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Damson Cloud Interview Series: Paul Lees, Founder Of Bespin Labs

In this week’s video, Damson Cloud CEO Fintan Murphy will be sitting down with Paul Lees, the CEO of Bespin Labs to discuss Paul’s personal journey into the technology industry and how he started working with Google Workspace.

Bespin Labs like Damson Cloud is a Google Cloud Technology partner that focuses on helping IT admins manage their users, devices and data utilising their solution Patronum, one of the leading Google Workspace tools.

In this discussion, Fintan and Paul cover Paul’s technology journey and how he got into the industry, Google Workspace, Google Admin Tools, and much more. If this is something you’re interested in learning more about, stay tuned!

Paul’s Journey Into The Technology Industry

Firstly, we’re going to look at how Paul found himself in the technology industry. Earlier in his career, Paul worked in the IT industry as a Novell programmer, but his interest in technology started a long time before this.

Like Fintan, Paul’s interest in technology started when he was younger and found himself breaking and putting things back together. As a child, his interest in how toys work led him to dismantle them to see the inner workings and after this, he would put them back together, albeit with a few pieces left over!

University Of Salford, Novell & Identity And Access Management

From a professional perspective, in 1991 Paul joined the University of Salford in England as a Network Programmer, working on developing software that would work alongside the Novell system. This job role gave Paul his first glimpse into APIs and how they worked. During this time, Paul worked on becoming an expert in how these systems worked by carefully studying the Novell network and all of its protocols.

In his time at Novell, the tools Paul developed included those used to onboard users, create users, and assign names and job roles. Essentially, these tools were used by university organisations to create and add users to their systems. Throughout his time working with the Novell software, Paul developed an appreciation for the importance of correctly dealing with onboarding and offboarding from a university perspective in the early days, which can now be applied to a corporate environment.

Paul was also part of the team responsible for Janet, a high-speed network used by educational and university communities to provide computing support to those involved in research.

Following his role at the University of Salford and the experience he gained in this time, Paul began working on identity and access management, helping organisations onboard and offboard users in a clear, structured manner.

Google Apps For Education & Email Migration

As the Technical Director of a UK-based software company focusing primarily on identity and access management as well as email migrations, Paul had his first encounter with Google, specifically with Gmail and the ‘Google Apps For Business’ services. Here one of Paul’s colleagues expressed concerns over email migration, Paul began looking into Google and if they would be a good platform to work with.

Google’s relaxed approach to email migration and their lack thereof initially shocked both Paul and his colleague however, after further research and conversations with Google and the realisation that tools such as identity access management were available on the Google Workspace for Education (Google Apps as it was then), it seemed like a no-brainer that this was the right platform for them to work from.

However, as most of us can relate to being creatures of habit, so too was the organisation that Paul worked for who shot down the transition to Google due to being comfortable and confident using Microsoft’s software.

Paul saw this as an opportunity not to be missed out on, so after conversations with a friend who worked as a developer, they began working together on a project to create an email migration tool that would go hand-in-hand with Google Workspace. From here, Paul founded and a group of colleagues founded their own company and thus the link to Google was created.

So, Why Work With Google?

A final question Fintan had for Paul was out of all the services available, why did he choose to create a tool that would work with what we now know as the Google Workspace? Paul felt that due to the versatility of Google, it was a much easier platform to develop a service for when compared to other brands such as Microsoft.

His main goal was to create an email migration tool that worked well but also a tool that could be introduced onto the market quickly and because Google was a cloud-based service, this made it the ideal platform to link with. The cloud aspect of Google Workspace also made it a safe and reliable platform, as there were no different versions of operating systems to contend with.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this week’s video with Paul Lees. This is the first in our mini-series of sit down conversations with Paul, so for more information, subscribe to our YouTube channel or keep an eye on our weekly blog for the next instalment!

As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, Damson Cloud specialises in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion the very best practices in remote working and change management, helping companies and their teams collaborate productively from anywhere in the world. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.

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The team at Damson Cloud have the expertise to support your business and help you achieve success, regardless of whether you’re new to Google Workspace or looking to enhance your existing usage.