Oracle Vision co-founder and Operations Director Tim Lakin took some time out of his busy day for a chat. In this quick interview, Tim shares his perspective on Oracle Vision and its future. Discover the man behind the organisation’s ambitious plans, and learn about what he gets up to when he’s not masterminding Oracle Vision’s success.
What led you to setting up Oracle?
Well, I’d set up another company two years beforehand and was subcontracting to other businesses in the security industry. Chris (Lakin – Tim’s brother and Oracle Vision co-founder – spoiler alert) was in the same field, but wasn’t happy where he was, so he also set up on his own, but as more of a consultancy. After a while we talked about our ambitions for what we wanted to achieve, and it made sense to consolidate our work. Right from the outset, my focus was on installation, and his was on consultancy.
What do you find special about working with your brother?
Luckily, we get on, so it’s really nice. We have differences of opinion on most things which strengthens our business. You’ll always get two very different aspects of problem-solving. It’s excellent in all aspects of the business. Chris’ forte is his creativity and communication – he’s very personable. Meanwhile, I’m more technical, specific and process-oriented, making sure things are scalable.
Over the years, how has the ‘Vision’ changed?
It’s changed quite dramatically, mostly because a lot of the products have changed. We’ve been around a while (ahem!) so we saw the shift from analogue to digital technology, and really led the charge on that transformation for a lot of our clients. The talent in our sector has changed too. Although we went into business on our own, we didn’t want the company to be just us. So we brought in salespeople and engineers to enhance what we offered and what we could do. As we’ve grown, IT skills have become increasingly vital. We found that training an IT specialist on our service was hard, so instead we’ve taken people from industry and taught them IT. We’ve learned a few lessons along the way!
What do you have your sights set on for the future?
Our main aim right now is growth, ideally through acquisition. But for Chris and I, our personal goal is to also start taking a step back, knowing we have the right people in place allows us to focus on other areas. By letting this talented team get on with the day to day operations, we can broaden our scope and have more time to think bigger picture about Oracle Vision’s future.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I enjoy offering solutions to people. We’re confident that we can outperform others in the industry and we’re proud of the high standards we’ve set for ourselves. I love nothing more than having the confidence to say that what our clients have paid for is a great service – that’s a big deal for me. We have high staff retention here, as well as customer-retention too. I like to think this speaks volumes about how we work as a business.
Is there anything you don’t enjoy?
Sometimes it can be hard when a customer comes with a solution fixed in their minds. If I think there’s an alternative way we can approach the issue, I have to manage that very carefully to bring them on board with me. It’s important that they trust us as they go through the process. We always want to consult our customers, so they get the best possible solution for their needs at that time.
What do you like to do when you’re not here?
Holidaying mainly – I really enjoy exploring new places.
If you could spend the day with anyone famous, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do
Definitely Bob Dylan. I think he’s a bit of a philosopher. We’d talk music, the 60s and the changes he’s seen during his life. Or maybe Steven Fry, I’d have a talk, get their opinions and thoughts, right down to the nitty-gritty.
First gig you saw: ’93 – Iron Maiden at Sheffield Arena
Last gig you saw: Rival Sons in Manchester
Favourite film: Lord of the Rings
Favourite TV show: I’m more into films. I watched the Queen’s Gambit recently and enjoyed that.
Favourite book: How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
Favourite food: Thai, massaman curry – delightful
Favourite drink: Amaretto
Favourite place to visit: New York. Or Venice. Saying that, Cairo – that was brilliant. It’s hard to decide, I love travelling so much. I’ll go with New York – a classic.