A unique opportunity for a hands-on, commercially minded senior manager with extensive technical project delivery expertise across software, infrastructure and transactional databases to work with a brilliant team to transform the fine wine industry. The Head of Technology will work alongside commercial heads of the business and report to the MD to help enable the business to fulfil its ambitions.
Liv-ex (The London International Vintners Exchange) was founded in 1999. It operates a business to business electronic wine-trading platform, charging a commission on each transaction. At the same time Liv-ex is the reference for fine wine prices, valuations and other market data, including the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index (the industry’s benchmark). Liv-ex also provides merchants with fulfilment, storage and transport services through its logistics business – Vine. The business offers its services from a web based platform and a family of APIs at www.liv-ex.com.
With customers in 35 countries, Liv-ex is used by the vast majority of fine wine merchants around the world. Sales have grown rapidly to exceed £50m. Liv-ex’s growth has coincided with expansion of the internet and the development of the Far East as a wine buying hub. Liv-ex is looking for a highly capable and innovative individual to lead its Technology department to increase the speed and quality of application and API development and move its hosting support into the Cloud.
The Head of Technology will be expected to establish, communicate and implement a technology strategy and ensure that all efforts expended on development properly support the broader commercial aims of the business.
They will manage a small team of in-house Business Analysts and IT professionals, along with a number of outsourced development teams and hosting suppliers to deliver constant improvements to a portfolio of products, including:
- Liv-ex online trading exchange
- Vine logistics and settlement system
- Data distribution and transactional API’s
- Cellar Watch consumer cellar tracking system
- LWIN database of wine names and ids
- Data cleaning applications
- IS/ server infrastructure
- MySQL database
The technology department forms the link between the business functions – sales, exchange, data, settlement and logistics, finance etc – which are managed out of the office in Battersea, and the development teams which are based in India and the Ukraine. The Head of Technology is expected to be able to grasp the commercial priorities of the business and work with the in-house teams to translate them into a plan of software/ infrastructure deliverables which can be executed by outsourced suppliers.
If you are a senior web based software project/ programme manager or a senior business analyst with a strong track record of delivery, and you have a high level knowledge of infrastructure and transactional databases, then this role will be of real interest. If you would relish the opportunity to take on and develop a leading edge technology platform capable of transforming the fine wine industry and if you are in tune with your customers and focused on creating and delivering what the market wants and needs – then this could be the opportunity you have been waiting for.
- Coordinate and manage crucial relationships:
- with the business owners within Liv-ex and balance competing claims for development resources
- with offshore developers and
- with hosting companies
- Lead the technology team from the front, covering every aspect of project and Technology management:
- Work with internal stakeholders to identify, capture and qualify potential product enhancements sourced from users, internal stakeholders or competition / industry monitoring
- Ensure that the team are translating customer requirements into detailed business requirements documents
- Test system enhancements to ensure that they meet the commercial requirements
- Create and maintain up to date product documentation, project plans and requirement definitions
- Act as user experience and product guardian throughout design and development sprints
- Understand longer term strategic aims of the company, and break them down into manageable steps which can be introduced over a period of time
- Lead the internal process to help define and maintain the Technology strategy, roadmap and priorities
- Understand the technological landscape and the other relevant products in the marketplace in order to assess and recommend the appropriate approaches
- Develop and mentor the skills and capabilities of the technology team
- Work with the business to define a process that protects information privacy, security and availability inc disaster recovery and business continuity plan
- Track and control annual budget for technology purchasing, staffing and operations
- Be a go-to person and strategic leader within the company
- Extensive hands-on project delivery experience (requirements gathering, design, development and implementation) for a web based software/ API product in a B2B or B2C environment.
- Experience of best practice translated effectively into a small innovative and fluid entrepreneurial business
- Experience with agile development processes and frequent product release cycles
- Experience of customer facing activity and the ability to sell new concepts and ideas.
- High level of literacy in the latest systems and technology including experience of APIs, Cloud computing, machine to machine communications, systems integration as well as use of relational database structure and N-tier architectures
- Experience in commissioning development and maintenance of SQL and My SQL databases
- Experience of unpicking and simplifying complex business process and translating them effectively into technical functionality, which delivers appropriate business solutions through the technical platform
- Experience of managing the interface between functional and technical teams effectively – a natural ability to relate to and service customers both internal and external and to relate to both business people and developers.
- Ability to work with different people across a multifunctional team effectively
- Strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Able to present fluently and confidently. (Languages an advantage)
- Strong commercial awareness, financially astute
- Self motivated with a high energy level
- Good general management experience
- Highly organised with a strong command of detail
- Flexible and able to work in a highly collaborative culture
- A passion for innovation in web-based software
- Strong intellect
Competitive salary. There is likely to be a bonus based on company performance.
BUPA/ life/ income protection cover.
To apply, or for further information, please email Anna Cornwallis.