With only enough money to buy a mobile phone, he started the business from an office in down-town Cape Town, buying and selling computer hardware, providing IT support and doing PC and server installations. Clients quickly followed. MacroLan then added ISP into the mix, then Data Centers and became the first Cape based service provider to buy into and offer Fibre connections.
Paul and his team organically grew MacroLan into what it is today, through raw passion for the industry, building it from the ground up. They didn’t do this by managing from a boardroom, but by doing it themselves.
Although Paul is the CEO and heads up the sales team, doing most of the pre-sales and solution design, he remains operational on all levels – from client support to HR.
Paul always aims to deliver on their promise of personal service, and is most proud when clients are happy and when people speak highly of the MacroLan team. Being in IT is being on the clock 24/7. The Internet never sleeps, and that is why they are successful. MacroLan has people who are committed to the immediacy and fast pace of IT.
Paul is a techie at heart and MacroLan is his passion: “This is what I do. Even when I’m home, I’m working – it’s my hobby and my passion.”
Email Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having worked with Paul as far back as during school holidays and through varsity in MacroLan’s early days, Ryan grew up in the company and knows it inside out. He has fulfilled every role as the business evolved. He keeps things together, knows all the customers and is available all the time, where and when needed.
Although he has a bird’s-eye view of operational issues, his current day-to-day focus is MacroLan’s CRM application, Cerberus – the company’s “big brother”. Together with his fellow co-workers, they designed and implemented Cerberus – the “brain” through which all information flows and is managed. Its purpose is to track and trace all work tickets in the system in real-time, making sure that the team stays delivery and customer focused.
Ryan likes the diversity of MacroLan – the fact that they provide an A-to-Z solution from an IT perspective means they can really provide customised solutions and solve problems, with a personal touch.
He is a gadget man who likes toys and electronics, but is also a master of Google and says “a person’s ability to research and learn is the difference between being successful or not in the IT landscape.”
Paul W studied engineering, worked at IOL, then Mweb and built Linux servers with Paul J over weekends. He brought the technical mix of programming and configuration to the team and after a number of weekends and quite a few server installations later, they formalised the ISP business, expanding MacroLan’s service capability.
The technical team behind MacroLan’s processes and systems makes sure their network “talks” to clients’ infrastructures, that all technical connections are in place and on-line. Overall, Paul oversees this function, but he also ensures that they uphold the correct standards. He sees himself as MacroLan’s trendsetter, always looking for: ways to improve; to be ahead of the game; to develop new products; and introduce new technologies.
Under his direction they were able to build a national system, further expanding their services to clients across southern Africa.
Paul loves IT and computers and is always improving his skills, learning as he goes. To have some work life balance, he enjoys watching motorsport.
“What we have is what we’ve built ourselves. That is our greatest achievement. And we have good people; I enjoy working with them,” he says.
Matthew comes from a family of accountants and studied B.Comm. Finance at UCT. Although he started his articles, he ended up at MacroLan in 2010, to be groomed to take over from their finance manager who was nearing retirement.
Often people think a finance role is built around sending invoices and paying accounts, but Matthew describes his role as: “being a strategic support function to Paul as the CEO to give him the tools and information for better decision making around what we do at MacroLan.”
He is more involved in finance strategy – looking at specific KPIs and business indicators. He brings together reporting and an understanding the impact financial aspects have on the business. With Operation’s Manager, Ryan, he also designs internal systems and processes, making reporting and auditing more efficient.
Matthew is not only the “numbers” guy, he brings critical thinking to the team and turns data into meaningful information.
The ever-changing world of the ICT space and the dynamic and constant growth at MacroLan is what makes him get up in the morning.
Kirsten worked in telecommunications, installing ADSL lines for Telkom through a third party, before she joined MacroLan 11 years ago.
Her and her team’s day-to-day job supports the whole business – without them installing the infrastructures that are required to carry the hardware and connectivity, there will be no service or technical delivery.
Although most of the installations for clients are done by the MacroLan team, she also works with trusted third- party suppliers to manage the demand.
Kirsten enjoys managing projects from start to finish, is organised and good at getting things done.
She is a great supporter of MacroLan’s approach to clients and says “we are seriously focused on our customers, more than any other ISP provider.”
Advice to potential employees: “You will always have the help of your colleagues, including management. Everyone knows almost everything and we keep tabs on what is going on all the time, so nothing slips through the cracks.”
Kirsten admits to being: “Very Virgo. I am a perfectionist with the most organised desk, it’s scary!”