Interview with Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Annette White Chamber of Bedfordshire Interview

Tell us a little about PC Help Centre (PCHC), its products and people.

PCHC was formed in 2005 – after we sold one of our patents from our research and development business, and decided to diversify and start an IT services and support business. At the time there were only a handful of IT companies in the local community.

Our team is diverse with some of our team from Bangladesh, Italy & New Zealand. Without our team the business wouldn’t have the fabulous reputation that we have.

My background is in telecoms, working for Siemens Comms for more than 12 years, with a plethora of roles from secretarial when I started, to helping set-up a new department in channel sales, where I held a marketing executive role for more than eight years. These were some of the best working days of my early career.

The Channel team were some of the most inspiring people I ever worked with and I’m honoured to be able to call them my mentors who developed me into the strong, hardworking independent woman I am today. It was a really tough environment for women who had to prove themselves even more so than the guys, but I loved every minute of it and had the support of everyone in that team. I finished my career at Siemens heading up their company events in the central marketing department – again a huge challenge and was privileged to run some major events such as: sales conferences, client briefings, incentive trips, F1, football, rugby etc.

What inspires you to do what you do?

Every day I wake up and feel blessed that I have been given another day to achieve my personal and life goals. Time is really precious to us, and shouldn’t be wasted in doing unproductive stuff. I’m inspired by learning new skills, motivated by developing my mindset, keeping healthy and trying to give back as much as I can.

IT is a male dominated industry. What is it like being a woman in what is considered a man’s world?

It does make me smile when I get guys say, wow you don’t like you work in IT! And makes me smile even more when they realise you actually know what you talking about!

What is the top issue in tech right now?

Certainly for my SME clients at this moment in time it is ensuring that their networks and devices are protected sufficiently from any type of security threat or breach.

We deal with many customers and clients that have huge amounts of data, but that data needs to be protected, so it’s about helping business owners understand the potential costs if they were to have a security breach, plus the impact it could have on their brand reputation.

Our security services cover: Cyber essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus or Cyber Health Checks which are delivered by our team of experienced network specialists who have a deep understanding of the range of cyber risks facing businesses today. This enables us to implement the best possible hardware and software security solutions that suits clients specific requirements.

#GDPR is a European regulation. We’re leaving the EU, therefore GDPR has nothing to do with us. Right?

Wrong. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will still apply to UK companies dealing with the EU, regardless of whether the UK remains or not.

To help business & organisations understand the implications of GDPR, we are running free seminars and just about to launch our training workshop on how we can assist businesses with the knowledge and tools to comply with the up-to-date regulation. ‘The forecast for GDPR is considerably bright…’

Who has been your number one influence on your business and why?

Apart from my parents who have always supported me in whatever I have wanted to achieve in the business I would say at the moment – JT Foxx – a wealth coach and mentor who helps you achieve transformational growth, shows you the art of action, how to empower and persuade like a CEO, and what the secrets of a serial marketer are. He just really drives me to achieve my goals and aspirations.

What website do you visit the most and why?

LinkedIn – it’s a fantastic networking tool for me and I enjoy engaging with many different industry professionals from all walks of life on it. Plus keeping in contact with my previous work colleagues. Or am I on Selfridges more?! (LOL)

Is there any place for face-to-face networking in an increasingly digital world?

100 per cent. Don’t get me wrong, I live and breathe social media, and appreciate it is a fundamental part of my marketing strategy but for me face to-face networking is an absolute given because I actually love getting out there, meeting existing clients and potential new customers and suppliers. I buy from people so for me it’s about building real relationships where I can add value, provide the services my customers and clients need and that’s built on trust, credibility and professionalism.

What do you do to switch off after work?

Work out at the gym or one-to-one with my PT – I love boxing training so much so that I get my nail bar to cut them down shorter – which would have been unheard of before! Socialise – eating out, salsa dancing, and enjoying the company of family and friends.

Which country would you like to visit and why?

Ahh, that would have to be the Maldives! The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Dhaalu Atoll — its only (£20,400) per night. Located at the pinnacle of the lagoon, the estate is the largest and grandest on the island and comes with its own buggy, a dedicated butler, and also houses a 92-square metre swimming pool and Jacuzzi on its minimalist deck. If anyone is offering…

Who would you like to get to play you in a film about your life?

Now that’s a question, someone like Sandra Bullock – I think she’s down to earth, girl next door type, but classy, has a great sense of humour and just makes me laugh a lot.

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