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C-suite talk fav tech: Chris Proctor, Oneserve

 

Name: Chris Proctor

Job title: CEO

Company: Oneserve

Industry: Field Service Management

Location: Exeter, UK

Years’ of experience: 10 years’ experience in senior leadership roles

 

What is your favorite personal gadget?

I have an extensive range of gadgets that augment my life in one way or another, however, my favorite, is unequivocally my mobile phone. I know it’s a cliché, but all my gadgets invariably lead back to my phone, which acts as the central linchpin. I’m not a slave to technology, but someone who uses it to augment my life better. My phone does all of that; providing me with constant connection to all my worlds, regardless of where I am, and most importantly, in a very low friction way. Dealing with things online in seconds, rather than after-the-event, saves days of effort. It’s my enabler, my video call with my wife and kids when I’m away; my life.

Do you have a favorite piece of personal software?

The one most important thing for me is time. There’s always a wealth of things that I need and want to do; utilizing my time in the most efficient way is key to that. I played with Calendly for a while, and indeed still use it occasionally, however, when I came across x.ai I fell in love. The ability to have Amy seamlessly pick up conversations from emails, maintain strong conversation and organize meetings at convenient times and places is an absolute godsend and the one piece of software I couldn’t be without.

What was the first piece of technology you got really excited about?

The mobile phone. I was 16 when I got my first mobile phone. It was a Motorola, I think, but it was an analogue mobile phone, it used AA batteries, didn’t support text messages or generally work that well, but I was 16 and I had one.
There wasn’t just a selfish excitement there, but an appreciation that a 16-year-old had one, could afford one, could use one. It hinted at a revolution on the horizon, and sure enough, one that continues today.

What device improves your life most at work?

Not a device per se, but Cloud Computing, would probably be my answer. Aside from the fact that it allows us to be the successful growing business that we are, it also provides us with so much as an internal team. So much of what we do all the time relies on the ability to collaborate and run things at speed, especially regarding the AI modelling we do; we couldn’t do that without Cloud Computing or be the business that we are.

What software keeps you most productive at work?

X.ai and Google’s Inbox. Inbox is another under-used tool, but it’s fantastic. Managing and keeping up with emails can be like catching sand, however, things like the ‘snooze’ functionality allows you to constantly keep your mail box clean and keep you focused, with the ability to structure your day to different activities, ensuring that you maximize productivity.

Is there any technology that has become extinct that you would like to resurrect?

It’s difficult to isolate a certain technology that hasn’t driven us forward as a species for the better.

That said the benefit presented comes at the cost of something else, and not necessarily something we completely understand at the time. Food production for example. We welcomed, and rightly so, the advent of mechanized farming, however, I can’t help but feel that through the industrialization of farming and food production, we’ve become increasingly detached from the importance of our relationship to the land and the environment that we live in

Is there any technology you would personally recommend that you don’t think enough people know about? (Hardware or software, work or personal)

From scheduling meetings, to booking flights, taxis or even your favorite restaurant, AI-enabled tools and assistants are widely used by those in business and consumers alike but could be taken advantage of much more.

Do you think anything about your personal use of tech would surprise your colleagues?

Probably. I am a huge tech fan. However, despite using a significant amount of technology within our house, we don’t let our kids (2 & 4) spend any time on mobile phones or tablets and really limit their exposure to it. We really like to encourage their imaginations and creativity in an old school way; drawing, painting, playing outside and generally being kids. From the little interaction that they have had with any devices, it’s clear that they’ll never struggle to use them, however, there’s plenty of time for that in the future, when they’re much older. Right now, we want them to fully experience life as kids.

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