Category Archives: Operations

Deirdré Fryer

Name: Deirdré Fryer

Designation: Product Management Africa

Company: SYSPRO

What do you do every day?
Lots of meetings…
Industry and product Research to understand our positioning in the market as well as our strengths with a focus on looking for improvements.
Customer and sales engagements to understand and solve business needs with software and technology.
Product messaging and positioning to drive enablement of the product across our employees, partners and customers.
Collaboration with marketing and sales teams to drive collaboration around our product and the value features add

How did you get into the tech space?
By chance, while writing my final exams I took a temp job in reception at a software company, SYSPRO, and never looked back.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
If people are not adopting or buying into what you are proposing, change your approach. You need to show people the value in what is being offered specific to them, not how you see it, solve their pain and they will embrace what you are offering without question.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector?
Learn, read, learn, read and never say no to an opportunity, even the smallest and most insignificant task will teach you something.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?
The thought that today I could be part of something that will make someone’s life easier. Making a difference little bit by little bit
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
A wine taster 😉
The best role model to my two daughters, showing them that having a career and good life balance is possible, you can have the best of both worlds.

Twitter: @FryerDee
Linked In: Deirdre Fryer

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Tracy Surkont

Name: Tracy Surkont

Designation: MD

Company: TotalSend

What do you do every day? As TotalSend’s newly-appointed MD, I’m very interested in the bottom line and when it comes to profitability, few things are more important than Sales and New Product Development. As such, my day is focused mainly on coaching and motivating sales staff while also researching potential new products.

How did you get into the tech space? My career was entirely sales-focused for about a decade before I was offered a Product Manager role at Vodacom in 2008. I was excited by the challenge of being completely out of my comfort zone and I absolutely fell in love with mobile new product development. After then spending some time in Africa, another opportunity presented itself when I was asked to consider building a bot platform for one of the social networks entering South Africa. I then collaborated with a former MXIT colleague and with my product knowledge and his ninja skills, we delivered our first version in 2013.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Work smart not hard, believe in yourself and speak up.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector?
Don’t be afraid to do a little bit of grunt work – most times the work is fun, you get to develop products and services, but that also means you sometimes need to answer the phones, help out with support and get the coffee.
Shed your ego and open yourself to learning – big egos get nothing done. There is always someone who knows more than you and if you are willing to learn – you’ll be better off for it.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My family. I have a toddler at home who is constantly curious – I get to experience the world through his eyes and he has made me realise that life is not all about work. Taking the time out to enjoy the simple things has helped me to look at things in a different light. I really do want the world to be a better place for him.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Don’t all moms want to be superwoman ☺

LinkedIn profile www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-langdon-surkont-13046327/

Irene Nkgadima

Name: Irene Nkgadima

Irene Nkgadima

Irene Nkgadima

Designation: Production Manager

Company: Mustek Limited

What do you do every day? My daily tasks vary from day-to-day. Tasks range from overseeing the production process, drawing up a production schedule, managing the production team to produce and prioritise jobs. Each day presents an opportunity to challenge myself which is one of the reasons I look forward to work.

How did you get into the tech space? I got into the tech space by accident, I studied electrical engineering at Germiston College, as you see it’s far from technology. However, the moment I got into the tech industry I found it fascinating and interesting, I fell in love with the tech world and haven’t looked back since.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Never give up, always put your head above the water.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Always be willing to give a little extra in whatever task you’re given, and aspire to reach better heights and give the most your skills. Passion in everything you do is also very important.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? The fact that technology has taken over globally and I’m a part of it, makes me love my job. Technology is changing the world for the better – for the poor and the rich.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I’ve always aspired to be involved in the plight of improving the lives of the unprivileged people and so far I’m involved in a few projects towards that calling. Hopefully one day I’ll realise my dream of becoming a fully fleshed philanthropist.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/irene-nkgadima/7a/892/6a3
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkgadima

Marthélize Tredoux

Marthelize Tredoux, SnapScan

Marthelize Tredoux, SnapScan

Name: Marthélize Tredoux

Designation: We don’t really adhere to strict designations, but I suppose mine would be ‘Support & Operations Manager’. On my LinkedIn profile it says ‘Gremlin-wrangler’: wrangling gremlins as they appear.

Company: SnapScan

What do you do every day? A little bit of everything. The day to day includes a lot of CRM work and interaction with both SnapScan users and merchants, including managing the SnapScan helpdesk. I also do back office admin, liaising with certain divisions at Standard Bank to make sure our merchants keep happily transacting without any hiccups. Then there’s more general, varying and exciting things, including thinking about brand building within SnapScan, developing and improving our product and the user experience that goes with it. And troubleshooting. Lots of troubleshooting.

How did you get into the tech space? I’ve bounced around a lot since I finished a long stint at varsity. I went from molecular research to educational publishing while doing a law degree part-time. I came to SnapScan by serendipitous timing; they needed an extra pair of hands and some expertise I could offer at the same time I was looking for a new challenge. I’ve always loved tech – being an unashamed nerd/geek/whatever the latest affectionate techie term is – so I was ecstatic to get involved in something on the forefront of what’s new and exciting in the SA tech space, especially on the mobile front.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Barring inspirational quotes I’ve had scribbled in books gifted to me, the best advice I’ve ever received was more a comment on my personality that I’ve clung to in tough times: a teacher and mentor once told me I had BMT. Big Match Temperament – that when it counts, when the stakes are high, I make the right calls and execute the winning play. Whenever I feel like I’m about to falter or hesitate, I grab onto my BMT and power through.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Do. It. Just, do it. All you need is a love for tech, a real interest in the space and nearly any set of skills that can be used and applied creatively and in an innovative way. You don’t need to be a programmer or developer, or supremely business-minded even (though those are obviously fantastic skills to have). Care about what you work on, put in the effort to learn as much as you can about it and have fun, it’s a super exciting place to be and the possibilities are legion

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? I’m a night owl by nature, so getting me out of bed takes some doing most days (shhhh! Don’t tell…) but, as clichéd as it may sound, having a challenging and exciting job in the tech sector that is never the same from one day to the next manages to get even me up and at ’em in the AM.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Considering my colourful and varied education and work experience so far, I honestly think I’m still figuring that part out. But maybe “scientifically-minded-patent-lawyer-philanthropist-tech-mogul-animal-welfare-champion-wine-writer and part time lady of leisure”? Not very catchy, is it? Yeah, I’ll work on that..

Find me on:
Twitter: @Konfytbekkie / @WeAreIncogvino (wine blog) / @SnapScanApp
Website: http://konfytbekkie.wordpress.com/ http://www.incogvino.co.za and http://www.snapscan.co.za/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/marthelize-tredoux/3/861/a94