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Acknowledging your Teams Efforts always leads to Great Rewards

An interview with Roy Ribeiro – Head of Professional Services (Project Delivery) at Adapt IT Telecoms

By Katucia Moussongo

Relationship building and maintenance is a difficult task in general. Similarly, it is even harder to manage a team because of the many personalities that make up the team. However, a managing position isn’t a sign of success, especially if one’s team isn’t valued, recognised, or linked with achievement. Here’s what we learned from Roy Ribeiro, Head of Professional Services (Project Delivery) at Adapt IT Telecoms.

An interview with Roy Ribeiro – Head of Professional Services (Project Delivery) at Adapt IT Telecoms

By Katucia Moussongo

“Patience is the key. If you’re passionate about technology, go out there and do what it takes to succeed. However, be patient while you work toward success because it won’t happen overnight.”

Tell us about yourself and your journey toward the Technology industry?  

I work with Adapt IT Telecoms as the Head of Professional Services. In addition, I am a family man first and foremost. I am fortunate to be the spouse of a great, encouraging, supportive wife and the father of two amazing kids. I consider myself a very passionate individual, and my Portuguese heritage plays a significant part in this.

Regarding my professional trajectory, I began my studies at Wits Technicon, where I initially pursued a career in Information Technology (IT). Following graduation, I entered the IT industry as a service provider, working with a wide range of companies in the IT sector as well as other industries such as Law, Transportation, and Logistics.

I started working with LGR about twelve years ago, which was subsequently acquired by Adapt IT. I began my adventure in that company as a Support Engineer, giving help on the CDRlive platform, which LGR had internally developed at the time.

Then, throughout my time at LGR, I advanced fast into managing the support team within the organisation. This was solely due to the fact that I could add value in that area in terms of managing our customer interactions and the resources we had within our team. I also learned about the numerous industries and technologies we added significant value to, through CDRlive. The platform’s initiators have told the CDRlive stories numerous times, and I was fortunate to not only be a member of the team but also to be able to use the tool at a time when it was incredibly revolutionary.

Not the most technically gifted person, I used my abilities to interact with others on various levels to my advantage. That quickly evolved into my main passion inside the organisation. Then, following LGR’s acquisition by Adapt IT, I finally moved into the role of Delivery Manager within our professional services unit. In this position, I was specifically responsible for overseeing the Advanced Analytics Business within Telecoms, encompassing both CDRlive and all Advanced Analytics components.

Soon after, I was promoted to Head of Professional Services. 

What does your current position at Adapt IT Telecoms entail?

I lead the biggest team in terms of resources, but it is also the team with which I have the most rewarding experiences due to the diversity of our products and the solutions we provide to customers. I am in charge of our fantastic development team and we project-based, which means that we deliver projects ultimately at the end of the day to our customers.  And these projects come in the form of the delivery of new solutions. It can be a completely new solution or a slight modification of an existing one. For example, suppose a customer desires additional functionalities for a product or service. In that case, we write the code and deliver the solution to the customer, who afterwards integrates it into its core network. Apart from the core network type of implementations, we also play a big role in the Advance Analytics space where we provide customers value and insight through their own data and allowing them to manage their business effectively from the power of their own data.

What are your professional and personal achievements in your role that makes you very proud? 

It is a tremendously tough question because the achievements I’ve accomplished since entering the Technology or Telecom industry are not solely mine. I am only as good as those individuals who create or work on the platform within my team. So my professional achievement lies in offering our customers excellence and quality through the products and services we provide – all this thanks to the dedication of our team.

When I consider the Award we recently received – the Vodacom CEO Excellence Award – our projects team successfully accomplished that goal. It is not the work I have done in particular but rather the work that our project team has completed. The leadership team we have and the day-to-day guidance we provide to our resources played a small part in the achievement of that Award.

Personally, I am pleased with the way I was able to transition into the Exco role inside the Adapt IT Telecoms space. My 12-year career in the Telecoms sector began when I worked as a Support Engineer. If I check the date, it has been roughly four years since we switched from LGR to Adapt IT. I progressed from being the person in charge of the support environment to the position of Head of Professional Services.

I could have never predicted the amount of growth I’ve experienced within the division. 

Being in a managing position, what was the biggest challenge you faced, and how did you overcome it?

The most difficult challenge for me was gaining the trust of the people I was about to work with. After LGR was acquired, new individuals were brought in, and there was a lot more exposure to different areas of the company. That exposure meant that people had to know who I was, and I needed to know them too. I had to find what could motivate and demotivate them.

It was a matter of building relationships and trust with people in the PMO, NextGen VAS and Advanced Analytics delivery space to work properly. Likewise, I’ve always believed that being in a management role can be the most fulfilling role a person can take on because you work with individuals you know and are constantly involved in their professional growth.

I discovered that it can be a challenging role at times. If I look at the professional services side of the business, the key to success in our business depends on the skills of the people that we have. Therefore, building relationships with them is essential – however, it’s a challenging task. Was I able to overcome my challenge? I am unsure whether I’ve completely overcome it, but I am in a better place than I was a year ago. I believe there is more trust and confidence in the leadership. People now understand that they can put their trust in me to supply them with anything they require to work better. When we look at how far we’ve come, we still have a long way to go, but we’ve made significant progress toward our goals.

Will you keep considering the Technology industry as your ideal industry to work in? 

Without a doubt, I say “yes” to the question. It’s a tremendously rewarding and challenging industry. The technological field is constantly improving and progressing; thus, anybody working in it must share these characteristics. You must constantly change, develop, and adapt. This is why, out of all the Adapt IT divisions, we, as Telecoms, must adapt frequently. We regularly encounter growth challenges because something that was trending yesterday may not be of relevance today due to changes in other factors. We are sometimes forced outside of our comfort zone. 

The fact that things change so regularly makes it a highly rewarding type of industry to work in. And you must keep up with the changes, or else you will be left behind. I have a true passion for technology, particularly technology in the Telecom space, because of the value and change we bring in people’s lives.

How do you identify as a Person Behind Technology?

I believe the statement “People Behind Technology” applies to me in particular. Even though I studied the technical side of technology, I never felt like it matched who I was as a person. Instead, I realised that I would be more effective working in the background and using my true passion, which is interacting with people. I am perfectly pleased to remain in the background and enable the industry’s superstars – our engineers, creators, product delivery teams, and project teams. They deliver these amazing technologies and solutions that we introduce to the industry. At the same time, I am hopeful and mindful that I play a role in providing them with certain benefits that make their life easier in delivering these technologies more efficiently.

What message can you give to the next generation looking to enter the corporate world?

My advice is to love what you do first and foremost. Love what you do with all of your heart because if you do, no challenge will ever seem impossible or difficult for you to overcome. Second, be patient. Try to learn as much as possible from all the experiences you’re exposed to. You must, however, give yourself time to grow as a person and professional. Finally, patience is the key. If you’re passionate about technology, go out there and do what it takes to succeed. However, be patient while you work toward success because it won’t happen overnight.

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