TechRound recently interviewed Sam Booth, of Just After Midnight, the new go-to-support service for brands and agencies alike. Just After Midnight provides true 24/7 Support, Managed Cloud and Dev-Ops services for brands who need a reliable partner ensuring they are always on for their customers. At a time where more people than ever are working remotely and more companies than ever are using cloud-based solutions, Just After Midnight are making leaps and bounds.
Some of the brands they work with include Heineken, Volvo and Vodafone. Founded in 2016, Just After Midnight was founded in the UK by Sam Booth and has since expanded into the USA and AsiaPac, led by Kris Croucher and Freddie Heygate.
What is Just After Midnight?
Just After Midnight work with global brands, digital product companies and digital marketing agencies, helping them do more with cloud and enabling them to have a 24/7 support function, which most would be unable to support internally. We do this across our global locations, in the UK, Australia, Singapore and United States.
Why did you create the company and brand and what drew you to the ever-growing cloud?
We originally started the business as we used to work at large marketing agencies building customer facing applications. We noticed a gap in their services, most being fantastic at building applications, but then struggling to provide the round-the-clock support required. Quite often the 24/7 support function of mission critical applications was given to a developer, who would be woken up by a phone call if something were to go wrong. Alternatively, agencies would charge a huge sum of money to try and discourage clients to take on a 24/7 support contract.
We started Just After Midnight to solve this challenge, we wanted to provide true and effective 24/7 monitoring and support capabilities to these agencies and therefore their end customers. In doing this we built a very strong application and cloud team who could resolve critical issues on any application at any time of the day.
More recently we have carved out a specialist unit to focus on helping clients get more out of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and this cloud consultancy has become a very fast growing part of our business.
What did you start out seeking to address/ fix in your industry?
We started out trying to address the 9 to 5 nature of support for digital products that are by their nature 24/7. This is an issue faced by digital marketing agencies, system integrators and many legacy IT providers. In today’s connected world everything needs to be always on. Failing to do so can result in losing a huge amount of revenue and damaging a brand’s reputation. This is what we sought out to address – that guarantee that if a brand’s digital application goes down, there is someone who is able to act immediately and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Who are the brains and minds behind the company and the ideas?
Firstly, the engine of the whole business is made up of our brilliant global technical team. We have infrastructure engineers and application developers who are the best of the best. They are the real problem solvers who are able to look at a system with very limited information, understand the problem and are able to fix it in a very short amount of time. They have a very broad knowledge of the digital environment; knowing one service within (for example) AWS, or Java development is not enough. As a team they have a broad knowledge on everything webops, from domains to certificates, licencing, cloud, development, DevOps tooling etc.
Outside of this, we have our global board led by Kris Croucher in Australia and Freddie Heygate in Asia, they really know the market and are changing that game for how cloud consulting and cloud support is delivered.
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To date, what have you achieved that you are most proud of?
From a business perspective, we are proud to have created a new marketplace. We’ve driven legacy players to react differently and start offering application support services and become increasingly personalised to the customer rather than just a huge offshore centre dealing with tickets. We’re also very proud of our growth trajectory – we’ve grown well in excess of 100% each year that we have been trading. We have over 90 agency partners globally, hundreds of domains under management and support and we have built a great global client base, working with brands such as Heineken, Volvo, Ford and DLA Piper to name a few.
How does Just After Midnight compare to your previous projects and what makes you and the company tick?
It’s entirely different. For me personally it’s a big departure as it’s the first time I have run my own business. In terms of what the company does, it is about having a business that focuses on support at its heart rather than as an add on. That is what makes us unique and one of the reasons why we have continued to grow.
Problem solving and the cloud opportunity for business are the two things that really makes us tick. So many businesses we work with still run on legacy IT environments – most of the time this is just due to the company’s speed of change, approach, and just the fact that staying where you are is a safe option. It’s great to see these kinds of companies start their journey to cloud, moving workloads and realising the benefits that come from cloud technologies – cost savings, improving redundancy and resilience, access to newer and more exciting things such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. All these tools are made very easy with the new offerings provided by the likes of AWS.
What is the most challenging aspect of running a business?
The biggest challenge for us is finding the right talent. What we do is quite unique and finding people with the right spectrum of knowledge can take time. Our plan is to open our own academy to combat this challenge, watch this space!
We want to bring in people with the right attitude and help them grow and develop their skills further to get them to the place they need to be. We want to nurture the team and ensure they have time to meet their own personal development goals as well as meeting the skills we need them to excel in.
Where do you see the business in the next few years and what are you aiming for?
We want to continue on our current growth trajectory and continue to break new ground with how support is delivered and expected. Part of our success has been our geographical expansion and we see this trend continuing. Both Australia and Singapore have grown from strength to strength over the last year. We have also started growing in the USA. Our goal is to double our turnover again over the next 18 months.
The cloud consulting services have also become a core part of the businesses – our goal over the next year is to become the go-to AWS partner globally for anything customer experience and all customer facing applications.
How can we find you?
We have offices across the globe, so if you are in London, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Boston or Malta and want a chat, give us a call and we’d love to meet you for a coffee!