Indigo Career Path Q&A with Chris Portlock, Director of Technology
Meet Chris, our Director of Technology, as well as being a skilled engineer. With a passion for innovation, Chris spearheads the development of cutting-edge tools that propel Indigo toward a future-focused vision. When he joined our team, Chris sought a new challenge and eagerly took on the responsibility of building Indigo’s Global Network Operations Centre (NOC). In this role, he fully immersed himself, from strategic recruitment to overseeing service desk support for major global communication companies. His dedication and enthusiasm for the job have led him to continue driving our technology advancements, always staying at the forefront of diverse network technologies.
How did your career path take you to Indigo?
I was reaching a point in my career where I felt like I’d done almost everything I could do in the business I was in, which was fibre to the home. I’d worked my way up from a junior engineer to NOC manager for an infrastructure provider when Indigo approached me about its plans to develop a new kind of NOC. I had dealt with Indigo in the past and knew they were very good at what they did. I was looking for a new challenge, took the job, and never looked back.
What does your job involve as Director of Technology?
I help lead the technological innovation and advancement of technology in Indigo. I oversee the development and implementation of cutting-edge tools and solutions, ensuring alignment with business objectives and keeping the company at the forefront of technology trends. Just one example is the use of Ticketing and Resource Management and Workforce Management Tools which are vital to keep our customers connected. Our team make sure we are using the latest and greatest tools available.
You started out in the NOC and have worked in other NOCs – how is Indigo different?
One of the things we’ve done differently is bring new blood into the industry. Yes, you need experts from day one in certain areas, but we try to focus on the next generation who will grow up with the new network technologies. I was heavily involved in recruitment, taking part in interviews and I build out the training plans with each of my team managers. Another difference at Indigo is the way we constantly look to add value. We’re not just monitoring networks, we are anticipating how things might change, whether it’s an early warning of a potential power cut or an installation that’s not going as well as it could. Our service is all about being proactive and that will only accelerate with the new wave of AI technology.
How do your personal skills align with the work you do?
Running a team and building trust with that team is important to me. IT and engineers are naturally very technical which is what makes them good at their jobs. I was always a bit different and focused on the people part of projects as much as the infrastructure. Outside of the day job, I’m a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Ambassador, trying to encourage young people into our industry. I like to think I can articulate what it is that we do and explain some of the complex technical stuff in a human way that people respond to.
What do you like most about working at Indigo?
There aren’t many jobs in the world where I could be working with fibre to the home networks, and the next month be dealing with critical infrastructure for a major US internet company. In my old job it was always the same vendors, the same technology and the same architecture. It’s a complete flip at Indigo. I’ve had more meetings with different departments and companies about different technologies in my first couple of years at Indigo that I had in 10 years in my previous company. The variety and the access to so much knowledge and industry information is something I really enjoy.
How do you rate Indigo as an employer?
I like that the people here are passionate about what they do. It’s part of the culture and something I‘ve tried to continue with my recruitment. We don’t just go after people because of their skills, we try and find individuals who really care about what they do. It’s not about where they are when we hire them, it’s about who they think they could be in 10 years’ time. We like to have people on our team who want to be part of this industry and have a passion for what they do. In return, Indigo offers them a real career path and a chance to grow their skills.
Want to know more?
If you are interested in developing your career with Indigo, please get in touch today.