Kevin Burgess, Fourteen IP’s Chief Technical Officer, shares his career journey
Tell us a bit about yourself; your career background?
In October 1998, I started as a trainee technician at Ashland Communication Equipment. Having studied communications at college, I joined Ashland at a great time to be getting into the world of telecommunications. I started off as a junior technician primarily working on remote support tickets, fixing payphones and small PABX systems. I then worked my way through to being a senior engineer, installing large Mitel systems in the hospitality vertical. My journey followed the general path that telecoms was taking, into the transition of VOIP. During SpiriTel’s acquisition of Ashland in 2007 I was part of a major accounts team that focused on our big customers and more technically challenging solutions. We had to have networking (wired and wireless) as well as traditional telecoms in our portfolio to continue to provide our service to our long standing and new customers. I held the role of Senior Technician for Major Accounts throughout my time at SpiriTel and subsequently during the acquisition of SpiriTel by Daisy in 2010, shortly before being part of the team that formed Fourteen IP.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The great sense of pride in the delivery of large scale solutions. Seeing the guys do the preparation in the planning, through the installation implementation all the way to any future support work. When we receive complimentary emails praising individuals and teams within the company, that for me is taken as a pat on the back for all of us. This is achieved only by people who care. If the customer is onboard and we build a partnership with them, we see the results we pride ourselves on.
Given a chance, who would you like to be for the day?
That’s a tough one! I would be the 7 year old me going fishing with my Grandad again. He had enthusiasm, positivity and lots of stories pouring in to every situation.
If you could choose anyone, who would you choose as your mentor?
Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Labelled “the world’s greatest explorer”, there isn’t much he wouldn’t conquer. He holds several world records for exploring in extreme conditions and racing. Ranulph takes it upon himself to raise money for charity whilst pushing himself to the limit. I was fortunate enough to listen to him speak after a dinner event in London. The whole room was full of admiration for a guy who made everyone laugh and draw breath in awe and total respect. He is a man who never fears a challenge in front of him.
What is your motto?
Do what’s right, not what’s easy.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
We work in hospitality. Anyone with experience in the hospitality industry will tell you that it can be a tough, demanding arena. If there is a problem and its become serious, I sometimes find it challenging to strip back the emotion and subjectivity of an issue. We will fix it, no matter what. The same applies to a new idea/solution or task. It can be nerve racking but we are trained, we are capable and will overcome.