As we bid farewell to 2023, Intelligent Pathways’ CEO Peter Robertson shares some standout moments during our 20th anniversary, a transformative partnership with Microsoft, holiday plans, and closing reflections on the year.
Looking back at 2023, what was your favourite moment as IP’s CEO?
For me the greatest moment was our 20th anniversary celebration. To have almost all our staff and their families all in one place for the first time was fantastic. We don’t often pause and reflect. Being able to express gratitude and share in the success of our business was a momentous occasion. It was important for me to acknowledge not only the dedication of our exceptional staff but also extend our appreciation to their families, who we’re all a bit closer to in this hybrid working world.
This was my highlight of 2023. I enjoyed every minute of it and I wish we could do it all again for our 21st anniversary next year!
How does it feel to look back on the past 20 years and see the growth and evolution of the company?
Remarkable. In the early days, we primarily operated as a fleet management software business. Reflecting on the evolution of our clients, domains, and technology is nothing short of incredible. The technology landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, bringing both excitement and challenges. We find ourselves working with clients on projects to update and replace the solutions we crafted 5, 10, 15 years ago. It’s crazy to realise that the work we did a decade or so ago has completed its life cycle. we’ve been around long enough to witness how rapidly things change from being modern or cutting-edge to now being considered outdated.
It’s incredible that we’re still working with some of those clients from years ago.
Absolutely! Our very first client is still with us. We often hear, “Can you come back and do more work? We were so thrilled with what you did last time, and you know this space better than anyone.” It’s genuinely rewarding.
Can you share a brief vision for the future of IP – 2024 and beyond?
I foresee 2024 as an exciting year for us. As we continue to invest into the data and analytics space, the spotlight is undeniably on AI – the buzzword of the moment. It reminds me of the era when everyone was talking about ‘Cloud’, but few really knew what Cloud meant.
For us, the focus in the coming year is translating our strategic discussions on AI into action. We’re actively engaged in a variety of proof of concepts to understand how we can effectively integrate AI and leverage its benefits for both our business and our clients. While there has been extensive strategizing about the possibilities, 2024 is about practicality. It’s about putting our ideas to the test, seeing what’s achievable, and understanding how AI can reshape the landscape of our business and, importantly, our clients’ businesses.
Our recent partnership with Microsoft, which was a huge effort from the team, will also be a catalyst of significant client advancement. What opportunities or outcomes do you envision this partnership unlocking for us in the coming year?
For us, independence has always been a cornerstone, allowing us to remain client-centric rather than brand-centric. This approach gives our clients the certainty that we’re not merely here to push a particular flavour or brand. However, it’s undeniable that Microsoft’s current toolsets and technology stand out as some of the strongest in the market. Our model won’t change – we’ll always advocate for what we believe is the best solution. Interestingly, with Microsoft’s advancements and our background in other technologies, I am genuinely excited about the prospect of working more closely with Microsoft. Their technology is, undoubtedly, among the best available right now.
The closer collaboration with Microsoft presents an opportunity for us to delve deeper into not just their technology but also to add more value to the businesses we engage with. Personally, this excites me because it provides us with a sharper focus. In a business like ours, where we have legacy services and technologies, aligning with Microsoft’s evolving products allows us to concentrate more.
Switching to a more personal note, how do you intend to rest and recharge over the Christmas break?
I’m really looking forward to it – it’s been a big year. Firstly, I’ll be heading to the coast, a tradition my family has maintained for over a decade – usually after Christmas. But this year we’ll get our beach fix for a week and then I’ll work up until Christmas.
Just after Christmas, the excitement peaks as we head to Japan. I find great joy in travelling with my family, particularly with the kids who are at a great age for it. We’ve been waiting for these plans to unfold since Covid 2020. I’ve never been to the country so we’ll see Tokyo and Kyoto and then go skiing – which will be the first time I test my back post operation! Actually my orthopaedic surgeon will be on the same ski field while I’m there – not that I will be looking to engage his services, however!
Any final comments to close out the year?
Closing out the year, my attention turns to strategic planning. While culture isn’t an overnight creation, I’m eager to foster more in-person collaboration opportunities. The reflection prompted by our 20-year anniversary has led me to delve into our past successes, identifying what drove our accomplishments. While evolution is inevitable, both in terms of technology and workplace dynamics, there’s value in reconnecting with the practices that worked exceptionally well. Our annual Club 10 lunch hosted almost 30% of our staff with a tenure of 10+ years – which is a clear sign of success! The goal is to tap into these successful areas and understand their effectiveness. I’m aiming to reintegrate these elements into our customer interactions, too. While the world has changed significantly, and many client interactions are now online, we remain prepared to travel. In essence, it would be refreshing to bring back the face-to-face interactions that once defined our business relationships.