As Appsbroker continues to grow and develop, it’s become all the more important to celebrate the company’s strong foundations – to look back at our beginnings and consider all the hard work and ingenuity that has got us so far. As always, at the centre of Appsbroker’s three values – care, pace, and excellence – is the wonderful people that make up Team Purple.
Many of our dedicated teams have provided their expertise to Appsbroker for over ten years. To highlight this persistence and loyalty, we’ve interviewed them about their time here, in hopes of inspiring the next generation of Appsbroker veterans.
When did you join the business and what first drew you to Team Purple?
Florian Blaga: I first met Mike in 2008, when we started the Appsbroker Google Enterprise Search program.
Geoff Newell: I joined Appsbroker back in 2011. Initially as a contractor, but joined full time about 6 months later.
Ignotas Turskis: I joined the business in the summer of 2012. At the time, I was looking for a technology focused business that would allow me to work with one of the big brand names. Appsbroker were a Google partner, which is why I applied for a job role here. At the time, I knew very little about what the company did.
The truth is that I had very little professional work experience (being a student) and I must have applied to over 100 jobs without a single response. Appsbroker were the only ones that responded, so I did everything I could to make this work.
Charles Conner: My official start day as an employee was in 2009. Although, I helped Mike set up the company (Ready2goit) in 2007… it was brotherly love and a realisation that fitting kitchens/bathrooms wasn’t going to pay the bills.
How has your career grown and how has your life changed whilst working at Appsbroker?
Florian Blaga: From a Google Enterprise Search professional to the multiple hats and roles worn internally there is always a major project that I’m involved in. All in all, I’m most proud of team Romania and their achievements.
Geoff Newell: I started as the first Google Cloud engineer. Google had just announced they were going to compete with AWS and in late 2011, Appsbroker decided to join the Google Cloud incubation programme. We were one of 2 partners invited back then and we flew to California for the kickoff. From the 1st engineer, I helped to build our first engineering team, then multiple engineering teams. I was head of Engineering for about 18 months before I took on my current position of Technical Director helping our key accounts adopt Google Cloud.
Ignotas Turskis: I started as a student intern in a company that had 7 employees at the time and I’m now responsible for a practice that’s generating a quarter of the business’ revenue, with close to 300 colleagues. My journey involved many role and responsibility changes, which meant that I could always learn new things.
What was happening behind the scenes:
When I first started at Appsbroker, I had £100 left in my bank account and no place to live in the UK (at the time, I was still in Italy, finishing my Erasmus year). Luckily I had a friend who offered me a place in his flat. I had to sleep on the floor in a utility room for the first couple of months as I couldn’t even afford a mattress. My desk was made from a cardboard box and a wardrobe side panel that I found on the street. After the first couple of months, we moved to a different apartment and I finally had a bed! I worked remotely in the first year, which really helped as my uni was in a different town to where Appsbroker was based and once I graduated, I moved to Swindon. 10 years later, I own a house (or the bank does, depending on how you look at it!) together with my partner Ieva, whom I met in Swindon and spend most of my holidays either somewhere warm catching waves or somewhere cold, snowboarding down a mountain (something I couldn’t even dream of when this journey started). Appsbroker has been an extreme roller-coaster ride, very stressful at times, but rewarding as well.
Charles Conner: I haven’t really viewed my time at Appsbroker as a career but rather as life. It has been an incredible adventure and the biggest change is that i’m a little older!
If you had a time machine, what one moment in your Appsbroker career would you relive and why?
Florian Blaga: Right before the pandemic years, The Greatest Showman themed Appsbroker Christmas party of 2019 with me and my wife in Cirencester
Geoff Newell: Probably our win of the MiFID II contract with the banking consortium of Santander, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). I lead on the Technical pitch along with Mike, Mary and Adrian Poole from Google.
Ignotas Turskis: That’s a difficult one, but maybe the days of Product Ownership for Sentinel – I made some great friends through that project and got to see the inside workings of some of the biggest financial institutions in the world.
Charles Conner: I wouldn’t want to relive any of it and have enjoyed the ups and downs. I remember a Christmas party right at the beginning … There were about 12 of us including wives and I remember Mike making one of his wonderful speeches. On that occasion, I recall him saying rather laconically, “we’ve had a terrible year, I hope next year is better”
Please tell us about any other highlights of working at Appsbroker
Florian Blaga: Ever changing environment and technology that always keeps you engaged and curious of what’s next.
Geoff Newell: Without a doubt, the extra-curricular activities have been life changing for me. Mike introduced me to snowboarding and cycling over 10 years ago and the fact that Appsbroker makes these events available for employees is amazing.
Ignotas Turskis: Mike (CEO) has introduced me to surfing, snowboarding and cycling during my time at Appsbroker. I have many good memories from going on trips with him and our Appsbroker colleagues, whether that’s to the chalet in the Alps or a beach in Devon.
Charles Conner: I have always marvelled, and still do, at all the wonderful talented people that have joined this merry band over the years.
Appsbroker values its employees, but what do you value most about working here?
Florian Blaga: The family vibe, knowing that there’s always someone you can rely on in and outside work
Geoff Newell: Definitely the variety, and the fact that we punch way above our weight. Google values us and we’re able to have conversations with the largest enterprise customers, often at ‘C’ level which I’ve really enjoyed.
Ignotas Turskis: Independence and freedom.
Charles Conner: Working with really talented, wonderful people – I feel as if I am working with friends
What makes Appsbroker different from other companies?
Florian Blaga: We’re a family owned business that cares about its employees utmost
Geoff Newell: Engineering excellence, credibility of our capability with Google, Agile approach, ability to advance if you demonstrate you can lead and delivery technically, plus the fun events of course. Having access to shares also means I’m interested in the growth and success of the company.
Ignotas Turskis: Appetite for risk.
Charles Conner: Lots of things; non-corporate, friendships, lack of hierarchy, the truly brilliant people, interesting customers… never a dull day!
Appsbroker is the largest Google Cloud-only System Integrator in Europe, with offices in UK, Germany and Romania. We have over fifteen years of experience working with innovators seeking to leverage the power of Google Cloud and deliver impactful business outcomes. We are motivated by building long-term relationships based on our values of pace, care and excellence. To learn more about joining #TeamPurple visit https://www.appsbroker.com/about/careers/