solution stress-tested by the customer. This was one of the first work trips made to the USA and saw a group of us stay in Gaithersburg, Maryland for the testing phase. We completed the works and left, some of us a little more confident than others. During Christmas lunch with our customers and suppliers, we received notice that we had passed the lab testing phase and had been approved to receive our pilot site. So much effort had gone into this, it blew me away and I had to immediately make a very teary phone call home to my wife. The sense of achievement both for the team who had done the work and stamp of approval for Fourteen IP was an incredibly memorable moment for me.
Our short walk to the test lab in Gaithersburg
Christmas Parties – Fourteen IP work very hard but play harder. We have had some incredible Christmas parties in various locations – Bolton, Blackpool, Manchester, Orlando. We have had our guys up on-stage dancing, pirate bowling, comedians, and evening dueling pianos (my personal favorite). Fourteen IP welcome all husbands, wives, partners along and we always have a top time. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with colleagues/friends who we don’t always have the chance to meet and let our hair down somewhat. A lot of thought goes into our company awards (normally early in proceedings) and we make sure people receive recognition for their efforts. This makes for a great start for what always seems to be an incredible evening.