From Boots to Bytes

We’re thrilled to share that Concero has officially signed the Armed Forces Covenant! This symbolises our unwavering support and dedication to our armed forces and their families. 

For those unfamiliar with the Armed Forces Covenant, it is a promise from the nation to those who serve or have served, and their families, which says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged in their daily lives.

Let us introduce you to Tom, a shining example of the incredible talent we’re privileged to support from the armed forces. Despite facing challenges after leaving the Army, Tom’s exceptional discipline, management prowess, and ability to thrive under pressure truly impressed us. 

Tom is a dedicated, diligent, and extremely hardworking individual who is the Business lead here at Concero UK. He’s also an army veteran with over 16 years of service who has made a substantial impact on Concero since we employed him three and a half years ago. We’ll get to the impact he’s made and how we employed him shortly; let’s give you some background on the man himself. 

Tom’s Background 

At 20 years old, Tom was moving from job to job, when he decided to pop in to an Army careers centre to support a friend of his: his friend decided not to join, but Tom did. He didn’t have a wealth of qualifications at the time, but he did perform strongly on a technical assessment that qualified him for REME – the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. After 18 months of training, he qualified as an electronics tech, and moved into Land systems, supporting a wealth of mission critical offensive and defensive systems. 

This experience took him through several tours all over the world from the Falklands to Cyprus, Germany, and Afghanistan (twice). There he built the skills that serve him well in Concero today – leading teams, handling complex technical support under extreme pressure, and developing a professional, calm, and reliable attitude that is still very much in evidence.  

The Army changes, and demands a lot from its staff, even while it’s transforming them. Tom started to develop a life outside the army, and the regular moving around the world and pressures of the battlefield don’t sit well with a personal life. His last set of responsibilities were as an advisor attached to the Navy, supporting embedded Army systems, and this ‘calmer’ life showed him a potential future outside the Army. His personal life was changing, too – as he started to build a future for himself and his partner, the need to constantly move around the country proved to be more of a challenge. He’d built a life and a support network around Wolverhampton, and it was time to settle down. 

In 2019, Tom got married and left the army. He’d built a lot of skills in management of infrastructure and people, and it was time to put those to use in the outside world – but for some reason, companies didn’t seem to want them. 

Tom’s search for employment outside the Army 

Tom applied for over 90 positions and was invited to 6 interviews. His result from this was nothing. Companies either ignored him because of his army background or couldn’t understand how his skills transferred into the outside world. He’d even attended an interview where one of the panel had told him, within five minutes of the interview starting, that they ‘didn’t like squaddies’. 

Exasperated with this attitude, Tom turned to Primary Goal to restart his search by taking an apprenticeship. Through Primary Goal, Tom met Concero, and his future started in EdTech support with Concero Education Technology. 

We’ve been working with Primary Goal for several years, and through them we’ve found a fascinating mix of apprentices, who have all moved on to full time positions within our company. Among them, Tom was a standout candidate.  

Unlike other companies, we embrace the experience that military service personnel bring. We have several staff whose partners serve in the armed forces, and we employ other ex-service staff in our business. We were perplexed by the attitudes that Tom had faced – he had worked under the most extreme pressure any person can face, had built management structures and teams in massively diverse environments, handling advanced technology, in a variety of locations all over the world. The discipline and positive attitude garnered from over a decade and a half of operation in the armed forces made him an ideal candidate for us, and the mutual benefit has been enormous.  

That’s not to say that starting at Concero was an easy transition for Tom. His need to take up an apprenticeship meant that he had to manage a big drop in salary, but he knew he could rapidly progress. In fact, his initial interview with us was for a first line technician position, but the interview was stopped no more than an hour in while the owners of our company debated what they could offer – and we offered him a second line support position with more responsibility immediately, based on his obvious skills. 

Tom’s start at Concero 

Tom was due to start at a school the following Monday, acting as second line support in the ICT support managed service we provided them. On the Friday beforehand, the entire country entered a national lockdown, and suddenly Tom was presented with an entirely new situation – as was the school leadership team. How do you continue to teach and support IT operations when the majority of students are no longer in the building? 

This is where Tom’s army background and skills really took off for us. Quickly putting into place response and support mechanisms that allowed staff to continue to raise tickets and get remote support, while prioritising platform systems that gave students access to learning from home – all with little notice and in a new position – was something that Tom and Concero could excel at, and did.  

Tom’s development at Concero 

Tom grew his level of seniority during this time. He added another support team member during the second lockdown period, built formal support processes that added structure and consistency to the support that students and staff needed, and changed the priority structure to maintain operational efficiency at the school. 

Tom’s transformation of our relationship with our clients didn’t just stay with the one school. We soon offered him a technical lead position. 

Now, he’s taken a senior position Business Lead for Concero Technology Services and is responsible for our largest business client, and leads a team of 11 people.  

How Tom has developed Concero 

Tom’s experience with Concero has been a transformational one. He’s taken our relationships with our partner schools and continually moved them forwards, establishing trust, reliability, and dependency with each and every organisation he’s worked with and expanding our own definition of what high quality support services look like. This is a measure of the man himself, and the impact he has made on our business – now leading a large team, and inspiring others to follow his lead in making our support the very best it can be, for educational and business customers alike.  

His experience in the armed forces has undoubtedly been a major factor in his success. 16 years of service shows that he has the fortitude and discipline to operate in periods of high stress and mission critical areas, and this has been translated directly into establishing a greater quality of service for our key clients, while passing the benefit of his experience to the staff who follow in his footsteps. His incredibly high personal standards set the high bar for our support teams to deliver against, and delighted our customers, delivering the true partnerships we seek to establish with every client.  

We’re not exaggerating when we say that Tom has developed our support processes and methodologies to a higher level since he has worked with us, and we benefit from extremely good customer relationships as a direct result of his professional attitude and work ethic. 

This is a perfect example of why we support the Armed Covenant and offer opportunities to all.