It goes without saying that over the last 55 years, we’ve seen and embraced so much technology evolution as a company.

Our Solutions Manager, Chris Dardis, is someone who’s witnessed change and several of our significant milestones over the years.

As he’s recently celebrated his 22nd year at SVL, we thought we’d look back together.

We’re also reflecting on Chris’ own personal journey, what drew him to the industry, what’s kept him here and what’s next.

How did you end up in this industry?

My Grandfather worked for Scottish Power as a System Analyst in the 80’s and he brought home an old-fashioned laptop, I think it was and IBM.  He was the first person in our family to use a laptop and I thought it was impressive and very futuristic.

I must admit at the time all I wanted to do was play computer games, but my grandfather was keen to educate me about writing code and he helped spark an interest.

My grandfather bought me my first computer, a Commodore 64 that had an external tape drive to load games and programmes. Receiving this gift really was a pivotal moment and I decided I wanted to work with technology going forward.

I went on to study computing studies and found an apprenticeship with SVL as an Apprentice Telecoms Engineer.

I remember applying for the apprenticeship and interviewing with Peter Gough, he asked me if I would work hard but enjoy the party as well, and the rest is history.

My dad worked in telecoms so I had a basic understanding and knew what to expect to some extent, but as you can imagine it was completely different back then.  The technology was very mechanical, and people had a limited view of things like security or compliance.

SVL was a small business, and I was fortunate to be thrown in at the deep end to gain experience across all our operations.

What’ve you enjoyed most about the last 22 years?

It’s definitely the fact I’ve seen the company grow and progress over the years and that I’ve been lucky enough to be part of that journey.

I’ve enjoyed learning about new innovations and ways in which technology and tools like Calabrio and Adepsi can help organisations.

It’s honestly like a family here and I’ve really enjoyed being part of it.

How has the industry changed over the last 22 years?

The change has been astronomical. Not only with technology and how it impacts day to day lives, but with how much today’s world relies on technology to function.

22 years ago, technology wasn’t necessarily secure or ingrained in our daily lives, now it really is, and it’s transformed how businesses work and how people act and behave.

People’s perceptions around what technology does and how it can help them is completely different too.

We’re living in a digital revolution, with rapid advancement and pervasive integration of digital technologies in virtually every single aspect of society.

Technology advancements, especially within the telephony and call centre sectors, really have been propelled by Covid.

People had to learn to trust and implement cloud technologies very quickly and organisations now rely on cloud vendors to host critical services, changing the entire perspective of how technology is purchased and used.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned over the years?

Stick to your own lane. In business, it’s very easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing and that can detract from your own goals or what your strengths are as a business.

Just to be clear, it is important to understand the market and your competitors, but this should not detract from the key ethos of your business.

You also need to fail so you can progress. Don’t be afraid to fail, you might sometimes have an idea, but it doesn’t work the way you expect it to and that’s okay.  Learn from the mistake, get stronger, and move on.

Are there any key moments you’d like to highlight from the last 22 years?

Over the past 22 years, I’ve seen several major technological milestones. The shift from TDM to VoIP revolutionised telecommunications. Virtualisation and hypervisor technology enabled multiple virtual machines on a single server.

Public cloud services transformed IT infrastructure with scalable, on-demand resources. The move from monolithic applications to microservices enhanced software development and how platforms could be designed.  Recently, advancements in machine learning and AI are driving innovation and solving complex problems across various sectors.

Some of the away days as a team at SVL have been memorable, especially any involving karaoke. Any kind of away day or team outing is always such a laugh and the team at SVL really do know how to have fun.

What’s next for you / SVL?

The SVL team are very much enjoying working with the new digital and AI driven technology that our vendors are developing and releasing. It’s a very exciting time and I’m looking forward to seeing how technology further advances to positively impact businesses, customers and improving experiences.

Enhance your contact centre technology

If you’d like to find out how Chris and the SVL team can help you embrace technology and make improvements in your contact centre, feel free to reach out.