As a Director with Microsoft, BU graduate Pete Humble is at the forefront of integrating the latest technologies into our everyday business lives.
And while today’s technologies have changed dramatically since Pete embarked on his studies in 1992, the appeal of his Business Information Systems Management degree still holds true. He said: “I was attracted to the degree because of its combined focus on IT and business. I didn’t come into it because I was a ‘techie’, but I did want to understand how technology could support business needs and improve the ways that people and companies worked. This has since become a focus for my career, delivering systems that meet our customers’ needs.”
While Pete acknowledges that BU wasn’t his ‘plan A’, a late change in circumstances and the recommendation of a friend led to him taking up a place through Clearing. Once on the course, he relished the combination of academic study, coastal location and the opportunity to get involved with football and other sports. One of his standout experiences was a year-long placement before his final year. He said: “Placements weren’t that easy to come by back then, but I was lucky enough to secure a role with Thames Water which enabled me to apply so much of what I had learnt in the first two years of the course to real-life scenarios. I got involved on a project team and was able to see the impact of our work on customers which shaped what I wanted to do next.”
After graduating, Pete spent a short stint in logistics for Sony, before going on to work for Walkers and then PepsiCo in the UK. From there he developed a specialism in the pre-sales stage of Systems Applications and Products (SAP); identifying customers’ requirements and designing the tools and systems to meet their business needs. He has since worked globally for companies including Bluefin and Google, before arriving at Microsoft nearly three years ago to take up his current role of Customer Success Director for SAP on Microsoft Cloud in the UK.
Pete said: “It is an exciting time to be working in this area. While change is a constant in the world of IT, it feels as though there is an acceleration in the pace of change now. We are working with businesses to realise the potential of AI on a large scale – helping customers to recognise the efficiencies it brings and see how it can be applied to different business contexts.
“There is no doubt that the change I have seen so far in my career will be a characteristic of future careers in the sector. When we are recruiting we are looking for people with a growth mindset and a passion for technology. The individual systems can be taught, but that desire to find innovative solutions for your customers is what counts.”