In Your Shoes - Keith HaggartAll members Prev: Developing the Young Workforce Dundee & Angus team Next: Pat Davidson
A familiar face in Dundee, Keith Haggart has worked in business development and commercial roles over the past 15 years. He is best known for his time at Dundee United and then Dundee FC where he successfully led the growth of both club’s commercial arms. Keith is one of only a handful of people to have been employed by both of the city’s football clubs and remain popular among both sets of supporters.
Keith joined Aberdeen based IT service and solutions company Converged Communication Solutions earlier this year and commented at the time - “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with an established, progressive business. Robust and resilient Internet connectivity and telephony services are crucial for businesses today, and the Tay Cities Deal has highlighted that improved digital connectivity will be a crucial factor in unlocking the region’s full potential for economic growth. I’m looking forward to supporting local businesses in achieving this.”
As Account Manager, Keith is responsible for bringing connectivity, telephony, IT support and IT security solutions to clients across Dundee, Angus & Fife.
MONDAY PLANNINGMonday 01 April 2019
My Monday starts with logging on at the DoubleTree Hilton at the end of the Kingsway. Converged is very well established in the Aberdeen area and we have recently opened a satellite office in Inverness. The short-term plan going forward is to do something similar in Dundee and at present, we are looking to source an office space in the city. Until I have that permanent base, I’ll continue to use the fantastic venues currently available locally, such as the DoubleTree, the Apex and of course the communal working space in the Chamber office, which is free to members. The added bonus of office hopping is that every day, I manage to meet business contacts who also regularly use these sites. Monday usually sets up my week and today is no different. I also manage to have a catch up with valued customer Tony Banks from the Balhousie Care Group, which manages to last for two coffees and approximately two hours!
NETWORKING AT THE DOUBLE!Tuesday 02 April 2019
Whilst I establish myself in my new role with Converged, networking is a hugely important part of what I do, and the Chamber runs a huge variety of popular events. Today kicks off at 8am at Forfar Indoor Sports with a joint Chamber speed networking event, combining the Dundee & Angus, Fife and Perthshire Chambers. The format is excellent; everyone at the table provides a 60 second elevator pitch on their business, before moving on to the next group. It’s all been planned out by Sarah and designed to ensure that all attendees get the chance to speak to everyone. It seems to run very smoothly. As it’s a joint chamber event, I meet lots of new contacts as well as catch up with several familiar faces. The day ends with another event, this time at the Apex for the Young Enterprise Scotland Tayside Regional Final – I’m running short of business cards!
HOUSTON, WE DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM!Wednesday 03 April 2019
Wednesday starts back at the Apex Hotel, and I’m catching up on emails while taking advantage of the free Wifi! My first meeting of the day is with Les Wilson of fellow Chamber members DF Communications. Les is an established IT professional and he is relatively new to the Dundee area, so we chat about mutually beneficial opportunities. There are a number of areas where our business offerings would dovetail nicely, so it’s a relationship that we’re both keen to develop further to benefit our clients. Watch this space. Before we know it, it’s 11.30 and we head to the Chamber offices for the inaugural ‘Houston meets Dundee’ lunch, which the Chamber are hosting in conjunction with Granite PR. We hear about the vast number of business opportunities in Houston specifically and Texas in general from the group of incoming delegates from the States. Including contributions from a number of ex-pats now based in Houston, it’s a really interesting and informative afternoon, topped off by some fabulous fayre courtesy of local firm Kirrie Dumplings who provided a real ‘taste of Scotland’ lunch.
GET MY STEPS INThursday 04 April 2019
Thursday is spent in Edinburgh, with an 8.30am start at Brodies LLP’s office in the city. My colleague Sean and I are both down in the capital and our day kicks off with a GDPR update, which also ties in with cyber security. GDPR is still very much an ongoing concern and is an area that all companies need to address in order to protect their data. As a former Edinburgh resident, I’m able to direct Sean to some free parking not too far from the centre, but we certainly test the shoe leather to its full capacity! After our meeting at Brodies, we head to the salubrious surroundings of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for an Insights session hosted by Blue Sky. It’s a fascinating workshop, and Sean and I discover that our individual working styles are the polar opposite of each other – intriguing but also very accurate! As our session comes to an end and not far away at Dynamic Earth, our Chief Security Officer is about to start presenting at Scot-Secure where he’s exploring the history of hacking. It’s a pity we couldn’t also attend but I enjoy reading comments on Twitter. We then yomp back through Edinburgh to the cars and I realise I’ve done 16,000 steps. The last time I did that many in one day, it was following Tiger Woods around the Open at Carnoustie last year!
HELPFUL COLLEAGUESFriday 05 April 2019
Friday starts with a productive meeting with a firm of accountants in Dundee. They are a growing business and are keen to find out more about cyber security to ensure they maximise their business defences and ultimately protect client data. Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective government backed scheme which will help protect all sizes of business from attack. Increasingly, businesses require this certification from a bidding and procurement perspective, and as a Trusted Partner of SBRC and IASME certifying body we are well equipped to advise on and implement security improvements. The afternoon is spent building a quote for a client looking to upgrade their telephony. As I’m still the ‘new boy’ I’m relying heavily on my colleagues to support with both the process and the technology and several calls with Colin, Robyn and Sameer up in Aberdeen help guide preparation of the paperwork. I’m scheduled to be up in the office on Monday where I can get things finished off and sent out to the client – it’s the first job in the diary!
GAME DAY BLUESSaturday 06 April 2019
Having spent a significant part of my career in football, I’m delighted to still be involved with Dundee United on a match day. I host the Corporate Hospitality at Tannadice, which is great fun and a terrific way to enjoy the game. For today’s encounter with Queen of the South, I take our Business Development Manager Steve Smith along with me as my guest, and he sits beside former goalkeeper Guido van de Kamp, who won the Scottish Cup with the Club in 1994. United are on a run of three successive victories, whereas Queens have lost the last seven games on the bounce. Surely there will only be one outcome? Alas, no – the visitors head home to Dumfries with the three points, after a 2-1 victory. The post-match interview with the Man of the Match can be challenging after a home defeat, but young Jamie Robson was positive despite the result, and left the stage to warm applause from the capacity crowd. The season is drawing to a close and United can still win promotion – onwards and upwards!