Friday 8 February 2019
When he is not out on site or providing IT solutions, Michael Quinn is a volunteer for St Andrew’s First Aid. As the South West Scotland area resilience officer for major incidents, Michael is at the forefront of activity and regularly liaises with the national resilience advisor of St. Andrews First Aid if there is a need to mobilise teams.
Michael trains every two weeks to update his First Aid knowledge and is regularly assessed on his CPR and defibrillator skills. As a volunteer, he spends a lot of his time helping out at concerts or at football grounds including his local club, Kilmarnock Rugby Park Football Club.
When he is not volunteering, Michael’s other hobby is running and he regularly enjoys a 5k run with friends.
IT has always been an area that interested me and something I knew I was good at. Straight from school I went to work in a family business and remained for 22 years, progressing to IT manager.
I self-taught a lot of my knowledge and came into the sector at the right time, back in 1989 when technology was beginning to evolve.
Technology at the time consisted of dial-up modems, floppy discs and a peer-to-peer network. I moved the office to a faster broadband connection, servers and email instead of using Yahoo accounts.
My role very much saw me teaching the team how to use new technology. I was also in charge of quality assurance and brought the company up to achieve British Standards recognition by achieving the ISO 9001 or, what was at that time known as the BS5750 accreditation. This allowed us to become more competitive within local authority frameworks.
After 22 years I was made redundant. With this brought change and that has to be embraced. I moved to Atlas Communications and remained for over seven years. Instead of looking after one company I began to manage over 30, which was very rewarding. I realised there was less for me to do than in my former role, the technology was established and in-place.
I revelled in the variety that my new role brought me. I enjoyed being out on-site supporting customers and advising people on technical issues and solutions.
I then had the opportunity to work at Activ Technology as it opened an office in Dumfries at the end of 2018. I am joined by senior business development manager, Gregor Cumming, business support advisor, Jade Nicol, Hasabe Qamar and Russell Layden, technical assistants.
I work in an IT role as technical consultant and senior field engineer and liaise closely with head of technology at Activ, John Prescott. I was fortunate in that my former customers were very loyal and moved with me to Activ. I cover the whole of Scotland and assist at our head office in Newcastle, when required. I really enjoy meeting new people within the role. It is never mundane and is always stimulating.
The biggest challenge is adapting to new technologies but with that comes big opportunities! I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to help Activ grow in Scotland.