About the UK Data Platform Technical Team


Tony Egerton – Cloud & Enterprise Technical Sales Manager

I have the absolute privilege of leading our cloud and enterprise technical sales team.  Our team represent some of the brightest and talented people within this fantastic ever growing diverse community.

My background spans leading consulting, sales, marketing and technical teams and this helps me keep customer value and team brand and impact top of mind.

This has also enabled to me learn how valuable the technical / architect role is today and is driving towards becoming the most influential role Microsoft has in how our customers extract the most value, trust and business understanding from our solutions.

Outside of work I have two teenage girls and enjoy spending as much time with them as allowed and in between this keeping fit with gym and running.

 

Umair Waheed – Technical Specialist

Umair is one of the veterans on the UK data platform technical pre-sales team helping customers understand Microsoft’s data platform offerings across SQL Server, Power BI and Azure.

I joined Microsoft by accident back in 2008 after the acquisition of Datallegro where I was the sole European technical pre-sales resource; Datallegro has now morphed SQL Server APS and Azure SQL DW. I did look elsewhere for a couple of years helping EMC with their Greenplum (now Pivotal HAWQ) proposition before yo-yoing bank to Microsoft – what can I say, I missed working here! Prior to Microsoft I held a number of consulting roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers (now part of IBM), Detica (now BAE Systems) and as a freelancer.

Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing seem to be recurring themes in my engagements, but I’m happy discussing any aspect of data and its potential to drive radical business improvement, new customer experiences and trigger innovation.

Outside of work I dabble in photography and badly at DIY, seemingly spending more time fixing problems I created in previous projects than starting new ones.

 

Ben Cooper – Data Platform Solution Architect

I have spent over 15 years working with SQL Server and Data Platform technologies; 10 of which have been at Microsoft in a variety of technical customer-facing roles. During this time I’ve been fortunate enough to work across many sectors with some of the most challenging and engaging enterprise customers, designing and supporting mission critical, tier 1 OLTP, BI/data warehousing and analytics solutions.

I’m incredibly passionate about data and the Microsoft data platform and enjoy the tight collaboration with customers, partners and the community that this role provides. It’s an exciting time to be working at Microsoft with Microsoft leading Oracle in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational DBMS, the release of SQL Server 2016 around the corner and support for SQL on Linux next year!

Outside of work I am married and have 2 young children which keep me busy during evenings and weekends! As a family we love spending time together seeking out new adventures.

 

Chris Williams – Data Platform Solution Architect

Having worked with data for over 15 years, I am delighted to be continuing that journey as a Data Platform Solution Architect assisting customers worldwide with their modernisation and transformation in interesting and diverse environments. I have been fortunate enough to gain Microsoft Certified Master status and experience providing solutions around the Microsoft Data Platform feature set.

Learning new technologies and empowering others with the knowledge is also something I enjoy especially at a time when the Data Platform is evolving. I have a huge interest in cosmology and enjoying playing and watching most sports.

 

Dan Stillwell – Data Platform Solution Architect

I am returning to Microsoft as a solution architect for Data Platform. I have been working with SQL Server and data for more than 10 years. I have worked in many sectors ensuring that the technology can enhance and drive real business requirements.

My passion is all things ‘SQL & Data’ and I love growing SQL within an organization and within the industry as a whole. I have worked for Microsoft, customers of Microsoft and Partners of Microsoft during my career and developed some of the most innovated SQL Server architectures in the world, which have been presented with industry awards.

I also enjoy public speaking such as SQLBits and online technical discussions.

Outside of work I am married with 2 young children which keeps me on my toes. I enjoy watching football and support Brighton & Hove Albion, I also enjoy live music.

 

Michael Robson – Technical Specialist

I’ve been consulting in data management in various forms following a 14-month internship with a consultancy firm based in Surrey. After graduating University, I returned to the same firm covering Data Warehousing and Reporting using Oracle technologies. Since then, I’ve worked with a small Data Warehousing/Master Data Management software company building solutions on a number of RDBMS platforms and for the past few years working as part of the Data Platform Specialist Team at Microsoft. As part of the team I typically cover our BI/Analytics portfolio which increasingly includes cloud-based offerings such as Power BI, HDInsight and Azure Machine Learning as well as a strong focus on Open Source.

In my spare time, I’ve been renovating a Georgian-era farmhouse in Wiltshire for the past few years (which doesn’t seem like it’ll be finished any time soon) which has introduced me to Woodworking and furniture-building. My real passion though is for the outdoors, and in particular, rock climbing and mountaineering.

Prior to University I spent 5 years in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Manufacture, working for both Rolls-Royce and Siemens Microelectronics.

 

Mike Boswell – Data Platform Solution Architect

I love the customers we work with and the community that surrounds it. I like to get involved in SQL Saturdays and the larger Data Platform conferences in EMEA. You will also often see me talking at Microsoft events about how our products and how data is changing the way we work. Data is all around us and our team is the place to be as we help customers realise the value of the data they collect.

During my time, in Microsoft, I have been lucky enough to work with customer across the EMEA region in Finance, Utilities, Healthcare Public Sector and Retail. I’ve been involved as one EMEA Data Platform leads, where I have worked with others to with engineer’s knowledge, product launches, IP and career development plans.

I have extensive knowledge on our APS Systems along with core and BI skills on SQL Server 2014 and 2016.

 

Kalai Elumalai – Data Platform Solution Architect

Kalai is a Data Platform Solution Architect at Microsoft and has over 13 years of experience in Business Intelligence, reporting and advance analytics. He has extensive experience in architecting and in implementing multi-million pound Datawarehouse solutions using various data technologies such as Oracle, Teradata, SQL server & Hadoop; several EIM technologies such as IBM Cognos, SSIS, BODS, Ab Initio, Dataflux etc.

He loves data, data and data. Passionate about bringing data to life.

Throughout most of his career he has been:

  • Enabling customers to leverage the Data platform and Advanced analytical capabilities on any data (structured, semi structured & unstructured) to meet business outcomes.
  • Defining Enterprise Information strategy and transforming enterprises to more easily work with their data assets and extract significant value to accelerate business.
  • Deliver target architecture and strategic roadmap that covers the different aspects of transforming data into intelligent action in Manufacturing, Utilities and Services industries.

 

Jonathan Ball – Data Platform Solution Architect

I have been a Data Professional for many years, first working around the times of SQL 2000. My roles have given me experience in multiple sectors including Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare, Oil and Gas. This has led me to believe that everybody has the same problems with data and as a Solution Architect I am passionate about making things work.

I have great experience leading and working on projects of all different sizes and I love tackling a challenging solution be they operational, BI, infrastructure, Advanced Analytics. The future direction for Data, Cloud, Unstructured Data, Advanced Analytics is going to keep us busy and learning. As a keen runner one of the great uses of this I have enjoyed recently is tracking myself and using the data to push myself forward, I am always interested to hear new ways people are using data and technology.

 

Stephen Armory – Data Platform Solution Architect

Hi, I’m Stephen Armory a DPSA (Data Platform Solution Architect) at Microsoft, working with Public Sector clients to help them leverage the latest and greatest offerings from Microsoft and its Partners.

Over my long and technically diverse career, I’ve run successful businesses, developed innovative new systems and changed technologies on more occasions than I care to think about.

The driving force allowing me to tackle all of these systems, businesses and technologies has been a genuine passion for my subject. From the teenager trying to make a BBC Micro Game work to the Architect designing a Data Platform for the world’s largest Oil Research company, the same motivation applies.

From developing a game to help a child learn times tables through to implementing the UKs first On-Line NHS Pharmacy, the application of the technology has been the grounding for this passion and the real value of my work.

Microsoft has encouraged and directed this passion, allowing me to work on some of the most innovative projects with some of the most talented individuals in the country today.

Over the last two years, I have made the transition into cloud based technologies, developing Data Architectures for the modern requirements of Big Data, Advanced Analytics and Mobile Solutions.

Outside of work, I am a husband and father of two wonderful teenage children, both of whom remind me on a regular basis that there is more to life than computers, dragging me up hills to go snowboarding and generally filling my days with laughter and the kind of grounding that only teenagers can provide.

 

Craig Clayton – Technical Specialist

I have spent over 6 years working with and digging into SQL Server. I’ve been privileged to work with great SQL Server Professionals both within Microsoft, our Partners and Customers, focusing around Design, Optimization and consolidation. Away from SQL Server I enjoy Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, where I wish I could Design, Optimize and Consolidate!

 

Graeme Scott – Data Platform Solution Architect

I’m currently a Data Platform Solution Architect at Microsoft UK.  I’ve previously worked for British Gas ERS, Procter & Gamble, Termadvance Ltd, Microsoft UK and Gala Retail.  At British Gas ERS I was employed as a C developer on Unix working with X Windows / Motif and Oracle.  At Procter & Gamble I moved to the Windows platform, I started working with early versions of Visual Basic and supported a large scale business intelligence system that showed Procter and Gamble product sales by region.  At Termadvance Limited I was a business intelligence consultant mainly working with the Mars Group and Unilever.  While at Termadvance Limited I also gained exposure to Analysis Services and SQL Server 7.0.  I then worked for Microsoft UK in their consulting services business covering SQL Server and Analysis Services based solutions.

Prior to my current role at Microsoft UK I worked for Gala Retail where I ran their database platform.  I’ve designed and developed solutions around OLTP, data warehousing, business intelligence & reporting.  Outside of work I’m into triathlon and cycling.  I cyclocross race in the winter and enjoy road cycling in the summer.  When time allows I occasionally like to go ski touring.

 

Mike Reed – Data Platform Solution Architect

Prior to joining Microsoft, I worked at Hastings Direct on the South Coast for 6 years as a SQL Server Developer, Development DBA, and finally as Database Development Team Leader running a team of 10+ database developers. Prior to that I worked in Barclays Sales Finance on UNIX with DB2 and Ingress on the VAX platform. I started my life in IT working in a University teaching academics to create web pages for their lecture notes using Microsoft FrontPage!!

Coming from a database development background my expertise is in writing and testing TSQL code, database design, performance tuning and optimisation. I’m interested in high throughput systems and coding strategies to make these perform. I’m also interested in data retention and using partitioning strategies to help maintain manageable workloads. As well as working on high performing OLTP systems I am an experienced SSIS developer and have a lot of experience tuning SSIS workloads.

At home I have 4 children who keep me busy as well as a chocolate Labrador who pulls me away from the keyboard. I attempt to keep fit by competing in the occasional Triathlon.

 

Vanessa Araujo – Data Platform Solution Architect

My name is Vanessa Araujo and I am a Data Platform Solution Architecture at Microsoft UK.

I have a Consulting background, where I was specifically focused on delivering innovative EPM, BI and Analytics projects. I have over 10 years of experience advising, designing, implementing and leading DW/BI/Analytics solutions.

I spent 6 years implementing BI projects using Microsoft technology at Novabase Portugal. Followed by 5 years designing, leading data driven strategies/projects and simultaneously helping growing the IBM Cognos BI centre of excellence at Deloitte UK. Throughout this experience, I developed strong knowledge around data, process automation, data modelling, visualizations, EPM and analytical solutions.

I had the opportunity to work across industries with some really interesting and diverse clients, such as: CTT (Portuguese post office), Portugal Telecom, IFDR (European Funds agency), NHS, Energia, A.G. BARR, Smith & Nephew, Department of Business Innovation and Skills, HSBC and Scotia Gas Networks.

Outside of work, I enjoy discovering London’s gems with friends, going for walks in the different parks around UK (visit New Forest or Snowdonia, breath-taking!), travelling in general and whenever I can escape to a sunny destination. I also love watching documentaries, Netflix series, playing tennis and work on my micro sewing/fashion designer courses (I want to believe it helps on my creativity!).

 

Nicholas Revell – Data Platform Solution Architect

Hi, my name is Nicholas Revell and I am excited to be joining the team as a Data Platform Solution Architect supporting public sector accounts. I am also pleased to be back at Microsoft after a 15 year break. During that time I have had the opportunity to co-found, build and sell my own software and consulting business and, more recently, work for Solidsoft Reply, a Microsoft Azure partner. For the last 20 years of my career, I have been designing and developing data and analytics solutions for a wide range of organisations. I am looking forward to continuing this work at Microsoft at a time when the opportunities for our customers to realise value from their data has never been greater and Microsoft’s data platform has never been stronger.

 

Anu Suthakaran – Technical Specialist

I have 10 years of experience as a data professional covering areas such as data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics. I recently joined Microsoft as a Technology Solutions Professional in the Data Platform Team in Microsoft UK. It is an exciting time to be a part of Microsoft and partake in its data story and help clients in their transformative journeys.

Over the years, I have advised several enterprise grade clients on their data strategy, architected data solutions, led teams in the implementation of the projects predominantly on SQL Server, Business Intelligence stack and recently the Cortana Analytics suite and Power BI.

On the personal front, love following football and tennis. Other times, you are likely to find me indulging in travel and street photography with my Fujifilm.

 

Farhin Khan – Technical Specialist

I am extremely excited to join the team as a Data Platform TSP. I have been with Microsoft for 5+ years and was a part of the GBS organisation (Global Business Support aka CSS) working as a SQL Server Premier Field Engineer.

My time with PFE was spent working onsite as a Dedicated Supportability engineer for customers mainly within the Finance Sector. I have worked very closely with customers like Bank of America, Barclays Capital, Nationwide Building Society, VISA Europe and have really good relationship with key customer stakeholders on those accounts. Key focus areas previously have been SQL On-Prem HA/DR Implementations, providing support/guidance for Tier 1 mission critical applications, in depth troubleshooting, technology risk assessment, remediation, providing guidance to customers on their future Data/SQL Server IT roadmap, thereby acting as their trusted advisor.

I have a fairly good understanding of the key challenges/roadmaps the FSI customers are working towards from a Data Platform Strategy perspective and I am really looking forward to how I can work closely with you all to help leverage this knowledge in my role as a TSP.

I love presenting….I am also a regular attendee of SQL Bits where I have represented CSS at our Microsoft Stands frequently and have also presented sessions at conferences.

In my spare time I enjoy cooking, travelling, writing poetry and Bollywood dancing. Maybe if an opportunity arises I’d love to cook some authentic Indian recipes.

 

Ric Howe

I have over 12 years of experience working with infrastructure, and used to be a VMware VCP. I have held roles that have covered everything from Exchange to SharePoint, and have spent many years administering SQL Server. Much of that time has been in consultancy roles, advising companies on data strategies and broader infrastructural architectures. Data has been my primary focus for the last few years, specifically analytics, and it’s been such an exciting space with more change than ever happening right now.

I blog and Tweet as much as I can to ensure that the four years I spent studying Creative Writing are put to good use, and I’m enrolled on a pilot of Microsoft’s new Data Science degree.

Outside of work, I have a young girl and boy who keep me occupied when I’m not studying data, and I have an 18th century house to renovate so I’m never at a loss for things to keep me busy.

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